Archive | January 2, 2010

Barely Contained Chaos

My sister talked me into coming up to her house on New Years Eve.  She didn’t have to talk very hard.  My sister and I are about a year apart in age, and have been best friends since we were little girls.  And by best friends, I mean she would tell me what to do, and I would do it.  That still happens.

We went to the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy on Thursday, mostly because a local radio station was doing a satellite and selling hot dogs for 93 cents.  (I wanted to go to the aquarium, so I refrained from mentioning that 93 cents is a horrible price for hot dogs, when you can buy a package of 12 for a dollar).  A note for all people who are as agoraphobic (and claustrophobic, weird, I know) as I am–when a popular radio station is doing a satellite in a small, dark, fish-filled building, it might be a good idea to stay away.

The trip to the aquarium was–interesting, if not quite as educational as I would have liked.  First of all, I must be better with kids than I’d always claimed.  They had an exhibit where kids could touch stuff like a python and a Madagascar hissing cockroach (I’m not squeamish around bugs, but I don’t like cockroaches.  I just wanted to smash that thing).  They had a gray parrot and a blue and gold macaw in the background, so we thought they were going to do a bird show.  G and I sat down to wait for the show, and the space I chose was right next to a man with a baby girl, neither of whom I knew. I was being polite and ignoring them, talking to G about the birds and the snake and the other critters they had, but the baby had no such social graces.  She started trying to get over to me, hitting me, and making cute little baby “pay attention to me noises”.  When I finally turned to look at her, she started begging for me to pick her up, which, being the kind and generous soul that I am, I did.  Of course, once I was holding her she realized that she, in fact, didn’t know me, and instantly wanted to go back to her dad.

G was, of course, too shy to touch any of the animals, but didn’t want to leave because he didn’t want to miss the bird show.

Speaking of G, that kid makes me laugh.  He’s super-shy, but, at the same time, will do anything for attention.  At the aquarium, there is a section called “Journey to South America” which is filled with critters from the Amazon.  (Because, you know the fourth largest continent is nothing but a big rain forest.)  You can’t have an exhibit talking about the fish of the Amazon river without paying special attention to the electric eel.  There is a display near the eel tank where you can feel what it feels like to get zapped by an electric eel.  So, guess who likes to just hold his hands on the diodes?

The best way I can describe what this feels like, is one time, I was pulling a plug out of the wall, and I accidentally touched one of the prongs while it was still connected to the current. DON'T TRY THAT AT HOME! Go to the aquarium and try it there.

Um, for my readers who don’t know me personally, have I mentioned that G was adopted, and is African American?  Yeah, that’s not just some random kids hand.  And have I mentioned that he’s 3?

So home from the aquarium, for a fun night of wild partying, by which I mean putting the kids to bed too late, and then staying up and playing the wii and card games with my sister and brother in law.  So of course I spent the night rather than going home.

New Years Day got together with some of our cousins.  On my dad’s side of the family, there are about 10 girl cousins all around the same age, with my sister and me right smack-dab in the middle of it all. Family reunions rocked! (As long as you have a good place to hide when it all got overwhelming.  But that’s another story for another day.)  Three of us, plus assorted male hanger-on-ers in the form of husbands and children, met for lunch.  I have to say, the Red Robin didn’t do a good job with the food for the amount of money we spent, but it was fun to spend time with the extended family, especially the cousin who, for some reason, married a guy who, in a bid to find out exactly how crazy we all are, is attending school in Chicago to learn how to be a psychologist.

I had spent all morning yesterday entertaining the children so my sister and bro-in-law could get some much-needed rest, so by the time we got back from the restaurant,  I was feeling the late night “partying” the night before, then getting up early with G, so I laid down for a nap.  By the time I woke up, I didn’t want to go home that night, so, the bro-in-law suggested I spend another night.

So, I just spent the last 883 words basically describing the life of my sister and her family.  I honestly don’t know how she does it.  I think I could handle the mommy thing, but not necessarily 24/7.  I used the words “Barely contained chaos” to describe my sister’s house, and she just nodded.

That being said, my sister and her husband have done a really good job with G. (E’s only 2 months old, so it’s a bit too early to tell with him.)  He does a good job of doing what he’s told, for a three-year-old.  He very sweet and loving, and has a magnetic personality that makes him a joy to be around.  I’m so grateful he’s a part of my family.

I’m also grateful he doesn’t come home with me at the end of the day.

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