Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Home Sweet Florida

After Halloweek in the Jerz, we made the long, LONG trek back to Florida. 

I cried for a good 20 minutes in the car when we left. I was dreading the drive, and I felt like a piece of me had been ripped out. Every time we part from family is very difficult for me, but after living with my parents again for so long, and with their grandchild no less, this time was the worst. Atlas bonded so much with our parents during our two-month stay, and coming back to Florida made me feel like I was doing something awful to all of them. It wasn't even about me this time. I just felt bad for separating Atlas from them.

It took us 20 hours to get back. Overnight was great, but daytime consisted of lots of fussing and stopping. That first afternoon home felt really weird, but we settled in quickly. The next day, we got right back in to staying busy and headed to West Palm for the Green Market. It's just a big festival with local vendors and activities. We saw Kristin and Ben, let Atlas play, and I got coffee and a muffin. It was exactly what I needed to lift my spirits. As soon as I started walking down the street toward the vendors and the water, I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I just wish everyone I cared about was here, too.

My heart will always be torn in two. No matter where I go, I will never feel whole. It is kind of shitty to know that. But at the same time, it feels good to know, after all the time I spent during my favorite season up north, that I am still happy and see a future here.

After almost two weeks back, we are still kind of living in chaos, but I have done my best to get settled, get back in to a routine, and keep the house clean. Atlas is a completely different kid from the time we left, so we came back in to an environment unsuited for a crazypants. He is not cautious at all. I have been childproofing as we go, but every time I turn around, he is getting in to something new. I find his toys in the fridge, dishwasher, pantry, and under the oven. I swear I don't leave him alone basically ever. He is just QUICK. And he laughs when he does something he knows he should not. I try to teach him and be firm, but the truth is that I am pretty amused by how clever he is. We have been trying to see friends when I am not cleaning or running errands to get the place back in order, and he has been loving the playground. But he actually climbs the steps and runs around and goes down slides now, and if I'm not careful, he will jump right off the top of the platform head first. He's a wild one.

Now, we are gearing up for the holidays. We don't have any family visiting as of now, but I am trying to look forward to carrying on our own traditions here with our Florida fam. It used to feel very off and not festive at all to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in the warmth, but now I think there is something special and peaceful about it. I think it makes people put extra effort in to being festive, because if you don't TRY, it'll just feel like any other time of year. The decorations are already going up around town, and my local Starbucks had Christmas music on today. AND, I am looking forward to Atlas actually being aware of things this year, even if it's just the joy he gets from seeing the Christmas lights. I am 99.999% positive he will try to climb and/or pull the tree down on himself. Do not suggest surrounding my tree with a plastic baby gate. Ain't no plastic gate stopping that boy.

The only way to keep him in bed after a 5am wakeup was playing with his ninja turtle star projector.

Car ride on a perfect fall day

Alien butt at the playground

Fall <3

He would only go for a ride in the car with his jack o lantern ball. My Halloween weirdness is definitely genetic.

First hayride! He LOVED it.

The kid knows how to pick a pumpkin!

Kevin and Kate's wedding

Beautiful place

Sitting in a bin watching Little Einstein's... Lol.


A butterbeer cupcake from Linny's bakery. Getting treats from Linny might be the thing I miss most about the Jerz.

Mischief night! Practicing trick or treating.

Working on our costumes. Yep, we saved it for the night before Halloween. Typical procrastinators.

Spent a couple hours hot gluing shells and sticking rhinestones. Not fun at all, but looked really cool.

Eric used streamers, ribbon, and battery powered lights tape on to a clear bubble umbrella to make his "bioluminescent jellyfish" hahahaha.

I just cut and glued felt on to a gray hoodie for Atlas's shark costume, and sewed/stuffed/glued a felt fin on to the back. The kid would not let me put anything on his head besides a hood. I tried my best. -_-

Halloween morning

Watching The Nightmare before Christmas. He loved Jack!

Mermaid makeup. Lots of glitter and highlighter that you can't see here. Glitter everywhere.

Linny brought home Halloween treats.

Ended the night with a firepit and friends. Loved Halloween in the Jerz.

He loved sitting in this bin and being swung around hahahhaa.

Atlas got his first haircut, but I was holding him so I don't have any pictures of it besides on Eric's camera. No, this is not Atlas's hair. This is ERIC'S first haircut... in 3 years! 
He donated four 10-inch ponytails. Very proud of him.


Being silly with Dad

Our last day in NJ, and it was beautiful. 
I miss my mom's fall decorations.

Nym enjoying her last taste of perfect fall weather.

Looking at the moon.

Saying goodbye was very hard. :(

6am, sunrise, waking up in the car. We survived the overnight and woke up at the Georgia border.

West Palm Beach Green Market

It felt so good to be back in the sunny warmth, surrounded by palm trees. <3

He wasted no time trying to drag his blue car out for a ride!

He still insisted on taking his pumpkin ball like a weirdo.

At the park with Dad

He LOVED his first restaurant meal: chicken fingers and fries, of course.

We don't always take pictures together, but when we do... we prefer to be drinking. 
Trying to wreck the big kids' game

Early morning run around the neighborhood

He got a hold of one of his old baby beanies and wanted me to put it on his head. I remember when this was a little big on him and I had to roll the edge up. :(

Fun in the sun

Obsessed with Maui

Cuddling in his chair with his Pikachu blanket

Reading in his chair like an actual kid!

Pointing out sea creatures. How did he get so big so quickly? Wah.

Climbs on drum. Falls off. Does it again. This is why we can't have nice things.

The kid wasn't feeling well, so he napped on me TWICE this day. He hasn't done this in months and months. So annoying, but so adorable and snuggly. I love this little guy.

Oh you know, just holding hands with an older woman at the park.

Oh you know, just at the park with an older woman, again.

Playing in the rain with Dad

Back at Civil. Back to normal.

Visiting the turtles

Every time we come here with him, it is a whole new experience. He is so much more aware now!

It got a little too quiet while I was in the other room, so I walked back to check on him. This is what I saw: him sitting in his chair, eating his Cheerios in silence. What?!?!

I survived a walk with Nym and Atlas in the car. Major success.

What a rock star.

He mostly just likes the buttons, not the keys. Maybe he will be a DJ one day? Ha.

At the park with an older woman, AGAIN. Don't worry. He's not allowed to date until he is 86869 years old.

Eating floor Cheerios like it's nbd.

Ummmm hello little snuggly newborn. <3

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