Friday, November 27, 2009

51 weeks!

Ready for a crazy long post with TOO MANY PICTURES? Here goes...

Well... we're wrapping up our week away. Cousins Caroline and Elliott are sound asleep. Aunt Janet, Uncle Doug, Uncle Kevin and Aunt Sarah are sitting around sipping libations, chatting, working on crossword puzzles (the major adult occupation of those actually vacationing this week), and updating the blog. Pa and Eepa (that is what Elliott has turned "abuelita" into- and that is how eepa wants it spelled) left this morning for their two day drive home to Michigan. It has been a good week. I have mostly been holed up studying, but all the rest of the clan has gotten lots of good socializing in. Caroline has been fascinated with her only cousin who is 2 and a half (and most worthy of fascination! He is an AMAZING little boy!) There were moments when it seemed he was more annoyed with her than anything else, moments that appeared like unrequited love (quite normal for their age span and their lack of familiarity it seemed to me), but there have been some very sweet moments between them and very few, if any, truly difficult moments. I'm so grateful for all the time they had together.

Before I post the MANY pictures I have to share a few highlights... Caroline seems to be having a mini-language explosion. She's been doing lots of echoing of sounds and she definitely is saying "Bye" and waving. It seems she is also saying "hi" upon greeting, but the bye is more definite. It has frequently seemed this week that she says something like "Sarah" when she sees me. No "mommy", but perhaps "Sarah". Funny. She definitely seems to be saying "What's this?" "What's that?" And this week picked up the "UH" of "Uh-oh", but doesn't have the "Oh" yet. Something gets dropped and she says "Uh, uh, uh, uh..." At times Elliott would be babbling at one end of the table and Caroline would almost precisely echo the sounds he was making. Very exciting.

We thought she'd be walking by the end of the week, but she may have scared herself out of progress. One evening she stood up and saw her reflection in a glass door leading to a darkened room. She started crying and walking towards it. We had been counting her steps in the previous hour. She had progressed from the 4 total steps she had ever taken before to seven. And Eepa started counting as she cried and walked.... and she got to 17 or something... nobody could bear to stop her, but as she got closer and closer to her image she cried harder and harder. She was spooked. And for days after she only walked one or two steps at a time. But apparently she got up to seven again today. Eventually it will happen.

Alright, pics and some stories interspersed...

Kev played at a church Sunday morning, then we packed up and hit the road Sunday afternoon. Caroline slept for the first two hours of the 5 plus hour drive. The next three hours took some work to keep her content... we changed a messy diaper on the side of the road in the dark... I showed her pics of herself on my iPod... we survived... and arrived at this cabin in the mountains to a very excited aunt and uncle and pa and eepa, cousin elliott was sleeping soundly. Here are a few pics of Caroline as we were loading up the car and getting ready to go.





While I was studying this week lots of walks and hikes were taken. Here are several beautiful shots from one hike with everyone but me.




Isn't Elliott gorgeous?!




And here is one of the sweet moments with the cousins. Caroline's first high five!





Elliott is VERY fond of trains, largely thanks to Thomas. This town closest to where we're staying has a Polar Express Train Ride. And Pa and Eepa purchased tickets for all of us to take this ride on Tuesday night. There could have been nothing more exciting for Elliott. He didn't need any special treats, just the train ride. But there were special treats. This is how I wrote it up for my mom in an e-mail. "all the kids in the train were in pj's, the people working the train were in chef's gear (like in the book). the soundtrack for the polar express was playing when we got on. they served hot chocolate and chocolate/marshmallow santas. they played a recording of the polar express story and the people working walked up and down with the pictures from the book. and then we arrived at "the north pole"- a small town all decked out in lights, saw santa through the window. then the train turned around and we passed santa's spot and he wasn't there anymore. they passed out songbooks and we were told we had to sing santa to us. so we sang christmas carols until santa arrived. elliott flipped out when everyone started singing- really upset- too loud, i think. santa entered the car at our end and greeted elliott first. elliott asked for 1 piece of chcolate for christmas. (we think he was saying "i had a chocolate santa" and santa said "oh you want chocolate?" and he said "yes" and then santa said "how much?" and he said "1" and held up one finger). And then santa gave elliott a silver bell. Santa asked if he could hold Caroline and we said "sure", but she was not amused. she's not letting anyone else hold her right now. janet would LOVE to and she's definitely warming up to janet, but still... only mommy and daddy can hold her. santa gave caroline a silver bell too. she did pretty well on the ride. i had to nurse her on and off, but she had some happy, jumpy moments."

Here some of us are, waiting for the train...



Several early on the train shots... Caroline pulverized Kev's chocolate santa and had great fun doing so. Elliott was so exciting.







Later on the train shots...





Some random shots...





Whole bunch of shots from Thanksgiving Day...

Some close ups of C...





Silly times with mommy. We read LOTS of books this week. Elliott is REALLY into books and it was exciting to him to have Caroline's bin of books to go through in addition to his own.






We spent much of the week taking turns blocking the stairs in the cabin. Whenever she saw an opening she'd scurry over to them. We'd let Caroline climb the two solid stairs to the landing but would sit on the bottom step of the tall flight of stairs which had no backing and beneath which was stone onto which she would have had a painful fall. Here are two shots of her being thwarted in her stair climbing aspirations.




Some close cousin time...





Two shots from the dinner table. Caroline did have her first bites of meat- yummy turkey. The first two she took fine. But then was less interested as shot two evidences.




And playing with Aunt Janet before bed...



And finally several from today... Caroline's first trip to a playground and first ride in a swing!






Phew... Still reading? A week from today... a week from today... the gift was finally given.

3 comments:

Deb said...

It looks like good times were had by all.

Sarah, you look MARVELOUS!! Mommys are usually taking all the pictures and forget to be in them. Years later you wonder "I was there, wasn't I?"

That was one fast year, wasn't it?

Sarah S-D said...

thanks, deb. i don't think i look all that great in most of the pics from last week though obviously only posted the ones i could live with. this is nice to hear.

heck yeah. very. fast. year.

see you at christmas time?

Mieke said...

a lovely post!

and yes, i agree, you look really great in the pictures. i was thinking that myself.