Every time our friends visit we just happen to be in need of some minor car repairs such as a brake job or a power steering issue. It's just pure coincidence that these things happen while Chad is here and he happens to know a few things about automotive repairs. Jayson's power steering has been giving him trouble to the point where it's really hard for him to make sharp turns. Chad and Jayson went outside and did whatever it is that guys do under the hoods of cars then declared the problem fixed.
Jayson had been having some 'tummy trouble' all morning so of course we had to discuss all the details of that because it's just what we do. While the guys were washing up at the kitchen sink we somehow start talking about stinky kid hands and how Collin's smell like ass. It's a good thing that kid is well adjusted and has a great sense of humor since apparently he has Milk Dud nipples and ass hands. I have a feeling we might need to make a contribution to his therapy fund.
At one point we were sitting around the kitchen table listening to Chad tell a story about...someone...or something...or some time.... I really have no idea what he was saying because all I could focus on was his right eyebrow. At some point, maybe while working on the car, it looked like he had rubbed his face in an upward direction but only on the right side. All of his little eyebrow hairs were standing straight up on that side but the left ones were laying down smoothly like they're supposed to. I was so distracted I had to stop his story and ask him to either smooth down the right side or make the left side stick up. It didn't matter which one, they just needed to match. In true guy fashion he just made the right side stick up even worse and I silently had an aneurism.
|Houston Port Authority Pavilion|
|One of the mosaics at the port authority pavilion.|
Somewhere during the reservation process I went brain dead and ended up putting my name in twice and leaving Jess's off. I didn't think much of it and figured we could just straighten it out when we got there. The next day I received a phone call from a very nice woman at the port authority asking me if there really were 2 Shannon Greens on our tour. It surprised me that they actually paid that much attention. I figured they must have pretty tight security post 9-11. I told her I was just an idiot and we fixed it.
When we arrived at the gate we had to present our IDs to Barney Fife who barely even glanced at them. Jayson asked what he was looking for and Barney said he was making sure they were valid and not forgeries. Barney never really looked inside the car to see how many adults and kids were there so we started thinking maybe security wasn't as tight as we thought.
We proceeded to the pavilion, which had some lovely mosaics, while we waited for the tour to start. Everywhere we looked there were signs that said no photos allowed but there didn't appear to be anyone around to enforce that rule. Chad took a picture of me taking a picture of the no pictures allowed sign, which is like double defiance with a cherry on top. Mind=blown.
|This is the city docks where they hide all the bodies.|
|I just know this one is full of IKEA furniture.|
|"DO NOT DOUBLE BREAST BARGES"|
We saw lots of really cool barges and freighters and some industrial stuff and a fun sign to add to my collection. We were served a free soft drink and had an enjoyable cruise. It's one of those things that we're glad we didn't pay for but we're glad we went. Know what I mean? So if you're looking for some free fun in Houston, take a tour of the port authority. Don't expect a whole lot, but enjoy what you get. I liked it.
After the tour we did the clown car thing again (8 of us in Jayson's Durango) and headed for the nearest Outback Steakhouse, which was a good 15 miles away. Jamie and I both had generous gift cards burning a hole in our pockets so we decided to remedy that. A portion of the trip was on a not-so-well-traveled industrial looking street...you've seen a similar one in every movie where the mob is driving to the docks to dump a body. The only other car on the road was a pimped out white pickup with 3 teenage guys inside. They were driving a little erratically and when we pulled up beside them we could see they were most likely chemically altered and jonsin' for a race. With us. A 10 year old SUV packed full of families.
While the pickup boys were making fools of themselves they failed to notice the 2 cop cars parked along the side of the road until one of the cars pulled out and started after them. We saw the pickup do a less than graceful downshift and hit its brakes which just elevated our laughter. The cop car switched lanes and passed the pickup, which continued on at a good 10 mph under the speed limit. We figured those boys had all just peed their pants. Chad asked if we knew which one was the real cowboy. Of course it's the one in the middle. Not only does he not have to drive, and he doesn't have to mess with the gate, but his manhood has to survive a violent downshift while he's straddling the gearshift.
As we made our way to the restaurant, Jayson started intentionally jerking the steering wheel just slightly in an obvious attempt to test his newly repaired power steering problem. Chad said, "Still hard?" which made us all laugh until we cried because we're just immature like that.
We had a very nice meal at Outback where our waiter was an awkward young man who was very shy and probably new at his job. He did really well but I just wanted to wrap him up and take him home. He was so adorable and I felt sure he needed a mother. Taylor scolded me and told me I needed to stop bringing home strays. She's probably right. We couldn't help but notice the dessert menu in the middle of the table with nice big pictures of all the yummy desserts. One was called "The Thunder From Down Under". Chad said, "Hey, that's what Jayson had this morning." We're all about 10 years old on the inside.
When we got home we chilled, we visited, the kids went to bed and the grownups decided to play Rummikub while snacking on these tiny little cucumbers that Jamie found at Wal Mart. They were tasty. I'm not very good at Rummikub because it reminds me of chess in the way that you have to think several moves ahead before you make your move. By the time I get to the end of my planned move, I've forgotten what I was supposed to do first. Oh well. I like the game so I'm content to lose. Jayson is a pretty good chess player and can plan his moves a lot better than I can. He was very close to winning one game and started making a series of complicated moves. In the middle he paused and rearranged some of the tiles on his tray and said, "Oh wow, I almost lost it in my own hand." Okay seriously? How can anyone not laugh at that? Granted it was late, we were tired, and we were laughing at things that probably weren't really funny. But that one produced some gut wrenching, eye watering, pants peeing laughter. Jayson just rolled his eyes.
This next part is kinda gross so if you have a delicate constitution just stop reading now.
It seems like we had barely recovered from the laughing fit when Emily came downstairs and said, "Mom? Collin just threw up." Talk about a buzz kill. We all went upstairs to see just exactly what had happened and it was a scene very similar to this:
Collin woke from a dead sleep to throw up so he didn't have time to even try to get to the bathroom. Fortunately he was facing away from Emily. All the adults in the house were trying to get the bed stripped and help Collin get cleaned up but it was very difficult since we were all bent over dry heaving with eyes watering so badly we couldn't see. I'll spare you gross details but I will say that I might never again be able to look at sweet barbecued ribs.
We hauled all the pukey clothes, bedding and pillows out to the backyard where I turned on the water hose to get rid of the chunks before putting them in the wash.
I let Jess finish hosing off the chunks then got some big bags to put everything in so we could bring them inside to wash. I will never forget the sight of Chad bending down to load the washer with his head turned almost completely around, gagging and heaving so bad I thought he might produce. Gagging is like laughing...it's contagious even if you don't know what you're gagging (or laughing) about.JESS: Shannon, do you want me to do that?ME: No, hhgguuuuhhhhh, no, I've got it.JESS: Really, I don't mind.ME: That's okay, I hhggguuuhhhgguuu can do it.JESS: It doesn't bother me, just let me do that.ME: I've got hhuuuhhgghhhhh it.JESS: Okay seriously, give me the hose.ME: No, it's uuhhhgguuuuhhhh... Okay, here.
We got everything cleaned up and moved the kids to another bed. Collin wasn't sick, he probably just ate too much junk food after dinner so he was feeling fine. He apologized which was sweet but totally unnecessary...there was nothing he could have done differently under the circumstances. It happens. I won't name names but one of us might have had to change clothes due to some heaving induced pants peeing.
That reminded me of a story a friend told me years ago. She was an older woman, probably my mom's age. We were talking about stomach viruses, I don't know why. I am aware that I seem to be the common denominator in these situations but I choose to ignore that fact. Anyway she said that during her last stomach virus she realized that she had hit an all time low in her life. She was kneeling in front of the toilet puking like all get-out, and at the same time she was peeing on the bathroom rug and when she looked up she saw her false teeth staring back at her from the top of the toilet tank. Not one of her better moments. But hilarious all the same.
We got everything cleaned up, washed, and completely deodorized thanks to my BFF OdoBan. Febreeze wishes it could be as awesome as OdoBan. On Monday the guys took the kids to a family pool hall because it's every father's duty to teach their children how to hustle pool. Jamie and I went shopping then it was time to say goodbye until their next scheduled visit at the end of March.
On Tuesday I was rummaging around in the fridge for a snack when I spotted the one lonely little cucumber they left behind. It was exactly what I needed. When I talked to Jamie later in the day I told her to tell Chad that I ate his little cucumber. *snort**giggle*