Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tick Tock, it's Back to Work and School

It's been fun having extra kids off and off as we've muddled through another Spring Break. Jeff's taken a lot more time off than I have because I wasted my time being sick. (Blech.) But it's back to the salt mines in the morning.

Today was cold and rainy, and Alex ditched Ali, Hannah and me to play with one of his guy friends. Prior to a spontaneous shopping trip, I was sitting on the couch in the living room under a blanket while the girls were doing who-knows-what downstairs. Every once in a while, I'd hear Ali come beating a path from the stairs to her bedroom, running like the wind, her stops pounding a fast track from linoleum to wood and back again. It was like she thought if she slowed down, she'd miss a minute of fun and she couldn't let that happen.

At one point, though, I looked up and she was inching silently across the floor and scared the bejesus out me. She'd "made" Hannah watch a show Hannah doesn't like and now it was Hannah's turn at the remote. Ali was trying to waste time walking as slowly and silently around the upstairs, waiting out the tv show.

Later, on the way home from shopping, the girls and I checked out an open house that Karin had mentioned. It was in the neighborhood on the "right" side of the Monon Trail. (We're on the other side.) So it was on the way home. Jeff's been talking about moving and I don't know that I want to move at all. I know I don't want to go far.

So we go into this house. The girls immediately wanted to go upstairs and they liked what they saw. Floor two had two bedrooms -- both bigger than Alison's, but the master bath wasn't at all as nice as my current one, and I'm not sure the master bedroom was bigger than mine. But there was an attic room that was way cool -- though it would have to be a library or play room because the slanted ceiling wouldn't accommodated Ali's bunk bed.

The kitchen was smaller, an odd shape and it had an electric range, but the breakfast nook overlooked a fabulous yard and huge hot tub. "Hannah! That could be ours!" Ali chortled.

The main floor was OK. The side porch better than my back porch. The fireplace was gas, which I liked. "I prefer "real" wood," sniffed my daughter.

Then, the basement. Totally unfinished. "Ooooh. Creepy," they both said, nearly in unison, and repeatedly. "And there's no laundry chute!" they shouted in dismay, looking everywhere for a sign of how to get rid of dirty clothes fast.

They might have been able to live with the basement if we put some work into it, but the fact that the house didn't have a laundry chute was a deal breaker. Even the hot tub wasn't enough.

"We like your/our house way better," they decided. I guess we'll keep looking...

I somehow conned Karin into letting me keeping both Hannah and Alex tonight -- it's the last night of our Spring Break. I can't imagine school will be on high learning alert tomorrow. And they have such fun together.

As I was getting them ready for bed, I found three cans of Frebreze downstairs. Apparently there had been a Febreze war at some point while I read upstairs. It's possible that I should have checked on them more...

They've been in bed 30 minutes and I've barely heard a peep out of them. The Febreze war must have taken its toll.

We've actually had a series of great events in the past week or so, and I don't think I mentioned them all.

10. Drew Tokash's hockey team is the city champion, and Drew scored one of the goals that led to said championship.
9. Butler's in the Final Four!
8. We had a fabulous time at Great Wolf Lodge and the Newport Aquarium with Rachael Weir.
7. Ali's friend Anna came over for a sleepover and we had a great time! She's a fairly new friend, but it was a great, great time and we expect to do it more.
6. I finally got off my lead butt and ordered new contacts.
5. Team Ogden came over for a sleepover Friday, which you think would have led to some fun for the elder members of Team Reed. (see No. 2.)
4. Ali had a sleepover at Team Ogden HQ on Saturday night, which you think would have led to some fun for the elder members of Team Reed. (see No. 2.)
3. I found a copy of the latest Kim Harrison "Hollows" series books.
2. Ali, Hannah and I went crazy at Target and redecorated Ali's bathroom --updating her tropical fish look to a more trendy, but fun young girl look.
1. Jeff's done with his two-days of baseball fantasy drafting and weeks of non-stop prep for the drafts -- well, he will be tonight -- and if I'm not deep into the Hollows, I might just remind him that he's married...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Febreze again

Spring Break is coming to a close for us this weekend, and it's been a bunch of fun slipped in between Jeff and me still working for most of it. He's been taking half-days and we've combined play dates and baby sitter with that.

Alison doesn't seem to care what we're doing as long as she's not in school.

Yesterday she spent most of the day at a friend's house and then they were here for a sleepover. They were in Ali's bathroom and apparently Alison was showcasing the collection of Febreze I keep in that linen closet.

"Sometimes when my mom is in here, whew! we really need this," she said.

Anna said something I couldn't figure out, and Alison rushed in with, "But it's not her fault. She's on Weight Watchers and they make her eat weird things like DIET ice cream. Can you imagine? Diet ice cream."

Anna was appropriately horrified and they chattered all the way downstairs about my strange eating habits.

FYI: 16, count 'em. Sixteen pounds.

I might be stinky, but until we run out of Febreze I should be able to stay in the house....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dance with Dad

Alison and Jeff double dated this weekend with Helen and John Vielee. They all looked beautiful. Lisa and I sent them on their way and then headed for the closest bar where we solved many problems.

Unresolved was what to do about Jeff and his decision to buy 4-inch heels for Alison's first dance. For her. (I can understand how you might have thought they were for him.) Yeah. 4-inch heels. Bought and paid for by Captain Reed. He'd taken her shopping when he got released a little early from work one day.

He's no longer allowed to shop alone with her.

But she did look cute, and she didn't stumble once in the heels. Not even when she took off in a dead run and then did a twirl in anticipation of the run back to him down the aisle of the department store.

His first story was that he never thought she'd be able to walk in them or he wouldn't have let her think about buying them. His second was that she had picked them out; he hadn't. He then confessed that the theme of the dance was Hollywood Red Carpet glamour. So of course she needed heels.

They might as well have been stilettos as far as I'm concerned. I'm just lucky that she spurned the lycra mini-dress he liked.

She's 8-years-old. Eight. FIVE years from teenage trauma.

Ugh. I wanted to kill him.

But they had fun. She has no idea why I was alarmed. I'm hoping to keep it that way.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yes, Goddammit I AM happy!

A friend of mine once told me that she has a friend who checks in on the TeamReed blog every now and again when she's feeling down and wants to feel more miserable.

I didn't get it either, at first. It was explained to me somewhere along the lines of everything in the blog indicates that I lead the life of Riley. When this woman wanted to torture herself about the less blissful state of her life, she turned to me.

My first reaction was, "Whatever." And then I got a recent message from an old childhood friend who had apparently been reviewing the posts. She said I either was really happy or I covered up really, really well.

I'm giving both of them the benefit of the doubt that they don't mean to be insulting. (Just watch me grow!) But it does make me want to set a few things straight.

1. Yes, Goddammit, I AM happy. A lot. Almost always. Truly.
2. I'm also sometimes/often annoyed, cranky and ticked off.
3. Yes, Alison IS that damn cute, smart and funny.
4. Except when she's a brat. (OK. she really is rarely a brat, but yeah, sometimes she is.)
5. Now, to rip off Miranda Lambert, here's a little bombshell just for my blog followers: I don't tell you EVERYTHING. Mostly I tell you the good stuff, the highlights; sometimes the low lights, but I try to keep it fun.

So, to sum up: My life is good. I'm glad that it's good. It wasn't always good. If hearing a little bit about the antics on and about Castle Row make you smile once in a while, that's great. If you like to wallow in some twisted way, OK; if that does it for you, I'm here for you either way. Whatever works.

And now, one more fun thing my kid did:

While I was in my Vicodin coma, I wasn't paying attention to every little thing. Alison is not a fan of the bath, but I usually hose her off at least twice a week well and I get parts of her in between.

She confessed the other day that while I was sick, she went more than a week without a bath.

"Oh my gosh, Ali. Didn't you smell bad?" I exclaimed in horror.

"Nope. I sprayed myself with the Febreze so you wouldn't notice," she said, proud as she could be.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Beginning of the End

We've lost her.

First, it was a 5-hour birthday party Saturday that included a play at Beef and Boards. While I tried to get her into a skirt, she resisted mightily. We compromised on a pair of glittery butterfly-embroirdered blue jeans that she's only worn once. She preferred pull on velveteen pants she's worn 17 million times and has the worn spots to prove it. Dresses and skirts are too girly. Denim is harsh against her sensitive skin. She prefers pull-on velvet, velveteen or cotton fibers worn thin in spots. And shirts that preferably match nothing else.

She got home from the birthday party and within minutes had a visit from the little girl next door who had a friend over and wanted a third. That turned into a marshmallow roast and a sleepover.

Sunday morning, not long after we'd gotten home from our walk, another knock. This time from a little girl down the street who visits every other weekend with her dad, but who we haven't seen for a while. Everyone had their bikes out celebrating the great weather, so Ali got hers and they sailed off to the park under the guidance of Jessie's dad.

Alison did, eventually, return to us; velveteen pants full of sand from the park, her hair tangled with bits of grass and leaves.

I was somewhat grateful for the diversions. I've cleverly fallen victim to a late winter cold that had me hacking so much at work my colleagues sent me home early. Jeff has regained his title of Best Husband Ever by taking care of me and bringing me sugar-free cough medicine, Kleenex and fluids. So it's not like I've been a fun playmate anyway.

At one point today, I woke up from a sweaty nap on the couch to find she'd written me a note on the newspaper page that rested on my chest. "Dear Mom. Get better soon." It had a little heart, too.

So sure, she likes me. But it's clear to see her slipping away.

Before Jessie had knocked on the door, we were planning to sit down to lunch. Ali had had a grilled cheese at the newspaper stand, but she was begging for a bowl of Ramen. Her hunger pangs evaporated with the invitation to go play, so it was just Jeff and me at the table; staring at each other in a silent house over tuna-salad sandwiches and the Sunday NY Times.

I had a flash-forward to the days when it really will be just he and I, gray-haired and bent over, sharing cans of tuna and soup while our daughter travels the world or (gasp) takes off with some lover somewhere with no thought at all of us.

I'd better get better fast. And I'd better learn how to play Mario Kart.

As we were clearing dinner plates tonight (somehow she managed to fit us in to her busy schedule) Jeff suggested that the two of them have a race after dessert and her bath. "Maybe I'll smoke you this time," he said.

"Yeah. Probably not," she tossed out, legitimately full of confidence.