Moms Getaway Part 2: Three Women And A Mission

After arriving at our destination, the rest of the weekend went as smooth as clockwork. We lounged on the beach and by the pool. We shopped and ate amazing food. We watched TV in bed, and most importantly of all we laughed. We laughed a lot.

Nice culottes, Granny.
 Caliza at Alys Beach
George’s at Alys Beach

When Sunday rolled around we packed our things and prepared for our journey home. Loren Leigh and I were in the bathroom packing our toiletries when Mary Marshall walked in and informed us that there was a leak downstairs. We all rushed down there to find water coming through the ceiling. A pipe somewhere had burst and the water was finding its way out by pouring from a speaker.

Mary Marshall’s first responder skills were right on point because before she even alerted us,  she had scoured the cabinets for a bowl large enough to contain the leak, thereby sparing quite a bit of furniture from damage. I’m pretty sure she was a paramedic in her former life.  I made a quick call to my uncle for some guidance.

My mind flashed back to the Luke Wescott flood of 2011, and I knew that we needed to get the water out of the ceiling as quickly as possible to keep it from spreading. I could hear my uncle’s confidence in me wavering a bit, but I like to think that he reflected back to the Billie Jean King in me that just one week before had put together a fire pit all by herself. He said, “If you can’t get the speaker to pop out, then at least poke a hole in the ceiling with a screwdriver.”

A larger garbage can had replaced the bowl because the water began steadily dripping down from all around the speaker frame. Mary Marshall held the ladder steady while Loren Leigh handed me tools like a surgical assistant. Every time I pried the edge of the speaker down,  more water poured out.

“Why don’t you get down and let me try,” Loren Leigh offered. I was happy to oblige. Then, with her bear hands, (That’s not a typo. I’m fairly certain she was channeling a grizzly bear) she took hold of the speaker and slowly pulled it down with arms shaking like a weak armed Olympian doing a pull up. With that, the leak slowed to a drip and our crisis was over. I like to think of that whole experience as our team building exercise for the weekend.

Piece of cake!

Afterward, we did the only thing that seemed appropriate. So back to the outlet malls we went. A little retail therapy always slows my heart rate back to normal, much like a prescription- a really expensive prescription.

Eventually, it came time for Mary Marshall to say her goodbyes and head to the airport. However, about thirty minutes later she called to say that Loren Leigh had left her J. Crew shopping bag in her rental car. “No problem,” said Loren Leigh. “Just leave the bag at the rental car place and we will come and get it.” We were then reminded by the rental car agent that under no circumstances could an unattended package be left at the airport, AND if she checked the bag she would be charged extra. To make matters worse, there was absolutely no fitting it in her already full suitcase.

That’s when the rental car agent made a suggestion. It was half insane, half brilliant. So Mary Marshall boarded her plane wearing four additional sweaters, a pair of socks, and a bracelet purchased earlier by Loren Leigh. She really took one for the team that day, dressed as what could only have looked like a homeless person layered up for a good night’s rest in a city park.

The ride home for Loren Leigh and me was much less eventful considering that we had a car charger for our phones. Had the navigation system not instructed us to make four consecutive U-turns, and then circle through a trailer park scary enough to give Honey Boo Boo nightmares, we would have made it home in under five hours. Hey, there’s always next time.

Route that navigation system took us on.
We thought it was a driveway, too.
And, you gotta love the curtains.
Can I get a “Row Tide?”

Moms Getaway Part 1: Just Get Us There

We all love our kids, but there are times when we can do them, and ourselves a favor by getting the hell away from them. This past weekend my two friends and I did just that.

Once we arrived at our destination we had an amazing time. It was the getting there and the departure that allowed for a few snafus. The easiest way for me to sum this up for you is in a two-part timeline.

Friday morning 6:30- My friend Loren Leigh takes her husband, John Allen, to have an esophageal endoscopy.

At 9:00 AM they return home. Loren Leigh explains to her husband the results of the procedure for the second time. We tell him, “Glad you don’t have cancer,” put him in bed, and depart for the beach.

At 10:30 we are well on our way. Loren Leigh calls to check on John Allen. He has been asleep, but says that he is feeling fine. I hear Loren Leigh tell him the results of the procedure for the third time. I chuckle for a moment, and then realize that using the Verizon navigation on my phone has rapidly depleted the battery. We have no car chargers for our phones.

At 11:00 my phone runs out of battery. We switch over to using Loren Leigh’s phone for navigation. All is good. We are so ready to relax by the pool.

At noon her phone also runs out of battery. We have a momentary freak out until we realize that we can use the iPad for navigating. Now, I’ve been to and from Destin, FL a million times. Had we gone the way I’m used to going we would have had no problem, but our navigation systems had taken us on a “faster” route that had led us to a desolate Nowheresville.

At 12:05 I get an alert message on the iPad stating, “The data limit has been exceeded.” I select the options to add more data, but nothing happens, landing us totally and completely off the grid. To make matters worse, we were in the desolate area of a Florida highway where there was nothing but dirt roads leading to trailers. I lovingly refer to this barren wasteland as, “Sex offender valley.” Add to our navigational issues the fact that we aren’t able to get word to our other friend, Mary Marshall, who had flown in at 9:00 AM, that we may be later than predicted and/or murdered. As you can tell by now, everyone in this story has a double name except me. I will now be referring to myself as, “Just Lori.”

At 12:30 comes a sigh of relief as we approach a gas station. Loren Leigh whips the car into the parking lot and immediately starts digging through her luggage for her wall charger. Oh yes, we’re about to steal some electricity. I hook it up to an electrical outlet next to the propane tanks. She goes inside to start offering people cash for their car chargers. Suddenly, I hear my name. I put the dead phone to my ear and say, “Hello.” Then I look over and see Loren Leigh holding an iPhone charger. It’s shiny and new- still in the box.

We jump in the car and I begin savagely trying to get the box open, much like a raccoon with a trash bag. “Dang it,” I said. “I think we need scissors or a pocketknife to open it. I’ll be back.” There are lots of people to choose from, but I look for a stranger that is most likely to be carrying a pocketknife. “Excuse me sir,” I say to a man pumping gas. “I really need this and can’t seem to get it open.” I reflect back for a moment as he takes the box. I can’t help thinking that I’m a mere shell of the woman who put a fire pit together one week ago. I snap back to reality as I hear the man saying something. He reads something on the box and says, “Peel here,” as he gingerly peels the box apart with his bare hands. “What a show off,” I think to myself as he tells me to have a, “Blessed day.”

At 2:00 PM we arrive in Destin and meet up with Mary Marshall. Our arrival is later than predicted, but she doesn’t show one ounce of impatience or frustration. Perhaps she’s surprised that we didn’t die in sex offender valley. Finally, the three of us collapse into chairs by the pool- Loren Leigh, Mary Marshall, and Just Lori.

Against All Odds: A Harrowing Tale of Vacation, Marriage, and Pancakes

I had a rough night with Luke last night, and as a result I didn’t get much sleep. Brantley and I are alternating sleeping in Luke’s bed with him while we’re on vacation, and he struggles through a little nightmare phase. If a million reasons just popped into your head on why this is a bad idea, just keep it to yourself because we each get a good night sleep every other night. All was well until 4:30 this morning when I started feeling a tap tap tapping on my shoulder.

“Hey Mom, it’s me, Wucas. I need a snack.”
“Go back to sleep,” I mustered through gritted teeth.
“But I’m so hawngry. It’s morning time.”
“No, it isn’t.”
“Mom, you be kiddin’ me.”

This went on for quite some time before I finally turned on Tom and Jerry to pacify him before going back to sleep. I have no idea how much time passed, but some time later I heard Brantley’s thunderous footsteps coming down the hall. Luke greeted him sweetly with, “Good morning, Dad. Mom won’t wake up and it’s morning time.”

I could hear Brantley make his way toward me. I pulled the covers off of my head with my standard growl and hiss. (It’s imperative that I exert my dominance early on in the day, otherwise Brantley spends a whole day feeling drunk with power.)

“I brought you something,” he said.

There before me was a pancake and bacon breakfast with a cup of coffee. This was an especially sweet gesture considering Brantley version 2.0 doesn’t eat pancakes or drink coffee. He had done it all for me. I was almost speechless. All I could think to say was, “I’m sorry for cussing at you in my head.”

Now, I’m not one to jump to conclusions, and I certainly don’t want to jinx anything, but after eight years together I’m starting to think this marriage just may work.

My boys

With a new train and giant lollipop it’s obvious who is REALLY drunk with power.

Riding, Resting and Relaxation

I’m glad to be writing to you from sunny Destin, FL where the Wescott three are enjoying a little R&R. Luke has been living it up pretty hard which has required Brantley and I to check him a few times. One instance was over a comment he made to some pedestrians while we were driving the golf cart. Brantley poignantly explained to him why it wasn’t alright to say, “Get out of the way of my Jeep!”

This morning I wasn’t feeling like going for a run so I opted to ride a bike to the Baytowne Wharf and back to the house. Historically speaking, my bike riding skills are less than stellar, but I hung in there and completed my journey. The best part was when Brantley and Luke pulled up alongside me in the golf cart and Luke shouted, “Mom, you’re on a bike? You be kiddin’ me, right?” I would’ve responded with something snarky if I hadn’t been panting so hard. Afterwards, I collapsed into the jacuzzi and shouted for Brantley to, “Fix me a milkshake!”
I think that’s the first time I have pedaled anything since a spin class instructor politely asked me to leave her class because she thought I was going to faint. However, after today I may be changing my Christmas wish list from Segway to bike. (Although, I still really, really, really want a Segway. No pressure.)

Backstreet’s Back! Kind of…

Last week provided me with some much needed R&R, and time away from the mess that is our house. If you haven’t been following the blog, then allow me to summarize the last couple of weeks for you. My son, Luke (3 yrs. old), flooded the upstairs sink causing it to rain in the living room. Suffice it to say that after a lot of clean up, the house is livable, but not cozy.
Perfect time to take a vacation? You bet your buns it was. Some friends drove down to meet us in Florida mid-week, which allowed for catching up and reminiscing, both of which are very important. Luke really enjoyed playing in the ocean, and was moderately well behaved, except for the last two days, which we won’t discuss. In summary, a purr-fect week.
I don’t want your emails telling me that I’m holding the paddle incorrectly.  And, yes Luke is crying.
There was even some free entertainment in the way of the next-door neighbors. “Who,” might you ask, “were you lucky enough to be in such close quarters with?” None other than the once famed Backstreet Boy, Brian Littrel. Although to be quite honest, we should probably now call them Backstreet Men, but I digress.
Backstreet Boys. Brian Littrel is on far left. 

Mr. Littrel and his entourage vacationed harder than anyone I’ve ever seen. In fact, every morning I would clean up the beach after their late night vacationing. If I was smarter (which I’m not) I would’ve saved those empty beer cans, bottles of water, and Dixie cups to auction them off on EBay. I could have scored at least three or four dollars.
I nicknamed his wife, Tits Littrel, for reasons that I am too classy to discuss. Do you get where I’m going with this? Are you feeling me? She had some tig ol’ bitties, okay.
Well, it became quite apparent day after day that it was Mrs. Littrel’s job to drink heavily and be perky 24-7. In fact, one day while they were on the beach in front of God, families with children, and a couple of dolphins, she commenced giving Backstreet Boy a lap dance. Have you ever seen a dolphin throw up?  I have.
Later, she sauntered around in the waves and did a slow stripper walk while Backstreet Boy photographed. Like watching a train wreck in slow motion we could not turn away. Neither could their kid.
Enjoy the photo, but before you shake your head at me for snapping it, please understand that no one has ever wanted to be noticed and photographed more than these people, right down to their overtly ostentatious vehicle (a Hummer with a black and white toile pattern and purple writing).
This photo was taken right after his body guard wallowed in Luke’s sand pit. 

Vacation Recap and A Week’s Worth of Luke-isms

Alas, I have returned from a relaxing week at the beach feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle all life can throw at me. Ok, truth time. It was a great week, indeed. The weather was beautiful, and the accommodations were unimaginable, but the company could have been a little better.
As luck would have it, Luke (2.5 years old) was absent, and in his place was his alter ego, Damien. I did NOT let this spoil my perfect week, but it did make things a little challenging. His latest vice is back talking, and like his dear, sweet mother he doesn’t do anything halfway. There were no four-letter words spoken, but his favorite thing to say was, “Mom, hush up! You unda-stand me?” 
Brantley and I considered, and applied, all forms of discipline to include time outs, taking away toys, and my least favorite- spanking.  After about a full week of trial and error, he finally responded positively to, of all things, a stern talking. Who’d a thunk it? This wasn’t discovered, however, until everyone in Destin, FL had received a, “Hush up! Wight now. You unda-stand me,” including the waitress at Crab Trap. In Luke’s defense, she totally had it coming. After waiting fifteen minutes to show up at our table, we didn’t need to hear her talk about the daily specials.
As it would turn out, the advice my Mom gave us at the beginning of the week was right on. I hate when that happens. “He’s just trying to get your attention,” she said. “Preposterous,” I thought. “He ALWAYS has our attention.” If only my Mom and I had been talking about the same type of attention, then Brantley and I wouldn’t have sat on the beach and cried one day after deciding that Luke must have Tourette’s syndrome. “Why else could he NOT stop saying, “hush up?’” we thought.  
So after a week in the sun my brain was finally willing to accept the advice my Mom had oh, so quietly mentioned seven days earlier. Sometimes, the attention kids need is more than eye contact and a reprimand. I now know that a well-timed hug, kiss, and tickle fight can prevent a lot of unwanted behavior. So far, this is working for us. When Damien pops back up, and believe me he does, we address it and move on.
So to summarize, I learned on vacation how to be a better parent, that my Mom is always right (spoken under my breath), and that seagulls LOVE popcorn.

Mullet Watch 2010

It’s been quite some time since my last “Mullet Watch” entry and I had begun to lose faith in mankind. What changes had our country undergone to cause the eradication of such a marvelous species, I wondered. That all changed during my recent trip to Destin, FL.
I was meandering around Baytown Wharf, when lo and behold, I came across this majestic creature. This particular variety of the mullet, also known as the Moo-lay, or the Achy Breaky Big Mistakey, is normally indigenous to Mexico, but has recently been spotted all over the south. If you come across one during your day to day activities, don’t try to approach it on your own. They have been known to carry shotguns and spit tobacco. Just stand back and admire it in its own habitat.