Nina, Cotton & The Never-Again Car Seat

We went to Lubbock for Easter weekend. It wasn’t my idea. It should have been. But Jess is certainly kick-butt at family planning, so I just leave it to her 99% of the time.

And with day care closed on Friday and Monday, it was the perfect plan to make a road trip to the LBK (or LBB if you’re going by airport codes).

This occasion would mark the 2nd time my mom, Nina or Neena phonetically, would see her granddaughter. And this occasion would also mark the 2nd time the most-hyper-to-fattest-ratio golden retriever would ever terrorize our child. That’s Cotton.

We started our journey Friday morning and E.K. slept like a champ for 2 hours or so. The next few hours Jess entertained her in the backseat with fun games like peekaboo and telephone. The next few hours Jess entertained her with please-Lord-make-this-child-stop-crying followed by why-don’t-we-live-in-an-age-where-car-seats-are-an-option-and-not-the-law games.

There were frequent stops, frequent stresses and frequent yet fleeting thoughts of why the heck are we doing this to ourselves.

But alas we arrived to the Hub City to find even more city growth to the far south. It’s a pretty amazing transformation in the 10 years I’ve been gone. We took 86th Street to Nina’s and pulled in to find my mom waiting happily.

She spent the entire weekend mesmerized by the changes in this beautiful girl. I spent the entire weekend in awe of my wife’s ability to be so positive, happy and helpful in a strange desert-like flat piece of earth known as Lubbock. Denise, my sister, and Jaden, her son, came over and hung out a good while on Friday. It was wonderful to be around family, share stories and just be there.

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We stayed at the Embassy Suites, aka the Barcelona Court’s zombie, and it was fantastic as always. How can I count the ways:  they have free happy hour every day, a coy pond with fish food to feed them, an indoor pool filled with screaming kids and parents happy that happy hour is free, suites to put the kids in one room and the parents in another without having to pay for two actual rooms, most importantly THE BEST COFFEE ON THE PLANET.

The family visited one of the coolest baby stores there too called Green Dazzle Baby and bought a new placemat for Emerson to eat on during our Sunday restaurant escapes. Nina stepped it up big time and bought a sleeping mat and a new dress for the little one.

In the end, we cut the trip a few hours short, missing time to eat lunch with Denise, Haley and Jaden. We’re on E.K.’s schedule, after all. She was getting sick and wasn’t too happy about the car seat. And she let us know about it in the fashion of the littlest pig. All the damn way home.

Next time this trip will be called DAL to LBB via SWA (NYSE: LUV).

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