Friday, August 31, 2012

Easter and a Trip to Pennsylvania

     This Easter we had a special treat.  Becca, Dave, and Noelle came up for the whole weekend!  I traveled back to Pennsylvania with them for a few days too.They arrived Friday at around two, and Noelle kept her eyes closed for fifteen minutes when she got into our house as a way of maintaining her space.  She let us hug her, but she refused to open her eyes! 
When she did, she began a game of "The Monsters Are Coming," which involved her saying "the Monsters are coming!"  and all of us hiding from the monsters. In subsequent games she decided that one of us was the monster, so she dragged the"'monster" into a cage!  Yes, Grandma took her turn being a monster!
    Our church has a Good Friday service each year, and our choir sings.  Noelle loves music, so Becca brought her to hear us practice.  She wanted to stay in the service to hear the song as well, so Becca let her do so.  Erin actually brought Noelle in and we could not find Dave, Becca, or Al, so Noelle sat with me in choir for a few minutes.  She perched on my lap like a little doll, and would have stood beside me while we sang without complaint if Dave and Becca hadn't come in before we had to sing. 
     Saturday I had to work, but when I came home we  "made eggs" with Noelle, and then I made Easter baskets for the three younger girls.  I gave the older ones flowers and a little bit of candy, and I had already sent Dave and Becca a Cold Stone Creamery gift card, but I had a little shirt to give Noelle, along with a little lollipop. David was in Yemen so I had already sent him a care package.  The older girls put together an egg hunt for Noelle and Erin.  I also took some time to go over Erin's competition pieces with her, as she was headed to Nationals early Monday morning.  Noelle wanted to watch, so I let her, and she was fascinated.  Then she looked at Dave and Becca's wedding picture, and I had to tell her who everyone was.
     Sunday morning, we were up early.  I made corn muffins for breakfast, so that we could grab them quickly.  Caroline did Noelle's and my hair, and Dave, Becca, and Noelle, Janet, Caroline, and Erin, Janet, Al, and I went to Sunday school.  Caroline joined us for church.   We all enjoyed celebrating the Lord's resurrection together, and once again Noelle stayed for the music and then went into the toddler room.  After service I hurried home to put dinner in the oven.  We had ham with raisin sauce, mashed potatoes, and salad. Al and I also had some grilled chicken, because he can't have ham and I'm not supposed to have too much of it.  We also had invited a friend who doesn't like ham or pork, so he had chicken as well.  Missy and Eric,  and Gail and John came over too, along with John's brother, Michael.  For dessert I made a lime pie and a no bake cheesecake.  After dinner, the kids had their egg hunt, and Noelle was so adorable as she found the eggs Caroline and Gail had hidden just for her!  We ate dessert and played a game.  We went to bed early because the next morning Dave, Becca, and I were leaving early in the morning for Pennsylvania!
     We were up very early the next morning and got on the road around six-thirty or seven.  I had to get Erin to school by 5: 15 (according to what SHE told me and what was on the slip), as the students were leaving for the National Fine Arts competition in South Carolina.  We left at 4: 15 and stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a breakfast and drink for her and a coffee for me.  We were almost there and it was close to 5: 15 when Erin's cell phone rang.  She said, "We're almost there," and I heard the teacher say, "You  should have been there by 5: 00, Hon."  When we got there, I apologized to her teacher and said that Erin had told me 5: 15, and that the slip said they were leaving at 5: 30.  He said maybe it did, so everything was OK.  I said goodbye to Erin and watched the bus leave.  It was exciting because she was going to be singing her solo at Nationals, but also bittersweet for me because this was the last time I would see one of my kids off to Nationals, as Erin is my youngest and she is a senior.  I got back to our house at a little after six, and left with Dave, Becca, and Noelle a little before seven.   It was surprisingly cold, as the week before had been warm right through Easter, so Noelle and I wrapped blankets around us in the car.  I sat next to her in the back seat, and of course we stopped at (surprise, surprise!) Dunkin Donuts for coffee, and donuts for Noelle, Dave, and Becca, and a bagel stick for me. (Noelle had milk.)  Well, the blankets around me and Noelle inspired an ongoing game of "the monsters are coming,"  which since we were in the car involved pulling the blankets over our faces to hide from the monsters.  She also asked me to read her some books, which I did.  In the middle of the books, she would announce, "The monsters are coming!" so I would have us hide behind the book.  Sometimes I would tell her, "They can't get us because we're in the car and they can't get in the car," but she would say, "They're coming!  They are!"  Then I told her that they were in the trees and couldn't reach us, to which she replied,"I see them!"  We stopped at Hershey Chocolate World and went on the ride.  Noelle LOVES the singing cows and what fun to see her reaction!  It was COLD in Pennsylvania!  I was not expecting that, as the weather in CT had been quite warm, but by the time we got to the house all i wanted to do was snuggle down in a blanket to get warm!
  Rebecca was sick Monday and Tuesday so she stayed home from school.  We watched movies, read books, and generally relaxed.  Wednesday she went back and I watched Noelle.  In addition to "The Monsters are coming," Noelle had another favorite game.. "Your arm is broken!"  She has a doctor's kit to which she added a wrapper from a skein of yarn as a cast.  She would put the cast on my arm and tell me my arm was broken and proceed to decorate my arm with stickers. On Tuesday we were doing  this and Becca decided to take us to the library.   When we were ready to leave, I told Noelle that  my arm wasn't broken anymore, and I took off the "cast."   She said, "Yes!  It's more broken!"
    Thursday was my last day at Dave and  Becca's , as I was taking the night bus back to Connecticut.     One of Noelle's favorite babysitters came over, as it was her regular  day to babysit and I wanted to visit with her.  We had a tea party with Noelle, which Dave joined when he stopped home, and Linda and I also had some real tea while Noelle had her snack.  We went out into the yard even though it was cold, and we drew on the patio with chalk.  We made a whole playground!   Miss Linda is VERY creative.  Noelle used to call her "Grandma,"  partly because she looks a little like me  and partly because Miss Linda is Noelle's best friend's grandmother, so Noelle hears him call Miss Linda "Grandma" all the time.  I had met her several times and it was nice to have a visit with her.  When Becca came home and Miss Linda left, Noelle, Becca, and I played Legos.  We built "Bethlehem."  (Noelle's idea.)  She makes up very elaborate stories during her play. 
  I had to catch my bus at 6: 30, so Dave, Becca, and I left in time to go to Cracker Barrel for dinner.  The shuttle bus that takes people from Hagerstown to the train station, bus station, and airport in Baltimore leaves from the Sleep Inn right across the driveway from the Cracker Barrel. so it was easy to go and wait for the bus after dinner.  We sat in the hotel lobby and waited, playing with Noelle the whole time.  When the driver came to pick me up, I said, "Noelle, Grandma's bus is here.  Give me a hug and a kiss."  She would not give me a hug or a kiss because in her mind, if she didn't hug or kiss me,  I couldn't leave.  I said, "Noelle,  Grandma has to get on the bus to go to Connecticut.  Give me a hug and a kiss!"  Very seriously and quietly, she said, "I can't let you."  When Dave told her Grandma had to go back to Connecticut, she said, "I can't let her."  Oh, that broke my heart!  I told Noelle to write me a letter, and that I would write her one.  I got on the shuttle, and we waved till the shuttle turned the corner and we couldn't see each other anymore.  Ten minutes later I got a text from Becca saying that when they asked Noelle what she wanted to do next, she said she wanted to write a letter to Grandma, and that she was weeping the whole way home!   It is VERY hard to say goodbye, as we live so far away from each other.    Two or three days after I got home though, I got a letter from Noelle and I sent her one back!  I loved sharing in her transition from toddler to little girl!

No comments:

Post a Comment