Abigail’s explanation

“Poopie’s hiding. He’s having lunch. He’s eating a poptart.”

My soon-to-be three-year-old daughter Abigail’s explanation as to why she wasn’t going to the bathroom.

Woe is me

When I started this blog, I planned on a mix of topics ranging from the personal to the philosophical to the inane. I will now explain why the trivial/inane seems to be the main fare these days. As I blogged below, we had a rather interesting Thanksgiving vacation, culminating in a 19 hour drive back to Dallas on Thanksgiving day. The next day, Tricia and Abigail left for Atlanta, leaving Jonathan and I to have a grand time at home.

Now, the next part of this story depends on some very happy background information: we (meaning Tricia, my wife) are pregnant, due in mid-June. It was a bit of a surprise — we had sort of envisioned another year or so between Jonathan and whoever came next — but I could not be happier. The day before we left on our vacation in mid-November we got to see the little dude and his beating heart on the sonogram. It’s still a rush the third time around. Okay, a bit more background before the main point. Though we had had a bit of trouble getting pregnant the first time around, that was not the issue with our second (Jonathan). Though Abigail and Jonathan are only 2 years apart, we had two miscarriages prior to Jonathan coming on the scene.

Okay, back to the story at hand. A couple days after Tricia and Abigail returned from Atlanta (early last week), Tricia started experiencing symptoms very much in keeping with her previous miscarriages. Everything turned out okay, but it entailed several days of bedrest. During that week, we also discovered that Jonathan, who had come down with a cold while we were on vacation, now had both an ear and sinus infection. He was not a happy camper. After limping into this week, we started to pull together and try to return to a sense of normalcy in the past couple days.

Then Abigail woke up with a 103 degree fever in the wee hours of the morning last night and started vomiting. Though she felt terrible, she still didn’t seem to mind trying to play footsies with me from about 4:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. once we had her in bed with us for closer monitoring. Having only slept about 4 or 5 hours the night before (and having gone to bed at 1:30 a.m. last night), I was feeling like warmed over death around the time I got back to sleep at 6 a.m. Suffice to say I did not make it to work in a timely fashion.

The result of all these happenings is that I’ve not been thinking too many erudite thoughts of late. And now you know the rest of the story.

Back from Flagstaff

We had a wonderful time with my folks in Flagstaff for a few days, then on Monday we left the children with them and headed down to Sedona, AZ for a night away. This was a rather momentous trip given that it was only the second night we had ever been without the children, and we were staying at the bed & breakfast in which we had stayed on our honeymoon. We had a wonderful time.

Sadly, we received a call early the next morning informing us my wife’s grandfather had passed away. We immediately began changing plans and headed back to Flagstaff, where we celebrated Thanksgiving early the following day (Wednesday) with my parents. We then got up at 3:45 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and drove back to Dallas, arriving at 11:30 pm. All this to allow my wife and daughter to catch a plane this morning bound for Atlanta for the funeral.

Jonathan (my 11 month old son) and I actually had a great day together, which was surprising given all the travel he’s had to do recently and the nasty cold he’s been fighting. Oddly enough, this is the first time Jonathan and I have spent more than a few hours together alone. I found it very gratifying. He’s a great little guy.

For those of you who were wondering, the minivan performed admirably… once we were coming back to Dallas and it was proving its worth, my wife and I began questioning the prudence of using a used vehicle for a 2000 mile road trip a couple weeks after acquiring it and were thankful it held up.

Drive to Flagstaff

Here’s the basic shape of our trip to Flagstaff this past Thursday.

The Plan: Get to bed by 10:30 pm Wednesday night so we can get several hours of sound sleep before getting up at 4 am
Reality: Up until 12:30 am. Asleep by 1. Awaken by Jonathan bellowing twice during the night. Get up a bit after 4 am, having gotten 2 hours of sleep.

The Plan: Leave at 5 am for long stretch before breakfast with the kids sleeping.
Reality: Got everyone in the minivan by 5:15 am. Turned the ignition. Nothing happens. Turns out I had managed to kill the battery while testing the portable TV/VCR I had set up in the van. Struggle with numerous godly virtues (or lack thereof). Get the jumper cables and hook up the minivan to the other car’s battery. After 15 minutes of trying finally get the minivan started. Leave around 5:40 am with two disgruntled, most definitely not sleeping, children.

The Plan: Zip in and out of McDonald’s for breakfast.
Reality: 90 minutes of food and numerous bathroom visits with disgruntled children.

The Plan: Long stretch to lunch.
Reality: 140 miles into the trip, several minutes after the children had finally fallen asleep, missed the reduced speed limit sign in Wichita Falls, TX. Got a speeding ticket.

The Plan: More humerous goals and aspirations leading to the timely arrival in Flagstaff, AZ, around 10 or 11 pm.
Reality: 500 miles of continuous rain. A couple more very long stops along with a couple shorter ones. Attempting to stay awake by consuming bags of candy and animal crackers, numerous cokes and root beers. Singing along with U2’s The Joshua Tree late at night (answering the question, “What would U2 sound like if Bono stank?”). And finally, amazingly, only around 19 hours later, safe arrival in Flagstaff.


Packing never goes as planned. Enough said. It’s after 11:30 pm, the alarm is going to be set for 3:30 or 4 am, and we will be on the road for probably 17 to 19 hours. Until we meet again, cheers.

The Long Drive

This coming Thursday, we’ll head out way too early in the morning to drive to my folks home in Flagstaff, AZ. The goal is to do the trip in one long drive… looking at it on the map, I’m starting to feel like I may need to have my head examined. Preparations were a little larger than the normal family trip given that the first item on the check-list was to buy a minivan. What a great time to buy a used car, though. Prices have really come down significantly in the past few months. We found the right vehicle just over a week ago. Though it had a good bit more mileage on it than we were targeting, the price was terrific. Being inherently distrustful of previous owners, I had it serviced (oil, alignment, check the belts/filters/coolant/etc.) this past weekend and it is now ready for the road. My brother has loaned me their portable TV/VCR, and we are putting every Veggie Tale and Winnie the Pooh video we have on few 6-hour VHS tapes. We figure continuous, mind-numbing entertainment is our best bet at helping Jonathan (11 months old) and Abigail (not quite 3 years old) make the trip.