A whole lot of nothing. And then some.

21 07 2006

Oh. My. Goodness.

What did people do before they had the Internet to suck the life out of them? I cannot for the life of me imagine. Actually, yes I can: they sat around, listened to the radio, and played exhilarating games of Exotic Catch (don’t go trying to steal that name; Jeff and Nick have patented it, and I do believe it’ll make them millions someday).

Anyway, now that the laptop has been “upgraded” (i.e. I installed Windows and the software to upload our digital photos… not Jeff… I did it… thanks to all Jeff’s ‘hard work,’ the main computer remains in its coma… I swear, if you want anything done around here you have to do it yourself…), I can once again waste my time getting sucked into other peoples’ blogs (right now I’m loving All & Sundry– her son is just a little bit younger than Ethan and rivals him in the cuteness category (which, if I am admitting to this, then you know boy has got to be adorable), and she is not only a huge fan of flip flops (if you know me, then you know I am too, given the fact that I haven’t worn anything BUT FF’s since I had fat, pregnant feet that needed to be kept covered up lest they frighten anyone with their sheer bigness), but she’s hilarious and a great writer, too).

Oh, yeah, and I can also get back to wasting my time posting on this blog here and The Sweetest Things. Here’s a brief update on our PA/KY trip a few weeks ago:

We had a party to celebrate Ethan’s first birthday at my mom’s in Erie. It started out a gorgeous day, and we decorated the backyard Superman style. 20 minutes into the gala it started to rain. So the majority of the thing was spent with all of us crammed into my mom’s garage, along with EVERYTHING OUR FAMILY HAS EVER OWNED. That trunk, the one that came from who-knows-where, containing who-knows-what (has it ever been opened?)? Yeah, it was there. A bureau/dresser thing that we’ve owned since I wore leg warmers? Yep. Broken plant pots (cause you can still plant things in them, even when they’re cracked in half, right, Mom?), ladders, empty Whitman’s Sampler boxes (for their sentimental value?), moldy, cancerous Cabbage Patch children (RIP, Natalie Jean), real life children 194442370_456bc7397b_m.jpg(how’d they get in there?), YOU NAME IT, it was somehow packed into the garage with our cake, presents, tables/chairs and 20 guests (minus poor Jon, Hallie and Bryan who had to stand inside the doorway into the house and WATCH all the fun we garagies were having). At least we can say we had the awesomest cake YOU’VE EVER SEEN, though. Check out the artistry and craftsmanship on that, baby. When it was complete, Jeff remarked “We should go into a cake decorating business. We’ll only make Superman cakes, though.” But damn good Superman cakes.

We spent the rest of our week in Erie visiting all our family (they’d all be like “Stop by and visit, we want to see Ethan!” and then they’d remember their manners and very phonily insist they want to see us, too, not just Ethan. But we know the truth.) Friday was Jon and Hallie’s rehearsal, followed by dinner (more pictures here) at Aoyama Japanese Steakhouse (where we did group shots of Jon’s Mom; it’s a real drink, really!). The next day was the wedding, which both Jeff and I were in, which left Oma and Auntie Cristey in charge of Ethan for the morning and during the ceremony. It was kind of hard to leave him that day- not because I didn’t think he was in capable hands, nothing like that. Because we woke up that morning around 6am to a crying, sweating, feverish, miserable Ethan. Turns out Hallie and Jon decided to get married exactly 2 weeks to the day after Ethan had his one-year-old immunizations (a common reaction to shots is a fever 12-14 days later), how dare they?!? Anyway, he was fine, the wedding was 194456076_6f2e238875_m.jpgbeautiful and the bride radiant, Rene cried, we all danced, Jess caught the bouquet, Ethan rode a unicorn, Dave made me say “kitten,” “mitten,” and any other words he could think of that ended in “-en,” and it was an overall convivial event (“convivial…” I think I used ‘awesome’ already, so thank you, thesaurus!). Congratulations again, Mr. and Mrs. Jon Lobaugh! Now get on that baby train, guys- I need a pregnant pal, HR!

We left the very next day (after one last scrumptious Valerio’s meal) and drove the 9-ish hours to E-town, Kentucky, to spend a few days with the Gioia family- Nick, whom Jeff met while stationed at Fort Knox, his lovely wife Chasity, and their adorable daughter Chloe. The drive wasn’t exactly fun; it was Hot out, and we don’t have air conditioning in our car. By the time we got there and got Ethan out of his car seat, he was literally dripping with sweat. We were soo looking forward to loafing around in the air conditioned house. First thing Nick said to us when we got out of the car? “Sorry, guys, our air conditioning broke today!” Because that is just the way my luck goes.

But that’s okay- we still had a good time, even though we were baking and Ethan developed an ugly heat rash (as diagnosed by Dr. Nick). At one point, we made a trip to Wal-Mart for the sole purpose of riding in Chasity’s air conditioned Jetta for 16 minutes. It was worth it.

194459149_d0931af268_m.jpgWhen we weren’t seeking refuge in the pool, we (meaning Jeff and Nick) were awing over the beauty of what a 360 looks like on a 60-inch screen (yes, Jeff travels with his Xbox). Jeff plans to purchase a ginormous television of his own in the next month or so. Nick, you are such a bad influence on Jeff! And Nick, much to his wife’s dismay, has just bought a 360 of his own. Jeff, you are such a bad influence on Nick! (Just kidding, boys!)

We also took some time out to see Superman Returns, and visit some of Jeff’s favorite Kentuckian hangouts: O’Charley’s, Sonic, Cracker Barrel, A&W and the movie theater (“Do they still have Galaga?”). And then I got sick. I figured, since much of our hanging out involved food and eating food and traveling to places that sell you food, that it was due to something I ate. I spent our last day in E-town curled up on the couch. When I wasn’t curled up on the couch, I was seated in the bathroom. It was pretty much 50/50 between the two places.

I still wasn’t feeling 100% when we left the next day. Nevertheless, we loaded up the Green Matchbox and headed out around 2pm. Jeff drove till about 5:30, when I took over. I drove for about a half hour when suddenly traffic came to a dead stop. We sat, unmoving, for about 5 minutes before people started getting out of their cars. I’ve never been able to understand why people do that; why is it so much better to stand around outside in the heat than sit comfortably in your air conditioned car (assuming you’re not a moron and you actually have air conditioning in your car), singing along to some Tim and finishing off those Skittles? What is the appeal here? Even if I could find some appeal in such an act, I still wouldn’t be able to do it- I have this crippling fear that the moment I step out of my car will be the same moment that traffic starts moving again, and there I’ll be, wandering around the roadkill and litter, while everyone else starts honking at me angrily (it doesn’t matter that they’re out of their cars, too, and would have to make it back inside of them in order to honk at me angrily, which would thus allow me ample time to return to my car, as well; somehow they’d be faster and angrier than I).

194459725_3a499ff918_m.jpgWe managed to use our time wisely and take amusing pictures of Ethan “driving.” However. You can only sit in an unmoving, un-air conditioned car with a baby for about 15 minutes. Furthermore, you can only sit in an unmoving, un-air conditioned car with a baby WHO IS CURRENTLY WEARING THE LAST DIAPER YOU HAVE IN YOUR POSSESSION for 8 minutes less than that. I think that I was convinced that if we got out of the car and stood in the direct sunlight (??) then maybe Ethan wouldn’t get the urge to poop. Let me tell you, you’ve never known fear until you come to terms with the fact that your one year old is wearing the LAST DIAPER ON EARTH, and he has just gone #2. While we roamed the highway on foot we met a trucker who suggested Jeff jump off the overpass and jog to the nearest store for some Pampers (“nearest store?” WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, TRUCKER MAN!).

We hung out there for about 45 minutes before maneuvering our way off the on-ramp, and through the backwoods of Middle of Nowhere, West Virtucky (still not sure exactly which state we were in), and found THE most ghetto Rite Aid I have ever seen in my life an agonizing 7 days later. Seriously, it was Shady; I had to wait in line behind a woman buying one of everything in the store with her credit card… “What? That credit card won’t work? Try this one. No? This one, th… no, that’s my Food Stamps card… try this one…” I waited FOREVER to finally have it be my turn just to fork over 27 DOLLARS for some diapers (at that point, I would have paid even more… heck, I may even have traded Jeff for them). When I finally left, I ran into Jeff and Ethan, who were on their way into the store, totally freaking out because I’d been in there so long they thought someone had murdered me. I guess they were coming in to rescue me? Aw. It’s the thought that counts, Jeff.

We didn’t make it back home until 4:30am Friday morning. And I’ve refused to get back into the car ever since. The debilitating heat has helped to encourage my new hermit lifestyle. However, I’ll have to suck it up and venture out again soon, because I’ve got a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. That stomach ache that hit me while we were in KY? Still not gone. So hopefully the trip to the doctor will reward me with some relief. At the very least, I’ll get a few hours of Ethan-free time. And after a zillion days holed up in the house with a 13 month old, I’m ready to get out, even if it is to go discuss my poop with a stranger.


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