March 8, 2010

Four Days, Two Dates, Three Rings

I worked an insane schedule over the past two weeks - including a weekend - and that totally threw me and the family for a loop. Everything felt off-kilter. So I took Thursday and Friday off to see what I could do about re-kiltering everything. My goal? Decompress and have an awesome time with Mia and Owen. The verdict? Mission accomplished (but not in that dweeby presidential flight suit-wearing misleading the American people clusterfuck kinda way).

On Thursday, I surprised The Bean by picking her up from school and taking her on a lunch date. When I pulled up and she saw that it was just me in the car she screamed daddy!. She was thrilled. It was awesome. My heart did giant somersaults. We went to Chipotle (or, as Mia says the chip restaurant) - her favorite restaurant on the face of the earth since we haven't yet found a place that serves exclusively chips, fries, milkshakes and noodles. We mingled with the lunch-hour crowd, had some burritos, quesadillas and chips (all of which Mia ordered by herself) then went on a requested trip to the bookstore and a cookie-acquiring mission at the next-door Starbucks. The whole day was a big hit.

Friday was similar. While Mia was at school, Owen and I went shopping at Target. I'm pretty sure he picked up one of nearly everything they had and put it in the basket. We almost left with dog food (we don't have a dog), five pairs of headphones (we only have three iPods in the house), year's supply of mouthwash (I think he liked the colors) and there was a cute little two year old girl that Owen has his eye on though I'm sure she wouldn't have fit in the basket with all that mouthwash. He did managed to find a copy of Wall-e which he had to own. I was game so we paid for our stuff and headed home to watch the movie together, just the two of us. He loved it, spent the entire time asking about Wall-e, discussing the relative merits of robots and inquiring what dat? After the movie, I picked Mia up from school again for a repeat lunch date. We hit a different place, had fries and milkshakes and she insisted on going to another book store. Which we did. Then we went home and chilled out for the rest of the afternoon.

We went to the circus on Saturday. It was Mia's third year in a row, Owen's very first. I can't tell you how absolutely, consistently perfect the Big Apple Circus is. It's low-key, lots of fun, and wonderfully old-school. It's fantastic for kids in the single-digits. By the end of the day, both kids were exhausted (so were their parents) so we picked up take-out Indian (at a new place, it was meh), got the kids to bed and crapped out ourselves after finally catching up on our Olympic backlog of shows - Grey's Anatomy (dude, this show has gotten sucky), Survivor (rocks, as always) and Lost (WTF?).

And on Sunday we rested. If resting is constituted by trips to Costco, the beer store, cleaning out the garage, going on a long bike ride and walk through the neighborhood and watching a repeat showing of Wall-e. Mia was happy on her bike, Owen was thrilled to follow her, and we were all happy to feel the taste of spring Sunday offered.

Posted by Chris at March 8, 2010 6:54 AM

Spending time one-on-one with our children is so important. I wish more people realized that!

Posted by: Jen R. ( at March 8, 2010 7:47 AM

I love her wave at the end. The video gives me hope that D.C. won't be too cold next weekend when I'm at a meeting. I've worried about snow!

Posted by: daisy at March 8, 2010 8:36 AM

Sounds like a magnificent weekend! I spent my Friday evening stranded on the side of I-76 outside of Philly with a blown up radiator. Thank god for the case of beer in the trunk and good friends to share it with!! Needless to say, three hours later and two arguments with AAA and we made it to the concert we were originally en route to! ;D

Glad you had a super weekend too. It's nice when things finally go your way!

Posted by: Michelle at March 8, 2010 9:03 AM

I saw the video last night when you first put it up. Yeah, totally adorable and it made my evening and morning this morning.
You are such a great dad! I cannot remember my dad taking me out to lunch one time alone. EVER! My mom either. Grandma, yep she was always there. Thank god for her!
Anyway, glad you and Beth had such a great weekend with the kids!

Posted by: Maribeth at March 8, 2010 9:11 AM

We saw the Big Apple Circus here in Atlanta last weekend. I know that they are "animal friendly", but I did miss the elephants! Wasn't Grandma hysterical? My 8n and 11 year olds loved it as well. I'm glad you enjoyed your time with the kidlets, I hope Beth enjoyed her break!

Posted by: Christy at March 8, 2010 9:32 AM

Dude, you're right; Grey's IS totally sucky now. WTH happened? And Costco on a Sunday? Doesn't sound very relaxing at all. Sounds like you guys had a fabulous weekend though. Nice work!

Posted by: Jen at March 8, 2010 9:56 AM

Wow. You almost make people who don't want to have kids kind of want to have kids.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at March 8, 2010 10:00 AM

I loved the circus when I was a kid. It was always so much fun.

I agree on the Grey's anatomy, this season is very meh. Even though it is my favourite show I can't see it making it much longer the way it is going.

Posted by: Adi at March 8, 2010 10:19 AM

That sounds like the best way to spend non-work time.

Sounds like now you need a vacation from your vacation.

Glad to hear you could take the time off to spend with the kids.

Posted by: soccermom at March 8, 2010 12:59 PM

Awesome - and I love that your kid loves bookstores. That's an excellent habit to start early (so is good dental hygiene so kudos to Owen also!).

And it blows me away how old Mia looks - and she's just a few days older than my youngest!!

Posted by: sarah at March 8, 2010 1:28 PM

Thank Goodness she's okay! I saw her looking at the camera and could just picture a tree popping up in front of her! LOL! She took the turn well!
Owen sounds so cute! Too bad he didn't negotiate to get the 2 year old little girl :)

Posted by: Rose Winters at March 8, 2010 2:25 PM

You are such an amazing Dad and to have Mia squeal your name in delight when you picked her up for a date, that is just priceless!!!
The weekend sounds wonderful - except for the circus part. You may want to do some research before attending another circus or consider Cirque de Soleil which doesn't use animals. JMHO :)

Posted by: laineyDid at March 8, 2010 2:46 PM

how wonderful :)

Posted by: kati at March 8, 2010 7:53 PM

Sounds like the perfect long weekend with the kids. As a little girl, I remember what an absolute treat it was to have my dad pick me up from elementary school. It was so rare, but wonderful. And dude, I stopped watching Grey's back when doctors were talking to and sleeping with freakin' ghosts! No one has that much crazy in their life. I haven't missed it.

Love the video! Mia has mastered the training wheels bike!

Posted by: coolchick at March 9, 2010 5:47 AM

That all sounds like such a lovely time, gives me a happy feeling.

Posted by: diane at March 9, 2010 9:55 AM

Seeing video of your daughter always makes my day. Seriously. She is the most darling thing ever.

Posted by: Jessa at March 11, 2010 11:41 AM