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3,391: The Wedding

13723889_10154016786922758_7099318992030860676_oI am a firm believer in destiny and that if you allow it, every adventure will lead you to exactly where you are supposed to be. Such was the case in the journey to starting our family and such was the case with my sister whose journey was now leading up to beginning a life married to a great guy.

On the other hand in order to allow our path to intersect with my sister’s, it meant that our current destiny would include a 13+ hour car ride with two kids.

Again, you don’t question they why, you just enjoy the where.

Continue reading “3,391: The Wedding”

I’m OK!

Family pictureWhen my brother first asked if Nolin would serve as the ring bearer for his wedding, I immediately knew he would ham it up. I did warn my brother though that he would either be totally on or totally off. Either way, isn’t that what the ring bearer is supposed to do?

My dad had been really looking forward to Thursday evening because he had decided that before we got wrapped up in wedding activities we would do something fun with the kids…which apparently was going to Chuck E. Cheese. He wanted to make sure that it would be a good place for the kids, so he checked it out before hand. I had to inform my dad, that typically grown men should not go to scope out Chuck E. Cheese by themselves. Continue reading “I’m OK!”

Away We Go (pt.2)

Nolin and I left the airport ready to head over to the hotel.  At this point I was beyond excited to unpack our things and meet up with everyone. I guess Nolin was too, he  just kept saying, “yeeeah” and clapping his hands.

We caught a taxi to the hotel.  It was definitely different riding in an American style car (steering wheel on the left) on the wrong side of the road.  Not to mention the cab driver had no problem coming within 4 inches of a car in front of him before applying the breaks…but it’s the islands so it is all good.  He also offered up babysitting services (several times) for Nolin if I wanted to go snorkeling or scuba diving.  “Here in da Caymans we do dat for you” he told me.  And I kept thinking well back in the States we don’t give strange cab drivers our children to look after.  Even though we were on island time, I decided to not to partake in the local babysitting custom.

As we got to the hotel, we immediately had 3-4 greeters meet us at the taxi. One set Nolin’s stroller up as I started to strap him in.  Another grabbed my bag as I got Nolin’s book bag and the camera case.  I paid the taxi driver (minus babysitting services) and turned around to find my bag (and more importantly) Nolin gone.  WTF? I haven’t even been here for 30 minutes and I have already lost my son. I rushed in the front door as one of the greeter’s was trying to get my name, only to find my suitcase over by another group of guests (and no greeter within site) and Nolin still being wheeled away and laughing. I mean what is it with these Caymans and their desire to babysit…do they think I am that incapable of taking care of him?!

I decided to forgo the suitcase at this point and catch up to Nolin.  I finally got Nolin from the runaway greeter, walked back over to my suitcase and then checked in.  So much for island time being relaxing.

We got to the hotel room, quickly unpacked the essentials and I covered Nolin in Sunscreen from head to toe (no sunburns on my watch), got him dressed in his matching lobster bathing suit, muscle shirt and hat in preparation for a little time on the beach. I tried for sunglasses to complete the cool ensemble, but after he ripped them off, I figured I wouldn’t press my luck.

We got to the beach, and I was instantly amazed at how nice it was.  With the sun blinding my eyes (I forgot to pack my own sunglasses), I heard a loud “There he is”…I guess people were really excited to see me. At that moment my sister and cousin’s friend Cristina came running out of the ocean bypassed me and grabbed Nolin.  Guess I wasn’t really the man of the hour.

We spent about an hour on the beach and in the pool before we went up to get ready for the rehearsal dinner.  Nolin went crazy for both the ocean and pool, so I knew he would enjoy his time in the Caymans.

We arrived at the rehearsal dinner to this elegant setting around a color changing pool and canopy tents surrounding the tables.  I felt like I was entering a dinner scene from The Hills (minus the Heidi/Spencer drama).

We had an awesome dinner, and it was great to meet the members of Don’s family who were able to make it to the wedding.  Nolin was cracking everyone up and finally fell asleep in his stroller until we left to head home.  I was expecting a rough night of sleep when we got back to the room, but he was a champ and slept until 9am (10am East Coast time) when my cousin called for us to come hang out in her room.  In less than 24 hours Nolin had already quickly adapted to island time…this was going to be a great trip!

The Wedding Weekend

Nolin is racking up some serious frequent flyer miles these days.  This past weekend we flew to Northern Virginia for my friend Dave’s wedding.  We couldn’t be luckier that he enjoys flying as much as he does (although I will admit the I have grown much more sympathetic to parents who have a screaming child on a plane), but in his previous flights he hasn’t been nearly as mobile as he is now.

So while there was no screaming or crying, there was a little growling and shrieking and a lot of crawling between both Jenn & I’s laps.  Luckily the couple beside us decided they did not want to sit beside a child prior to us even taking off.  I say luckily because I don’t think I would have wanted to sit by them, plus they just opened a free row for us to expand our flight time fun.  Our gain, their loss…it was pretty fantastic.

We got to Northern Virginia for a precisely orchestrated weekend of chaos and fun.  We stayed with Nolin’s Aunt ELO on Thursday night…who admittedly had a bachelorette pad that was not kid proof.  Nolin thought it would be fun to play with toilet brushes, books, bells and anything else he could get his hands on.  Thankfully nothing broke, it was just more of game of Baby Tag.  Every once in a while, we would throw him on Erin’s lovesac which he loved (no pun intended) and gave Jenn & I a chance to breathe for a second.

Friday morning we left early to pick up my sweet Thrifty car rental ($25…cheaper than a cab), to visit Erin’s office and to visit our friends the Davis’ and the McCrea’s.  Their children were 8.5 months and 17 months respectively.  Since I typically miss library time, it was awesome to watch Nolin interacting with kids around his age.  It was also a chance for him to try out some new toys, although he seemed more interested in playing with the toys he already had.

Finally we made our way to the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner while Nolin hung out with his Aunt ELO.  Did I mention that she hasn’t spent a lot of time with small children?

Jenn got everything laid out, Nolin’s clothes, diapers, wipes, food and some toys. Erin listened carefully to all the instructions, don’t worry I told her, he’ll be fine.  Erin decided to take Nolin to a restaurant across the street so that he could sit in a high chair while she fed him.  When she got there, she realized she didn’t have the rice cereal container Jenn had told her about.  Problem is Jenn had already added the rice cereal which Erin didn’t realize.  Not wanting to mess up, Erin came back dumped it all in his food and for some reason Nolin wouldn’t eat it.

It may or may not have had anything to do with the fact that she added a weekend’s worth of rice cereal to one organic puree meal…unfortuntatley it was a little on the dry side, and not nearly as appetizing as most baby foods.  She pulled through though and made Nolin a bottle and he wasn’t at all disappointed.

After a late evening on dad’s part, we all woke up and got ready for the wedding.  The wedding was great and it turned out nicely that my aunt, uncle and cousins were actually up in Northern Virgina for the day, so Erin, Nolin and my cousin Lisa got to hang out with them while we were at the wedding.

That evening we met up briefly with everyone at a post reception party in which all of our friends (and even a few people from the wedding we just met) were so excited to meet Nolin and hear his story. I couldn’t have been a more proud father.  Afterwards, we spent the night at my cousin Lisa’s house (also not exactly child proof, but again we managed not to break anything of hers).

We learned one more lesson on this trip, 10am is a great time to fly.  Although it was a little early, Nolin slept almost the entire flight in my arms.  I was also able to catch a few minutes of shut eye and we were all glad to get home and sleep in our beds.  Well actually at about 2:30am we all ended up sleeping in the same bed…gotta love teething.


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