Most of you know that Jonathan is away in England and I'm parenting our two boys solo. It's been a pretty good week considering. I've tried to keep Elijah as busy as possible, which seemed to work well at the begining of the week, but I needed some down time these last couple of days. We've been all over the place and seen many people. The first surprise was seeing my friend Shawna from University and her daughter Ally down in Cap Pele. I had a great visit with her. She's one of those people who just never change and we could catch up pretty fast. I did discover that 2 hours straight in the car is just a half hour too long for Elijah. Both on the way down and on the way back. (Note to self, take the drive to Halifax in hour and a half stretches). Last Sunday was taken up by church stuff mostly. The summer evening service couldn't have been better. Rod and Lisa Brandtfrancis spoke (they have a ministry up in Wemindji in Northern Quebec...Cree country). I'm always fascinated and excited when I hear what they are doing. I just love their work. It was also a great time for Elijah as both the Smith kids and the Cox kids were there to play with. Monday I got Elijah's 3 year old pictures taken and they turned out great. Jen Smith brought her kids over later for lunch and they all had a great time together. Tuesday, we headed down to Moncton for the day. Both boys did really well for the drive and we really enjoyed the day together (see...Moncton is less than 2 hours away). Wednesday, we were back in the photo studio. Jen and I thought it would be great to have the kids get their pictures done together. (and at 8 bucks for a whole whack of pictures why not? There's the plug for the Superstore)...well, we could have had the cutest shot ever, except Elijah was just not wanting to cooperate...by the time he was ready, Jeremy was not happy anymore...so the picture we got is quite a character shot...still cute, shows all of their personalities, just not calendar stuff. Oh well, that's kids. They had a great time later that night, Jen dropped by when we were out in the backyard. She took Jeremy for me, while the older ones played and I worked in the garden. We had a really nice visit. On a side note, my second garden patch that I'm removing and planting grass seed in is finished, and the first plot already has grass sprouting. Thursday, I needed some down time so we took it and just enjoyed the sunshine at home. We filled Elijah's pool and he played while I gardened. Jeremy just enjoyed being in the sling. Yesterday, it was still hot (I love it!)...and we did more of the same...enjoyed the sunshine...well, we did get some basics done too like groceries and some house cleaning. George and Coralee had us up to their place for BBQ. Elijah had a ball playing golf with George and I really enjoyed visiting with Coralee. Then came today. It's like Elijah had been holding in all of his emotions about missing Dad and it all came out sideways. My day started at five to seven with the announcement that I needed to wake up and this is his house and no he did not want to come and cuddle with me...just before he crawled into my bed and cuddled me...this was foreshadowing of the rest of the day. The whole idea of Go Away, but stay with me repeated itself again and again. Poor little guy. He stormed through the house like a caged bear...so we went out to play...that didn't work either. I thought maybe after his nap he may feel better...didn't work. So I could hear echoes of Jonathan's voice telling me of all the people that had offered to help me and to take them up on it. I called Ruby. Bless her, she came over and played with Elijah for over an hour. I think he really needed that. He needed space from me and to have attention from another adult. So both boys are now sleeping and I'm ready to hit the hay myself. *One thing I didn't mention is that it appears both boys are getting colds too, so we need all the sleep we can get!
I have successfully grown 3 vegetables from seeds that are ready to eat: peas, lettuce and green onions. The cornflowers Elijah planted are up too. The other pictures are random flowers in my huge garden. I have to say I'm frustrated with the whole weeding process. I'll get a patch done, just to have it rain and have the weeds grow back again! AGGH.
Apparently 8 is the number of times a parcel must travel across this country to reach its destination. After al the rigamarole, our parcel did get to us. Apparently the non-helpful person did something helpful, he quit. The file got turned over to his manager and surprise, surprise, she was able to get it righted on her first try. Not only that, but she called me personally to follow up and apologise for the delay. When you want something done, go one step up I guess.
2 nights ago Elijah looked at me, put both hands on my cheeks and said, "You're not a wolf." Surprised, I assured him that I wasn't a wolf. "You're a Mommy". Yep. I thought it was funny, but he's 2 so, sometimes he comes up with these random thoughts. The next morning we were setting up at Kid's Club (VBS) at church. Jen and I are running the games (we trade off with our boys). Elijah says, "I don't want to play that big, bad wolf game" Click! Now it makes sense to me. We played 'What time is it Mr. Wolf?' the day before with the 5/6 year old group and I was Mr. Wolf. I also remembered that that was when Elijah left the games room. Bingo. No, i'm not a wolf, I'm a Mommy.
Yes, I have Eddie Rabbit's old song going through my head. Saint John has experienced downpour conditions like I haven't seen since I left BC. And I love it! My maritime friends don't understand this about me, and quite frankly this is something I don't understand about Maritimers. They are wonderful people. 20 below and blowing snow doesn't phase them, but rain? Run for cover. Even light mist and kids are getting rides to school and looking at me oddly that I won't let them in the building early. Where are the rainboots? Where are the gortex jackets? Where are the umbrella's? I don't know. Most Maritimers seem not to have heard of such things. I feel sorry for these children who will have no fond memories of jumping in puddles, looking for earthworms, or taking a cup outside to see how much rainwater you can catch. Just listening to the rain pound down last night brought back fond memories of walks chasing rainbows, soccer games in the mud, and lazy Saturday afternoons with a movie, hot chocolate and popcorn. As much as I love it, I'm glad it will be sunny for Saturday because I did have a mild panic attack at the idea of having Elijah's birthday party inside...woo hoo, bring on the water balloons!
It's Kid's Club week at Stone (aka VBS) and I filled in for one of the drivers today to transport a couple of kids to and from the church. The kids I transported come from a rough neighbourhood. I know because I used to teach at the school they go to. (side note-I don't know who thought low-income housing neighbourhoods were a good idea, but they are not - but that is another blog note completely). As they piled in the car, they were surprised that I wouldn't let any of them sit in the front seat. I'm up on the latest safety stats, any kids under 12 are going in the backseat. That debate didn't surprise me too much, but the next one did. Put on your seatbelt. I thought seatbelts were a given...I was wrong. Not only, did I have to instruct them in wearing them, I had to show one girl how and then I had to get them to put the seatbelts back on when they undid them at a stoplight to stand up in the car (yes, I said stand up) because they wanted to look for groundhogs. Other things about this relatively short car ride surprised me. Like how much they noticed the hills on the road and cried "Whee" as we went down one of them. I talked to my friend Debbie about this afterwards and she reminded me of something I just didn't think about. These kids probably have had very few trips in a car. Whereas most of us have grown up in families with one if not 2 cars, they wouldn't have one. If they are going anywhere, they go on the bus, or they walk. Debbie also shared with me about driving a lady from the churchplant to a retreat last summer. The retreat was on Deer Island which is about an hour/hour and a half away from Saint John. The lady commented to Debbie what a long trip it was. Debbie was surprised by that. Apparently this was this lady's first trip anywhere, so of course it would seem very long. To me a trip like that is a drop in the bucket. I've been so blessed to have been raised by parents who love to travel. We went all over the West Coast of the States and through the Western Canadian Provinces when I was a kid. They took us on some really big trips and I thank them for that. I'm also very blessed to be married to a man with the travel bug too. The idea of not travelling is so foreign, that I forget that some people just don't. They don't have the opportunity. And for some the idea of travelling is just so far-fetched for their lives that it just wouldn't happen. I just sit here tonight amazed once again how the Lord has so thoroughly blessed me throughout my life and I'm humbled yet again.
I was thinking last night how tea has to be the most perfect drink. There is nothing like a cup of tea to relax with. First thing in the morning I plug the kettle in for a cup to start my day. In the evening I plug the kettle in again to have a cup to unwind with. People are particular about how they like their tea. I'm a black tea kind of girl - Red Rose Orange Pekoe for the everyday, Murchies Empress Afternoon for special occassions. I take it with lots of milk, and one and a bit sugars. And not in a little teacup either, that's just a sip. We have these wonderful big mugs to use so I can sit down and enjoy it, not jump up right away to refill my cup. There's an art to getting tea right. I have wonderful memories of going to my Auntie Suzanne's for tea. She always made the best tea...got it just right. Some people make it too strong and it leaves a bitter taste, even with the sugar. My teapot takes 2 teabags for steeping...I don't know why people would throw in more, it just spoils it. I know the one thing Jonathan would change about me if he could would be that I would be a coffee drinker, I'm not. I don't like regular coffee (I know, a lot of you think that's the perfect drink). But pass me a cup of tea and I'm a happy girl.
So I've been a stay-at-home-mom for 4 months now. As managing 2 boys got a little easier, I have to own up to something that I would never do normally - watch daytime TV. I'm actually not a big TV watcher, movies yes, TV no. We don't subscribe to cable of any sort. Jonathan has rigged up an old am radio wire to serve as our antenna for the 3 channels we do get. As Jeremy settled into a routine, quite often he needs to be fed at noon hour...coincidentally, we need to be home for this feed so Elijah and I can have our lunch too...coincidentally, The View airs at this time. Yes, I admit it, I enjoy the first part of The View, the hen party. And I also admit, I enjoy it more now without Rosie. (and I can't believe I have an opinion about this). There's no political agenda, just women talking, the way the show used to be when I watched it back in university. I also can't believe I have an opinion about who should fill the 2 vacant spots in the fall and who should fill in for Elisabeth when she goes on mat. leave in November (the fact that I know this scares me slightly). The other daytime TV that I find myself getting sucked back into has been an on and off addiction since I was 11 and Patch and Kayla were getting married, Days of Our Lives. It is the only soap opera I have ever watched. And I haven't watched it in years...you know what, that really doesn't matter, it took me all of 3 shows to catch up, figure out which kids had been superaged and it was pretty easy to follow. So once a week (more or less), if Elijah is napping between 2 and 3, I tune in and enjoy this brainless feast.