Seems that I always have something I really want to blog about, but a.) don’t really have the time, and b.) don’t want to blog anything else until I get that one thing out of the way. Mom’s visit over July 4th weekend was like that. I should have at least written down some details right away; instead, I’ll be posting pictures of a long weekend that’s already started to run together in my memory.
Mom was supposed to arrive before noon on Thursday, July 4th, but her car gave her trouble as soon as she left my Aunt Connie’s house (where she’s staying until she gets an apartment of her own). So, she turned around and went back “home,” then borrowed Connie’s minivan to make the trip, instead. She arrived in time for lunch.
Of course, lunch was a challenge, since we wanted to go out to eat on a holiday — and a non-religious one at that. We tried a couple of places before we found one that was open; not a good start to our visit.
After lunch, we came back home and put Connor down for his nap. I thought maybe we could all play a game together — but, strike number two, we discovered a wet mark* on Aaron’s parents’ kitchen table where I’d been keeping my spider plant, and Aaron got seriously pissed off at me. And rightly so.
Instead of having happy extended family time, Mom and I left Aaron at home and took a walk.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was chill and uneventful. We came back from our walk, talked and hung out, and went out to dinner after Connor got up from his nap. No fireworks again this year. Someday Connor (and his Mommy) will be able to stay up late enough to see the fireworks… but not yet.
Friday morning, Mom and I and Connor woke up and had breakfast, then drove out to Whitehouse to see the Butterfly House. Connor was a little cranky — either his allergies or his molars may have been bothering him — but he enjoyed himself overall.
Of course, the batteries on both of my DSLRs were low on juice, so I had to make do with my iPhone (which was plenty passable, for the most part). Mom let me play with her new Canon a little, too, which was fun.
Grammy also bought Connor his very first pinwheel, which he still loves, weeks later.
We got back home around lunch time, and after that was Connor’s quiet time, which meant Mom and I went for another walk and left Aaron home to be the responsible adult.
This time, though, our plans were re-routed by what we later learned was a dog on the loose.
No worries: we walked around the fancy neighborhood right next to the park entrance, instead.
After our walk, we had a little chill time again before Connor woke up from his nap, then we all went out to Red Robin for dinner.
I hadn’t been to Red Robin in I don’t know how many years — at least five, I think — and it was Connor’s first visit there. The atmosphere was much louder than he’s used to, and he was still not feeling normal, so he didn’t enjoy his first experience with a kids’ placemat and free crayons as he might have.
Still, that was one seriously delicious burger. It’s a good thing we don’t plan to make a habit of going there.
After Red Robin, it wasn’t long until Connor’s bedtime; after Connor’s bedtime, it wasn’t long until my and my Mom’s bedtimes. (Since the guest hide-a-bed is in the living room, where the television is, Aaron spent some quality time in our office and in his game room while Mom was visiting. He doesn’t go to bed until at least 3am, thanks to his work schedule.)
The next morning, Mom and I decided to take Connor to the metropark that’s just down the road. Surprisingly, we learned that Connor had lost his love of the swings in the year since he’d last visited the park. He didn’t want to swing in the baby swing, he didn’t want to swing on Mommy’s lap, and he didn’t even want to watch Mommy swing.
He still loves the slide, though! (I already knew that from daycare.)
Mom and I took turns wrangling Connor and passing her Canon back and forth. I also snapped some pics with my iPhone when Connor wasn’t looking.
Connor had a blast on the little kids’ playground!
Finally, what got us away from the playground was a.) an empty sippy, and b.) an empty tummy. Connor started requesting more sippy, and some cookies. Mom bought a water from the vending machine to fill his sippy, and we walked back to the car (where we’d left the diaper bag) to fetch Connor a morning snack of a fruit bar and Fig Newtons.
We did go for a brief walk with Connor in the stroller after snack, but it wasn’t long before we looped back to the car and headed home to meet Aaron for lunch.
After lunch, as usual, was Connor’s naptime, during which Mom and I took what had become our ritual naptime walk through Wildwood. This time, though, we walked for quite a bit longer than we’d intended: over three miles. We also discovered a vending machine along the trail that contains the most delicious diet root beer.
When we got back, Connor was still napping, and Aaron wanted to run some errands, so Mom and I hung out and played rummy. It’s been years since I’ve played rummy — probably since the last time I visited my Mom at home — but she only beat me by five points. Not shabby.
After nap was dinner, chill time, and bedtime.
Yeah, I don’t remember all the places we went to eat for every meal — I know we did Zoup! for lunch one day; I think we did Pho Vietnam for dinner on the 4th; and for Sunday lunch before Mom left, we had dim sum at New Empire.
That morning, we decided to chill at home, especially since Connor really hadn’t been himself all weekend. Mom let him play with her Nook, and she showed him the pictures she had stored on it. We also watched some videos on my iPhone (mostly “Sing,” which I inadvertently got stuck in my Mom’s head) and some Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on the DVR.
Lunch, like I mentioned, was dim sum, at Mom’s request. After lunch and before quiet time, we tried to get Connor to say goodbye to Grammy, but he really didn’t understand that she was leaving. (Makes sense in retrospect, since he says goodbye to the TV when we turn it off, or to a stuffed animal when he leaves the room.)
Aaron got Connor down for naps while I helped Mom load up Connie’s van with her stuff for the trip back. Once Aaron came back downstairs, we all said our goodbyes and bid Mom farewell.
It’s going to be so nice to have Mom closer. We won’t feel obligated to have super extended visits, since it’ll take her 2½ hours to get here instead of two days, so we can have shorter but more frequent visits (more than once a year).
Postscript: When Connor got up from his nap, he walked down the stairs, hand in mine, and looked over to the loveseat in the living room, where he expected his Grammy to be sitting. He was seriously confused when she wasn’t there, and I explained again that she went bye-bye.
I think he’ll enjoy seeing her again for her next visit.
* That wet mark on the table did eventually dry. I didn’t completely ruin the kitchen table like I did the coffee table when I put a hot mug of tea on it without a coaster.