Sunday, September 02, 2007

Vacation Pictures

Pictures from our recent trip to Lake Chautauqua in Western NY to visit Brian's Family. and Kaitlyn's first trip on a plane (across the country).
Upon first getting to the airport , our stellar travelling companion fell fast asleep in the car even before we got to airport. This was NOT what we wanted to have happen. We wanted a tired baby AFTER we were on the flight. Brian took the car to park it...will you look at the amount of luggage the 3 of us have? 2 of these LARGE bags are just for Kaitlyn...and this doesn't include diapers or bed or high chair stuff, as Elissa is going to have all of that once we get there. Crazy: we had to pack: 2 Extra g-tube mickey buttons in case hers breaks, 3o syringes for food, 10 60 cc syirnges with leur-lock for water; 10-10 cc Synge's for medicine administrating, nebulizer machine, and all the medicine that goes with it, extra tubing (extension sets), burp( we call them vomit cloths), clothes, dry ice (after finding out I could take it on the plane wit ha doctor note). My worst fear was that we would be delayed somewhere and I wouldn't have food for her, so we brought on the plane in a cooler (carry-on bag) Bottle of Blended Diet, and enough frozen cubes to bet us through 2 days, her portable dvd player with power cord to recharge, extra of the special spoons she has to use to eat, 2 bottles of the hose-type made by Dr Patel so we can squeeze a small amount of milk into Kaitlyn, assortment of dvd's to keep her interest with different feeds. We haven't used DVD's for anything for feeding up this point, but figured I might also need them for plane distraction. packing list goes on: (regular stuff here: clothes, shoes, hair clips, diapers for plane and in case of delay, sunscreen, bathing suit, baby shampoo. Oh and I have to pack too?

Well, you get the point, our luggage was enormous! Not at all like last year during this time when Brian and I flew on a MUNCH needed vacation to celebrate my 40th birthday and our 3rd anniversary in Dominican Republic - solo. We were very lucky that Kaitlyn stayed at the most wonderful place: The George Marks House in the East Bay (Northern California)..

Anyways, we were off on our first Family Vacation to Lake Chautauqua in Western NY. This is an AMAZING Place that my in-laws have a 2nd home there. My mother in law worked feverishly all winter to expand the house so that her ever expanding family could all fit. Elissa (Brian's sister) and Mike (Elissas husband) planned it so that they would be there when we were. We were able to meet Cousin Stella for the first time. I'm actually an Aunt@ It's sad that we've never gotten to even meet my darling little Niece before she was 1 years old! Aunt Elissa came to visit her niece Kaitlyn 2 times (1 while we were still in the NICU and the other time we had just come home with Baby Kaitlyn finally).

We had a fabulous time on the trip, I hope you can tell by these pictures:

Kaitlyn decided the perfect time to nap was during the 45 minute ride in our car TO the airport. We couldn't wake her up, here she is sleeping in the parking lot while Brian went to get our car. Look how many bags we have! Goodness. Kaitlyn is OBSESSED with balloons...I mean really obsessed. If she sees one anywhere, she will follow that child and try to take his balloon, over and over. If we don't' find a balloon soon, we may well have other kids screaming. Luckily we found a ready balloon vendor nearby. This took place in the center guards of The Chautauqua Institution.

More pictures from the center of the Plaza. This is Brian and Elissa Tessier and their 2 daughters (cousins Kaitlyn and Stella). Kaitlyn is 6 months older than Stella, but they look very similar. Kaitlyn could do some things better than Stella and Stella could do some things better than Kaitlyn. It was a nice learning experience for the both of them. Kaitlyn hasn't been able to spend this much time with other kids. It was great! Look how much Brian and Elissa look alike...That's where I know Kaitlyn gets her looks - from her pappas side of the family.

Because she has a balloon, you are guaranteed lots of smiles! and her saying "baaalllloooo" very quietly, but she says it all right. When one balloon popped, she even started her 2 word sentences: "baba balllloooooo" Very very cute. You really have to listen hard to hear it, but it's just so sweet to hear her voice!

Some Family portraits (for the Holiday Christmas card). as it's unlikely that we would all be together again before the holidays.. From L to R: Brian, Kaitlyn, Liz , Markie (Margaret & Brian's mom),Ed (Brian's Dad), Elissa (Brian's sister) cousin Stella and Mike Tessier (Brian's Brother in law). I feel so lucky and blessed to have such an incredibly wonderful family. You always hear of just horror stories of in-laws. And I can more than honestly say I love my in-laws. They made our trip so amazing, welcoming. I feel very fortunate indeed. I just wish we lived closer!!!
A McCarthy Family Shot (with balloon of course)
We found matching outfits for the girls to take our family portrait shots...they were much more interested in causing havock back at home. Kaitlyn learned to Throw the fridge magnets across the room and started giggling when you told her to stop and pick them up. She never threw them before across the room, and she never defiantly did something you didn't' want her to do. Well there's some good here. Kaitlyn learned that behavior from Stella, and Stella learned from Kaitlyn how to put the letters back on the fridge. They were like little magnets themselves, learning so much from each other. It was really wonderful to experience.

Some more lessons, Kaitlyn knew how to Kiss (but not hug) and Stella knew how to hug and not kiss. Here they are working on practicing those new skills with each other.

The McCarthy Women! Kaitlyn, Liz, Markie, Elissa and Stella Tessier. Brian and I need to have a boy so the McCarthy name will carry on!
Another family shot, this one was taken in front of the Hall of Philosophy, one of the venues for lectures and is actually where Elissa and Mike were married just 2 short years ago (when I was pregnant and had just miscarried my triplet). It felt strange in some ways being back now, when I was here I didn't really leave feeling very well, I was so sad to have my miscarry happen during Elissa and Mike's wonderful celebration. I tried to suck it up best I could, but I was told I should stay in bed as much as possible...oh how I wish I knew then what was coming!

The Cousins causing mischief again!

Elissa had the great idea to let the girls do some finger painting....I think they had a lot of fun, but Kaitlyn (as always) is a little nervous around new things.Now they are starting to get the hang of this finger painting stuff! Painting Stellas Budda Belly!

we worked really hard to get this kiss on camera...only about 50 takes (thank god for digital cameras)

Kaitlyn's sensory issues flare up sometimes, (see above) but she did amazingly well with all of the new sensory overload...I was really pleased.

A nice shot of my in-laws with Kaitlyn! Boy do they miss her so!! Dr Ed was able to help us out with the feeding a bit (he's a Dentist), and so we got a few brief reprive. That was lovely.

Taking the girls swimming at Lake Chautauqua...Mame (Markie) is having a great time with Kaitlyn in her boat.
The girls looking at something very interesting in their boat, maybe dreaming of the next time they'll be there for the summer and they can be swimming about on their own!
Not an easy task to get them looking at the same place at the same time.
Mamas and their daughters Kaitlyn liked her inner-tube froggie
A little beach time play in the sand. Kaitlyn loves to dig up sand and put it in her bucket, over and over and over. It's great, I can actually sit on a towel for maybe, oh....5 minutes. (A reminder once again of how different life was before children). The beach was just a 5 minute walk from the home, so we were close by to go home to do the feeds every 2 hours.

Liz holding the Cousin's and loving it! Kaitlyn is signing "mama"

Not for long...

Dad, Kaitlyn and I in front of some of the cottages of Chautauqua

We did leave the Institution for a day and did a little country side driving around..Brian's Dad took over a few feeds so we could get away. We taught him what to do, and to expect vomit......We went to a place called LilyDale which is known for being the town that talks to the dead. Essentially it is a community of like-minded people, many of who are Mediums...they communicate with the passed. We actually tried to find an available one, as I wanted the opportunity to hear about Corinne's spirit, but there were no openings (I guess the Mediums were having their election day). We went to a "Stump Message Reading" which took place at this Inspiration Stump (we found out later we weren't supposed to stand on it) At this session the Mediums would come out and give messages to those in the crowd. I lost it a few times and was tearing up, I so wanted them to pick me, Brian thought I would be a for sure, with the tears and all, but no they choose him....and gave him a message from his great grandfather regarding hunting. (not it was a little suspect that Brian just happened to be wearing a camouflage hat)....

Any ways, this town is the largest place for the Practice of Spirituality. It was nice to visit it. I became quite emotional over the loss of Corinne and how much I miss her.

We then went to a nice local "diner" where we some at least 2 mullets (I wanted to take a secret picture, but didnt' know how to go about doing that).

After that we drove into the Amish country and purchased some Jam. A woman there told me that she had a preemie that was born 2 months early and was in the NICU for 2 months. My husband was surprised that they would even use hospitals at all. With their Dutch accent and their clothes, it was so foreign to me, but very interesting to see.

This is a picture of a family loading up hay bales (that they had bailed by hand) onto their horse drawn buggy. You don't see that out here in California.

Always nice to throw in a happy girl!

And a kiss to dad, with Stella watching (and learning)

A little book time reading from Auntie Elissa....We all had such a nice time together. I wish everyone wasn't so far away. I'd love for Kaitlyn and Stella to be able to grow up closer.

Poor Mike (Stella's dad) was very jelous of Kaitlyn's hair. I once even asked him if he wanted to put in her pig tails, as he'd need the practice!

Trying to get them to look in one dirction using water prompts
Kaitlyn has a nice soap mohalk! Look at all that hair Mike!
K and Stella having a great time together in the bath.

Walking down the red-brik walk from The McCarthy's house. Their house is a vintage cottage located right off the red-brick walk, just a few steps away from the Hall of Philosophy and the AMpithare were I was able to watch some great shows/speakers: Ballet, Symphony, Sandra Day O'Connor, A fiddler music group and more,a Pops Symphony,Judy Collins, I just can't remember right now. When you enter Chataqua for the season, you have to get a gate pass to access all of these events. Even if you own a home there, you still have to purchase a pass for the season. It's an amzing place that we on the west coast have never even heard of.
This was a nighly activity during one of the performances, just outside the Ampitheatre the toddlers were kept busy by teh grandparents, and we got to watch a bit of the s how. What a nice treat with toddlers.
In this picture, Kaitlyn is clearly saying, "now hurry up girls, you are pushing me too slowly!"
She is a very serious little car driver! It was craking me up!
Very serious!!

Finally, on a little down hill she let go and smiled and had a ball (with a lot of hands and cheers coaching her on!) Every time the audience clapped for a performance, Kaitlyn would clap too and try to figoure out what she did! It was too cute.

Markie pushing Kaitlyn, while She and Ed swing Stella. They are on cloud 9 having both their Granddaughters there.

Trying out the boat.
Brian and his Neice, Cousin Stella, already a great Steelers Fan!
Kaitlyn is puckering up to give Stella a kiss in this picture
Stella, the line-backer, is preparing to give Kaitlyn a hug! (or bowl her over)

Kaitlyn not looking too happy about one of the performances time to leave the Ampathatre....
It was raining, and Kaitlyn decided she was ready to play and splash in the puddles. BOy did she have a blast!

Stella was a bit timid about the whole water thing, but caught right on from her Big Cousin Kaitlyn!
They were both soakng wet and had a blast!

OK, to end on a sad note, Kaitlyn didnt' want to go home! As you probalby know, Kaitlyn rarely gets upset. I dont' remember now what this was over, but she looks so pitifually sad. I thought it was a good "ByeBye" picture...I'll Miss Grandma (Mame) and Grandpa (Gille), Cousin Stella, Auntie Elissa and Uncle Mike! We all had a fabulous time and miss you all already.


Stephanie said...

WOW! You got some really awesome pictures! Definately some for framing! Looks like K had a great time! Remember when she didn't like sand! How amazing that now she loves it!

Laura said...

what a wonderful vacation.
i love kaitlyn's boo-boo face. i'm glad you went or it, tubes and all, and enjoyed yourselves. you have a beautiful family.

Casey's trio said...


It looks like you had a lovely vacation with your extended family! Very happy to hear about Miss K's continued success with the feeds and all of that bonding she was able to get with the family. How wonderful for you all!

Big Ali said...

The finger pinting pictures were absolutely pricless! It looked like she had a great time.

Amy said...

What great memories. I love seeing her with her cousin! And you look like a hot mama in your bathing suit. Hell would have to freeze over before I'd put up pictures of myself in a suit.