This is the face of a confused baby.
It all started with a trip to Atlanta during the first weekend of November. Bea met her great-uncle Peter and great-aunt Peachy; her first-cousins-once-removed Leah, Sammy, and William; her second cousin Liam; and her great grandma Lil. Four generations in one spot!
Bea did wonderfully on her first flights.
She nursed at the right times and slept at the right times, and we were all relieved/surprised/overjoyed to have a peaceful trip.
The next weekend, we spent a few nights in NA to visit with my dad for his birthday and with my sister Emily, who was in town from SF.
Grandpa Mac was able to enjoy some quality time with baby B, for which I feel eternally grateful.
(Beatrice says: I must eat ALL the leaves. Do NOT stop me, Grandpa Mac. I will yell if necessary.)
A few days later, we embarked on our first [puny] road trip with B down to NY for Feld’s wedding. Again, this cute little bundle tackled the travel like a baby and slept the entire way down. She also napped like a champ when we arrived … except, of course, when Erin Gunn was babysitting her during the wedding. Bea chose that moment to boycott sleep in favor of guzzling nearly my entire supply of pumped milk.
Like father, like daughter:
After those three weekends on the road, we finally had one weekend to get our bearings at home. It involved …
And GO PATS!
And MUST REPLENISH THE SUPPLY!
Bet you weren’t expecting that picture.
Next up was Thanksgiving. Back to NA for three more nights and lots of family time!
In addition to hanging with the regulars, Bea also got to meet …
… great auntie Sherye and second cousins Lilly and Jonah …
… and pretty much my entire step-family, including auntie Jessamyn and great grandma Chris.
We had planned to spend the day after Thanksgiving with my dad, but the cancer that he had spent years battling quite valiantly started to get the best of him, and he went to the hospital instead.
The next week involved visits to the hospital with some happy hellos …
(Beatrice says: Hi Aunt Allie! I missed you!)
… and one very big, very sad goodbye.
We packed up again and spent the next week + back in NA, spending important time with important family members while we worked to plan a memorial party that would do my dad justice.
(We somehow missed getting a picture of Bea with her uncle Chad, but I should document that he was the ultimate baby sleep whisperer during this trip. Erik is still using Chad’s tips for Bea’s most challenging moments.)
Through incredible sibling teamwork and the help of many close friends and family members, we were able to plan the perfect party, create a donation fund, and generate significant local press coverage, much of it front page, here, here, here, and here, and that’s not even the full extent. Our dad would be proud and pleased.
He even got all three of his wives together for the first time in history.
It is impossible to not smile while wearing a sweetly sleeping baby.
We finally arrived back home on the evening of December 13th and had a few days to catch our breath before flying out to MN for a week to visit Erik’s family.
Bea met her uncle Peder for the very first time.
He let her eat potato from a spoon and shared his doggie, so she loves him forever.
Bea also was able to reconnect with all of her MN grandparents and had a blast doing so.
We flew back on Christmas day, had another weekend in NA, and are finally home in Gloucester recovering.
The past two months have shown me that many many things are more important than routine, and every single trip was well worth the upheaval. However. We are now back home, and reality is setting in. I am sick with some nasty respiratory virus I picked up along the way, my dad is not available to receive the cute pictures of B that I used to text him every day, I turned down a job offer because I could not bear to lose my dad and my Bea in almost the same breath, and my formerly incredibly-almost-sleeping-through-the-night-since-one-month-old baby now needs to be nursed back to sleep approximately 11 times every night. We’ve got a little bit of a mountain to climb …