Anyway, on Saturday we had some shopping to do to replace a birthday gift that was left at home in a bag that Craig forgot to grab on his way out. More on that later. After our shopping, we headed to a restaurant called "The Warehouse" that's along the Thruway (exit 51) in an old Cracker Barrel. We'd wanted to go there for a while, and this seemed like a good time. It's a sports bar with a bunch of family-friendly games. They had great pizza and we had a blast with the games. And with the promise that we could play games if Jacob was good, he was an absolute angel for the entire meal! He was particularly interested in the basketball games, but they were full size basketballs and Jacob could hardly throw them over the plexiglass partition, let alone get them near the hoop. Still, he enjoyed trying and watching Craig finish off his game. I let him help me with Skee-ball, but despite all his ball experience, rolling seems to be one thing Jacob isn't quite sure of at times. Even still, we figured that the mini bowling lanes they had might offer some fun. So, we gave that a try... To be honest, we were all pretty bad at it! It was fun to try, though!
Next we moved on to bubble hockey, which Jacob was just fascinated by. Craig pulled up a chair for him so he could see all the action, and I did my best to actually play for him, since he's not quite clear on how it all works. You'd have thought there was an actual hockey game in front of him, though. He loved it. We ended up playing two games and Jacob wanted more!
Saturday night we celebrated Craig's dad's birthday with the immediate family, and Jacob once again had a tough time going down. It took some maneuvering and some serious bargaining, but he finally went to sleep. See, the issue lately has been that if we're around, Jacob will want to play and talk and laugh, rather than actually try to fall asleep (regardless of how tired he might actually be). The big problem this weekend is that the monitor (among other non-essential but useful things) was in the bag that accidentally got left at home. So, we didn't really want to go far when Jacob was having pre-bedtime freakouts, but he wouldn't sleep if we were there. And he really wanted us there. So...I told him that if he didn't stop messing around, I'd leave. But if he laid down and stayed quiet, I would stay with him. When he didn't abide the first time, I threatened to leave. When he didn't abide the second time, I left. And of course, he freaked. When I came back, I told him again how things would work, and sure enough, he laid down, stayed quiet, and was asleep right away. I had to use this method again for bedtime on Sunday, and it worked pretty well again. Not ideal, but you do what you can. Traveling changes all the rules!
The next morning we headed off to North Tonawanda to hang out with my parents. We got there shortly before they got back from church, and did a quick run over to my grandma's for a visit. She doesn't get out a lot anymore as she's not feeling great these days, so it's always nice to bring a little bit of sunshine (in little boy form) to her house. After he ate her grapes and played with her beanie babies, we headed back home for lunch and a nap before heading off to a Labor Day picnic at my Uncle Jeff's house. It was a little cool at times, but it wasn't too bad of an afternoon/evening. We all took turns chasing after Jacob and eating lots of insanely good food! We stuck around into the evening and enjoyed a fire in the firepit before heading home for bed.
Monday we decided to stick around for a little while and have a little fun before heading home. My parents suggested we go to the Herschell Carrousel Museum in N.T. and take a ride. Unfortunately, you have to pay full admission to the museum to ride the carrousel. Now, that would have been $5 for each of us and $2.50 for Jacob. We weren't looking to do the full museum--just take a quick ride and then head to a nearby park to go to the playground and have a picnic. So...that didn't happen. But we'll go back someday when we have more time (and coupons from the Entertainment Book!). We headed over to Pinewoods Park, where I haven't been in YEARS. I think the last time I was there was when our church used to have church picnics there, and I have only vague memories of that, which gives you an idea of how long ago it was. Jacob had fun playing on the playground while we waited for the guys to come back with our pizza (no, it wasn't your traditional picnic, but it was awesome!), though it was back to some slide phobia and a lot of random running around. The playground was really high, as you can see here.
Jacob and I later went down a steep, curved slide that was that high, and I probably nearly broke his ankle when his foot got stuck between me and the slide. Not good. He recovered quickly, but it was a little scary. Why do they make them so crazy sometimes? Jacob did take a liking to the rock wall, but of course he needed some help getting up there.
After our picnic we walked around the park a bit (my parents wanted to show us a geocache they found before), and then we headed back to the car. Jacob fell asleep almost instantly, and we just drove back, packed up, and took off. Unfortunately he only got in about an hour of sleep on the way home, but what can you do? We took care of some things around the house (Craig tended to the pool, which was still clear, and I tried putting together the cart we got with our lawnmower...unsuccessfully. Can anyone help with a stripped screw that I can't remove?), and tried to relax for the rest of our last day off. Back to the grind today!
I did take Jacob to the doctor tonight to see if there was anything they could do for his terrible congestion and runny nose. Sure enough, he's still got an ear infection, so he'll be back on medication again (something different this time) to see if we can clear it all out. Poor kid. At least he hasn't been too crazy with it--as usual, we'd never have known. We have a busy month ahead of us, but it should be a good time overall. We'll keep you posted as usual!