It is Saturday and you know what that means, don't you?
It's time for me to cash in the raincheck from yesterday's blog and share with you about Friday's mini-date #3. For those of you shrugging your shoulders in confusion, my husband John and I will have been married for 18 years on Sunday, July 18th.
Because we weren't really in a position this year to take a separate anniversary vacation and since we'll be taking a week family trip to California to visit my parents and celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday in August, we decided to have an 18th Anniversary staycation at home with a few mini-dates around the Vancouver and Portland area this week. Make the most of what you have and add some spark and fun! Since our two sons were in Day Camp last week and since respite care or even babysitting tends to be pretty hard for us to get, we took our fun little outings for a couple hours during the day on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
On Wednesday, we went to see the movie "Date Night" with Tina Fey and Steve Carell. It was funny, silly and the kind of movie which is great to see if you've been married with kids for awhile and just want to escape for a couple hours! Here is my blog describing Wednesday.
On Thursday, we thought some relaxing water therapy was in order to help destress so we checked out the Disco Room at Portland Tub and Tan and it was just what the doctor ordered! Mini Date # 2 - Feel The Rain on Your Skin can be found at this link.
So that brings us to yesterday's date on Friday. I had wanted to write about it then but knew I wouldn't get a chance to do the date justice since I had some important work for Count Your Beans Dolls & Bears to take care of in the evening and it ran into and beyond my normal blog-time. So on Friday at 11:53 p.m., I wrote a quick "day in a nutshell post" typing as fast as my fingers would let me so I would make my midnight self-imposed deadline and promised to give you guys and gals some anecdotes and pictures of Friday's date today.
That should catch you up! I know you've been waiting with baited breath (our phones have been ringing off the hook wondering when I would be posting) so without further ado.... (and not an adieu...), here is Friday's Mini Date # 3 - Something's Fishy Around Here!
Getting ready for the date. Casual Friday. :-)
Look at your Man, look at me, Look at your Man, look at me....
Apparently we're also awaiting the new Hawaii Five-0!
John and I decided to make an early afternoon lunch date at McGrath's Fish House in Vancouver, Washington. Yum!
When I was about to take the picture, I noticed that I had almost cut off the "USE" on the end.
John and I enjoy steak and seafood and McGrath's has a wide variety of great choices. This is a place that only works for us without our kids. First, with Justin, seafood and most meat are not friends and even though places like this have a kids' menu, it doesn't really suit his taste. I wouldn't call him a vegetarian since he isn't a huge fan of vegetables. Is there such a thing as a noodles-tarian?
Second, when we DID think it would be okay to try and take our kids there once (it had to be a state of delirium), Ryan was in his random throwing stage. I'll let you use your imagination there!
So as we were in the restaurant, the hostess sat us at exactly the same booth we had been at last time when we had taken the boys and Ryan had thought it would be funny to immediately pick the leaves off the fake potted plant that had been on the ledge above. (Obviously we don't let him do these kinds of things intentionally. Our son is very very quick.) Interestingly enough, there were no potted plants this time and they had redesigned the booth so that there were partitions and no ledges behind. (Now, I can't take full credit here for their redesign but I thought at least we could have gotten a free appetizer for the influence!)
While we were waiting for our food to arrive, John and I decided to be a bit goofy. I had the camera and so we took a few photos of each other. I'm sure the patrons dining in the nearby booth were impressed. How about you?
See Food? Seafood? I SEE You!
It took John about a gazillion minutes to take this photo. The mask of "HURRY UP!!!"
I'm pretty sure I overhead a woman ask for another booth after this photo...
The more frightening thing here other than my manic moose mug is that no alcohol was involved!
Aren't I hot now, Aspierations friends? :-)
John is channeling his inner FISH... (Again, I swear, no alcohol!)
It seemed like our waitress kept coming by every time we were about to take a goofy photo. She was pleasant enough but you can tell the forced expression and I don't think we were being invited to any social events in the near future. I can't get why, but I'm pretty sure she felt we were ruining the ambience of the restaurant.
After playing goof-a-rama for a little while and acting the age of our children, we decided to sophisticate up and get our act together. We can be cultured if we want to, after all! We just don't get much practice since having children!
In the movie, "Date Night", there is a scene in a swanky Manhattan, NY restaurant where Tina & Steve are at a table dining. (Don't worry, I won't give away the essence of the movie. It really annoys me when people do that and don't indicate it is a spoiler.) Anyway, they play a game where they pick another couple dining at another table in the restaurant and speculate what their story is, who they are, what is their occupation and why they're there. It's very funny stuff!
John and I decided to play the game too! Before we could do so, I needed to channel my inner Tina Fey comedienne extraordinaire so I put on John's glasses. What do you think of the new look?
I have no problem admitting I'm a little nerdy. Just call me Geek Chic! :-)
Maybe if I darkened my hair and put on a different shirt, I could channel Tina?
Since we were acting different personas, John decided to try on my glasses too. (Well actually, he didn't want to. I forced him into it... Our neighboring booths had a much better view of him than me, LOL!)
It's hard to know what to say here.... Mrs. Doubtfire anyone?
Once our food came we toned it down and had a nice meal. John had fish and chips and salad and I had clam chowder, alder planked salmon and penne pasta, a Pacific Northwest favorite. Yum! It gave Gilda's in Santa Cruz (a sentimental favorite) a run for their money!
We actually were in a bit of a hurry because after the lunch, we needed to get to Camp Kiddo and Camp Evergreen at 2:30 p.m. to watch Justin and Ryan perform in their end of the week camp skits. Although Day Camp was fun for them at times, this whole last week had its challenges and next week they both have off. (Should make life around the Krejcha household rather rambunctious and rowdy! I think we'll need another water date very very soon!)
We got to the campsite (a local elementary school) and were surprised to see that we were the only parents that had shown up to watch their kids perform. There were easily over 100 kids in the camp so that was shocking to me. I mean, I know people work but our area is filled with stay-at-home Moms and on many Fridays people do take off early, so again, I was very very surprised.
I'm totally glad we were there though! The skits were broken into six groups and Ryan's group was the first on stage. Ryan played as a dinosaur. John tells the complete story in his Friday blog, "Lunch Date With My Love". I invite you to check it out.
Ryan is the youngest child at Camp Kiddo / Camp Evergreen and even though Ryan was supposed to have a supporting role, he decided to upstage the cast and take center stage when he saw us. He proudly proclaimed and pointed multiple times, "that's my Mommy and Daddy!" It was one of those hilarious moments I'll cherish forever!
Note that all the other kids are acting in the scene behind them!
Apparently, our little dinosaur now has a sword or is that a sabre? May the force be with you!
After Ryan's group had their turn, they'd have a mini-break between skit groups where a camper or camp counselor could get up on stage and ask a riddle or tell a joke. The humor was silly and fun and in some cases rather random where a little kid would go up to tell a joke and the punchline was nonsensical. Since I have a rather quirky sense of humor, those were some of my favorites!
Justin's group was last to go and we could sense that he was a bit apprehensive. (He had told John many times on the way to camp that morning that he didn't want to do the skit and it was a source of contention earlier in the week as well.) I'm so glad he found the inner courage to go and do it.
Justin ended up doing a wonderful job! It's kind of hard to explain the skit but once I saw it, I totally understand why he had freaked out about it in advance. Each child was in a pair with another and the child in the back was underneath a sheet and acted as the arms in the front for the first child. He or she did all sorts of silly things like trying to feed his partner, do high fives with nearby children and do funky dancing. It was really cute and funny to watch and I was so impressed and proud with Justin. It was totally outside his comfort zone and I know sensory-wise, he was a bit on edge but once he got on stage, he let his light shine.
Justin is on the far left under the sheet in the back
When the skits were done, Justin was ready to go home. Camp normally lets out at 4:15 p.m. and it was about 3:45 p.m. but since we were there, the counselors said we could take the kids home if we wanted. Justin definitely wanted YES. Ryan definitely wanted NO and bolted into the gym with the other boys and girls to play ball and throw around hula hoops.
It was at this time that I learned from one of the camp counselors that Ryan had a very challenging and impulsive day. Following directions was an issue, impulse control was very difficult and there were multiple tanbark throwing incidents. He hadn't worn his weighted vest although we had packed it so I believe he was probably feeling out of sync.
It's often hard for me as as a parent to hear this kind of negative but constructive feedback but I am grateful for it because it gives me an idea of strategies for John and I to work on. I'd much rather know about a problem than not know. All the camp counselors were aware that Ryan has autism and sensory issues. I made them an informational and strategy sheet about him at the beginning of camp and made sure I was available to answer any questions. His main two counselors for Camp Kiddo have both worked with special needs kids and they have been truly wonderful. I can tell they are tired at the end of the day and some days are rather overwhelming. Mainstreaming Ryan in with neuro-typical kids for day camp for a few weeks this summer was something we wanted to try and do since he had not had that in his first year of preschool. He will have a little mixing in his second year and then our hope is that he can transition into Kindergarten with a shadow, SCIP program and/or learning support.
Sorry for the little tangent there... although if you're a regular Aspierations follower, you're probably starting to get used to it... and are perhaps a bit disappointed if I don't take a brief moment to randomly ramble. So that was for you! ;-)
Back to my story! At the end of the skits, Justin was VERY ready to go and Ryan was VERY ready to stay and play. These are mutually exclusive, unlike me and John trying to be goofy and covert during our earlier lunch date. The pictures are proof!!
I went to go into the gym and
chase after find Ryan, playing a little impromptu dodge ball along the way. When I realized THAT wasn't working out as planned, as amusing as it was to all the kiddo campers, two of which did score a point, I got John in the other room with Justin and made him play "Catch the Ryan."
This is the result of that!
O-K (in Eeyore tone of voice), I guess I'm ready to go.
Once we got home it was back to work for me. In the early evening, we took a time-out for some Friday Family Night fun and played a 3 hole course and 6 hole course of Carnival Games Mini-Golf on the Wii. It was a nice change of pace from a game involving Mario and Luigi, although I have to say, I'd give Danica Patrick a run for her money when I'm behind the wheel of Mario Kart Wii!
I worked throughout the rest of the evening, dealt with a few frantic family mishaps (nothing out of the ordinary at least, not in this household) wrote my quick raincheck blog a little before midnight and then retired to watch Criminal Minds and mayhem around 1:00 a.m. ish... because I wanted to keep my ooh la la sexiness from the restaurant going!
Sexy? Umm, wait... never mind!
(I think my previous anonymous posters are now rescinding their "HOT" comments!)
The lunch date with my sweet funny John and watching the boys perform on stage really made for a cool and memorable day.
We don't have any special Saturday "us" date planned since we don't have the local care and so far, no luck still in getting help for our Anniversary evening on Sunday, July 18th but if it doesn't work out, that's okay. It will be disappointing, sure but I will come at it with a positive attitude and we'll make the most of whatever happens! That's part of our road less traveled! The important thing really is that I am with my handsome, sweet and amazing husband, John!
Hope you guys and gals have a wonderful weekend! I promised myself the treat of blogging early today but now it's back to work!
Let me know what you think of today's pictures in the comments section below! Should John pursue his passion for politics, he may find himself trying to explain some of his rather unique shots. I personally am waiting for the call to be in the next Mrs. America pageant. I hear those agents knocking down my door! (Do they have a Mrs. Quirky?)
Keeping it fun,