October 2004

I wrote this Thursday night, I think. We signed on the house Friday morning and have been busy ever since. So here’s the first installment of my week at Mom’s…the rest will come later:

Tj took me to the airport about an hour before my flight left. When I got to the gate the guy said I had about a 100% chance of getting on with my stand-by ticket. I called Tj and we talked until I boarded…he was geocaching…he found the cache while on the phone with me. After I got in my seat I called Papa and left a message that he should head to the airport because I’d gotten on. I called Mom at work just to make sure she knew too. After Tj got home he sent Jo and Mom an email saying the same thing.

My flight was good and short…about an hour and a half. When I got there I went to baggage claim and had to wait 10-20 minutes for Papa to show up. He had trouble finding a parking place on the 4th floor where the bridge to the terminal is. And then the Delta section is completely isolated from the rest of the airlines, so he had to hunt for that, too. As we drove away he was amazed to see the amount of empty spaces on the 2nd and 3rd floor…that’s where we parked when I left.

When we got to Gonzales we went to Popeye’s and picked up lunch to eat at home. Man, that place was such a dump on the inside! I saw Guy Ware…I used to babysit for his brother Stan…and then went to one of Al Copeland’s weddings when Stan was his best man. I was sure that Guy would never recognize me so I didn’t even say anything. Papa and I went home and ate, and then we both had an hour and a half nap. What a good way to start vacation.

After that slow start I thought I’d have a little bit of trouble filling my days…little did I know…. Papa called Jo to see if she could pick me up on her way home from work; she got there a little after 5 with the boys and we headed to her house. We hung out there; Jo made biscuit pizza for supper and I had a homemade ice cream sandwich for dessert.

The boys really surprised me by calling me by name so often! This was the first time they’ve done that. Even when they were here for Labor Day I don’t remember them being able to say my name without help…Mom said maybe it was because they weren’t at home where they were more comfortable, but it is only recently that they’ve really started talking.

Jarod told me it was night night time and wanted me to pick him up and carry him to his bed so Jo told him to stand on the couch so I didn’t have to bend over too far to pick him up. After he got in he kept calling to me “Night night Aunt Elle” “I love you Aunt Elle”…soooooo sweet!

Papa had told me that I’d be able to take Monmon’s car Thursday but that Friday she needed it to go get her hair done. When I called him Thursday morning to see if he could pick me up he told me that he’d forgotten she’d had to move her appointment to that morning and then had a doctor’s appointment in Baton Rouge. We decided that I’d go hang out with them at the beauty shop, they could run me by a MickeyD’s for lunch and drop me off at the library for some car-seat research while they went to the doctor’s. After the appointment they would pick me up to run a couple of errands and that would be that.

We went to Mrs. Carolyn’s to have Mon’s hair cut and set for the week…I know everyone did it back then but it’s so crazy for me to think of having my hair done once a week and not being able to brush or wash it for a week! Man that’s gotta itch at first until you get used to it! Monmon got caught up on all the local gossip and then wanted me to show Mrs. Carolyn little Max’s picture. She commented that he had a big head!!! I wasn’t really offended because that’s just how she is, but still! She may have just been teasing me, but I think he looks just fine…and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that his head will be on the small side until after the birth. She said that all of her grandkids had big heads and they called one of them Moonie! Whatever.

When we got back in the car Mon found that she had the same appointment written in her calendar twice, so she wanted to go back to the house to call and confirm this day’s appointment. Sure enough it had been cancelled but she hadn’t crossed it off. She called in a prescription and then we hung out at her house for a little while until it was time to eat. We went to Picadilly and I had the seafood gumbo, broccoli and mashed potatoes, and a piece of Mon’s fried fish.

We picked up Mon’s prescription and then went to the Dollar Tree so Mon could buy some things to fill a shoebox for a little girl 4-6 years old…she’ll turn it in to her church and they’ll send it overseas. It was fun helping her pick out stuff to put in the box. Tj called while we were there to gripe about the run-around the doctors had been giving him. It’ll be nice next year when he can get all of his appointments taken care of in one day…this time he had to have his physical done over the weekend at his first UTA.

That’s a saying Pawpaw used a lot. It means I tossed and turned all night long. I don’t know why…I was really tired. I got in yesterday morning from visiting Mom, Jo and the rest of the folks. I had a great time but, as always, it’s great to be home. I was amazed and astounded (and every other like word) to find that I’ve gained exactly 0 pounds!!! With all that I ate I never expected that outcome! Man, I’d have eaten more if I’d known I wasn’t gonna go up! If I gain a pound a week from here to 40 weeks I’ll have gained 28 pounds overall…not bad, I’m thinking.

Going to the doctor’s office today…have to drink the orange drink on the way.

It’s getting close to our move-in date! We have a walk-through today with Norine, and we sign the papers tomorrow morning at 11. Oooooo, I can’t wait!

Well, I’ve got to go wake up Tj and blow dry my hair. I know my entries will be pretty sketchy now while we get settled in so I needed to get at least one update in after my trip.

Monday night Tj said his partner in the plane would be coming by to study. Tj wanted to cook so we tried a new recipe…Tex-Mex Bake. Since we were having company and then they’d have to study I did almost all of the prep-work before he got home. It turned out really good, as all Tex-Mex recipes (usually) do. This guy was pretty nice, but a little dopey. After they’d studied a while I made sugar cookies with walnuts on top and ice cream for dessert.

Then Thursday night Tj said the guys were going out to dinner and wanted us to go too. We went to Dave and Buster’s (an arcade for adults); I saw Scotty again, and met Dave and Steve. We dressed in jeans and slightly dressy shirts; we were a little surprised to see a doorman wearing a tie though. It was just supposed to be an arcade…when we got in we saw that some people were completely dressy and others were completely casual. It was kinda a cool place. I had chips with queso, guacamole and salsa and a loaded baked potato. After dinner we played some games…pod-racing, boat racing, basketball…we had a good time.

While there I got a call from Matt. Janelle told me several months ago that he was living here, and she finally sent me his address. I tried to find him online but had no luck. I kept putting off actually writing him, so finally Tj wrote the letter and I signed it and sent it out. He called me to say he was excited to know we were in the area, and yeah, we should get together. He called today to confirm; we’re going to his church tomorrow morning and probably out to eat lunch. I’d really been hoping that he was closer, but they live about an hour away. His wife had a baby about four months ago…I’m excited to meet her. I hope we get along well; it would be great to have another friend in the area.

Oh, yeah, another snippet. We voted one day this week. Finally got our absentee ballots, so we took care of that.

We’ve done so much today! Tj said awhile back that he hadn’t cooked in a while and he was itching too. And we also wanted to have a freezer cooking day so when I’m gone next week he’ll have stuff to eat and the rest we’ll eat the following week when we’re moving into our house (yea!).

I woke up this morning at around 7…I don’t know why I’m starting to wake up before it even gets light lately. After weighing myself (I’m only up ½ a pound…I looked at the remaining weeks and if I can keep it under a pound a week gain I’ll be under the 20 pound mark. I’m not promising anything, but I’ll give it a try.) I decided to start on the cooking.

A month or so ago we went to Brigade Quartermaster and I bought a knife sharpening kit. So I made a good start…two of my knives had broken tips…they kept getting caught in the drawer in Spain. I sharpened and rounded the point and got down to business. I decided instead of making a big game plan I’d just work until I was tired of it and Tj could do the same. He got up at 9, we messed around a bit and then we got back to work.

We made two 8×8 pans of baked spaghetti, one 8×8 cheeseburger fry pie, one 8×8 chicken enchilada I, two 8×8 pans of chicken enchilada II, Monmon’s meatloaf and a recipe of pizza burgers, all by 3:30! We had fun making all of this…I did get a bit worky now and then but Tj was good at helping me remember that we were on vacation (since he doesn’t have to go back to work until Wednesday) and I shouldn’t take myself too seriously.

Yesterday we went to Wal-Mart and bought some glass dishes with plastic lids that can go from freezer to oven…in the three small ones Tj put meal-size servings of meatloaf, and in the three large ones we put a serving of each of the enchiladas and a spaghetti; he’ll have those while I’m away. In all we made 39 individual meals! Woohoo!

We took a nap afterwards, started watching Gettysburg and decided against it after 1 ½ hours, and basically bummed around the rest of the day.