Tuesday, June 30, 2009

An Eerie Stillness

Every time a house guest departs, I am always struck by how quiet the house seems. It's a silence that cannot be filled, for example, by the noise of the Today show, even with all it's hard hitting news coverage of topics like the Gosselins and the fate of Michael Jackson's children.

M.'s parents, here since last Wednesday, just pulled out in their adorable Prius for the long drive back home about an hour ago. Shortly after, M. and Finn piled in the car for their returns to work and school, respectively. Lucy, completely zonked from our trip to the National Zoo yesterday, is sleeping up in her crib. It's quiet, and I don't really like it. I know, once I pick Finn up from daycare this afternoon and start the whole "juggling dinner prep and two kids" routine, all will return to normal, and I will welcome any quiet time I get tomorrow morning. Plus, with less than 3 weeks of maternity leave left, I really do need to be appreciating every moment of these days with Lucy.

Lucy and Finn were both charmers with their grandparents, though Finn did require a little warming up first. By the end of their visit, Finn was enthusiastically shouting "I love you" to his Granny and Grandpa, but when they first arrived, not even the promise of a wrapped present could entice him to give them a hug. Finn is now starting to understand that Granny and Grandpa are his daddy's Mommy and Daddy, but before comprehension dawned, we had several amusing conversations about just how Finn thought everyone in the house is related. At one point, when I foolishly introduced the concept of marriage (I am married to Daddy, Granny is married to Grandpa, somehow it seemed relevant but it brought Finn no closer to understanding), Finn was pretty convinced he was married to Lucy.

Speaking of Lucy, she is really starting to find her voice, and spent lots of time "talking" to anyone who would listen and bestowing heart-melting smiles. She really is a very good baby, crying only when she is hungry or tired (but man, when she cries, she is GOOD at it), and she definitely impressed her grandparents with her happy nature. Don't get me wrong, we are still dealing with some sleep issues, but (imagine this written in whispers with all kinds of fingers and toes crossed) she even managed to sleep through the night a couple of times. Usually those nights were on the heels of a day with little napping (like yesterday, where we were out of the house most of the day at the zoo, and Lucy never really got comfortable enough for a substantial nap), but if no napping = sleeps through the night, I'll take it.

Despite my sunshine-y post from about a week ago, I still haven't mastered the art of parenting two children by myself. After the first night of M.'s business trip that went so well, the next two nights were considerably harder. So to go from no help to having M. home AND two extra sets of hands, it was like heaven. I even managed to sneak out for a couple of hours on Sunday to run errands BY MYSELF. People, I bought SHOES. M. and his dad stained our deck and patio, something we have been talking about doing since we moved in two years ago. We had breakfast at the county airpark one morning, but aside from the trip to the zoo, the rest of our time was spent relaxing at home and letting Granny and Grandpa enjoy their grandchildren.

Lots of fun moments at the zoo, usually inspired by something Finn said. Seeing all the kids, he kept asking M. if we were at a school. He also got really excited about a horse that we saw (Przewalski's Horse), and kept exclaiming about the "dunkin." Once I realized that Finn was not requesting a doughnut and a coffee, it dawned on us that he thought the horse was a donkey.

Embarrassing story to relate: As mentioned above, I bought SHOES. A pair of brown shoes for work, and a casual pair that I can wear in lieu of my standard flip flops when I feel like it. The casual shoes are sporty and cushioned, the perfect shoe to wear when walking around the zoo, right? M. questioned my decision to wear new shoes to the zoo, but I was confident that they were comfortable enough to get me through the day. Not an hour in to the experience, I was already feeling pinching in three different areas of each foot. But I was determined not to say anything, because I didn't want to give M. the satisfaction of being right. Walking up the hill to visit the elephants, though, the blister on the heel of my left foot broke open. And though I was prepared for any other kid-related incident, there was not a band-aid to be found in the TWO diaper bags we had with us. The pain was too great, and I had to say something. End result, I hobbled around for the rest of our walk (luckily, Lucy got cranky and we didn't stay too much longer) wearing M.'s sweaty socks to lessen the pain. I have never been so grossed out and humbled. It was such a relief to get home and get those shoes and socks off my feet.

Before he offered up his own socks, M. did mention that he had packed a pair of socks for Finn (who was also wearing new sandals) in case he got blisters. I'm not sure what exactly he thought I was going to do with size 2T-3T socks - apply them to my feet as a bandage??

Regardless, the take home message, in my eyes, is that each diaper bag is now going to get stocked with a healthy stash of band-aids. Beauty is pain!

Pictures to come, I promise! Just need to clear some room on this computer first.

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