Alexander and I are home. We arrived about 15 hours after we were supposed to. In case you were wondering, USAirways is on my bad list. (They wanted to reroute me like this: Take my original (delayed) flight into Las Vegas and “wait around for a few hours.” I looked at the man with my mouth wide open and disgust in my eyes and said, “You mean overnight?” He blinked a few times, paused, and finally admitted: yes, overnight. At 7am the next day I could then take a flight not to Pittsburgh. Instead, I could fly to Philadelphia. Where I could wait around for a few more hours (about 5). Then, I could finally take a flight to Pittsburgh where I would arrive approximately 26 hours after I left California. All with an infant. And a single small diaper bag that was packed for a 12 hour overnight flight. I refused to take their given reroute and made them give me a better one.)
It was all worth it, though. Spending time with my family in the unbelievably perfect weather was amazing. Here is proof:
There were blue skies and dry heat every day. On this particular day, I was told it was “kind of cloudy” by my Uncle:
There were birds and dogs galore! My Uncle and Aunt have four birds and a dog, and my Mother was there with her dog.
This is Jackson, my Mother’s wonderful corgi. He was so well behaved, even though he is constantly jealous of all of the attention that Alex gets.
And we have Lola, my Uncle’s wonderful lab.
The birds were wonderful. First we have Pappy:
Then we have Sydney:
And then we have the love birds, Pure and Simple. There are actually two, but they are (almost) identical, so here is just a photo of one:
Poor Uncle Mike accidentally gave Alex a bunch of scratches on our first day! He was carrying him sitting on top of his shoulders, and walked under a tree. Unfortunately, Alex was up too high and came into direct contact with a few branches. He had scratches all over his forehead and a few over his lips. He was a trooper, though, and only cried for a few minutes. Mike, on the other hand, would not stop talking about how he almost killed my child.
While my Mother has been away all summer, Alex has obviously grown enormously. Babies tend to do that. He has grown physically and changed in so many ways. The reunion between Alex and his Grandmother was beautiful. He remembered her, something we were both unsure about, and I have not seen her that happy in a long time. It will be great to have her back in Pittsburgh, not only for babysitting purposes (Mama needs a break!) but also for Alex to have another consistent person in his life again besides Mom and Dad.
Alex enjoyed playing in water most days we were there. He would splash like crazy in the bucket full of water, having a great time.
Of course, being in California, we had to go to the beach. We took a nice ten minute drive to the coast, where it was 25 degrees cooler, and enjoyed an hour playing in the sand:
While we were there, Alex learned to climb up stairs. Fast. I had been putting off buying baby gates, but now that he is up the stairs before I have a chance to stop him it is definitely time to make that purchase!
So, all in all it was a wonderful vacation. It certainly was not relaxing, rejuvenating, or peaceful. It was hectic, exhausting, and sleepless. Between Alex being in a new place, having to adjust to a three hour time change, being in a not-baby-proofed home, surrounded by 2 dogs and 4 birds (2 bites from Sydney on Alex’s poor little finger!), teething, having a 103 fever for about 30 hours, getting growled at by Lola, eating a fistful of sand, and screaming for over an hour on the flight home, there was never a dull moment.