Home Alone

 

 

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Today marks the end of the longest two weeks. Ever. Jon has been in Seattle on a business trip (ironic, I know, since we moved half-way around the world from Seattle only to have him make regular trips back there). So, that meant that I was home alone. Well, not exactly alone alone–I mean, I had my kids here with me. But it was…different. The day after I got back from my own trip to Phoenix, Jon left for Seattle. I was exhausted and a bit overwhelmed (this is the longest business trip Jon’s taken since we’ve had kids), but I was determined to make the best of our situation. Without family nearby to offer a helping hand, or even a babysitter to call on for relief (they were all away on their own vacations, lucky ducks!), it was all up to me. So, I set about planning little day-ventures for us close to home (because, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t muster up the courage to take two young children trekking across the country by myself for a full-on adventure). We managed to squeeze in quite a bit of fun to help pass the time while Daddy was away. Here’s a photo journal of what we’ve been up to these past couple of weeks:

We started our week at the grocery store. The boys helped me pick up some fuel for all of our upcoming adventures:

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While we were at the grocery store (which is inside a shopping mall) we took a little break to ride a train around the mall:

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We had a hot cocoa date at Costa Coffee:

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We went to the zoo where we saw magnificent animals, played on the playgrounds, pet baby kangaroos, and ate ice cream:

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We visited Rumley’s Open Farm to spend an afternoon playing…

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…greeting animal friends…

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…and even dining with a rogue mama pig and her six little piglets who wandered in from the farm:

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We had brother snuggle time in David’s huge bed:IMG_4083

And went to the indoor playground with our friends:IMG_4097

We ate popcorn for breakfast. Twice:IMG_4120

We visited a new town. Monkstown is just up the road from us, about 10 minutes from our house, and I’d never been there before. It’s an adorable little seaside town with a marina, beautiful old churches, and a fantastic playground for the kiddies:IMG_4183

We went for a run by the sea and enjoyed a castle tea:IMG_4209

We visited Charles Fort, a 400-year old army fort that helped carry Ireland through the Spanish War and the war of Irish Independence:IMG_4233

After exploring the fort, we had a picnic overlooking the harbor:IMG_4260

Then we went into the town of Kinsale for ice cream and a stroll:IMG_4272

After I tucked the boys into bed each night, I worked on projects (I made 3 photo books, Mother’s Day gifts, and finished a couple of sewing projects). I may have also watched Downton Abbey. All three seasons of it:
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We walked up the road to the farm that we can see from our back yard. I asked the (very tiny) woman who answered the door if we could meet her cows because we watch them every day and we’d like to get to know them. She told me (in a very thick Irish country accent) that ‘Sure ye can meet the calves, alright.’ When we asked her if the cows (‘No, they’s calves, those ‘uns’) had names she just shook her head and replied ‘They haven’t names, these calves. They’re being fattened now, alright.’:IMG_4282

After a disappointing encounter with cows (er…calves) who will never live to see their next birthday, we walked back down the road to our favorite walking trail so we could go throw rocks in the river:IMG_4298

On Thursday we went to the Farmer’s Market for Mommy’s weekly multi-sensory indulgence:

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On May Day we went to a park to pick flowers. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see May 1st arrive. Ireland as a country shuts down during the “winter” which just so happens to be half of the year (November-April). May 1st signaled the beginning of the official tourist season and shops, museums, restaurants–heck, whole towns–that had been closed all winter reopened their dusty doors for business. No more driving for hours trying to find an open restaurant or going to the mall on every rainy day to pass the time. Ireland is back open, and I am thrilled. Flowers seemed like a fitting celebration:
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I watched Toy Story 3 for the first time with David. He sat on the couch next to me with his Woody and Buzz Lightyear toys and we watched the little boy in the movie, Andy, grow up and move out for college. I bawled my eyes out. I have now confirmed David’s suspicions that his mother truly is crazy:IMG_4328

We had a balloon sword fight at McDonalds:IMG_4335

And we baked the most delicious carrot cake sandwich cookies to share with our friends at church:

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And, finally, we decorated a welcome home sign for Daddy. We all missed you like crazy, Jon!

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Well, there you have it: two weeks come and gone. Even though it wasn’t easy having Daddy gone, we all survived and we even managed to have fun making memories together. It was a special time that I got to spend with just my handsome boys–boys who will grow up some day and leave me for college just like Andy in Toy Story. So in the end, if I’m going to be home “alone”, there’s nobody else I’d rather be here with.

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