Penny has been here officially one week now. When you stop to think that she will be here 10 months, or roughly 40 weeks, one week going by is significant. I’m not counting in a bad way, mind you, it’s just that I’m aware that very soon the time is going to fly by and we will think, “Where did the year go!?” It has been an interesting week. I had visions of what I thought would happen, and none of that has occurred, and we are just fine with that.
We had Penny’s first real bout of homesickness on Wednesday. Of course, I wanted it to go away immediately, but it was something that had to run its course. We sat together on the couch and she cried for about 3 minutes. I hugged her, and it was over. Just like that. She seems fine again.
Thursday, we had Victoria over again to babysit while I was at physical therapy. They had a nice time together, but I think they are both a bit on the quiet side, so it was more or less that she just went home and that was that. I hope Penny can find people she can talk to or listen to while they do all the talking. I suspect in that regard she is a lot like me! :-) I’m more of a listener. Two listeners together makes for a very quiet household.
After my PT, we went over and met Cindy and Wendy and the kids for a late-morning bowl. Penny assured me she was a horrible bowler, but I came in dead last behind her, a 7-year-old, and a 9-year old. She had a good laugh over that one. Afterwards, our little crew went over to the Massaponnax Chick-Fil-A for lunch. There is a woman who works there named Deborah whom we all adore. She is so cheerful and friendly and helpful and always buzzing around getting us drinks and whatnot. Last week we went to CFA several times hoping that we would be able to see her there, but she wasn’t there. We all got nervous that she had quit, but in fact, she was just on vacation. So I snapped a picture of her with Penny.
Thursday evening, we did go to the youth group at my friend’s church. The girls who attended were all much younger than Penny, one of the leaders was sick, and the girls were all in and out and roving between different activities, so it wasn’t much that allowed Penny to get actively involved in forming friendships. We stayed for about an hour and a half, and played cards with several people, which was pretty cool, as now I know we can play cards together. In fact, I went out today and got Phase 10, as that’s what we played at the youth group and tonight Penny and I played it and had a great time. We even tied at the end (didn’t keep score, just decided to see who could get through all 10 phases first and we got through them at the same time!). Penny likes to play Uno, and fortunately we have Braille Uno cards, so Mike will be able to play with us at some point.
Today, I went walking with my neighbor as I do every morning, and then Lisa and Daniel came in for about an hour and we played with the kiddos. Leah fell asleep immediately afterwards and then I went and picked Mike up early from work for an appointment. When we got back, Leah was still sleeping, so we grabbed some McD’s and fed Penny. I went to lay down for a few minutes, but Leah immediately woke up! So we fed Leah and then I decided to take Penny for her first trip to Target. She had asked me earlier in the week if Walmart was the most famous department store in the US, and I explained that it was one of the most famous stores, but that Target was just as famous. While they have Walmart in Thailand, they don’t have Target, and Penny’s friends had all advised her to shop at Walmart. I wanted her to at least have been in a Target, so today was the day. We drove over and gave Mike some quiet time in the house. We walked all over the Target, which turned out to be great since they have gas grills on clearance, and I am sorry to say that ours has died, so I was able to find one I really liked. We picked up a few items—Penny got a notebook for her first two days of school (we will go buy her school supplies after she gets her syllabi on the first day) and some snacks, and I got some glasses (all ours seem to have broken) and the card game, juice, and ketchup. Plus I had plied Leah with fruit snacks to keep her quiet during the trip around the store, so I had to pay for those!
On the way out, we hit Starbucks, but that was lost in translation as to exactly what Penny wanted. She wound up with an iced latte, but in fact wanted a coffee frappucino. So now we know for next time. She found the latte bitter, so I tried mixing in some sugar, which helped a bit, but it was definitely not what she wanted. We talked about other options and together figured it out for next time.
When we got home, we hung out for a while. I have some family issues going on at the moment and wanted to talk to Mike, but that didn’t really happen. Leah was dancing around and Penny was chasing her and we were busy with two active kids!! So finally, I tried to think of what we could do to keep busy, and decided we were going to go to Chuck E. Cheese. I asked Penny if she liked arcade games and she said she didn’t know, so I tried explaining skee ball and she said she thought it was OK, which was close enough to good. :) So we trooped over there and got a pizza and token combo and spent 2 1/2 hours there. Leah was terrified of the rides in the toddler room and consequently wouldn’t leave my side much, so I didn’t do much playing, but Mike and Penny played a lot of skee ball, Penny is a champion basketball player, and we all played some video games. We left with a bunch of tickets and still a good number of tokens for our next trip.
We got home and I put Leah to bed and Penny and I played a round of Phase 10 and then decided to watch a movie. We agreed on The Holiday, which is one of my favorites and we watched it with the subtitles going, which allowed Penny to write down words she didn’t know and we talked about some of them. I was not exactly thrilled to explain “Holy shit!” Hahaha I told her not to use that one. And also “ass” I think was in there. She’s been advised not to say that either!
So Week One is done. It has been filled with moments in which nothing has happened and we’ve sat and stared at each other without much to say and also with moments that have been jam packed with laughter and chatter and fun. Tomorrow Penny will prepare Thai food to bring to my birthday party, which is tomorrow as well. Sunday we haven’t got any plans. We talked about going to New England next week, but I have PT and a hair cut scheduled on Thursday, Mike has a blind guy appointment on Friday, I have an open house for a toddler class on the following Monday, and Penny has school open house on Tuesday. So the timing doesn’t work out. I’d like to take her somewhere to do something, but I need to work it out. We’ll see.
The big challenge for me has been dividing my time between my two girls. Unexpectedly, Leah has a big problem with me sharing my time with someone else, and of course, Penny needs my time and attention while she gets settled into a new home and new country and new routine. Even if we are all in the same room together, I feel as if I’m trying to perfect a wild and crazy juggling act. I think it is working out fine, and I hope I am meeting the needs of them both! Then I need to think of my husband, and of myself. Tonight I’m taking time after what has been an extremely bad day personally to decompress for a while. Everyone else is upstairs, and it’s 11:30PM, but I want a few minutes to get rid of this headache and try to shake the emotions I’ve got going on. It makes me think about other moms and how you handle getting on with your day for the sake of your family when you really just want to curl up into a ball and hide for a couple of days? Ahhh, stress, my old friend! How I haven’t missed you in over a year! :-D