We were a little worried about how it would be to fly with Isabelle now that she's a walking, running, energizer-bunny. Last week we went to Utah for a long weekend (4 nights) for my old friend Becca's wedding. Initially I had thought about going on my own, but Paul and I agreed it was as good a time as any to bring Isabelle for a short visit to see family she hasn't seen in a long while.
Amazingly, Isabelle did super well on the plane. Our strategy was to pretend that we were in the car and once she was in her carseat (and us in our seats), that nobody had the option to get up and move around. It worked wonderfully! She got a little fussy as she got past her normal nap time and was really tired, but pulling out her "lovey" was all she needed to suck on to comfort herself into a nap. The bad news is her nap lasted only 10 minutes as she fought it off until we almost landed.
We stayed with my parents who very generously adapted their home to help baby-proof it as well as their activities, to help support Isabelle's naps. It was nice that she saw them just last month visiting us here, so she knew exactly who they were when we arrived and had no stranger anxiety whatsoever. Her first night going to bed was pretty traumatic for everyone, as she seemed terrified about going to sleep in the pack and play (a very tight fit for her now) in a strange place, and was crying and appearing very scared for an hour and half until we finally got her to sleep. Luckily, after that initial difficulty, all her naps and nights went much smoother as she accepted that was her new crib on our trip. She really enjoyed playing in their yard, especially running up and down the grass hills and having Paul teach her how to roll down the hill (while giggling of course).
Isabelle is so attached to my mom it's amazing- first thing when she wakes up, she asks where "Mimi" is and searches the house until she finds her. My parents gave Isabelle a new baby doll as well as an animal puzzle- both of which she enjoyed playing with during the whole trip. Amazingly Becca brought a HUGE gift basket the day we arrived which was so thoughtful we couldn't believe she had time/energy to make it, given her wedding that weekend!
I had a very busy schedule with a rehearsal and dinner on Friday, helping with flowers and decorations Saturday, and the wedding on Sunday. I was able to join Paul and Isabelle for a brief visit with his mom and Winn, and Paul's brother Dan before heading off to help with the wedding. Isabelle's Uncle Dan drove up from Las Vegas to meet her for the first time! We enjoyed watching her play with him on the sofa and got a bunch of sweet pictures of them together.
Friday night Paul and Isabelle joined me for the rehearsal dinner at Squatters where Bec's friend Audrey was great at entertaining Isabelle with her sunglasses. Here's a "glam shot" of Isabelle there. Isabelle also enjoyed flirting with some of the cute kids there at dinner- and especially had her eye on Becca's nephew Tyler (age 5) who waved and took pictures of Isabelle also.
Saturday I enjoyed helping Becca prepare flowers and decorations for the wedding before joining Paul and Isabelle for a late brunch with Grandpa George, Grandma Leslie, Great-grandpa Ron, Great-grandma Colleen, and Uncle Dan. It was fun for us to see how amazed everyone was by how well Isabelle eats- both the amount and the variety of foods. We spend so much time worrying about her eating too much, that it was really refreshing to hear some praise for her good eating. Isabelle really enjoyed all the attention at brunch, showing off her words and sign language for all.
Paul squeezed in a nice game of golf with his family while Isabelle napped that afternoon before joining us for dinner with my parents, where Isabelle was way too overstimulated to enjoy.
Sunday morning we all got ready for the wedding and Isabelle looked absolutlely darling- and amazingly matched Becca's wedding colors exactly (totaly coincidence). We knew the wedding would be a stretch for her as she had solidly taken 2 naps every day for the whole trip, and the wedding was smack in the middle of when she normally would have napped. She was a maniac at the wedding! I had to sit near the front as I was doing a reading for the wedding, and had to work really hard to block out Isabelle's sounds of fussing from the back while Paul tried to sooth her. She was unwilling to sit still for 1 minute. I heard her yelling "uh-oh" repeatedly and by the end, realized she had noticed the flower petals that were thrown in the aisle and could not wait to go pick them up.
Becca looked absolutlely radiant and I was really touched to see her husband Scott cry during the vows they shared. I got a little emotional as I read and spoke to Becca and her new husband Scott, as Becca is one of my oldest and dearest friends and has been through much heartbreak in her life- and very much deserves a family of her own filled with love. It was a lot of fun to catch up with Becca's family and to spend some time with their kids.
Becca tried to get Isabelle to be in some pictures with her and the kids, but she kept running towards me and out of the picture. She did enjoy carrying someone's bouquet and watching Tyler blow bubbles.
We got to spend Sunday afternoon and evening with my brother Michael who was leaving the next day for a trip to Brazil to meet his girlfriend Angela's parents. Unfortunately Isabelle was still pretty exhausted from the whole trip and not too willing to play, but I enjoyed seeing and catching up with Michael.
Isabelle was so tired at the airport before the flight home, she was pretty much solidly crying and fussing until we got her on the plane, gave her her "lovey" and she went straight to sleep. We were really really lucky that we got the last seat on the plane for her carseat as it was a sold-out flight and we hadn't bought her a ticket. I can't imagine flying with a toddler on your lap as there is no way they would stay there.
We were all really happy to get home, see Uintah, and be in a familiar place. Isabelle celebrated being home by playing with the sprinklers and reacquainting herself with all her toys. It was a great trip home to see family and friends, but so good to be back home.
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