Friday, June 09, 2006

What I did on my summer vacation

I hadn't realized it had been so long since I've posted. A hot mama in a pink leather jacket on a Harley reminded me. I've got some excuses. Some of the lame ones include x'ing out numbers on my DT pool pass and making kool-aid for the neighborhood children. My really good excuses include my husband being gone for several weeks, a baby who refuses to walk and screams at me all day, and good intentions.

Most noteworthy, I've recently returned from a London extravaganza. It seems like a long time ago, though, now that "the routine" has been successfully re-mastered. I have all sorts of wonderful revelations spinning in my head-- life lessons, good intentions, and perspective. Trinkets I remember collecting before I was sleep deprived. But now they don't seem as applicable or interesting. Not as interesting as my new MEMORY FOAM! NASA Space Technology's greatest accomplishment. Space-shuttle? Old news. When has it cushioned me in a personalized cocoon of perfect comfort in temperature and form? I don't care if the United States Government spends 3 trillion dollars this year on the NASA program if it's coming up with results like this, it's money well spent.

So, instead of waxing philosophical, as I'm prone to ramble, I'll highlight a couple of things from my seven weeks alone and my ideal second honeymoon with Toph.

VIP/Champ/Came Through for Me When the Chips Were Down: Dear old DAD! While Topher was gone, for seven weeks, my Dad channeled his intense energy (read: type A) into fixing my house, the entire seven weeks. It's his way of de-stressing, which is a blog for another day. He fixed everything in my house from new shelves, fixed doors, and replaced my toilet seats with 12 inch cushiony soft seats (imagine Topher's surprise!). He was the real VIP of the trip. For the SEVEN weeks.

Status of the Children: As anticipated, the children were tired and over-sugared upon my return. And I did almost cry when I wrote out the check to the nanny (gulp--totally worth it, totally worth it, I'm going to go reread my journal, totally worth it). It was the first time I'd ever left my kids and it was really hard for me the two weeks before I left, but surprisingly refreshing while I was gone. Of course I missed them (especially being out of the country), but I'm so glad I went. Now I realize how much mothers judge each other on how often they leave their kids. It's not just the "working moms," but the shades of stay-at-home moms, too. I could tell a mother's attitude on "leaving your kids" in their one statement acknowledging my trip plans. VERY revealing. Insert your own personal experience with that bag of kittens -HERE-.

Highlights: Seeing Mary Poppins, Jane Eyre, Sunday in the Park. . ., Hayfever (starring Dame Judy!), seeing good, good friends like Adam, Lorraine, Jenny (and new baby!), Naomi, Claire, our Newton Abbot Ward family,. . . Sleeping in when I wanted, eating when I thought it was a good idea, going out everyday and every night. Seeing the sights, but not feeling rushed to fit "everything" in. Being with Topher uninterrupted.

What I ATE:
cucumber sandwiches
toasted scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam
orange slice cake
hot chocolate

butternut squash and pumpkin curry with cucumber salsa
organic lemon-aid (fizzy, of course)

cheese and onion pasty
watermelon and apple Tango

Chicken Korma
coconut rice
garlic nan bread

Wagamama's breaded chicken, rice, curry sauce delight

Real, European Coke ('a cola)

Three cheese, red onion, and pickle sandwich on harvest bread
cheese and onion crisps

assortment of delightful cheeses I can't spell, but shall not forget, and cream crackers

Mint areo bubbles
Galaxy minstrels
Chunky Kit Kat
Dark chocolate crisp medallions from Marks and Spencers
java cakes
cherry tartlets

When I returned, I had a lot of tivo to catch up on, and it did play a little joke on me and recorded some "Blooper" show or two, you know, just to joke around and welcome me back. It's like that. We have that kind of relationship. But it did start recording every episode of "That's So Raven," (I kid you not, Josh) and then I had to get a little stern and set down some ground rules on playing around.

And now we're back to the regular Utah summer stuff. And I was being totally serious about making Kool-aid for the neighborhood. I've already gone through a big bag of sugar. My son had a Kool-Aid stand with his friend, and held up a white-board that said, " KOOL-AID Please help out two kids who don't get a good allowance 25 CENTS!" They made 9 dollars. I had some inner turmoil with that: am I embarrassed that my son is basically pan-handling, or am I proud of him that he made his own money? They blew it all on fireworks, of course (8 year-olds. . . SO predictable!). At least I didn't have to pay for it. I'm still recovering from that nanny! THANKS SO MUCH! I'LL BE HERE ALL WEEK!!!


Bek said...

HEY! New Blog.

I have no patience for women who judge other women on how often they leave their kids, if they breastfeed, if they are DOING IT RIGHT. (Sadly, no one thinks that they are that moms and most of us are). You had a great trip, your kids were fine and it made a big change in YOU. If YOU aren't happy, then guess what, the kids aren't happy.

Reading your London food made me I pulled out a big chunky KitKat :-) Yeah for Pappa V.

P.S. Why won't Hugh stop screaming at you? He was doing that BEFORE you left so no one can blame it on the trip...

Ben said...

So who breastfed your baby while you were gone? Oh, duh! You probably just froze a few weeks worth of milk!

Hailey said...

No judging here. I'm actually kind of judging myself now because the only response I ever had was "You are going to have so much fun!" (As in, kids? What kids?) Sort of revealing about my secret desires right now, I suppose...

Thank heavens for our little "band" distractions!

Jenny said...

I use to Nanny, almost killed me. That is all.

Design Mom said...

So you're feeling guilty for leaving your kids for a week? Wasn't Chris gone for 7 weeks? Where's his feeling-guilty blog?

Personally, what I've done to deal with guilt when leaving the kids is make sure they don't like me in the first place — then it's like a bonus for them if I'm gone.

Kacy said...

I second that--what you said about memory foam.

~j. said...

I just realized about 2 days ago that I don't understand why having my bed approved by NASA is such a big deal.

compulsive writer said...

Now that you're all practiced up--you know, leaving your kids and going out of the country and all--are you ready to go with me to Finland?


Did I tell you we're going clear up to the Arctic Circle?

Given that it's about 102 right now I'm thinking that sounds pretty cool!

~j. said...

Not only Finland...but we know how you Clarks LOVE the AC!!

Julie said...

Sounds like jolly old England was a blast. It's hard to leave my kids behind with someone other than my husband, but it's SO worth it. I come back refreshed and ready to get back to the grind every time. Phooey on those who criticized you for leaving.

Queen Scarlett said...

Now I want some Indian food... and... wish I was in London... I hear they're Indian food is the best!

Dana said...

Hey! I was waiting to hear about your travels! You made me SO hungry reading your treats!! I'm so glad you have a great time...I knew ya would! :)

Lyle said...

First I thought Chris had used those knives for an ill purpose, and then I was convinced that he had left you in London....whew! glad the two of you have different styles of writing....that's one that I'm sure Topher couldn't pull off. ;-)

I gotta get me a NASA bed!

I gotta get me some English Chocolate!

Spending quality time with your husband (minus) the shameful. ;-).

Kelley H. said...

Lisa what the heck are you doing to my wife!? (And to subsequently ME!) She might be a skinny little thing, but she thinks about food constantly. I spent an entire year in England listening to her tell me of her dreams - literal dreams - of American food. "What I wouldn't do to go to El Jarrito right now." Then we returned to the States and I spent a good two years listening to how much she missed British foods. Finally, years later I've peace from the food converations...until NOW!

Darn you Lisa Clark! Darn you to the nearest import food store (where you will undoubtedly see me making a trip for McVities and Typhoo...but I will never find the mixed cheese and leek pasty!!)

lisa v. clark said...

Oh Kelley, it's your job to do whatever it takes to make Dana happy. I don't want to hear another word about it! She had to live in Exeter while you got your fancy degree! A little cornish pasty or Hob Nob is the least you can do!!! (but I do remember having conversations about American Sonic chilidogs, remember?)

Compulsive, Topher and I adore the AC, but, alas, our checking account just told me we can't make it to Finland. The savings account laughed in our face when I went to her. . . You'll still invite us next time, won't you?

AzĂșcar said...

You're obviously raising entrepreneurs that will someday support you in the lifestyle to which you should be accostumed.

compulsive writer said...

Which is why I never ask mine (checking account, that is).

You will be missed, but we will definitely invite you next time! We'll even send you a postcard-- again.

Jon Conradt said...

At the beginning of the summer I was Cub Master and we were going on a family camp out. I grabbed our huge orange cooler and filled it with enough sugar for 5 gallons of Kool-Aid. I then grabbed the packets ripped them all open at once and poured them the huge food storage container of sugar. Yup! Wrong big plastic bucket.

I did my best to scoop it off the top but it was not going very well. Then I had a realization! There was a lot of sugar in that bucket. If I just mixed in the stuff it would be fine.

Thus was born the Kool-Aid sugar bucket. Heidi accidentally used it once for pancakes. After grape/cherry purple pancakes the sugar was designated Kool-Aid only.

At the end of the summer we used the last of that sugar. It is an amazing thing to think that we drank that much sugar!

It was nice to read up on you and your family!


Lianne said...

Hey, isn't it amazing that we go to Europe and we remember the FOOD we ate? (You will see that reflected in my Tour de France).

I think you did the RIGHT thing... kids appreciate their parents so much more when they have a little break. AND it helps them bond with others.