We survived. Flying with a baby and a toddler, for five plus hours. We endured screaming, some shrieking, and a few snide stares. I was prepared. I played the part of bag lady, with five different kinds of snacks, various stickers, books, toys, and even bandaids (Jocelyn said her heel had an owie and needed the whole box of bandaids to cure the hurt = Half an hour of fun/quiet).
Aja met her Grandmere. The girls met their great-grandma, cousins and aunts and uncles. There was a staircase to climb, and long hallway to run up and down, and we slept in every morning like we were on vacation.
The President was out of town on business, so we left the stuffed lion at home, but that did not stop us from seeing the DC sights. It was hot and humid--a far cry from the current California weather--but we still ventured out to the National Zoo, drove to Baltimore to see the Orioles play the Royals (one more baseball stadium checked off our list), spotted dinosaurs at the National Museum of Natural History, and watered plants and flowers in the Children's Garden section of the Conservatory of Flowers.
The girls loved the sights, but they loved their new extended family even more. I knew that the love would go both ways--as easily as I was welcomed into Khary's family--but it still softened my heart to see the cousins immediately love and care for my girls. Aja reveled in the fact that she had a whole crew to follow and play chase. Jocelyn got her first taste of a sleepover, curling up next to her cousins on the floor at night. She only lasted about an hour. I think she expected that they would all stay awake and play, but once they were sleeping, she was back at my side.