Making the Best of Things

J is in DC again this week.  It has been a tough time for me.  I guess I haven’t felt completely “right” ever since the Mother’s Day program at my son’s school.  The whole quick march of time, kids growing up, me growing old thing.  Ugh!  It’s overwhelming to think that I pretty much have a first grader and another son who will be entering his last year of preschool. J taking off for a week just compounded my crumminess.  Pile on loneliness and I feel even lower.

On Wednesday Cutie Pie refused to take a nap at his normal nap time.  I figured he could probably hang until bed time but I was wrong.  I found him soundly slumbering in our living room when I emerged from my shower after teaching Zumba.  I had big plans to keep really busy so I would not dwell on the fact that I missed J so much.  I wanted to take the boys for pizza at our favorite little spot on the beach.  When I couldn’t rouse Cutie Pie from his nap, Wildman and I chose to order a pizza instead.

Wildman and I went out front to enjoy the unusually cool temperatures we’ve recently experienced while we waited for the delivery guy to bring dinner.  I used the stop watch app on my iphone to time his bike ride down to the corner and back.  I also timed his sprint from our front yard to our neighbor’s tree and back.  We played a bit of hopscotch on the sidewalk too.  He wanted me to draw the game squares up to number 20.  I told him I’d number squares until my chalk ran out.  I got up to number 14.  He did the rest up to 20.  Cutie Pie continued to saw logs…

Our pizza finally arrived after half an hour or so.  Wildman suggested eating on  his playground clubhouse platform which I thought was a terrific idea.  The cool breeze, setting sun and sweet little boy company made for a perfect dining experience.  Cutie Pie would not budge from his place of rest on the leather chair…

We even brought out some peanuts to put on the fence for the squirrels.

Eventually Cutie Pie woke up, the sun sank low and we retreated indoors for baths, books and bed time.  I admit that I’m still in a kind of funk, an emotional mess, if you will, but those precious moments with Wildman made me realize just how wonderful life is.  The simple pleasures of a shared hopscotch game and a slice of pizza in the spring breeze are what life is all about.

I am blessed.


Afternoon Bike Ride

Because I am vehemently opposed to letting my sons sit in front of the television playing Super Mario Bros. on the Wii all afternoon, I enforce exercise time after school.  Monday’s choice was a bike ride up to the library park then over to the elementary school playground.

Did you notice that the new driveway is finally done?!  J finished it off by brushing fine sand into the cracks and parked the boat on Sunday!  We’re so happy to have that project complete!

Monday was one of those days that Central Florida is famous for- sunny and mild with a cool breeze.  It was wonderful!  I decided to bring my camera along for fun.

How else could I show you a caution sign that you’d probably never see in… say…  Iowa?

We rode the huge loop around the soccer fields and stopped to do a few push-ups…

… and sit-ups.

Wildman wanted his picture taken with me which prompted me to consider changing my Facebook profile photo.

But before I could take a good self-portrait the boys had decided that they wanted to ride over to Wildman’s school playground.

We made it to our destination with little to no arguing over who was going to be in the lead.  That was a huge bonus for me because those two can argue like angry old men over it for what seems like forever until one is left in tears.

It’s great.

Real great.

Anyway, no arguing and no tears for that leg of our trip!  When we arrived Wildman immediately showed me his new skills on the swinging-handle style monkey bars.  He’s gotten so good!

Of course Cutie Pie wanted to give it a go.  Wildman insisted on taking a photo of me helping Cutie Pie across.

We hung out a little longer (pun intended).

While the kids tried to hunt up the biggest stick they could find, I attempted a new Facebook profile picture (such an interesting life I lead).  Not sure which one I like though.

We rode home with just enough daylight left to play catch with our neighbor across the street.  A good non-Wii afternoon, indeed!

Another Busy Day

I am happy to report that J is home!  It seems like he’s been gone forever.  The bad news is that he seems to have a nasty ear infection.  I hope that he can get in to see the doctor first thing this morning so he can get back to feeling good again.

Yesterday was another busy day.  It began with boys dragging their heels about getting dressed (nothing unusual) then Wildman reminding me that I had promised to let him ride his bike to school several minutes before I’d normally leave the house in the car.  It had totally slipped my mind!  In reality, I probably blocked it out because riding to school in extremely humid 85 degree weather is not my first choice of activities in the morning.

I honored my promise even though I had to scramble like mad to get all of the bikes, helmets, school supplies and bike lock ready.  We made it to Wildman’s class with a couple of minutes to spare.  Thank goodness we live so close to his school!  These photos are from our return trip in the afternoon when I actually remembered my camera.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I get Cutie Pie all to myself.  We try to do lots of fun things together.  After we dropped off Wildman and rode back home on Thursday, we jumped in the car to visit Yaya.  She’s still in the hospital but doing much better.  Her blood work shows that the blood thinners are working but are not quite up to the levels that will allow the doctor to send her home.  So, she’s pretty bored.  I try to stop by as many times as I can to break up her day.

We met up with some play group friends at Gleason Park after we left Yaya.  We had agreed to meet there earlier in the week to feed the turtles and let the children play on the playground.

Our plans did not call for huddling under the pier’s roof while tossing bread out to the animals, however.  A large-ish rain cloud had settled right over the park and let loose a downpour.

The kids didn’t seem to mind the rain but when the bread ran out there wasn’t much to do at the end of the dock in the rain…

We ended up going over to the children’s area of the local library then over to the library’s park.  It had not rained there at all so the children could enjoy the playground without getting wet.

We stayed with our friends for a couple of hours.  It was so nice to catch up with everyone and let the kids play.

When lunch time rolled around I took Cutie Pie out for pizza at a cute little restaurant around the corner.  He had a blast shaking the Parmesan cheese onto his slice.  We don’t usually eat out so it was a special treat to enjoy lunch at a restaurant for a change.

After lunch we ran by Publix for a few items, I whipped up two batches of eggplant parmesan (one for us and one for my friend, B), biked back to school to get Wildman, biked home, I caught up on some paperwork and planning on some parent organization stuff for the preschool, we went back out to the hospital to visit my mom then spent the late evening scrapbooking with my friend, B.

Whew!  I am still tired this morning…  TGIF!!!!

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