Last week we spent traveling to the Midwest for Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful trip, exponentially better than the same trip last year thanks to a certain little electronic device that I broke down and bought (portable DVD player), but now I'm sitting here lonely because we are home without Hannah. You see, Hannah stayed behind with my mom to have fun and visit more family that we didn't have time to fit into our brief visit because Kyle had to get back to work for Monday. Hannah's having the time of her life playing with cousins, staying up late, and making cookies and Christmas decorations, but I'm missing her desperately. The house just seems so empty, quiet and lonely. I know it's a good thing for Hannah to have this opportunity since we live so far away, but I still selfishly want her with me. I've called her every single night so far. She doesn't appear to be homesick at all. I suppose chasing little black kittens around in the fresh air will do that to you.
I know you are all dying to know about our trip so here goes. We left on Saturday morning. We had intended to let Hannah go to her dance class and then leave from there, but an hour long tantrum to start the day caused us to miss dance. Still, once we got into the car things went very well and we made great time. Hannah and I alternated between doing school work and watching movies. We stopped somewhere in PA and got a hotel for the night. Hannah was a wild woman at the hotel jumping on the bed and shouting at the top of her lungs. When it came time to strap her into her braces and go to bed she complained about being lonely (we were in the bed right next to her for pete's sake!) and grunted and grumbled until she fell asleep. It was all we could do to keep quiet while she carried on! We were up relatively early the next morning and then drove the leg into Columbus, OH without incident. In fact, we arrived much earlier than they were expecting us thanks to the fantastic time we had made the day before. Hannah had fun playing with Pap and Mindy and climbing around in the woods with Baba (Kyle's grandma). Baba sure can hike with the best of them considering she's in her 80's! Baba took us out to lunch and spoiled Hannah with lots of Christmas presents. Hannah, however, in her not so tactful 4 year old way, generously pointed out that she already had 2 of the books that Baba gave her and that the 3rd one was the wrong book. She had asked for an Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) chapter book and this was an Ariel (Little Mermaid) chapter book. ~Sigh~ It looks like we have even more lessons on how to be a grateful receiver of gifts on our plate. Then we headed off to the Columbus Zoo to check out the animals and the Christmas lights. Hannah had a blast feeding and brushing the goats and then managed to make Mrs. Claus feel about "this big" (imagine my thumb and index finger very close together) when she offered to pass along a message to Santa about what she wanted for Christmas for her (we had chosen not to wait in the ridiculously long line to see him and had instead peeked around to the end of the line to watch Santa passing out candy canes to the kids as they exited his lap) and Hannah told her that she wanted Santa to know that what she really wanted was one of his candy canes! Poor Mrs. Claus didn't have any candy canes! She was pretty much helpless. It was heartbreaking and humorous all at the same time.
The next day we headed to Indiana and Hannah had her first meltdown of the actual trip. While it was not pleasant, I'd call it a huge victory that we made it to within an hour of our final destination before she had one. At Grandma's Hannah had fun chasing around and carrying a little black kitten for hours at a time. That poor cat really earned it's keep that day! While in Indiana we visited Lafayette to see our friends the Bowe's and Hannah got to play with her friend Evelyn. They were so cute together. We barely saw them they spent so much time holed up in Evelyn's room playing with her dollhouse. Then we spent Thanksgiving Day with my mom's side of the family. Hannah had a blast hanging out with the "big kids" and playing Bingo for prizes. She was even faster than I was at reading the Thanksgiving themed words on her card and finding them before the caller called out the next word. Then on Friday we visited with my dad and my aunts Jo and Terri and my cousin Becky in the morning/afternoon and then headed over to Tiffany's house (Hannah's birthmother) for dinner and to spend the evening. At Jo and Terri's Hannah had a blast chasing their cat and playing Wii. She really loves the fencing on Wii Sports resort and she's actually pretty good at it. Terri spoiled her rotten by giving her a few of her little knick-knacks and her father's old keyboard. I can't wait until Hannah's home so we can give the keyboard a whirl. At Tiffany's house Hannah turned into a wild woman again. I suppose an entire week of over stimulation will do that to a kid, but boy was she wild- not the finest representation of our parenting skills! Hannah had so much fun with Chase and Kayla though. They played on the trampoline, Chase gave horsey rides/bucking bronco rides, they watched a movie, and wrestled like siblings that have never been separated. It was lovely to watch. Hannah even gave both Donna and Charlie (Hannah's birthgrandparents) hugs which she has been hesitant to do in the past. It was a great visit.
Then, on Saturday Kyle and I headed back to RI and Hannah stayed with my mom. Now I'm here typing this childless. I suppose it was fortunate for both me and Hannah that Hannah stayed with mom because today I'm sick. I've vomited 3 times already today and Hannah's hates to see me get sick. It makes her so nervous when I throw up, while at the same time she doesn't seem to be able to take it easy on me when I can't do everything she wants to do. So, I suppose for today at least I'm grateful she's there, but I still miss her.
Photo Notes: The picture with Hannah in the dog crate with BOTH of the dogs was not my doing. I came downstairs one morning and found them all 3 in there together. Hannah had coaxed both of the dogs in there and then got in herself and locked them all in. Even though she was able to lock herself in she was unable to get the crate unlocked from the inside so they were all stuck there until I decided to release them. I couldn't resist snapping a picture before I did so though!