"Raising a kid is part joy and part guerrilla warfare."
~Ed Asner

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Surprise

On Friday, Noah and I picked up Izzie from preschool and on the way home I told Izzie I had a surprise for her and Noah.  I planned on taking the babies to my parents for the weekend.  My brother Travis was going to be home for the weekend and we were going on the longest stretch of not visiting the west side.  I didn't tell Izzie where we were going or my parents that we were coming.  I told Izzie that Momma had some things to do around the house and then we would leave for their surprise.  "Is it for Noah too?" she asked.  I told her it was for both of them.  For the next few hours she tried a few tactics to get me to reveal her surprise.

"Will I like it?"
"Are we going somewhere?"
"Is it a big surprise?"
"I'm getting a tummy ache.  Will you tell me the surprise?"
"Are we going in the truck?"
"Is it by our house?"
"Is it far away?"
"Will I fall asleep in the truck?"
"Is Noah going to like it?"
"What is it!  What is it?  What is it?"
"Tell Noah the surprise and he can tell me."
"Please tell me the surprise." (insert puppy dog face)

Something tells me it's going to be difficult for someone to throw Izzie a surprise party when she's older or, heaven forbid, try to pull off a surprise wedding proposal.  Of course, she can't even start dating until she's thirty so we have awhile to worry about that surprise being spoiled.  I know she's only three and I shouldn't even bring it up.  Kris prefers not to talk about it as if that will make the whole thing go away.  The whole thing being that Izzie is a girl and will attract boys.  Remember the kiss last week?  He seriously wanted to take Jason outside and have a talk with him.  I don't stir the pot too much around him because I don't want him to die of a worry induced heart attack and not even get the chance to meet his daughter's first boyfriend.    

We left the east side in the afternoon, early enough to miss the rush hour traffic.  After an hour of the occasional traffic bump but otherwise smooth ride on the freeway, I found myself completely stopped;  As in not. moving. at. all.  I wasn't even crawling.  I was in park, sandwiched between a large ram behind me and an even larger semi in front of me.  I was reading the signs on the back of the semi and came across a big sign that said, "HOW'S MY DRIVING?" with a number below it to call.  I was tempted to call in and say, "I would love to tell you how your truck driver is driving but he's not freaking moving."

Noah was passed out with his head drooped off to the side, but Izzie was awake and annoyed.  I would like to say that when the babies are with me I keep my mouth shut and my feelings inside when it comes to other drivers and the notion that they have superman like abilities.  I hate to break it to you but you're not superman.  Maybe no one's ever told you  this before but you don't have lightening speed so slow down.  You can't read minds so don't assume that the person to your left knows you're about to cut them off; or that you're about to change your mind about which way you're turning.  I can't read your mind so use your freaking turn signal.  Also, please remember that you don't have the super power to go through walls; or stop lights, farm animals (such as cows), people, and other cars.  For real, I keep this all to myself and do breathing exercises.  I felt the need to clarify this to because I don't know where Izzie gets her frustration of traffic from, but it's not from me.  I think it's just because she's three and has the patience of...well, a three year old, which is more than a lot of adults I know, but not enough to vent her impatience over the current situation we were in.  After almost ten minutes of not moving, Izzie started to sigh.  Her sighing turned to huffing and puffing.  We started to crawl for about two seconds and then we stopped again.  This continued on for over a half hour.  Izzie asked me why we weren't moving and I explained to her that there were people working on the road and lots of cars so we were going to move slow for awhile.  She replied, "But we're not even moving at all."  Did I mention how smart Izzie is?  Izzie would huff and puff and every few minutes say, "Come on people, move it."  

This wasn't the first time Izzie had vented during traffic.  Last week we got stuck in traffic on our way to a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Heritage Church building.  No matter which way you slice it, we always get stuck in some kind of traffic due to construction or congestion when we drive further than our city limits.  That's why I usually stick close to home.  I have everything I need within a few miles.  I love the city, but I'm a country girl at heart and sitting in a car listening to the sounds of running engines, squawking horns, booming car music, and screaming children is not how I want to spend my time; nor do I revel in the smell of fuel, and greasy food wafting out the near by restaurants.  I much prefer the sounds of the wind blowing in the trees, cows mooing, children playing happily outside; and the sounds of bringing in the harvest.  I dare say I even prefer the smell of manure over traffic smog.  But that could be because I have two small children and became immune to the smell of poop a long time ago.  That day last week Izzie kept saying, "Let's go people.  Move it.  Come on.  I have places to go."  Noah did the same thing he always does in the truck, exercising his musical vocal chords.  He was so excited to see Bepa at the church building so he sang a song about him.  His song was beautiful and imaginative and included the word Bepa.  There were no other words  that could stand next to Bepa so he spent the next hour jumping around the scale singing "Bepa" with passion and vibrato.  When we finally got to the new building Izzie said, "I never thought we were going to make it."  Not that she was being dramatic or anything.

Back to our trip out west.  If there's one annoying thing Michiganders can agree on when it comes to our lovely state, it's the never ending construction.  Apparently they are completely redoing part of 96.  They're not just repaving it or making it bigger.  They're completely starting over from scratch.  Splendid.  Even though I shouldn't be surprised, I was caught off guard.  I didn't hear the construction updates until I was already smack dab in the middle of it.  A little late in the game, Amie.  I know, I know.  Sometimes there's no way around the bulldozers, but in this instance I could have taken a different way that normally would be longer but this time would have been shorter.  And anyway, I would rather drive further out of my way then sit in traffic and having a creeper in the other lane smile at me every time our paths crossed.

I have just spent approximately 2,480,698 words venting about traffic.  Moving on, we delicately made our way through the construction and eventually made it to our exit off the free way and onto the back roads to my parents house.  I asked Izzie if she knew where we were going yet.  She looked around and said she didn't know.  I had just stopped at a corner about ten minutes from home when Izzie said, "Uh, Momma?  I think this is the way to Nana Papa's house?"  I replied, "You might be right."  Her next words were spoken with careful hesitation as if she didn't want to get too excited in case she was wrong.  "Momma?  Is going to Nana and Papa's our surprise?"  I said, "Yes, it is!"  Then she freaked out with excitement.  After her voice returned to a pitch I could understand she said, "This is the best surprise ever."  I told her that Nana and Papa didn't know we were coming.  She said, "Nana and Papa are going to be so excited to see me."  Noah started singing a song about Papa.  We  arrived to find Papa in the garage.  After screams and hugs, Noah ran over the where my dad keeps the bubbles.  Uncle Jojo and Travis joined us outside and the babies didn't even make it the house until a couple of hours later.  I sent my sister a text to tell her we were at mom and dad's and five minutes later, she was pulling in the driveway; in her brand new Volvo I might add.

We were chillin' out of the deck and Travis was showing Izzie his shiny, pink sunglasses.  Travis's girlfriend, Anna, joined us a few minutes later and suddenly Izzie was speechless.  All she could manage was a giggle smile.  I felt her head to make sure she didn't have a fever.  She seemed fine.  I think she was in shock over the fact that Travis had a girlfriend; a beautiful girlfriend.  I'm only kidding Travis.  You're a great catch and not so bad looking.  With five sisters (and many broken hearts) ahead of you, you should be well trained in the art of how to treat a girl.  Izzie was just being shy, and while it's a foreign concept in my family, it's not completely unheard of.  She eventually found her words and when Trav and Anna left, Izzie made sure to give Anna a hug.

The surprise for Papa was accidentally sprung about fifteen minutes too early.  Travis got home before us and mentioned to dad we were coming.  It's not a big deal.  I never intentionally meant to surprise them.  I just didn't tell them we were coming.  My mom, however, was working and didn't get home until close to nine that night.  After a long week and an extra long day of work, she was happily surprised to find Izzie waiting for her in the garage, screaming "Nana!"  Noah wasn't far behind and leapt in her arms for a big hug.  Then I leapt in her arms for a big hug.  Not really, but I did give her a nice hug.  Izzie and Noah stayed up for a little bit to visit with Noah and then it was off to bed as my tired little critters needed sleep.  Izzie is to big for the pack 'n play and sleeps in a sleeping bag on the floor.  I realize Noah is too big for the pack 'n play as well, but keeping him contained within a four sided structure is necessary to keep order at night.  Izzie always says she is camping out and loves her sleeping bag.  But tonight she was a little worried and wanted to sleep in my parents bed.  She told my dad that she didn't think she would be able to fall asleep.  After some reassurance and the a promise to check on her in a few minutes, my dad tucked them in and said goodnight.  Less than a minute later, Izzie was sliding down a fruit roll up rainbow into pillows of pink cotton candy.

Izzie woke up bright and early with Papa.  "It's sunny time!"  She says it every morning, sometimes to my protest.  I'm sorry dear Izzie, six '0 clock is not sunny time.  Oh, but it is.  Even if it's cloudy and raining.  Sunny time is when Izzie gets up because she's my sunshine:)  Noah slept in until eight thirty which isn't unusual.  He promptly asked for milk when he woke up, also not unusual.  Papa made special chocolate chip pancakes and Noah didn't want anything to do them...Hold the phone, Beast didn't want breakfast?  Beast turned his nose up at chocolate chip pancakes?  He pushed his plate away and wandered off to play with his cars.  Hmm, well, once in awhile he likes to wait a little bit before indulging in the most important meal of the day.  Today was not one of those days.  My poor baby threw up all over the freshly cleaned living room carpet........Rewind to the day before.  I thought Noah was feeling better because his nose wasn't running as much.  I guess all that snot just found somewhere else to go and starting draining down the back of his throat. 

Back to Saturday morning, Noah threw up snot, yum.  Noah isn't the one who usually vomits.  That's Izzie's specialty.  Noah had the flu once at the beginning of the year and let's just say, I've never seen that much vomit in my life.  Needless to say, Noah does not like throwing up.  He's very in tune with his body and what goes into it.   He very much enjoys his food and he doesn't like giving it up.  When he's about to throw he'll come up to you and make a gagging sound and he has this look in his eye as if he's doing everything he can to prevent the inevitable from happening.  He starts crying and then he vomits.  The second time he threw up Saturday morning, it was his chocolate milk mixed with snot.  It just kept coming out and he was powerless to stop it.  My dad and I set him up in the kitchen sink with some warm running water.  He sat at the edge of the sink and let the water run over his legs while I cleaned him up and it seemed like he was the vomiting part.  But what follows can be just as heartbreaking.  He was empty.  He was depleted.  He had no strength.  He laid around all morning.  He spent some time on the couch with my dad.  He tried playing with cars but wasn't really into it.  He clung to me like a baby monkey.  Towards early afternoon he had a saltine cracker and kept it down.  After a bottle of the good stuff, Pedia Lite, he started perking right up.  He continued to improve and rehydrate.  I deduced that it was Noah's allergies and back up of phlegm, mucus and snot that caused all that upset.  He took a long nap and topped it off with a good night's sleep.  Sunday morning he was back to his beastly self and with that comes a beastly appetite.

We went to church then came home and enjoyed a wonderful lunch.  We planned to head back home early evening, but something attacked my side and we didn't end up leaving until close to eight 'o clock.  I would have stayed another night but Izzie had a pizza party on Monday at preschool and I didn't want her to miss it.  Before we left, my dad asked her if he could come to her party.  She answered with, "Papa, you can't come to my party.  I'm going to be too busy."  Was my little girl turning into a socialite?  She must have changed her mind because no sooner were we in the truck five minutes when Izzie said, "Momma, Uncle Jojo and Papa are going to come to my pizza party.  I'm not going to be too busy; only a little busy."

All in all it was great weekend.  Michigan and Michigan State both won their games, respectively.  Travis was home for the weekend and Amber had the weekend off so we got to spend time with more of our family.  I got to catch up with some friends and saw so many cute babies at church.  I made apple butter and Izzie helped me make peanut butter cookies loaded with chocolate and peanut butter chips and topped with mini-mini reeses peanut butter cups, Huzzah! 





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