(You didn’t know we left. That’s because I didn’t want to post on here that we were leaving and risk our house-sitter getting robbed. )
My super enthusiastic family at the Bean.
Anywho, we are back. Last Tuesday we flew to the Chicago suburbs and Sunday we flew home. It was a good trip! Jim is really in his element with people who have known him forever. His cousin, A, and her daughter, Z, were there, and had been for about three weeks. They were settled into a nice routine for us to disrupt. But it worked out, and Jim and A were back to BFF right away and acting like teenagers, and I really love seeing him like that. Jim’s grandma was a wonderful hostess and was so kind to open her home to our crazy little family. She was also so gracious with our schedule and adding meeting up with blog friends, and with some of Jim’s family members driving in to see us on Saturday.
These girls. Gosh, are they silly.
(Eriana did FANTASTICALLY on the plane. She put on a really good performance of a well-behaved toddler. Even when my seat neighbor from Denver to Chicago saw there was a kid in his row and I saw his face fall, I think she proved to him that kids can be okay. I had a bag full of tricks, but the things that worked best were: Kindle loaded with videos for her to watch (she wouldn’t wear her headphones), notebook and a million stickers (okay, like 400, but still, she didn’t go through them all), and snacks. She napped on two of four flights for almost the duration, so planning flights during her nap time was ideal. I borrowed a GoGoBabyZ from a friend and we used it on the way there through the airports, but didn’t hold our breath for an extra seat on the way back and just checked it with her car seat and used the regular stroller in the airports.)
From Denver to Chicago.
Eriana and Z got along as well as 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old girls can. There was fighting and hitting and frustration, but also lots and LOTS of giggling. Eriana’s language has exploded since hanging out with Z and as early as on the plane ride home we were hearing strings of words we hadn’t before. Too bad E wasn’t as influenced to potty train! (I kid. Kind of.)
On GG’s swing; Looking at a squirrel (Eriana’s face cracks me up!), but they’re holding hands!
At the Bean; Snuggling with GG’s dog, Buddy.
Thursday we drove into downtown Chicago and met some bloggers for lunch and it was lovely. I’d only met Pseudostoops previously, but Sara is coming to The Blathering this year, and I’d gotten to know Anne on Twitter. I got to meet (and hold!) baby Simon, and it was so great to see these lovely ladies outside of my computer screen. Jim and A were troupers and came to lunch and met my “imaginary” friends* and we walked around Chicago afterward and went to see the Bean.
Man, I love this picture. My girl and me in the Bean.
On Saturday Jim’s mom drove in from Michigan and we spent the day with she and her fiance. Eriana was a bit bashful, but warmed considerably by the end of their visit. She’s just not a super open kid. It was nice for her to get to meet her Grandma Ruth. She’s so used to just knowing my side of the family since they’re local that I’m really glad when she can see others. She adored her GG (Grandma Great) by the end of our trip and was excited to see and recognize her in her photo album when she was flipping through today, as before she had just been a face without any more dimension.
Looking at pictures on GG’s iPad.
Overall, despite some travel problems (I overpacked CONSIDERABLY and we had to pay a heavy bag fee on the trip there; Jim left his and Eriana’s jackets on our first flight and we had to buy new ones in Chicago – I wrote an email to Frontier’s lost and found and am hoping they found them!) and some family awkwardness that will occur when you aren’t used to being around people, it was a good trip.
I loved the weather in the northern US, and miss that a lot. But I was really glad to get back to our bed and our familiar house on Sunday night.
*I’ve always referred to Jim’s gaming friends as his imaginary friends, and now my blogger/online friends have the same moniker, even though I’ve met many of them IRL and he hasn’t.