What can I say - I'm whipped. Traveling about 10 hours with two small children (Including my layovers) has me ready to collapse, but at least I can do that in a sunbeam.
My kids are having a blast with Grandma Laney, and my son has of course stolen my mom's heart - like that was any question that it was likely to happen. "Grandma, Grandma, Grandma" has been Garret's mantra. Tess has asked my mom to be her schoolteacher for the week and both children are madly in love with her. (Oh it's quite mutual as well...) Even my step-dad has gotten some Garret Lovin's - he thinks that Grandpa is just the bee's knees, and my step dad who is bed bound seems to be amused to no end by a small child toodling in to see him in his bedroom and chirruping at him.
This trip has been awesome on the heart and hard on electronics.
My cell phone and our video camera both have given up the ghost. I have an extended warranty on the camera and the phone had insurance for repairs, but I'd be without it for the time I was out here, and that would certainly be a hardship as I'm still looking for work out here and am taking calls from recruiters.
I ended up at the Sprint store tonight, and renewed my contract ( it was up for renewal anyhow, so I ended up with a pretty sweet deal on a new phone as well as with a new plan that is less per month than the old one.) I ended up with a Samsung Rant, to replace my MotoQ. I think I like this one more already, but there's a lot of bells and whistles to learn on it. I can pull up YouTube on it, but that sucks down batteries like you wouldn't believe. I'm going to let it charge tonight and we'll see where it is in the morning.
Our hotel - aside from my kids finding drugs on the floor when we came in, is actually a rather nice one, and I have a view of the strip from here - all the hi-rises in a single row, coloring the sky in multi hued brilliance, complete with the Luxor calling the Mothership home...
We had breakfast with my mom, and then went grocery shopping. My kids were awesome in that they asked for fresh fruit and veggies, and not candy nor junk, although for the fun of it Tessa did the "Can I have colored cereal" thing - which if you know my mom you know it will elicit a "I don't think so." I had major issues with the artificially colored and preserved cereals when I was a child and it's left an indelible stamp on my family due to it.
I'm blessed - the kids have healthy appetites for healthy food. They could prefer junk, so I'm very content to know they don't want garbage.
After lunch we headed up to North Las Vegas to see my brother and his family.
Spending time with my brother today was just a wonderful thing. I can't say enough about how that household feels, there is warmth, and love there, and while my nephew seems to be behind the 8 ball linguistically, it seems to be only in verbalization, not comprehension. I think he's going to be one of those big guys that doesn't say much but when they do it's profound some day. And good grief - for a 3 year old, he's almost as big as my 4 year old daughter. Tess is fairly tall for her age, and is often mistaken for a 5 -6 year old physically.
The kids all had so much fun playing together today, and they truly enjoyed each other's company. That to me is priceless. My daughter and son are madly in love with Cloudy - for those who remember, Cloudy was my dad's puppy, and my Brother currently has her, although there may be a war over her as she's just the sweetest thing in the world and a great example of what Daisy was supposed to grow up to be like. :-) (I think I forgot to blog this, but Daisy passed away in January due to a heart defect.)
My brother's step daughters were darlings - well the two who interacted with us. The eldest got time with my kids as my daughter demanded to go see her, but as she was doing homework, she opted to stay upstairs the entire time we were there this afternoon. She's in honors classes and doing well, so I'm not going to fuss. I know it's not personal, it's being a Teenager, and it's homework.
Liam gave me hugs before we left, and was fairly talkative to me - something I'm told he just isn't... but then again my kids are chatterboxes and my daughter was certainly engaging him in conversation while they played. He so looks like my brother when he was that age, and has the jawline from our paternal family line. He and Garret have similar structure in the eyes and noses though - and you can see the resemblance clearly enough to know they are family. Garret however got the peanut genes, where Liam will be a tall drink of water.
We're back at the hotel, where I can write this, recharge my laptop and self, and the kids are asleep. There is a 3 hour time difference between here and home, and I'm still on Eastern time, so it's fricking late for me. I just am enjoying the quiet time and am contemplating taking a bath my self before crawling into bed - the OTHER one in the room that doesn't have small children sprawled out in it. I wonder if they'd notice in the middle of the night that I wasn't there in the bed they were in...