To Grandmother’s House We Go

July 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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One of the perks of living in central/south Kansas is grandma is only a few hours away. And now aunt Jill is, too. To commemorate this fact, along with Jill’s birthday, Liam and I took a trip up last week. On the way we stopped at my friend Candi’s house to play with six-year-old Miles. Liam and Miles have played a few times before, and they get along great. And while Miles is light-years ahead of Liam in school (this little genius is skipping two grades next year!), he was good about finding ways to play along at Liam’s pace. Unless he wanted to play soccer golf, a game he invented with some pretty complicated rules. But then there was baby brother Bryce, just 11 month old, ready to take up the slack. The boys all had a great time at the pool. Liam timidly stayed with us moms in the baby pool, but he really enjoyed watching Miles flit around on the various slides. Miles reminds me of Liam in a lot of ways, so it’s fun to get a glimpse of what Liam may be like in a few years. 


We had a full house at mom’s – Doug had to go out of town and Jill had to pick up some shifts at Starbucks, so Liam got a ton of Evie and Milo time at grandma’s. We spent Saturday at Powell Gardens for the Lego exhibit.



They had a bunch of lego ducks, swans, frogs, flowers, and animals on the grounds. This lego lawn mower cracked us up! It was a hot day, so we spent as much time in the shade as we could. The kids enjoyed the shade, too.


I hadn’t been to Powell since they’d planted the vegetable garden, so that whole side of the grounds was new to me. We had planned to take the kids over to the fountain, but they discovered this little garden sprinkler and decided to play here instead. Of course, Evie and Milo ran full tilt, fully clothed, and we had to change them out of sopping wet clothes and into their swim suits. Liam, on the other hand, refused to get near the water until he was wearing the Proper Attire. These cousins couldn’t be any more different sometimes! And, of course, I couldn’t get all three of them in one shot at the same time. This will have to do.

James drove up in the afternoon and we had ourselves a little date night, our first since moving to KS. James discovered a new German place, Haus, boasting German and Belgian beers, exotic wursts and authentic Belgian waffles. The food was decent, though I’m not a huge fan of sausages. Feeling adventurous, I tried the Rabbit and James tried the Wild Boar. They both tasted about the same to me once they were drowned in sauerkraut and mustard. The Belgian fries, however, were outstanding. We got three dipping sauces, and true to the reviews, the Sriracha Aioli was the best. We also stuffed our faces with two appetizers, the fried cheese curds and the pretzels with hot cheese. Our stomachs near capacity, we skipped the buns on our sausages and went straight for the kill…a crispy Belgian waffle on a scoop of chocolate ice cream, drizzled with copious amounts of chocolate sauce and caramel. Holy crap, that was good! I almost forgot that I was full, and I gobbled up most of it. Just as well – I think James had hit capacity with all the bread and Belgian beer. Somehow we rolled ourselves out of there and took a stroll through the only museum we could find open that late, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. James finds modern art a bit dubious, but they had an outstanding photography exhibit by a woman in rural Idaho. (I get the feeling all of Idaho is rural.) Then we walked the grounds at the Nelson until we just couldn’t take it and had to sit down. Full bellies on a hot night, not conducive to romantic walks.

Sunday I had a lovely brunch with my college friend Jenny at Neighbors Café in downtown LS. Gotta love those cinnamon rolls! She bravely agreed to come back to my parents house to see how big Liam had gotten, and got a full dose of cousin madness. Quite a departure from her nice, quiet, one-cat, one-husband household, I’m sure, ha ha. Actually, even our house seems quiet when it’s just Liam and I at home. Three kids = five times the noise.


On Monday we took the kids to Crown Center for the Curious George exhibit, which they all loved! Evie jumped right in, posing for this photo, then joining a large group of kids all working with foam blocks and a conveyor belt. Milo took Jill off to explore, and that left me with Liam clinging to my skirts. He eventually warmed up to the idea of posing with George, as you can see above. In that third photo, I told him to put his arm around George, not thinking he’d put it around the front! This kid cracks me up. They had lots of little buttons to push and drawers to open with artifacts inside. They had a whole display of George merchandising that captivated his attention. I found it interesting that the authors fled Nazi occupied France with their manuscript in tow, traveling all the way through Spain on a bike and Brazil by boat before arriving in the States.


IMG_2185We took the kids on the wrong sky walk to Union Station, instead ending up at the Sheraton (must have been that right turn at Albuquerque), but they were happy to run all the way back around. Then they played quietly for almost an hour at the train exhibit. By the way, Milo is indeed only an inch or two shorter than Liam now. He’s still wearing Liam’ shirts from last year, but not for long! We couldn’t leave without getting some chocolate. Evie and Liam both had chocolate covered marshmallows, while I feasted on a dark chocolate dipped twinkie on a stick. Yum.

Tuesday, Jill’s birthday, was also Marvin’s moving day. So Jill and I babysat the kids and grandpa while mom and dad moved grandpa’s stuff out of his apartment in LS and into an assisted living place they found for him off Bannister Rd. All was well – the kids were playing quietly and Marvin took a nap – so Jill went out to Freebird’s to get us some takeout. I was feeling pretty confident until the kids started fighting, then I found Milo sitting in mom’s chair with a pair of adult scissors, then grandpa woke up all disoriented and started taking off his clothes and taking out his teeth. I finally convinced grandpa that it wasn’t morning and he didn’t have to take a shower, but he wasn’t happy about it. I guess he’s gotten rather OCD in his old age, coupled with a touch of dementia, and the poor guy doesn’t know what he’s doing or where he’s going. I think he’s moving into a facility just in time! Actually, for mom’s sanity, it should have been sooner. But now he’s all settled and taken care of. Whew!

I’ll end with this hilariously cute video of dad and Milo. We ended our trip on a good note, too, with the kids all playing really well even as I was loading up the car. I’m looking forward to visits from both Jill and my parents in August.


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