Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chicago Trip

Dear Scarlett,
In May you took your first plane ride. We went to Chicago for Nonnie’s 60th birthday, and so you could be held by everyone we’ve ever met. This last part backfired on us slightly, as we’ve just discovered you’ve had a gastrointestinal virus for more than a week. You’re definitely on the mend, but if I had to point the finger at someone, I might aim it towards my youngest cousin Nate (age: adolescent boy), who spent a significant amount of time poking your hands and arms, saying “It doesn’t even react!” and then lifting your tiny hand and flinging it up to your face, asking “Why is it hitting itself?”

I don’t really blame Nate, of course. There are so many other people to blame. Like the Russian woman at Millenium Park who kissed you in the bathroom before I even had a chance to swing you away. “I’m a grandma!” she announced. “She’s gorgeous!” Is it wrong that my immediate reaction was to be happy she knew you were a girl?

Or, if I’m being honest about it, I could blame myself, because somewhere around Day Two of Mass Visitor Receiving, I completely forgot to ask people to wash their hands before touching you. But you’re doing fine now, and, as Pops points out, you’ll just be that much stronger for having survived the family germs.

Aunt Lizzie and Rob came in for the weekend, too, and Uncle Paul brought his girlfriend Meghan over to celebrate with us. For Nonnie’s birthday dinner, we hired a personal chef to come to the house and make us a delicious multi-course Spanish tapas meal, which we all enjoyed immensely…including you, with slightly delayed gratification. A few of the dishes: olive tapenade canapés with blue cheese; spicy red peppers with white anchovies; fried mussels with white sauce and Serrano ham; paella with chorizo, chicken and shrimp; sautéed trout; yellow cake with quince paste and sweetened goat cheese topped with candied pine nuts. And yes, that’s just a sampling, which is what happens when Aunt Lizzie and I are in charge of a menu.

You met lots of small friends while we were in Oak Park, including Grace, Ava, Tommy, Timmy, Carson, Seamus, Elsie, and Jane. You also met most of our neighbors, and amassed a nice little pile of new gifts, which I struggled to fit into our suitcase. I overpacked for both of us, not realizing that Oak Park was going to feel like sub-Saharan Africa all week. *You* rarely wore pants, but that’s unfortunately not something I was able to get away with.

Dad left on Sunday and you and I stayed for 3 more days. This meant I got the honor of flying back with you and no other accountable adult. You were already feeling the effects of the virus, so it was 4 hours of fussiness and some screaming. Luckily the other passengers were very kind and understanding, and several of them told me you did a great job and that you were adorable. Due to a late but necessary diaper change, we were by far the last people off the plane, so I got to meet the airline cleaning crew, who also thought you were adorable.

You turned two months on our trip, and you’re getting much bigger. This week the doctor told us you weigh 11 lbs, 7 oz and are 23.5 inches long. You have found your fist and jam it into your mouth at every opportunity. You are also making more noise, and doing some rolling during tummy time. You got your 2-month vaccines yesterday, and did the silent, red-faced scream I’d been expecting after talking to other parents. This was followed by an actual howl of misery, but you were pretty easy to soothe and fell asleep right after eating. Today you want to be held a lot, so we are having a much appreciated quiet day at home.