I really fell down on my job as a mother this Halloween. I don’t know what happened exactly, but time got away from me. I’m usually such a planner, and on any other day I would have had my child’s Halloween costume planned months in advance.
Dan must have sensed that I wasn’t taking care of this, so about a week before the big day he showed up with a bunny costume. It was precious. He hung it in the living room (actually, it’s still there now) and Brittain got much enjoyment out of talking to the costume. She would frequently crawl up to it during the day and say, “Hop, hop.” Based on this, we figured she was going to love this costume. However, after a couple of different days trying to actually put it on her, we soon realized that this was not going to work. What now?
The Monday before Halloween, Brittain and I went to visit Ashley and Savannah Hardie. Savannah is Ashley’s daughter, and when Brittain was born they lent us tons of clothes to get us through those first few months. We went there to return these and also get the next size up! (She has saved us by letting us borrow these clothes). While we were there, Ashley pulled out a butterfly costume that Savannah had worn a few years back, and asked if we wanted to borrow it. Yes! This was going to be it. The only problem was that she had misplaced the purple tights that came with it. Darn!
I went home and told my mom about the costume and about the missing tights. I called around a few places inquiring of their tights colors, but no one seemed to have purple. Mom suggested dying a pair, as if I was going to do that. The night before Halloween, mom and I went to Wal-Mart at 10:00 and bought purple dye. She volunteered to dye them. The next day, I ran by my parents house and there were the purple tights! I ran home and we quickly got Brittain dressed to go on our trick-or-treat outing, which consisted of visits to both sets of grandparents’ houses. It was plenty of fun for Brittain, and we still made it home by bedtime!
Brittain wasn’t a big fan of the hat, but we were able to catch a few shots:
“Brittain, YOU don’t want to wear the hat? Okay, well Daddy will”:
She even got to give out candy to the trick-or-treaters at Mimi and Duke’s:
This weekend was strange. Most of the time if Dan is working on a Saturday and Sunday, there is someone in the family who ends up being at my house visiting on at least one of those days. But, this weekend was different because not only was Dan working, but my parents were going to Atlanta for a wedding shower, and Aunt Susan was going to be in Italy. On Thursday night Cecilia called me and asked what our plans were. Well, we didn’t have any! And, oddly enough, she and Matt didn’t have any plans either (which is rare). So, Brittain and I made a last minute decision to take a road-trip to Athens for the weekend to visit her Aunt CC and Uncle Matthew. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect weekend away. I got to spend some time with my favorite sister (I know, I know, she’s my ONLY sister) and her sweet husband, I got to spend some alone time on Saturday shopping, and Brittain got to spend time with (and be spoiled by) her aunt and uncle.
It’s amazing the joy I have found in watching things that bring Brittain happiness. Sometimes it’s things you wouldn’t expect and then sometimes it’s things that you KNOW will make her happy.
When we left that Friday afternoon, my Tahoe was filled to the top with a pack-n-play, a stroller, a wagon, toys, and clothes. By the time I packed her stuff, I decided to just use all of Cecilia’s things for myself because I knew there was barely going to be enough room for us to sit. I set the GPS, put in Brittain’s favorite Baby Einstein DVD, and we headed for Athens. The first part of the trip was pretty good, but the last 45 minutes were complete torture. Brittain was tired, hungry and sick of being in her carseat. And, watching Baby Neptune for the 10th time was NOT making her happy anymore. We FINALLY made it, and we were still in one piece. I was tired…and stressed, but it was all worthwhile to me when I saw the look on Brittain’s face when she saw her Aunt CC.
Because Brittain had had a pick-me-up nap in the car on the way over, there was no chance she was going to sleep anytime soon, so she hung in there with us that night until midnight! It was a party to her and she was determined to take advantage of it until the bitter end.
The night we arrived:
On Friday morning, Cecilia emailed me and asked if there was anything she could get at the store to have at her house for us. I started out with the staple – whole milk, but then my list got longer. I ended up listing the necessities: bananas, crescent rolls and cheese. When we arrived that night, Cecilia had cooked the crescent rolls and had a piece of cheese ready for Brittain when she walked through the door. Not sure if it was because she ate an entire tin of Graduates Crunchers on the way, or because she just couldn’t concentrate on eating, but Brittain ended up trying to feed the majority of it to her aunt:
Matt and Brittain had an instant connection right from the beginning, so I love watching both of their faces when they are together. Brittain clearly likes people who aren’t afraid of acting silly, and you can tell by these next few pictures that Matt definitely isn’t afraid of that!
The next day was the Red Sox World Series game. This is SERIOUS business to Uncle Matthew. Here, Matt gave Brittain his lucky baseball to hold. He just knew it would bring the Sox good luck (and he was right)!
On Saturday, Cecilia and Matt volunteered to keep Brittain while I went out for a while. It was a wonderful break for me and I loved knowing that she was being well taken care of and that Brittain was also having a great time. After about 5 hours being away, I walked back in to a living room clearly in distress. There were toys EVERYWHERE, a big cardboard box they had pulled out for her to play in, and Brittain crawling around in nothing but her diaper – and as happy as could be. She was also saying “Matt” over and over again and frequently crawling up to Matt so they could both say “cheese” to each other with a funny looking grin on their faces.
That Saturday was the day of games. The Georgia-Florida game came on that afternoon and the Red Sox game was that evening. Brittain loved the cheering aspect of the game. Whether she knew Cec and Matt were cheering for what was on the TV or cheering for her, she decided she also wanted to be a part of it. Each time Matt would jump up to cheer, Brittain would also throw her hands up and say, “YAY!” And, if there was a span of time where he wouldn’t cheer, she would suddenly say “yay” anyway.
Between games, Cecilia, Brittain and I drove to pick up dinner. On the way, Cecilia decided she wanted to go to K-Mart to get Brittain “a little something.” Now THIS was funny. While she held Brittain, the two of them went down each aisle of toys as Cecilia watched to see which toy Brittain pointed to and liked the best. I’m sure you can imagine what happened. Cecilia walked out of there with not one, but three different toys that apparently Brittain couldn’t live without. The funniest part was even though Brittain had seen and briefly played with each toy in the store, she was surprised all over again once we got home and handed each one to her. The look on her face was as if she was just seeing them for the first time:
There are a group of pictures that I took the day we left that I hate I couldn’t post on here. As I was loading the car, Cecilia gave Brittain a bath and decided to let her crawl around in the nude. I warned Cec of the consequences, but she let her do it anyway. I got quite a few hilarious shots during this time, but felt a little funny posting them for all the world to see. So, you’ll just have to trust me…they are priceless!
We love you, Matt and Cec. Thanks for letting us visit and for being such great hosts!
The life of Brittain, surrounded by the people who love her so dearly: