Sunday, September 30, 2007

Growing, Growing , Growing

*Israel was standing today when I set him down on the floor. He stood by himself just a little bit, and then lowered himself on down. This baby stage seems to have gone so much faster this second time around. I thought he was just born about 5 months ago!! Weird.

*Mommy's favorite Gabe quote of late: "Mommy, I just can't ba-NEAVE it!!!" (can't believe it) accompanied with appropriate hand gestures and facial expressions. Another favorite is: "Let me sink." (Let me think.), which is followed by all sorts of finger to the mouth, eyes raised in deep, concerted thought, swaying back and forth.

*Tonight after we came back from "checking on" our neighbors, Gabriel was distraught and tearfully asked to be taken back because he had forgotten to give Bud a "nighty-night" hug. :) Tim took him back over, and Bud was thrilled to comply.

*Tonight Gabe was talking to Grandma Carol on the computer over the web cam, and she told him an attention getting story about how they were going to knock the neighbor's house down and there were going to be dump trucks there. He came out to the kitchen wide eyed and full of stories about the neighbor's house and the dump trucks that were going to be there. :) He also had to go get his beloved cars (thank you, Aunt Lynette!) to show Grandma.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Busy Bee

Wow. Today I had one of those Rev-It-Up-I'm-Gittin'-It-DONE-ALREADY days. I got all sorts of things done. I:
1. Finished sorting through stuff in the bathroom closet to make it more organized for home-browsers
2. Packed 2 boxes of books, 2 boxes of magazines, 1 box of photo albums, 2 boxes of papers, and one box of misc. to go into the attic.
3. Windex-ed in the kitchen
4. Did two sink loads of dishes
5. Put away one sink load.
6. Put away a dishwasher load of dishes, reloaded, and washed a second load
7. Picked up every single room of the house, including some of the basement
8. Went to McDonald's for lunch. But I made my own ice tea. Gulped down Big-and-Tasty and a few tasty frites.
9. Made supper, consisting of Sloppy Joes, cabbage-celery-and-apple-salad, brussel sprouts, and ice tea. Mmmm.
10. Dusted living room.
11. Moved photo albums from the living room to make room for kids books.
12. Finished sorting through filing cabinet and packing irrelevant filed items into boxes for the attic.
13. Filed all random papers in the office.
14. Tended to the boys.
15. Read to Gabe.
16. Went on a walk.
17. Did several loads of laundry
18. Put away one load of laundry.
19. Emptied bookshelf behind office door and moved it downstairs, so office will look bigger to said home-browsers.
20. Realized I lost Tim's sermon notes for next weekend.
21. Lugged my big ol' trashbag back inside and went through every single item twice, first quickly and the second time more carefully. Couldn't find them.
22. Searched through 6-inch pile of school papers in the attic twice. Still couldn't find them.
23. Remembered, after seeing a paper upstairs, that I had filed some papers. Came downstairs and searched file cabinet. Found 'em. Hah. Heh heh heh. My husband should know I love him after all that. He had told me not to worry about it, but I felt bad for losing it.
24. Typed this list twice because Blogger lost it for me the first time >:(
25. Patted myself quite contentedly on the back for all the work I got done. I love it when I have such a satisfactorily productive day. Happy sigh.

Monday, September 24, 2007


You know that I must be turning into a fairly horrible person when I am narrowing my eyes, grinding my teeth, and shaking my bony little fist at my dog when she is asking for the following:
1. Water
2. Food
3. To go outside to pee

Wow. What a jerk am I. It’s just that the day is so busy and about the time I finally have the luxury of sinking into a chair, to pound away on the computer or bury my nose in a good book, that needy Snooch ruffs her commanding little bossy “RUFF!!” in the bathroom doorway, RIGHT outside the room where the baby slumbers quietly. At that point, all the ire within me that remains from the day’s frustrations wells up and gives her a whispered retort full of lots of flying spittle and gnashing of teeth. Would everyone just quit needing things and leave me alone already!!!!!!!

The problem is that the baby LOVES to get Chloe’s food and water, so it is often lifted up out of both of their reaches, so she has every right to inject some sass into her tone…but it still makes me want to send her packing. Sometimes I’m pretty sure I don’t have enough emotional energy left over for the Dog-Formerly-Known-As-Beloved. I still like her (sometimes), but sometimes she just feels like she’s more work than she’s is worth. Sigh. Poor Snooch. One day, Snoochie. One day when the babies are older and so are you, you’ll probably resume your happy little life as the gruffing head of the household. Until then…

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Big Ouch

So in recent days I have had a renewed fascination with the concept of natural childbirth. I have no childbirth impending in the next 9 or 10 months, be comforted. I'm just fascinated and intensely curious and intrigued with such an idea. Pretty sure my Mom would tell me I'm in Looney Tune Land. Tim says that it makes as much sense to him as signing up to eat 150 hotdogs "just to see if you could do it". But I wonder so intensely - could I?

There's lots of people all over the world making it through. So could I. I have this intuitive gut feeling that tells me I would come out the other side "empowered" and newly confident. I have this belief that if I could see myself weather the pain of childbirth I would have a new understanding of a strength I hadn't previously realized I possessed. I would be able to say "I am woman, hear me roar." :) To me, it fits more along the parallel of running a marathon. Why subject your body to all of that? To see if you can do it. For the triumph of completion.

Quite likely a lot of idealism and naive romanticism mixed in here...but I have always had this idea in the back of my brain that for one of my pregnancies, I am going to go the route of Genesis 3:16, and experience one of the most visceral experiences of humanity - just to see myself make it through. And I'm going to have a faint, whispering disappointment in myself if I just don't give it a real go. Am I crazy? Am I not? Could such an experience be worth it just for theoretical, unmeasurable gain?

Just pondering...


Cutie-pie in the strollerGabe working intently with the garden hose.My stroller-pushing view. :) He kept craning back to look at me and smiling delightedly.

Gabe spent a long time today driving his tractor around.
Busy boy in the pans. I was sort of surprised at his level of dexterity. He put the pans in and took them out and repeat.
This was the boys the other day in the crib romping around as Mommy issued "Be careful...GABE!!! I SAID BE CAREFUL!!!!"'s. Both boys were having a grand ol' time as I eyed them warily. Those two...
Smudgy son. Son loves the piano. He can pull right up on it.

Nice fall day today. Youse guys in far away lands are missing the fall, so I'm reveling in it for you. Blue blue skies, bright yellowed slanty sunlight, hint of chill in the air...I love it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


One of the things I really enjoy about my second child is that he is generally a great sleeper. And an early one. He likes to go to sleep between 8 and 9 PM. Gabe has always been more of a night owl just naturally. And Israel has been generally sleeping all night, despite Gabe's cough fests that have been occurring a mere three feet from his little earsies. Ahhhhh. Sigh of luxury. Just gives me that much more of an evening.

I seem to be done breastfeeding. Not necessarily voluntarily, but between traveling, vacation and work, I had been sort of inadvertently cutting out some feedings, and then yesterday, I didn't really have anything to offer to hungry babes all day. :( Oh well. It's ok, it's just another step of him moving on out of baby-ness, which I have clung to a bit more dearly this time, because it seems to go so quick. That cuddly, soft, snuffling, giggling, clutching baby stage.


I read a quote tonight online that greatly amused me.

"If breastfeeding offends you, please feel free to put a blanket over your head."


I read an article in the paper the other day about a woman in Lexington who went to Applebee's with her 10 month old son. She chose a rear corner booth, facing the wall, because she wanted to breastfeed her baby. At some point during the meal, the waitress came up to her and informed her that if she wished to continue breastfeeding, she needed to cover the baby with a blanket, as another customer was offended by her breastfeeding in public. The mother told the waitress that she did not have a blanket, as it was July. The waitress repeated her statement. The woman asked to talk to the manager, who came over and supported the waitress. The mother went to go finish breastfeeding in the car, refusing the offer of a napkin. She was very upset, and was requesting a public apology from Applebee's and education for waitstaff. Applebee's response was to say that they may now provide blankets for any woman who wants to nurse.

I'm not arguing against the importance of discretion; I think that is only considerate. I'm just saying, if someone catches a glimpse, just look the other way for pete's sake. Get over your over-blown self important sense that no one should have to see "that" while they're eating. Avert your eyes. Put a blanket over your head.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Blank Stares

I am downstairs. The deep freezer door is raised, and I am leaning over it, my head on my arm, staring at the carpet, feeling the cool air on my forehead. No reason, just taking a break from my fruitless day. Gabriel is coughing INCESSANTLY; a dry, irritated, irritating cough behind me, interspersed with high pitched whiny conversation. Cough…1, 2, cough…1, 2, cough. Whine. Cough. Israel agitates around upstairs, bleary-eyed and refusing to nap, clamoring to be held. It’s 6 PM and I don’t know what to make for supper. My freezer is full of all sorts of items that take a long time to cook. I wonder what that green stain is on the floor. I feel zoned, dull, and plodding.

There were lots of things I did not do today. I did not put away my four baskets/buckets of laundry. I did not pick up stray items in the house. I did not label the clothes boxes downstairs. I did not visit my neighbor in the hospital. I was going to, but she went home. Sort of a relief. I didn’t go to Walmart. I didn’t send out birthday presents, overdue from May, June, and August.

I did, however, look at a lot of blogs today. I watched some Britney Spe@rs’ videos on YouTube and felt sad for her because I feel like she is a very unhappy girl. Which I’m pretty sure she’d feel annoyed to hear. To my credit, I did make a healthy lunch. I took Israel on a walk. I did not otherwise enjoy the beautiful fall day outside. I did pile a bunch of little toys in a box and rattle them tantalizingly to peak the interest of the Fussy Grump, and then streak off to the office to resume all of my important computer activities. I did get up 4 billion times last night with my coughing three year old. I did change diapers. I did not make any money. I checked email and thought about reading a book.

I just have that unsettled, crabby, restless, feeling that an unproductive day leaves you with.

Guess there’s still time. Think I’ll make some Cheese Tortellini Soup.

2 cans chicken broth
½ pound fried sausage
1 bag frozen cheese tortellini
desired amount of frozen spinach or Brussels sprouts (I prefer the latter)
Milk to preferred creaminess
Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste


Off to rattle pans importantly and busily stir soup.

**EDIT** - Tim thinks that I need to add the fact that I worked 13 hours yesterday and then was up 1 1/2 hours during the night with Gabriel, leading to what he feels is a deserved day off. I didn't say I didn't need it, I'm just saying I feel agitate-y.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My Buddy is Three

Gabe turned three years old on September 8. He is a sweetheart boy, full of energy and life. He loves playing with his cars, trucks, and tractors, or swinging make-shift sticks to hit balls in a varied form of golf or baseball, or versions of basketball and football. He loves "football" for the physicality of it, and loves to dramatically throw himself around, employing lots of energetic "oofs".

He is quite a talker, and has little monologues where he talks with his hands and looks all around. You can usually understand about half of what he is saying when he is going full-bore like that.

He loves "baby Is'wel" and loves to give him hugs and "hold him", loves to climb in the crib with him and tussle and giggle. He also gets pretty irritated with him when Israel gets interested in something that Gabe has and tries to grab it away.

He isn't drumming quite as much as he used to.

Gabriel plays pretty well on his own, and likes to zoom around outside, playing in his sandbox or in the backyard.

He loves to have books read to him, and sits very quietly to listen.

He likes to sleep with the closet light on. He still likes to sleep on the floor - if he starts out in the bed, he ends up on the floor with his blankets 99.9% of the time.

He is friendly and not afraid of people, but is sometimes a bit shy for the first few moments. He often tends to divert emotion into talking about what he sees around him.

He loves to snack - and it is often hard to get him to eat well at meals. He starts rooting around in the kitchen when he is hungry. He loves chocolate and chewing gum. He also loves milk.

Some of the things he often gets in trouble for now are telling Mommy and Daddy "No I will not do _____", throwing toys, and being too aggressive physically with Israel. He responds very well to the "1-2-or else" system. :)

He is very good at saying "Cank you, Mommy!!", but is still working on the "Peas"(please) part, saying it readily when prompted. He loves to "help" in the kitchen or with whatever else is happening.

His bedtime ritual includes a bath, a snack, books, brushing teeth, praying with Mommy/Daddy, a story ("Once upon a time there was a little boy named Gabe. One day...")and a song from Mommy (usually a made up song about Baby Israel) and a story (usually about Charlie the Butterfly) and a song (often a made up song about Chloe) from Daddy. He usually goes to bed around 10 PM and wakes up about 9:15 AM or so. He is definitely much more of a "night owl" than an "early bird".

He takes a nap about half the time, and usually naps about 2 hours if we let him go the full time.

He has the cutest little high-pitched voice with an equally cute little lisp.

His hair is still very blond.

He loves to have Mommy and Daddy pretend that he is a baby.

We have discovered that he is allergic to malt, like his Daddy, and that it makes him very itchy.

He loves Elmo and Cars and Caillou.

He sings on pitch.

He can go pee-pee in the potty, but usually doesn't unless he is not wearing a diaper. He is not at all interested in "big-boy underwear" or in the fact that everyone he knows goes pee-pee in the potty, but is somewhat drawn by the allure of "potty candy" and "potty stickers" - but not always.

He plays well with other children, and does not seem easily offended.

He is sometimes frustrating and often adorable and we love him sooooo much.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bedroom Update...Sigh

So last night, on their first night as Kentucky roomies, the boys woke each other up with their coughing around 4:30 AM. Then Israel saw Gabe's closet light on and decided that meant it was time to get up, so he is wide awake and yelling/crying in his crib while Gabe is shouting sleepily at him to "Be quiet Baby Is'wal!!!!!!" I tried to close the closet door, but Gabe hates the dark, so I thought maybe Israel would readjust. Nope. Finally, I abandon my own cozy bed, groggily get on some warm clothes, fetch the yelper from his crib, and transfer him to the living room floor, where he begins to play busily. It is now 4:50 AM. Good Morning America is not even on yet. This is just not a good time for Mommy. I lie somewhat comatose and quite crabbily on the couch until around 6 AM when Israel decides he might could use some shut-eye and crawl greedily back under my warm covers. The boys both slept until 10:30 AM. And so did I, my friends, so did I.

Tonight, we had plans. Both boys got cough syrup, a humidifier on high steam, and we were set. Unfortunately, for the first time, Israel was not asleep when Gabe came in. So then Israel had to get back up, while Gabe "went to bed", except he wasn't going to sleep, and then Israel was tired, but then Gabe was still awake, and then they were "talking" and definitely not going to sleep and then Israel was yelling and it was 11:30 PM...sigh. Oh, sigh sigh sigh. Finally, Tim took Gabe on a late night stroller ride that put him to sleep, and I closed the closet door so Israel would know it was night. My new plan is to provide Gabe with a flashlight that he can clutch, and hope he doesn't wake up and open his closet door. We shall see how the night fares... (look of long suffering inserted here)...

This is quite the process.

Monday, September 10, 2007


  • Today Gabriel came to me all distressed after eating some chocolate chips. "Milk!! I need milk!! I need milk to wash my teef!! I need milk to wash the choc'ate off my teef!!!" :)
  • Israel has been really starting to pull up this past week. (10 months 3 weeks. He pulled up for the first time at 10 months 2 weeks.) Today I found him TWICE in the bathroom playing in the toilet. Oh my goodness, child.
  • Israel is also clapping his hands happily (10 months), which is almost too cute to handle. He also is repeating noises. Tim says "Thank you!", and Israel sing songs a phrase back.
  • Israel now has 6 teeth.
  • As of tonight, we have our bedroom back. Whoo-hooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We discovered that Gabe didn't really seem to disturb Israel's sleep while we were all in one room over vacation, so we rushed to reclaim our room today. It is quite a nice thing, having your own bedroom to sleep in. If you want to get a change of clothes, for example, you can just go rummage around and find what you need. No tiptoeing in the dark to search blindly, or simply waiting for morning. You also don't have to fold your covers up and put your mattress away in the morning. It is the coolest thing, having a bedroom. I feel newly wealthy. :)
  • It appears we are on our second round of colds. I think we picked up a Kansas cold from vacation. Sigh. I'm sure Tyler has ours, too.
  • Tim and I were talking on the way home yesterday about the bemusing mix of emotions you can have toward your child in a simultaneous moment. The night before when Israel couldn't sleep, I brought him into our bed and put him in between us, and both of us had the mixed feelings of exhausted frustration and secretly smiling and savoring his sweet little warmth and softness and just wanting to squeeze him with overwhelming affection. :) That soft skin and those silky curls and the involuntary giggles that turn quickly into exhausted fussing are just so adorable...
  • Both of my boys have been on a "MommyMommyMommy" kick lately. Nobody may help Gabriel except Mommy. Mommy needs to hold Baby Israel, Daddy just is not quite sufficient. I think because I want to be home with them full-time and cannot quite yet, I sort of relish all this Mommy-love. Too quickly this will pass. I'll squeeze that chubby baby close a bit longer, I'll stop the heart-broken tears to do the diapering this time. It won't be forever.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Myrtle Beach or Bust!!!!

STAGE ONE: The Arduous Trek South

(written en-route to Myrtle Beach)

The only apt description I can think of to best describe the fine art of traveling with young children is WORK. WERY, WERY HARD WORK. I was pretty sure I burned a good extra 300 calories at least in the first few hours, what with wrenching around repeatedly in my seat to fetch toys, dole out pieces of cheeseburger buns, hanging over the back of the front seat to hold a bottle for and smile happily at the crabby one located directly behind me (we took out the back seat for more room and put both kids in the middle seat), and lumbering over the front seat to thrash around busily in the back searching for varied and sundry items. That's why I had TWO McDonald's Apple Pies for lunch instead of one. Heh he.

"Gabriel, stop whacking the baby with the measuring tape!"
"Yes, Gabe, we are going to the beach."
"Tim, the baby has been crying/fussing steadily for 20 minutes - should we just stop?"
"Oh, STINK!!!! The air conditioner quit working again!!!"

And oh, yes, it had. For good.

My friends, what a joy and a delight it is to sail down the steamy blacktop toward Myrtle Beach, SC, hair whipping in the wind, clothes sticking to one's back, a steady trickle of sweat dripping down one's chest. :) Guess it just makes life that much more of a sensory experience.

It also makes you thank Jesus that much more intensely for a sleeping baby, for when your AC does work, and for even that icy blast of AC from the gas station. One has never relished entering a gas station bathroom more than in this time. :) When, exactly, is the last time you savored your last gas station john, eh? Add all this sweet joy to the fact that Israel is cutting another tooth and sick with a cold that his hacking, phlegmy brother and sneezing Daddy have also appropriated. Anybody wanna join the fun? At least we didn't also have the dog, praise the Lord, HalleLUJAH!!!! And thank you Jon Charles. You are a blessed, blessed man.

We got to the hotel that night to discover that at some point along our breezy journey, Gabe had spilled a carton of apple juice in his seat and had been contentedly sitting in it, eyes glued to his new "Cars" DVD. He then proceeded to accidentally dump a sizeable cup of water onto the direct center of the roomy (oh-so) double bed that Tim and I were sharing, leading me to lie perched on the edge of the bed, curved around the water, with one shin slightly damp. I didnt' discover the spill until the lights were off and both kids were snuckering down for the night and didn't feel like changing my clothes and trudging out to the front desk for a whole new set of bedding, waking everybody back up in the process.

Hotels are not quite as much fun as they used to be. Used to be I'd sprawl lazily in my comfy bed with my mountain of soft pillows, meandering at ease through the luxury that is called cable television that we do not currently own, nor particularly desire (well, maybe I kind of do after all after this week), but is nonetheless fun to enjoy...taking a leisurely shower, savoring a tasty and free (sort of) continental breakfast.

No more.

These days one watches boring things like golf or cartoons, with only a brief, wistful glimpse of E! as I race off to slather clean babies in lotion and clothes so as to plop their fussy eye-rubbing selves into bed. Then lights out for everyone. Breakfast involves me precariously balancing plates of food and cups of drink down the hall towards the crawling baby and bouncing boy, feeding them as we change diapers and repack pack-n-plays. Phew. One of these days when Baby Israel gets older, I'm going to dump the kids on some nice, unsuspecting grandparent and scoot off to a hotel where I watch E!, Talk Soup, and VH-1 to my little heart's content and Tim's great chagrin. :) :) :) (Note: Courtesy of the 4 televisions in our condo, I had quite an enjoyable television experience in the following days. Heh heh. I needed to get caught up on important issues like Angelina J@lie and makeovers and such things.)
Gabe and Israel "help" Daddy as he slavers away in an unsuccessful attempt to repair the air conditioner.Daddy's little wrench monkey. :)Daddy's little helper. Is that cute or what?
Israel occupies himself during a bored moment. :)
Taking a snooze break.


We arrived in Myrtle Beach on Saturday afternoon, and promptly proceeded to enjoy ourselves. Wayne and Melody arrived that night. We had a great time of swimming, shopping, body boarding, and going out to eat at night (thanks Norm and Carol!!!). It was so nice to have additional hands to help with the boys.
A view from our balcony - this shows the rest of the hotel.
This was the pool area on our side of the street. You can see Gabe swimming around with his inflatable duck in the kiddie pool, Carol sitting on the side of the kiddie pool, and Norm on the chair by the kiddie pool.
View from the 13th floor.
Gabe's first experience of the ocean, with Grandpa's assistance. Gabe LOVED the ocean. He was pretty fearless, and would splash on out in a hurry.
Israel dips his feet in the Atlantic.
The cutest little buddies ever. Gabe and his cousin Tyler sharing a hat moment. They like each other so much and played so well together. Tyler was due a few days before Gabe was, so they are almost the exact same age. Gabe was born about 3 weeks early, though, and Tyler was born about 2 weeks late!
Enjoying the balcony. Israel cuddles with Grandma.
Grandma and Gabe digging in the sand. This was another activity Gabe really enjoyed.
Daddy and babe.
All tuckered out. Gabe and Tyler both did really well on edited nap schedules.
Da boyz and Grandma Carol watching Wace Cohs. (Race Cars, ie. Cars, the animated movie that we gave Gabe at the start of his trip as an early birthday present and that he watched approximately 756 times during the trip entirety.)
Tyler and Gabe staring out to sea. :)
The wind-swept Miller family. :)The wind-swept squirmy Tyler-ed Stuckey family. :)
The bee-yoo-tee-full ocean.
STAGE THREE: Happy Third Birthday Gabey-Baby!!!

We celebrated Gabe's third birthday on Friday, since everyone was leaving on Saturday.
Gabe's cakey-wakey. I'm describing this in rhyming terms so that you may best appreciate the rhyming stage that Gabe has been in the past few weeks. Last night he asked me for a sippy-cuppy-wuppy-buppy. :)

We enjoyed some tasty Mc'y Dee's for a little boy treat, courtesy of the grandparents.
That's three generations of boys right there.
Tyler Wayne, the cutest little buddy ever.
Gabe huffs and puffs to blow out the candles. Then Tyler had to blow them out too. :)
Gabe got a Thomas the Train set from Aunt Melody and Uncle Wayne, some "wace cos" from Grandma and Grandpa (along with some Bible Adventure illustrated story books that arrived at home in KY), some Cars sippy cups, a minature etch-a-sketch, and rainbow colored Goldfish from Mommy and Daddy.
Gabe and Tyler playing rowdy boy balloons in the birthday aftermath. :) It called for lots of laughing and racing around.

STAGE FOUR: The Equally Arduous Trek North

Apparently, the traveling got no easier in a week. Our first event in our travel north-west towards home was an hour-plus stop. A tractor-trailer had burnt out. We stripped the boys down and sweated.
After that, we needed a pit stop. So we cooled off in a McDonalds, and then let the boys play in the play area for a while.
A silly Daddy.

A goofy boy.

We stopped at Asheville, NC for the night at a comfy Comfort Inn, and after enjoying some tasty Thai take-out, settled down for a night that included Gabe have coughing spasms from about 2:15-3:30 AM that included some episodes of vomiting (he would cough and then gag), followed by Israel waking up wet at 3:30 and not going back to sleep until about 5:30 despite being painfully exhausted (along with his bleary-eyed parents). I trudged out to the minivan at about 5 AM to get the humidifier and extra blankets for him, where the hotel lady wished me a cheery good morning. Hah.

The thought occurred to me as we zipped on down the interstate - I used to always enjoy trips! I liked the traveling down the road thing, and the stopping for food, and the opportunity to read. This is no longer the definition of trips, however. Now it is a constant process of trying to keep the baby happy, feeding him toys one after the other, craning my arm back to hold his bottle; then the baby crying because it is hard for him to go to sleep in his seat, then he finally goes to sleep and Tim needs to stop for some caffeine, and I'm super cranky about that because I'm SURE the baby is going to wake up and guess who gets to ineffectively pacify his cranky self if he does, and then I'm breathing a sigh of relief because he is still asleep and I can enjoy some relaxed travel...until he wakes up again, to repeat the above process all over. Gabe does great. But we made it home FINALLY, safe and sound, which is all that really counts in the end, praise God!! And I must say that the week of fun was well worth the there-and-back process.

Thanks Norm and Carol for such a great week!!! We had such a great time being with all of you guys! p.s. Missed you, Lynette and Rusty... :(