Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Big Trip

Strictly speaking, our trusty little 1992 Honda is maroon. But even before we set off it was dirty enough to be a ghastly mottled pink. So much junk was in the trunk and back seat that we had to shovel out space to get baby in the car seat. But there was, quite simply, NO TIME for cleaning. In these circumstances, Dad and I set out for Wyoming, four hours late and a few dollars short (more on the dollars situation later.)

The whole point in bringing dad was so that I wouldn't kill myself and the child with my usual long-distance-driving-self-hypnosis. When I was little, Mom and Dad taught me to sleep in the back seat during long trips. This probably seemed clever at the time. However, in later years it proved not so smart, as my training (as well as Eric's, and possibly mom's) proved far more effective than expected. On long trips in our latter years in MT, it was not unusual for ALL THREE of us to be in a dead cold sleep before we reached the highway (under 2 miles.) The training has also made me a remarkably poor long distance driver. I have to nap about as often as baby has to eat. And that's a lot.

As a disclaimer, however, I will point out that I drove FOUR hours the first day, and kept up my share of half the miles the entire way. I'm quite proud of this and don't expect it to ever happen again. Last time we drove to MT I slept 7 of the 9 hours and I'm hoping to keep that pattern as a tradition. I love having a chauffer. Poor Michael. Dad tried to warn him!

Meanwhile, as we drove across UT and WY, Michael realized he had lost his debit card. But he had a credit card. So he cancelled his debit card. Which cancelled my debit card. I didn't have a credit card. So that made the trip interesting.

Dad and I made it to Rawlins, WY, and decided we couldn't make it any farther that night. Rawlins is a cold, hard, mining town full of men in trucks and seedy bars. Being the tight-fisted pair that we are, Dad and I opted for a fleabag hotel called the "Happy Traveler" or something similarly ominous. The room was FIFTY EIGHT dollars and even worse than you're imagining. I mean, I did NOT want my feet to touch that floor. You pulled a string to turn on the light over the sink. The green/grey tiled bathroom had been grouted at least a dozen times, apparently by a four-year-old with wood glue. I tried to put my towel on the rack and it fell off, carrying a shower of who-knows-what to the floor with it. YIKES! Also, all my personal hygiene equipment had been misplaced, so no toothbrush, no shampoo, no soap. I was one sad bedraggled sight. Baby and I slept in one bed together and didn't do a whole lot of sleeping.

Poor Michael, meanwhile, slept in his clothes in a chilly truck cab by the side of the road somewhere in Wyoming. I'm still not sure which of us was worse off.

The next morning was frigid. We decided to skip the free breakfast, given the nausea inducing morning shower, and ate a lot of dried apricots instead. As a side comment, I do NOT recommend consuming more than 14 servings of dried apricots in 36 hours. Not good. Just so you know.

The rest of the day is rather a 12-hour blur of flat land and, um, stuff. Baby did just fine as long as I stacked a HUGE mountain of toys (literally every toy we own) on top of him after feeding him every two hours. In his usual obligatory manner he did not poop while traveling (though today has been a rough day to make up for the two week hiatus...) and was general cheerful until about the 12th hour when he decided that EVEN the big boy remote control I had given him to chew on was no longer going to distract him from his misery.

Dad and I had a jolly old time chatting it up. I estimate at least 22 hours of talking in 48 hours. Talk about Dowdle heaven! Endless rants on oil sheiks, the mid-east situation, health care reform, corrupt politicians, ethanol, presidential candidates, housing prices, the general state of the economy, fast cars, alternative energy sources, geological formations, and, um, did I mention gas prices. We had worked ourself into a warm state of indignation by the time we were done and the best part is that we always agreed and were always right. What a great trip. It flew by for me. Don't get quality time like that every day. I was so happy that dad was willing to come.

That night Michael had miraculously caught up with us (thanks to his 5 AM wakeup and our frequent baby stops) so we all stayed together in St. Joseph, MO. Michael kept braggin about how he had caught up with us even though he could only average 35 MPH on the hills. I pointed out that he had spent the entire day traveling across NEBRASKA which is not exactly known for its mountains. We stayed at a nicer hotel and ate barbecue. Yum! Baby woke up at 1 AM and didn't got back to sleep until 2:30 AM. By then I was wired and never did go back to sleep. I did, however, get in half the book of John, the longest shower known to man, and full use of the free breakfast (since I had breakfast twice.)

The next morning we didn't have much of a drive. Dad did try to get onto the freeway by driving down an offramp, which was exciting. A few hours and we were in St. Louis. I bade Dad farewell and three uneventful hours later we arrived at our new hometown, Evansville, Indiana.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What a Mess

Well, we're moved out. Sort of. Really we're moved-ish. The basement is spick and span, the upstairs is carpeted with a thick layer of random "stuff" that we have no idea what to do with, and our HUGE semi truck is half full with our life. Funny that our life doesn't take up that much room.
Thanks to the help of family and friends, and a couple of humongous, ponytailed passing Micronesians, yesterday's 17 hour moving marathon wasn't quite as aich-ee-double-hockey-stickish as I thought it would be. By the time Michael and I staggered into my parents' house about 11 PM, we both looked like survivors of second world war. I'd been up since 5 AM cleaning, packing, moving, lifting, and climbing the stairs several thousand times.
When Michael went to pick up his 22 foot trailer we had ordered, they told him that they didn't have any 22 footers left but they would be happy to give us the next size up for the same price. Michael happily agreed and we went outside to see them bring it out front. It came through the parking lot gate and OH MY GOSH IT'S HUUUUUUGE! It's a FULL SIZE semi truck. The interior is approximately the same size as our entire home AND the full basement. Holy cow. Tack the trailer on to tow the Volvo to it's new home and my studmuffin spouse is driving a healthy 45 feet of manly diesel and disk brakes. I stood in awe. This is without a doubt the largest vehicle I have ever set foot in. Well, I suppose a plane is bigger. But you know what I mean. It's a twenty foot barge!
Today we finish cleaning out the upstairs. Rearrange some packing, get some food, shovel out some space in the Honda, pick up grandpa, and we're off! Tonight we head to Cheyenne, WY.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Well, it's official. We're moving! We will be moving to Evansville, IN, a week from tomorrow. Michael got a job there at a company called Vectren where he will be a Business Analyst/Project Manager. Mixed feelings abound, as the sudden change of plans leaves a lot of our most precious friends and family behind, but we are excited for the prospect of a new career. They've offered to pay for Michael's MBA, so once that is finished and he has a few years of work experience under his belt, we figure we'll have lots of great options for our little family. It's not the bohemian lifestyle of an itinerant photographer, but we think corporate America will still be quite the adventure. If you click on the "Evansville" link above, the big building in the middle of the photo is where Michael will be working.

In the meantime, our house is an absolute disaster area, as you can imagine. I had this fantastic well-organized ideal of how I was going to pack each part of the house separately and have them individually stacked and carefully separated--HA! Check out this place now! I guess my subconscious decided to go the "all-at-once-chaos" method.

Jed has no complaints. Take your eyes off him for a second and he's rolled over to some previously forbidden item, such as Dad's photo prints, jars of water, cell phones, books, you name it... they're all drool soaked in seconds.

Breakfast at our place

Join us for a delicious breakfast of oatmeal and peaches!


Dad likes to play games with baby. This one became particularly amusing on another take when Michael clocked Jed's noggin on the camera. Here was one of their more successful maneuvers.

Notice the fierce determination to never, NEVER stop chewing on the fists, even when free falling and screaming aloud.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy Boy

I think we have the happiest boy on earth. What a cute head!
Nobody ever told me that children were so good for the ego. I'm a regular comedian! Baby makes everybody feel like a million bucks.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Babe on a Plane

Just wanted to add my two cents...
You can tell from the photo how much he was just hating the plane ride. Ever time anybody walked by he was all dimples, smiles, and flirty eyes. He was quite the hit, let me tell you. And look at his cute little airplane outfit! Every single person, it seemed, who passed us would get a huge smile looking at our little boy. He's our happy-maker!

Home from Indiana

We had a wonderful time playing with family in Indiana. Jed flew in an airplane for the first time, and did quite well. We got more than a couple of looks from jealous mothers with screaming babies. He was also quite the charmer, spreading smiles anywhere we took him.

We also had to be very careful though, once while I was sitting in the aisle seat and trying to see something outside the window, I turned around to find him tickling the rear end of one of our stewards. How embarrassing! He managed to do this to a stewardess as well. None of them reacted, which I was glad for.

More to come! M

Monday, September 3, 2007

More bowling

Britton and Mom tied for first place. Between two games they bowled 245. It was quite impressive. It's clear to see why as they have perfect form.


Laboring to Bowl

Check out my Dad's fine form!

Vanessa trying to kill the camera man. She is VERy proud of her Cowball.

Clark gives those pins the ol' one two.

Vanessa decided to add another element to the game of Bowling. Hide and Seek.

The ball won.

Annie shows her determination to get yet another strike.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Jed (B)eats Peaches

We put some cut up fresh peaches in Jed's little munchy bag and BOY were they a hit! Yum!!!

Bubbles in Indiana

Hey All!

We're now safe in Indiana, spending time with the Stanfill Grandparents. We went to a nice little Mexican Restaurant in Boonville. While we were there, Jed figured out a new trick that was quite a hit, and we thought we would like to share it. So without further fuss, we would love to present to you the very first video post on our blog! Wahoo!!!