The trip to Mississippi was so much fun, and this post would be a mile long if I mentioned everything that happened, so I’ll try to keep it (relatively) short with some highlights:
I scored a ton of baby clothes, courtesy of my mom. At least half of them involve ruffles across the butt. They’re hilarious.
My dad and I took Cate for a lot of walks around the neighborhood. My dad walks at least 2 miles a day, in addition to his daily golf game – not bad for a 71 year-old guy. Since we went on his usual route, he got to stop along the way to show Cate off to the neighbors, which he loved. It’s so funny to see what a softie he’s become in his old age.
My parents, Cate and I had dinner with Sally and Larry Ferrari. Sally is just as funny in person as she is on her website, so if you ever have the opportunity to meet her, I highly recommend it. We ate at a place called Hamil’s, which was a buffet of all kinds of old-fashioned Southern food. I managed to resist the urge to shovel the fried okra into my mouth by the handful, but I think I probably talked with my mouth full. A lot. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until afterward, I just could not. stop. eating. Go me with the fabulous first impressions.
Oh, it was also funny trying to explain to my dad what a “blog” is and how Sally and I sort of already knew each other even though we hadn’t technically met in person yet.
The second stop on my meeting-other-bloggers tour was to have lunch with Danielle and Emily. Emily is such a cutie with her big blue eyes and 2 bottom teeth. She’s one of the smiley-est babies (yes, I just made up a word) I’ve ever met. It was a lot of fun.
After lunch with Danielle, I had the most surreal part of my trip: since I was in the neighborhood, and Cate was asleep in the car seat, I drove past my old school, where I went from 2nd through 11th grades. The school closed down in 2000, so it’s been sitting there abandoned for the past several years. The playground is all overgrown with weeds, the buildings are falling apart, and the gymnasium was gutted by a fire a few months ago (apparently vagrants had been living in there). It was so bizarre, like seeing something from your childhood in a dream. I can’t say I felt sad about it, since I don’t have very many happy memories associated with the place. It was just strange.
Interesting tidbit: before my school bought the facility in the early 80’s, it had been a White Citizens’ Council school. It’s ironic that the neighborhood surrounding the school is now almost entirely African-American. There seems to be some sort of poetic justice in that.
Continuing with the baby-oriented theme, my sister and I met up with a couple of her friends who have babies too. One was her former college roommate, who has a baby girl exactly one month younger than Cate. The other was a friend who now has three girls: a 9 year-old, a 6 year-old, and a 9 month-old. I’m exhausted just writing that sentence, I don’t know how she does it.
One little self-discovery that I made on this trip: in the past, I’ve always been very tense when I go to Jackson. Growing up there wasn’t a happy time for me, and every time I’ve gone back to visit, I’ve emotionally gone back to that very insecure and unhappy place. But it didn’t happen. I’m not sure why – maybe it’s my age, the fact that I’m married, that I’m now a mom, or maybe it’s a combination of all of it. But I was totally fine and happy this time. Weird.
One of the nights that I called Dave to check in, I told him how I was surprised to feel completely un-stressed, and he asked if that meant that I wanted to move back to Mississippi. Um, NO. Even though his salary would take us a lot farther there than it does in Washington, and he works from home so theoretically we could make that work. And it would be nice to live closer to my parents. There’s still the issue of the heat and the bugs, and the fact that I absolutely love the Pacific Northwest. So I think we’re staying put for the foreseeable future.
The flight home was pretty easy – I had nice flight attendants, Cate slept most of the way, fussed very little, UNTIL. About 15 minutes before we started our descent into Seattle, it occurred to me that it had been about 5 hours since I changed Cate’s diaper, so I’d better hurry up and do that before she soaked through her little outfit. We grabbed our supplies and headed off to the restroom. (Cue the music of impending DOOM.)
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but Cate has a tendency to pee the second that I undo her diaper and she feels a draft of fresh air on her bits. Normally I’m on the lookout for it, and I’m able to catch the stream in the already-wet diaper. No big deal, right? Well, this time I thought I had caught it, but I was sadly mistaken. And I didn’t realize that the flip-down changing table in the airplane restroom was slightly tilted. And my changing pad is waterproof. So the pee went all the way up her back, thoroughly soaking her outfit, and made a little puddle right at the back of her head. She had pee IN HER HAIR. Oh my good lord. Eww eww eww. I tried to clean her up with wet paper towels and baby wipes, but seriously, how gross is that?
Our plane got in at 10:45 p.m., so it was after midnight by the time we got home from the airport. I hadn’t been planning to give Cate a bath the minute that we got home, but after the pee incident, that plan changed. I started calling her Pee Head, and Dave came up with one even better: Catie Urinatey. I’m afraid she might have a new permanent nickname. Poor kid.
So now we’re home and settling back into our routine. And I have to go catch up on a week’s worth of blogs that I’ve been missing. Whee!