Friday, April 27, 2012

Get Outta Town! Part II

When last we left our heroine, she had a bruised knee, a sore ankle, and a serious case of the grumps.  A good night's sleep set most of that back to rights.  Most of it...

Our getaway got off to a bumpy start.  It was my fault!  I admit it.  I am a procrastinator and definitely bit off more than I could chew with sub plans and report cards hitting at the same time.  I didn't think far enough ahead to realize these two events were going to occur simultaneously when I told my honey I'd head out of town with him.  As a consequence of my procrastination, I got the report cards finished before leaving town, but only half of the sub plans.  So, bright and early on the first morning of our mini-vacation I was up and borrowing my honey's laptop to finish sub plans.  Not the best way to start the day.  My honey was great about this turn of events.  He could have gotten mad at me for taking up precious vacay time to do work stuff.  He didn't.

My honey was a real trooper!  He got up before me, set-up the laptop, and made sure I had wi-fi access through the hotel so I could e-mail the sub plans into work when I finished.  He didn't even complain about us getting a later start than he wanted for the day's activities.  All he said was that he was just so happy that I had taken the time off to spend with him.  He got what a big deal it was for me to take two days off during this most busy of weeks.
The Sweetest Place On Earth: Hershey Park's Chocolate World

Now that I was sure everything would be running smoothly at work while I was gone, I was ready for some quality time with my honey.  To sweeten my disposition and get our mini-vacation started right, my honey took me to "The Sweetest Place On Earth".  That's right, we headed to Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the late Milton Hershey and his world famous chocolate factory.

We had both been to Hershey Park and Chocolate World before this trip.  My family would go every summer when I was younger and now we take Squirt every fall.  We did the requisite Great American Chocolate Tour, where you get to go behind the scenes of the Hershey Chocolate Factory and see how they make the chocolate.  I've been on that ride a thousand times and it never gets old.  It's just so cool!  I bought the picture they took of us during the ride, even though my honey somehow managed to look away from the camera.  Next, we headed off to the Hershey Store to look for interesting t-shirts (my honey got two t-shirts and bought me a Hershey sweatshirt) and check out all the candy!  I busted out my new camera and we took pictures of each other in front of the Chocolate World sign.  When we got home, we would discover that we had accidentally taken video, instead of pictures.  It was a new camera.  I hadn't read the manual.  These things happen. 

This is NOT me getting flirty with Honest Abe!
Since we were already in Pennsylvania, my honey took advantage of our close proximity to Civil War battlefields and drove us to Gettysburg.  Some people might be appalled at the idea of traipsing around Civil War battlefields on a vacation getaway.  In fact, when my honey first told me about his vacation plans, he was worried that his love of history vacations would be a turn-off or a deal breaker for me.  But, lucky for him, I am the daughter of a history teacher.  All of my childhood summer vacations were spent traipsing around some historic site or another.  Plus, I teach American history and I have twelve grad credits towards a Master's degree in American History.  History and vacations go together like peanut butter and chocolate in my family.  Yeah, I'm still thinking about Chocolate World.  Can't you tell?  A trip to Gettysburg sounded like a great idea to me!

We toured the museum, watched the historical movie, and saw the cyclorama painting, which was really cool.  Then, we hit the museum store (a.k.a. souvenir shop) where my honey acquired two more t-shirts (Abe Lincoln asking, "Does this hat makes me look tall?"  How could he resist?) and I acquired a magnet to add to the collection on my fridge.  Since we'd gotten a rather late start to the day, we didn't have time to tour the actual battlefields, but we did have time to pose with the bronze Lincoln on the bench in front of the museum before heading back to the hotel. We ordered room service for dinner (a new experience for my honey) and went to bed early.

 The next day, we got lost. A lot.  My honey wanted to hit the outlet mall and thought he remembered seeing it from the highway on our drive up into the mountains.  So we drove one exit down the mountain and then another and another and another.  No outlets.  It took me four exits to convince my honey we may have gone the wrong way.  So we turned around and headed back past our hotel and one exit further up the highway we found the outlets.  We went shopping for tennis shoes for both of us and my wonderful honey endured twenty minutes of clothing shopping with me.  He definitely wasn't the world's happiest camper trailing behind me through the maze of clothing racks, but he didn't complain or ask if he could go sit on a bench.  If it had been a boyfriend test (which it totally wasn't because outlet shopping was his idea), he would have passed with flying colors.

After our shopping adventure, my honey wanted some Mexican food for lunch.  Mexican is my honey's favorite food and he definitely deserved to get whatever he wanted for lunch since he was such a shopping superstar.  We decided to drive into town in search of a Mexican restaurant.  How hard could it be to find a Mexican restaurant?  Pretty hard, apparently, if you are in the sticks of the Appalachian Mountains.  We found two Mexican places in downtown Hagerstown.  Both were closed and appeared to have been closed for a while if the "for lease" signs were any indicator.  So we drove out of town looking for a Mexican restaurant.  We drove and drove and drove.  Eventually, when signs of civilization were getting fewer and farther between, I talked my honey into asking TomTom how to get back to the highway.  We drove back past the outlets going in the opposite direction and settled for Cracker Barrel, resigned to the fact that there doesn't seem to be any Mexican food in the mountains.

Our next stop was the battlefield at Antietam.  We drove past our hotel for a third time on the way there and I fell into a fit of the giggles because the whole day was starting to feel like we were driving in circles.  I laughed til tears rolled out of my eyes and I was shaking in silent laughter, unable to breathe.  My honey stared at me at first, until I explained why I was hysterically laughing, then he smiled and chuckled a little himself.  Our funny bones sufficiently tickled, we arrived at Antietam, toured the museum, hit the museum store (two more t-shirts for my honey), and toured the battlefield in the rain.  History buffs that we are, a little drizzle didn't stop us from getting out of the car and taking some more pictures.

My honey (Yes, that is really him!) being a goofball,
looking down the barrel of a cannon (in the rain) at Antietam
Battlefield successfully toured, it was time for my honey to drive me home.  I had to work the next day. :'(  We made good time getting home, despite the rain, and had dinner together before he headed back up into the mountains to finish out the rest of his vacation week alone.  My honey later told me the rest of the week wasn't half as much fun without me there. Aww! Isn't he great?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Get Outta Town! Part I

This week, my honey and I reached a new milestone.  We went on our first road trip together.  That's right, we packed up the car and headed outta town.  It was only a short, two day jaunt into the Appalachian Mountains, but this trip had plenty of peaks and valleys all on its own.

My honey had already booked his vacation for the year before we started going out and this was the week he'd picked.  This turned out to be a little problematic for two reasons: 1) his beloved hockey team had made it into the playoffs and they had two home games that week, and 2) it was a school week for me.  To accomodate these issues, we decided to leave town after Monday night's home game and I would only be going up for two days, instead of the whole week.

We got off to a slightly bumpy start, which was largely my fault.  In addition to needing two days worth of sub plans, it was also report card week and I was late getting home from work for the hockey game.  This put us behind schedule for our normal hockey pre-game ritual of stopping at my honey's favorite watering hole for dinner, drinks, and socializing before heading into the game.  Instead, we had to skip the watering hole and grab fast food across the street from the arena.  I was tense because I hadn't finished everything I needed to finish for work and because I was worried he was going to be annoyed with me for making him late to the game (or the pre-game, as it were). 

Plus, it was a barbarically hot day, the first day above 90 degrees for the year, and I was in jeans and a hockey jersey.  Comfy wasn't the word to describe me that afternoon.  Hot, sweaty, tense, and distracted by thoughts of what I still needed to get done for work, I headed into the game with my honey.  His beloved team put in a valiant effort, but they went down in flames in the third period.  I had mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I was relieved that the game hadn't gone into overtime or double overtime as it had in the previous game, since we still had a 90 minute drive ahead of us.  But, on the other hand, I was now going to be trapped in a car for 90 minutes with a cranky hockey fan.

This isn't my honey, but he was just about this sad after the game.

His fellow season ticket holders from section 405 straggled out onto the concourse and exchanged handshakes and hugs.  It's a strange little friendamily that has been formed by the season ticket holders after years of sitting in the same section together.  When I first met them, I was surprised to be included in the post-goal rounds of high fives and the post-game rounds of hugs, but now I'm oddly accustomed to the ritual.  I've even advanced to post-goal hugs from my honey's hockey BFF.  There was a head count to see who would be attending Thursday's home game and we reported our out of town status to the group.  We were forgiven our absence as we would be providing acceptable substitutes (Mr. and Mrs. Mynd) that were well-liked by the group.  The group broke up in a subdued manner, with some discussion of heading to the watering hole to drown their sorrows.

We trudged down the four flights of stairs from our section to street level discussing the Oscar-worthy performance of a player on the other team who had fallen down and feigned injury after being shoved by a player from our team.  At street level, navigating the crowd became difficult as we had to move against the flow of traffic to get back to the car.  Most days, we navigate the crowds like salmon swimming upstream, determined and looking for our opportunity, but we weren't as successful this time.  My honey was holding my hand and pulling me through the crowd when we seemed to make it to a gap where I could walk beside him.  Unfortunately, the reason for the gap was due to the lack of sidewalk where a tree had been planted next to the stadium.  My honey pulled me up next to him, my foot hit the edge of the brick sidewalk and the drop off to the tree mulch, and I fell down. I fell down hard.

I wish I'd had Holtby's pads to protect my knees. 
He hits the ice forty times a night and never looks like it hurts.
My weak ankle was protesting its rough treatment, but luckily I hadn't turned or rolled it.  I had gone down forward onto my knees, so my left knee was really sore and scraped from taking the brunt of the fall.  On the bright side, my hockey fan was no longer grumpy or cranky.  He was panicked that he was going to have to take me to the emergency room and that our vacation was about to end before it began.  I got up, wiped the mulch off my knees, and assured him that I was battered, but not broken.  He kept asking me if I was sure I hadn't rebroken my ankle and was I sure I didn't need to go to the emergency room.  I told him that since I could get up and walk, we were all good.  When I broke my ankle last fall, there was no getting up right after it happened.  I went down and stayed down for a good ten minutes.  Since I had been able to get up, I knew I hadn't broken anything this time. 

We walked the five blocks back to the car with my honey shooting me nervous looks and asking over and over if I was sure I was alright.  His bad mood was gone.  My bad mood, on the other hand, was just getting started.  Yes, I told him repeatedly, I was fine.  I just needed to get back to the car so I could check out my knee and ankle.  I admit to biting my lip a little bit on the walk back to the car, but I made it there without shedding a tear or whining about my aches and pains.  I was being a tough cookie. 

Our first aid kit: bless you, ice cold coke can.
In the car, my honey gave me a soda from the cooler and his rally towel from the game to create my own makeshift ice pack.  I checked out my knee and saw that I was going to have a wicked bruise the next day, but I hadn't broken the skin.  I also had full rotation on my weak ankle.  Sweet!

Injuries triaged, we set out on our road trip.  We drove north out of the city, through the foothills, and eventually into the mountains.  I am a little sketchy on the details at this point, for as my honey was about to discover, I suffer from a severe case of "road lull".  On long car trips, I have the stay awake power of an infant.  The hum of the engine and the gentle sway of the car as it rolls along lull me to sleep like a sedative.  I remember driving out of the city across the county line and the next thing I can recall is my honey telling me we were almost at the hotel as he pulled off the highway and onto a country road.  Good thing he didn't need my help staying awake on the drive, huh?

We arrived at the hotel and my honey did something that made no earthly sense to me.  Rather than pull up by the lobby and check-in before parking, he parked around the back of the hotel, we unloaded the car, and then hauled everything we'd brought back to the lobby.  Who does that?  Plus, HELLO!  Girl with scraped knees and a bad ankle here.  Why in the world did he think it was a good idea to make me walk the length of the hotel while carrying a cooler on a bad ankle and knee?

At this point, my honey would like it noted that he carried all the luggage and all he allowed me to carry is my purse and the soft nylon cooler with three sodas in it. Men!

If I wasn't cranky before that, I was really cranky now.  But, I kept my mouth shut because I knew I was cranky and I didn't want our mini-vacation to start off with our first argument.  We checked in and as it turned out, our room was in the back of the hotel near where he had parked the car.  So, we got to walk the length of the hotel again to get to the room.  By the time we got to the room, we were both exhausted - him from driving and the lateness of the hour and me from my boo-boos and the combined effects of a full day at work, a night at the hockey game, and the long drive.  Not even the massive king size bed with its scarlet comforter could excite us for anything more than brushing our teeth and crashing into an exhausted sleep.
Our vacation was off to a fantastic start!  And if you can't read between the lines to hear the sarcasm in that sentence... trust me, it's there.  Don't worry, it got better after that.  No sarcasm, just the truth.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Flashing Lights and a Rock

I'm writing this blog while waiting for a phone call.  My brother was rushed to the hospital this afternoon in an ambulance.  It's not the first time this has happened, but it was the first time I was there to see it.

This is not a sight you want to see in front of your house when you drive up.

My brother is prone to atrial fibrulation, just like our dad.  However, his heart condition is exacerbated by a thyroid condition which turns atrial fibrulation into atrial flutter.  In plain English, his heart is already prone to an above average rapid heart rate.  When his thyroid acts up, that rapid rate spikes up into the stratosphere. 

He had a similar problem a few months ago right before Squirt's fourth birthday party, but that time I was at home, sick with the flu, and banned from bringing my cooties over to the house for fear of someone else catching it.  I didn't even know anything was going on until I called my mom's house in hopes of hearing everybody sing happy birthday to the world's cutest nephew.  My grandfather had answered the phone and relayed the day's events to me.  This time, I was bringing Mom home from church and we turned onto her street to be greeted by the sight of flashing lights.

My brother waved to my mother and I from inside the ambulance and gave us an "okay" sign to let us know he was alright as we raced up to the house.  I was relieved to see him alert and sitting up.  Things couldn't be that bad if he was sitting up and no one was pounding on his chest.  After that thought penetrated my shock, I noticed that the whole neighborhood had come out to see what was going on.  Mom went to talk to the paramedics and my brother, and I headed toward the house and my sister-in-law. 

My sister-in-law was standing with Mary B., a neighbor we've known for over thirty years, a member of the extended friendamily so to speak.  Mary B. was in full maternal-hover mode, keeping my sister-in-law calm until my mom arrived.  Mary's a great neighbor, although incredibly nosy.  I wasn't surprised to see her on our doorstep, right in the thick of things.  Other neighbors were hovering near the fringes of the front lawn.  A new neighbor, who had moved in several houses down over a year ago, came over to introduce herself and let us know that we were in her prayers.  I'm not sure that while the paramedics were working on my brother in the ambulance while it was still in front of the house was the best time for this new neighbor to come over and make an introduction, but my sister-in-law and mother smiled appreciatively.  I just stared at her and shook her hand when my mother introduced me.

Today's visit from emergency medical personnel brought back some unhappy memories for me. It's been a long time (11 years), but seeing the ambulances and fire truck parked in front of my mother's house instantly reminded me of when my father died.  I was at my parents' house when that happened.  In fact, I was the one on the phone with 9-1-1 relaying instructions to my mother for how to give CPR.  Ever since then, I've had a phobia about 9-1-1. Gertie and I witnessed a car accident years ago while coming out of the movies and I couldn't make the call to 9-1-1.  I froze and she had to do it.  The flashing lights and emergency personnel scrambling around in front of my mother's house brought old, unpleasant memories to the front of my mind.

My sister-in-law told me that when the paramedics arrived my brother's heart rate was 238 beats per minute.  I'm not a doctor and had no idea what a normal heart rate might be, so I nodded with a concerned expression on my face and made a mental note to look it up when I got home.  My honey helped give me some perspective on my brother's heart rate.  He told me that, during his presidency, George W. Bush had an average heart rate of 60 beats per minute, which was amazingly healthy and at the low end of the normal range.  My brother's heart was going four times as fast.  By the time the ambulance left to take him to the hospital, my brother's heart had settled down to 150 beats per minute.  Still fast, but going back to normal - or at least normal for my brother.

Once the paramedics had my brother settled and ready to leave for the hospital, my mother sent me home and told me she would call me as soon as she knew anything.  My sister-in-law's father had already come over and taken Squirt back to his house for a "sleepover".  Squirt thought this was awesome as he had spent the previous night having a sleepover at my mom's house.  His parents may never be able to get him to go home after all these sleepovers, but at least he wasn't scared or worried about his dad.  He was excited to see the fire truck and ambulances with their lights on.  Ah, the innocence and obliviousness of the young!

I came home to find my honey playing on his laptop.  He was surprised to see me, as I had told him I probably wouldn't be home for at least four more hours.  I was still pretty worried about my brother and haunted by memories of calling the ambulance for my father.  I don't know what I looked like when I walked into the house, but it must have been interesting enough to alert him that something was up because he jumped up and asked me what was wrong.  He hugged me while I croaked out the story, held me while I told him about the memories the day had brought to the surface, and gently kissed me when I was done sharing.  He kept me calm by sharing stories about his own experiences with calling the paramedics for his father and then turned the conversation to lighter things, like our favorite show on BBC America, in order to make me smile.  He was a rock.  A solid, comforting presence while my world was tilting a little off kilter.

Getting a hug from my honey was just what I needed

I just got the call from my mom.  My brother's heart rate returned to normal without medication and they are going to release him soon.  He'll have to go see a cardiologist and his primary care physician tomorrow, but he'll be home tonight.  I am going to get another hug from my honey and be thankful that everything worked out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

She likes me! She really likes me!

She likes me! She really likes me!
We're having a bit of a Sally Fields moment over here at Lainey's Life Lessons right now. 

As previously mentioned, my honey and I were attending dueling Easter dinners at our respective parents' homes.  I was worried about dinner at his mother's house. I'd had dinner with his parents before and been briefly introduced to his brother and nephew recently, but there were going to be more new faces and I still wasn't feeling confident that my honey's family liked me. At this point, if he were reading over my shoulder, my honey would be telling me I was worried about nothing and that his family loves me. But, he's at work and I am writing while enjoying my last day of spring break. I say "enjoying", but it's laundry day and you know how I feel about that.

The reason I was so worried about this dinner is because of a comment that my honey's mother had made to him.  In passing, his mother had told him that she thought I was "too independent".  When I asked him for clarfication about what she meant, he had nothing.  He didn't know what she meant by "too independent" or what about me she might have been referring to with the comment.  Now, I was raised to believe that independence and being self-sufficient were character traits to be valued.  What could she mean by saying I was "too independent"?

I spent a week worrying about this "too independent" thing.  I asked my BFFs what they thought about the comment.  They speculated that she thought I was too independent because I was single and already a homeowner.  I asked my mother what she thought of the comment.  She thought it was the nicest compliment anyone had ever given her.  After all, my mother was the one who raised me to be independent and now someone felt she had succeeded.  I'm not kidding.  My mother smiled and said, "Well, that's a wonderful compliment!  What's wrong with being independent?".

I think the comment bothered me so much because it wasn't something I could change.  How could I show her I was less independent?  By becoming dependent on someone else?  Not likely to happen.  I get irritated when my honey tries to be chivalrous and open doors for me.  Are my arms broken?  What made you think I couldn't open it for myself?  It's unlikely that I am suddenly going to become a simpering female who needs large amounts of male assistance just to win a mother's approval, especially if it's not even my mother.  But, I did want this mother's approval.  I'm head over heels in love with her son and for some reason it feels important that she like me.

When I shared my concerns with my honey, he said the weirdest thing.  "Babe, she asked me what color your kitchen was!"  Huh?  What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?  I asked him to explain and he did.  My honey's favorite food in the world is his mother's honey-puffed pancakes.  He had told me that I absolutely had to learn how to make them and, like a good girlfriend, I had asked his mom about the recipe.  What does this have to do with the color of my kitchen, you may wonder?  His mother was going to have the recipe framed to hang in my kitchen and she wanted to make sure the matting and frame matched my kitchen's color scheme.  Awww!  She might actually like me.

The final piece of the puzzle came after Easter dinner.  The dinner went well, I thought.  His family held up the start of the Easter Egg Hunt until I arrived.  I had back to back masses at church, one where I was cantoring solo and one where I was singing with my church choir.  My honey's neice has become a fan of mine and announced that she was sitting next to me at dinner.  His mom was taking pictures of the grandkids and snuck a picture or two of us, as well.

His mother and I recently became facebook friends, I assumed so that she could see what kind of person I was based on my postings.  Last night, she posted a couple of pictures of me and my honey.  Her captions told the tale, "My son and his super girlfriend... I am really loving her!"  and "Honey and Lainey (The future Mrs. Honey??)".  Yup, she likes me.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Invasion of the Little Things

Some interesting changes seem to be occuring around Casa de Lainey lately.  It started out small with a gallon of freshly brewed iced tea taking up permanent residence in my refrigerator.  I don't drink iced tea.  I never have, though I did brew the batch in the fridge right now. 

Next, a comb, a tooth brush, and a strange brand of toothpaste appeared on my bathroom sink.  I should say a second comb and toothbrush, as my girlie purple comb and electric toothbrush are still there, but have been joined by new, manly versions of the same.  Then, a pair of sneakers and a gym bag took up residence on the floor by the far side of my bed.  They don't seem to be bothering anything.  They're just hanging out, taking up space I wasn't really using for anything else.  All of these items just started magically appearing recently and I'm not quite sure what to make of it.

This magically appeared one day and hasn't left.
How did this get here?  I'm a Colgate girl!

Even more interesting, a box of cannolis is currently sitting on the top shelf of my refrigerator.  Don't get me wrong! I love cannolis, but they don't really jive with my current diet.  Finally, a strange bottle of shampoo has appeared in my master bathroom shower.  These last two I find the most interesting because I purchased the cannolis and the shampoo.  Not for me, but for someone who has been slowly but surely worming his way into my heart and apparently my house.

Okay, I admit it. 
I brought this into my "No Junk Food Allowed" house.

That's right!  My honey is starting to get comfy around my house.  He doesn't ask before he takes off his shoes, anymore.  He gets his own beverages from the fridge, though I still try to beat him to the punch on that one when I can.  He's leaving things around that indicate he's planning on being around in the mornings (which probably has something to do with the fact that he's spent a few nights at my place now). 

At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about this.  Yes, absolutely I want him to feel comfortable at my place.  It just takes a bit of adjusting when you walk into a bathroom at a formerly all-girl house and find the toilet seat up.  He's learned not to do that now.  I mentioned how odd it was to walk into my bathroom and see that, so he started putting the seat down AND closing the lid which made me laugh.  Now, the seats down and the lids up, just the way I like it. 
This is not a normal sight in an all-girl household!

But, I'm starting to think I must like it because I keep making new gallons of iced tea.  I texted to find out what kind of shampoo I should add to my shower caddy.  Plus, the ultimate sign that I like having him over at my place - I cleared out two drawers in my dresser so he'd have someplace besides a gym bag on my floor to put his stuff.

It is at this point that a certain man who has been reading over my shoulder would like me to clarify a few points.  My honey would like to let the record show that I went with him to get the gym bag full of clothes and that it didn't magically appear from parts unknown.  I was fully aware of and participated in its arrival.  No sneak attack there.  It was a step we agreed on and took together.  He would also like you to know that the toothbrush, toothpaste, and comb arrived with the gym bag, not separately (only the deodorant arrived separately as he forgot it when he packed the gym bag).  He also objects to the title of this blog, as you can't be invading if you were invited and he doesn't want the term "little" associated with him in any way. :)

There's another interesting change.  Having someone ask me to revise and edit my blogging before I even post it.  For the record, I didn't change a word.  I just added his thoughts on the matter separately in the paragraph above.  My writing is not something up for debate or discussion.  Just call me "independent", but that is definitely a blog for later.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Break

The flowers are blooming, grass is growing, temperatures are rising.  All of which can only mean one thing -it's time for SPRING BREAK!

Now, as an adult, this yearly milestone shouldn't mean that much to me.  It's not like I'm heading to the Florida beaches, cruising the Caribbean Sea, or taking a tour of Europe.  That's all stuff for college kids, which I haven't been for a number of years now.  But, as a teacher, I've been looking forward to this event since the beginning of March.

Due to the unseasonably warm and snowless winter we had this year, it's felt like spring for about six weeks in this part of the world.  My students reacted to the warm weather with early, but not unexpected spring fever.  All of a sudden, long-time friends weren't getting along, puppy love was blooming and/or falling apart, and classroom behavior in general was deteriorating.  We had all been trapped in the classroom together for over seven months and desperately needed a break from each other.

Thank heavens for spring break!  My school system has been generous for the last two years and given us the whole week before Easter, plus the Monday following Easter.  I have ten days without ten year olds!  Yippee!

They are going to be a very busy ten days, too.  Friday night, straight after school let out, there was the Meet The Parents dinner extravaganza.  Saturday afternoon, there was a trip to the circus with a certain redhaired nephew named Squirt.  Sunday afternoon, my honey got to meet the rest of my family, including Squirt. 

A hockey fight so rough that he ripped the other guy's head off.
Squirt was really shy around the new red-headed stranger in our midst at first, but eventually got into a rough housing hockey fight with my honey, inspired by the epic hockey fight we watched on TV at the Flyers-Penguins game. (Even the coaches got thrown out of that game for fighting!)  My beloved pup, Roxy, showed that her initial reaction to my honey was no fluke, as she strolled right up to him to show him her bone, sat on his feet, and proceeded to let him know that she would like her ears, her belly, and her rump rubbed.  My own dog ignored me in favor of my honey.  I don't know if I should be happy or upset by this.  I'm leaning towards happy - my baby likes my baby.  In fact, at dinner when I would say "Come here, baby!" to the dog, both of them would look up.  It was very funny.

My honey gained additional Mom approval for his dealings with the dog and the Squirt.  My brother also threw his support our way, telling my mom later that my honey was going to fit right in and that it would be good to have another smart@$$ at the dinner table.  My silent sister-in-law apparently weighed in to a friend of the family that she thought my honey was cute.  Clean sweep!  He won them all over.

But, I digress.  This started out as a blog about my spring break and seems to have taken a turn into boyfriend black-out territory, my apologies!  The rest of my days have been filling up fast.  Yesterday, I had morning playtime at Rollie Pollie's with two of my honorary nephews and lunch with my college roommate (They were a package deal as the boys are her sons.).  My morning with toddlers was immediately followed by an afternoon trip across the bridge with my friend, Mrs. Mynd, to be her moral support while she got a tattoo.  She hardly even flinched during the tattoo, so I would classify it more as "along for the ride" than actual moral support.  That was immediately followed by watching hockey on my couch with my honey.  His team lost, but still isn't out of the running for the playoffs yet.  This spring break thing is exhausting work.  There's so much to do!

Today, I'm having lunch with my honey and meeting his work friends.  The rest of the week has... 1) lunch with my BFF, 2) a meet and greet dinner with my honey's best friend, 3) a hockey game (Of course, no week is complete without one now.), 4) painting my mom's downstairs bathroom, 5) church followed by dinner at Red Lobster with the family and my honey on Good Friday, 6) a Saturday trip to the ball park for some major league baseball with my honey, and 7) Easter dinner with my big (both tall and numerous) extended family.

Number seven might get tricky as my honey's mom would like my attendance at her Easter dinner and my mother would like my honey's attendance at her Easter dinner.  We may both hate spiral sliced hams by Monday morning if we make it through both dinners.  Plus, meeting my extended family including my retired drill sargeant grandfather may lead to some indigestion for my honey, I'm sure.  By the time this is over, I'm going to need a holiday to recover from my spring break.
Wish me luck keeping all these balls up in the air!
I'm just going to keep saying,
"Never.. take... your eyes... off... the ball."