I am so ready for 2006. Oh wait...it already *is* 2006. January 2nd, to be exact. It is just past midnight and I am up, waiting for my cakes to cool so I can decorate them. I have made 2 round cakes, and then cut and shaped the 2 rounds into butterfly wings for my friend Trinice's daughter's birthday cake. They are celebrating early so her daddy won't miss the party, since her daddy, like Steve, is on the Reagan and leaving in 2 days. My stomach twists up in a huge knot when I think about it.
But we have had some good quality time with Steve lately. We had a nice quiet Christmas. The kids got lots of games and we spent the last week or so playing them with them. Disney Scene-It, Zingo, Green Gators, Audio Bingo, and so on.
I have been taking a lot of pictures so that I can make a "Daddy wall" for the kids. I am going to do the paper chain again, with one chain link per day, between now and when he comes home. Each night, the kids tear a link from the chain and we watch it get shorter. We did it the last time he was gone for a long period of time.
My friend Audra does this thing with her son, where there are Hershey kisses in a bowl, one for each day Daddy is gone, and each night before bed, the child gets to eat one. We all do what we can to mark the passage of time.
I have been feeding Steve up, so he can get home cooking before he has to exist on ship food. Thanks to Poppy for her chicken parmesan recipe! I am saving it for tomorrow night, the night before he leaves.
I tried to get all the things Steve will need for his out-to-sea time. Today I am making cookies, oh, pretty much all day long. That way I can send him off with a lot of cookies. Tomorrow night, after the kids go to sleep, we are breaking out the video camera and I am recording Steve reading various stories to interest both kids. So they can hear Daddy read a story whenever they want to, just by popping the tape in the VCR.
We are doing all kinds of leaving prep, as you all can see. I have a routine worked out for when he is gone as well, to have as much structure as possibel for the kids. We have an organized schedule for school days, everything set up the night before to make the mornings more laid back, etc. Well I am going to mark the passage of time by having Sundae Sundays and making a trip to the bookstore each payday to get a new book to read, and to mark the passage of time. One payday closer to Daddy being home, you know? Every Tuesday is farmer's market day, and we usually go to the library then since we are in town. Tuesdays are actually pretty full , since by the farmer's market there is a little beach where I let them run around utl they are exhausted! Then we hit the library and they each choose 3 books, then it is home, dinner, homework and bed.
I am sure there is more that I have planned. It is late and I am getting tired, though. We have zoo passes so I will probably find a friend wo also has passes and go a few times. We like the zoo.
As for me, I plan to clean the house. Stop laughing! I want to clean the house, top and bottom like I did back in October. It took me 10 days of non stop cleaning. I was constantly on my feet and cleaning, and Steve wondered why. I was throwing him a surpise party and I didn't want him embarrassed by our clutter hole of a house, so I took care of business. After the party I was exhausted for days. Before the party I would not allow myself to sit down because I knew I had to get it done, and I was so tired afterward!
Well this time around, I will go a little slower, but still, clean & maintain the house. I can do my maintenance cleaning while the kids are in school and then the afternoons are mine to do what I want, or vice versa. Then after I get the kids from school I don't have to worry about cleaning the house or anything, and I can focus on them and doing homework and stuff. Then I can relax in the evening and do my cross stitch or crochet.
Speaking of crochet, a great big Thank You to Mrs. Feher for sending me more yarn to work with!
Well my cakes should be cool now. I need to go decorate them so Iwill post again in a few days, probably after Steve leaves. If you all want his address on the ship so you can send him a card or a little care box, let me know and I will email you the address.