Tuesday, July 11, 2006
So a little about our vacation last week. Chad’s parents, Haleigh, and I went up last Saturday (the 1st) to Chad’s grandparent’s home near Muskegon, Michigan. Haleigh did great on the trip (about 4 hours) and only got fussy during the 2nd half when she refused to give it up and close her eyes for a nap. So 45 minutes after she fell asleep we were there.

They have a beautiful house on a large piece of property, back off the main road quite a ways. They actually live on a dirt road and there are only maybe 3 houses near them. The back of the property slopes down to a little creek. It’s so peaceful and relaxing and I love visiting there.

So we arrived Saturday afternoon and really just relaxed until Thursday when other family members started to arrive. Chad’s grandparents hosted a family reunion over the weekend after the 4th. So in between relaxing and more relaxing, we got things ready for the party. We would set up some tables or a swimming pool, then sit in the shade and have a glass of tea for a bit. It was great.

I forget which day it was, but we drove into Muskegon to go to Meijer and Gordon Foods to get reunion stuff. It took 4 hours. Yeah, they took a little time and drove down by the lake to show me the beaches and sand dunes, but really to hit up only two stores took half the day. There is a Wal-Mart in a closer town to where they live, about 15 minutes away, but Meijer had the better sales.

Besides the hot tub shown in the previous post, Haleigh and I spent a lot of our time swinging on a big swing hung from a huge oak tree next to the cottage. Yep, they have a cottage on the property too, like a guest house. The cottage is where they vacationed for years, and then lived in until the house was built. Actually, the cottage is a mini version of the house; it seems that they liked the design so much they copied it in larger scale when they built the house. So we read books and swung. For hours.

She probably doubled her vocabulary last week as well. With all the new people and things to do and food to try, she learned a lot. For example, she actually remembered people’s names. She used to call anything in a sippy cup “jooce,” but now it’s “mee-ulk” and “wah-der” and she’s putting words together like “more mee-ulk” or “my wah-der.” I was so proud of her; she was even saying “please” and “thanks” unprompted! She tried lots of new foods too, including kielbasa in the hobo dinner. I didn't mean to have her try kielbasa, believe me, but I was cutting a piece for myself on her plate and when I took a bite, she reached out and snatched the other half! It was gone before I could even do or say anything. She just looked at me and said "mmm!" like she does so often now with new things. She also tried avocado (yum), black olives (yuck), strawberries (double yum), cherries (yum but not easy on the belly), watermelon and canteloupe (eh, ok), lake fish (loved it), and black beans & rice (not so much). She definitely ate more than just peanutbutter sandwiches and macaroni & cheese!

Chad didn’t come up until Thursday because he didn’t take the week off from work (he has this week off instead, for his birthday, tomorrow.) Haleigh really missed him and asked about him frequently. Grandma has a low table with picture frames, and one is of Chad and I. She carried that photo around all week, talking to her Daddy and telling him stories about who-knows-what in her baby babble. When she gets excited about seeing him, she says “My da-da-da-Daddy! Where?”

So other family members started showing up Thursday, and most were there by Friday afternoon. There were lots of kids, including an 18-month old boy, a 19-month old girl, and a 23-month old boy for Haleigh to play with. She gave hugs and kisses, but mostly played by herself and watched the other kids run around. They were definitely better on their feet and better climbers than she is, but she enjoyed every minute of it. At one point we got out some bubbles and she just watched for a while, but then wanted to do it too. I didn’t want her to get all sticky, so I gave her an empty cup and a dry bubble blower to play with. She carried that around all day, dipping the blower in the empty cup and putting it to her lips to blow. She may have been able to do it with real bubbles, but I wasn’t brave enough to find out.

So it was really a great vacation. Not one of those that you need a week to recover from because you did too much. Haleigh did great, slept all night every night, and took a 3 hour nap every single day. Couldn’t ask for a better baby.

Pictures soon!


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