Saturday, March 23, 2013

This week

We had our ward Easter party last night and I am so glad it's over. The feeling I had was one of sweet relief. The primary presidency was in charge of this little shin-dig. I'm in the primary presidency. Ergo...

"I feel," I told Andrew last night, "Like someone has been throwing peaches at me and they finally stopped."

"Peaches?" he asked. "Because, like, they're gross and hairy and mushy and the pits?"

Andrew doesn't like peaches. Unless they're canned.

"No," I said. "Because right now I'm just like, 'Khookh!"

Andrew burst out laughing. He was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down his cheeks. It's an old joke of ours, along with feeling like eggs are being thrown at you (Oeuf, oeuf, oeuf!) because, you see خوخ means peach in Arabic and is said khookh (just like oeuf means egg in French and is said oof).

Ordinarily Andrew would have picked up on this joke right away, in fact, he's usually the one to bring it up at all since my default noise of exasperation is khookh but we went to bed super late last night because Les Mis (the movie) was released on Amazon last night so we rented it and watched it and it was awesome. Besides the couple of times we've gotten bo-berry biscuits, last night was the first night we've spent money on a date since the one time we went out to breakfast while Benjamin was in the NICU last summer.

Let's see, this has been a busy week and a busy day. I almost put Benjamin in the bathtub fully clothed this evening. He saw nothing amiss with that idea. I only noticed just in the nick of time.

Here's a few highlights of my week:

Today: The Great Day of Service. 

I courageously signed up for the knitting/crocheting group. Somehow physical labour with Benjamin in tow seemed too arduous even for The Great Day of Service. I mean, I realize we're supposed to make sacrifices to serve but today I preferred to make my sacrifice with my baby playing on a blanket on the floor of the Relief Society room rather than out in the chilly wind.

I was talking to this one woman from the Chapel Hill 1st ward when I decided that we should probably introduce ourselves, so I asked her for her name and then told her mine.

"Heiss," she repeated, as if turning over a few memories.

"Do you know some Heisses?" I asked, knowingly.

"I do," she said.

"They're my in-laws," I assumed.

She looked Benjamin over. "Should have known," she tsked with a sarcastic note. "He doesn't look at all like his daddy, does he?"

Spitting image, evidently. Chip off the ol' block.

Sister Aycock then introduced me to Sister Lee, who introduced me to Brother Lee, who introduced me to their son, who had Andrew's father as a scout leader back in the day. It was a fun and unexpected (yet completely normal) occurrence.

Today: Laundry with Rachel

Rachel helped me with the laundry today and I quizzed her knowledge of Arabic numbers by randomly asking for x-number of clothespins. I also taught her the retort, "Ashan al-jaesh," which means "Because of the army," and is used in answer to the question, "Why?" which is said "Laesh" in Jordanian Arabic.

"But I'm not an Arabic-speaker!" Rachel complained. "Why do I need to know that?"

"Ashan al-jaesh," I told her.

"But why?"

"Ashan al-jaesh."

And it might just be my response to all those why-questions from here on out because it drives her so absolutely crazy.

Yesterday: Throw up at the ward party

Rachel got off the school bus "feeling sick." She looked pale and said her stomach was turning. I made her take a throw-up bucket in the van and almost made her take it into the church with her but she insisted she was feeling better already.

"Okay," I said, then warned her: "But I don't want to have to clean throw up off the church carpet so if you need to throw up you'd better make it to the toilet!"

I only noticed the huge mess of vomit on the carpet near the end of the party. Fortunately, it wasn't from one of my children but unfortunately no one else seemed to be claiming the mess, either. Fortunately, two wonderful gentlemen in our ward volunteered to clean it up. One was the Primary President's husband so I suppose he had a little jurisdiction in the clean-up arena (since the primary presidency was in charge of cleaning up), but the other man was under no obligation to clean up the mystery vomit but did so with a smile on his face, anyway. (A thousand thank-yous!)

And Rachel, it turns out, was feeling queasy because she'd had a wild ride on the bus. The girls she's assigned to sit by were calling her names and refused to sit by her and she simply had a miserable time. Her tummy ache disappeared immediately with the prospect of having some fun.

Yesterday: Expanding my driving bubble

There's a sister I was assigned to visit teach back in December (hello, Heidi) and I've visited her every month (and she might also be my visiting teacher) but I hadn't ever driven to her house. She lives twenty minutes outside of my driving bubble. I had Andrew drive with me in December and almost suffered a nervous breakdown so in January I simply had him drive me there (as chauffeur this time, not passenger). In February we met at the Life and Science Museum. This month I was left with no choice but to bite the bullet (though she did say we  could just count book club as our visit) and I drove to her house all by myself (with two kids (so not entirely all by myself)). I didn't even cry. And I only arrived moderately sweaty.

I have no idea how we got home but the GPS navigated me through all those mystery roads flawlessly and eventually spat me out into familiar territory.

I used to feel like I was preparing myself to jump off a cliff every time I would get in the car to drive, and every time I arrived somewhere I felt like stumbling out of the car and kissing the ground.

Those feelings are slowly fading. Slowly.

Thursday: Stuffing candy at book club

Instead of stuffing Easter eggs with candy for the ward Easter party, we decided that we'd fill goody bags instead. Book club was at another primary presidency member's house so Thursday night a lot of women showed up at book club bearing candy donations.

At first we declined the offers to help stuff the goody bags but then we looked around at all the helping hands and figured...why not?

We dumped all the candy onto the floor (after dumping it into bowls and deciding that wasn't going to work) and everyone just dug in and threw handfuls of candy into cellophane bags. We finished a monstrous project in ten minutes, flat.

I smiled knowingly to myself when a mother at the Easter party instructed her child to "just choose a bag" because "they're all the same!"

They weren't all the same, I assure you. We simply shoveled approximately equal amounts of candy into the bags, not even checking to make sure they were "fair" or anything. All the children seemed happy with their loot at the party, so it was no big deal.

Thursday: Book club

I haven't gone to book club for a while. I've been sick. Or I've had sick kids. But I went this month and I'm glad I did, even though I didn't read the book. I loved hearing everyone else talk about it and so now I'm reading it (The Poisonwood Bible) instead of the book that's on the list for this month.

It was nice to get out of the house and mingling with women since I missed the Relief Society activity this month (too sick) and the MOPS invitation from our neighbour across the street (too busy that night). We laughed a lot and talked a lot and even got a lot done.

Wednesday: Ummm...

The backyard neighbour boy has taken to standing on his side of the fence and calling, "Rachel! Rachel! Rachel!" until we acknowledge his existence so when I was at the busstop one day and his dad said, "I'm loving this spring weather! It's so nice to just send the kids in the backyard to play!" I said, "Speaking of playing in the backyard..."

Obviously, I'm the queen of awkward segues.

"...[your son] is welcome to come play in our yard whenever we're back there."

So we made up a rule on the spot that as long as permission is asked and granted (just so that parents are always aware which backyard the kids are in) there's a free-flow of children through our yards.

In other words, we just got a swingset!

Kidding. (But our neighbours do have a swingset.)

So far, we've only played in our backyard. They like to play a soccer/football/basketball/volleyball mix using our toddler basketball standard, the clothesline, and various balls in our yard. It's an interesting game. The little boy knows much more about sports than Rachel does and he tries to enforce rules but allows Rachel ample artistic license.

While the kids were all playing, I made dinner, and when I called the kids inside (and sent our neighbour home) Rachel looked at the table and said, "Wow, Mom! Did you make all this food by yourself?"

"Yes," I answered. "Yes, I did."

What was for dinner? Spaghetti. Leftover spaghetti sauce from pizza night a few days ago. And green beans. And I did it all by myself.

In the coming week: Rachel's talk in church, Rachel's class Easter party, class picture day (which is apparently separate from pupil picture day), a potential camping trip, my talk in church next week, Easter, and the family newsletter I'm in charge of.

But, nothing's feeling too overwhelming now that that Easter party is over.

(Except for ballet... Anyone out there want to buy tickets to watch my girls dance at the Carolina Theater? It's a full production of Peter Pan and should be great!)


  1. That was an interesting read. And I would LOVE to come and watch your girls dance. If only I could.

  2. I really hope the stress of driving lessons very soon, and that you continue to feel well so that you can get out and enjoy the company of friends :)