I managed to find an internet connection in southern Illinois (Central. Southern. It's all south of Chicago.) and figured I'd drop an update. You'll have to wait for pictures - but this is a start.
Saturday: Got to the airport two hours early for our 6:30 am flight - and they still managed to leave Kaylee's car seat in Tucson. Rae was thrilled. Met Aunt Maggie. Kaylee played. I got hooked on Sports Night.
Sunday: Kaylee wakes up at 6 am. We have cinnamon rolls. We drive up and down the same road five times before we find a White Castle. Kaylee likes Sliders. But she likes chocolate shakes more. Quick trip down to Northwest Indiana to meet up with a bunch of friends / former co-workers. Many with kids. (Including Eli - see the links.) Very surreal, but very fun.
Monday: Kaylee wakes up at 6 am. We go out to breakfast with our hosts. I eat an omelet the size of my head. Kaylee throws a lot of food on the floor. On the four hour drive to Jacksonville Kaylee sleeps for about 45 minutes. She screams for the rest. Kaylee cautiously eyes the family - won't go to Grandpa Charlie.
Tuesday: Kaylee wakes up at 5:30 am - not an improvement. Lunch with Erika in Springfield where the kid gets a baby and a baseball bat for her birthday. Not really sure what Erika is trying to say. Kaylee now OK with Uncle James - but will only go to Dad when she's half asleep. Won't even look at Uncle Chunk.
Wednesday: Kaylee wakes up at 5 am - not liking where this is going. Cousin Alice shows up today. K&A enjoy the rug rat company, but mostly just compete for attention. Dad's new lady friend's family comes over for chili and Uno. All goes well. Kaylee likes all of them - still won't go see Grandpa.
Thursday: Up at 5:30 again. (Can't wait until we get back home and on a real schedule.) Long drive up to Melvin for Thanksgiving dinner with (take a deep breath and wait for it) my dad's sister's husband's sister and her family. (Oh, and Kaylee's Great Grandma Rice) Lots of food, lots of fun. Kaylee likes turkey, pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes - but not beef heart. Weird kid. Kaylee loves on everyone - except Grandpa Charlie.
Friday: Kaylee up at 4 am. (God help me.) She finishes up the morning in bed with us. We say our good-byes and hit the road. (Still not too fond of Grandpa.) Arrive at Grandma Della's lake house that afternoon. Kaylee passes out early - we decide to stay up until almost 11 chatting.
Saturday: Kaylee up at 6:30 this morning and I'm very excited. Until I learn that Della just hasn't changed the clock in our room and it's really 5:30 am. Hurray. All the important people show up a couple hours later for the birthday party. (Except Maggie who gets a free pass due to car problems.) There was a monkey cake for the kid (which she just wasn't sure what to do with) and a banana cake for the rest of us (which we had no problems with).
Sunday: Kaylee up at 4 am again. I spend about 40 minutes with her in a rocking chair before giving up and bringing her to bed. We hang out for a bit before heading to Vandalia to see Grammy, Papa Allen and Uncle BJ. Kaylee runs around the house getting in to everything and visiting with everyone (including a couple of strangers) except for Grammy. Hopefully she can avoid the Grandpa Charlie curse.
Kaylee today: Pleasant.