Preschool v. Cousins

For your consideration: William on his first day of preschool!

He’s wearing an outfit that his grandmother gave him for his birthday.  Little did I know that morning that William had decided that he didn’t like this outfit, and snipped the edges of the shorts and the sleeves of the shirt with scissors.  I didn’t notice the raggedy, ruffly hems until after lunch that day.

Yes, yes, the time-out was massive.  But anyway: Preschool!  Which William loves with a passion.  This week he would prefer preschool over trips to Disneyland, I think.

In fact, he said that he wanted preschool more than a playdate at McDonald’s with his cousins — a shock indeed.  William doesn’t get to see his cousins Sarah and Abby very often since they live in Pittsburgh.  Wednesday was their last day here, so not only did we have a playdate for lunch (sorry, preschool!) but we also went up to my parents’ house that evening for an impromptu birthday/goodbye party for my sister.

Much goofiness ensued.  I made an attempt to document the action, but it was difficult.  These were taken in between bouts of jumping up and down on the guest bed upstairs:

Meanwhile, June decided to show Katie how to properly chew on a pillow:

And Jeffrey fulfilled his heart’s desire: playing Minecraft with Uncle Alex.  (Ohhhhhh, Minecraft.  Were you specifically created for Jeff to obsess over you, talk about you nonstop and do whatever amount of homework and chores is necessary to obtain permission to play you?  Because if so, mission accomplished.)

Alex made this face on purpose.  He deserves what he gets, Internet-wise.  Meanwhile, look at the worshipful gaze on Jeffrey’s face.

Insanity would have prevailed BUT for the good graces of my father:

This energy high, of course, is nothing compared to the half-naked ice cream-a-thon we had at the previous cousin meeting a week and a half earlier:


My mother has a “fairy garden” in her backyard, peopled with little knicknacks she finds at thrift stores.  June and Abby were playing so sweetly with it:

And this is baby Emmaline.  What?  Have you not met?  She is cousin June’s baby sister, and in this picture she is just over 1 week old.  What a sweet baby Emmykins!

But Katie’s not about to let some other baby out-cute her:

A good time was had by all, as they say.  During my sister’s two-week visit, she crammed in three family dinners, two cousin playdates, and a trip to Yellowstone.  And that was just with our side of the family!  (Apparently there was a wedding on the other side.  Wow).

I already miss you lots, Lizzie!  Take care back in Pittsburgh.

The Relatives Came

My sister and her family are visiting from Pittsburgh, and everyone is ecstatic about it.  Liz is a extrovert, who loves being around as many people as possible, so of course everyone loves being around her.  We had a big family dinner last week, and there was a big bocce tournament in my parents’ backyard afterwards.

My brother, Pat, is big on the bocce:

And isn’t my parents’ garden gorgeous?  I don’t have a garden; I have a yard, which is best for little kids to play in and get muddy.  So it’s nice to enjoy my mom’s flowers on our visits.

And the cousins!  Yay for Cousin Sarah!  She is just between Eleanor and William in age, which makes her the perfect playmate.  Cousin Abby, at age two, is still a little too small for most of the action, but she’ll catch up soon.

It was a really windy day on this afternoon, so I took the kids kite flying when bocce got boring.  My parents have a big dragon kite which is unfortunately very difficult to fly.  I kept crashing it into the ground after just a few minutes of airtime.  Eleanor and Sarah would rush across the field to “rescue” it, Sarah speaking to the kite the entire time as if it were alive.

“Don’t worry, boy,” she’d say, patting the dragon’s nose, “you’ll do better next time.”

Eleanor loved making dramatic arm gestures whenever she launched the kite into the air.  Abby was unfortunately scared of the dragon, and William comforted her whenever it took off.

Poor Jeffrey, though.  He’s a little too old to enjoy playing with so many little girls, and Uncle Alex was in a mood to be alone, so he was kind of the odd man out for the evening.  Rats!