Anna and Keith seemed to do well with Tyler and I being gone for 3 1/2 weeks. We skyped with Anna every morning and I think that is what helped her with the separation. Keith just delved into his obsession with helicopters and airplanes whenever he missed us. Iryna, however, struggled. Iryna struggles whenever anything in her day-to-day life changes. And having us gone to Russia and while Danielle was here taking care of her was a BIG change. Danielle said that she had about 6 good days with Iryna and that every other day was horrible. Some examples would be hitting, spitting, deep scratching, kicking, and saying "poo-poos", in addition to saying "I hate you" to Danielle. This last one surprised me, as Iryna has never said that to me or Tyler or anyone that I know of before now. I am grateful that Danielle handled her as well as she did. In fact, Danielle said that just when we came home she was getting the hang of handling her. Isn't that always the way it is? Thankfully, Danielle will be watching the kids again when we go back to Russia. I am hopeful that Iryna will know more of what to expect this second time around.
It is good to be home. I love our house here in FL and I feel so much safer in FL traffic than in Russian traffic. I do feel like I have tons to catch up on and also try to get back into my routine at home. No doubt that combined with traveling home has contributed to my current cold which is making me miserable and unable to function at more than about 40%, but this cold will pass soon (let's hope!) and then things can return to normal at a faster pace.
And now on to Valentine's Day! Yesterday morning I pulled myself out of bed and we had a lovely Valentines family breakfast. Growing up, my mom always made us feel special on Valentine's Day - fun breakfasts with confetti, love-themed apparel, and cute notes to show her love for us. I want to continue this tradition with my own family and the kids really enjoy it. This year, since I am sick, I went with the less fuss breakfast of otis spunkmeyer chocolate and strawberry muffins, strawberries, and chocolate milk. I packed up the backpacks with valentines, candy to share, and a box of chocolate for each teacher. Determined that I would still have a fun day despite feeling miserable, I showered and got all gussied up for a lunch date with my sweetheart at Squid Lips. We had a seat with a beautiful view of the banana river. The shrimp and bimini bread were delicious and I got a virgin pina colada, which was also tasty. The kids came home with all kinds of treats from their school parties - whether official (the twins) or unofficial (Anna). For dinner, we had pizza from Papa Johns and heart-shaped sugar cookies that I made yesterday. I gave Tyler a box of chocolates and he gave me a dozen red roses. It was a wonderful day and would have been perfect only if I hadn't of felt so terrible. On to the pictures: