Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween (With a banana on top of its head)

Well, another Halloween is over. (Not really. Today is Halloween. But, today is also Sunday, so, this being Utah, all of the festivities occurred yesterday.) Roni has been excited for Halloween for months, and now it is done. She wanted to be Cinderella, and she made a lovely little princess.
One of Roni's favorite things to do the past couple of months was to tell people what they should be for Halloween. She told her Uncle Baby-Hog (also known as Uncle John) that he should be Snow White. (Sorry, but he doesn't have the legs for it.) Cousin Ryan was told to be a "rectangle" for Halloween. She told her Aunt Kimmie she should, and I quote, "dress-a like a watermelon." And, I was told I should dress as a "stripe." She's a funny girl, and she makes us smile.
She also picked out little brother Buzz's costume. The Wife had Roni at Walmart, trying to find a Cinderella costume for her. (Yes, we shop at Walmart. What can I say? We are, after all, upper-middle white trash.) While there, Roni picked out a monkey outfit for Buzz. (He's six months old and had no say in the matter.) It was perfect for him, though, because he is a little monkey boy. When we got it on him, his monkey costume kinda looked like a bear, if not for the banana on top of his head. (For some reason, I found it incredibly funny to repeat the phrase "He's a monkey with a banana on top of his head," while using my best Ah-nold Schwarzenegger voice. It was silly, but it made him smile, it made me smile, it may have even made The Wife smile, so that made it worthwhile.) (And it goes a long way into showing how big of a doofus I am.)
So, it came time to get ready for actual trick-or-treating. It took The Wife a while to get Roni's hair just right so that it would hold her Cinderella princess crown without it falling out. We then ventured out into the neighborhood. (I was carrying Monkey-Boy Buzz.) It was a little bit cool out, with a nice little breeze. Until we got to our fourth house. That's when the sheets of rain came flying in sideways. And the hail. And the gale force winds. We stood on the porch of a neighbor we had never met, trying to figure out how we were going to make it the quarter mile back to our house in this deluge, when the neighbor took pity on us and invited us in. (And suddenly we found a new way to meet neighbors: stand on their porch in a hurricane-like downpour. If they let you in, they are good neighbors.) (Thanks, Francisco!)
It finally let up a bit, and we dashed back home. We dried off for a minute, then went back out in the comfort and warmth of the mini-van. Down at the local park there was a little neighborhood gathering (which we had not heard about.) We stopped and exchanged candy with some other local families. And saw a big, giant double rainbow, which was quite beautiful. (Double rainbow! What does it mean?)
We then headed off to see the In-Laws. Roni was very excited to go trick-or-treating at Grammy D and PopPop's house. When we got to the door, Roni's eyes got as big as saucers. (Or bowls. Maybe even as big as plates.) Knowing that Roni was dressing as Cinderella, Grammy D made a costume so she looked just like Cinderella's Fairy Godmother! It was awesome, and Roni was duly impressed. She looked up at Grammy D and excitedly said, "Bibbidi-bobbido-boo!" Throughout the rest of the evening, whenever Roni would look at Grammy D, she would get a big smile and say "bibbidi-bobbidi-boo." It was very cute and funny. (Grammy D is an awesome grammy.)
The Wife and PopPop then took Roni and Buzz out to trick-or-treat a few more houses in the neighborhood. (PopPop went instead of me, because Roni requested it that way. I was only slightly hurt and offended.) (It's great that she loves her PopPop so much.) And then, Halloween was done and the costumes came off.
There was still one thing left to do, though. Unfortunately, our little Roni has a severe nut allergy. The doctor told us that as little as one-eighth of a peanut could cause a reaction that could kill her. So, we take it pretty seriously. While Roni was trick-or-treating, she was wearing gloves, and she wasn't allowed to eat any of her candy. The Wife made sure that all of our candy was nut-free and Roni-safe. So, at the end of the night it was time for the candy exchange. We went through Roni's pumpkin and took out all the unsafe candy. For every piece we took out, we replaced with a safe piece. It's kind of sad that we have to do this, but the benefit for me is that I get to eat all of the nut-contaminated candy. (Sadly, there were no Reese's. I was really looking forward to some Reese's. Doesn't anybody give out Reese's anymore?) Anyway, Roni still ended up with lots of candy, and she enjoyed it.

So, I guess all I need to do now is start working on my "stripe" costume so I can be ready for next year.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Super Dad: Doing It All-Most

It might not be the best way to start this blog. You might, from the get-go, think I am an egotistical jerk. But, from the "being a dad" department, I was really hitting on all cylinders today! If I do say so myself (and I'm about to), I was pretty darn amazing today. What was so awesome about my parenting today? Well, for starters, I was actually awake for most of the day. (For me, a big plus.) What exactly did I do? Well, when Roni (our 2.5 year old daughter) woke up, I got her on the potty and changed her wet Pull-Up. (We thought we had her potty trained a few weeks ago, but she's had a relapse. It looks like we're going to have to ride this Potty Train through a few more stops.) (When we first started potty training, Roni thought there was an actual locomotive called the "Potty Train." She's awesome.)
I got her in clothes and fed her breakfast. I got her little brother, Buzz (six-months old), his bottle and fed him. I played with both kids. I gave Buzz a bath, then put him in clothes. I gave Roni her bath and put her in clothes. I got Buzz down for a quick nap. (Not as easy as it sounds.) I loaded both kids up into the mini-van. (The mini-van is actually pretty big. I don't think there's much "mini" about it. But, that's a subject for another day.) With both kids loaded up, I took them to our small-town public library for Thursday morning story time. I wrangled both kids, a diaper bag, and a pile of returning books into the library. I carried both kids up the stairs to the story-time room, and kept Buzz entertained while Roni enjoyed the stories and songs. (There were about 20 kids at Story Time. I was the only dad there.) I helped Roni make her little trick-or-treat bag, gluing the pumpkin and ghost she had colored onto the sides of it. After story-time, I helped Roni pick out a few books (while carrying Buzz), then picked out a book for The Wife and a book for me. (I got To Kill a Mockingbird. Can you believe I'm a 44 year old college graduate and have never read it? I hear that not only is it good, it's also good for you. (Kinda like Life cereal.) So, I thought I'd give it a shot.)
We left the library, went to the bank, stopped at the mailbox, then came home. I then sorted the dirty laundry in the kids room. Four piles: 1) clothes for Roni, 2) clothes for Buzz, 3) towels, and 4) clothes with poop stains. I sprayed down the poopy clothes with stain remover, then started doing the three loads of laundry. (I put the poopy stuff in with Buzz's clothes, since most of them were his, anyway.) I then made lunch. (Turkey and Swiss sammiches in the sandwich maker, Dora the Explorer soup, and bananas.) I fed Buzz another bottle.
I then had to deal with a poopy-pants accident. (It's amazing how that poop manages to get everywhere!) I did a load of dishes. I got Roni down for a "nap." ("Nap" in quotation marks means she's supposed to be napping, but isn't actually asleep.) I then fought with Buzz until he finally went down for a nap.
The Wife came home from work (she teaches school), and I got some laundry folded and put away. Grammy D (The Wife's mother) stopped by for a quick visit, ending Roni's pretend "nap." After Grammy D went home, I got Buzz down for another nap. I then picked up in the living room, with some help from Roni. (Normally, I would call it "help" from Roni, but this time she actually did help.)
After dinner, I did another load of dishes. I took care of Buzz's diaper, and changed him into pajamas. I changed Roni into her pajamas, read her scriptures, brushed her teeth, and put her to bed. Then, as I started typing this blog entry, I was handed a crying Buzz in order to get him to sleep. (He doesn't go to sleep well for The Wife, because when she is holding him he just wants to eat.) So, after a little rocking and pounding (he likes to have his back pounded), he finally went to sleep, and I took him back upstairs and put him to bed.

Seems like I did it all today, doesn't it?

Not even close.

That's the problem. I was doing a fantastic job all day long, pretty much the best that I possible can, and yet I didn't come close to doing it all by myself. I didn't mention how Kimmie helped Roni go potty (after a pee accident) and then watched her while I made lunch. (Kimmie is The Wife's sister. She lives in our basement apartment and watches the kids on the two days a week when I work the day shift.) I didn't mention that Grammy D also took Roni to the potty (after another pee accident), and she also read books to Roni and entertained Buzz. And, I also didn't mention all the things The Wife did. (I'll try to mention them now, but I'm sure I'll forget some things.) She fed Buzz in the morning. She had plenty of milk pumped and ready for the bottles I gave Buzz throughout the day. She worked hard all day to help provide for the family. She fed Buzz two or three more times after she got home from work. She made homemade pizza and cinnamon sticks for dinner. (I'd say the cinnamon sticks were "to die for," but that's not accurate. They were "to live for.") She made some baby food for Buzz. She made some cookie dough for tomorrow. She took care of yet another poopy-pants accident by Roni. (Yep, it looks we might be wise to invest in tickets for the sleeper car on that Potty Train.) She got the crying Buzz-boy almost to sleep, so it only took me a couple of minutes to get him the rest of the way. I'm sure she did a lot of other things, too, but it's late and my mind is bit addled.
So, what I'm saying is, even on a day when I was at the top of my game, I still wasn't even close to being able to do it all. I'm just a simple Dad trying to struggle through raising these two kids. It's a good thing they are such great kids; it's a good thing I have such great family support; and it's a great thing I have such a wonderful wife!
I need all the help I can get.