Let me pause to tell you a fact. There is no more hopping on planes when you have a 22 pound baby in tow. There are legion blogs on "traveling with kids made easy," and "how to travel and ensure the whole world appreciates your parenting style," and my favorite, "traveling with kids on a budget." This is all bogus. It's not easy, it will always be harder than traveling without kids. Period. And the world isn't going to like it when your kids freak out in public, no matter what your parenting style is. And when you have kids, you already spend gobs on money on them at home, so you may as well buy them that bag of goldfish for $6.00 in the airport bookstore.
But on this "hop" on a plane, redemption came in the form of a very liquored-up businessman across the aisle. The baby had been screaming for a while, a whiiiiile, if you know what I mean, and when he paused to gather himself for the next round of screaming, said liquor-lover looked at him and slurred, "Heyyyy." And from my lips to God's ears, Duncan slurred back, "Heyyyy." And the whole plane erupted, partly in celebration that the screaming had ceased, partly because my baby's first words were clearer than the drunk man's.
Anyway, we made it to Kansas. We ate and played and played and ate. I picked up a turtle on the side of the country road, using a Target bag as a very clever glove, but then the turtle uncurled his claw-toes around my finger and the turtle went flying. Baby D met his first llama. And his first sheep. And his first pony named Arctic.
Baby D charmed his Uncle Tim, who will teach him to Eat Beef.
Cousins practiced taking good care of each other.
The most precious little girl on the prairie...
And her feisty, magnetic little sister with Owen Wilson hair.
The lovefest between Iny and Baby continues.
Sleep is not for the weak. Sleep is for the giant babies who wear their mothers out.
Grandma Pam-ma and her little darlings nearly collapsed the porch swing.
And the grand finale was a hearty lunch at Abuelo's before the long trek home.