Why my children will be buying me hearing aids some day

Spoken with some satisfaction by my 10 year old daughter who arrived from Ethiopia last year.

“In Ethiopia [with first family] I don’t scream too much. But at Layla [Children’s House] there’s lots of kids and it was very loud and I practiced screaming.” She nodded with satisfaction. “Now I’m very good at it.”

4 women, 1 bathroom

Saturday morning, day 2 of Blogher, very, very early in the Home Team, Rocks, Don’t Try It, Owlhaven hotel room. I was sleeping fitfully. That is, I was alternating between sleeping and:

a-hoping I don’t snore
b- hoping I didn’t steal all the covers
c- hoping I didn’t forget where I am and try to cuddle my husband Shannon in the night.

The previous evening it had been decided that the rising time would be 6:30, which seemed fiendishly early to me considering the morning session didn’t begin until 9:30. I planned to skip a shower. I was being lazy going for that perfect 2nd day hair look. But my wise and experienced roomies knew that we were dealing with a serious issue, one that would need plenty of time to work through.

4 women.

One bathroom.

This might not be such an issue if we were, say, on a camping trip. But at an event like Blogher, the last thing you want is to spend the day looking like y’all just rolled out of bed. This was going to take some serious organization and teamwork.

At the first sound of the 6:30 alarm, they sprang into action like a well-oiled machine. Well, Christine and Shannon did, anyway. Melanie and I scrooched deeper into our pillows and slept cursed the morning stuck our fingers in our ears. Shannon and Christine rotated smoothly between shower and closet and makeup mirror. And Melanie was apparently not as asleep as I thought. As soon as the first two got their showers, she jumped up and took her turn in the bathroom. There was some soft whispering as Shannon very kindly decided to wait a bit before turning on her blow dryer.

I was still steadfastly resisting, telling myself I should be able to sleep for at least a little while longer. Problem was, I really needed that bathroom, which is not exactly conducive to restful sleep. I sat up in bed and decided to blog a bit, though I was not at all sure such a thing could actually be accomplished without an extra-large, extra-strong cup of Ethiopian coffee by my side. Especially while my brain was chanting, ‘bathroom, bathroom, bathroom’ in an ever-louder chorus. (I must note that the next morning, Melanie told me it was perfectly OK to walk in and use the facilities while she was in the shower. But this was my first morning there. We just didn’t know each other that well yet.)

Finally, finally the bathroom was mine. I stared into the mirror with my red-rimmed eyes wondering why the heck I didn’t pack visine, and hoping that my ‘perfect’ second day hair would save me.

By 8:30 in the morning everyone else was pulled together, standing at the door waiting for me to get my act in gear. And they looked GOOD.

Me? I still had a blanket crease on my cheek and I couldn’t find my shoes. Also, sadly, I discovered I’d left my mascara at home. Fortunately I’d been incredibly lazy the night before and hadn’t ever gotten around to taking off yesterday’s. So now not only did I have second day hair, I had second day mascara. Nice.

The next morning, having learned my lesson, I staggered into the bathroom at 6:15 AM. First. And croaked crowed victoriously in the shower.

4 women.

I bathroom.

Hang sleep.

His wife better own a chicken farm

This morning I’ve been painting (and painting and painting). My arms are noodles as I type, that’s how tired they are. Around noon my 8 year old came in and said, “You’re still painting?”

“Yes,”I said, “and I’m getting tired.” I’m a results girl, after all. Instant gratification, y’know? Tedious edge-painting be hanged.

“Don’t you like to paint?” he asked.

“Yes,” I admitted. “Just not for a really long time.”

“I like doing things I like for a really long time,” he said. “Like, I like to eat chicken for a really long time!”

Not A Licensed Establishment

(Alternate Title: If You’re Feeling Bad About Your Housekeeping Skills)

My hubby and I have a running joke about the lack of sanitation in our kitchen, and how we would SO fail if a restaurant inspector from the health department ever showed up at our door demanding a tour. Nobody’s died, or gotten food poisoning, and we do wash surfaces down pretty regularly.

But whenever we employ the 5 second rule (AGAIN), or find a curdled sippy cup in some ridiculously random place, or a pennicillin forest on a leftover in the back of the fridge, we look at each other, shrug, and say, “This is not a licensed establishment!”

Yesterday, however, I may have sunk to a new low. I was getting ready to cook some rice. I had the dry rice in the pan of my rice cooker, ready to rinse. (Ladies, if you do not yet have a rice cooker, but eat rice more than three times a month, GO get yourself one. You’ll love it. I’ll never be without one again.)

Anyway, I set the rice pan down in the sink and turned the water on. While the pan filled, I noticed a droopy plant next to the sink. I thought while I had the water running (multitasking Mary), I’d just give that poor plant a drink. I picked it up, held it under the faucet for a sec, and set it back down next to the sink.

Then I looked down. There were black flecks floating in my rice. DIRT. I’d held the plant right over the top of the rice pan and hadn’t even thought about the possiblity of slosh. Which it had. Duh.

Hmm… 6 cups of rice and a teaspoon of dirt. ‘Seems a shame to toss it’, whispered the spirit of my frugal grandmother in my head. Especially since the dirt is…. rising to the top. Floating! Aha! Five second rule! I rinsed and dumped, rinsed and dumped, till dirt was no longer visible to the naked eye. I figured since it was going to be cooked anyway, all remaining germs would be killed.

We had the rice for dinner. It was fine. We’re fine. But it was definitely a whole new way to make ‘Dirty Rice‘, one I plan on avoiding in the future.

This is not a licensed establishment.