Monday, November 17, 2008

Back Home Again in Indiana

Our trip to Tennessee was absolutely delightful. It was pretty much the best vacation ever. I think I'm always going to take trips with a regularly napping baby or toddler because it really forces you to take time each day to just relax, which is awesome. As if our days were anything BUT relaxation.... here's a glimpse of a daily schedule from this weekend:

Wake up early
Eat summer sausage and cheese for breakfast
Visit Mimi
Come home and sleep
Wake up and visit Mimi
Come home and eat dinner
Go visit Mimi again
Come home and sleep

It was a pretty great weekend. We stayed in Martin's grandmother's house which is about four blocks from her nursing home, so it was a quick trip over. We kept wanting to walk over, but as soon as it stopped pouring rain, it got really cold, so that plan never quite worked out. Anja loved visiting her great-grandmother because she had this furry duck that made mechanical quacking noises, AND she had the best thing ever--a mug full of rubber bands! These kept Anja very happy for a ridiculously long time, and after she was finished playing with those she found a safety pin, which was even better. Mimi was amazed at how easy to please Anja is, and she's right--it doesn't take much to entertain our little Pie. Still though, as much fun as she had in Tennesee, I think she was glad to get home to her animal book, her animal magnets, and her best friend, Theodore.

I understand that Mimi has been up and down for about the past year. She's been from the hospital to the nursing home a couple of times, I think, she's fallen once and broken some toes, and evidently there was a time when she really wasn't doing well. However, this weekend when we visited, I just couldn't understand why she was in a nursing home at all! She gets around marvelously, even if she does use a walker, her mind is all there and she tells the funniest stories and even remembers things from our visit two years ago that I had forgotten! On Sunday we said we'd like to bring her lunch, and she said she had been planning to take us out. So we drove to Martin, a town about 20 minutes away for lunch and evidently that was the first time she's gone out in six months!! Anja's youth and cuteness must've done her some good.

On Saturday we decided on a whim to go up to Reelfoot Lake to show Anja the animals, see the lake, and eat at Boyette's, which has the best catfish ever. It was a lot of fun, even though it was cold and rainy. Last time we went there it was hot and rainy, so I'm beginning to think I'm never going to see Tennesee in the sunshine. Anyway, we were lucky enough to be squawked at by one of the bald eagles and Anja thought that was pretty cool. We went out on the boardwalk but we didn't see any critters; I think it was too cold for them. That was after lunch at Boyettes, and on the way home we were frozen so we stopped at a little gas station for hot chocolate. A good day!

So we kept pretty busy between napping, eating, and visiting with Mimi. And when we got bored, we found pleasure in reciting super lame inspirational quotes from a Thomas Kincade book in our best Garrison Keillor voices.

The only thing that was less than enjoyable was the nighttime when we all three were sleeping on the pull-out couch. I realize the benefits of a family bed, but I also realize that it is NOT for us. I enjoy snuggling up with Anja for a daytime nap, but at night, I like it that she is in her own bed next to ours. She is soooooooo wiggly and usually ends up upside down in the bed. One night I wound up sleeping curled up at the foot of the bed like a dog while Martin and Anja were both sprawled out, taking up the entire mattress. It was nice last night to have her back on her own little bed.

The trips there and back were pretty good--Martin is a trooper. He drove the whole time both ways while Anja slept restlessly on the way down, waking up every hour or two, and slept through the entire six and a half hours without a peep on the way home! I, shamefully, also slept most of the time on both trips. I was so determined to stay awake and keep Martin company, but about two hours into the trip I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.
I think we succeeded in making it a pretty cheap vacation too. We packed a cooler full of bread, cheese, and a huge stick of summer sausage, a package of balogna and a jar of mayo from home. We ate up almost all of that food and only bought our Boyette's meal, and a can of spaghetti-o's for Anja. We saved all our reciepts to see just how cheaply we got by. I'm excited to find out how much money we saved by only eating out once. The only thing we bought daily was our coffee from McDonald's, but that was less than two dollars a day.
So that's it! It was a really great trip. Pretty sad to leave though; we really felt like we were deserting Mimi. She is so much better off than the rest of the people there--a lot of them have a hard time getting around, or have a hard time functioning in general. Mimi still has her own teeth and stays till the end of the meals to help get the other old ladies (who have about half their minds, or less) back to their rooms alright. It's really cute.

Now we're back home and Martin took the day off. This morning we went to Vienna with our friend Matt and now Martin and Anja are asleep upstairs and I am hanging out on the computer for a bit before I go up and join them. I found a frozen chicken in our freezer so tonight we're having baked chicken and mashed potatoes!!!!!!!! I can't wait!!!!!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Annie: I can't believe how much Mimi reminds me of Grandma Snoopy...I guess eventually all little old ladies look alike.
I'm sure having you guys there this week-end was the best tonic ever!
I think Mimi and Martin share the same nose.
I'm so glad you guys were able to get away for a little break....everybody needs a breather now and then.

Anonymous said...

PS Loved the pictures!!!!

Michelle said...

Annie, that sounds like a wonderful get away. I am so glad you got to go.

Lady Caitie in the Pretty City said...

Hey! I don't know who's cutting your hair now, but it's really cute!! :) The pictures are darling! So glad you had a nice trip. :)