Sunday, September 8, 2013

The West Coast Crew

Last Saturday, while we were in Pittsburgh, my brother's family came in from Portland for a week.  They came in primarily for my cousin's wedding, which took place yesterday, and left this morning.  In between John, Kristin, Kate, and Max had some quality time with the family.  In addition to time with their grandparents, Kate and Max got to spend time with their second cousins (I think--our cousin's kids, whatever that is).  They had a lot of fun--playing on playgrounds, checking out the carousel museum, and even riding the infamous Ollie.  Ollie was John's when he was little.  It looks a little like a yellow banana with a face, on wheels.  Most kids did face plants when they tried to ride him, but John was the master.  Turns out the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as Max did amazingly well, too. 

Because of the way the Pittsburgh trip got scheduled (which wasn't really within our control), we missed out on hanging out with them last weekend.  We got to spend Monday with them as my parents had a picnic for the whole family, and then on Tuesday they came to Rochester to spend time with us after Jacob met his teacher.  Monday's picnic started a little rocky, since Jacob decided to pull his usual stubbornness.  It took a while to get him to be cooperative, but once he did, he had a great time playing outside with everyone.  I enjoyed seeing Kate and max for the first time since last summer.  Max still isn't talking a lot, but it is adorable to watch him communicate with signs and adorable faces. 

Kate is beautiful and perfectly girly--sweet, but with a little spunk!

Near the end of the picnic, Jacob had a blast playing with our cousin's kids, as well.  Here he is getting pitched to by our cousin's wife...
Yes, he was bunting...
Everyone got a chance to share Jacob's souvenir from Pittsburgh, a batting helmet...


And I was just enjoying watching them :)  I really liked seeing Max, too, as a preview of Carter in the next year or so, wandering around and exploring his independence...

And we got a family picture, which has been a challenge in the times we've all been together...

Before we headed back home, I had to get out Jacob's homework for school.  He had to color a caterpillar that we'd tape his face to, and it had been hard to get him to sit down and do it all week after all that we'd been dealing with.  We had to take it with us the next morning, so we had to get it done.  He did a nice job on it, and everyone else got in on the action...

After such a long, busy weekend, it was a relief to get home that night.  But there was no rest for the weary, as we had to get up the next morning to get to the school by around 9am.  As I mentioned, his visit went pretty well.  We had a couple off moments, but for the most part he was manageable and it was good to get an idea of where he'll be spending his days. 

After that, we went home and made it there at the exact same time as the minivan with John's family and my parents.  We hung out for a while at the house, once again dealing with a random Jacob tantrum, but eventually made it out the door to grab some lunch at McDonald's.  Jacob refused to eat when we first got there, but then decided that he wanted to try my cheeseburger.  He liked it!  He loved hamburgers at McDonald's when he was little, but got out of the habit and stuck with nuggets for the last few years.  Now he appears to be back on the burger bandwagon.  Because the kids ate their burgers, they got to enjoy some ice cream, and then we headed out to the playground. 

We went to one at our local spray park (which shut down for the season the previous day), just because I knew it was a good one for all ages of kids.  Jacob had another tantrum on the way there because he wanted to have certain clothes for the various sports fields he knew were at the park.  It took a while to get him to chill out, and once he did (again) he had fun.  As did everyone else!

The kids loved the modern version of the tin can phone, where they could talk into one thing, and the sound would travel underground to another one on the other side of the playground!

Max did great!  He loved climbing this part!

Jacob's usual face these days!

Playing on the concrete animals in the spray park section.  The kids loved climbing up to the whale's blowhole!
After plenty of time on the playground (and some playing around for even us adults), we headed across the park's access road to the football field.  I had told Jacob that if he played nicely we could go over and play a bit.  We went over and did a race, and after Jacob ran the length of the field twice, he started playing around in the soccer net that was built into the base of the goal posts. 

After the time at the park we had to go to Jacob's therapist appointment, so the whole crew headed back to N.T.  It was so great hanging out with them for a couple days.  We got to see the kids again briefly at my cousin's wedding yesterday, and spend the evening at the wedding with John and Kristin, as well.  I wish we would have had more time, but I'm thrilled for them to get so much time with my parents without having my kids, who see their grandparents all the time, sharing the spotlight.  But it was great to see them and I hope to someday get up the guts (and money!) to fly ourselves across the country with both kids.  I'd love to take them out there, but it's definitely a daunting trip.  I give them mad props for having done it a couple times already.  We'll get there!

Another busy week awaits...

No comments: