Thursday, August 13, 2009


Well it's vacation time in our house. Two glorious weeks off work, which has been pretty busy lately. I'm ever so happy not to have to crack open any tax statutes until September. I would have actually done a cartwheel on my way out of work if I didn't believe I would have put my back out (or if I did believe that I still knew how to do a cartwheel).

We'll be at home a good bit of the time, and have some out of town company coming. But we also have some days at the beach planned.

So the first thing I had to do to prepare for this adventure was to make a list. Of all the lists that I need to make.

One list for what we will eat, which must include all meals, snacks, emergency beach food and conjuring up any meal item that Sydney will actually eat. Then a second list is made for which of the menu items we will have to buy and what we already have in the larder. There is a list of things to do before we go (shopping for said food items, doing laundry, paying credit card, finding housesitter). There is a list of clothing to pack (times 4). I don't write down every sock or pair of underwear, but I have to make a list to ensure we don't forget the non basics, like beach shoes, sunglasses and bathing suits. We have the entertainment list, which is mandatory is Husband and I will ever get to relax. Movies, games, craft projects, toys and books all must listed before they can be assembled and ready to go. Then the miscellaneous list because we need to remember to bring bedding, paper towels and electronic items plus rechargers for all the electronic items. It was never this complicated when I was a kid.

Husband actually suggested that he make a list when I was feeling a little overwhelmed one night. But I declined as this gives me comfort and control. Husband checks the lists and adds to them. I'm always very pleased with myself when he says "we should put the portable DVD player on the list" and I can say "I've got it on already". I feel like I'm passing some kind of Mommy test (and there are so many of the Mommy tests that I don't pass).

Some things I didn't put on my list like "negotiate with Sydney over which suitcase she will use". We heard an inordinate amount of whining over that one. Even after I told her she didn't have to share a suitcase with her brother, she whined for an extra 30 minutes, some kind of endurance test for the frazzled Mommy in me. All the while I was trying to cross reference a couple of lists to make sure we didn't forget anything and she was entirely ruining my concentration not to mention my enjoyment.

Jackson was surprisingly good about tracking down some entertainment items as I requested he do. I was pleased that one of my children was cooperating. We did have a code yellow when I suggested he grab a few books and he said "I don't read. I haven't read a book in a month". And I said "well you better bring some books because you are going into grade THREE and I'm pretty sure they are going to want you to read!" He went off in a huff. Actually, so did I.

When I got on the train today, my last day of paid work, I bought myself a rare can of coke. I knew the sugar caffeine bolus would be required to get me through the lists. Husband was home today and got a good start. Within a couple hours I had the food assembled including miniature portions of olive oil, mayonnaise and ketchup plus some spices premixed for some of our meals. It's the most Betty Crocker I can be.

The only things not crossed off the list are:

  • lost 15 pounds
  • tone flabby arms
  • develop buns of steel.

After all, we are going to the beach. Oh well, maybe next year.

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