I have some heavy stuff weighing on my heart and in my head right now that I know I need to sit and write about (no doubt the heavy stuff is swimming because of Sammie B's upcoming annual neurologist appointment and the list of questions I've started . . . God, I hate those lists. The lists of "should this worry me?," "why does she do this?" kinds of things. I hate.those.lists.). But for tonight, I'm going to give you pictures. Lots of them. Because we just got back from a fabulous little family vacay to Florida. We were supposed to go back in June, but had to cancel because I got put on bedrest. We went to see B's grandmother who is in the West Palm area, and then my dad, who is working about 2 hours north from there. We had a fabulous time, and made some fabulous memories.
It was Mia's first flight and I was so nervous -- but it could NOT have gone more smoothly. In the last month, Mia has just become so much fun. Her personality is just exploding, and she's become so social. If anyone looks at her or talks to her, she breaks out in the biggest gummy grin and just loves looking around. So, she was totally a charmer on the plane and even took good naps both ways! She also turned four months old while we were away. It's amazing that we've only known her for four months, because truly, I already can't imagine life without her. We were shocked at how easy it was to fly with TWO kids! (And, Sammie B, was, of course, an angel because she got to watch Dora - I heart Virgin America!).
First stop was B's grandmother's house (Bubbie!). It was Bubbie and Mia's first meeting. (Sam was still feeling so crummy from her cold, so she was even more shy than normal and slightly uncooperative -- we had to BEG for smiles for pictures!). I'm posting two pictures, because Bubbie closed her eyes in the one I like the most! (If only I were more skilled in photoshop!).
After spending a few days with Bubbie, we headed to see my dad (who was also meeting Mia for the first time). Although she wasn't quite sure what to think of him at first (common reaction!), she decided he was hilarious (also common!).
Fortunately, by the time we got to my dad's, Sammie B seemed to have kicked the cold finally (though she still has a lingering cough, which I now have as well . . . ), so we captured many, many more smiles!
We also did a whole lot of swimming. [Confession: We didn't go to the beach at all. We intended to, but decided it was kind of a pain to pack up everything we'd need, and go with both girls and that it'd be soooo much easier to just go to my dad's (heated) pool, so that's what we did. We live just a mile or so from the beach here, but part of me still feels like we should have taken advantage of the Florida beach!].
Anyway, I don't have any water pictures, but Sam did FABULOUSLY. B hadn't seen her in the water in awhile (I swim with her every Tuesday after her lesson) and he was blown away. I love watching him be amazed by her. His surprise and pride was written all over his face, and I loved it. She really does move herself all over the pool if she's wearing a swim ring or arm floaties. And HER pride is just priceless. It's the most independent movement she ever gets, and every time I see her in the water, my heart just swells with happiness.
She was pretty much obsessed with the pool. When we weren't AT the pool, she wanted to be sitting at the window looking at it, OR at the very least, holding her swim ring. Sometimes, she did both.
(While B and I took turns getting in the water with Sammie B, Mia watched in amazement and did a little sunning). My dad is renting a condo in a retirement community, and is (by far) the youngest one there. BOTH girls were just absolute HITS with the old people. And Mia enjoyed the attention so very much. (As an aside, my dad is kind of a celebrity at his pool. The old women really, really fancy him. When they found out who I was on the first day -- he wasn't with us -- they said that he'd been working so much they hadn't seen him, and they were worried that he might let "that tan of his" fade if he kept working like that.)
My dad did get to take some time off work and swim with us, and he too was so very excited to see Sammie B's water moves. We spent 2 and a half hours in the pool one day and she never stopped go, go, going. But this is what happened the second we got back to my dad's condo:
After a nice long snooze though, she was up and ready to play again, and she and my dad had a fun time playing doctor (he was quite the sport!).
The time spent with my dad was really just wonderful. There are few things I love more than sharing my girls with my parents (and B's!). I just love watching the grandparents' enjoy our girls!
We are also just loving watching the girls' relationship bloom. Many, many sweet moments while we were away (like Sammie B rubbing a crying Mia's leg and saying "it okay Mia Mia," and Sammie B reaching over to hold Mia's hand while they were sitting on the couch with B). But this by far was my favorite:
Amazing. I love those two little sweets so much it hurts. Seriously. Sammie B has just been so very very sweet to Mia these last few days and Mia is just enchanted with Sammie B (aren't we all?!). Melts me.
And a family shot (the only one from the trip, and actually, the only picture I'm in from the trip; I tend to be the photog!).
And, a moment (like many others) that I just want to hang onto forever . . . as she watched Dora on the flight home, Sammie B just reached over and held my hand. That child is pure love. In those moments, no matter what thoughts might be sort of swimming around in my mind (wish I could turn those off sometimes) about upcoming appointments, etc., my heart just melts and all feels right with my world.
As I sit and look at these pictures, I wish I could just memorize these two girls. Memorize these moments. I think about B's grandmother and I'm sure the memories of the every day moments with her own kids, 50+ years ago, are fading. I want to remember these moments -- the-heart- so-full-of-love-I-think-it-might-burst moments -- forever. I never want to forget what Mia's gummy smile looks like, what Sammie B's giggle sounds like or the way they look at each other. I never want to forget the sweet things Sammie B says and does or the way it feels when Mia nestles into my shoulder to sleep. Ever. These moments are the best, and I can't imagine my life without them.
It was a fabulous trip, though (as always) it is always nice to come home too! (Last night at bedtime, Sammie B started crying and said, "how about we go back to Sammie B's home?" which was just the sweetest.).
Signing off to go climb into my own bed (and determined to fall asleep with memories of our sweet vacation swimming in my head, not thoughts of doctor's appointments! To hell with that list for tonight!). I'm exhausted!