Poor planning and execution of our departure this morning, combined with an unexpected and massive backup on 495 North, caused us to be a half-hour late to the ceremony. Though I regret terribly missing a sung rendition of the Our Father by the bride's sister, which I hear was lovely, I think that in retrospect, our lateness was a good thing. We arrived just in time to witness the vows, but spent very little time in the chapel, which meant that our two very young children managed to be perfectly behaved throughout the whole thing. (And Michael was even late on getting a bottle at that point.)
The brunch reception was held immediately afterwards, and timed perfectly with Abby's usually-scheduled nap time. High on her growing exhaustion, she ran deliriously throughout the crowds of people during the pre-brunch social hour, to the point where one of the guests was heard to say, "Who does that child belong to? There are four women chasing her around." (Those women would be Mima, Mei Mei, Lisa, and Lisa's sister. I was otherwise occupied with Michael.)
Abby was charming and well-received throughout, however. She just made sure to keep us all on our toes until we were seated in the ball room.
Once situated in her high chair, Abby was a perfect angel.
That is, until she was removed during the bride and groom's introduction so that she could see the goings-on. Then, she refused to be put back in her chair.
I had placed Michael in my K'Tan wrap prior to being seated, in the hopes that he, at least, could take a nap amidst the commotion. However, there was far too much to see, and napping was the last thing on his mind.
As we waited to be called to the buffet (we were one of the last tables to be dismissed), Abby spent some time being passed around the open laps at the table. Here she is using Auntie Lisa's camera as a phone.
In the hopes that I might just be able to use two hands to eat when the time came, I placed Michael in his carrier, where, per his m.o., he contentedly amused himself until just before it was time for us to get our food. Thankfully, Mima graciously offered her lap, instead, and spent her meal dodging his grabby little hands and relying on helpful neighbors to cut up her food for her. I felt guilty and grateful all at once.
Abby, at least, was willing to go back in her high chair when the food arrived, though she spent a lot of time putting things in her mouth that she didn't like, and whining until I was forced to remove the half-chewed food from her mouth for her. (I was trying to spare the poor waitstaff the unenviable job of having to clean it off the rug later, which is where it would have ended up if I had not intervened.) When she didn't learn after the first three tries that she wasn't going to enjoy the potatoes any more on consecutive attempts than she had the first time, we had to remove the remainder from her plate. I will give Abby credit- the first time it happened, I instructed her to take the food out of her mouth herself and put it back on her plate, and she did. However, I was not confident that she would be so cooperative the next time I saw the same events unfolding. And I'll be honest, since having kids, I've had far more disgusting things end up between my fingers than partially chewed potato...
Out on the dance floor, Abby quickly made a new friend.
And yes, I did pair her fancy little dress with sneakers, because those are still the only shoes that she has. Someday soon I hope to take her out and get her a nice pair of dress shoes, but that day has not yet come.
She also spent some time dancing with Mima, among others.
When left to her own devices, however, this is her idea of dancing:
I call it the Abby-Hop.
Though Michael made a valiant effort to stay awake through all of the festivities, he lost the battle in the comfort of Mima's arms about an hour before our departure. Once his eyes closed shut, not the constant noise, nor the loud music, nor even the transfer to his carrier could wake him from his deep slumber.
Sadly, his sleep was not deep enough to prevent me disturbing him when it was time to pull the straps out from under him and get him restrained for the car ride home. We spent ten minutes in the parking lot giving him a bottle (which he was overdue for, but I wasn't going to wake him to give him) before we could actually leave.
On the way home, I asked Abby if she had fun.
She thought for a moment, smiled a big smile and said, "Yyyyes!"
Then, "Jumping and big drums!" (As I mentioned earlier, she spent quite a bit of time jumping- aka dancing. Additionally, she had apparently noticed that one of the DJs was accompanying many of the song selections on a drum set that included large bongos).
Followed by, "I like Sally. I like Charlie." (The bride and groom.)
And, "I like Auntie Lisa."
She made sure to mention the jumping one last time before falling asleep for the rest of the drive.