Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lorelai's First Thanksgiving!

Way back right after Lorelai was born (around Aprilish) Matt and I were talking with Laura and Gino, and we all decided that we wanted to spend Thanksgiving together this year.  Laura and Gino have rented and gone to this cabin up in Hiawassee, GA several time and they mentioned doing that since we had never gone with them.  Usually we can't go because they go over a weekend and we always have to be at church on Sundays.  And we sure aren't going to drive 6 hours there on a Friday and then 6 hours home on a Saturday!  Well, I knew that I'd have the whole week off, and we knew that Matt would be done for the week on Tuesday so we decided to go!

Our "cabin" - Logan's Ridge

(picture taken from

Our plan was to leave on Tuesday after Matt got off work and to *try* to make it the whole 6 hours in one go.  Our back-up plan was to stop and stay with my dad Tuesday night (in Flowery Branch, about 1 1/2 hours from the cabin) and then make it the rest of the way up on Wednesday morning.  Matt ended up getting off work at 11, so we really thought that we'd be able to make it in one stretch.  The bad news: Lorelai only napped that morning for 20 minutes - from 9:00 to 9:20.  Crazy!  She's not a good car napper, so I was really nervous!  We got the car packed and hit the road.  After stopping in Adel for gas and to grab some lunch, we finally got on the interstate at about 12:20.  Suprisingly, Lorelai did really well at first!  I thought that she'd be major fussy because she hadn't slept much, but she played and talked to herself until about 2:00 and then she fell asleep for about 20 minutes.  The bad thing about our new car seat is that her head kind of falls forward if she falls asleep because she's really not tilted back much.  The only thing that I can think to do is just to let her get used to it because this is her forever car seat!

After about 3 hours of riding (almost to Atlanta) LL started to get fussy.  I crawled in the back with her and turned on her DVD player to watch.  I'm not a huge fan of her watching "TV", but in these kinds of situations, we do what we have to do to keep her occupied to to keep her from melting.  About the time that we got about 5 miles north of where my sister works, she got on the interstate, too!  Gino and Ben had been at the cabin since about 3, but Laura had to work, so she was getting there about the same time as us.  She finally caught up to us right before we got to Helen and this was helpful because we didn't have to try to find the cabin by ourselves at night.  We could just follow her.  After Helen we had to go all the way up and down a mountain before we got to Hiawassee.  Really, my only irrational fear is of heights, so this was CRAZY scary for me.  Matt did really well, though, and drove slowly and handled all of my "just slow down!" from the backseat. 

We're on vacation!

We finally got there about 6:30 and poor Lorelai had only slept for a total of 40 minutes the entire day!  We got in, fed her dinner, gave her a bath, and tried to put her down for bed.  This is where it got really tricky.  We brought her pack-n-play and had intended for her to sleep in one of the two guest rooms downstairs, and Matt and I would be in the other room across the hall.  The hard part about Lorelai's age is that she's aware of her surroundings enough to know that she's not at home (or at any place that she recognizes), but she's too young for me to just be able to talk to her and explain to her what's going on.  Also, she's never slept in her pack-n-play before.  She's only used it for independent play time.  When we went to see my sister in February, she slept in Ben's crib (because he wasn't here yet), and when we stayed with my dad in August, she slept in the crib that they keep at her house.  At Grammy's house every day during the week, she has her own room and crib that she sleeps in.  So she's never slept in her pack-n-play (well, not since she was 6 weeks old).  Also, at home, Lorelai always puts herself to sleep at night.  We really don't follow this rule at nap-time anymore (mainly because she'll never go to sleep if we just put her down), but we never hold her to sleep at night.  Ever.  It's just not something that we've done since she's been about 3 months old.  That being said, when we put her down in her pack-n-play for the night, she got hysterical!  She knew she wasn't at home, she was scared, and she was NOT going to have any of that!  As much as I hated to, we ended up holding her to sleep and then putting her down in her pack-n-play. 

After we got her to sleep, Matt and I headed back upstairs to spend time with Laura and Gino.  The cabin came stocked with board games, so we decided to play a few.  Matt, Laura, and I played Operation and Scrabble while Gino took care of Ben.  We had so much fun!  Matt and I had started to feel a little under-the-weather Monday night before we left, so we decided not to stay up too late.  We were exhausted from our trip and wanted to try and get some sleep.  I think we headed down to bed around 9:30. 

That night was pretty rough.  We were up several times with LL, and we ended up having to give her a bottle every time she got up just so she'd go back down.  Around 4 o'clock we had to slide her pack-n-play in our room and she finally settled down and went to sleep until around 7. 

Wednesday morning we just took it easy.  We played upstairs with the babies and took our time getting ready.  Around 10:00 Matt and I decided to take Lorelai and make a run for groceries.  There were some last minute things that we needed for Thanksgiving and just some stuff that we needed for eating other than the big meal.  This is when we noticed that LL had a little bit of a runny nose and a little bit of a cough.  Matt and I both had started feeling a little crummy on Monday, but we just chalked it up to sinus infections.  We get them ALL the time around this time of year, and by Wednesday I had actually started feeling a good bit better. 

After we got back from the grocery store and after lunch, we decided to take the babies for a little walk around the cabin.  The driveway is super steep, so we couldn't go that far.  Laura strapped Ben into a carrier and we put LL in her umbrella stroller.  We walked up and down the part of the driveway right next to the house a couple of times.  Lorelai LOVES to be in her stroller and she had a blast.  And, of course, the view was beautiful!

We went out on the balcony (so cold!) and took some pictures of the view.  It was so beautiful and I only wish that we could have enjoyed being outside a little more.

We just spent the rest of the afternoon napping, playing with babies, watching movies, and enjoying being all together!

That night, Matt grilled some steaks and they were so good!  We gave LL a bath like usual, but ended up holding her to sleep like we had done the night before.  We left her pack-n-play in our bedroom and were just going to let her sleep in there for the rest of the vacation.  Well, she decided that was not okay with her.  She would sleep in there for 30 minutes, max, before she would wake up screaming.  We'd have to hold her back to sleep, put her down, in 30 minutes she'd start screaming all over again, and this just continued.  Finally, Matt got a twin matress from the other guestroom and put in on the floor between our bed and the wall.  We put the pack-n-play at the end and she had her own crib - just way bigger.  I ended up sleeping with my arm over on her all night.  She was so fussy because she was so stuffy and felt so bad.  We kept giving her tylenol and just comforting her.  Finally, around 2 o'clock she woke up feeling horrible.  I was holding her and walking around, she was screaming, and Matt felt horrible.  I just broke down.  We were so far from home, I didn't know how to fix this, and I had a baby who was melting.  I ended up calling Matt's mom around 2:15 (am!) and talking (and crying!) to her for about 30 minutes.  Matt and I even discussed leaving the next morning for home because things were so bad.  Lorelai kept grabbing her ears, so I didn't know if they were infected and I knew that she was stuffy and feeling bad.  Matt's mom and dad calmed me down and gave me the confidence to make it through.  After getting off the phone with them, I gave LL a bottle and got in the big chair in our room and holding her to sleep for the rest of the night.  Not ideal!  I have NEVER done this with her - not even when she was a newborn.  She actually slept, but I barely did at all. 

The next morning we called my dad and asked him to bring some saline drops and a bulb when they came up for Thanksgiving lunch (the one thing I didn't pack - that won't happen again!).  Matt and I decided to stay and that we would leave Friday, drive to my sister's house and stay the night (about an hour and a half away) and then drive the rest of the way to Valdosta on Saturday. 

I love love love to cook Thanksgiving dinner.  It is my absolute favorite thing of the year.  And if I do say so myself, I cook a mean turkey!  I ended up cooking everything this year (which I was more than happy about) except for the bread and the desserts.  My dad and step-mom drove up from Flowery Branch and we all had lunch/dinner together around 2:00.  We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole.  It was so good! 

We gave LL her baby food like normal, and then we gave her a little bit of everything on the menu.  And this girl chowed down!  She absolutely LOVED the stuffing and couldn't stuff (haha!) it in fast enough.   She did so well with all of the food and I was so proud of her.  She's getting to be a wondeful eater with solid foods.  Our goal since she was about 3 months old was to get her in a place to where she would be able to eat the same food that we ate on Thanksgiving Day.  We succeeded!  She was so cute and loved all of it!

Because I had done all of the cooking, I didn't have to do any of the cleaning up!  That made me super happy!  I just went into the living room and played with all of the babies while Gino and my dad cleaned up the kitchen.  It was so nice!  We just spent the rest of the afternoon/evening hanging around and all spending time together.  Some of my dad's friends drove up for dessert and we all ate that together. 

Lorelai got so jealous when I was holding Ben!

They had a cute little baby chair that was just the right size for Lorelai.  She liked sitting in it and I got a good picture of her with her "My First Thanksgiving" shirt!

Thursday night ended up being a little better, but I did have to sleep on the matress on the floor with Lorelai.  She still was feeling pretty crummy, but that was better than me sleeping on the chair holding her.  I didn't want her in the bed with us because 1- I don't ever want her to think that it's a possibility and 2- Matt felt horrible and he needed some good rest. 

Friday morning, we packed everything up and headed out around lunch time.  Matt snuggled with Lorelai during a nap while I got everything packed an organized to go.

On the way to Laura and Gino's house, we stopped at Babies-R-Us and did some Christmas shopping for Lorelai.  When we got to their house, we got everything set up for her to sleep in Ben's room in his crib.  Thankfully she did better (still not great) that night and we were able to get some more sleep.  The next morning my dad and step-mom came over and watched LL for a little while so that Matt and I could go shopping at Discover Mills for a little while.  It's a huge outlet mall about 5 minutes from Laura and Gino's house.  They have a great Carter's outlet and I got the rest of LL's Christmas shopping done while we were there.  They had the entire store at 50% off!  You can't beat that!  I got three complete outfits for Lorelai for $45!

We we back, packed the car up, and headed back home.  We got home about 4:30 and I was so happy.  LL was feeling horrible, Matt was feeling horrible, and we all just needed to be home!

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