February 16, 2006

Week Without Daddy

Well I have been solo parenting for almost a week and thus the sparse blogging. Things have run relatively smooth for the most part though we certainly have had our share of moments. We will be happy to see Serona home to be sure.

Monday we spent the day with new friends it was nice the kids played for nearly 4 hours together ages ranged from 2 (sirah) to 10 with a total of 7 kids. I got to know a woman in our homeschool group I have not spent much time with before.

Tuesday, Valentine's Day, a tough day all around to be without daddy. The kids received a few gifts throughout the day and we spent some time reading, playing board games, watching olympics and a few video games, pac-man is the current favorite.

Wednesday, we headed to the gym to play some basketball or really bounce balls and run around the gym. The kids enjoyed following the lines on the gym floor taking turns what to do (skip, hop, walk backward, run, tiptoes, etc) - we walked the lines on the perimeter of the basketball court.

After the gym we headed to the zoo, so thankful for our membership there. We arrived at 2pm, a perfect time to visit as most school groups are already leaving, you get good parking and have the exhibits to yourself for the most part.

Our usual practice at the zoo is each child gets to pick one animal to see. They are pretty consistent: Rhiannon picked the birds, Sirah the monkeys (a variation from the fish) and Ciaran, the frogs of course. We make our way through the zoo seeing whatever else is along the way and enjoying each animal. The ones we spent the most time at this trip included: the sun bear, the frogs and toads, the big underground fish tank (where we saw shark eggs - very cool), and the dolphins.

On the way home we stopped to eat at a restuarant, unusual for us, but a splurge while daddy was out of town. We ate at a Ruby Tuesdays, a nice fit for us as vegetarians as they have an excellent salad bar. The kids were well behaved so I treated them to a huge desert of a strawberry tallcake, which all four of us shared and we did not finish!

Today Rhiannon had a playdate first thing this morning with another girl. They painted a ceramic knick knack container, played American girl dolls and horses, mancala, and took turns giving Sirah piggyback rides. To treat and console Ciaran (sore that no little boys were coming over) I allowed him to play almost 2 hours of gamecube - a huge treat for him. I stayed right with him the whole time, alternating playing with him (a stretch for me) and reading to Sirah.

This afternoon we ran errands including gift shopping for a birthday party. Rhiannon is interesting when she shops for gifts. Her love language is gifts and she has a hard time picking them out because she wants just the perfect gift. It is especially hard for her to pick out gifts for her friends as she truly wants them to be happy and she does not know exactly what they like. We spent over an hour at three stores trying to find just the right gift before she was satisfied and even now I can hear her insecurity with the gift.

Tonight was fun, after dinner we took baths and showers (Ciaran graduated to showers today) danced to irish music, played charades for awhile and read stories. The kids love tanks seemed filled before bed which is always encouraging. I allowed all three kids to fall asleep in my room as two girlfriends came over to spend the evening with me.

It was a nice evening, one that filled up my tank. After enough time alone I just crave adult conversation and interaction. These women are women I am blessed to have in my life. Both called ahead to see if I needed anything and were serious in their offer. One drove well out of her way to pick me up a book from the library that I need for the morning for the coop class I am teaching. The other promised to bring Ciaran gloves to our coop since he lost yet another one today in our errands and I did not realize until we got home!

I am blessed with good women friends in my life. What a difference it makes, how it fills and blesses me. Thank you to all the ladies in my life - you know who you are and I am so thankful for you :)

Living far from family makes one lean on and appreciate true friendships all the more. When Serona is away I am all the more thankful for having taken time to cultivate these relationships as I need friends so much during the distance and I am thankful the support is there and I truly feel surronded in love and friendship.

Tommorrow is a busy day for us with coop in the morning, a birthday party in the afternoon and other things to come throughout the day. Good to have much to do as the arctic has finally come to Minnesota this winter.

We have had a very mild winter here but now it feels more like Minnesota. With temperatures in the single digits for highs and negatives for lows this is the Minnesota we have grown used to. Still we have had little snow. My parents who live in New York and joke about our winters all the time are digging themselves out of 2+ feet of snow while we have a few inches of ice in our yard and driveway (this has been a no shovel year for me for the most part. Everytime the weatherman says it will snow I and to expect 6 inches I kind of roll my eyes and wait for a dusting if we see any snow at all, so far I have been right and the weatherman wrong each time.

Still tommorrow will be a cold one, a day whe you know you live in Minnesota. Still until it feels like your nose hairs are freezing it isn't really cold. Of course my poor friends currently in Mozambique are wishing for some of our arctic air to fight their africa hot and heavy rainfall.

We have been steadily working through school. We are doing a mini-unit study on the olympics with lots of "live" examples. We are also working on our states and keeping up with the usual math, grammar and handwriting. Rhiannon memorized the books of the New Testament in order this week for her AWANA program as well. Ciaran has been into math games and Sirah wants to try to do whatever he is doing.

I have been working on my knitting, lesson plans and spreasheets :) I had three lessons to plan that were not related directly to our homeschooling this week so that kept me busy. My Chronicles of Narnia class, Ciaran's Five in a Row type class on the book "Mama Do You Love Me" by Barbara M. Joose and a computers 101 for some homeschool moms. I also got to work on two spreadsheets this week, tallying the results from our scavenger hunt and updating our groups field trip spreadsheet. I have several books I am reading but seem to have had little time for them.

Sipping some white wine as I type, listening to my Celtic music mix and working on three things at once, that is my evening tonight. Off to finish packing for the morning.


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