Sunday, October 2, 2011

Six Weeks of Chaos!

From September through mid-October our family life is always hectic. We have the first days of school and many birthdays. We start the month with my sister Claudine's birthday on the 4th, then my Dad's; my Grandmom's (she's passed, but not forgotten!); our niece, Kate (who just turned 13 Woo Hoo!!); and I celebrated (I use that term loosely :-)) my 49th birthday on the 30th. My nephews Zach (19) and Liam (14) are our October babies. One would think that at my advanced age I'd have things a bit more organized. Still, I find myself making multiple trips to the card store, shopping on line at the last minute and then completely forgetting my own birthday! I honestly jumped out of my skin when James woke me up with a kiss and "Happy 49th Birthday" on Friday. Yikes!

We started the month off with a really pleasant visit with James' parents in L.A.'s Chinatown. It's a great halfway point for all of us - about an hour North for us and an hour Southwest from Mom & Dad's home in the desert. Like most Chinese families, we shared a weekend Dim Sum meal. I love having Dim Sum because it is instant gratification - the carts loaded with goodies come to you and all you have to do is point to what you want! It's great when you have hungry and impatient kids to feed.

Here's our spread:

No waiting for a meal as the carts circle the dining room

James and his Dad usually make the selections for all of us

Here's Maddie watching BF Israel try Chinese noodles for the first time!

And of course, Josie and her Ma-Ma get caught up on the news of First Grade!

Mid-September brought a well deserved indulgence for my husband... After hemming and hawing for nearly a year he finally purchased a new BMW convertible for himself! We had a 2001 BMW convertible that James purchased about 4 years ago in anticipation of Maddie getting her driver's license. It was a manual transmission car. Once Maddie got her permit James made the fatal mistake of having Maddie drive the car without any practice - he just put her on a busy road and said "drive". Not a smart move. Maddie was so scared and intimidated from the harrowing 6 mile drive home that she refused to get into the car again - EVER. So, James has been driving the convertible ever since. Here's is James' New Baby:

This car has a Turbo 'something' engine and it is a SWEET drive!

This past Wednesday, September 28th brought more excitement - but not the kind we like. James returned home from a business trip that evening and jumped back into his routine of washing each of our cars. (He washes 3 cars EVERYDAY and details each of them on the weekend!) The girls and I believe that washing the cars keeps James sane - his own little therapy session in the driveway! Anyway, James walks into the garage, comes back in the house and says, "Where's the water in the garage coming from?" Of course, I have no idea - I only go in the garage to grab my gardening tools and to pull my car out. I walk out to see what he is talking about and see a nice little stream coming from the roof and dripping down between the cars.
"Didn't you notice that?!" he asks.
"Um, No I didn't. I don't hang out in the garage. There's a reason they're called Man Caves..." I reply.

The muttering under his breath begins. It continues as he places a call to the Home Warranty company, shuts off the main water supply line, and finally makes his way to bed. Such are the burdens of a man who lives his life surrounded by females.

The next morning the plumber, Mike spent about 2 hours trying to locate the source of the leak. He cut 4 holes in the drywall ceiling of the garage before determining that the leak was coming from the master bathroom shower supply line on the second floor. Bad news was that the line was only reachable by cutting a hole from the outside of the house. So, up the ladder went Mike:

Finally, my big day arrived. The last year of my 40's began on Friday and I was looking forward to having a nice relaxed celebration with the girls and James... Pepperoni and Mushroom pizza dinner followed by birthday cake. It was not to be, though. Maddie informed me that afternoon that Israel was taking her out to dinner to celebrate their 'anniversary'. (They have been dating for 4 months!) And, to be fair to Maddie, I will divulge that she did ask me in advance if I wanted her home for my birthday dinner. So, my birthday song was sung by Josie and she helped me blow out my candles. It was a nice birthday celebration for me just as I liked it - quiet and low key.

Here's Israel waiting for Maddie... and being entertained by Josie and BFF Nyra.

And, the happy anniversary couple!

I'm looking forward to a quiet October before leaving on my next adventure on November 1. I will write about that in my next post... Have a great weekend, everyone!

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