Thursday, May 26, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

There is something very strange going on right now. While it is incredibly fantastic and super exciting, it’s still so new that I’m afraid that the very mention of it could blow the whole deal. But at the risk of completely jinxing myself, I am going to share with you the possible change in our household that has me jumping up and down like Rocky at the top of those ridiculously steep steps instead of hunkering down in a bell tower picking off unsuspecting pedestrians. I think…that Elyse…is growing up. Quick, someone rub a lucky rabbit’s foot, find a four leaf clover, or pound an entire box of Lucky Charms. Just please don’t make it stop!!!!

Why do I think this, you ask? Well I’ll tell you. Last weekend was crazy busy. We were moving nonstop and the potential for massive meltdowns was a very real and ever present threat. On Saturday alone Aaron had a soccer game in the morning, then there was a brief rest at home, followed by a make up baseball game. We hit up Dairy Queen and then finally got home maybe around 6ish, let the kids play in the yard for a bit, then herded everyone inside for showers and the bedtime routine. Whew! I was kind of on edge all day waiting for it to all go down, but it never really did. Sure there was some whining at the very end of the night, but considering what we had accomplished that day, Mike and I saw it as a total victory. Take that universe and your affinity for making us suffer. In your face!

Sunday was very similar and the running was nonstop, but still things were manageable. Everyone was decent, everyone mostly behaved, and I don’t remember fantasizing about escaping to a far off land even one time. Although, I will say that Sunday, thanks to my super awesome hubby and my incredibly amazing mother-in-law, I was able to escape for a little while with my mom and Angie to pick up Mal from the airport. So I’m sure that that little break contributed greatly to my overall feeling of well-being and happy, happy, joy, joy kind of mood.

But Monday, oh on Monday, the thing that makes me think that we could possibly be turning a corner happened. Aaron’s class was going to have a short program in the afternoon. The letter that came home informing us about it said that it would only be a fifteen to twenty minute deal and so still high on the victory of the weekend, I decided that Elyse and I would go ourselves; just the two of us, no one to help, no back up.

When we got to the school, we found out that his class would be performing in the cafeteria and the kids that were eating lunch weren’t quite finished yet, so we would have to wait in the lobby for about fifteen minutes. The lobby; urgh, that was the scene of many horrific, challenging parenting moments like this one that you may remember from last year. The thought of waiting with Elyse for fifteen minutes in that lobby made me shudder and I kind of wanted to stomp my feet and shake my fists and yell ,” But I don’t wanna wait fifteen minutes with HER. She’s CRAZY!!! No, no, no, no!!!”

And so we waited. But the weird thing was that instead of Elyse making a bee line for the fire alarm, she calmly walked with me to a seat AND SAT DOWN! She sat on a chair like a sweet little girl and talked to me like a human being. But I wasn’t about to let my guard down yet.

After a few minutes of sitting, she wanted to go over to the window to check things out. Instead of diving into the plants and almost knocking them to the ground, taking out a few other parents in the process, she simply walked over to the window AND SAT DOWN! I stood there looking at her much like the Grinch stood on the top of Mount Crumpit puzzling about why the Whos weren’t devastated that all of their presents were gone. Who is this person and what has she done with my child?

The fifteen minutes drifted by with absolutely no conflict. At one point she even stood right next to me holding on to my leg. But then we were ushered to the cafeteria where I was sure that it would all go to hell. It was hairy for a moment when Aaron and his class walked in because she wanted to go up and sit next to her brother, but then she got with the program, sat next to me leaning her little elbows on my lap, and watched the whole thing. By the time it was all said and done, I was exploding with pride for how well she behaved. I was all, “That’s right! This is my little girl and she was good for the whole damn thing! Mini dance in celebration of me! Whoo hoo!”

We walked out of the school hand in hand while I praised her the entire way to the van. She didn’t realize it at the time, but I probably would have given her just about anything that she wanted had she only asked; an ice cream cone, sure thing. A trip to Toys R Us, absolutely! A pony, ponies are lame Sweetie, Mommy will find you a magical unicorn that has rainbow hair and farts wishes.

I’m not saying that things have been perfect. Just last night, I was refilling her cup with some water. I handed it to her, she said thank you, and then she snatched the Britta pitcher off of the counter and poured water all over the floor. So we still have a little work to do, but these small glimpses of what things could be like in the years to come gives me hope for the future. Maybe everyone was right when they said that this wouldn’t last forever. Or maybe they were screwing with me and I just happened to catch Elyse on a good streak. Either way, I’ll take the sudden behavior change over the last few days as a wonderful break from the usual insanity. God knows we needed it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Wedding

This past Saturday I got a new brother when my youngest sister Mallory married Fritz. It was a beautiful day that started at 4:45 AM.

Mom was picking me up at 5:45 AM so that we could get everyone coffee and then head down to Mal’s apartment for bagels before we went to get our hair done. The following story has really nothing to do with the wedding, but it’s a wonderful example of the kinds of interactions that you can have with people before 6:00 AM in Wal Mart.

Before we got the coffee, I had mom drop me off at Wal Mart so that I could grab some deodorant that would be invisible cause the last thing that I wanted was pictures of me bustin a move on the dance floor sporting bright, white deodorant streaks. I got to the appropriate isle and the following conversation took place…

Me: (Blankly starring at my deodorant options trying to decide what to buy)
Friendly/Creepy Wal Mart Employee: What are we looking for today?
Me: Well, my sister is getting married today and I need something super invisible and super strong.
Friendly/Creepy Wal Mart Employee: Ummmmm, why does it have to be strong?
Me: Ummmmmm, because I don’t want to smell by the end of the night.
Friendly/Creepy Wal Mart Employee: Well, I use Suave and I never smell.
Me: Ummm, ok.
Friendly/Creepy Wal Mart Employee: Here’s a good one, but I don’t know if it’s “super strong.”

We went around a little bit more before I spotted what I wanted and then ran out of the isle before she could start questioning me about feminine hygiene products.

Mom, Mal, Ang, and I sat around Mal’s kitchen eating bagels and chatting while we waited for the other two bridesmaids. It seemed like we had just done that the morning before Angie’s wedding and here that has already been almost three years ago now. I kept thinking how we must be there to get ready for a shopping trip. I couldn’t believe that it was the morning of my baby sister’s wedding.

Everybody else got there and we made our way to the salon. One by one we got our hair done and chatted about nothing in particular. It was one of my favorite parts of the day. Elyse was one of the last ones to get into the chair and I couldn’t believe how well she sat. She let Andrea curl ALL of her hair and then put about a thousand bobby pins in it to keep it all up for the day.

When we got back to Mal’s to do makeup it seemed like we had all the time in the world, but then all of a sudden it was like someone pressed the fast forward button and it was all MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!

But when we got to church and we all got dressed, the reality of what was happening that day hit hard and Mal looked gorgeous. I know that I am biased, but I think we were a pretty good looking wedding party…

Watching my dad give his last daughter away really chocked me up and you could see in his face that it was killing him. Luckily, our family has been blessed with the men that we girls have chosen to marry and so even though it was hard for him, I know that dad knew that he was giving Mal away to a really great man.

Now you may remember that Aaron was the ring bearer and Elyse was the flower girl. This made me a tad, um, apprehensive to put it mildly. We all know that Elyse is a total loose cannon and just about anything could have happened. Thankfully, they both performed flawlessly. Elyse showed restraint as she gracefully walked down the isle next to her brother and Aaron was heartbreakingly handsome in his tux. This is where I would insert a super cute picture of them walking down the isle, but due to an unfortunate premature memory card reformat, we don’t have any pictures from the ceremony. Ooops.

The “I Dos” were said, rings were exchanged, pictures were taken, and then it was time to party. As the maid-of-honor though I still had one more duty…the toast. I knew what I was going to say for weeks and had just tweaked it here and there. I had practiced it over and over again, but I was still a nervous wreck and scanned the reception hall for a good place to vomit while the best man gave his toast. But when the time came, I suddenly felt confident and relaxed and I didn’t stumble over a single word…no puking either.

Everyone had a blast the rest of the night. The cake was incredible, the dancing was fantastic, and seeing Mallory happier than I have ever seen her was the best part of all.

I wish that we had gotten some better pictures, but I guess we’ll see what the photographer caught. Would you believe that Mike and I don’t have one picture of the two of us together? That makes me a little sick and sad. Do you think everyone would be willing to do it all over again so that we can get a few shots together?

I have to say that the videographer was phenomenal. Check out this promo of their wedding video that he posted on Facebook…

Oser Wedding Promo from Jared Thompson on Vimeo.

Congratulations Mal and Fritz. We love you guys!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Spray Tan

So this week is the big Wedding Week. My youngest sister Mallory is getting married on Saturday and the whole family is a twitter with tasks and activities to get ready for the big day. One of my tasks for yesterday…Get a spray tan.

I’ve never been sprayed before. In the past, when I needed some color for a special event, I would go and bake myself at the tanning beds long enough to achieve a good healthy glow, but before I looked like I should be tending a river of chocolate wearing little white suspenders with a green hue to my hair. That was back when I had all the time in the world and no tiny humans to tend to. It would have been impossible now to escape to the tanning beds as much as I would have had to, so instead I opted to get sprayed.

On the drive over to the spa, I was a little nervous. First of all, I was running late, and you KNOW how I feel about being LATE!!! Then, I got lost. If you take a little late and then add in a little lost to the mix, do you know what you get? You get a nearly hysterical, panicked mess that frantically calls the spa and has the receptionist guide you in the right direction until you are safe and secure in the parking lot. Oh yeah, it was like that.

I was so worried about being late on the drive over that I didn’t even have time to think about the fact that I was about to be topless in front of a total stranger for roughly ten minutes. It was presented to me that going au natural was an option. Hey, no tan lines. But since the mere thought of being topless had me ready to heave in the spa’s pretty little wicker hamper, I decided that naked was not for me.

So I wrapped myself up in the little robe that they give you, slipped on the rubber sandals, and then flip flopped down the hall to where the magic happens. The technician was very nice. She was young and seemed totally nonjudgmental; though I’m pretty sure that she has seen some sights in her time behind the spray gun. With mild hesitation, I dropped the robe and stepped into the shower-like thing to get me some color.

If you’ve never done this before…It’s cold. Plus, you know, you’re standing there almost naked with a total stranger, so that’s a little awkward. All I kept thinking, in between small talk and me nervously stuttering out my answers was, “Holy crap the girls are just out there for all to see. There is nothing between my boobs and the world. Pretend you’re somewhere else. Pretend you’re somewhere else. Hey, does that chocolate river need tending?”


Before I knew it, it was done and I looked like I had spent the weekend at the beach; minus the coconutty drinks and the sand in unfortunate areas. I had to stay away from water for the next eight to ten hours to make sure that the tan really soaked in and didn’t get washed off prematurely which was fine except that when I took the garbage out that evening I got halfway down the driveway and realized, “OH MY LORD, ITS MISTING OUT HERE!!! RETREAT! RETREAT!” No harm was done though.

Tomorrow I am going to get my nails done which I am SUPER excited about. I always feel so girly when I get them done which is rare these days. Luckily, I’m pretty sure that I won’t have to take my top off for this service.