Friday, June 12, 2009

Mommy's Day "Off"

As I type this post, I am tucked in my bed, still in my jammies. Ava is still asleep and Liesl is in bed with me, reading her new library books. Friday is typically my day "off" in which I try not to schedule anything at all...we just take the day as it comes. No doctor's appointments, no playgroups, no evening job assignments (there never are any jobs on Friday nights anyway--Deaf people have social lives too), no running to the bank, no demands on our time of any kind...except, of course, if we change our mind last-minute and want to go somewhere. (It is my day off, so I reserve the right to go anywhere I want, if I want.)

I also try to refrain from having people over at our house for any reason. Most of my mommy friends understand when the laundry is spread out on the floors of three rooms, in four different phases of washing/folding/sorting, and that our living room has pretty much transformed into a music practice room with instruments and music stands and sheet music and rosin and other violin paraphernalia everywhere (so watch where you step, and don't even think about sitting on the couch--that's for the violins). But even with the most understanding of friends and visitors, I don't want to even have to blink an eye at my domestic chaos on my day "off." Sometimes we must schedule something on Friday, but believe me, it is never my first choice.

Within 2.4 minutes of waking up each morning, Liesl usually asks, "Where are we going today?" or "Are friends coming over today?" ("Friends," to Liesl, means company of any kind: a playgroup of kids, some of my adult friends coming over for tea, Jehovah's Witnesses ignoring our 'no soliciting' sign and knocking to save our souls, or the dishwasher repairman. Really, everybody is Liesl's friend.) Both girls dearly love to go out, and I always enjoy it too...but sometimes Mommy needs a day where nobody will care if she's dressed like a ragamuffin, and doesn't need to go through the slightly complicated load-up-the-van-and-lock-up-the-house-while-keeping-two-tiny-kids-safe-and-alive-with-minimal-screaming routine.

Today wraps up a few very busy weeks of social activities. Last week on Tuesday, we hosted our vegan/allergy-friendly potluck. The following weekend, a group of my Bible study ladies came over for a potluck dinner in our backyard. It was an opportunity for fellowship with some of the ladies who have not been able to attend our Thursday morning group for a while due to full-time jobs or other daytime activities. Last Monday, my parents brought my wonderful (if not a tad rambunctious) nephews out to my house to play with their cousins. And yesterday evening, last but definitely not least, I hosted a coupon class, where a local woman who appears to be acquiring a cult following works the coupons and sales--and I mean works the coupons and sales, people--to save about 800% on her grocery bills each week. And no, I'm not exaggerating or joking.

Add all this into the usual weekly jaunts--Bible study on Thursday mornings, violin lessons on Wednesday mornings, appointments, grocery store trips (with two tiny kids both wanting to ride the penny pony, Meijer becomes an event, believe me), library trips, music class, playgroups, Mom's club outings, and whathaveyou--and Mommy needs a day "off." I am POOPED. I get up, make Tom's coffee and breakfast, pack his lunch, and get him out the door; and then I plop my arse back in bed and snooze until the inevitable obnoxious stomping pitter-patter of little feet. Then we have a leisurely breakfast--Mommy still in her jammies, which is not the norm at breakfast--and watch a little Curious George or Signing Time. The day's activities still happen (violin practice is high priority, and I really can't get away with not feeding the children) but the flow is much more relaxed.

So while I was typing this post, Liesl has asked, in between Miss Spider's Tea Party and The Cat in the Hat, "Where are we going today? Are friends coming over? What are we doing today?" (Nowhere. No. Nothing's on the books at the moment.) Today is Mommy's day "off."

In another half hour, I guess I'll have to feed them breakfast. And then, tackle the laundry. Yup, it's my day "off." Yee-ha.
Bible study potluck last weekend...we had about 17 kids and 12 adults. Our backyard was made for gatherings like these.
Two baby raccoons crashed the party. They've probably crashed neighbors' garbage cans as well. But aren't they cute???
Liesl completed her first sticker chart that I made, to encourage her violin study. She gets a sticker for every "good practice" (i.e., no fussing or putzing, no whining, staying focused and cheerful). We practice twice a day, so the chart fills up in 2-3 weeks. The reward for a full chart of stickers? Going to the Silver Dairy for ice cream as a family. Which we did last Sunday.

My sister's children also take music lessons and classes. An all-cousin band: Alex, 12, on alto sax; Zach, 7, on the piano; Liesl, 3, on the violin. Oh, it was a delightful musical experience, all right.

After they promised to behave for one "serious" picture, they begged to do a "silly" picture, so I let 'em rip.

Oh, what the hell. Let's do one more silly picture.

Ava's contribution to just about every social gathering.

The boys and girls together were enjoying themselves tremendously, but it was raining and we had to stay inside. My house was in serious danger of being trashed, so Grammie and Papa treated everyone to a few hours at Jungle Java. (Bless you, Mom and Dad.) Here you see Liesl, Alex's behind, and some random kid's behind.

The "Toddler Safari" area. Ava must've gone down this slide 432 times.

My 64 year-old mother proving that Jungle Java isn't just for kids.

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