Then we had lunch and were off to do errands. I might be procrastinating a little on my projects, but we needed to get an oil change, pick up a couple of things for Keturah's birthday, and take Benaiah to Chick Fil A for his first real shift! It was 3 hr shift, and he learned how to fry the fries! He was chosen to be in the back because it's slightly more pay, it's high stress, you have to be efficient and detailed. He was exhausted, but that's good! Keturah, Abishai and I did go into the restaurant this time because I wanted a pop, and I knew that once Abishai saw the CFA sign, he'd want something to eat and to go play. They both got a small fry. Abishai loves to play in the playground and will go hide from us and play hard to catch. Unfortunately, while I was in the play area with him, Keturah decided it was ok to eat most of Abishai's fries without asking. They had been too hot when we got them (perhaps Benaiah made them?) so we were letting them cool first. So when I came out and saw her reach in his bag for one, I asked her what she was doing and then how many she had eaten. She lied and said only 1 when clearly it was 2/3 of the bag. I was not pleased. I had her take some money up to the counter and ask for another small fry. She paid me when we got home. I do have to discipline these things quickly with her because she steals, hides, and lies. It's an ongoing struggle. Hopefully she learned her lesson.
We moved onto the oil change, which I haven't been a part of in for over 10 years. I know it's painless, really, but I get nervous doing new things. I knew that there would be a waiting room for the kids and that was fine. It took all of 30 minutes and the employees were pretty friendly. Ouch on the price, but we get higher mileage oil. Speaking of, I did not know that our van has 140,000 miles on it! Say what?! And I think it has another 100,000 miles to go because it doesn't feel that old and we aren't fixing her up in major ways yet. Yes, there have been some minor things like the side door, and there's some bodywork things, but otherwise, it's in pretty decent shape for a 11 year old vehicle hat has been taken to upper Michigan and PEI and New Orleans (before Abishai was born) and Florida. I'm impressed! My parents would run vehicles into the ground because they couldn't afford newer cars, and until this one, and the Chrysler before that, we also had vehicles we had to put a lot of money into. It feels nice to not have this or that car repair all the time AND no car payments! Sweet! Abishai got to talk to a toddler boy and even crouched down low to look him in the eye. It was so adorable! I did lift him up as well to see the guys working on the van. He was only half interested in that.
Then it was off to get a couple of things for party day. It doesn't feel like party day though. Yes, I coordinated with a few other moms and the girls are going to go roller skating. But we didn't have this huge plan for a theme or decorations, etc. I knew Keturah like the emoji balloon Justin got from Bible Bowl and since I didn't make an Amazon order, I wanted to find some locally. And thankfully, the local Party City had the whole emoji theme. Not the movie personas, but the basic emojis. Emojis started out as a yellow smiley face that a computer was programmed to turn certain series of keystrokes into a picture. Well, there's millions of emojis now and they aren't all faces. The worst one being the "poop" emoji which is just that, a "cute" looking pile of poop. Disgusting, but that's what our culture likes. Moving on....Abishai had fallen asleep in the 10 minute ride from the oil change to the store, so I put him in the stroller thinking he'd stay asleep or it would help him wake up slowly in the store. It was helpful, but he was awake immediately and wanted to get out and touch everything. Eeek! We had to remember our "look with our eyes, not with our hands" and "hands in your pockets" motto. We were killing some time before we had to pick up Benaiah from CFA, so we took our time and looked at all kinds of things. We tried on masks an played with Incredibles II themed stuff. We found a set of "handcuppies" (handcuffs) with a badge and gun, so we got it for Abishai since he loves his police lego videos and has been "arresting" Jared in their role playing. We ended up getting more than just the latex emoji balloons, including a huge $10 mylar balloon. I guess she's not too old for fun stuff like that, so I said yes. Earlier in the morning, she had been the one to pull out all the birthday stuff, select treats for her friends, come up with decorating leftover cups to look like emoji faces, and basically hosting her own party, so I let her get the balloons and any loot bags she wanted. I said no to a lot of other things, but she actually didn't beg too much this time. Abishai however, reached into an open candy bin and was eating a sucker before I could catch him, so we had to pay for that. I could have taken the time to pull out the 12 cents and had him give the cashier the money, but I didn't. Next time, as I'm sure there will be a next time with that one.
Then we went back to CFA and sat in the quieter Taco Bell parking lot waiting for him to finish. He used his shift meal on a shake. He'll be there for 4 hrs during the evening rush tomorrow. Good luck! Home we went and then I ate a little bit of something before heading out for Mom's Night Out with the east side homeschooling group. It was only 15 minutes away in Beech Grove at an Italian restaurant that's been there for years and years, Napoli Villa. I've only been in there once to eat with Jared. The meals are mid range price and I was trying to be frugal so I got water and dessert. It was a mango sorbet with a white chocolate shell on it and chocolate syrup drizzle! It was very yummy! There were 6 of us this time, some of which come every time we have MNO. The conversation ranged from college for kids, to high school, to behaviors, to decluttering, to relationships (boyfriends/girlfriends) and everything in between (i.e. kids, kids, and more kids). We talked and talked and talked and we closed the place down! I wish I made the effort to attend more of these. Just listening to others struggle helps sometimes, but then there are times where they also offer solutions. Like, CLEP tests? What are those and how do they compare to AP classes? And what will transfer from one school to the next? Hm,....
I came home exhausted but had to finish the concert blog. I went to bed entirely too late, despite trying to decompress quickly. I just don't know why I can't do that! And now today (Wednesday), I've been on edge all day running birthday party shennigans for Keturah and 4 other friends with a 3 yr old stubborn, precocious little boy tagging along. I nearly cried when I couldn't lift my feet up enough to go up the step from the sunroom to the fireside room. So, Jared took Abishai with him to water the ferns and get the parents' mail and then go to CFA to pick up Benaiah while Keturah and I cleaned up the house to near perfection (not declutter, picked up toys mostly and daily cleaning), and now we can jump start on some quiet time. I'll describe her day in a minute, but like me, she gets overwhelmed with too much social time and was nearly in tears by the end of the day because the girls weren't listening to her. The extroverted ones had accidentally paired off, too. Anyways, here's the blow by blow.
Our first guest arrived by 9, and then the next one by 10 because the first girl's family all work and the 2nd one wanted to join in and play on the slip and slide. That was a little crazy trying to get Abishai ready to go outside or keep him out of trouble while I filled the water balloons. These new water balloon filling contraptions are genius! They stuck a straw in the opening of the balloon and put a rubber band around the straw and neck of the balloon. Then it's attached to a hose attachment. They are filled within a few seconds and then slide off into a bucket of water (which is what they suggested) and seal because of the rubber band. It's not fool proof, but we had most of them seal. They are about $8 per 100 balloons, but worth every penny! Abishai had the most fun chasing the girls around with them. In fact, he played the annoying little brother all day. So they played in the slip and slide while I cooked pizza and cut up watermelon.
I hadn't really planned all of this out as I normally do, so I felt incredibly chaotic and "it's too late now" and "it's a good thing Keturah isn't picky and she can do a lot of this herself." I mean, it was her 10th birthday party and I had no desire to preplan anything and was too focused on my own self and my pain to do much for her. But I think it was ok. She dug out what she wanted to from our birthday supplies, arranged it all, put together goody bags for her friends, etc. We had remembered to buy chips and watermelon, but didn't really think through the main dish. Thank goodness I had two frozen pizzas in the freezer. We made some more kool-aid, thank goodness I had put those packets as well for Abishai potty training juice. She decorated the cups, with Daddy's help. She was the little hostess, not me, so I can say I am proud of her for doing a lot of it. I just have mom guilt for it. I guess I just thought the boys didn't have themes or much of anything spectacular for their 10th birthdays, but forgot that maybe Keturah, being a girl, would want something more. Maybe I overthink things and maybe I have always been saddened by the fact that I didn't have birthday parties. This time, it has nothing to do with keeping up with everyone else. I do it because I want the child to feel special, not because other families through these big events. ANYWAYS, lunch, and then Jenna our neighbor joined us and we went to a local ROLLER skating rink (that's for you Canadians who see the word "skating rink" and only think of ICE skating rink.)
The roller skating rink was interesting. It wasn't as clean as the other one, so it did gross me out a bit. Today was wacky Wednesday so if you brought in one unused paper towel roll per child, they would get in for free, and you'd just have to pay for skate rental, which was $4. Sweet deal for sure. I went ahead and rented skates for Abishai figuring the rink probably needs the money anyway. All told it was $25 for 6 kids. Not bad. Jordan, who joined us there with her mom, Ginny, (they were at Keturah's party last year, when Ginny stayed just because it was a long drive from their house to ours), brought her own skates. There were a couple of daycares there as well. Unfortunately, that made the experience somewhat unpleasant because they were goofing off using the new skater equipment as ride on toys, even when they had no skates on. I know the caretakers have a lot to keep track of, but I saw no discipline and I was not pleased. Several larger boys Justin's age did not pay attention to others around them, bumping into Keturah and her friends. I just had to grin and bear it because I was having a hard enough time keeping up with Abishai. Abishai did want to skate and tried for a hot minute, but quickly fell on his bum and wanted his skates off. We weren't even on the skating floor yet. So we took those off, put on his sneakers because the floors were disgusting, and he ran around touching all the arcade games. I finally had had enough of that, and let him watch YouTube on my phone while I talked with Ginny and tried to keep track of the girls. We were there for 2 1/2 hrs, so I desparately needed the break. Keturah started to get upset towards the end because she was tired and wanted to leave but couldn't get the girls' attention to come off the floor. I don't blame her. I was tightly holding Abishai's hand because he was going to end up running outside of the building into the parking lot he was so stir crazy. I don't think this was quite the experience she had hoped for with her friends. We'll try another rink another day.
On the way home, Jenna fell asleep (as well as Abishai) and the other girls and I heard her talking in her sleep. One friend even set an alarm on her phone to sound like the alarm on Jenna's phone and when it went off, Jenna said "just five more minutes, Mom!" It was very funny and something that we haven't experienced much of in our house. We don't have any bed wetters, sleep walkers, or talk in their sleep kids. A couple of us breathe loudly/borderline snore. I also stopped at the bank on the way home and the ATM was out of order, so I had to drive around the building again and use the drive up window. I don't think I've used one of those in 6 years at least! I didn't know what to do to make a withdrawal! Someone inside did recognize me, Jana (?), or maybe knows Jared and Gary well because he's there more often than I am. I apologized for being all fumble fingers with the tube thing. And, they still give out suckers for kids! So everyone got one! Sweet! I was pretty happy until I went to pull out of the lane and hit the right curb which was where the ATM lane is. Duh! The poor van's bodywork! I'm the one who keeps crunching up the undercarriage. We made it home, played in the water more, and waited for parents to arrive. And Keturah and I sighed a deep sigh of relief when it was all over. She actually didn't put her bathing suit on and sat on a towel in the driveway because she was so tired, poor thing.
She perked up at supper when she showed Daddy what she had gotten for her birthday, some money, some Barbies, and a sticker maker kit. She cleaned up her room from the mess that her friend Braelyn and her made earlier in the day and I cleaned up the rest of the house. She and I vacuumed and now we are sitting in the quiet until the boys are home in about 20 minutes. Yeah, I made it to the end of the blog by 8pm! Only because I wrote yesterday's part this morning while she was doing art with Braelyn. I love blogging, but it can take time and mental energy. I don't want to cut it out of my routine so I can get more sleep, but I might have to because I'm just so tired on busy weeks like this. Tomorrow we are going to a book sale I've waited all year for and my chiropractor appointment and then we'll be home recovering the rest of the day and Friday. We might go to park day, and we might not. Justin comes home on Saturday around lunchtime. And next time, I'm hiring a babysitter for the purple minion who loathes potty training. We need Grandma boot camp! But next week she has guests so who knows. Meanwhile, my projects have sat idle this week and it's frustrating.
Now onwards to prepare for tomorrow and do some planning for vacation because I'm the official vacation planner this year and I wasn't told that until last week. Vacation is in a month. Go me. .....and now it's 10:30 pm and I haven't journaled these pictures! I can't seem to get ahead. Grrrr....here I go...
|Where's my school, Mommy? It was buried behind the boxes we brought into the fireside room from the garage. He wanted to bring homework because Keturah was bringing homework with her.|
|Now how did your blankie got stuck in Flinstone's school house I wonder? There's a large hatch in the back, but why would he do this?|
|He's getting way too big. I wish I took more joy in his antics, but he is exhausting.|
|I love his hand under my pillow.|
|Little chubby arms under pillows.|
|Busy and dirty feet finally laying still, such a rarity!|
|Meanwhile, Justin likes to talk and talk and talk to anyone that will listen. He's Mr. Chatterbox down there in Texas.|
|Painting and chatting.|
|Woke up at 5am, sent him back to bed, he ended up here for two hrs. Oi!|
|He thought he was on a bed and started to snuggle up to the wall while he was still asleep.|
|Wake up, baby, and play with Daddy!|
|Sorry, but not sorry. Plumber's crack! As soon as he knew someone was coming to work on the house, he went to go find his tools. He has his yellow work glasses on, too. Naked because of potty training and heat.|
|Where did Benaiah's "alarm clock" aka Abishai go?|
|There he is! Wake up, Miah, or I'll tickle your toes!|
|Painting, in his best Sunday shorts. After we discussed what to wear and not wear and I even reminded him that morning. Oh well, I guess he'll just have to find something else to wear on Sundays, like the dreaded jeans he hates.|
|Doesn't everyone eat PB & J with a spoon?|
|Daddy, don't leave me! Abishai literally won't let Jared leave most mornings.|
|Someone is gainfully employed.|
|First meal with a discount. First meal where Benaiah could have helped prepare it! Way to go, Miah!|
|It was just 13 short years ago that I bet that shirt was on Benaiah in this very restaurant. Now Benaiah works here. Craziness!|
|3 1/2 yrs old mountain climber.|
|Never a dull moment.|
|Again, it's never dull. Cutest Hulk ever! Hulk smash!|
|This is when he stole a sucker. But check out those big balls, Mommy!|
|A midwest thunderstorm! Except it completely missed us. Typical.|
|Here he comes, Mr. CFA man....Say what?!|
|Abishai using his new "hand cuppies" on the bad guy!|
|Put the bad guy in jail!|
|Just in case you wonder what Jared does all day.....he ships books! Ok, and he edits, and he does other operations management stuff. But this whole stack is going to just one church!|
|The infamous $10 balloon. She loves it!|
|Keturah prepared these herself from supplies we had bought for Abishai's birthday but forgot to give out. The loot bags we bought for her party though. The Frozen bin they are in is from a few years ago.|
|Cap'n Happy has made his appearance again. Jared started drawing him in late high school.|
|Brand new faucet!|
|And now that we have the water treatment installed and all the right piping under the sink, we can run the dishwasher that was installed several months ago! No more food crumbs left on plates when kids wash the dishes!|
|The bunch of balloons product. The first bundle is done, and we were filling the second bundle. Just screw it onto the hose, let the hose trickle and fill the balloons, and then give it a gentle shake and they slide right off!|
|100 balloons in just a few minutes!|
|Keturah and Braelyn ready to throw them.|
|Abishai played the part of crazy, mean, obnoxious little brother quite well. He loved chasing after the girls, following them around and learning their names.|
|Slip and slide time.|
|Crafts with Braelyn. They made the cutest puppets! Braelyn is VERY good at drawing and at arts and crafts!|
|He did give it a couple of tries! That's better than last time! They had tons of these skating helpers at a couple of different heights. I just wish the kids weren't using them as ride on toys.|
|So many buttons, so little time!|
|What's this, Mommy? We've never done a photo booth before so he was confused. I've never done it either.|
|Get them off! Get them off!|
|Keturah and Jordan! I think it's the third year that Keturah can wear that shirt. It's getting a little short though. It says, "I love Canada" on it.|
|The girls and their side kick. Sarah, Braelyn, Keturah, Jenna, and Jordan. These girls are pretty much the same age, but come in all sizes and shapes, lol. And then there's their side kick or mascot, Abishai. Lol.|
|(Inserting pictures from the DSLR camera here. I haven't taken photos on it for two weeks!) The crafters in action.|
|Braelyn made this gorgeous card!|
|Wow! I'm impressed!|
|Jared helped Keturah make these emoji cups! They were plain leftover cups from when we made Lego faces on them for Justin's birthday party a few years ago.|
|Sunglasses/nice police guy (Lego movie) and Cap'n Happy.|
|Emoji latex balloons. $3 for 8 balloons, eek! But worth it!|
|He decided that he wanted to read to himself in bed just like the big boys do. Sigh. Growing up.|
|Obligatory picture of party guests eating.|
|Obligatory picture of Keturah opening gifts. I didn't take pictures of all the gifts because I was wrangling Abishai at the time. Nor did I get a lot of pictures and videos of them out on the skating floor.|
|Braelyn and Jenna.|
|I've got this, Mom! They switched to inline skates halfway through. There was no surcharge for this either during this skate.|
|There she goes, the skating expert.|
|Taking a break.|
|Abishai taking a break from running around.|
|Get this: he pulled over the flip flop by himself to prop up the phone so he didn't have to hold it! No joke! He's seen someone do it before with other objects, but still. Cute!|
|Up and down and all around running running running make him stop!|
|They all wanted to spend money on these arcade games. But they didn't win much.|
|Taking a social break.|
|And this is how you eat a banana when you are 3 years old and super independent.|