I LOVED having Dana and the girls here. We had a really lovely time, though had I taken a nap early yesterday day, I'd likely have been more patient with Autumn's understandable outbursts of energy and excitement and generally just a little easier in my own skin. I get so worn out, it's astounding. And I just hate when I'm not as patient as I could be, wish I were, want to be.
The girls loved the big pool at the Y and we did have a really good swimming time; I think it was the first time Haley spent such a long time in a pool where she could play uninhibited by depth, as my Y pool has a graduated shallow end that goes from few inches to 3 feet deep for a long span. There's also a "mustard," as Haley called it. A large metal sprinkling mushroom, really, that rains a constant downpour. Also, a slide into the deep end, which is 6 feet deep. I'd planned to go down the slide with Autumn on my lap but the rules prohibit that and Autumn was such a total champ to not get upset by it at all, which never ceases to impress the hell out of me, and she was beyond thrilled to see both Dana and me go down the slide.
Another excitement for the little girls was seeing my Beloved Mister, their Uncle Eric, when they first got to town (he'd come home mid-day, uncharacteristically, with a special delivery for the little girls-- a toy for them to give Bert: a squeaking monkey, which Bert the great destructor had gutted in a mere fifteen minutes).The big deal was that the girls got to see him climb into the Nashville's Table truck to drive away. They were literally hopping and screaming and clapping!! Haley looked up at me and said, in the most grown up and approving but slightly surprised way, "I did not know he could drive a big truck!" Is that child 3 or is she thirty?
Dana did me a HUGE favor while I was cooking supper. She'd asked to help and I told her the thing I really honestly needed help with was that the bathtub needed to be scrubbed out-- it's very tough on me to do that these days and frankly, I was already smarting in the tail bone area in a big way from scrubbing down the floors and baseboards earlier in the day. Dana made our old porous porcelain tub shine like magic. I could've kissed her toes!!
We celebrated Dana's birthday some more.... We had the traditional La Grone family cranberry coffee cake along with the extended birthday partying and sang to her several times, the majority of which were practice sings while the cake baked. The girls adore singing happy birthday. I gave Dana a little crop of gifts including a book we never got around to filling up with recipes, but we'll work on that!
Ziggy was gifted the most amazing package of goodies from the fancy Gymboree store: a darling pair of swim trunks in shades of light blue with orange & lime green & yellow octopuses and starfishes and seahorses, a hat that matches the trunks, and a pull over rain and wind jacket. I'd told Dana I want to take Ziggy to swim as soon as his little navel heals and get him acclimated to the water straight away, so she's making that a good likelihood for us.
The girls loved rocking the baby cradle and singing lullabyes. Haley sang into my belly, too, but was disappointed the baby didn't talk back to her.
We had a good longish walk in the rain with Bert; each little girl had her own umbrella & trudged through the big curbside puddles in river sandals and sundresses, and the grown up girls wore raincoats. Hurricane Dennis' aftermath worked on us; it felt like Seattle.
Lockeland Design, the nearby elementary school, has a wonderful playground, so we shut up all the gates and Bert ran free out of doors for the first time in many days and the little girls played on the newly installed playground in the rain, much to their delight.
Sharon came by with her three little girls upon our return from the park; they acted shy at first, but Autumn and Haley weren't having that and insisted on interaction. Haley asked several times who wanted to "play house" with her. Getting no takers, I offered my services as the cook of the house, but got no mind paid to my offer except for acknowledgment from Autumn who is such a fair-minded girl she can't let something like that go by without paying attention. Usually the big star of my nieces' world, I was relegated to the sidelines in the face of actual small children to play with, which is how it's supposed to be.
Prior to departure time for sis and the girls, we took in the snakes program at our neighborhood library and each got to touch a corn snake presented by Ranger Randy of Radnor Lake. The girls' interest lasted almost to the end of the program and Haley even had a great question: she wanted to know why the corn snake wasn't making the Sssss sound at us. (He wasn't frightened of humans, came the answer).
Dana and my Beloved Mister brought in the changing table Dana had hauled here from East Tennessee. Built by Lee, the girls' step-grandfather, it's a completely solid no-nonsense piece and will save our backs a thousand times. When Dana admired it, my Mister exchanged an antique telephone table with Sis for her offering.
I was sad to see them head off, yet also glad to know I could rest a bit, as I was much in need of some, as well my Mister knew, declining my offer to accompany him to the station where he'll be filling in as evening host for the next couple weeks from 6 to 10 PM Central. You can hear him online here: http://www.wpln.org.
Quite early, I crawled into bed with my hot water bottle ministering to my aching tail bone and was fast asleep with the little twinkling lights aglow 'round the big chiffarobe mirror when my Beloved arrived home late.
Today, I've lunched with a couple of my Stitch & Bitch girls: my pregnant pal, Em, and my non-pregnant friend Sue-- I've been lunching every couple weeks of my pregnancy at my favorite Indian food joint and these two have been joining me the last several months. We'd not seen one another in a couple weeks and today was the first day that Em and I hugged and our bellies literally snugged up together, making us have to lean in closer to greet one another. I brought some pass-along nursing bras for Em; she brought me burned copies of the HypnoBirthing CDs. Sue's such a warm and gracious soul, she offered helpful tub scrubbing hints and as ever, indulges whatever we throw at her, including what I'm sure must seem like an endless barrage of pregancy chatter. Highly intelligent, she's also the worst and most hilarious pun maker of all my friends. When Em asked if I'd put up peaches, Sue answered, "No, but she's put up lots of Herb!"
It wasn't the two hour lunch Peggy swears is necessary to be a good one, but it qualified as worthy nonetheless. Both Em & Sue had to rush back to their respective offices, so I was last to pay and dash. Upon telling him we'd see him in a couple weeks, the gentleman who's looked after us at Taste of India all these months asked, "So when is the big day!?" I let him know that my due date is approximately September 24 and Em's is the 28th. He's watched both of us get bigger each passing visit, go from queasy to ravenous and sometimes exchanging pregnancy / parenting / birth books and gifts. I recall how when we were about 15 or 16 weeks along and barely showing to anyone but ourselves and our mates, Em suddenly saw a baby across the room wearing a helmet and declared that she hoped her babe wouldn't have to. We'll have to continue these lunches once Mott and Ziggy arrive.
Afterward, I visited my favorite global boutique, the Scarlet Begonia, in hopes of spending a gift certificate on some pretty colorful frock to wear to a shower in my honor this weekend. Alas and alack, nothing quite cut the mustard (er, mushroom?)-- I was either swallowed in too much fabric or tugging at the bosom and belly and, by proxy, booty. And the necklines available left lots to be desired, like, namely: a V or scoop rather than a crew or collar. Yow.