Saturday, March 29, 2014

the one about the mexican vacation

I am going to start this story on the Thursday before we were leaving (on Sunday.)

Ellie woke up throwing up.
I am not even kidding.
She threw up all of Friday and some Saturday morning.

Then she was fine.

I started throwing up Saturday afternoon.
Keep in mind, we are leaving at 4 in the am on Sunday.

So I got to vomit all the way to Mexico.

Ok, I really only threw up once on the way, on the plane.
(I ninja puked in my seat.  No one even noticed.  I am that good!!)
But I felt like death the whole way down.
Which included a full 15 hours of travel.
It was not my best day.

We get there.
I am feeling better.
Monday was good.
We swam.  We drank.  We played.
Until Monday night.

Then Chris starts throwing up.
I am not even kidding.  Again.
So he throws up all of Monday night.
Is in bed with a fever all day Tuesday.
And Wednesday morning.
It is HARD to be sick on vacation.
I kept bringing him 7 up and soda crackers.
But he was SICK.
He can be melodramatic when sick, but I was worried!

It was not our very best vacation.


Ellie had a blast.
And that is all that matters.

So, let's forget all of the sickness and get on with the fun stuff, shall we?

The view off our deck.
It was pure jungle.
We would leave the door open and just listen.

Her first view of the Caribbean ocean.
She loved it!

All she wanted to do was swim.
Which was ok with me!

See the guy in the corner?  He had the best Scottish accent.
I barely heard English on this trip.
Lots of foreign languages being spoken.

I didn't even get burned.
But can I just say, I spent most of this vacation putting sunscreen on my kid?
And her little face still got burned.

The creatures at this resort were everywhere.
This guy just hopped up after some kids hot dog.
There were also raccoon.
And coatis,
and lizards,
and cats.
and birds,
and monkeys!
Ellie loved that too.

Ellie made friend.
They were peas in a pod.
Played together for 2 straight days.

As mentioned earlier,
there were monkeys on the island.
This guy made himself at home on our balcony.

The cenote on the property.
It was gorgeous.

Chris back amongst the land of the living.
He was a trooper. 

Ellie and I took an eco-tour.
These are the Mayan ruins on the resort.
We had a lot of fun on that little tour.
We even adventured in the jungle by ourselves a bit.
It was HOT!

We swam in the cenote.
There was a wicked current and I was almost certain I wasn't going to get us back to the steps.
We laughed and laughed!
But I was a bit scared.
For serious.

The kids aqua park on the resort.
It wasn't the hit I hoped it would be.
She wanted the big pool!

The monkey came back!
This time, with her baby!
They totally remembered which rooms laid out fruit for them.
We got visits every day from them.

We even met Atticus' Mexican cousin.

The snack bar had swings to sit on.
Needless to say, we took most meals there :)

I think we made the most of it.
Through all the sickness.
We had fun.
But we are really glad to be home!

Until next time Mexico!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

22 things I want 16 year old Ellie to know

Lately I have started to think about what Ellie will be like as a teenager.

She is about to turn 8 and I seriously don't know where the time went.
It this amount of time again she will be 16.
And I feel like I have only had her for a little while.

When she is 16, these are the things I want to tell her.

Like what you like.
Even if no one else likes it.
Even if it is hankies and Barry Manilow.

Fly your freak flag proudly.

Wear sunscreen.
All. The. Time.

Be kind.
To your friends.
To animals.
To strangers.
To yourself.

Learn a firm handshake.
And how to change a tire.
How to properly apply make-up.
And how to make your favorite cookies.

Love your body.
It's the only one you're gonna get.
Love the curves.
Love the imperfections.
Love your curly hair.

Volunteer your time.
Find something you are passionate about and make a difference.

Every little thing you can get your hands on.
Read the classics.
Read smut.
Just read.

Keep your body healthy and strong.
Eat well.
Get lots of sleep.
But always eat the cupcake when offered.
Carbohydrates are not the enemy.

Test your limits.
Whether that be running a marathon
starring in the school play.
Do something that scares the living crap out of you.

Tell me everything.
I want to know. I really do.
I want to know the smallest details.

Learn from your mistakes.

Like lots of girls.
Be friends with all of them.
Girls this age can be sketchy.
Avoid the drama at all costs.

Like lots of boys.
Be friends with them.
But be careful who you give your heart to.
It's important.

Break the rules occasionally.
But be careful!

Put the technology down.
Go outside.
Enjoy nature and green things.

Do a good job.
Don't half ass things.
Carry your weight.

Dream BIG.
You can do anything you want to do.

Hang out with Dad and me occasionally.
We love you.

Now I am going to go hug little tiny (nearly) 8 year old Ellie and be thankful she is still little.

Monday, March 17, 2014

going home

Going home.
It used to mean my childhood house.
Visiting with my aunts and uncles and cousins and friends.
It meant
Jerry's ice cream.
Swimming at Delaware.
Golfing at Hickory Hills.  

But now, my days in my childhood home are numbered.
That is a WEIRD feeling.
Chris and I have been back a few times to clean out the house,
packing up the things we want,
and donating the things we don't.

It's sad.
To see it empty is much more difficult than I thought it would be.

We were there last weekend making progress on the clean out.
I was about to put my old ratty, falling apart CandyLand game in the donate pile when I noticed that my mother had written on it "Save for Tia.  For her little girl."

Needless to say, we now have 2 CandyLand games.

And there are 356 other things just like it.
The memories are overwhelming.

We were making the bed the last morning we were there (the only bed left in the house)
and Chris mentioned that we should tear it apart and take it out to storage because we probably just spent our last night in the house.

My heart sank.
My last night?
In the only house I ever knew until I grew up?
But then I remembered that we will need a place to sleep when we come back to get all the stuff we put in storage.

So I have one more weekend in that house.

I am grateful that Ellie is old enough she will remember it.
I loved growing up in that house.
And I want her to remember what it was like.

Here she is standing at the tree that held my tire swing, overlooking the field.

It's interesting though.
Going home used to mean going to Parker.
Now it means coming back to Cleveland.
It was a subtle shift of thinking.
I am not even sure when it happened.
But home is here now.
With my guy and my girl.

I will always look forward to going to Parker.
I love my people there.
And the slow easiness of the small town life.

But I will love coming home even more.
To the life I have now.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

in the forest

If I've said it once, I've said it 100 times.
The forest is my happy place.

I don't know why I stayed away so long.
Oh yeah.
It's been cold enough to freeze your eyelids closed, for like, forever.

But today my girl and I headed out to the thicket.
(I have always loved that word.  Thicket.)

It was peaceful.
Just birds.
The occasional runner.
And us.

I feel restored.
And she feels like King of the World.

We then went to Panera for a snack.

And topped the afternoon off with a bit of old fashioned roller skating.

It was a good day.
I am happy.

Add buttered popcorn, my book, The Walking Dead, and an early bedtime,
and it is a perfect day.