All things considered, Daisy was a champ through all of our travel madness and our two week long whirlwind trip in California. Even as loaded down as she and I were as we ran through airport security and when we almost missed a flight she never melted down once...though I was extremely tempted to myself. Note to self: pack lighter next time. I was carrying about 60+ pounds of baby and bags on my shoulders and going through security was a nightmare. I really did need everything that I was carrying but man, I was SO sore for the next several days. Live and learn. I was so proud of how patient Daisy was jammed in my kangaroo pouch for a couple of hours. That was definitely my best idea for her. She never would have tolerated a stroller and I was able to have two hands free. Sweet! See, I'm smiling in this picture below because it was before I left for my trip and I was excited at this point. If you had a picture of me at the airport in the security line you would have seen a different expression. I was drenched in sweat, beat red from carrying 60 pounds, had scratch marks all over my neck from the bags cutting off my circulation, I was on the verge of tears and saying prayers continuously to calm myself down. Pictures before are a good idea:). I could have fooled you all!
The DVD player was not nearly as helpful as I had hoped. Daisy was far too excited to sit still and watch a movie. Instead she wanted to jump up and down on the seat, slam the window open and shut, kick the back of the chair in front of her (which I didn't let her do...so of course I got to enjoy more toddler anger and behavior...joy), and shout, "hey, ebrebody, can you hear meh," at 11, 12 and 1 in the morning. Yes, I have a very spirited child. There were a few times when I caught myself nodding off at around 1 AM EST time and all the while Daisy was STILL wide awake. I finally came up with the novel idea of laying down on my back and having Daisy lay down with me. I rubbed her back and she was out within 5 minutes. Whether or not that would have worked any earlier is hard to know. She had a lot of energy to get out after being in my carrier for 2 hours at the airport. Ear pain made it difficult for her to stay asleep but, at least she wasn't bouncing off the walls anymore.
She stretched out and took up the majority of the 3 seats. I was really thankful to the guy that had left our row at the start of the flight when another seat opened up....better for him and better for us!
My hubby's brother Jeremy was awesome and picked us up from the airport late at night and even stopped by IN N Out for me at 11PM so I could grub on my favorite California fast food. YUM. Thank you Jeremy! Daisy stayed awake the entire hour drive from the airport to my Grandma's house which blew me away. By then it was past 3 AM our time. I put her immediately to bed and then fell into bed myself fully clothed for a short 4 hour siesta before starting our first day. Whew! Travel is definitely my least favorite part of vacation.
We kept our first day very low key just the way I hoped. An impromptu play date with our good friends the Fishers at the park and some lemon picking with GG (Great Grandma). Daisy especially loved picking the lemons and then throwing them into my Grandma's pool. We would fish them out for her and then she would throw them again. She has quite the fastball pitch!
We both took a nice long nap and felt much more like our normal selves after. Daisy's energy returned and she began exploring my Grandma's house in full. Just look at her mischievous face! lol
GG had such a fun backyard for Daisy to explore and roam. I didn't realize how much I had missed the tranquility of my Grandma's backyard. I grew up going to her house almost every weekend in the Summer time to swim late into the evening, lay out and listen to the palm trees and wind chimes swishing in the breeze, eat popsicles and pizza, watch movies and have many a great chat with my Grandma on her porch. I used to climb up on the roof of her guest house with my cousins. We felt pretty cool sneaking up there. LOL. I'm so thankful that that I was able to stay at her home on this trip and share some of those special memories with my little girl. Thank you Gram!
My Aunt Pam has a really fun house. She has lots of turtles such as giant Mike below, a couple of dogs and cats, some guinea pigs and a super smart bird. Basically it's like a small petting zoo for a 2 year old! Daisy had a blast and I always have a blast whenever my kid is having a good time. Giant Mike was awesome! I think he is the largest turtle I have ever touched or been so close to. He was a gentle giant. My Aunt has the biggest heart for animals of anyone I know.
We headed pretty much straight from there to Joey's Aunt and Uncle's house. The Bailey Bunch! :). They hosted a delicious steak dinner for the family. Daisy got to see her Grandma Martinez and her Uncle Jeremy who helped her shoot some hoops. It was so great to see them and the cousins are all so helpful with Daisy. I know I've said it before but, I don't think anything blesses me more than watching other people love on my daughter. I feel the love as directly as if it was me getting all the attention. When she is loved, I feel loved. That is the joy of being a mother!
From Left to right: crazy me, cousin Shannon who was home from college for the Summer, awesome Uncle Jeremy holding Daisy, cousin Nicolette who is starting her senior year of high school this Fall and Tyler who is a Freshman this fall.
Aunt Marie had baked a delicious cake and Daisy decided that it was intended for her after she climbed up on a chair and found it. She even got permission from the family to smash her face in it...that is how loved she is. LOL
Up to this point we still hadn't even announced that we were in California, because our trip was a surprise for my sister Anna. Bright and early Sunday morning we put this picture below on her facebook page and said, "surprise, look who is in California for your graduation??!!" From what I am told she was incredibly shocked and immediately balled her eyes out. That made me happy:). The surprise was a success and she felt loved which was the entire point of the trip. I wanted her to know how special she is to me!! Love you to pieces Anna! By the way her 18th birthday is Tuesday...Happy almost birthday my youngest sister!! Can't believe you are an "adult" now...I feel incredibly old now thanks a lot.;)
Potty Training progress and other updates:
This is part one of at least 3 or 4...I'm getting sleepy so this will conclude part 1. I want to mention before I forget that we took Daisy to our community pool last night and she floated around like a champ. I never realized that learning to balance with floaties on is actually a skill that has to be learned. Daisy went in the pool a few times in California and started testing out her balancing skills, once on the fourth of July at a lake and now last night she was full on swimming with her floaties. Joey and I were amazed at her skill and her boldness! She started jumping off of the stairs into our arms. Go Daisy! LOL
Potty training is going excellent! We have been going at it for about a week now and I really have to say that Daisy is doing awesome. I pretty much keep her naked from the waist down the entire time that we are home. I find that as soon as I put a pullup on her or panties that she thinks she is free to go in them just as she could a diaper. Nakedness has helped her to better understand that there is nothing there to catch anything. The first 4 or 5 days I was putting her on the potty every 20 minutes or so while asking her if she needed to go. I'm not gonna lie...it was mentally draining even though she was a champ. It's really does require a tremendous amount of patience and a devotion to staying home for a few solid days to be consistent and teach them. Hard to have a life the first few weeks of potty training but, I was prepared for that. She was not telling me that she needed to go in the beginning at all and in fact is still not telling me that she needs to go regularly. Only a couple of times has she actually said that she needs to go. The last two days she has sat on the potty all by herself without being asked or told to. She already gets when she needs to go and goes bolting for the potty..one week in! I'm so proud of her! We will continue to wear pullups when we go out, at bedtime or to church to make life easier for those taking care of her but, I think she will continue to make a lot of progress. She's doing great. I think the key is patience and waiting until your child is ready. Each kid is so different and will be ready at different ages. Don't rush and don't push. It IS NOT easy....I'm wiped out from this but, I cannot complain because all in all she is doing great. To be continued.....
a href="http://s1007.photobucket.com/albums/af199/jhenstark/?action=view¤t=CaseySignature-1.png" target="_blank">