Both of A.’s parents visited this week, but at opposite ends of it! His mom was here at the start of the week to cover for our nanny while she was out of town. Then his dad got a flight instruction gig that brought him here for a night, so he got to see Ari too!
In the middle of the week, Ari and I took Amtrak to meet up with my family in Olympia for dinner and to stay overnight at my aunt and uncle’s house. I didn’t want to do four hours of driving by myself with Ari in the backseat with no one to entertain him. The train worked out great! If you’re traveling with a baby you’re allowed to bring more than the two-bag carry-on limit. I was going to take the stroller with the car seat attached so I could put our bags in the bottom of it, but when I parked at the station ($9 overnight parking!), I realized I didn’t have the attachment piece to put the car seat on the stroller. Fortunately I had the Ergo carrier, so I put Ari in the carrier, put my purse and the diaper bag over one shoulder, and carried the car seat with the other bag in it with my other hand.
On the way up, there was assigned seating, and they put me in a single seat that had a wheelchair space next to it so I could put Ari’s seat on the floor next to me. We were quite comfortable! I got a little studying done but mostly I texted people and took pictures… We also walked to the dining car and I got a vegan burger. On the way back, they didn’t have assigned seats but the conductor was looking out for me and sat us at a table where he said no one would take the seat next to me, so Ari’s seat went there. There were some Amtrak executives across the aisle and I chatted with them a bit – I should have told them that I and other people I know would use Amtrak a lot more if we could bring our dogs! At least the little dogs in carriers should be allowed, I think. There were two or three service dogs in my car on the way up!
Anyway, on the way back Ari had a blowout poopy diaper (lately he’s been pooping only once every day or every few days!) so we got to try out the changing table in the accessible bathroom. Then he sprayed pee while I was changing him. Fortunately the bathroom was small enough that I could wipe off the floor and wash my hands while still keeping a hand on him on the changing table. The whole experience would have been much harder on an airplane or even in a gas station bathroom!
When we got off the train, the conductor insisted on carrying all my stuff off the train, then into the station, then across the street and through the parking lot to my car. Wow, that was a big help!
Ari was fun this week. He’s been more smiley and giggly and interactive. He entertained my family for quite a while when we went to Olympia. He loves blowing raspberries and having raspberries blown at him. He’s figured out how to suck his thumb and often prefers that to the pacifiers now. It’s usually his left thumb; maybe he’ll be left-handed? He’s also gotten more interested in his Sophie the Giraffe and better at holding onto it/her. Andrew’s interested in Sophie too, but he doesn’t try to take her!
He’s also been pulling hair a lot more, and he’s got quite a grip!
Here we are on the train to Olympia:
Here is some of the beautiful scenery:
Here is Ari with my grandma:
And with my mom:
Here we are in the train station before leaving Olympia:
And on the train back to Portland:
And on a walk yesterday – he fell asleep with Sophie in his mouth!
Four months old!