personally, getting ready for travels is half of the fun. the gathering of the items - whether it's from closets or stores; placing it all out in front of the suitcases; later, eliminating the things that you don't really need; then of course, realizing oh, what the hell, might as well. my family has it fairly easy when it comes to getting ready for vacation. i book the flights and car rentals, i pack all the bags (a small side note: my husband's mind turns to mush when he sees a suitcase. the barrage of questions that come to mind i should not even utter because this is a grown man, someone i know is quite intelligent but you would not think so during this time. it's quite humorous and we have a good laugh about it. i guess we all have our weak points. i digress.) so yes, i pack for all of us. and just when i think we're all set and ready to go, there's the items that you use up until departure date so i've made a second list of things to pack on morning of. and let me just note for the record, i used to give my mom a whole lot of s--t for making lists. i would get entirely too irritated by her suggestion for such things. nowadays, if i didn't make lists, i wouldn't remember to grab the car seat which contains 1/2 of my precious cargo! so call me a list nazi, i don't care, but i rarely forget so there.
and speaking of cargo, we are going to be those people walking through the airport. two car seats, double stroller, two large bags, baby bjorn (with or without baby), two back packs. oh, and then there's the joy of security. did you happen to see last week's saturday night live? the commercial for tsa? anchorage international is lucky enough to not have the body scans, but i would much rather have my naked body viewed versus felt up (and down). oh Lord, please give me the patience to get through security...
as of today, i am shaved, tanned (for 3 week prior now), french-pedicured, and ready to go! our bags are packed, the airplane bags are loaded with new books and new treats, cheap games so no loss if they're left behind, and dilly has a couple new toys to gnaw on. even ben has his goodies that i was sure would need to be locked up yesterday because he's already demolished half the box of gushers. he asked me if i thought it was strange that he needed his own treats for the plane to which i responded "yes, dear, but i love you anyway." i even purchased a video for jack on my iphone that i'm sure we will have memorized by the time we land on lush maui.
the forecast for the week is between 80 and 83 degrees, with lows of 69 degrees. i wonder if ben knows he may be leaving without me next thursday. he jokingly told me last night that he was going to stay behind with jack to set up his trap line. i responded with an enthusiastic, "gooooood bye!" i have a feeling ben is going to enjoy hawai'i much more than he anticipated.
do i dare mention that our christmas tree has been up all week? i know, i know, but i really wanted to come home to decorations, so it only made sense. ben got the lights up on the house two weeks ago, so naturally, the tree was the next step. and, here's the real kicker: i went fake this year. never in my thirty years have i had a fake tree. always enjoyed the smell of an evergreen. that mixture of pine and cinnamon (because you just gotta buy those cinnamon-scented pinecones to decorate too, right?!) floating through the air. i think after last year's 45 minute vacuuming experience, i was completely over the needles. and let's not forget all the watering, fear of overflow, fear of ruined carpet underneath, curious toddlers, etc. oh, it's just another thing to take care of.
took him all day, but i know jack had a fun time. the picture below is kinda hard to make out, but we have a 40 foot tree at the end of our driveway that ben lit up with colored lights and topped off with a star. you can see it a mile away.
we've had a mother and her twins visiting our neighborhood this year. i'd like to think it's the same mother as last year, but you never know. on monday, i caught her playing with jack's buoy swing in the back yard. she kept nosing it, back and forth. jack was really tickled by it, but was p-o'd at me that i wouldn't let him outside to "play too?" um, no.
ok, in closing, here's one last look at my beautiful babes before they're smattered with sunblock, smelling of chlorine and ocean. i guarantee this: one will come home tanned and the other may have a tinge of reddish-glow. i'll leave it up to you to decide...