We have had unseasonably warm temperatures in SoCal this “winter” and very little rain. Boo! To contrast this, and, really, to attend and celebrate my new niece’s baptism, the girls and I flew to Ohio when I was 29 weeks pregnant. Dan stayed home to work. Ohio had been gripped by insanely cold temperatures and lots of snow, but the weather warmed for most of our visit.
Flying alone across the country with a 1-year-old (lap infant) and 3-year-old while 29 weeks pregnant might sound difficult, but it really wasn’t. The girls, especially Vivian, are excellent travelers and we have a traveling system down pat. Our flights out to Ohio were completely uneventful and for that, we were very thankful.
Vivian (and Lillian) helped my Dad collect chicken eggs three out of the four full days that we were in Ohio. Vivian loved it! She got right into the coop and gathered all of the eggs. Lillian was more content to watch and pet the chickens.
Lillian was happy to sit on Papa’s 4-wheeler, but she wasn’t ready to ride it. Vivian, however, begged for rides. My Dad indulged her and took for for rides behind our property. Vivian, apparently, sang to him during these rides and asked him to go “faster faster.” Dad assured me that he only shifted out of first gear once. 🙂
Feeding Catch Me
The girls both love feeding Catch Me, the neighbor’s horse. In the summer, Catch Me spends much of her time in our apple orchard and so we can walk out back and easily pet and feed her. In the winter, though, she spends more time in her barn and on her own property. Dad arranged for the girls to go down to Catch Me’s house to pet her and feed her carrots and apples. Lillian, especially, had no issues hand-feeding Catch Me!
I cannot ever in my life remember my Mom buying cookies (or any baked good) at a grocery store, even if she just had to bring cookies to a potluck or gathering. My Mom bakes great homemade cookies and Vivian and her have been baking together for years now. This trip allowed them to bake snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies. Yum!
Bouncing & Sliding
One afternoon, my Mom and I took the girls to a new indoor play yard in a nearby town. The girls had fun, but it was probably the dirtiest indoor play yard that we’ve ever taken them to. I’m not sure if I’d take them again.
My grandma – the girls’ great-grandma – is now 91.5 years old. We went to her apartment to visit her since she wasn’t going to be able to make it to Ava’s baptism. We had a nice visit, although the girls’ favorite parts may have been Grandma’s wheelchair and the aquarium of fish near the dining hall in her building.
Visiting with Baby A!
The highlight of the trip, for everyone, was visiting and holding Baby A. The girls love their new baby cousin, even Lillian! We’ve been worried that Lillian would not adjust as well as Vivian did to having a new baby around the house and having to share her Mama, but she smiled bigger than anyone when she held A and only once did she try to shoo A away while I was holding her by saying, “all done, all done.”
Baby A’s Baptism Day
The reason for our trip east in January was to surround Baby A and her parents with love during her baptism. After the baptism, we all gathered at Mom’s house to eat and hang out. The girls got to spend time with some of their extended aunts and uncles and we all had a nice time catching up with each other.
On the day that we were scheduled to fly back to California, it snowed! It was so pretty and the girls had fun playing in it for a little while – making snow angels, eating snowflakes, and chomping on icicles.
After 5 days and 4 nights in Ohio, it was time to go back to California. Our flights home were a little more “exciting” that our flights to Ohio. The girls, again, did awesome, but we were delayed leaving Toledo, which meant that when we finally landed in Chicago, we only had 30 minutes to get off the plane, get our stroller at gate check, rush from one end of gates to another, and board a new plane. I walked as fast as I could through O’Hare (now 30 weeks pregnant) with Lillian on my back, Vivian in the stroller, and our backpack and other travel gear on the stroller. When I approached the gate, out of breath, a gate agent was walking towards me, clearly looking for us. Everyone else had already boarded and they were about to close the doors. We made it, though. Whew! We boarded the plane and sat down and were treated to an extra “free” seat when a flight attendant came by and told the woman sitting next to me in our 3-seat row that she had to move. Lillian slept during the entire flight to LAX and Vivian watched Disney movies on our iPad (it’s the only time she’s allowed to use the iPad). We landed at crazy, dirty, loud LAX just after 10pm. Dan picked us up at 11pm. We were all home and in bed by 12:30am. And then, the next day, we were all up and at work, daycare, and preschool on time. It was only Tuesday, but we were all already looking forward to Friday! Thankfully, even though we were all exhausted, we all survived the trip without getting a single sniffle, which is saying a lot in this this awful cold and flu season that we’re having (unfortunately, Uncle Tim did not make it home quite so unscathed).
Ohio, we’ll see you again this summer, with one more baby in tow!