our golden corral experience

I’m sitting on my couch at 1:30 am blogging while the darn cat that woke me up an hour ago is snoozing beside me. Since I can’t sleep, I thought I’d blog about our Golden Corral dining experience this evening. I can hear my cousin Jennifer laughing as she reads this – she has two kids and has surely gone through something like this in her past. This one’s for you, Jen!

Golden-Corral

Earlier this week, my wonderful husband (Happy Father’s Day!) saw a commercial about endless ribs at Golden Corral on television. Ever since, he’s been harassing me about going to eat there. It finally happened yesterday evening. It had been a busy day and I told him we could do whatever he wanted for dinner. Right before we left, he tried to change plans and stick around the house to go fishing or just play outside, but I insisted that we go ahead and go since he’s been thinking about it all week.

The parking lot was full when we pulled in and there was a cloud of smoke around the front entrance from all the nicotine dependent diners who aren’t allowed to smoke inside (thank goodness). After making our way through the smoke, we stepped inside and I knew right then that this is not where we should be. Our son decided he wanted to stop and play with the little retractable strap that blocks off the maze leading up to the register. My husband’s comment: “You have to pay before you eat?” It’s been a long time since we’ve been to a place that doesn’t come to your table to take your order. Either way, we should have turned around and left when the total for two adult buffets (kids under 3 eat FREE!) was $30. I could see the look on my sidekick’s face…we were both thinking “We could have had Ruby Tuesday for $40!” But, we didn’t leave – we just took our tray and shuffled to a table, wiggling our way through the swarm of hungry folks.

I went to the buffet first, fixing our son a plate of strawberries, carrots, pizza, and macaroni & cheese. The sheer amount of people waiting to fix their plates was incredible. When I got back to the table, I told my husband to go on and get his food. I explained how there were two stations where you could pick up plates, etc. My son actually started eating his strawberries after he successfully pulled all the green tops off of them. I thought, “This might not turn out so bad after all.” Heh.

Husband comes back with a plateful of buffet food and I head to get my own. By the time I get back, our son is in a different chair and my husband is trying to get him to eat. Dining out with a two-year-old is a job (can I get an amen?). I sit down and attempt to eat my food (black eyed peas, pinto beans, mac and cheese, carrots, meatloaf, green beans, Mexican corn bread…yum) when our son decides he wants to go back and forth under the table. The objects on the table are amazing to him – the salt shaker, hot sauce, steak sauce, milk cup, etc. I’m eating with my left hand and telling him “You need to sit still and eat. Eat your strawberries. Eat a bite of pizza.” Of course, I had to throw in “If you sit still and eat your food, you can have an ice cream cone.” That worked for about 30 seconds.

My dear partner goes back for a bit more food and I know we’re in trouble when I see him stop at the dessert bar. I meant to tell him not to bring anything sweet to the table until after our son finished his food. I knew what it would be. The dessert? A pretty piece of chocolate cake.

After about two minutes at the table, our son finally sees the cake.

“I want cake,” he says.

“You can’t have cake until after you eat your strawberries and pizza,” I quickly reply.

Then, it’s the classic game of keep away. He crawls under the table to his dad’s side, and I put the cake on my side. Then, he crawls to my side and I put the cake on dad’s side of the table. After about 5 rounds of this, Husband says, “Can we just go?” I’ve been ready since we got there.

Son is not happy that we’re leaving without the cake and of course, I try to reason with a two year old why you can’t have cake until after you eat your “real food”. For the first several minutes in the car (Husband decides we need to immediately come home and I don’t argue), it’s an awful silence. Then, son starts saying, “Where dat cake?” repeatedly. Finally, we can’t do anything but laugh about it. If you don’t laugh, sometimes you think you might go berzerk. Husband remarks how the experience was something like the Griswalds and Duck Dynasty.

After we went to bed, my husband and I laughed and talked about being parents. We questioned if we’re doing something wrong by expecting our son to understand he has to eat his dinner before he gets dessert. We laughed about how redneck Golden Corral is and how we’ll never step foot in one again. We talked about how freaking expensive it was to eat there and how we could have gone to tons of other places with better food and atmosphere. I remarked about how quickly these toddler years will be over and how we’re going to miss these crazy things.

With all this being said, I must end on a positive note, because this blog is “Because Nice Matters”, of course. I thought about the “bright side” of the situation and here’s what I came up with:

  • We made it to and from the restaurant safe and sound.
  • I’m thankful we actually make enough money to go out to eat on a fairly regular basis (once a week or so).
  • None of us have experienced food poisoning from the buffet (yet).
  • Looking back, we can laugh about it.

It’s nearly 2 am and we’re having the in laws up for Father’s Day breakfast. I need to get my booty in the bed so I can be a good hostess and make it through the day. First, I must have a snack, though. My $15 buffet meal has worn off…

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poppies and more

There’s a gazillion things I’d love to blog about, but you (my readers) seem to be more like me and prefer pictures. So, I’ll let you create your own story about what I’ve been up to lately…

easter and earth day in photos

Thought you might enjoy some Easter and Earth Day photos I captured…they kind of went hand in hand this year.

spring in charlotte, nc

My husband and I spent the weekend in Charlotte, NC for a charity flag football tournament he plays in every year (for several years). It was a beautiful, hot weekend – a nice little getaway.

We traveled with my husband’s friend and his girlfriend. While the boys played golf, we girls shopped a bit. I got a clock for our new house (finally) and plan to hang it today. That night, I got to sneak away and watch “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at this small theater all by myself. I love going to the movies and used to do it a lot before our son came along. The movie was good – I won’t say great, but I’m glad I saw it. Adrian Brodey’s performance surprised me – he was the villain and I’m not used to that.

Saturday, all 4 of us got pedicures, even the boys! I honestly about got sick when the pedicurists had to break out the cheese grater things for the boys’ heels…it was disgusting. But, it felt great and my toes are a pretty teal color now. We had sushi Uptown and then headed over to watch the games. Our guys played their first of three games in Panther stadium, then the last two games were on the practice fields. It was sunny and hot, so I bummed some shade off the medic tent. I don’t mind the heat, but being 6 months preggo in the blazing sun was a little risky. They ended up winning 1 of 3, which was good but not good enough to let them move onto the finals on Sunday.

My husband's flag football team - The Highlanders

My husband’s flag football team – The Highlanders

That night, we had dinner at McCormick and Schmicks Uptown and it was very good. They were having this cool road bike race which was right up my alley…made me miss being on my bike, but hopefully I’ll get to ride this fall after baby #2 arrives and I’m recuperated.

After a short trip to Trader Joe’s yesterday morning, we headed back home and were so glad to see our son whom we’d left with the grandparents for the weekend. It’s crazy how much you miss your kids when you’re away from them. I mean, I had the one with me (and he/she’s┬áreally moving so I was reminded that I was never alone), but I missed our 2 year old. It’s nice to have a little break from chasing a toddler non-stop, but it was really nice to see his little blond head and have him chattering all afternoon. We just love him so much.

I was tickled to see the Bradford pear trees have really blossomed and the grass is starting to grow in our dirt yard. AND, my tomato seeds have all popped up now, too! I’m waiting on the eggplant seeds to sprout and I’ve asked my husband to till our garden space beside the house sometime soon. I plan to plan around May 10 after the annual cold snap.

IMG_6520

IMG_6521

If you’ve never visited Charlotte, NC I do recommend it. I love the Uptown part which is what I’m most familiar with. We normally stay at the Double Tree on West Trade Street and it’s my favorite hotel there. We stayed at the Omni last year and it was just too loud. The Double Tree is a little removed and they give you cookies…yummy cookies!

Well, let’s get ready for a busy, full week at work…and cooler temps this week. Spring is here, thankfully, but this weekend was spoilingly beautiful!

two year old sayings

My two year (26 month) old is really talking a lot now. No surprise, since his mom doesn’t know how to be quiet! I’m constantly amused and amazed by some of the things he comes up with, so I thought I would share some of my favorites.

  • “How about…” – He’s saying this now and he’ll repeat it. Normally, it goes something like this… “How about, how about, how about…green?” It’s so very cute.
  • “Purty please.” I taught him that one to build on “please” and he uses it when he’s desperate for a Popsicle or to go outside and we are saying no. What he doesn’t understand is that just because he says that doesn’t mean he’s going to get his way that time.
  • “Can’t see nuffin.” When he’s playing in the “tent” under our bed covers, he’ll say that.
  • “Daddy go?” and “Monkey go?” and “Paci go?”. Anytime he wonders where something went, it’s the simple phrase that asks.
  • “Look, ganny!” There for a while, everytime he wanted you to look at something, it was “Look, ganny!” which is “granny”. I had to explain that I will look, but I’m not granny, I’m mommy.

Yesterday, we were riding down the road and he said “It’s foggy outside. Daddy fick (fix) it.” My husband and I had to explain that daddy can’t fix the fog. I asked him who made the fog and he said “Daddy.” Then we explained to him that everyone’s Daddy made the fog – God.

This morning, I sang Zacchaeus to him while I was brushing his teeth. I’ve sang it before and he hears it at church, but this morning, he actually said the part “Zacchaeus, come down!” and it was delightful. I called my husband and we sang it to his voicemail.

Aren’t children amazing? I have felt in awe of this kid since he was born. You always think the next age won’t be as good as the one you’re in, but each age has it’s own unique traits. Granted, two year old fits aren’t my favorite, but I just love seeing how much he’s learning and how he verbalizes everything. It always leaves me thinking, “What is he going to say or do next?”

a glimpse

My dad and my son playing at dinner tonight

My dad and my son playing at dinner tonight

I caught a glimpse tonight of what my life would be like if my parents were still married. They divorced when I was about 18 (so about 14 years ago, I guess). At the time, I was bummed, but it didn’t really bother me like it does now. When I had my son, I realized how nice it would be if my parents were still together. Not only would it make the holidays easier, but it would just be nice to have two sets of grandparents…not three or four. I don’t have hard feelings toward either of my parents for the decision they made to separate, but I guess I just feel sorry for myself wishing circumstances were different. I should just be happy they are alive and well and actually get along.

Either way, my son and I took my dad out to dinner tonight for his birthday. After dinner, my mom came to pick my son up so he could spend the night with her. She came into the restaurant to get him and on the way out the door, my dad was in front of me carrying my son and my mom was behind me. At that moment I thought, “So, this is what it would be like if they were still together.” It broke my heart to be honest with you. After we parted ways, it was all I could do not to cry while driving home. Dad was still with me and I didn’t want to have to explain my tears.

I don’t write about this to get sympathy or make my parents feel bad. I believe that I’ve learned a valuable lesson from my parents about what it takes to make a marriage successful and how important it is to work at a marriage so you can be a family when your kids are grown…and when your grand kids come along. I love my parents dearly and appreciate all they do and have done for me. I feel very blessed. I just pray that my husband and I have a long, happy life together and get to see our grandchildren one day.

farmin’ photos

My father-in-law is out of town and he normally feeds the cows, so my husband got to fill in. It was such a pretty morning that I thought my son and I would join him. We had fun “farmin” – all I did was take pictures and open a gate. My son loves to be outside and especially loves being around tractors, so it was a big adventure. I thought I would share some pictures I took and some from the past week as well.

On another note, my husband and I had a wonderful date evening as our son is staying with a relative tonight. We got a bite to eat, watched “Winter’s Tale” (I give it 3 stars), and ended up buying our dining set! I had my eye on a set from IKEA, but when I saw this “Jesus” table at a furniture store we stopped at on a whim, I knew it was the one. It cost just a little more, but it’s fully assembled and they will deliver for free! Seems to be good quality and very heavy.

diningset

Days like today leave me elated and feeling so blessed. I truly wonder why God takes such good care of me and my family and gives us all that we have. But, when I stop and think about being a child of God, it’s a little easier for me to understand as a mother. I would do almost anything for my son and I will give him all that I can in this life (but not spoil him, you know).

Anyhoo, enough typing, time for pictures!