Yay for long weekends! Boo for being back at work! But yay for a short work week with nothing much pressing going on!
I guess that's a net win, right?
So, long weekend. The daycare was closed Friday, so I worked the morning and then picked the kids up from Matt around noon. (But between Friday noon and this morning when I logged in, I'd received only two emails, neither of which required any action on my part, so I feel entirely okay with having missed half a day of work. If I hadn't had a delivery to complete, I probably could've taken the whole day off.)
Friday evening, we met my family at the family favorite restaurant (a hibachi place more or less midpoint between my parents' and brother's houses) to celebrate my mom's and brother's birthdays.
Saturday morning, my dad came over with his pickup truck to help me take the kids shopping for back-to-school clothes and also to get a dresser for Penny's room. She's been using a large-ish nightstand as a dresser since she was four. When she was four, her non-hangable clothes all fit easily in the nightstand. For about the last year, though, it's become a bit of a problem to squeeze everything in. I'd found a dresser I liked the look of, but didn't think I could fit it into my car (and also, it's too heavy for me to lift by myself) -- thus, Dad and the truck. The clothes shopping alone would've been a minor headache without another adult along, but doable.
Dad stuck around to help me assemble the dresser -- which is good, because he figured out one doohickey I was using incorrectly, and also because there were a couple of points of construction that needed a minimum of three hands to get everything lined up correctly. It took us a good two hours to assemble; I shudder to think how long I would've been at it without his help.
(Also, I think it was good for Dad. He and Mom have been sort of flailing since Matt and I separated; I get the impression that they feel like they should be helping, but don't want to intrude on my privacy or insult my independence, and this let Dad feel like he could do something to help me and the kids out without stepping on any toes.)
Saturday afternoon, as a sort of treat for being so good at the store and (mostly) patient while Dad and I put the dresser together, I took the kids out for ice cream. (Also, I had a coupon. Save money by buying things!) And then, it being Saturday and therefore eat-out night, we went to La Tolteca for dinner.
We didn't go anywhere on Sunday, aside from the grocery store, but Jenn came down so I could help her assemble a scrapbook (part of her homework for the adoption process; since they're looking to adopt an older child, they're supposed to make an album to give the prospective adoptee to introduce them to the family and the friends they'll encounter most). I had a lot of fun helping her with the project, and it may have rekindled my desire to start up scrapbooking again, myself. We'll see if it sticks, though. I last left off in the middle of 2010, so there's a long way to go to get caught up.
After dinner on Sunday, Kris brought Emma and Sarah over to have a sleepover with Penny. All three girls were incredibly excited and happy to see each other, and immediately launched into some game that seemed to combine Harry Potter and spies and I don't even know what else. Around 9:30, they rolled out their sleeping bags on the living room floor and picked out a movie (Lady and the Tramp, as a good choice for a not-too-long, not-scary bedtime movie), and I went upstairs to read. When the movie ended (it's not even 80 minutes long) I turned the table lamp down to low and told them they could talk quietly, but that if I could hear them from up in my room, I'd put an end to it. But I never heard a thing (Sarah had already been half-asleep when I turned off the TV). Unfortunately, Penny had a persistent low blood sugar that kept me up until nearly 1am with rechecks and dragging her awake to eat something, so I still didn't get much sleep, but the girls themselves were incredibly well-behaved. They even cleaned up Monday morning when I told them to, with only minimal token whining that I simply ignored.
Alex was really fantastic all weekend -- he played by himself with his toys, or watched Batman videos on YouTube with Penny, or played Sesame Street games by himself. He was good when we went to the stores, and helped me sort through his clothes so I could pack up the ones that don't fit any more (he even put a couple of toys in the box that he doesn't want anymore -- though I waited until he wasn't looking and rescued Hippo for my "baby box"). Through it all, he was generally sunny and easy-going, mostly falling apart only when I cruelly insisted on him cleaning up his messes.
Sunday night, since we were out of his pullups, I asked him if he wanted to go with the transition pullups we'd bought a few months back (but which had turned out to be a bit too big) or if he wanted to try just underwear, since he's woken up dry every morning for the last three weeks. He tried to talk me into nothing at all under his PJ bottoms, but I
don't think he's quite ready for that, so he went with underwear, and
did great! I think we've finally turned that corner! (Leaving me with
two boxes of pullups -- one of which hasn't even been opened -- but I
can live with that!)
He did, however, NOT NAP. All four days, I put him down for his nap as usual a little while after lunch. All four days, he popped up within forty-five minutes and told me he wasn't tired. All four days, I made him go back to bed for at least another half-hour, but he never did succumb and go to sleep. Better yet, despite my misgivings, he maintained mostly excellent temper into the evening right up to bedtime. Looks like whatever mental growth spurt made him finally ready to turn the corner on night-time bladder control also made him ready to give up his nap. Unfortunately, the daycare continues to have daily naptime for preschoolers, so I can't just let him give it up entirely without screwing up his sense of routine. I may, however, turn it into "quiet time" instead, and if a nap would make my plans awkward, then it looks like I can skip it with impunity.
After Matt picked the kids up Monday afternoon, I had an hour or two to clean up the lingering clutter and mess, and then Elizabeth and Vicki came over and we all went down to Newport News for a dinner of sushi and then a second-run showing of The Avengers. (I've lost track; was that my fourth viewing, or my fifth?) Doesn't matter; I continued to love it. Can't wait to get my Blu-Ray version later this month and check out all the deleted scenes and special features! (Yup, I'm a dork.)
The kids start back to school today (well, Penny starts back to school; Alex just graduates officially to the pre-K class where he spent about half his time this summer). Matt and I are still working out the delicate details for that, but I expect we'll get it straight eventually.