Sunday, December 30, 2007

There's No Place Like Home


It has been a whirlwind week and a half.

And it ain't over yet.

Beginning Christmas Eve, Hubby, Lance and I have been on a Road Trip spanning the greater southeast United States. Every other day for 10 days we have been on the road.

Christmas Eve, we drove four hours from our home on the east coast of southern Florida to my parents' house.

The day after Christmas, we drove seven hours to my maternal grandparents' house in the Panhandle.

Two days after that, we drove a couple more hours into Lower Alabama to visit my paternal grandmother and various and sundry relatives.

Today we drove 6 hours from there back to my parents' house.

Tomorrow we drive the final 4 hours back to our own (very-much longed for) home.


It was wonderful to visit with everyone. Lance is the first great-grandchild on my mom's side of the family, and the fourth on the other. None of them had met him before. Why?

Because it's a freaking long drive for such a little guy. (And now a short pause for ranting: WHY is no one else in my family willing to travel???? Grrrr.) I have to say though, Lance was wonderful. He slept an appropriate amount of time, and when he was awake I hopped to the backseat so that I could hand him the toys he would inevitably throw on the floor of the car and entertain him with silly faces and read him stories and feed him snacks. This kept him happy between rest stops and mealtimes. Then he slept some more.

I am sure that someone hates me for that.

That said, it's still not a trip I want to repeat anytime soon. I will look for a flight next time. It just seemed like by the time we get settled in somewhere, it was time to leave. While I know that Lance will have no memories of this trip, I really want him to get to know his great-grandparents, because I never knew mine. I want him to spend time with his aunts and uncles and cousins, because when I was a little girl we lived across the country and I only saw those relatives (at best) once a year.

I took lots of photos, though. (Which I will post here when I am back at home at my own computer.) And I will tell him stories of how he chased his great-grandmother's dog around the house and how his little cousins pulled out their toys to share with him and how the neighbor scared us when he burst out of the bushes and into the backyard. (I'll share that story with y'all another day.)

It was a time to treasure.

But boy, am I ready to be back at home, in my own bed, with my own kitchen to cook in and my routine to settle into.

(Holly! I miss you!)

It ends tomorrow. The last leg of our journey, bringing us home.

There's no place like home!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

To Everything There Is a Season

He's growing up.

He doesn't chew on book pages anymore. Now, he brings a book to me, places it in my hand, and crawls up into my lap so I can read it to him.

He helps with the laundry. He pulls clothes out of the dryer, throws them on the floor, then I pick them up and hang or fold them.

He points excitedly to objects that he wants to know the names of. Today he saw several Santas in the grocery store and eagerly pointed out each one.

He tries to say so many words! Sometimes I get the idea of what he is saying. "Bud" means "build" after he heard me say "Santa builds the toys!" "Iss" means "Chris" (which is his real name.) "Ba" means "bathtime" which he says happily as he runs towards the bathroom as we sing his bathtime song to him.

He likes to share his lunch with me. He holds out pieces of food and likes to "feed" me the same way I feed him.

He likes to play ball. If you ask him to bring you "the purple ball" he will find the purple ball, bring it to you, and go after it once you roll it across the floor. Then he picks it up and tries so very hard to roll it back to you, though usually it goes in quite the opposite direction!

My little man astonishes me each and every day with what he is capable of doing.

He can turn on the TV.

He can lift the lid to the toilet and throw things in it.

He can put his toys in his diaper pail.

He can pull diapers out of their basket and drag them around the house.

He can dig through the laundry pile, find my unmentionables, place them on his head, and giggle.

He can wriggle away while I'm changing his diaper resulting in a VERY disgusting mess.

But he can also give wet sloppy kisses and baby-sized bear hugs.

And I am just so in love with him!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

20 Items or Less

I had a dilemma.

All was quiet in the mega-store. (For a change.) Not too crowded. I was able to push my shopping cart through the aisles with relatively little hassle. Approaching the cash registers, I counted the items in my cart hoping against hope and wishing against wish that I would be able to employ the "20 Items or Less" line, thus ensuring a hasty departure and a happy return home.

I had 25 items.

10 of them were baby food jars.

Would I sneak into the special line? I glanced behind me, no one else was approaching the queue. The adjacent lines without an item limit were all occupied by people with shopping carts that "overfloweth" with groceries.

Of the 10 baby food jars, I only had 5 types of baby food, two jars each.

So did that count as 5 items instead of 10? Could I get away with it? Dare I try?

My soul wrestled with itself.

"Self, no one else is coming to the line. If someone does approach the line, those extra 5 baby food jars will already have been bagged and no one will be the wiser."

"Yes, but self, I've been behind people in line who tried to sneak through. It's just not polite."

"Who cares about polite? It's a dog eat dog world, baby. Wake up and smell the spilled coffee."

Sigh. What to do?

The polite self won. I stepped in line behind a woman whose Cart Runneth Over.

I felt very pleased with myself.

"Self, when you go up to heaven and your deeds are judged by God, this will be a shining example of doing what is right when no one will see."


I was still pleased with myself.

I had to stand there for nearly 10 minutes before it was my turn to load my items onto the counter and have them bagged, while I watched 6 other people get through The Line Which I Was Good Enough Not To Enter.

It was the most wonderful 10 minutes of peace and quiet that I had the whole day. I could stand there, breathe in and out, and not worry about a toddler throwing his toys into the diaper pail or pulling something heavy onto his head.

It was blissful.

A World of Good


I want to share a great website I found if you still need a few last-minute gifts and want to be eco-friendly and help economies in struggling nations.
This website sells handmade gifts made by local artisans in countries all over the world. It is a "fair trade" group, ensuring that the workers are given a fair wage and healthy, safe, working conditions in their local area.

The prices are great and the items look fantastic. I just purchased 3 gifts on this site, a necklace, a small purse, and a bracelet.

It feels good to know that not only am I choosing unique gifts for the people I love, but that the money I am spending is going to support people who really need it and not just stuff the pockets of large corporations.

Oops. I'm starting to get on a soap box here!

Anyway. Head on over and see what you can find.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

My Little Fireman

He's figured out how to get on and off of his firetruck.

Now I just have to teach him the difference between front and back!

What Holiday Is This?

If you are among the majority of Americans who decorates a Christmas tree, sends Christmas cards, and sings Christmas carols, GO WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Words!!!

I'm so excited. Lance has uttered his first real words!

He had been saying "mama" and "Daddy" and a variation of "Wow" for awhile, but now he can say "baby" and "up." It's the cutest thing ever!!

We were having lunch and I had the television on the discovery channel. There was something about penguins on, and they showed the baby penguin hatching from its egg. I said, "Look Lance, there's a baby penguin!" He looked at me, then at the TV, pointed at it and said, "Baby!" Melt my heart!

Later that same day, he wanted to be picked up. I was standing in the living room doing some walking-in-place exercises and he came right up to me, lifted his arms in the air and said, "Up!"

I'm just a puddle of besotted Mommy right now. Sigh.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Because I'm Just Mean

I know many of you live in a northerly direction.

Just because I'm a mean, pernicious sort of person, I will show you a photo of how we spent our day today.

Although I'm jealous of you all. What I would give for a fresh fallen snow and a blazing fire in a fireplace, to sit and drink hot cocoa by.

I guess we always want what the other guy has.