Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat

Because I have been such a bad blogger lately, I thought I would earn back my readership by offering you this...

and this...
oh yes, and this...
Don't you love me? ;)


Look what my smart little guy can do!

He is so talented! Put your hands up in the air!

and wave 'em like you just don't - whoops!Ah well, he'll get it eventually.

Until,

D :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Celebration

Hey there Kiddo, Happy Birthday!


You turned 4 years old today!


It's late now, you've been asleep for a while and Mommy is up taking care of some things before she goes to bed. But I wanted to post my birthday wishes to you on my blog, so that you'll know that this day is so very special to me.


I love you so much. I know right now it seems like my focus is elsewhere, mainly on your baby brother, but I want you to know that my heart still follows your every move. I am watching you grow and mature and try to figure out this strange world we live in. I know things can be confusing at times, and at times it is so hard for you to express your thoughts about things - but I do care and I am concerned for your feelings at all times.



You are such a big boy now, both in size and mentality. You take care of yourself so much more than I want you to, but because of your baby brother there isn't enough time for me to do all the things I want to be able to do for you. I am so proud of you for being able to do so much.



I miss our connection, that intense bond that kept us practically inseparable for 3 1/2 years. Sometimes I forget how loving you can be, and then you will say something to me like you did today.



Kiddo: "I sure do like you Mommy"
Me: "Well I sure do like you too Buddy"

Kiddo: "Let's kiss"


When we were all three laying on the floor today, I rested my head on your little chest. And instead of the push away I was expecting, you sighed and stroked my hair and said "Mommy you're so cute". It melted my heart. When I picked up my head to move you pulled me back down again.



Someday soon when Port is a little less dependant on me, things will be much easier for us. Right now it is just so hard to do much of anything and I know you get bored and frustrated with me. It will get better.



And right around the time we get this all figured out, you will be off to school and things will change again. Such is life.



You blow me away my Love, with your talents and abilities. You are quite the artist; taking after your Daddy and drawing things that amaze me on a daily basis. I want to keep all of your artwork, but the sheer volume of it could just about push us right out of the house!




Your memory is amazing. It seems like every day you tell me something in detail that happened to us 6 months to a year ago. I wish I had that ability.



Your capacity to learn is unending. You soak up knowledge like a sponge. I wish I had the time to teach you myself.



So today I tried to make it a fun day for you. We went to the sprinkler park with some of your friends. All of the Mom's group showed up, and we had lots of fun with them. You terrorized a couple of kids there, but overall I think you had fun. We went for ice cream and cheese sticks at Sonic afterwards. Then we went to the grocery store to pick out what you wanted for supper. You chose hot dogs, corn, mac-n-cheese and apple sauce. However, your 4 year old attitude came through when you refused to eat come supper time. Eventually you ate the things you chose, but not without some frustration from Mommy and Daddy. I made cupcakes for dessert.





We had your actual birthday party last Saturday in Houston. Mommy was asked to sing at her old church in Huntsville on that Sunday, so we moved your party to Grammy and Happy's house the day before. It was really cool because all of your Houston friends came. Aunt Addy and Uncle Wes came too and we all had a great time. You got some awesome presents, including the Cars computer you've been asking me for for months (even though you didn't know one even existed). You also got some Spiderman and Batman action figures and a way cool Cars backpack with a sleeping bag. I can't wait for you and Daddy to go camping. G&H gave you some much needed clothes and a way cool RC Truck and Aunt A & Uncle W gave you an awesome turtle that lights up your room with real constellations. They also gave you some light up bath ducks that are really neat. Miss Shannan gave you a pair of C's shoes he had outgrown, and you now call them your sports shoes. Every time you put them on you have to go get a basketball or football and kick it around the house. And speaking of C - you got into a couple of squabbles with him at your party. There was some rock flinging and some pushing over the Cars computer - you are getting big enough now that you don't just take it anymore; you two are pretty equally matched.

Nana and Big Daddy are coming out this week and the birthday celebration will continue for a couple more days. You are such a lucky little boy to have such a loving and caring family.



There is so much more I can say about you - how bright you are and how loving. You are emotional and moody as well; I guess you got that form me. I'll say your stubbornness came from Daddy. ;)

But just know sweet boy that we love you. I thank God every day for bringing you to me. I pray that I can be the best Mommy I can be for you. I hope you know that I only want the very best for you. You changed my life, and every day that we get to spend together is the very best day.

I hope you had a wonderful birthday.
Love,
Mommy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Vagabond

Ok, so where was I?


Oh yes...

When we arrived at the Roach Motel 6 that night, Hubby discovered this on our trailer. Thankfully we had a spare trailer tire, and thankfully Hubby remembered to bring it! A quick change and the problem was solved. Hubby and Kiddo also played in the pool for a little while that evening. The room we had was just off the pool, and unfortunately right next to another family with 2 small children who made their presence known by screaming and crying pretty much the whole time we were there.


The next morning we packed back up and headed out. Our goal for Thursday was Globe, AZ, again only a few hours away. We refueled at a gas station and I scored yet another wonderful cup of coffee. It's the little things, you know? ;)


We made it to Globe easily. Our original plan was to camp in Globe that night, but just before we left home we changed our minds about camping and decided to get another hotel room instead. And I am soooooo thankful we did.


When we arrived in Globe, we checked into the Motel 6 (well, they are the cheapest by far). We pulled around to the building our room was in and looked for our number on the doors. A woman was standing outside, smoking a cigarette and talking to a cleaning woman. She was tall and lean, dressed a bit too young for her age in short shorts and a tank top. Her hair was long, blond and straight; she might have been quite attractive once. I wondered why she was so friendly with the staff - unusual for a patron of a highway side motel. We didn't go to our room, instead we just unhooked the trailer at the hotel and took the CRV up the mountain we had originally planned to camp on. Both kids were asleep in the back and Kiddo started to wake up when we were about 3/4 of the way up. The views were amazing and the mountain road was so beautiful. Kiddo loved all the trees and the "desert highway" (rough, bumpy, unpaved road) we were on. We got to the top of the pass and stopped at the camp sites to look around. Kiddo and Hubby wondered around for a bit and I stayed in the car with sleeping Port. I snapped a few pictures of the big boys on the top of some huge boulders.
I was having a hard time getting the boys exposed properly without blowing out the background in the pics, but I still love how these turned out. For once, Kiddo actually looked at me with a pleasant expression!
On the way down, we stopped a couple of times for pictures. The century plants were in bloom, so the mountainside was peppered with beautiful shoots full of bright yellow flowers. Hubby couldn't resist the landscape shots. So, yet again I got a picture of his back! The next one is one Hubby took of me. You would think after years of modeling I would know how to stand when my picture was being taken. *sigh*
At that point it was time to pump, we were starving and Port was waking up so we headed back down the mountain. The road, I have to say, was not the best - bumpy, very twisty and it had tons of fast switchbacks. I was getting a bit sea sick coming down, mainly because I had to spend most of the ride turned around backwards tending to Port. Kiddo did great and again enjoyed the scenery he missed while asleep coming up. We got to the bottom and back on the main road. It was only a few miles back to the hotel, and Kiddo began to whine.



His tummy hurt.



Oh no.



Oh yes.


I grabbed the closest thing I could find, a gigantic blanket and tossed it into his lap. He didn't know, Hubby didn't know for sure (I think) but I knew.


He was going to hurl.


Kiddo has never, aside from one lone virus incident a couple of years ago and various times as a baby, thrown up.


Sure enough, he did. Poor guy, he was so scared. Thankfully his stomach was pretty empty so there wasn't much to deal with. And thank God for that blanket - it caught everything. Hubby dropped us off in the hotel parking lot so we could get Kiddo out of the car and I walked with him to our room. He was an emotional mess, but thankfully I think I explained pretty well that sometimes we get sick and it was ok and that he would be all better. We walked into the hotel room and I was shocked at what I saw.
It was beautiful!

Were we in the right place??


The room was more than twice the size of the one we had stayed in the night before. It had vaulted ceilings with gigantic wooden beams and a decent sized tub in the bathroom (the other only had a small stand up shower). The beds were pretty and clean (with kitchy little bedspreads that had cars and roads on them - it was on Route 66 after all) and the room looked great. Our only complaint was that the carpet was soooooo dirty! Just walking on it for a few minutes left our feet and socks almost black. Globe is a mining town, so we are guessing the carpet is collecting all the dust and grime from the mines. At least that's what we hope...

Thanking God we decided not to camp, I washed out the blanket and Kiddo's shirt in the sink. Then I thanked God again that the condo we were to stay at in Flagstaff had a washing machine. By then, Kiddo was feeling much better and requested to eat some apple slices and some juice. I made him go slowly at first, just to make sure we were past the queasy part and he did fine.

We decided a real restaurant was in order for dinner, so we looked on line for reviews and decided to go to a little Mexican food place, Guayo's on the Trail.
photo courtesy of Hubby


While I wasn't impressed with my shell-less taco salad, Hubby and Kiddo enjoyed their meals and Port had lots of fun smiling for the other patrons in the restaurant. The place was pretty cute and it was good that we got there early because by the time we left the place was packed.

We headed off to WalMart for some supplies. On the way, Hubby ran over a gigantic rattle snake slithering across the road! After that, we turned too early and missed the drive into WalMart so Hubby took the CRV "off road" down a little path that apparently a bunch of people made to get into the parking lot. Kiddo thought that was great; driving off road. *rolling my eyes* Boys!


In the checkout line at WalMart, we ended up behind an older woman. She was somewhat thin but muscular, with super bronzed skin, wrinkled from years in the sun. She wore fairly decent clothing, and her hair was long and bleach blond. Her shopping cart had 2 cloth bags in it that contained what one could only assume were her personal belongings. Her legs were scarred - severely. Something horrible had happened to her long ago. When she spoke to the cashier, it was apparent that she, as Hubby would say, wasn't playing with a whole deck, or maybe she just had a quirky personality. Regardless, she checked out in front of us and once she was gone Hubby asked me if I had noticed her. I said yes and he told me that he had seen her before, at least a year earlier. When we walked outside she was sitting on a bench with her cart and bags, eating a candy bar. I wondered what her life was like.

We got back to the hotel and when we arrived we saw a car pull up into a space a little ways down from our room. The woman I had seen talking to the cleaning staff earlier emerged from the car, in a different shorts and tank outfit, and a man was with her. He wore a suit shirt and slacks...

Hubby went for a walk and the kids and I settled into the room for a relaxing evening. I tried to take a bath with Port, but he was not having it. The boy really doesn't like baths much, and me being in the tub with him trying to hold his slippery self was just not working. I managed to get him clean though and he fell asleep peacefully afterwards.

The next morning we packed up, bid our unusual room adieu and headed to the gas station. Another great cup of coffee was in my grip and we were off.

Until,
D :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

I Eat the Colors of the Rainbow

We interrupt our scheduled blog for a real time post...

I am continuing the story of our trip in a bit but I wanted to put in a real time post today. As you'll find out soon enough, the last day of our stay in AZ ended with us taking Kiddo to the ER. He had accidentally been given some candy that had peanuts in it, and he had a pretty troublesome reaction even after benadryll was administered. As a result, we now have to carry epi pens with us wherever we go and he also has an appointment with an allergist next week.

*sigh*

I feel so responsible. Why is it that no one tells you anything until after something has already happened?? I seriously did not know that because both Hubby and I have allergies that any offspring would be more prone to them. (well, I thought they would probably have the same allergies we do, but apparently if mom and dad have environmental allergies, kids are more prone to food allergies - go figure) No one ever suggested to me to delay solids for Kiddo, and even after he had a reaction to rice cereal no one suggested we delay certain things or put off solid food all together. I am not trying to place blame on anyone, but it seems to me that if I were a pediatrician and my patient at 4-6 months had a reaction to rice cereal of all things, I might suggest to the mom to hold off on solid food or at the very least give her a chart of what foods to avoid and for how long.

Now because of all this peanut allergy stuff I am doing research and learning about all the things I did wrong. Poor little Port doesn't stand a chance. I was apparently supposed to not eat any fish, shellfish, eggs, milk and peanut products while pregnant (and yet still maintain a high protein diet to ward off preeclampsia), nor am I supposed to eat those things while breast feeding if I want to give my kid a chance of overcoming food allergies. I am supposed to delay solids until at the very least 6 months, though if I want to be really safe I should exclusively breastfeed for a year.

Tell that to my 18 pound 4 month old who has a death grip on my fork.

And, if a child develops eczema at an early age, they are more likely to have food allergies and asthma. Joy. Why didn't my ped tell me this on Wednesday when we were there and I showed him Port's eczema patches? Why did he say it was ok to start solids 3 times a day, knowing full well Kiddo is riddled with allergies and that I was concerned about Port having allergies as well? Why did he not give me a prescription for an epi pen a year ago when I told him I thought Kiddo had a peanut allergy, yet on Wednesday when we told him of the ER visit he had the script printed before we even finished the story?

gah!


While we were on vacation we gave Port cereal for the first time. I made it pretty thick and he gobbled it up like he had been eating it since birth. The only reason I started it so soon is because when we eat he goes nuts - he watches every bite from plate to mouth and grabs at anything he can get his hands on. I thought he was "ready". Well I guess he is, but now I am finding out I can't go on instinct and readiness here.

I gave him some mashed up bananas today and he had a reaction. Come to find out, banana allergies are pretty common and we should delay introducing bananas until 9-12 months. Banana allergies are also closely related to latex allergies - guess who has a latex allergy??


*raises hand*

So, as of today I am back to giving Port breast milk only in the hopes that I haven't completely screwed him up. He shall have no egg or egg product till he is 2 and no peanuts ever if I can help it. This ought to make his first birthday cake fun.

*sigh*

In other news, Port had his 4 month check up the other day. He is a healthy 17.4 pounds (90%), 26 inches (75%) and has a head in the 100th percentile. Biggun! He does not like the doctor. My smiley, happy, loves everybody boy does not like the doctor! lol!

At 4 months he is rolling from tummy to back and about half way the other way. He grabs for things and has pretty good aim. He can pick up things and put them in his mouth. He is chewing and drooling on everything and has recently developed some very interesting noises to alert us when something is amiss. He thinks sneezes are hilarious. He is completely enamoured with his big brother. He is wearing size 6-12 months snugly - I am going to have to move him up a size soon.

I guess that it all for now. I will continue with the trip log today as well.
Until,
D :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

El Paso City

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.
Night-time would find me in Rosa's cantina;
Music would play and Felina would whirl.

Man, I love that song.

2 hours later we rolled into El Paso. The sun had risen just before we passed the city limit sign, taking away from me one of my favorite parts of the drive to AZ.

From thirty thousand feet above the desert floor I see it there below
A city with a legend, the West Texas city of El Paso
Where long ago I heard a song about a Texas cowboy and a girl
And a little place called Rosa's where he used to go and watch this beauty whirl
I don't recall who sang the song but I recall a story that I heard
And as I look down on this city I remember each and every word


There is a spot on the freeway just outside of El Paso that when you reach it, the entire city is visible below you and it sparkles in the darkness with all the city lights. It is an awesome sight, one I was looking forward to, but we missed it by about 30 minutes. The sunrise was beautiful though, even from the highway.

We stopped at the first breakfast joint we could find, and spent way too much money on a mediocre breakfast in a stinky old restaurant. The NY Cheesecake pancakes I had were heavenly though. Thank goodness for them or I might have had to go somewhere else.


After sittin' a spell, we headed back to the car. We were parked in a parking lot between the restaurant and a gas station, taking up two spaces laid end to end (we towed a trailer). As we were getting the kids all buckled in another truck towing a trailer was pulling in next to us. I had the passenger doors to our car open and was standing at the back passenger door putting Port into his car seat. The guy in the other truck was coming in crooked so I purposely left my door open to guarantee access to my seat (and give him a visual as to how close he was) in the event that he decided not to straighten out his park job. Would you believe the guy actually got out of his truck and asked me to close my door so he could pull in??? If he pulled in any further, I wouldn't have been able to get in the car at all. He wasn't going to straighten out at all, he just wanted to pull his vehicle in the rest of the way. I lingered where I was, gave him the dirtiest look I could muster and left my door open until I was ready to get in. Jerk.


Our goal for the day was to get to Deming, NM, estimated at about 3 hours away. Once there, our plan was to check into a hotel and rest. We decided that since we were so close we should head out to White Sands, NM for a visit. Off we went, following the map. We headed out on a road that should have taken us to the national monument, but instead it took us straight to the military base (and an hour out of our way). At the military check point, we were informed that we could not go through without military id and that the road we were on shouldn't have even been on the map - supposedly it was some big secret or something?? We had to drive all the way back and take the long way, up and around a mountain to our destination. It turned out to be a beautiful drive, so I guess it was ok. However, by the time we got to the sands, I was starving and cranky from lack of sleep and ready to get back to the hotel. We stopped in the park at a particularly beautiful dune and Kiddo and Hubby got out to explore.

Figuring it was time for a diaper change for Port, I pulled him out of the car seat. He hadn't had a poopy diaper the day before but when we were having breakfast that morning he made a big one for me, so I wasn't worried about poop. Boy was I wrong! Little Port had bombed his diaper, his onsie and his seat, and in the process of getting him out of the seat he managed to get me and a blankie too. *sigh* I spent pretty much the entire time at White Sands leaning into our car cleaning up poop. Thank God I thought to pack a box of gallon ziploc bags and a roll of paper towels. Unfortunately, the emergency outfit I thought I had packed in Port's diaper bag was no where to be found, so I had to improvise and put one of Kiddo's shirts on him. It was all I could get to in our tightly packed car. I did manage a great shot of Port though; the light reflecting off the sands made for gorgeous light in the car.
Isn't he gorgeous??!? If I do a 100% crop of just his eyes, I can see myself perfectly in the catch lights. I love his little hat! lol! He looks like a little explorer.

Here's another cutie in a cute hat - shots courtesy of Hubby and his freaky wide angle lens!Yes, Kiddo was still in his jammies. We were going for comfort here, not fashion. Isn't that obvious by my outfit as well? ;) Maybe some day they'll make yoga pants for us tall chicks. *sigh* I am tired of looking like I got caught in a flood.

We didn't have any sunscreen accessible so after only a few minutes we split before the burning set in. It really is a beautiful place and I hope we can go back someday and spend some time taking photographs. There are so many great images waiting to be captured!


Another one from me. I don't think I got any of the front of Hubby; he was always heading out to take a picture and walking away.

We made it to Deming at a reasonable hour and settled into the Roach Motel, er uh, I mean the Motel 6. It was exactly the same as it was when we stayed there 10 years ago. And I mean, EXACTLY the same. *wink, wink* I would not recommend staying in the Deming Motel 6 unless you are desperate or broke. And now you know why we stayed there. lol!

That night we ordered hot wings from Domino's and slept fitfully. I managed to pump in the middle of the night (yay!) so I had some extra milk stored in the morning.

Until,

D :)

Here's a kind of funny rendition of El Paso City by Marty Robbins. God rest his soul.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Roadside Fire

Steaming cup warming my hands and the heavenly scent of french vanilla and coffee flooding my nostrils, I drove in the darkness and marveled at the emptiness of the highway at such an early hour. “Just 2 more hours and we can stop” I repeatedly told myself. “I can stay awake for 2 more hours”.

Hubby snoozed next to me and the kids were sound asleep in the back. The silence of the car and the highway made my mind race wildly. The scent of the coffee brought me back in time, to my college years, and suddenly all I could think about was smoking a cigarette.

Did you have to read that again?

Yes, a cigarette. I was craving one. Quite badly.

It’s odd, because if you know me in real life you know I don’t smoke. And aside from a semester or two in college, I never touched the things.

So yeah, I smoked for a bit in college. It was really a social thing; brought on by a smoking roommate and a desperate desire to “fit in” somewhere. I would carry a pack in my back pocket at frat parties – it was a great way to get guys to talk to me.

Ugh. That is so sad.

But I never really smoked regularly. My dad smoked 3 packs a day for years and years and up and quit one day when I was about 8 I guess. I had always thought smoking was a disgusting, dirty habit, but in the year in college that I smoked every now and then I found it to be quite relaxing and enjoyable. Thankfully I am not an addictive personality, so a habit never formed and as soon as the roommate and the frat parties went away I quit.

But for some reason in that lonely, quiet moment on the big, open freeway, my coffee had me thinking of a cigarette.

Perhaps I was longing for something different; it maybe wasn’t so much the feel of the warm smoke in my lungs that I wanted, but the feelings of youth and freedom. And being on the open road so late in such isolation and quiet turned my focus to something that reminded me of my younger self.

I haven’t felt that way in a long time.

Until,
D :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bright Is the Ring of Words

My first in-car pump was interesting to say the least. Figuring out how to maneuver the pump, a power converter, the horns, bottles and my shirt in a very small space while trying to maintain some modesty was quite the task. Thankfully, night was falling and I wasn’t too terribly concerned with what passers by might see. But, I also needed to figure out how to pump successfully without flashing the world, so it was a good environment for my first try.

After we were on the road an hour or so, we stopped for a late dinner drive thru and the grease fest began! I wasn’t sure if my system could handle 3 days of fast food, but we didn’t have much choice. Hubby took the first shift driving as both the kids thankfully drifted off to sleep.

Hubby decided to drive as long as he could, thereby making it my job to sleep so I could take over when he could no longer keep his eyes open. Unfortunately, I was not able to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, as every bump and swerve jolted me out of sleep and into instant panic mode. Ever the control freak, I am not a good passenger in the car. Every peep from Port sent me spinning in my seat, giving me one wicked case of stiff neck and back and a raw underarm from reaching behind my seat far to many times.

I don’t know how he did it. Maybe it was the excitement of the trip or perhaps the 3 Red Bulls he slammed, but by about 5:30 AM, Hubby was finally feeling the pain and asked if I could drive for a bit. I thought I could as long as we could stop for some coffee first. We stopped in the tiny TX town of Van Horn at a po-dunk gas station that looked like it *might* have a decent cup to offer. As we pulled into the parking lot, my weary eyes struggled to focus on the details of the surroundings. Hubby stopped our car and I looked out over the surface of the parking lot. Small black objects moved all about, and I blinked repeatedly and squinted to try to figure out what they were. The parking lot was crawling, literally, with ½ inch long black beetles.

Seriously

I thought I was seeing things. Again and again I looked. They were everywhere; crawling, climbing, stacked on top one another in every nook, cranny and surface as far as the eye could see in the light of the little gas station. I hesitated to get out of the car, and as Hubby urged me to go get my coffee already, I wondered if he even knew what was lurking just outside my passenger door. Surely he wouldn’t want his fair wifey-poo traipsing across the crunchy landscape?? He was sleepy and he really couldn’t have cared less about my squeamishness, so I gingerly got out of the car and proceeded to tip-toe around thousands and thousands of beetles.

There was a scent in the air – one can only assume coming from the crushed buggy masses – and surprisingly it was somewhat sweet.

I made my way into the gas station, rubbing my eyes and seeking out the black elixir I love so much. (man, I’m getting all flowery here, aren’t I?) Thankfully the shop was stocked with “gourmet” coffee and giant vats of my favorite creamer, so I filled up the largest cup they had and smiled like a Cheshire cat when the total was a measly $1.35. Sweet!

Steaming cup in hand, I tuned into the conversation between the local-yocal cashier and a wayward traveler that had also stopped for a late night pick-me-up. The Yocal and the Traveler were discussing the beetle phenomenon outside the door and the Yocal told him that it was way worse than the cricket plague of last year. Though, he said, it was pretty bad last year “cuz the birds couldn’t fly”.

Puzzled, the Traveler questioned the Yocal. I was lingering at the door now, intrigued at such a random and bizarre statement.

“Well sir, the birds ate all them crickets and their bellies were so full they couldn’t fly. They all just stood on the ground and waddled around for days.”



Mmmmhmmm… gotta love local folk-lore. *wink-wink*

Until,
D :)

p.s. I found a YouTube video of a beetle infestation in TX back in 2001. This is EXACTLY what I saw that night last week. The video is NOT for the squeamish, but if you are curious, here is the link.

Whither Must I Wander

Our family vacation this year took us to Arizona. Hubby and I called Arizona home for about 3 years before Kiddo was born. We returned to Texas to live in the summer of 2003 so that we could be back near our friends and family and start a family of our own. Since then, Hubby has been back to visit AZ a few times, but I haven’t had the opportunity to go back until now.

About 6 months ago, in a state of hormonal lunacy, I agreed to go on a vacation that would require driving across the country with an almost 4 year old and a 4 month old baby. What the heck was I thinking??!? We had the fortune of being able to vacation with Hubby’s parents, who graciously offered to book all of us a condo for a week in Flagstaff, AZ (thank goodness for time-share properties!). All we needed to do was get there.

And get there we did. The condo was booked for a Friday to Friday week and we loaded up all our worldly possessions and headed out late Tuesday night. We decided to try to get the majority of the 16+ hour drive out of the way in the night while the kids slept. We left shortly after 8:30PM.

I am so very thankful that Port is turning out to be nothing like his brother with respect to car travel. Kiddo was a nightmare to travel with as an infant – he would last maybe 5 minutes in the car seat before the non-stop scream fest began. In Kiddo’s early months Hubby and I made a couple of trips to the inlaws house, only to arrive 3 ½ hours later haggard, exhausted, and hoarse from singing Old MacDonald fiftybajillion times. We would bring little Kiddo inside, with his face all puffy and red from endless screaming and we’d collapse in a heap wherever we could swearing we weren’t going to do that again.

So needless to say I was a bit nervous about this trip with Port. I knew Kiddo would be ok; easily entertained by the DVD player (God bless the inventor of such a wonderful creation). But Port, my sweet little boy, I was not too sure about. As we were loading up the car Tuesday afternoon and everyone was getting a little punchy, I stopped Hubby in the kitchen for a much needed hug. “This is going to be fun, right?” I asked. So far, it had been nothing short of immensely stressful. Packing for a 12 day trip with almost 6 days of driving was way more than I had bargained for. And trying to keep a curious, excited and cranky pre-schooler happy while juggling a baby and pumping and trying to remember everything we needed to bring for ourselves and two little people was almost maddening.

But we made it out the door on time. And as soon as we were on the road I took on the task of my first in-car pump. Weeeeee!!!

More to come…

Until,
D :)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Big Wheels

In preparation for our annual family vacation, I took our car over to the local Discount Tire to have the tires balanced and rotated. I also needed to purchase a tire for our spare – those of you that have been reading this blog for a while may remember the flat tire incident we had back in November. We had that tire replaced shortly thereafter, but a couple of months later we discovered the spare tire was coming apart and we never got around to replacing it. Anyway, our family vacation was going to take us driving cross country over 2500 miles round trip, and with the way things tend to go on our big outings, I wasn’t about to take the chance of us not having a spare tire.

The kids and I waited in the waiting area of the tire dealer for about 45 minutes as they worked on my car. Kiddo was so good – he sat in the seat next to me and “read” all the car magazines they had in the little rack beside him. Shortly after we settled in the chairs a young woman entered the store and handed over her car keys to the employee helping her. She was dressed in a black tank top and a long, flowy blue skirt; it looked like something out of the late 80’s – sort of hippy style with a 3-4 inch ruffle of fabric at the bottom. She walked over to the waiting area and plopped down in a chair perpendicular to the row we were sitting in. She curled up her legs beneath her and in the process, hiked her skirt up around her thighs. Her position in the chair and the skirt hiking made it so that anyone in that room could see, uh, well, most everything (if you know what I mean). I was a bit taken aback – I know that personally I am pretty aware of when my goods are showing, and sitting in the Discount Tire Co. is not exactly the place I would chose to not mind if things “hung out”. She sat there for a while like that, and eventually got up to take a look at the magazine rack. Kiddo said hello to her, and while she perused the periodicals they made cute small talk. She bent over to pick up a mag and it became quite obvious that her skirt was not exactly sized properly. I got a lovely shot of the back side of her – underwear, crack and all. *sigh*

Thankfully she returned to her seat and this time took on a more lady-like position. A gentleman entered the facility and immediately made his presence known to all. He stood somewhere in the 6’5” – 6’ 6” range and most likely weighed somewhere between 350 and 400 pounds. His legs and arms were thick and straight like tree trunks. His head and torso not only were heavy with excess weight, but big boned as well. He had one of those deep, baritone voices that sent echoes of sound throughout any building – but it especially rang loud in a place with concrete floors and surrounding glass walls. He wore a black t-shirt and shorts, and I couldn’t help but stare at the condition of his skin. He was covered from head to toe in discoloration and open sores – most likely caused by diabetes and/or a serious case of gout. And though the sight of him would cause most to recoil in disgust or fear, he seemed unaware or perhaps uncaring of his appearance and was friendly and talkative with everyone there. He commented on the boys (how handsome they were) and made polite small talk with Kiddo (there isn’t anyone the boy won’t talk to!) and after taking a magazine, crammed his larger than life body into the standard sized waiting area chair. He talked politics with another man in the waiting area – easily discussing his views with a total stranger. And all the while his gigantic voice rattled the walls and windows of the facility.

People came and went and soon enough it was time for us to go. Kiddo had a melt down in the car because I didn’t show him our new tire. Who knew he would be so excited about such trivial things?? I explained to him that it was on the back of the car and I made sure to show it to him when we got home.

He is such a boy. ;)

Until,
D :)

Monday, August 04, 2008

I Have Trod the Upward and the Downward Slope

Just a quickie...


Port turned 4 months yesterday and showed us what a big boy he is by rolling over!! For a guy who hates tummy/floor time, he made his momma so proud by doing it several times in a row!


Anyway - remote blogging here, so this will just be image heavy. Stories to come later.


Images from the road:


Some places have the best light...
Wide Open...
Wouldn't be a trip without something like this...
My beautiful boys...
Amazing...
Our breakfast companion...
Missing you...
Making new friends...
Meeting "old friends" for the first time...
Much more to come!
Until,
D :)
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