Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Road Trip: Part II

Are you feeling refreshed and ready to go for another lengthy post? Go ahead, get your snack, I'll wait. Got it? If it's something with chocolate, please toss it through your screen to me cause I have a hankering for some chocolate right now and can't find any.

Alrighty, where was I? Ladee, ladee, ladee... oh yeah! A busy night with relatives and Grandma read to the boys before going to sleep. That is, after she changed her clothes from being soaked by Annalyse, the kicking machine, in the bathtub.

The boys hadn't seen their cousin Landon in over a year, aside from a few times on Skype. I wasn't sure if they would recognize him or act shy, but after a few minutes of being together they were three good buddies playing and being silly together.

Grandma had a couple special projects for them to do and they got busy right away. First up was coloring picture frames. Grady Lee took his serious and colored till he said his hand hurt. Micah scribbled and acted silly, much preferring to make one dot of each color so "I can see what each marker looks like." Landon simply watched my boys act polar opposite and happily colored his frame without making a sound.
This little girl gurgled and squealed and made sure we all remembered she was in the room, too. No doubt she'll be holding a crayon and coloring before long.
When the frames were done, Grandma painted hands and stamped them on an apron. Apparently it really tickles when your palm is painted because there were lots of laughs and squeals.
Grandma thought it was fun feeding cereal to Annalyse...
... though Annalyse hasn't decided if she likes cereal yet. But what's not to like? Pasty, bland rice flakes mixed with milk and a vitamin supplement sound delicious to me.
Later in the afternoon, Uncle Jeremiah and Uncle Joe came over. No sooner did Jeremiah sit down and I plopped Annalyse in his arms.
And, no sooner did I plop Annalyse in his arms, and she reached up, grabbed his (very long) beard, and didn't let go.
The uncles spent time wrestling with the boys and when that got old (or maybe it was when someone got hurt?), I sat down to play games. Surprisingly, each played by the rules and there weren't any tantrums when someone lost. Either Landon is a wonderful influence on my boys or they are gaining an ounce of maturity in this area.
When the "fun Uncles that like to play rough" and Landon had to leave, the boys donned the snow gear Grandma managed to rummage up and borrow from various families she knows. Micah was obsessed with his boots and asked time and time again if he could take them home, and Grady Lee thought he was an army man when he wore his snow pants. I'm not sure how his little mind made a connection from snow pants to the army, but there you have it.
Grandpa kept Annalyse entertained while they stayed warm inside. She giggled and smiled, and in turn he laughed and watched his heart melt.
Buckets and sand shovels...
... and deep snow drifts. Such fun for little boys who think that the two inches of snow we get, lasting for a day or two, is considered a blizzard.
That night, Great Poppy and Granny and more family came over to visit and meet the newest bundle of pink.
As lousy as this picture is, this represents four generations of women! Annalyse, darlin', you are one blessed little girl.
The next day Grady and I enjoyed a movie and dinner out. Since we weren't paying for a babysitter, we didn't think twice about taking off for several hours without looking at our watches and counting the time.

Grandma and Grandpa helped the boys do school work, played with Thomas the Train, and pretty much anything the boys asked them to do. Like I said, the spoiling stops once we leave and my boys are in for a rude awakening.
Grady and I enjoyed a steak dinner at the restaurant where my brother works. He's recently been promoted to Assistant Chef and, being the proud sister that I am, couldn't resist taking a picture of the menu with his name. He's the kind of chef that can take a knife and tear into an apple and carve a beautiful flower. He can also add this and that and create a one-of-a-kind marinade. Basically, if he's in the house when I am, I don't dare cook.
We came home from our date and found Grandma rocking a sleeping Annalyse. (Yes, the rocker had since been moved up from the storage room in the basement.)
Grandpa was snuggled with two freshly bathed little boys and busy reading books. Aahhh... all was calm. And all was without sitter expenses!
And that, my friends and family, brings us just past the midpoint of our trip. Time to get up, get the blood pumping through your most-likely-numb legs from sitting so long, and come back tomorrow for chapter three.


  1. I love how much fun & good times you guys packed into your trip...games, crafts, visiting with many generations of relatives AND a date night...sounds pretty wonderful to me! Keep the installments coming!

  2. I agree with Melanie. Sounds fabulous!

  3. I'm so glad you got to visit you family!!! Big squeal!!!! Looks like so much fun. Looking foward to chapter three.