Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Playdate with Destiny

It finally happened. My little boy had his first playdate!

Yesterday, we celebrated Memorial Day with Little Dude's best friend Lily and her mom at the zoo. Lily's mom and I had spent the last couple of weeks talking on the phone and letting Lily and Little Dude talk on the phone to each other (he had the biggest grin on his face during their brief phone conversations). Finally, we were able to find a day to get everyone together!

Little Dude was so excited about his playdate that he woke up at 4:30am asking, "Is the zoo open yet?" To which Daddy (I was barely conscious) replied, "No, go back to sleep." About 5:00am we heard a little voice at the edge of our bed, "Is the zoo open now?" "Not yet." Daddy was awake at this time (he's an early riser) and told our son to go ahead and lay down on our bed with me. After half hour of tiny feet messaging my spine like gentle, little jackhammers, I heard the same question: "Is the zoo open?" This went on every 15 minutes like a crazy alarm clock. "Is Lily at the zoo yet?"

Finally, we got to the zoo and waited out front for our guests to arrive. Little Dude watched the parking lot like a hawk. He inspected every car that drove through the park lot: "No, that's not Lily." He watched every kid that walked past: "Is Lily here yet?" He paced the sidewalk: "When's Lily going to get here?"

Finally, he spotted Lily. They ran to each other and hugged. It was as cute as a Disney movie!

A few days ago, we bought Little Dude red and pink Power Rangers, and he brought them to the zoo so he and Lily could play with them. (After all, their friendship started with playing Power Rangers at school!) He immediately gave the pink one to Lily. How sweet! What girl would ever want a bouquet of flowers when there are Power Ranger action figures to be had?

I was glad to finally meet Lily's mom face-to-face. I hope she liked us as much as we liked her. She's quite a few years young than I am so I was a little nervous that she would think I was too old to hang out with all day. But we had a good time chatting. Plus, it was mostly about getting our kids together.

The whole "playdate" thing is almost like co-dating with your kids. This is a whole new world of "dating" for me. (Playdates, romantic dates, couple dates, and then playdates again. Where does it end?) At least it went well. The kids had a great time.

Little Dude beckoned his friend over to the strange blue frog with a "Ribbit. Ribbit!"

The kids raced each other to different exhibits to see who could get there first. Then they tried to stay in front of each other and proclaim themselves "leader." Finally, we told them they could share and both be leaders. This led to some seriously cute hand-holding as they walked around. Lily's mom said, "Now they're really going to be BFFs at school!"

Just before they decided to be goofy, they were holding hands.
At least they have silliness in common!

Little Dude took his BFF to his favorite place in the zoo... the camel rides!

Then she took him to her favorite spot... the water park!

They stuck by each other's side from ape to zebra. And we all stayed a lot longer than we thought they would last. But alas, all good things must come to an end.

After we said our goodbyes and got in the car, a little voice in the backseat said, "I miss Lily." Then he drifted off to sleep.

Perfect playdate!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sisterly Love

My sister moved back to town last year and we love that we live in the same city now. We see each other at least once a week (usually more). Our boys love each other. (Little Dude calls his cuz "my best friend cousin.") And we call each other almost every day.

This is all strange if you consider that when we lived in different states we hardly spoke to each other at all. Pretty much all our updates were funneled through our Mom. And if you knew us when we were kids, you are probably shocked right now.

Our relationship was always extreme. We either were best friends or bitter enemies - either drove our mom nuts. And when I moved to LA after college, we hardly talked. Mom really kept our relationship going by sending her (and a friend) to visit me during their spring breaks. It wasn't just the miles that kept our relationship distant.

But something happened before my li'l sis moved back. She got pregnant and had a kid. And although we were states apart from each other, it bonded us. She actually called me for advice. I actually flew out there to visit her and her newborn. Somehow, motherhood bonded us in a way that nothing else could.

When I found out that my sis was moving back, I was excited. But I was a little nervous too. Would our relationship go back to the way it was before? Would all that sibling rivalry come back?

Luckily, when she moved back, we became even closer. We talk more, we see each other more, we share more. She joined the gospel vocal group my mom and I were in. She has my family over for dinner each week. I spend much more time with her than any of my other friends.

Yep, I said other friends... meaning I consider her to be one.

In fact, last night she showed me once again how much she loves me. She's been encouraging (that's the nice way of saying "pushing") me to join her step-aerobics class. I called her midday to tell her I was going to try it after work. She wasn't sure she could, or would, go with me because she had already been to the same class earlier that day. However, who showed up for the class and even showed me some of the instructor's favorite moves before class started? That's right! My sister!

Nothing says love quite like sacrificing yourself at the gym!

Love ya, sis!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Mayhem

Today, I really wanted to write about how wonderfully perfect my Mother's Day was. I wanted to say that it was relaxing and my child was a perfect angel and everything was beautiful. And I could say that. How would you know? But that's not what happened. My Mother's Day was much more memorable! This Mother's Day will always be remembered as the one with nudity at church!

After the perfect Friday morning Mommy-and-Me breakfast at Little Dude's school, I had high expectations for the rest of the weekend. Apparently, I should never set expectations any taller than my child.

To start, let me give you a brief review of the weekend. When I picked up my little angel from school on Friday, he threw a massive tantrum. He didn't want to leave and screamed all the way down the hall. Once outside, he proceeded to have a 30-minute meltdown while doing everything physically possible to keep from getting into the car. Precious Hubby called to find out what was taking so long, and after hearing the commotion, was ready to come to my rescue. But somehow I managed to reform the wild creature before me into a humanlike being and strap him into the carseat. Luckily, the rest of the evening was much better, although my self-confidence as a mother was completely shot.

Saturday, we went to the zoo where I picked up a sunburn. Ouch! And later at home I felt uggy because I didn't drink enough water. (I wanted to make sure my kid had enough to drink, so I just sipped.) Then Hubby sent me to the store to buy something to grill at a BYOM BBQ that night. But Hubby didn't like what I picked out so I made sandwiches before we loaded up our grill to take to the BBQ. (Yes, we grilled for everyone else.) Back at home, I helped Hubby move the grill back into the backyard and somehow managed to filled my wrist with a hundred tiny splinters. My son watched me tweeze out most of the splinters and then he kissed it to make it feel better. After the boys went to bed, I stayed up to do some laundry and clean before my mother-in-law came over the next day.

So Sunday morning, I woke up sunburned, sore, splintered, and tired. But it was Mother's Day and I was looking forward to it.

The day started well. Hubby made waffles for our son and eggs and toast for me. Nice! I opened my cards (Little Dude personally picked out the one he gave me) and the little guy gave me a great big hug! We all got ready for church and headed out as one big happy family.

On the way to church, Hubby stopped to get us all drinks. Red Bull for him, orange juice for me, and apple juice for Little Dude. Just before we got to church, Little Dude wanted a drink. So we opened the juice and Big Dude reached back to hand it off to Little Dude. Suddenly, I felt something wet rolling down the back of my hair and my shirt. Big Dude had unfortunately hit the ceiling with the bottle of juice spilling some on me and my seat.

Did I mention that I had to sing a special in church and had to stand up in front of everyone?

OK. The juice wasn't really too big of a deal. After all, it was the back of my hair, and most people wouldn't really notice. After band practice, I brushed out the crunchy parts and everything looked fine. Plus, who doesn't enjoy smelling like apples?

So I headed off to Bible study where I found my guys. Hubby greeted me with, "Since it's Mother's Day, you can take him [Little Dude] to class. And make sure he goes to the bathroom." No problem. I headed off with Little Dude and we stopped at the toddler bathroom, which is a small lavatory just a few feet outside our Bible study door.

Here's where things went haywire. I was standing in the bathroom with my son who had his pants around his ankles and was pitching a fit. He didn't want to pee. And he didn't want to pull up his pants. He didn't want to calm down. He didn't want me to pull up his pants for him. I tried every trick I could think of. Then I started thinking that my husband must have set me up. Seriously! When he said, "Make sure he goes to the bathroom," I thought that meant Little Dude hadn't peed yet and needed to. But I realized that was not going to happen.

The screaming started to get louder and I was losing patience. Actually I'm pretty sure I lost my patience earlier that weekend. I told Little Dude to stay in the bathroom while I marched back up to my dear precious Hubby and said, "It's Mother's Day. YOU deal with him!" Clearly, he didn't hear me.

So I grabbed all my stuff (I wasn't going to stay in class) and headed back to the toddler bathroom. As I turned, I saw that my son had waddled into class crying. He still had his pants around his ankles and was naked from the waist down. (My husband later told me, "I was pretty embarrassed to see my son's pen** in the middle of Sunday school.")

I didn't even turn to see if anyone saw. I just grabbed his arm, pulled him into the bathroom and tried to get him to calm down and pull up his pants. When Big Dude knocked on the door, I let him in and I walked out.

I needed to calm down, so I went to the car for a quick pity party. Deep breath. 1...2...3...4...5... That was when I realized how much I missed my mom. A few months ago, she moved to the other side of the country. Having her three time zones away was really hard to get used to. We sang in a gospel vocal group together for the last several years and usually had plenty of events to sing at around Mother's Day. But this year, I was pretty lonely without her. So after crying on the phone to her, I sucked up just enough dignity to be able to go back inside... where I proceeded to spill my orange juice down the front of my hair and shirt.

Eau de apples and oranges. Who doesn't want to smell like fruit salad?

After cleaning myself off, wiping my tears away, and having heartfelt chats with a couple friends, I realized that it's ok to miss my mom. And it's ok to have a bad day now and then... even if that day is on Mother's Day.

The day went on. I survived. My in-laws came over after church and we had a good time. And that night I received a totally awesome Mother's Day gift from my son. He once again become my sweet angel as he held my head between his little hands and said, "I want to give you kisses everywhere." He then gave me dozens of kisses all over my face and hands.

"I love you, Mom."

"I love you, too, Sweetie."

Friday, May 6, 2011

Here You Go, Mommy!

This morning, I was treated to a wonderful breakfast at my son's preschool. The kids made invitations for us Mommies earlier this week. And this morning, his class had a delicious buffet ready. Unfortunately, not all the moms were able to stay for the breakfast - we all have jobs to go to - but I was glad I was able to go to work late today, because it was totally worth it.

We walked in the room and saw the decorations and the tables covered with pink tablecloths. The teacher was calling all the kids to come sit at the tables, and I heard Little Dude say, "Mommy, come sit by me." He found two chairs for us at a private table. Of course, it didn't take long for his friends to ask if they could sit with us!

Since I was the first Mommy to arrive, the teacher asked Little Dude if he would like to go first and get some breakfast for me. Little Dude was all too happy to comply! He picked out plates for us and asked, "Mommy, what do you want to eat?" I told him to bring me something delicious.

It was pancake day so he put a pancake on the plate for me and then grabbed a slice of lemon bread. "Here you go, Mommy!" He delivered it and actually asked if I wanted syrup. Sweet! Then he got his own plate of food (pancakes and yogurt) and sat next to me to eat.

A few of the other moms started arriving and I watched as their kids asked them to get the food. When Little Dude went to get us both apple juice, one of the other moms commented on how Little Dude "got" Mother's Day!

Yep, I'm a proud Mommy!

Sadly, I did have to leave for work even though Little Dude wanted me to stay all day. He showered me with hugs and kisses while watching the clock (I told him I had to leave when the minute hand was at the 9).

Even if he doesn't do anything else this weekend, I'm super happy with this morning's breakfast and how proud he made me!

I love you, Little Dude!