Thursday, December 30, 2010

Long Nights

4:15 am on the first leg of our trip to California:

Sir had pulled over due to a nosebleed. While he was outside getting it under control and getting a bit of fresh air at the same time, Dolly stirred in the back seat.
"Is is morning time yet?" she asked.

"No, it's still the middle of the night. Go back to sleep." I hushed.

"But is it a little bit morning yet?" she pressed.

"No, Dolly. It's still very much the middle of the night. Go back to sleep and when you wake up we'll almost be at Grandpa and Grandma's house."

"I knowed nights were long, but I didn't know it was THIS long!" She said, and then settled down again to sleep.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Case Closed!

At a glance, I may not look very organized. Everything is usually in piles(to be put away when I get to it). But I KNOW where things are. If you wanted to know where to find the spray paint we used on the picnic table that we built for the kids two years ago, I could tell you without hesitation that those cans of paint are in a box in the birdroom about two feet from the west window and approximately waist high up in the pile of boxes that still haven't been put away. Or did you need the fishing net? It's on the top of the tall bookshelf in the master bathroom. A hand saw? Trouble light? bike pump? Try the old milk crates along the dining room wall right about in line with where Dolly sits at the table.

But occasionally I LOSE things. It usually happens when I have way too many things going on at the exact same time and I mis-file their locations in my mind before I get to putting them in a logical place that I can find by deduction later. For example, recently Butler had 3 or 4 soothers kicking around the place. He loses them everywhere and sometimes it's hard to keep track of whether you last saw the pacifier at home or at somebody else's house. If you have a spare and you're rushing at the moment - at least in my case the location information gets jumbled and by the time I get around to actually thinking about where the missing soothers might be, I can't remember where I last had them. All I have filed is: 'don't worry, it's in a familiar place'. Like that helps very much.

Anyway, we have three folding booster seats. Two of them are at the dining room table for the younger two kids and the third is supposed to say in the car so I have a booster seat when I need one away from home. 3½ weeks ago, we had 14 guests over for dinner after meeting. With our kids added to the mix, there were 11 kids running all over the place, so I asked Sir to grab the booster seat out of the car and we used it that evening. Over the next week, I finally got the booster wiped out, folded up (without it's tray) and finally put next to the front door to go out to the car when I got a chance. One day as we were rushing to go somewhere, I asked PC to carry the booster seat out to the driveway and put it by the van and I'd put it in after buckling Butler into his car seat. I remember PC carrying the seat out to the driveway, but that was all I did remember. I had no idea if he put it next to the car, if I put it in the car or if it actually didn't make it back to the house by accident.

Then I went grocery shopping across the border and in the rush to get back in time to get Emma's pictures taken before picking Dolly up from school, we missed the exit for the fast food drive through that Sir had suggested we do for lunch that day. Instead of turning around, we just got back across the border and stopped at a Subway next to the picture studio. I thought we had enough time to eat in the little restaurant before rushing on to the picture project so I grabbed the booster seat and as I reached for it I thought, "Hm, I never got the tray back with this thing. I should do that when we get home." Now, I must stop here, and point out, this thought was a vital clue to finding the booster seat. If I happen to remember a past thought, I can usually recall where I was when I thought it or what I was looking at or something about my surroundings at that time. So, we ate at the Subway, and we took too long to do that and ended up almost running next door to the picture place to see if they could fit us in for Emma's pictures or not. I ended up making an appointment for the next day. Except, the next day we got close to 6 inches of snow and I ended up cancelling the picture appointment.

Next, Sir found a load of free firewood on a craigslist ad a few days later,and after calling about it Saturday morning we arranged for babysitting, emptied everything out of the van and collected the wood. When I put the van back together later that afternoon, I noticed the booster seat was missing. Then I couldn't find it at home and I couldn't remember if I'd even put it in the car.

For the next two weeks I searched and researched everywhere I thought I might have put it. Back in the house. Where I'd unloaded the van so we could haul wood. The meeting room. The driveway. Even the hedge in our front yard (in case PC stuck it in the hedge instead of next to the van that day I sent him out with it). But it was no use. I couldn't find it, and I COULDN'T remember where I'd last had it. Until this afternoon on my way home when I remembered my thought at the Subway three weeks ago. What if I left it at the restaurant? But I vaguely remembered folding the seat up when we were about to leave. I planned to call them and forgot before I got to the phone three times this evening. Finally three minutes before they closed I remembered again, Sir found the number, and I called. They had no booster seat. I thought I'd tracked it down - I was almost sure it had to be there. I think I asked the poor girl on the other end of the phone four or five times, if she was sure, there was no booster seat that had been left or had been turned in in the last three weeks. Then I remembered that I had parked directly in front of the Subway's neighboring restaurant. I called them one minute before they closed hoping that perhaps I'd left it on the ground while I buckled Butler into his car seat and then in the rush to get to the picture studio that afternoon, abandoned it for someone to turn in to the nearest diner.

"About three weeks ago," I began when the phone was answered, "I used a folding booster seat at your neighboring restaurant. But since I was parked directly in front of your restaurant, I'm hoping perhaps someone turned it in to you because Subway doesn't have it and I'm thinking I might have left it on the ground next to my car." "Do you know what color it was?" the guy asked. Of course in my excitement that they might actually have the seat, I completely forgot the exact coloring and could only tell him it was a light blue, and that I thought it had white, but then I corrected myself by saying the tray that I still had for it was white. "Do you know what brand it is?" he continued. "Uh..." I wasn't about to take a chance blurting out the wrong brand name and I wasn't sure enough to tell him what my first guess was. And I wasn't bright enough to turn around and take a look at the two identical (but different colored) boosters in the dining room right behind me. "Uh.. I'm not sure off the top of my head, but it's a folding booster seat and most of it is light blue..." "Might it be Safety 1st?" he asked. By this time I was pretty sure he was looking right at my booster seat and I was so excited I was basically jumping up and down as I told him yes, it was a safety 1st. Then he told me he was looking at a blue and green folded booster seat. Finally it was found. I hung up after giving our name and number and telling him I'd be out to get it tomorrow.

Sir had heard my whole phone conversation and was nearly bursting with laughter at my excitement over a $30 booster seat, but I couldn't help it. It was found! I wasn't crazy after all (or completely crazy that is). And now that I know where it is, I should have it back just in time for our trip to California next week! I'm still excited, but I'm not squealing and jumping up and down anymore. Instead I should be in bed. At least I've calmed down enough to sleep now! Good night.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Lost in Deep Cove

I don't like driving routes I'm unfamiliar with on very rainy days after dark. I've done it before, and the results are never good.

Yesterday Sir was going to bus/walk/walk/bus after work to get a set of tire chains he'd found posted on craigslist not too far from his work. But then I had the bright idea of saving him an hour of travel time before he even started on his way home. I called him up at work and asked him if he'd rather the kids and me come pick him up and then we go pick the chains up from there. He said that'd be nice especially since the person selling the chains wouldn't be there until 6:30 which means Sir would have been getting home between 8 and 8:30 if he caught everything just right.

So, after picking Dolly up from school, taking a load to the storage unit, making a quick stop at the grocery store, dropping the groceries off at home and having Dolly change out of her uniform, we were on our way right at 5. Rush Hour.

Sir called me at 6 to see how we were doing, and at that time we were getting close to our exit making us less than half an hour away. Until I took the wrong part of the exit in the dark with rain pouring faster than my wipers could keep up with. I knew right away I'd taken the wrong part of the exit, but in my attempts to turn around and undo my blunder, we ended up going exactly in the opposite direction that we should have been. I thought I'd just stop at some intersection and call Sir and have him talk me out of my mess. Except there were no intersections for oh.. probably 15 minutes. We finally ended up at the end of the road in Deep Cove.

I called Sir, and he sounded more amused than anything else (which was good for me - I'd rather he laugh at my stupidity than be frustrated at the delay it caused) Anyway, he told me to go back the way I'd come and eventually I'd recognize my surroundings. By the time I finally picked him up it was 7.

Then we got lost finding the chain seller's house, but we still made it there by 7:30 which was when Sir had told the guy we'd be there. After that, I had Sir drive home - even though I've driven home that way plenty of times and probably wouldn't have gotten lost again, but given my record for the evening... I wasn't taking any chances.

The cute part about the whole adventure was how the kids dealt with our dilemma. It went a bit like this:

Me: Ok guys, everybody be quiet! I need to pay attention to where I'm going.
Emma: Why? Are we lost, Mommy?
Me: Yes, we're very lost. Be quiet.
Dolly: Mommy, maybe you should call Daddy. Then he can tell us which way to go.
Me: I will, Dolly, but first I need to be able to tell him what roads were at. Be quiet.
PC: Mommy, I prayed for you. I asked God to help us get unlost.
Me: Thank you PC, but I need you to be quiet so I can drive.
Emma: Mommy!!! I need to go potty!
Me: Emma, you're going to have to wait, there's no bathroom around here. Don't drink any more water.

Silence for a few miles.

Emma: Mommy, are we lost?
Me: Yes, Emma, we're still very much lost.
Dolly: Mommy, do you think Daddy is hungry? Maybe you should have PC call him and tell him it's ok if he gets food at McDonald's.
Me: Daddy knows he can eat if he's hungry, Dolly. He'll be ok.

Silence for a few more miles.

Emma: Mommy, are we still lost?
Me: Yes, Emma! We are still lost.
PC: I love you Mommy, God will help us get unlost. I asked Him.
Me: I love you too, PC. Thank you for asking for help for me.
Dolly: Yeah, God will get us unlost.
Me: K, guys be quiet. PC, let me have my phone now.
Emma: Mommy! I need to go potty!
Me: Emma, we'll stop as soon as I can find a place with a bathroom!

We pulled over and I called Sir and then I turned around finally heading in the right direction.

Emma: Mommy? are we lost?
Me: Yes, we're still lost, but I think I know which way we're supposed to go now.
Dolly: Isn't that nice of God? He's helping us get unlost!
PC: Yeah, because I asked Him to.
Dolly: Yep, it's all God's fault that we'll be unlost! Isn't that nice of Him?!
Me: Yes, He's always taking care of us even when we're lost. Now everybody try to be quiet until we get to Daddy's work.
Emma: I need to go potty!
Me: K, we're almost there! Just wait a little bit longer.

And we got unlost, picked up Sir, found a bathroom, and survived the rest of the evening.

The End