Sunday, November 21, 2010

Her Father's Daughter

One day last week I dropped Amelia off at preschool amid a goopy glopy project that would be most preschoolers nirvana. We put Amelia's smock on and she dove right in with her classmates (who were already covered). When I picked her up I asked her to tell me about what she did at school I only got her usual generic response "have fun, kids." I asked her if she got really messy, and she said "yes." Then she continued "all cleaned up." When asked if it was fun getting messy or if it was more fun getting clean she replied "clean." She doesn't get it from me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two heads are indeed better than one

I’ve had a glimpse of single parenthood for the last two weeks, and I will be the first to admit I don’t think it is for me, and I am truly in awe of all of the folks who pull it off. I managed to keep the kids fed, bathed, entertained, in good spirits, and fairly well rested, though I wasn’t able to manage quite all of that for myself, particularly the last one. By the time I got them both off to bed and faced the dishes, laundry, toy pick-up, and all of the other basic tasks and fell into bed it was time for Tristan to wake up and eat.

I soon realized that one of the best ways to keep the house clean was to avoid the house as much as possible. So to begin with we spent a couple of days at the kids expo in town, it had perfect timing, arriving for 4 days the day after Dan left, with every bouncy castle imaginable there, plus a petting zoo and a wall mural for painting. This week we spent a day at the Portugal national horse fair, while Amelia loved this and got to sit on her first horse (OK, really small pony, but don’t tell her that), it was really for me. Some amazing horses there, mostly lusitanos that are gorgeous, and we went for the freestyle dressage, which is beautiful. We also got to spend a couple of afternoons and evenings at Amelia’s friend Bernardo’s house (thanks Priscila!), and when all else fails, we went grocery shopping. I’ve heard nightmare stories about other kids and their grocery store meltdowns, so I am thankful that Amelia *loves* grocery shopping. She sits happily in the cart and helps put everything in the basket, smiles and blows kisses to the adoring Portuguese grandmothers, and gives the credit card to the check-out clerk followed by waves, more kisses. After shopping she gets to ride the mini carousel and sometimes we get lunch together. All quite civilized, really. Tristan for his part usually sleeps in the front carrier the whole time, and only complains if I push it a little close to feeding time. So far I think I’ve got pretty portable kids, though I may change my tune after 3 weeks of travelling with them around the US in December, thank goodness Dan will be with me for that trip!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy 40th Dan!

So of course the biggest event in October for our family was Dan’s 40th birthday. When we first arrived in Portugal in September of 2007 we were scheduled to be here for a 3 year assignment, so I thought we could be arriving home for a big homecoming/40th birthday party and Dan would get to spend it with Greg. Since we extended our assignment there was no homecoming, and with Tristan’s arrival in August, it wasn’t feasible to even travel back to the US to let Dan spend the day with friends and family back home. So I tried to make it as special as possible over here. We had a dinner out at our favorite local restaurant with friends over the weekend, and I managed to find some king crab legs to serve up on the actual day. We topped it all off with a tiramisu cake that I made and I must admit it was scrumptious. But the real icing on the cake was all of the birthday greetings that made their way over here both on paper and electronically. For more photos of Dan's birthday and the kids throughout October, click here.