Saturday, February 23, 2008

To Recap....

Monday was a no-school day, but I still had to work in the morning. I worked quickly, and left by noon. I picked the kids up from Nicole's and then took them over to a friend's for lunch. We had gourmet grilled cheese, cheez-its, pickles and orange slices (which went over quite well with everyone!). Then the kids all hung out and played - all seven of them (if you count the baby, that is). Three boys, three girls, and one baby (boy) - and two mommies who were thrilled to have a chance to sit quietly on the couch and talk and drink tea. What a great afternoon! Around 3:00, the two younger girls were quickly approaching melting point, so we said our goodbye's and parted ways. I'm already looking forward to the next time we have a chance to do that!

I didn't work Tuesday. We had story hour in the morning, and from there headed to the chiropractor. After that, not much else happened...until that evening, I guess. Sebastian had wrestling, so I decided to take the other 2 to the grocery with me. Now, I NEVER get the TV carts. I just haven't wanted to start it, so I don't have to fight that fight every time we walk into the store. However, as we walked into the store at 6:45 pm - my full list of groceries, and my 2 kids who were bordering on tired - I decided to give it a shot. I thought maybe I could get done more quickly if their attention was occupied by cartoons rather than by wanting to "help" me with groceries. I envisioned being able to walk at an adult pace through the isles instead of at a distracted-2-year-old pace. I broke down and rented the cart.

Initially I chose Thomas the Train, but the TV wasn't working in that one, so we switched to Dora. I must say, the cart worked like a dream. I FLEW through the grocery. There was no "Meagan put that back" or "Watch out for that display" or "Stay out of other people's way" or "Stop fighting" or "Keep your hands to yourself" or "No running" or any other phrase that has become a typical part of our grocery trips. It was wonderful. My only complaint, if any, would be that the cart space for groceries is smaller, so I had to be creative in loading the cart. Other than that, wonderful.

I ALMOST made it to the end of the trip with no incidents...ALMOST. I pushed the cart back to the 'parking spot' and opened the door to get them out. As I did, I noticed that Meagan had these two bars of some sort - one in each hand. My first thought was, Oh no she broke something. I tried to grab it out of her hand, and complete pandemonium broke out. As she got out of the cart, she threw herself down on the floor in a full-on tantrum. I was dumbfounded, still not knowing what was in her hand. But, it all quickly became very clear to me what the problem was, as a candy wrapper fell out of the cart after her.

While I was paying for the groceries, she had snatched a Spree Rope Candy off of the candy rack and started chowing down. This was even after they both had asked for candy and I specifically told them no. Isaac, although he didn't take it from the shelf, was guilty as well, because his mouth was shoved full. He couldn't even talk because his teeth were sticking together from all the chewy gunk in his mouth.

We marched straight back to the isle we had just been in. I took the candy from each of them and threw it in the trash can (which DID NOT go over well with Meagan - she actually tried to go in after it until I pulled her back). Then, we waited in the line to pay for the candy that had been taken. They each were made to apologize, and they each got an age-appropriate lesson in respecting boundaries. Let's say, I doubt Isaac ever does that again...I wouldn't put anything past Meagan, but I'm hoping for the best.

Church night. In the 5th & 6th grade youth group, we've been doing crazy nights throughout February. Wednesday was backwards night. Let's just say that I had a tough time finding pants that would zip up backwards...LOL!

The night was going really well. We got there on time. The kids were all well behaved on the bus. They were listening well during service. We even had time to play an extra game before we left. But when we got out to the bus, it wouldn't start. Something in the fuel system wen bad - it was just a tiny little piece, but I have no idea what it was. Anyway...they pulled up a different bus; we transferred all the kids over and headed off.

A little something about this replacement bus. We don't usually drive it because it's a little, shall we say, Quirky. We have lovingly dubbed it the beeping bus because, you guessed it, it beeps...non-stop. Something related to the power steering sensor or something or other. It just beeps. And it's a loud beep. And it causes all the kids to act like lunatics and scream and yell about how the beeping is so loud. So we try not to drive it if we can help it, but this time it couldn't be avoided.

So. We set off. We got to the first stop, slowed down, stopped, let kids off. Then the bus started rolling. While the driver still had the brake applied. Bad. By the time she had gone through the next stop, it was clear that the brakes were failing. Clearly, we couldn't finish the route like that. She was able to make a few more stops as she went around the block to head back to church, so we did get about half of the bus delivered safely home. The remaining 15-ish kids, we hauled back to the a snails pace. It took us about 35 minutes to go down the street, around one block and back to church. By the time we got back, the kids that were remaining on the bus were tempted to panic. While the driver and the other captain were concentrating on the brakes and driving through traffic, I was left to tend to the kids and keep them calm. Man, you should have seen how fast cell phones were flying out of pockets the minute they figured out something was wrong with the bus. I had to ban cell phones just to keep them from passing along incorrect information to parents. Sheesh!

Anyhow, we made it safely back (I've never prayed so hard in my life I's quite a scary thing to be approaching cross-traffic with a bus full of kids and no brakes...we prayed for clearings in traffic...and got them every time...very cool). Between the adults that were present, we were able to fit everyone into cars and vans and deliver them all safely home. It was about 20 minutes later than normal, but at least we were all safe.

The most uneventful of nights. Sebastian had wrestling. We left early because a cut on the bottom of his foot had ripped open and was bothering him too bad to practice. End of story. We went to bed early.

Friday nap time was a NIGHTMARE! Meagan pitched a fit for 2 straight hours before finally crashing hard in the floor in the hallway outside of my bedroom (where I had put her to prevent her from further trashing her room and playing the second I walked away). She only slept for about 45 minutes, even after all that. Grrr.

After nap time was over, my friend Kim brought her granddaughter over to play. She's two, and it was the first time she and Meagan had met each other. They played quite well together after they got used to each other. So that was kind of nice. Meagan has a new friend.

While she was over, Kim offered to watch the kids for us that night so Lucas and I could go out to dinner together, kid-free. We took her up on her very generous offer. That was awesome. So, we ended up at Bennigan's. It was SLOW service to put it mildly, but it gave us plenty of time to sit and enjoy our free hands and our uninterrupted adult conversation. Nice.

Today we slept in until about 9:00. That was heaven! I got up and made breakfast pizza for a late breakfast. After we cleaned up breakfast, I got in the shower, leaving Lucas to tend to the kids. To his credit, he got off the computer, and came up into the living room so he could see and hear what was happening. Even still, Meagan slipped under the radar and found a way to make a mess. She went upstairs to play dollhouse...innocent enough. Then she decided her dolls needed water in their bathtub. So, she took the tub into the bathroom (the one I wasn't in) and filled it with water and took it back to her room (leaving the water running when she left the bathroom). At least once, she must have spilled the water (because the dollhouse was flooded) and gone back for more. At some point, a tube of Goldbond cream (not even sure where she found it) and a bottle of lotion (from their bathroom) got into the mix.

Just as I finished getting dressed, Sebastian came running in "Mom, come and see what Meagan did." Never my favorite thing to hear. I followed him into the bathroom to find the water running, sink near overflowing, bathroom floor flooded, squished Goldbond tube on the counter (cap missing), a trail of water and lotion from the bathroom to her bedroom, a flooded dollhouse, a saturated bedroom floor, and lotion smeared all over the carpet as well as in the dollhouse sink and toilet. Lovely.

I called for Lucas. He came up and manned Meagan's clean-up while I took care of the floor clean-up. My hand-held spray carpet cleaner wouldn't spray, so I had to bust out the big ol' carpet shampooer. When that girl gets into stuff, she does it up right.

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