Five things I learned on my trip to Oregon:
• I can travel alone through an airport with a baby, stroller, carseat, backpack and diaper bag! I can even do this with the baby on my lap instead of in a separate seat. I can do it! I feel a new sense of empowerment after taking Daniel with me to Portland all by myself. But I did get some help: Steve and my parents were able to get passes to go through security with us and hang out at the gate until we boarded. And my sister Susanne met me in Portland and helped me pick up the rental car. (Thanks again, everyone!)
• Daniel loves kalamata olives. (Well, who doesn't?!)
• I have Scottish ancestry on my maternal grandfather's side of the family, something I never realized. If my grandpa's cousin (whom I met for the first time Sunday) is to be believed, we can claim King James of Scotland (of the Braveheart era) as an ancestor. (I wonder if half the English-speaking world can make the same claim!)
• My mother's mother was eight months pregnant with a baby boy when she died. :( I have always known that she died young at the doctor's office, apparently of a brain aneurism, but my mom told me more while we sipped iced tea at Starbucks the other day. She was at her OB's office for a routine baby checkup when she died — it must have been a pregnancy-related blood clot. My mom was 2 at the time. It was so sad and strange to learn, after all these years, about the brother she never knew, the uncle who was never born.
• Like me, my parents aren't too big on all the vaccinations on the current immunization schedule. It was refreshing to have this conversation with them and realize that we share a similar point of view on such a controversial subject!
I had to post this picture, too. Each of my sisters and I have been photographed as babies playing at the same piano, and here is the latest member of the family trying it out. Maybe he will be a musical child!