First, though, we went to breakfast at the hotel buffet. Basically you go in and order the buffet and they say "Okay, that will be your right arm." It costs $15, which in my opinion is just an insane amount for a breakfast buffet. Kiddos eat free, fortunately, so I loaded Elijah up. I would have loaded myself up, too, but I can only eat so much before I start feeling sick and worrying about my thunder thighs, but he can eat as much as he wants since his fat is cute.
After breakfast we headed out to the pool. Mike's mom had bought for us a little innertube-type baby floaty thing (was that description clear enough?). It had an inner blow up/float thing and an outer one. (This really will make more sense when you see the pictures.) But you apparently have to have turbo lips to blow the stupid thing up because I was blowing into it so hard I was about to pop a blood vessel in my eye and it still wasn't inflating well. Plus, I was by a pool with a one year old who doesn't like to sit still. So it was not going well. Also, we brought his yellow sippy cup which still had milk leftover from breakfast in it and he managed to smack it hard enough on the concrete that it broke and started spilling milk out. That was the first cup he learned to drink out of. *sniff, sniff* I was going to have it bronzed! (Yeah, that sounds like me.) So it had to go in the trash. Fortunately, I did bring 2 sippy cups so we weren't totally screwed there. And I did finally at least get the inner inflatable part of his floaty blown up. But then when we tried to get in it, he was fighting me putting his feet through the holes and I was freaking out because we were in the water and he's all slippery. So, yeah, it wasn't going well.
I did finally get him in the floaty but by that time he was crying and not happy to be in the water with me. So I figured we'd give it a few minutes and try to get him to cheer up but if it didn't work, I was going to give up and just take him back to the room. However, he did finally cheer up a bit. Here are pictures from our trip to the hotel pool.
Both blue sections are supposed to inflate but I only had enough breath to inflate the inner one. It says not to use an air compressor on it, but that's eventually what we used when we went to my Uncle Ron's house on Thursday and swam in their pool because I don't see how else you're supposed to get it all inflated.
Anyway, after that Elijah took a nap and when Mike was ready for his lunch break, he took us to Downtown Disney. While we were waiting for Mike to come get us, I got the picture of Elijah with Mickey ears that I'd promised Mike's mom. The Mickey ears cost $15, which I really think is too much for a pair of plastic mouse ears, but oh well.
And they're off... he hates things on his head.
So went to Downtown Disney. We ate lunch with Daddy and I rented another $15 stroller--this one I actually had to put $100 deposit down for because it's an open shopping area and you can just take the strollers if you were so inclined, I guess. I don't know why you'd want to. I'm sure you could get a better stroller than that for $15 on craigslist, but whatever. You get your $100 back when you return it and I had to have it since I wasn't going to walk around carrying Elijah the whole time.
After lunch we went around looking at the shops. We were going to go to this Harley Davidson shop and see if there was a Christmas present in there for Papa but that store was closed because they're doing some kind of construction. So we didn't get to go there. However, we did go to the lego store.
These statutes are made entirely out of legos. Neat, eh?
I think Elijah had the most fun at the lego store playing with the legos outside. I'm sure most people are cringing that he put the legos in his mouth considering that God only knows how many other filthy hands have touched these legos, but oh well. He was having fun. So much that he even let me put the Mickey ears on him for a little while. (By the way, he did not build that huge tower, it was already there. He did, however, knock it over before we left.)
We checked out some more fun sights like the dinosaur bones outside the T-Rex Cafe and the boat and hot air balloon you could see across the water.
We stopped at Ghirardelli and shared a chocolate milkshake. (We were on vacation, okay. He normally eats a lot better than this. Don't judge me!)
We walked around to a bunch of other shops and considered buying Grandma Sandie (Mike's mom) a Mickey ornament for Christmas but I just couldn't bring myself to pay $15 for a little glass Mickey ornament. (I seem to have a real problem with things costing $15, don't I?)
Mike got us around 3:00 and I went back to get our $100 back from the stroller robbers. Then we went back and I tried to get Elijah to take an afternoon nap but instead he decided to babble to himself in his crib for two and a half hours. So no nap, just an annoyed Mommy. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and then back to the hotel for bed.
Thursday my uncle was supposed to come and get us after Elijah's morning nap so we could go hang out at his house for the day. So we just hung around the hotel room until Elijah got sleepy and then Uncle Ron came to get us about 11:15. Now, I forgot to mention that my aunt and uncle have a house that is situated right next to a lake. Also, they have a screened in back porch with a pool. Have a looksie...
These were taken after it started clouding up. Later it started raining but when we first got there it was sunny and nice so we got to swim. Uncle Ron had an air compressor so we actually got Elijah's floaty thing blown up all the way. Here are some pictures of him and Uncle Ron having fun in the pool. Elijah had a lot more fun in the pool this time.
My Aunt Patrice had some little windup toys that moved their arms and swam in the water. Elijah is holding the turtle one in that last picture.
We had fun swimming but then it started getting cloudy and eventually started raining so we had to go in. They have a very nice house, but, as a result, it's not very kid-friendly so there were a lot of places little guys could really mess stuff up. Fortunately, we managed to keep it all under control. And eventually Elijah was getting super tired so we made a palate for him on the floor of their den. I lay down with him without high hopes or expectations that he would fall asleep, but to my surprise and delight, he did fall asleep.
During his little nap, my cousin Janika came home. Janika is not Uncle Ron and Aunt Patrice's daughter; they don't have any kids. She is actually the younger daughter of my Uncle John--my dad's and Ron's brother--who lives in Germany. So Janika is from Germany. She is in med school in Germany and it's apparently a six-year program that they do straight out of high school. They are required to do two observations of doctors in their practices for a month (I believe). So Aunt Patrice found a cardiologist in Winter Haven who agreed to let Janika come observe him. So she is staying with them during this observation. And, like I said, she lives in Germany. So I haven't seen her in about fifteen years. Here we are during dinner.
Aren't we cute? She's 22 and I'm... ahem... NOT 22...
Anyway, so we got to talk some and she met Elijah when he woke up after sleeping for only about 45 minutes. Mike joined us after he got done with his last conference session of the day. We had grilled chicken caesar salad and this marble cake with chocolate icing for dinner. It was delicious. My aunt is a fabulous cook.
Elijah got to eat some of Daddy's cake. Here he is with cake mouth.
All in all we had a really good time that evening. Here's a picture of Uncle Ron, Janika, Elijah and me.
We didn't get back to the hotel until about 9 p.m. Elijah had fallen asleep in the car and we had to wake him up and get him out and then give him his bath and put him back to bed. Then I had to work on packing while Mike refilled the car with gas and did some other preparing to leave things.
The next morning we had to get up at like 6 in order to leave by 7. We were hoping Elijah would sleep later, but alas, he got up at 6:30. But we got to the airport and I went through security with Elijah by myself. This time he was a bit better on the plane, but no flight with a one year old is ever easy. It was partially because there was an empty seat between us and the woman sitting next to us, partially because I let him have his pacifier the whole time, and partially because he was sleepy. He fell asleep on me for about 30-45 minutes during the flight. I was glad he slept but your arms start to really hurt holding a 25 pound sleeping kid after awhile.
Anyway, we got back to Kansas City at about 11 and went and ate lunch and sat around to wait for Mike. His flight didn't get in until 1:40 so we had some time to kill. The restaurant we ate at did not have the greatest service so after we ate, we left and found a Starbucks to hang out at for awhile. There we watched a few Veggie Tales DVDs while I tried not to pass out at the table. It is not fun hanging out in the airport for three hours with nothing to do, but it's even less fun with a cranky kid who hasn't had a real nap all day.
Finally, Mike arrived but he was at terminal C. He needed to go get the car from economy parking but I had the keys. (We didn't fully think that one through.) So he came over to terminal B and stayed with Elijah while I took the red bus back to terminal C and then the blue bus to economy parking. And since Mike had parked the car, I had to search for it. I was walking around pressing the red button that makes the car alarm honk so you can find the car but was having no success and wondering if Mike wrote the location down wrong. I was about to throw my hands up and start crying when I prayed "Please, God, just give me a little break here." A moment later I found the car.
I drove back to the terminal to pick up Mike and Elijah. Mike had to install the carseat next to the terminal where I'd pulled up and even though there weren't any cars waiting to pull up or any people waiting to be picked up, this traffic control guy pulled up behind us. He didn't get out of his truck or say anything, which was fortunate for him or else I might have gone medieval on his heiney. My day had been way too exhausting to deal with that properly.
Finally, we did get everything together and get out of there without a bad encounter with the traffic guy. And we all made it home exhausted but otherwise okay. So I will now leave you with a picture of Elijah reading his books and playing with my keys (the ones Mike should have had) in the terminal.