May 30 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

Published by at 10:11 pm under amy's head,daily,kids

It has really been a wonderful weekend.

We didn’t go anywhere, and didn’t have any grand plans, but it felt like a little mini vacation all the same. Definitely apart from the usual weekend grind where I feel like I have so much to do and not enough time to do it and the whole 2 days is just too busy to be very restful.

It started out Friday night with me celebrating World of Warcraft night with a night out with Ann. We went to an Indian restaurant and she de-virginized me, as I’d never had Indian food before. I had lamb vindaloo (and thought of Lister the entire time) with long grained basmati rice that was like eating lace in edible form. I oohed and aahed over it and Ann informed me that Trader Joe’s carries it in the BROWN variety! I am so there. After dinner, we headed over to the theatre and caught the Da Vinci code. I liked it, though I’m not raving or anything. I thought that I might have liked the book better because the puzzles and history were intriguing, but it seemed they barely presented it, said a few words that would lead them to the solution, and then solved it while you were still trying to really wrap your head around the puzzle itself. A friend informed me that the book doesn’t actually have too much of the puzzle type things in it, so maybe not. Ann is going to lend me Dan Brown’s first book, which she thinks was better anyway – I think I’ll like it.

Friday night WoW nights/Amy’s nights are turning out to be good for the book recommendations, as Tamara lent me a book last week that I read into the night last Friday, and then finished up Saturday. It is a young adult book (my favorite kind, I’m a bit ashamed when strangers see my bookshelves filled up with L. M. Montgomery, C. S Lewis, Noel Streatfield and Frances Hodgeson Burnett – maybe all the Heinlein make it OK) called “Flipped” and it was beautifully written and had great characterizations. Loved it, loved it. Thanks Tamara – I’ll take any more recommendations you might have.

Saturday started out kind of blah. Maybe the night out, away from the every day run of the house made me want to continue it, but I just wasn’t feeling the cuteness of the squeals of children running through the house and pretty much tried to sleep as long as I could. I kept wishing James would get up with them and let me sleep until noon, but he is much better at ignoring children and staying in bed than I am :) He got up and brought Jocelyn into our room and Ethan climbed in and the snuggle bed party soon turned into a wiggly squirmy this-bed-is-much-too-small-for-this annoying party and James got up to take everyone out and get going on the getting up process. I listened in bed for about 30 seconds before I knew I needed to get over myself and get up too and just happy-up about it, so I did. James showered and I went down with the kids and made waffles. When I stayed home with the kids, waffles were a pretty common staple in our house, if not fresh then frozen and toasted up later. The kids loved them, James was done getting ready in time for the second batch coming out, and so we all sat down for a family breakfast – something that hasn’t happened in way too long.

Project Big Girl Bed was accomplished Saturday morning as well!

So far so good, I still love it and think it is beautiful. I’m a little concerned about the overall sturdyness, as there are only 4 slats that go across, and then some sheets of plywood rest on them to support the mattress, and the wood that the slats are resting on are getting a bit of a gap. I put one screw in where it was gaping a bit much, but we may want to take a closer look at securing it better next week. For general little kid purposes, it is fine, but I do worry when Jocelyn stands up on it and does that jump-flopping into bed sort of thing.

So with the bed put together, the actual sleeping was the next phase. Saturday at naptime, she didn’t really sleep, and I caught her up and out of bed (“I hopped down Mommy!” and so she got to go in her crib for the duration, which she wasn’t happy about. She finally did sleep, very late, and Ethan did as well, and so we let them both sleep since we were on “vacation” and they could stay up later that night if necessary. After naptime we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner, a place my folks took them while we were out of town, and they LOOOOOVE. After dinner, we went to Barnes and Noble for some train table action and reading book after book about trains, race cars, tractors, and construction vehicles. It is interesting to see the differences in Ethan and Jocelyn in any given situation, but the book store really hits it home. Jocelyn will sometimes play at the train table, but this time she went straight for the stuffed animals and kept showing them to me, petting them, sitting down with them, lining them up, all the while turning to me and saying, “Kitties mommy! My kitties!” while Ethan was consumed by the train table.

But even the train table doesn’t hold the draw for him as it used to, he’s good for about 5 minutes (usually of me hounding him to not hog ALL the train cars/engines and share with the other kids) before he abandons it to go in search of interesting books. It is good, obviously, that he loves books, but bad for mommy, because train table = mommy can read the book SHE picked out, and ethan getting books = mommy reading ethan’s books to ethan. Ah well. I need to get to the library this week.

We got home very late and got the kids into bed. We are really very anal about the kids’ bedtime, if for no other reason (good sleep = happier kids, etc) than it gives us back our night of just us time. Or, computer, tv, WoW time, whichever. Non-kids time. So it was interesting to wrinkle my forehead and try to remember the last time we let them stay up late because.. I don’t think there has been, really. We were looking forward to them maybe sleeping in the next morning to make up for it, but James tells me they didn’t. (I don’t know if they did, I was asleep.)

Jocelyn did great her first night in her new bed. When we moved Ethan to his bed, he had several months when we would check on him and he would be RIGHT next to the wall, or head down by the footboard, or just laying any which way, much like he did in his crib. Jocelyn however, always has her head on her little pillow and is generally in the middle of the bed. Kind of interesting. Once when Ethan was about 18 months old, I set up the movie camera in his room at naptime to see how he went to sleep. It was pretty cute, he played in his crib for a while, singing and talking to himself, and then slowly one by one, he dropped each of his toys over the side of his crib before he curled up and fell asleep. I need to do that for Jocelyn – we know she sings to herself all the time, but it would be interesting to watch the process for her.

Speaking of Jocelyn – ALL weekend, she has just been a people magnet. We went out to eat several times and she had admirers everywhere we went. At Cracker Barrel, I took her into the bathroom to wash her hands before we were seated, and the lady that was finishing up when we came in told me how adorable she was. When we were seated, she was making the flirty eyes with THREE other tables, and one of the ladies at one of them came over as she left and commented on how beautiful she is, how well she eats, how her nephew doesn’t eat nearly as well, how beautiful her eyes were, how cute her dress…

It went like that all weekend, where ever we went. She was definitely the belle of the ball. While I know this is pretty normal, because hello, she is just the most gorgeous girl ever (not that I’m biased) I do worry about Ethan feeling left out or vying for attention possibly by bad behavior. Sometimes I feel so bad for Jocelyn because Ethan got so much of our attention before she was born, and then after. But the flip side is Ethan was always hearing, “She’s littler than you,” and “She doesn’t know any better.” That has changed now, because she has really learned how to work it, and that she can get away with a lot so we’ve been cracking down on it. All in all, it is a hard line to walk, the older / younger child thing – I should really find some stuff and read up on it and how we are supposed to balance it all.

Anyway, where was I?

Sunday was another nice day. James took Jocelyn to Whole Foods to donate our old cell phones to a women’s charity (and of course bought some beer and organic beef while he was at it) so I took the opportunity to take Ethan and go get James Anniversary / Father’s Day present: a new grill with an off-set firebox for smoking. Sunday afternoon was lazily spent me and the kids: washing Daddy’s car, James: putting together the new grill. We broke it in that evening with some hamburgers (definitely not on the diet), and they were WONDERFUL. Something about food cooked over actual fire just makes it GOOD. Monday night was our anniversary, and we cooked up the Whole Foods steaks – delicious.

We spent Monday morning folding laundry – I don’t think I mentioned how the clean laundry has been piling up on our bed all week, so that we started to just sleep in the guest room bed. It started out as, “Ugh, too much stuff to move, too late to put it away, let’s just sleep in the other room.” The guest room houses a queen sized bed with the Sealy Fenway mattress from costco (it’s oh so soft). Our room has a king sized bed with the Sealy Guilmont mattress from Costco (it’s bordering-on-too-hard firm). So halfway through the week, it turned into, “oh DARN! Too much stuff! Have to go sleep on the super comfy soft it’s-like-sleeping-on-a-cloud bed!” and we weren’t really too interested in clearing off the laundry to get back into our own bed. Alas, yesterday was the final straw of digging through all the clean laundry to find clothes for ourselves and the kids, so we put some NOGGIN on the telly to entertain the little-uns and put it all away. Made up the bed with clean sheets, and last night we actually slept in our own bed. (siiiiiiiiigh oh how i miss you comfy bed.)

New mattresses will be obtained this summer. Oh yes. Now to just sell some stuff we don’t need to help pay for them. Craigslist here I come!

So yeah, yesterday was ‘clean up the house’ day, especially since our cleaning ladies were scheduled for the next day (today! hooray!) and I made a stab at cleaning up the garage, which looks like an explosion went off in there and potting soil, gardening gloves, seedling trays, plastic sand toys, diggers, shovels, bikes, helmets, bubble toys, plastic wagons, laminate flooring, weed whackers were scattered willy nilly everywhere. Can you guess that we haven’t been parking in our garage for months? Well, we haven’t. The stuff didn’t get to me as much as the DIRT everywhere, and it has been tracking right into the house. There are still needles everywhere in the garage from when we drug our Christmas tree out.

So I just read through that paragraph and am somewhat ashamed to see that the mess is really all mine and the kids. Nothing from James. I’m racking my brain to think of something, ANYTHING of James that was going on in the garage, and really… nothing. Bike. That’s about it. I guess I only have myself to blame. Myself, and the kids. Ahh well.

Anyway, so Monday was spent cleaning and then we all piled into the car to go off in search of a produce stand (fresh sweet corn, how we long to grill thee). We headed out to the back roads and cruised around hoping to see something, but didn’t, so then we decided to go out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. More oogling and cooing at The Cutest Girl Ever, who obliged by fluttering her super long eyelashes and using her Cuteness Powers to coerce her hair to form little ringlets right over her forehead which compels people to stop and go, “awwwww, she’s so adorable!” Thank goodness that so far she has not used her powers for evil.

Evening came and fire was made (I! HAVE MADE! FIRE!!!!!) steak grilled and consumed and all in all I wasn’t dreading going back to work today like I usually do the night before the weekend is over. It’s been a good weekend. I’ve been happy. James and I have been married now for 7 years, and as we discussed yesterday, have probably loved each other for 10 years. Probably, because we were trying to remember the first time we said we loved each other. We remember the event, but not the actual date, thus, the “probably” ten years :) If not ten, then pretty close.

Boy, I am getting old. Old in that, “Gee, we’re not in our early twenties, just out of college and partying and irresponsible and yet somehow mature enough to be labeled ‘adults’ anymore, we really ARE living our lives and ARE responsible for whole other human beings and have a mortgage and stable jobs and haven’t been to a loud rock concert in YEARS'” sort of old. I’m sure that when we hit 15, and 20 years of loving each other (knock on wood) there will be brand new definitions of “old” to go by.

So how was your memorial day weekend? I hope it was nice and relaxing.

-amy will learn how to keep this short and sweet someday

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