Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More Madness...and Awesome Dad-ness

It started out just like any Tuesday. A little more quiet and relaxed than Monday because only Miss M has to get up and off to school early. While Tuesday is C.B.'s day to go to school, he doesn’t go until after lunch. Tuesday is also my sister-in-law's day to do school drop off and pick up, so I don't even have to leave the house on Tuesday if I don't want to. However, she was without a car again today and clearly wasn’t able to do the school runs today.

When she called to let me know about this I was straining to hear her over the noise of the carpet cleaning machine that was running upstairs. (We have the house on the market and boy, did our carpets need some help!) But I assured her that I could take the kids to school – no problem. But after two hours of carpet cleaning, the man had not yet made it through the third of five rooms. I started to get concerned about the time. I figured I needed help getting the kids to school because the carpet cleaning would likely still be going on when it was time to leave. But I also figured that I would still be able to pick the kids up after school because the cleaning would surely be over by then. So I just needed to find a ride to school. I called for reinforcements. Again. This was getting silly.

After I’d found a way to get C.B. to school I started thinking about what I wanted to accomplish the rest of the afternoon and about getting the kids after school. It suddenly occurred to me that I was still in my PJ’s. This is not really unusual for me on a day when I don’t have to be anywhere. What was unusual was the fact that my bedroom carpet was just cleaned and would be wet for the next three to four hours. My bedroom is where my shower is…not to mention my clothes, my shoes, etc. I wouldn’t have minded running out to get them looking like I just rolled out of bed if I didn’t have to get out of my car. But for preschool pickup you have to physically get your kids from the teacher. There would be no hiding in the car for me.

So when my father-in-law came over (right on time) to get C.B. for school, I dropped a second bomb on him. “You wouldn’t mind bringing the kids back home after school also, would you?” Without even blinking he asked me what time and if they get picked in the same place as they get dropped off. Wow! After C.B. left with Grandpa, I just stood there lost in amazement at my good fortune. I thought I was lucky to have a hero for a father, but it turns out I am even luckier than I thought. I have two Super Dads.

Monday, January 29, 2007

I can’t be Supermom without my Super Dad

I’ve been trying to prepare myself for a busy week. I am the kind of person who needs to plan ahead to be busy. If the busy-ness catches me off guard I am a mess…I mean a BIGGER mess than usual. So I started today with an attitude of acceptance with respect to the fullness of my day/week. I thought I was ready to handle it all.

This week is Catholic Schools Week so there’s a lot going on at school. Miss M was a reader at Mass this morning so Banana and C.B. and I went to church at 8:30. I came home to make a salad for the Teacher Appreciation luncheon, and left to drop that off as soon as it was all put together. The salad drop-off coincided with Big D’s Preschool pickup time, so at least I was able to accomplish two things in one trip out. We had lunch when we arrived back home with Big D with about 15 minutes to play before going to Miss Anne’s for “Number School” at noon. Whew!

All of this and Banana (the one with the lingering cold) still had not taken a nap. This was where I start thinking about calling in some reinforcements. If Banana went down for her nap at noon she would need to be awakened at 1:15 in order to go get the boys from their class. That’s not much of a nap even for a healthy kid. What I really needed was someone to run and get the boys for me at 1:30. My first thought was to call one of my nearby sister-in-law’s. However, I had already asked one of them to get Miss M from school for me and the other one was without her car today. Second thought…my mom was off today and running errands this afternoon. I called her cell phone thinking maybe she could swing by and get the boys while she’s out and about. No answer. Then I called the other grandparents, but they were also out and I had no luck with their cell phone. I even called a neighbor I thought might come and sit at the house while I went to get the boys, but I got no answer there either.

I finally called my dad at home. I hesitated to call him because sometimes I feel like I am taking advantage of him. I truly believe he is incapable of telling me no. If I need his help with the kids, he’s there even if he has to shuffle other things in his schedule. Except golf. Golf is the one thing that will not get shuffled. I also hesitated to call him because he is already scheduled to watch my kids on Thursday during another Catholic Schools Week event. In addition, he lives the furthest away out of the people I called. The time he spent in the car coming and going would likely be even longer than the time spent here. But…

…I felt like I was out of options, so I went ahead and called my dad. My hero. He showed up here at 1:15 so I could go get the boys without waking the baby. He saved the day. The boys were excited to see him when they got home. They showed him their “homework” from class and even shared their snack with him. As I thought about this later it made me wonder if their actions might have helped to express my own appreciation. I didn't have a snack to share with him. Of course I told him "Thank you" more than once while he was here. I tell him thanks all the time, but he always gets all “Aw, shucks” on me. I often wonder if he knows how grateful I am to have him as a father. I really need to come up with a reason to get together with my dad that doesn’t involve watching my kids.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One Small Step for Banana, One Giant Leap for Mealtime

Banana has started using a spoon ALL BY HERSELF! Up to now she's really just played with utensils and then thrown them on the floor. Look at her now! She is actually scooping up applesauce...

...and putting it her mouth (most of the time.)

She did use her hands just a little bit.

And, of course, she wanted to touch the camera with her sticky hands.

What a mess! But we're sure proud of our little spoon-using Banana.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mondays are the Pits Anyway...

...but to make matters worse, Banana woke up with a fever this morning. She was not her usual talkative morning self either. She just lay there limp on my shoulder when I got her out of bed. Thankfully I made Miss M’s lunch last night so she was all ready to go. I was able to just sit and hold her as long as she wanted. When I actually did have to get up and move about the house, I made her a little spot on the floor for her to lay down and look at Sesame Street on TV. She raised her head a couple of times, but didn’t really make any attempt to get up. In fact, she dozed off soon after I laid her down. Poor baby.

Our snowman had almost as bad a morning as Banana. He had a little accident overnight – “He’s fallen and he can’t get up!” And I'm not sure when he will be getting up since he weighs a ton!! We may just have to wait for him to melt off the front porch.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

An Action-Packed Agenda

This weekend was chock-full of fun things to do. On Friday night Miss M had a basketball game, and it was a nail-biter!! Who knew third grade girls basketball could be so exciting? The other team seemed to have better control of the ball, and an uncanny ability to steal it from our girls. Coach Dad continually reviewed the ONE offensive play he taught the girls – guards pass the ball to the center who will pass it to a forward who will shoot it in the hoop. Sounds pretty simple right? Well, those scrappy girls on the opposing team knew how to play defense - they were making it very difficult to complete that one play. It finally came together by the end of the game when, with only seconds left on the clock, Miss M scored the basket that tied the game. Grandma, Grandpa and I were cheering from the stands, and beaming with pride I might add. The crowd went wild as we went into overtime and our girls scored again. Unfortunately the other team did also, and it was tied once again. It remained tied at 10-10 even after a second overtime. What a game!!

On Saturday we were running in all different directions. Miss M and Dad went to Basketball practice (to again review that ONE play), while I went with Grandma and Grandpa to the Cathedral Basilica for the Annual Commemorative Mass & Prayer Vigil. Gramma came over to stay with the little guys. As soon as she got home from practice, Miss M had to get ready for a birthday party for a friend. We picked her up from her party just to go to another party. This time it was a BIG Reddy birthday party. First we had cake and ice cream and presents, and then went swimming in an indoor pool. The kids had a ball! As if all that wasn’t enough, we went to CiCi’s for All-You-Can-Eat Pizza after that. It was no surprise that we had kids falling asleep left and right on the way home.

It was also no surprise that everyone slept until 8:00 Sunday morning. It snowed overnight so we woke up to a winter wonderland. It was difficult to get the kids to Sunday School before going outside to play. They went sledriding with Dad for a little while, came home for some hot chocolate, and then it was back outside to make a snowman. The snow was absolutely perfect for making a snowman, and was rolling up with the greatest of ease. Because of this, they got a little carried away. They realized this when they tried to lift the second part of the snowman onto the first part. It took every ouce of Dad’s strength (and Big D’s and Miss M’s) to hoist that second part up there. “Dad’s gonna feel that in the morning!” I said. When they finally got him all put together, they needed to accessorize. We happened to have a carrot for his nose, but they got everything else from the garage…and it showed. With swim noodles for arms and tennis balls for eyes, we decided he looked like an alien snowman. He’s definitely an original!

But wait…there’s more! There was still more on the family calendar for the day. We waved good-bye to our snowman and went to my Aunt’s house for dinner. The spread she had prepared for us reminded me of a backyard barbecue, which was just delightful in the middle of January and with snow on the ground. We enjoyed every bite of the fried chicken, potato salad, and mostaccioli, and even had cake for dessert. We played some games and worked a puzzle, all while trying to keep Banana happy (she’s coming down with a nasty cold.) It seemed like we just got there when we had to go, but Miss M had homework and it was a school night. We had a couple of kids nodding off on the way home again. What a weekend!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Weekend Getaway

We weren't exactly planning on going away for the weekend, but when our power went out (yet again) we were prompted to spend a couple of days at Gramma and Grampa's house. We went to bed Friday night feeling 99.9% sure that we would wake up without power. So in an effort to preserve some warmth in the house we cranked the heat up a bit before we retired for the night. It seems that the electricity went off and on a couple of times throughout the night, but we think the power actually went out for good at about 5:15 am when we witnessed three extremely bright multi-colored flashes of light near our house. These flashes were bright enough to light up our entire bedroom, and a little unnerving because they were pretty close to our house. After that third flash...nothing. No light. No clock. NO HEAT!! We actually stuck it out at our house until after Banana's afternoon nap and then we decided to pack up and head to my mom and dad's house, since they had lights and heat. It was a good thing, too, because my nose was starting to run just being inside the house. We all said it felt like were going camping as we loaded up the car for our weekend getaway. My mom already had the sleeping arrangements all figured out, and she was anxious to get meals planned for at least the next 24 hours. None of us knew how long it would be before our electricity would be restored. Fortunately it didn't seem like Gramma and Grampa were in any hurry to get rid of us.

It was a little like a vacation. We played games, worked puzzles, watched movies. And Gramma and Grampa have cable, a real treat since we don’t ourselves subscribe. I think the kids really enjoyed hanging out over there, and they definitely made themselves at home. Big D kept referring to the middle room that he was temporarily sharing with Miss M as his room. It was starting to remind me of going to visit my grandma in Texas. I told my mom this, and reminded her that we usually stayed at least a week with Grandma Dot. She laughed, apparently still undaunted by the thought of us staying that long. However, on the second night of our vacation, after the kids had gone to bed, we received word that our electricity was back on. We didn’t want to wake anyone, and we knew it would take a while for the house to warm up, but we were relieved by the thought of going home the next day.

But we didn’t go home the next day. That is, not right away. It was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday so the kids were off school and Dad took the day off work. We had made plans the week before to go bowling and out to lunch with my mom and dad. We kept those plans, even though we’d had plenty of together time over the weekend. I’m glad we did, though, because it was a fun day. Miss M enjoyed bowling, and she wasn’t half bad – she scored an 85.

It was Big D’s first time bowling and, while he enjoyed it, I think he was more impressed with the shoes. He wanted to wear them home. Big D scored a 65.

C.B., on the other hand, changed his mind about bowling as soon as he heard he had to wear special shoes. He and Banana were spectators.

Grampa beat us all with a 174. I know he was just warming up and would have broken 200 if we’d had the energy to make it through another game. He, like the rest of us, was a little rusty. Oh…I probably shouldn’t mention this, but I beat out my hubby 106 to 88. Go, Mom!

When we finally made it home the house was a toasty 68º. Our little holiday was over and we had to get back to the way things usually are around here. The Banana took a long nap, Miss M, Big D and C.B. played school (until the boys got bored with it and started wrestling instead), Dad went to work getting his new computer set up so the kids can have the old one, I began re-stocking the refrigerator and freezer, and cooking things that had defrosted and shouldn’t be re-frozen. Yummy! It was a nice, unexpected vacation. We’d like to give a big THANK YOU to Gramma and Grampa for housing the Reddy Zoo in our time of need. We love you guys!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

January Thaw

We've only been hit with one significant snowfall so far, and that was last month. Even though the snow has been gone for weeks we nevertheless seem to be experiencing a phenomenon known as "January Thaw". While the record high for January is 77º (set back in 1950), the average is 38º. Well it's only the fifth day of the month and we've already hit 51º with expected highs next week reaching 56º. It's confusing enough for us human beings to have such a shift in the weather; imagine what the plants are going through! The daffodils in our front yard are already breaking through the ground.
Poor little things! I hope they make it until Spring.

I also noticed that I have some blooms in my garage of all places. In the Fall I brought in the two gerbera daisy pots that were on the front porch all summer. I cut off the leaves and stems and brought them into the garage when it got too cold for flowers. They seem to like the warmer temperatures, as well as the safe haven the garage has given them from the wind and cold rain.

As nice as Spring flowers sound right now, I'd really like for the kids to have one more snow day from school before the warmer temps are here to stay. But you know what they say about our weather..."If you don't like the weather in St. Louis, just wait 15 minutes!"

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

We had such a fun time on New Year's Eve (thanks, Jen & Ken!) that it was difficult to get up this morning. Of course the Banana was up at 7:30 like always, but the other kids needed some encouragement. We woke Miss M at 9:30, not wanting her to sleep too late because she goes back to school tomorrow already. The boys were still asleep at 11:00 so we went in to get them up when we put Banana down for her nap. As usual, Big D got right out of bed and got dressed, ready for another day. C.B., however, ignored our request to arise and continued snoozing. At NOON, Dad went in to physically remove him from his bed. Since he was still not showing any signs of consciousness, Dad decided to take C.B. outside for the chilly morning air...I mean afternoon air...to wake him up. He didn't flinch, didn't shiver, didn't protest. Dad laid him on the deck, thinking that would surely cause him to stir.

But there was still no response.

None whatsover.

Until Dad suggested that the pitcher of cold water he was holding might do the trick.

That got him up in a hurry.

And by 12:30 he was raring to go, ready to start a whole new year. We hope it's a good one for all of you, too!