Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!
I had a wonderful weekend with my girls. Saturday we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, all with the promise that they could ride their bikes afterwards which, ended up being like 4:00 by the time we were done. I was in The Groove, where you actually put the laundry away after you fold it (instead of leaving it in the basket, folded, piling other baskets with folded laundry on top of them, and ultimately revolving your life and you clothing choices for the week around the tower of laundry baskets) and move the furniture to dust, sweep and vacuum. Every time I clean a bathroom, let alone all three at once, I feel like I have superpowers. I was so proud of my girls for being such great helpers. I've added vacuuming and Clorox wipe-ing down the bathroom faucet, sink and counter (maybe they'll stop spitting everywhere but in the actual sink now) to their chores.
To celebrate my superpowers, their work ethic and surprisingly minimal complaining I decided to treat them to something special on Sunday. They have recently become fans of the movie Twilight. Addy watched it about 100 times in two days. She thinks Bella works at a coffee shop in Portland and we overheard her explaining to her sister how when they become vampires, "They make their buttons fly off their shirts and then their skin gets all sparkly." (she is so my kid) During the movie, I pointed out certain scenes that were filmed in Portland, and how I could take them to some of the places. They know I've done the whole Portland Twilight Tour and have seen the pics, but now they understand. Big difference.
Sunday, I surprised them and took them for breakfast at Carver Cafe, where a couple Twilight scenes were filmed. It's literally 4 minutes from our house. It's a tiny little mom and pop restaurant that only has like four tables to sit at, and serves really good breakfast and BLT's. The Carver Cafe peeps have embraced the whole Twilight vibe, as it's a regular stop for fans. The waitress/manager/cook was an extra in the movie. It was packed when we went in, so the girls and I gave up the (Bella) table and sat at the counter. Sitting on barstools is always a bonus. The girls were in awe (mostly of the Edward, Bella and Jacob Barbie dolls displayed on the counter) and could not believe their luck (how cool their mother is). Plus we ran into Olivia's 1st grade teacher.
We ate our weight in bacon, eggs and hash browns and moved on to our next surprise o' the day. I picked up my dearie friend Shannon and the girls' BFF, Kayla, and we headed out to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. We met up with the cousins, the aunt, uncle and grandparents too. It was kind of a big dealie. After nine years of parenthood, I'm finally learning not to tell my kids when we're doing something big-ish like this. Every time I make the "big plans" and tell them about it, someone throws up and we end up not being able to do it. It works out, in that just about everything ends up being a big ol' surprise, surprise, surprise for them.
We had never been to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm (isn't that such an interesting name?) and I was just thrilled to go. I like pretty stuff. When we first got there, the girls really didn't get what we were doing. They thought we were at a fair, because of the elephant ears, face painting, jumpy house and fire truck. They couldn't understand why we kept walking past all the "good stuff". When we finally got to the tulips though, it was like seeing a piece of Heaven. It.was.sumpin'. I took about 300 pictures and none of them managed to capture what I was really seeing. I had no idea what a big deal tulips were in mass quantity. Thankfully my girls got what a big deal it was and clapped their hands and I knew that I was still "cool".
My brother-in-law (who is also "cool") made it a mission for all the kiddos to find the PERFECT tulip. And all the kids took it very seriously. You know how they do. I've never heard so many, "Dad!"'s and "Uncle Brandon!"'s in my life. I just looked at him after about the 1000th "perfect" tulip and thought, "You started this, dude." But he's a smart man and a great dad/uncle, because the kids were so into it that they forgot all about the "carnival" on the other side of the farm. We rewarded them with a ride on the Wooden Shoe "train".
After that, they were getting all complain-ey. When I say "they," I mean my kid, Olivia. "I'm sooooooo thirsty." She's just like me, in that when I'm thirsty, hungry or tired, I'm borderline done, and you have about twenty seconds to make me happy. Despite that little fact, I ignored her for the first twenty whines; I was still trying to capture Heaven in my camera. But it was a sweltering 60 degrees out, so when she started complaining that her tongue hurt and her eyeball hurt, I knew we were moving on.
We got the kiddos lemonade, got their faces painted, let them go down the slowest slide in the world and didn't let them go on any rides. This is where I became very uncool. The cost of the ticket was outrageous for what you actually got to use them for. But Grandpa caved (as good grandpas do) and got tix for all the kidlets, and at $1 a ticket, that ended up being like two tickets a piece, which adds up to 5 minutes in the little jumpy house (not even the big one) with all the babies. This is when Olivia lost it, because she's NINE and couldn't possibly do anything for less than 4 tickets. Some random stranger had mercy on her sad, sad disposition (nine-year-old-throwing-a-tantrum-in-the-middle-of-a-tulip-farm) and came up to her, giving her a ticket. I became very, very uncool at this point, took the ticket away from her, and she took her two tickets and went in the baby jumpy, pouted and gave the stink eye to all the babies. Time to go.
Then we went to Red Robin got the tower of onion rings, and all was right with the world again.