When I say "Back in Action," I'm actually referring to around home. I've been in action-packed Atlanta for a short visit and got to see Buddy, Daddy, Caryn, Brantley, Lindsey, and Anthony, among others. Had some great conversations with Daddy about his umpteen relatives and had two after-dinner concert/singalongs. Caryn's crew provided a great Chic-fil-a picnic which we ate under a breezy covered patio at Daddy's place. Great visit.
But the title really refers to getting home to Judy and those grandchildren. We had a blast keeping Claire Saturday and Sunday. We did everything under the sun. She had only been in her new house a couple of days, but knew that place like the back of her hand. It's a really cool house, classic "Southern Pines," in my opinion.
Both days we visited the nice neighborhood park just a half mile from Claire's house. It has THREE slides, and lots more stuff. Claire is sitting on her blanket in this photo because our Sunday visit to the park was mid-afternoon and the swing was rather hot.
She did a whole lot of climbing, too.
We also went on a couple of stroller rides in the neighborhood. Just a couple of houses down is a really neat home with this tin-crafted airplane. Claire just LOVES airplanes, even moreso on this weekend because she knew Mommy and Daddy would be coming home on an airplane.
Well, look at that! They've got a whole village in their yard, featuring the railroad.
Neighborhood adventures were not over. The Kirby house is right on a roundabout. That's right. But this one has been in Southern Pines for decades. And it's such a quiet neighborhood, I suspect you rarely have to yield the right of way. So quiet that you can walk to this little bench in the center of the roundabout and play for a while without seeing many cars go by. Since Claire likes all things "pine," I poked holes in magnolia leaves and made "yella umbrellas." She took over and entertained herself for some time. The pinestraw on the bench was left from the day before. Different day, different game.
Evan spent the weekend with Matt's family, and he was returned to us about an hour before his bedtime on Sunday evening. Happy as always, he didn't even whimper when he was laid in his crib that night.
By the following Wednesday, Judy and I were back on schedule with Brianna and Hunter for the afternoon. Bri can still try to get a "private reading" from Grandma, but Hunter is getting doggone good at injecting himself into the conversation. You can't keep a good man down.
Bri thinks cucumbers and oyster crackers are just the ticket to snack on during a good book.
And as for Hunter, he'll just snack on whatever's handy.
Okay, people. If you won't let me chew on sandals, I'll just put together this way-advanced Sesame Street puzzle. How 'bout dat?
Now Bri has moved on to yogurt. And from the wide-eyed look you'd think we were showing her "Bride of Frankenstein." But know, this is just the climax of "The Farmer in the Dell." She knows it from start to finish. And if I try to fool her by ending with "Grandpa stands alone" or "Kittycat stands alone," she busts me: "No-o-o-o-o-o. Cheese stands along!"
I'll close with a cute video of Claire's climbing exploits. This is in her own sideyard. She climbs as high as she wants to go, then starts calling DADDY, knowing full well he's coming home on an airplane that night. She's not scared, she knows Daddy's not going to help her down this time, but she puts on quite a show before I offer my assistance. As Jennifer and Amanda will attest, we have a couple of drama queens.
All of us will be at Claire's big 2nd birthday bash tomorrow. Hard to get this crowd all in one place at the same time. Hopefully, my camera will be there, too. Battery's charged and ready!