Sunday, October 3, 2010


Saturday was my dad's 66th birthday. Instead of having dinner at the house, we met at Trainor Hall, the basement of my mom's church, where we'd have dinner with the family during the St. Lambert's Bratfest. It was a strange idea especially since Dad doesn't like to make a big deal about his birthday in public, but we rolled with it. The annual Bratfest used to be a three-day affair in the parking lot, complete with a huge white circus tent and live band dressed in lederhosen. But with dwindling attendance and less profits, the event was moved from August to October, and now that it's in the basement from 6-12p with a capacity of 300, I think it will find its death. The kids were hesitant at first because long tables limited their range of motion, but after we fed them the kids wandered to the dance floor in front of the stage (which had a live orchestral band) and started hopping and dancing around with other little kids. And my kids got SWEATY! There was one boy with glasses who looked like he had Downs Syndrome but could have had some other kind of disability, and he was hopping and laughing amid the kids that were as tall as his waist. The boy saw Nikko, reached out and tapped him on the shoulder, saying, "TAG!" Nikko laughed and bounded away, unfazed. When the boy turned to Ronin and held out his arms as if to embrace him, Ronin shrieked, turned around and was calling for Mommy! in a high-pitched voice. Ronin told me he was scared of the boy, so I told Ronin, "Honey, you don't have anything to be scared of. He just wanted to play tag with you. And look, Nikko's not scared of him!" Ronin seemed comforted by that so he ran back to Nikko and was holding onto Nikko's arm whenever they passed by the boy. I thought it was amusing that Nikko wasn't bothered at all by the boy's looks or invasion of space. Nikko was drenched in sweat from all his dancing and fell asleep on the way home. We woke him up to give him a shower and then put him to bed.

Sunday was going to be a busy day. We had a playdate with Anna and Jovy scheduled for after lunch, and the Penepacker girls were going to spend the day with us because Tristan was going to be in a band competition on the south side of Chicago for the afternoon. Nikko was not overly excited about all the people in the house; in the past he would be crashing and running amok. Because all the faces were familiar, he was able to play at his own pace and act comfortably as if they were all part of the furniture. I didn't notice any unusual behavior from Nikko today except for the times that he was really fidgeting with his pull-ups. When I went to change him, they were really full because he drank a lot of juice throughout the day. I think in pull-ups he is beginning to sense how uncomfortable it feels to have that weight hanging from his waist, vs. feeling the moisture. Once I changed Nikko, he was back to business as usual. I had taken everyone into the basement for some obstacle course fun, but we stayed in the living room for the better part of the afternoon, watching Disney's Cars. It was too cold outside for my kids.

Next week is going to be both mundane and interesting. Tomorrow I'll have to take the kids to Costco because we're almost out of juice. There's no school on Tuesday so I'll have to find some activity for us to do. Nikko also won't be going to his swim class because Denis has a one-time cooking class in the evening. Wednesday night I have Zumba. On Thursday morning, Atz is coming over so I can go to my pre-op appointment at North Shore Hospital in Glenview. It's going to be at least two hours so they can measure my eyes and stuff. I'll be on some kind of drops until the following Monday, when it's surgery day for my eyes. Lasik!

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