Our trip home was a bit exciting with lots of rescue vehicles in attendance for the landings (questionable landing gear on the 1st flight and ill passenger on the 2nd) and a good sprint through the terminal to just barely make our connection. Amazingly, our bags made the quick switch in NYC also so we are ringing in the New Year tonight back in LA with piles of luggage and dirty laundry and new toys littering the entire apartment. The kids each took naps on the long leg after so many late nights of partying at home with the family (and pugs).
Matilda also spent a lot of the flights watching the awesome complementary live TV that Jetblue offers. Tim & I also watched a bit too much of these abused animal/dog warden/reality show programs on Animal Planet. It was kind of mesmerizing and neither of us could stop; although the emaciated horses did put me over the top and I switched to Jersey Shore after that. Another kind of train wreck I had never seen.
One of Matilda's Christmas presents from Uncle Dan was a plastic bug jar with a magnifying glass-lid. She was thrilled with it as soon as she opened the present and immediately wanted to find a bug to try it out. In the dead of winter bugs aren't terribly easy to come by in NY, but thankfully Dan had feeder crickets for his pet lizard and quickly fulfilled her request. She spent Christmas night tromping around with her favorite presents of the day: a princess dress accessorized with loud wooden clogs and her cricket jar. In the past week we've not only managed to keep the cricket alive, but we've learned some things about her:
1. Gideon is a girl name so she must be a girl cricket. (Or so says Matilda.)
2. Gideon prefers spinach to italian parsley or kale.
3. Gideon goes through a TSA screening easier than you or me.
All week long we have been stressing out about what to do with the beloved cricket. In the end, we decided to just try and bring it home and see what happened. We smuggled the cricket jar in Matilda's new Toto basket purse (thanks Aunt Gia!) and much to my relief no one said anything about the live cargo at security screening. Now I just need to work on my "all things die" speech while we see how long this pet experiment will last. Only a few more hours and I will at least be able to put 2010-2011 on Gideon's headstone, which looks pretty good for a cricket I think!