Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eighteen Nights, Seven Road Trips

E-baby and I returned Thrusday from a nearly three week long trip to Texas. Most of it was a work trip for me. All of it was vacation for her, spending time with my parents. I took a few days off in the middle for some fun. In spite of having her routine completely in shambles, changing cities (and beds) every couple of days, and being cared for by people she doesn't see much of, e-baby was remarkably graceful. She is still the road warrior princess.

The highlight of the trip was the annual family reunion camping and eating in Kerrville for Easter. This year, SNG and I were not the only people staying in cabins. The family rented an entire loop of cabins and a giant screen shelter (complete with a KITCHEN!) and a couple of traditional campsites for the dog owners in the bunch. It is disappointing that the park forbids pets in the group shelter area, but it was otherwise a flawless weekend. On Saturday, SNG, kiltman and I were the "adult supervision" for a group of 13 underage cousins (and a few cousins' friends) who wanted to go to the river for a swim. E-baby couldn't resist the peer pressure and HAD to get in for a swim with mommy. Neither of us had swimsuits, so I in my gym shorts and t-shirt and e-baby in her Be Peace Now shirt and Pampers got in. It was COLD and long after the other kids had made like lizards to sunbathe on the shore, e-baby couldn't be coaxed out of the water for love or money. The only way we got her out was to (change her clothes and) go play on the nearby playground. Girlie loves playgrounds. She is really good with the slide, stairs and tunnels, and is learning to swing on monkey bars. Which, yes, does give me a heart attack. I let her play on the low ones but she is always trying to go on the ones that are 5 feet up in the air. She'll get way up on a platform and just REACH OUT INTO THIN AIR for a thrill. She also wants to slide down the fire poles. Sorry, kid-- not gonna happen until you're big enough to say "I think I broke my leg."

All my pictures are at work, so I'll post them next week.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Riverwalk

The day I met SNG, he was in a tattered pair of jeans and a ballcap. I was in flowered shorts and a white buttondown shirt that tied in the front.

I had just arrived at Dianaverse's apartment because her little brother, who had his first job and a new car, was visiting from Dallas where he had moved after graduation, and we were going to take him to San Antonio in his new car and let him drive it (from the description, I though graduation "from High School." Turns out it was graduation from college). It was Mardi Gras weekend in 1993. I was supposed to go to New Orleans that year and didn't end up going, and I was urgently trying to get out of a really ugly relationship with a guy who wanted more than anything in the world to be a cop. You know the type.

There in Dianaverse's doorway stood my rebound guy.

Fifteen years later, I'm still goofy for him, and this evening, when he arrives here in San Antonio, we'll get ice cream at the walk-up place that first mistook us for a couple, causing our friend PM to joke with Dianaverse, "Alphagal's going to be your sister-in-law someday." I couldn't have picked a better sister-in-law, but it's her little brother that I can't resist.

I love you, SNG! Happy Anniversary!

Monday, March 10, 2008

c-baby and e-baby

My cousin Partner In Crime, her husband LeBon and their c-baby just left this morning after a 3-day weekend of rainy day fun, house-hunting, BBQ, visiting, singing, dancing and general merriment. It was even more fun that I thought it would be, since the girls took to each other right away.

It's funny that they get along so well-- e-baby and c-baby have very different personalities. But I guess it's like that with PIC and me, and with our own moms as well, and yet we've always been very close. I think that we're different in the ways that make a friendship interesting, and similar in ways that mean you always sort of know what the other is feeling in some situation.

C-baby is so sweet and cuddly, and mellow, and just the best snuggler you've ever seen. On Friday we went to the children's museum, and she was happy to play with the toys wherever she was. We parked in the make-believe grocery store and she played with plastic fruit. When that got too boring, we moved to the make-believe stage and she played with dress-up shoes. No muss, no fuss, happy to play with all the cool stuff within arm's reach. Contrast that with e-baby, Miss Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal for whom the "e" clearly stands for electron, who disappeared every time I blinked. I found her in the play car with a strange boy, in the postal truck with another boy, in the ambulance with yet another boy, at the scrapbooking table with 2 girls I'd never seen before, and at the dress-up table with a girl who was trying to be polite about it, but really wanted e-baby to get the heck out of the hat-basket, all the while dancing, a river of toys in her wake. Oh, how I love the children's museum, where the workers buzz around cheerfully, tirelessly picking up all those toys and reshelving them.

Saturday and Sunday SNG and I kept both the girls while PIC and LB looked at houses. I was relieved that c-baby took to me easily, and e-baby was an unstoppable hug-and-kiss-the-baby machine. C-baby was mostly OK with the affection. But poor e-baby, this evening she asked "Where's baby? Hug baby?" She is also asking for Eyore now.

Last night we went to dinner with some friends of PIC. They were just the most delightful couple and I hope we'll be seeing them again sometime. E-baby ate a big dish of macaroni and cheese (um, actually, it was c-baby's macaroni and cheese since e-baby had no interest in her pizza. See? c-baby is so easy-going that she let e-baby eat all her dinner!) and e-baby then smeared cheese sauce onto her face and into her hair, requiring a hair wash when we got home, which c-baby presided over. Today they flew all day home. I haven't heard yet, but hopefully the flights went well.

Oh, and PIC will appreciate this: e-baby asked for "huss-puppies" over dinner tonight.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

One Week Home, Three Weeks Away

One reason I haven't blogged much lately is that work has become ridiculously busy. When I get home, feed myself, feed e-baby, bathe e-baby, and spend an hour getting her to sleep, there's just enough time to chat with SNG for a few minutes, fall into bed, sleep awhile, wake up at 6am with a nagging need to get some work done, work until 7am, shower, get dressed, get e-baby fed, diapered, dressed, and back to daycare. Repeat, repeat, repeat. A couple of weeks ago she was fine with alternating between me and SNG putting her to bed, but this week it has to be mommy every night. It is sweet but frankly, I'd love to have that hour (every other night) to get some more work done.

For some reason, I like my job more when it's busy like this. It's not an unreasonable amount of travel, and while I'm in the office I'm running like mad. I'm a mad-running-fool so it works.

But tomorrow I'm taking a vacation day because my cousin PartnerInCrime and her family are coming to town to HOUSEHUNT! Yay! I am really looking forward to their visit and the 3-day weekend. Technically, they're coming to decide whether or not they want to relocate here, but I'm optimistic. The weather's supposed to be crappy part of the weekend, so I'm thinking of indoor things to do. There's a terrific children's museum that our one-year-olds will love. There's no point impressing them with shopping-- Raleigh is simply not on the map with regard to shopping, and they're coming from Seattle, which is one of shopping's minor capitols. Ditto for restaurants, unless you like homestyle southern cooking. Which, fortunately, PIC does.

On Tuesday e-baby and I will be flying to San Antonio and staying in various parts of central Texas for almost 3 weeks. SNG will come out for a week in the middle, to attend the annual family eat-bike-camp-and-dogs-in-the-woods only this year, dogs are banished to a separate area and we have cabins instead of tents but I'm sure there will still be plenty of bicycles and eating. This year, Kiltman will be coming with us, and I'm really stoked for the family to meet him. I just have this funny feeling that he fell off our family tree somewhere back there, as he's very clearly a Rhodes boy. Except, you know, without the guns.

OK, so what's new in babyland?
Oh, this blew me away. E-baby can count to 2, with her words and her hands. And she can identify the color blue. Most of the time. I'm not sure whether she understands the idea of numbers, even small ones like 1 and 2, but the blue thing seems to be right on. Oh, and her teacher mentioned that she's the only kid in her class who can tell them, clearly, when she wants something to drink. So I guess the other kids just follow her and when she asks for water, they point and grunt and get water too. Girlie is her Tuti's granddaughter.