We flew out of Belo Horizonte on July 17, landed in Miami, flew to Chicago, and then ended the first part of our journey in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Gabs did awesome for the traveling - she just slept on all the flights. In between flights, we laid a blanket on the floor and let her stretch and play before loading her back into the car seat for the next leg of the journey.
Gabriela, Eric and me with his sister, Tanya, and her three girls
Nena and Papa (Eric's parents)
Not too long after arriving in Urbana, we got cleaned up and headed out for Ryan and Tammy's bachelor and bachelorette parties. Gabriela got to attend her first Bachelorette Party! (But she only stuck around for the supper-portion of the evening. Tanya offered to keep her the rest of the night so I could go out with all the girls and Eric could stay out late with the fellas. And that made Aunt Tanya Gabriela's first babysitter!)
Tammy's Bachelorette Party
One of the most fun parts of introducing Gabriela to the family was watching our nieces interact with her. She doesn't spend much time with other kids here in Brasil, so it was cute to see her with other people a little closer to her own size! Her cousin closest in age is Hannah who was 9 1/2 months old at the time - they will be in the same grade once they start school.
Madison just turned five. She is such a big girl and so helpful. Right away when we got there she wanted to hold Gabriela. It wasn't for too long though - she's a busy girl and had lots of other things to go do. :)
Kaylee just turned three in April, and I think she would have sat there holding Gabs all day if we'd let her. I'm not sure what Gabriela would have to say about that though . . . my kid wasn't really in the mood to be held the first time meeting Kaylee, but we let her hold the baby anyway. After getting Kaylee situated on the couch with a couple pillows around her, we put Gabriela in her arms. She gave the baby a great big hug (which sort of resembled a headlock) and rocked back and forth. As Gabriela started yelling in protest, Kaylee got a huge smile on her face and exclaimed in the most dramatic tone, "She LOVES it!!!" I didn't have the heart to tell her that wasn't exactly her cousin's happy noise, but I did suggest that maybe the baby wanted her Mommy right now.
My Mom and Dad flew out to Iowa for the wedding and, since Eric and I were both in the wedding, to babysit Gabriela for us. They got in Friday before the wedding and met Gabs and me for lunch (chicken lips - YUM!) in Burlington.
(Doesn't he clean up nice!)
(Wow, could we be showing any more teeth in this picture?!?)
I'm concentrating hard on fixing her dress (and apparently causing her pain? hehe)
Meanwhile, Ryan, her new hubby (with the white flower), is looking quite concerned.
We had a great, albeit quick, trip to Iowa this year. I decided summer is a much more reasonable time of year to be there than winter. And I don't think re-acclimatizing to the weather will be difficult at all when we move back . . . so long as we are only there during the months of May - September. If it weren't that we'd miss the number-one-man in our life so badly, the Brasilian and I would make our home in Brasil for the "frozen Iowa tundra" part of the year! :)