Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July Weekend

Of course, plans never turn out how you expect them, or even how you'd like them to.

I was pretty excited for my brother to arrive, so, naturally, his flight got cancelled, for no other reason than they couldn't find a pilot. I guess the one assigned to this last-flight-of-the-day was passed out drunk somewhere (just kidding, I don't really know that for sure). But after continually delaying the plane, they finally cancelled it and put him on the next flight that would take him from Chicago to Billings; of course, this was at 7pm Saturday evening, and would take him through Denver (almost 24 hours from the time he was scheduled to arrive).  And to kick off the weekend, Zoey wanted to make sure she'd having something new and exciting to show people:

Zoey chose the weekend we celebrate our independence to try independently standing on her own. She did it, seemingly, without a care in the world, staring at her favorite Nick Jr. in-between-programs program, Moose and Zee. She was able to stand on her own for a good 30-seconds and even then she didn't just topple over, she carefully sat down, continued on with her business, and wondered why we were clapping and so excited.

I left to pick up Aaron later on Saturday, thankful we live about a block from the airport since Aaron's travel mishap resulted in his luggage not being with him, but needing to be picked up three hours post his arrival. I thought Zoey would be in bed by the time we got home but that was sorely not the case. On top of it being too warm, we think she may have gotten the sniffles, or some variation of what her cousin Layne had last week. I had hoped her recent significant hunger for food and sleep would keep the virus away but that is not permissible in the kids' credo; when one gets stick, they all get sick.

When Aaron finally did arrive to stay at our house, Zoey was in full-swing anti-bed mode (thankfully, this doesn't happen too often, and there is usually a reason for it). But she laid eyes on Aaron and was in instant flirt-mode, and it continued throughout the rest of his stay, no matter her mood, whether her diaper was full or her belly empty, she'd grin and bat her eyes at him. At one point while she was having her diaper changed I had to tell her, "Reel it in, girl, he's your uncle."

Like I mentioned before, Aaron is amazing with kids. Admittedly, I've never seen him with a baby but that doesn't mean much. He reminded me a lot of how I used to interact with babies (or how I still interact with them when they're not mine); he spoke to her like she was a grown person, but still found moments to be silly with her.

 Look Uncle, this is one of my many favorite shows on Nick Jr.!

 The picture is blurry because they play so fast. Zoey kept up with her uncle appropriately. :-)

 Both of them playing with their cell phones.

 Uncle Cool

 Even cool guys can't help but make funny faces at a cute baby.

 Unfortunately, Uncle is undermining what I've been trying to teach Miss Grabby-Pants: you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friends' nose; an invaluable lesson I learned from my own parents. Aaron must have missed the memo.

It's good Uncle has never met a beer he didn't like; subsequently, he hasn't met a floor he hasn't liked either, but this one is extra awesome (and baby-friendly).

After Jacob, Aaron, and I spent the rest of Saturday night catching up, chatting, joking, and having a few beers, it was time for bed. We woke up relatively late on Sunday morning - meaning 8am - and because having Aaron in the house is the equivalent of feeding an army, Jacob and I cooked enough breakfast to actually feed an army. It kept us going for the rest of the day, even though we didn't feel like doing much.

I had wanted to drive up to the Beartooth Mountains 1) so Aaron would get a real taste of Montana (not that growing up in Colorado doesn't count); and 2) to get out of the 100-degree heat. Coincidentally, we only made it to Red Lodge because watching Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story took up a good chunk of the morning; and the temperature was still in the 90s up there so my goal hadn't been accomplished in every facet of my plan.

We needed to be back to Billings by 4pm to meet my parents and greet our fur babies. As luck would have it, though, they were running behind so Aaron, Jacob, Zoey and I were able to sit outside in downtown Red Lodge and enjoy some lunch. You hear about babies having stranger-fear but not this baby! She flirts with every boy and giggles at every girl.

She is getting so big and changing so much, I'm afraid to blink... :-(

Our lunch took longer than anticipated; we foolishly thought the small pizza restaurant would be a quick grab. Turns out, the small pizza restaurant is rather large and our lunch took longer than forever. Just goes to show you, I guess, to never judge a book by it's cover.

We made it back to Billings around 5pm to Mom and Dad and the dogs waiting for us in the house. My dad had taken one of the screens off in the bonus room, apparently, and climbed through the window to unlock the door to the backyard. He learned after we got home that we had left the garage door unlocked.

The dogs were very happy to see us but were quite subdued. We were regaled with stories and pictures (of which, Mom, I need, please!! :-)) of their adventures, Louis even coming back from a run-in with the cows with hoof prints on either side of his body. If Zoey doesn't give me grey hairs, Louis sure will; does! But we also got to hear stories of how they took care of each other, looked out for each other, hung out together, and licked each others ears. I guess they were made for each other.

This was taken Monday, the day after their return. They get up to eat and go outside for nothing else than to use the bathroom. They played for about 30 seconds last night before calling it a day on the carpet. They just can't re-charge like they used to.

On Monday, Jacob unfortunately had to work. TV never sleeps (although it probably should since 4th of July programming is what you find after you scrape the bottom of the barrel). So I spent the morning being stay-at-home mommy and cleaning the house. At 2pm I met my family at their hotel and we walked to the baseball park. Jacob was able to leave work early so I picked him up and we went back to the field. I don't think anyone saw a lick of baseball, we just ogled Zoey and her extreme cuteness. But by 4:30pm, we were tired and sun-drained, and Zoey hadn't had a nap so was getting crabby. We said good-bye to my parents and went home to relax.

 Loving being held by Grandma.

Laughing and conversing with everyone at the ballpark.

Later that evening, Aaron ditched the parental units at their hotel and came back over to our house to hang out. Then everyone shipped out to Wyoming on Tuesday morning. It was very nice to have my family visiting, and the 4 of us with Zoey.

This weekend, Zoey will spend time with Jacob's parents while we head to Denver for one of my best friend's wedding. I'm hoping with Jacob by my side, I might have a warmer feeling towards Denver this time around. Although, I realized yesterday that Montana is my home, so maybe that is why Denver brings such a disconnect. Well, things move in and out of your life, and nothing ever stays the same.....

Even still, it will be nice for Jacob and I to get away and spend some time together. And so, on to our next adventure! (although, yes, our adventures are quite tame)