Got a lot of work done this week. Pete had photo day at school, and while he (coincidentally) insisted on wearing his Thor helmet to school that day, his teachers were on to him and made him take it off for photos. SHOCKER. Also: thank you, dear teachers. He was allowed to have something in the photos, though, so he opted to include Momo. I am dying to see these things, I won’t lie.
He got home and was still a little bummed about the helmet thing, so I chased him around outside with my camera to make up for it.
We had a pretty fun weekend planned – my cousin Joy’s husband Whitey is in Canada all week hunting, and she and the kiddos (Cameron and Cora) decided to come visit to blow a few days. She showed up on my doorstep, munchies in one hand and baby in the other, laughing that some kids yelled “HI PETE’S MOM!” at her when she got out of the SUV. That, my friends, is the way to show up on my doorstep: (1) bearing cupcakes, cheese, and beer; (2) offering chubbeh chubbeh babies for me to squoosh at my leisure; and (3) telling me that the neighbor kids basically think you and your looker of a cousin are the same person.
Oh, and she also brought me her homemade marinara and some orange/cranberry butter. Because she is not only the prettiest, but also a mini-Martha. Yummmmmm.
We sat around and fed the kids and snarfed down some lunch ourselves while we caught up, then hit the road to Marshall. We had a date with the Pumpkin Train.
Both of us wanted to take our kids to the pumpkin patch, but we’ve had a lot of soggy, rainy days in Wisconsin lately, so neither of us had the opportunity to go to a patch yet. Little Amerricka in Marshall has a special “pumpkin train”, where the train takes you out to the patch and then brings you back. The boys are both train-obsessed, so that was where we headed. It was quick and not the fanciest patch around (I mean, come on: not really a patch at all) but the kids loved it.
It was an eventful trip even if short. We saw carnies digging holes, a team of angry ducks that probably would have eaten us if we weren’t moving so quickly, and on the drive home Scott tried to pass a tractor thing and it rained manure all over Joy’s pristine white Highlander. Ever see The Sweetest Thing? That foil-swan-hitting-the-windshield scene? Yeah. It was kinda like that, for a split second.
Later we drove up to Middleton for dinner at The Roman Candle. They have a basement ‘family’ area with a huge playroom. The pizza is great, the playroom rocks, and they have a nice beer selection. Needless to say: we’ll be back. A lot.
Cora was sad that she does not have the teeth for pizza.
We all hit the hay early. Wellllll early for us adults: Pete and Cameron, those knuckleheads, they stayed up late in Pete’s room, talking and squealing and taking turns swigging out of the water sippy glass (we had to refill it THREE TIMES. Joy and I better separate those two before they are college-aged). Cora, too, decided she didn’t want to go to bed. Finally we got them all down (10:00p?) and Joy and I gave up and just went to bed ourselves. Which is probably a good thing, because OF COURSE none of them slept in. Brats.
Scott ran out and got doughnuts, I put on the coffee, and the boys hung out in Pete’s room. Playing trains and stopping for hugs and tickle fights. And for doughnuts.
After breakfast we headed to Henry Vilas Zoo. Someone must have missed their alarm this morning, because the doors were still locked when we showed up at opening time. The boys took advantage of the wait and played in the leaves in the lawn in front of the zoo.
After about 10 minutes the doors opened, and away we went.
We let the boys ride the ‘train’ alone (yes, I know calling it a zoo train is a stretch, but bear with me). This was clearly Epic and they loved every minute of it.
By the time we were done the boys were whining for lunch, so we headed to Zulu Cafe across the street. Another restaurant with a play area (score), and they had really really good food. Especially for a place that clearly caters to the post-zoo-trip crowd. The boys had PB&Js on pita and we had all sorts of yummy adult dishes (chicken cranberry sandwich, stuffed salmon something, and I had the Greek veggie plate). Yum yum.
After that we just headed back, hung out at the house a little while. The boys played upstairs for awhile and we played with Cora and chatted while Joy packed. Cora is missing her daddy, so Scott gave her a little love to get her through the day.
This child is the spitting image of her dad, and let me just say: Whitey would be a pretty girl 😉
Then it was time for them to hit the road back to Green Bay, but not before the boys performed a well-rehearsed version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. About 4 times. And then refused to hug before Cameron left, but instead the best way to handle their sorrows was to be very sad alone in their own corners of the room. Gawd, men. They are so weird about their feelings.
After they left, we talked about them a lot. Pete clearly missed his buddy.
After awhile he came downstairs with Momo…
Pete: Mama, where did Momo come from?
Me: Momo has been with us a long time!
Pete: Yes, and he came from me! He started in my heart, and grew and grew in my tummy. Then he came out! Like this!
::Frantically stuffs Momo in his shirt, then yanks him out by the feet::
Peter, quite proudly: See, mom! That’s where Momo came from!
Me: . . .
So: thanks Cameron, for that parting gift of teaching Pete about Where Babies Come From. Came in handy, now I can skip that whole awkward speech later.