Jordan, Natalie, Elliott and I have spent the week thawing in Florida, with Nana & Pop and the rest of the Florida fam. Scroll down or the extensive photo album! Highlights included:
5. Extra Adults Around. From Mammaw and Pappaw to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa to Nana and Pop, seldom is there an extra adult around to “ooo” and “aaahhh” over our two cuties. And listen to Natalie’s stories. (Or bear witness to the extreme mood fluctuations). The biggest incident was a great exercise in supporting Natalie in handling her emotions. Here’s the story: Elliott had a blue pen. Natalie wanted it, so I got her an identical one instead. She insisted that Elliott’s was better, so I said she could ask Elliott if he would trade with her. On her way over, Pop saw Natalie with a blue pen and snatched it from her – thinking that she had snatched it from Elliott. WHAT AN INJUSTICE! Natalie couldn’t believe this happened – came running over to me balling. (I seem to be the permanent referee/lifeguard in her life.) I was able to gather some of the story between sobs, and poor Pop was profusely apologizing, though a bit shell-shocked by all the emotion. She and I went into a different room to calm down and figure things out. I asked her what happened and how she felt. She told the full story, and we came up with a plan on how she would tell Pop how she felt. They had a really good conversation figuring things out, Natalie explaining how her feelings were hurt and Pop saying sorry again (now that Nat was in a state of mind to listen) and explaining his POV. This is clearly a story I’m going to leverage in the future, when she snatches something from her bro. I appreciate that Pop had the patience to work through all the extra emotional problem solving.
4. Just Being Outside. Elliott doesn’t even remember nice weather, so he was enjoying cruising around in his stroller by the beach, to the park, etc. Natalie has enjoyed no mittens and no hat, but we haven’t been able to shake her of her fav boots. This look has resulted in quite a few chuckles from stander-bys… she seems ready for DePaul already.
3. Playing with Issy. Issy probably gained weight while we were here, as Natalie repeatedly requested that she be able to give her a treat. Issy also let Elliott get all up in her grill. As I’ve said before, Issy is the perfect kind of pet for me – one that stays at someone else’s house!
2. Cooling off in the Fountains. Natalie insists that all swim suits are uncomfortable (I have bought them in more sizes than you can count), so playing in the Fountains was a great way to cool off, get wet and not have to wear a swim suit! She and Nana even made up a silly fountain dance, which seemed from afar to depend on shaking your booty. Elliott loved getting wet in the mix too. He has a great beach bod, doesn’t he?
1. Celebrating Elliott’s 1st birthday with the extended fam! (Technically a week early, but on the day – the 12th – that he was originally due) Elliott loved, loved, loved…. having everyone sing and clap for him! (You thought I was going to say cake, didn’t you?) It’s seldom that this guy is the center of attention, and he loved it! He kept clapping and grinning from cake time to bed time. Natalie also loved running around with Devin (age 4) and Brogan (age 9). And tickling “that guy in the red shirt” (aka Cousin/Uncle Matt).
On Friday, we head back to “cold Chicago”. Last night, Pop asked Natalie if she would wake him up in the morning. Her response was something like: “Yes, I can wake you up but I can probably only play for 5 minutes because I need to go back to cold Chicago (insert fake shiver here). I don’t live in warm Florida”.
As for me, my fav things were: spending extra time with the fam, not having to plan dinner and working out everyday!
See you in Cold Chicago in a few weeks, N&P!