Thursday, October 11, 2007

My First Trip with Eli!

We're back from Washington DC! I now feel like an accomplished mom after taking our first airplane trip together, just me and Eli. Ben doesn't have much vacation time yet since he just started working, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from taking trips while Eli is a free ticket.

Our day started at 5 a.m. We got dressed, ate breakfast, and ran out the door to catch a 5:30 a.m. el train toward the Loop. I was fortunate to have Ben there to help me - he rode with us into the city and helped me transfer from the purple to the orange line (that would take us to Midway Airport) before walking over to his office. OH what a crazy start to the day though - I packed as light as I could, but still had a stroller, car seat, suitcase, diaper bag, and baby bjorne. We had to haul all of that stuff up the stairs to get to the first platform, and at the transfer, we had to cross the tracks, which meant going down a flight of stairs and back up another. No sweat, right? :) I had Eli in the bjorne and carried my suitcase, and Ben handled the rest.

The train ride from downtown to Midway was uneventful, and I stuck the suitcase in the car seat, which was in the stroller, so it was mostly under control. I took Southwest, and of course after all of these years of watching families with young children pre-board, they recently changed their policy and it no longer exists!! (Well, I take that back - families with young kids get to board between A and B - but no more "pre-boarding...") Bummer. But the flight was very open and I had a row to myself, which was wonderful.

The flight was about an hour and a half, and Eli was awake for the first part and fell asleep for the second half. I was so relieved that he did not scream and mostly just kept looking around, taking it all in. And when we landed, I was the last one off the plane because he was so asleep (we had an 8 a.m. flight, so it was naptime...). I made my way through the Dulles Airport toward baggage claim, and this older guy from Baton Rouge started walking with me and said he had flown in to visit his 2-yr-old grandson. He was very helpful, offered to hold the stroller on the escalator, and got so caught up in telling me about his family that he followed me all the way to where my bag was and then wasn't sure where his might be. Kind of random...

My fabulous friend Stephanie picked me up from the airport in her cute red minivan with two little kids (2-yr-old and 6-month-old), and we drove back to her place. I have to make a confession - I can be very anti-suburbia, but staying with them really makes me crave a few things that our condo lacks... 1) They have OODLES of storage space/closets. 2) Their wood floors do not creak when you walk on them - a huge deal when you want to check on a sleeping baby. 3) Their kitchen is very open/you can see the LR and DR from it. 4) They have ample parking, two parks and a pool area with three different pools. 5) They have a washer and dryer.

On to more random subjects - Eli has the worst diaper rash. I think it is related to me taking an antibiotic last week to get rid of my sinus infection, because he got the diaper rash two days after I started taking it. Steph's pediatrician told her baking soda baths sometimes help, so I gave Eli a baking soda bath in the sink and then we let him hang out naked for a little while (the pictures of naked Eli are SO cute with all of his rolls, but I'm not going to post those since this is public and I should respect his privacy, right?). But I think this bath pic isn't exposing him too much...

Here are some fun details: Thursday was a fun-filled day, and the highlight - we drove 50 min. west from her house to a RIBBON FACTORY and its outlet store! I was in heaven. The babies had fallen asleep and Ellis was engrossed in a DVD, so I went inside the factory while Steph hung out with the kids in the car. Once they had all woken up, she put her kids in the double stroller and strapped Eli on with the bjorne and walked in - it was the funniest sight. AND - the best part was her 2-yr-old sitting in the stroller watching his DVD. Anyway, I bought WAY too much ribbon...

On Thursday night, one of my favorite girls from college, Wendy, came over with her husband Harley. I was so thrilled to learn that she is prego and due in April! They are a really fun, spunky couple and we hung out with them more over the weekend too (they are friends with Steph and Ben too) - Friday night they came over and we played a crazy game of Settlers of Catan, and this time we played where you can trade on any person's turn, which made the game SO fast (like 45 min.) and really fun.

Eli was so wonderful and it was great to watch him babble at Steph's little girl Lea - they made the same baby noises and often just stared at each other. One interesting tidbit - Eli was watching Lea suck her thumb, and soon after kept putting his thumb in his mouth!! (he doesn't care for pacifiers and hadn't sucked his thumb until this trip...) We'll see if this continues??

The rest of our trip's highlights included schlepping the kids out to the Leesburg, VA outlets (they have Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, William Sonoma, etc.), and the Taste of Georgetown - yum! Wendy and Harley joined us in Georgetown and it was great to try different things from area restaurants (kind of like a mini version of the Taste of Chicago). The pictures below are in Georgetown - Steph, me and Eli, and Wendy, and then Harley, Ben R., and Ellis.

5 comments:

The Millers said...

what a fun trip! i must admit that I am jealous you went to DC instead of coming here to Denver to visit me, but i don't know if i could create nearly as fun of a trip as your friend steph! glad you had a great time! (do you think i used enough exclamation marks in that comment?!)

The Yost Family said...

Looks like fun! Packing when you are traveling with kids is never light- there's always so much baby stuff!
My friend has a ribbon company- you should check out what she has www.theribbonspot.com Or click on The Crazy Life on my link of friends.

Abecka said...

hoo-ray! what a fun first trip. I LOVED the ribboon!
Enjoy your trip this weekend too

Amber Robbins said...

I'm impressed that you went on a trip without Ben! It's not easy to travel alone with a little one. What are you going to do with all that ribbon?

Ben, Sarah & Eli said...

My mom is buying half of it from me, and I gave some away as gifts, and the rest I'll use for gifts and books. I LOVE ribbon!