Ah, vacation. We recently returned from our first family vacation since Daniel was born (I suppose last October's Chicago trip could count as his first vacation, but he didn't have much of a skyline view from inside my belly).
It was an adventure, to say the least. He bonded with his car seat (and did great on the long drives), was fascinated by all the creatures at Sea World (he seemed to prefer Shamu, but hey - who doesn't!?), and got to stick his little toes in the ocean sand for the first time. Fernando's parents joined us - and Daniel loved every minute of having his "Mema & Papa" along for the ride.
Just before we left, we learned Daniel had been exposed to RSV at his preschool (nasty respiratory infectious thingy) which kind of freaked us out about his already bad cold. So a quick trip to urgent care (that proved completely useless) and we decided to go ahead and go on vacation. Two days into the trip, 3 a.m. strikes and we all wake up to extremely scary noises from Daniel's room - poor kid just couldn't breathe right and was choking on all the junk in his airways. Thankfully there was a great Children's Hospital less than 5 minutes from our beach house. Seven hours later, he had been suctioned by this crazy machine that clears out your sinuses and had been given steriods to open his little throat back up. He was happy, we were happy. We celebrated at IHOP.
What struck me most on this trip was his rate of change. I think I mention how fast he's growing up in every posting ... you probably are sick of reading it, because I'm sick of writing it. But last week, seeing him all day every day, it was absolutely out of control. One minute he couldn't clap, the next minute he could clap, and would do so with glee whenever anyone said "Bravo!" One hour he couldn't pronounce certain syllables, and the next he happily named the Cubs hat, his favorite stuffed toy, and Fernando as "di-da!"
He has also grown quite attached to stuffed animals. Against all rules in the parenting manual (What? You didn't get a copy?) we now put all kinds of things in his crib at night. Blanket, stuffed toy attached to his pacifier, a few other stuffed animals (namely, "Tex" his long-horn steer, "Osito" his bear, "Diego" the turtle and "Zona" the rhino). And he loves them all. If you sneak in an hour after he's falled asleep, the kid is somehow holding on to or at least touching every single one of them.
I could write forever about the vacation details, but I'll spare you. Suffice it to say that we had an amazing time. We all re-fell in love with each other, took time to enjoy the little things - a rousing round of chinese checkers, a little wooden roller coaster, or just the shade of a really big tree - and have set the bar so incredibly high for family vacations that I'm kind of scared to start planning the next one. :)