Monday, October 28, 2019

Weekend Update

We've had some pretty great weekends this month. We did a trip to my parents' the first weekend of October, had a weekend at home, then went to Kansas City to visit my best friend from high school and do the pumpkin patch thing. This past weekend was busy but in all kinds of delightful and restorative ways, although we had some last-minute schedule changes due to weather and we missed out on an adult Halloween party I would have liked to go to, we had a great weekend all together.

On Friday, I met up with a friend and walked Forest Park. From there, I picked up the girls and we did a quick costume change (literally into their Halloween costumes) and sandwiches for dinner so that I could then take them up to David's school for Trunk or Treat.

hippie flower child & cowgirl
In the middle of this, I got a call that Cooper had wandered off AGAIN. We've had an occasional problem with this, and thought that we had solved the problem with some additional fencing. Clementine wears a collar for the invisible fence, but Bubba has always been cool just sticking around. Suddenly, though, he seems to have a desire to wander, despite the fact that he sort of staggers when he walks and moves very slowly. Honestly, I'm a little worried he's getting senile.

Anyway, he's super friendly, so we've gotten very lucky in that a neighbor finds him and calls the number on his tag and we walk over and pick him up. But back up a minute to last weekend (as in two weeks ago), I was getting the car loaded and everything ready to go to KC and he must have slipped out the door without my noticing. When I realized he was gone, I walked to our nearest neighbor's house, as he occasionally likes to visit them. No Cooper. So then I walked around the adjacent neighborhood, where he has also gone before. No sign of him. We were supposed to leave for KC around 11am, so I started getting anxious as the morning went on. I loaded up all the girls in the car and we drove around everywhere I could think that he might be. No puggle.

David got home from his morning meeting and he went walking around. Then he drove around. When he got back, I went walking. By this time, it was long past the time we'd planned to leave and we had to make a decision. We had tickets to see Dear Evan Hansen at 7:30pm in Kansas City. David had a friend who was willing to pick up Cooper if we got a call about him, but I couldn't stomach the idea of Cooper coming back home and us just being gone for two nights. I'd wanted to get a dog sitter, but David had talked to our friends and they said it was fine to bring the dogs, so we were planning on bringing them with us, which meant Coop would return to an empty house if we didn't wait for him to show up.

Time kept ticking by and Cooper still hadn't been found. I'd spent forty minutes walking around and yelling for him (which is silly because he's so hard of hearing). At last, we decided to sell our Dear Evan Hansen tickets. We were still hoping he'd turn up--I was sure he'd make it home for dinner time!--but we had hit the deadline of when we needed to leave to make it to the show.

I was bummed about selling the tickets (fortunately, we were able to get face value for them, but I still REALLY wanted to see the show), but I was even more worried about Coop. As it got to be 4pm and he still hadn't turned up, I started crying because he is so food-driven and I felt like if he could make it home for dinner, he would. It didn't help that as we drove around the girls kept saying things like, "I hope we don't find his smushed body" and "Is this how sad you were when Eliza died?"

At 5:15, we got a call that someone had found Cooper and David drove over to pick him up. He was a little farther than we'd expected, but at a house we'd driven by three times, so we don't know what he was doing or how we missed him. At least we got him back! And we made it to KC so we were able to go to the pumpkin patch even though we missed the show. We did have a great weekend with Monica and Johnny and the kids.

Anyway, we blocked what we were pretty sure was his path of escape, but he found some other way to wander this past Friday, so I'm afraid I'll have to put the invisible fence collar on him, which I don't want to do because he's old and he's my baybee. BUT obviously I need to keep him safe. We got a call that he had wandered and a guy found him and put him in his garage but had to leave for the afternoon before David got the message, so after I dropped the girls at Trunk or Treat, I swung by and picked up Cooper and then made it home in time to do an Adventures in Babysitting style clean up of my house (tell me you know that scene in the movie? Elisabeth Shue is so great.). 

After all the rushing around, it was time for a book club meeting. My old book club is on a bit of a hiatus, although I'm hoping we'll reconvene at some point, so I've joined another book club. Anyway, I was telling the whole Cooper saga at our meeting and how sad I was to miss DEH, and one of my friends who was there mentioned that she has DEH tickets for this week, but her husband recently saw the show in Des Moines. Because they are the BEST people ever, he's letting me have his ticket! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

And a Friday night with bookish conversation with new/old friends and some champagne was just what I needed. 

Saturday morning, David I took the girls to the City Museum. He was working an event for his school district, so he had to do some set up but then he was able to hang out with us. The girls love the City Museum and G was content in her carrier, so we had a good time. The step team from the high school performed, which is always so fun to see, and the girls were really into it. Such great energy and love in the room when they perform!

We parked in the parking garage, but I felt like my car was too big to get into the parking space they directed me too so I freaked out apologetically and then they directed me to a bigger parking spot for my soccer mom car ("I'm not a regular mom. I'm a cool mom."). As I walked through the parking garage in total mom-mode with the diaper bag on my back, the baby on my front, and one kid holding each of my hands, Coco said, "Mommy, you look like a teenager with that backpack on!" LOL. Man, I love that kid.

Saturday was a rainy, dreary day, so that afternoon we got home and watched the new version of Aladdin. I also watched YouTube tutorials on braiding and practiced on Zuzu's hair. Her high physical pain tolerance makes her fun to practice hair styles on because (unlike Coco) she doesn't complain about a little scalp-tugging, but her low tolerance for anything scary or suspenseful on TV meant that she was really stressed out by the movie, even though she'd seen the animated version and knew what was coming. She hid behind me for a lot of it and was almost in tears at one point. It's a little baffling, but we just try to be reassuring and not make a big deal out of it. It explains why she prefers shows like Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse and Shimmer and Shine, because they are so formulaic and predictable, and apparently that's what she likes in her TV!

Anyway, we mostly enjoyed the movie and then the girls had a long bubble bath and David fixed dinner and they all went to bed early and I read a mystery novel and it was a lovely evening.

Sunday morning was one of my favorite services at church, when we do a remembrance service. Everyone is invited to bring a photo or memento to place at the front of the church on the altar, and then you can write down the names of those you are remembering to add as well. This morning got off to a rough start though, and it was honestly because I had nothing to wear. I can fit in most of my pre-pregnancy clothes, but they don't fit the SAME, and I can't stand wearing any fitted shirts while I'm still breastfeeding. I hate it. Plus I really, really need to get a decent bra instead of the nursing tanks I've been wearing for almost six months. So I felt gross in everything I put on and it was terrible.

Anyway, we made it to church but I had forgotten that remembrance Sunday was this weekend, so I hadn't brought Eliza's portrait and that made me really sad. David was like, "It's fine. Really. It's FINE." I held it together and I wrote her name on a card and put my bracelet with her name on it up there as a little memento, which was fine. The whole service was so lovely and sad. I cried off and on through the whole thing. The pastor who spoked works in hospice care and he talked about the glorious Nora McInerney and how you don't move on from grief, you move forward with grief. So that was perfect and the music was so beautiful. It all made me cry. G fell asleep, so I held and snuggled her warm, heavy, perfect little body and breathed in the smell of her baby head while I tried not to drop tears on her.

After church, we headed over to Coco's best friend Evelyn's house for brunch, which was super fun. I need to do more family brunch dates with my friends with kids. It's easy to prep in advance, everybody likes breakfast food, and it's early enough that you can get out of there before tired meltdowns start. Evelyn's mom had even made salt dough cookies for the girls to paint (and she even let them use glitter because she is a kindergarten teacher and a saint). They were delighted. They  all played really nicely and we had a great time. Coco and Evs got a little silly during clean up (there was a lot of soap suds being applied directly to faces and hysterical giggling) so that was our cue that it was time to go.

We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather by heading out to old town St. Charles and walking around on Main Street. They have a Halloween festival so there were spooky characters out on the street and the kids could collect stamps from each one. We saw Ichabod Crane and the Weird Sisters and Medusa and Lizzie Borden and the Big, Bad Wolf. We also browsed in a few shops (I bought G a hat). 

We made it home in time for me to get to my Sunday night restorative yoga class. I left David mowing the lawn while wearing G in the carrier and had a relaxing hour just breathing and stretching and trying to clear my mind. It was glorious!

I'd be happy if every weekend played out like this one. We have more to look forward to this week--tomorrow is gymnastics and ninja night, I've got Dear Evan Hansen coming up, and of course the girls are already pumped for Halloween. This feels like a really sweet season (particularly right this minute with everyone already in bed asleep, haha) so I'm trying to soak it all in. 


  1. This is random but my kids are the same with movies they haven’t seen before. (Who knew Disney movies were so dark?) If you haven’t watched them with your girls already, two that are great (entertaining even for adults but not scary) are Parent Trap and Little Rascals (in both cases the 90s remakes).

    1. I love Parent Trap and watched it with the girls this summer! Hilariously, they didn't think the twins were identical until Sharon cut her hair, so the premise of the movie was very confusing at first. LOL.

  2. You've mentioned a few times now, about Zuzu's low tolerance for suspenseful tv and I can so relate! Your descriptions of her reactions are exactly like my six year old son. He can't watch anything remotely stressful and any type of conflict between characters freaks him out. He likes happy, relaxing tv, and therefore has seen none of the movies his friends have. I used to occasionally worry about this, but I'm over that. He's more than fine and I loved reading about Zuzu's similar feelings.

    1. Yes--she definitely doesn't seem to feel that she's missing out! No big deal in the grand scheme of things.