Back on the grid

I’ve been off the grid for the past few weeks. It hasn’t been intentional, or, at least, it’s not something I particularly wanted to do. But with traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, closing up November at work, figuring out the best way to collect and organize The Boy’s toys in the family room while still keeping them accessible, and otherwise keeping my head above water everyday, blogging – as much as I wanted to write – fell by the wayside and I dropped off the grid.

But I’m back! Well, sort of.

So, first things first: our first family road trip to Kentucky.

Cute Husband and I took The Boy up to Kentucky to visit friends and family, and we drove 14 hours up and 15 hours back (the extra hour was thanks to some lovely rain and construction on I-75 throughout Georgia). Surprisingly, The Boy was amazingly well-behaved while we were on the road. Heading up, he was running a fever of 102; we discovered Monday morning after a visit to the local pediatricians group (so glad I looked it up weeks before our trip) that he was fighting a slight case of pneumonia! So, Cute Husband and I didn’t get a whole lot of rest during the trip. Not only were we trying to cram in as much as we could into the week (most of which we didn’t even accomplish), we were constantly on guard with The Boy.

Some highlights from the trip:

  • The Boy, for some odd reason, was not very nice to my mother-in-law’s dogs. The first night we arrived, one of the dogs was very excited and wanted very much to sniff him, and I think The Boy was overwhelmed by the experience. (It was way past his bedtime, he was in an unfamiliar place, and here’s this creature he’s only seen in pictures trying to sniff him and lick him… It was just too much to handle.) I tried to teach him to forcefully say, “No, dog! Go away!”, which he copied somewhat successfully the next morning (it sound like mostly gibberish; the only understandable word was “dog”) complete with finger-wagging, but he still alternated between using nice hands and gently petting the dogs nicely to suddenly whacking them and trying to kick them as they ran from him. No amount of “Use nice hands” and positive modeling altered his behavior towards them. How we survived that week free of snarls and nips is beyond me.
  • My father-in-law set up a train that was initially purchased for my husband’s second Christmas. My mother-in-law put up the tree the previous night (The Boy excitedly helped decorate it with garland), and my father-in-law put the train beneath the tree, which kept The Boy entertained for hours. He was so eager to play with it each day, and I frequently redirected him to it when necessary. I also got some wonderful pictures of him sitting in Cute Husband’s lap as they watched the train.
  • On Tuesday, the entire family (meaning my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, and my sister-in-law) accompanied The Boy to Lexington to get fitted for a new pair of shoes. The last time I had his feet measured was just after his first birthday, so you can only imagine my horror when the man at the shoe store told me that his feet were now a size 7 when I had been cramming his poor little toes into Size 5-1/2 shoes! Anyway, this shoe store was the same store my in-laws took my husband when he was a tot, so Cute Husband was delighted to see The Boy getting his feet measured on the same bench he once sat more than 30 years ago.
  • Mid-week, once The Boy was feeling better, we bundled him up and let him run around the back yard. One thing we really do wish our current house had is a larger yard. (Of course, I also wish the weather was less humid and didn’t rain so much in the summer, so I could go outside and watch him play without worrying that one of us would suffer from heat stroke.) Anyway, he got so excited when he saw his stroller because he knew it meant he was going outside. I didn’t realize until then how cooped up he must have felt.
  • Thanksgiving Day was a little more trying than I thought, mainly because I was constantly on guard with The Boy. My sister-in-law brought her dog (who doesn’t get along, it so happens, with my mother-in-laws dogs), and I had to be extra vigilant because, unlike my mother-in-law’s younger dog, my sister-in-law’s dog has all her teeth and didn’t seem to be shy about using them. The Boy filled his belly with bread and milk and a little bit of pork. The baked apples didn’t interest him (though I was sure they would), and he turned up his nose at the turkey and stuffing. But he had an extra-full belly when I lifted him out of his booster seat!

One thing I will say about the actual road trip is that I absolutely love my car. I really liked it before we went on our trip, but traveling in it was so nice. Rather than bundling up The Boy to take him to a questionable restroom every time we needed a diaper change, I just lowered the passenger-side seat, laid out a blanket, then changed The Boy’s diaper with no problems. This was particularly handy because we could stop for gas and a diaper change simultaneously, and it only added a few minutes to our travel time. He never needed to get out of the car – a definite bonus with temperatures in the 40s throughout our trip. And it was roomy enough that my above-average-height husband was comfortable in it.

We put up the tree at home the day after we returned from our trip, and Cute Husband set up the Monorail under the tree. The Boy is completelyenamored of the Christmas decorations. This weekend, he was very observant and made sure that Cute Husband was aware that all the lights were off when he awoke! (Oh, the horror!) Additionally, he wouldn’t go to sleep last night until everything was turned off, assuring him that, no, he wasn’t the only one going to sleep for the evening.

As for me, my Christmas shopping is done (hooray!) except for gifts for one friend, and I’ve got almost everything wrapped and properly labeled. I finally decided on my Christmas card design last night, so I only need to decide on the sentiment, print those onto cardstock, and assemble the cards. I’m really quite excited about it! The best thing is that I’ll be able to use all existing materials – even the envelopes – and won’t need to purchase anything.

Work has been incredibly busy (I’ve admittedly been slacking and not turning my full attention to the reports due this afternoon), and life at home is, well, life. But, aside from someone (who shall remain unnamed) having 48 hours of a mild stomach bug that resulted in copious diarrhea this past weekend, we’re all doing pretty well.

And for that, I’m thankful.

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