Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Unexpected Luxury

Living in a cold climate can certainly have its advantages. Today being grocery shopping day, I was reminded of one more. I, ladies and gentlemen, can now unload my groceries from my car AT MY LEISURE! Oh yeah baby! It is 26 degrees as I type this so as you can probably guess, my car stays quite chilled when not running.

Grocery shopping with two fidgety toddlers is taxing enough. But for me, the arrival home is just as taxing. Let me paint you a picture.

We pull into the garage and shut the garage door. Girls are unloaded and I begin my multiple trips between kitchen and back of van.

I put 4 bags on one arm and two on the other. Using my pointer and middle fingers, I manage to turn the doorknob and heave the door open with my hip. (I got mad skilz, let me tell you) Claire is there waiting with a question. "Mommy, when are you going to get me my lunch?" I tell her to wait until I get the groceries unloaded just as the cat dashes between my legs into the garage. I know I can't leave him there because he will likely eat his way into the bags of lawn fertilizer or some other such poison.

I race to the kitchen to deposit all 6 bags on the counter and find that Sarah has managed to take the back off of the remote control and is sucking happily on a battery. One battery removal complete and I am headed back to the garage for my second trip. I now have 4 bags on one arm and 3 on the other and am headed to the door when I hear, "crunch, crunch, crunch". Oh that stinkin' cat!! He has found a bag of something and has started chewing his way in. I run quickly to the kitchen and drop off the bags and find Claire rummaging through the first set of bags and once more she asks, "Mommy, can you make my lunch NOW?" Um. . . . no.

Off I go to the garage to drop kick gently pick up the cat and take him inside the house. I go back out to the garage to find that Sarah has somehow slipped past me into the garage and is now digging through Daddy's tool box which is filled with all sorts of fun sharp and dangerous objects. I scoop up the baby and take her inside as Claire asks once more for lunch. With a growl and a huff, I plop the baby and 3 year old down on the couch and turn on the TV in the hopes that I can manage a free 2 minutes to unload the remaining groceries. 10 minutes later, my kitchen is a mess with bags of groceries, (many of which have toppled over spilling their contents all over the counter) the girls are chowing down on a quickly thrown together lunch and I can finally start the process of putting the groceries away. And this is a tame day.

Now that was Houston, where the temperatures are so hot that your groceries could spoil on the cart ride from the store to the car. So you have no choice but to unload quickly. But here? Ahhhhh, bliss. The temperature is cool enough outside that leaving my groceries in the van a little longer is no problem at all. In fact, I get some great benefits.

First? I don't have to worry about my groceries going bad. I can get the girls inside and fed with minimal frustration. I can be calm, relaxed Mommy and actually enjoy this time with my girls. Once Sarah is down for her nap and Claire is busy playing with a full tummy, I can take my time unloading the groceries.

Second benefit? Most times, my groceries are actually colder when taking them from the van than they were in the store. That ice cream that starts to soften and melt during my multiple laps around the store is now refrozen perfectly. The 24 pack of water bottles? Nice and chilled and ready for consumption!

There are plenty of things about this cold weather that are tough to adjust to, (another blog for another day) but it has also afforded me this unexpected luxury and I love it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things to Do

I am giddy this week! Giddy I say!! Why? Glad you asked. Because as of this week, I now have two, count 'em TWO recurring things to do that don't involve a grocery store! Wahoo!!

First, one of the local churches holds a Tot Time. They open up their gym and fill it with bikes, balls and toys galore. All you do is show up and release your "tots" for a very active 2 hours of energy release. The second thing? Gymnastics for Claire. I finally found a place and signed her up. We go for our first session tomorrow. It will either be an awesome experience, or a day full of blog-worthy fodder. Either way, a win right?

I do realize how sad it is for me to be giddy over this, but people I am BORED! We are stuck in this condo with minimal toys and books and two girls who think the only way to play is with Mommy. I can portray a very believable Diego, but even that gets tiring for me. We hit the grocery store a few times a week just because it gets us out of the house but we all know how my children and grocery stores mix. Not. Pleasant.

Now I don't need to be crazy busy to be happy. The trick is to find at least one significant errand each day to get you out of the house and break up the monotony. But you have to be careful not to put too many errands in one day or you end up with children who have had no free play time and instead of cabin fever, they start to suffer from stuck-in-the-car-seat fever. Which is actually worse.

Sadly I haven't found a preschool here. The good ones are so expensive that I would have to sell my firstborn child just to afford the tuition. Of course, then I wouldn't need preschool, but I digress. The ones we can afford are, um . . . less than desirable. I'll leave it at that. So it is very possible that my kids will not have preschool for the time we are here. I am sad for them, a little. But I know I can supplement their preschool education and teach them what they need right here in our house. But the truth is that I am really, REALLY sad for me. I loved preschool days. I could get so much done with the kids tucked neatly away in their preschool classrooms. But I am trying not to focus on that too much. It is what it is and we are making the best of it. All this is to say that I am GIDDY to have a couple of things to do each week! Whoop!

On a totally random note, we were at Wal-Mart today and (as has become our custom) I let the girls play for a bit in the toy aisle. Is anyone else creeped out by those baby dolls that activate when you walk past them? Good gracious me those things are freaky. I walk by and hear cooing and gurgling coming from dolls that are bouncing  up and down in their cribs and everything in me wants to turn and run the other way. Shudder.