I've cracked open the computer for leisure time for the first time since Wednesday night! What a challenge it was at first to unplug, since there is always a couple dozen things that need to be done at work, and a half-a-dozen things to do personally. Right now, I'm sitting on the bleachers at the YMCA indoor pool while my two sons have their respective swimmigng lessons. Connor in Rays, for the 4-5 year old children, and Ryan in Pike I, for the "just beginning". It's a good time for reflection over the past week while watching their progress and encouraging them to have fun and pay attention to their teachers.
The week itself started with Easter Egg Hunting at Maime and Papa's house at around 15:00 on Sunday. Ellie, Ben, Connor and Ryan all thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of finding so many eggs! Connor created a new variant of the "Freeze Tag" game called "Super Mario Brothers Freeze Tag". He was Mario and Ben was Luigi, each with a special power. Mario with freeze ball, and Luigi with fire ball. The rest of us ran around like loonies while Connor froze us, and Ben thawed us! There was more to the game, complete with sound effects, but I think you needed to be there to really enjoy it! I enjoyed visiting with my family and being able to rest on the recliner while they played with their cousins and catch a few winks. At 19:00, we packed it up and headed down to Grammy and Papa Stokes for a quick visit. It was a busy Easter, to say the least.
Monday at work seemed pretty normal. Sunday morning I had put in some extra time to stage and hopefully finish a long standing project. I fleshed out the final touches by the end of the day, but I didn't want to execute anything without having a full day to iron out wrinkles. I wouldn't get the chance. That very night, a 4:00 AM on-call page started my day in a firestorm. By 9:00 AM, I had already put in five hours of work on about 2.5 hours of sleep (My mind was racing as always, and although I had gone to bed at 23:00, I recall looking at the clock at 01:30 and thinking, "WHY CAN'T I SLEEP!?"). I finished the day by a little after 13:20 and took a long nap at 14:00, the same time as Ryan.
It was Tuesday afternoon, and my youngest son made a milestone with his third birthday! He is growing up so quickly, and I don't simply mean stature. His vocabulary and curiosity grow as well. He's a counting madman and is learning to sing songs in tune! The kid has a natural talent for pitch; his mother is quite proud. :) His birthday was low-key. We ordered McDonalds for the boys, had cake and ice cream, and opened presents. He liked gifts and couldn't wait to play with them outside in the light of day.
They had to settle for playing with their hand-held games. Both of our kids have absorbed technology as if it were second nature. We have two of the Leapster platforms, the Didj and the Leapster 2. It didn't take long for both of them to understand the basic of side-scroller games, and the Leapster platform is excellent for providing education as well as entertainment. Connor is learning to spell and read with X-Men Wolverine, and Ryan is learning his shapes, numbers, colors, and letters with Diego and Finding Nemo. If you have kids, these are definitely the toys that I, as a parent, have no qualms letting them play.
I was hoping that Wednesday day would find me finishing that long-time project, but it was a day of putting out fires again. I didn't leave until late, but when I did finally arrive home, I was able to switch gears quickly. Meghan went to Katie's for her "Mom's Night Out", and I worked on Taxes. I have used TaxACT Online for the last few years with great success. I couldn't find a couple of documents, so I had to hold off finishing until Thursday morning. To celebrate and unwind, I mixed myself a white russian and waited for Meghan to return. It was still hard to unplug from work, but I tried my best. It was, after all, the beginning of my first real day off in months, and it was a welcome event.
When she did arrive, we talked a bit about running, family, and other things that we were thinking about. I really value our evenings together, as I do our daily family dinners around the table. It would be two nights before we would have the chance again, as I would be in Wabasha with Adam Schultz-Lowe running with him in his effort to complete a 100 mile marathon in a single day (stay tuned for a blog update on that one alone).
Thursday morning found me making a few phone calls to finish up with taxes and pack for my trip. For such a short week, so much happened. I am so thankful it did. Stay tuned! (Pictures to come.)