A super busy month; I can't even describe accurately how my head is spinning.
Lilly and I took our impromptu trip to Disney World the first weekend of the month, and it was great - as usual. If I had to spend anywhere with Lilly for the rest of my life, just us two, it would be there - because it's so easy to hang out with her there - she's not a child to me, she's a companion who's exploring whatever is going on as much as I am. The bathrooms are always clean, the kids meals are always good and often nutritious, and between the rides and entertainment, we always have smiles on our faces. It made it even better that we were there with Lilly's cousins and my parents - Lilly had such a great time. I can't say enough positive things about the Polynesian as well - especially the Club Level rooms - the food is plentiful (although at the end I just wanted a "real meal" instead of snacks) - the pools are great, the views are spectacular, the location is ideal, and having suprises like the movie "Tangled" on a big screen on the beach at night is something that Lilly still talks about.
On the Sunday of that weekend, we were back and hanging out with Lilly's oldest boyfriend Julian (they've been "dating" since they were born, and are so sweet with each other - they truly have a special bond) and his younger brother Lucas. Meanwhile, Jon and I got to hang out with their parents and had a great time at Bryant Park. The kids enjoyed running around, playing soccer, reading books, having a picnic, and going on the carousel a number of times. We took the subway to Little Italy for a touristy version of "Authentic" Italian, and overall had a great day.
The following Thursday, NYC schools had a holiday so my niece came over for a sleepover and to hang out with Lilly all day. Chilling with her cousins will be the number one thing that Lilly will miss about NYC. (Closely tied with Broadway, of course.) The weather was 95 degrees, so we did a nice little excursion to see Kung Fu Panda 2. I hated it, the girls loved it.
On that Thursday night, we had Jon's celebratory fellowship graduation dinner. It was in the Penthouse suite of a hotel, and it was great to celebrate another accomplishment - of Jon's career, of the end of professional training, of the last time we'll live somewhere for just a year (I hope!). It was a black tie event, so Jon had on a tux, and I was dressed up in a gold dress.
The next day, Friday, we had Lilly's last dance class - bittersweet. She so enjoyed dancing at Downtown Dance Factory in Tribeca - especially since her cousins took classes there too - and it was hard knowing that the phase is over, and we'll have to search hard to find something just as good in Bethesda! (Lilly still doesn't fully realize it's over - she keeps asking to go to dance class.)
This past weekend, Jon was on call. On Saturday, I took Lilly to swimming lessons. She has become such a little fish in the water! I'm so proud of her progress. Afterwards, since it was just the two of us, we took our time coming back home. We stopped first for a slice of pizza, and had a nice little lunch date, just the two of us. It was drizzling so we didn't go to the park, but instead I decided it was mommy's day to teach my girl about shopping. We went to an Ann Taylor where Lilly helped me pick out a pair of shoes - and was actually helpful! Then we went to Victoria's Secret and my little girl proudly took one of their black shopping bags and counted - one by one - to 15 as she loaded it up with cotton underwear, picking out all different colors and patterns. She was quite proud of herself, and took the bag to the counter. I let her pay with my credit card - and I've never been so proud of such excellent swiping skills - although maybe I should be concerned - (she does have a way of stealing money out of my purse already). She proudly took the pink shopping bag full of her purchases and on the walk home, showed everyone we passed: "Look at my underpants!"
Sunday, Jon was on call as well, but work wasn't busy. So, in the afternoon, he took Lilly out with her best friend and her dad, and they went to the Empire State Building and to the park. Then, Jon got half price tickets to the off Broadway Gazillion Bubble Show for the afternoon. Meanwhile, I cleaned and grocery shopped for the week.
This week has been really busy with work - my part time hours are creeping towards full time, which is making me tired from working at night plus all the stuff that needs to be done - like taking care of Lilly after school, figuring out the logistics of our upcoming move, etc.
Lilly had a great Monday - she had speech therapist with a "substitute" and I was so nervous - Lilly sometimes has a mini breakdown in leaving speech - but she was perfect and just so proud of herself that she did such a great job. She had a great session the week before with her regular therapist, so we are making huge progress.
Tuesday, we went to the ENT and he pulled out HUGE amounts of wax out of Lilly's ear - plus one of her tubes that was stuck within the wax (not actually in place to be helpful anymore). She also did a hearing test, which she mostly passed, except one side was slightly less than normal for one portion of it. It could be due to a little fluid in the ear, or it could be something more - so we'll recheck in 3 months, and worst case, they put tubes back in.
Yesterday, Lilly developed quite a cough, and she stayed home from school and I took her to the doctor - who said Lilly is fine - but the appointment wasn't until almost noon, so she had to be home from school all day. But, because she wasn't at school getting dirty, I let her wear one of her new Tea Collection dresses - I cannot say enough positive things about this clothing line. It is gorgeous, the clothes are soft and fit well, and I got a number of items on sale recently on their website and everything is just perfect. Plus, the clothes are Barcelona inspired, which, as we all know, is our destination just 31 days from now...
Anyways, back to Lilly's cough: random advice, but we've found that the best thing for a nonstop-can't-catch-her-breath-cough is actually cold air. We literally stick her head (and ours with her) into the freezer for a couple minutes before she goes to bed, and keep the air conditioning on high in her room. I think it reduces the swelling in her throat and stops her from coughing as badly. (Trust me, we've done everything from nebulizers to steroid shots to er visits, and this is the best remedy: we actually realized it from going to the er a couple winter nights, and by the time she was out in the cold air, she had no symptoms by the time we arrived at the hospital.)
But last night around 2 am, she was coughing a lot, and we put the cold air on high, and then as I was putting her back to sleep, I realized I left a load of laundry in the dryer - in the community laundry room at our apartment complex - so at 2 am, I decided as both a diversion in Lilly's coughing, and also because I wanted to make sure we got her precious duvet cover back in our house - we walking down the hallway and got the laundry. Lilly was thrilled to be up while it was "dark" and help mommy with such an important mission.
Today I'm busy with work, Lilly's at school, and my parents and niece and nephew are arriving from Atlanta this afternoon.
Tomorrow (Friday) is Lilly's "at school" birthday party. We're ordering pizza for the class, giving out goody bags that my mom put together (thanks!!) and at some point today I need to find cupcakes for Lilly's friends.
This weekend, we'll spend time with my parents, niece and nephew from Atlanta, sister and nieces downtown, and sister and brother in law and nephew from New Jersey.
Saturday, we have 10 tickets to Mamma Mia for Lilly's birthday celebration - in lieu of a real party, this is what really will blow her away this year - all her cousins and aunt and grandparents and Jon and I, going to see her favorite Broadway play. What could be better?
Sunday, my parents drive back home, and we have tentative plans with one of my oldest friends and his wife.
Monday is Lilly's actual 5th birthday - I can't believe it - and there will definitely be a post at some point about how amazing the past 5 years has been. It is also her preschool graduation. I don't know what exactly they're doing for it, but Lilly started singing - and signing - "Lean on me" last night, so I'm assuming that is part of it! Can't wait to be in the audience and watch my girl graduate (yet again - she got to graduate from her Cville preschool last year as well).
Next Friday, we pack Lilly up for her last day in NYC (at least being a resident of this city) and we all fly to Atlanta. Saturday is my best friend Melanie's wedding. Sunday, Lilly stays in Atlanta while Jon and I drive a car up to NYC so that we have a car up here to move to Bethesda.
That week, Lilly-less, we will pack up our apartment and get ready to get the heck out of this city! While we are gone in ATL the prior weekend, Lilly's babysitter is coming to take most of our furniture out of the apartment to set up her new apartment - and a doorman and a handyman in our building are taking a few other things. So our apartment will be somewhat empty our last week. On Wednesday, we move our remaining things - beds, clothes, books, toys, etc - into a Uhaul van. Thursday, since we hate being childless for too long, we will take my niece with us in the car and Jon will drive the van and we'll head to Bethesda! We'll do the house walk-through (where I actually see the house for the first time!), drop off the van, and drive on to Charlottesville. We'll hang out with friends that night, pick up 2 tv's, and early the next morning open up our storage unit so our big move can start.
So that Friday - July 1 - we will move into our house in Bethesda. We'll still have my niece, and my parents will drive up later that day with my other niece and - most importantly - Lilly! We'll spend the weekend unpacking and settling in to our new house. At some point we'll need to buy a couple mattresses and living room furniture. And, if we're lucky, a trampoline or something for the backyard.
My parents and nieces will leave July 4 morning, and that night we already have plans with Lilly's (hopefully) new best friend, Sammi. The girls played together a couple months ago and had a great time - so I am happy that we'll be moving relatively close to her family in the DC area.
Then, for the next couple weeks, we get to just hang out and enjoy our new house. Hopefully find a pool and a good playground. We might make a trip to Savannah to see the person who arguably has more busy-ness going on than me - my sister who is close to giving birth to triplets! And, getting packed for our upcoming trip...
July 17 we leave for Europe! An overnight flight from Baltimore via Philly to Barcelona, then two nights spent in Barcelona before boarding the July 20 Mediterranean Disney Cruise for 10 nights! We are finalizing plans, but at this point we're going to see the Blue Grotto in Malta (anyone who has been on a Turkish Schooner and visited Gozo please let me know if that is a better plan!), a farm visit in Sicily, the best pizza in the world in Naples, a jam-packed private tour in Rome, a tour of Portofino and Santa Margherita (including yet more pizza) from the port of La Spezia, a laid back beach day in Corsica (celebrating my 30th birthday!) and exploring Villefranche and Monaco on our last port day.
By the time we get back to the states late July 30, we will be exhausted. We'll have one day to recover before Jon starts work August 1. Then, Lilly and I tentatively have no plans at all for August (we might find a day camp for Lilly, in which case I'll work that month, but at this point it's up in the air) and she starts school at the end of the month.
Then, I might find time to breathe once again. :)