Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Honeymoon and Aftermath (aka: Grandparent Detox)

So, yeah... the honeymoon/Monkey's week with her grandparents went just as we had thought:

She had absolutely ZERO interest in coming home.


We walked into my parents' house on Saturday (after checking out of our hotel), and she took one look at us, another at the suitcases...and started crying. Not much of a warm fuzzy feeling, BTW.

This was followed by a full-on fit, punctuated with foot stomping, an extraordinary amount of snot, and wails of, "I DON'T *WANNA* GO HOME!!!!"

Good times.

For the record, we are obviously the WORST PARENTS EVER because we told her she had to eat what we were eating for lunch, and she in fact would NOT be able to opt out and have chicken wings instead. Which apparently she was getting away with...all chicken, all week. The kid is GOOD, I tell ya.

I am very grateful she got to spend some dedicated time with her Bunny and Papi, and even more grateful that MDD and I got that time to just be a couple and catch our breath for a few days. The weeks leading up to and right after the wedding were a total blur of running nine million and four errands and doing all the things.

With the timing of things in our relationship, there really wasn't much of that. For the past five years, our lives have been one whirlwind into another and we became parents before we had much time to settle into being a couple.

Honestly, it was weird not being with her for a whole week. Like when you are SURE you are missing something and can't quite relax? Yeah... What I was missing and always looking for was a cute little mop-haired Monkey who never stops talking.

Although, in hindsight, it may be I was *LISTENING* more than looking for her.Our hotel room was strangely quiet. Mommy tends to not trust quiet, for reasons which should be obvious.

The weather did not cooperate, but beyond that slight glitch it was a great trip for all the Doodles. Oh, and the one yucky night my stomach flipped out and I missed out on my sushi dinner. So that stunk. But MDDaddy scored big points by taking his green-faced bride where everyone wants to be when they feel sick: to her mommy. ;) He is smart like that.

My folks keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet and supply of ginger ale, and we got to sneak peeks of the sleeping Monkey. All for the good of my tummy.

We officially have the best-flying preschooler on earth. Her record stands unblemished as an awesome airplane traveler. Bonus points for not puking in the car on the way to or from the airport- that was a pleasant improvement from the last trip. No barfy car seat this time! Yayyyy!

Truly, we are spoiled by how easy-going she can be. At one point she even gave the "eyebrows" face because some other kid on the plane was wailing. But, she just shook her head sadly and went back to her Leapster game. So worldly and wise, and yet unable to tie her shoes. It's a conundrum.

The timing also worked nicely to give her just a week and a half back at preschool before we headed off to visit her other grandparents for Thanksgiving. We are quite the travelers this fall. This is more going-coming-going than I recall ever doing in such a time span.

And now, my sorry hide ain't goin' NOWHERE for a good, long time. Thankyouverymuch.

I was thoroughly impressed by Monk's ninja skills over this past holiday weekend. The three of us stayed in the spare room at my in-laws' house, with Monkey in a sleeping bag on the floor. I slept very little, as her cold reared back up and had her coughing (and me, listening) during the nights.

Each morning, I would wake up and take a look at her, trying to figure out if that cough meant she was really up or just sort of up...and rest my head back down on the pillow, keeping my ears open for further signs.

And somehow, the little stinker managed to creep and crawl her way out of that room-- THREE TIMES-- without being detected. I would turn to check on her, and see the pillow empty... and hear her downstairs, playing or laughing or talking to her grandparents.

ALL THREE DAYS, this happened.


I nearly booby-trapped the doorway, just to figure out how on earth she was getting past me.

I honestly cannot understand how the same child who sounds like a herd of elephants on the stairs when she goes to brush her teeth, who trips on every piece of lint in the rug on the way (she is MY child, after all), could have managed such stealthiness.

Perhaps the proper motivation of a grandparent audience gave her super-ninja skills?? I can't say for sure. All I know? It was impressive.

Once again, parting was such sweet sorrow when it was time to leave Grandma and Grandpa's house. Many tears and repeated hugs and whining and the whole shebang. In fact, Monkey announced she was staying with Grandma. I told her she'd miss her mommy and daddy. The look on her face was nowhere near convinced of that. But we were taking the rest of the Thanksgiving cake with us, so she had a tough call to make.

Thus, back on the road we went, and back home to our own beds. Her ninja skills have dissipated back to normal levels so that is fortunate.

Now it is back to the "normal" in general, other than the whole  name change game and other post-wedding details.

Just in time for the holidays.


Yeah. That too.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Big News in Doodle-Land

Well, howdy. I've been away for a bit, and just a TAD distracted lately...



And, I have to say-- for all the craziness and running around like maniacs and umpteen bazillion hours of planning and crafting and meeting with various people-- overall?

It was absolutely amazing.

Monkey was the flower girl, with the requisite, unbearably cute ruffly dress to match her Mommy. I made her headband and flower girl basket, with the help of my equally crafty and very patient bridesmaid.

Monkey's "attendant gift" was a diamond monkey pendant.
Diamond CHIP- I'm not stupid. She's only four, after all.

Monkey's big sis--now, OFFICIALLY my stepdaughter-- was our junior bridesmaid. She wore a slightly altered version of the bridesmaid dresses. And looked much older than anyone was prepared for, I think. Very proud and beautiful.

Which, BTW- major retailer for bridal gowns, which rhymes with Shmavid's? You can go suck an egg, for discontinuing your own "signature" color, just WEEKS after we ordered the last dress in that color. Jerks.

Also? Dresses for eight-year-old girls should LOOK like dresses for eight-year-old-girls. She did not need skimpy little spaghetti straps or a dipping neckline, thanks... She's EIGHT.

I am eternally grateful to our seamstress (who was in no way, shape, or form associated with Schmavid's), who managed to adapt the dress to give her a ruffly strap that was much more age-appropriate. And still beautiful.

OK, I can be done with that now.

But, for realz, I have never in my life felt so much love and support as I did in that room. Our families, friends, church members, all positively BEAMED love and light at us.

It was all I could do to just soak it in, and try to express my gratitude.

We had a very cute incident with our little diva. The best man gave his lovely toast, as did our maid of honor (the previously blogged-about gift-of-God known as Ti-Ti).

Monkey saw the microphone. So, you knew it was coming...

She inserted herself between her dad and me at the head table, with the big, frowny, I'm-about-to-REALLY-cry face. We asked what was wrong.

Monkey: ...<sniff>...I would like a turn!
MDDaddy: What? ...Wait, with the mic?
Monkey (closer to crying now): YEEEeeeeeees.

We looked at each other. In some degree of fear. We know her very well. There is a roomful of our nearest and dearest and the four-year-old wants the microphone. It's a crapshoot.

MDDaddy: Ok, well...what would you want to say?
Monkey: <no response...thinking hard>
MDDaddy: Ehhh...I don't know...

Me (trying to ward off the impending flip-out): Ok, about you go up there with Ti-Ti? She can help you say what you want to say. Would that work?

With a big grin, Monkey skips over to where Ti-Ti stands with the microphone.

Ti-Ti: Oh! Well, OK, folks. It seems the *daughter* of the bride and groom has something she would like to say... (points the mic towards Monkey)

Monkey looks around the room.
Blinks twice.
Then, takes off running to where her grandparents were sitting.

Without skipping a beat, Ti-Ti adds:

Cue the roomful of laughter, and "awww" chorus.
That kid can work a room, I tell ya.
...So can Ti-Ti, thank goodness.

As a bride with the big day pending, I went through about a solid week of all the ridiculous pre-wedding anxiety nightmares. The best one was about a week prior. I woke up laughing.

Because in the dream, we were preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Which, thankfully, was NOT the actual wedding-- I know this solely because, in the dream, we were already wearing our rings.

MDDaddy expressed his relief that it was rather considerate of the zombies to hold of on the apocalypse until AFTER our wedding.

Hard to argue with that.

Unfortunately, Hurricane/Super-storm Sandy was not nearly so considerate, and our best man (MDD's brother) wound up stranded with us, 900 miles from his wife and children. Not that it was at all an issue to have him with us, but it is really hard to see someone you care about- an amazing father and husband- so stressed and frustrated and worried about his family... and there being precious little you can do to fix it.

Luckily, he managed to get home via a flight to Boston and drive to Connecticut, albeit a few days after he had planned to return.

All in all, the day itself was beyond my wildest dreams.

...Even the zombie apocalypse one.

I shall now go eat more leftover cake.