Archive | August 2011

Friday Wedding Frenzy AKA Chase the Bride and CALM HER DOWN

And so like sand through an hourglass…. oh wait… wasn’t that soap cancelled ages ago? Oh dear off topic and the blog entry has barely started!!!

Friday… what is there to say about Friday… well TONS! First off there was the getting up in the morning to small children running wild, Grandma cooking waffles (which were DELICIOUS), little boys cutting strawberries and the knowledge that at this point it would be GO GO GO. After a yummy breaky, dragging Ken out of bed to have a bite or two himself and a good bath in one of my favourite bathtubs it was time to face the reality – there were things to do and I needed to be organized enough to get them done! 

Breakfast at Grandma's

Ready for the day

The kids were content to run wild at Grandma’s and enjoy the sunshine, tv and other things… mom and I had to run to Walmart for various reasons and by the time we got back we had 2 guests… (he) Chris’ dad Dave AND a fellow gamer Jocelyn who is also American! She played on the same textual game (back in the 90’s) that Ken and I originally met on!! Though she hung out with different people. Now trust me – she is a TOTAL gem! Not afraid to step up and pitch in, and full of great ideas.  I don’t know what we would have done without her and a few other special people’s help. 

Friday morning was a lot of hurry up and wait. Chris and Chris were running behind schedule so they had dropped off Dave and Jocelyn before one was at the massage place and the other off to pick up Mae. In the meantime I had Cousin Veronika show up AND Karyn (two more people who went above and beyond to help with this event… I love you 2 so much!!!). Remember, Cousin Veronika was to do our make up – and trust me she is AMAZING!!! 

So we busied ourselves with making coffee and settling in our newcomers. Jocelyn spent the rest of the wedding time sleeping in a tent in the backyard (not the same one as the boys…), Karyn took the twins’ usual room at Grandma’s and Veronika shared with Emanuel (she got the single bed and he bedded down on the floor in the office room… which worked just fine for both of them thank goodness!). Full house with more to come that evening!! 

There was a new list to be made (did I mention Jocelyn likes lists? It IS the MacLean way to do things so Veronika and mom were right on board with that), well multiple really as there was a dinner that night for all involved in the decorating and general wedding chaos and then the last minute decorating needs… so we managed to get that pretty much done before (she) Chris even arrived with Mae.

As soon as (she) Chris and Mae arrived and (he) Chris and Dave were sent off with one list to get food for the evening bbq it was DRESS TIME! This included much groping off boobage to ensure a best fit (the brides boob shapers that were built into the dress needed to be removed), some sleeve discussion (Mae’s were a little too long so mom was there ready with pins, scissors and her machine to make pretty) and of course oohing and ahhing over the actual dresses themselves. There was some minor changes made to the back of the bride’s gown as well which were rather creative – the back is a lace up corset style but was using little metal bra hook style eyes and a thin cord for look which we simply did not trust with the amount of time she was going to be in it. So we took the cord the seamstress used as a tie and mom made that in to the loops and then raided her stash for a thicker but matching cord that even had TASSELS! Of course this meant mom was out of the running for the majority of the decorating and tied to her sewing machine for the afternoon.

Trying on the dress

We left Ken on his computer, mom on her machine and all the kids but Echo playing in the house to head over to the hall at this point – Echo was a lucky tag along. When we go to the hall there was much to do… sadly certain items did NOT make it there at the same time as us (for example my 62 bows were forgotten at mom’s and had to be gone back for) and the tableclothes were MIA until He Chris got there (which seemed  to take a long time but was dealt with in the end). We made a run to mom’s work to rent some lights and use Kristen’s lovely idea – totally try this at home – a string of lights of some sort (we used ones that were like a rope) with TULLE put over top of them – I am totally doing that for Christmas!!!

Once all the bits were collected for the centrepieces and Mae spent a massive amount of time gluing the bows onto the wine glasses and later helped with the filling of them – jelly stuff you get at Michaels with some red and clear gems She Chris got off of eBay and some black heart shaped confetti I found in a box at home (the Legion has a no confetti on the table policy) topped with a tea light I was VERY pleased!!! There were brandy glasses done the same way on the head table along with a lovely burgundy tablecloth and matching napkins to set the table even further apart.

The back of one of the table's centrepieces (taken on the day)

Again taken on the day - one of the brandy glasses

There were bells for ringing for kisses to be placed as well as the chocolates that the bride and groom made (though those were not QUITE completed for Friday… and had to be finished up that night around mom’s table). All in all the tables were lovely, even though the table number cards She Chris bought had two 3’s and no 2! (ACK thank goodness we had markers, masking tape and Mae).

Bell with Karyn's My Little Pony

The balloons we pre-ordered from the local party store were lovely and put to be at the front of the aisle for the ceremony. All the wedding colours were there – the red, black, gold and silver. (white and yellow in balloons) Very pretty!

And then for the stage where the DJ was – Veronika, Karyn and Jocelyn were very crafty and used some left over ribbons and cloth and made beautiful bows and swags. So many talented fingers and minds were involved!

Of course in the middle of all this we had to run off to stores – Walmart for some incidentals of a bridal nature, which meant SNACK TIME for a patient Echo…

FRIES

The dollar store for things for the evening BBQ… and then She Chris and Jocelyn stopped at the florist. We had a minor bridal meltdown when she was told she couldn’t see the flowers yet but that they would be burning the midnight oil to get them done. It took some calming her down but SERIOUSLY this is THE BEST flower place in  town. It is where basically everyone I know locally got their grad flowers (yourself included), my and my mom’s wedding flowers were done there… if they say they will be done and gorgeous – well they will be! At least then it came to light that She Chris thought that SHE would be picking up the flowers the next day — UH NO! So we made note (lists for the win) of where every flower was going and then made that an Usher job (thank you so much Ted and Sean!!!).

OH I forgot to mention that I have one of the best cousins EVER! There was a mix up with a bra pick up in the city that had me scurrying for a replacement and Veronika was the one who saved the day. I swear I got one of the LAST size mediums of my favourite Bravado brand nursing bra that was NOT white/ivory in the province!!! There is one store in the town she lives in that opened up before she was heading to mom’s. They had ONE left and it was a pretty pastel pink and now it is mine!! So if you notice in pictures a lovely pink bra under various shirts… well that is the new lovely Cousin delivered bra! Thank you sooooo much again Veronika!!

It was around 4:30/5 pm when we finally collected all the people (and children) needed for the rehearsal. The JP was not there (she was not paid to be or requested) so we were on our own. Thankfully mom and Veronika kicked everyone into a semblance of order and we were able to give it a good couple run throughs leaving the bride and groom happy with it all. This was my first time seeing He Chris’ brother in over 10 years actually and before that was only in passing anyway! (Sean… confused yet with TWO Seans – we called Sean the Usher OUR Sean for distinction purposes) The kids were rather well behaved though bored out of their minds and more than ready to head out to the promised Splash Park!!

Practice and you can see the balloons here

Sadly yours truly was not able to make it out there with way too much yet to be done at the hall and people to wrangle and a bride to keep relatively calm and in some semblance of organization (have I mentioned the anti list sentiments? Cuz until Friday there was tons but the lists prevailed thanks to myself and the other strong willed women in the group). BUT Ken and mom took the kids and the plural Chris’ dog Duke out to the local splash park (one of the best in the province) where all 5 of my kiddos got a chance to enjoy the water fun!

So glad I left some buckets in the van!

All 4 of the big ones

With Duke

Echo and the water

The hall was pretty much 80% done by the time we left and headed back to the house. At that point the kids were already back from the park and supper was under way (thanks to Ken on the bbq and mom manning the stove). We had more than enough for everyone and were joined by the MC Cam as well as the ushers (Ted and OUR Sean… they drove in after work and crashed in the basement for the night). Fat Sheep was ALSO in attendance… she came with Karyn and brought her party accessory as well – a lovely mob cap made by my mom.

The car was washed and cleaned up (mom’s summer convertible) and ready for decorating so we conscripted Ted, Sean and Jocelyn to finish fluffing the flowers to go on it.

Fluffers

There was a lovely sign mom made up to be tied on the back of the car which Ken took care of. Though I doubt we used up a third of the flowers that were bought. Thank goodness masking tape does not take the paint off cars (Mike contacted the dealership to be absolutely sure – smart man!). Oh and Mike’s bike cleaned to a shine as it was requested that the bride and groom take some pictures with it as well.

Sign on and ready to go

Flowers going on the car

After food was eaten and the table cleared the last push to wrap up the favour chocolates began… thankfully they were done around midnight and those who had to leave for bed went on their way. What a day! But the bride and groom seemed VERY satisfied.

Eating dinner before chocolates

With Jocelyn in the big tent, the twins in the little one, and everyone else bedded down where they either had a bed (Karyn and Veronika) or could find a comfy space (Sean, Ted and Emanuel) it was time to rest up for the busiest day of all.

Fat Sheep in her wedding splendour... early so as to be ready for the next day with minimum fuss

Let’s Begin at the Very Beginning, a Very Good Place to Start…

Well we are back from our 5 day adventure, weary, laundry burdened and thoroughly cranky but home! As it has been way too busy to share all at once it is going to take multiple updates before I catch up… perhaps some 2 post days? PHOTO heavy 2 post days I do believe. BUT time to get on with it, and with that I start at the beginning = THURSDAY…

In order to accommodate Ken working some Thursday AND gaming at night AND getting to Grandma’s BEFORE the wedding frenzy began we left for our 1 1/2 hour away destination (AKA the SHORT DRIVE of the almost full week away) earlier in the day. Well AFTER meeting with a Kijiji ad buyer and feeding everyone, cleaning the house and ensuring that the backyard was relatively clutter free (we DID run out of time before we could mow but no one is perfect and the lawn was not that bad). Of course there was time for a photo on the front lawn of the VERY excited children.

Ready to get in the van and get going... Emanuel is holding his picture for Grandma

Grandma had one last day of work before the wedding so we stopped by there to say hi (I ran in solo) and then headed ahead to her house. I figured that I needed some time out bonding with my new stroller so opted to walk BACK to her work which is a decent walk from the house. Of course with the stroller came Echo and with that excitement came Trinity and Emanuel who just HAD TO come along. After all we WERE going to find Grandma! How exciting! We had one turn back when silly Mommy realized that we had left WITHOUT diaper bag, sunglasses and a spare pull up… BAD Mommy! But after that we were ready to go. 

Ready to walk

We had to stop and admire the piggies on one of the nearby yards. Mom thinks they may have been pig farmers but are now retired. Trinity thought they were the cutest thing EVER and demanding pictures be taken. 

Piggies

After a victorious trek over the train tracks and down to Grandma’s work where toys were played with and much chatting and cooing over Echo done we headed to the nearest gas station to buy a treat for the hard working walkers and those we left behind. Of course, after opening the orange pop and using a straw we HAD TO stop multiple times to drink it down to a level where it would stop splashing my hand every time we had to go up a curb or cross a street (seriously STICKY!). 

Time to share

It was a perfect day for our walk with lots of shade to jump through and pretty yards to check out. And by the time we got home we were more than ready for our snack. Grandma beat us home even though she left way after us but she cheated and had her vehicle with her! Of course that meant the evening was GRANDMA and GRANDPA MIKE TIME! It has been quite some time since we have been to their house and the kids soaked up every minute.

Playing a boardgame with Grandma

Add to that a tent in the backyard (there was absolutely NO left over room the next two nights at the house) for the twins and they were in heaven. Emanuel TRIED to sleep out there but apparently the big boys just are way too noisy!!! 

Trinity asleep in the middle of our bed - I was amazed neither of us woke up with black eyes!

Thankfully I was able to sort us out MacLean style – everyone’s things were bagged up according to where they would dress – girls at mom’s, boys at the Chris and Chris hotel room… Petite Sheepette went to bed already dressed for the day, the wedding gown was peeked at, as was Mae’s bridesmaid’s gown so I had an idea of what we may need to do to ensure absolutely ZERO dress calamities (or at least attempt to ensure…). I am glad I did as there was some alterations that ended up needing to be done – but that is information for the NEXT post… It was nice to get in some quiet visit time at my mom’s… to enjoy the tidiness that is her home… and of course the entertainment that is grandparents with the grandkids leaving the parents free to sit back and chuckle. Mom worked hard to get Echo to relax with her and while she refused to pass out she did do some awesome snuggle time and pave the way to a much easier Saturday. 

Getting to know Grandma's house all over again

I have to admit I was very pleased to have a calm and energy burning Thursday though I swear mom and Mike moved the house further from her work while I have been done… I was not aware of the length of walk we would have to take with the little legs just a trundling to get there and back… BUT the new stroller and I have bonded and are now thoroughly happy with the relationship… the things has SHOCKS! and Echo FITS! So worth the $40.00.

Baby legs... the visor down to save eyes from the sunlight

The Last Post Before Wedding Stuff Starts…

Only one more sleep the Grandma’s house, or so I am told! And the calendar agrees. The kids are all VERY excited about going to visit Grandma and Grandpa Mike… oh and the wedding… BUT mainly the visiting of grandparents. The boys were told yesterday that a tent is being pitched in the backyard at Grandma’s and now are fired up completely. They have been wanting to go camping all month and we simply have not unearthed enough of our tent to put it together and do so. There are so many people potentially crashing at mom’s on the Saturday night (and quite a few on Friday) that their sleeping in the tent (the boys) frees up space. 

Calendar

Today felt more hectic than it actually was. When the energy of the kids is so high they always get more frantic with the schooling so I had 3 boys all wanting my help AT ONCE… we managed to get it down to some sort of a system. Have at least ONE kid on something he can do solo or with minor assistance and the other two took turns. Emanuel is hot to do his dot-to-dot book – it was a garage sale find of Uncle Wayne’s that had a few done already but that has not deterred him. We pulled out completed pages (completed on both sides) and made sure he put his name on each one he competed. They have been pulled out and put into his special folder. But today he finished with his own choice – working on writing the numbers up to 11 all by himself. Well with the help of our math office (which I notice needs a minor repair – one of the pages fell off, silly weak packing tape) and his brothers from time to time. 

Today the subject of choice really was Math today. The twins were hard at work on their workbooks. I have to admit that helping them both, chasing Echo, listening to Trinity, tearing out pages for Emanuel AND talking on the phone with the bride to be was a little… complicated…  but we managed. 

Working the numbers

Well the shoe bucket was unearthed and pairs found… the final result? Well Gavin is going to need new shoes  before winter (church wear) and that gives Emanuel and new pair but Trinity – no luck, I DID find a pair of size 9’s that will fit her… later… but not anything for NOW. So while Ken ran out with Trinity to do a preliminary hunt the boys, Echo and I cleaned up the backyard. Pool was emptied, bikes tidied, lid put on sandbox… and of course pictures of Echo taken. This time with her big brother’s Peterbuilt hat – Zander’s god-daddy Andy works for them! And is he ever proud of that hat! 

CUTE

The packing is well underway… of course things are not where you would think (I am hunting down bags still), and the list keeps getting longer of necessities. And then there are little bits and such that are specific to the wedding – a booster chair for Echo, all the clothing that is here (the rest already at mom’s)… but we will manage!

The new shoes are ADORABLE… 

So sweet

Karyn and I ran some errands, packaged up a wedding gift and worked on my packing tonight. Ken is still hoping to be out the door around naptime tomorrow so there is lots to do TONIGHT. At least the backyard is tidy and the livingroom under somewhat control. The kids even vacuumed the rooms for me yesterday! 

Those left behind... in the backyard