Blake has been making the funniest expression. He pretends to be surprised and says "Oooohhh!" each time he makes the face.
He is still improving on his walking skills. Every day he walks more and more. He is a little unsteady, but he walks across entire rooms now without coaxing and even stops and changes directions. Walking is quickly becoming his preferred mode of transportation.
Another new trick that I am loving is that he blows kisses! It is so sweet. He always blows me a kiss when I put him down for his nap.
I sure love this little boy. I am really enjoying him in our everyday mundane routine.
Here's how our Valentine Shmalentine's Day went down:
We hired our new favorite babysitter two weeks in advance. We knew it would be a hot business night so we wanted to snatch her up. She is adorable and the most experienced and mature twelve year old I have ever met. In my opinion, the twelve year olds are the best because they are actually eager to babysit and not too engaged in their social lives yet. They are fresh out of babysitting/first aid courses, and this particular girl leaves us detailed reports of books read, food eaten, and bedtime, and leaves us her business card. Is that marketing or what? Troy is particularly impressed with her business model and raves about her geniousness to our friends.
We had dinner at a restaurant in the Hilton. It actually wasn't busy at all. I made a reservation but really didn't need to. It was the way to go on the busiest date night of the year.
We saw Rock on Demand, a laser light show at the planetarium downtown. The audience chose the songs and then sat back and enjoyed the dizzy show. I really wanted to do something different than seeing a movie, so the laser show was perfect. It was only an hour but I don't think we could have lasted much longer. Those lasers started tripping out our eyes and stomachs after awhile.
We came home, blew up the air mattress, ate chocolate strawberries, and watched "P.S., I Love You." Well, Troy did. I fell asleep.
We decided not to do gifts this time around because we went out instead. We did exchange sweet sappy cards though. To our surprise, we had both written the same thing on our envelopes, without knowing what the other had written or if the other had even gotten a card at all. It was just extra proof that we are growing more and more alike and that we were made to be Valentines.
I haven't lived at home for seven years. In all that time, I have never really gotten homesick for our house, yet tonight it is what keeps me awake. My parents just sold the house I grew up in, and though it is a great blessing for them, I can't help but to be a little heartbroken.
I can never go home again. I will no longer have a space in the driveway for my car, nor will I ever see my dad pushing a lawnmower around our yard again. The days of racing my brother up the stairs are over. There will be no more bonfires out back or late night pool dips.
Memories from that house are flooding in. Like the time we tried to cram our oversized Christmas tree through the front doors. Or when we piled on my parents' bed to watch TV and got the 11pm sillies. There was stretching under the table after Sunday dinners and doing back handsprings on the flat part of the roof. And I will never forget being awakened every morning from from my mom's voice on the intercom system, shouting, "Lindsey, get up! This is reeeeee-diculous."
Anyone who no longer has a place to call "home" has probably felt these sentiments. While I now have my own family, home, and new memories, there is still a pit in my stomach when I realize how much farther I am moving away from my childhood. Change is inevitable and yet I still want to cling so hard to what I cannot control.
So, I am allowing myself to be sad tonight. Even though it is only a house, I'm sad that I didn't get to say goodbye. I wish I could be there to help pack years and years of memories. Thank you to all of those back home that have spent hours helping my parents pack and move.
The memories from within my old house are so vivid. It's as if they just occurred yesterday.
We survived another all day road trip back home. I learned a few tricks along the way to make traveling alone with a one year old a little more bearable.
The front seat was set up with a bin containing lots of books and toys to hand back at any time. There was also a cooler packed with string cheese, fruit, milk, and water, and the diaper bag for easy access at pit stops.
The back seat set up was set up with packed bins along the floor and another lid laying across the top. This created a shelf so that I could easily retrieve toys when they were dropped without having to reach back too far.
We buckled in both of Blake's carseats because at 20 pounds, he could fit in both his infant carseat and his big boy carseat. I transferred him to the infant carseat when I was trying to get him to take a nap, but he also had the option of facing forward in his big carseat to play and see the passing world. The other seat was empty to allow me to get back there for quick diaper changes and snack breaks.
We made 6 stops in total. I thought that was pretty good for traveling with a toddler. Our longest stop was for lunch at Burger King. Blake devoured the Kraft Mac n' Cheese that they now have on their menu.
Another trick I learned was to keep an umbrella stroller packed on top of the luggage. I didn't want to have Blake crawling around on the dirty public restroom floors when we made pit stops. Since I was alone and holding him would have been difficult, I loaded him in the stroller for restroom stops. It was a big pain but it worked.
It was important to let the little guy use his mobility and move around throughout the day. I let him crawl around Burger King's play place for a while since he was going to be strapped in for another 7 hours.
He enjoyed his freedom and the gears.
We passed by the beautiful Lake Powell.
Then, once we entered Utah, we saw mountains and snow for hundreds of miles.
During our 12 hour drive, Blake slept a whole 10 minutes. He usually takes about 3 to 4 hours worth of naps each day. Most children are lured to sleep easily in the car, but Blake won't sleep anywhere but his crib, even with his bumper pad lovey. He had 3 major overtired, confined-in-the-carseat meltdowns, but gratefully he was happy the rest of the day.
12 hours of driving + 2 Crazies = A few attempts to document our progress.
We pulled over on the side of the road during one of Blake's meltdowns, and of course he was completely fine once he was let loose. We entertained each other quite well on the road as well. I promise I was being safe with the camera. I held it up behind me as I drove, and did a pretty good job of centering Blake even though I couldn't see the screen.
We made it through our road trip, and we are so glad to be home.