Bryce came home for two nights and one day this week. It was great to have him here, but also kind of sad to say good-bye again. This time for a whole lot longer. His visit for work happened to coincide with Porter's back to school night, which was hectic and not all that useful. But we did get to see some fun self portraits.
With Bryce home, I even got the chance to take a walk by myself, which I took in the forest behind our neighborhood. I took a wander off the trail, and when I got back to where it should be, it just wasn't. I looked around and all of a sudden nothing looked familiar, and I started doubting which direction I should even take. Or where I came from. I spent some time walking around in circles, following what felt like imaginary tracks. It was silly, because I've been up there many times, and it really should be pretty hard to get lost. I got that little panicky feeling in my throat, but then I remembered my phone. Turns out those maps are pretty useful, even if it's just a big blank spot with a blinking blue dot. I could tell I was going in the right direction and getting closer to my house. And even though Dawson was my only witness, I felt really, really un-Alaskan walking through the forest staring down at my phone. But I was also really, really glad to find my way back.
Today was Molly's first day back at preschool this year. It really wasn't all that momentous of an occasion as she went there last year and knows everyone. Plus it really is such a warm and cozy place, I'd hang out there if I could. But it was surely worthy of a front door picture.
She is also back in ballet and swimming lessons. Which is great, for her and for me. She is also dead to the world asleep 30 seconds after I put her to bed at 7pm.
Now that I have two mornings a week without the bigs, I can get a few things done. Today I took Cedar to get her passport. It is sort of tricky to get a photo of babies and toddlers since you can't really hold them or be behind them at all, and we were out of our element in a back room at the post office. Three truly lovely postal workers were dancing around behind the camera, but all they managed to do is scare poor Cedar half to death.
They said all that mattered is that her eyes were open, so I think we're good. Forlorn looks aside.
Last week was long. And tiring. The highlight reel is this:
Bryce left on a plane for a job in another town. He will likely be gone until mid-November, and will probably only be home for a night once or twice. It was a hard decision for him, but we will survive and keep the home fires burning. Molly asks me every day when he is coming home, but two and a half months is too long for a three year old to understand. Lucky for me, he is safe and sound and not in Afghanistan, and we know he will be home in time for Christmas and the kids' birthdays.
I weaned Cedar. We were both kind of sad about it, but it was clearly time.
I went camping with a friend of mine and our six small children. It would have been a lot easier if it hadn't rained the entire time or if the ratio of kids to adults was slightly more reasonable. But we had fun. Everyone got a lot of fresh air, and Cedar got about 600 bug bites on her head.
Porter seems to be enjoying first grade, and has apparently decided this year that girls are sort of okay. Other than that, and his super 911 crazy underdogs on the swings, I can't get much out if him. I will assume he is also learning stuff for now.
Finally, Molly and a friend were mobbed by Japanese tourists while playing by a lake. It was an odd experience all around.