Friday, January 25

A busy time but a successful surprise

Oh boy – where do I start? It’s been a crazy 2 weeks.

Dave went to NY for work last Tuesday. He was scheduled to be back last Wednesday night but got held up and came home Thursday night. You would think, given any normal situation, that wouldn’t be a big deal. To me and the fact that his birthday is a week and a half away – it’s a very big deal.

We were supposed to have party for him on Saturday the 26th. There was limited availability with my family that day so I was really trying to figure out how to make it work without scheduling a party 3 weeks after the fact. So, last Tuesday night, as I sat feeding Natalie at 930, I decided I would try to pull off a surprise party for Friday. That leaves me 3 days until the party.

I frantically make calls to my family at 930pm to see if we can possibly pull this off. General consensus is “yes”. Everyone will be here no later than 530 on Friday to surprise him as he comes in the door from work. I am so excited - I think I can pull this off!!

Dave called me on Wednesday to say he is held up on his work project and won’t be home until Thursday night. Because he is staying an extra day in NY, maybe he can leave early on Friday. I pretend like it’s no big deal – “Oh, that’d be fun! Okay.” Inside I’m reacting something a little more like this: “WHAT!?!?! Are you serious!?!?! You can’t leave early!!! What the hell am I gonna do?!?!?!” Now I’m disappointed – I don’t think I can pull this off.

I called mom, frantic – “Please help me. What am I gonna do? Help me come up with a believable story about why he can’t leave early without really letting him onto what’s happening.” After some talking and thinking – maybe I can get somebody at work to schedule a late day meeting with Dave. I hate relying on someone at work but I’m desperate. Maybe I can tell him he can’t come home because I have a contractor coming to give me an estimate on something for his birthday. Not to believable but what else am I gonna do. I decide to wait and see what the day in like on Friday before I start telling lies and involving people at work.

Because I can’t let on that I am pulling this together, I have to wait and buy EVERYTHING on Friday. It’s supposed to be 20° and Noah is sick. I hate to drag him out all day but what choice to do I have.

Friday arrives – I’m exhausted. I don’t sleep well when Dave is gone and the smoke alarm went off in the middle of the night because of a low battery which scared the daylights out of me. After my heart stopped pounding out of my chest and I finally fell asleep, Noah came in. Once he tossed and turned and finally got comfortable enough o sleep, Natalie woke up. So, here I am – no sleep, 10° (it’s 8am), a party to plan, buy food and cook food in less than 9 hours. I know I will be on my feet non-stop until 530 when Dave gets home but I have no idea the day I am about to have…

I throw the kids in the car and rush off to Kroger as soon as I know Dave is out of the subdivision. No breakfast…just a big glass of milk for each kid to get them through grocery shopping. I’ll feed them breakfast when we get home. I am planning on cooking spaghetti with homemade sauce. I need to get the sauce going because I want it to simmer in the crock pot all day. I have to bake a cake, make icing and decorate the cake after it has time to cool. I have to get to Kroger for all this food. I wish I could have bought it earlier but Dave would have definitely guessed something was up when I brought enough spaghetti for 15 people.

I push through Kroger throwing any possible necessity for the party in the cart. I pick up a case of beer but wait, we’re having spaghetti – beer and spaghetti…GROSS!! I put the beer back and wonder aimlessly through the wine – yeah right, like I have some sort of idea what I’m doing when it comes to buying wine. I know Chianti goes with Italian food but I can’t find it anywhere. Again – I have no idea what I’m doing! I remembered there is a Zinfandel that we like that I think we can get at Kroger. Mom and dad bought some when they were here. Did they get it at Kroger? I call her and yes, they did but she doesn’t remember where it was in the wine section. I keep looking – if it was snake, it would have bit me. As I’m heading towards the register I remember that not everyone likes wine and there will be drinking games. Wine and drinking games don’t mix so I go back for the case of beer. Beer, wine, spaghetti and cake – yum! – we head to the check out. The cashier gives me the total – GULP!! – $100 in alcohol and $100 in food… it’s his fault for turning 40 :) As I reach for my wallet, I realize that Noah’s drink has been leaking in the diaper bag which has been laying in the bottom of the cart. I pick it up to stop anymore leaking and we’re off. Homebound to cook all day!!

As I throw the meat and onions into the pan, I realize I don’t have a pan big enough to cook all this meat. It’s like I’m making one GIANT hamburger. There’s no room in the pan to scramble it. I call mom – this is not going well. As far as I know he’s still planning on coming home early so it’s only adding to my state of panic. I separate the meat into 2 pans and continue on. Noah is having cereal for breakfast and Natalie gulps down some infant cereal/oatmeal. Thank goodness she is such a fast eater and Noah can feed himself. :) I pour everything into the crock pot. It is full - to the rim. If I put anything else in there, it will overflow. I barely have room for the lid and I still need to add 3 cans of tomato paste. Call mom – it’s not going well!! Based on a taste test, I think I can skip the paste…thank goodness.

Noah wants a drink. Okay – apple juice is already in the diaper bag from the trip to Kroger this morning. Where’s the diaper bag?? I must have left it in the car – nope! Did I put it in Natalie’s seat under her blanket – nope! Oh crap…I left it in the cart at Kroger. My wallet is in there…oh crap!! I’m going to have to cancel my cards and be without $$ all weekend and no $$ to finish buying the decorations for the party. I call Dave in a panic and pretend to be nearly in tears… “Are you coming home early? I’m having such a bad day!” “It doesn’t look like it, what happened?” I come up with a story that I left the bag in the cart at Kroger when I went in for Starbucks. He buys the story but tells me not the cancel anything until I pick up the bag. If it seems like it’s been gone through, we’ll figure out what to do. Good – he’s not coming home early :)

The nice people at the customer service counter handed me my bag with a smile and said I left it on the end of the checkout lane. I apparently set it down on the counter when I adjusted Noah's leaking apple juice and forgot to pick it back up. YEAH – it’s been with them since I left and it hasn’t been gone through!! I’m surprised they don’t know my name by now. Generally, once a month, I end up leaving something – cell phone, dog, drink, etc. They are always friendly – my mom says at least I don’t forget my kids at Kroger…good point :)

I am now driving down the road trying to visualize the closest party store to buy balloons and decorations. Fields Ertel is 20 minutes away and always soooo packed with traffic but that’s where I have to go. As I am in the turn lane to get on the highway, I remember a party store at the next exit – opposite of the direction to Fields Ertel. Good – 5 minutes no traffic is better than 20 minutes plus traffic. I get back in the lane for the other exit ramp and continue on with my ever so adventurous day.

As I pull into the shopping center where the party store is, I see the party store is no longer there. WHAT!?!? This is just my luck. They aren’t closed down for good, they are moving locations and have closed for the weekend in preparation of the move. Of all weekends to be closed – are you kidding me?!? Now I really have to go to Fields Ertel. UGH!! I’ve just lost about 10 minutes coming to this party store and trying to figure out what to do next. Again, as I getting in the exit lane to get on the highway to go to Fields Ertel, I remember a party store at the next exit across from the mall. It’s only 10 minutes away and only a small amount of traffic. It’s nap time for the kids but I don’t have time to give them a nap yet – I have to buy decorations!!

We make it to the party store, buy balloons and decorations. Load Natalie back into the car and then I hear, from Noah, “Where’s my dog?” Oh my gosh!! Unload Natalie and trek back inside to locate dog which was left on the shelf next to the party hats Noah played with while I made my decoration selections. I think we’re good now. We head home. As I’m exiting the highway for the house, I remember I forgot the DVD’s for the video camera that Samantha is letting me borrow for tonight. Noah and Natalie have both fallen asleep so I can't drag them out into the cold. They'll never fall back asleep. Katie and Stephanie are supposed to come over to help… where are they?!?! I call Katie and she will stop for DVDs and black gel icing for the cake decorating.

I carry my kids in the house and down for a nap. They are sleeping and I rush to make icing and ice the cake. I still have to get the decorations together, feed my kids lunch, make the salad and salad dressing, and shower in 2 ½ hours. Oh boy – we’re cutting it close!! I call Dave to figure out if he’s changed his mind about leaving early. Nope – “busy day, I’ll leave around 5. What’s for dinner?” He’s okay with spaghetti, he just doesn’t know it’s spaghetti for 15. :)

Kate and Stephanie arrive. Kate does decorations, Stephanie makes the salad dressing and I get lunch ready for my kids. I hear dog hit the stairs – Noah’s up!! He eats lunch. One down - one to go. Natalie wakes up and Stephanie feeds her. I head to the shower. As the water turns off, I hear that everyone is hear except Samantha. It’s 5:00; where is she? The success of this is dependent on her video camera. I call and she’s not even left her house yet. I think of a back up plan… I can’t think of one so I just hope she gets here before Dave.

It’s 5:10 and I haven’t heard from him to tell me he’s left work – that’s strange. I hope he didn’t get in the middle of a phone call in the car and forget to call. I call and pretend to be starving - sort of pretending. I'm pretty hungry but don't realize how hungry because I have been running all day. I tell him that I don’t want to wait until 6 to eat. How long before he’s home? He’s leaving now and will home about 545… PERFECT!! He tells me to start the spaghetti noodles at 530 so we can eat when he gets home. Um…okay I'm so sure - I can’t start noodles at 530. He’ll wonder why I’m making so many noodles. Oh well – he’ll have to wait for them to cook after he gets home.

Samantha arrives with the camera and I pull everyone upstairs with decorations and posters. We sit in our room and wait… tick – tock – tick – tock!! I’m not sure if he’s onto me so I hide everyone upstairs to make him think Noah and I are playing in his room and nothing is up. Everyone is getting anxious and peaking out the blinds. He’ll see you if you do that. Just sit tight; you’ll here the garage door open.

The garage door goes up and we hold our breath. I have Noah yell for him. I hear Dave yell back. Noah yells, again. I have Noah yell, “Daddy, come see me!” Dave peaks his head around the corner…


He is surprised and looking for dinner. I’d say it was a successful surprise!!!

After dinner, we open presents. He is soooo surprised by the trip to Vegas. He keeps asking, “Really?!” We have video that I hope will make it to youtube soon but that’s something he’ll have to take care of.

In the middle of the party planning, Noah gets a cold. Just as he starts to get better, Natalie starts teething and has the nastiest cold because of her teething. She gets 2 new teeth – one on top and one on the bottom. Her nose clears up but now she’s got a cough. So, now that Noah is better, Natalie is sick. Noah woke up from his nap yesterday afternoon complaining that his ear hurt. That’s weird… It’s not an ear infection. He doesn’t have normal ear infection symptoms that he shows – fever, fussy, crying, sleeplessness. I figure maybe he slept on that side and he’s tired from just waking up. Stephanie is on her way over to watch the kids so Dave and I can go out for his birthday. I don’t want to cancel on her, again. Last time she was supposed to babysit, we found out Noah has a nut allergy so we had to cancel. I give Noah some Tylenol, feed him and he seems better - good! When Stephanie shows up, he wants to play toys in his room with her. Noah is better so we are off to the movies.

After watching “Juno” (great movie –highly recommend it), we head out to dinner. Dave isn’t hungry because he filled up on popcorn and nachos. I’m starving… I didn’t eat very much today knowing we were going out tonight. After driving around for a while so Dave could figure what he wants to eat, we decide on Arthur’s in Hyde Park. As we are sitting at a traffic light, looking for a parking spot, we hear “crunch!” Someone has just rear ended us. Oh great… I’m starving! I don’t have time for this. :) Luckily, we just had a scratch but her passenger side mirror is pretty damaged. From looking at it, I think she was trying to get around us at the light. I’m not sure why: the light was red and we were turning right so it’s not like she was going to go anywhere and we weren’t going to hold her up when the light did turn green. Oh well!! Dave decides not to call the cops and to just exchange information with her. Thank god – from my experience, Cincinnati cops are way toooo slow to respond and then process the accident and I’m starving. I don’t want to wait!

We park, eat dinner, and head home.

Poor Noah – he had fun playing with Stephanie but when it came time for bed, he wanted Dave to put him to bed but we were at dinner. He didn’t want Stephanie to do it so he put himself to bed. Poor little guy – he’s never done that before. I don’t know who I felt worse for: Noah for not feeling good and us not being there for him or Stephanie who felt bad for not being able to comfort him. I know she tried but it’s just not the same as mom or dad. L He must have heard us come home because when Stephanie left, I heard him yell for me. We comforted him and put him back to bed. Dave decided to sleep on the couch because Natalie was up crying from 1130 until about 1230. She doesn’t feel good either. She has a stuffy nose so she can’t suck her thumb and she has a cough. She finally went back down around 1230 and Noah was in our room at 230. He tossed and turned and kept me up until 415 when he started crying and complaining about his ear again. I gave him Tylenol and left a message at the doctor’s office that I wanted an appointment for Noah. I finally got back to sleep about 430. Noah was up at 745 – I guess it’s better than the normal 630 :)

The doctor’s office has scheduled us for 10 this morning. I wake up Natalie who is now coughing and wheezing. UGH!! I call the doctor’s office to get her in, too. So, we’re off and running again today.

The diagnosis: Noah has an ear infection – Natalie just has a cold and yet another tooth coming in. Antibiotics for Noah – tough it out Natalie. I think she is going for getting all her teeth at once. Well, at least she'll get it done and over with :)

So, sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve updated the blog… we’ve been busy!!