Well, I suppose there's a rare occasion where an empty lap might actually occur in reality...like now, for instance. I'm sitting here typing with no one in my lap. Shock, I know! We got back from Indiana Sunday evening and my lap has been quite full since then. Both girls haven't been feeling well so they've been quite clingy. On Monday, I was nursing Claira and Elsie was fussing and whining, "I want to hold you!" So, she climbed up on my lap as well and was fast asleep in all of about 7 seconds. Claira fell asleep, and I got up, leaving Elsie asleep in the chair...she was up on her hands and knees, asleep! That didn't last long, but it would've made for one entertaining picture, I assure you.
Anyway, we got up bright and early on Friday morning and were on the road at 7 a.m. Now, for some of you that might not be a big deal at all. But, it was quite an accomplishment for us. It took us about 3 1/2 hours to make our way to Indiana Beach where we met my Mom and stepdad as well as my younger brother, Jared. I hadn't been to the amusement park in about 8 years, and it was the first time for everyone else in my little family. We pretty much stuck to Kiddieland though. Well, and the food places...I needed to visit the Taco Shop, Elephant Ear place, and the Fudge Shop. Don't ask me why, but it was all just as delicious as I remember. You can't find an Elephant Ear at an Illinois carnival to save your life. They have funnel cakes and something else that I don't remember the name of, but it is just not the same. Anyway, Elsie had so much fun riding all the kiddie rides. And, I thought it was quite a bargain to ride all she wanted for just $16! Around here, we pay about $20 for like 5 rides so Indiana Beach is a deal!
Obviously, Kiddieland is a sure way to get Elsie to smile!
That afternoon, the storm clouds started rolling in so we took Elsie on a couple of last rides and headed for home. It started to sprinkle on us as we walked back across the bridge to the parking lot, but we made it to the car before the rain really started. Then, we headed toward the hotel to check in and relax for a bit.
After awhile, I called my dad and found out he was actually working in Chicago and wouldn't be home until Saturday. My stepmom, Rene, was babysitting but sent Madison to her Grandma's so I could pick her up there and take her back to the house. So, we ordered some Pizza King (YUM!) and picked her up. By that time, it was raining quite hard and was very windy. We got home to find severe thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches in effect until late. We turned on the radio to listen for updates and immediately heard that there was a tornado 12 miles North of where Rene was babysitting. So, I called her to let her know since I figured she'd be in the car with Kaleb by that time. Sure enough, she was in the car, and blessedly, she wasn't far from a gas station so she pulled over and waited out some of the storm. We were glad to see her and Kaleb home safely after that.
On Saturday, we got up and went to eat lunch with a lot of family. Elsie got to play with several of her little cousins, which is always nice for her. I'm sad that we don't live near more family members with young kids. She makes herself right at home anytime children are around.
It was Claira's first time meeting some of her great-grandparents so that's always a special time.
Four Generations: My Grandma, My Mom, Myself, and My Daughter:
Saturday afternoon, we headed back to my dad's house and hung out for the rest of the evening. It was the loud, giggly fun that it usually becomes when you mix our family with theirs. The kids just run around and play happily. You can't really ask for more than that.
Sunday morning, we met my brother, Joel, for breakfast at a restaurant in town, and I heard my name being called out as soon as we walked in the door. Now, it's not everyday that you hear the name Mandalynn being called out in a public place. I was pleasantly surprised to follow the voice to a very familiar face...Mama Bannon! She's a lovely lady, and the proud(I'm sure) Mom to Amanda, one of my best friends from high school. I haven't seen her in years so it was nice to get to have a little bit of face to face time with such a sweet woman. I miss them both!
We had a nice visit with my brother, and I'm glad we got together with him. He and I are two very different people, and we don't talk often. But, he's my brother, I love him, and we actually do get along pretty well when we are together. After breakfast, we headed back to my dad's house to say goodbye and then on to pick up Mom and her things for the trip back home.