Play Dates, Airplanes, and Alaska!

It has been SO LONG since I posted.  WordPress.com started sending me “we miss you” emails.  Yikes.  Sorry.  It’s been a busy past few weeks, but strangely enough, I didn’t take many pictures.  So, while not every playdate or trip to Crayola is captured, here are the highlights of the past two weeks (ha, highlights or whatever happened to occur while I had my camera ready!).

Jace likes to surprise me.  He’ll hide behind a wall, a door, a chair, and then jump out and yell when I get close.  The other day we played “surprise” with Jace hiding in the pantry.  The hiding spot completely fooled me, but Cuervo wasn’t quite so easy to trick….  The cats had no interest in searching for Jace.
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Once Adam got home, it was time to decorate for Christmas.  We put lights on the front of our house, hung our stockings, and decorated the tree.  The cats are thrilled to have their Christmas beds back again!
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Jen and Chloe came over for an arts and crafts day.  It was refreshing to see that Chloe eats just as much paint as Jace does during art projects.  Yay for non-toxic paints!
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Cuervo loves when Jace and Chloe hang out because it doubles the amount of table scraps he gets.
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That night we headed to the mall to pick up our last Christmas gift.  Jace was fascinated with the escalators.   He could have ridden up and down and up and down and up and down all night!  Eventually we convinced him to leave the mall so I could start packing.  The packing picture shows 80% of the contents of my carry on luggage.  It’s ridiculous how much stuff I needed with me!
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Jen and Chloe came back the next morning for a final play date before they took us to the airport.  Jace and Chloe are so cute together!  Sometimes they’ll both wander into the other room together.  Jen and I will peek around the corner and they’ll just be sitting on the floor next to each other reading a book or playing with toys together.  It’s great!
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We got dropped at the airport around 1pm and our adventure began.  Alaska is SO far away from Pennsylvania.  My goodness.  Before we’d even made it through security, Jace had become an official member of TSA (badge and everything) and been given his wings for Delta Airlines.  Not too bad!  He was all smiles in the terminal and had a great time watching our tiny dual-prop plane pull up to the gate.
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Our first flight was a short jump to Philly.  We spent 3 hours in the Philly airport.  My goal was to keep Jace awake so he would sleep on our 6+ hour flight from Philly to Seattle.  We made it til an hour before our flight before Jace fell asleep in my arms.  He woke up screaming as we boarded.  Not fun.  He cried (really loudly) for about 10 minutes, but calmed right down as soon as we started taxiing.  He slept most of the flight and was very quiet even when he was awake.  I think the people we were sitting near were pretty relieved!  We landed in Seattle and realized we were only two gates away from the playground.  Hurray!  There were no other kids on the playground in the middle of the night, so Jace had the place to himself for the full 2 hours.  It was fun and gave him a chance to use up some energy before sitting on a plane for almost 4 more hours.
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Finally, we made it to Alaska!  Yay!  It was around 18 hours of travel, door to door.  Jace is an AMAZING traveler.  I’m so lucky!  We got to my parents house around 3am.  That’s 7am in Pennsylvania.  Which meant Jace was ready to play!  He ran around for about two hours before being ready for some sleep.  Luckily Grandma was happy to play chase (and to play with the closet doors – the doors are huge mirrors and they slide and Jace was fascinated).

The next morning we woke up (eventually) and headed to the Infusion Center.  We saw McKinley on our drive.  Jace was pretty jetlagged.  He fell asleep on the drive.  Grandpa hung out with him in the car while he dozed.  When he woke up, he was still pretty low energy.  He didn’t want to explore.  Or smile.  And he spent the majority of Casey’s chemo infusion sitting silently in Grandma’s lap.
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That night Jace was too tired to stay up for dinner.  We fed him early, but he was still falling asleep in his high chair.  We skipped bath time and as soon as I laid him on the bed, he was asleep.  However, at 3am he was WIDE awake.  From the picture below, you can see that he can reach both the light switch and the door knob.  Jace let me know he was ready to play at 3am by flipping on the light and opening the door.  Great.  We played from 3am – 8am before Jace decided it was finally nap time.
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When he woke up he was in a much better mood.  He played the piano with Uncle Casey and then learned how to slide down the stairs with Grandma.  He loved it!  A few hours later, he was ready for his nap.
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The next day, Jace was on a more reasonable schedule, which made the next several days a lot of fun.

Grandpa dragged Jace around the yard on a sled.  Jace thought it was okay.  Then Grandpa let Jace walk around the yard, crunching snow and picking up ice chunks.  Jace thought that was great!
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Bailey’s parents came over to meet Jace.  He was shy at first, but then he warmed up.  By the time they were ready to leave, Jace was comfortable enough with them to bop them both on the noses and laugh hysterically about it.  Noses are still hilarious to Jace.  I don’t get it, but if he’s willing to bop you on the nose, you know you’re in!IMG_7834 IMG_7835

Uncle Casey kept Jace entertained with finger puppets on the drives to and from appointments.  One of Casey’s doctors actually has a great play area in the waiting room, which was fun for Jace.  Aunt Bailey had a new toy for Jace.  Jace loves pushing buttons.  Any buttons.  The new toy is a remote control and is covered in buttons.  It was a huge hit.
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Grandpa improved on the sled idea and put Jace in a laundry basket for his outdoor adventures.  The sides of the basket were great and kept Jace from tipping off the sled!IMG_7849

Jace helped us decorate for Christmas and played some pinball with Grandpa.IMG_7935 IMG_7893

Alaska was pretty, as always.  I took the first picture out the window as we were driving.  Ignore the blurry guard rail in the foreground.  The view up that valley is one of my favorite views in Alaska.  The next pictures are at the visitor center.  I had big plans to get some cute Jace pictures at the visitor center, but he fell asleep the second we put him in the car to head out there.  Oops!
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Before we knew it, it was time to go back to Pennsylvania.  Trips to Alaska never feel long enough!  Jace was NOT happy with me when I woke him up at midnight to head to the airport.  He cried most of the drive, but was fairly content by the time we were checking in.  There was no line for security, so we played around at the airport with Grandma and Grandpa for a while.  It was nice to spend more time with them and it was great for Jace to get to use up some energy.
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Jace is such a great traveler.  He’s incredible!  He was pretty awake when we boarded our first flight.  We had an entire row to ourselves (YAAAAY), so Jace did a lot of crawling around.  After about 90 minutes, he finally fell asleep.  An hour later he was up and ready to play some more.  When we landed in Seattle, we headed straight for the playground.  Jace loved it, although he insisted on carrying his new remote control all over the playground with him.  He slept a good portion of the flight from Seattle to Philly, and then was ready to explore while we were in the Philly airport.  Our flight kept getting delayed, so we ended up with a lot of time for exploring.  I’ve mentioned Jace’s love of buttons.  Well, he saw some buttons on the police cart and got very excited.  The officer was really nice and let Jace push any buttons he wanted.   Jace’s favorite button controlled the flashing blue light on the cart.  It was entertainment for a solid 30 minutes.
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Finally it was time to board.  We’d been crawling around in a zillion gates, we’d stopped for snacks, we’d done diaper changes in multiple bathrooms, we’d walked through several concourses.  We’d covered a lot of ground.  And then I noticed Jace was only wearing one shoe.  Oops.  Of course I notice this right as we’re boarding.  Soooo, the Philadelphia airport now has a cute little blue shoe somewhere.
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We finally made it home.  It was great to see Adam.  Jace fell asleep in the car on the 8 minute drive home.  He was straight to bed once we got in the house, then woke up about 5 minutes later when Cuervo got incredibly excited about playing with Jace.  Sigh.  So we played with the animals for 2.5 hours, then headed to bed again.  And Jace was so exhausted he slept from 11:30pm – 7:00am!  That’s 7.5 hours!  In his crib!  Straight!  It was AMAZING.  I should have gotten him up at 7am, but instead I pulled him into bed with me and we both fell asleep again.  I didn’t wake up until noon.  Oops.  I figured we’d skip nap and he’d be ready for an early bedtime.  WRONG.  Last night was a disaster.  His teeth are really hurting him (he was chewing on 7 fingers all at once, poor kid).  He slept from 8pm-10pm, then was awake from 10pm-5am.  UGH.  He slept from 5am – 10:30am, when I woke him up.  Hopefully he’ll nap today and then be ready for bed at a decent time?  I dunno.  A full day of travel and a 4 hour time change is rough on a toddler!  But I really can’t complain.  We had a great time in Alaska and Jace was incredible with the travel.  And he’s so darn cute too!
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One thought on “Play Dates, Airplanes, and Alaska!

  1. I love that’s he’s crafting, I mean eating, crafting with you!
    And your picture of all the items needed could seriously help other moms out there… And save it so you know what to pack for next time!
    Another great adventure! Can’t wait to see where or what Jace does next!

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