Wednesday, January 7, 2009

143 Why, hello again!

A week without a computer! How did I survive you ask? Well, it wasn't easy folks, it wasn't easy!! Of course, since the kiddos decided to be absolutely unable to entertain themselves for more than nanoseconds it was a moot point. I brought a book with me, and it sat beside the bed, unopened, the whole time I was there. I barely even got to glance through some of Mom's Country Home magazines, and I totally forgot to steal them when I was leaving. Pretty much, the whole week was one child or the other on my hip, in my lap, hanging like a monkey, or jumping on my head. Toward the end I was REALLY close to losing it. They wouldn't sleep, and I really needed just FIVE minutes to myself. Of course, by the time I wrestled them into bed I just passed out alongside them.

That being said ... we had a GREAT TRIP!! We were able to spend lots of time with the fam and even visit with some friends. A couple of friends I really wanted to see were out of town or had sick kiddos, but hopefully we will be able to see them on the next trip out.

We got in Sunday night and spent most of Monday relaxing. Katie loves picking the berries off the holly tree, and Connor just wants to explore new places. I did get them to sit on the bench. It is tradition!!

Originally Katie wanted to go to the Terracotta Warriors exhibit that was in town, but at the last minute she decided to change her mind. She wanted to go back to the Georgia Aquarium. Totally surprised me since she loves the Mummy movies, and the latest installment was a Chinese Mummy with Terracotta Warrior minions! But the fishies won out. Although it might have just been her memory of the gift shop that won her over. Maybe if she knew that the museum has a gift shopt too she would have chosen differently. You see, Mimi and Pop Pop gave her money, and it was burning a hole in her hand. She needed to spend it as quickly as possible. It was like a physical pain to her to have money without spending it. They made a point of telling her that she could spend it on whatever she wanted to, so that is exactly what I let her do. She had a blast, until her money was gone. So anyways, she wanted to go to the Aquarium on what must have been the busiest day possible. We were almost to the window to buy our tickets when they announced that they were now selling tickets for the 5 PM entrance ... it was just about to be 3 PM!! But Katie wanted to stay, and I knew that Centennial Park was right across the street, so we went ahead and purchased our tickets. Luckily I checked our tickets when we got to the park because they read "entrance from 4:00 to 5:00". I would have been superbly pissed if we had spent two hours in the park, with Connor going nuts when we could have been inside. And even more livid if they refused to let us in. So, the kiddos played for a while. Katie made a quick friend to run and play with, Connor tried to escape as often as possible. Then we headed into the Aquarium, and Katie immediately turned into the Gift Shop!!! She couldn't stand it any longer! She went easy the first time through. She only bought a few things, including a stuffed blue clownfish for Connor. Then we headed out to see some fish. If we could get close enough to the glass that is. It was totally packed around the Jellyfish. Hard not to be mesmerized by the blue lighting behind them and their lit up bodies. You could watch them swim for hours and still be grinning like an idiot. But we soldiered on. There is a tunnel that goes under one of the huge tanks, and I do mean HUGE, and while we were passing through a group of divers went overhead. Yes, a group of divers. Apparently if you are certified and have enough money they will let you suit up and dive in. Don't go running down there right away though ... while they were swimming over the tunnel, waving at all us poor schlubs they got buzzed by a whale shark!! Sure, it was probably the coolest thing that ever happened to them, but it would have completely freaked me out! We had to stop by the snack bar. I was dying of thirst. We got a Diet Coke and a cupcake, and I only had to promise them my next born. Silly people did not realize that I may not have another one if Chip gets his way! Then we hit the kiddie area. Katie loves the whale slide. How cool is a slide that you have to ride an escalator to get to the top of it?! Luckily she did not want to stay there for hours though, so we were able to finish up the Aquarium. Ending with the gorgeous Beluga whales. When we left it was dusk and the Christmas lights were all turned on. Beautiful!

We did get to spend some time with our friend Julie and her son Kyle. Katie and Kyle LOVE playing together. They were so adorable. Them running around holding hands might be the cutest thing EVER! Kids are so un-selfconscious about things like that. I know to them it is just a way to insure that you are both going the same place, but it is so darn stinkin' cute I can't stand it! They held hands in the park and at Monkey Joe's. Katie loved Monkey Joe's so much she added it to her "Wish List" for when we go back to Atlanta.

New Years Day was spent with the family, or running around trying to find food to cook!! It all came together, and the meal was delicious. Barbecue chicken and pork, collard greens, and black-eyed peas among other things. I made my first banana pudding. Yeah, I know it is impossible to ruin a banana pudding ... It has been a long time since we have all been together like that. We had a wonderful time just hanging out and catching up. The cousins had a great time. Katie and Claire are thick as thieves! They tend to run and scream a lot, but they have fun together. Connor and Milly played a little. Connor tends to want to hold Milly's head so he can kiss her. She is adorable, so who could blame him?!?! Poor Austin spent his time either herding the younguns or being pestered to death by them. My uncle and his family even came out for the day. Lisa brought a huge bag of princess costumes that she found at the thrift store where she volunteers, so the girls put on a fashion show. We did manage to get the kids together for a picture. Too bad I could not convince the big people to get together.

Saturday Mom and I finally got a chance to do what we love the most... go junking. We hit the Goodwill, My Favorite Place, and the Treasure Mart. I found treasure in all three!! At Goodwill I found an old highchair type thing. For only $6.56 I couldn't leave it behind. I also found a few more little things, a xylo-piano for Connor and a Tonka Dumptruck. And a Christmas Craft book from 1980, that is bound to be fun to look through. At My Favorite Place (or Bob's depending on who you talk to) I bought a stack of kids books and a couple more owls for Connor's room. I had to buy a copy of "The Night Before Christmas" because I discovered Christmas Eve this year that I really have NOT memorized the story. A few books I bought more for the illustrations. Connor's first owl came from Bob's, and now his second and third. Maybe that will be how I keep the collection small. And at Treasure Mart I found this wonderful little rocking chair for Connor. It is the perfect size!! You know it was a good buy when I was walking out with it and the owners little girl seemed disappointed to see it go. I couldn't leave it behind. Especially when I noticed the tag "Made in Dothan, AL" we have friends with family there, so it seemed like kismet. There was so much I would have bought if I had the places to put them. I am trying to be good and not just buy ... but it is HARD!! I took pictures, of course ... but I will have to reboot the computer to upload them. My software keeps locking up on me.

Saturday night we also got together at Geof's House. More squealing and running. Katie and Claire just egg each other on to badness. Yeah, I know most of it is coming from my own sweet angel ... We even plugged up the Rockband for a family jam session. I was allowed to join 3 Legged Goatboy for a short time as the lead singer. Leslie played guitar until it was bathtime, then Vince stepped in. We weren't terrible. Well, if you don't count me being completely off key. We asked Mom to play, but she wouldn't play unless there was some Country music she knew ... guess she discovered the easy way out of Rockband. Connor and Milly couldn't stop messing with the entertainment center, so our session was cut short. The big hit of the night was Milly's Princess car. Not just for toddlers apparently. Katie and Claire took turns in the car as well. I did not capture it, but once again Connor was kissing on milly. He had her backed into a corner at one point. He was just excited to have another baby to play with, but years from now he will be embarrassed to know that he used to kiss all over his cousin! They are a pretty good pair though. When you ask Milly for a kiss she just puts her cheek out for you to kiss, but you tell Connor to kiss and he gives sweet baby kisses. I just wish all the cousins could get together more often!

Sunday we relaxed some more. I got an extra day in Atlanta since Chip was afraid he might be getting a stomach bug. Katie and I tried to coax some of Grammy's strays to come near us, but it did not work. If anyone reading this is in Atlanta, and in need of an ADORABLE kitten then I know just the place. Well, if you can convince them to come near you. The kittens are gorgeous! They have short tails, flatter faces, and some beautiful markings. As much as I don't need another cat I would totally have brought one home if I could. But seriously, if you want a kitten let me know!! I put out a plate with some tuna to try to coax them out, but it was not working too well. I did get some pictures so you can pick out your kitty, though there are more ... Remember, they are starving so the fact that they look a bit protective and mean when they are near the tuna is due to hunger. Don't you want to feed one!!?? Come on, starving kitties ... breaks your heart a little bit! Remember, Bob Barker wants you to Spay or Neuter your pets! If the original cats had been fixed then there would not be this huge population that has taken up residence in the shed behind the house. So, shame on you, whoever left your kitties roaming free.

We did get together with The Smith's that night. It is always so good to see our old friends. It makes me wonder why I am so bad at keeping in touch. Then I get home and I remember ... no time. It was so good to see them all. In an alternate reality they are probably my in-laws. Yeah, my hubby is a dork so I talk about alternate realities.

Monday morning I started packing the car as soon as Connor woke me up. It took TWO hours to load everything in the car. Of course, it might have been a little speedier without Connor on my hip or following on my heels. Also, I do come back with more than I started out with. I finally got everything in, coffee brewed and the kids fed. I made one last run through the house, stole a bag of old photos (I will take care of them Mom!!) and hit the road. It was a rainy drive. I had written down several places I would like to photograph on the way back, but I could not see them through the rain. No Mom, I was not going to get out of the car on the side of the road by myself ... I did get a shot of these old cars that just sit in front of this guys pond.

It is good to be home. And it is GREAT to have Katie back in school. Love that girl to pieces, but I was at my wits end with her. She was getting pretty tired of me too, I think. She was snappy and wouldn't go to sleep. She even cried when I was singing Connor a lullaby because she "never gets lullabies anymore" *sniffle, sniffle, snort* Yes, I did sing her lullabies. I rocked her in my arms. I even read her a bedtime story. She still pouted when I had to try to get Connor to sleep again. And Connor, he would not go to sleep!! He has only slept in his bed, so he was totally freaked out. I even gave in and let him sleep in the bed with me. Of course that meant I had to sleep lightly in order to catch him before he tried to climb out. He still managed to fall out of the bed once. So, I was very happy to be home with the kids in their own beds. And I was perfectly happy to drop Katie off at school to have a little peace and quiet.

Oh, and I was happy to see my hubby, too ...

And yes, it did take me almost 24 hours to write this post. Someone always needs Mommy. Connor wakes from his nap, Katie needs a really LONG bedtime story, and Chip gets home from work ... And uploading all those pictures takes forever. Hope it does not destroy anyone's computer! But, I am caught up again. Or, should I say, you are caught up again.

Happy New Year. Guess it is time to start thinking about Resolutions. I have always been a procrastinator!! No reason that should change for 2009.

So, hope you enjoy all the pictures ... and ADOPT A CAT!! Seriously!!