Friday, October 14th we loaded up the family SUV and started our adventure to my brothers’ wedding in my homeland where everything is bigger…good ol’ Texas.
Have you ever traveled with a 21 month old for 9 hours? I was worried, but seriously had nothing to be worried about! Hill was an absolute trooper. Only once did he have a fit because he didn’t want to sit back down in his car seat after a pit stop. All we had to do was coax him with “Do you want to go see Hannah? (his cousin) Then you have to sit on your hiney and buckle up.” He plopped down and was ready to see his Hannah!
I drove the way there because we knew that Chip would have to drive back since we were going to pull a trailer. Never could we ever make a simple trip, we always have ulterior adventures going on like hauling a U-Haul with my mom’s twin Jenny Lind beds so that I can redecorate my guest room. I’m all about killing multiple birds with one stone. Wedding and beds in one fail swoop.
Anyway we stopped in Baton Rouge for lunch. Chip had found a French restaurant called Maison Lacour via Google maps on his cell phone. We walked in and it’s a little quaint house turned restaurant. It was quiet in there, maybe 14 tables total. Should we even attempt this with a child under the age of 16? It looked fancy and they didn’t have a kids menu. Which to be honest with you was fine with me because we don’t like to order Hill food off the kids menu anyway…I was just worried since they didn’t have a kids menu or highchairs - - we were we breaking the rules by having a rug rat there. We were hungry and the menu looked divine so we stayed. Hill was a pro. He acted like eating at a nice restaurant was something he did every day. He split my stuffed fish with me and ate all my veggies and the waitress was confused why he wanted her to leave his broccoli plate as she tried to take it away. Hill would rather eat broccoli than corn dogs. He’d rather eat lima beans than cake. It’s true and I love it.
We praised Hill for doing so great and right before we left he went to the fireplace where there were decorative duck statues and he squats down and goes “DUCK! QUACK QUACK!” really loud. It was hilarious. He did great though.
We got back in the car and taught Hill how to make the 18 wheeler trucks honk their horns. You know the ol making a fist and tugging your arm in an up and down motion to signal the driver to toot his horn. Hill thought it was hilarious! I’m sure Chip and I looked like big overgrown dorks signaling the truckers to honk - - knowing my back seat windows are too dark to see the tiny tot giggling his face off. I found that truck drivers these days aren’t as giving with their horn honking as they were when I was a kid. Maybe they didn’t see my kiddo in the back…that’s what I’ll keep telling myself anyway.
We arrived to my dad’s house just in time to hang out for a minute and then to start cooking dinner. Grilled steaks and chicken. Yum! Hill and Hannah played and played and had a great time.
We were beat so after dinner Hill and I crashed in Hannah’s room.
|Hill (21 months) & Hannah (10)|
|Hannah showing Hill Papi's new|
100% electric car
2012 Nissan Leaf
We were beat so after dinner Hill and I crashed in Hannah’s room.
Saturday morning we woke up and showered (because my dad doesn’t have bathtubs at his house.) Did you know that it is super hard to clean a slippery baby who doesn’t like water pelting in his face in a shower? Well it is, and it’s a team effort for naked mama and baby to communicate in the shower…a walk in shower with no door and oriental rugs. We survived and I hope the mental image has not scarred your brain.
I left Hill with everyone (because it takes a village) and I went to visit Meredith, Gavino and their new tiny sweet precious baby boy. Asher Tate Arsuaga was born on August the 23rd and I have been DYING to get my hands on his chunky self. Since we drove from MS I was able to bring her all of the clothes Hill has grown out of (see I’m killing birds here – hand me downs, Uhaul, wedding mmm hmmm.) I was too engulfed in being with my people that I only got like one picture of Asher and his sweet Daddy.
I hate Hill didn’t get to meet Asher this trip but Asher hadn’t had his 2 month shots yet and Hill is full of daycare disease so I wasn’t comfortable with the coming together of the two just yet, but next time! Just you wait!
It was so good to see my people. I always tell Gavino when I leave Mere - and now Mere and Asher - for him to take good care of my people. He does, he’s a good keeper of my people. I love Gavino and am so glad he’s in Meredith’s life.
I had to leave though. It was almost time for us to go to my brother Jason’s wedding but I wanted to make one quick stop since I was by myself before I headed back to my dad’s house. I drove by my grandmother’s house. The house that my grandfather had built over 50 years ago, it’s the coziest 5 acres I’ve ever known. When I was little it was the widest safest open space for my two feet to run until I fell over. We’d feed the cows, till the garden, shell pecans from a pecan tree that is over 200 years old and takes up nearly half an acre. My grandparents would pay their property taxes from the sale of the pecans. Now days – 20 years later my grandma’s house is nestled up in the middle of the busy life, subdivisions, highways and grocery stores. It’s almost hard to get to through roads that didn’t exist even 5 years ago. You’d have to know the lay of the land to figure out how to get there now. I got there and drove through the row of trees that are big and healthy that my dad planted when he was in high school. The big for sale sign in the pasture made my heart sink just a little bit. The house looked sad. It has a renter in it; it wasn’t neat and tidy like Mamaw kept it. The big 40 year old sago palms weren’t there and the landscape looked desolate. The pecan tree shaded everything, it was like a big protector, a shelter, almost as if it was a big hug from its gigantic arms around the property. I pulled into the drive way glanced from my car window and then drove away a little sad, but giving me closure on the fact that this land isn’t what it used to be. I can keep the sweet memories we made there, but the property itself doesn’t belong in the busy life it’s been placed in anymore just laying there with a windmill in the middle of the pasture. It will be sold as commercial real estate which even though money can’t buy the memories made there I feel it’s just an extra special way of my grandparents saying it’s ok – a way to show that they continue to take care of us.
Uhhh, sigh, breathe in and breathe out. I needed that 5 minutes alone before I went back to my hustle and bustle busy life outside of those 5 acres. So I made it back to my dad’s to get ready for the wedding. Hill, Chip, my dad and I all rode together. Hannah and Pam stayed back and went to the dinner theatre.
We got to the wedding and it was a beautiful location right outside of Bay City. Jason had graciously pulled the Uhaul from El Campo on his wedding day that my mom loaded up with stuff for me to take back. Thanks guys! You saved us about 2 hours of travel time! We got to see a bit of family and meet Maria’s family. They are all precious and her sister has a little boy the same age as Hill and they just played and played.
My mom did the food, which as always was fantastic! We had food, family, fun, a beautiful day with a beautiful location with beautiful people. Wonderful is the word I would use. Everything was wonderful.
|Mama Lou & Hill|
|Jason & the preacher|
|Papi, Hill & Mama Lou|
|Hill had this fascination with rolling on the rug|
|Mama Lou's good cookin'|
|Hill dancing to the iPod|
|Anyone wanna dance with me?|
|Entry to the patio|
|Hill and Landon|
|Me & Jason|
|Still rolling on the rug...|
|Hill and Landon rolling on the rug...|
|Sweet Maria & Hill|
|All the boys dancing & jumping|
Hill was a hoot and had a great time dancing and playing. My dad and Chip seemed to forget that we were pulling an Uhaul back to my dad’s house in Sugar Land from the wedding (45 minutes away) so yours truly ended up having to pull that hoss down the winding back roads. I did a good job and got us all home safe and sound.
Sunday morning we loaded up and headed out – back on the road to Mississip’. The only thing I remember about the drive home was that I wanted to kill Barney the Dinosaur. I wanted to physically reach through the tv in the back seat and strangle him and the singing happy little children. If it wasn’t for the alternative (Hill crying wanting “more Barney”) then Barney and Friends would live on the side of Interstate 12 between Baton Rouge and Hammond, LA somewhere.
We got home Sunday at about 6:00pm. Chip wanted to unload the Uhaul so we wouldn’t have to jack with it on Monday morning. I have to admit that I was a little nervous to open the Uhaul not knowing what all my mom had packed in there. I felt like Geraldo Rivera unveiling the Uhaul of Jimmy Hoffa or something. She’s always trying to give me all of her stuff or my old stuff so she had a prime unsupervised opportunity to load us up this trip. She did a good job though. I have to say that I was worried a bit at first when I saw we are the proud owners of no less than three grosses of Beanie Babies now. Yet it’s worth it because Hill now has a table and chairs in his room to color at, I have everything I’d ever need to decorate my guest room with and a few heirlooms that are neat keepsakes. I had to call the rest of the family who was waiting patiently to know what all Mom packed in the Uhaul to let them know it was all ok.
We had a great time in Texas. Congratulations to my wonderful brother Jason and his beautiful bride Maria. Best wishes and we love you guys!