...which finally just ended at 11:50pm as I went to put the baby down? Yeah, he was playing handbells and eating grilled chicken and grapes at 10:30pm. SuperMom, I tell ya!
So Steven takes the girls to swim team practice at 7:00am. I woke up but stayed in bed and fell asleep for another half hour after they left. Then it was a mad dash to clean my house, shower, get dressed, and load the boys in an hour to pick the girls up. I picked up the living room, piano room, bedrooms, bathroom, and playroom, because I knew our neighbors might come over. Then it was time for my latest technique--the playroom "sweep"--where I sweep all the toys and trash into one big pile and spend the rest of the day nagging the kids to put those things away. It actually worked!
I picked up the girls and the neighbor at 9am (a 2-hr practice!), then the neighbor friend and her mom came over. We visited for awhile and then the mom went home to finish some chores. After awhile doing my own chores, I went to put the baby for a nap. I was also talking to my mom on the phone while nursing him to sleep.
At one point, Steven Joseph comes in wearing a patriotic leotard and asking me to come to the kitchen to open the Juicy Juice bottle (I bought 6 bottles on Friday because they were on clearance; I think we have one left). I declined his request and sent him away to change back into his clothes. I mused to my mom, "he'll probably open the door for the neighbor in the leotard."
And yes, he did apparently greet her in stars and stripes! And no one told me she was there. So as I laid in my bedroom nursing the baby and talking on the phone, the kids let her in and she was there for who knows how long. Someone told me 10 minutes. A great hostess I am! Finally, I emerged from my room, I came out to find SJ dancing for the neighbor in the dining room, wearing...wait for it...
his underwear and feathered angel wings! I'm quite sure she'll be coming over again for another visit. Since I was doing a great job of supervising children. Oh, and there was a biting incident in there too, at least it was between two of my own children and not her daughter.
But the visit ended with the children playing a lovely handbell rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle, so I think I redeemed myself. Handbell choirs can impress the neighbors, if you were wondering. She also noticed that we have no television; that's always a fun conversation starter! Other positives about the visit were that she brought watermelon and handed down a large box of Hotwheels cars and a track, along with a portable DVD player (ours has been missing for months).
I'm not sure how I'm going to "pay" her back for her generosity...her pick-ups of my girls at swim team and her frequent invitations to the private pool, among other things. Not that you have to have a totally equal friendship, but I just haven't brought much to the table. I guess I can offer handbells and fairy costumes, which it seemed made her daughter enjoy the visit!
So after she left and I fed the kids, why not...I joined the baby to get a real nap for myself! I think I slept for almost 2 hours, and Thomas slept for about FOUR HOURS! Hence, the reason he was awake until almost midnight. The kids were really quiet because they were watching DVDs on the "new" player.
So then, my lofty self decides to bake french bread and a lasagna. But my bread wouldn't rise, I knocked eggs all over the fridge onto various shelves, and I had a meeting I was going to be late to. The kids wanted to help cook, but this was not the right day. After a few attempts, MC retreated to her room with a book, she knew better than to mess with an overwhelmed mama! Somehow I had the lasagna and caesar salad (and chewy bread) ready just before 6:15 and was able to leave at 6:30 for my 6:30 meeting 15 minutes away! I guess they planned for latecomers, because it hadn't started, hooray!
It was the best meeting of the year (sarcastic tone)...Safe Environment. For those unfamiliar, these are the courses you must take periodically in order to work/volunteer in the Catholic Church. Several hours watching videos about child abuse. It's pretty miserable, depressing, and makes you sick to your stomach. A great way to end the day!
Don't get me wrong, I know it's important to be aware of these issues, especially with the scandals our church has faced. The lay movement I used to be a part of has had another one, after the founding priest was shown to be a drug-user, child molester, money launderer, and father of multiple children. A few weeks ago it became public that another star priest in the order (who has been on TV and even written books about the Catholic conscience) has fathered a child over a decade ago. And like Maciel's sins, this was hidden for many years.
This could cause, and has caused, many to abandon their faith. Losing trust in our priests and leadership is a scary thing. But I place my trust in Jesus Christ who set up the Church, offering the keys to St. Peter and keeping it standing 2000 years, even through scandals worse than these. But my heart and prayers go to the victims of these tragedies, and the victimized children all over the world. My heart can't really bear the knowledge of the number of children who face abuse on a daily basis. It's extremely sobering. As is the knowledge that parents and trusted priests are perpetrators.
So on a more positive note, I had a nice visit with friends after the meeting and came home to find that the kids and Steven had a fun game night. Here is our serious poker player...
Have a terrific Tuesday! Hope you enjoyed my play-by-play :)