Monday, November 29, 2010
Thanksgiving Weekend Review
I would love to write several posts about the past week, but… I just don't see that happening. (Patti, how do you blog so often with TEN KIDS???) So I'm going to condense it all into one little roundup.
We had a nice Thanksgiving. Mr. Fantastic was home all day Thursday (I know it seems that should go without saying, but he is self-employed which often means crazy hours), and he made pancakes with the kids in all different shapes—letters, animals, people, whatever they wanted. They had a blast. I was still recovering from Tuesday's bout with the stomach flu, so I just watched, but it is always fun to see them enjoying time with their daddy.
By the time we cleaned up, got everyone bathed and dressed, and got our food together (corn casserole and deviled eggs), it was time to head to Nana & Papa's (my parents') house. It was nice to have the whole family together and let the kids all play and just hang out and relax. Mr. Fantastic and I were the last to leave, so our kids also had dinner there, and we had a chance to play "Jeopardy" on the Wii with my parents. Yes, after telling my children all blessed day that they could not play the Wii because it is Thanksgiving and it is time to just play without the aid of video games… we adults played 3 games of Jeopardy. (I did, by the way, let the kids play the Wii for a little while when we were done. I'm not that mean.)
And then came Black Friday. Black Friday shopping entered my life about 3 years ago, when Kohl's was going to have Candyland and Chutes & Ladders for $2 each. (I actually ended up getting them for free, but that's another story.) My mother-in-law is an early riser anyway, and Kohl's was opening at 5 AM that day, so I asked her if she wanted to join me in hitting Kohl's at opening. We had a blast, and a tradition was born. Every year we review all of the ads (OK, I review all of the ads… online… the second they are leaked… and I start checking in mid-October…), make a list of the items we want to find, pick a place to start right at opening time, and go from there. We shop, we have breakfast/lunch, we talk, we laugh—it's a great time. So this year it seemed that the main stores we wanted to hit were Toys R Us (which opened at 10 PM on Thursday night) and Wal-Mart (midnight). I know that Toys R Us is notoriously a bad place to be right when it opens… but I convinced myself, "How bad could it be? We'll just get there a little early and it'll be fine."
So we pulled into the parking lot at 9:30… and immediately pulled out. There were already hundreds of people lined up—in the cold, freezing rain—waiting to get in the store. HUNDREDS. We later heard that, by the time it opened, the line was over TWO-TENTHS OF A MILE LONG. Seriously, there is not a toy in this world that my children need that badly. In fact, the words "toy" and "need" do not even belong in the same sentence. That being said, I am NOT putting down anyone who was in that line. I know as much as anyone that part of the fun of Black Friday is just the "hunt", and I know for some people it's fun to tell the story of waiting for 2 hours just to get in the door or whatever. But not for me. That was beyond my limits.
Well, we drove around for a while, but finally determined that our options were to either go home and get some sleep and then head out the next morning, or drive to Wal-Mart and wait TWO HOURS for the sales to start. (The store is open 24 hours, so we could go in, but we had to wait until midnight for the Black Friday sales.) For some reason that I still don't quite understand… we chose the latter. We actually had fun checking out all of the pallets, figuring out where we wanted to be when the madness started, talking to other early shoppers, etc. And we did pretty much get the things that we wanted. But seriously, it was rather silly to wait 2 hours for $10 Wii games and $4 Zhu Zhu Pets.
The sale, as I said, started at 12:00 AM. We were done, paid, and out the door by 12:20. Yep, we were FAST. And efficient. And it was so nuts in that store that we didn't feel like leisurely browsing for the "fringe" items on our list. Honestly, this was our 4th year of being at a store right when it opened—and 2 years ago we were actually at that very same Wal-Mart—but this was the first year that it has felt a little too crazy, a little too panicky, a little too edgy. It wasn't as fun. I just wanted out.
So by that time, we had another three hours until anything else opened, and we didn't feel like heading back to Toys R Us yet, and I was starting to feel run-down from my post-flu recovery… so we went home and went to bed.
I was so glad that I went home. I got home and found Lamb in our bed, which is extremely unusual. I put her back in her bed and then fed Roo, who was crying, and got him back to sleep. I finally got to bed around 2:00ish, only to have Roo wake up again shortly after, and Monkey climb in bed with us (also unusual) around 3:30. I put him back to bed a few minutes later… but then at 4:30 Lamb was back in our room, SOBBING. It turns out she had a nasty ear infection. An earache is actually how she ended up in our bed with Mr. Fantastic in the first place, and apparently the Tylenol had worn off. We gave her more and I let her lay down with us, but by 5:00 she was still wimpering—and peppering me with important questions like, "Where do cats go when they die?"—so I took her downstairs, snuggled into the recliner with her, and turned on "Mary Poppins". I so appreciate that Mr. Fantastic was willing to deal with a baby who still wakes up in the night and a little girl with an ear ache and didn't call me to come home, but I was glad to be home for him—I don't know how he would have dealt with that all night. (Plus Monkey woke up in the morning with a very wet bed.)
So I got up in the morning, called the pediatrician's office, and got Lamb an appointment for 9:30. My hubby offered to take her, and when I told her that Daddy was taking her to the doctor's office while I stayed home with the boys, she got this really serious look on her face and said, "OK, Mom. I'll make sure he knows the right things to say." I burst into laughter! Obviously, Mommy does most of the talking at the doctor's office, even when Daddy is there with us!
Anyway, Mr. Fantastic took her to the appointment, and now Lamb, who just finished a round of amoxicillin (sp?) and still has a nasty cough and managed to get an ear infection, is on an even stronger antibiotic--a mix of amoxicillin and something else--plus cough medicine and Tylenol. Poor girl. Let's hope this time the medicine really knocks the whole thing out.
When they left the doctor's office, they went to the grocery store to get her prescription. While they were there, they bought the ingredients to make a three-berry pie, because it turns out he had told her a story on Thursday night (when she was up with her ear ache) about the first girl to ever make a three-berry pie… so when she asked if they could get the stuff to make one, my husband (who has never made a pie before in his life) said, "Of course we can!" I love that man.
And when they got home, what did I do? Why, I headed back out to the stores with my mother-in-law, of course! This time we took Roo with us to make life easier on Mr. Fantastic. (It was after 11 AM, so I figured the super-craziness would have died down a bit.) And we had so. much. fun. We hit several stores, had almost NO lines, and got most of the things we wanted. It was way more enjoyable than Wal-Mart had been at midnight, and I think from now on we may skip the openings and just try to start around 6 AM and see where the day takes us.
We got home around 7:30, and I came home to a freshly-baked three berry pie, and into the top crust they had carved a big heart... and inside the heart it said "We love Mommy." It was so sweet. How did I get this lucky??? Oh, and it was actually quite yummy, too. Have I mentioned that I have the best husband ever?
And Saturday… well, Saturday was just a nice stay-at-home kind of Saturday that we don't get often in our zoo. FIRST OF ALL, the big kids got up on Saturday morning, came in to wake up me and Mr. Fantastic, and then ran out of the room, announcing that they were going downstairs. I dragged myself out of bed (Why do my children insist on being morning people?) and threw on some sweats, and was just getting ready to go down and start on breakfast, when Lamb called, "Mommy! Come downstairs and see!"
And this is what I found…
They had the entire table set for the four of us, all of the cereal out, everything we needed. Isn't that wonderful? They did all of that themselves! They were so proud. And I was proud of them. What amazing little people they are. J
So anyway, the rest of the day, I helped the big kids get their room all clean, I cleaned up Roo's room a bit, I got out Christmas decorations, I scrubbed our kitchen chairs and eating area… I worked hard and enjoyed it. Mr. Fantastic watched the Ohio State/Michigan game (Go Bucks!). My niece came over to spend the night. I had some crabby moments—I'm sure not from lack of sleep or anything—but overall it was a good day. Oh yeah, except for one thing… Roo did not take one. single. nap. the entire day. I don't know what was with that kid, but I was ready to pull my hair out. But then he'd look at me and just break out into a huge smile, and my heart would melt, and I'd just snuggle him up and then get back to work with a smile.
OK, so I'm realizing that this actually IS going to have to be a 2-part post. Yesterday was such a fun day, and I want to tell you all about it and share pictures and everything… but for now, I have to take a break. Lamb will be up at any moment to start getting ready for school, and then the madness of Monday begins. J Keep your eye out for another post later today!