Monday, April 20, 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods... Nannie's house we went. For one day. That was plenty.

I've always maintained that "vacations" with children are not really vacations. It's really just watching your kids in another location. Without all their stuff.

We left at the crack of 11:30 am on Thursday morning for a visit with my Nannie in Tarheel country. I woke up at 6 to work on packing, and was still throwing stuff in the car when my mom (Mimi) arrived to distract the girls from taking all of my makeup out of my bag and strewing it around the bedroom helping me pack.

Michaela Byrd fell asleep within minutes of being strapped into her carseat. I think the thrill of finally weighing enough to ride forward facing like a big girl was just too much excitement for a 15 month old to handle. Rather than watching Barbie and the Magic Pegasus, Natalie opted to throw a fit because she convinced herself that "the ear things" were "broked." Every five minutes, for four and a half hours, she would ask, "Ummm...Mama? Mimi? Are we there yet?"

We *enjoyed* a leisurely meal at a McDonald's on the trip to and from North Carolina. Traveling with children always requires stopping at a dining establishment that boasts a play area of some sort. This one also boasted a plethora of delightful germs...we made good use of Mimi's hand sanitizer.

When we finally arrived at Nannie's house, she wasn't home yet from her Easter trip, so Mimi went to ransack the glass house off the carport to find the Hide-a-Key. I suppose that "in a metal box on the shelf" translates to "in a black plastic box under a cardboard box of really old stuff on a table" to a 97 year old.

We let ourselves in and Natalie and Michaela Byrd gave themselves a grand tour. Surprisingly, Natalie remembered the house from last summer, but to Michaela Byrd everything was new and delightfully exciting.

Here's Nannie's charming house. It overlooks a peaceful pond on the golf course. You'd never know that a toddler's dream come true of rooms full of easily destructible items lurk inside.
Exhibit A: within five minutes of entering Nannie's home, I heard some loud banging that sounded very much like glass crashing upon glass. I rushed into the living room to find Michaela Byrd joyfully pounding one of Nannie's five turquoise candy dishes into the glass top coffee table (one of two glass top coffee tables in that room, I might add). Thankfully, nothing was broken.
Michaela Byrd: entire wall of breakables...if I could just climb up onto the couch, I could scale that baby in 10 seconds flat.
Michaela Byrd: That's okay, 'cause lookee what I found. All at eye level. A whole menagerie of breakable stuff to play with!
I put the fear of God into Natalie and she knew better than to touch Nannie's stuff. I think she's a little bit afraid of Nannie. This is good. Natalie is not normally afraid of anyone. Every so often she'd look around and ask, "Is Nannie gonna yell at me?"
Getting comfy in one of Nannie's white leather (?) armchairs. A true relic of the 60s!
Portrait of Nannie's Aunt Byrd. The "Byrd" on my side that Michaela is named after. (There's another Byrd on T's side)
Trying to find the chipmunk they saw through the window.
My favorite spot in Nannie's house. The back deck. All of the furniture out there is 50-60 years old. It's comfortable and sturdy. She has a great view too. If I could get internet anywhere in her town, that would be the perfect spot to sit and blog.
Chilling out on the glider love seat!
I *got* to share a room with Natalie while we were there. It wasn't quite as horrible as our last roommate experience. I am NOT one of those co-sleeper moms. My kids sleep in their rooms in their own beds and they don't get out of bed until I say it's time to get up. Sharing a room with a three year with a penchant for early morning singing and playing is not appealing to me. She woke up early on Friday and sat in bed looking at a picture book without so much as a peep until it was time to get up. This was wonderful, as I had spent most of the night getting out of my bed to reposition her...I've never seen a child move so much! Half the time, she had both legs dangling off the big queen-sized bed!

Friday was uneventful except that Michaela Byrd had a diaper rash so bad that when I called the ped's office in Virginia to see what they thought, they told me to take her to an urgent care clinic to have them take a look. Of course, Nannie's town doesn't have an urgent care, so we had to drive 25 minutes to find one. After a 2 hour, $60 doctor visit, we headed back to Nannie's. If you want to hear a shocking drug store story, check back in tomorrow! I drove happily back to Nannie's, where she was just returning from her weekly hair appointment, which she insists on driving herself to.

She proceeded to leave her car running for two hours in the carport. I heard the engine when I went out to my car to grab something. Nannie usually plays off her (numerous) accidents as if they are not her fault, but she had no alibi this time, as we were all sitting right there. Her response?

"Well, I just don't know how that happened."

No comment.

For dinner on Friday, we all squeezed into my Trailblazer and cruised over to The Cafeteria, the Senior Citizen hot spot. If you don't like a salad bar or cafeteria style old people food, you have your choice between Sir Pizza (a lackluster pizza and sandwich joint), The Dry Dock (sea food, really really long wait...not a good idea with two children), or an overpriced restaurant with burgers and steaks. We rarely dine anywhere that requires a wait longer than about 5 minutes, so The Cafeteria was an obvious choice for us.
We drove by Aunt Bea's on the way home. Remember Aunt Bea from The Andy Griffith Show? This was her house. My grandparents looked at it once upon a time when it was for sale, but she had about 80 cats and it smelled like cat pee. Everywhere.
By Saturday morning, I was ready to head home! To be honest, I was tired of listening to my mom plead with Nannie to hire someone to regularly check in on her. Nannie is adamant that she wants to do what she wants when she wants, and no one is going to change her mind. Listening to she and my mom go over her ledger, which was filled with various checks written to "charities" with names like "The American Legal Defense of Our Borders," and "Adopt a Native American," drove me a little nuts. She wants to live alone, drive (yikes!!), and handle all of her affairs herself, and she could truly care less that her entire family (as well as friends who often call my mom to tattle on her) are worried about her. Nannie and I had a little "disagreement" over her stubbornness, but we worked out our differences before I had to leave.

All smiles. We're going home!
I couldn't be too angry, because she remembered that my birthday is tomorrow (the big TWENTY-FAUX, ya'll!!) and gave me a very thoughtful gift! I'll show ya what it is tomorrow.

Here's a hint: We have to be related, because we both agree that "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend!"

Glad to be back!


  1. I so agree that vacations are exhausting!

    Sounds like you had a good time though. What a totally adorable house!

    I hope you have a wonderful Birthday!

  2. Oh, and p.s. - you really should put your email in your profile.

    How's a girl supposed to email you if you don't?

  3. Yep, you need a vacation to rest from your vacation!!! Whew.....glad you're only twenty-faux!



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