Friday, August 8, 2008

Back to the Grind

The girls and I have not fallen off the face of the earth and gone to join Mike…I’ve just been a bit busy, so that’s the reason for the delay in the post. I have three jobs now ya know—my regular job at school, Mommy, and now Daddy, too! I know many of you non-education folks think we educators have it sooo easy with our summers off, but I really don’t feel like I’ve had much of a summer at all. I had class for two weeks, attended two conferences, and had a few other school-related meetings to attend. I’m officially back into the full swing of things at work, so I really won’t have much down time…not that I had much in the first place.

The Pampers, baby wipes, and Sprite Zero just don’t suddenly appear in the house anymore. I actually have to go out and get that stuff. What’s up with that? I must say that I think Mike would be quite surprised that I have been able to navigate myself around the grocery store and keep the house pretty well stocked with grub. For those of you who don’t know, Mike used to do all of the grocery and household shopping. (And you ladies go ahead and let your hubbies know he did all of his own laundry, too!) Mike would probably be disappointed that I do only go to one grocery store a week—he used to scour the weekly ads and stop by at least three or four different grocery stores each week to pick up whatever they had on sale. But, he never had to do it with two tots in tow. Plus I think I get brownie points for actually clipping coupons from the Sunday paper. And not only have I clipped them, but I’ve used them as well. The only coupons I was used to clipping were for department stores. How’s that for me being progressive?

So, here’s your dilemma for the day, which was my conundrum a few weeks ago. Let’s say you’re at your local Target doing the household shopping with your two small children. Riding up front is your 10 month old who is able to sit in the cart rather well; your three old, who is in the midst of potty-training and has been doing quite well not wetting herself, is in the back of the buggy (that’s a cart for you non-Southerners) with all of the items to be purchased. As you’re shopping, your three year old suddenly announces, “I need to go pee-pee!” The only bathroom available (according the pharmacist) is in the front of the store. Getting to the front of the store isn’t that big of a deal. The big deal is that you can’t take the cart in the bathroom. What are you going to do with the 10 month old while you assist the three year old on the potty? You can’t exactly just leave her sitting outside the restroom alone. While the hope is that there will be some sort of Divine Intervention where you run into someone you know who can momentarily watch the baby, that doesn’t happen. So how do you solve the problem? Let that swish around in your ol’ noodle for a bit…I’ll tell you what I did at the end of this post.

Since I promised I’d tell ya…the girls and I went to my sister’s house for the Fourth of July; spending Independence Day with my family has pretty much been tradition since Mike and I started dating. Mike used to really get into the fireworks for the occasion…over the years, he and my brothers-in-law turned it into quite the show. The first year we did the fireworks, it was a little experimental, but Mike made notes of which were the best and kept the information for the following year. He would then spend a couple of weeks before the Fourth frequenting the fireworks booths to find the best deals. One year he saved the tubes that were used for launching and nailed several of them to a board, so multiple fireworks could be lit at one time. Did I mention the part about the guys using a blowtorch to light them? Yes, a blowtorch. I swear there’s so much testosterone floating around that someone is going to lose a limb one of these days. Anyway, since Mike used to always get into making sure we all had a fabulous fireworks show every year, my brothers-in-law did the show this year in memory of Mike and even added some patriotic music to go along with the event. It was awesome…Mike would have been most pleased.

Ava, on the other hand, was not so pleased. She was completely terrified of the fireworks…I couldn’t even talk her into watching them through the window. The problem started the previous night when someone was setting off fireworks in our neighborhood. She asked what the noise was and said it scared her. When we said were going to do fireworks on the Fourth, she was adamant that she was not going to watch them. She had to be held and rocked the entire time; she even decided that she had to hide from them, so she buried herself in the rocking chair. I kept her initially, but my mother came in and insisted I go out to see this year’s display. Ava really was pitiful. Hopefully, she’ll get over her apprehension by next year. Of course, by then Savannah will probably be petrified of them.

I was also able to take the girls to the beach for a week in July; neither had ever been. I was going to take Ava last August, but we were having that string of 100+ degree days and I was eight months pregnant, so I didn’t think that would be any fun for anyone. I certainly wasn’t brave—or crazy—enough to take the girls this year by myself. My parents and a couple of my sisters rented a house for a week. Packing for two little ones for a week is no easy feat. I swear I don’t know how my parents managed to take me and my four sisters on a vacation every year when we were young. Ava was a little hesitant about the ocean at first, but once she got in, she had a big time. Seeing as how she likes to eat straight salt at restaurants, the water getting in her mouth didn’t faze her. And let me just go ahead and point out that the fact I went into the ocean is clear evidence that I love my daughter. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been in the Atlantic beyond my ankles. The whole thing creeps me out…particularly when I walk through a warm spot. Ewww! Savannah’s aunts introduced her to playing in the sand when I wasn’t around, and she loved it. I’ve included some pictures from our trip at the bottom of this post. All pictures are compliments of my sister Janet…she has become the official family photographer since she has the fancy shmancy camera.

That’s about all of the big excitement for the summer. Oh, before I forget, I have to tell you how I solved my Target predicament. Before going into the restroom, I went to the very front of the store and picked up a shopping handbasket to take in the restroom with us. I then used the handicapped stall, put the basket on the floor and placed Savannah in it while I tended to Ava. How’s that for creative thinking on a whim?