Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mall Rats

After a bit of a stressful week at work, I was really looking forward to the weekend.

It got started off right with a bit of community service. No, we weren't wearing orange, and we weren't chained to each other. Instead, we stood outside Lucas Oil Stadium and asked Packers and Colts fans to give a little bit up for Claire's Comfort for Kids.

It's a great program inspired by Claire Helmen, daughter of Jeff's boss and sitter of Alison. Claire has curly red hair, is long and lean, and when she Alison out and about, everyone thinks they're sisters.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm the worst person to ask to raise money regardless of the good cause. If I ever find myself on a street corner with a cardboard sign, rest assured I'll be dead of starvation in a week. It's just not my thing.

Joanne Joyce, another volunteer, on the other hand, is a pro. She was taking her collection bucket into the lines waiting at security, loudly implying that the Packers fans were showing up the home crowd.

Jeff and Ali were at one spot and I was at another with another woman and two boys who put me to shame. Their exuberance got me to at least call out to the crowd. When I took Ali off to a bathroom break, we were stopped by some scalpers trying to get us to buy tickets, and I got a buck out of each of them!

Further inspired, I went to work at my station. When I joined back up with TeamReed, they weren't doing too well. So I got Ali to follow my lead. "Wow, Mom, you can get people to do stuff!" she said.

I almost choked and told her I'd been shamed into by the boys. Instead, I told her she could do it, too. She's claiming to be shy these days. But with only a little push, she gave it a try and lo and behold, the dollars started coming her way. The more she collected, the louder and braver she got.

By game time, we were tired, but our buckets were much fuller. We'd collected some phones for domestic violence victims, too. We did so well, I thought we deserved a reward and the captain decided it would be to have Dairy Queen (gasp!) before dinner.

With Saturday came a pool party courtesy of one of Jeff's co-workers and then a sleepover for Ali, and dinner and a movie for Jeff and me. We almost pulled of a P.Jackson-squared dinner, but couldn't make the times work.

Sunday, while the East Coast was pounded by Irene, it was a beautiful, clear summer morning in Indiana. Karin took the kids to see the Keystone Towers implode. Jeff and I watched it from bed. And then I tackled the back yard and finished up my front yard chores.

Around noon, Ali came home and we got to keep the Ogdens for a little while. They would watch TV and play the Wii 24/7 if you let them, but I thought they needed time outside the house. Our healthy outing ended up being the Castleton Mall.

Ali had let her ear holes grow back -- I was more focused on her braces, I guess and had forgotten about the ears. So back to Claire's we went.

As we walked into the mall, Alison started channeling a drama queen and fretting over the coming pain. She was holding onto one of my hands and one of Hannahs and trying to find a way to hang onto Alex. Then she started squeezing.

"You do know that's my credit-card signing hand," I said.

"Quick, Ali, use both of mine!," Hannah said.

The redhead moaned and fretted and whined about the pain from the parking lot through the food court. At the main mall hallway, I debated aloud whether to turn left or right.

"It's this way, Mom," she said, pulling me toward the earring shop. Yeah. She's scared. So we go there in fine shape. Hannah kept a watchful eye over the care of my right hand.

Before it was over, we caught up on a late birthday gift for Hannah at Hot Topics and found an early one for Alex at the Lego store.

Thank goodness they took such good care of my right hand...


Kathy said...

Just love reading your weekly blogs. Sorry we don't see you all as often as we should, but still feel that I know whats going on at the Reed's hacienda. Things are slowing down a bit for us. Would love to find an evening to get together for dinner. Throw some available dates our way and we will put it on the calendar.

Cheryl said...

Let's do it! I'll check Jeff's calendar.

linda olvey said...

a wonderful blog, Cheryl. Can i somehow repost this on facebook?. Is is such a great endorsement!Esp love how you mentioned the uncanny likensses of our beautiful girls!

Cheryl said...

Sure! Just copy the url...thanx again for letting us take part.