Thanksgiving is always a real highlight of our year, and I would be remiss not to give the highlights of it in turn!
1). Let’s just lump travel all together for the sake of expediency. In short, flying 2 hours and then driving 4 hours with a toddler who refuses to nap is a journey in dividing and conquering with regards to parental duties and making sure that you have lots and lots of snacks and a bunch of random toys. Extra points for a Kindle with games or a phone with pictures. But I cannot underscore the importance of snacks because you know the toddler will refuse to eat his or her normal diet.
That said, we all survived. there was minimal bruising, and at times it was even enjoyable?
How the hell do you do it with 2 of these?
2) This year we shared a house with Alex’s whole family, and it was quite lovely. Emmie slept in a closet, and while she had mixed feelings about sleeping in general during the trip, the closet was clutch. She took a nap probably half of the days?
Speaking of, she refused a nap Thanksgiving day and literally lost her marbles during dinner. Alex and I tried to salvage what we could but ultimately we basically mad dashed out of there, threw her in the car, and I took her home (so Alex could mingle with his relatives). She went to bed an hour early, and I watched “The Crown” in bed.
Sharing a house was great and interesting. Emmie isn’t used to having people around her all the time (let’s be honest, neither am I), so that was a pretty big adjustment for her. Eating while things were going on, not being completely distracted, and sharing *gasp* toys with her cousin (who is 5). But she was getting the hang of it by the end of the week.
3) A couple of not so great things happened during the week.
A). I got a wretched migraine Monday night, and that killed my buzz and drove me to bed a few times over the next few days. I had to miss a few things, but I was thankfully able to go with Alex for our big present from my mom, a couples’ massage at the spa at the resort. Literally the best massage of my life (THANK YOU, MOM) and so nice to share with Alex, but I was down for the count and writhing in pain that night. Thank goodness for Alex being a champion daddy.
B) Emmie decided that she was terrified of my brother. She has never had a problem with him before–she literally saw him in August and thought he was fine–but she got severe stranger danger with him and would completely shut down. As if you pulled the power cord from her. She would stare at the ground, she wouldn’t eat, it didn’t matter what you did. We are working on exposing her through pictures and Facetime (basically, safe distances and environments), but it was quite severe, and I felt terribly for my brother, who is potentially the nicest, most genuine person on the planet.
4). Back to the good stuff. Alex and I together and separately got in lots of good walks (and some runs for Alex), including one during which Emmie had a MASSIVE poopsplosion. Like, a 20 wiper. We were still 1.5 miles from the house, but luckily I had a jacket I wasn’t wearing, wipes, and a fresh diaper. Luckily it was also rather warm. So girlfriend rode home nakey after I had used literally every single last wipe.
I pushed Emmie for the Turkey Trot while Alex walked with his mom (we started together, but I had #goals for that thing, which I met). I just wanted to spend as much time outside as possible. You never know what you will get when you get back to Chicago, so soak up the sun!
Speaking of being outside, we basically just let the area be our playground. We took Emmie to the pickleball court to play with balls for 30 mins, or we took her to swings and just went until she was done. We walked to the water and looked at boats, or to the green space, where we met a family kicking around soccer balls, and Emmie got involved. “I… kicktheball!”
I also made her do her “gobble gobble” at every available opportunity. (got to the 3rd part of this post)
5) One of the best blossoming relationships from the week was between Emmie and her cousin Tyson. They really got along. Tyson was fantastic with Emmie, and Emmie really took to Tyson. When Tyson and his parents visited us mid December, she immediately started playing with him again. We are sad that we won’t be that much closer to them after we move, but at least there will be a place for them to stay when they do visit.
Now Emmie refers to one of her balls as “Tyson Ball” because he had played with it while at our house, and sometimes she wants to call him to show him something. It is so lovely to see!
6) A funny tidbit from our week: Emmie now thinks golf carts are magical. One of her favorite stuffed animals, Monty the raccoon, is from our visit to PB last year. They always give out toys to all the kids who stay Thanksgiving week, and this year was no different…. except that there was an older man who drove one of the shuttle carts around who would give them out to any kid he saw! And sometimes snacks! So Emmie now thinks that all golf carts bring snacks and stuffed woodland creatures. She would be so excited when one would go by and quite puzzled when they would just keep on going….
In conclusion, it was an amazing trip, as it always it. Lots of warm sunshine, family, surprises, and as always, good food. Special thanks to my brother for bringing my favorite cherry pie 😀