We picked up K & T on Thursday and spent that evening hanging out and letting the boys get acquainted with each other. This also gave Turner time to check out Charlie's bedroom and toy-room-- which he seemed pleasantly satisfied with. (My cooking, however, was another story.) The two boys fell into friendship easily and played well together the majority of the time. Kelly & I had to chuckle because at one point, Charlie clearly needed some space and though he tried to escape Turner (he'd move from one part of the room to another, only to be followed by Turner) he never could quite achieve that solitude he seeked. Finally, I mentioned that he's always welcome to play in his room for a little while if he needs some alone time. He eagerly went to his room, played for about 40 minutes on his own, recharged his battery a bit, and came out to join the group. (Such an introvert--I totally love it.)
Our five days together were busy and eventful but not at all too stressful or scheduled. We spent mornings lazily hanging out at the house (Turner was the early riser, Charlie slept in every morning) and eating breakfast on the deck. A few hours in the afternoon were spent napping (or reading or tv viewing) and our evenings included more playing and lots of rough-housing with Mason. The boys took baths and we read books and they usually fell asleep quickly after being tucked into bed. Kelly and I would settle onto the couches in the living room with every intention of going to bed by 10:00, only to end up talking late into the night (midnight!) every single evening. Our conversations never felt forced or awkward-- there was just that much to say and I have a feeling that there always will be. There were times, however, that we also enjoyed sitting in silence next to each other, watching our boys play in the basement or outside on the play-set or at a park. In those moments, it felt like we were silently communicating-- enjoying the company of an soulmate without having to even say a word. Magical, I tell you, magical.
Looking back, I wish I had taken more pictures of their visit. But honestly, things just flowed so naturally and the moments never felt like the necessity for a photo op. Everything just felt right-- and I think I momentarily took them for granted, thinking that they belong here in Iowa with me-- I might have even momentarily envisioned them moving into the empty house across the street. I got lost in the moment, completely let down my guard and was 100% myself (mood swings and all)-- which is sometimes so hard to do. We even forgot to take a picture of the four of us, which is probably fine in the long run.
Fortunately, the wonders of the smart phone nudged me to at least take a few pics of our magical time together. Here's the snapshot version:
The hum of a crop duster lured us outside during breakfast. Turner wasn't quite sold on the idea of this coming so close...Charlie took a seat at the picnic table and happily watched it. (I know, food while spraying chemicals over a field? I'm trying not to think about the hazards of this. It was good entertainment.)
We visited Hansen's Dairy Farm in Hudson and gained tons of dairy farm knowledge.
And what's a dairy farm without kangaroos and wallabies? (The Hansen logo is a kangaroo with a calf in it's pocket)
At the end of the tour we made butter all by ourselves. We had excellent shaker-help.
And they fed us ice cream. (Might I suggest getting the key-lime pie if you're ever in the area?)
We spent an afternoon/evening at the Grundy pool (but this is the only picture I took asides from the moms in their swimming suits and that's not something that needs to be on the internet).
And every night we read lots of books-- and listened to the baby inside my belly.
We did have the foresight to take a picture of the two of us belly to belly. I love that we're sharing pregnancy together and how fun that we'll have babies just a few months apart.
On Monday, we spent the afternoon at the Iowa Children's Museum in Iowa City. This place is like the best-thing-ever if you're 2 or 3 or 4 or probably under twelve.
He took his pizza making very seriously...
So did he:
T loved the air tunnels
Charlie: Mom! I can reach the pedals and make the propeller turn this year!!
Plane simulator. (I felt bad because I really had no idea how to work the thing and couldn't really get them to "fly". Definitely needed Daddy there. He would've flown that plane for sure!)
They LOVED the train room and chased that train for a huge amount of time. No complaints here--- there was a bench just right for the moms to sit and get some more chatting accomplished.
And after we dropped them off at the airport (it was a quick hug or I would have for sure cried), we had a little date at Perkins. Pancakes for supper? Sign us both up!
AND....while we were at Perkins, I got a call from my sister... just letting me know that this little one came into the world while we were wrapping things up at the Children's Museum. What a great way to end our day!
I'm feeling filled up and grateful and happy as we start bringing the summer to a close.