Posts Tagged ‘Shop-N-Save’

Thanksgiving at home

November 26, 2010

Andrew Hicks

When my wife’s sister got married in April of ’08, Tiffany and I were told the wedding would start at 11 am. Neither of us was actually in the wedding, and we didn’t have babies back then. All Tiffany and I had to do was to drive the 100+ miles and, somewhere along the way, buy some kind of card or present. I think Tiffany also needed a new shirt, and I needed a belt. We left home late, did some stress-speeding down the highway, and did our best to zoom through Gordman’s or wherever.

We arrived at the wedding at like 11:35, already self-conscious before we had to change our clothes in the parking lot. A few other people were trickling into the church, none of them apparently as worried about being more than a half-hour late. We filled out the card and walked into the building sheepishly, and we soon learned the wedding was actually going to start at noon. Tiffany’s sister and parents had told us the wrong time on purpose so we’d do that last-minute Procrastination Shuffle straight into actually somehow being early. It was a shrewd little trick that, in the end, worked out in everyone’s favor. For once, Tiffany and I didn’t have to be Photoshopped into the family pictures after the fact.

This Thanksgiving reminded me a lot of the morning of Tiffany’s sister’s wedding. We weren’t up and moving in time, and we had twice as many bodies to get dressed and pack for. It was a no-win scenario that had our scheduled departure time arriving and vanishing with us still nowhere near ready to go. And we were still looking ahead at the process of wrestling everyone into the car and driving almost two hours while the rest of the family waited for us to arrive so they could finally eat. The mood in our house was one of terse, annoyed futility and led to a few rare moments of marital discord. That idealized list of things I was thankful for got shoved way onto the back burner, obscured by a raging grease fire.

Somewhere between us being half-packed and all the way pissed, Tiffany somehow earned us a reprieve. It was decided that the family dinner in the next state over would proceed without us, and we would come into town on Saturday so everyone could still see everyone. Suddenly, our holiday seemed like a holiday again. We got Sarah and Silas both down for naps, we cleaned the kitchen and started some Crock Pot barbecue, and we had some relaxing moments of togetherness with the Wii. It was uneventful and imminently memorable all at once.

So now it’s past sundown on Black Friday*, and I still have yet to take a bite of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, et al. Today, though, is shaping up to be like yesterday. I got up, made breakfast for me and Sarah, fed and held Silas, took an epic nap, took my little girl outside, cleaned up some, wrote some emails, wrote this blog and still have many good domestic hours ahead of me. In a year when I am more grateful than ever for my family and friends and have assumed the duties of being home instead of at work all the time, this housebound Thanksgiving break seems more than appropriate. And the grandparents still get their hug time and photo shoots tomorrow, and Tiffany and I will get some baby-free time to meet up with friends. Win, win, win.

Getting married and having kids has given me more to enjoy and be proud of in life, but it seems like my actual appreciation level for the large and small things has climbed over the past year. I also, as of today, have gone longer without having a drink than any time since 1997. I don’t think quitting drinking is something I could or would have done on my own. My mom would refer to it as a God thing, and I think she’s right. Even more to be thankful for.

*I was up with Silas from 3:15 to 5:30 this morning, and I managed to convince a couple of Facebook rubes** that I’d been camped out in front of Dollar Tree since 7 pm in the hopes of saving up to 27 cents per item on selected doorbusters. Then, off to Shop-N-Save to fight for one of a dozen Black Friday 30-cent loaves of wheat sandwich bread.

**I don’t think anyone bought my assertion that, every year on the day after Thanksgiving, my wife breaks out her special VHS collection of “Saved By the Bell” episodes with everyone but Mark Paul Gosselaar edited out. She refers to the entire affair as ZACH FRIDAY.

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Early season batting average

September 9, 2010

I posted my first blog on here yesterday, and I’m sporting a 50% comment response rate per visitor, which is an astounding statistic for any blogger. Of course, so far I’ve only told two people – one of them my mother* – that I started this blog, so that 50% statistic translates into one comment. This brag-stat reminds me of being nine years old and obsessed with baseball statistics at the beginning of the season. I’d wonder how long anyone’s insane 1.000 or .750 or .667 batting average or 0.00 ERA could survive. The answer? Until Game 2.

Well, in Daddy Daytime world, today was Game 2, and Game 1 was some kind of crazy quadruple-header I wasn’t completely prepared for. Let’s review: 3 hours of sleep, 9 hours of baby-watching, 6 hours of bartending on a busy night, 3 hours of errands and unwinding, 2 more hours of baby watching, then 4 hours of sleep. Cue Game 2.

My first challenge this morning was 22-month-old Sarah wanting to have ice cream for breakfast. We have a firmly established breakfast ritual. We wake up, we get a sippy cup of whole milk, we watch a little PBS Kids, we get Sarah in her highchair, we section off some wheat toast with zero-calorie spray butter, we put some scrambled eggs on a plate, and we get ready for work.**

Well, now we’re in the stay-at-home world, which so far is slightly less structured. And Sarah’s one giant comment for the suggestion box is Ice Cream For Breakfast. She pronounces it “Ah-keem.” Which is cute. And makes me wonder, did we leave Coming to America on in the background one time too many? Because… well… you know… Eddie Murphy’s character*** in that movie… is named Akeem… it’s not a funny joke… but if I drag it out… one person… will…… laugh………. maybe…………

We have several moments like this each day, me and Sarah. She wants to play with something harmful. She doesn’t know it’s harmful. It looks like a fun thing. I weigh the pros and cons of taking it away from her. Usually it’s: PRO: She will live, CON: She will throw an enormous damn fit. Then I start to rationalize how dangerous the item in question actually is.

For instance, Sarah can reach for the spare toothbrush in the bathroom. She likes to pantomime brushing her teeth. She also likes to run around with it. Thanks to lots of gruesome ’80s horror movies, I can imagine random crazy impalements occuring at any time. Odds of this happening are low. I usually let her keep it under supervision. That’s just one example.

Anyway, I was dragging ass through the entire AM portion of Baby Watch because I overdid it the night before. Left work late, then straight to Shop-N-Save for a full-on grocery run. The way things have been, I’ve worked two jobs most days, and both are restaurant jobs. There’s lots of easily accessible fatty food around, most of which will not help you make it to your children’s high school graduation party, at which there will be lots of easily accessible fatty food around. With this change in routine, I’ll be at home most of my waking hours, so I’ll need food to also be at my home. Hopefully not so fatty. I’d like to outlive Methuselah if possible.

Putting away the groceries, I found Tupperware’d leftovers in all corners of the freezer and refrigerator. Mostly, I can track down the season of origin of these leftovers – e.g. winter, spring, summer or fall. If I wasn’t running into copyright and funding issues, Weird Al’s 1993 Aerosmith parody “Livin’ in the Fridge” would play while the imaginary montage of this paragraph played out dorkily.

During Game 2, the bulk of what I did was basic Game 2 maintenance while I recovered from Game 1. I succumbed (succame?) to what I call The Temptation Of The Nap. When you’re doing Daddy Daytime duty, you think about all the things you should and could get done, if only those little blessings would just go to sleep for awhile. Then you reach that point in the day where they finally both match up on the unconsciousness level, and you realize… holy crap… you’re so tired… and you have to get back up and do it again so soon.

That’s when you lie down. In a bed. All by yourself. And it’s so comfortable. That you have to just fall asleep. Until somebody starts crying again.

* = Oh, by the way, it wasn’t my mom who commented. It was the other person I told, Kate Hayes, a great old Christian school classmate who married another great old Christian school classmate, moved to Boston and started her own blog at http://www.adventuresinparenting.me. We’ve established that our blogs are not in direct competition, because mine is awesome. Kidding. Because mine is from the daddy perspective. And I think Kate has money.

** = We also placate her with the value bag of McDonald’s fries, so don’t think from the “zero-calorie spray butter” remark that we’re Holier Than Frickin Thou by any means.

*** = Eddie’s main character, that is. He also played Clarence, Randy Watson and Saul. I used to think Eddie also played Extremely Ugly Girl, but that was Arsenio Hall’s brilliant, tour de force acting.