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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

We're back from America....

My, my, my, how time does fly when one is having fun. I should know. I have been having my share of the fun lately. This may take several installments. 

The first installment in this adventure series has to be the visit back to the States. We had not seen our family in over a year. More to the point - they had not seen the Bean in over a year. When the other shoe fell and both Moms were not going to be able to make the trip to see us - a trip home was pretty much in the bag. The Bean and I went tandem and left the Hubs behind. First transatlantic voyage with out the Hubs to help wrangle and navigate. I may need pills.

Meh, we made it without a hitch and were greeted by one fantastically happy Grandma.

The Bean is a fantastic flyer.  Much to the amazement to the passengers and flight crew who gave us the 'oh effing great! A child on a 7 hour international flight' look as we trucked it down the aisle to our seats. Other than the occasional "MOM! We're in the clouds!" or a "Look Mom! There's an articulated fire truck!" he was pretty darned well behaved. His 'announcements' did glean a few giggles and some smiles, too. Taking off and landing? No problem. Turbulence? Ha! He giggles in the face of turbulence. (It makes his tummy feel funny.)  He sat in his seat, with seat belt on, and played on his tablet until the battery ran out. He played on my tablet until it's battery ran out. We read books. We colored. We had lunch (and a glass of 'complementary' wine. Please and thank you.) and snacks and juice. It was that last hour that his amusement started to wear thin, and, quite frankly, I would have punched myself in the face if I could have gotten off the plane any sooner. It is impossible, at the seventh hour on a transatlantic flight, for the plane not to smell like stale flatulence and feet.

We meander to the baggage claim.  It is actually more of a sheer will to make my legs and hips move after being stationary in a airplane seat for hours. I had the added bonus of the passenger in front of me recline his seat as soon as the pilot uttered the phrase, "*mouth smack* This is your Captain....." This person left their seat reclined for the entire flight. The flight attendant finally had to tell him to put his seat into upright position. Then to add insult to injury, I am pretty sure he 'crop dusted' us as we filed out like cattle.

Baggage claim was uneventful. I was overjoyed to find an abandoned luggage trolley. I am sure the older gentlemen who chivalrously hoofed both of my enormous checked bags off the carousel thought I had brought a body and some bricks from overseas. I managed to wrestle them onto the trolley while keeping an eye on my overly-excited-to-be-out-of-an-airplane five year old.

Let me set the scene for you. I am just over five feet. Picture a luggage trolley stacked with: two grande suitcases stuffed to the maximum capacity allowed by the manufacturer's warranty, one small back pack stuffed with toys (read: Monster Trucks), and one massive expedition back pack weighing half my body mass. (Not such a small mass these days...) Then picture that same trolley with a Bean riding on top of the pyramid as I careen towards passenger pickup. Yep, we cleared a wide path. It also helps that the Bean is screaming "Neee-narrr! Neeee-narrr!" as we go. The 'nee-nar' is the sound a siren makes here in the UK, therefore, we nee-nar.

Most people of sane mind would have leapt out of the way as this behemoth came barreling towards them, but a Grandma who had not seen her grandchild in over a year?? No! Not being of sane mind, this Grandma would have thrown herself in front of the trolley to bring it to a halt. Hum, perhaps she would have told Grandpa to fling himself in front of the trolley, but, lucky for Grandpa, he was patiently waiting in the cell phone lot. Lucky for all parties involved, we made it successfully. I even scored two quarters from the machine when I turned in my free trolley.

The ride home to Grandpa and Grandma's was very informative. Before we left the parking area, the Bean began educating them about all things construction related. The airport is building a new parking deck, so there was much the Grandparents did not know (apparently) and Bean was more than happy to inform, as well as to correct, on all matters of construction. He also needed to tell them about lorries. And speed limit signs. Poor Grandpa, The Bean informed him of every speed limit sign we passed and broadcast the appropriate rate of speed for that stretch of road. Grandpa did not like the comment I made about how Bean would be useful on beach trips from now on as Grandpa has been known to chat with officers of the law on the way to or from the beach. Poor Grandpa.

I knew going in that we would be transient during this visit. I am pretty lucky that our family all live within a two hour radius of one another. I still felt like a gypsy. The Bean slept with me most of the time, so I earned a new belt for nighttime assault ninja training. It was difficult for the little guy moving around so much, but he rolled with the punches. He gave out a few, too.

(I also knew there were going to be lots of people who wanted to get together with me that I was going to disappoint. Sorry about that. If you were looking out of my window you would understand. I will be back and if you still like me then - we'll break bread and chat.)

The first Saturday we were in the States was my youngest nieces' birthday party. I love that child. I love that she chose to have her swim party when Bean could be there, too. Made me all misty. Maybe what was making me misty was knowing I would have to don a swim suit and get in with the Bean and 50 other children? Yea, I hate swim suits, too. Did any of the other Moms cannonball into the pool with me? Bravely showing off their pasty, white flesh as well? Hell no. Pansies. Well, I had no choice, but still. Chickens. All of you. Also, not the best time to meet new people, either. Stanky from chlorine, red eyed, sans makeup and wearing a bathing suit. 'Hi, my name's Lisa - here are all my physical flaws.'

Thank you to Uncle Jason (the only other parental unit that got in the pool too, by the way) who allowed a construction zone to spontaneously  take over his garden spot. 'Cause we all need another Wal-mart.

One of the (many) highlights of my trip was catching up and  hanging out with a long-time friend and her son, (for the sake of privacy we'll call him) Lego. It was amazing spending the day with them at an area school's fair and a bouncy house warehouse-thing. It was pretty special because our little guys are kindred spirits. There is no therapy like talking to another mom who is wearing the same barbed wire bra you're wearing while walking your mile. It is the moment when you realize that your child is unique, but you are not alone. There is at least one other person on the planet who knows exactly what is like to be the Mom of a Bean or a Lego.  Ker-pow! That's good stuff.

I have to go back and look at the pictures from our trip to remember what we did while we were there. Oh, there was this...
I don't always wear fake mustaches...

 I am not very good at 'selfies', but I thought this warranted a self-snap. Yes, I did feel a bit like solving some mysteries. Perhaps a bit wiser. Most of all I felt like this may be me in a few years if I don't break down and get the 'No!No!' the Bean keeps asking me if I think I would like one. Check it out for yourself here. Every time I watch the commercial I say "No! No! Not this stupid commercial again!" I am just not convinced by a product whose developers used up all their mental energy on the device and left no shred creativity left for the actual product name.  Remember Nads?

Let me tell you about John Deere action- 

I wrestled and sometime still do wrestle with guilt about the Bean being so far from our family. Will he be able to bond with them? Will they play together? What are we missing out on? Well, I am happy to report that it doesn't matter how much time has passed, time zones or distance in between, a child will always know who their family is, especially the Grandparents.  I think it's a smell. Like chocolate or maple syrup, but undetectable to parental nostrils. They have an unspoken 'get out of bloody murder free' card when at Grandparents' houses. I don't know who these  people are, but they are not the same people who raised 'us'. Oh, well. They sure seem to like the little people.

We built contraptions at Pop's house:

Took a walk in the woods with Grandpa:

Hung out at Uncle Kelly & Aunt Michele's house:
This is not Mel Torme

*In the event of unflattering photographs, I do not wish to be held responsible for posting where the subject(s) may not like how their likeness was/were captured. So there are not any pictures of Aunt Michele making a goofy face or Cousin Victoria open-mouthed eating cold pizza. Uncle Kelly looking like a dork? Score!

**This is one of the very few pictures in existence of the illusive and camera shy 'Nana'.
Bonus: Smiling!

Did our favorite thing with cousins:

Ah, yes. Fun was had by all.

I was able to have lunch with the some of the ladies from the local Mommy Mafia I used to belong to before I left town. You can leave, 'but you ain't never out. Capisce?" We had lunch at the (only) restaurant on the Court Square, which really isn't a square, but, ironically, a roundabout. Funny enough, there is another roundabout about 30 minutes away in a shopping center. I think these two are the only existing roundabouts in a tri-state area. Watching Americans try to navigate a roundabout when they don't know the rules is hilarious. A bit dangerous, but hilarious.

What do you say about your visit with your BFF's? The ones who know all your dirt? Who have seen you at your worst? Friends who would be there for you no matter what? Another insane person who you can have a conversation with consisting of only winks, grunts, nods and snorts? Nothing. Nothing, if you know what's good for you. I had fun. That's all. Nothing more to say. Thank you. We'll get together again soon. (Hold on to that 'retirement' plan.)

Just a bit of browsing.

Seems harmless...
The trip to America probably isn't that exciting to the outside observer, but we needed to see our peeps again. Just to let them know, that in the past year, we've gotten stronger, bolder, and braver still. We're doing okay - better than okay - and we're having a really, really spiffy time here. Here and there and everywhere!

We were in the States for almost four glorious weeks and that was still not enough time. Was it hard coming back to England? No. I had in my mind before we left that this was a holiday. Thomas Wolfe is right. You can never go home again. At least, not until I get my TARDIS.

What's the next fascinating chapter in our fantastic lives???  The Peterborough Truck show.  Stay tuned!!!

Peace out trout!



  1. We loved having you here, and I loved reading this and remembering the fun ! We should do that again next year !! 🌞 😁

    1. Yes, we loved being there!! Perhaps a little closer to summer next year??