We are home safely! And I have spent the past few hours editing the 354 photos we took over 8 days, now to share with you (down to 227 when all was said and done.)
The trip home went well - we made it from La Crosse to Chicago in about five hours, boarded our plane without too much fuss, and were on our way. Once again, Ellie was about as good as can be expected on the flight. There was very little crying, but a lot of loud talking. The funniest was when we were landing and I said "look at all the lights!" and she slammed her face into the window and yelled "I see YOU lights!" There was also a lot of exclaiming over the Cat in the Hat and his antics. I will say, I was very much in the "no screen time before 2" camp, but having her enjoy the Cat in the Hat cartoon for a quiet hour on the flight was a dream come true. As was having my entire family with me on the plane - it was such a relief when she asked to go to Gigi for a few minutes (for me, not for Gigi.)
It was also nice that Auntie Sara and Gigi were willing to ride with us for a few legs of our car journey, because I can only read Biscuit so many times.
The cats were incredibly happy to see us when we arrived, and were proud to show us how they shed and barfed all over the house. Thanks, animals. It made me wish I had a trusted cleaning lady that I could have come in the day before we arrive home. But with a little help, the floors are clean again and all of the laundry is cycling (how is it possible to have so much laundry when we did a huge batch mid-way through the trip?)
Today it was back to swim class - after a few months of Ellie putting up a fuss with everything she was asked to do, she's really starting to follow directions and get herself together. I am so proud of her, and love watching her enjoy the water. Now if only mom and dad's pool would heat up, we could have the best summer ever!