Monday, July 21, 2014

Lilah Grace Discovers The Sea.

My little family of 3 just returned from a fabulous vacation in Cape May, New Jersey. George's cousin got married, and our sweet little one was a flower girl for the first time! We loved spending time with family, and of course, introducing LG to the ocean.

I was a little anxious to fly with LG for the first time. I loved planning this trip, but also felt nervous that if I was forgetting something, George would look at me like, "do something," and that pressure kind of stressed me out the day we flew out. 

We were flying Spirit, so we had braced ourselves for the worst possible service and constant upgrades // upcharges. Fortunately, even with Spirit Air, you can still check the stroller and car seat at the gate. 

Last minute to-do list. I LOVE checking items off a list!

My mom hooked it up with two cute new tops ((both on the left)), and I really had fun choosing//accessorizing my outfits for the vacay! I totally underpacked ((only 1 outfit per day)), but our B&B offered to do our laundry every day! So it ended up being PERFECT!

I mixed up thieves with some coconut oil and slathered my fam prior to both flights. So far, no sickness. So glad!

We gave LG her VERY LAST BOTTLES on the plane, for ascent and descent. She slept for the landing of our coming-home flight, so that was nice. G is putting her down for bed now, as I blog...which is nice, since I was kinda dreading putting her down sans bottle.

Our curious little angel!

We flew into Philly Int'l and picked up our rental car, then it was off to the Bed and Breakfast.

Can I just stop right now and EXPRESS MY LOVE TO THE HIGHLAND HOUSE?! I friggin' love B&Bs. They are the perfect combo of home + hotel. The Highland House was the best! Perfect location and unbelievably kind staff that seemed like long-lost friends. They were so helpful and hospitable.

The Highland House in Cape May

Our key was waiting for us on the front porch, and we settled into our room. We didn't mess with packing//checking the Pack 'n Play, so LG slept in the carseat. The room had canopy bedposts and a loose-knit blanket, so we made a canopy around her carseat and it worked just fine.

When Lilah Grace woke up in the morning, we walked the half mile straight down Broadway and onto the beach. We definitely picked the right time to go, because there was no charge, and we had the place all to ourselves. LG absolutely loved the sensory + tactile sensations the sand had to offer! It was like Mother Nature's Etch-a-Sketch...LG would dig her nails into the sand and make all kinds of funky lines, and then a wave would come and erase her slate clean. She got a kick out of it every time. Finally, she took off and crawled straight toward the waves. We helped her stand up, and laughed along with every crashing wave.

Nothing makes me more proud, fulfilled, happy, nor content, than this little family.

LG has a couple of precious bathing suits, but it was really fun to just let her roam and explore totally naked. We figured she ought to enjoy it while she can! Charlie Chaplin said in a letter to his daughter, "Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul." I feel like all she IS is soul right now! Just this pure, sweet, innocent, little soul! Naked babies are precious + free. Ours certainly was this past week!

We walked and biked everywhere! We loved exploring this family ((and pet)) friendly, charming and quaint, precious little town! And LG LOVED seeing ((and pointing out)) all of the dogs!

"Dog! Dog! Dog!" 
"Yes, Baby! That's a dog! What's a dog say?"
::high pitched and intentional baby laugh::
"Haha, yes, Baby, a dog says arf arf!"

Cruising with these two was a definite highlight of the trip! We checked out the ((still functioning)) lighthouse, and climbed all the way up! The breeze up top was exhilarating! 

There were hydrangeas everywhere. So fluffy and colorful! We loved strolling multiple times a day!!!

The already large Tinker Tribe expanded this past weekend ((George's dad is 1 of 7)), with the marriage of Chris + Isabel. Isabel is one of George's closest-in-age cousins, and I've adored her since I met her years ago. She's a true beauty--inside and out! We are so thrilled for the newlyweds! They had the most perfect celebration of their commitment to one another, and we were honored to share our little baby in the ceremony. LG had a little bit of help from Yours Truly to walk down the aisle and scatter rose petals, but we were very proud. Also, I was very grateful to be a part of such a huge family while we were vacationing, because somebody was holding her at all times! Which freed up my hands to drink! Hehe!!!!

Isabel + Chris and their picture-perfect wedding party at the gorgeous venue, Congress Hall

This is the "mom stance" at LG's age!!!! Busy, busy, busy! Yall mamas know what I'm talking about!

Just a few of the cousins! Love all of these people so, so much. I'm so honored to call them family! They are true friends AND family! #TinkerTribe

We really loved dancing together on the dance floor! LG has been so affectionate and fun lately. Her personality is really emerging!

Watching Lilah Grace explore on the ocean was by far my favorite part of the vacation. She was simultaneously entertained and at peace. She was so present in her every movement. The sea had her in a trance. And I felt like I was in a trance watching her! My favorite motherhood moments, without a doubt, are the ones spent in nature ((and with family))). Seeing a baby, so pure and innocent, in a natural place that hasn't been taken over with media, advertisements, or neon lights...it's like seeing God on God. Pure. I wouldn't have guessed a couple years ago that we would be here, now. But I'm so incredibly grateful. Everything is richer. I feel like she has given me new eyes, and I see the world with much more wonder.



Homeward Bound.

Yall know how vacays are...once it's time to travel back home, it's like you're just ready to be HOME. So, if any of yall are new mamas, or traveling with a non-breast feeding babe for the first time, I would suggest-

((a)) finding a window, and
((b)) posting up, complete with a booze budget.

Seriously. It helps take the edge off, and the baby//toddler will be thoroughly entertained with all the moving carts, jets, and people down below.

Then, give a bottle for take off. Next, bust out the entertainment. The hardest part of the flight ((getting to Philly)) was entertaining LG, while sitting in the same position, for 3 hours. Good Lord. That's work. I had a couple books, an Etch-a-Sketch, dog figurines, snacks, and of course...the iPad. With all the different aps out there, it is one great distractor. I don't put it in front of her regularly, but for flight entertainment, I was grateful to borrow my mom's and let LG play various games! On the flight home, she fell asleep halfway through. That was THE BEST THING EVER.

I'm really glad Chris and Isabel decided to get married in Cape May, and that we were able to go. I'm so grateful to Papa G for working so hard! Being in the special effects//fireworks industry, 4th of July is the busiest time of year. We didn't get to see much of him these past few weeks! He totally earned these vacation days! Thank you, Georgie, for making this trip possible. I know she won't remember, but we will. I loved our late night wine drinking on the deck, complete with fireflies, and rich conversation. You're my best friend and I love you.