Sunday, December 6 2020

picture day, a weird situation, and thanksgiving leftovers

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Dear Journal,

Good evening, everybody. Happy Sunday. Heading into the final few hours of the weekend, the literal smell of soup lingers in the air over the figurative stench of defeat. Can we talk about that Bears game? If you were a fly on the wall of our house this afternoon you'd hear things like "I wish we could play the Lions every week" and "it's not so bad if we make the playoffs". I wish I could turn back the clock to around that time when everything felt like it was going to be OK, before the strip sack, the answering touch down, and one of the most befuddling and blundering offensive drives I've ever seen. If you were still a fly on my wall around 3 PM today, you'd hear some different phrases that I'd rather not repeat here.

Rodney, while saying goodnight to me, summed it up best. "The Bears didn't win the trophy. We'll have to try again." Thankfully, there was more to this weekend than disappointing football. Marissa and I thoroughly stress-cleaned our house during the fourth quarter. I caught up on chores and ordered groceries for the week. I soaked our coffee carafe in cleaning solution, and the gross little flecks of dried coffee gunk washing down the sink make me think that tomorrow's brew is going to taste really good.

Sip. Are you among the angry Bears fans clamoring for a swift wave of firings? How do you pass the time during a stressful football game. And more importantly, how was your Sunday?

Today was picture day - again. Yesterday was our family's surprise top secret Christmas card photo shoot. This morning, we rolled out of bed and hurried out of the house to take our nice family photos by the lake on Marissa's running path. We jokingly referred to this set as the "we put on real clothes" photos. Baby Miles even wore tiny baby shoes and a very scholarly wooly sweater for the occasion.

Have family pictures always been so impossible? When Miles was looking forward, the dogs were looking away. When the dogs were looking forward, Rodney was looking at Miles. And when by some miracle, the dogs, Rodney, and Miles were all looking in the right direction, I was holding the camera crooked. One shot we took was perfect, except for Rodney's dog poop caked sneaker in plain view. I made silly baby sounds from behind the camera to get Miles attention. Trying to help, Rodney made the noises to, and Miles looked back at Rodney. Meanwhile, our lovable Ziggy was growling and staring down every cyclist whizzing by on the bike path.

2020 12 06 take 1

Oops. Didn't sit down in time, try again.

2020 12 06 take 2

Rodney, stop looking at your brother.

2020 12 06 take 3

OK, let's just wait until this bike passes.

2020 12 06 take 4

More bikes? You gotta be kidding me.

I can also imagine how silly family photo day must seem to a kid. Why did we put on nice outfits just to sit on a little blanket in the grass? Why do you keep yelling at me, but asking me to smile?

2020 12 06 take 5

They're still barking at a bike, we just waited until it passed behind the camera.

Picture day was exhausting. We were so zapped from the simple act of taking photos out side that we had completely forgot to feed our old Thanksgiving bread to the ducks, as we had promised Rodney.

Rodney was tired too. He was so tired that he actually fell asleep in his room during quiet time. After getting our soup on the stove, I peeked my head through his cracked door to find a very weird situation. His light was off. His sparkly Christmas tree sat at the floor by his bed, switched on. His blue blanket was loosely draped over a tiny figure lying across the bed. I tiptoed closer.

"Hey buddy," I said, reaching out a hand to shake the blanket. I pulled the blanket aside, revealing long brown and yellow legs and hooves. I had been hoodwinked by a stuffed giraffe.

I scanned Rodney's room. His closet light was on, and his window curtains were draped over a mysterious silhouette barely visible in the faint early evening light. I approached the curtain and gently moved it aside, finding Rodney sitting in his blue chair in front of the window. His head was slumped back. His eyes were shut and his mouth was wide open.

I chuckled. Rodney stirred awake, and he shot up to his feet.

"Oh, hi Dada" he whispered. "Baby giraffe is sleeping. We have to be quiet." And with that, Rodney and I crept out of his room, shutting the door behind us so his stuffed giraffe could sleep undisturbed.

For dinner tonight, we had pea soup with some pan fried croutons. I called it "grinch soup" to pique Rodney's curiosity. As soon as we started to dig in, I divulged the big secret behind our dinner.

"So this meal has two different things we ate on Thanksgiving," I laughed.

Marissa looked at me in horror. "How long ago was that?" she asked nervously.

"This is the stock I made from our turkey, and the croutons are the bread left over from making the stuffing."

"The bread we were supposed to give to the ducks?" asked Marissa.

"Yeah," I laughed. "I'm kind of glad we forgot, I like it better as croutons anyway."

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great rest of the weekend everybody.