Well, Christina is away for a few days. She'll actually be back Thursday Evening, but as is our bartered custom, I get a fair number of days each year to do things like Scout Camp, snowboarding treks, and other functions that usually revolve around Scouting. In return, my wife only asks for a few days each year to go to Las Vegas with her mom (it's a roughly annual trip they have taken since before we were married, but has definitely gone to annual since we've had kids (LOL!) ).
Christina and her Mom tend to go to look at the hotels, revel in the excess, enjoy good food, and look around. Neither has much of an interest or propensity for gambling, thank goodness :).
The inevitable result, of course, is that the week before she leaves, she puts notes up around the house so that everyone knows what she expects to be done, and she spends the week prior to leaving making sure that we all know what we need to do. Now, to be fair, we both have different ways that we look at things and consider to be important as does the other, and that's OK. We have gotten to the point where the lists are just for the essential stuff, such as kids assignments and appointments I need to make sure I know about. The rest we allow to the vagaries of the person running the household at the time (LOL!). Still, it's pretty funny to see a reminder in just about every room of the house :).
Of course, what fun is having Mom leave for a week if Dad can't inject some of his own social order (disorder? ;) ) into the mix. Thus, while Mom's been away, Dad's added a few things to the house. Each of the kids rooms now have Aquariums in them (they've been asking me for ages to set some up for them, and I've had several in the garage for the past few years just collecting dust). This also helps that my main colony upstairs can finally get a litle bit of population depressurization (two of the convicts went into the girls small tank, and four of them went into Nick's larger tank). So far, all are doing well, though it will take about a week for the foggy water of the new tank setups to stabilize.
Meals are covered, or at least, they've been mostly prepared in advance. I appreciate this, as I'm not actually on vacation this week. I'm still working, only I'm working out of my office upstairs rather that at the office, so I still have my deadlines to meet and all that. Not having to worry about a lot of cooking time helps that immensely.
It's always interesting to see the kid's attitudes when Mom goes away. It always seems that the first day is the realization of "oh yeah, Mom's not going to be here for a week, and it all Dad, all the time". I think this realization makes them a little bit anxious (LOL!). All I know is that they will probably have yet another renewed appreciation for their dear mother when she comes back home (LOL!).
So yeah, we're doing good, holding down the fort, and having a good time while Mom's away. Don't worry dear, you'll still recognize the house when you get home... we think ;).