Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grandpa and Grandma High

"Are they here yet?" "How much longer till they get here?" "Can I call and see if they're in a traffic jam?" "Has it been an hour yet?" "Can I wait outside and look for them?"

My parents left Michigan at 4:00 am Friday morning and spent the day driving here to visit for a long weekend. I call that sacrificial love; they call it fun and games because it means time with their grand-kids.

My boys woke up Friday morning asking how much longer before they arrived. Despite answering the same thing, over and over, "They will be here around 5:00 at dinner time," they continued to ask. All day long. Every hour. Seemingly almost every minute.

When the doorbell rang at 4:30-something, the boys bounded down the stairs, flung the door open, and tackled my parents with hugs. 
Wrestling kind of hugs. Running-jump kind of hugs. Tug-of-war kind of hugs. I'm sure this was everything they hoped for after getting up at the crack of dawn and driving for 12 straight hours.
One of the best parts, for me, of having my parents visit is that they enjoy handling the mundane tasks of my everyday routine. Bedtime routine: my mom has it covered. Breakfast routine: my mom has it done before I'm even downstairs. And, if I'm being honest, the boys like taking advantage of Grandma and getting more out of the deal than I usually deliver. But that's what Grandma's do best and it's all part of the spoiling process.
Bummer of all bummers: Saturday's soccer game was rained out. "But I want Grandma and Grandpa to see me run fast in my orange shiiiiiiirrtt!" wailed Micah. "Can you drive back to my house next Saturday so you can see me play soccer?" Grady Lee wondered. (How quickly he forget that it took all day prior for them to arrive. Sure, what's another 24-hour trip to see a 45-minute game of kids clustering around a ball trying to kick it?)

Grandma got creative and played game after game after game while the rain poured. It was kinda nice, actually, to have a slow morning at home and enjoy coffee, the newspaper, talking with my dad, and easing into the day. Oh yes, and it was nice that my husband made breakfast for all of us. He's the bacon expert in our family.
When the rain stopped and the sun came out - bright and strong and hot and humid - we opted to spend the afternoon at the botanical gardens.
My boys loved the fountains. My parents loved being with the kids. I loved walking and being outside. My husband loved the BOGO coupon we had, that the kids were free, and that my parents garden membership from Michigan applied here as well.
After letting the boys thoroughly drench themselves in this fountain (yes, we were that family), we wandered the gardens, admired butterflies, counted caterpillars, and let the boys get wet some more in every other fountain we came across.
Leave it to my little scientist-botanist-zoologist-biologist to discover and catch frogs, caterpillars, and daddy-long-legs while we were there.  "He is probably going to eat all day and all night and then soon he'll make a cocoon and then hatch and become a beautiful butterfly. I think he'll be a Monarch butterfly. But it will be wintertime soon so he better hurry and eat so he can hatch."
Here's another zinger from a science-loving kindergartner: "Do you know that some birds like to build their nests inside cactuses so that mean animals can't get their eggs? I learned that on Cat and the Hat."
Our weekend also involved movies - and lucky for my dad, my boys have his favorite movie: The Incredibles. When my boys lost interest my dad stayed glued to the action.
Grandpa and Grandma treated us to dinner out at Five Guys. My boys loved cracking peanuts while we waited for food to arrive. My dad and Grady loved the enormous-gluttonous-sized burgers. I loved having my family all together laughing and talking.
An evening of mini golf started out as a great idea. About seven seconds into practice play, however, Micah drilled his golf ball into the woods and we all set out on a rescue mission to find it. It was especially enjoyable since the grass was wet and muddy from rain earlier in the day.
As is usually the case when we golf - really, anywhere we go - the boys were drawn to the water. It was a no-brainer to assume someone would end up soaked before the 18 holes were through.
Babies on hips, balls in the river, flooded greens... all part of the fun.
Hhhmmm... I feel like someone is missing in this picture but I just can't put my finger on who. Maybe Grandma?
Lots more pictures and lots more stories from Grandpa and Grandma's visit, but since several of you probably need to stand up and stretch because you've sat so long, or rub your eyes because they've glazed over from reading so much, I'll save those for another post.
Suffice it to say, our time together was sweet and wonderful from the minute they arrived and were tackled with hugs!

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