Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Coussoule Day Weekend

Three and four day weekends used to be a monthly occurrence when we were in the Army, but unfortunately, the civilian world is pretty stingy with holidays like Columbus Day and Veterans' Day. My kids hit the sweet spot yesterday - Teacher Inservice Day for a three day weekend. So it was a holiday, but not a holiday. We'll just call it the Coussoule Day weekend - the Coussoule kids crowed about the extra day off as soon as school was out on Friday, brought it up again at dinner on Saturday, and gloated over it Sunday evening as they begged to stay up late.

So when you're 6 and 8, how do you fill a whole free day?

First thing in the morning, I was getting ready for work and suddenly heard loud, rhythmic piano playing directly above my head. I could tell from the volume and insistent beat it was John, so I grabbed my camera and ran upstairs to take a peek:

Naturally, early morning vacation day piano practicing should be done in your pajamas. Is there really any other way?

Caroline's bedroom door was still closed, but I knew there was no way she was asleep - she never sleeps in, and certainly not with the drumbeat of chords coming from the bonus room. More peeking, more pictures:

My little bookworm.

Off to work, no rest for the weary grown ups... but with the promise of a lunch date with my husband and kiddos, at least the morning went by pretty quickly. (And weirdly productive for a Monday, which is not relevant to the day off, but worthy of note because it's a rare occurrence.)

It wasn't just a lunch date, though - it was also HALLOWEEN COSTUME SHOPPING TRIP!!! The pop up shops have been around since Labor Day weekend, but us looking for costumes almost three weeks before Halloween? Unprecedented.

Caroline knew for sure, without a doubt, 100%, what she wanted to be: HARRY POTTER. I had tried to talk her into Hermione, or even a generic witch, but nope. That kid had her mind made up and her heart set upon The Boy Who Lived.

John was much more noncommittal - I thought Angry Birds was a big idea, but "Moooooooooooom, noooooooooooo!! It's too biiiiiiiiiiig!!" His plan: browse until struck by the perfect costume.

Front door pickup at work, and we were off to the specialty costumer shops. Where Mommy and Daddy immediately stroked out at the idea of paying $50 for a kids' costume. Puh-leeze. Not in this household. Off to Target!! Sadly, no luck. Though, if you happen to be in the market for the main character from the latest Hollywood blockbuster, you would be in luck.

Next stop, Party City - and BOOM. Pay dirt. Who knew they had two huge walls with numbered cards for about eleventy hundred costume options? Several of which were even in our stingy price range? And - when does this EVER happen - they had Harry Potter that was IN OUR PRICE RANGE. One happy kiddo, coming right up:

John browsed, and looked, and browsed, and looked, and, surprisingly, deselected mostly by himself because he's easily influenced by the phrase "that's too expensive." I had already tried a week or so ago to get a Luke and Leia thing going with them, but Caroline is o-u-t. She is neither interested in Star Wars or in doing something together with her brother. John was lukewarm (haha, see how I did that?) on the idea, too - he was Darth Vader last year, so maybe he thought he would find something better.

Like a Clone Trooper.

If he's General Grievous next year, I may start worrying about the Dark Side of the Force being strong with this one.

Then, lunch! Jason's Deli. Truth: fancy doesn't matter when it's bonus time with your family. It also doesn't matter when the restaurant has free ice cream.

They aren't complicated creatures, children.

So after a fun hour and a half of shopping and eating, the party was over, and it was back to the office for me. This is NOT what a day off looks like:

It seemed like half the office was out yesterday, for various (mostly legitimate) reasons - hence the productivity - but it also enabled me slipping out the door a little before 5PM, which has become an even rarer occasion than a productive Monday. We were supposed to have our end of season soccer party after last night's game, but the day had turned rainy and gloomy, so with soccer cancelled, I had an unexpected free night at home. I picked up my book and curled into the chair in the office while John prepared to dance with abandon to Pandora.

He used to dance with me, grooving like nobody was watching. That brief golden period is apparently over; when I went to grab the camera he adopted the self-conscious don't-take-my-picture pose, so this is as good as it gets. At least he went back to dancing when I left him alone. *sigh* My kiddo is growing up, even when I'm not watching.

Grilled cheese and soup dinner, another chapter in The Phantom Tollbooth, bedtime and Monday Night Football for Mommy. Yesterday was a day full of the small moments that fill my heart. I have a good life.

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