Last month, our family took a 14-hr drive to visit my parents in Illinois. Bit of a long drive getting there, but we had a great time with Papa & Grandma and Aunt E & Uncle J.
Dean, especially, had a blast. So many new things to chew on, suck on, throw, break, lose, hide, drop, eat, pull apart, hit his head on—the kid had a party every day! Not to mention new places to visit, like the park (with slides and stairs to climb on), the zoo (his first visit), the botanical gardens (“Ooooh! Let me pick it!”), and a different church (“What a great place to test my lungs! I love the acoustics in here!”).
He also invented a few of his own games – like Dodge the Kiss and another one I'm still thinking up a name for. Every time Papa tried to get Dean to say “Papa,” he would say “Daddy!” instead—with much gusto, and many a mischievous chuckle. He knows the word “Papa,” and he knows who “Papa” is, but he loves to tease. He kept the game up all week, never slipped up once, and was mighty proud of his little prank. He had a good old time.
Ella, my parents' sweet, mild-mannered Labrador, was another big attraction. She and Dean played outside (and inside) a lot, stealing balls from each other, jumping on each other (Dean did most of that), and vying for crumbs whenever someone unwisely chose to eat a cookie or a cracker (or anything, really) in public view.
And in other news, Dean learned to say “doggie” and charmed us all with his puppy barks and howls. He's such a fun little guy to have around. <3
Anyway, he had a blast. I took a bunch of pictures with my mom's phone, and since my son is so irresistibly adorable, I know you'll want to see a few. :) :) :) So here they are!
Dean with Ella
"Mom! What's she doing?"
Dean doesn't understand the concept of belly-rubs yet...
Dean and Ella were constant pals!
Dean ate just about an entire box of raspberries on his own...
"Is there any more?"
Dean's first Haagen Dazs ice cream bar :)
At the botanical gardens...
At Grant's Park, Missouri. We had had a long day walking around and Dean was one tired little boy by this point. :)
I have to include a couple landscape pictures too, because some of the places we visited we just stunning. So here you go:
This picture and the following pictures were taken at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
This area with the pond and statue was dedicated to George Washington Carver.
As I began uploading the pictures, I realized that there are a ton of other pictures - including some super cute ones of Dean - that I didn't have time to copy off my mom's phone. I'll get a hold of them somehow and post them later, I guess.
Anyway, I had a really good visit with my parents, too, and I was able to spend a lot of time with my mom. When we were weren't talking and drinking lattes together, we were taking Dean on walks, playing with him in the back yard, drooling over beautifully-photographed craft books (I drooled, anyway), rummaging through my mom's old fabrics, designing a baby quilt, purchasing fabrics for said baby quilt, and finally sewing the thing together!
I have never made a quilt before, or really done any sewing projects at all, so that was a new and exciting experience for me. I was too scared to give it a shot as a teen (stupid of me) even though my mom wanted to teach me—I lacked confidence in a lot of areas and ended up avoiding doing many things I really wanted to do. (Bad idea. Don't follow that example—I have a lot of regrets.)
Anyway, I've wanted to learn more “artsy” skills for a while now—things like crocheting, embroidery, and quilting. Now that I've actually made a quilt, I feel a little more confident and a lot more excited about actually doing it. I have several quilting projects in mind I'd like to finish this coming year, which I will share with you in my next post—complete with pictures.
See you then. :)