The girls were in my cousin G's wedding over the weekend. Not that many weddings going on in our family or friends and I don't think the girls had been to any weddings before either. My friend T, who I have known for well over 30 years (through a couple of ups and downs) came down to help me out and see G get married as she had known G since she was a toddler. The last time T came to visit was in March. The girls were excited to see her and excited/nervous about the wedding.
We got the flower girl dresses sorted out after an initial issue with the first dress (I looked on the JCP site and it showed the size, I did not realize I had to click on the size to get the actual availability so when I went to order they were not in stock). Another dress was picked and was fluffy and twirly, however LGA had an issue with the top part of the dress not feeling right to her. Luckily M, G's friend and C's mom (C was the ring bearer, and wore the dress too) told me her daughter also didn't like the dress (I suspect some sensory issues based on what C was talking about) so she was gonna wear a tank top. Thanks to Kate, I had some undershirts she had sent me that ZuZu couldn't wear anymore so crisis averted. I felt bad about the first dress as I really did screw up and C liked the other dress better. BGA liked the 2nd one and I really think that LGA would have liked the first one. But it got sorted in the end. BGA really wanted a fluffy twirly dress but I think the other two girls would have been happy with the first dress. BGA in the end said she would wear the first dress, but as the sizes were not available it became a non issue, unfortunately.
So there was a lot of build up last week. Girls excited about the wedding and T's visit. LGA kept asking me if 'today was the day Miss T would be coming' and her teacher reported her as being a bit antsy in class. The girls also asked me what they'd be doing, we went over manners and expected behavior, etc. When T arrived she told them to think about it as a performance, which really helped them a lot.
The girls had to share a room, which they are never really very good with. This time they were in LGA's room (the last time they were in BGA's room, and LGA got into all kinds of stuff). The idea had been to stay at the hotel like everyone else was going to, but LGA has had some sleep issues since school started and she's really noisy in the AM before her meds kick in and in the evening she can be hard to go to sleep. We felt it would be better to have her in her own room (even though it meant an hour and a half drive each way). They also tend to miss Daddy and the 'family' unit when it's not in tact, so this way they still got to see Daddy in the am and the evenings. I personally felt ok with that decision, even though it meant two cranky kids in the evenings being up later then bedtime.
T and I had a chance to talk on Friday when she arrived late am, as we got the car serviced and washed. We went to lunch after the car wash. It really made me miss adult conversation. It was nice to catch up with her and talk without interruptions. We all went to dinner Friday night and got ready for the rehearsal Sat pm.
We were early to the rehearsal as we didn't know how long traffic would take, and it reminded me of where we were married, complete with a tea house. Of course the girls wanted to go in it but it was not open. We had the rehearsal and found out the girls would not have to come up the aisle, that everyone would meet below and G and her fiancee would come down on their own. So the girls would get dinosaur bubble guns (it was a fall/dinosaur theme and I should ask G about it, I forgot to previously) and 'shoot' them down the aisle after the bride and groom said their I-do's. They thought that was cool.
We left rehearsal to pick my aunt and uncle up at the airport. The wedding details were taken care of, so we didn't have to help in any way, so I thought this would take the pressure off my cousin J (G's mom) if I picked my aunt and uncle up at the airport. By this time two little girls (and two big girls) were hungry. So we stopped at a Mc D's on the way to the airport as we knew dinner would be later. Unfortunately the aunt and uncle's flight was late. So we circled the airport for quite awhile before I went in and asked the baggage claim gate person if the flight had landed. It had and a half hour later they were outside waiting for us. We dropped them off at their hotel and hit the local coffee house across the street.
The girls did well at the rehearsal dinner but were pretty much done since we had been up early and out of the house around 10. The only issue was G's friend whose daughter was the ring bearer had a game system she was playing and BGA wanted to play it with her and so they took off and poor LGA felt left out. I would have let LGA play it but she can't read what to do and I didn't want her to do something to the girl's game, etc. But that meant LGA was about ready to meltdown. Between T and I we managed to diffuse it though, and we were sitting at the table where the bride and groom ended up and the groom played tic-tac-toe with her and the bride and groom drew dinosaurs and she had fun talking to them. The girls slept on the way home.
We had a bit of time before going to the wedding so we had time to get the girls' hair done. I am not and never have been, a hair person. T knew a bit about it as she's had really long hair so she gave a stab at both girls' hair and we managed to come up with some cute styles for them. We left a bit later than anticipated and had to stop for gas on the way, as I did not pay attention to circling the airport and how much gas that I used circling the airport. We made it in time, about 4pm and the got the girls dressed in the van (the back windows are tinted) and then waited for the wedding to start.
I mis-read BGA's cues, and she was nervous. I didn't catch on for some reason, and she became sullen and pouty. It started with T telling her she could go to the teahouse (where the bride was getting dressed) after the wedding to read a sign (she wanted to go in the teahouse the day before but it was closed) after the wedding was over and if there was a space of time. I made the mistake of not choosing my words carefully and said "No (which immediately set her off, as it would) if there is time you can, but we have to wait till wedding and pics and other reception stuff is over." I should have said "Sure" or something like that first. But I didn't think and that set the mood for before the wedding as she pouted and was sullen and not very nice. I sat down on the bench and I got, "But I wanted to sit there by myself." Ugh. I finally had to take her aside near the bathroom and tell her if she didn't pull it together, we'd just go home and skip the wedding altogether. So it was touch and go for awhile there. I thought LGA would be the one I'd have to worry about as far as behavior goes. We gave them their pm meds later so they would be a bit more focused during the wedding.
The girls did not have to walk down an aisle or stand near the bridal couple. They sat in front of me and I sat behind them with my cousin's brother and her grandmother (on her father's side, not related to me). The one cute thing the girls did which made it better for them was to shoot dinosaur light up bubble guns down the aisle. They had fun doing that and they escorted the bride and groom back down the aisle.
The reception was fun. The hall was decorated really nice with lovely fall flowers. They had cupcakes and food trucks for food. The girls didn't care for their coconut rice and grilled chicken but they did eat it and had a couple of cupcakes. My cousin's friend, J, who helped us out with LGA's IEP, had a quest for the 3 girls to go on. They had to ask either bride/groom, someone with a tattoo, someone bald, etc. and then the person had to pick what activity they wanted the girls to do (spin, tell a joke, running man, etc.). They had a good time but of course LGA could not read and BGA took off ahead of her leaving her behind. We helped a bit but by that point I was feeling tired and didn't really want to go on a quest with the girls - I wanted to stay and talk to my family who I never get to see because they are all in S CA. SO J said she would take LGA around at dinner and help her. She kept her word, thanks J if you read this blog at all. You helped a lot. When BGA came back I asked where LGA was, BGA actually was worried because LGA was with C the ring bearer but also with J (but BGA didn't tell me that and she had some stranger anxiety for her sister which I was happy to see). They completed their quests and got their prizes and it kept them busy through the reception. J knew it would be hard for them to sit still I am thinking and wanted them to do something fun.
Another thing that touched me, but was met with a bit of "I didn't do that" was the bride's father, my cousin's husband, helped BGA when she was nervous. I saw him comforting her a couple of times and telling her what would come next and not to be nervous. It was really cool to see and helped me a lot. He also wrote a very nice song for his daughter and they did a waltz for the Father/Daughter dance. The only other almost melt down was when BGA caught the bouquet. LGA flipped a gasket. J was sitting and talking to my uncle so I asked her to take the bouquet. She did a sweet thing and had the girls take the roses out of G's bouquet and give them to the single ladies. Then she either forgot or left the bouquet on the table and there were two more roses left in it. I then was able to tell LGA that we were taking the bouquet home for all of us to enjoy. That seemed to appease her although she still is bringing up the bouquet and BGA catching it.
It was great to see my young cousin get married. Almost 13 yrs ago she was a bridesmaid in my wedding and now here I was with my girls in her wedding, watching her marry the man of her dreams. The couple are a great match and we're all very happy for them. It was a sweet wedding and we all had a great time. The girls enjoyed being in the wedding and I think they will remember this for a long time. I don't see much of my family and the girls had not seen "cousin G" in a long time so they were happy to be a part of her wedding and see her.
T stayed till Wed and Monday we were able to get away for the day and do some shopping (her, although I did buy Dave a Christmas gift and myself a cookbook and book on sale) and lunch and dinner out. I also received some Bare Minerals eyeshadow for my milestone bday next month since T did not think she could come back for a visit and a nice dinner at Red Lobster. When we came home the girls were in epic melt down mode and LGA is especially going through an "I only want mommy" stage so she was not happy I was gone. It let me know I have to find a way to go out, even if it's on my own because they are used to me always being here. LGA was tired and over stimulated from the weekend (didn't do well at school either) and just wanted mommy I guess.
All in all it was a great weekend, but we are staying in this weekend and getting back to normal schedule. Sad that we have to do it but we do. Then things will be back to normal. It's hard for me as I enjoy having my friend here but LGA can't handle the change in her routine. She needs her routine to be the same or she just doesn't do well. But she made it and by end of week was doing much better, although still having meltdowns and frustration till she got caught up on sleep (she slept like a champ and was not getting up at 5am as she had been doing previously - and which was the case this am).
It was a good experience, but I think they wore T out, she commented as I did, that we were glad they were in school on Monday. I think it was more emotionally challenging than I thought it would be and no one really knew what went on behind the scenes to get them going for the wedding. They (and we) did it and it went off ok, it was just more emotional than I am sure anyone who didn't really know the girls, expected it would be. But I think T got a glimpse of what it is like.
Here are the girls in their flower girl dresses. They did not want to pose together AT ALL. Notice the body language as far away from each other as they could get, LOL. BGA has the "I am still feeling pouty" look and did not want to pose at all. People said if you didn't know them (on FB of course) that you wouldn't know they were not happy to have a pic taken, but notice there are not any hugely happy smiles or looks. But it's ok, I know that the photographer got some good shots and my cousin got some good shots of the girls the day before. I didn't have the energy to take out my camera so really didn't get shots but my uncle did, so hopefully I'll get some better shots. The second shot is the girls with bubble guns blowing bubbles down the aisle. You can see me at the very far right of the bubble shot. LOL.
Many Congrats to J and G, and wishing them a lifetime of happiness. :-)