Monday, August 30, 2010

Two Weeks in the Midwest, Part 1

Dear Scarlett,
I find this letter a little overwhelming to write, since it seems like there is so much to say. We got back from our vacation on Saturday night, after nearly two weeks away. You and I both have colds. Your nose is all stuffy and it sounds funny when you nurse. We've had the humidifier on in your room for the past two nights, and while it seems to be helping you, I look and feel like a congested monster. You're still happy to see me, though.

You were an absolute angel on the trip. You smiled at everyone, you did not cry (except at night when you were supposed to be sleeping--I'll get to that), and you handled all the traveling like a champ. We started our trip at Uncle John and Aunt Jamie's house in Anderson, Indiana, where Dad grew up. It's a small town that used to house a huge GM factory, and Grandma and Grandpa worked there before they moved to Florida. The factory is no longer there, and with it went about 30,000 jobs, but Uncle John still works for GM and drives to a factory in Michigan during the week. Aunt Jamie runs a daycare, so she was well prepared for your arrival.

Your cousins Jessica and Danielle came in from Kentucky to meet you, along with Jessica's very sweet son Eathan. Eathan is 8 years old and promises to teach you some fun games when you get older. On this trip, he was mostly concerned with not getting too close to your stinky diapers, and with trying to get me to go paddle boating with him. I did go out with him once, and he sang me some songs that he wrote, and told me exactly when to paddle, when not to, and not to touch the steering stick because he was in charge. After a while, he agreed to take me back to the dock so I could hop out and check on you (you were napping), although he wanted the stop to be brief, so we could go back out and find snakes.

You napped a lot in Indiana, which is good, because it was really, really hot. An old friend of Dad's named Keith stopped by the house one day. Dad hadn't seen him in about 10 years, so they had a great time catching up. Keith looked in on you while you were sleeping and said he missed having kids your age. Everyone says this, in fact, right before they tell us how fast you will grow up and to appreciate every moment. I'm sure this is true, and I find it alternately frightening and exciting.

We went to see the house where Dad grew up, the youngest of four kids. He shared a room with Uncle John when John was 16 and Dad was 6, and one of the highlights of this experience was when Uncle John shot Dad with a pellet gun on purpose to see if it hurt. But first, he let Dad get under the covers of his bed. It's important to know that Dad laughs when he tells this story.

From Indiana, we flew to Chicago for Ellie and Eric's wedding celebration. Nonnie and Pops picked us up and you laughed like crazy at Nonnie the whole way back to their house. You are such a happy girl, and no one can make you laugh like Nonnie. On Saturday, we dropped you off with Aunt Louise, Uncle Kevin, and Maggie. I'm pretty sure you didn't even notice we were gone, as evidenced by the pictures Louise sent. You took a walk, played in the Exersaucer, ignored the jump-up just like you do at home, drank 10 oz of milk in three hours (whoa), and remained cheerful the whole time. Dad and I had a wonderful time at the party, and got to hold baby Noah Zoloto, who will be a good friend of yours once we can get you two together.

Michele brought Carson and Seamus over to see you on Sunday. After a few minutes at the house, Seamus decided he was done and locked himself in the car. We eventually got him to come back out. Both boys got to hold you and we all posed for pictures.

Our week in Wisconsin is going to require its own letter, mostly because of Papa's antics, so I'll end here.