Monday, July 19, 2010

A Full House

We had a pretty darn good weekend. Well, maybe yesterday could have used a boost, but Friday and Saturday were pretty fantastic. We were playing host to a bunch of family, finally putting to the test our claim that our house could hold a lot of people. My uncle's school (he's a principal) was holding a golf tournament on Saturday, and lots of NT-based family was coming in for it.

My cousin Todd's family hadn't been able to come to Jacob's birthday party, so they hadn't yet seen the house. They wanted to come see it and I offered to let them stay overnight, knowing that if they came we'd probably have a few pops and hang out late-ish (considering how early they'd have to get up). My parents were also coming in, meaning that the guest room was booked and Todd's family (including his wife, Cathy, and their kids, Jaxon (8) and Jordan (6) would be able to set up shop throughout the basement, with an air mattress and two couches at their disposal. So, Friday night everyone came in around dinner time. The kids got right to work in the pool (which, at the time was cloudy and in a precarious state considering the amount of algae I had scrubbed off the bottom earlier in the week--it is now firmly green and we're not sure what to do...back to the pool store, I guess) and I set about ordering pizza for dinner before I, too, joined in for a swim. Cloudy or not, the water was warm and relatively pleasant. The levels were fine (slightly low alkalinity & pH, for you pool folks), so I wasn't too worried about everyone swimming. After all, as Cathy said, the kids swim in the Erie Canal and they're fine. And I grew up swimming in dirty Lake Erie and I'm okay too. As long as nothing along the chemical burn-line was possible, I wasn't concerned. Now, of course, it's really green so I think we're taking a pool break. Anyway...We had a lovely dinner on the patio. Jacob ate like a champ (a piece and a half of pizza and lots of salt and vinegar chips!), the weather was hot but perfect, and the kids played happily for quite a while.

All was well until Jacob ventured back to his swingset for some "alone time" and came back with a giant wet mark on his overalls. Sure enough, he had some serious diarrhea in there. It was one of the nastiest cleanups I've had to do in a long time. I even gave him a bath. It was a bizarre throwback to the days of the daily diaper blowouts, but a much larger, stinkier proposition! Once clean, we headed back downstairs for s'mores! A few years ago my mom bought me a s'mores set from the "Attic Treasures" (read: garage sale) section of the church bazaar. It was practically new (if not brand new) and is actually pretty nifty. It comes with a little metal canister that holds a sterno can (you know, like you put under a chafing dish). It's got a little grate on top. It sits on a wooden turntable with spots for graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmellows, and comes with half a dozen skewers to hold your roasting marshmellow. It's neat because it's not quite as potent as a campfire (and not nearly as dangerous or smelly) so you can customize your marshmellow a little more easily. We all enjoyed some s'mores and finally the kids headed off to bed--first Jacob, and then the other two. The six of us remaining (Craig and me, Todd and Cathy, and my parents) all enjoyed the lovely evening.

Might I just interject here about how much I love our house? There are just so many things that I love about it, and I'm convinced over and over that we were meant to have this house. Sometimes I still pinch myself that it's ours. I finally have a kitchen I love, we have plenty of space in the living room for Jacob to play, we have a lovely dining room, three good-sized bedrooms, a non-purple bathroom, a dedicated office, and an extra family room downstairs that I have a feeling will get more use as our family grows and changes. The pool and general outdoors space can be a bit of a handful, but assuming we figure out how to get it under control, it is a lovely and amazing space. We remarked while we were sitting out that night that we probably have officially used our backyard more in these past few months than we did during the entire 4-1/2 years at the other house. When I sat in that backyard I mostly just got depressed about how much crap needed to be done to it--patchy grass, lumpy ground, cracked patio, horrific shed, little attractive landscaping, out of control weeds, some bent siding, and a crumbling outer shell of our foundation (nothing structural--just decorative). I just didn't like it. I think the only bright spots of that yard were my vegetable garden box (which stunk last year) and Jacob's swing. Our yard now is full of attractive landscaping, has a beautiful patio area, the pool (which, when it's not green and when the weather is 90, is a great thing), a full swing set, and plenty of yard to play in. It has a blackberry plant hidden in the back (yum!) and tons of gorgeous flowers for me to admire. This one's a lot of work, but has a great payback. It was total bliss sitting in that backyard, looking up at the stars and the wooded atmosphere, feeling like we were in the country but knowing we were within walking distance of one of the busiest streets in Rochester. Kinda cool. And it was nice just chatting with adults and having a couple beverages, knowing that my bed was directly upstairs waiting for me, no drive needed. Definitely makes me wish this house was located closer to family, but you can't have it all, I guess.

The funniest thing about having all of these people over is that they were all gone (except one) by the time I got out of bed the next morning. Everyone except Jordan was up and out before 7am, and I woke up shortly thereafter to scope out her status. Lori had come over some time in between and was waiting patiently for her niece to wake up so she could take her back to her grandparents' house. Since all was well, I went back to bed and Jacob let us sleep in until about 9am. Woohoo! Once we were up and about, I checked back in with Lori because I knew the girls (my Aunt Lynne, Lori, Jordan and Anna, my cousin three-year-old--Chris was also golfing) were going to a spray park nearby. They were already there so Jacob and I hustled to get ready and meet them. It's practically around the corner from us (well, ok, a couple towns and about 10 minutes--but seriously, I only had to take a handful of roads to get there) but we had never been there. I think I knew it existed, but had no idea it was so close and so cool! And seeing as how it was well over 80 degrees by 11am, it was the perfect day for it!

Here's Jacob and Jordan in Jacob's favorite spot--playing with the whale's blowhole!
Here's a view of the other section. The rainbow misted, the flower rained down water, the blue thing on the left dropped streams and bucketfuls, and various spots in the concrete had streams and sprays in all different patterns. Very cool!
Back on the whale!

Playground break! This playground was awesome, and it was nice having Jacob in watershoes, because he could seamlessly go from the water to the playground and back. Much easier than a pool, where you're drenched every time you get out.

Best picture of the day, when Jacob was climbing in this rock wall section of the playground. The rock wall was tough, but there were holes to crawl through and ladders to climb!
Back to the whale, climbing up his back this time. He did this a lot. I think it's sort of supposed to be a slide, too, but it's not very slippery despite the stream of water running down it. It's this rocky concrete sort of surface. Not exactly smooth. And thank goodness, since Jacob liked doing this!

On to the seal!

As a whole, Jacob seemed to like the animal section a lot better than the other section. I think the big sprays and streams of water freaked him out a bit. Not surprising, since I've never been a big fan of getting water dumped on my head either. I think he'll get braver, though. He did like sticking his hands in it, and it's only a matter of time before he thinks the rest of his body might like it too! We were there for over an hour, and he had a blast! We finished up with a change of clothes and a drink and snack...

I struggled to keep him awake on the way home, but we made it. We had lunch and he headed off (begrudgingly, believe it or not) to a nap. By the time he woke up, my parents were back from golf and shortly after Lori arrived with Jax and Jordan, ready for another swim. It was another lovely afternoon! It was sad to see everyone go, but we went out for a nice dinner and a visit to the pet store (just to see the fish and kitties, mostly, though the bored employee let Jacob pet a turtle and two kitties!).
Sunday was a little blah in general. We stayed in bed late enough that we had to go to late church. Jacob was pretty good for the third straight week in the actual church (not the family room--though thank goodness we've had very nice people next to us every time), but that schedule never works out as well for us as the earlier service. My entire life I always bemoaned getting up for 8am church. My parents insisted it was better than the 10:30 service, though, because by the time 10:30 is over, your day is half over. I sort of get it now. Don't get me wrong, I will never go to church at 8am ever again, because I like sleeping and I like having time to sleep AND get ready, but 11:15 is just too late now that we have a kid, because by the time you go to church and do lunch and naptime, you only have like, two or three hours until the world shuts down at 6pm on Sunday. We did manage to cram grocery shopping, Walmart, dinner and playtime into the rest of our Sunday post-nap, and capped it off with some Big Brother on TV (ahh, my summer guilty pleasure) and a relatively early bedtime. A good, full weekend in all, considering we originally thought we'd be out of town for most of it! Alas, the party was moved to next weekend, so instead of a partial weekend in Buffalo, we've got a full set of plans. Should be fun!


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joven said...

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joven said...

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