Well we managed a 6 hour road trip, sleeping away from home for a 3 nights and then another 6 hour drive back and we are all alive. The kiddo actually did pretty well on the way down there and I think that stopping in Houston for a few hours helped a lot. The drive back was a little more iffy, but it wasn't terrible. He was REALLY happy to be out of the car and back at his own house, though - we all were. He slept great the first night out of town, but the 2nd and 3rd nights were tough. He ended up sleeping in bed with me, which he NEVER does. Even when we've tried to have him snuggle and nap with us, he won't do it. He's always preferred to sleep in his own bed, by himself. I was pretty tired, but I got some naps, so it wasn't too bad. Truthfully he did much better than we expected and got right back on schedule when we got home.
He had a BLAST while he was there. The night we got there, he was so happy to be out of the car and in a new place that he was just cracking us up. There was a lot of yelling, laughing, waving his hands and playing with his toys. We stayed with J's aunt and uncle and Gage spent a lot of time talking to them, throwing their stuff around and having fun in their living room. He hung out with both of them outside, looking at squirrels and sitting on the swing. He really enjoyed spending time with them. We spent the majority of our first full day there at J's cousin's house - Gage went crazy playing on their floors. He took a good nap while we had lunch, but other than that, he partied his butt off. They have 2 boys who are 13 and 8 and Gage really liked them. They would get down on the floor with them and he would touch their faces and try to kiss them. He liked watching them play with their friends too - the big boy rough housing was very interesting to him. We spent the second day at J's aunt and uncle's house (with a quick visit to another of his aunt and uncle's) and Gage not only had fun, but took an insanely awesome nap during a thunderstorm. Afterward we were all hanging out on the back patio and he wanted to get into their yard so bad, but the mosquitos were coming out, so we headed back inside. Overall Gage really enjoyed visiting new people and crawling around in new places. He was a complete charmer, handing out the smiles and chatting everyone up. He was really cute and behaved so well. The sleeping wasn't great, but it worked out fine.
The first picture is Gage with his great uncle, the second is with J, the third picture is him hanging out with his favorite thing in their house - the air purifier, and the last picture is from today. He has really gotten into his image lately, so if I turn the camera on it and set it up so he can see himself, he loves it. He's also super into the mirror lately, he gets so excited and happy when he sees himself. We thought for SURE he would walk while he was in Orange, but it still hasn't happened. He will take one step and then he drops to the floor. He will do full squats to the floor without needing any support and he'll walk with just one hand on something, but he will NOT take an unsupported step. We'll see if it happens before his birthday. The chatter is hilarious now - it is clear that he truly is attempting to communicate with us, but we still don't know what it is he's saying. His new thing is to wave his hand in the air when he's talking to you, he really tries to illustrate his point with hand gestures. He's just go go go these days. If he's awake, he's crawling, standing, playing, yelling, talking or spinning. We have a lot of fun just watching him most of the time.
Just 11 days until that little monkey turns 1.