I got up Sunday morning and headed to church while Dan and Brittain stayed cozy in the house. We knew the weatherman was predicting snow, but when was the last time those people were right? About halfway through the church service the choir headed down for communion so I was suddenly able to see the snow…the tons of snow…the big, beautiful snowflakes, the perfect snow to take pictures of my child playing in. I then did what any normal person would do…I knelt at the altar, received communion, said a quick prayer, and then jolted out of church.
Dan knows me too well…when I arrived home, they were just starting to get dressed to go out. He knew what he might have to deal with if I returned home to find a worn-out 2-year old, too tired and cold to go back outside. So, I helped bundle her up and we headed out to “play” in the snow. Unfortunately, this snow wasn’t the fluffy stuff that you can make snow angels in and such. Nope, when you walked out in the yard in this stuff, it was total mush under your feet.
Don’t you worry, we made the best of it. Even without any gloves on (yes, I’m a bad mother who couldn’t find one of Brittain’s gloves so I let her go outside without them), we tasted the snow and even started a snowman (which consisted of a small, somewhat round ball of pure ice about the size of my fist, that if thrown at anyone would kill them). But mostly we just stood there, in pure and total amazement.
Once we decided that we had braved the cold long enough, we headed over to Gramy and Papa’s house. We got to meet Papa’s brother from Michigan, and Brittain got to try out her new skates. What a funny site this was. She was a big fan of her Dora helmet and knee pads.
Last weekend continued our busy weekend streak with Best Manufacturing’s Open House. Aunt Janice invited us to an Open House celebrating Best’s new office building where she also received a huge honor as she’s been with the company for 45 years! What an amazing accomplishment. It’s sort of weird seeing a family member in a situation like this. I’ve always thought of my Aunt Janice as…well…Aunt Janice. I guess when you’re growing up, you don’t imagine your family members being anything other than what they’re like when you’re around them (which isn’t usually in the workplace). Aunt Janice is clearly loved and appreciated. When she was presented with the Career Pride Award there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. Even those of us who have never known her as a supervisor or co-worker had tears streaming down our faces. We were so proud! When Aunt Janice gave her acceptance speech she talked about how much she and the people she works with had gone through together over the years. She said that there’s hardly a group of people that she loves more…but she finished it with, “except my Brittain.”
Aunt Janice’s favorite great neice was one of the guests of honor. She even got her own corsage, which absolutely thrilled her:
Before the presentation, I glanced over at Aunt Janice and she had “that look” on her face. If you don’t know what look I’m talking about, it’s the one she gets where she looks nervous and like she’s trying to control a crying outburst at the same time. Poor thing. I felt so sorry her. She obviously knew something was coming. Fortunately, Brittain ran over to her during all of this and Aunt Janice immediately picked her up. Who knows if she even remembers doing this now, but I bet it was a relief to be able to have something to hang onto.
After the Open House, we ran home for a quick nap before heading over to Pappy’s house to celebrate his 78th birthday. Although another low-key, family get-together, Brittain enjoyed it just as much as if it had been a huge celebration.
The day before, we decided to make birthday cupcakes to have at the party. Brittain was thrilled to do the honors of placing the candles on them.
While Aunt SuSu was taking these pictures, Brittain suddenly placed her hand on my face and started squeezing very hard. I didn’t know what the heck she was doing, but when I asked her she said, “Mommy…I was just trying to give you a big hug.”
The ring leader of a “parade” with Aunt SuSu and Doot:
We recently experienced our first preschool Winter Carnival. And, when I say “experienced,” I mean we got up early, dressed in clothes that most would deem inappropriate for the said “carnival,” and headed 2 miles down the road to the same place we go almost every day during the week as if we were attending the most important event of our lives.
Because I had to “work” a shift while there, I knew that Brittain was going to be on her own for a while. The evening before, I sent out a nonchalant email to a few family members informing them of the carnival and inviting them to attend if they chose to do so. I figured that someone would take me up on the offer and be there during my shift to take Brittain around (Dan was working). As my shift time drew closer and I saw no family members in sight, I decided to send a more forceful text, “Where the hell are y’all? Is anyone going to be here?” Aunt SuSu and Mimi arrived just a few minutes later.
I was in charge of the Snow Dig, and I gotta tell ya, this wasn’t the most fun 30 minutes of my life. I longingly watched my dear child walk to the different stations doing things like getting her nails done, participating in a “book walk”, picking a teacher’s pocket for goodies…and many other exciting activities. I was forced to sit in a chair manning a rubbermaid bin with packing peanuts and candy in it. There’s only so many times you can hand a kid a shovel and say, “You gotta dig to the veeeerrrrry bottom” (because the candy inevitably sunk to the bottom). And then when they finally dug up a piece of candy, yell, “Yaaaaaay” as if it was the best thing they’d ever accomplished. I was the happiest person in the world when my replacement arrived. I came close to jumping up and running, screaming, “I’M FREE!!!! I’M FREEEEEE!”
I got to experience a few fun things with Brittain – like getting a butterfly painted on her face. Have you ever seen a sweeter face than this?:
We also decorated a cookie together, which I attempted to balance with everything else I was carrying for about another hour before finally deciding to toss it:
The highlight of the day was definitely when Aunt SuSu, Mimi, and Brittain went to get lunch. I was saving a table for us, and when they arrived back, Brittain had a balloon that I wasn’t sure where it had come from. Right as I was about to ask, she accidentally let go of the balloon and it swiftly went to the top of the very tall ceilings in the fellowship hall.
Naptime + losing a balloon = this:
As if this scene wasn’t enough, if you turned your head slightly you would then see Aunt SuSu balancing on a stool, holding a fork, attempting to “rescue” the balloon while Mimi stood below her waiting for her to lose her balance and be there to catch her. If all eyes weren’t on us when Brittain lost the balloon, all eyes were DEFINITELY on us now. I stood there, frozen, praying to God that somehow all of these people wouldn’t realize that I belonged to this group I was hanging around with. Fortunately, SuSu rescued the balloon, so everyone was able to resume eating, and Brittain was a happy child again.
I will tell you at this point that this entire scenario happened one more time. And SuSu risked her life a second time to rescue the balloon for Brittain. I guess I never have to wonder what she would do if Brittain were in real, ACTUAL danger. She’s got our back. No doubt about that.
These next two pictures I took were clearly after the meltdowns occurred. The second one especially cracks me up. Brittain has such a sweet smile on her face, but when I look closely I almost think she might be saying, “Don’t you DARE let that balloon go again or very bad things will happen to you.”
Oh! Never mind. That’s what I was saying!!!!!