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Lego turns one today. All of Jon Boy’s immediate family are coming over tonight to celebrate with cake and whatnot. Before they come, I need to clean everywhere, do the dishes, make a cake, frost the cake, and empty out Lego’s dresser, which we’re swapping for one that his parents have. Not too bad a list on a normal day, but I’ve been sick a lot in the past week, so I’m terribly behind. Luckily, I spontaneously felt better on Monday and didn’t have to go to the doctor, so I got some of the catch-up work done on Monday and Tuesday.

Still, I woke up at 6:00 this morning to a sink full of dishes, a living room full of toys, random objects, and papers, and a hyper baby. (He must know it’s his birthday.) And I had a UTI. “Okay,” I thought. “I can do this. I may not feel great, but at least I’m not bedridden. I just need to pace myself.”

I started off by making the cake and picking up some of the clutter in the living room. By noon I felt much, much worse. I don’t want to go into gross details, but it became obvious that I needed to get on antibiotics ASAP, and my ambitions for the day came to a screeching halt. I’d cleaned up some, but Lego was rapidly undoing all my work. The dishes were still undone, the cake was still unfrosted, and the dresser was still full of stuff. If I stood, I immediately had to go to the bathroom, so I just sat in a chair and called both Jon Boy and my mom to whine. Would I have to cancel the birthday party? How on earth would I get ready for it if I couldn’t even stand?

First things first. I set an appointment with a doctor for 3:00. I figured that between the three friends I have in my neighborhood, somebody would be able to watch Lego while I was gone. Not so. The first friend had to go to her job at 4:00, which probably wouldn’t be enough time for me to get back. The second friend was sick and had a very sick husband. The third friend was going to the zoo all afternoon with her younger sister.

I thought about taking Lego along with me, which wouldn’t be ideal but might be feasible. Then I remembered my visiting teacher. She has never actually visited me, but she listened at Christmas when I was frustrated with Jon Boy’s lack of employment and our lack of funds at Christmastime, when I wanted to be generous. She had offered once upon a time to watch Lego if I needed her. I had no idea whether she worked during the day, but I gave her a call.

She came over early and cheerfully. When she found out why I needed to go to the doctor, she asked if she could help with anything else. I said no. She noticed my sink full of dishes (how could she not!?) and offered to do them while I was gone. I told her not to worry about it because the dishwasher was full of clean dishes, and she didn’t know where they belonged. I left in a hurry.

I got home a little over an hour later to a very happy baby and a sink full of clean dishes. Now all I have to do is frost the cake and pick up my prescription (the doctor readily agreed with me that I needed it). And now that Lego is asleep, I will be able to frost the cake in peace, maybe even have fun doing it.

I think she might have been the answer to the hasty little, “Help me to do everything I need to do today even though I feel yucky,” prayer I said this morning. Thank God for visiting teachers who are there for you when you really, really need them.

I got a piano!

I started piano lessons when I was almost five years old, and by the time I was a senior in high school, I was pretty good. I’ve never been precise enough to be amazingly good, but I’ve been told I have a nice touch, and I love playing with tempos and dynamics to make a song come alive. I later learned to play the flute and also got heavily involved in choirs, but through it all, I considered myself a pianist first.

But since my sophomore year of college, I haven’t had an accessible piano, so I haven’t been practicing more than a few times a year. Even then, I’m not practicing. I’m just playing songs I already know. As is to be expected, living without a piano for over five years has been really bad for my abilities. When I sit down to play, I often feel embarassed that I stumble through songs that once were easy for me.

When Jon Boy and I were engaged, my lovely, generous, eccentric Granny offered to buy me a piano as a wedding gift. I was floored, but after talking with Jon Boy about it, we decided that the time wasn’t right. First of all, we had no room in our little apartment for a piano, and second of all, we knew we’d be moving a lot in the next few years. Time went by. I figured Granny had completely forgotten about the piano idea, and I was okay with it.

But about two weeks ago, my mom was browsing Craigslist. She accidentally came across a beautiful, perfect-condition Yamaha console piano for $1000. Now, if you know pianos at all, you know that cheap-o, non-name-brand pianos in perfect condition don’t sell for $1000. Yamahas are not cheap-o pianos. No, they’re not Steinways or even Baldwins, but they are definitely considered one of the better pianos to buy.

So my mom called up Granny, who agreed to buy the piano. My family then brought it over here a week ago in a U-Haul (packed securely inside by the seller’s professional movers). The hard part was getting it from the U-Haul to its home in Lego’s room (the only place we had room for it).

But, oh my gosh, it is beautiful. It’s not in tune yet (apparently you’re supposed to let it acclimate for a month first), but the sound is lovely, the touch is just how I like it, and there’s not a single scratch on it. I can’t find the exact model on Yamaha’s website, so I guess Yamaha doesn’t sell it anymore. But it’s somewhere along the lines of this one.

And luckily, Lego is finally getting bored with banging on it while I play, which means I actually get to play in peace sometimes.

Daddy-Daughter Date

Ambrosia’s post today reminded me of this one time that my dad took me on a date. I was probably seven or eight at the time, and we decided to go out for dessert. I ordered a brownie sundae, and it was delicious and rich. About halfway through I realized I would never be able to finish it.

Once I declared that I couldn’t eat another bite, my dad poured steak sauce, salt and pepper, horseradish, and various other condiments on it. I was terribly embarrassed. My dad assured me that my food would not have been used anyway and that it would not go to waste any more now that it was covered in sauce than it would have without all the decoration. I didn’t care. I could only think about what the waiter would think of us when he came back to get our plates.

I guess I must have seemed really put out by it because after we left the restaurant, my dad drove us to the grocery store. Inside the store was a table stacked high with Barbies in spring-themed dresses, hats, and yellow shoes. He bought me one. I was floored; I had never gotten a toy just because before. The Barbie wasn’t the prettiest one I owned, and the dress was kind of ugly, but I loved that Barbie because my dad had gotten it for me.

I later learned that he had bought me the Barbie to make up for “ruining” the date by pouring stuff on my ice cream and brownie. I know I went on other daddy-daughter dates, but this is the only one I actually remember. I guess my dad was onto something with that steak-sauce ice cream.