Steve's parents came for a visit at the beginning of July! They arrived on Thursday right about the time that Steve got off work. I babysat James on Thursday (the week was different since it was a holiday week) so things were a little crazy when they arrived -- kids needed naps, the usual! Steve was able to get off early and was able to set up his new smoker so that we could have pulled pork for dinner. He and his parents worked on the smoking situation while I cared for the kids. Since it was his first time smoking meat, he had to work out some kinks which resulted in us eating shaved pork sandwiches (meat was cooked, but not at a high enough temp to pull, who knew?!).
(Playing blocks with Mommom!)
(Playing Star Wars Angry Birds with Poppop!)
(After dinner, we took Steve's parents to our favorite ice cream shack -- Pete's! Bean loves piking out the chocolate pieces form my ice cream and always steals the last of the cone. I can't get mad -- those are my favorites, too. Just another way she is my mini-me!)
On Friday, we caravanned from Lima to Cincinnati with a pit stop in Dayton along the way. There is a small hiking trail with a waterfall just off the highway. We started Bean off in her stroller for the first part of the trail, but let her come out when we had to do the steps. She enjoyed the freedom of walking but didn't so much like the rule of holding someone's hand. A meltdown ensued and we had to force her to get back in the stroller. She was a little hateful until promises of Dora in the car (DVD system) and lunch around the corner were given. We ate lunch at our favorite pizza place -- Dewey's! Timing worked out perfectly for Bean to crash in the car after lunch.
(Trail appeared to be stroller friendly. I was going to make Bean walk, but Daddy & grandparents won out. We always have a stroller driver whenever Poppop is around!)
(View of the waterfall from the top. The trail was no longer stroller friendly, so Steve and his dad took turns carrying it while Mommom & I took Bean walking duty.)
(Bean loved going down the steps on her own -- of course! This girl is so independent.)
We continued our trek to Cincy and made it to Scott/Ashley's new house for the rest of the weekend. The rest of the weekend is a blur. There were multiple walks to parks (up and down hill both ways), yard work/house projects, delicious meals (Thanks Ash!), playground/splash pad/carousel, Grater's ice cream and meals out. The highlight of the weekend was the fireworks in the park. I was concerned on how Bean would handle the experience - walking to the park at 8:30pm, fireworks at 10pm, loud noises, having to walk back, etc. She was a trooper! She loved watching the fireworks and never even flinched at the noises. She even stayed awake the stroller ride back (thanks Scott for pushing!) and happily crashed in bed at 11pm. This girl never ceases to surprise me!
(I brought books and toys with Bean to Ashley's house, although I probably didn't need to. I think she only sat and played with the toys for like 5 min while I took a picture. The rest of the time, she was content to run around on the back deck.)
(How cool is this baby gate?! There is a gate at the top and bottom of the stairs. Scott and Ashley can put them up when they need, and easily take them down when they aren't needed. Made my life easier knowing that Bean could run around on the main level and not get into too much trouble!)
(Look at those knees! Bean tripped a couple times that week and again at their house. All the trips took a toll on her knees and she bloodied them up pretty good. It didn't phase her too much, but boy do I hate dealing with injuries!)
(Walking to find the bike/scooter parade!)
(Aunt Ashley's turn to walk with Bean.)
(So there was a house in their neighborhood that had a sign up talking about the "Bike & Scooter parade starts here" with info of time/date. I was curious and wanted to see the parade, as did others. It didn't go down their street, so we went up a street and watched all the neighborhood kids go by. It was a legit parade complete with front pace car playing patriotic music and decked out in flags.)
(Going down the slide with uncle Scott. Pretty sure he just used her to play on the playgrounds all weekend.)
(After the parade, we headed to a little kids park downtown. There was different areas set up -- playground, giant keyboard/wind chime, water works, splash pad, swings, and carousel. Bean loved watching the water turn the wheel.)
(Enjoying the swings. They were giant swings like what you'd have on a porch. They faced the river and it was very relaxing.)
(Bean wasn't too keen on being on the swing.)
(Riding on the carousel! Steve rode on one while I held Bean next to him. She refused to get on - just like the carousel at the zoo.)
(When we got off the carousel, she actually pointed to it and asked to ride again. Suuuuuure. We got back on and she freaked out over being on it again. So we sat on the bench. On our first ride around, Steve asked why on earth anyone would pay to get on a carousel and just ride the bench -- now he knows why.)
(After the carousel, we put on Bean's suit and let her run around. She didn't enjoy it like I thought she would. Time wise -- she was getting hungry and it was close to nap; but I had promised her she could get in the water, so I made the decision to just deal with the fallout. She was a trooper and we were even able to enjoy a really good lunch with the family downtown.)
(This sucker was the key to success of the weekend. Thanks again Ashley! This kid would do anything for her sucker.)
(Coloring with Aunt Ashley)
(Selfie in the park!)
(I took a picture during the fireworks and got this hateful glare from Steve. I wanted to capture how Bean intently started at the sky. I guess I didn't think through the flash. . . )
On Sunday morning, we headed out for a late breakfast at the same restaurant Scott/Ashley took us on our last Cincinnati visit - Sleepy Bee. After eating, we headed to a farmer's market and took in the people and overall experience. Bean loved running around the little square/fountain. There was a folk band playing and she'd randomly break out in dance, too. We said goodbye to Steve's family at the farmer's market. They headed to some stores and returned to the house to while we made a quick pit stop at Ikea before returning to Lima.
(Dancing around the farmer's market.)
(Watching the folk music.)
(We didn't have anything on our minds when we went into Ikea -- other than hotdogs! Steve brought up the idea of getting Bean a little play table - how could I say no?! So we decided to get Bean an early birthday present. She is in love with it and uses it daily! She plays with toys on it, sits and colors with me, and eats snacks and picnic meals on it.)
(Too cute not to include! We are having one fun & busy summer!)