We’re home. The laundry is done. The ‘fridge is filled. I’m wrangling my overflowing inbox and Benjamin is catching up on projects that fell by the wayside while we were away. We’re on the downswing from last week’s vacation, but it was all SO worth it.
As I mentioned, we opted to take the train instead of flying. Survey says? This was an awesome plan.
First of all, Owen is currently obsessed with trains, so he was thrilled just to be there and watch the trains and saying hi to the conductor nearly caused his jaw to hit the floor. It was so sweet. Granted, that sweet amazement wore off after the first hour and we still had 5 more to go… so it was still a long trip. BUT, not having to strap him into a seat with a seatbelt was amazing and being able to move around was key to his happiness for the whole trip. If nothing else, I find the train incredibly stress-free. As soon as you get on, you are MOVING. TOWARDS YOUR DESTINATION. Unlike a plane ride, where you are stuck waiting a lot of the time. My two year old doesn’t do well with waiting. And, let’s be honest, neither do I when he is around.
Second of all? Despite the fact that I brought a ton of toys and activities to entertain him along the way, Owen only wanted one thing: my iPhone. While originally I told myself I would limit his screen time like a normal day, I quickly threw that stupid rule out the window and handed it over. To anyone looking to occupy a toddler with a phone, get any and all apps made by Duck Duck Moose. They are magical.
Once I got over my screen aversion, it was pretty much smooth sailing. Oh, and the constant supply of snacks didn’t hurt either. When in doubt… feed him. And, FORTUNATELY, Owen’s car sickness was nowhere in sight (we made sure to pick seats that faced forwards for him, in case that was the problem).
To all of those parents who I judged for putting their kids in front of a screen when traveling, I am sorry. I was wrong. You were right.
Once we arrived Owen was bombarded by grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. Oh, the cousins. The way they played together melted my heart. They made me want to have a million children so I could witness the interactions forever. Bestill my ovaries. (Maybe those Duggars are on to something…).
The “it takes a village” philosophy is never truer to me than when I hang out with my siblings. Your kid is my kid is whoever’s kid. We all know what the others are and aren’t allowed to eat and drink, who’s allergic to what, and what they call their loveys. Though we don’t spend that much time together throughout the year, the closeness never seems to fade.
Owen is so lucky.
The week was filled with playing outside…
(Doesn’t that little toddler hug make you swoon?)
And playing in the pool…
And playing with stickers…
And more princesses and pink than Owen had ever experienced before.
My 5 year old niece asked him several times, “Who is your favorite princess?”. I’m not sure he knew what to make of that question. Believe me, we do lots of playing outside of traditional gender roles (playing makeup and dress-up), but I can’t say he has been too interested in princesses quite yet. Ha! I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed the pretty pretty princess games that, as a boy mom and only a boy mom so far, I don’t usually get to take part in. I LOVE being an aunt to girls.
I almost completely “unplugged” for the week as well, except for that one blog post and a few tweets to share some great pictures. Can’t even tell you how recharged I feel, despite the early morning wakeups to Owen wailing, “WHERE MY COUSINS?!” from his pack n’ play (which was set up in the playroom… can you blame him for wanting to get up early and play?).
Now, back to life, back to reality.