It's been two weeks now and our North East vacation is quickly coming to an end. A lot happened over the course of the past two weeks. After driving 6 hoursfrom Maine to upstate New York we setteled in and woke up the next morning just in time to start prepping for bear's 2nd first birthday party.
I spent all day Monday (our first full day in NY) making ladybug
cupcakes (an activity I shortly regreted-- one year olds don't really
care what their cupcakes look like... and if you're bear, you might not even make it past 6 PM in order to get one of the special cupcakes that
mommy spent a full day making) for bear, inbetween chasing her around grandma and grandpa's house, for fear that she might try to dive off the
staircase in an attempt to make it to the downstairs hallway.----> Just typing that last sentence gives me a small heart attack...
The party was a bit of a mess... bear was over tired and totally off schedule thanks to a Sunday full of traveling, with no naps, and then add the three hour time change that we had been trying to get use to over the past week in Maine, ack!
Before all of our guests had arrived, bear started rubbing her eyes and quickly went into over tired mode. Over tired mode when our schedule is really goofed up is like watching a baby who was just given a pound of chocolate.
In attempt to avoid a blow up or an awful evening of tossing and turning. We decided to open gifts up quickly and then let bear head to bed. Bear enjoyed all of her gifts but she loved grandma and grandpa's gift the most. And of course it was the last gift we opened... right before I told bear "it's night night time..." Wow, did she scream! She screamed and cried louder and harder than I have ever heard her fuss before.
Combine a brand new exciting toy that lights up, has tons of buttons and plays music... with over tiredness, time change, and diaper and PJ time, and you have yourself one angry bear! And it didn't stop there, bear fought going down all together and then woke up a half hour later to remind me how unhappy she was! It was only the beginning of our NY part of the trip and we were certainly off to a rough start...
Fortunately, things seemed to turn around when bear decided to surprise me with her first, real "mama." It happened the day following our explosive birthday party. We were sitting out on the front lawn so bear could explore all of the flowers as well as grandma and grandpa's neighborhood. The neighborhood is very different than ours and I think bear was curious by all of the grass, green trees and distance between all of the houses. As I sat with bear, explaining to her all of the new things that she was seeing, she decided to turn around, crawl back up to my lap for a hug. And just before she gave me one of her amazing cuddly hugs, she said "ma-ma." My heart smiled... I praised bear with lots of claps, kisses and hugs. 12 months and 4 days and our first word is: MAMA!
A few days later we headed north to Amish country, not to visit the Amish they just happen to live there and this is probably the best way to describe where we were. Our actual destination was Trout lake but the surrounding area is mostly farm land and lakes. The reason for the trip was for a family members wedding. So all of us plus most of our extended family packed up and hung out on the lake the wedding weekend. It was a jam packed eventful first few days/weekend that we spent up on the lake. Our camp was the site for the rehearsal dinner so everyone was working hard in preparation for the dinner. Saturday was then spent at the wedding. When the 4th arrived we were all extremely tired and finally had some time to relax. The wedding was amazing, bear and I just wish that we were able to spend more time celebrating with everyone else but an early bedtime sent us home before the real party started.
Even though we missed out bear had a lot of fun! She especially loved all of the attention she got from everyone staying up at the lake with us. Bear would growl back and forth playful with the groom and happily waved and smiled at everyone she came in contact with. But most exciting of all, bear enjoyed swimming in the lake! The whole trip to NY opened bear's eyes up to swimming. She didn't show her real excitement for swimming until she saw her cousins splashing about and jumping into the water-- thus emerged the swimming fanatic, in bear.
My overall favorite part of the trip was searching for the local Amish so we could buy one of their amazing baskets! It took about an hour and a half to locate one of the houses where they sell their baskets and other amazing hand made items. We were tipped off by one of the clerks at Price Chopper (one of the 5 stores in the town... which took at least 20 mins. to get to) and I felt slightly like we were searching for something illegal, esp. when my aunt started asking the teenagers working in the store if they knew where we could find any baskets...
I enjoyed visiting the little barn/shop located on the front lawn of this particular Amish family. Some sell items from their home and others set up shop at random corners throughout the town at various days and times.
The barn was filled with all different types of baskets-- I contemplated a while over the cute lunch basket or wine basket (which would be so cute to take wine in for an evening party-- but I knew I would never use it since our party days are far behind us...) The lunch basket had a top that fit perfectly and was big enough for a small picnic for the three of us (or four of us- Acadia). The middle of the basket had purple wicker woven into it which made it even more special than I already thought it was. I couldn't resist! It's hard to find things that are made well, I plan on taking good care of this basket!!!
It was also a neat visit for me because it allowed me to peak into their world briefly. A few years ago I might have mocked the Amish but today I admire them. They work hard and live simply and that takes strength-- I would imagine it is more fulfilling then most would think. I suppose I will never really know though, everything always looks better from a distance...
Any how, by the time you read this we'll be back home in SoCal!