And we have survived the plane ride home, with a decent but single nap for Maia and ten minutes of sleep while landing for Chloe, and a ten-thirty bedtime that night and a nine-thirty bedtime last night as we inch ever closer to our regular schedules and Maia struggles with her frustration that she can no longer get out of her bed.
The trip was great. Very relaxed (except for the day of the wedding), low-key, lots of time for talking and playing. Some tidbits:
-The first morning, Chloë woke up at five local time and we went downstairs to get milk and explore. She poked around and peeked through the blinds, and soon reported, "They have a sandbox!" It was a sand/water table, and both girls had a ton of fun in it. They also made a ton of mess. Their sand play always coincided with bathtime.
-When I needed to buy shoes for the wedding, Chloë came along and tried on shoes from the clearance rack. "Look at my grown-up shoes!" she said, sporting a deep-red high-heeled shoe on one foot and a sparkly pink one on the other. "Mama, you should wear grown-up shoes!"
-We visited Mom's work so she could show off her granddaughters. Her coworkers went wild over the girls, cooing and exclaiming and begging for hugs. I expected Chloë to retreat and be shy, but instead she went willingly into people's arms, jumped up and down, accepted their compliments, and even spontaneously offered a hug to a latecomer.
-Afterward, we went to Tully's and got drinks, a raspberry and a blueberry shake. Chloë claimed the blueberry, Maia the raspberry, but they traded sips and each would readily offer Mom, Dad, and me their cup when asked. They circled the table, drinking and clutching their cups, as we sat in comfy chairs around them.
-Eric put Maia down for a nap one day and came downstairs. Not long after, he turned around to see her slithering backwards down the stairs and toddling toward him. "Maia Verity!" he said. "You get back upstairs!" She looked at him a moment and started back up the staircase.
-This happened again. After he sent her back up the second time, he went to check, and found her playing with my phone.
-His keys appeared magically in my purse after the next naptime.
-The next two nights, I put Maia down for sleep and then spent the next half hour saying, "Get back in bed!" After a while I'd poke my head in and she'd immediately climb back in bed.
-At camp, the girls ate through one of those huge plastic containers of blueberries you get at Costco. Then when we got back to Mom and Dad's, they ate all the blueberries off their bushes, maybe a couple of cups' worth. Then they ate a huge bag's worth Mom bought from work. (Admittedly, I helped. And a cup went into some scones. But still.)
-Maia learned to say "Grandpa," "Halmoni," and "Abby" (her cousin we met for the first time while there).
-Coming back from some trip, Chloë asked, "Is Halmoni still there?" When I said yes, she said, "We should tell her what we did. And hug her!"
-As mentioned, we met my niece Abby for the first time (though we'd seen pictures and a web call) during the trip. Chloë seemed a little diffident at first, but then it was "Maybe Abby can play." "Will Abby be there?" She came to a dinner with her new Aunt Amanda the night before the wedding. She didn't want to sit next to Abby, but she spent most of her time watching her (when she wasn't scarfing down tofu).
-Dad taught Maia to say "please" when she wanted ice from his Coke. "Moh (more)," she started out saying. Then, at his prompting, "Bee." After a few times, she said, "Moh. Bee," unprompted.
-At each airport, both girls made a dash for the windows to watch the airplanes (and so Chloë could look for the animals on the tails--we flew Frontier, though she also identified one with "Two As and a bird," which is American). Maia called, "Buh! Buh!" (either bird or bug, I'm not sure which) until I told her they were planes, when she started saying, "Bay! Bay!"
-Except for the stopover on the way back, when she was asleep. I put Chloë's blanket under her head. Chloë promptly said she needed her blanket, so I swapped it out, waking Maia momentarily. Chloë then never touched her blanket.
-She then proceeded to eat two tiny bites of the burger we bought for lunch (McDonald's unfortunately being the best of our limited options). Maia slept through the entire stopover, but when she woke up in the airplane she proceeded to devour half a burger, bun and all.
-When we crossed Lake Michigan, I looked out the window and remarked that all I could see was water. Chloë looked and said, "No, Mama. That is sky."