The motivation to get us on our first plane ride with the twins was a wedding; a glorious wedding, as it turned out, one that happened to fall on the twins’ birthday. And this wedding was a non-negotiable because it was the nuptials of one of my greatest friends of all time, and I was in it. It’s always good to show up when you’re a bridesmaid.
I did my fair share of fingernail chewing about having two infants on a plane, but it wasn’t nearly the endeavor it could have been because my entire family was traveling with us. They adore Amy and Brian too, so they were every bit as committed to getting there as we were.
Off we flew to Philadelphia (direct, of course. There IS no other way to fly with babies.)
Fun Twin Flying Fact: one cannot have two lap-babies in a row. Not just on one side, but all six seats across. So at any given moment, all seven of us had to ensure that we passed the babies forward and backward so as not to break this rule. Believe me, the stewardesses caught us more than once when we weren’t paying attention and the babies were adjusted accordingly.
Shocking no one more than me and Mike, the twins were virtually silent on the plane. Perfectly content, happy with the novelty of the new sights (and snacks). They didn’t cry once. It was some sort of air travel nirvana.
Once we arrived, we had the joy of introducing the babies to their extended family, some of whom they’d already met (thank you aunties and uncle for visiting!). The most important introduction was to my grandpa, the husband of Arden Charlotte’s namesake. I had been anticipating their meeting since the day they were born. I’m very close with my grandpa, so him meeting them was enormously emotional for me — it was like introducing the babies to a piece of my heart.
They also got to meet little Avery, the newest addition to the family, daughter of my cousins Amy and Joel. She’s so precious, and her hair makes my children green with envy — I mean, Arden won’t even acknowledge her.
We had so much fun with them all together. We plunged them into the pool in little floaties, because well, how could we resist this?
This was the twins’ first real swimming experience, and they were timid but grew to love it. Arden’s swim trick (Mike always holds her in the air and says “Swim swim swim!” and she does a perfect breaststroke that you wouldn’t believe) translated beautifully to actual swimming.
Feel free to stop me if you feel your heart giving out.
Since the babies cleared their first bite of cake at their birthday party the previous week, we felt it was only fair that they try the local specialty: a Dunkin Donut. Dunkin Donuts are sacred terrority in my family, with multiple runs to DD’s being made for breakfast in each visit east. They didn’t get a whole donut, just a bite or two each, but it was all that they dreamed, I’m sure of it.
Their favorite place in the house was the kitchen, rustling up Great Grandpa’s pots and pans. They never get to be in the kitchen at home, so this was like a theme park.
Mostly we just soaked up time with loved ones we don’t see often enough. It’s so amazing to be thirty years old and realize your heart is still feeling new emotions — this trip afforded me the joy of sharing my children with the family I’ve treasured my entire life. My cousin Allie, pictured below, being silly with Arden, is a perfect example.
It’s a joy coupled with pain, I soon realized, because Henry and Arden don’t get to see their wonderful great-grandpa and great aunts and uncles nearly enough. I would love so much for them to grow up seeing each other every week.
I mean, look at the joy in these faces.
My generous aunt Beth threw a birthday party for the babies, and it was so adorable — the accessories were everything.
Henry! Your eyes. I could faint. Arden, your cheeks! It’s too much.
*Side note: Henry’s hat had to be cut at the side to fit over his head. Further proof it’s larger than the average one year old. Don’t worry, it’s just holding your huge brain, Hank!
I know. I can’t talk about my hair here either. All I can say is: humidity + growing out bangs = lethal.
If you’re just dazzled by their enthusiasm, it’s because it was about 8PM and their bedtime is 7PM. They were, shall we say, less than agreeable.
But we partied on!
You’d think we’d just told them their cupcakes were made of quinoa and stuffed with spinach. Or maybe they misunderstood what birthdays are and they think people arrive with packages to take your toys away?
We had some deja vu with the cake rejection here too.
Henry: “Don’t you people learn?”
Arden: “No means no.”
After several relaxing days spent with the family, we headed off to Lancaster for the wedding of the year. Wait until you see this gorgeous couple and their wedding locale. Oh, and Henry in a suit and Arden in a Parisian dress. I can hear your toe tapping so I’ll get right on that.
Part Two coming soon!