2 months in the good old U.S. Of A.!!!!

Here is a photo tour of our summer in America:
First a visit with grandparents:

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Fun with cousins:

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Catching up with friends, and enjoying a beautiful wedding:

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Paid our respects to the dead:

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Slept in many different places:

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We also visited with countless cousins, aunts, uncles, friends etc. whom were not photographed. We attended one wedding, two Phish concerts, two crab feasts, two bbqs, one fair, several family parties, a pool, Hershey Park, two casinos (I left Clare and Shawn home for these), many bars, a million different parks and many other events. So much fun was had, can’t wait for our next visit! Maybe next time no one will break a bone:

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Flying 8,000 miles solo with a toddler

A 21 hour travel journey with a 2 1/2 year old (all in C.S.T.)

5:45 a.m. I wake in St. Louis and pack.
6:10 a.m. I wake Clare up (she was not ok getting up this early – I told her karma hurts). Coffee #1.
6:30 a.m. Rolvi drives us to the airport and helps us get our bags checked (thanks Rolv! Enjoy the princess tiara we left in your car)
7-8:50 a.m. Playing at the awesome indoor play land at the airport. I drink a vanilla soy latte. Coffee #2

8:50 – 10:30 a.m. First flight – very smooth! Clare plays on the iPad and I read a book on my iPhone. As we arrive in Dallas Clare yells, “We’re here Dada!” I wish!
11 a.m. I eat a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s, Clare has an ice cream cone.
12:30-1:30 p.m. – first hour of the 14.75 hour flight: luxuriated in having a row of 4 seats to ourselves! Who needs First Class?
Clare eats crackers, drinks juice, kicks the seat in front of her for about 10 mins (luckily housing a toddler as well!), watches a few mins of The Wizard of Oz, watches a few mins of Cinderella, played on the iPad. Some tears but nothing major.
1:30 – 5:35 p.m. Clare is asleep!!!! I enjoy a seafood lunch, watch The Other Woman (hilarious!), read some more of my book (The Six Wives of Henry VIII) and drink coffee #3. If only the rest of the flight would be half this peaceful!!!!!
5:35 p.m. Clare is eating her “lunch” – chips, a Nutri grain bar, a dinner roll and an Oreo (the other food was some kind of rice pilaf and fruit – wasn’t gonna happen) while watching Cinderella. I’m watching The Big Bang Theory.
6:00 p.m. First visit to the airplane bathroom. Clare yells the entire time, “I wanna go dat way!”, pointing to the door. Diaper changed on the impossibly tiny changing table.
6:05 p.m. iPad for Clare/ reading for me.
6:36 The Wizard of Oz…..restless and loud, uh oh.
7:07 Clare is dancing and singing standing on her seat. I’m getting dirty looks.
7:30 Clare notices the toddler in front of her. Jumping and shrieking between the two starts.
7:31 I activate the emergency supplies: play doh. I make her a pretend donut. She immediately takes a bite, swallows, and says,”Yummy in my tummy”.
7:36 donut disassembled, snow men are made and smashed.
7:39 I’m contemplating chewing up a unisom and spitting it into her mouth.
7:43 I realize our long flight is about halfway over! Yay!!!!!!!!
7:49 Clare falls, hits her head and elbow, breaking open a scab that starts bleeding. Luckily Suzie, RN has some band aids.
7:59 Pizza snack arrives! Clare is quietly eating and watching silent Wizard of Oz (still refusing to wear headphones)
8:08 Clare is now eating my slice of pizza. Guess she’s hungry! Truth be told for 5 mins of silence she can eat whatever she feels like!
8:23 chaos again. Trying everything to encourage quiet play.
8:26 Flight attendant comes over and says, “Princess, it’s not safe to jump up and down, you could get hurt.”
8:32 Bathroom part 2. This time Clare jumps up and down over and over again, rattling the door so much that a flight attendant knocks to make sure we are ok.
9:16 Clare is lying down watching movies. Fingers crossed!!!!!
9:17 I notice we are flying over Paris
9:50 p.m. CLARE IS SLEEPING!!!! ALLELUIA!!!! 5 hr 33 mins to go. Should I try to sleep????
10:18 Clare is still out! Must be the real deal. And no, I never gave her that unisom :). I’m watching Modern Family.
11:15ish-1:36am I sleep! Boy having 4 seats across really makes it easier! Clare remains asleep.
2:13am. Inflight breakfast was delicious! Scrambled eggs and roasted tomatoes and asparagus. Coffee #4, Clare remains asleep.
2:44 a.m. Clare is awake and eating French toast. Only 44 mins til landing! I can’t believe the flight has been as good as it has been – I really expected to be reporting a shit show! :-/
3:29 a.m. We are home!!! It’s 12:29pm here. Hello Jet Lag my old friend!

Clare was so excited to see Shawn, she was literally shaking with excitement. I however was limping, because Clare ran over my broken toe with our luggage cart.

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