Monday, September 8, 2014

Cat Tales

Once again, my brain has deceived me.  I was excited to finally get all the boys back in school.  My youngest is on C track this year, which means he started school end of July, went to school for a whopping three weeks, then went off track.  Today should have been the day he went back on track.  My other two boys started school a couple weeks ago, so I was looking forward to getting back to a good routine of sorts.

Last night I came down sick.  Not really sick, just a major sinus headache and suddenly no energy and no appetite.  I made sure to drink a lot of water and I went to bed early.  My sweet husband took care of breakfast & getting kids off to school this morning, with the exception of my youngest.  I got up finally at 8:15 and got him to school before 9:00.

My mom and sister are here visiting since they have doctor appointments, so I was at the table visiting with my mom while my sister had breakfast and I got the phone call.  It was from the elementary school, which of course, is not typical this early.  It was Josh, sounding very distraught and holding back his tears, "Mom, I don't go back on track until Wednesday."  He could barely get the words out, he's so soft hearted.  I could tell he was frustrated with me.  "I'll be there in a minute to get you, Josh, I'm sorry."  Thank goodness I'm feeling a bit better today.  Not completely back to normal, but okay to drive.

The moment I hung up, my black cat came through the screen door with something in his mouth.  First let me explain the screen door.  It's one of those cool ones "As Seen on TV" with magnets in the middle so that it closes as soon as you've gone through it.  We've only had it for a couples days, but trained the animals how to use it right away so that they can come and go as they please.  Brilliant idea (dripping with sarcasm).

If you know my cats, they've been known to bring in things they've caught before, so this is nothing new.  But this time I could see yellow hanging out of Friday's mouth.  He starts to meow with it in his mouth as if asking me, "What would you like me to do with this present I've brought you?"  I call to him and he comes right to me.  My goal was for him to follow me back out the screen door so we could deal with it outside the house.  Instead he sets it down at my feet.

It was beautiful!  A little bird laying on my kitchen floor, on it's back with it's feet trembling.  I had no idea whether or not it was hurt.  I grabbed a napkin to pick it up gently, but apparently was too gentle and the bird flew right out of my hand, so of course the cat had to do his job, which is hunting and my kitchen and dining room.  I wish we could have had a camera man ready with video going of the event.  It could have been a scene in a movie!  The bird landed in my basket of medicine bottles on the hutch, so of course the cat is right there to get it out.  I was right there to get it out, too, but the cat startled the bird and it flew across the kitchen.

The bird had yellow and green and gray feathers.  It was so pretty!  It's the type of bird you would see in a walk through wildlife exhibit at the zoo.  The thought crossed my mind for half a second that we could keep it and then as Friday (the big black cat) jumped onto the island, knocking things over as he goes, I remembered this is exactly why we will never have birds as pets.  Not to mention the fact that they are loud, obnoxious, and messy.  I picked up Friday, chewed him out and sent him away.

The bird had landed in the windowsill above the kitchen sink.  There's no screen in that window so this is my chance to catch it and set it free.  I very carefully moved away the bottles of soaps and cleaners that sit in the window in hopes to not startle it.  I also had to move our big box fan and gently open the window.  A miracle happened and the bird stayed put.  Once again, I caught the bird in the napkin and this time, held my hand out the window so the bird could feel the breeze and I said, "Are you ready little bird?  One, two, three, go!"  The beautiful bird flew over to the table and landed on the soft seat of a patio chair, probably to finish having a heart attack.

I don't know how Friday managed to catch that beautiful bird without hurting it in the first place, but I am so grateful it wasn't hurt and that I was able to see it!  Seems like all the other birds around my house are those dirty birds that ruin everything.

After chasing a cat and a bird around my kitchen and finally setting the bird free, I remembered my poor ten year old waiting at the school for me.  Back to reality and the consequences of my scrambled brain.  Thank goodness my son is so forgiving!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wedding Day--A Comedy of Errors

My sweet little girl is all grown up.  After being a year younger than everyone else and the tallest in her class, she actually quit growing in 6th grade, at about 5'2".  By high school, everyone else finally caught up and surpassed her and she didn't like being short, so she started wearing spike heals to school.  By her senior year, that phase had passed and she joined the barefoot/minimalist community.

All of that is beside the point.

Sara and Bruce decided to get married.  Bruce is in college on a math scholarship two hours north of us.  Sara and Bruce have been together for well over a year and didn't like being apart, so they made plans to change that situation.  We were given three weeks notice to plan the wedding.  Sara had wanted it to be a quiet ceremony between the two of them until the day she had me help her try on her dress to make sure it fit right.  It took me about half an hour to tie up the back.  During this long arduous process, I asked her, "If you don't want anybody at your wedding, who is going to help you into your dress before the ceremony?"  Her response was, "OH!"  And that is how I, her mother, got invited to her wedding.  It feels good to be needed!

Sara's mother in law offered to take care of the flowers for the ceremony and asked if I could help her with some flower arranging.  We spent much of that Friday in search of extra hydrangeas, since the ones she had bought were already wilted.  After searching the valley high and low, we eventually found a hydrangea plant at Smith's grocery store.  Hallelujah!  Since we had floral paint, the color of the hydrangea's really didn't matter much.

I helped with the flower arranging as much as I could until I had to leave to go pick up the groom and help them run errands, one of which was to pick up his tuxedo and another was for them to get their marriage license.  Luckily, we had all the paperwork they needed for that to happen!

Upon returning home, we had a family wedding dinner at Golden Chorale.  This was the place of choice since the food is already cooked and there's a great variety!  Bruce is the oldest of 7 kids in his family and Sara the oldest of 4 kids.  We figured it would be easier on the kids to not have to wait for their meal to be prepared.  Luckily dinner went as planned!

After dinner, Bruce's mom returned with a few of her kids to our house to add final touches to the florals.  There were many bouteniers and wrist corsages and of course, a beautiful bridal bouquet!  By this time the hour was late and I was exhausted, on the verge of grumpy and decided it would be wise to get organized since the wedding was to take place at 8am the following morning.  Zack was not at home to hear the announcement.  Elijah and Joshua were asked to gather their church clothes, specifically their black suits and lay them out with white shirts, black socks, and black shoes.  This would make our morning oh so easy, I was just sure of it!  Bruce's mom had taken her girls and found cute dresses that were all the right colors for the wedding and so I wanted the boys to match as well.  For this to work, the chaos had to happen that evening.  Josh found his clothes right away.  Eli couldn't find his black pants, so we decided he would borrow Zack's extra pair of black church pants.

Guests finally left around 11pm and I hit the sac around midnight but couldn't sleep.  I will add that I got the prompting to set my I did.  After tossing and turning for what felt like hours, I probably fell asleep around 2am.  I had set my alarm for 6am.  Just a side note here.  I have an iPhone, which means when the alarm goes off, it doesn't stop for about 15 minutes before it finally gives up on you.  Apparently Matt had set his alarm for 5:30 and we slept through it (another iPhone).  My alarm went off at 6, and we slept through it.  Seriously, I haven't done this in years and it absolutely baffles me.  The only explanation I can find is that my sleep cycles were so far off that I was in a very deep sleep.  At 7am, Sara came out of my bathroom after doing her makeup and said, "Mom, are you going to get up and get ready for the wedding?"  I jumped and asked why she hadn't woken me sooner.  She told me she thought I was being rebellious because I didn't want her to get married.  Aack!

And so the fun begins.  I took THE SHORTEST SHOWER of my entire life.  I think it might have lasted 30 seconds, basically enough time to get my hair wet and get out.  I had Matt wake the boys and told them they got a two minute shower and to get their suits on right away.  We were supposed to be at the church by 7:45 and I had to get me ready and help Sara into her dress.  Thank goodness the boys had their suits set out!  By the time I came out of the bathroom with my hair blow dried, Zack was out of the shower, "Mom, my suit is in my locker at school."  (He had a choir concert that week and had left his suit at school.)  My jaw hits the floor and I am speechless, which seriously doesn't happen very often.  I finally decided to search his closet to see what might be a good alternative.  I figured we'd have to find Elijah's black pants so Zack could wear his spare pair.  Zack had a black suit coat with white pinstripes.  That was close enough.

Next Joshua emerges with his outfit on, complaining, "Mom, these pants are WAY too big for me in the waist and super long.  I don't know what's wrong."  You've got to be kidding me.  He takes off his belt to show me the size.  Yup, they're Elijah's pants.  No wonder why Eli couldn't find them the night before!  So Elijah takes Zack's pants upstairs to Zack and puts on the pants Josh just took off, so the question of the day is, where are Joshua's black pants?  I searched high and low.  Not in the drawers, not in the clean laundry baskets, not in the dirty laundry baskets.  Nowhere to be found and I'm running out of time.  So Josh puts on his beige pants with his black suit coat.  *heavy sigh*  Elijah is the only one dressed as planned in his black suit.  I have the boys all find blue ties and decide I can't do anything about this conundrum.

At this point, I'm in my dress and my hair is as done as good as it's going to get.  I have no makeup on and no jewelry on yet and Sara is ready for me to help her into her dress at the appointed time we are supposed to be arriving at the church.  I laced her dress up double time!  I had the boys brush their teeth while I put on my makeup and we headed out the door, arriving to the church 30 minutes later than planned.  This being only 15 minutes late for the ceremony, I was somewhat pleased until Sara said with a scared voice, "Mom, I left Bruce's ring at home.  It's in my jewelry box."  I told her to sit tight and I'd go get it while everyone pinned on their flowers.  No big deal, right?  That's what I kept telling myself, anyway.  Ring acquired, back to the church I go.  When I walked in, Sara had the look of death on her face and nobody else was around. "Mom, I forgot the marriage license, it's on my dresser!"  You've got to be kidding me.  I hand her the ring and walk back out, drive back home, grab the license and head back to the church.  I'm thinking, "If she forgot anything else, this marriage is not happening today."  By the time I return, it's 8:30.  Sara had also left her veil at home, and there it stayed.

The ceremony was beautiful and only immediate family was there. We took pictures and dispersed.  The newlyweds left for Midway for professional wedding photos and a short honeymoon, while the rest of us decided we deserved a big breakfast after the surviving the morning's chaos.  Matt and I fixed belgian waffles loaded with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream, hash browns, and bacon.  We feasted 'til we were stuffed and then hung out for awhile before deciding we needed to get on with our Saturday.

Everything turned out okay in the end, but I sure felt like everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  Meanwhile, the happy couple have started their Happily Ever After!

I have since gotten phone calls from my beautiful daughter sayings things like, "Exactly how does one cook a chicken?" and "I thought I knew how to cook until I left home." and "We are so tired of eating the same thing every night.  What else can I cook with these ingredients?"  As the mom, it's so nice to feel needed and to have the opportunity to hear my little girl's voice again.  I miss her hugs and her amazing smile.  I miss my best helper.  Time to do some more training with the boys.