Saturday morning, when Kate woke up at 6:15 (a usual and reasonable time on weekdays) I played the Mother's Day card and asked Matt to get up with her so that I could "sleep in" until 6:50.
I really wanted to get out and help with flood cleanup some, so I looked for local (Clarksville) needs on Hands On Nashville, and signed up for a 12-3 shift. Matt headed off to Starbucks to work on his sermon so that he could focus on Kate while I was gone in the afternoon. While Daddy was out, Kate and I went to the park, and had tons of fun. Our backyard swing is fun, but the playground at the park is really cool. They have swings plus a little-kid playground and a big-kid playground. We swang for a while and then played on the slides and other equipment.
I had so much fun playing with my girl. We ran home, ate lunch, made the trade-off with Daddy and then I was off to Riverside Drive, where the worst of the flooding in Clarksville was concentrated. I had a bit of trouble getting there because the road was still technically closed. After trying a couple different routes (not realizing the whole stretch of Riverside was closed) I just told a cop I was trying to volunteer, and he told me to turn on my flashers and go around the barricade. It was eerie being on a practically-deserted street, still beige with the residue of mud.
I couldn't find the place where I had signed up to go (saw the e-mail when I got home that that session had been cancelled) so I just parked and walked up to a group of folks working in a parking lot filled with debris. "Need any more help?" I asked, and the woman in charge put me to work right away. It was a family-owned hardware store, and a lot of the metal tools and stuff were salvageable, so I spent a few hours cleaning the dried mud off of clamps and plumbing supplies, removing them from and throwing out the soggy cardboard packaging.
Returning home, I blew Kate a kiss but refused to touch her until I'd showered with anti-bacterial body wash. (Though my husband had a much grosser volunteer experience Thursday--the post doesn't tell the full story, but the punch line is that he was covered in spoiled food!--I still had touched a lot of floodwater and gotten it splashed on my face a couple times, so I definitely wanted to be cautious.)
Then, I played the Mother's Day card again and took a short nap before we went out for a casual family dinner at Applebee's. I tried their new light margarita, which was actually pretty good, not watery as I'd feared. (The waiter actually polled me when I ordered, "Now, are you trying that because it's low-calorie, or because you think it looks appetizing?" I answered the former.) Kate used restaurant crayons and colored on a placemat for the first time.
In the evening, I did some scrapbooking and then actually stayed up for Saturday Night Live, since Betty White was hosting. (I love the show, but I go to bed early most nights.) Betty was funny, and always reminds me of my Nana, who is in the hospital again, sadly. We had been hoping she would be able to travel some and get out more since my grandfather's death in March, but a mere three weeks after his death, she started having health problems. She's 91, but until recently was in very good shape. We're definitely sad at the way things are going for her.
Matt's job doesn't really allow for leisurely Sunday-morning breakfasts-in-bed, even on Mother's Day, so Kate and I are developing our own tradition. Since Matt leaves for church a couple hours before we need to go, Kate and I went to Starbucks on Mother's Day morning last year. Then, of course, she was still in a carrier, and just sat there while I sipped a latte and read a book for a while before church. We haven't taken Kate to Starbucks since she's been mobile, for obvious reasons, but I decided to give it a go this morning. There was definitely no leisurely book-reading, but we still had a nice mommy-daughter time sharing an apple-bran muffin and enjoying our respective sippy-cups.
Kate was very interested in the basket of gourmet popcorn, but she was actually very well-behaved, and I like the idea of making this a Mother's Day tradition. The rest of the day was pretty ordinary--church, chillin', confirmation class (Matt teaches and I'm a mentor to one of the girls) and laundry. We'll be getting together with Matt's parents later this week to celebrate, and I'll go up to my parents' in a couple weeks, so it was an uneventful afternoon!
I so love being Kate's mommy. The past year has been amazing, and it just keeps getting better.