Edited at Tommy's request - 12:30 pm
Changing the subject...
The boys have decided that they must participate in their school variety/talent show this year. Nevermind that it will take place the end of February after preview/tryouts this week, and our trip is right in the middle of all of it. They are determined to do it, no matter what.
Tommy has everything mostly under control. He thought about singing "The Rainbow Connection" but settled on playing one of his most recent piano pieces. It think that was an excellent choice. It's one that he's been playing for a few months, so I think he'll be fine. He has been working really hard, and practicing it daily, and we are very proud of him.
Charlie is a bit more worrisome. He has been planning to do some sort of Michael Jackson Tribute Dance at the variety show for months. His plan is to dress up in his Michael Jackson duds and wing it. He hasn't picked a song yet, and is very disappointed that I haven't been able to figure out how to create a mash-up track of his favorite songs. He doesn't have any repeatable choreography. He plans to just go up on stage and ham it up. We will see how this goes over at the preview/tryout. (I think they call it a preview because they don't want to freak kids out or imply that they will be telling some kids they can't participate, but I suspect they do want to weed out the kids who aren't prepared with something substantial...CHARLIE.) Don't get me wrong! I love his Michael Jackson dancing. It's spot-on and entertaining. It might all be fine. It's just one of those situations where I have to let him sink or swim on his own efforts, and he seems awfully young for that potential disappointment. I wish I could figure out a way to make it an easy, sure-of-success experience for him.
Speaking of Charlie, he came home a week ago with a giant hole in the leg of his pants. When I noticed it I started joking around with him about it. I thought it must have been an accident, that he snagged them on something on the playground. He sheepishly admitted that he cut them with scissors on purpose. I was shocked! He didn't seem to have any sort of explanation. He was sitting in class (probably bored.) There were scissors on his desk. He cut his pants. That's first grade logic for you. We ended up having a long talk about destruction of property, the cost/value of things, and thinking before acting. He's doing extra chores to pay off the pants. I should be able to sew the cut closed (he didn't remove any material.) It was one of those WHAT?! moments that seem to only happen with Charlie, like the time he cut off his eyelashes.
Tommy's birthday is coming up on Wednesday, and he's going to be TEN! He's planned a simple at-home party with a Muppets theme for Friday night. That boy loves the Muppets! I'm really interested to see which Jim Henson movie Tommy will choose to watch at his party. He keeps vacillating. One day he says Muppet Show episodes, with a focus on the Sweedish Chef, then the next day he is sure he wants to do a Muppet feature film, and then the day after that he leans towards the off-shoot Jim Henson movies like Labyrinth. We'll see!
We've tried to keep his birthday celebration really small this year - no sleepover after the party, smaller presents, simple party favors, friends hanging out together at his party instead of a planned event, a special meal at home instead of eating out, etc. I think Tommy's OK with the scaled-down birthday. I've only gotten five RSVPs for the party so far, and we didn't invite as many kids as usual, so I'm thinking it will be quite small and simple. His actual birthday is on Wednesday, which is always a busy day for us, but I'm sure we can make the day special without going overboard. One of the benefits of ALWAYS celebrating every person's birthday in our family without fail (no forgotten and forlorn children with last-minute birthday plans on my watch!) is that Tommy just trusts that the day will be special.
He knows that the trip really will be a week-long birthday celebration for the three of us with January and February birthdays. (Poor David.) Tommy is super excited that there's a Muppet-themed area at Hollywood Studios in Disney World, and I've set aside extra time for him to look around the shop there and choose a birthday present for himself. All three of us will have birthday buttons that we can wear at Disney World, and we've decided that we will each choose one day to wear our button and be the birthday person. We've each chosen one of our exciting restaurant meals to be our personal birthday meal too. Tommy's meal will be sushi at Tokyo Dining in Epcot. I'm probably going to celebrate at Raglan Road Irish Restaurant our first night. Charlie hasn't decided yet, but I'm thinking Be Our Guest should be his meal. (We got impossible-to-get reservations there because I am THAT awesome.)
As for my actual birthday before the trip, my wonderful friends have planned a birthday tea for me on Saturday, February 1. They sent out invitations and everything! I have great friends, and I'm really looking forward to it. (By the way, if you're coming to my birthday tea, please don't shower me with gifts. I'm just thrilled and honored to know that you all care for me and want to spend time with me at the St. James Tearoom. If you'd like to come to my birthday tea and didn't get an invation, send me an email.) David is leaving for his work conference in Orlando the morning of my birthday, so the boys and I will have a low-key celebration day after he leaves. We'll probably go out for breakfast after dropping David at the airport, and then spend a glorious afternoon pre-packing. Waiting to pack has been killing me, but once David leaves the house I will be free to RELEASE THE HOUNDS!
What else has been going on? I've been stuck at home with the cough of doom for three weeks now, but I'm hopeful that my lungs will clear by the end of the week. (Yes, I know that this scenario TOTALLY explains that last blog post.) I was suposed to go to the doctor for it on Friday, but there was a mix-up with the appointment time, so I have to wait until next week. If I'm not able to breathe clearly by Wednesday, I will be marching into the doctor's office and demanding antibiotics. I don't want the Cough of Doom to ruin our trip. I also have a moderately serious steam burn on my arm, but the signs of infection are going away and it's starting to heal, so I've stopped worrying that our trip will be cancelled because of an emergency amputation.
Charlie has been sick too, but he seems to be recovering normally. Fingers crossed that all four of us avoid any and all germs in the next 11 days!