minutiae

I’m a big fan of lists of trivia on blogs.  They’re funny and help you remember the day-to-day parts of life.  Otherwise, it’s all trips and parties and holidays, right?  Maybe I’ll even make it a thing — my own “Tuesday Trivia” or something.  Don’t count on it though — I’m nothing if not inconsistent about stuff like this.  So, randomly…

  • It’s warm now.  Not warm enough to swim, but that hasn’t stopped my kids from getting in the pool several times.  They only last a few minutes, and it would be cute if it didn’t involve all of those wet towels.  We just bought some lounge chairs, and I’m 100% ready to sit in them all summer, supervising the swimming.  Are you jealous?  I would be too.  We may never come home.
  • Speaking of the pool, there was a dead mouse in it the other day.  Gross, yes, but not as gross as a live mouse in my kitchen, which was where it had been.  Interestingly, mice like avocado.  Chileans put avocado on everything (hot dogs, sandwiches, toast) — have I said that before?
  • Our yard is chock full of huge snails.  Hundreds of them.  They’re not such a problem except when someone steps on one, or when Thomas picks one up and (can you guess where this is going?) sticks his finger right in the little hole. That slime is surprisingly difficult to wash off of little hands.  Ick.
  • I gave Thomas a haircut today.  My toddler haircutting skills have vastly improved over the years.  I distracted him by showing him how to operate the squirt bottle, which is such a good toy — get one for each of your children.  What is so delightful about misting things on a warm day?
  • I really miss cheddar cheese.  I’m trying hard to like the cheese here, but it isn’t really working.  I also don’t like empanadas very much, but don’t tell the Chileans I said so.  I do, however like the Chilean version of salsa, called pebre. Here’s a really good recipe if you want to try it — they eat it on bread (it’s a lot like bruschetta), but it’s perfectly delicious with chips, too.
  • My sweet maid, Carmen is pregnant, which is a surprise for everyone (she actually thought she’d started menopause). She has one grown son, and hadn’t ever been able to have another.  We are happy for her, though we’ll miss her.  I’m pretty sure she’ll come back to work for us after her maternity leave next year (which the government pays for). I feel like everyone I know is pregnant — does anyone else notice a baby boom right now?  And for once, I’m not included, and I don’t feel bad about it, even a little.  I might want to hold your baby, though…
  • My first baby went to his first teenage party last weekend.  Oh how I wish I’d brought my camera when I dropped him off.  I had an inkling that it would be a fancy one — it was held at the Ritz Carlton, and the invitation came six weeks in advance — but he and I were both a little shocked by just how fancy.  The celebration was a bat mitzvah for a girl in Sam’s class, and included a full meal for at least two hundred people, about half of them kids from school, plus dancing (late into the night, I’m sure, as is the custom here).  There was a big backdrop, painted in an ocean theme, with her name in huge, pink, sparkly, three-dimensional letters. When I arrived at midnight to pick him up, he was actually dancing, which surprised us both, and the staff had just unveiled a huge dessert buffet.  Also, all of the girls were wearing short little spaghetti strap dresses.  I can’t decide if I think that’s the Chilean culture, or just normal for 7th graders these days — they didn’t look horrifying to me, because most were so undeveloped they didn’t look very sexy, but I can’t imagine having felt comfortable being dressed that way when I was 12, can you?
  • And I had to drive him myself (which is another story, but not an interesting one), because Matt left for Utah that day. We miss him, but a week goes by so fast for me now that it doesn’t seem so bad. He’ll bring home lots of goodies that are hard to find or expensive here, including some clothes, books, and other items I pre-ordered (what did we do before online shopping?). When we spoke the other day, he told me he couldn’t find candy corn at Wal-Mart.  I told him to look harder!
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8 thoughts on “minutiae

  1. Pmom@ChocolateandGarlic.com

    I would like to see a picture of the big snails.

    I’m such a baby; even though I’m becoming the experienced wife of a business traveler (and it has definitely gotten easier), I still dread the week long business trips. I find my husband’s serial reintegration* into our family life jarring. I think I’ve asked you this before, but how do you cope? Any words of wisdom?

    Do you think that it’s just a temperamental thing and therefore easier for some than for others or do you have good strategies that others could follow?

    *By this I mean the difficulty that to him, no time has passed and he expects to carry on as before. To me, a lot has happened, routines of chores and discipline and places where we put things have been established. It isn’t fair to expect him to know what I decided while he was gone or even to necessarily embrace it. But on the other hand, life does go on and decisions do have to be made and yeah, I struggle with disruption of routine. Does this make any sense?

    Reply
  2. liz Post author

    Pmom, you are not a baby. I’ve probably kind of glossed over this subject in the past. Let me be perfectly frank. I don’t like having a husband that travels. I don’t like it when he leaves, and I don’t like the disruption you reference when he comes back. My kids don’t like him being gone either. If this frequency of travel was going to be permanent, we’d probably look for a different job. We tell ourselves it’s only for a season, and it’s part of the life we’re enjoying in Chile, and that helps a little. And we tell ourselves that there are plenty of people who are out of work, while we have a good job, and that helps a little.

    I do think it’s easier for some people to flexible than it is for others, and this trait is pretty important when dealing with constant change, which is what we’re talking about, right? I don’t have any brilliant strategies. The reality is, the more frequently he travels, the more “stuff” I have to take responsibility for, and therefore, even when he is here, I tend to run things at home. This is the reality anyway, because he works a lot right now, even when he’s in town. And I know there are times when he feels like I’d rather have him gone than here, and I’m working on making sure I don’t make him feel that way. I wish I had a good answer for you — this just isn’t easy. But we can do hard things, right?

    Reply
  3. Robin

    How can you not find candy corn at Walmart right now? Did he notice the hard to miss Halloween signs hanging right near the entrance? By the way, do you celebrate Halloween there? Is it like the Day of the Dead sort of thing in Mexico?

    Ack! Sam going to teenage parties! Weird! Especially weird because that means Parley is not too far off, either. Although I don’t see him going to any ritzy bat mitzvahs around here anytime soon. No Ritz Carlton anywhere close, you know. So the question is, did he dance with any girls???

    Thomas’s hair looks great! I am just mastering the buzzcut myself and that’s all I intend on learning to do.

    Reply
  4. Interested

    You said, “And I know there are times when he feels like I’d rather have him gone than here” – my question is, are (emphasis) there times when you’d rather have him be gone than here?

    Reply
  5. liz Post author

    Robin, he did find the halloween candy — maybe was just in too big a hurry to sort for the candy corn? As far as I know, there isn’t that “Day of the Dead” idea as much here, but I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks if I’m wrong — my understanding is they celebrate Halloween as an adopted American holiday. Sam says there weren’t really slow songs, so I guess if there were he didn’t notice! The haircut is ok — better in the picture than in person, and also better freshly combed.

    Interested, I’m tempted to ignore your comment because it’s anonymous — I can’t figure out why anyone would think it’s ok to ask such a personal question without revealing their identity. But, since I said I’d be frank in my previous comment, I’ll clarify what I said. Pmom asked about the “reintegration” of a traveling spouse, which anyone who’s had one will know is sometimes actually harder than the spouse being gone. What I meant was that sometimes when he is home, I tend to get irritated with him — I’m so used to running the show and making all the decisions, and then he shows up and wants to have a vote? Clearly, this isn’t acceptable behavior on my part, but I know those feelings are normal for a spouse in my situation. I would *much* rather have him home, but sometimes I don’t act like it. I think he’d tell you I’ve gotten better at this — he’s been traveling a lot for over a year now, so it’s kind of our new normal.

    Reply
  6. Katy

    Karin and our whole family went to a Bat Mitzvah for one of her best friends. We all went for a nice dinner and there was a dance following. We stayed long enough for Kirsten, Ava, and Mia to each come home with a Lava lamp, disco ball and blow-up guitar and saxaphone. It was crazy how much money must have been spent on the whole thing. We left Karin to dance after til late. I am sure that they spent more on the party than I will spend on any wedding reception.

    Reply
  7. Katy

    I forgot to include my comment about avocados in my previous comment, but it made me laugh about putting avocado on everything. That may explain why Jacob Hunter submitted a recipe to the Primary cookbook several years, green toast (avocado on bread).

    Reply

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