So, Eric was home for a glorious 19 days! It's always so nice to have him home, and always such a challenge at the same time. It's challenging because we look forward to so much "quality" time as a family, get our hopes up to spend so much time together, talk on the phone for weeks beforehand talking about all we want to do (children's museum, zoo, family visits, picnics at the park, dinner out with friends/neighbors, etc.). But when he gets here, I have a big ol' "honey do" list for my poor husband. Ok, I start out with a few things, then we come up with ideas together, then Eric comes up with more things on his own. The point is, Eric ends up doing so much around the house that we end up running out of time before we've had much family time. Now, don't take this as complaining (I know when you read someone's typing, you hardly ever read it in the same "tone" as the person writing it). I'm so appreciative that Eric does so much to prepare Maddie and I for being without him for another 8 weeks. He's doing 8 weeks of normal household projects in just 3 weeks. That's a lot of work in a short period! It just so happens that this time he was home we also squeezed in a 4 day vacation and had some major changes to our living room that required A LOT more than we were prepared to take on.
The other thing that happens when Eric's home is that we get thrown out of our normal routine/schedule. I want to be at home with Eric and I want Maddie to spend time with him while he's here so I don't take Maddie to her normal playdates or to the library and I don't go to the gym like I should. We don't eat meals as regularly, or as healthy, as we do when he's not here. Maddie doesn't get her naps in and stays up WAAAYYY past her bedtime (we had her up well past 9 when she's normally in bed aroun 7). Thanks to those late bedtimes, she's now sleeping in much later than she used to. This entire week I haven't been able to get out of the house when I've planned. The good news is that the clocks are getting changed back this weekend so at least she won't be waking up an hour earlier! We'll be back to our normal time of 7ish :)
So...now that I got the rough stuff out of the way, let me talk about the WONDERFUL part of Eric coming home! Maddie LOVES her daddy! She never stopped asking for him last time he was gone. She never forgot him. She remembers him every day. She remembers that Daddy blows bubbles in the water, she remembers Daddy mows the grass (that's why every time she hears a lawn mower she says "daddy"). She thinks Daddy is a super hero :) She looks up to him like you would not believe...Daddy can do no wrong! She wants Daddy to get her out of bed in the mornings (probably because Daddy lets her get out of bed and get straight to playing...mommy makes her get her diaper changed first thing).
When Daddy's home Maddie gets carried through a store or, better yet, gets to walk through the store. She just has to say "hold you" (hoju) and look up at Daddy with her sweet little eyes and Daddy says ok...especially if she says "please" (pees). Maddie gets to be Daddy's big helper "heppa" with EVERYTHING! She loves being a big girl and helping Daddy with his projects. It's so sweet to see how proud she looks when she's walking around with the screwdriver. When Daddy asks her to hand it to him, she proudly hands it over. Here's a picture of her being Daddy's helper:
And here she is combing Daddy's hair while he's working...hey, there's no excuse not to look good, right? :)
Besides our vacation to Cozumel, we did have a few nice family days. One day we spent at a park. It was so much fun! They have different size play areas so we were able to let Maddie explore more on her own in the toddler area. She really enjoyed it. And I think Daddy enjoyed watching how much she's grown! (Oh, and he enjoyed being a kid again...)
Daddy left again this past Tuesday. There were plenty of tears, again, as Daddy headed toward security at the airport. Every time he leaves it gets harder and harder. It's definitely harder on Eric than it is on me. But when I see how hard it is on him, that's when I get emotional. I can't even begin to put into words how we feel everytime he leaves. He's missing out on so much, Maddie's missing out on so much, but we're just trying to keep our focus on the bigger picture. Down the road when we're all together as a family again, this will all be a distant memory and we'll all be thankful for the sacrifices we've made in the past.
For now Maddie is back to asking for Daddy all the time. When she hears an airplane she says "pepane....daddy....caca....hodju" In English that's "Daddy went bye byes on the airplane and he took his backpack with him, and she wants Daddy to hold her". For some reason she's so fascinated by his backpack and always mentions it when she mentions daddy going bye byes on the airplane. Ahhhh...so now we're beginning to get back into our routine again and trying to get used to being just the two of us again.