Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekend Extravaganza!

Whew! What a weekend! It just about killed me, but it was totally worth it.

It started Friday with Finny-Pum's 2nd birthday. I'll post a picture as soon as Michelle sends some to me (my camera batteries were dead . . .). Jeff's family came up to visit for the weekend, and as soon as they arrived, Jack whisked Jeff's dad off to his baseball practice. When they returned, Finn opened his presents and enjoyed pizza and Superman cupcakes. He got all kinds of fun presents: toy food for his kitchen; various balls; pajamas; clothes; a baby "Laptop Computer;" a robot-dog; and a new Swiffer mop. Then, as if on cue, he contracted the "Terrible Twos" and decided not to go to bed until 12:30 a.m. I didn't want him to have to cry himself to sleep on his birthday, so I allowed him to sleep in my bed. Big Mistake. He whimpered and kicked and tossed and turned all night until he decided to "wake up" for good at 6 a.m. In defense of my own need for sleep, I tried to position him away from me. (Didn't work). I tried to sneak him back into his own bed. (Didn't work). I tried to engineer a pillow-wall between us as a buffer zone between me and the bony little toes that kept digging into my back. (Didn't work). It was a miserable night, but at least he got to sleep in Mommy's bed on his birthday and I think that was his best present of all! I managed to pacify him until 7 a.m. when he finally got out of bed and tugged on my hand to attempt to pull me out of my bed and onto my feet so he could place his breakfast order: waffles, sausage, and strawberries. I complied. Thus began Day Two of our weekend extravaganza.

Saturday morning we all watched Regan's soccer game--she admitted she was a little nervous about having an audience (Jeff's parents, sister, and baby nephew were at the game), but she played great, as usual. Jeff's other sister and brother-in-law arrived on Saturday afternoon and Aubrey immediately commenced her pre-concert preparations with Jeff's sisters at Mayfair Mall. Aubrey bought a cool new outfit to wear and got her hair cut short. It is super adorable! Meanwhile, Jeff's dad took Jack to the cemetery to visit Daddy and to practice baseball at a nearby ball park. He later took Regan and Jack swimming while Jeff's mom watched "the babies" (Finn and Michelle's son, Bo, who is eight months old). I went and got a big fat massage because I was still completely exhausted and in pain from the lack of sleep I got the night before.

So, while Aubrey and her friend and Jeff's sisters went to see Fall Out Boy at the Rave, I went to my Rabid Aardvarks show and the little kids stayed with Grandpa and Grandma and watched movies and ate snacks. Aubrey's concert ended at 11:30 p.m.--while I wasn't even half-way through my second set. Ugh! I got home just after 2:30 a.m. and was in bed by 3:00 a.m. Thank God for Jeff's mom who watched Finn for me, so I didn't have to wake up until 9:00 a.m.!
On Sunday morning, Aubrey, Regan, Jeff's sister, Mary Margaret and her husband, Bryan, all ran in the 5th annual Block Melanoma 5k fundraiser for Melanoma research. I had previously registered Aubrey, but when Regan announced that she, too, wanted to run I was skeptical. I didn't think she could run a mile without stopping--let alone almost three miles. I mentioned to Jeff's mom that I hoped someone would "run" with her so that if she got too tired or discouraged she wouldn't be alone and lost on the course (which meandered through the Milwaukee County Zoo grounds). However, when they announced the start of the race, Regan didn't wait for the runners (adults and children alike) to move off the line. She took off like a flash, weaving in and out of those who were pacing themselves, and soon she was so far ahead on the course that she was out of view to Mary Margaret and Bryan who had tried to keep her in their sights. She ran the entire race in 32 minutes!! What's more--she finished approximately 15 minutes ahead of Mary Margaret and Bryan--both of whom went to college on track scholarships at DePaul University in Chicago. (Mary Margaret gave me her permission to publicly humiliate her in this regard and to let all of you know that a nine year-old smoked her at a 5k). Regan patiently and responsibly waited at the finish line for the rest of the Dodd Squad to catch up. I was so proud of her and admitted that I wasn't sure she would finish the race and not be intimidated by the mass of runners and the sheer distance. I also admitted I would never underestimate her again.

At 2 p.m., we then went to a memorial service hosted by the nurses' association that staffs Jeff's hospice. It was a very nice ceremony--except for the fact that I missed most of it because I was supervising Finn in the lobby. We then celebrated Jeff's Unbirthday with dinner at the Chancery Restaurant. I had grandiose plans to have a "real" Unbirthday party (ala the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland), but did not have time to pull it off and since this was the best weekend to do it (Jeff's birthday is May 21st), we decided to have a dinner in his honor. We talked about some of Jeff's favorite phrases and idiosyncrasies, and recalled memories of him--Aubrey talked about their shared love of popcorn; Michelle recalled that Jeff liked to say "Very good" as a conversation filler, and Mary fondly suggested that Jeff would never have allowed such a dinner without a coupon. (Too true!) Finn had a big fit, but only performed one spread-eagle-face-plant while crying. To make up for the conservative quantity of his physical expressions, he strategically threw himself down in the middle of the walkway where every server in the restaurant has to go when they are coming in and out of the kitchen (with very full trays of food). Well done, Finn!

Every minute was jam-packed, but it was great to dedicate half the weekend to the kids (Finn's birthday, Regan's soccer, Jack's baseball, and Aubrey's concert) and to dedicate the other half to Jeff. But, now, I am completely and utterly spent. It's only 9: 57 p.m., but I'm going to bed. I can't stay awake another minute!

Nighty night!

P.S. The first picture above is of Aubrey's friend, Ann, Aubrey, and Jeff's sister, Michelle at the Fall Out Boy concert. The second picture is of the Dodd Squad that ran in the Block Melanoma 5k (Regan, Aubrey, Jeff's sister, Mary Margaret, and her husband, Bryan).


PJ said...

Nice work Regan! Way to go Jack! Go Finn Go! Fabulous as always Aubrey! Go Dodds Go!

Terri said...

Sounds like a busy weekend. Aubrey you'll have to tell me about your concert and let me know how it was. Now, Kelly we hear about Finn's fits but I'm always curious as to what sets him off to have such fits. It cracks me up to picture him face planted right where all the waitress traffic is. Well, we'll see you all very soon.


mka said...

Wow, you guys have really been busy. I can't believe Regan ran so fast, that's amazing. I can't even run around the block. (I'm serious, and you kids all know it.) I'm just no distance runner. I hope Finn had a fun birthday. It sounds like it, and I'm glad you got some much needed rest and sleep. Love, Mom