Tuesday, August 20, 2013

If this post wasn't an example of why people should use outlines when they write, I'd probably call it "Getting to Jackson"...

It is ironic that I haven't posted about our trip to Jackson, Wyoming, because this was our first trip to the mountains where we actually had reliable internet at the cabin.  When we have gone to Colorado in the past, all blogging was done from a variety of coffee shops in the general vicinity of Durango, Silverton and Ouray.  So, technically, I could have easily posted about our trip as it was happening.  But, for whatever reason, that didn't happen.  Probably because I was so exhausted and "down time" meant "nap time" for all of us in the G-wink clan.  Also, because Trevor and I were in bed by 8:30 every night.  Vacation with a toddler really isn't a vacation at all.  Relax?  Hahaha, surely you kid!  I brought two books and my Kindle with me, and didn't read a thing!
But first thing is first:  We left DFW on July 28th in the late afternoon.  I had been dreading the flight ever since we booked it back in May, because it happened to coincide with Banner's witching hour (a.k.a. the end of the day fussies).  Plus, it was his first commercial flight in a pressurized plane and we weren't really sure how he (or his infection-prone ears) would react. 
We tried to plan.  We really did.  Even though we've been done with pacifiers for months (with the exception of the wubbanub when falling asleep at night), we broke the pacis out of storage for the flights to/from Jackson.  We figured sucking might help his ears pop during take off and landing.  We even bought him a grilled cheese, fruit and fries from one of the restaurants across from our departure gate, because the flight coincided with his usual dinner time and we hoped the allure of melted cheese, ketchup and French fries (which he hardly ever gets) would distract him from not being able to move around much on the airplane.
Hey, I'm not above bribery!
There were also toddler friendly apps loaded on the family iPad and plenty of games and toys in the diaper bag.  Not to mention the fact that we bought our favorite little booger his very own window seat despite the fact that children under two can fly free.  Seriously:  Trev and I thought we had this.
And, well...despite all efforts, the flight was quite possibly the LONGEST two hours and forty five minutes of our lives.  Granted, I've been on planes with children who acted much, much worse, and - in the grand scheme of things - Banner really wasn't THAT bad.  But he was just fussy enough to be supremely annoying.  I wish I could have bought everyone in a four row radius of us a glass of wine, ear plugs and a relaxing shoulder massage.  They earned it.
Especially that teenage girl who played peek-a-boo with Banner for at least half the flight.  She has a special place in Heaven waiting for her.
Also, in case you were wondering, Banner was pretty much uninterested in everything we had meticulously planned as inflight entertainment.  Best laid plans, right?  He didn't suck on his paci once, he turned up his nose at the dinner we purchased for him (preferring his usual crackers and squeezies over grilled cheese and fruit.  But, of course, we didn't pack in enough of either to qualify as "dinner"), the iPad apps held his attention for maybe a combined three minutes and all the toys and games in his diaper bag ended up quickly scattered about on the floor and under the seats in front of us (but otherwise ignored). 
Looking back on the flight to Jackson, it is very possible that Banner's ears were already bothering him (he would have a nasty infection by the weekend), and it wasn't helping matters that all four of his canines decided to start coming in the day we left.  I guess AIRPLANE HELL is just one of those rights of passage that all parents go through at one point or another with their young children.  At least everyone around us seemed to be understanding and it didn't hurt that this view and a bottle of wine was waiting for us once we landed:

And, for his part, Banner was a perfect little angel for the next several days after we arrived.  He slept 14+ hours a night (BLISS!), put up with his parents dragging him all over town as we explored, shopped and stocked the fridge for the next week and a half of adventures in Jackson Hole.  He really does try so very hard to be a good boy.

And overall, traveling with him was pretty easy, and I loved getting to spend so much time with my little guy uninterrupted.  You notice more when you are with someone 24/7.  For instance, Banner's vocabulary.  Maybe it was just that we were spending so much time with him that Trevor and I became more fluent in Banner's version of English?  Or maybe, at almost 19 months, his language skills are beginning to explode forth?  Either way, it was simply amazing to hear the little guy get his point across.  New words while on vacation include: baw-ll (ball), bod-ee (birdie), free (tree), sheet (sit), a-pain (airplane), out, up, go, and move.  And those are just the ones I can remember.  I swear he is learning new words and phrases every day (my favorite is when he refers to himself as "I bay-bee").  Melt my heart!
In fact the only word we can't figure out sounds a lot like "money".  He even points (at nothing) when he says it.  Trevor thinks "money" is his imaginary friend.
But back to (successfully) getting his point across while on vacation in Wyoming:  Banner started bring us the car keys when he wanted to go somewhere, dutifully put his clothes (and mine and Trevor's) in the hamper in the master bedroom after an outfit change, and announcing "I poo-poo" while pointing at his diaper.  And, much to our surprise, he actually HAD pooped his pants most of the time!  Say what?!  Maybe he will be potty trained before he goes off to college after all!

But new words have also come with a fierce desire for independence.  He wanted to walk/hike/explore on his own.  There were these walk/bike paths around the golf club where we stayed, and Banner wanted to choose which ones to take where as we learned our way around the neighborhood.  He is one opinionated little sucker. 

Wonder where he gets that from?  ;P

Unfortunately, the doors to the cabin would unlock automatically when you opened them from the inside.  Which meant that Banner (who has never met a door knob he hasn't mastered) would let himself outside while mom and dad were busy putting away groceries or going to the bathroom.  Luckily, we always noticed immediately and he never got far.  But it wasn't long before we had most of the cabin door's barricaded from the inside.  Thank goodness the trip didn't coincide with him figuring out how to climb out of the pack-n-play.  Lordy!

Banner is also very into animals and the noises they make.  There were stagecoach rides on the Jackson square, and he loved pointing and neighing at the horses at every opportunity.  He also roared - unprompted - at every bear carving we saw, and called the moose statues "moos". 

But if you could get him to tell you what his favorite animal is, it would be a dog.  No question about it.  If you ask him what sound a doggie makes, he will say "ruff, ruff".  However, if he sees a dog walking down the street (and Jackson was extremely canine friendly), he would exclaim, "ALLEY!"  If Banner missed anything while we were in Wyoming, it was Gypsy, Alley and Haskell.  It is funny how pets are truly members of the family. If I have one regret it is that it hasn't been possible for our pups to join us on vacation for the last two years.  Not that they minded.  They get to go to camp and chase cats.  But still, I'm pretty sure all creatures - two and four legged - can appreciate this view:

Not to mention THESE temps:

Dallas was 100+ every day we were gone.

I'm going to wrap up this post now because it is a rambling mess of disjointed memories from the first 36 hours of our trip combined with some sort of weird Banner vocab update at (almost) nineteen months.  This is the problem when I have a lot to say - I get distracted.  Unfortunately, my brain exploded somewhere between starting this post and writing this sentence, so now I have no idea how to fix it.  So...I'm just going to go with it and pretend that it works.  Because, you know, denial and I are besties.

And, hey...at least I STARTED.  I almost left it at "Hey, we went to Jackson for 10 days.  Banner got sick but the Tetons were beautiful.  The end."

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