Monday, June 14, 2010

While I Was Gone . . .

There was a time when Casey would take advantage of me being out of town and catch up on some small home improvements or surprise me with getting a huge project done. One time, I remember he spent the weekend tearing out about 30+ feet of overgrown juniper bushes at our old house (I’m allergic, and it was a real gift for him to do it while I was gone). Other times, he has torn out decking, painted, replaced light fixtures, installed door frames, and built and cleaned numerous things . . .

But that was before children, or if it was after, it was because I AND the girls were gone. Naturally, having done it myself, I do not have in my expectations when I leave him with all three that he will get anything done, save keeping them alive and thriving. So, imagine my surprise when my hubby and girls pick me up at the airport IN A MINIVAN.

We do not own a minivan. Well, at least, when I left, we didn’t. I was gone 5 days. It was enough to ask Case to care for three children five and under alone for that long. I even thought it a little much to offer/ask that he take them to a birthday party one of the afternoons, and was surprised to hear over the phone that he did indeed take them (little did I know what else he had done!).

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As we arrived home from the airport, the girls had a surprise for me. They took me to their playroom (what we call the closet under the stairs), which I see is completely empty and partly painted (Something I had wanted to do myself right before I got prego last fall, and something I really wanted to have done before baby got here—Case didn’t even know this. He just knew we’d planned on painting it at some point.) He wanted to have it finished by the time I got home, but he discovered one of the colors we planned to use was completely dry. ( The situation has been remedied, and the project continues at our leisure.) Already, I love looking at the clean, crisp pink wall that peeks out at me when the girls leave the door open.

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Yet another surprise awaited me as I went upstairs that night. The accent wall in our bedroom is painted a beautiful khaki/tan color (called “toasted wheat”). I have NEVER liked the original color of our bedroom, and most especially that accent wall (colors were peach and rust—too southwestern for my taste). A few weeks ago, I told Case if we did any painting before baby arrived, it should be that wall. I did not want to have that color as a background for another birth video.

Falling asleep that night, I was again grateful that Casey had chosen to paint this particular wall while I was gone. The fumes were barely noticeable.

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But that was not all Case had done in those five days! He also painted two walls in our bathroom (by the tub—which will come in handy for labor and mental relaxation:) that same toasted wheat (was also peach—neither of us were fans). And, as it would not have been much of a blessing for Casey to saddle me with a new vehicle that had yet to be registered (knowing some errands—like grocery shopping—needed to be run right away when I returned), he also took all three girls to the MVD and took care of that for me. I had a new van and didn’t have to lift a finger! I’m still amazed that he did all this while I was gone. Who shops for a car with 3 young children? And who shops for a car by himself with 3 young children? And this is the guy who regularly thinks I’m crazy for going grocery shopping or to the post office with them. Yet he goes off and buys a car with them in tow? I believe he may be the crazy one. Maybe crazy in love? :) Whatever it is, I’m not complaining!

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So, “When,” you might ask, “did Case accomplish all this stuff?” Some with the girls’ help (he got some pics of them painting their playroom), but mostly after they’d gone to bed. I’m impressed. It’s enough of a job to care for their daily needs alone, but to also accomplish several projects outside that? What can I say? My hubby’s a go-getter!

I’m really enjoying our “new” Odyssey. It is low to the ground and the girls can easily climb in . . . and. . . buckle themselves without problems. Haley can crawl into her seat without as much trouble, and I don’t have to break my back lifting her or buckling her into it. I also don’t have to hoist my huge-and-splitting self up into my own seat. A nice plus at this point in pregnancy.

Other perks: air conditioning vents for all three rows of seats—the last two rows have ceiling vents. The Pilot did not have this. Ask any of our guests who have had to ride in the back of the Pilot in hot weather: this is huge.

And what mom of young children does not appreciate that minivan doors do not swing open, but rather slide, so as to accommodate an infant car seat between tight parking spaces? Not to mention the rule we’ve had for our entire parenting career with the Pilot: DO NOT OPEN THE DOORS WITHOUT PERMISSION!!!! See, children aren’t always the most observant and careful of creatures. Add the fact that wind is fairly ubiquitous here in certain seasons, and you’ve got a recipe for lots of banged-up cars around you. Okay, another perk is that the doors are automatic, and that’s pretty great. Especially to save face when the grocery bagger assists me to the car, and I don’t remember which row I was in . . . and there seem to be several white minivans around. “There mine is—the one with the door that’s opening.” :) (Okay, so he knows I’m a total space cadet, but still . . .)

No, it isn’t as “cool,” is older, doesn’t have 4WD or leather seats or a DVD player, doesn’t have the perfect-height diaper changing platform in the back hatch, and actually seats one LESS than the Pilot did, but really, this is a huge upgrade in the practicality department! Case was a little unsure I would be pleased with the surprise (we’d talked about getting one since I got prego this time, and I mentioned several times how much I loved the Pilot and how much I would miss the great things about it), but I’m glad he did it this way. Ripped the band-aid right off.

Strangely enough, on a family outing last weekend, Case told me he felt slightly embarrassed at the gas station to be filling up a minivan. So, I guess I’m not the only one who has to adjust. I offered to trade seats and drive, but he said there wasn’t a more emasculating thing he could think of. Being driven in a minivan by his wife. Kill him now. The tables have certainly turned since 7 1/2 years ago when we were dating and I told him I couldn’t see myself driving a minivan (go straight from the car to the full-size van), and he couldn’t see what the big deal was.

We had fun as a family getting the Pilot ready for sale. Case and I cleaned it inside and out while the girls played in buckets of soapy water on the lawn. Good times. It took a good 3 evenings of elbow grease to make it beautiful enough to sell. As of last week, we are Pilot-less. And my heart doesn’t even ache.300

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2 comments:

cowartclan said...

From one minivan mama to another ~ Minivans are THEE BEST family vehicle in my opinion when you have lots of little ones!! :)

ann said...

Wow, go Casey! That is very impressive. Welcome, welcome to the mini-van world. I know you will continue to enjoy the club. There really is no other way to go.

Sarah, your stomach has definitely grown since your last picture. It kind of makes me tired to look at the picture. Bless your heart. I feel like you always go before me with pregnancies and more children. I am very anxious to hear how the adjust to 4 goes. Since the transition from 2 to 3 was quite a challenge, are you nervous about 3 to 4?