Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Break!

Anna June is on Spring Break this week, and we've been a little off schedule. OK, there has been no schedule.

The main thing was that Granny Annie came to visit! We were so excited, blessed, and fortunate to have her with us for most of the week, especially since I was bed-ridden on Saturday. It was horrible to be so sick, but so wonderful to have a real live nurse in the house, and a grandparent to help Ben take care of AJ. Even though she's 5 now, she still needs a lot of tending to! There's the whole bath time/bedtime routine, plus meals, etc.

Granny arrived Saturday morning, just in time to help. AJ could not wait to show her the progress we've made in her room, as well as to read her two short books (sight word readers). She was very impressed. I sent them to lunch at the Three Earred Rabbit in Trussville. AJ came back with a messy face from the multicolored ice cream, and Granny had a delicious hot fudge sundae. They also hit up a local shop, Southern Magnolia Gifts, to look around. When I heard Granny was searching for gifts like handmade soap to take back, I sent them to Crestwood Festival Center, where there was supposed to be a big event going on, with a car show, fashion show, and soapmaking demos and chair massages at Earthly Delights. Of course, it had been rained out and I didn't get that particular message in time! But they had a nice time shopping, anyway. 

After a short rest time, I sent them to Chick-fil-A for Zoo Night. As Rachel tweeted, "Hmm.. I’m wondering what the health department thinks of this…" As it turns out, there were several animals on display in the parking lot, including a chinchilla, a skink, a snake, and a tortoise that peed everywhere. I'm told there was also an extremely attractive zookeeper on display as well.

Sunday brought us better health, so we thought, and we ventured out in the world only to return right back home.

Monday saw me going to work and the rest of the family on its own adventures. There were plenty of leftovers, so they ate lunch at home.Ben fixed our broken doorbells, with a $2 part from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Irondale. The contractors that Home Depot sent came to install our new vinyl windows, which we love. We're waiting for the weather to get nicer so we can enjoy our new screens!

On Monday night, my parents had us over for homemade soup, chili, and cornbread. We also especially liked the cherry tomato appetizers. Annie brought a cheesecake from Publix that was also delicious.

Tuesday while I was at work, they visited Arlington House, Birmingham's only surviving antebellum home. While the property was beautiful, there was no one around to give tours or lend any insight. Hopefully as the city becomes more of a tourist destination, we will come up with the revenue to staff this city treasure again. I still have never been there! We will definitely go again - and may call ahead to make some sort of tour arrangement or something. After the outing, they went to Rusty's BBQ. Rusty's was in the thick of Round 2 of the Year of Alabama Food Quest for the Best Alabama BBQ, which they eventually lost to the legendary Dreamland by only 61 votes! Annie enjoyed the ribs and Ben had the chicken fingers. When I got home, Annie had made dinner: delicious baked chicken, baked potatoes and green beans. I could definitely get used to coming home to dinner on the table!

Granny went to The Memorial at our local Kingdom Hall. We were a little apprehensive, as the website indicated that there was a Swahili-speaking group at the Eastwood congregation - we had no idea if it would be in English or not. It was, and she reports it was a lovely service. Whew.  While she was gone, we watched Despicable Me for the first time. I loved it, and I'm pretty sure everyone else did, too. How can you not love anything with Jason Segel and Steve Carrell?

On Wednesday, Annie outdid herself. She made breakfast and washed the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, and more. Then they went to the McWane Center where they saw the new Grossology exhibit. Evidently, every kid in the area on Spring Break also went there. Here's a picture of the fun they were having, in silhouette.

It was Granny's first visit, and she was impressed. They went down to Chick-fil-A, getting to see a little of downtown where we spend so much time.

While AJ and Ben rested, Annie went to Anna's Linens to get curtains and an appropriate curtain rod for AJ's room redo. They are these, in purple. We haven't hung them yet, but they're ready to go. Like I said, she outdid herself!

After work, we went to The Cheesecake Factory, inspired by Granny's gift card from Aunt Jeanne. The traffic was bad, the parking was worse, the wait was long, and the place was crowded so there was a long wait to be served. But the food was good, the company was good (except for AJ, who was both tired and bored, who did not eat!), and I really enjoyed it. AJ was beyond restless, so we had to get our actual cheesecake to go.

Overall, it was a great visit. I appreciate every bath given, story read, dish washed, movie watched, game played, and gift given. It is such a shame that we can't see each other more often. We're currently planning to visit Milwaukee in August before AJ starts kindergarten.  We can't wait!

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