Charlotte trip recap

The trip to Charlotte this past weekend was really nice. I don’t know how to summarize it in a normal way because it’s too hot for my brain to function.

So, hey look! Highlights!

1. We saw Beauty and the Beast on stage. It was The girl who played Belle was fantastic, but the Beast was obviously hired for his singing voice, because when he transformed back into a prince, all of the adult heterosexual women in the audience kind of went, “… Oh.” He was decidedly NOT hot. Sorry, dude. The guy who played Gaston was really good, and Lumiere damn near stole the show.

Of course, I hear the “Bonjour!” song at the beginning like this in my head:

(Warning: If you watch this video, you’ll never hear the song the same way again.)

2. I finally got to see the house that my brother bought. It’s lovely.

3. The plan to time our departure with Lucy’s naptime? SUCCESS!

Operation "plan the road trip around Lucy's naptime": SUCCESS.

4. We split up so it was boy’s house/girl’s house. This meant that my dad stayed with my brother, and the rest of us stayed at my sister’s apartment. Catie and my mom slept in my sister’s room (her room is huge, she has a queen-size bed and there’s plenty of space to also set up an air mattress), and I slept in the guest room with Lucy. I brought the pack & play, but Lucy started screaming after about 30 minutes there. I didn’t want her to wake up everybody, so I brought her onto the futon with me.

There are worse people you could have to share a futon with.

This meant that I didn’t sleep that great, but let’s be honest, I’ve shared futons with worse people.

5. My kids love my sister’s apartment.

Piano sisters. (My sister's apartment is so not kid-proofed.)

And more specifically, my sister’s cats.

My sister's cat Valentino is very concerned about Lucy taking his cat toy.

6. Overall it was really nice. The heat was brutal (110+ degree heat index, whee!), but we just altered plans and made it so that we stayed indoors as much as possible. The trip home was pretty easy too. Both kids slept for a good chunk of the ride home and it was fine.

7. The one bad part: I came home to a house with no A/C. Well, partially. I have a two-story house, so the A/C upstairs (where we sleep) is fine. But downstairs, which is, you know, where we actually live, was boiling. I called the landlord’s after-hours answering service, but they couldn’t get anyone out here on a Sunday. The service tech called me this morning and said he’ll be here this afternoon, but he wasn’t sure when. Fingers crossed it gets fixed soon, because no A/C in July in the South? No thank you.

Overall, though, A+ weekend. And it’s nice to know that I can take both kids on a road trip. It’s exhausting, sure, but totally manageable.

Mary Hoppins*

*That’s how Catie says Mary Poppins. I don’t know why the “H” sound in front of her name, but she does this a lot. Like her cousin Austin is “Haustin.” And this month? Is “Haugust.” Don’t know where it comes from, but it’s funny, so I let it slide.

This weekend, we made a quick trip to Charlotte to visit my sister, who got us tickets to go see the traveling Broadway musical of Mary Poppins. Catie would’ve been excited to just sit in Tracy’s apartment for 24 hours, but getting to see the “concert” (her words) of one of her favorite movies was definitely a bonus.

Wait, let me back up because I need an excuse to post this picture. On Friday evening, we went to our monthly Drum Night, and I got this picture, which cracks me up.

A bunch of miscreants
What a bunch of miscreants and ne’er-do-wells. I swear there needs to be a “No Loitering” sign over their heads.

ANYWAY. So on Saturday, we drove to Charlotte. Catie napped in the car.

Driving to Charlotte makes us sleepy
Man, I wish I could nap in the car like that. (Also? Dave says that I do that exact open-mouth thing when I sleep. I say he’s a dirty liar.)

We hung out at my sister’s place for a while, then went out for dinner.

Tracy & Catie at dinner
Catie was very excited by the crayons that came with her kids’ menu.

Then we walked around. Or, in my sister’s case, got dragged around.

Catie dragging Tracy around
(I’m pretty sure Tracy didn’t mind being dragged. She didn’t seem to mind giving Catie a piggy-back ride either.)

Soon, it was time to head off for the show. Dave wisely headed back to Tracy’s apartment to chill out and watch movies while the girls went to the show. (Dave is definitely not a Broadway kind of dude.)

I only managed to take this one really awful picture before the mean old usher came over and fussed at me for using my camera. (It was before the show even started!!)

Tracy & Catie at Mary Poppins

I have to say, the flash on the iPhone 4? Kind of makes everyone look jaundiced. I’m not a fan.

As for the show, it was fantastic. I’m not generally a Broadway fan, but it was really great. My only complaint was that the matinee was sold out, so Tracy got us tickets for the 8 p.m. show. Which would’ve been fine if it’d just been us, but the show ended at 10:45, by which point Catie had dozed off on Tracy’s arm. (I woke her up so she could see Mary Poppins fly out over the audience, because MAN that was cool.)

Anyway, if the show comes to your town? I highly recommend it. It was so fun.

On Sunday, we got up, had brunch with Tracy, then drove home. Usually when we leave Tracy, Catie has a total meltdown. This time, I promised her that if she was good and didn’t cry when it was time to leave, I’d take her swimming when we got back to Raleigh.

She held up her end of the deal.

Driving home from Charlotte

And yes, I absolutely did take her to the pool as soon as we got home.

All in all, super-fun weekend. And my parents are flying up on Wednesday to visit for a few days, so we’re going to get lots of good family time this week, which is great. I predict that Catie will be spoiled rotten by the time Labor Day arrives. Ah well. What can you do?

and yes, we're getting a baby-sitter on Saturday night

Stuff from this week:

1. Mother’s Day was almost a week ago, and I sort of completely forgot to mention anything about it. But it was lovely. We went to Charlotte to hang out with my sister, and had a great time. We took Catie to a Children’s Museum on Saturday, which was a lot of fun, then went out for a fantastic dinner.

Catie playing at the kids' museum in Charlotte

And my sister, who is awesome, got me roses for Mother’s Day. It would’ve been nice if I’d remembered to take them with me when we left her apartment, but I forgot them at her place. Oh well. They were lovely.

On Sunday, we went out for brunch, then walked around downtown Charlotte for a while.

Tracy & Catie walking down the street in Charlotte

one of my favorite pics from our weekend

me & Catie on my fourth Mother's Day

It was a great weekend.


2. My stupid elbow still hurts from where I fell on it, and the scab on it is absolutely revolting, but I’m still working out almost every day. I’m just being careful not to do things (like certain yoga poses) that involve putting pressure on my elbow. I’ll be fine. It’s really the food part of the whole diet/exercise thing that I need to work on. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to tackle that. I have a lot of ideas and I’m still trying to sort them out. I’ll write more about it when I figure out what the heck I’m doing.


3. Catie is in this phase where she goes back and forth between being absolutely fun and delightful and amazing and wonderful, and a 37-inch tall hellbeast demon. And you never know which kid you’re going to get at any point in the day. I don’t really know what to do about that, other than just ride out the bad moments, implement discipline when necessary, and try not to lose my temper (that last part is the hardest one). It’s just difficult when she’ll go for like a week without needing to be put in time out at all, then all of a sudden we’ll have to do four time-outs in a single day. Which may be average for a toddler at this phase, but it feels like a lot to me.

But, you know, then she’ll say something that’ll have Dave and me doubled over laughing, because she’s an absolute riot. So I guess we’ll keep her, in spite of the occasional tantrums.

Catie next to (yet another) fountain in downtown Charlotte
She’s kinda cute too.


4. I had a little moment of panic there on Monday, when Teenie wouldn’t stop barfing. Everything she ate came right back up (and this was after she coughed up a big hairball). I called the vet’s office, they said to bring her in immediately. They gave her a shot of some anti-nausea meds and an injection of fluids under her skin so she wouldn’t get dehydrated, and they ran some bloodwork. She’s borderline hyperthyroid (she’s also dropped over 4 pounds since we left Washington in 2008, which seems like a lot for a small cat – she went from 14 pounds to 9.8), so we’ll keep an eye on that and address it as necessary.

The whole thing was pretty upsetting and scary, and it reminded me of this post I wrote a while back, and oh god, if something is really wrong with the cat, how on earth am I going to explain it to Catie? I had a pretty big freak-out about that. But it seems that Teenie is ok. She stopped barfing, so either the meds worked or she got it out of her system. And her bloodwork is otherwise normal. So I’m thankful that I get to postpone that particular horrible (and yes, inevitable, I realize) conversation for a while.

Of course, if the damn cat doesn’t stop pooping in random corners of our living room, she may not be long for this world anyway. Argh.


5. Dave and I are celebrating our fifth anniversary on Saturday. Five years. I can’t even wrap my head around that. It’s not that much time in the grand scheme of things, is it? It’s almost like, “Really? That’s it? Only five years?” Because in a lot of ways, it feels like we’ve been together forever. (In a good way. I promise.) So, I’m a little early, but happy anniversary, babe. Love you.

P.S. Apparently this is the “wood” anniversary. I swear I’m not making that up. And yes, I giggled when I read that, because I’m a 12 year-old boy.