We have been in North Myrtle Beach, SC with all of Andrew’s family for Thanksgiving. We drove down leaving after Kristin’s Monday afternoon class and staying overnight. Poor Elisa – we drove late enough both nights that she was asleep for the night in her carseat both nights and just waking her up to take her in meant that she took a long time to get back to sleep! But she so desperately wanted to be asleep that she would climb out of Mommy and Daddy’s arms and walk to the crib even though she would just lie there.
Elisa has enjoyed being with all her cousins – 10 of them ranging in age from 2 year old triplets to two 12 year old cousins! In return, all of her older cousins (all male) have been very sweet and nurturing, playing peekaboo, hiding under pillows, reading to her, and holding her. They have had fun playing with each other’s toys – trains, stuffed animals, books. Elisa’s family photograph book has been quite popular with all the younger set.
Since the beach is just past the buildings across the street, we have walked over a couple times. It is late November, so the wet breeze has kept it pretty cool, but the sun was out Friday afternoon and Elisa got to go wading. Note the nice late fall clothing… She was very excited, putting out her foot to reach the incoming waves and running in place to get good splashing. Daddy was making sure she didn’t get knocked over by the waves and let go after she was more sure of herself…so of course, she took a couple of dives. She had no fear in the process, but the velvety sweatsuit and fleece coat were soaked, so we took off for a warm bath.
Elisa did enjoy her couple baths in our jacuzzi bath (we had the master suite since Elisa shared out room) with the jets. The first time, Andrew had bubble bath in and the jacuzzi supersized the bath. Only Elisa’s head showed when she was sitting, but it was great fun for her. Once again her fearlessness came through since she (accidentally) dove in headfirst right before the end and Daddy rescued her (and got quite wet) – but Elisa didn’t mind.
Elisa has also tried a number of different foods she didn’t get at home. On her own volition she asked for cucumbers and olives – and finished the cucumber and ate most of a second olive. She enjoyed daddy’s cranberry juice on the way down and some of his fried okra (a different meal!) The first attempt at french toast didn’t take, but she did enjoy two small bites of a Krispy Kreme donut.
The whole family went to Brookgreen gardens Friday morning, a sculpture garden and zoo of local animals. Elisa enjoyed her stroller, petting and taking pictures with the different animal sculptures. She also enjoyed watching the different animals, being very patient with her parents. She pointed up at the birds and said “bir.” At one point we were trying to point out a pair of otters basking in the sun and she kept pointing in a different direction, only for us to realize she had found an otter we had missed!
She has picked up a number of new words. She has asked us to pray – “way” (and bows her head!), fixated on a “ba” (bath) when we said it was time, and repeated fan – “an” – after mommy when looking at the bedroom fan. She continues to get closer to “ma” and “da” – fully able to make the sounds, but it is unclear when she means it. As we started on the trip, she had also picked up the sign language for “please” and uses it with great earnestness – we assume she picked this up from one of the other kids she is babysat with. She has also picked up and concatenated up and down – daddy had been giving her rides on his recliner footrest up and down and now she says “up-down” when going up and down stairs or wanting up and down from her highchair.
Another interesting development is that Elisa is starting to request her diaper to be changed. Before we left, she had shown some interest in her diapers, once or twice pulling out a diaper, spreading it out and sitting on it. The day before we left she pulled the diaper up around herself. While here there have been a number of times that she has gone to our closed bedroom door and asked to have her diaper changed by getting out a diaper and lying down. This is a little scary for parents who really don’t want to think about potty training until summer break!
The major snafu of the trip was that Andrew broke his glasses Sabbath morning and we planned to leave that afternoon for home. So Andrew and his dad got to bond over finding a 1-hour glasses place on a Sabbath morning. And of course, early next week the glasses Andrew had ordered at home should come in… But this way he has a back-up pair!
We are very thankful for our time with family, especially since people are from so many places, headed to a different set of places and who knows when we will have the chance to all be in the same place again and how much kids will have grown by then!