Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Nappie Hour

Yesterday, during my much cherished Kiddie-O-O-O nappie hour(s?), I sat at the kitchen table and sorted through my list of menu's that I had taken down from my "paper drawer." I then sat down and browsed the sales items that started today at our local Jewel and Dominick's grocery store, and made a list of items that were necessary for the Crusty house.

After I finished the menu sorting to prepare for the upcoming Superbowl(WINGS!!!), I put away all the menu's back in their "paper drawer," picked up a few items that were growing on our countertop, (SeaMonkey care guide, a read along Spider man book and this fascinating children's book called STRANGER IN THE WOODS) and proceeded down to our lower level to straighten up our family room and play area. Content, mind you, that the countertops in the kitchen were free of any clutter. No papers, no books, no grocery lists,(as those were magnetized to the fridge) everything put away, or rather, put in it's place. The counters wiped with cleaning spray to give off the finishing touches, the contentment similar to what you'd see when a baker joins the final piece -a wedding topper- to a perfectly layered wedding cake.

I began my cherished nappie hour (or hours) with the necessary clean up in our family room, with music filling the room from off in the distance, compliments from my playlist on this blog.

After the lower level was upgraded to reach my satisfaction, I headed to the main level to sit down with my phone, in my "zen room," to make a much needed thank you telephone call.

My Grandma (We also call her Nana, or Grandma the Legend, or just Gma-she is Bigdogg's Grandma) had sent me a beautiful card for my birthday, as a matter of fact, not only do we share the same month of days of birth, but week as well,for hers is today, the 9th!

She expressed the excitement for her granddaughters wedding coming up in March, and also her sadness that we won't be there for a longer time than we already have arranged. You see, we decided with the five of us, it'd be much easier to drive down, take our time, and stop on the way home, to visit some friends, plus we've had to crunch our time with the fact that Jackson is in school. Yes, it's kindergarten, but to me, it's important to be in attendance as much as possible, as you guys all know by now. This trip to Florida in March, will be time away, but truly not a 'real vacation' as it will be filled with the following:

Leaving on a weekday we need to arrive to my mother in laws by Friday, so we will have one night to catch up on any drivers sleep or charlie horse cramps that may occur due to driving. Saturday will find us in our vehicle again, driving about an hour south to enjoy the beauty of my sister in laws rehearsal dinner down near the shore of the east coast of Florida. An overnight at a hotel down in Bal Harbour, and Sunday -early!!- will begin with the necessary preparations for this rather exciting and exquisite wedding which will be an all white wedding (meaning all guests are to wear white and the Bride will be wearing a different colored gown), that will take place later on that afternoon near the tranquility pool in the lawn, with the sand and her sister, the surf, gazing out on us from just beyond the many Palm Fronds.

It will be a very busy weekend!! Not much relaxation, but there's always time for that later.

Another overnight stay at the same spot after her reception ends, and we will open our eyes to Monday morning, with hopes for their future, and wishes for our own bed back in Chicago.

We'll return to our car for another drive, about an hour back north to spend a day back at my mil's home to relax from the frenetic fun that weddings bring.

Tuesday will find us blowing kisses to our Southern family, and another ride in our mommovile, a drive further north, about 4hours roughly, to stay with our good friends in a town near Tarpon Springs, Florida. There we will relax, swim, and take all the children to Busch Gardens or Disney depending on time. Catching up with friends that we miss dearly since moving back to Chicago.

Our two older boys will enjoy their two children, their son, born about 6months after Jackson, and the other, their beautiful redheaded daughter, born a year and a half before Sullivan.

Time will fly by, and soon we will be back in our car to make the casual drive home.
So basically, Jackson will miss about 6days of school. Too long, if you ask me, but what can we do. We had made the decision to drive to save us from the schlepping that can only happen when you fly with three children.

No need to take out their car seats and boosters and carry them through the airport. No need to carry all our luggage, our white only wedding wear, not to mention grasping our little ones hands, and our lovely double wide stroller. No need to trek to find the location of our rental car, more time and missions if you ask me. Remember, I flew with all three solo, it's busy and hair pulling. Driving as much as it will take longer, will be easier. Children not crying around other passengers due to the descent of pain in their ears upon landing.

We can stop at Cracker Barrels for lunch.
When our children get antsy they only annoy us.

We can go at our own pace somewhat and have a level of control over our arrival.

Everything makes more sense to drive.

With the exception of available time.

Which brings me to the point of this circling detail Charlie Brown's teacher wahhhhhwwwwAAAHhhhhhwaaaaa story. Apparently my southern family is "a smidgen" upset that we can't stay longer then what we have already arranged.
We'd love to stay longer.
We miss them all so much!
But Bigdogg's company needs him there, and I need my son in school. We're just not comfortable having all that time away, besides, it will be hard to relax as the atmosphere will be quite boisterous due to the wonderful wedding within days of even an earlier arrival then what we have planned.

My Grandma told me that she was talking to my mother in law, her daughter, and my mother in law told her that we are only staying from Friday to Monday-Tuesday at the latest. That we are planning on leaving to head north to visit our friends that we haven't seen since 2005.
They have asked us to consider instead of leaving on a Wednesday, to leave over the weekend previous because whats 3 or 4 extra days?

It's only kindergarten after all.
If Bigdogg uses up all his time, no big deal, he can manage for the rest of the year.
But what if we have other things planned for the rest of the year? Like Trips? Or, mini vacations?

But what if we prefer to keep extra time available from his place of business for over the holidays? So that he can be home with his 3 sons and wife?

If we leave at the time they're requesting, that's a lot of time away from the office, as well as time away from home and for Jackson, time away from school.
But than again, it's only kindergarten right?

Now, don't get me wrong, I completely understand their purpose. You see, our Poppy, our Grandpa, our boys Great Grandpa will be 86 in February. He has such life in him, but he's getting tired. He can play cards everyday, golf like a master, but that doesn't help him win the battle over the kidney dialysis machine he visits 4x a week. He loves our boys. He lives and breathes for our three.

He has told us (I have said this before, I know) that his happiest times were when we were living down in Florida, to see the twinkles in his blue eyes when our boys hopped out of our car running towards him, trying to imitate his welcoming whistle.

Poppy's body is getting old. His spirit may not be, but when you're 86 years old, everyday is a special day. He wants to inhale our boys spirit and hold onto them as long as he can, and that is the reason they want us to come early, to give him more time with his great grandchildren, and have more time with us, of course.

As much as I'd love to make them happy, and you guys know me, I am the Queen of Pleasing, it just seems like a lot of time. We're coming in for my sister in laws wonderful wedding, and whereas we wish we had more time to visit, this time, it's not about that. It's about the wedding.

It's frustrating because I want to make them happy, but I have to think of our own family first. I have to think about that time that Bigdogg would miss by being in Florida. That's a business, a career, a firm, a job for you, and it just doesn't seem wise to me, regardless of what level you may be at to be gone for that long.
You just can't.
It's not to say that I can't return with the boys later on after school is out in May, but that is a lot to ask, and I know they mean well, so I apologize for saying this in advance, but I feel as though I'm being guilted into making a decision....or maybe it's just a bigger picture, about how sometimes I feel like my opinions don't matter. I am just "the mom" after all. I feel as though my convictions, my feelings on education, or how to raise a family don't hold stock if it's something that someone else wants..

I can't stand to think about when the time comes for Poppy to 'go to the better place," and as Bigdogg says, "what can we do? It's part of life, and no matter how many visits we have, no matter how many times we stay there, no matter for how long we'll stay, there will always be that, 'if only we had more time with everyone' thought process." Especially when it's time for Poppy to say farewell.

The thought of it crushes me. Part of my odd reasoning believes that if we do go early, than it will give everyone their fix, so that "just in case," we won't be left with that burden of guilt.

But I also think that it's important to stay with our original plan, although that will only mean that people end up either hurt or disappointed.

You guys know I hate that! I hate being the one to disappoint. I'd rather be left sitting there weeping in a corner somewhere versus being the cause of it and watching someone else weep.

So I have some decisions to make, or correction, Bigdogg and I have some decisions to make in regards to our upcoming trip. I try to think of how "I'd be" at that time in my life. When someday I am in my 80's. I can only hope that I will live to be at least 86, and see and have a great relationship with my 3 FEMALE great grandchildren, but what would I do in that situation? How would I feel if my grandson and his wife live out of state and I can't get there due to my frail frustrating body? How would I be if my Grandson and his wife and their three children were coming down here to see everyone for my Granddaughters wedding and I'd only have 4 days of sharing them with the important events of my only granddaughters wedding? Would I ask that of them? To miss school and more time off from their careers? It's not selfish to wish for more time, it's wrong if it's done in manipulation, but all in all, that's what we all want, more time. More events. More holidays..more more more..I have some minor decisions to make in regards to this.

You can imagine my surprise when after the lovely and sad conversation with Grandma was over, and I retired back to the lower level to browse on my computer, when I saw what my horoscope said:

Before you get involved in any type of new arrangement or commitment today, get a clearer picture of what you are really getting yourself into. Take a long hard look at the people involved. Do you trust them? Do you like them? Can you learn from them? You cannot take other people's recommendations about what to do at face value. Everyone has a ulterior motive right now. They see things through their own filter and do not totally understand what is important to you.

Sure sure, Hogwash you say, horoscopes are just generalizations. Maybe, that's true for you, but here I am conflicted about pleasing people, feeling a tad manipulated from family (not from Grandma!) and then I read that in my daily home page update.


Perfection is simply not possible -- not for anyone. Keep chanting this to yourself when you feel like you're not doing a perfect job, and remind yourself that all is required of you is that you do your best. No more. You cannot hit a home run every time at bat, so why are you holding yourself to impossible standards? If you are down right now, that doesn't mean you have to stay down. Your successes are not based on luck -- they are based on your abilities. You are able.

Yes, another general one, but again with me, I like the creases in my pants to stay creased-perfected.
I like things to go smoothly, but I guess I have to focus on doing whats best for my nuclear family and hope that whatever I do won't leave us with "ifs" later on.


Moving on to the final (lets all hope!) paragraph of this lengthy post, I do have to say that something kookie occurred as well yesterday. Remember how I had cleaned off my counters, put all the papers away, sorted newspapers, coupons, etc? The counters were clear?
When I had walked into my kitchen after the horoscope reading from yesterday, there sat one lone piece of paper that I know without a doubt, wasn't there before. It was a receipt. Just sitting there looking at me as if saying, "heehee, I grew legs and I walked up on your clean counter just to annoy the waffle stompers out of you.."

Would you believe that when I looked at the receipt-it was dated January 11th 2007.
Birthday cards were one of the items on the receipt that were purchased.

Now, what the heck is my "Fallen Angel" trying to tell me now?

The items were purchased a year ago by Bigdogg. How it showed up on the 8Th of January on a clean counter is beyond me.

These harbingers happen to me all the time. Don't believe me? Ask my sisters, or Bigdogg!

Welcome To Crustybeef~
"Good day sir!" "I said, GOOD DAY!"
***pic courtesy of the New York Social Diaries*
This is one of the many beautiful views where my sister in law will say her vows someday in march.


Kelly Jene said...

Gorgeous picture. Should be a beautiful wedding. I understand the odd things happening to you. Happens to me as well.

As for the decision you and BD have to make, its got to be hard. I was reminded of a poem I read by some famous woman before she died of how she would have done things differently. She would have spent more time with family, stuff like that. After a crappy childhood I'm re-learning of what a family means to me and maybe a couple extra days wouldn't be too bad.

Love your post as always...


Kelly: isn't it odd? I mean the parallels of it all..
you are right with the family comment, although at what expense?
Hope you're feeling better!! :9(


Cheryl said...

There are so many ways of looking at a situation. Your feelings on the length and agenda of your trip make sense. At the same time, I'm sure the in-laws feel that they're not asking for too much in wanting more time with you. It's surprising to me how easily my mind can be changed about something when I see it from a different point of view. Sometimes I need to be convinced.

Good luck!

Kelly Jene said...

Love the new look, Crusty One! That pic up top is too cool.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Good day. I bet the children will love going to the Disney World :)
And wise choice for not flying solo with 3 children. Wow I admire you for that :)

austere said...

Its not easy, Crusty, and he's not going to be there for ever. School attendance is important too, and office.. I just don't know what to say, trust your heart.

Foster Communications said...

You only can do what you can do when you can do it.

And sometimes, I do believe, we have angels/higher powers telling us things.

I used to go to and read my monthly horoscope. It was always so dead on it started to freak me out. I rarely read that anymore....

Palm Springs Savant said...

wow that's kinda tough. I have to tell you Crusty, I always enjoy coming to your blog, its a good read.


Cheryl: I know what you mean! And really it's not the issue with school, although a friend of mine in my neighborhood did say to check with Jax's school due to the time off there may be a truancy issue with our county they are strict..and worst case I'd have to go to the school board to advise them of why. But the main issue is the time from Bigdogg..hmmm..I'm sure it will work.


THEREALHENNIEPENNY: It was an interesting flight with 5years old on left side, 3 years old on right, and almost one on my lap for over 3hours..made for sipping my coffee on their trays pretty hard..oh and when Jack had to go potty..HA! That was a hoot! I hope we have time for Disney..but if not, no big deal, they're not old enough to remember it-not including Jackson of course. :)

Austie: My heart says leave yesterday and homeschool so that all time can be inhaled. :)

FosterComm: I know that are right, it's too detailed and accurate, quite eery if I must say so. I like your suggestion by the way, "you can only do what you can do..." very true..Everyone keeps telling me lately to stop trying to make everyone happy...sigh...

PSS: Why thank you Palm Springs! This means a lot as I have to say, I enjoy coming to your blog equally so..the pictures, Dr Wang kills me, and just your lifestyle is so much fun to read about..I still can't get over how great Ricki Lake looks!! :)
Perhaps I should have a signature PSS martini to aid in my decision? What would you suggest?

mosiacmind said...

i think you are wise to stick to your original plan for your family. perhaps you and hubby can be thinking of another time you can visit there and let them know about it.just an idea. i think too with kids you need to think what is good for them and even when one is in kidergarden it is important i agree to have them go as much as possible and since you are taking a vacation later on when he wil need to be out of school. Let me know if you make the muffins how they come out......perhaps a snack in the car..........

Gypsy said...

Hi Crusty
As another people pleaser I understand your dilemma. Is there any way you can go there again with no other plans other than to spend time with Grandpa? Then you can have quality time at your convenience and Grandpa will be happy because he gets you all to himself. I don't know if that's possible but good luck whichever way you decide to go.

Mary said...

I agree that you're wise to stick to your original plan for your family. Planning (with the FL relatives) when you can visit during a quieter time would make sense. A selling point for that idea might be that the wedding has priority for this time and the children can enjoy getting to know the family when things are quieter.

We visited Tarpon Springs for the first time when we did our "drive around" last summer. I fell in love with the little seaside village. The docks were covered with sea sponges that are collected by the boats.

Do you have an in-car DVD player for the kids? I gave the grandsons a portable unit with two screens that can go in their van when they travel. It is portable so it can be moved from car to car. They only use it on long trips so it doesn't become common place.

Whatever you decide about your trip, be firm and don't feel guilty. You're doing what's best for your family.

Cheryl said...

What an amazing comment you left on my blog! I can't wait till Emily reads it. I don't think she saw what I wrote or how many comments I received!

tex said...

Stick to the original plan IMO. There will always be regret no matter what in regards to a relative thats getting older. Bigdogg's right on that.


Mosiac: YOU READ MY MIND! I can't wait to try them myself, but alas I've put myself on a health kick so the only mouthes that will be delving into the yummihoods are my boys. :(

Mary: HI! How's your sister feeling??? As far as my sister in laws extended to be in law family the majority are coming in from Tel Aviv, so it's not really that pressing for our boys to know that side, I think the issue more is because everyone wants their fix of our boys from my southern family but you are right..with the wedding, it will be hard to actually unwind..especially being that this is the last one of "our generation" to marry, as well as it being the make everyone happy is wishful, although I am seeing impossible too....
I do have an entertainment console in my "mommovile" although my boys have been banned from it's use as of late due to the "availability of it" and their urging for 3mile trips.. but for certain we will pull that out for the trip. Now if I can only figure out how to get their headphones to work so that Bigdogg and I can tune into our music..after awhile the TOOT-TOOTing of Thomas gets mindnumbing. Or Justice League or Starwars as much as I love them all (their shows) after awhile it all blends with background and it's AHAHAHAHAH!! :)

GYPSY: Sorry, I meant to put you inbetween Mosiac and Mary..we're talking about myself going back down there with my boys later on to make "the happiness" circulate. But! we do have our own family plans to work on for after the wedding, and I'm just not sure..but believe me, I'm willing to fly solo with my boys again so they have more time..I just don't know. ARGHH!!

Cheryl: Oh, I meant every word of it. I know how hard it is to be a teenager, I don't know why I can recall the feelings during that time, versus just the events, but I do and it's almost suffocating to feel those bizarre coaster glides of that time. You don't understand yourself even though we Think we do..I gave my parents a run for my money, but I wasn't that bad thinking back. Sure I rebelled but that was in the form of sneaking cigarettes and dating guys much to old for me..thinking about it all brings back so many memories..if she ever needs anything..she's welcome to stop over and say's not easy on both sides..having been there, and someday will be the parent of 'being there" there really is not right answer..but I think respect for both is the most important..respect for growth on herside and respect for teaching and guiding from you. :) happy Thursday!!!!! Panera's today??

Tex: I think you and Bigdog need a CHI and the warden and I will remain at home with the rugrats... :)

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR WONDERFUL COMMENTS! I value the fact that you took time to give your heartfelt graceful thoughts!


SOUL: said...

good day to you.. a day late..butt :) that's ok

can i go to florida too?


Diane Vogel Ferri said...

Crusty, You are prolific and verbose - and that pleases me! Diane

Anonymous said...

Yes.. live like there's no tomorrow.. good choices and I bet an awesome trip and memories will be made. Like your new look on your blog....!

Cheryl said...

Where are you???? I'm missing you today!