For my birthday this year, I got an airplane ticket to see my college roommate Rebecca, who lives in Florida! I was nervous about making the trip with Emersyn without Blake, but there was no way he could get off work. We researched lots of airports, trying to find the best deal, and actually found a great price out of our own town's airport, even though it's super small. I connected in Dallas, and had a four hour layover on the way down, but it was still the best plan for us, as any other airport would have required several hours of driving each way anyways.
We had flown with Emersyn before, on our trip to Maine when she was 5 months old (which I never blogged about, bad blogger), but this was a whole different ballgame. First of all, the obvious, it was just me and E, no extra set of hands. Second, she's older, which means she doesn't sleep anywhere at anytime, and mobile now, which means she didn't understand why she couldn't get down from mama's lap and play.
We flew American Airlines, which lets you check a carseat AND stroller for free (I thought I'd only get to check one for free, so this was a lovely surprise), and then I paid to check my bag. On the way down there I gate checked my stroller, so I had it for our layover, and I also had a backpack filled with gear for Emersyn and me, my Ergo carrier, and Emersyn.
To start off with, our first plane was delayed, so I spent quite a bit more time in that airport than I would have normally, and I ended up needing to nurse her there and walked around with her in the carrier for awhile as well. She was due for her afternoon nap, but of course didn't sleep at all until we got to Dallas, at which point she fell asleep as we got off the plane until I got to our departing gate, and then she was awake again. We ate in the airport (thank goodness for babyled weaning- she had grilled chicken and steamed broccoli), and I got her changed into an overnight diaper and her jammies. I could have checked my stroller all the way through, as I didn't use it much at all in the terminal, since I was using the carrier and trying to get E to fall asleep on me. She did end up sleeping on the second flight, thank goodness. She handled the flights really well, but she did cry for about the last 10 minutes of each flight down there. Overall, not too shabby at all.
Once we reached FL I was SO excited to see Rebecca! It was such a great time to just catch up and hangout! Day 1 we hung out a lot around her apartment, and we also ventured to the pool, but I didn't do a very good job timing things with E's nap time, and the water was just too chilly for me and E, so we headed back inside.
Day 2 we planned things a lot better around E's nap and we all headed to the beach. Rebecca was smart and packed a full sheet for us to hang out on, and this worked great with Emersyn, as she's at that stage than anything and everything goes in her mouth. I got some great shots of E on the beach (my one big request for the trip) and we just had fun watching her take it all in!
Emersyn quickly figured out that Rebecca would give her as many puffs as she wanted:)
First feel of the ocean!
Emersyn loved Rebecca's fiance, Jordan!
Day 3 was SeaWorld! E LOVED the dolphin show (as did her mama), and did great in her stroller while we explored the other exhibits. This was the most age appropriate theme park for E, but honestly I don't know that we would have paid the big bucks to go there even though we had a lot of fun. I just don't know that we could have justified the cost with the amount of time we spent there and kiddos at this age can't really do more than a few hours of anything. Thankfully, Rebecca was able to get us free passes, so it was a fun day!
Day 4 was Mama and Rebecca day as we hit up some shopping, and Emersyn was just along for the ride haha. She did great in her stroller again and we got in some last minute fun before heading to the airport.
For those traveling with a kiddo at this age- I was so thankful (again) for babyled weaning, as Rebecca pre-shopped for food for us and therefore E had plenty of options. I took a table topper placemat and just left it attached on her dining table, and that worked great for E. We didn't have a pack n play, and the first night I thought E could just sleep with me, but by Day 2 we fashioned a "fort" for E to sleep in so I didn't have to hold her all the time.
Emersyn honestly did really well being somewhere other than her own house for 4 days, but I'm not going to lie, it can be hard being out of your own, childproofed environment for an extended time. However, it was definitely worth it to spend some much needed time with my friend.
Our return flights were fairly uneventful- I probably got to the airport way too early, as they allowed me to skip the line and immediately go thru security with Emersyn, but I understand this doesn't always happen. I checked everything this time around and just used our Ergo (which I could not have made the trip without). Emersyn didn't sleep at all on the plane, but she was pretty good during flights. Mama was just worn out from entertaining her and being completely trampled while she tried to explore from my lap.
It was a great trip, but it may be awhile before I attempt to travel alone with E again haha!
Emersyn has always been a water baby. Bath time is one of her favorite times of day, and therefore, it's one of ours too. I love watching her splash and play with her toys, and of course, her squishy thighs are on full display in the tub!
These days E really loves pulling herself up in the tub and exploring around the edges.
Less than a month until you are a year old? How is that possible? Ready or not, your birthday is coming!
Every day we see more of your personality, and we love it! You are so sweet and snuggly, but definitely have an independent streak as well. You are also very sensitive to correction. Being told NO often sends you into tears. We hate to see you cry, but at the same time we know you need boundaries. Crawling and cruising get you wherever you want to go, and you tend to head for off limits areas (like the tile stairs leading to the big tub in our bathroom- not safe baby girl!). You've known how to climb up stairs for a few months now, but this month you learned to get down them as well. Such a big girl! You can stand on your own for a little while, but no steps have been taken yet. I feel like it's like riding a bike, one day you'll just master the balance issue and take off!
This month- "mama" is in full force. I'm pretty sure you actually said it back in February, but it was a one and done thing. Now though, you say it a lot, and I love it everytime! You've also added in quite a few other consonants, but no other discernible words. We moved you into a convertible car seat this month and you really like the extra room. You wave hello and bye bye, and will give kisses on occasion (but never when mama asks for them, boo). You smile and reach for me when I say "come to mama", though, so that's nice!
You still love to eat, and while you pretty much eat anything we're having, this month we added in lima beans beets, almond butter, whole milk, plums, nectarines, salsa, steak and fish. You still nurse on both sides three times a day- around 7:30am, 1:30pm and right before bed. It's a good routine for us and while I had initially hoped to wean you right around a year, as it gets closer I'm just not in that big of a hurry for it. Since I know you get plenty of solids, and will drink juice and milk, I feel like I have the flexibility I was wanting and you still get the benefits of nursing as well.
This month we celebrated Easter and got in lots of family time. You really had no interest whatsoever in your Easter Basket, but you seem to be liking some of the things in there now, such as the bubbles.
When it comes to sleep, you are doing pretty darn well! You usually wake for the day around 7-7:30, though we've had a few days this month where you've wanted to get going earlier and mama just had to oblige. You go down for your first nap at 10am for about 1.5 hours, and then a second nap at 3pm for about the same. Sometimes one of your naps will be shorter, but the other is usually longer if that's the case. Then, bedtime between 7:30 and 8pm. We very much appreciate the rest baby girl.
Things you love this month- your paci, your own bed, food, Gus, mama and dada, crawling and getting into everything, cords, cell phones, remotes, standing up in the bathtub, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Things you're not a fan of- being told no, getting your fingers caught in cabinets, and getting your diaper changed.
We love you, sweet baby girl, and we're soaking up every moment of your babyhood.