Whirlwind and Wonderful Visit

Last week I had my long-awaited opportunity to visit my newly minted 3-year old Jeremy back in California. After Jason and I moved to Alabama at the end of July, Jeremy stayed behind to spend 2 1/2 months with his dad before joining us in our new home from mid-October through New Years Eve. The parenting plan that my ex-husband and I came up with included a provision for the parent that Jeremy isn’t living with can visit him for at least three days during the time that Jeremy’s with the other parent. My ex and I have come a long way since we first broke up and we’re making things work for Jeremy’s benefit. In one day we worked out a fantastic bi-coastal co-parenting plan to include shared homeschooling when he’s of school age.

 

Anyhow, I’ve taken a nearly two-week break from blogging because I was spending a really wonderful birthday week with my little boy and then, visiting family and friends, flying home to Alabama with Jason’s great uncle Frank, and getting my house back in order after a week away. Well, I’m back and ready to share some clips from my treasured few days with my first born who I’d missed so badly for seven weeks.

 

My friends Donna and Gabe picked me up from the airport on Saturday and took me to Chipotle for lunch. Aside from craving time with my little boy, I’ve been going crazy craving Chipotle (the closest one is 200 miles from my house in Alabama). We spent a nice afternoon and evening at their house and I crashed on their couch.

On Sunday morning I picked up Jeremy from his dad’s house bright and early at 7 am. He helped me pick out donuts and chocolate milk to take back to Donna and Gabe.

There were a couple pairs of cool 3-D glasses on the floor of Donnas car, Jeremy decided we needed to wear them.

There were a couple pairs of cool 3-D glasses on the floor of Donna's car, Jeremy decided we needed to wear them.

After eating his donut from top to bottom (yes, pink icing and rainbow sprinkles first, then the cake), he held Donna’s gecko and watched some Phineas & Ferb.

Buddies: Jeremy and Cosmo

Buddies: Jeremy and Cosmo

A little while later, my little sister Samantha came over and picked up Jeremy and I to take us to our mom’s house for Jeremy’s birthday party with the family.

Opening presents with help from Aunt Sam.

Opening presents with help from Aunt Sam.

 It was really wonderful to have my grandparents (Nana and Papa) at their great-grandson’s birthday party. I was blessed as a child and young adult to have my great-grandparents as major influences in my life. I have so many memories with them and I am so happy that my grandparents are young enough to build those same memories with Jeremy.

More presents with Nana, Papa, and Uncle Tim in the background.

More presents with Uncle Tim, Papa, and Nana in the background.

Blowing out the candles.

Blowing out the candles.

 Uncle Tim (well, he’s my cousin, but we grew up as close as brother & sister) brought out the cake and Jeremy barely waited for the cake to be set down before he started blowing at the candles. We sang, but the candles were long out before the song was over. 

A very happy birthday boy.

A very happy birthday boy.

There’s my aunt Diane clapping her hands. Her son David just came home from Iraq about a week ago – we are SO glad to have him home and safe. He’s got a baby daughter just five months old that he’d never met, so he was understandably home with his girls. I couldn’t get a good photo of my mom all day, but that’s most of her standing behind Diane.

After a long day of gecko-ing and partying, my newly minted 3-year old passed out pretty hard at Aunt Shannon’s house.

Such a tired boy, that blanket covered more of him when he was a baby.

Such a tired boy, that blanket covered more of him when he was a baby.

 

On Monday we lazed around with Aunt Shannon for a while before hitting the road to visit the Irvine Park Railroad and Orange County Zoo.

Barely tall enough to reach his face into the railroad engineer cut-out.

Barely tall enough to reach his face into the railroad engineer cut-out.

First thing we needed to do was take a ride on the 7/8 scale train.

First thing we needed to do was take a ride on the 7/8 scale train.

We got to see some really beautiful parts of Irvine Regional Park while riding the train, but two of our favorite things were the pond with all the ducks and the peacocks.

Pond at Irvine Regional Park.

Pond at Irvine Regional Park.

These peacocks let you get right up close to them, just a couple feet away before they wander away.

These peacocks let you get right up close to them, just a couple feet away before they wander away.

Jeremy loved the train so much we had to go thank the conductor.

Jeremy loved the train so much we had to go thank the conductor.

I won’t post all the pictures from the zoo. It’s a rescue zoo that rehabilitates local wildlife. Very neat animals, but I’m sure you’ve all seen goats, coyotes, mountain lions, bears and hawks before. However, it was really awesome that the zoo had a special permit to house an endangered bald eagle. Apparently it was so drastically injured that it would never be able to fend for itself in the wild. It’s wings were so bad that it could only fly as well as a chicken, fluttering from the ground to a tree stump, but it couldn’t get up into a tree for all it tried.

Its good of the zoo to keep the eagle safe and allow the public to enjoy a beautiful endangered animal up close.

It's good of the zoo to keep the eagle safe and allow the public to enjoy a beautiful endangered animal up close.

 

On Tuesday Jeremy, Aunt Shannon (my sister-in-law), Uncle Frank and I all headed off to the museum of retired planes at March Air Reserve Base in Perris, CA. Here’s a quick video I took of Shannon and Jeremy zooming around between planes:

Again, I won’t post all the photos from the plane museum, but just a few won’t hurt. 😀

One really big helicopter.

One really big helicopter.

One very shiny plane for Jeremy to pretend to repel from.

One very shiny plane for Jeremy to pretend to repel from.

Have no idea what this is, but it had lots of buttons and switches.

Have no idea what this is, but it had lots of buttons and switches.

This one was way too cool not to share.

This one was way too cool not to share.

They had tons of Air Force, Army, and Navy planes, but just one lonely old Coast Guard sea plane.

They had tons of Air Force, Army, and Navy planes, but just one lonely old Coast Guard sea plane.

Spying Mommy through the landing gear.

Spying Mommy through the landing gear.

We had a blast checking out all the planes and helicopters, but after running around in the desert heat for a couple of hours in the middle of the day, Mommy was quite tired and Jeremy started having a bit of a melt-down. We got lunch and headed back to Aunt Shannon’s house for a nap. Later in the afternoon we went to Jeremy’s first gymnastics class. He did really well with the tumbling, skipping, and everything, but the backward crab-walking had him stumped. He’ll get it in time.

 

Getting help with a somersault.

Getting help with a somersault.

 

 

We only had a half day together on Wednesday so we spent a calm and easy-going morning hanging out reading the new books he got for his birthday, raking pine needles, and whacking the pine tree in the backyard with the rake. I told him that was dangerous, then he decided that he needed a helmet. Not finding one, he chose a bucket.

 

Who am I to argue with his ingenuity?

Who am I to argue with his ingenuity?

 

After I dropped off Jeremy, I spent Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and half of Friday back at Donna and Gabe’s. In those few days we had fun catching up and I was able to run off for a short evening to have dinner and girl talk with my maid of honor Stephanie. I’ve missed her a lot, as with all of our friends, and those couple of hours together really helped fill the space.

On Friday I headed back to Shannon’s, did some laundry and helped pack up Uncle Frank’s clothes so that he and I could fly together back to Alabama. While it wasn’t fun at all to wake up at 4:30 the next morning, it was wonderful to be home with my husband early Saturday evening. We went home to relax a bit and then took the family out to dinner (needless to say, I was not up to cooking that night).

 

That’s the long story of my week long trip to California. Most of it was spent with my little boy, we made some good memories with family, and I caught up with close friends. Hopefully when we head out there again for Christmas we’ll be able to see more people.

I’ve been home from my trip for almost a week now and have just under three weeks to wait until Jeremy comes home to me at our new house. I’ve got lots of fun things planned for us!

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One thought on “Whirlwind and Wonderful Visit

  1. MJ

    I am soooooo sorry we weren’t able to get together during that time. But I am incredibly glad that you had such a wonderful time with Jeremy. We can’t wait to see you over the holidays. Big hugs to all of you. Mucho love!

    Reply

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