Today, our baby turned three. And while she was noticeably bummed about the absence of her big brother and sister, spending her birthday building sand castles in the Gulf of Mexico with her other favorite kids, did seem to make up for it.
Nothing, on the other hand, could make up for my niece's cat from hell attacking me out of the clear blue at 1:30 am. Let's start by saying that I am not a cat person. I don't hate cats, I don't wish them any malice, but I have yet to meet a cat that knows his place in the feline/human hierarchy, and that is where I draw the line. So, as I climbed into bed, I shooed the cat away twice.
"You shouldnt do that," Rico said.
I casually mentioned to him that he was allowed to sleep by my feet, but not my face.
"You shouldnt do that," Rico said.
I finally threw a pillow and yelled "Get Out!" He acted like he heard me - even hopped of the bed like he couldn't care less, like "Whatevs, I didn't want to sleep with you anyway." I thought we were cool.
"No way," said Rico. "As soon as you relax, this cat is gonna get revenge."
As I'm lying on my side reading - halfway between a book and a dream, this freaking cat approaches the side of the bed, stands up on his hind legs, waves his front paws in the air, like he just don't care, and louder than a smoke alarm shouts, "freeeyaaaaoooow!" (Which I'm pretty sure is cat for "surprise biotch!") W-T-H?! Lets just say, that I was indeed surprised and Rico woke up in hysterics. He does this not once, not twice, but three times. Rico is crying by the third take. Afterward, the damn cat sits on the floor looking up at me, bobbing his head like "Whatchoo gonna do bout it?". I took a swipe to shoo him away, but he didn't even flinch, just lifted both paws like "Yeah, come at me bro." I tried to get to sleep after that, but between Rico's laughter and the cat doing the Harlem Shake on my chest every 15 minutes, it was nearly impossible.
I'm not sure if I fell asleep or just went into a stress induced coma, but I did manage to keep my eyes closed until about 7:30 this morning.
After a breakfast of bagels and fruit, we packed up our gear and headed to Shark's Tooth beach (otherwise known as Nokomis Beach in Venice, Florida). We spent two hours playing in the warm, gulf water, building castles, finding sand crabs, and hunting for megalodon fossils. While we didn't find any big ones, we found over two dozen smaller teeth, six sand crabs, three schools of fish, and roughly six sunburns.
It's not like we didn't use sunscreen - we did -lots - but our cousin Jim (who also lives in Tampa) told us that dermatologists recommend that a family of four use one whole bottle of sunscreen every two hours - TWO HOURS! How is this even possible? Not only is that fairly cost prohibitive, (at that rate it would cost our family $18 in sunscreen just to rake our own lawn), but it's time consuming as well. I mean, how do you even apply that much sunscreen in two hours?! I don't think I could drink a bottle of suncreen in two hours let alone let it soak into my pores that fast. By the time you finish slathering up the fifth guy, you've got to start all over again on the first! Regardless - we all got a little pink - even the Greeks, and we were pretty grateful for our air-conditioned vans.
We headed back to the cousin's casa, to meet up with our cousin Jim, who despite living half a continent away, has only missed one of Yoda's birthdays. We swam in the pool, feasted on BBQ wings, celebrated with a birthday cake, pink frosting moustaches and a few more presents.
By the time we had to pack up and say goodbye, we were exhausted, but also miserable. The trouble with visiting people we love, is saying goodbye to people we love, and for the first time ever, Yoda's realized that she wouldn't be seeing Bailey for a while. She sat in Bailey's lap while the two of them cried and cried. Even though we'll see them again on Thursday, It nearly broke my heart.
We drove to Orlando and checked ino our Wesgate Hotel (which looks suspiciously like the Tower of Terror - but cleaner, and with a much cooler pool). We kissed our three year old goodnight for the very first time and climbed into bed, thankful for such a happy life.