October 4, 2011

A Specktacular Visit ... And Other Things

We had a really great time with our friends from Warshington. They arrived early early on Saturday morning the 24th and went to a motel and then we picked them up around noon. We didn't do much the first couple of days, except visit and eat. Their almost-4-year-old informed me that she wanted her nickname to be Ace, so that's who she'll be here. Ace Specktacular. It sounds like a comic book superhero!

The two-year-old is called Tootie by her mother so I'm going to call her that, too. It makes me think of the Margaret O'Brien character in Meet Me In St. Louis. Tootie is adorable and has an amazing vocabulary for her age, a combination, I think, of being a girl and having an older chatty sister. I certainly hope that Peabody follows in those footsteps.
Tootie Specktacular!

Ace was intrigued that the Boogie calls me Honey, and throughout the week asked her mom on a regular basis if she could call her Honey, too.

I worked Monday afternoon as usual, and switched shifts with a coworker to work Wednesday and Friday mornings instead of afternoons, so that I could be home when Eric got home and we could maybe all do something together.

On Tuesday Eric left work early and we all drove out to Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island. After walking on the jetty and watching some fishermen and boats, we drove to a beach and watched the waves and some surfers and let the girls play in the sand for a little bit. Peabody was totally enthralled by the ocean!
The girls were intrigued by people fishing
Peabody didn't want to ride in the stroller
I love their little flip-flop feet

Then we drove kind of south on the island and ate at a little diner called The Chicken or the Egg. One of Eric's coworkers had told him about it. It was decent diner food but I didn't think it was anything amazing. The kids did fairly well, considering that they were in and out of the car a lot, ate dinner late, and were getting pretty tired.

On Wednesday I worked in the morning but Mr. Specktacular hadn't been feeling too well for a couple of days, and Peabody had thrown up right before I left for work, so we just hung out at home for the rest of the day.

Thursday was Eric's birthday but he had to work. The rest of us went to the zoo in the morning. The forecast was predicting rain, and as we drove over the bridge into Philly the sky looked very foreboding. Soon we drove into torrential rain but just as quickly passed through it and when we got to the zoo the sky was clear and blue! Praise the Lord. The zoo was damp and the mosquitoes were awful! I think the rain kept people away, though, because it really wasn't crowded there at all which was nice.

On our way home we stopped at Costco for the enormous birthday cake, which I took to 52 in order for MIL/FIL to sneak it to church for me. Eric had no idea! It was fun to surprise him after the service. The girls made him cards, too.

Friday morning MIL came to our house and stayed with the four girls for the morning while I worked and Eric took Mr. and Mrs. Specktacular to NYC. The weather all week had been muggy and rainy and just really not that great, but Friday was gorgeous and perfect for walking around the city. The little girls played very nicely all day which was a blessing for me! I remembered to pull out my camera for some pictures of them before bed.
These two little girls became BEST friends
Tootie was full of hilarity
Peabody was scowly, per her usual

We really did have a nice week. I hope it was the right combination for them of going places and doing stuff and also staying here and relaxing. I think Mr. Specktacular was a bit bored -- he mowed our grass one day for something to do! Every day Ace and the Boogie played together from the minute they woke up in the morning until they went to bed at night. Tootie played with the big girls sometimes, and sometimes entertained herself. Peabody did her own thing and was a fairly constant nuisance to the older kids.

On Saturday we went out for lunch and stopped by 52 afterward so the Specktaculars could say good-bye to MIL/FIL. Then we drove them up to Newark and dropped them off at the airport. 

Good-bye, Specktacular family! We surely enjoyed your visit!

There is an Ikea near the airport so we went there and walked around for a bit after dropping them off. The Boogie wanted to play in the ballroom which, though it sounds like it should be something like this
is actually a play area filled with brightly colored plastic balls. After she played we bought a few hotdogs for the road, loaded up in the cars, and started home. As soon as we got on the turnpike the Boogie said, "Honey, my tummy hurts," and immediately threw up. Praise the Lord we had both cars which meant we had spare car seats so were able to stop at a rest area, clean her up as much as possible, and switch out car seats and put the offensive one in the trunk. Praise the Lord she was wearing a completely zipped-up jacket which we could take off since I didn't have any spare clothes for her. Praise the Lord we also had lots of old towels in my car which we covered her with to hopefully catch any more "incidents." Praise the Lord she was fine for the rest of the way home. And praise the Lord she did NOT throw up in the ballroom although I do have some guilt about the other kids in there who were probably exposed to her germs. Oh well, what can you do? She was acting fine and I had no idea that she wasn't feeling well. Thankfully she quickly recovered.

We've enjoyed our company this summer. I'm so thankful that we have the extra room for folks to stay with us. Even though our house is tiny we were able to absorb the extra bodies fairly easily! And having our own washer/dryer is incredible. After having them for ten months I still don't take them for granted, and they have seen quite a bit of use over the last 3 months. I must admit, though, that while having the borrowed futon from 52 has been a great blessing and I really do like having it in the playroom, I am just about ready to send it home so that the computer desk and ALL of the toys can go back to their natural habitat.

This fall I must, must, MUST do some decorating in the living room. The most I've done is set some pictures on the bookshelves. There is nothing on the walls at all. The trim and back door in the laundry room needs some fresh paint, and I think I know what my first sewing project will be (after I *ahem* take my sewing machine out of its box and figure out how to use it): curtains for the laundry room windows. I figure no one will really see them so if I mess them up it won't be too noticeable, right? Then I want to make a valance for the kitchen window. I'm thinking fabric with a coffee theme would be perfect for in there.

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