[written Thurs midday, no internet till now… and this is from a gelato shop packed with about 40 retirees, very strange… I’m definitely the only person using the wireless!]
We have arrived in the big city! The little angel was sometimes angelic and sometimes not on the 4 hour plane flight, but my bag stuffed full of entertainment and snacks staved off any major meltdowns. Many, MANY thanks from everyone on the flight to Susannah to a little push-toy key chain that Alaythia opened and LOVED. I gave it to her after she woke up SCREAMING after her ~45 minute nap. That key chain and a bottle of juice (completely UN-diluted, nothing but high fructose corn syrup baby) kept her sane for the last hour. And everyone near us, who actually were giving me dirty looks there for a few minutes. Overall she did do well, and played with almost every single book, sticker, crayon, snack, water bottle, Play Dough, toy, and interesting item I had stuffed in my bag. Everything was good for about 5-10 minutes, so it was a good thing I had brought a lot of different things. Had the trip been 5 hours I’m not sure we could have made it.
Note to any parents out there—if you need to rely on your child walking on their own at some point, get a toddler leash-backpack thing. The Monkey Backpack was a lifesaver for when I just couldn’t carry her any longer and she was just too fidgety. Another note—put it on BEFORE the big drama of undoing all your carry-ons and shoes at security.
I was a bit nervous that my introvert and tired daughter would be less than thrilled when she first saw Kabyn, but I should not have worried. She was DELIGHTED. She was already exhilirated to be free from the plane-prison, and to see Kabyn was the frosting on the cupcake. She ran all over the baggage claim, laughing hysterically to have Kabyn chasing her. I happily was not interacting with her for the first time in chasing her, and stood drinking a big cup of ice water, starting to feel little waves of steamy heat rolling into the air conditioned airport.
After getting our bags, it was out into the bright, sunny St Louis heat! It was in the low 80s, so a manageable heat for my used-to-cold-Seattle-and-Olympia self. Alaythia gleefully jumped into her car seat, and was happy as could be to see our car. Much to her and my equal delight, Kabyn had icy water and snacks waiting for us. I’m honestly not sure I have ever seen Alaythia so happy as she was in the backseat on the drive home. Happily eating down a box of raisins, happy to see her parents in the front seat, especially Daddy, and warm wind blowing in through the windows. She couldn’t get enough of the fun of her hair being tossed around her by the wind. She laughed and giggled the whole way home, stopping only to make lots of observations on the color and type of vehicles around us.
Then we arrived at our new home. I was awestruck when we arrived—Kabyn had done everything. It was amazing. And beautiful. There were no boxes or packing materials in sight, and even vases of flowers and bowls of floating candles. I’ve got a video tour for you to see, but the connection is too slow to upload at this point. Soon.
Once we finally got the excited one to sleep at 9.30—which is 7.30 PST, so I guess not too bad, we all pretty much slept through the night. Kabyn had to run in and visit her at 4am with some milk, but then she slept till 8.15am CST, which was lovely! Kabyn got her up, and I could hear them in the kitchen, or rather, I could hear her—chattering away about everything on her mind. I knew exactly what was going on before I got to the kitchen! Kabyn is definitely surprised and impressed by her level of verbal prowess. She has been especially chatty with him; delighted to have Daddy to talk to once again.
After breakfast, we set off for the amazing Tower Grove park. It’s quite reminiscient of Central Park. It’s HUGE, with lots of nice paths for walking. And, to Alaythia’s delight, a huge new, safe, fun playground! So we spent a while there, until we finally made her stop playing and come home. We attempted to make her nap around 11.30am, but she just spent an hour playing happily in her room, which was good too. But we finally tired her out, she’s now been napping since 1.30pm (it’s 4pm!!). So she’ll be well-rested… and ready to party till late this evening.
The neighborhood itself is definitely the city. Greenwood, Greenlake, Ballard, and probably most of Seattle proper is not really a city, folks. Where we live reminds me more of Chicago than anything else. Though every time I look out our living room window and all I see is well-worn brick and a noisy window-unit air conditioner (packed in place with old sweat pants), it kind of reminds me of New York. It’s definitely smaller than Chicago or New York, but those are the closest comparisons I can make with places I’ve been.