Saturday, September 22, 2007

There Is No Place Like Home

5th Grader is fine, no broken bones. Hit a growth plate in his elbow. Of course, it took six hours, X rays and my awesome awesome doctor and nurse who we've used for the last eight years as we shimmy in and out of Washington to find this all out. My secret 'hurrah' that he couldn't play football anymore this year has been shattered. So, tomorrow I still have to attend the school picnic, get 2nd grader to baseball and attend 5th grader's football game all at the same time with two little hangers' on in tow. Ack.

BUT,.. it is better than hubby's living conditions at the moment. It seems that God does know what is best and even He gets annoyed with my whining, so He sent me home in June. Could have been a little less dramatic, what with the 'I think I'm having a miscarriage in the middle of an Indonesian mall in a city I don't know all alone with my four kids, what the hell do I do now." (I'll write up the story this weekend, time heels all wounds and after it all, it is rather hilarious and unbelievable.) Okay, okay, perhaps not fate, maybe I'm looking at the silver lining of all my travails, my 'grace' as I would call it.

Anyway, after my little brood and I left Banda Aceh, they started having power outages ALL DAY LONG since they were upgrading the power grid. All summer. For six hours a day. We don't own a generator. Which means I would have had no lights (house is pretty dark, no windows in the main living area), no water (pump runs off of electricity) and open windows allowing all of God's creatures great and small to enter my pristine living space. Ha. I don't think so.

Then, when hubby returned to Banda after his home leave, he found that the well we used for our water had run dry due to lack of rain fall and no one NO ONE can figure out how to get the city water (is there such a thing there?) to work. The man is an engineer and he employs other engineers and various and sundry intelligent people. The man signs his name to detailed plans promising that bridges won't fall and houses won't tumble. Egads.

They dug another well, still no water. Not that this water is anything to write home about. It smells. It especially smells after it's been sitting in the one hot water heater we have in the house while we cavort in some gorgeous "for the next ten days I'll pretend I don't actually live where I do" R&R destination some where on the earth. Definitely makes you brush your teeth with bottled water.

So, now he has a truck come and fill up the 'mandis', or tiled basins in his bathroom and the kitchen for use in cleaning and showering. He's been taking a cup of life shower now for a few months. He's found that if you start with a slow trickle on top of your head, your body heat warms the water so when it reaches your actually body it isn't quite so damn shocking. Ack.

Then, I get a call to say hello from CRS's fearless leader in Banda, since he is home in the US for his home leave. He has TYPHOID and is having trouble kicking it. Ack. Don't forget that Rob contracted malaria right before he came home for leave.

And to top it all off, Ramadan is in full swing. Nothing wrong with Ramadan, but for the loudspeakers at every mosque that kick in at 2am and go on for the rest of the morning for all in the city to hear. I can attest that a pillow over the head and the rattling air conditioner can't cut out the noise of the Imam. At least there hadn't been the howling dogs like in Cairo.

Only two more weeks and our little adventure will close. Welcom home, hubby!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Perfect American Family

Oh, you know how it is. We all want people to think our families are like this:

When in reality, we are all like this:

I've had two Mondays in a row this week. Here is how my second Monday this week went:

Up since 2am because of that 3rd trimester-no-room-in-the-bladder-so-I-have-to-pee-every-15-minutes syndrome, showering at 5am to get in two hours of work before the hoodlums are excommunicated from their sheets. Pack the lunches, feed four kids, change one poopy diaper, get three in respectable school uniforms and out the door to get to school a comfortable five minutes early, all in thirty minutes, even after dealing with crabby husband's phone call from deepest, darkest Sumatra.

Why is it that when I have a bad day, he has an even worse one? Aren't we supposed to balance each other out like yin and yang? Last time he left me : ) in Idaho to go to California my bad day consisted of the usual kids-will-make-me-loose-my-mind. He on the other hand had a worker knock out a gas pipe and had to evacuate a mile radius of the City of Riverside. This time he had two sets of lawyers to deal with in one day, one discussing his civil/criminal case he's been named in and the other the firing of a contractor who threatened to light one of his engineers on fire. Oh and then also entertain auditors. Show off.

Okay, back to me and my horrible, very bad day. Woops, they are paving the road outside the subdivision, so that means a pilot car and one lane of traffic. My 15 minute commute turns into 45 minutes and we are late for school. Get out of car at parking lot and realize Kindergartner has left both his backpack and lunch at home. Promise to navigate pilot car and warm asphalt a second time to deliver both before lunch. First, however, have to navigate Walmart to shop for hot lunch food items I have agreed to cook for tomorrow's Kindergarten lunch before taking B to the toddler gym class. Get home just in time to stick melting ice cream (I AM pregnant after all, had to get my fix!) to freezer after hanging out in car for 20 minutes waiting for *$&(%*& pilot car, grab a yogurt to feed to baby in car (don't recommend it), kid lunch and backpack. Peel back to school parking lot just to be told that I need to turn in my picture forms for the school pictures RIGHT NOW. Forgot about the school pictures. Fill out three forms in record time, do a little dance that they accept credit cards since I just realized I had run out of checks, spend way too much money and make it to toddler class late. Get B home for a nap, do another couple hours of work, feel the onset of a migraine. Navigate traffic one more time to get kids, do homework, force them in baths with actual soap involved. Then, decide no, I'll not only make lunch for 17 five year olds tomorrow, I will also, at the same time, make a mock Thanksgiving dinner to eat tonight. You've heard of binge eaters? I'm a binge cooker. Anyway, dinner was great, and kids finally went to bed just in time for headache to blossom into full on migraine just in time for another night of too uncomfortable to sleep.

Today, taking in 5th grader for suspected broken elbow from football practice last night. Will my fun never end?!?! But, migraine is gone!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rams Football Major JV

Jared No. 2 Richardson

He's out there somewhere, trust me,..

Getting the dressing down after the game,...

Looks scarey, eh?

Fall Baseball '07

Zach's uniform. he thinks he plays for the Capitols because that's what his shirt says.

Up at bat! He's excited because he was number 5 the last time he played.

Dugout. This is not the dugout where Cheddar the rabid mascot mouse was found. I have been instructed to bring 'mouse capturing equipment' to the next game. Whatever that is,...

Running to base!

Speedy gonzalez!