We had an absolute blast this weekend. My brother and SIL and the kids weren't here long, but we definitely took advantage of the time we had.
They made it into town at around 7:15 on Friday night. While they got settled in, we drove to their hotel so we could all head out to dinner at Quaker Steak and Lube. My brother and nephew loved it because there were cars hanging from the walls. My SIL loved it because they serve deep-fried pickles (and amen to that). After dinner (which was already past the kids' bedtimes), we took them for a quick tour around our part of town (Kaari reportedly stated, upon coming into town, that "Columbus has all the happenin' stuff") and then brought them back to the house for the "quick tour" that Nathan asked for (which is really all you get in a house the size of ours). The kids also got to open the presents that we got them. Kaari (she's 4) got girly stuff. Nathan (he's almost 8) got games and books. And they both got their tooth fairy pouches, which Kaari found way more fascinating than Nathan did.
Though we didn't really end up doing a Christmas-type-thing with my bro and sis-in-law, I did give my sis her tote bag. I didn't get a picture of her with it (since it was immediately filled with toys and things), but here's a picture of it drying:
The pattern is the Sentimental Stripes Felted Tote pattern. I used various yarn, including 3 balls of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (the grey), along with a ball of Paton's Classic Wool in grey to reinforce the handles. The black is Cascade 220 (which I was supposed to use for a bag for my aunt...oops). And the two blues are hand-dyed Wool of the Andes. In case you're wondering, here's the main stripe pattern:
12 rounds Black
10 rounds Blue 1
5 rounds Black
15 rounds Blue 2
4 rounds Black
13 rounds Blue 1
10 rounds Black
16 rounds Blue 2
4 rounds Black
12 rounds Blue 1
4 rounds Black
Currently, Nathan is obsessed with shipwrecks and fish. And with my nephew, this isn't just a normal little kid obsession. This means that he takes every book out of the library about, for instance, the Edmund Fitzgerald. He can answer obscure Jeopardy! questions (we're going to make a ton of money off that kid someday). And he can rattle off facts as though he were reading it straight out of a book. It makes for fascinating (yet really, really strange) conversation. Meanwhile, Kaari just giggles (and sometimes kicks him).
On Saturday, we went to the zoo. It was pretty chilly, but it was half-price, and there's an aquarium, which meant that Nathan HAD TO GO. And we had a blast. I know the kids enjoyed it, but I definitely did. I totally love the zoo. We got to see the penguins (one of which expelled waste matter right in front of us, which was a highlight of the trip for the kids). We saw the flamingos and the elephants and the kangaroos and the sleepy koala. We also got to spend tons of time in the aquarium. We got to watch the 1:00 feeding, and we waved at the diver in the tank (okay...maybe just I did that). And the kids got their picture taken with a shark.
We also saw the manatees and the sting rays, which, honestly, I could sit and watch all day. So could Kaari. She's just as fascinated by rays as I am.
After the zoo, we had lunch at City Barbeque (when asked what Nathan wanted for lunch, he said, "Meat."). Then we did a tour of downtown (including the arena and the World's First Wendy's), and then we went to Easton. While the boys played video games, the girls went to Build-A-Bear (which, I'll admit, I've been dying to do forever, so I'm glad I got to go along). Kaari picked a koala that was like the one we saw at the zoo. She named it Kandi, and she bought her some pajamas (which, Paul pointed out, was quite funny, since the koala at the zoo does nothing but sleep).
And that was about all we had time for. They dropped us back off at our house and got ready to hit the road again. Meanwhile, Kaari and I went back to the basement. On Friday night, I had let her pick out yarn from my big tote full of yarn balls for scarves for her dollies at home, and now we needed to pick out yarn for a scarf for Kandi.
Here's Kaari's pile of yarn:
There's some purple for her baby that cries real tears, some red to match her Bitty Baby's dress, and orange for Kandi. The rest is for scarves and bags for Kaari.
While we were sitting there looking at the yarn, Kaari looked at me and quietly said, "I think I should learn how to knit."
I promised her that I'd definitely teach her, just as soon as she got a little bigger. Then she could make scarves for all of her babies.
"So you won't have to?" she asked.
"No, sweetie, so you'll have twice as many," I told her.
Man, I love those kids. Nathan is brilliant and fascinating, and sometimes I don't get him at all, but I'm totally amazed by him. And Kaari may throw the occasional tantrum, like 4-year-olds tend to do, but she's just the sweetest, cuddliest thing in the world. I was so glad that they (and their absolutely wonderful parents, whom I also love to death) were able to come to visit. I wish they could have stayed longer, but I'm glad they were here. We had so much fun.
After they left, we crashed. I started a new project, which I'll show off tomorrow, and we watched The Two Towers until we couldn't stay awake anymore. And as we were falling asleep, Paul told me, "I miss the little buggers already." I'm assuming he meant the kids.
And, if that's the case, I do, too.