Today is a big day for Snow White. Thursday at the Author’s Tea we invited Gymnast to come over Saturday afternoon to play. Grammy K called Thursday night to say she would like to visit Saturday morning. Snow White was so excited about her visitors she could barely sleep Friday night.
Saturday morning came. I woke up, fed the cats, let the dog out and took my shower. I let the dog back in and he went right to Snow White’s bed to wake her up. She was a little groggy from lack of sleep [too excited to sleep the night before] but became wide awake when reminded about her visitors. While she dressed I tidied up her room then chopped fruit, veggies and cheese for snacks.
Snow White came out of the bathroom dressed from head to toe in pink. Her hair curled made little ringlets around her face and all over. Too keep all of the ringlets I brushed through her hair with just my fingers. To top her off I made a small pony tail with her hair at the top of her head. Just enough to keep the hair out of her eyes. Then she looked through the hair accessory drawer in the bathroom and found a pink bow for her pony tail which I gladly put into place.
We were ready for Grammy K. Hours went by and soon it would be noon. No word from Grammy K so we started to worry. I tried to keep Snow White busy to keep her mind off her worry. After awhile she went out in the back yard to play with Pup.
While keeping a watchful eye on the window I noticed a car drive by. The car slowed down then passed our house. I thought since it was Grammy K’s first visit to our new house she might be a little lost or could not see the house number. I ran out front to look down the street and wave to her. The car turned around and headed back. To my surprise it wasn’t Grammy K it was Gymnast and her Mom Dawn! I never thought about it before but Dawn looks a bit like Grammy K. By the way, Grammy K looks pretty young.
As they drove up our drive way Gymnast was already unbuckling her seatbelt. She was so excited about coming over to play she could hardly wait to get out of the car. Dawn started asking questions but Gymnast didn’t notice and shut the car door. Dawn rolled down the window and we both laughed at how excited both girls were about the play date. Is it still called a play date when they are 8 and 9 years old? Anyway, Dawn wanted to know when to pick her up. I told her we were going to play it by ear but I was thinking more along the lines of dinner time instead of just an hour or so. She told me Gymnast had a difficult time sleeping due to the excitement of pending play date. I told her we had the same situation at our house last night.
Dawn said she was a little relived about the length of the visit since her son, Ray, was not feeling well. Ray has MS and some form of retardation, on top of that today he had a fever. I hate using that word, retardation, but I do not know the correct name. I used it here since it is the word his mother used when talking about an appointment for him. I can only imagine the daily parental duties of a child with disabilities. Taking care of an ill child is exhausting enough. Adding this on top of their regular routine would really take the wind right out of me. God bless them for their strength, endurance and especially their love.
Gymnast and I headed into the house via the front door and to my surprise Snow White was in the living room. She did not notice Gymnast was right out front with me. I did not call her in from the back yard since I did not want to get her hopes up if the passing car was not one of her guests. Snow White and Gymnast hugged each other while gleefully jumping up and down! Once they calmed down they headed out to the back yard to play. A few minutes later they came back in to cool off. I asked Gymnast if she had lunch yet? She had not so I suggested pizza and both girls quickly agreed that pizza would be GREAT! They went to play Barbie’s in Snow White’s room while I made the pizza.
Shortly after I placed the pizza in the oven I thought of calling Grammy K’s house to see if something came up. At least I would know she was not lost somewhere between the two states. Just then an SUV pulled up into our drive way. It was Grammy K!! My first thought was to rush out to greet her but this time I alerted Snow White. She ran to the front door and I scooped up Pup to keep him from rushing out. I really did not want Grammy K's arrival to be a race after Pup.
We had not seen Grammy K since the Three Little Pigs play at the dinner theater last year with PawPaw. Snow White hugged her and introduced her friend. Grammy K gave Snow White her birthday present in a gift bag. Snow White was tickled pink with what she found in the bag! It was outfits for her Kirsten American Girl doll. Snow White knew exactly what the outfits were based on the Kirsten books she has read. She really loved the straw hat and put it on her head “This is so cute! I want to wear it!” We all giggled at the sight of the tiny hat on Snow White’s head.
Since this was Grammy K’s first visit to our new house she asked for the grand tour. First stop was Snow White’s room. Grammy K thought the pink furniture looked very cute. I explained the school house desk was bought by my parents at an auction when I was in 2nd grade in it’s original stained wood and gray metal. Over the years of my childhood the metal had always been painted white while the wood was painted blue, red and then green. I repainted the white portions white and painted the wood portions pink when I painted the shelves and other accessories in Snow White’s room before her slumber party. I still need to paint the dresser but that will be a project for another day, after I buy a sander or something to strip all the old layers of paint. Grammy K was reminiscing about the dresser. It is a very old nursery wardrobe I picked up at a sale when I was pregnant with Snow White. It has four drawers and a little closet on the side. The hanging bar in the closet slides out for easy access. Grammy K was happily surprised to see the wardrobe as she remembered having a similar one when she was little. Snow White is older so we use the closet side for her American Girl doll clothes and some of her dress up accessories (hats, boas, scarves).
We showed her the doll house Snow White and I built together. I made sure to mention Snow White picked out the carpets, paints and wallpaper herself. Snow White showed her the planters pots she painted and the plants she made to fit in them as well as the furniture, dishes and pictures she made for the doll house.
We showed her Snow White’s bathroom with the pink tile walls and beautiful white porcelain fixtures. I told her how excited Snow White was to have such a beautiful bathroom but was perplexed by the toilet. The lever for the toilet is not one you push down on which is the norm for so many. It is a dangling porcelain tear drop at the side which you can either push back or pull towards you. She quickly got the hang of it but we always have to tell our guests or they would have the same issue.
Then it was on to the kitchen. Grammy K remarked on the large size and cabinet space. It is a good sized eat-in kitchen. Not as large as the one in our old brown house but larger than the one in our last house. I showed her my favorite cabinet, the pots and pans! It is a bottom corner cabinet where the door folds out in two sections. I can store all of my pots and pans in this cabinet without stacking them up! The only way to make this a better cabinet is to have it lazy Susan style like my Grandmother’s. We actually have more cabinets than I know what to do with but that is a good thing. I explained the gas stove and oven is a new thing for me. I am still getting accustomed to the open flame and it does cook a bit differently than the electric appliance I have used in the past. She loved the fixtures and the deep sinks.
(just like Kentucky Girl’s but has two large deep sinks). It was day time so I didn’t think to show her lights the under cabinet with a dimmer switch to boot.
On to the dinning room. Nothing much in here right now other than the table, chairs, antique sewing machine cabinet (with gold working Royal sewing machine) I use as an accent table/small buffet table/lamp table and yes, the antique vanity minus the mirror (stored in my closet) with the computer on it. We do use the dinning room for all meals and homework time. I can type and while she does her homework and she can look at the child websites while I work on a project at the table or cook.
The dinning room also has a large closet with two upper shelves. I store all my cleaning equipment, mop, brooms, vacuum, rug cleaning machine, paper towels, puppet theater (I made out of PCV piping and satin), party supplies, future gifts, etc. We also showed her the pageant closet in the hall and her latest glitz pageant dress.
Since Grammy K was about to have hip surgery I did not do my best to clean up the basement or my older children’s room. I did not think she was up for the stairs but she was so off we went up stairs. ManSon’s room had many empty cans of soda and an unmade bed. He is 19 years old so I do not check on his room often. Anyway she is a mother with boys so she was understanding. She also saw the room was as large as combining the living room, Snow White’s room, her bathroom and that whole side of the house. I point out the “Hobbit doors” on either side of the room. These are storage areas that run the length of the house. This, in our view, is a cute characteristic of the room and the house.
She wanted to see Oldest Daughter’s room too as it was part of the tour but I explained she is gone for long periods of time and locks her room. I do have a key but I wanted to respect her wishes of privacy especially when it was a house tour. Oldest Daughter’s room is the size of the kitchen and dinning room. Do not worry, I do check on her room from time to time when she is here and when she is not. There isn’t much in there other than her bed, dresser, posters she made of her and her friend. Some of Snow White’s toys are in her closet and that is the reason for her not wanting to use the closet. Actually, it is an old doll of mine that freaks her out. My Chrissy doll scares the poop out of her! Chrissy looks like a large baby, has long eye lashes, black eyes with no pupils and has a pony tail that grows when you pull it and a string at her back to make the pony tail shorter. It is her pupil less eyes that freaks out Oldest Daughter. I need to find a new place for Chrissy to reside.
Instead of showing her Oldest Daughter’s room I show her the large linen closet in between the two upstairs bedrooms. Then it is on to the basement. Ugh, I have too many projects in progress down there but she wanted to see the house. I also wanted her to see the largeness of the house. By now the girls had gone to the basement to play Hey You Peakacheu.
She glanced around the room and then it was time to see my room. There was chewed up tissue paper on my floor due to Pups facination with paper chewing and then I showed her my large master bathroom with all the beautiful fixtures. My bedroom is a bit small for a master bedroom but the only thing I do in here is sleep and store my clothes. The master bedroom has my queen size bed, my large antique dresser, a large trunk and room for another dresser and night stands. It also has a large closet with lights. I have seen larger master bedrooms in the other houses I viewed before deciding on this house. In the houses with the large master bedrooms the other bedrooms were very small, too small for my taste. So small you might get a twin bed and small dresser in but nothing else. I have children who have things of their own such as toys, art they like to display, miscellaneous things and full size beds. I would much rather the space went to their rooms than the master bedroom.
On to the laundry and storage room. This room runs the span of the house! There are large shelves and a walk out to the screened in porch which walks out to the deck. I can store more in this laundry room than I could in an attic and garage! We do have a small shed and a closed in cinderblock room under the sunroom.
The pizza was ready so the girls ran up to get their plates and took them back down stairs with them. Grammy K had some pizza too. We then went to the living room to chat for awhile. I laid out the snack trays in the living room. Grammy K and I talked of all the things that have gone on in our lives over the past year. We talked about her up coming surgery, my work and Snow White. She was surprised to hear my desire to put more focus on Snow White’s other activities and retire Snow White from pageants. Of course Snow White has other ideas. Anytime I bring up the topic of quiting pageants she says “I want to do pageants until I am at least 16 years old. We cannot stop yet. I’m not done yet.”
Pageants are something she really enjoys but I am growing tired of my part as a pageant mom. The days of preparation, packing the suitcases, making sure we have every little thing we might need during the weekend (you cannot buy what we need at the local stores or gift shop), hours spent altering outfits that do not fit as they should when we receive them, traveling to see the coach, paying for coaching lessons and the coach cannot travel due to lack of hours booked (I understand she cannot travel for free) and after hours of travel dealing with grouchy staff of hotels that are not prepared for a large number of guests. Not to mention all the running around we do at the hotel for coaching lessons, running back and forth to our room for changes and fitting in time for the pool. Oh I love pool time! That is when the weekend tones down and it is finally time to relax. Snow White loves all the rushing about and getting ready for the stage, being on the stage, the primping, practicing and especially her time on stage. I get through it thinking of her joy and pool time! That is the only time during the weekend that I can get my breath back. You may ask why I do all of this? My daughter has found an activity she loves doing and I am her Mom. I back her up in something she enjoys, grows and excels in. I will continue but I am hoping she feels the same about local pageants rather than Nationals. I just want to have some of my weekends to relax and enjoy. I know, I am her mother and I should keep going with this joy she has but maybe it does not have to be the large scale she has become accustomed. Baseball, Soccer and Moms of children in any sport or activity our children are involved...you know we all need a break now and then.
After we discuss the pageant thing it was on to family issues. Who is where and doing what. Then on to the bit awkward subject of my X. I explain that yes, Snow White has asked about him from time to time but not often. I only tell Snow White he is a soldier and off making the world a safer place. Sorry, she is just too young to hear all that went on. I believe every child thinks they will inherently be part of what their mother and father as their own personality. They believe they will be like their parents in many ways. I do not want her to see her father as anything other than a good person. Yes, he is a soldier. This will help her set her foundation, her childhood. When she is old enough and has a better relationship with her father she can come to her own conclusions but for now she just needs to know she has good on both sides of her family.
Grammy K and I never really had the time to sit down together since the split to discuss what I was telling Snow White about her father. She seemed very relieved and happy about my choices.
As Grammy K and I were near the end of our visit we heard the girls playing Barbie’s again in Snow White’s room. Apparently Aladdin and Jasmine were attempting a trip together but there were complications in planning this trip. Aladdin was the only one with a license to drive and Jasmine was not old enough to get a license. Snow White also said Jasmine was a teenager. Gymnast said teenagers did not have babies. Snow White giggled and said “On Reba there was teenagers and they had a baby.” Okay! Time to stop watching Reba. They make it look too easy in the eyes of an 8 year old to have a baby when you are a teenager! Maybe I should keep watching it and tell her all the ways it is hard on them? I don’t know yet but for now Reba is rated PG13 in our house.
They were arguing over who would drive the Barbie RV and who would fly in the plane.
Aladdin (Snow White) said that he took on most of the care of the baby.
Jasmine (Gymnast) said she was his mother and could take care of him pretty good.
Aladdin: I think you should take more responsibility and recognize I can get him there safely.
Jasmine: Well, I can take him on the plane but it would be less difficult if you took him in the car.
Aladdin: Yes, it would be safer in the car but you need to be more of a parent. You need to take care of your responsibility. You know how long it takes to make a baby.
Jasmine: Well it only takes a week to make a baby. You take him for a drive.
When Grammy K said it was time for her to go Snow White and I hugged Grammy K tightly and thought of plans to visit her at her house this summer. I explained Snow White’s summer day care is closed the first week of July and thus my vacation would be timed around.
The day went on with the girl playing in the back yard and Snow White’s room. After awhile they decided to make plays with the American Girl Play program on the computer. You select an American Girl, the setting and props. Then you work out her motions on screen, her facial expressions and you create her dialog. This lasted about an hour. They giggled and laughed through out the process. Then I suggested a movie. We watched ‘Aragon’, ate popcorn and drank apple juice. After the movie the girls wanted to play Hey You Pikacheu again.
I went to let the dog out . As I passed by the answering machine I saw a new message. It was Dawn asking when she should pick up Gymnast. I had not realized it was dinner time already. I called her back to let her know everything was fine. I am surprised none of us heard the phone ring. I explained the girls were playing so well together and not showing any signs they were ready for their time together to end. I asked if Gymnast could stay for dinner with us and play a bit more on the game before going home. Dawn asked about what time and I suggested 8 pm which was fine by her.
Gymnast and Snow White were ecstatic about having dinner together! I gave them the choice of smoke sausage, hamburgers, turkey sandwiches, paninis or Chinese and they chose Chinese. I made Shrimp and Chicken fried rice then laid it out on the table in two plates. I told he girls they could each choose one or try both. They opted to try both and had half a plate of each. While they ate they furrowed through the rice and veggies for the chicken and shrimp. Once they found every piece of Chicken and Shrimp they went outside to play with Pup each leaving a plate of rice and veggies. Ugh.
A few hours later we walked over to Gymnasts house, Snow White, Gymnast, Pup and I. We met Gymnast's gunie pig and I chatted for about an hour with the parents on thier front lawn. Next thing we knew the girls were planning an outting for the next day. Church with the neighbors and an after school...um after Sunday School event.
Oh a Catholic church?
No, we are not Catholic.
Religion just hung there in the air ...
We can pick you up and take you to our church.
That wont be necessarry. I know where the chuch is.
We can follow you or you can follow us.
Thank you for thinking of us but we will get there.
My poor puppy, he just wants to be on the move. Snow White it is time to go.
We had to go. We had to go to church with them. We were invited and it was known we had no set plans. It would be a good exercise in other peoples beliefs. This usually becomes a run for the home porch. "Nice to see you. I wish you well. Thank you for walking me home." The girls treated it like a school outting. "See you tomorrow!"