Monday, September 6, 2010

A New Zoo

Don't have a heart attack, it's true.  3 blogs in 6 days.  I may have a heart attack.  But there's too much good stuff going on and not enough time to call and chat with anyone.

As many of you know, Cory left last Tuesday (technically it was Tuesday, but in my bedroom it was Monday night at 2am), for a "work" trip to Wyoming with two salesmen from one of his biggest accounts for the hunting trip they earned for selling his many product lines this year.  Really, it's for work.  For me, it's 7 full days, including Labor Day weekend, plus the kids were out of daycare on Friday 1/2 day for Teacher Inservice and it's one of the two busiest times of the year for me at work with an upcoming buying show in Ft. Worth I have to prepare our people and systems for - ironically which he will be attending, after a 24 hour stay at home Wednesday this week, until next Monday night.  (Seriously, which one of you will be nominating me for Wife/Mom of the Year? - Kidding, I'm more of a "do" than "be")

So back to our weekend. 

I couldn't bear to think of a full weekend at the house with just me and the Younglings.  We did that just about all summer because with Cory's schedule each week (gone...), he really wanted to be home on the weekends and even if I didn't, I did want to spend them with the kids.  So this weekend it was all about them and me and anywhere we could be, other than home.

Friday, I picked them up at noon and we headed straight downtown to the McWane Science Center.  A tremendous place, with hands on exhibits, an indoor playground, mini aquarium and shark/ray touch tank (they are not brave enough just yet)  and right now special exhibit with Mr. Potato Head characters.  We even took in a feature at the IMAX Theather - Bugs!, which was probably not worth it for them since it was really a documentary type nature film, although I enjoyed the 45 minute seat and popcorn.  Well I did, after Duke calmed down from the theater going black and crying "I want to go Bye Bye!" about 20 times that first 5 minutes.

Overall - fabulous day for us, they are showing me how much they are growing up in these experiences by really paying attention, catching new ideas and behaving! 

Saturday, our first official "Stay Home" day of the weekend and I was blessed by them sleeping in until 8:30 - hooray!  We had to get to the grocery store, so we did a bit of that, stopped by Lowe's for some birdseed and a new pot of Russian Sage (I can't stand deadended summer plants, had to put something new in the garden) and of course called MiMi to wish her a Happy 65th Birthday!  (I know you are loving me telling the world that one mom!)

Sunday, Church Day, brought us to a morning of refreshment (they serve Starbucks at Church of the Highlands!) and an afternoon of guests.  "Aunt" Kay and boyfriend Dale joined us for the last of the lake days (it was a bit brisk in the water having dipped into the 50s the previous 2 nights) and we enjoyed cooking out with them and having some downtime.

And after all of this...somehow I had the energy to get the boys out the door by 8:30am today and on the way for the 75 mile drive to Montgomery with promises of elephants.  That's right, a "new zoo", complete with the elusive elephant that is always "sleeping" at the Birmingham Zoo.  It was just the right size for us, we enjoyed seeing the 3 African Elephants, playing in the playground, seeing an alligator up close-like 2 feet away!-having a cheetah and a jaguar walk right in front of our noses, feed the giraffes (Duke did too, while still holding on to me for dear life, after he was convinced the giraffe was nice and not going to eat his hand) and just have somewhere new to visit.  Again, angels the whole day and bonus - Duke stayed DRY the entire visit to the zoo.  So, looks like potty training is going to take a front and center activity in our house again - oh yea!...oh yuk.

In between all of this, I got some quality snuggle time with Jack (and Buzz and Woody) since our ritual was to put on a movie after supper and which Duke promptly zonked out during the first 30 minutes, we had plenty of opportunity for life lessons - which are much easier for me to work on with the boys when it's just them and me and not a lot of other people around to distract me from my goals - and even a bonus, I guess you could call it that.  Last night Duke wet through his pull-up and woke up at 5am - waaaaay too early for a start to the day I had planned, so downstairs he came, changed, and in bed with me (gee, darn!) for a few hours before I snuck into the shower.  I'm not a fan of co-sleeping, but on the rare occaission its necessary I am not complaining when I get to snuggle with my kids in bed, that is without them wriggling and giggling around.  I even got to bend another of our "rules", which I secretly love to do but know I have to be so very careful about, and let them have Cheerios in Mommy's bed while watching Dora on the tube so I could finish getting ready and pack the car. 

It was a busy weekend, and I'm EXHAUSTED, but overall I couldn't have enjoyed it more.  It is hard being a single mom a lot of the time and the thought of weekends alone, ugh.  But when we have times like this, it's all good.  The moments that we spend "together, alone" give me an opportunity and focus to really instill in them the values I'm trying so hard to put into their hearts and have fun at the same time.  With Cory gone so much, when he is home so much of my attention is focused on him, or him with the kids, that any other moments I can grab - I tend to grab for myself.  When it's me and the Younglings...well, it's all about them.
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