Monday, July 4, 2011

The 4th at the Farm.

After having to jump the car because the lights were left on after I let Elliot play in the front seat while I hunted for the credit card I forgot to get back from him during our last trip to Target (sigh...), we finally got on our way to the farm for the 4th!  I've been pumping Elliot up about visiting Grandma and Grandpa Ulrich, and getting out the swimming gear, so he was definitely excited.

He has his version of Grandma and Grandpa-- it's Goya and Gatta.  Not sure how that came about, but alas.  Mom thinks it sounds Scandinavian-ish... Once we figured out what he was saying, he's pretty darn persistent about using these titles!

I guess you could say we had a blast-- he played so hard each day that he crashed each night and had excellent naps.  We got on the road at 4pm on Monday to drive back, and he slept for 3.5 hours of the drive, we made record time with a fly-by for gas!  Once he woke, Pat said to him, "We're almost home!  Back to Chicago!"  His response-- a very loud protest of, "NOOoooo!"  Followed by, "Goya, Gatta, home."  

 The 4-wheeler is always a hit.

 We ended up with a lot of plans, but on Saturday evening, we were open so Uncle John and Aunt Melissa and boys came for dinner.  They all played out in the yard forever and wore themselves out, running up and down the hill, playing baseball, you name it.

 Being nice to Salt.  He then bent down and gave her about 5 or 6 kisses that she didn't know what to do with.

 Heading to the big fireworks bash at Aunt Amy's-- the place to be every year, but this year it was partnered with cousin Scott's graduation party (from OSU).

 Cousin Ann and Jenna (Scott's sister+3 1/2 yo) came up from Georgia.  The newest entertainment for the summer is this GI-gantic water slide/pool so she brought it along.  We knew it would be fun... but Elliot would stand there, purple, and shiver.  Of course, though, he wouldn't get out.

I was talking early on in the playing, and he slipped and went under before I noticed.  He got himself back up and took a minute to cry.  Gave me a good scare and reality check of how careful we need to be with a toddler and water!

 Manning the water gun.
 One attempt at getting out-- very short-lived.  He hardly ate the whole evening.  Notice, he is still hugging one of the foam water guns.

 A view of the "amusement park" at Aunt Amy's-- you see the GI-gantic water slide, then another kiddie pool, the play set, and just to make sure everyone would have fun, she put a slip-and-slide around on the other side of the yard.  Then there were multiple yard games for adults and PLENTY of fireworks!!  The little ones (well, everyone!) had a blast.  I think there were at least 8 little ones under 4, then others who were older...
 This water got saturated with red sand from the sandbox.  Did it stop this guy?  Nope!
 Cousin Mya with a water gun.

 Dad keeping watch.
 Please note how the other children are out of the water and in dry, clean clothes...
 And he had to go back in the big pool.  We took off the swimshirt when it turned dark and he seemed to be even colder... Last kid in for a good while.

 Finally, out and dry.  He LOVED the fireworks-- the louder, the more colorful, the more he cheered.  He kept yelling, "MORE!"  and we had to remind him to add his "Please."  (Next to him, cousin RJ who is 4 mo older, has cried each time and fallen asleep in the middle of the big bangs!)

 More festivities!  A family friend, Amy Billich, invites us to her brunch each year and has a pool in her landscaping.  Elliot did awesome with the floaty ring-- he was kicking like crazy and loving it!  Super adept and comfortable in the water.

Again, he slipped near the edge and went in, even with two adults right next to him.  He was fine, of course, but I personally think the scare was a good thing since he was immediately so comfortable in the water-- I want him to fear it a little.

 Trying to stop the shivers on a break.

 You can see how the surroundings are at this pool-- lovely!  All the rocks she has hauled up from her creek.

 He gave tons of great hugs this weekend, but wormed right back down, so again, I have no good shots of him with "Goya and Gatta."  I tried here and this is his reaction to "Smile for the camera!"

 Not so keen on getting in with the calf...

 Better from outside the fence...

 Every trip to the barn had to include multiple sittings on all the vehicles.  And if he got down there without you, he'd climb up himself.  Lawnmower here.

 Grandpa's old tractor.
Back at home, watching neighborhood fireworks from our deck, with more encore requests of "More!"  What an awesome weekend away.

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