Thanks to Jill Cordes, host of My First Baby for this cute post!
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Okay, so the trip wasn’t quite that exotic – more like where the deer and the antelope play. Talking about South Dakota. Fia, Phil and I just got back from visiting my relatives there amid the tumbleweed and prairie grass. It’s a place near and dear to my heart, with a vast landscape and open space as far as the eye can see. And althoughFi is already a seasoned traveler, I keep reminding myself that each trip is a learning experience. For both of us.
Fi snorted at cattle, cats, horses and dogs. She ate South Dakota beef. She visited Wall Drug and Reptile Gardens. She was a social butterfly, meeting about 12 of her first and second cousins and 8 of her aunts and uncles—just a fraction of my extended family, but it’s a start. She also started clapping her hands. Hooray, another milestone!
The trip started off a little rough. I didn’t realize when I booked my flight that I mistakenly added in a 4-hour layover in the Denver airport. And Phil wasn’t with me (he joined later). I nearly had a panic attack. How am I going to entertain her in the airport for all this time? Well, first, I bee lined for the bar. (Kidding, though I did have a glass of wine with lunch).
Then I found an empty gate that looked pretty clean and just let her roam around. I had to let my bedbug paranoia go. (I already have given up on the germ factor). Finally, it was boarding time, and at 4 pm, we arrived in Rapid City and took off for the ranch. Exhale. We did it!
The Cordes ranch has been around since the 1900’s, when my grandfather first homesteaded there. My aunt and uncle still ranch over 9,000 acres of land. (Look for my flip video, coming soon!) And even though Fi won’t remember this trip, I think it’s all part of a baby’s collective memory and makeup as they grow. Plus, we’ll be visiting as often as we can.
She really took to some of my uncles, especially the burly ones wearing cowboy hats like Uncle Marvin. Maybe that’s what I need to get Phil for his birthday. And she mauled Stripey, the cat, who may even have more patience than Wayne.
She also had stranger anxiety early on. This was a first, but a big one for me on the learning curve. Any time I left the room, she would start to cry. At first I found it endearing. After two days though, I was losing my mind. It ended around the time Phil arrived (figures). After that she was passed around and around and smiled and laughed the whole time. Good to know she can adjust pretty easily. And good for me to know that I need to exercise patience instead of pulling my hair out.
Same with the sleep thing. The first two nights she woke up a few times in the Pack N Play. But after that, she slept through the night. I am sure the prairie air didn’t hurt.
After a week, it was time to say goodbye. We loaded up and boarded our flight, where, I kid you not, she slept the ENTIRE trip. As did Phil. I was so annoyed that he got the easy flight, I couldn’t even catnap. I mean, this girl only gives me 30 minute naps and is a ball of energy on the many plane trips with me, but she sleeps like a baby when he’s on board? Oh well. The two of them are still my favorite travel companions. Especially when they’re together! I just hope next time I can nap, too!
What was your experience introducing your little one to the family for the first time?