Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mental Health Check


It’s very important for my overall mental health and well being to be intentionally thankful for Mr. San Antonio.

That way when he drinks all my water (story to come), or suggests awful names for our future children (another story to come) I don’t have to simmer in my rage and karate chop his biceps. By the way, it does absolutely no good to karate chop Mr. San Antonio’s biceps. You’ll just hurt yourself. Not that I would know that or anything.

So, here is a list of nice things he did for me yesterday – for which I am very grateful.

3:00am Gently escorted the dog out of our room when his (the dog's not Mr. SA's) snoring kept me from sleeping.

6:30am Got up before me to let the dog outside to do his thing.

7:00am Took the trash cans to the curb.

7:15am Made coffee.

7:30am Gave me the last piece of banana bread (left for us by the home owners).

7:31am Said the banana bread was “almost as good” as mine.

7:35am Asked if he could take the last piece of pizza for his lunch.

7:36am Said “your pizza is fantastic”

7:40am Kissed me goodbye when I left for work.

8:30am Sat in a boring bar review class so he can pass the bar.

2:00pm Drafted a cover letter so he can get a job and be my sugar daddy.

5:00pm: Kissed me hello when he came home

6:00pm Left to play rugby so I could brag about having the manliest husband ever.

7:30pm Studied at a friend’s so I could have some girls over for dinner and a discussion on relationships.

9:45pm Came home again and kissed me on the forehead.

9:50pm Brought the trash back in from the curb.

10:30pm Locked all the doors to keep me safe.

10:45pm Kissed me good night.

The end.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

House/Dog Sitting

My fears and speculations have been confirmed. I’m the biggest home body, give me a routine, and please don’t-change-plans-on-me-last-minute person that has ever existed. I’m also a bit of an exaggerator, but surely you hadn’t picked up on that?

On Friday afternoon I received a fairly desperate phone call from a wonderful lady at our church explaining that their house/dog sitter had backed out that morning and they were leaving town in 18 hours and would Mr. San Antonio and I please consider staying at their house for 12 days to watch their old dog and their beautiful house (with air conditioning!!!)?


 
A normal person would have jumped (and screamed and and done a jig) at this chance. I panicked.

Leave my stuffy, I’m-gonna-give-you-heat-stroke apartment? Leave the comfort of taking freezing showers in my pink tiled bathroom only to step back out and start sweating again? Leave my 95 degree kitchen, and my floors that are a dangerous maze of fan cords… No thank you!

I’m crazy right? Yeah, please don’t answer that.


It’s just that as uncomfortable as life sometimes is, it is still a routine. It is still my routine. And when my routine gets altered I become agitated, unsettled and (more) emotional (than usual). I think this is why weekends are so difficult for me. And why, when Mr. San Antonio wants to change plans, he graciously gives me a “transition period” (sometimes it takes 15 minutes, sometimes a couple hours) until I can wrap my little brain around the new program and jump on board.

All that said, the idea of house sitting made me anxious; but she sounded so desperate, and was so worried about taking her dog to the kennel, and was so very sweet, that I agreed. And Saturday morning I packed up the car (Mr. SA was at his bar review class) and set out for a little air conditioned “stay-cation”.


 
Within the first few hours I managed to set off the house alarm, which summoned a police officer who had a difficult time believing that a clean cut 20-something married woman was NOT robbing the house. I thought I broke the dishwasher (I didn’t! yay!). And that night I dreamt that an intruder came into our bedroom with a gun – but then Mr. SA saved the day, or the dream, or whatever.


But, now it’s Tuesday and I’ve had a three day “transition period”. The gardener came yesterday, the cleaning lady comes today, and I’ll admit that I’m starting to adjust to AC, a washer/dryer , a swimming pool, and the large quantities of dog slobber that magically appear on all our clothes .

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cliff hanger

I’m not going to lie, the weekend was a bit rough.

But I only set the house alarm off once; only had one dream of an intruder with a hand gun; only one neighborhood police officer put me through a modern day inquisition; and I only cried once twice. So I think this week is off to a pretty good start.

While you wait on the edge of your seat for me to explain what happened, you should probably go make this pizza.



Happy Monday!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fire Breathing Dragon

I received some requests for more information regarding our fire breathing dragon.

Well, consider this your warning. The sites you are about to see will scar you. Or at least make you think twice about stepping foot in our home, or eating things I cook.

Our fire breathing dragon is our 1940’s stove:


This is not a 1940’s throw-back stove, that looks authentic but is secretly equipped with all modern conveniences. Oh no. This is legit. Too legit to quit. Sorry about that. Now I’m embarrassed for quoting MC Hammer AND I still have to show you incriminating pictures of my stove….


Ok, I'm back. I just spent fifteen minutes hiding under my chair.

Before you judge me, please please please let me try and explain the giant burn spots you're viewing. When we first moved in I had to call the gas company to turn on the gas, and the pilot lights on our stove. It was summer time in Texas. It was 95 degrees in the kitchen. He was playing with matches and lighters. And the poor guy was covered head to toe in denim.

An hour later he turns to me and says, “Well ma’am, these here burners keep going out. And if I leave you like this, then they’ll go out on ya and you’ll die from gas poisoning. So, I’m just gonna-have-ta leave these here burners on full force so they don’t go out, and you don’t die.” (Emphasis mine. In reality he spoke very calmly and straightforwardly. Apparently he often tells people they're "gonna die".)

Of course, with a warning like that, what choice did I have?


Little did I know that leaving the burners on “full force”, meant that the stove top was constantly too hot to touch. That if I tried to clean it, the water and/or cleaning fluid would smoke on contact. And the results would be 1) giant burn marks on my otherwise quaint cooking surface, and 2) a constant voice in my head that says “you are the worst house wife in the history of the world, because you have a nasty, disgusting stove top.”

The only way I have kept myself somewhat sane is to nickname my stove - "the fire breathing dragon". I’ve been told that when you name things it is much harder to destroy them in fits of anger and passion.

I think that’s probably why parents name their kids.

Have a great weekend!
Love, The Pampered Bird

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Je suis désolé, je ne sais pas de français!

It’s official. Our tickets to France are purchased! The countdown for August 1st has officially begun.

Here’s a preemptive photo of us on a French beach.



We look like locals. Right?

As if I needed to explain my excitement for a trip to France. Here are the top 10 reasons my suitcase is already packed and waiting by the door.

Number 10: Texas is hot in August, we don’t have central air, and have I mentioned my 95 degree kitchen?

9. We’ve killed three cockroaches in less than a week (not including the one in my dream last night).

8. I’m tired of shaving my legs.

7. Just kidding about number 8. That was gross, and I apologize for bringing that image to your head.

6. Traveling economy to Europe is the closest Mr. SA will ever get me to camping.

5. Where else can I use my one phrase of French: “Je suis désolé, je ne sais pas de français.”

4. I’ve been reading The Art of French Cooking, and I’m convinced that I was meant to live in Paris.

3. I get to see my dear friend Kate who lives in Marseilles!

2. Ever since I met him, Mr. San Antonio has been telling tales of “the most incredible almond croissants” that he consumed daily when he lived in France. I’ve been salivating for two years, and am ready for my croissant!

And the number one reason for my excitement: I get to spend several weeks making new memories with my favorite person in the world!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Push Up Challenge

Attention everyone: Mr. San Antonio and our friend's Matt and Andrew have embarked on a competitive journey to see who can complete 10,000 pushups in 30 days.

I am madly in love with Mr. San Antonio, and his biceps, and therefore am completely in favor of this battle. There is even an excel spreadsheet mapping his progress. He’s on day 5 and pushup #1,280! My heart leaps when I think about it.

He even lovingly suggested that I do the challenge with them – but only do 1,000 pushups in 30 days. I’m on day 4 and pushup # 105. Please hold your applause.

Being married tends to magnify the differences between men and women. But we have made a commitment to each other to celebrate the differences rather than let them frustrate us. For example, we have a cabinet in the bathroom that has glass doors. Inside you’ll find an assortment of bath items displayed like a pottery barn window.

This is my husband’s doing. Just kidding! It is actually the last thing in the entire world he would ever consider doing with these items. Can’t they be used to make a bonfire? But he doesn’t scoff at, or disregard this slightly obsessive act of mine. Instead he sees it as an example of how, as a woman, I was made to display God’s love for beauty. Beauty simply for the sake of beauty. There is no functional purpose of the display cabinet. It just looks nice. And it reminds Mr. San Antonio of that attribute of God whenever he sees it.

In the same way, when I watch Mr. San Antonio doing one-handed-one-footed-pinky-finger pushups, I am reminded of how, as a man, he was made to display God's strength and power. And His choice to use those attributes to serve sinful, selfish whiners like me. How awesome is that!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The pie making gene

I respect my dad more than anyone else in the world. When I started writing today’s blog I was going to post a list of why I love my dad. Instead, here is a story that summarizes who he is.

Back in January Mr. San Antonio and I invited some friends to my parents’ house for dinner. It was our friend Matt’s birthday and I knew his favorite dessert was lemon meringue pie. My dad makes the most delicious lemon meringue pie (from his great grandmother's recipe), and since I have his genes I logically concluded that I could make the most delicious lemon meringue pie with no problems.

I made the dough for the crust, rolled it out nice and thin, miraculously transferred it (in mostly one piece) to my favorite red pie dish, and placed it in the oven to brown. Now all I had to do was make the filling and the meringue and I would have a perfect pie! Ten minutes later I opened the oven (expecting to see a lightly browned, flaky crust) and found a pool of doughy soup in the bottom of the pie dish. I had failed. I pulled the dish out of the oven, and could feel the tears burning behind my eyes. Then my dad walked into the kitchen and saw the mess. I was sure that I had disappointed him! Somehow the miraculous pie making gene hadn’t been transferred to me after all. I slipped out of the room and hid down the hallway so I could cry (which is how I handle all situations where I feel frustrated, discouraged, and incredibly embarrassed).

My dad came after me and just wrapped me up in a big hug. He didn’t say anything, just hugged me and let me cry. After a minute he said, “it took me a long time to get pies right too, and I’ve made, and still make, errors. How about we go back and try again together.”

It took me a few more minutes to believe I really could do this, before I humbly walked back into the kitchen. When I did, I saw that my dad had already cleaned up the mess I had made, and had begun making more dough. For the next hour my dad and I worked side by side to make a delicious and beautiful pie. When everyone said how good it was, my dad took no credit (even though he had done most of the work), and just proudly put his arm around me and said “you made a great pie!”

Yesterday, as a surprise for my dad and my father-in-law, I decided to make a lemon meringue pie all on my own! Even when the lemony filling was referred to as “sauce”, and everyone needed spoons instead of forks, my dad still said (and I think really believed) that I had made a great pie.

Friday, June 18, 2010

An epic battle

Last night I experienced one of those "coming of age moments" that are always in the movies. There was music, a photo montage of my past, and a dizzying feeling as though the camera was spinning above me watching me transform into a capable woman.

I had walked into the bedroom to start getting ready for bed when I saw something large and dark flash past me. When I glanced over I saw the biggest cockroach that I have yet to see in our castle. Now, over the last 10 months of marriage I have seen many cockroaches, spiders, ants (I'm not really scared of ants they're just gross), and spider webs (which actually startle me more than spiders). And at each meeting I have let out a dainty, short, but shrill scream. And each time I scream, Mr. San Antonio begins to laugh. When he is done laughing he always takes care of the intruder, but please make a note of the laughter.

Well, last night I did not scream. I calmly, quietly, stepped backwards and grabbed Mr. San Antonio's favorite running shoe (was it practicality? convenience? or subconscious revenge?). I then hurled the shoe across the room and stunned the cockroach. Next I did the unthinkable, and I approached the bug with boldness. Bravely, I picked up the shoe and mercilessly squished the bug to its death.

At the sounds of warfare, Mr. San Antonio came into the room. His first comment was "wow babe, I'm so proud of you!" His second comment was "did you use my favorite shoe?!" To which I replied, "I couldn't use my shoe. My shoe has flowers on it." He laughed and started to walk away. At that, the stress of the battle overwhelmed me and my lip began to quiver. "Aren't you going to pick it up and throw it away for me?" Mr. San Antonio didn't hesitate, he scooped up the remains and tossed them in the trash. With a kiss on my forehead he resumed his studying.

So, maybe I haven't completely conquered my fears or fully turned into that strong and capable woman. But as long as I have a knight in shining armor, maybe I don't have to.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Resting

This past Sunday morning our alarm didn’t go off, and we woke up with only 10 minutes to get to church and situate ourselves in the nursery (where they expected two newlyweds to babysit 10 toddlers during the church service). When we arrived at church my wavy hair had taken on that “you’ve been standing in the wind” look (not to be mistaken with the sexy “wind-blown” look); my make-up was smeared from sleeping without removing it the night before; my clothes matched (if you squinted); and I still had peanut butter in my teeth.

In the nursery room - two toddlers were crying, one was screaming, one was hitting the other kids with toys, two were having a tea party, and the others were climbing to high places and begging for goldfish. Two hours later we made it out barely alive, and praising God for birth control.

When we got home we took a nap.

That afternoon Mr. San Antonio sat down to study (he takes the bar exam in July) and I decided to make pizza dough for dinner. I filled my Kichenaid with flour, yeast, water, etc. Turned it on and “splat”, my shirt (and the walls, floor, etc.) was covered in yeasty goo. But!, that morning I had changed 5 diapers, and helped 3 two year olds use the “big potty” – the goo would be conquered! I put on an apron (too little too late) and beat the dough into submission. I loosely covered it and did the dishes. The recipe says “let rise for an hour”. But they assumed (wrongly!) that my kitchen is 70 degrees. After 10 minutes the dough had burst through the covering, and was slipping over my tiny counter.

The dough went in the fridge. I drank more water (really it was only water, I promise). And as I stood in front of the fan, Mr. San Antonio tried to teach me about fiduciary obligations and implied covenants.

By the end of the day we had accomplished a lot – including eating pizza.

Interestingly, the sermon we missed that morning (when we were cleaning up play dough) was on “rest”. When I think about this past Sunday – it doesn’t seem particularly “restful”, but the truth is that rest isn’t always about sitting and doing nothing, it’s about the peace that comes from knowing who you are and what your purpose is in this crazy world.

And maybe drinking a glass of wine.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

95 degrees

This past weekend our kitchen registered 95 degrees. Yes, you read that correctly. My meat thermometer is very sensitve, even when not submerged in half cooked chicken. So, in typical Pampered Bird fashion, I cried.

I cried, lamented, whined, and was unnecessarily dramatic because surely it was unjust that I would have to suffer so! When I threw myself at Mr. San Antonio, wailing and beating his manly chest, he simply replied “it’ll be funny tomorrow” and kissed my sweaty forehead.

Well, it wasn’t funny “tomorrow”, or the next day or the day after that. I love to cook and to bake and just generally be in the kitchen (I even love to clean the kitchen – though my love for cleaning clearly stops there). What am I going to do for the next four months of the San Antonio summer?

I decided to start a blog.

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