I was watching my husband give Georgia a bottle today. I like to sit to the side and watch them. They are so wonderful and beautiful together. Georgia loves her daddy so, and have I mentioned how wonderful of a daddy he is? Watching them, my heart grows butterfly wings and goes flying around my chest - pitter patter, pitter patter. I don't know much else that is more satisfying and can fill me to the brim with love... lots of love here baby!
But it never fails when my heart is about to burst, no matter what the reason, Georgia likes to find a little way to sneak some laughter in there too. I tell ya, she's the whole package.
Today it was watching her different poses as she eats.
Georgia also got a hold of her first whole apple today - closely (very closely) supervised of course.
She broke the skin with her teeth and then just kept sucking. (yeah, it's blurry, but for the life of me I could not get a good picture of the girl and her apple)
I'm way overdue in ordering invitations for Georgia's first birthday. And I could just plop down at a computer quickly and order some up, but the problem is I want a picture on the invitation and I don't have one I like for it.
So today Georgia and I tried to remedy that. But did I mention she has a whopper of a cold/flu? And guess what, sick baby + camera = bad pictures.
I did get a couple that weren't horrible...
... but nothing that I liked enough to use for the all exciting and important FIRST BIRTHDAY INVITATIONS!!!!
OMG, I can't believe my daughter is going to be one. I still haven't come to terms with that completely.
So my sister let me know tonight that I am behind... way behind... on this blog. Gulp, she's right. Vacation kicked it off, but what's been keeping me sooooo behind is this:
All the planning for Georgia's first birthday party. I mean, I am a planner, but oh my gosh. I haven't done this much planning since my wedding, and that was for 100+ people. This will be 15-20!
But as my sister will also tell you, I am somewhat of a perfectionist. OK, I'm really, really particular about things and very detail-oriented. So everything must be perfect for my little girl.
I can't believe she's turning one!
Maybe the Cheerios kicked it off, but today Georgia ate avocado. She always liked it pureed, but wouldn't touch chunks. Well, my little chunk is eating chunks!
Say hello to her new friends:
OK, so it is turkey-wrapped avocado. Otherwise, the little buggers are just too slippery for her to pick up. Did I mention I spent almost an hour today wrapping avocado chunks? Oh, the glamorous life of a mommy!
Must have been something about just getting away for a while.
We went on vacation with a carnivorous, dairious child. (yeah, I know I'm makin' up words) She consisted on a diet of turkey, chicken, cheese and milk-based formula.
We returned with a baby who ate this today:
Where did my little Georgia go? Maybe we left her at the lake and brought home some look-a-like kid by mistake. She ate carbs and actually seemed to enjoy them.
Boy, they're pulling out the parkas in hell today!
Breathe in... breathe out. Breathe in... breathe out. It's our first full day home after vacation, and I must say, my first relaxing day since we left for vacation. Ah, it's good to be home.
And Georgia thinks she has new toys to play with... empty suitcases!
Oh but empty suitcases means a washing machine full of load after load of dirty vacation clothes.
And sadly, not all of these are dirty from being worn. (I always over pack. Yes honey, I hear you loudly sighing.) But even the unworn clothes needed a bath because Georgia found it entertaining to pull everything clean and dirty out of the suitcases several times on vacation and move them around on the dirty cabin floor.
So the suitcases might not really be Georgia's new toy, but we did go out and get her one today. She was so good on the trip, it was well deserved.
Ah, home sweet home.
Goodbyes all around today. It's time to head home.
Goodbye to the tiny cabins with no a/c where we crammed too many people into two rooms and hauled up warm water from the showers to bathe babes in the sink and held our breath to see if the propane stoves would really light and where more people than I thought possible shared one bathroom.
Goodbye to the lake that can still make me feel like a child and that still lets me find the most crayfish and that holds waters that chill underneath a sun that warms and where my little crawled on the same sandy shore I played on as a little.
And goodbye to the family members who cooked us meals and splashed us with lake water and made awesome bonfires and danced with our babies and made us laugh and reminded us of love.
Goodbye Lake George. Although we didn't have the time we would have liked to enjoy every secret and delight you have to offer, we will miss what treasures we did find. We might even look back fondly one day in the way, way future and laugh about the lack of air conditioning and hot water... maybe. But although we'll miss your presence, the memories stay with us always.
A lake in itself is beautiful - the way the waves gently caress the sand and brush up against your legs, the ducks who swim by as if they have not a care in the world but instantly take notice when a piece of bread appears, the way a rowboat slips through the water as it carries it passengers to familiar little islands and the sunrise casting a myriad of colors that bounce off the glistening water - it is all beautiful.
But there are other things I find beautiful about time at the lake.
They surround us and put me instantly at ease. There is something magical about looking up into a canopy of dancing, shimmying leaves.
The babes. (the children kind)
Everything is so new and innocent in their eyes. Something as simple as a lollipop becomes the highlight of a day. Just ask for proof and you'll be met with a blue or purple or green tongue.
What is it about fires that mesmerizes? Every night we gather to leave another day behind us. We talk about anything and everything. Nothing is secret around a roaring bonfire. And of course there are those wonderful concoctions of melted marshmallow, gooey chocolate and crisp graham crackers. We have s'mores, lots and lots of s'mores.
There is so much beauty at the lake. So much of it, yes, is nature's creation. But it's also found in the people, the family, who gathers at the lake's edge day after day.
So how long does it take to drive a 5 1/2 hour one-way trip with a 10 1/2 month old infant?
A long, long time.
Heading out on our "working vacation," we anticipated the 5 1/2 hours of driving plus a little extra for stops.
Then enter "infant who suddenly HATES her car seat." Fun!
This required many stops at various gas stations between Maine and New York, as we headed back to the lake. Yes, our trip to Maine was only one day. ::slaps head::
I know, she looks happy. It's deceiving. It's because she is not in her car seat.
And if gas station weeds will make the kid happy, well then, bring them on!
Another stop and daddy seems to be the one going a little crazy.
A little caffeine fortification for mommy and daddy makes things a little more manageable.
Goodness, where's the lake? And our 5 1/2 hour trip turned into 7 1/2 hours.
Our day started where it should at a lake - on the beach.
It's a place that draws us in day after day, a place where we gather to share family stories, drink adult beverages, talk of things to come, laugh, dream and on this trip, remember a mother who would have loved nothing more than to be right here.
We also watch littles dig their toes in the sand...
We were treated to the sight of my niece screaming and dancing in circles...
The reason behind it? Her daddy's impromptu jam session.
But for my family, time on the beach was limited today. A road trip awaited us. We'll call it a working vacation from New York to Maine.
Our trip would not be complete without a ferry ride across the lake, no bridges here!
With the car parked on the ferry, Georgia thought she was something when she got to take the wheel.
And we're off for five and a half hours of driving plus who knows how many stops along the way.
... but it wasn't blue - green and brown actually. A trip across the country required a place for Georgia to sleep, so my sister brought along her pack-n-play for Georgia (hence the borrowed). And because we don't own one, this was Georgia's first time in a PNP (hence the new).
We found it not only made a good bed, but a good place to corral our little at the picnic tables while we tried to eat breakfast.
And her cousins thought it was the best because they could talk to her, pet her and love on her - and Georgia couldn't go anywhere.
And the "big girls" found Georgia's toys to be more interesting than she did.
And speaking of the "big girls" (my nieces and third cousins), my how they love to be artistic. It's such a wonderful thing, watching little minds ponder over which hue of crayon to choose or which shades of Play-Doh to twirl together. So many decisions and each combination of decisions evolves into the perfect masterpiece of colors, creativity and love.
And then there's my husband's creativity, what I get when I mix Georgia's hair with sunscreen so her little scalp doesn't fry.
I think he secretly dreams she'll be a punk rocker.
It's our first full day of vacation! No travelling today, just time on Lake George in New York. Georgia lets nothing faze her and is accepting the new location, the new people, the no air conditioning (yes, you read that right - gulp) just fine. You'd never know her world had consisted of mostly our home and daycare before now.
Not only are there cousins and second cousins and an aunt and great-grandparents and great aunts and uncles... there are crayfish too.
Of yes, I became a kid again and went searching under rocks for these creepy-crawlies of the lake. I used to spend hours catching them here as a kid. Georgia though didn't seem to think much of the crayfish yet. Just wait, the day will come.
But she loved the water and the sand. Running her fingers through it...
... and giving it a taste.
Daddy to the rescue. Georgia, little girls don't eat sand.
Later her five-year-old cousins decided Georgia needed decorating...
My little flower is really starting to bloom and grow and become her own person. It becomes obvious when she gets the chance to interact with others and absorb and handle so many new situations.