Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Marissa turns 35 at Hogwarts

A month or so ago Hank came to me with his HUGE plan for surprise Marissa for her birthday.  His plan was to not tell her that he was taking her to Hogwarts in Florida until the morning of her birthday when he's wake her up very early and grab the packed backpack and head to the airport.

Initially the plan was for his mom to come and spend some glorious time with the boys.  I would pick Kathy up her up at the airport on Monday and hide her at my house and then we'd be sitting in the driveway when Hank and Marissa came out of the house.  Kathy would watch the boys and I'd drive them to the airport.  BUT then the most awful news came that Hank's dad, Andrew, would need to have heart surgery and so Kathy would need to be with her husband. That meant that the boys would need to stay here...how to make this happen and still keep the surprise.

Saturday, which was Sweetest Day here in Ohio, Robert and I went over the M2T2's home.  I hadn't seen the boys for 2 weeks and decided to exclaim over them and tell them how much I missed them.  I then acted like a thought had just struck me and I said, "Hey Marissa!  What if I take the boys Monday night so you can have an evening and a night and the next morning on your own. You could come get Henry in time for preschool?"  She agreed.  Then I said, "I mean all 3 of them...would you trust me with Simon, too?"  Her response again was yes..that if it had been just Henry as an infant she might have seconds thoughts but after 3 she was open to a peaceful start to her birthday.

Hank played his part as well, taking her aside and asking if she was sure about this.  She was.  So the plans developed...they would come Monday night for dinner and I'd make striped delight for dessert. Marissa always asks for that for her birthday but this year she wanted carrot cake but didn't want to miss striped delight.  So the plan was set.  I would make Monday dinner and Hank would make the birthday dinner and I'd bring carrot cake and pull aparts to their house on Tuesday.  All played out without a hitch.

The boys settled in comfortably here.  Slept well.  Throughout the day and a half that the boys were here, we texted pictures back and forth.  Marissa was awakened early and Hank told her to get up, get dressed and where they were going.  Marissa said she thought he was kidding.  They hurried to get to their plane and almost missed it because Hank had to find a certain hat.  But I don't think it was the sorting hot.  But they made it, all excited, and Marissa texted us that she was here:




And it was as magical for her as any trip to Hogwarts could be. ... .despite the Muggles and lines and....apparently the train ride included dementors flying by them!
 Somewhere along the trip they ate at Hogsmeade...pasties of course.  And Hank was said to have butterbeer every half hour. That doesn't surprise me since he has butterbeer at his home in Lakewood.
 So while Marissa and Hank celebrated her birthday we old folks just attempted to keep up with these 3.  Adorable Simon was a dream.  On a perfect 4 hour schedule, didn't seem to miss his mama, and slept through the nights.
 Altho we did play a few games, Lego seemed to hold a lot of attention time.  I think it really helped Oskar to have his big bro Henry to make being away from mom and dad seem OK.
 I'm telling you, I love all 3 but this Oskar is so sweet and kind.  He's got the cutest way of acknowledging everything with his "OK"!  Reminds me of Jocelyn during her cheerleading days.
 And then there's Simon...there's no explaining the incredible spirit that accompanied this kid to earth.  He loved watching Niko from the safely of Top Dog's lap!  Niko was fine with the kids but mostly he just stayed upstairs sitting on our bed...protected and safe.



 I got out Candy Land game that we got from Aunt Carol or Megan when they were divesting themselves of 'things'. This was a huge hit!  We played it at least 6 times over the short period we had the boys.
 Last night Robert said we needed McDonald's for dinner (altho I decided he and I could have Wendy's).  The boys loved the container and the stickers mostly.  Oskar is the best eater, and is very neat about it too.
 Can you say duct tape?  This was what I discovered after dinner when getting ready to give Simon a bath.  Robert had said he didn't know how the tabs worked these days and obviously fixed that problem with duct tape.  At least it was blue tape...altho I know Marissa doesn't have a color problem, nor a hair length problem (poor Oskar). But I had to text Marissa this photo and she replied...Is this for real?  From a man who had 5 kids?  Oh yes, it was so real.  But bathing Simon was delightful...especially since someone this fall left a little bit of J&J night time bath soap when they were here.  It smells great and promised to help the infants to sleep soundly.  All I know is that it smelled wonderful and then so did Simon.
 And feeding Simon at night is the best!  He eats and then his dear blue eyes close and he's done for the day!
 Top Dog (as the kids are now calling Robert instead of Bubba since we've just learned after 40 years that Robert has never liked being called that ... started by Richard Etzel when he was a little boy)
 This morning it was Oskar who pulled up a chair to help me make a carrot cake for Marissa's birthday dinner tonight.  He loved putting the carrots down the chute.
 always looking back at me to be sure he had added enough
 Plunging the thingy in wasn't really easy but he tried...but power of the Bosch startled him for sure but we got the job done.

 Now...chopping the walnuts was fun for him!  altho he preferred to eat the nuts I think.
 And what did he want while the cake was in the oven?  M&Ms of course!  He deserved a little payment for all the hard work.  He stuck through it til the end.  Henry watched TV.

The cake finished, cooled and the frosting was ready. Both boys this time were happy to come complete the project. 


Marissa and Hank arrived about 1:30 and boy were the kids happy to see their parents.  Oskar grabbed hold of mom's neck and would not let go for the longest time.  So perhaps maybe they weren't so happy to have spent the 2 nights with us but for sure they are happy to be with their parents as it should be.

I loved the time with them but I also know again just how old I am, Robert and I.  And we give so much credit to grandparents who take over the role of parents when their own kids don't/can't/won't.  I only had this treat for 1-1/2 days.  Some people have it every day of their old lives.  They should truly be honored.

For us, we just want to say thanks to M2T2s for trusting us with the surprise and the boys.  Now we head to Florida to have 11 wonderful days with Jordan/Hillary/family.  It's great to be retired!

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