so we flew to dallas and then drove with my parents to my grandmother's place in perry, oklahoma for american thanksgiving. flying this time, my parents were generous enough to pay for signal to have his own seat, so we got to travel with him in his car seat on the plane. he made good friends with the back side of his car seat (which, of course, he never gets to see) while we were waiting to board in toronto. he even shared his haba teething ring with the britax - such a generous little boy!
once we arrived in dallas, we went to the first of many super wal-marts (we needed to get signal some food). they have very exciting flavours of baby food in america - foods that they don't have here in canada. like "carrot apple mango" by gerber. boy, was that orange! after wal-mart, we made our customary stop at sonny bryan's smokehouse for a bbq supper. this time we got it to go and took it back to the hotel with us. mmmmmmm, bbq.
thursday morning, we went over to m'amie and pappy's house to play a little bit before leaving for oklahoma. signal got to ride his fantastic bouncy horse that my mom had picked out for him. pappy has all the photos of that incident on his camera, so you will have to wait for photos. suffice it to say, signal seems a natural on the horse - a function, perhaps, of his many ties (biological and otherwise) to texas. we named the horse sancho, and we are looking forward to many more rides in the future!
in addition to sancho, signal made friends with one of the baby dolls he found in the toy corner. he loved "baby," as we called her. she had a little pacifier all her own that signal took great delight in trying to shove into her mouth. if that did not work, he satisfied himself with sucking on it himself (tiny though it was!).
"baby" made the trip to oklahoma with us, where she spent a lot of time sharing her pacifier and letting signal shove his index finger in her mouth.
in oklahoma, signal got to see his gigi again - he first met her back in june when we visited. though a little reticent at first, signal quickly warmed up to his gigi (my father's mother).
gigi has one of those things that all little boys love - a bird! signal spent a lot of time talking to casper, trying to get casper to peck at him, and trying to steal casper's food. here you see signal and his cousin, m, conspiring to help casper escape his confinement.
signal got to see a LOT of family while he was in oklahoma. we don't have photos of everyone here, but we got some highlights. but first, this is who he got to see: m'amie, pappy, gigi, aunt p, uncle d, cousin c, her husband d, their girls m and m, aunt d, uncle h, cousin c, her husband b, pappy's cousin k, his wife p, and their kids t and l. that's 17 people in the course of 5 days, and most of them were on saturday, the day we all got together for the big thanksgiving meal! he was a trooper.
here pappy reads one of signal's perennial favourites, hop on pop by dr seuss (or "ha pa" when signal says it).
here pappy and aunt d marvel at signal's mad block skillz.
and here, uncle h and cousin c (the legs) play cups with signal. everyone loves cups.
more family. m, ru, signal, gigi, and signal's beloved diet pepsi (once he figures out how to twist things off, we're doomed).
signal, ru, m'amie and pappy - a family laugh.
an exhausted buddy finally succumbs to exhaustion and a saturday morning nap, after three days of NOT NAPPING AT ALL. i credit the super-cuddle skills of signal's other favourite doll, peter peanut (aka pierre arachide) with finally getting him to drop off.
our return trip to dallas was uneventful on sunday, but for the mad swing by the local whole foods market, where we stocked up on fruits and vegetables by the just tomatoes people. you can't buy them in canada, but signal basically responded to their just apricots as though they were uncut heroin, so m'amie is shipping a box of stuff back for us. here, signal begs m'amie for "more, more, more" apricots (his new ASL sign for "more" got a workout on this trip).
and here is signal, looking rather chipmunkish, with his cheek (the unbruised one) stuffed with apricots.
as always, now, there was only one thing missing from the trip, and that was my granddad (gigi's late husband). signal got one (of his many) middle names from granddad, but he was born about 18 months after granddad died, so they never got to have the pleasure of meeting. i am sure they would have loved each other. as it was, signal fell in love with a little oval picture frame with a photo of granddad in it. he spent many free moments at gigi's wandering over to the picture shelf to look at and pat the photo.
a belated happy american thanksgiving, everyone!