The flight out went pretty smoothly once we were in the air. We had a twenty minute delay for maintenance once we were boarded which made things a struggle for a bit but once we were moving it went okay. He wasn’t too loud, didn’t kick the seat in front of him and was pretty happily entertained looking at the inflight magazine and playing with the Kindle Fire.
My sister and her family lives in Mountain View, California and since all their extended family is out of state they spend a lot of time traveling to spend time with everyone. Ever since their daughter Nora was born they have been especially busy traveling either going on a plane or hosting family for a visit every month.
We had talked about a weekend for them to come visit us again but since I’m a stay at home mom there’s really only a few reasons why I couldn’t be the one coming down to them. With the boys getting older we’d been talking for a while about doing trips where I’d bring one of them by myself and leave the other home with family to babysit while I’m gone. We were looking at the calendar and talking about dates, could we wait until March? Perhaps a trip in February would work or NEXT WEEKEND!!
We booked a last minute trip for Graham and I to make the trek and leave Miles home with Grandma and Grandpa during the week and Daddy over the weekend. And in a blink of an eye we had tickets and it was time to pack!
I picked Graham in part because I felt like he and I could use some one on one time. He typically has more tantrums and is harder to parent so perhaps some solo time with Mommy would help things. Plus also selfishly I know he’s the better sleeper so I could count on a nap every day giving me more relaxing time with my sis.
We got into town and met my sister at the gate exit. I was so happy to see her waiting for us, I immediately pawned Graham off on her and she got to chase him around a bit. We loaded into her car and Graham settled in to playing with all of Nora’s toys.
We had a great first dinner at her house and got our things settled in. We talked about plans for what we wanted to do over the weekend and just caught up in general. Graham didn’t eat much dinner but he had so many snacks on the flight I wasn’t expecting much.
The next day our first outing was to a local park for playing. I think Graham dug in the sand for almost the whole hour we were there. It was a bit chilly but that didn’t stop the kids from enjoying themselves.
We picked up some sandwiches from my favorite sandwich shop by their house and went back home for lunch, naps and hanging out for the day.
Friday night we got wild and took the kids out for frozen yogurt for dessert. It was the first time Graham had been out for ice cream! He was funny and kept commenting on how dark it was. I guess he’s really used to our routine of being home for the day once it’s nap time.
Another great outing we did was visit the Junior Museum and Zoo. It was really fun! There were a few dozen other visitors and Graham was the oldest kid at the exhibit a few times. It was neat to visit a place geared to such a young crowd. We have a good time at our Children’s Museum but it’s for a little bit older crowd.
There was a ball drop exhibit that we played at for most of the time and all the kids had fun chasing the tennis balls around, grabbing them and getting them back to the drop off point.
Graham got a little pushy at one point, ripping a ball out of a kid’s hands and shouting “No. NO! That’s for Nora!”
They also have little bug viewing windows at just the right height.
And conveniently, a snacking bench, we were starting to get ready for lunch after all the running around. After snacks we headed outside to the mini zoo and looked at some of the animals for a bit – there were birds, bob cat cubs and turtles.
I wasn’t sure how Graham would do around Nora. In the past he’s tried to hug or hold her a lot or piled her lap with toys. This time he spent most of his energy trying to keep Nora away from what he was doing. He’d shout at her and start to get pushy. It would take a lot of reminding and encouraging to get him to share or try to play near her. I’m not sure what his deal was. Maybe it was being out of his own environment and surrounded by so many toys he’d never played with before. Maybe it’s just that’s he’s two and a half.
There were some sweet moments though. Reading Keep Fit with Froggy.
Watching Kipper and “feeding” Nora.
Puzzles with a lazy Mommy.
Playing with Nora.
On Sunday we headed to an awesome park with a big play structure and an airplane you could climb on. There was a big yard to run off energy and a real diesel miniature train that we took a rid on. It was a chilly afternoon but a lot of fun.
More playing before bedtime.
And just like that it was time for these sisters and cousins to give hugs and kisses and say goodbye.
I managed to get some videos downloaded to the Kindle so we had a much smoother flight home. Well, there was one exception. About an hour into the two hour fight the young gal in front of Graham turned around and asked if I could keep him quiet.
Graham had his headphones on watching Blue’s Clues but was shouting out answers pretty loudly. So, every three minutes you’d hear TEN or CIRCLE! I tried to get him to be quiet, pause the show and say he needed to whisper or not say the answers out loud. But he wasn’t having it. I kept handing him crackers so he’d be chewing and not able to shout but eventually those ran out. So this young gal turns around and starts to say “Lady you need to keep him quiet.” I said “I know I’m sorry…” she cut me off and said “I’m trying to sleep and can’t sleep because he’s being too loud.” so I snapped back “Look he’s two and a half and I’m doing the best I can.” She frowned and scowled at me and turned back around. I just sat there fuming. I was so annoyed at her. I mean seriously! It’s an 8pm flight not a red eye. We’re on Southwest. We sat down first meaning SHE’S the one who sat in front of a kid. And for heavens sake if you’re trying to sleep on a flight perhaps you should invest in some headphones or something to block out the sounds of the people around you. Arrrrg!
Joel and Miles were waiting for us when we got out of the terminal and it was so adorable to see Miles beaming and shouting “Mommy!” Graham was pretty hyped up from sitting still for so long and the boys started shouting at each other before we were on the freeway to head home BUT it was nice to be back. Miles was extra cuddly the next day which helped make up for Graham fighting for my attention. The boys did just fine being away from each other from the long weekend. It was refreshing to see my sister in person and have some girlfriend time. Perhaps I’ll get to take Miles out for a solo vacation sometime soon.