More Red Stick Ramblins

So I told you it was a big trip and it was going to take more than one post to sum it all up.  This is me taking a stab at sharing some of the adventures in 4 parts:

Part one: Family, family, family.  We love our nieces, and they are seriously going to give Asher a run for his money.  Not to name any names here, but Charlotte, I’m talking about you.  It also does our hearts so good to see Asher with his cousins, and snuggled up with his grandparents and aunts and uncles.  And ya’ll, Asher knows.  He knows who is people are, and we had a number of moments where Asher nuzzled into his Grandpa or Grandma thoroughly rejecting any advances from his boring old parents.

Part Two: Drew loves the outdoors, something that he gets from his dad.  He loves the snow and the mountains, he loves a steep climb, a good long view, and the changing seasons, but at his heart, I think he really loves the waters of Louisiana.  If you want to see Drew get excited, put a fishing rod in his hand and tell him there is a lake nearby.  Drew and his dad got to spend an afternoon fishing and seeing the store that Drew’s paternal grandfather owned in a nearby town.  We also took in the urban outdoors with a quick trip to New Orleans one afternoon for po boys and flower laden balconies and the general sense of abandon that comes with NOLA’s big heart.

Part Three: Purple and Gold, honey child.  We watched those LSU Tigers with Drew’s mom’s side of the family last Saturday, and while the Tigers didn’t get a W up on the board, I thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of gumbo and first and second and once removed and any other kind of cousin that we could round up, and felt like I fit right in with the purple and gold shirt that Drew’s aunt Christie gave me.  While I understand the game relatively well, and while I deeply hope that Asher doesn’t want to play football (I just heard Drew sigh in exasperation), I will tell you that I mostly like football because it’s an excuse to get together.  So even though the Tigers couldn’t pull one out, I thought the afternoon was a success, and just so so loved seeing Drew and (one day) Asher in his element.  It’s tough for a Louisiana boy to find solidarity all the way up here in Virginia, so you know that he was happy.

Part Four: Some nuts and bolts…This trip was also epic because Asher came down with pink eye, got his first serious fever (unrelated to the pink eye) and we ran into a little trouble with the airport.  Brace yourself for a quick rant here, but Delta!  What’s up! You’re terrible! Some of you may remember that the last time we flew to Baton Rouge, we wound up renting a car and driving from Atlanta to BR when our flight was canceled.  This time we got delays coming and going, and while we were stoked to get an extra day with our family, we were supposed to be home by 2pm on Sunday, and found ourselves walking through our front door at 7pm on Monday.  In the end though, this is a story about redemption because they gave us meal vouchers which we didn’t have time to spend, and so after picking up our bags from baggage claim, Drew marched over to a newsstand by the front door and asked if they accepted the vouchers.  They said yes, and Drew and I…well, it’s not a pretty thing to say, but we bought 50.00 worth of snacks before walking out the front door with our heads held high.  We have a lifetime supply of popcorn, chips, beef jerky, gum, mints, dark chocolate, and some delicious little pretzel chips if anyone’s in the mood.  As we were standing out on the curb waiting for the shuttle to the parking lot holding our child, suitcases, a stroller, and um, a bag of groceries, Drew looked at me and said, “Yeah.  We just did that.  We’re those people.”

Whatever.

I am going to do everything in my power to never fly on Delta again, and also to spread the word that our pediatrician (the one that made a house call last night for Asher’s lingering cold, that one.) is the coolest man alive.  He doctored over the phone, kept us calm, and joked with us that we had just learned one of the cold hard truths about parenthood: we pay for past life transgressions by attempting to go on “vacation” with children.  Ahh well, in the end, it worked out beautifully and Asher was his usual cool self, despite his warm head.

Are you still reading this?  Then I’ll finish with a picture that I think sums it up best and say this: We love you Deep South.  We love the family that you house, we love that it’s 80 degrees in October, we love that you love to be loved.  See you soon, mmkay?

Want to know what happiness looks like?

Hard to tell, but that’s the little butterbean sitting on my lap the first morning that I arrived in Louisiana.  It was a trip of epic proportions involving everything from boudin balls to pink eye to an extra day in the BR courtesy of Delta and its faulty plane parts.

Alls I can say is that I love my Louisiana family, and this one’s going to take more than one post.  Oh, and I’ll also throw this out there: Asher is the world’s raddest airplane baby of all time.  As far as he can tell, airplanes are just noisy cabins where you wave at all your new friends and delight in the constant stream of snacks that your parents are forcing on offering you.  What a guy.  More to come on that and our adventures…

home.

We are back from a really excellent trip to our southern home! The picture above was snapped on the plane as we were being bathed in the gorgeous red sky sunset light that welcomed us back to Virginia yesterday evening, and it sums up nicely the peace that we felt as we touched down. Tonight my mind is rife with all of the smiles and big laughs, and importantly, the gentle though strong feeling of bringing Asher home to the rest of his family for the first time. I don’t claim to bring any new insights to this parenting gig, so please forgive me for continuing to echo what so many others have said, but there is nothing quite like seeing the people that once held you as a child snuggling on your own baby. This unexpected and powerful sensation is one that continues to grip Drew and me as we watch Asher with our families, and it’s that feeling that I’m holding on to now. There is a lot to say about the trip (and even more pictures!) but for tonight, I’m just going to bask in the glow of a full heart and quiet house.

Oh, and how was the plane ride, you ask? Well that is a bit of a story that involves canceled flights, snow on the ground in 49 of the 50 states, a rented minivan, and a kid that nailed it. In a nutshell, he did great! More to follow…

Leavin’ on a jet plane…

Ahhhh, the good ‘ol days:

This is a picture of Drew blissfully sleeping away the hours that are needed to fly to Baton Rouge.  I took this picture last year, unaware that there was a baby just beginning to take hold in my belly.  Tomorrow we are making this same flight again, only this time instead of boarding the plane with neck pillows and engrossing books, we are arming ourselves with preferred rattles, teething rings, gas drops, and to be perfectly candid, a shirt that will provide lightening fast access to the best comfort ‘weapon’ that I’ve got in my arsenal.  (Don’t tell the ladies in my local LeLeche League that I just referred to nursing as warfare!)  Oh, and crossed fingers.  We are definitely crossing our fingers.

I have always had a fair amount of patience with crying babies on airplanes.  They’re little, they’re flying, and to be perfectly honest, there are a whole lot of adults that would like to be screaming as an airplane takes off and lands, so I think it’s easy to understand the impulse.  I am considerably less patient with the kids that are old enough to know how to tie their shoes, but don’t seem to know that what they’re kicking is the backside of the person sitting in front of them, but we’ve got a couple of more years before crossing that bridge with Asher.  I am hoping that we will be on a plane mostly full of understanding souls, should Asher decide that a bus is his preferred mode of travel.  Well no, what I’m hoping is that he’s cooler than the other side of the pillow tomorrow, and that we’ll land in Baton Rouge wondering what we were so worried about.  And, regardless of how the flight may go, any thoughts about it will quickly be forgotten as we see all of the people that we love so well in Louisiana!

We’re so excited to be getting to bring Asher to Baton Rouge for the first time in the midst of all of the excitement surrounding the Saint’s victory, and Mardi Gras and cannot wait to see everyone.  Although Drew hasn’t lived in Baton Rouge for many years, he carries the prevading Louisiana sense of laissez le bon temps rouler into our life daily, and will always be a bayou boy at heart.  We can’t wait to share this wonderful part of our life with Asher!

Now, back to crossing those fingers…

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