* He's Back!

At long last, my Hercules is home! What a relief! Now life shall resume its normal mayhem:)

The best thing about the last few Rio-free weeks is that Pa and I have accomplished wonders in our house. We've remodeled the bathroom, painted the kitchen and the hallway, and rearranged the furniture in the other 2 rooms (living & dining). Whew! Not to mention some major reorganizing projects and whatnot. So even though we've been working like oxen for the last 3 weeks on what was supposed to be our vacation, I can now enjoy the feeling of immense satisfaction whenever I walk around my house. Weeeee!

We bid farewell to our childless freedom by spending Sunday in St. Louis. We visited the Art Museum in Forest Park, and then hung out in University City. It was terribly lovely and I can't wait to spend more time in that part of the city!

Finally it was time to meet Hercules at the airport. He arrived safely and happily, and was still bidding farewell to his fellow passengers down in baggage claim. I never did get any details, but it seems that Hercules made some friends and everyone enjoyed their flight:)

But it was a late flight and he slept all the way home. Then he went straight to bed and we had a little time to go through his bags this morning so he could show me his new goodies. But it wasn't nearly enough time, and he must have sensed my regret because he tried to persuade me to take the day off from work today. Oh, I was tempted! But my pragmatic side prevailed and I made it to work on time, leaving young Hercules at our new favorite daycare.

I promised to take him to the library today after work, and that pleased him. He and Nana were reading Heidi together but they weren't able to finish it, so I'll get a chance to revisit that book with him (I read it when I was quite young - I was a hardcore bookwork at a very young age). And then we'll resume the next book in A Series of Unfortunate Events.

I've decided that this post-vacation time is a great opportunity to establish some better routines. I had been finding it very difficult to get any quality time with Hercules in the evenings, since we get home around 4:30, and the bedtime ritual begins around 6:45, and in that timespan I have to prepare dinner and sit down to eat with everyone. And there are always errands to run! And Tae Kwon Do two nights of the week, to boot. And when Rio sees his counselor I have to make up the lost work time by working late 2 days of the week. So yeah, scheduling quality time is a bitch. But something's got to give.

My new plan is to try an activity as soon as we get home. I'd like to take a walk with Hercules and Bongo, and exercise both of them (and me!). I'd also like to make time to practice reading and writing with Rio before school starts. The logical time to do this would seem to be bedtime, when we already read together (but I'm the reader and he's the listener). However, asking Rio to read or write at bedtime is problematic because he's just too tired. He gets frustrated too easily and he gives up too quickly. So maybe we'll try that before dinner, too. We'll see. I'll let you know how the implementation of my brilliant plan goes after we've had some time to work out the details.

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