Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Great Escape....

Hello! First of all, if you are googling sardine and ketchup recipes, spawning habits of sardines, or the potassium levels found within raisins or oatmeal - I AM SO SORRY! It seems I am the top dog in God Google's hit list for these searches. While I don't understand your desire to search for recipes involving both ketchup and sardines, or even sardines sans ketchup, I acknowledge respectfully that it is your right to do so, and now, instead of finding that perfect sardine and ketchup recipe (are you pregnant per chance?) you have ended up on a mommy blog. Feel free to waste time here, or hit the next site. And good luck. If you are planning to serve ketchup and sardines for dinner, you just might need it. And if you are some bachelor guy who thinks this might be something romantic to serve to an unsuspecting woman - you are sooooooo terribly off course. And you also don't want to bore her with conversations about the spawning habits of sardines or the potassium content found within raisins or oatmeal. If this is news to you, that explains why you are a bachelor.
Now, back to real sardine business. I have recently escaped! I have abandoned the 5 kids and various pets and all of the tiny and not-so-tiny catastrophes associated with the previously mentioned 5 kids and various pets, and am hiding out at an undisclosed and heavily guarded secret location. I have "people". They have photos. They know who to look for. If any of them are to spot any of my kids, my sister, or the pets, I will be notified immediately and a very complex escape plan will be launched into action. Here is a hint as to where you might find me, though. An early morning squall moved across the beach while I was enjoying breakfast.Speaking of breakfast - we are staying at a beach resort (notice I didn't say which beach or which resort) that employs the local teenagers during the summer. This is hilarious. There are many angry and complaining guests here, but Jeff and I are not angry or complaining because we own and operate teenagers. Hence our amusement. Yesterday at breakfast, we ordered the "buffet" because after we sat down, nobody ever came to take our order. After observing the other patrons we realized we were expected to look confused for about 15 minutes, and then wander towards the buffet. So we complied with this ritual. The buffet was really really bad, but we didn't care because the resort gives you a $20 voucher to pay for breakfast. Which is very clever, as we found out, because the buffet for two people comes out to $26. Quite a disappointment. So this morning we were set to outsmart them. We did something drastic and apparently, very unexpected. We sat around looking confused for longer than the established rule of 15 minutes and eventually a boy who looked to be about 14 came over to see what the heck was wrong with us.
"Just help yourselves to the buffet," he said.
"We don't want the buffet, we'd like to see a menu," we answered.
Oh my gosh. He was really thrown. He was adorable in his long Bermuda shorts with his baseball cap on backwards, with a little apron thrown over it to make him look official. Now it was his turn to look confused.
"Well, we have this buffet...."
"Thanks, but we'd like to order from the menu."
"Uhhhhh, well, okay," he said while looking around the room, apparently not knowing where exactly it was that the menus were kept. He left and returned with some menus and it was all very exciting. We were blazing trails and breaking new ground. After about 15 more minutes he returned with something to write on and we ordered.
Just-So Egg...comes with an egg prepared any way you'd like it, fresh seasonal fruit, and toast or English Muffin. We chose toast. We also ordered bowls of oatmeal and the menu described it as being perfectly sweetened with a little brown sugar.
I am so glad I have a camera! What if I hadn't been able to get a picture of this!
There were several teenagers wandering aimlessly around the restaurant wearing aprons. The tables were full of families, many with crying children (they are not as good at escaping as I am), and they all looked angry. The teens, being teens, were totally unaware of this. Managing the entire operation was a middle-aged hippie behind the counter, also totally unaware. Jeff suspects that his morning cannabis routine is responsible for this. Pleasant guy, though.
We flagged down our waiter who came over with a grin (he was always grinning, how could you be upset with this kid?). "Is everything okay?" he asked. We informed him we'd like fresh fruit and of course, he looked at the strawberry garnish like, "Dude, isn't that fruit?" He told us we could get fruit from the buffet and seemed a little exasperated like, "I told you people about the buffet." We helped ourselves to fruit. What was missing? Oh yeah, there was no toast. We had ordered whole wheat toast. We flagged down the boy and asked him for whole wheat toast. He took off and disappeared for like a really really long time. Eventually he emerged without the toast. We hated to bother him while so many other people were bothering him but we wanted our toast. He saw us and said, "I'm making your toast, it takes awhile." Well, what can you say to that? Eventually, after we had finished our fruit and eggs, he brought out some cold and damp white bread that was almost toasted. Jeff, being the eternal optimist that he is, said, "I asked for whole wheat." Isn't he cute? See why I love him? Of course, our waiter was totally thrown by this. "This is all we got, man." Okay. So I took a bite of my cold, congealed oatmeal. Not lightly sweetened with a touch of brown sugar. So we called our surfer boy back over - by now he feels we're like family. "What's wrong?" he asked and I really admired him for leaving off the "now". I asked him for brown sugar. He disappeared into the bowels of the restaurant for like a really really really long time and then emerged to tell us they had no brown sugar. So I decided not to eat the oatmeal. It didn't matter. We got off scott-free except for the tax. And I might add, we left the kid a nice tip.
Jeff is working in Corpus Christi for a couple of days (you were going to figure it out anyway) and I have accompanied him and it is a really nice break for me. We're staying on Padre Island. My sister is staying with the kids and pets, and they were looking forward to spending time together. Yesterday I spent the entire day on the beach and read Nicholas Sparks's Dear John. It didn't do much for me but it was a quick and easy read for the beach. I also napped, dipped into the gulf when I got too hot - I rented a little cabana for shade. I'm about to go repeat the experience :) with a different book, Drowning Ruth, by Christina Schwarz. I also brought along Green Greener Greenest, a practical guide to making ec0-smart choices a part of your life, by Lori Bongiorno.

I'm looking forward to Jeff's return from work so that we can go to dinner. Last night we ate at our FAVORITE restaurant, Island Italian. It is a little dumpy place but has the best atmosphere and delicious food. Really delicious food. I had an eggplant dish, Jeff had shrimp. And often there is a guy playing the guitar and singing (he was not there last night) who is very talented and we always enjoy him. We missed him last night. After dinner, we've been returning to sit and watch the waves beneath the stars, while sipping on a little Patron tequila. All in all, a not-too-shabby break in my routine.

I am really enjoying the freedom I'm gaining as my kids all get a little older. I am at that launching off point in my life, just where I could still have one more baby, if I wanted to, but also really longing to move on. But I find myself looking ahead, looking back, ready to move on, then wanting to dig in my heels and soak it all up some more, the babies, the discoveries, the miracles.....but what I'm learning as Ellie and Joel get older is that all of that keeps happening, just in different forms. I gave birth to babies, but the babies are growing up and re-creating themselves constantly. It is a joy to experience their "re-births". Still, I look at all the families walking around here with babies and little kids and I get a nagging urge to do it all again.....and I must admit that having 5 kids has been way easier than when I had 3 and the oldest was 5. I do not have to take everyone with me everywhere I go and I have live-in help, (although the help often resembles the breakfast experience described earlier). So being the mom of teens and little kids simultaneously is actually a lot of fun, and way more relaxing than I ever would have thought it could be. Of course, I am currently hiding from them in a hotel room, so maybe "relaxing" isn't the proper word. Let me just say that it isn't all that hard and I wouldn't trade it for anything. And I'm looking forward to the beach trip we're taking later, with the whole familia.
Anyway, I am surrounded by babies in this resort. Speaking of babies, attending Go Baby Go's free screening of Rikki Lake's documentary, The Business of Being Born, didn't help my occasional longings any! It was held on Saturday. I met some really nice people and saw a few friends I hadn't seen in awhile. I am one of those crazy women who loves to be pregnant and who really enjoys the entire natural birthing process. It is painful, but it is also a high like no other. If I were going to do it again I would definitely do a water birth.
Well, I would really like to go into natural birthing more, and the message of the documentary in particular, but I'd also really like to hit the beach! I will save it for another post :). Here are some pics from the event, though. You can check out the Go Baby Go website by clicking on the link on the right hand side of my blog. You can also order the documentary, "The Business of Being Born," by clicking on the Amazon link for that product on the right hand side of my blog. (you can also rent it from Netflix).

Amber and her "water baby" visit with a midwife.

Two moms thank Diane and Go Baby Go for hosting the screening (Diane is in the middle).

I'm going to go work on my tan - and it needs a lot of work, believe me :)
Sardine Mama


  1. I am the sister keeping the 5 kids and the pets from whom my sister is hiding! I am not looking at a squall line on the beach. I am not sitting and getting even a crappy breakfast and laughing merrily about it! I am the sister who has been joyfully woken up by the words, "Auntie, my hungy!" Of course, this was not at the civilized hour of 10:00 - oh no! this was at the godawful hour of 6:15 a.m. Yes folks, that's a.m. in the morning before sunup. I have heard "Auntie.... followed by various statements from my hungy to my gots to pee" in a non-ending stream since yesterday.

    Of course I love my nieces and nephews and wouldn't trade them for anything (except for chocolate or peace and quiet, whichever is offered first). That's ok, right now half of the kids are in "their" room watching satellite and the others (3 of them) have encroached on my space with toys, books, little houses, and MY satellite dish - which sister dear, you will be thrilled to learn is currently tuned to Passions, soon to be followed by Dr. Phil, Oprah, and maybe Jerry Springer. I just told them, "don't watch or your mother will kill me." I can sing the Spongebob song, Odd Parents, etc., in my sleep. Oh, and this is special, the 4 year old just popped out of "his" room to inform me that "my hungy." I have not fed them today - this includes the bean and cheese tacos at 7:30 a.m., the chicken nuggets and pizza rolls shortly thereafter, leftover Subway sandwiches, the walk to Mobil to pick up more crap, and the consequent fight over "sharing" in all of its glory. The sugar high from the candy, doughnuts, and popsicles has apparently worn off. While waiting for his food he is about to torment his sister who is playing quietly with her little houses while his brother eggs him on and tries to quietly kick him in the head with his grimey foot on my leather couch.

    However, I am not whining, I am just relating my days with the children and trying to remember that I will miss these days at some point in the future (or so I'm told by guess who).

    I guess now would be a bad time to say that the traumatized puppy (who has apparently gotten over his loss) ate Ellie's Ipod the first night and at my suggestion was left out on the patio in the large fence kennel where he was quiet happy.

    The best thing is knowing that my sister will be reading all of this soon and getting that look on her face signaling stress and distress, she may even reach for the antacids! Of course, that is wrong, wrong, wrong!!!!!

    Even so, I wouldn't trade a minute of this time with all of them and I am glad that I am able to give Jeff and Carol the chance to relax and have a good time.

    That's it from Auntie Poodle!

  2. hey when you don't blog everyday, i begin to wonder... where's carol, what are those crazy kids doing??? your blog is addictive already! i decided to write on mine instead. :)