Well, that was an amazing weekend. It was a weekend of big amazing and little amazing.
On Friday, I took Owen for his first ever experience with the bookstore train table. I don't think he has ever seen a train table before, and when he first laid eyes on it he was completely frozen for at least two minutes. He simply couldn't believe that such a wonderful thing existed and that he was going to be permitted to play with it. He thanked my by learning to climb out of his crib shortly later.
The afternoon brought ballet class with Mia's best friend. While the girls jete'd and plie'd, Owen and BFF's little brother ran up and down ramps and stairs and ate fruit snacks and explored trash cans. All four kids left on a high.
I rushed the kids home, foisted them off on Chris, and ran upstairs to change and primp. And then Chris and I left the kids with my in-laws and headed to dinner to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. We sat outside at an Italian restaurant, talked about our upcoming trip and work and the kids and the odd people at the next table, then walked over for gelato before heading home to tuck the kids into bed.
Saturday morning, the phone rang at 6:30. It was my sister-in-law, in labor and on her way over to drop off my niece. They arrived at 7:30 and we barely had time to eat breakfast and explore the play house and get covered in chalk before we got the call that my darling little niece was now a big sister. (Carter Elizabeth, for those who asked, healthy and beautiful.) Thanks to new hospital rules inspired by ye olde swine flu, none of us were allowed to visit the hospital, so we took the kids to an open house at the local fire station. It was cold and drizzling, but there was a moon bounce shaped like a dalmatian and big red fire trucks and the kids were happy enough.
After lunch, I took advantage of the much-improved weather and took the girls for a walk around the neighborhood. I had two girls, two strollers, and two pampered dollies along for the ride. We ran into a little girl Mia met at the pool this summer and absolutely adored, so spent some time riding their toys and climbing their trees before rushing home to hand off my niece to her grandparents, have dinner, and plop the kids into bed.
Sunday morning we undertook a fairly major trek to a regional park with a corm maze and fall festival. The kids ran around the maze for an hour, Mia spent much of her time shucking corn cobs to make it easier for animals to eat them. We took advantage of the moon bounce, the cornbox (like a sandbox, only with corn), visited the farm animals, watched a pig race, played on the playground, chased peacocks, and patted some very tolerant farm cats.
Then it was home for lunch, 100% nap refusal, a family walk around the neighborhood which turned out to be a ploy from Mia to go back and look for her friend, playing, dinner, baths, and tucking sweet-smelling children into bed.
This morning, I finally get to go meet my new niece and sniff her head and the back of her neck and see whether or not she will fit entirely into my mouth.
So much big. So much little. And I'm so glad for it all.