Pre-Birthday/Memorial Service/Motel Antics

Della is almost one year old. To get her in shape for the actual day, we gave her this warm-up piece of chocolate cake at Harley and Taco’s. She sugar shuddered after the first bite.

Squinks Winter

Of course we visited Della’s #1 fan, Nanny June. Nanny gave her a pet pig (fake) and told us the story of her pet fawn (real).


Everybody did a good job the day of the service, including Della, who was well behaved at the babysitter’s house. One of the babysitters was about my age with brown hair, and apparently that’s all it takes to replace me. Here is a group shot taken at the reception. I’m told that Della is holding a flask, but I can’t really see it.Picture 024

Real quick: Della and I had our own Super 8 motel room afterwards, and it was a total party starting at 5:30 am. Waffles on the floor, butter on the nose, dancing to the indie kids station on Pandora, a bath, a nap… all before Mike and Paul woke up.

bed waffles bath

Okay, almost done. We went to The Roots for brunch, got seated in the yurt. We love you, Nanny. Hang in there and we’ll see you soon.


Oops, one more. This is me making a Della face.


Planes, Motorcoaches and Automobiles


You may have heard that Della and I got stranded in Las Vegas. On our way to Utah, in honor of Bappa Paul getting promoted to that big radio station in the sky…after a layover in Chicago and icy roads in the DMV (that’s DC-Maryland-Virginia)…just when it was time to begin our descent into the Wasatch Valley…the pilot says he has good news. For anyone travelling to Las Vegas. Planes are sliding off the runway in Salt Lake. Airport closed. Next stop Sin City.

Okay, so an hour and half later we land in Las Vegas. Of course, they’re not expecting us, so there’s no gate for disembarkment. Oh, now we have a gate. No wait, there’s a medical emergency at that gate. Good news, a customer service representative will board the plane and help each of you with rebooking. Actually the customer service representative has an announcement: “Salt Lake is not happening today.”

Lucky for us, also landing unexpectedly in Las Vegas was Ray Land, 25-year-old owner and president of Florida’s Fabulous Coach Lines. 


Ray, who like many of us was on vacation, organized a motorcoach to rescue 56 of the stranded passengers from Southwest Flight 280 for just $50/person. This is extremely reasonable, except I only had $60 (really) and there were two of us travelling. Ray said, no problem, plus: buy yourself some food first, plus: you can have my seat for the baby, I’ll walk up and down the aisle or sit on the steps for eight hours.

Of course, I offered to repay him with free publicity on my highly influential blog. So if the seven of you ever need to book a fleet of motorcoaches, your choice is simple. 

Here we are waiting for the motorcoach. John Kim from the Chicago Tribune took some pictures of Della because she is so attractive.


John had been on his way to photograph a winter sports team but had to settle for this junior athlete.


Here is Della leaving Las Vegas.


Check out the scenery, courtesy of John Kim.


Trip highlights: Seeing a pyramid and palm trees in January. Finding a changing table at the IHOP in St. George. Watching Taken 2 with Liam Neeson (psych!!). Hearing from the other passengers about Della’s good behavior. There was some talk of sainthood.

In his spare time, Ray created this photo collage. You might be able to spot us in the bottom right photo.


I was given a lot of credit for getting through this with a baby. But Della was easier than a suitcase. Thanks, Della.


And thank you, Ray!


Della Gets Her Eye Fixed

Della got her goopy tear duct probed today at a very early hour. Grandma Linda drove us there and bought us chicken soup and raisin bread afterwards. We were both proud of Della, who was all smiles as they took her away to the operating table. Here she is pre-op, with her complimentary pink hospital giraffe. They marked her forehead to make sure they fixed the correct eye. We were glad they took that precaution.


You can see she’s getting a little more nervous here. Explain again why I have to wear this “tired little tiger” getup…?


And finally, post-op. She’s lost a little bit of her trusting spirit, but we expect she’ll make a full recovery.