The McHighlights

The thought of updating an entire week’s worth of Caroline makes my head hurt. Lord knows I could have updated this everyday while we were gone, but sometimes a vacation means a vacation from blogging too. I think I could do a single post each day about a different part of our trip and still have material for next week. Again, the head hurting.

Instead of a long arduous update post or many on the same topic, enjoy these hopefully brief enough snippets of our vacah at the perfect beach that will not be named to protect its perfection.

Travel:
Rating – B- (mostly due to weather and my car sickness from entertaining a toddler in the back seat) with an absolute A+ for effort by all involved parties

~ Through an unbelievable storm en route Tuesday night, trucks flying by, following the breakdown lane line on the right to stay on the road, people pulled over everywhere, but we persevered – there was a beach we wanted to be at and like the post office, nothing was stopping us.
~ Sleepy baby on the way home until traffic at 84. We stopped for $1 Sweet Teas and I got in the back to entertain. There was not a single toy, book, or googly eyed face in the reserves when we pulled off 15.
~ We didn’t get our act together enough pre-trip to purchase a portable DVD, but the Travel Doodle Pro for under 10 bucks was M-A-G-N-I-F-C-E-N-T. I was worried that I would constantly be reaching back to erase the screen, but erasing turned out to be the most fun part for her – that and putting the pen in and out of the holder. Best travel purchase to date. The other big hit of the trip was a $1 bin Target flap book on animals. Loved it enough that I was able to resurrect it a few times before outright refusal.

Sleeping:
Rating – A

~ Caroline is the champion of the on the beach nap. PERIOD.
~ Only hiccup here was the 3rd. The lethal combination of bright amazing fireworks & bonfires and the seemingly never ending booms of pyrotechnics being launched from the beach resulted in an inability to settle down to sleep. She crashed in my arms several times only to jerk awake with the next boom. I walked her around the neighborhood for about an hour in the sling and eventually she calmed enough and the fireworks slowed to a more manageable level so she was able to drift off. She did love the fireworks though, and the bonfires too. It was amazing to watch her react and clap for the best fireworks we’ve seen in years.
Pops Fireworks = yawn in comparison

McMilestones:

~ There was a verbal explosion last week! Her speech was a bit of her own language and a bit real honest to goodness words, but she is trying desperately and successfully to communicate. Caroline’s little voice melts me.
~ New words: Auntie, Open, Up, More, Papi, Tweet Tweet (as in what does the birdie say?)
~ Identification of objects and animals in books also increased tenfold!

Unnamed glorious beach:
~ Loved it. What else could describe her affinity more than her ability to point to the beach on command from a page of other landscapes?
~ She loved playing in the sand, smushing Papa’s castles, throwing rocks - though her favorite part of the beach seemed to be the water. She wanted to be in it all the time and lucky us there was a tidal pool everyday for her to play in! She chased birds and made her adorable “I don’t know” hand motion when they flew away. (see Month 18 photo)
~ Papa at one point said “we got her” which I took to mean, her had her hand and she was safe, but he meant that we, the beach lovers that we are, got another one to share it with. She is my daughter after all!

The highlight of the week was obviously spending such great quality time with the rest of the McFamily and her favorite friend - Uncle Hokie, who after teaching her how to spin in a circle declared himself "Head Babysitter" on Saturday night when we went out to dinner with the McShinos. (Tosca, absolutely delish from beginning to end and the company wasn’t too bad either!) It is incredibly rewarding as parents to have two families adore our daughter as much as both of our families do. Watching my little girl interact with Kiki, Papa. The Aunties, and Uncle Hokie made me see Caroline in new and delightful ways, which is in and of itself a very special gift. I truly enjoy sharing her with the people that love her, encourage her, and smother her with affection.

There are loads of photos – I think they can speak better than my words for the amazing time we had. I need to offer an extra special thank you to the entire McFamily for being their wonderful selves.

Did I mention that we entered the 18th month while we were away? 18. My little girl sits on a potty chair now and flushes the toilet. More on that tomorrow.

Sleeper hit of the trip – TK. I heart her in an odd way and while I understand she won’t come out to play all that time (it wouldn’t be nearly as fun if she was always around giving the pirate eye and demanding lazy man lobster) I hope we see her again later this summer. Please Uncle Hokie – can’t be more than just once a year?


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