Who knew the weather forecasters were right when they said that our cold, rainy and gray June would turn into a scorching hot and dry summer as we neared July? With temperatures that suddenly hit the 30’s starting on Friday, it is definitely summer now!
I’m actually relieved, as I’ve been so worried about my garden not growing, and now my biggest worry will be just keeping up with the watering and weeding. I was so pleased to return home yesterday afternoon to see that I’ve got some beautiful peas that will be ready shortly, our first strawberries starting to ripen, onions that I could start to use in a week or two (not to mention the tastiest green onion tops I’ve ever tried!), squash and zucchini plants about to flower and watermelon vines poking their heads up (after my first ones died in the cold snap), not to mention the glorious greens, turnips and radishes that we’re already eating. Now I’m just pleading with my tomatoes (which are starting to look healthier), peppers, cucumbers and corn- grow, little plants, grow!
The most difficult part of the heat is actually our current nighttime situation. You see, last night, our two Taiwanese students arrived. Their English names (many Asian ESL students like to take on an English name of their choice) are Isabelle and Vivian, and they are 13 and 14. It seems that overnight I’ve become the mother of not just a toddler and baby, but two teenage girls on top of it all!
Anyways, back to the nighttime situation. We live in a 3 bedroom house, in which our 2 kids normally share a room and we have my husband’s office as a backup room for rough nights. However, taking two students means that we must give up 2 bedrooms, so that each girl can have a private room. Thus, the kiddos have joined us in our room.
Let me paint the picture for you. Last night after dinner, we moved an extra dresser/change table, clothes hamper, diaper pail, child sized mattress and play pen into our room. Abbie will be sleeping on the floor where our reading chairs used to be (which are now crammed beside our night tables), and the plan was for Caden to occupy our small walk-in closet. To state the obvious, our room is crammed full.
Enter scorching, stifling heat in an second story, full exposure house (read: extra hot!) with no air conditioning and only one fan (remember, we moved in from a small condo).
Add to this two children weary from a weekend trip to Seattle (to pick up the necessary van to transport said students) where they both slept poorly and woke early every morning, an extra long, hot drive home yesterday where they both became quite cranky, the upheaval of bedroom rearranging, and our daughter’s excitement and adrenaline over the soon-to-be arriving students.
Now add students who arrived over an hour late due to Visa issues at the airport (so it was past 10:30 when they got in, and we started acquainting them with the house and their rooms), a walk-in closet that apparently becomes hotter and stuffier than we anticipated, and students with jet lag who don’t go to bed until 1:00 am.
The baby woke at around midnight as Ryan and I tried desperately to cool down and get comfortable. We had been blowing the fan straight into Caden’s closet to help him fall asleep, but now needed to find a way to make it work for all 4 of us (fortunately, the students didn’t find it hot- I guess Taiwan is even hotter). We were sleeping in less-than-modest attire due to the heat, so we couldn’t open our bedroom door to get a breeze flowing through the room. It took over a half hour to get Caden to calm down and sleep (using a cool, wet cloth seemed to be the winning solution),
Caden woke this morning at 5:50am. Can I just tell you that I was not so impressed with that?
I nursed him in my bed, and was able to drift back to sleep on and off until nearly 7, as Abbie jabbered away and I knew I had to get up to wake the girls for school. I stumbled out of bed, knocked on their door (oh yes, the kicker- they didn’t want to sleep in separate bedrooms!!! Unfortunately, we have to leave both rooms available for them, should they want the option of their own room).
Breakfast was chaos. I was informed 20 minutes before we needed to leave that one of the students didn’t like sandwiches (my plan for their bag lunches). I frantically made some hard boiled eggs and figured she could take an extra muffin, though in the end she opted to give the sandwich a try, bless her heart. We scrambled out the door for their first day of school, and raced there. We would have made it just on time, if I hadn’t become disoriented in the parking lot (yes, I said the parking lot– it’s a very, very big private school).
I cheerily waved goodbye and set off for my next daunting task… figuring out what to feed these girls, who already showed definite signs of not liking the nutritious food we regularly eat (they didn’t even seem to like my fruit smoothie!).
Two hours later, I walked out of the last grocery store, bearing noodle cups (the kind you add hot water to, and pray that there might be an ounce of nutrition in), sugary individually packaged yogurts, white rice, juice boxes and the like. Sigh… at least they’ll eat it, right?
And that, my friends, is why I did not post my menu plan this morning. I do have a menu plan, I’m just not sure that I have enough energy left to actually make what’s on it!
So, let’s just say that although we are so grateful for the opportunity to host these students (who are really quite sweet girls), we have a few issues to sort through. Food compromises, 2 hours out of every day for me to drive them to and from school (and how I will get done what I need to do, with the extra work on my plate), and extreme nighttime struggles.
Any thoughts as to how we can minimize the lack of sleep for the 4 of us? And cope with the heat, for us and especially for the baby? And find time to blog? 🙂