Bonnie’s First Vacation

Phew! Life with Bonnie is great, but busy! Did anyone warn me about that? I’ve had a gigantic draft post started since her first week of life, but somehow I never get around to finishing it. Baby maintenance is a full-time gig.  I think I heard or read about that somewhere…

Love bum.
Love bum.

Anywho, last week we took Bonnie on her first big road trip for our annual family vacation to Colorado. I was a teensy bit nervous and stressed about the long car trip, sleeping in the pack and play, altitude sickness, and trying to remember to pack all of her essentials + mine + Steven’s.  Aunt Abby came over on Friday to help me pack and clean the house so we were able to leave right on time Friday evening.  This was my first time nursing in the car, and changing Bonnie in a McDonald’s bathroom, but everything went well.  It’s still astonishing to me how much attention Bonnie generates in public. We get stopped everywhere. At the Burger King on the way home, a whole group of elderly ladies coming back from a bible study swarmed the car when they saw Steven with Bonnie and asked if she needed any additional grandparents. At the King Sooper’s in Pueblo, every single person who passed us stopped to ooh and ahh and ask how old she was.  In a culture that sometimes feels like it’s filled with baby-haters, it’s comforting to see complete strangers light up when we walk by.

Aunt Abby, Jimmy and Cheesy.
Aunt Abby, Jimmy and Cheesy.

Bonnie was an excellent traveler and handled it all like a champ.  We waited a little too long to feed her on the way to Garden City, so had to make a pit stop in Hanston to soothe the savage beast.  Then, on the way home, I woke her up to try and avoid the screaming in the middle of the Interstate and thoroughly confused her, so she screamed for a few miles before we could pull over and I could soothe her.  Other than that, she was perfectly happy and didn’t seem bothered at all about the 20 some hours (all together) in the car seat.  Steven suffers from terrible altitude sickness, so we were on high alert for any symptoms of that, but she slept right on through it.

Sweet Anna Bear
Sweet Anna Bear

We stopped in Garden City on the way down to pick up Dad and break up the trip.  It was the first night in the pack and play, and I was curious to see how she’d like it.  The new bassinet feature is super handy, so she was right at the level of the bed for easy binky maintenance.  We were worried about her being too hot, so we let her flail about without her sleep sack for most of the night before we gave in and swaddled her and voila – she slept soundly. Unluckily, her stubborn parents didn’t give in to the swaddle until 6 in the morning, so it was a long night for everyone before then.  Somehow she didn’t wake up Dad or Abby with her steady screaming, but Steven and I were a bit frazzled by the morning.  She slept beautifully the rest of the week at the cabin, and didn’t seem to mind the new bed one bit.  I actually think she’s having more trouble adjusting back to the bassinet now, since she had so much more room to stretch out in the pack and play. Ah well.  Better for her to learn about life’s constant adjustments now, right?

Katie Bug, in her favorite Wild shirt and strawberry pants. Style icon, first and always.
Katie Bug, in her favorite Wild shirt and strawberry pants. Style icon, first and always.

The cabin is one of my favorite places in the entire world, and we have been spending a week there every year since I was 6 years old.  When we first started going to the cabin there were just 4 of us – Mom, Dad, Susan and Betsy.  This year, with the addition of Bonnie and Teddy we are up to 11 occupants. We are incredibly blessed and more than a little crowded.  Betsy and Matthew have already started scoping out neighboring cabins that Steven can buy when he writes his first bestseller.  Unless I beat him to it.  The race is on!

The hike crew!
The hike crew!
The hike crew again, minus Steven, but with photo proof of Jimmy stealing Teddy's bub.  Perfection.
The hike crew again, minus Steven, but with photo proof of Jimmy stealing Teddy’s bub. Perfection.

With 5 kids under 10, several hikes a day were needed to keep the peace.  We were so excited to use the carrier for the first time and Bonnie loved being carried around by her parents. When we started packing up the cabin on Sunday, Bonnie must have sensed that we were ignoring her and trying to get things done, because she was fussier than normal. Steven put her in the carrier and she went around with him all morning, washing dishes, vacuuming, shaking out rugs, etc. and had a great time. It’s so nice to know that if we need to get something done around the house, we can always put her in the carrier and she’ll be content to go right along with us.

Mama with the carrier.
Mama with the carrier.
Daddy and Bonnie
Daddy and Bonnie

The week at the cabin was lovely.  Betsy and the kiddos got to stay for the full week for the first time – ever?  Maybe ever.  Matthew got to come up at the end of the week too and we all had a great time hiking, reading, eating, playing, taking lots and lots of pictures, and giggling.  I’m so grateful that we’ve been able to go to the cabin every year, even as we get older and get jobs and our schedules get more and more complex. Everyone in the family has held that week sacred, and every year I’m amazed and thankful for the opportunity to spend so much time together.

Pine cone baseball!
Pine cone baseball!
Kiddos at the stream.
Kiddos at the stream.
Cooking hot dogs at Fire Rock, just like Mama taught us.
Cooking hot dogs at Fire Rock, just like Mama taught us.
Teddy chowing down on some stream snacks.
Teddy chowing down on some stream snacks.
Hiking with Aunt Abby.
Hiking with Aunt Abby.
Sisters at the stream.
Stream sisters.
Adding Bonnie to the Miller family tree.

As I was reading with Bonnie in the sky chair on the deck, I remembered how sad I was last summer, thinking about the baby that we lost in June 2014.  Betsy was pregnant with Grazie and I had been so excited to be pregnant with her.  I remember cautiously thinking about Cabin 2015, and wondering if maybe we would be bringing a baby of our own, or if it would be my turn to be pregnant at the cabin.  I don’t think I ever truly believed that it would happen so quickly, or that it would be beautiful Bonnie in my lap just one short year later.  So much of pregnancy and babies is about waiting and planning and schedules and worry.  Then one day you look up and realize that God has given you everything you wanted, and all that worrying was for nothing.  It was a beautiful reminder that His timing is perfect and that I am as impatient as ever.

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