Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Facing down the enemy

I made a huge pot of chicken and rice for dinner and the whole thing is gone. Now I don't know whether to be happy I finally cooked something everybody liked, or annoyed because there aren't any leftovers. It's a conundrum.

On the bright side, I finally took my kids to the dentist today for the first time in seven years. That's right. Seven years. Once again, I lose my Mother of the Year award. It's the perfect example of one of my three birth defects, perfectionism.

When we moved here, I couldn't decided on a dentist for the kids. They had a perfectly wonderful pediatric dentist, Dr. Bogert, who'd been their faithful oral caregiver since Zach was four. It was traumatic enough that we lost their pediatrician who'd taken care of all my kids since Zach was a year old, I couldn't bring myself to trust my children to just any old dentist. So I procrastinated for seven years.

It could have been permanent procrastination, except that Katie is such a persistent little cud when she wants something. And she wants braces.

So, about two months ago I bit the bullet and tracked down a dentist in Conroe who's on the kids' insurance plan. I was not overly impressed by our initial visit. It's in an older residential house in a semi-commercialized neighborhood, but it was clean and the guy let all of us pile into one room while he checked everybody's x-rays and gave their mouths a once-over. I wanted all the kids to be able to be seen at the same time, so it took this long to get them in for their cleanings. It went well. And when we left, I had an epiphany. I realized that even if this dentist is not the end-all-be-all of the world, my kids had clean teeth, and that's ok.

As the old Russian proverb goes: Perfectionism is the enemy of good enough.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

N'est-ce pas?

So my wicked husband coerced me into taking a nap. Now, 2-1/2 hours later, I'm sleepy and walking around like a zombie and he's outside happily mowing the yard. He's actually chipper. Ugh.

He just got back from his trip tp Europe, chaperoning teens from the high school, and has decided we're going to retire in a suburb of Paris so he can be a tour guide. I love the idea, except I don't want to live that far away from my kids and grandkids. Maybe I will by then.

If not, they'll just have to come with us.

Monday, March 22, 2010

How I spent my spring break vacation

Ok, so I guess I've been wallowing in bleak thoughts. Not anything you'd really want to read, trust me.

Dalton has been in Europe for the past 7 days. He's chaperone for a school trip to Rome and France and I miss him terribly. His plane gets in tomorrow afternoon, and not a moment too soon. I've been eating my way through loneliness and have gained 5 lbs. in a week. Not good. 

On a bright note, I took my two youngest, Joseph - 12 and Savannah - 9, on a mini-vacation to Galveston. It was our first trip together, ever. And it was wonderful! On the first day, we arrived kind of late, so we just went to the store and bought snacks and things for lunch the next day and watched a movie in the hotel. Savannah was especially excited because she'd never stayed in a hotel before. Joe had been on vacation with my sister and her family, so he was an old hand at it.
The next morning we went to Schlitterbahn, an indoor waterpark complete with waterslides, floating river with waves, and all kinds of fun things to do. My favorite was the waterslides. You sit on an innertube-type float, poised at the top of a twirly, whirly pipeline into oblivion and a cute lifeguard shoves you off into the void. Then you're sliding down an enclosed, slippery slide, pushed along by water and gravity, and for a few brief moments you're given over to complete freedom. Swirling down a water chute, tossed back and forth in long gliding swoops, splashing and laughing and whooping out loud every once in a while when an unexpected dip takes your breath and makes your stomach drop out. Until you see the light at the end of the tunnel and it spits you out into the bright sunshine and all you want to do is get right back in line to do it again. I loved it.

The kids had a great time, too. We stayed most of the day and then dragged back to the hotel, exhausted. We watched another movie and thought we were settled in for the night, right up until Joe talked us into trying out the mini-golf course downstairs. Yes, we got up, got dressed, and played putt-putt at 9 o'clock in the evening. And it was pretty cold and windy. Savannah made the only hole-in-one, but I did pretty well for an old lady. Joe beat us both, of course.

The next day was our last on the island. We met up with my niece, T'Noya and her husband, John, for brunch, after some more putt-putt golf! T'Noya is a marine biologist works at the Moddy Gardens Aquarium, so she scored us tickets. We had a wonderful meal and Joseph, Savannah and I enjoyed the exhibits at the aquarium.

Of course, afterwards, Savannah insisted on visiting the beach. And who was I to tell her no? It was a little cold and windy, but to a 9 year-old, we simply could not be
on an island and miss going to the beach. So, exhausted and slightly chilled, we hit the seawall. I was mightily vindicated when my kids stuck one foot in the water and decided Momma was right. It was too cold for the beach.
I love it when that happens!

So that's about it. We headed home, stopped for a quick visit with my very pregnant daughter-in-law, Ali, and my mom, and made it back right after dark. It was great. I really have to figure out a way to make money so I can do this more often. Before they're too cool to hang out with their mom.