Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today, we didn't have anything going on--no excursions, no plans. We had a day to ourselves, which was a nice way to come down from the hectic traveling and 3:00 a.m. wake-up call that was yesterday.

We woke up with Nora around 7:00 a.m., and played for a little while my mom slept in. Nora was already ready for a nap by about 8:30, so we put her down for one and we all lounged around, waiting for her to wake up.

Our condo hotel, Porto Playa Condo Hotel, is affiliated with the Indigo Beach Club. As a result, we have free breakfast at Indigo Beach every morning, so once Nora was awake again, we walked there (a few blocks away) to check it out for the first time.

It was so nice to be able to eat with our toes in the sand. Paradise, I tell you.

The breakfast includes buffet items like toast, fresh fruit, sweet breads, cereal, etc. Then, you can also get eggs, quesadillas, hash browns, bacon, beans, etc. to order. Good stuff.

We asked for a high chair for Nora, and they brought one for us. It was hilarious, though, because it was super high up! She was essentially sitting above us when we were seated, too. It looked like she was perched on a throne.

Looks like a milk mustache, but it was actually yogurt with some fruit cocktail mixed in. :) She gobbled down the first little bowl that I got for her, so I went to get her a refill. As I walked back to the table, I could see that she had turned around to watch me go, and her little eyes were peeking up over the back of the chair!

After breakfast, we walked the couple of blocks back up to 5th Avenue, which is where the majority of the shops and restaurants are. We walked around for a little bit, checking out some of the shopping.

Nora helped Daddy select some tequila!

It didn't take long until we were all sweating and hot as hell, so we went back to the condo to hang out by the pool.

Nora sported her bikini and shades. She seemed to fit right in.

Although she enjoyed the pool (it was so refreshing!), she was tired again, so we went inside to put her down for her afternoon nap. While she slept, my mom, Michael, and I headed up to our private rooftop patio and relaxed in the sun.

After a little while, it suddenly began to pour, so we took cover and ran back inside. We settled in again on our covered balcony to watch the storm.
Soon, Nora was up, so we brought her out with us and fed her on the balcony, then she played with my mom.
We were invited to Kelly and Murray's rehearsal dinner, so we gave ourselves plenty of time to get ready. Nora was first--she needed a bath! Since the condo didn't have any bathtubs, we settled for the kitchen sink. :)
We were all ready with some time to spare, so we ended up heading back to last night's restaurant for more fabulous margaritas. Our waitress from last night, who absolutely adored Nora, remembered us, and continued to dote on our girl.

Once again, Nora was a big fan of the margarita straws.

The rehearsal dinner was great; we were honored to be included. It was fun to get to know some of the other wedding guests and hang out with all of the other family members in town for the nuptials. Once again, we had Nora up way past her bedtime. Poor kid.

Tomorrow, we have a big group excursion planned--the Tulum ruins and Xel-ha park!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

High Fives

As I mentioned in the previous post, my mom taught Nora how to give "high fives" at dinner. It was so cute, because it was like it immediately clicked in her head. Plus, she was getting plenty of praise for doing it, which made her want to do it over and over.

Here is a little video clip:

It was especially cute since today was my mom's birthday! Quality time with her little Nora on her birthday, and she taught her something new, to boot.

Happy Birthday, Mom!


After the "poo incident," we got through the hustle and bustle of the airport. Once we had our bags and were through customs, we stepped outside to be greeted with oppressive humidity. It felt like someone sucked the air right out of my lungs.

Of course, as soon as we were out there, we were bombarded with taxi drivers trying to get us to ride with them. We already had a driver arranged through our condo, so we walked along the crowd, looking for the sign he told us he'd have. Unfortunately, we didn't see him during our first pass-through, so we had to turn around and go back the other way--making us even MORE attractive to the other drivers, since we probably looked confused.

After a few minutes of arguing with the dudes, we finally saw the sign and Carlos came to the rescue, and we loaded up and were on our way to Playa del Carmen. Over the last couple of weeks, we debated about whether we should rent a car or hire a driver. Although I don't think the drive was as complicated as some people made it seem, we don't regret hiring the driver. It was a lot easier to just get in and not worry about having to find our way.

We were soon dropped off at the front door of our condo hotel, and upon picking up keys, we let ourselves in. My mom, who arrived Tuesday, was out on an excursion with the group, so we made ourselves at home. We decided to take a walk down to Mega, the grocery store in Playa. We picked up some beer, chips, and salsa, and headed back to the condo to meet my mom.

Once we were all in the same place, my mom walked us over to my cousin's condo to meet up with her and her soon-to-be husband. Kelly decided to come to dinner with us, and we walked to a little Mexican place that had been recommended to us by several people (our taxi driver and Kelly included). The menu didn't have English translations, so Kelly helped us along, and our waitress answered a few questions as best she could. We ordered a variety of dishes to share, and everything was great. The highlight of the meal, however, was the margaritas. BEST.MARGARITAS.EVER.

Nora was so great at dinner. She was in the best mood, happily people watching and playing while we ate. We were all sweating our butts off, so I was especially impressed by her demeanor.

My mom taught her how to give high-fives, which was pretty much the cutest thing ever.

We took our time at dinner, so by the time we were done, it was pretty late and we were all exhausted after a looooong day of travel. We headed back to the condo to go to bed to rest up for our first full day in Playa.

A Poo of Mass Proportions

After staying up until after midnight packing, we had to be up at 3:00 a.m. for our 6:00 a.m. flight. It was not pretty. In my opinion, 3:00 a.m. never is. Still, we learned our lesson from the dreaded missed-flight-incident of May 2011 and gave ourselves plenty of time.

The flight to Baltimore was super short, and we arrived without incident. We had a 3.5-hour layover, so we settled in for the long haul. After walking the (small) terminal a bit and spending some time playing with Nora on the floor, we were tired and it was time to relax. You know, as much as one can relax in an airport.

Michael took Nora for a stroll to lull her to sleep, and I stretched out across some chairs to rest my eyes. Apparently I kinda-sorta dozed off, and by the time Michael came back with a sleeping Nora, we both looked like this:

I'll tell you: It wasn't a bad way to spend a good chunk of a layover.

Anyway, the three hours passed like no big deal, and soon it was time to board our flight to Cancun. Still drowsy from the early-morning wake-up call, Nora promptly fell asleep shortly after take off, and proceeded to sleep the majority of the three-hour flight.

Uneventful, I say. It was nice.

But then things changed.

In short, things got... gross. (That's your warning right there. You can't say I didn't tell you.)

About 10 minutes before we landed, Nora started making her tell-tale "poop face." (Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time with babies and small children know exactly what I'm talking about.) Michael and I exchanged a few little laughs and I commented how it was perfect timing, because we were going to be off the plane shortly and could change her diaper at the airport. We have yet to change a diaper in an airplane bathroom, which is nice, because I still cannot picture how that would work logistically.

Nora was sitting on Michael's lap at the time, and he confirmed that he could feel movement in the diaper. Alrighty then.

A few minutes later, for reasons I am unsure of, Michael suspected that perhaps Nora's diaper wasn't doing its job. Its job being containing the poo, of course. So, he casually lifted her up off of his lap to take a peek AND OH MY GOD ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE.

Michael's lap was COVERED in shit. COVERED. We're not talking about a little leakage here. We are talking a 100% FAILURE on the part of the diaper.

Panic ensued. Because we were trapped. We had a guy sitting in the aisle seat next to us. The seat belt light was on and we were unable to get out of our seats due to the fact that we were, well, landing.

As Michael held Nora about six inches off of his lap, unsure what to do next, I did the only thing I could think of--I grabbed the case of baby wipes, thinking maybe I could "grab" the poo off of Michael's shorts. I tried that, and well... I'll just say that there was a whole lot of smearing going on. "Grabbing" was not working for this particular variety of poo.

It was hopeless.

About 20 poopy baby wipes later (which I stuffed into the ever-handy barf bag located in the seat pocket), Michael was really no cleaner than he had been to start. But at least he didn't have semi-solid waste sitting on his shorts anymore. Just the aforementioned smears, which of course, smelled like... well... shit.

Meanwhile, we had landed, and were making our way to the gate. The guy next to us, God bless him, was in good spirits, despite his senses being assaulted. He kindly empathized, telling us that his daughter (who is now 17) had once crapped down the back of his neck as he carried her on his shoulders. That made us feel a little bit better, but we still felt sorry for the dude. He cracked a joke to Michael, saying "I hope you have another pair of shorts!"

Um, yeah. That's the thing. We did not have another pair of shorts. Not on us, anyway. Contrary to every other time we have traveled, we checked all of our baggage, except for a backpack. Because space in the backpack was limited, we had included an extra outfit for Nora, but had not packed extra clothes for ourselves. We broke our own rule, and it had come back to bite us in the ass.

You see, Michael was not going to be able to change his shorts until after we picked up our bags at baggage claim. If you have ever traveled internationally, you know that baggage claim is on the OTHER SIDE of immigration. This adventure was not going to be over anytime soon.

After I had "cleaned" the poop off of Michael's lap, there was still Nora to attend to. She still had poo oozing out the legs of her diaper, and needed a wardrobe change herself. To avoid exposing the people around us to further foul sights and smells, we sat tight as every.single.soul deplaned before us, despite the fact that we were seated pretty close to the front of the plane. Thankfully, Nora was cooperative as we held her perfectly still--Michael with her upper body, me with her legs.

In the meantime, I told Michael, "I'm sacrificing my Hooter Hider!" (a.k.a. nursing cover) and laid it across his lap so he'd have a clean surface on which to lay Nora. Once everyone was officially off the plane, we stripped Nora of her clothes and disgusting diaper, got the new one on her, and bolted as fast as we could.

In other words, we were the classy people entering the Cancun airport with our baby in nothing but a diaper.

Once in the airport, I threw Nora's extra outfit on her while Michael secured the Hooter Hider (I'm not being cute; that's what it's called!) to the front of him like an apron. The PINK, very girly Hooter Hider. We had to mask the poop somehow! So, Michael walked through the Cancun airport and through a looooong immigration line, looking like this:
At least we were laughing about it. Though, it should be noted that although the Hooter Hider did a good job at masking the sight of the poop, it could not mask the smell. Holy Lord.

We wound our way through the immigration line, every once in a while catching a fresh whiff of poo. It wasn't pretty, people.

In any case, I apologize to anyone and everyone who may have been in the Cancun airport immigration area around 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, 2011. No, someone had not stepped in dog shit. There was not a smelly bathroom nearby.

It was my husband. Because of my daughter.

Well played, travel gods. Well played.

(And lesson learned, by the way. You better believe we will have an extra pair of shorts in our backpack on the way home!)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Needle in a Haystack

We put our place on the market on February 1st.

It's June 27th. We are still searching for a buyer for our home.

I honestly NEVER thought that it would be this hard. When our realtor filled out the contract agreement and put 8/1/11 as the expiration date for our listing, we laughed. We thought there was no way we would come even close to hitting that expiration date. We thought we'd sell in a couple of months, tops.

Well, here we are, just a little more than 30 days away from that expiration, and we haven't had a single showing in five weeks. We've had a few open houses and some traffic through, but we've had a lack of serious buyers. This is frustrating in any selling situation, but it's brutal for us, since you know, we're closing on our new house in August.

We really, really, really do not want to become landlords by renting this place out. Plus, at this point, things are so completely the opposite of how we thought they were going to go that we are nervous that we'd even be able to find a suitable tenant!

So, we sit here, shaking in our boots every single day. Just wishing, hoping, praying, WILLING a buyer to come along. It would be such a huge relief to find one. An enormous weight off our shoulders if we could come across that needle in the haystack.

I keep thinking that surely at some point, things will HAVE to fall into place, right? The power of positive thinking. Have faith. Things work out the way they should. Isn't that what everyone always says?

To try to help things along, we've been doing everything in our power to encourage a sale. We've lowered the price (twice). And now, this past weekend, we moved a bunch of stuff out of the house. We took pictures off the walls. We cleared things out of closets and rooms to make them feel less cramped--especially since we are literally busting at the seams in this place. (Hey, that's why we're moving!)

After we did all that, we went around and took new pictures. We were never happy with the ones that our realtor took on that cold winter's day back in February, with her little point-and-shoot camera. So, we went around and "staged" each room the best we could and took nice shots with our DSLR. They've been updated in the system, and I am crossing my fingers and praying that they are enough to convince someone to schedule an appointment to see this place. And that the visit is enough to make them want to buy it.

Now we continue to wait. As we have waited for nearly five months now.

Every day, hoping we will get that call. It only takes one.

It only takes one.

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