You couldn't hold the anticipation down as the day of Aunt Karen's arrival got near. Smunch is particularly enamored with AK and Mam thinks she's pretty cool too. This time, as in a couple of visits past, the show was stolen by my sister's own adorable little boy, Spencer, who is cute as a button and now interactive enough that all three kids have a blast together, even if Spencer is following behind at a sprinting crawl.
He thought Smunch and Mam, in particular, were hysterical. They were his entertainment every time he got in the car. Glad I'm not to one who has to drive him around solo in the coming weeks!
AK and Spencer spent an entire week with us and, as usual, I'm not really sure where all the time went or what was the most fun. Honestly, the fun started when we picked AK and Little S up at the airport. Mam insisted on carrying Spencer's car seat while Smunch had AK's suitcase full of bricks...or something equally as heavy.
We went to a Beach Party concert in one of the local parks and packed ourselves a picnic dinner. That was a lot of fun! The kids ran around like maniacs, dancing and doing somersaults. They even went up front to join in some of the "real" dance moves.
We also went to the Ice Cream Zoofari fundraiser at Happy Hollow Park and Zoo in San Jose. I like to go to that one because it supports Hope Home Services, which provided early intervention services for Smunch for his first 3 years of life, but also because Happy Hollow is fun and this event features as much free ice cream as you can eat. Yum! It was just a bonus to have AK and Spencer along for the event. Even Gram and Grandpa joined us!
We decided to risk Spencer crying when we put him on this firetruck ride. I told Mam to take good care of him and make sure he was happy. Her solution? Tickle him whenever his smile started to fade. At least it kept the little guy happy...and made his first ride without Mommy a success!
As silly as it sounds, one of the best experiences of the visit was that promised photo shoot at Sears. After such brilliant school photos, I'd wanted to get some decent pictures of the kids anyway and AK's visit made it the perfect time to get some portraits of the kids with their cousin. I sound excited, but the truth is, it was the regular pain in the butt of getting the kids to look all perfect, then fixing it all when we got there.
Mam refused to let me put the pretty bow back in her hair. I forgot that I'd been thinking of trying to conceal the scar on her forehead. Oh well. They got some great shots, but the only ones of Smunch by himself were lousy. They were nice enough to shoot a couple more that turned out pretty good. Spencer cried when the photographer decided he was done with the rocking horse prop. The kids ran up and down the hall outside the studio squealing and throwing their belongings. BUT, it was so exciting to get some neat pictures of the kids, that it almost seems like it wasn't painful at all! Fortunately, Mam put off getting a giant purple goose egg in the middle of her forehead until this morning.
Speaking of geese, we took a walk out at Shoreline Park and found it overrun with Canada geese. And if you know Canada geese, you know the place was also overrun by goose poop. That was a nice, relaxing little trip after the big photo shoot day. I'll blog a little more about that in a different post.
After a breakfast, marred only by poor service, one cranky old woman and the crashing of one little Mam into the corner of a neighboring table (don't ask. I don't know how it happened), it was finally time for AK to pack herself and Spencer up and start the journey back to San Diego. Thank goodness we'll be driving down there in just a few weeks!
It was a busy week of visiting. I'm sure Spencer was a little tuckered out from all that attention, but I don't doubt he knows he's ADO(RED). And AK? Yeah, she's adored too!