it would have been our first visit to casa evelyn-hank.
we waited for them to return from their honeymoon trip to germany and then we were back on for last weekend after confirming they didn't mind risking a run in with the colds brian and oliver brought back as souvenirs from oklahoma city.
brian ended up taking friday off and we left our parking lot at 5:33pm. as soon as we traveled the handful of blocks down university and turned on to the access road for 75, we were mired in traffic. we scooted and scooted the several miles past downtown and finally found ourselves exiting dallas forty five minutes later.
the sky was a limitless panorama of the most amazing clouds the entire way down. most of our conversation consisted of "holy crap! look at that cloud!"
in order to prolong the magic of our trip even more, we pulled over for gas and then for coffee. i actually managed to find a changing table in the starbucks bathroom, so the baby got new pants. in the meantime, brian was busy pouring an entire venti caramel macchiato into the driver's seat. it soaked it right up. brian offered to drive the rest of the way and did so while sitting on top of a waterproof picnic blanket in order to avoid making coffee pants.
the baby was totally jazzed and wired by the time we finally pulled in around 10pm (2 hours past his bedtime). he'd just had a four hour nap and i wasn't sure how on earth we were going to get him to sleep. and his cold had turned from a perpetually runny nose to a perpetually runny nose with hacking cough. it was the saddest thing i've ever heard. top that off with teething on some molars and he was set for a grumpy weekend.
we chatted for awhile and then retired for the night. fortunately, oliver seems to sleep better in strange beds and only woke up briefly once. it was fantastic.
we were up bright and early saturday morning. hank had already left for job #1 of 2, so we three sipped cups of coffee and poured cups of coffee into evelyn's couch cushions (not really!) and played in the hankelyn indoor petting zoo.
i showered and was in the upstairs bathroom primping when i heard oliver crying. it wasn't long after that brian tapped on the door and asked if i was naked. when i opened the door, i saw brian and oliver wearing tshirts with matching spatters of blood and there was blood all over the baby's face. he was screaming, obviously. aghast, i asked what had happened. he had fallen and landed with his face between two spindles on the stair railing and cut his eyebrow on the edge. my first glimpse of the cut made me initially think it was coming from his eye socket and it was all i could do to not pass out or throw up while we tried to carefully mop up the blood and calm him. it was his first, really bloody incident. it was insult to his cold's injury. now he looks like he's wearing tacky shades of murky yellow and green eye shadow.
somewhere in there, the baby was playing in the dining room and figured out how to clap. then he did this cute thing where he started to clap, but had both arms going the same direction at the same time.
eventually, we were all out the door for lunch at magnolia cafe. i unhinged my jaw and shoved an entire spinach/hummus wrap down into my gullet.
the baby was acting all squirrely, so we dropped him and brian back at the house for their naptime. evelyn and i went to whole foods a couple of times trying to catch hank at job #2 of 2 with a short trip to bookpeople in between. on our way to flipnotics for coffee, we received a call on the red telephone that the baby was done napping and mightily displeased. so we went back to the house and picked them up for a trip to room service. brian got me a disgustingly pink vintage frou frou nightie and this awesome little canvas bag that says "GOOD TIMES" with a little attached, apple-shaped notepad that made my mind scream: "1980s!" during the 80s, i didn't really realize how things like that were prevalent, but it was like a little bell went off when i saw that notepad dangling that drove it all home.
after that, we decided that dinner out with the grumposaurus would be less then pleasant and opted instead to return again to whole foods and pick up dinner from one of the countless food bars (yellow curry tofu, marinated mushroom, an eggroll, and grilled vegetables dumped into one box... why can't we have that at our whole foods?). we actually saw hank that time.
it wasn't until we were returning to brian's car that i noticed what appeared to be a large paper clip stuck to brian's driver's side hubcap. google later revealed it to be a caliper clip which holds the brake pad to the caliper. great. you would think that people who worked for a place called Just Brakes (where his brakes were replaced a month or two ago) could install brakes properly. we drove home and passed on using the highway.
after eating dinner, brian put the baby down. then we drank beers and played this train game evelyn had gotten in germany and we took pleasure in talking about "laying down tracks". like: "brian laid tracks. in his pants."
our second night was the polar opposite from our first, sleepwise. oliver's cold was in full force and he had lost his voice. it was like having a mute button on the baby. i felt so bad for him and found myself cursing the name of the source of his cold. this was the first time he had been sick beyond a little sniffle. in case the cold wasn't bad enough, he was also being tortured with tylenol, robitussin, and saline spray. he acted like snot removal was pulling his skin off. why they put red food coloring in baby medicine i'll never know.
so we were up bright and early once again sunday morning. more coffee. more chatting. via the television, i learned about vlad dracula (the impaler) and rather unpleasant ways of administering death. brian took his car to pep boys to have them put another clip on and promise we wouldn't die on the way home.
brian was acting all squirrely, so oliver tried to put him down for his nap. but to no avail. we got all packed up and went to veggie heaven to meet our friend, ricky. i was starving. or so it seemed. i made the mistake of ordering a curry bun as if my Protein 2000 entree required any supplementing. by the time it was over, i told everyone that i felt like a balloon in the macy's day parade. while i was holding oliver, ricky saw him checking out some colorful asian decor dangling from the ceiling and pointed at it. oliver's little finger flew skyward as it he's been doing it his whole life. so now he enjoys pointing at far away objects.
we parted ways with hankelyn and followed ricky to the "bad side of town" to see the outside of the new house he just bought. in addition to the harried cackling of many backyard chickens, there was plenty of tejano pouring forth from the pick up across the street. it felt like a party. a hot, sweaty party. come pecan harvest season, you'll find me in ricky's yard loading up buckets from the three pecan trees.
we got on the road back to dallas at 2:55pm. it took us another 4.5 hours. for some completely elusive reason which drives me to the brink of insanity, there was a continuous string of traffic jams until we reached the I35 split. it was maddening. and we only stopped long enough to go through the starbucks drive through. oh, and i also took a several minute detour in waco to follow a shoepolished SUV which had tailgated me close enough to see i have a baby in the backseat (which makes my blood reach an instantaneous boil). once i was past the vehicle in the right lane, they rolled past and the teen girl in the passenger seat waved coyly. i flipped her off.
i don't know if they knew we had followed them. we drove past as they pulled up to the health camp eatery and looped back through the parking lot. the girl had gone inside and the guy driving had gone to the back and opened it up. as we pulled up behind (and perpendicular), i was aghast to see it was likely their father who had been an asshole while his two daughters were with him. there was a blonde girl in the backseat who was probably 10 or 11 looking at us. so i waved at her and started pulling away as he turned to see who she was waving at. what an asshole. then we came up with 100 ways to punish assholes who tailgate cars with babies inside.
i later decided he did know we were following, had the teen go inside to call the cops, told the younger one to hunker down in the car, and was in the back looking for his rifle. brian reasoned that was precisely why he should begin toting a beebee gun.
anyhow, it left me feeling sated for finally following an asshole driver, yet slightly sickened at seeing he had his children with him. and then i figured, with my luck, the teen was probably waving politely to say: "yeah, i know. my dad's an asshole. sorry!" and then i flipped her off and cursed teens driving their daddys' suvs.