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4 kittens

As the whiz streams.

Posted on 2017.08.13 at 23:15
I suppose I never did post last week.

Back when we were in Montana: I went for a jog, and, finding jogging tiresome, took a bunch of photos on a walk instead. Now you can know what Jammies' parents' road is like.

Thoughts from two weeks ago:
This was our hottest vacation ever in Montana. I of course suffered the bug-eyed existential angst of climate change. I will always reserve 5% of my brain to sit in the movie theater and fret over the humans, blithely enjoying the warm weather, in the narrative bliss of the beginning of the movie about our fall from weather grace into weatherpocalypse.

The other 95% of me enjoyed the slightly warmer lake and temperatures immensely. I think this extra 20 lbs is really helping me float in the water. (When I was slimmer, I never really understood that people could actually float, and I thought that we were all making tiny flipper gestures with our hands to help keep us up.) Treading water is easier, too.

The girls spent large parts of the vacation doing this:

and this:

They were both engrossed for hours, coloring. Ace has also become an impressively competent color-er, like Hawaii is.

Pokey discovered that he very much enjoyed doing this:

and even some of this:

Rascal did a lot of this:

We abandoned underwear for the duration of the trip, thank god.

I spent large parts of the vacation looking like this:

I'm very fond of my new hat. It's that lopsided brim kind, with a large visor in front and a very small brim in back.

Jammies turned 40 years old!

Happy birthday, Jamster. I knew you could do it.

He celebrated by taking everything out of the minivan and cleaning it thoroughly.

This is the disassembled pieces of Rascal's seat belt, air-drying after being scrubbed clean. That is probaby the zenith of Jammies' cleanliness.

This pales in comparison, merely the components of the car seat covers airdrying after being washed.  I am 95% sure that if I weren't married to Jammies, it never would have occurred to me that car seat covers could be removed and washed. As it is, with this knowledge foisted upon me, I have never acted upon it.

Then we drove back across Montana, down through Wyoming, down through Colorado, through the itty-bitty corner of New Mexico, and back into the wrath of Texas.

I am very fond of La Quinta hotels, because years ago they had an advertising tagline that went: "La Quinta! It's Spanish for high-speed internet!"  I love to quote this.

I actually forgot to photograph the carpet in Casper, and complained on Unfogged, and Moby pointed out that it was documented in the photos on Yelp. Isn't the internet marvelous?

My beloved Fifth Season Hotel has been renovated. I'm a little heartbroken. It's still kitchsy, but now they're charging three times as much to stay there. However:

In 1951, the army air base was reactivated as Amarillo Air Force Base and expanded to accommodate a Strategic Air Command B-52 Stratofortress wing.[20] The arrival of servicemen and their families ended the city's depression. Between 1950 and 1960, Amarillo's population grew from 74,443 to 137,969. However, the closure of Amarillo Air Force Base on December 31, 1968, contributed to a decrease in population to 127,010 by 1970.

It turns out that Amarillo has quite a lot swanky hotels from the 1950s. Instead of the 5th Season, we stayed at a very similar feeling Amarillo Inns & Suites - the same sort of oddly shaped indoor pool, large planter rows incorporated into the architecture around the pool, large old hot tub, more plants around it, etc. The carpet above is Amarillo Inns & Suites Carpet. It was very cheap and the TV had about 10 channels, and no kid channels, which was annoying.

Here is how we handled hotels on this trip:  we slept three to a bed, one adult with two kids. I think we hit every possible combination. We just would put on the TV and let them zone out watching cartoons until everyone was asleep except Ace. Ace never falls asleep.

These cottonwood trees are so lovely in person, because the leaves twinkle nonstop in the breeze. It's like light glancing off tiny waves in the lake, just the constant flickering prettiness of being outside. In the photo, it's pretty boring.

In Dallas, we visited my cousins, who gave me this:

It's velvet and I love it.  It's from my cousin's wife's parents' house. She salvaged it for me.

I enjoyed these two phrases described as being engraved on antique clocks:
1. "Take the Gifts of this Hour." Take them, you ungrateful little shit. That's the kind of bossing around I need from my mindfulness leaders.
2. "Tedious and Brief."  or, the clockmaker's version of the food was terrible and the portions were too small.  There's an Annie Dillard quote, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives," which I've always liked. The tedious, brief life: it's what we're given.

The clocks were featured in the podcast S-Town, which we listened to on the way home. It was mostly unremarkable -  it's just NPR fascination with a great southern drawl.

We also listened to Big Little Lies, which was wonderfully frivolous and superficial and I loved it. (We argued about the way we would cast it. I agreed with the actual casting of Nicole Kidman for Celeste, and I want Parker Posey for Madeleine, and a young Mary Stuart Masterson for Jane. Jammies wants Connie Briton for Madeleine, and I forget who he picked for the others, but he was wrong all wrong.)  Way way better than S-Town.

My nephew B is five years old. I watched him dart across the room to the bathroom. He left the door open and started peeing into the toilet. As the stream whizzed, (as the whiz streamed?), as he peed, he then remembered to lift up the seat. So he lifted the seat up through his streamy whizziness and propped the seat up at the top. Finished up peeing, and left the bathroom. I thought that vignette on life was pretty funny.

Thoughts from this week:
Now we're home. Texas is hot AF.

How is Pokey? Up and down! The kids are in Theater Camp for two weeks, and we probably would not have signed Pokey up if we'd known he'd have such a rough summer. It's going marginally well.  Signs of progress: we are starting to understand the source of anger - most likely he blows up when he feels weak, and that he has anxiety about being controlled. Hawaii also has strong emotions around control, although hers manifest very, very differently.

(Same sap, different angle)

From a running monologue de Ace, "Mommy, mommy. Would the movie paddington have been longer if the bad guys caught Paddington and stuffed him? I think it would."  Every statement began, "Mommy, mommy."  but that's the only one that I managed to write down.

Hawaii: "There's this stuff I need to tell you about so you can buy it at the grocery store. It's these noodles, and they're really skinny and wavy, and it comes in a bag, and it's good and I want to take it to school for lunch."
Me: "Is it called Ramen?"
Hawaii: "YES! I really like it. Is it expensive? Can we get it?"
Me: "sure, we can get some."

Rascal likes to have the same conversation over and over again. Here are some grand slams:
1. "When I don't wear my life vest, I sink!" I tend to just echo what he just said, enthusiastically, in response, "When you don't wear your life vest, you sink!"
"But when I do wear my life vest, I pop back up!"
"That's right! when you do wear your life vest, you pop back up!"

We played a lot of hide and seek, including that hilarious two year old kind, where Jammies can sit on the couch, languidly grab a blanket and drape it over his head, and call out, "Ok, I'm in my hiding place! Come find me!" and it's not obvious to Rascal where Jammies is. The best part was that after hiding under the blanket on the couch two or three times, Jammies went and hid by standing by the recliner, and Rascal kept checking under the blanket in disbelief. "He's not there! He's gone!"

We also played a lot of hide and seek involving just his stuffed animals looking for each other.

Rascal admired this chandelier of Mimi's, and kept calling it an octopus. "I yike its tentacyulls!"

It's funny. We no longer have to trail someone around on the playground. We can hand out tubes of yogurt to all the kids without monitoring closely for a yogurt explosion. Everyone can sit well in the bathtub.  In the realm of gross motor skills, they are all solid kids now. I'm having wistfulness even though it's also a relief.

This isn't from my walk. This is just a nice sunset photo.


Kelly Jennings
Kelly Jennings at 2017-08-14 04:29 (UTC) (Link)

You did!

You did forget to post last week! I heroically restrained myself from grumbling at you about it (at least until now).

I love the Rascal stories. And the photos!
heebie_geebie at 2017-08-14 12:46 (UTC) (Link)

Re: You did!

It's so nice to be loved.

Next weekend might be dicey again because Jammies is out of town, so I'll be in survival mode. WE SHALL SEE.
rebeccastob at 2017-08-14 20:35 (UTC) (Link)

summer vacation

Love the pics and the updates! Happy Birthday Jammies!

Kids and I are just finishing up a little over a week staying in Bethesda MD with my parents and brother doing some DC stuff and chilling. It's been a nice relaxing vacation but when I get back I have about 3 days of kid free time and then have the kids for the rest of August - and:
-I have to finish moving by the end of August (got the big stuff moved before vacation but still have a bunch of stuff left at my old apartment)
-Rate filing for the exchanges due by first week of Sept. and who knows what is going to happen with the ACA
-Dating the now 30 year old again
-Persephone has lice
-I got a buzz cut and it's awesome!

At least my mom is coming for the last week of August to watch my kids (they don't start school until after Labor day)
heebie_geebie at 2017-08-21 03:03 (UTC) (Link)

Re: summer vacation

Auugh! I'm having a panic attack on your behalf. That's so much going on! Although the buzzcut and the dating sound enjoyable. Perhaps Persephone could sport a buzzcut as well?
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