Last month, Serenity and I took the train from Chicago to Wichita, to visit my sister Tina and her family. She’s not really my sister, but we’ve known each other since I was four and she was eight, and have been close our whole lives. We consider ourselves family, so we finally said “what the heck” and started calling each other “sister”. I’ve been Aunt Alena to her kids for years, and now she’s Aunt Tina to my daughter.
The last time I was in Kansas, I found out I was pregnant with Serenity. No kidding! First day there, exhausted from the 15 hour trip (and morning sick, though I didn’t know it), and Tina pestered me about testing until I finally relented and did it just to shut her up. #lol And guess what? POSITIVE. After four years of nothing. Well, “nothing” plus losing almost 40lbs in six months, and radically changing my diet!
Poor Serenity did not have a very good train ride on the way down to meet her new relatives. The poor girl woke up the morning of our trip with a 102.4 degree fever. It responded well to Infants’ Advil, and she seemed like her normal self, so we decided it was most likely related to teething (she’s working on all four of her canines). Nick took us to the bus station in Rockford to head into downtown Chicago, and we hoped for the best. Unfortunately, we didn’t get “the best” – we got lots of crying instead. Thankfully, she also slept most of the way. The one perk of traveling overnight, even if we did have to get off the train at 3am.
Tina has seven children, and another on the way. It was a full house! Thankfully, they have this incredible dining room table (pictured, above), so we were all still able to eat together comfortably. It’s got thirteen leaves that aren’t even in the table right now!
Tina and I took the kids to a local park one afternoon. We had a blast! Selina and Seth are the oldest, at eight – they’re twins – and they were so good with Serenity, helping her on the slide, and actively involving her in their play. Serenity adores her “Deedee” and “Buddy”. ?
After the crazy winter we just survived, Kansas spring was a balmy 75 degrees, and lovely! It was so nice to be able to spend time outside, and Serenity couldn’t get enough. Truthfully, neither could I. ?
Eva turned six right before our visit, and Natalina turned one while we were there. Since Serenity’s 2nd birthday was only a couple of weeks away, Tina and I decided to give the girls a joint birthday party!
Unfortunately, Serenity was still feeling yucky, and she kept melting down. Not getting to eat the “keck” as soon as she saw it didn’t help.
It was a fun party! Tina got all of the girls tutus and fairy wings, and the boys got cool hats. Her older children decorated the house with streamers and balloons, and her husband, Tyler, cooked up a delicious meal for all of us before going to work. We almost lost the cake when Natalina somehow managed to crawl up onto the table, and tried to help herself! #lol
Thanks to a combination of Infants’ Advil and homeopathic remedies, Serenity was able to enjoy our visit, for the most part. Tina’s family is on a much later schedule than we are, so we took a lot of morning walks together. They live out in the country in a pleasant area, and Serenity had a blast picking up “rock babies” every day!
Have you ever been to Kansas?
How far do you have to travel to see loved ones?
Disclosure & About Our Sponsor: I received a complimentary sample of Infants’ Advil from Smiley360 for review consideration. Infants’ Advil is suitable for babies and toddlers ages 6-23 months old. We received the Dye-Free version in White Grape, and I was thrilled because we do not use artificial food dyes in our home if at all possible (say no to #nastychemicals), and the dye-free medicines are the only versions I’ll use with Serenity. I try not to use conventional medicines whenever I can avoid it, but it’s nice to have this on hand if she’s not responding to homeopathics, or if her fever gets high enough that I want to bring it down a little (it’s a good idea to let a low grade fever run its course, as it’s part of a healthy immune response to illness). Infants’ Advil is supposed to last for up to 8 hours per dose, and I found that this is pretty accurate. You can pick up Children’s Advil products at any major chain store, and most smaller stores, too. Connect with them online on their website and on Facebook. All opinions in this post are my own, and are honest, but I am not a medical professional and this advice is not intended to replace that of a doctor. To learn more about our policies, please check out our Disclosure.