^^ The most amazing turnout — with the most amazing group of women — for the MS fundraiser in honor of my Mom.
So we’re back from our monster trip east, and Lotte & I had an amazing time. We saw so much family and so many friends, we covered miles & miles & miles in the car together (one of these days I’ll have to actually sit down and see how many miles we really drove), Lotte saw her first monuments in D.C., she spent tons of quality time with her Philly cousins, she was the hit of the MS fundraiser my sister & I held in honor of Mom at Wine & Design in Warwick, she attended her great-grandma and great-aunt’s 95th birthday party … and oh-so-many more important and amazing things.
Before we actually had Lotte, we weren’t exactly sure how much traveling we’d do with her. Traveling with kids is hard and at times very stressful, and let’s be honest, it’s not like she’s making lasting memories here. But you know what … we are. And I’ve come to realize as Lotte grows and goes through babyhood that that is just as important. These trips we take with her are some of my fondest memories, and I will never forget them. (Neither, luckily, will she, since I take extensive notes to put in her baby travel diary — complete with pictures! — and of course she’ll always have this blog to refer to, as well.)
The point is – yes, traveling with kids can sometimes make you want to pull your hair out, but so far, I am never sorry for the trips we’ve done with Lotte, and I only hope that continues.
Here’s a look at what we got up to over the past 10 days in photos. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t give another BIG shout-out to my husband for flying out and surprising us last Friday to be there for my Mom’s fundraiser, my Grandma’s 95th birthday party and, of course, to help on the flight back home with Lotte. Funny how four hands are so much better than two when it comes to flying with Littles 😉
^^ All prepped and ready for our first solo flight as Mom & baby! In all seriousness, though, I know how lucky Chris & I got with Lotte. She’s a pretty solid, amazing little traveler, so things might be a tad different is she were more difficult …
^^ We don’t have a dog at home, so Lotte’s only real interaction with them so far has been at my stepdad’s house with Ranger. Honestly I wasn’t sure how Ranger would react to Lotte at first — he can be a bit of a loose cannon — but especially in his older age, he tolerates her quite nicely, which is nice, because she is obsessed!
^^ Quick pit stop at Aunt Steph’s & Uncle Brian’s on Saturday to pick them up on our way into Pennsylvania for Rory’s 4th birthday party.
^^ These two together = major cuteness! Peyton, on the right, is actually three months younger than Lotte, but she’s almost the same size. It’s really only when she gets with other babies that I’m reminded of what a tiny nugget Lotte is!
^^ Dad’s fancy omelette bar on Sunday morning.
^^ Rory seriously loves Lotte, and it’s pretty much the sweetest.
^^ Cuddles with my babe on our first day in Arlington, Virginia, to visit Lisa. I think I honestly was just so relieved the car ride from Pennsylvania went well!
^^ This bear was pretty amazing to use as a backdrop in many-a-Lotte photo!
^^ Driving into D.C. to take in the sites — don’t let this innocent face fool you, she screamed the entire way in and the entire way out! Those two car rides — which must have amounted to about 20 minutes total — and the one back to Newark airport to head home were the only ones she fussed (or should I say threw a tantrum) for. I guess that was … lucky?!
^^ Patriotic Baby.
^^ In front of the Reflecting Pool … not impressed!
^^ At the World War II Memorial … not impressed!
^^ Heading to the Lincoln Memorial … not impressed!
^^ At the Washington Monument … not impressed!
^^ Visiting good ole’ Abe … not impressed!
^^ I mean … you get it. Lotte was not impressed! But it was a gorgeous day, and I hadn’t been back to these places myself in many, many years, so overall it was a pretty fun day!
^^ Tuckered out from all her touristing. Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby??
^^ We were back in the car on Wednesday and back with Rory and Jude in no time (well, in about three hours, to be exact).
^^ I particularly love this photo from our trip. I took this after I opened up the back door of the car after our ride from PA back to New York (our FOURTH long car ride, mind you), and Lotte was just chillin’ in her car seat, giving me the BIGGEST smile when she saw me. Oh Lotte … how I love you.
^^ Deep conversations back at Aunt Stephie’s house.
^^ When your husband surprises you and flies to New York for the weekend and you can breathe because you finally have full-time help again. Single parents … I have never had more respect for you than I do after this trip! Oh and Lisa also got into town this day, too, so it was almost more than my little heart could handle, all my lovies surrounding me 😉
^^ Delicious crinkle cookies Lisa made for the MS fundraiser.
^^ Making sangria for the party!
^^ I seriously love this photo of Lisa, after we picked up balloons for the party.
^^ Lotte was a tad grumps during the fundraiser — girlfriend deserved to be! — even when seeing her future boyfriend Miles again.
^^ Between the paint & sip fundraiser and online donations, we raised more than $2,000 for MS research. Speechless. And oh-so thankful.
^^ After the fundraiser it was on to my Grandma and Great-Aunt Vicki’s 95th birthday party, which my aunt did a fabulous job setting up.
^^ Ugh these two cuties!!!! Can you imagine knowing — and liking! — someone for 95 years?!
^^ Lotte frequently gets this look on her face when she’s around her Great-Grams. I can’t help but feel like she honestly understands what this woman means to our family, and to her.
^^ Kisses after a little speech I made. I love my Aunt Vicki wasting no time before she downs her Prosecco!
^^ Not pictured: Aunt Stephie cracking Lotte up by blowing into a party noisemaker. It. Was. Amazing.
^^ As if that weren’t enough partying for you, everyone surprised me with an early birthday cake back at Steph’s house that night. Sigh. The love.
^^ Headed to the airport on Sunday.
^^ These two.
^^ So many toys to keep her occupied, and all she wanted to do was play with the free airplane cracker packet.
^^ Home. That makes six plane rides for this little 8-month-old.
And those were the highlights, my friends. Usually trips like these tend to feel like a whirlwind (I feel like I use that word a lot when describing my trips!), but this one actually didn’t. Sure it was busy and hectic and hard at times, but overall I felt really good about everything we did, and so happy about everyone we got to see. It was a trip I’d repeat over and over again, with my Little by my side.
Bis bald, friends! Till next time …