Tuesday, July 5, 2016

(Not) Long (Enough) Weekend

We had a supersized weekend thanks to the holiday, but SURPRISE...not long enough.  Well, based on the kids it was plenty long, but based on my relaxation level, it's definitely not long enough.  We had another busy week, and while I was hoping for a relaxing weekend, it turned out to be anything but! 

Last Tuesday was Jacob's last night of baseball.  Apparently we are definitely doing fall ball starting in August, but this marked the end of his regular season.  It also happened to be our 13th wedding anniversary, so we ended up celebrating with ice cream for dinner!  Craig and Carter got shakes, Jacob got a twist cone (his Celiac disease makes it hard to do anything else because of scoops touching cones and ice cream with gluten), and I got this amazing ice cream that I love but that they were sold out of last time we were there.  As he was finishing his shake, Carter really wanted to sit on this chair:

All the boys migrated over there, and this picture pretty much sums up life in our house...

Tuesday I also got my new phone!  I finally have a smart phone!  Of course, it's still a prepaid, so I need to be wise with my data usage, but it's so nice to have the option now.  I spent Wednesday trying to learn how to use it, as it is Android and I'm used to Apple, but so far I like it a lot!  The camera is better, I don't have to worry about the operating system updates leaving me behind, and I feel like a normal person now when I have to pull out my phone!

Thursday was the end of the fiscal year at my office, so it was a big day.  We had four food trucks we could eat from for free, and that was so exciting!  We had a lot of stuff leading up to the end to meet our goals, and it was a big deal to finally be at the end.  As a bonus, we got Friday off!  Thursday night felt so freeing!  It was a gorgeous night, too, so Carter and I went outside to play.  We ended up playing with bubbles!  Who knew he had learned how to blow hard enough to make them?

Then we went for a wagon ride...

He ended up wanting to pull the wagon pretty early in the walk and was a trooper pulling it the entire way except for the one stretch with no sidewalks.  Along the way we saw this...

The walk turned out to be pretty long, but Carter was having fun.  When he saw a series of painted rocks lining someone's property, he wanted to sit on them all.  Here he is on the first one...

We had a minor incident shortly after where he had to pee and had a minor accident, but we rushed home and all was well!

Friday morning Carter had his first dentist appointment!  I was a little nervous, but he did AMAZING!  He laughed and smiled through the whole thing, made the dentist laugh, and was just generally adorable.  There was a stuffed monster/bug with a giant set of teeth sitting in the corner, and when he was done he was eager to brush its teeth!  He even asked me to pretend to hold the "straw" (the suction thing they use for kids who can't spit).  He picked out a plastic snake from the prize box, but was more excited about his flossers! 
I tried to get a smile, but the best I could get was a display of his pearly whites!

He went off to daycare after that and Jacob went to camp so Craig and I could have an anniversary day together.  Unfortunately, it was a rainy day, but we made the best of it.

We went to lunch at Applebee's (but it was really good!  And remember, we don't get out much!), and then headed to the car dealership that Craig had scoped out as our best bet for minivan shopping.  This was a long time in coming.  Craig paid off his car a while back, and we'd been pondering the minvan thing ever since.  We sort of lost our nerve for a while and enjoyed him having no car payment, but it was time to get serious.  So we went.

It was drizzly but we walked through the lot checking out the options.  As much as I would have loved a Toyota or Honda, this is technically Craig's vehicle and with his family's allegiance to the UAW, he needed to stick with a North American-made vehicle.  We weren't excited by the Caravans, for whatever reason, but the Town and Country and new Pacifica were intriguing.  It turned out that the decent packages for the Pacifica were not very affordable, so we opted to check out the handful of Town and Country models they had left on the lot, as they're being phased out.  We sort of fell in love with all the features, and the silver one seemed like a perfect fit.  We went back and forth on pricing for a while, and suddenly there were hands being shaken and paperwork being signed.  We went from casually looking to buying one in less than an hour!  Rest assured there had been a lot of research going into this, but it was still a little shocking.  Even more, we were scheduled to pick it up the next day!

When we picked up the kids, they knew we had been shopping but we didn't tell them we bought one.  If Jacob thought deeply enough he probably could have figured it out since Craig went to get a bank check Friday afternoon and he spent the evening cleaning out his car.  We almost slipped up a couple times, but he never caught on.  So, Saturday afternoon we loaded them up and when we arrived at the dealership, Jacob was excited that we were there to look at a minivan!  Little did he know!

It started out okay, with the kids climbing around the cars in the show room, but once Craig started the long process of signing paperwork and finalizing details, things went firmly downhill.  Jacob refused to go in to the kid-friendly waiting room.  I don't know why, but I think it had something to do with his random hygiene-related neuroses about babies and diapers.  Even though there were no babies there, mentally he just couldn't.  But at the same time both kids couldn't be trusted in the showroom (Carter beeped a horn, for goodness sake) and I refused to look like an idiot chasing them around.  I couldn't leave one unattended in either case, so it escalated into a pretty awful situation rather quickly.  Jacob's behavior was completely disrespectful and ridiculous, and will definitely be brought up at our next appointment tomorrow.

By the time Craig had the keys in hand, I didn't even want to give the kids the pleasure of discovering we were taking a van home with us.  Ugh.  We started the process of moving over the car seats and Craig got a quick tutorial on the million features in the van.  Of course, Jacob was cranky about which seat was designated as his, and then Carter cried because he preferred sitting in his seat without the car seat.  Our first 20 minutes in there were pretty awful, quite frankly.  But we drove home, packed up, and headed to Buffalo.

As much as I had wanted a quiet weekend at home (even at the expense of missing my family's picnic), it just didn't turn out that way.  Craig's mom had had surgery and we wanted to stop by and bring her some flowers.  Originally I was hoping we'd stay at my parents' to give his mom some quiet to recover, we ended up staying the night so the kids could hang out with their cousins and Craig could spend more time with his family, too.  At this point I finally remembered to take a picture of it with my phone.  Maybe I'll remember to do an inside one sometime soon, before the kids destroy it...

We left in the morning and went to the outlets in Niagara Falls to get a new pair of sneakers for Jacob and some dress shorts for Craig.  Then we stopped at my parents', showed off the new ride, made good use of our Stow 'n' Go seating for a yard cart my dad had saved for me, and then headed over to my aunt and uncle's house.  As much as my entire childhood was spent hanging out with cousins at that same house when it was my grandparents', there's a distinct lack of kids to play with now.  My cousins' kids are either older or out of town, and most of my younger cousins haven't started procreating yet.  So my kids are sort of stuck in the middle, with their direct first cousins the only good age matches on this side of the family.  At least they're closer now so we'll get more chances to enjoy that.  But on this day Jacob was a party pooper and mostly just wanted to stay in the house and play on Craig's phone.  Eventually Carter succumbed and wanted to watch TV, and Craig was pretty exhausted by their antics at that point so he stayed in with them.  I can't say that's how I wanted the day to go, but since it was my family I did my best to remain social.  Later in the day they did all come out to play a homemade version of Kerplunk, the game where you pull out sticks and try to get your opponents' balls to fall out the bottom.  My cousin Lori did an amazing job making it!  It was supposed to be with water balloons, but they didn't work as well so some bocce balls did the trick.  It was actually a lot of fun and even the kids got into it.  Carter was surprisingly good at it!  I will caution that it is difficult to play with both of your kids, as you need to decide who to target and someone's feelings will get hurt.  We did manage to keep it all in good fun, thankfully!  

We came home that night, with the kids happily enjoying the built-in DVD player and their wireless headphones (which let us listen to the radio rather than the DVD audio), and they both fell asleep before we got home.  Yesterday ended up being a bit of a bust, as Craig and I traded off time in bed vs. taking care of the kids all morning, then we tried to get some things organized.  The garage needs some reorganization to better fit the van, and Craig did a lot of work there.  I tried to take care of a garage project that's taking up some unnecessary space, but I got a bit thwarted so that's on hold again.  Meanwhile, Craig and Jacob got in some pool time, and Carter took a good nap.  We had dinner at home and were going to go out for Frosties at Wendy's, but Jacob poo-pooed that idea (then said he was fine with it when it was too late--of course) and the kids wanted ice cream at home so we just spent the evening there.  I would have loved to do fireworks, but neither kid likes them and the thought of battling crowds and getting home late when we all had to get up this morning seemed like more work than it was worth.  It always feels like a bit of a sacrilege after a childhood of fireworks without fail, but sometimes it's not worth the battle.

So now we're back to another week.  Van in our garage, elliptical finally ordered, Jacob going to camp for four whole days, Carter back to daycare, and both of us back to work.  I still have a to-do list about a mile long, and it doesn't seem like it will be going away anytime soon.  I have to keep picking away, but it is not easy!  It's a short week but as a whole it seems much less crazy, so we'll see where it goes...

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