Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Own Personal Apocalypse

Summer. Oh, crap.

This last week was so busy with grads and awards assemblies and x-rays (I sprained my ankle) and spring cleaning (I missed spring cleaning because we had no spring this year), the end of school snuck right up on me. I was like one of those silent film heroines tied to the tracks--only I'm stuck untying myself because ain't no one coming to my rescue--and I know the train is barreling towards me but I'm too busy clawing at the ropes to even look.

And then SPLAT!

Summer. The season where I transform from a part-time waitress with three kids in school to a part-time waitress with 5 1/2 kids at home. My stepsons are 17 and 21, so they don't precisely count as kids--but they aren't adults, either, not by a long shot. They have to be reminded to pick up after themselves, to make sure their laundry makes it into the utility room, to pitch in around the house. It helps that the oldest brings his girlfriend. She offered to help me in the kitchen one day two summers ago and I almost cried.

Our house is small. Three bedrooms--my oldest (14) shares a room with my youngest (6). The stepkids sleep in the family room when they visit. Normally, the 17-year-old would already be here (his mom likes to send him ten minutes after school lets out in the summer), but he put his foot down this year and won't arrive until the 9th. 21 and his girlfriend arrive on the 19th or so.

But between the one and the other, I will be swamped. Overwhelmed. Invaded. Besieged.

Yes, my family--two sisters, the bil, gram and gramp, and six nieces and nephews--in their infinite and appalling wisdom, have decided to turn a cousin's wedding on the mainland into the perfect excuse to visit little Kirsten on the island. They will begin arriving on the 12th. They will cease arriving sometime on the 14th. They plan to stay for many days. And although they will be sleeping and recreating some at a campsite/resort where I've booked them cottages on the ocean, I'm sure they will spend plenty of time in my teeny tiny shoebox of a house.

I am of two minds on this. On the one hand, I am squeeing and peeing my pants for the joy of having everyone together. Just imagine the barbeques, the Sunday dinner sentimentality, the pitter patter of many, many, many little feet! We've recently made improvements on our house that make our nice backyard more accessible and there's a park right across the street. There are all kinds of awesome things to do and see on the north island in the summer, and I'm happy to show my family all of them.

On the other hand...I'm terrified. Just feeding everyone is going to be a major production. Not to mention the fact that among my relatives are a few...volatile personalities. These personalities have been known to clash when forced to coexist for any length of time. And all those kids--Oh my god.

So pray for me. And for now, I'll repeat that mantra: "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. And provides fodder for yet another book..."

25 comments:

Madame Butterfly said...

(I sprained my ankle)

Oh Noooo...So are you still able to work and what not?

(I missed spring cleaning because we had no spring this year)

Oh, what a bummer. *snort*

5 1/2 kids

1/2? LOL The DH?

She offered to help me in the kitchen one day two summers ago and I almost cried.

Ok, wtf? One day TWO SUMMERS ago? What happened to last summer and the rest of the days. Are you stuck doing it all alone? I would totally freak too. In fact, I'd just go on vacation somewhere and let everyone fend for themselves.

On the one hand, I am squeeing and peeing my pants for the joy of having everyone together

It's always fun to get together with family, especially if you don't live near each other.

Just feeding everyone is going to be a major production.

Oy, I get a headache just thinking about such things. Good it's only for a short while.

Not to mention the fact that among my relatives are a few...volatile personalities.

No, really? What would a family get together be without the drama? Why, it'd be no fun at all. LOL

And all those kids--Oh my god.

Ok, this would be my worst nightmare. But since you have and like kids, probably very "fun" for you. :P

I'll be praying for you for sure. I think you'll really need it. :D

laughingwolf said...

as someone a lot smarter once noted: this, too, shall pass :O lol

kirsten saell said...

Hey, MB, I was very graceful and went down like one of those grain silos when they dynamite them, and swelled up like a grapefruit, but oddly, I only missed two days of work. Guess I heal fast.

The 1/2 is the girlfriend, who is polite, mature and courteous. She helps quite a bit, but I usually have to ask now--still, I don't have to nag for six hours, so that's a bonus. The DH is more a piece of furniture than a kid, LOL!

Ok, this would be my worst nightmare. But since you have and like kids, probably very "fun" for you.

Hey, I just said I had 'em. Never said I liked 'em, lol!

I am looking forward to it, but every time I try to envision it, Grieg's In the Hall of the Mountain King starts playing in my head and I just want to hide.

But you know, it will probably go fine. It was all good when we all went to Cuba together in November--of course, we had staff waiting on us hand and foot, and there were beaches and swimming pools and all that... I think if the weather doesn't suddenly turn bad--I mean normal--we'll be fine.

kirsten saell said...

laughingwolf, you are a wise man. Can you cook? Maybe you'd like to come visit the other coast for a week this summer....

Madame Butterfly said...

The DH is more a piece of furniture than a kid, LOL!

Buwahaha! You crack me up. If only my DH were a piece of furniture. He was after my butt most of yesterday making "suggestions" and directing me on how I should water the lawn and spread mulch, place flowers, etc, all the while just standing there smoking.

I asked him if he didn't need to go play a video game or something.

A peace of furniture would be a blessing sometimes. LOL

kirsten saell said...

He was after my butt most of yesterday making "suggestions" and directing me on how I should water the lawn and spread mulch, place flowers, etc, all the while just standing there smoking.

Mine leaves me to do all the heavy work (painting, trimming, shoveling, weeding, mowing, building, fixing) and then whines when he doesn't get a say in the color and design of all that stuff. Um, you don't get a say because I do all the work. And even if you did it all, you still wouldn't get a say because you're a man, and you aren't gay, and when straight men design stuff, you get wood-paneled cars. Just sayin'.

Oh, and he nags: "Aren't you done with the baseboards yet?" when I'm up to my elbows in dishes, LOL!

So yeah, I'm happy when he just disappears into his dungeon for long sessions of World of Warcraft.

Madame Butterfly said...

you're a man, and you aren't gay, and when straight men design stuff, you get wood-paneled cars. Just sayin'.

ROTFLMAO!

You're killing me here. DH keeps looking at me, "what's so funny?" Thank God he doesn't really care to know. LOL

Oh, you forgot, fake astro turf for the patio floor covering. Ack! Or large posters of football players for the living room walls. The list is endlessly tacky!

kirsten saell said...

I have a carved wooden trout hanging on the wall in my laundry room. The husband insisted it go up somewhere, and I managed to find a spot for it.

laughingwolf said...

i do cook, matter of fact, but don't tell anyone, k? ;) lol

if i came back to the west coast, i'd never leave again...

not a bad thing, in and of itself, but my three still need me around for a bit, even if they are in their 20s

thx for the thought, though....

kirsten saell said...

Bring 'em along! Plenty of room here, once I install hammocks from the ceiling...

laughingwolf said...

lol... love to, two have jobs, older daughter's starting second year of her master's degree, so i don't see any going elsewhere ;)

Another Suburban Mom said...

You are a saint. I can email you some nice potluck size recipes you can make in your sleep, if you want.

kirsten saell said...

Bummer, laughingwolf.

Hey, Suburban Mom, welcome! And thanks for the recipe offer, send away--especially if the recipes involve barbeques, and don't involve mayonnaise or sour cream. *shudder* The cottage where I'm putting up twelve of my relatives has three barbeques and three kitchenettes, so we might be able to feed everyone al fresco beside the sea.

If you do send me recipes, make sure the subject line says "potluck recipes" and not "please your womna al nihgt long with Vigara". I just delete those. I can't abide sloppy spelling.

You are a saint.

Heheh. If saints get raging PMS and frequently speak in homicidal hyperbole, that is.

Come visit often!

Madame Butterfly said...

"please your womna al nihgt long with Vigara

Buwahaha!

What? You don't want pleasuring advice by bad spellers?

Anyone can pleasure me; I'm not discriminatory. I'll take pleasure however I get it. *snort*

I never get those types of spam. What's wrong with me? No one wants to give me a bigger penis? :(...LOL

kirsten saell said...

You know which one I love? "Update your penis". Like there's some patch you have to download to make your manly bits compatible with the latest Adobe or something, lol!

laughingwolf said...

i get at least 60 of those in my email, every day... d'ye think my 'sinner1man' name contributes? :P lol

Another Suburban Mom said...

Here is one. Southwestern Rice Salad. Just make the boil in bag rice in the microwave and its even quicker.

Serves 12, no mayo. I am going to start recipe Friday or something on my blog soon as I love to share cooking stuff.



SERVINGS: 12

CATEGORY: Salads

METHOD: Other stovetop

TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
Ingredients:

* 1-1/3 cups water
* 2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
* 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
* 1/2 cup chopped red onion
* 1 medium carrot, chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 package (16 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
* 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
* 2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
* 1 cup salted peanuts
* 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
* 2/3 cup olive oil
* 1/3 cup lemon juice
* 1/2 to 1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Directions:
In a large saucepan, bring water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes or until rice is tender. Rinse rice with cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl.
In a small skillet, saute the green pepper, onion, carrot and garlic in oil until crisp-tender. Add to rice. Stir in the corn, beans, tomatoes, peanuts and cilantro.
In a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, cayenne and cumin. Pour over rice mixture and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings.

laughingwolf said...

except for the cilantro [tastes like soap, to me... yuck... i'll use romaine], this is a cool recipe, thx

kirsten saell said...

Um, laughingwolf, she was sending that recipe to ME...

And yeah, it sounds yummy! Thanks Suburban Mom!

laughingwolf said...

i know, that's why i stole it :P lol

Another Suburban Mom said...

Thanks Kirsten Saell.

I hope you don't mind I did it in the comments. I love to share the cooking stuff.

I did a posting of three no mayo, crowd sized recipes on the blog, in case you need more.

Seeley deBorn said...

You have my deepest sympathies.

I don't think I could handle that many kids, houseguests, etc. A few people for dinner? Sure. Lots of family for an overnight visit? Not a chance in effin hell.

Mind you, I don't imagine there's a Holiday Inn with a pool anywhere near you.

kirsten saell said...

No prob, Suburban Mom, will definitely check those recipes out. Thanks again!

Aw, Seeley, we've got that cottage by the sea thing, and my family all help out a lot with stuff, including laundry, yay! (not like my in-laws who act like guests and need to be enterained). If the kids get too annoying, I'll just start throwing them in the ocean. The water here is effing COLD! I'll prolly only have to make an example of one of them, and they'll all fall into line.

sylvia said...

I came to offer sympathy and some tips for cooking for large amounts of people but then I got distracted by Surburan Mom's recipe. Mmm, I'm making that too.

Anyway, pots of stuff work well too - stews and chilis. Also look for easy stuff to put on a platter for buffets. Sliced fruit (pineapple, melon), selection of hams and cheeses with a big bowl of bread rolls for people to put together their own, hard-boiled eggs, potato chips, etc. I've noticed people are pretty relieved when it's simple!

kirsten saell said...

I hear ya, Sylvia. Simple is totally my bag. I have a lot of people to feed and very limited space in my house--only about 3 1/2 square feet of counter space for prep in the kitchen and a table that will seat 6 if 4 of them are kids. The cottage I rented for them is a triplex, each suite very small. I suppose if we got everyone doing one dish in each kitchenette and the men barbequing on the patio, that could work, but anything with a lot of ingredients or steps is going to get complicated.

Oh my god, what have I agreed to???