Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"A Good Day!"

Today has been one of those days. Ever have them? Several things could have and appeared to be, turning out as a disaster. Then, we recovered and, all in all, things went well.

Matt's parting words, as he left for a week in Norway, were:

"Please get the car inspected. It's due in six days. I know there are a couple of places nearby...I'll try to get the address to you via email. Otherwise, ask around. Don't procrastinate. It's a 2,000E fine for driving around with an expired sticker."

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, my husband is extremely hands-on. He's does just about everything except breastfeed. He changes poopy diapers, throws a load of stinky, nasty cloth diapers in the wash, folds clothes, dresses the girls, takes them both to the park alone, puts both to bed when I'm out, does dishes, and the list goes on. It's a rare father who does the amount of stuff my husband does. He doesn't like feeding them and giving them a bath, but he'll do it without much complaining if I ask. I'm very grateful to have married such a hands-on father.

However, because I am not employed outside of the home, he thinks I have the time and patience to do things such as get cars inspected. I don't have an hourly care option where I can drop the kids off for a few hours for things such as this. I have one sitter, three hours a week, on Tuesday's. Grocery day, typically. I also have a motto: When Matt isn't deployed, he fixes cars, house stuff and takes out the garbage.

He's not deployed. He's only gone for a week. The inspection should have been taken care of weeks ago, in my humble opinion.

It just so happened that a friend got her car inspected yesterday morning. She guided me through the steps and gave me directions. So, this morning, as soon as we got up, I threw together yogurt drinks, dried fruit, nuts and cheerios together in bags (read: breakfast) and put the kids in the car. I arrived as the place opened and had all of five cars ahead of me when I realized that I had forgot my wallet at home. I had to back out of the garage, drive home (cursing husband, in my mind, all the way), get it and drive back. It then occurred to me that maybe they treat waiting in line for an inspection the same as they do when waiting in line at the grocery store - Parents with kids go first. In the rain, I grabbed my paperwork, ran down the now long long line of cars to the front office, kids in tow, and asked if I at least had the right paperwork. She confirmed that I did and asked that I pull my car to the front because parents with kids have priority (I didn't even have to ask)! SCORE!!!

Not only did we pass the inspection test (though, I did get a little lecture, by my inspector, about bringing kids to a car garage and how it wasn't very appropriate). I had time to run to the nearby hair salon to get Liv's hair cut and schedule one for myself.

Both girls still in good moods, we hit the grocery store. I quickly ran up to the pastry shop in the store, bought some lunch pastries for the girls to eat in the store and bought a week's worth of groceries with minimal crying and begging.

We got home just in time for a snack of watermelon when I realized we had dropped Lila's Taggie (blanket, soothie - whatever you want to call it) somewhere at the store. Furious and getting worn out, I packed the kids back into the car, Olivia screaming for watermelon and Lila crying for her Taggie, and drove back to the store. I spied the Taggie in the PARKING LOT! SCORE again. I didn't even have to get the kids out of the car.

I got the kids down for naps as the babysitter arrived. I quickly got back in the car, music blaring and headed for IKEA. My goal was to price up a shelf system for the girls' playroom. The wall-to-wall bags and books have made the room too crowded to play in.

Upon arrival at IKEA, I quickly priced up the storage system (See example here. We will be using two of these storage systems side-by-side with white, pink and green different sized storage bins instead), calculated in the VAT (tax) we'll get reimbursed if I also buy (we need to spend 270E, at one time, to get the 21% VAT back on items we purchase) a rug for our living room that we desperately need (I'll pick it up on Saturday when Matt is with me to help load into the car), grabbed a small lunch for myself, opened up a book I'm really starting to get into and read, in peace, for a half hour while I finished lunch and then a coffee. Then, I ran down to customer service and ordered two keys for our kitchen hutch that we lost the key to, and made it home with two minutes to spare (my sitter works at night in Lisbon and doesn't appreciate it when I'm late because she will miss the train and arrive late at her next job).

The kids dined on yogurt, oranges and cheese slices for dinner and I'm about to put them to bed! While we didn't have the perfect day, it was one of those days when everything that could go wrong did, but we recovered well-enough to call it, "A Good Day," as Olivia likes to say.


The Dunns said...

Sounds like a productive day full of lots of little blessings. I love those days!

The one thing that saves grocery shopping for me is stores with "kid carts". You know, the ones that seat 2 kids in a race car/truck/van thingy and still have room for a car seat in the basket. Then I play "race" with the boys while I zoom up and down the aisles as fast as I can. I can't wait for free/reduced respite hourly care when Steve deploys again so I can do some alone shopping!

Natalie said...

Oh, Holly, I wish they had a cart like the ones I remember in AK! One cart here is the size of half a cart in AK. Tiny! Liv can barely get her legs through the leg openings. Lila I wear on my back and that helps her stay really calm. Some stores have childcare like in Fred Meyers. But, I haven't checked it out enough or asked around about it to trust it...yet.

jae rin said...

Your hubby SHOULD have inspected the car weeks ago. Poor you. BTW, you are scaring me--how am I going to go around with 2??? I have my hands full chasing one...

Angie said...

You have to spend 270 to use the VAT? We can use it on any purchase (if the store accepts vat),though it isn't really worth it if it isn't over 100. IKEA here will let you save up receipts and do one VAT form so it is worth it. You might check on that. I have never done it because I don't go there often enough and usually spend enough when I go.

And I agree, I would have been irritated that Allen hadn't taken care of the car stuff. Good that they let you skip the line,though.

Natalie said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that a fence got taken down next to the entrance of my street and I didn't reconize my turn, drove PAST my street after picking up the Taggie, had to drive 1.5 miles total to get back to my street (turning around is NOT easy).

Then, later, I lost my keys and it took me an hour to find them. That hour of precious time I love right after the kids go to bed.

At least we found the keys and pair of shoes I had been looking for!

Katie said...

The cars are not your responsibility. End of story. A girl's gotta draw the line SOMEWHERE, dammit!

(Wait. Maybe I'm talking about my own household here.....)