Thursday, June 26, 2008

Off I go into the Great Blue Yonder

Vacation... Sleep, wine, reading... er... sightseeing, yeah, that's it!

So, as most of you know, I worked for Holland America Cruise Lines as a Cruise Director and loved every second of it... until I decided I wanted a life. I got off of ships at the age of 30 so that I could have the house, the dog, the garden, the 2.4 kids and the husband. :) Not in that order, of course.

And my life has just done a complete 180 and I am equally as happy now. But, I shift from my point. About six month’s ago, we learned that HAL (Holland America Line) was introducing a new ship called the Eurodam and they were doing a “prelude” cruise before it’s inaugural... wouldn’t it be fun to go?

Well, Dad finagled it so that we are going. When I say WE though, I mean the core Meikle group. Mom, Dad, my sister and I... and then my Aunt Jan and Uncle Jack. Jason decided not to go due to finances AND it would just be too hard on Joey to make a 9 1/2 hour flight... can you IMAGINE a nine and a half hour flight with a ONE year old??? I gasp at the mere thought of it! Shoot, I tremble ... I take a LARGE swig of my wine at the thought of it. :)

So... anyway. It felt like forever away... but forever has just arrived. And, technically, it couldn’t come at a worse time with the move to Fort Worth in the works... but, I suppose this break is exactly what I need too. BUT... I had to deliver my schmoopy doo to my Mother in law tonight. She is watching him for the NINE days. I am terrified. I have not been away from him for more than four days and that was hard enough... but NINE? eegads. I think I have the vapors. ;)

Actually...::::: taking large sip of wine::::: I am doing okay. I am having a friend over tonight for Thai food. I am drinking my wine. I will take a bubble bath, have time to read a bit and will sleep the entire night through. We leave tomorrow for the trip... three days in Germany before the ship leaves out of Rotterdam.

I have decided NOT to take my laptop though. I think I need a cyber break. I have NEVER felt the need for a cyber break... but lately, things have been bothering me that have no business bothering me... and well, sometimes I think it’s good to just disconnect from the world. At least the cyber world. I am going to take along a REAL live journal and WRITE with real words... with a pen... can you imagine the archaic business I talk of? :) I am also bringing along three books and a pair of tennis shoes. : ) (that last part may be a bit wishful, but, it’s the thought that counts, no?

I will update my blog upon my return though... and fill you in on all kinds of adventures... talk of windmills, Dutchies, german beer and a floating mecca. It always brings me back to a different life though. Sailing. I did love my past. I did love my time on the ship and I could still be doing it. BUT, if I were still doing it, Jason and Joey would not be in my life.

I thank GOD that he heard my prayers. But, then again, he always does... just sometimes he knows better than we do. No, scratch that... he always knows better than we do. : )

Have a wonderful fourth of July everyone! Happy Independence Day and light a sparkler for me!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Sweet Sweet Smell of a Baby

Defiant Giggles and the Sweet Sweet smell of...  Hotdogs?

People often comment about the smell of a baby.  It’s a very distinct smell... it’s clean, it’s new, it’s unique.  I remember when I was trying to get pregnant, I sniffed my share of baby’s head... (Kendall mostly)...  I think it was addicting...  it was just this...  ahhhhhhh moment as you inhale that sweetness.  I sound crazy don’t I?  

Anyway... so, my son has a very Joey smell  to me.  I think I could pick him out with my eyes closed just as I breath in his baby scent.  I suppose it’s that mother’s sense (is that the right word?)...  and I know that he in fact, has the same sense when it comes to me.  All I have to do is enter a room and he knows it.  This might sound egotistical, and I don’t mean it to.  I am not the first mom to have a bond with their child like this and I most certainly am not the last.  Some people might even say that I have too much of a sense where he is concerned...  that it has overcome me.  I know that there are a few moms out there that strive to NOT be the kind of mom I am.  That’s fine.  I am A-OK with that.  

But, the other night...  I just had to chuckle at my baby boy.  I know that surprises a lot of you, right?  :)  He is just learning so fast and becoming such a big big boy.  As many of you know, Jason is up in Fort Worth already so it’s just Joey and me most of the time.  Well, we have help from my mom and so many of my nestie friends.  But, as the evening winds down, inevitably, it’s just the baby and me.  

So, Sunday night, Jason had already left and Joey had taken a long nap so he was so NOT tired.  Again, shocking!  But, he was playing and over the weekend he had learned how to climb the stairs.  In fact, he had done it when both his daddy and I had turned our back (he was watching tv and I was on the computer... both of us thought the other was watching).  So...  all of a sudden I hear a HOLY $@&*...  look at JOE! He was halfway up the stairs and on a roll!  Note to self::::::::  get baby gates installed!

So... sunday night, again...  I put him down by the kitchen table and kind of pretend to turn around.  I hear his little flabby knees slapping the tile...  slap slap slap slap slap...  as I watch that adorable little behind moving towards the stairs with an uncanny focus!  I pretend to turn around and gasp and run towards him saying... “NO JOEY!” and guess what he does.  I assure you he does not stop what he is doing...  no, that would be sensible.  No...  he turns to me, looks at the stairs, turns to me and ...  giggles.  Not only a baby giggle.. but a defiant little giggle that is not only infectious but rather...  a harbinger of the future!  

I continue over to him and grab him by the middle and he continues to giggle at this fun new game.  So... we do this a couple of times, he makes sure each time he makes it back to the stairs as fast as his little knees will take him...  he turns around as he puts that first knee on the stairs and looks at me...  with a devilish grin.  

Finally, I let him go up...  standing right behind him to catch him (there’s a metaphor in here, isn’t there)...  in case he falls.  When we reach the top of the stairs, I swoop him up and nuzzle that amazing little baby neck expecting it to smell like Joey.  And it does...  except in a very hotdog-like fashion.  :)  

Off to the bath he went...  transporting him back to that fresh baby the one that smells like a spring day, the smell that I have dreams about.  I think all babies smell like this though...  it’s a smell that to some is acquired but to others... like me...  is like ... oxygen.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gypsy Feet Finally Planted with Love

So, on my message board, a girl posted about “My life in six words”.  It is very similar to a blog friend of mine who did three words on cardboard through her church.  Her blog is one of my favorites...  the Ingram Gang
I have found it to be inspirational, funny and always a good read.  

Anyway... I digress.  So today, when my message board friend posted my life in six words it got me to thinking.  And MY life story is “Gypsy feet finally planted with love”.  I think of all of the places I have gone and all of the people I have met and how much I have learned from each of them and am in awe.  Seriously... it takes my breath away.  I have somewhat recently reconnected with many of my old ship friends through facebook and to see where their lives have taken them...  it is just ... special.  

From the edges of the earth....  I have learned so much about different nationalities.  I have learned about different religions and have such respect for them and the people that practice.  Each place that I have visited is beautiful, but not necessarily for the outward appearance, but maybe for the inherent beauty.  There is a lesson there.  Have I learned it?  

The people I have met...  each so special.  I lost one of those ship friends recently... it was a shock.  He was taken so young, mid thirties I believe.  He was a singer, dancer and all around clown.  :)  JT brought joy to so many... he brought laughter to all and he may have provided me with a gray hair or two when I was cruise director.  But he died of pneumonia.  How undramatic is that?  JT deserved a full on DRAMATIC encore of a passing...  but I think there is strength in his passing and so true to him.  

But for all of the lives that I have lived... and yes, there have been many.   The one that finally took my gypsy feet and planted them... firmly... in Texas is the love ultimately the love of the child.  It took the desire for the right man and then having the right child to tame my spirit and land me in one place.  I say tame my spirit... but I guess my spirit will always be a bit free...  just now, my wings have a place to come home to.  :)  

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

As most families do...  we celebrate Father’s Day.  Everyone has a father... well someone who sired them.  And the lucky one’s have a dad.  The most blessed one’s have a “daddy”.  :)  My daddy!  

When I think of my daddy... I smile.  I have so many memories of him.. but the strangest thing is that most of them are after I went to college.  He was always around and always involved but when we were young... well, he worked a lot.  Mom was the main caretaker...  but after I went to college, it seemed to change.  At least in my mind.  I remember calling him the day after I left for college and said...

me:  “Hi Daddy... how are you?” 

him:  “I’m good...”  pause... “no, really I’m not!”

me:  “Why?”

him:  “it’s awful quiet around the house.  I kind of miss you being around.”  

something like that.  The exact verbage might be wrong but that’s the main point.  He missed me.  And I missed him.  But this was the first memory I have of him being sappy.  :)  Openly admitting that he missed me and my sister who was already in school.  

It was at this point that we moved past dad/daughter and became friends.  

When I think of my daddy... I think that, as most daughters do, he is the smartest man around.  His mind boggles me.  He is an exceptional manager and has taught me all of my managerial style, as I try hard to emulate him.  I have started to learn how his mind works with spreadsheets.  He uses (are you ready?) Lotus spreadsheets (I am working at converting him to Excel)...  and to figure out his formulas takes someone with more patience than I normally exhibit.  But, I have started to learn.  :)  

My daddy is sometimes belligerent and hard headed... but he is always “right”... just ask him.  He exhibits strength of character (sometimes too strong) and once he makes a decision he sticks with it.  (whether right or wrong).  He rarely makes excuses and usually says when he is wrong... but again refer to the he’s always right thing...  

But I will say that as we have grown as people...  he has gotten a lot better at listening and after some pondering and “stewing”, he will even change his mind and then be “right” with the new thing.  :)  I think I am most like him in this.  NEVER tell me to do something... rather, suggest it, let me chew on it and usually I will come around to your way of thinking or at least will come up with another reason on why my way is better.  (HA).  

I often joke that I married my father.  And people say that this is normal.  Young girls look for people that remind them of their father.  I know that I have always looked for someone that has the same zest for life, the same strength, (both inner and outer), the same devotion to his family, smart, funny, passionate and “right”.  

I know that I have found him.  Jason is a lot like my dad... but yet unique in all the right ways.  He is all of those qualities that I mentioned above yet different too... which makes him special.  He frustrates me in different ways too but I think that can go hand in hand with the “passionate” nature.  HA!  So... I am so grateful to have married a man that is similar to my “daddy”.  There is no higher compliment, I assure you.    

I think I would be doing him an injustice if I didn’t tell you about the father that my husband has become.  I think when he learned he was going to become a father he was terrified.  The weight of the importance of that role came crashing down around his ever capable shoulders.  And although he was terrified, I never doubted for one second the father that he would be.  And he has surpassed that.  

You only have to see the way his son’s eyes light up when he sees HIS daddy to know the truth.  That there has never been a better daddy than HIS daddy.  How blessed my Joe is!  Almost as lucky and blessed as I am.  :)  

I share with you some pictures of MY daddy and of my son’s daddy!  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Single Parenting: It Ain't what it's cracked up to be!

So...  our routine has been thrown out the window.  Who am I kidding?  Routine?  What routine?  On May 30th, we closed on the new business and Jason went on up to Fort Worth with my dad.  He will essentially be there for the duration.  

I had a baby shower that I was co-hosting and that was on Saturday so I couldn’t go up and we ultimately decided that I would stay on in Houston for the month of June.  It was easier on Joey this way.  It did mean, however, that I am living on my own for the month of June with my precious little bundle.  All chores fall to me, and doing it with a baby on the hip is hard!  I know that I give Jason a hard time about helping out but I have learned that having him around to be able to say “Hey, will you hold the baby for a second so that I can go to the bathroom... or take a shower...  or take a phone call”....  was a luxury!  Rather, I was taking him for granted.  

We have fallen into a bit of a non routine, Joey and I, though.  And I have sort of gotten used to having the king sized bed to myself... HA... ha ha ha ha... myself... ha ha ha ha... if you consider myself to include a 50 pound lab, a 10 pound cat and a 21 pound baby.  I don’t have to worry about something being left where I wasn’t expecting it to be...  or if it is... it’s mine.  

But, I do have to unload the dishwasher every time all by myself.  I do have to do the laundry all by myself.  Don’t forget to take out the trash.  Don’t forget to fill the fountain.  And... I don’t have my best friend to share those “little moments” with.  

For example... I have decided that I have a child prodigy.  Why, you ask? 

Well, night before last, I got home and fixed Joey dinner.  After dinner, I took him upstairs as I always do and got him ready for his bath.  In the middle of his bath, I was awed to discover how he bent his face down and stuck it in the water to blow bubbles.  When did he learn that?  When did he stop being afraid of that idea?  So, while I was basking in the glory of this learning... he reached over to the faucet and pulled himself up.  

At first, I tried to get him to sit back down as the slippery surface of the bathtub is definitely  not a good idea...  alas, getting a 1 year old to do as you ask is about as easy as getting your cat to listen to you.   So I have my hand on the small of his back ready to catch him should he fall and all of a sudden he turns around to look at me and...  are you ready????  He pees.  Yep... just like a big boy standing in front of a toilet...  he peed.  It was as if he knew that is what big boys do.  :)  I got such a chuckle out of it.  

I quickly scooped him up and gathered him in my arms and grabbed the phone to call his daddy.  I had to tell him what a prodigy our offspring was.  :-D  Of course, he laughed at me and wasn’t nearly as impressed.  

BUT... last night.... he did it again.  Now, one time may be a coincidence... but twice?  My child is a prodigy, I tell you!  HA ha ha ha ha ha ha.  

Anyway...  back to my point.  This single parenting stuff is hard.  I sure am ready to be a two parent household and to have some normalcy back in our lives...  but then I spose, I will be getting ready for the holidays again.  How does it all happen?  

And, I want to be sure NOT to wish my life away.  There is so much right NOW to be grateful for.  Even if it is in the form of chaos.  Every now and then chaos is good as it teaches us what we are capable of.