Everytime we go to Missouri it is such a big, fun party. This time was no exception. Aunt Joanna and Aunt Nanitzi drove up from Texas and Oklahoma & Aunt Ayanna drove in from Kansas City so during his visit Joseph got to see every single one of his cousins. It was our first time to meet cousins Thomas and Shaia. Both were so very cute and made us more excited for our next baby to join us.
Grandma and Grandpa treated us all to the Circus Flora, a one-ring, European-style circus. It was outdoors under a big tent (with air conditioning) and we had seats a couple rows from the stage. It was really fun.
Afterwards, Grandma treated all the cousins to pony rides. This was Joseph's first pony ride, and he was a big fan!
Aunt Catherine holding baby Thomas.
Uncle John is an EMT. He drives an ambulance. He is a big hero! He thrilled Joseph by arranging to take him to his work and let him climb in and explore a real ambulance.
See Joseph in the driver's seat? He also got to turn on all of the lights.
Afterward, we went for frozen custard at Ted Drewes and then a picnic at the park. (If you're passing Ted Drewes, sometimes you just have to have dessert first). John, Catherine, Andrew, Hannah, Joseph, and I were all along for this fun day.
We also had barbeques and popsicles and lots of fun playing in the slip and slide and pool in Grandma and Grandpa's backyard.
Joseph and Carter
Joseph got Marc's daring genes with no fear on the slip n slide.
Ellie, Joseph and Carter having popsicles. Grandma had a never-ending supply of popsicles.
One of Joseph's favorite things to do in Missouri is go to Sno Biz for snow cones and sit in the back of Uncle Dan's pick-up truck with his cousins to eat them.
We ate and ate good food--barbequing in the back yard, a full turkey dinner complete with stuffing and cranberry sauce, chicken "Julian", and going out to eat at Sweet Tomatoes two times for their delicious salads (and strawberry lemonade). I was really on a poultry binge since Marc is allergic we don't eat it at home. We went to Wapelhorst waterpark three times, had dinner at John and Catherine's and then explored Forest Park, went to Zachary's Park at Joseph's special request, and Joseph got to play, play, play with his cousins in Grandma's toy room and eat chicken nuggets and pizza with them. She also had strawberries and watermelon--Joseph's favorite fruits. Did I mention the never-ending fruit popsicles?
I got to watch movies like North and South and Leap Year and have late night chats and take naps. I loved the freezing cold air conditioning of my parents' house. Mom and Dad watched Joseph while I went to see Hamlet at the Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park with John and Catherine.
I also went shopping for maternity clothes. I don't like shopping. I know I'm kind of strange in that way, but I just don't. But I knew I needed to do it so I asked Mom to help me. She's a get-it-done woman. She pushed and prodded and made me try on things and return things when I decided I didn't love this one or wanted a different size--all the things I really hate about shopping. Anyhow, I've been thrilled with the results. We got some great deals, and I love all my new clothes! Anyhow, I am planning on a Mom-forced shopping excursion once the baby is born too so that I can make myself buy a non-pregnant wardrobe that I actually like.
Finally, I have to mention the fun spa party my mom threw for all the sisters and sisters-in-law. Mom is a BeautiControl consultant and gave us a spa party complete with facials, pedicures, and relaxation. We had friends from our old St. Charles Ward church days and all the sisters and sisters-in-law. It was really fun. It was great to see everyone, see babies and pictures of babies, laugh and get pampered. Grandpa and Uncle Dan took all the kids to Uncle Dan's house so Joseph was having a ball, too. He loves "the cousins," as he calls them. He'd really like to marry Ally; I made the mistake of telling him you can't marry your family and now he asks me "why" regularly. I finally told him today that I'd discuss it again in a few years (because I'm going to go crazy if he doesn't quit asking me questions that I can't answer to his satisfaction!)
What a great visit. The only bad news is that I don't know when we're going back. We'll have a newborn at Christmas, and last year the roads were so bad that I don't think we're going to try it again. Maybe next summer....
June 9-23, 2010