Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Magic Old Man Baby

Mobley Lake Day 2010! Look at the cousins enjoying a leisurely boat ride together, soaking up the cool breezes and working on their tans.

Andrew, on the other hand, was too busy riding the exciting and manly jet ski to frolic with the girls.

The day on the lake was really lovely ... so lovely that I think it might have actually made up for the misadventure of traveling to and from Aunt Gayle and Uncle Ron's house, and that's saying something.

The trip started off with a bang as Strider (my car) blew up about a mile from our house. He limped to a gas station parking lot where we let him cool down (not easy in 98 degree weather) and filled him with water (he was bone dry) and finally got him back to our garage where we set to work moving all our gear into Phil's car.

An hour later we're on the road again and heading straight into Friday evening traffic ... and then the rain came ... and then our road was blocked by a fallen tree that had to be bashed to smithereens by a queer little machine before we could continue. So instead of arriving at our destination with happy children ready to eat a bite and go straight to bed, we arrived 2 hours past Elsbeth's bedtime with a very sad baby and a 4-year-old who could have levitated and flown our car around with his excess pent-up energy ... ah, if only it could be harnessed for such purposes. Anyway, everyone slept soundly through the night and I got to eat a really fantastic steak, so the day ended on a high note.

As you can see from the photo, Andrew really loved that jet ski. He also had a great time splashing around in the lake and learning the ways of the swim noodle. It was a heavenly day for our boy.

The Fiery One had a different perspective. She did not at all like being contained while the boat was moving (and letting her run up and down it was challenging) and she found being in the water loathsome. Almost exactly like cousin Anna-Kate ... except that Anna-Kate was content as could be in her mommy's arms and was lulled to sleep by the moving boat, then cheerfully got into her turtle float and ... yep, fell asleep again.

TFO preferred to remain on deck where she could keep an eye on things.

Well, somebody had to! Mighty Captain Ron quickly succumbed to the warm, rocking boat and The Beach Boys playing in the background.

Uncle Ron and The Precious really hit it off this trip. He took Andrew on multiple jet ski rides (even when he would have rather been snoozing), and he let Andrew be his right-hand-man while gassing up the boat and grilling hamburgers. I even caught the two of them sneaking popsicles before dinner. How cute is that?!

When he wasn't helping Uncle Ron, he was assisting Aunt Gayle with her laundry. I think 3 cycles were completed under his watch over the weekend.

The drive home was certainly quicker, but Nib provided us with additional travel drama by having a hideous diarrhea explosion all over her car seat. You haven't lived until you've knelt on the concrete by a gas pump in Washington, GA with a poop-covered baby shrieking on a poop-covered changing pad. Seriously, try it! A majorly character building exercise. You get additional points for needing to send your husband into the gas station to buy stuff (a Moon Pie and Mr. Pibb) just for the grocery bag to contain aforementioned poopie items.

So thank you so much, Uncle Ron and Aunt Gayle, for your amazing hospitality (as always) and a glorious summer day! I'm so glad our last memories of your home are good ones since I'm never driving there again. (Just kidding!)


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Opulence. I Has It.

The big 0-4! My Precious was celebrated last weekend with, among other things, strawberry cupcakes with vanilla frosting and sprinkles, per his request. Kat Von D and I approved of his selection.

Instead of a party this year, we allowed him to pick one friend to go with him to the children's museum downtown. So we picked up Marjorie Stewart-Baxter at noon then hauled our brood down to Moe's for lunch.

The two of them ate and sang songs about chopping down trees with their juice box straws (?) and crawled under the table and pretended to be lions. Very loud lions. Then Phil and I thought, "Hey, now let's give them cookies and take them on MARTA!"

MARTA was a big hit, excepting the ridiculously long wait for each train in the blazing heat, nasty loud MARTA bathrooms and wetties in shoes, and the time Andrew, MS-B and I were nearly slung the length of a train car on our faces (a kind rider caught us before we hit the ground).

After a more substantial walk that I'd anticipated from the station, we arrived at the crazy madhouse of a children's museum. I've been wanting to take Andrew there for ages, so I was really deflated to see the place in complete chaos. It was trashed and there were so many kids everywhere it was really hard to imagine our two big kids getting to actually do anything. Fortunately, Andrew is often quite content to be an observer and he found the place facinating to watch. And after a time, the crowds thinned a bit and the kids got to do a few things ... like dress up!

I'd like to take Andrew back on a non-weekend, non-summer day so he could really get into it, but even with the pandemoniom, Andrew had a really good time. And Elsbeth was an angel throughout the adventure, even with no nap. 1,000,000,000 points to Elsbeth, for without her sweetness on that day Phil and I would have surely gone mad.

My darling, big, 4-year-old boy. He's such a great conversationalist these days. Often when I tell him of something we need to do, he'll look up at me and say, "I can handle it." Now that Elsbeth is running around, the two of them will play this game where they throw themselves down on the living room rug over and over, laughing together for tens of minutes at a time! He gives out lots of spontaneous hugs and kisses and "I love you"s, swoons over playing board games and hide-and-seek, and can work any appliance set before him. He doesn't usually want to read to me if I put him on the spot, but he regularly asks me about things he'd only know to ask from reading a sign or package ("Why is that place called Food Mart?"). He generates 127 questions per hour ... things like, "Why do they call these 'crackers?'" and "What would happen if the car didn't have wheels?" and "What are you and Daddy talking about?" And his adorable smile continues to light up my world.

Happy birthday, My Precious! You are so loved.