It's been a long two weeks without Paul. We're anxious for him to get home in the morning. I didn't get as much done as I had hoped while he was gone, mainly because he and I were "hanging out" every night together after the kids were in bed on Google chat. Isn't technology amazing?
I did manage to postpone jury duty, which was a relief. It would have been very bad timing for me to have to sit in a room for two days, away from my kids (not to mention for my awesome sister-in-law Abby, who would have been stuck watching all those kids!).
We got through the weekends (the worst part for me) pretty well. On Saturday we attended our ward service project where I helped watch the kids (mainly my own very clingy Nora). It was nice for all of us to see friends, even if we weren't able to help out with any of the manual labor. I also got to go to Women's Conference, thanks to Abby's equally awesome other-half, Patrick. That was a huge spiritual boost for me.
And at church, a wonderful lady rescued me when I had Peter out in the hall, screaming. She just quietly took him from me and sent me back in to my other two children. She kept him on her lap for the entire meeting. What a saint. Later on Sunday, we went to our our new friends' house to hang out and have dinner. They have four little boys, roughly the ages of our kids, and Zeke is in the Elder's Quorum presidency with Paul. Benjamin and Peter have been begging to go back ever since. We had a lot of fun getting to know them better.
So we've survived, and even had some good times together. But I will not miss all the fish sticks and frozen pizzas we ate for quick, easy dinners.
I will not miss being Nora's wrestling mat at the end of the day- that's definitely Daddy's job. I will not miss doing all the dishes, sweeping, tidying, and the whole bed time routine all by myself. I will not miss my long conversations with the computer, even if I know it's technically with my best friend.
I will also not miss having our king sized bed all to myself. I'm sure grateful for Paul, and I feel lucky that we get to have him around as much as we do! I know I sometimes take that for granted, but it really is a blessing to have such a strong and wonderful husband and father in our home so much of the time.
This is my third quiet night in a row since Paul's been gone. He's off in Uberlandia, Brazil teaching a class. It was harder to let him go this time. I have lots and lots of projects and things that I could be doing, but instead, I'm deep into The Hunger Games. Yes, I know I'm a little late to that party, but I'm really glad I finally came around! I'm hooked. But to prove I didn't totally neglect my kids today, here are some cute pictures...
Does it get any cuter than this? In my completely biased opinion, it does not.
Peter and I also played some football and basketball in the backyard today. It's fun to hang out with him one-on-one these days with Benjamin at school.
Yesterday was the big Primary Program. Benjamin has come a long way since last year, when he refused to give a part because he was too shy. He was the first kid to say his part, and he read it perfectly and clearly. I was a proud mama, but was sad Paul had to miss it. Also on Sunday was some restructuring in the Nursery. Remember when I was put in there "temporarily?" Well, now I'm the Nursery Leader, not just a worker, and we have fresh blood coming in. It's a bit of a daunting task, but I'm also excited about it. Part of my frustrations in there had to do with the stagnancy (the old leader was great and had her own way of doing things, but she had been in there for probably five years). So now I'm on the hunt for new ideas. I'd love to hear any and all ideas about how other nurseries are run, so hit me up!
It's been raining buckets since we woke up this morning, but that's ok. It's been a pretty dry summer, and everything in our yard has been sort of brown. It's nice to have a really good rain every now and then. Nora was grumpy all day, probably because she couldn't go outside. When she saw Peter being resourceful, using a kitchen towel to wipe off his tricycle, she wanted to join him.
Biggest smile of the day. Too bad it couldn't last, since it was pretty chilly out there, and she was not at all properly dressed. I didn't let her play for long.
So do you want to see what I've been up to in our front room? Good, because I want to show you. Here's the new "coffee tables," or storage bins, or spaceships, or ninja rocks...they're pretty good multi-taskers already. Great overstock find, and perfect for the space.
Here's part of the "new" armoire I found on craigslist. It houses our tv, which is really nice since I don't have to look at it anymore. I was going to paint the old armoire we had in here, but it's part of a bedroom set, which we intend to sell sometime soon. I love the look of the warm, raw wood in here. It also has fun mustaches.
These were a really exciting find! I've been wanting raw silk curtains for a while, but they're really expensive, so it was always sort of out of the question. But I found these at our local antique mall for a steal, and snatched them right up. There were four, which was just the right for our long window, and the color was spot on with our rug. You can tell how excited I was about hanging these, because this is about the only part of the wall that got painted already.
This was the other find at the antique mall. A lovely, sturdy little side table- already painted in a great color. Notice the wall here is still red...
The chair is not quite done, although it's getting there. I'm loving how these are turning out.
I thought painting over the red was going to be a beast, but it turns out that the light green above the chair rail was the hardest to cover completely. It was really frustrating to see bluish purplish spots showing through after the second coat! But I did finish painting the eating area. Here's the cream and gray- pretty similar to how it looked before, but a bit lighter and much more neutral. I'm loving this gray more and more...I can't wait to finish the rest of the room!
Peter does not look old enough to be doing this, but he was so ready to begin preschool this week! He is going to the same Montessori preschool that Benjamin went to. I was a little worried it would be too structured for him, but he is doing great. I really think he is going to blossom there. The first day, his teacher confided in me that he had dropped one of the trays and broken something (which is not a big deal there- they encourage independence and even the mistakes that happen along the way), and how mortified he was about it. It took a lot of coaxing for him to try something new. He really just wanted someone to do it for him. Sweet Peter. He really wants to please!
So I realized I never really followed this apparently infamous post with my rosier feelings for Peter. He is a delightful little boy. I love his little voice and the funny things he chatters about. I love how careful he is about annunciating every syllable, and his recent valiant efforts in making the "R" sound. Especially when he says Nora's name with a rolled, almost Spanish sounding R. I love that he will randomly run up to me and throw his arms around me to give me a hug and tell me that he loves me. He is so creative. He comes up with silly games or jokes, which Benjamin happily joins in playing. He has very musical voice, and makes up funny songs to get a laugh out of anyone listening. For the most part, it's fun being in nursery with him. Sometimes he will be totally obstinate in there, like when all the kids put their carpets in a circle, and he plops his right in the center, refusing to budge. But then he's totally delightful too, when all the other kids will be rolling around on the floor or staring off into space during singing time, he's belting out all the words to the songs, in his fun, cheerful way. Quiet afternoons with him are still tricky. He's of course long since given up his naps. He's never been big into reading stories like Benjamin (and now Nora), and most games are still above him for the most part. He usually resorts to playing in his room by himself or asking me to put on and take off all the dress-ups. Or he'll watch one of his favorite shows that he normally doesn't get to with Benjamin, who by now is too cool for anything non-StarWars/Transformer/superhero. As you can see from his shirt, Spongebob is pretty cool in his book, as well as Blues Clues, Teletubbies, and Elmo. He is potty trained now, although sometimes he'll go in and make a huge mess all over the bathroom.The worst part about it though is that he tries to correct his mistake by "cleaning it up," which of course makes the mess much, much worse. You can't blame him for trying! He is a peacemaker. If Benjamin wants something, Peter is quick to give it up, even if he wanted it first. He's a sweet kid, and it's fun to watch him grow and develop into his own person. I think preschool is going to be very good for him as he realizes he can do big things on his own and builds confidence in his unique abilities. What a blessing it is to have Peter in our family!
Well this weekend we finally finished Benjamin's birthday present- we picked up the mattresses and assembled the boys' "bonk beds." This was toward the end of a 50+ hour babysitting service we were doing for some of our friends. I guess Paul and I need to plan something big now, since they insisted they want to repay us with babysitting. So we had six kids, ages eight and under...and now we don't, and it's nice. :) It was a lot of mess and chaos and noise, but I think the kids all had fun.
Would you believe that rolled up thing on the floor is actually a twin mattress? These are cool. We took the tape off, and they expanded into really nice, plush mattresses with a support underneath that doesn't require a boxspring. Perfect for the bunk beds. Walmart wins!
The new set-up, complete with Benjamin's and Peter's true loves, Star Wars and Batman.
And of course they are in heaven. This is where I found them this morning, playing contentedly together. I think it was about time my lanky five year old graduated from his tiny toddler bed, don't you?