Alora and I recently headed north to spend a few days with family. When Alora woke up on the morning of the trip I told about all the people we would be seeing later that day and that we would be staying in a hotel for the night.
Now, Alora is usually pretty even keeled and tantrums are few and far between but on this day, she threw a tantrum like I've never seen before. She wanted to go to the hotel, and she wanted to go NOW. I tried telling her 101 times that we wouldn't be going until later in the day, while kicking myself for even mentioning a fun future event to a two year old (I might as well have told her that Santa was coming, just around the corner). As a last resort I pulled out some paper and a pen and drew a "map" of our day. I drew little stick figures and other Pictionary-style drawings (please don't judge, desperate times call for fast stick figures) that showed all of things we would need to do before we went to the hotel. And lo and behold, it worked.
So the rest of the day went pretty smoothly. We would just have to check in with our "map" and cross things off as we completed them. And before we knew it, Alora was waking up from her nap and we were pulling into the hotel. She sleepily gave her Papa and Grammie a hug and once she had a little snack, was dancing around the room.
Once we got re-fuled, we met up with the rest of the family and enjoyed waaaay to much good food with Carmen, Bruce, Maddy, Alisa and Arden as well as my parents (Grammie and Papa). We were stuffed and then topped it off with chocolate cake.
Back at the hotel, we tucked Alora in for her first night in a big bed. We built a little nest of pillows and I'm pretty sure she fell asleep with a big smile in her face. More than once in the night she woke me up saying in a little whisper, "Shhh, Mommy sleeping. Wowie at hotel (Wowie is how she says Alora). Wowie in big bed. Snuggle Mommy." So I would give her a little snuggle and she would fall back to sleep. And so would I, both of us with a happy little smile on our faces.
It was so nice to see everyone and Alora was absolutely smitten with her cousin Maddy who, bless her heart, gave me a little break from mom-duties so I could catch up with the family. Alora was amazed at Maddy's "Park" (swing set) and fort in the back yard. She could have spend daaaays out there. And when it got too cold to play outside, she happily spend the rest of the evening hunting for the kitties(!!).
Not only is Maddy amazing with kids (Maddy, you can use this as my very enthusiastic babysitting reference), she plays the harp beautifully and treated us all to a mini concert. Maddy actually played a song at our wedding five years ago and it was the cherry on top of our special day. And that sweetheart of a girl remembered the song and played it again for me.
Thank you, everyone, for a great weekend! It is always so nice spending time with family. I just wish it didn't go so fast. Maybe we'll have to start talking with our mouths open, just to make the most of our time.