While visiting the Midwest, the kids, my mom, and I drove down to Washburn, Illinois, where Aunt Sara, Uncle Jeff, and Cousin Lily live, to baby sit Lily for the day. Words cannot express how excited I was to see Lily in person, so I won’t even try. I will, however, post lots and lots and pictures of her in this blog post, which might help you understand how thrilled I was to be in her presence. I met and spent a week with Lily at Christmas (she was born on December 17th), but hadn’t seen her since then. Too long, people.
We arrived in Washburn in the evening, right before Lily’s bath time. Instead of helping Aunt Sara give Lily a bath I took pictures.
The next morning, after Lily enjoyed breakfast round #1 with the Dairy Queen (Aunt Sara), I fed her breakfast round #2. And then I took more pictures.
As Lily falls asleep she pulls Zeke the zebra (cousin to Will’s Roar the lion and Hallie’s Bo the monkey) over her face. When we went in to get Lily up from her morning nap she – adorably – gave us her biggest smile but left Zeke on her face. I love that you can tell she’s smiling even though you can only see her eyes. Aunt Sara’s eyes.
After Lily’s morning nap we walked to the park, which ended up being a ridiculously hot, stressful, and comical excursion. We stepped outside into a SAUNA, but since we’d already promised Will and Hallie, we headed to the park anyway. We only had one stroller, so I carried Lily in the Bjorn, Grandma pushed Hallie in Lily’s stroller, and we made Will walk the 11 miles (it may have only been about a ½ mile, but to hear him talk it was 11 miles) to the playground. In 90 degree weather and along the side of the highway, because in Washburn there’s no sidewalk on the route to the park.
We had to be at Aunt Sara’s school, a 20-minute drive from Washburn, by 11am. Unfortunately, because of a miscalculation on the park of the grown-ups, once we arrived (drenched in sweat – I actually had a Lily-in-a-Bjorn-shaped sweat mark on my chest) and looked at our watches we realized it was already time to go home. This was of course very upsetting to Will and Hallie, who both, because of the travesty that was their minimal playing time at the park and the wretched heat, had meltdowns. Lily, on the other hand, was totally happy to be part of the chaos. She grinned ear-to-ear while Will and Hallie cried and Grandma and I tried to bribe them to start heading home. We knew we wouldn’t make it on time if Will walked, so we put him in Lily’s stroller first and then put Hallie in Lily’s stroller on Will’s lap. They both complained/cried the entire way home, and yes, you guessed it, Lily just grinned while Grandma carried her in the Bjorn and earned her own Lily-in-a-Bjorn sweat mark.
The one highlight of the park was Lily’s first slide ride with her cousin Will. Though you can’t necessarily tell from the pictures, they both had a good time and went down more than once.
Back at home we had exactly seven minutes for Grandma, me, and Will to pee, to change Hallie and Lily’s diapers, to pack two diaper bags, make one bottle, and strap three children into car seats in the back of Grandma’s Buick. We accomplished all of these things, sort of, despite a screaming baby (who had suddenly decided she was very hungry), a dawdling toddler, and a less-than-helpful preschooler. After we were all in the car we asked Will if he could give Lily her bottle (he was sitting next to her in the backseat, and we figured he could just hold the bottle in place while we drove), and he said “I’d be happy to!” He took the bottle from Grandma, literally handed it to Lily (who of course dropped it and screamed louder), and said “Here you go, Lily!” Grandma ended up having to reach from the front passenger seat to hold the bottle while we drove to Aunt Sara’s school.
To see the discombobulation that was Grandma and I taking care of the three children one would have thought that neither of us had ever been a mother. Or even a babysitter. Or even met a child. (Don’t worry, Sara and Jeff – despite the chaos everyone was safe and happy! Please let me baby sit again!)
After afternoon naps, Will and Hallie entertained Lily by dancing around her in the living room and showing her how to work on the toys on the ‘Stein. They did this for nearly an hour – Lily was thrilled with the entertainment, and Will and Hallie were equally thrilled with the audience.
At one point I asked Hallie to give Lily a kiss for a picture. Lily loved the kissing, so as Hallie pulled away Lily grabbed Hallie’s hair and hung on for dear life. “Mama, Baby Yi-yee puwl my hay-yah!”
Both kids wanted to hold Lily, so of course we orchestrated this. Will held her for a few minutes, until she tired of his amateur baby-holding grip. Hallie held her for approximately seven seconds, until Hallie saw Will grab a toy she wanted. Hallie literally tossed Lily to the side (thankfully Grandma also had a hand on Lily when this occurred) and jumped off the couch. You can tell from the pictures that Lily is much more comfortable in Will’s lap than in Hallie’s – Lily knows that two-year-olds are trouble.
Lily has super-human core strength. When you put her on the ground on her tummy she lifts up her arms and her legs and “flies” until someone moves her to a new position.
I just can’t stand how cute she is.