Wednesday, May 23, 2018

South Carolina Family Vacation: Part One

Two weeks ago I woke up Tommy at 4am changed his diaper and loaded his curious and confused little self into the car and headed to the airport. Once I was parked I got my suitcase and the stroller out of the car and then put Tommy in the baby carrier. Then I zipped up the car seat in the travel bag, stacked it on top of the stroller and pushed that with one hand, pulled my suitcase with the other, with a diaper bag on my back and Tommy on my front. I wish I had a picture of this crazy train but, as you may have guessed, T.J. was not with me to document, and if he had been with me I wouldn't have been carting everything we needed for a two vacation by myself.
This was Tommy's third flight but our first without T.J. and it actually went really well. He passed out, finally, the second the plane took off and even though he only slept for about hour, he spent the rest of the flight happily sitting in my lap trying to win over our seat neighbors and grabbing at the flight attendant's skirt every time she walked by. We flew direct to Atlanta where my parents (aka Nana and Pawpaw) picked us up and then we drove from there to their home for the first half of our vacation.

The last time we were in South Carolina, Tommy was just 4 months old and all our family was just so thrilled to be able to cuddle and hold him in their laps, and sit with him asleep in their arms on the porch.  Hah! That was not to be recreated on this visit. Tommy does not sit still, he does not fall asleep in your arms while you sway gently back and forth. He is a mover and a groover, a climber, crawler, and tumbler and I was just so excited to have many eager hands to chase after his little booty and give my arms a break.

He promptly fell asleep in his new, temporary, bedroom and I was so thrilled that he carried on with his usual excellent sleep routine right away. And that remained the case for our entire vacation even though he slept in three different unfamiliar locations over the course of two weeks.

On our first morning there, we walked down to the dock in our pjs and looked for fish and enjoyed some early morning sunshine before my in-laws arrived for breakfast. They hung out and played with Tommy before he went down for his first nap. Later that afternoon we were joined by more family for dinner: my aunt, uncle and cousin who live in South Carolina and my mema who conveniently was in town from New Jersey. My dad grilled and Tommy hammed it up for his expanded fan club.

My mema stayed the night so she could get extra time with her great grandson and it was nice to have a little bit of a quieter day to get more settled into our east coast routine. That day Tommy also got to test out his new life jacket and dip his toes in the lake for the first time! He LOVED it and would have taken off swimming if we'd let him. He is such a water baby and I am so looking forward to future lake visits with him running and jumping off the dock, tubing and learning to water ski on the boat.
The next couple of days it was just my parents and I in the house with Tommy which was such a rare treat. We also took Tommy out on the boat and bribed him with handfuls of Puffs so that he would tolerate the life jacket during our cruise.
The rest of the time we finished a puzzle, drank lots of iced coffee, tried to fish off the dock, and watched home videos. You know what's crazy? Watching a video of your mom's thirtieth birthday when you yourself are about to turn thirty. I shared this surreal moment with my mom to which she replied, try being the mother of someone turning thirty...
On Thursday, we had big plans! My mom and I dropped Tommy off at my in-laws so he could have some one on one time with his other grandparents and then she and I met my sister downtown to go wedding dress shopping!  Confession time. This was honestly the first time I've really left Tommy.... T.J. and I have gone of a couple dates without him but always after he was in bed. But even though I knew this was going to be hard (for me, not him) there was no way I was missing out on dress shopping with my sister! She got engaged over Easter weekend and we've only been dreaming about this day since forever! And, y'all! She found THE dress and I am so grateful the timing worked out for me to be there with her.
She took the next day off work so she could spend the day out at the lake with us and so we could have a sleepover and talk all things wedding.  My dad also picked up my other grandma from Tennessee for the weekend. Friday evening after dinner, Tommy and I loaded up all our gear and headed over to my in-laws lake house to sleep so that we would be there when T.J. got in early the next morning! Tommy was so excited to see his daddy after a whole week apart and so was I! We spent the next two nights at their lake house, took another boat ride, grilled steaks and ate on the porch, and enjoyed some beautiful lake sunsets.
Sunday was my first Mother's Day, and my mom hosted a delicious brunch for all the family in town and it was a beautiful day on the lake.  I can't believe how fast this year has gone. Last Mother's Day I was super pregnant and still trying to imagine what my son would look like, what his little personality would be like, how becoming his mom would make me feel. And oh my goodness, being his mom is my greatest joy and privilege.
It was hard to say goodbye to everyone at the end of our visit, it always is. But this time was a made a tad bit easier since our vacation wasn't quite done yet. T.J., Tommy and I loaded up our stuff once more and headed a little further south for a week together at the beach, just the three of us! 

6 comments :

  1. Tommy is growing up and looks like a little man now! What a charmer he is!! I loved reading about your trip to the lake and that you were all together for your first Mother's Day! How awesome!!

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  2. What a fun time! It looks like you've got a little water baby on your hands! Can't wait to hear how he likes the beach!!

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  3. Looks like it was a success!!! :) Also I'm so impressed it was his 3rd flight already!! You're a superhero!

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  4. This sounds like such a special visit! I cannot believe how quickly Tommy is growing! He is such a handsome boy. Been following along on your Mom's Blog!

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  5. What a wonderful visit you all had!!! So happy for you and your family that you could make this trip. It reminds me of a surprise visit our daughter made to us when her first child was about a year old. We were visiting mutual friends in Florida and she flew there from Nevada to surprise us! She was laden down much as you were for your trip out, only she also had a large duffel bag containing a tent and other camping gear. What a girl!

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