Normally I love long-haul driving. It allows me a lot of time for reflection and to just get lost in the road. However, driving from Hartselle, AL to Orlando, FL was not a fun trip for many reasons.

First, we didn’t want to leave at all. It’s so much nicer up there, even if Hottie’s family didn’t live there.

Second, somehow having all three kids in the truck added hours to the trip. I’ve done this drive in 11 hours before. The drive back took about 17 hours. W. T. F.

Third, there were several hours of thick fog between Atlanta and Orlando. I drive at night because it’s easier with less traffic, plus it makes the trip faster for the kids if they’re asleep. However, I dislike driving in inclement weather, even in the daytime. At night it’s even worse.

Fourth, gas station bathrooms. ’nuff said.

Thankfully, there were plenty of Waffle Houses so feeding the brood was easy on a budget. I’m also extremely grateful that somehow the gas prices miraculously dropped just before we left, and didn’t start to rise again until we were almost back, which made the trip infinitely more affordable, if not actually possible.

It was a much-needed break, and there were great quantities of venison and home-cooking to be had. 

Little Man had his first birthday. I don’t have my pictures off the camera yet, but I will say that his birthday cakes were spectacularly amazing. Hottie’s mom is brilliant, that’s all I can say for now.

We got back on Monday barely in time for Hottie to go to work. Tuesday we set about getting back into the groove of medical appointments and whatnot. Unfortunately, while we were away Little Man’s leg seemed to get worse and I’m hoping we’ll get back into the physical therapy soon, as it did seem to help immensely.

When Hottie called Arnold Palmer for another round of MRI, he met with another round of head-brickwall bashing regarding the validity of our NOT needing an authorization code to make the appointment. All I can say is I’m glad he’s willing to field phone calls for me. I’d never get anything done otherwise. There was a cancellation literally a few minutes before he called, so we were able to get the MRI done today.

This time I didn’t have to sit through him crying as they put the IV in. This time they simply took him from us awake into the MRI room and, as the anesthesiologist put it, “stunned him” with some gas before they did the IV. 

After we turned him over, we headed to the hospital for some downright delicious cafeteria food. By the time we got back, it was a short wait before they came and got us and took us back. He wasn’t awake yet, but woke up easily and was adorably groggy as he blinked around at the nurses who cooed over him. He managed a half-smile once, but he was really too put-out to be happy. He hadn’t had anything to eat since last night, after all.

He’s happily eating Spaghetti-Os right now.

No new news on the art front. I still have piles of stuff to give away as prizes for a contest, but I’m at a loss as to what the contest should actually BE. 

I’ve also begun looking into online colleges. If anyone has any suggestions for a legit web design or medical transcription (or both) online campus, let me know. Also, has ANYONE had any experience with the Stafford University? They’re one of those “do you want to make more money? Sure, we all do..” places. They’re fairly cheap and have what I want but I don’t want to throw them any money if they’re not legit.

Well, I think that’s a sufficient update for the time being. Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season!

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