Saturday, September 13, 2008

A True Celebration

We had a incredible celebration of our First Anniversary of our Gotcha Day! It was 12 days of family fun. We are so amazed out how quickly time flies so it was great to take some days and just enjoy being a family with no outside distractions. Our celebration started off on Friday. We traveled to Leesburg for a reunion with our travel group. We are so lucky to have had the life altering experience with this group. They are now like extended family to us. Each one of them holds a special place in our hearts, especially the girls. When we were altogether in China, I think the girls were all so traumatized that they didn't pay attention to each other. This time they played and played and played. I hope these relationships last a lifetime!! We of course had a great time watching the kids as well as reconnecting with the other moms and babas. Our hosts were fantastic. They went above and beyond to make sure our stay was comfortable and that the girls were entertained. On Friday night, we gathered at their house for pizza and time for the girls to relax and play after traveling. On Saturday, we went to the Reston Zoo, a picnic on the Potomac River, their pool and then back to their house for a great BBQ. Elizabeth did great despite that fact that she was up for most of the night on Friday. She work up at 1AM and was awake until sometime around 5am which was about an hour into my early morning drive (yes, a feeble attempt to get her a little sleep ~ and yes, you can make it all the way to just outside of DC with no traffic at 4am in the morning). On Sunday morning, we all gathered for a the breakfast buffet in our hotel and reflecting on a great trip - just like we did exactly one year earlier! It was amazing trip. I know we probably all won't be able to get together every year but I hope that we can a least get part of the group together yearly and hopefully sometime again we will all be able to gather. It was such a blessing. Again, a special thanks to Ed and Sharon for opening your home. It was wonderful!!!

We then traveled to see Grammy (in Elizabethease it is pronounced ganny) and Poppy. We had three days to relax and take some little day trips. One day, we went to the local zoo. Poppy then suggested Chuckie Cheese. Who in their right mind goes there without the kid demanding it, I don't know but once she warmed up to the little rides, she really enjoyed herself.

The next day we went to Linvilla Orchards. Elizabeth really enjoyed feeding the animals and playing on the playground. I would love to take her their someday during the pumpkin season. It is a great place that we used to go to every year when we were kids. I love sharing those kinds of places with her.

Our last day in Delaware was spent going to the park and going to Poppy's library where they had a great kid's section. She cried the whole way home. She didn't want to leave. We had alot of accomplish that day including getting a nap and getting ready for the next phase of our celebratory week!
On Thursday, we, including Grammy and Poppy, we to Wildwood NJ (aka "the shore"). My sister and her family joined us there as well. Wildwood is a special place for all of us. My dad went there as a kid. He took us there as kids and now both Janet and I took our kids there for first of what I imagine will be many times. They had a great time. We were a little worried about E enjoying the many rides but with Domi's help, she quickly learned to LOVE them. Her favorites were definitely the Carosel and the train. She loved the boardwalk tram car, the hotel pool and the beach.

Fun on the Rides!

Elizabeth just LOVES her Aunt Janet. She wanted to see her the whole time. When we weren't with her she wanted to call her on the phone. Take a look at this picture. What don't you see?That is right, you see my daughter walking across the street without her Mommy or Baba!!!! What a moment!!!!!! She was actually gone for almost 2 hours with Aunt Janet, Uncle Matt adn Domi. They were going to go fly kites and then get their hair wrapped. Elizabeth wanted to go but I was sure she wouldn't make it down the hotel steps before she started crying for me. I made Janet promise not to push her and if she wanted to come back, she could. NOPE, not only did she not come back, she even went and got her hair wrapped with red string (which was pulled out in a fit of rage the next day:( ) It was a wonderful moment in her progression of attachment. I hope we will continue to see bits of this kind of progress. Aunt Janet, can you move to Virginia?

A few things we learned on vacation:
1. A vacation with th 3 year old is not really a vacation, more of a trip.
2. We are all not meant to share one hotel room. Elizabeth can't sleep which means mommy is awake all night long.
3. Because of #1, we know that roads are not busy at 2am, 3am 4am etc.
4. We can resume life without Ling, who was accidentily left at the first hotel. (yeah, we have her back now!)
5. We know our girl and we should follow our gut. If we think an amusement will scare her, it probably will.
6. If you spend an entire ride clawing at mommy in absolute hysterical fear, it is best to go find a calmer ride next so you don't leave with that impression.
7. I wish I lived closer to my family.
8. Sam and I have had 2 childless moments together over the last year. Once on our anniversary and once this trip. We do miss those and wish Elizabeth would happily go with more people.
9. Generally speaking, people who Elizabeth will go, can't (sometimes in my pity party moods I say won't help us) and those who would love to help, Elizabeth won't go to.
10. Talking to others about their travel groups, we feel more and more blessed to have our special friends.
11. Potty training and take a HUGE regression while traveling. Sorry Mom for all of the wet spots!
12. The most important ~ I absolutly love spending this amount of time with my husband and daughter. I am a lucky, lucky lady!


Mama Darling said...

Wow, what a trip! Love the pictures! It was really great seeing you all at the reunion. I'm already looking forward to the next one. Elizabeth has made so much progress! It's amazing what a "family" can do. Amazingly, DB slept fine in the hotel room, but she doesn't make it through the night in her bed at home. I think maybe we need to take more vacations! lol Thanks for sharing the pictures. I'll be checking your blog for the latest E! news.

FinsUp said...

How wonderful! That's what being a family is all about. Welcome home!

mama ladybug said...

What a beautiful post. We too feel our group is now like family, how could we not?! And poor Ling and E!(and Mama and Baba). We've suffered those moments too. Matthew left his little bunny in a washer at an appliance store one time and I still remember it. What a night that was. Um, he's now nearly 18, do I need to say more? Glad you enjoyed your nice time away. We love Wildwood too. Perhaps we can make that our meeting place sometime?

Mommy Spice said...

Ok, I freaked out a little bit when I saw pictures of Doodlebug (from mama darling) on your blog. I'm guessing you guys were in the same travel group. What a cutie you have!!