Sunday, April 29, 2012

Flying solo... again

My caro sposo (“Emma” reference, anyone?) was out of town again last week.  Are you seeing a trend here?  As in, my Homeland Securer is too busy securing everyone else’s homes to hang out at ours? Geesh!  He was here just long enough to mow the lawn, do some laundry and re-pack his bag before jetting off again.  And unfortunately, this time I was really on my own. 

And the timing wasn’t exactly optimum. This is semester deadline time, those two weeks when all my applicants who procrastinated for the past 13 weeks decide they truly want to enroll in the program.  As someone who, as a general rule, does not procrastinate, this drives me crazy.  I just keep telling myself that some people work better under pressure.  Too bad their choices put pressure on the rest of us! 
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Last week was also pollen season, when our world is awash in yellow powder.  I will say, Maryland is not nearly as bad as Virginia Beach.  But it’s still bad.  I seem to react differently each year.  This year ended up resulting in a sore throat, swollen glands, runny nose and all-around crumminess.  And all three of my kids appeared to be feeling the same way.  (The only one in the family who came out unscathed was the one who spent the whole week on the other side of the country.)  By Sunday I was feeling pretty miserable, and knowing my husband was leaving the next morning only exacerbated the feeling.  So once the boys went down for naps I retreated to the couch with my laptop, a cup of hot tea and “Pride and Prejudice” on in the background to attempt to work ahead for the week. 

Needless to say, I was elated when it started to rain, and continued to do so, for the next few days.  By the time my husband’s plane took off on Monday I was feeling much, much better and ready to take on a week of mothering the littles on my own. 
God was gracious to me, we had a great week!

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By Wednesday afternoon the sun was shining and we were anxious to get out of the house.  So I packed dinner and we decided to play and picnic at Kinder Farm Park.  Now this is kind of a big deal folks.  I rarely venture out with all 3 kids on my own and I haven’t taken Jack to a park by myself since last summer, when I got tired ofapologizing to all the other moms for my exuberant child.  I didn’t realize how big this park was, and I wasn’t thinking about how I’d keep track of 3 little ones at the same time.  I also completely forgot that this was the place where Jude randomly jumped from a 5 foot ledge and smashed his face in the mulch during his last visit with Marmie, Poppa and Uncle Jared (and that was with 3 adults watching 2 kids!).  It didn’t dawn on me until after we arrived that the odds were seriously not in my favor.  But ya know what, it totally worked out okay. 
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Since it was dinner time the park wasn’t very crowded.  And Jack, well he has certainly proven himself over the past few months.  We didn’t have one incident.  He was kind to others, helpful to Jude and still his friendly, outgoing little self: “Hi, I Jack! What’s your name?” (insert other kid’s blank stare).  And Jude did not attempt to jump from any heights, although he did make me nervous every time I caught him climbing the bars.  Whenever the boys went their separate ways I usually stuck close to Jude and tried to just keep an eye on Jack.  And Julia, well she keeps things easy at this age.  Don’t ask me what I’m going to do in another year or two…
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After playing it was time for a picnic.  Let me tell you, I’ve never seen Jack so excited about dinner.  And Jude gets excited about anything Jack is excited about.  They were both chanting “pic-nic, pic-nic” by the time I got everything laid out.  After we got situated I felt guilty for not having a trendy, colorful vintage quilt to serve my kiddos picnic on, like all the cool bloggers do, but let’s be real, I would never combine food+dirt+boys onto anything pretty anyway.  The moment was enchanting nonetheless. 
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Even Miss Lia could tell this was something special.  She giggled at every breeze that tasseled the branches and reached for the planes and birds flying overhead.  I would say she was quite the romantic cloud gazer but the truth is she couldn't help it.  Girlfriend is a few days shy of 7 months and still not sitting up on her own yet.  I’m not complaining, I wish I could keep her my baby forever!
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True to its name, Kinder Farm Park is a farm as well as a park.  After our gourmet feast of hard-boiled eggs, trail mix and bananas, we headed off down the trail to find the barn.
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And “cows.”  Jude’s kinda stuck on “cows” lately.

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But first, we got sidetracked by a “twain.”  Actually it was an antique tractor but looking at it I’d say Jude’s assessment is quite accurate.
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We also came across a massive pig, and a sweet sheep.  That Jude called a “cow.”  And then he proceeded to moo at her until she got annoyed and walked away.
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We found a very pregnant goat, who Jude also insulted.  And then finally, finally found the cows.  Jude said “cow” about 50 more times, “moo’d” a half dozen others, and giggled in between.  The kid likes his cows.
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Mission accomplished, we headed on home.  No one complained.  No one screamed or cried.  No one pretended that their legs suddenly wouldn’t work.  No one went limp in their carseat when it was time to buckle belts.  So different from that horrible day back in August.  It days like this that make me wish I was better at keeping notes and could figure out what exactly makes my kids behave so well one day over the next.  Is it the time they woke up?  The hard boiled eggs?  A book we read?  Or is it just spending time together, having fun, and trying new things?

After a grand few days of *just* the four of us, we welcomed Daddy home with open arms.  Actually, we welcomed him home with a special handmade sign.  Jon called to say he’d be there in 20 minutes, so I had the kids up from their naps, dressed, shoes on and outside with 5 minutes to spare for a quick photo.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.
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And then the boys found puddles.
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By the time Jon did pull up, he was greeted by two very dirty and wet little boys, who were all too eager to give their Daddy big hugs. 

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We’re glad to have our Homeland Securer back home!

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