Monday, October 17, 2005

A few weekend projects...

Look what I did this weekend:
Family Tree Project Extraordinaire!

La Nourriture de la Chine! En Francais!

Well, of course, these are Ethan's projects. But you know how that goes. They were my projects too. My entire weekend was consumed not only with these two whoppers, but with all they entailed. I feel like noting those particulars here. Shall I? I think I shall.

  • Schedule time on Saturday for Ethan to meet with Becky, his partner on La Nourriture de la Chine project. (Please forgive my lack of accents and proper symbols. I don't know how to make those work here.)
  • Spend Friday night combing French websites for relevant information.
  • Extract and print information.
  • Help Ethan to translate information, so that he can pick and choose what he'd like to include.
  • Work together with Ethan to build text on La Cuisine Chinoise pour les Occasions Speciales, comme les mariages, l'annee nouvelle Chinoise, et les fetes pour les nouveaux-nes.
  • Search Google Images for workable pictures of moon cakes and dragon & phoenix cakes, and red eggs, to embed in the text.
  • Work with Ethan to translate our fried rice recipe into French, and then type it up.
  • Email these documents to my dad, because 1) we are conveniently out of printer paper and 2) we do not have a color printer.
  • Put together a craft sack to take to Becky's house.
  • **On Saturday, Andy spends the morning with the 2 smaller kids, as Simon has a "Spooktacular Science" class at the Children's Museum. (The Indianapolis Children's Museum rocks, people!) He then spends the afternoon with them in the company of his mother at the Hoosier Storytelling Festival. Which Ethan and I would've loved to attend. But such was not to be.**
  • On Saturday, Ethan and I go to the cute little Oriental grocery store by my house, and locate giant sack of chopsticks, good soy sauce, 25 individually-wrapped fortune cookies, and some miscellaneous decorative paper thingies, the actual use for which totally eludes both me and the store owner, but which will look kick-ass on the posters.
  • Drive to my mom & dad's to pick up copies of the text to cut up and use on the poster, and also for Ethan to read in front of the class.
  • Ask mom & dad to find cool old family pictures for use on Family Tree Project, which we will come work on on Sunday.
  • Head to Becky's lovely house 45 minutes away out in rich-people-land, in beautiful rolling foothills, with the meandering creek through the neighborhood, and help the kids sort out who will do what on the project, and how to lay it out.
  • Discover that they have so much information, that they will need one of the other special foam-core project boards that are back in my basement.
  • Leave, run a few errands, return with second project board, go over plans, glue down corners that Ethan has missed, shake off extra rice that has been used as a decorating element.
  • Home, dinner, send Andy to the grocery store for a few necessities, including the ingredients for the fried rice, which Ethan and I are making for the entire class, as a component part of his project, put the kids to bed, work on my freelance project (I'm writing an online speech course for a local textbook publishing company to sell to an online university that's located in Virginia) that's due to the client Monday, until 1:30 am.
  • **Side note: Andy comes home from the grocery store with a gorgeous bunch of flowers for me, just because he knows I'm working my ass off this weekend and every now and then he brings me flowers because I'm a sucker for them and I love them. Nice!**
  • Up early on Sunday, to help get Andy and the kids out the door to Waterman's Farm, for their fall festival including corn maze, various pumpkin and apple-related activities and hijinks, and the pumpkin patch.
  • I work on my freelance stuff until they get home around late-lunch time, at which time I break for a much-needed shower, with hair-washing!
  • Ethan and I revise and correct his two family "stories" he had typed up and turned in a week ago, final copies of which are to go on the family tree poster.
  • Email finished stories to my dad because we're out of printer paper and I forgot to have Andy get some at the store last night.
  • Ethan and I (still wet-headed) go over to my parents', last blank project board and craft supply sack in hand.
  • At my parents', we sort through the millionty-hundred fabulous old pictures my mother has selected, as she tells Ethan who the people are, and shares a bit about them.
  • Give precious pictures to my feverish and ailing father, who dutifully scans them for us, so that we won't be sticking the fragile old photos to a freaking poster board with glue.
  • Cut out the scanned pictures.
  • Type out captions for the photos.
  • Cut out the captions.
  • Create layout.
  • Glue the eleventy-seven pictures and captions painstakingly onto the project board.
  • Glue the stories to the project board.
  • Google-Image some maps of all the countries from which our people hail: Ireland, England, Holland, Germany, Sweden, and Spain. (Dang! I forgot Scotland!)
  • Staple the maps together and glue the packet onto the project board.
  • Spend like an hour using a ruler to measure out the lines for the family tree diagram, trying to space them correctly across a 9 1/2 by 11 inch piece of construction paper so that you have one, centered, 2 1/2 inch line for Ethan's name on the left, and end up with 16 evenly-spaced 2 1/2 inch lines for the great-great grandparents on the right. It's WAY harder than it looks, especially if you're an insane perfectionist type person.
  • Ethan fills in the tree diagram with names and birthdates, and creates a title section, and we're done! And it's 8:00 pm! And we haven't eaten dinner!
  • Hit KFC on the way home. Get home, hug the 2 smaller children I haven't seen all day, eat dinner, make sure Ethan showers, it's now past bed-time and there is still fried rice to be made! I decide not to make Ethan stay up late with me.
  • Send Ethan to bed, put in a load of laundry, ask Andy to iron Ethan's Chinese outfit my brother brought back from Hong Kong for him, so that Ethan can wear it to school in the morning instead of his uniform because Ethan and Becky are presenting first, because they will have hot food to serve to everyone.
  • Make fried rice which, happily, turns out perfectly.
  • Dust off pyrex hot food carrier thingie.
  • Refrigerate rice.
  • Remember to thaw ground beef for a quickie dinner tomorrow for Ethan. (I'm actually flabbergasted that I remembered that!)
  • Remember to fill out the advance paperwork the skin doctor people sent to me a month and a half ago when I made the appointment for tomorrow's date, so that I wouldn't have to sit around for half an hour in the office doing it before I could go get my foot plantar thingie (left over from my pregnancy with Charlotte - ew!) removed.
  • Remember to put this in my purse so I won't forget it in the morning.
  • Take pictures of poster boards so I can remember these touching moments in the future.
  • Get together Ethan's uniform clothes that he will need to change into, the bag with the chopsticks and the fortune cookies, and the ladle for the rice.
  • Telephone my sister-in-law to tell her I will drive Ethan in the morning, because he's got so dang much to bring with him, and I'm hoping I will be able to catch their presentation before I have to jet off to get Simon to preschool on time, and then go to my doctor's appointment.
  • Work on my freelance work until 4:00 am, at which point I zip all the files, attach them to an email to my supervisor lady and my instructional designer, and go to bed.
  • Two hours later... hit snooze alarm a couple of times, get out of bed at 6:22 am.
  • Grab the baby, her milk bottle, her clothes, shoes, diaper and wipes and deposit her with Andy so that he can help by getting her ready.
  • Grab clothes for Simon out of the drier, and steer him into our room with Andy for supervision of the self-dressing process, which would never occur unless someone prods him with a hot poker.
  • Make sure Ethan is up and moving. Ask him to fix his own lunch aujourd'hui.
  • Take shower and get ready.
  • Meanwhile, Andy has helped by making breakfast for the smaller 2 kids, and making coffee. Ethan is eating an apple. Make him also consume granola bar, and take his medicine.
  • Warm up rice and hot pack thingie in the microwave.
  • Jackets! It's suddenly 40 degrees!
  • Get all eye makeup done except mascara.
  • Load all stuff into van.
  • Have all kids locked and loaded into the van by 7:45, which is 15 minutes later than we should be leaving, to get to school by 8:00 am.
  • Apply mascara on the way!

... And this is how I managed to pass an entire weekend without feeling like I experienced a weekend at all. My heart is beating really fast, and I still have work to do! Rushrushrush!

And then I ended up not being able to see the presentation, because the class first had to do their dictee, and corriger le, and by the time that was over I had to go, or I would've been late to get Simon to school, and also, then, to my doctor's appointment!


Man. I'm sorry to have inflicted that ludicrously long list on you all, but I think I had to get it out of me, so that I could think about anything else at all. I was beginning to feel like my mind and soul and inner being was nothing more than a bullet-pointed to-do list.


Thank heavens for blogging!

It's all worth it. I'm losing my mind, but it's all worth it.


Blogger Tracy Lynn said...

Girl, I'm exhausted just reading that post. You and your family are amazing!
Here's hoping you get to settle down for a day or so...or as settled as you get with three kids a career and a husband.
Well done!

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Erica said...

Yowza! You have given me a glimpse of my future, and I am very afraid. And tired.

You have earned a lengthy nap and some chocolate, methinks.

8:03 PM  
Blogger yucaree said...

wow!! after a weekend like that, how could you possible say i made any progress on the girl's bedroom?! you've put me to shame, grudge girl!

i'm sure you're totally exhausted after all that, but don't you feel an amazing sense of accomplishment for all that you did for your entire family?

it's too bad you missed ethan's presentation and becky's mom only took one picture. but good for ethan for doing a whole presentation in front of his class in french!

and, as a sidenote, good for andy for getting you flowers -- you totally deserved it. i made JR read that part and he said, "you always say it's a waste of money to get flowers." hello! why would he believe me when i say something like that??

9:03 PM  
Blogger annemarievanl said...


Somewhere on a blogspot page I read that your backgroud is Dutch and that you were involved in the Tulip Time klompendancing.
Did you ever see any dancer loose or break one of his/her klompen? I am from Holland, Europe and I collect everything that has to do with Dutch klompen. I still miss een pic of a dancer losing/breaking a clog
Kind regards


2:02 AM  

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