I took my two littlest people and went to Oregon to visit family. Did you know that? No? Oh, that would be because I have completely failed to tell you about it.
I actually got home a week and a half ago, and then I uploaded these photos, but got interrupted and never actually wrote the post. And then, all week, I've been thinking of other things to post, but I couldn't, because I knew that this post was unfinished, so I could hardly start a new one, now could I?
So we went, and came back, and it was a terribly short (but full!) trip. Nathan stayed home with Jonah and Evan because it was just too expensive for us all to go. I think that was a little tough on them, but they survived just fine. Everyone back home was just itching to meet Eleanor before she got any bigger. Andrew got to go, too, much to the jealousy of his brothers.
I'm pretty much used to living far away from everyone, but every time I have a new baby, the distance really grates on me. I want so badly to share the babies with everyone who loves them. This is just the way things are, and we make the best of it, but sometimes I almost can't stand it.
We really made sure to pack this visit with love and fun. Andrew and Eleanor were snuggled and kissed and generally doted upon. Andrew has been shaping up to be my most challenging 2 year old (and he's not even 2 yet...), but having him away from his brothers for a while on different territory was actually wonderfully refreshing. Once he settled in, he was sweet as pie and I was able to enjoy him more as well.
Eleanor is the most social baby I have ever known. She's never shy, never afraid of going to someone new. She just loves to see people and talk and be talked to. She never tires of attention, she (almost) never gets grumpy. It's kind of amazing to me. And a little scary because I'm so... well, not very social. It appears that she may very well be a "people person" and a chatterbox and even, yes... an extrovert. (Yeek!) Time will tell. For the present, she charms everyone.
I greatly enjoyed the change of pace from normal life. My siblings are just such a fun group of people, and my parents love the rare times we're all together, even though it means a lot of noise and chaos and food to cook. We played cards until late at night, drank lots of wine, and had some rousing and hilarious discussions. A group of us went to my sister's play --a small-town production of Shakepeare's Macbeth-- and had a lovely evening out.
We managed to get some family photos while we were all together. We did a four-generation photo with my Mom and Grandma. We have one from when I was a baby with my great-grandma as well.
You know how hard it is to take a family picture with little kids clowning around and/or crying?
Yeah, well, I'm thinking that never really changes.
And before we knew it, the week was over, and we had to get back to real life.
I miss those people.