Sorry everyone!!  With vacation ending a week away from a major holiday (Christmas), I’ve been swamped and have had no time to blog.  Let me finish my recount of vacation so we can get back to the present:

I forgot to mention my interaction with one of the natives after arriving back at the port after our tour in Belize.  As we’re exiting the tour van, we were immediately surrounded by people attempting to sell us things for cheap.  I had forgotten all about this “wonderful” tradition and was distracted trying to keep Monkey away from the more persistent ones since she was the first out of the van.  As I’m trying to herd her away from the group – I suddenly remember the other 3 kids still in the back of the van and turn to see Hun directly behind me as he’d forgotten about them as well.

I was livid – mostly at myself….and Hun – for leaving our kids like that!!  Granted, they were only 10-15 feet behind us, but it felt like the Grand Canyon to me since we’re not used to traveling with them in a different country.  As I’m pointing to the other kids and telling (yes, telling) Hun to help them (as they were surrounded by the same “sales people” as Monkey was) – this one lady was insisting on shoving cheap bracelets on Monkey’s wrist while my back was turned.  I turned to her and with a firm voice told her to get away from my daughter.  I must have had fire in my eyes because she suddenly didn’t want to sell us anything anymore….suddenly, no one wanted to sell us anything anymore….and we had a clear path back to the entrance of the port.  Don’t mess with a pissed off Momma.

Back to Honduras – while we were waiting to leave the beautiful country of Honduras (as you’ll recall – we spent the day on a private island), Hun and I decided to watch the life boats being loaded back on board.  Because of the shoreline and other ships in port that day, we had to tender in again using our own lifeboats.  That was an experience for Monkey – she commented that the boats were way bigger than Hun’s Mistress, so she felt better about not drowning (thank goodness!!).

As we’re watching the boats being loaded, again I get a strange sensation over me that something is not right.  Since I’m only with Hun and not the rest of the family, I didn’t say anything, but wondered why I had the same feeling again.  I finally convinced myself that I was just not used to traveling with so many people and attempted not to think about it again.  Once the boats were loaded, Hun and I went up to the top deck where the rest of the family usually met up after the day.  We found my Mom, Dad and Uncle D talking about the scuba adventure Dad and Uncle J went on.  Or attempted to go on…..

Uncle J ended up having to be treated at the diving resort’s medical facilities for unknown issues.  After the fact, it was decided that it was probably a combination of factors – seasick, nerves/panic attack and low blood sugar.  Thankfully – he was fine after a good rest and food.  Dad recounted the events and his fears of getting back to the ship on time.  They had just gotten back on board – the 3rd to the last tender boat – one of the ones we had watched being loaded.

That’s it!!  I’m not ignoring my feelings anymore!  It was funny – I had assumed my feelings were because of traveling with so many people, but in reflection – I didn’t have the same feelings in Costa Maya or Cozumel and there were people off on tours on both of those stops.  So…..

Our last stop was at Cozumel and was uneventful.  Shopping, relaxing, massages, swimming, and visiting with everyone was the extent of our day – real stressful huh?

When we finally got back to the states, we had a long drive back home.  We survived with minimal fighting from the kids – being cramped up in The Beast for 9 hours after 7 days of wild freedom will test even the best behaved child.  During the drive home is when we found out Jetsam had moved – Merry Christmas to us….not!

She’s moved something like 16-18 times in the last 10 years.  There have been more times than I can count where we’ve dropped the kids off at one home, only to pick them up at a new home 2 weeks later.  We would get no notice, no heads up, only a, “umm…yeah….you can pick the kids up….we’re not at the same address we were before….we’re living somewhere else now….”.  The frequency of her moves was probably the single biggest reason we received custody of the kids.  The court telling her that if she’ll stay in one place and show stability, there’s a good possibility she’ll get her kids back has not made a large enough impression on her for her to actually figure out a way to make it work.

We finally went to her new house Christmas morning to pick the kids up from her.  I hope the kids are safe while they are with her….I can’t help but worry after seeing the structure.  An old trailer – probably from the 70’s – smaller than the previous trailer she lived in and located less than 50 yards from a major road.  Hopefully I’m worrying for nothing…..

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