Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Big East Coast Trip! Part One - Hanging Around

A few weeks ago, we took a trip back east to Connecticut for a wedding reception.  Two of my cousins had both gotten married this spring and were having a joint reception in CT, where they're from.  It ended up being easier/better for us to go to CT for the reception than to the two weddings, so we did!  We were gone for five days, two of which were mostly spent traveling.  Let me tell you, traveling cross-country, with two small children, their stroller & car seats, standby, is not the most relaxed way to travel.  But we survived!  While we were there, we got to spend lots of time hanging out with my family, visited my Grandma, and even went out to Boston for a day to see Steve's college friend Christian & Tara.  Because I took so many pictures, I'm going to break them up into 3 different posts.  So make sure you keep scrolling down to see them all!  Without further ado, let's begin!

Wednesday, we left our house at 4:30am so that my mom could take us to the airport.  We had a 7:00am flight.  It was EARLY.  The kids were not happy about being woken up so early, but calmed down in the car.  We were traveling standby (but for free- yay benefits through work!) with an infant and with two car seats so that added an extra layer of excitement to the whole check-in and go through security thing.  It actually went fairly well, even though I was not feeling good.  We got on the plane and flew to Chicago.  On the way there, the kids decided to take turns screaming.  We learned a valuable lesson.  Giving our children Benadryl before they're ready to fall asleep is NOT a good idea.  Rather than pushing them 'over the edge' so that they could sleep, it just pushed them to the edge, so they were cranky and refusing to relax.  ::sigh::  Eventually they both calmed down and it was okay.  But it was a frustrating hour or so for sure.  In Chicago, we switched planes, and got on another one to Hartford.  Both flights there was space to bring Jason's car seat on, so we ended up in two rows, me and Jilly in front of Steve and Jason.  No one sat by us on either of those flights, which was nice.  Both kids fell asleep at the beginning of that flight, so they were okay for it.  Plus, both flights that day got in early!  That was soooo nice.  Of course, as we were taxiing to the gate in Hartford, I let Jilly out of her car seat (which she'd been begging me to do for 20+ minutes), and she was on my lap.  All of a sudden, my leg got really warm and I knew exactly what it meant.  Sure enough, even though I pulled her off my lap as quickly as I could, she had peed through her diaper, soaking both of us.  DRAT!  I had packed an extra shirt in the carry-on for me, but not extra pants!  At least, we were at our final destination so we headed down to Baggage Claim, got our bags and then I took Jilly to the restroom to change both of us.  Our looooong trip was complete! 

We thought the kids would be fine to go to sleep, because they were so tired.  They did go to sleep easily that night, but about 4:45am (eastern time!) I heard this rustling.  Jilly got out of her sleeping bag, walked over to the bedroom door, then right over to the bed Steve was on.  She started crawling on him, which woke up him and thoroughly confused him; he thought Jason had gotten out of the playpen! ;-)  He said to her, "Jilly, what are you doing up?"  She replied, "Can't sleep!"  Now, that's funny but pretty normal for a lot of three year olds, but it was amazing for Jilly.  She used to never respond to questions so directly, let alone express how she was feeling!!  Landmark, I tell you.  Anyway, she would not go back to sleep and kept talking, so rather than waking up Jason, Steve took her downstairs to read and hopefully soothe back to sleep.  Eventually, she did fall back asleep and snoozed on the couch for about 3 hours.  This is what I came out to that morning (I'm up on a balcony looking down).

Close up of the exhausted little girl.

That day was mostly spent hanging out around the Bells' house.  They live waaaaay out in the country, on a beautiful lot with a pond behind them and 'the woods' across the street.  Steve took Jilly on a hike around the Bells' place and snapped this photo of Richard fishing. 
This is the back of the Bells' house, from the pond.  Their deck is huge.  I love all the land. 
While we were visiting we also go to see my Grandma Chris.  This is my dad's mom and I haven't seen her since his funeral.  She has Alzheimer's and hasn't really been 'here' in a couple years.  It was nice to see her again, and really cool to get a picture of her with her great-grandkids.  None of them will remember this, but I will, and I have the pictures.  Jilly sat her lap for a few minutes and we even got to hear Grandma laugh!  That was fun, she sounded just the same as ever.  :-)
My family with my Grandma, the only grandparent I had.
We also got to meet some of my cousins' cousins.  Auntie Terry is my dad's sister, and her kids Gator and Kylee were the ones that both got married this spring.  Auntie Terry's husband Uncle Kevin has a sister, Marsha, in Virginia, who came up with two of her daughters, Becky and Katie, and their kids.  (Coincidentally, Becky and Katie have another sister name Aimee- just like me!  So my aunt and uncle have nieces named Aimee and Katie on both sides of the family!)  Jilly had a good time playing with the other kids and even wanted to play Battleship with Becky.
Dylan took an especial shine to Jilly.  He kept holding her hand.
She thought that meant, they were going to spin. 
Here is Jilly, taking Dylan's invitation to hold hands, as an invitation to spin.  

Jason also made friends, especially with my cousin Gator.  (For the record, Gator is not his legal name, that's Devin, but he went by Gator from the time he was born until he moved to CT when he was like 12, so I still call him Gator.)
Whenever my mom finds gator clothes, we have to buy them.  So it was absolutely necessary that we got pictures of Gator and Jason in his Gator jammies.  So cute!!!

Auntie Terry wanted in on the cuddling action.  It was a lot of fun to see her and Uncle Kevin with the kids.  They even took Jilly out one day, with Becky & Katie & their kids, to go play, leaving Steve and me at home with Jason.  Later, we ditched both kids at home with them while we had to run to the store.  (Diapers- you can't travel without them! ;-))  The kids really loved them, and they had some super awesome toys for sure!
So did Kylee.  I don't blame them.  Those jammies are almost silky and super soft.  Love them!
Gator's wife Robli, is just a doll and played a lot with the kids.  Jilly loved "Wob-wee" and points her out in pictures often.
Robli was so patient and sweet with the little ones.  She must have been a fantastic nanny, and will be a fabulous mother when the time comes!  :-)

We had such a good time, just hanging out with the Bells, the Longs (Robli's family), and the Ballantynes (Marsha's family).   We got to spend some time with Kylee's husband Ryan and his parents too.  Lovely people all around.  The Bells were gracious and generous hosts, letting us use their car, feeding us well, and being so accommodating with our little ones.  While our kids are pretty good, it's still a lot to ask of someone to host a family with two little kids.  It was a spectacular visit.

Stay tuned for Part Two - The Reception!

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Wow! You guys did a lot and were busy. How fun though to see all that family and even visit old friends. I think the history back there is so cool. I'd love to visit someday.

Traveling is so hard with kids. Glad you guys survived. :)