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A kitchen renovation and a camp out were on the Gosselin family agenda during Monday night's back-to-back episodes of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," but one family member was noticeably less present.
The father of eight chose to stay behind to "oversee cabinet construction" while Kate went on a bikini-clad beach vacation to North Carolina with the children. The episodes were the first to air since the end of June, when the reality-TV couple filed for divorce.
"It's kind of strange that we're remodeling our kitchen in the middle of our separation," Jon said. "I think Kate and I needed a break from each other."
Judging by the constant tension, Jon was right about the necessary break. The beginning of the first episode showed Jon and Kate back in January 2009 - when things were "not yet horrendous" according to Kate - making arrangements for the kitchen renovation. When Jon, who has worked for a kitchen company in the past, suggested under-the-counter refrigerators, Kate responded in complete disgust.
"No, Jon. Ugh. What planet do you live on?"
Jon said nothing and shrugged his shoulders while the designers explained that small refrigerators are often used for children to help themselves to juice or bottled water.
Kate laughed. "Oh. Maybe he does live on this planet," she said. Jon was less amused.
Never uttering the "D" word on camera, the separated Gosselin's have made arrangements to take turns living with the children in their sprawling Pennsylvania mansion rather than shuffling the twins and sextuplets between homes. During the second episode of the evening, Kate pointed out that the arrangement has given her a new attitude.
"I am going to do things I have never done before. I have to," she said. Things that apparently include installing a window screen, grilling, and camping with the kids.
The positive attitude proved difficult to keep as eight tiny voices reminded her that there are some things their father does better.
"Daddy knows what's in there. Daddy knows what those are. And Daddy knows everything about a tent," one of the younger girls rambled as Kate tried to assemble a tent.
"Well, he's not here," Kate responded.
TLC has said Jon will be appear in future episodes - and we may even get to see him dating.