Labor Day

No I mean we literally labored. And the child that came out of us was a cleaned up front and back yard. We couldn’t have done it without my sister and brother-in-law. They are freaking work horses and this was their, well at least her, idea to spend the weekend to accomplish this.

We love having company! Especially other rug rats to play with my rug rats.

They drove in Friday night and ate dinner at my brother’s house. I stayed as long as I could before Annie made her time-for-bed battle cry and then waited for them back home.

It was dark when they showed up but everyone was wired. So of course we had to start sharing youtube videos.
DSC_7992After a couple hours of catching up, we went to sleep.

Ruthie had already crashed before everyone came over, so it was a surprise for her to see them. Each morning was the same: she ran out excitedly and then after 30 minutes would refuse to leave Ryan’s side. After another 30 minutes of adjusting she’d venture back out to play.

And boy do I love see these cousins play. Now I know why my Joe offered us $500 to have a kid 6 years ago. When I got pregnant, I asked for that money. He said the statue of limitations had expired. Whatever.
DSC_7993 DSC_7994After Ruthie came once, went away, and came back to us, they gave her some birthday presents.

You’ll never guess what one of those presents was. Well, actually, this photo will give you a clue:
DSC_7996Hair accessories! My gosh, look at that rat’s nest.
DSC_7997There was only one day since they’ve left where hell froze over and she asked me to put a barette in her hair. Every other day has been spent throwing the teeny tiny fluorescent hair ties all over the living room.  I’m just vacuuming them up, sorry Lisa. But don’t worry, there’s about a million more.
DSC_7999I’m sure everyone thinks I’m just too lazy to fix her hair. This is partly true, but I have two witnesses who saw her move her hair back in front of her eyes after I tried to brush it to the side, like so:
DSC_8079I have a feeling she’s going to be the odd duck at school. Thank God! Odd ducks are so much more interesting.

After the birthday wishes, we had an impromptu dance party. I got up in the mix and Joe yelled out, Pat!! (My mother’s name). I know he’s suggesting I resemble 67 year old Pat and not 22 year old Pat (or “Peaches” as she was known in college), but I am still flattered.
DSC_8002In the midst of the dance party, Annie came out with the most ecstatic expression in baby history.
DSC_8004We passed her to Will to settle her down. Nope, still freaking excited was this girl.
DSC_8005The first day everyone met up with Matt at the local water park. Annie and I stayed put as it was really hot and humid. So we squeezed in some reading
DSC_8008and coloring.
DSC_8009Before they left, Lisa and I discussed what to do with that front room. I had thought about a dining room, but kind of nixed it. Then Lisa said one thing: Lots of memories are made around a dining table.

So that sealed it for me, and while they were out I started moving furniture.
DSC_8010Their dog Alistair came along for the ride.
DSC_8011And it ended up in the toy room, which I love. And not because I can lay there pretending to be sick so Ruthie makes me some fake soup.

I also see a girl laying there in the afternoon sun reading Pride and Prejudice or Alice in Wonderland or Little Women, forgetting that there’s a world around her. My mom says she has distinct memories of reading during the summer with a big bowl of popcorn at her side. She told me that in highschool and so one summer I followed suit. Tanned skin from swimming, laying on a couch in the air conditioning with buttered popcorn, reading a silly romance novel when I hadn’t even kissed someone yet. Yes, this late bloomer was in heaven.

A while later they came home and we immediately all changed and put in a movie. I knew Ruth needed a nap, but there was no way she was gonna miss out on all this.

DSC_8016I left them in the very capable hands of my husband to go nurse Annie. When I returned, the baby was finally napping.


Ruthie tried playing with him, but eventually went back to the movie.
DSC_8018Some other randoms. Learning the cup dance thing.
DSC_8022Getting chased.
DSC_8019And having dinner in our soon to be dining room.
DSC_8021The next day was slightly less hot. So we got up, ate breakfast and went to work outside. Our yard was a jungle and it took all of us (thank you Annie for taking a decent nap) to help. Ruthie liked tagging along.

Elayna found a caterpillar and named it Squirmy or something like that. DSC_8029We don’t know what happened to it. Ruth probably ate it, but if that kept her occupied for five minutes, then I’m all for it.
DSC_8030I’m going to show some before and after pics, but first let’s get through this day. It literally lasted for. EVER. (name that movie! Wrong – it’s The Sandlot). That’s the kind of summer day you want…. if you’re at the beach. Not when you’re working. Or having to stand and spray the Slip N Slide because the water pressure through the hose wasn’t enough.
DSC_8038Annie didn’t care.
DSC_8035Neither did they.
DSC_8036 Okay, maybe she did a little.
DSC_8042It’s nice to have these extra set of hands. It’s also nice to see how eager Lisa is to hold her too. Thank you for showing them so much love.
DSC_8043But back to this.
DSC_8049My humor is apparently that of a sixth grader because I guffawed.

After a bit, we brought out some fireworks that were bought on the fourth but never used. I mean, what better way to get on my neighbor’s good side, right? This was my idea and then I ended up being the one running into the house red-faced and embarrassed after a screaming rocket ship something or other explodes in the air.
DSC_8060The smoke drifted over to the neighbors and into the road. I was so paranoid, I was sure each driver that went by was going to call the cops.
DSC_8059You can take the girl out of school, but you can’t take the school girl out of the girl… what? Whatever, you get it. I am a rule follower at heart and even those sparklers had my eyes darting around waiting to get called to the principal’s office.
DSC_8054We rounded out the evening with a little soccer in the soon-to-be dining room and a little talking. With my niece and nephew. We took turns sharing stories about them when they were little and I could tell they liked it. I hope they will one day sit around telling stories like my parents and uncles and aunts do. It’s what drove my passion for our genealogy. We come from a line of farmers on either side and I just learned how to make jelly. I knew it was in me somewhere!! There’s even talk of a spring roadtrip to see where my dad’s side lived, which ironically is in Arkansas. I think we thought all of us were from Missouri/Kansas.

So after the reminiscing, this (always) tired mom went to sleep.

We woke up and threw on some bacon and eggs before they drove home.

Joe tried one last time to get Ruthie to hug him. It’ll happen, Joe. It’ll happen. She did imitate your laugh, so you know you’re in her heart somewhere.
DSC_8062Someone wanted to go with them. If I had known what the next two weeks had in store for me with this girl, I would’ve gladly sent her. Holy Super Nanny guerilla tactics.
DSC_8064But I was blissfully unaware and gazed fondly on her as she crashed on the sofa.
DSC_8094We’re so excited to see them again.

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