Monday, July 6, 2009

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Y'all, it is good to be home on the Fourth of July. (Funny how the entire United States is 'home,' now, isn't it?) There were sparklers, there were meats on the grill, there were slaws and beers and party games. And this morning, I wore my pajamas to the coffee shop. USA!

I'm having a great time visiting Melanie, Tony, and baby Nason in northern California. They are such a beautiful family, and the baby fits right in. Check it out:
Melanie and I met when we were sixteen and I moved to Key Largo from Maine (eek!). We hit it off immediately, and spent our high school years doing Calculus and History projects together, playing designated driver for some of our friends, and trying like heck to get boys' attention. One of those boys was Tony Valle, who became Mr. Melanie a couple years ago, and one of my dear friends to boot. Mel and I were each others' maids of honor, and planned to have our kids at the same time and try to make the Navy station us together. So far those last two haven't quite worked out, but we're still hopeful.

Since I arrived we've had two baby-free "dates" - once to the coffee shop and once to the grocery store. Nason will be three months next week, so it's tough to be away for long, but we've had fun! Here's Mel, baby-free for coffee:
and here's me, in heaven in Monterey with a little man snoozing in the carrier.
Nason is unbelievably good-natured. He cries when he wants something - food or to be changed or a bounce on somebody for a while - but the rest of the time he's smiley and burpey and absolutely adorable. And, thanks to his Mommy, I even got to feed him one of his first bottles.Yeah. I make dorky faces.
Now that he's such a big boy, he can alternate bottles with nursing so Mel can be away for a couple hours at a time. We're going to test that theory this week. Maybe kayaking?

Yesterday, for the Fourth, we went to two parties: a big shebang for mostly families with young kids, thrown by Mel and Tony's baby photographer, who spent her toddlerhood in Yokosuka! I had a chat with her mom, Katherine, who lived in Yoko on her own for two years, while her pilot husband worked away from home 85% of the time. No Skype, no email, no overseas phone calls - we are PAMPERED these days. Those women must have been made of steel.

Next was Eric and Jen's soiree, around the corner from Mel and Tony's house. There were about a dozen of us there, and the guys work together, so there were lots of beers and games and laughs flying around over there. Eric is learning Chinese, which is MUCH harder than Japanese - no alphabets! tonality! poor guy - and another friend was visiting from Vegas. The ladies dominated a game of Cranium and the baby fell asleep to the hoots and hollers and sparklers.

What a trip. I miss my husband, who has spent his four-day weekend cleaning our house, and I can't wait to see him next week in Washington. But for now I'm cuddling the baby and loving my friends, and wishing my stay here could be longer.


Kelsey said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying yourself! Nason is as cute as promised!! Have a great rest of your trip!

clembo said...

What a great time! Enjoy yourself, and keep writing!

Bethanyivy said...

What a beautiful family. Now I can put a face to the names : ) Enjoy that sweet baby and best friend time. Yea for coffee shop in PJs!!!