Sunday, September 9, 2012

Single Motherhood: Part 2

Eating dessert after he cleaned his plate.
Earlier in the summer my husband went to Georgia for two weeks for work, leaving me a single mother. Last week he did it again. Thankfully it was only for four days this time. Having survived two weeks, four days seemed like a breeze.

Dave once complained that I don't put much about him in the blog. To appease him, I'll elaborate on his trip.... Dave went back to Georgia for more training for the new job he started back in June. He learned the mechanics of a specific and complicated machine. If you asked Spencer what his daddy does at work, he'd tell you he makes lights. If you asked me, I'd say pretty much the same thing. If you asked Dave, I'm sure he'd give you a detailed answer, throwing in examples of fancy lights the company made for such and such football stadium, meant to impress you. To be honest, I can never remember these types of details. What I can tell you is that my husband comes home from work a much happier man now, and that's all that really matters to me. (That, and the pay raise, of course.) .....Is that better, Hun?

Just because I had prior experience as a temporary single mom, didn't make it easy. I still struggled, especially in the afternoon when the day seemed to drag into eternity and I had spent all my energy earlier, leaving little to get through until supper and the night-time routine. To beat the afternoon blues, I tried to find creative ways to keep us entertained and distracted. We played T-ball, chased our shadows (a new favorite game of Spencer's), did projects, and drove to a semi-new park for a picnic supper.

Along with preschool starting this week, so did the Winona ECFE classes. I decided to opt out of classes this session, with the exception of Daddy and Me for Dave and Spencer on Tuesday nights. I am very excited to start Friday morning classes with just Ashton next session when he turns a year old. Until then, we will take full advantage of the ECFE's program Last Child in the Woods (or as we call it in my house, "outside school"), where parents and young children meet at various places in the community to play and do projects and activities Wednesday afternoons. This week we met at a park off the Mississippi river. The project was to first scoop sand off the beach, mix that with glue and paint and then make a picture. This kept Spencer's attention for quite some time, especially after copying a boy who had blown dandelion seeds onto his painting for a neat glitter effect. Ashton met up with a few babies from our Baby and Me class who aren't so "baby" anymore and he learned a lesson in sharing a sippy cup.
Blowing dandelion seeds onto his painting.
Baby Taylor.
Dave didn't come home from his work trip until late Friday night, so luckily my friend invited the boys and I to her house for pizza and a play date. I was very eager for some adult conversation by the end of the week! (Thanks, Tara!) Then Saturday we all made the trek to our friends in the cities to meet their precious baby Taylor (aka Ashton's girlfriend). Although on the drive up to our friends' house Dave said he would hold the baby, he chickened out when I offered the snoozing girl to him. He's deathly afraid of newborn babies, so much so that we have pictures of a stiff David holding a newly born Ashton. Oh well, more snuggle time for me!

Spencer loved when Jeff pushed him on the horse.
Today Spencer experienced another perk of being a three-year-old -- Sunday School. While Ashton napped soundly in his crib at home with Daddy, Spencer and I went to church for his first day of Sunday School. Although he would have done just fine without me, I still hung around outside the door watching him. Every now and then he'd turn around to sneak a peak at me, grin and then turn away. Dave and Ashton met us for church afterwards, where Ash babbled away, entertaining the nearby congregation; and Spencer marched up to the front of the church with the other kids, people chuckling and Ooohing and Ahhing at the sight of his Lightening McQueen backpack trailing behind him, when it was time for the Pastor to honor the start of the new school year. Just a few short months ago we couldn't prod a timid Spencer up for the children's sermon, now he's strutting around the church, giving High 5s on his way back to his seat. I guess it's safe to say he's loving the perks of being three.

First taste of grilled cheese sandwich.
Spencer isn't the only one growing and experiencing new things, Ashton is right behind him. Although he only has two teeth--one on the top and one on the bottom, he doesn't let that deter him from eating everything on his tray, and then some. Just last month he'd gag on almost anything that wasn't dissolvable (and by gag, I mean choke and then puke it back up, sometimes with me doing a finger swipe or two to extract the food from his throat); and now he's discovering the joys of numerous finger foods. Bread, noodles, chicken nuggets, hotdogs, blueberries, watermelon, apples, etc. These days we can't eat anything around the little guy without him chasing us down like a hungry puppy dog, begging for food.
Ashton hunted down Spencer when he was eating an apple. Spencer gladly shared.
As always, here are some random photos from our week.
A random supper in front of the TV.

Ash crawls around with stuff in his mouth like a puppy.

Ashton is definitely more of a monkey than his big brother.
Drawing "numbers," which he mistakes for letters. (Ex. Number B.)
Helping Mommy do the maze on the back of the cereal box.
This is our deck one night in the middle of a bad storm -- that's hail!
Shhh, this is a surprise!!!
We made a Choo Choo, what else?
Spencer made another addition to his Artwork book, which is a book of his drawings that will span from the first drawing at 16 months until he fills it up. The point being to capture the growth, development and spirit of his age while being artistic.
His most recent entry. The previous entry was when he was two.

Straw blowing races.

More apple sharing.
Ash LOVES apples. After trying to steal Spencer's, I peeled one for Ashton. He did not let go of that thing the entire time he ate lunch!

Mommy's makeup drawer.
How I spent my Sunday afternoon: zucchini banana bread and muffins. My freezer is stocked for the year now. (The ones on the right are the yummy ones with chocolate chips.)

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