Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This is vacation?

Rob is off work this week for some well-deserved vacation.  Low on extra cash, we are just hanging around the house instead of traveling.  I was SO looking forward to this week, because last week was a marathon in hell.  You see, I am spoiled.  Rob works from home 90% of the time, so he's always underfoot around to help out.  Last week, he had to be in the office, so I was alone the whole week with Cam.  I very needy, has-to-be-held-at-the-worst-possible-moment, Cam.  With Rob around, I can pop upstairs to tend the laundry for a few minutes, or, go to the bathroom ALONE.  With Rob at work, I was never alone, and it was the week she decided naps are for chumps
This week (it's only Tuesday!) it's been project after project around the house.  My flights of fancy have been dashed.  He is such a flurry of activity, that I feel compelled to match, even though I thought we were going to have a relaxed week of maybe going to the zoo, or a day trip out to the closest Cracker Barrel (don't judge, you know you are jealous).  My hopes were dashed when he came home with enough lumber to build a guest house.  And he ain't that handy, y'all.

Last week I managed to do all my normal chores, as the neat-nik and clean-freak I am, but I had a 21 pound weight wrapped around me for most of it.  She was also teething, got two more teeth...molars I think.  I only "think" that, because she won't let me put my hand in her mouth with out pulling back a nub.  The only adult interaction I had all week was a few minutes here or there with Rob when he got home, and then got immediately back on his computer to do more work or to do homework (my man is doing some book learnin').    What put me over the edge was that Rob and I had volunteered months ago to cook at the local homeless shelter, this past Saturday night.  We've been wanting to do this for YEARS, and were so excited about it.  Our church does one Saturday night a month, and we got on the schedule with two ladies and one seventh grader.  We made our menu:  Pork BBQ (bought at Sam's Club...I was displeased my chef husband went the lazy route, but it was actually good stuff), green beans with bacon, corn, homemade potato salad, homemade macaroni and cheese, salad, homemade cookies, and lime sherbet donated by our local Bruster's Ice Cream store.

 I enthusiastically agreed to make cookies for 60.  I haven't made a chocolate chip cookie in....hell, 15 years?  I remember making cookies ALL THE TIME as a kid.  I used to love to cook and bake.  Then I married a man who cooked for a living.  Nothing I make is up to his standards, so why bother, right?  By the way, he would totally disagree with that statement.  He argues this with me every time, BUT he's never eaten a meal of mine where he hasn't given me some sort of "advice" on how to make it better.  Whatever, dude.  Jokes on YOU, because now you get to cook everything!  Anyway, so I thought making cookies would be so easy.  Relaxing, even.  What I didn't count on was doing it with a loaded gun to my head in the form of Cam hollering at my feet to be held THE ENTIRE TIME.

I know, I know.  I should have done it while she was asleep.  But.  I did.   That was day one of her nap strike.  She woke up all cheerful, followed me into the kitchen, watched curiously as I got the mixer going.  When the say soft butter, they mean soft enough to mix...my butter was soft enough to get all stuck up in the beater.  Sugar and all.  Flummoxed as to what to do, I moved the big-ass Kitchen-Aid mixer into a nice sunny spot on the counter...and waited.  And waited some more.  Patience is bullshit, in my head.  And evidently in Cam's too, but I gave her some unused measuring cups and she gave me 5 minutes of peace.  By the time the butter mixture got soft enough, Cam's cheerful mood was shot, and I was starting to lose my shit over the cookie debacle.  The clock showed I had over an hour until Rob would arrive home from work.  Got the double batch ready to scoop and drop (a double batch is NOT a bright idea in that mixer...as my Dad was fond of saying "10 pounds of shit in a five pound bag".), but by then Cam had had enough of my disinterest in her, and was mewling and pinching at my leg fat to be held.  An extra arm, and we would have been set.  So, while Cam hollered, fussed, pinched, slapped, and YELLED at me, I made 5 or 6 dozen cookies.  By the time Rob walked in the door, I was fit to be tied.  When I asked if he could take her and bathe her, I got silence and a sigh, then "sure".  REALLY?!?

That was just one day.  The next day I had to make more cookies.  I gots me my thinkin' cap on, and thought" No way Cam will eschew her nap again".   HA!  This time her mood was shitty from the outset, and now that she knew what I was doing, she hollered, fussed, pinched, slapped, and YELLED the ENTIRE time.  So when Rob got home and said "why didn't you just do it tonight and save yourself the headache" I wanted to punch him in the throat and run away sobbing.  As if he doesn't know that after Cam is in bed for the night, my ass becomes one with the sofa, until about 10 pm when I all of the sudden I wake up and feel the need to clean the house (again)/read EVERYTHING on the internet/walk the dogs/watch my DVR'd shows/start doing more laundry....

The end result was over 200 cookies.  190 made it to the shelter.  Doesn't sound like many cookies, but I needed about 8 big Ziplocs and a grocery bag to haul them.  What satisfied me, and made me glad I did it was watching an elderly gentleman come up and grab about 10.  He was trying to wrap them up in a napkin, when I told him to wait a minute.  I am a nut case for recycling, so I saved my Ziplocs, I ran to get one, and he LOADED that sucker up.  Each bag held about 40 - 50 cookies.  He looked about as sated and happy as a cat with a full belly.

 It was a great time, got to meet some of the residents and spend time talking with them.  The food was well-received, and everyone was very gracious and helpful.  Just as we were about to start serving, a young lady in the eight grade at a local school came in to do some service work.  She was so excited to be there, and had already put in some hours before...it was just cool to see kids "get" what it means to give something of your self.  Way back in the olden days when I was her age schools in my area didn't have service work requirements.  She gave us the low-down on why she chose the shelter, and how she had to write a proposal on what it meant to her and what she thought it meant to the people she was helping.  All the adults were impressed with this kid's maturity and willingness to forgo a few hours of fun on a Saturday night.  We left the shelter that night feeling good, and with an itch to do more. 

So on a wave of good-will and even tempers, I am still left wondering, where the fuck is my vacation?

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