Friday, April 17, 2009

Mold and Boiling Water

Around here, most days are crazy days. But Wednesday was a CRAZY DAY. My mom has written whole wonderful books using experiences she bothered to record in the midst of the mahem when she had little kids at homee - so I figured Wednesday should be captured. Here goes:

To preface Wednesday, let me tell you about Monday and Tuesday. Ashton and Isaac entered the science fair and Jared volunteered to be their coach and totally handle their projects. He got them started and then we all got busy with different things and then Jared had to go out of town on Monday and Tuesday so guess who got to figure out how mold grows and determine the boiling points of different quantities of water? Yep. You guessed it. I spent all afternoon and evening on Monday and Tuesday working with Ash and Ike on their projects (with 100's of interruptions from the other kids) and by 10:30 Tuesday night we had some fairly decent projects done and some less-than-stellar display boards put together.

Wedesday morning, I got up early to see the boys and Jared off to the school (they had to explain their projects to the judges before school) and prepared my Joy School lesson (it was my turn to teach the twins' group). I spent the morning trying to help a bunch of very cute but very wiggly 3 and 4 year olds understand the concept of being "unique" and special in their own way and accepting others' differences, "interviewed" each of the kids for their "All About Me" books, then quickly fed the twins lunch and hurried to be at the school at 1:30 when Ashton told me they'd be announcing the winners of the science fair. Turns out Ashton was wrong - the assembly was at 2:30. So I tried not to be too annoyed that an extra hour had been sucked out my already crazy day. I dragged the twins around the school with me for an hour as I caught up on some PTA stuff and saw the science fair projects on display (some pretty interesting stuff) and it turned out fine.

Once we finally got settled in the gym for the science fair assembly, the twins escaped out the back door of the gym to head to the playground across the field (they were done with the boring stuff I'd subjected them to at the school) just as they were about to start announcing the winners. I ran across the field in my dumb clogs and had to pull the twins off the play structure (with much wailing on their parts and some none-too-nice firmness on my part combined with some physical coersion) and drag them back to the school gym, bribing them with pennies (the only thing in my purse that seemed to interest them) so they would stop their wailing so I could bring them back into the assembly.

Turns out I missed them announcing that Ashton had won the "people's choice" award in a poetry contest I didn't even know he entered. But I got to see both boys get their science fair awards (I was pleasantly surprised when Ashton got 1st place for 3rd grade and Isaac got 3rd place for 2nd grade - nice pat on the back after all that work!) while the twins fairly happily rolled pennies around on the floor. Then I had step over kids sitting all over the floor in the assembly to grab Eliza out of the audience to take her to a dentist appointment that we were only a little late for - yeah! She was SO brave about getting her first filling - the dentist was very impressed with her and so was I (and the twins actually sat on my lap and watched quite nicely).

Then I rushed home to try to plan out the "service scavenger hunt" for our church's youth group - an activity I'd reluctantly agreed to be in charge of. I put together lists of families to be visited divided up by area where they life, made up the rules for the game, put together a list of service projects they could offer to do at each house that would give them a certain number of points, etc. I had a couple hours to do everything before I was supposed to launch the project that night at 7. I seriously contemplated calling up the lady I work with in the youth organziation and saying "I know I said I'd do this scavenger hunt thing but I just really really can't - can we just play kickball or something instead?" I wanted to take the kids out for ice cream or something to celebrate the boys' awards and Eliza's brave dentist visit. I wanted to be a fun mom and relax for just a minute with my kids. But no, I said I'd do this thing and it's a little late to be asking anyone else to do it and I hate flaking out on anything.

So Jared was nice enough to come home early from work and feed the kids while I worked like crazy on the lists of people to be visited and the rules of the game and all these different handouts then hurried to the grocery store to pick up some prizes and treats and was so proud of myself when I made it to the church with everything all ready at 6:55. I walked in there and found our dutiful Young Women's president all ready to go with her own handouts and prizes and treats. I couldn't believe it! Since she hadn't had a chance to talk with me, she just decided to go ahead and do it herself. Have I ever flaked out on anything I said I'd do? I had to swallow some serious frustrations but I probably let out a little more of how I was feeling than I meant to!

I realize now that I really should have called her when I was feeling like I really needed to be with my kids after school rather than getting stuff done for the this thing. She would have told me she had things figured out and I would have been off the hook and all would have been well! Still it worked out OK. We combined the different materials we put together and I think the kids had a fun time and a good experience. After we divided them into groups, gave them their instructions and materials, and sent them off to serve up a storm, I headed home and skipped out on the rest of the activity - there were plenty of adults there and I wanted to get home to Jared to work on Power of Moms. I just needed to be DONE.

So it was a good day as well as a crazy day. I showered the boys and Liza with praise and promised them special treats the next day. I learned that I should go ahead and flake out on things sometimes and trust that it will work out OK - everything doesn't really depend on me as much as I often feel that it does. I learned that it's better to start on science fair projects a lot further in advance - but that even a last-minute project can be a good - if stressful - experience. I learned not to wear clogs when going anywhere with the twins. I learned to verify any information I get from my kids about what time I'm supposed to be anywhere for anything. And I learned a lot about mold and boiling water. Did you know mold doesn't grow very well in a closed ziplock bag in a drawer? It needs light and air. So our mold wasn't as impressive or gross as it could have been. Oh well. And I learned that water boils slower if it has salt in it BUT because the salt water had to reach a higher temperature to boil, salted water will cook things faster than unsalted water. Good to know.

On Thursday we had a cookie-baking party to celebrate the kids' good work and wow - I've got some cute kids. There were only a couple moments in the cookie-making where I almost lost it! (Somehow I always think making cookies will be a fun project but with 10 little hands trying to help, it doesn't always work out quite that way!)


shawni said...

At least that light is so darn beautiful in your kitchen. And you do have pretty cute kids. That always makes the craziness worth it. Love you!

Evans Fam said...

Those little blondies are SOOO cute! I always think cookie-making will be more fun than it is too. You are pretty amazing doing everything... but I am inclined to learn from your experiences here, and remember all those conference talks about simplifying, and learn to say NO sometimes.

Eyrealm said...

Congratulations on surviving! I've so been there! You'll love reading this when it's in the past!

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