So we've been a little delinquent with the blog...it has been a busy few months in between trips, work, broken dishwashers, and various plagues. Here are some pictures to catch you up.
We flew to Michigan in mid-November for my brother's & sister-in-law's at-home wedding reception. Ben did fairly well on the flights, though he freaked out on the jetway when we were boarding the first flight. Once we were settled in our seats and he was given snacks, he calmed down and was very good for the rest of the flight. On our layover in Chicago Ben discovered the magical moving walkways and his Elmo slippers (bought to make taking shoes off through security a little easier) were a huge hit with airport crews and fellow passengers. He even got a compliment in Detroit from a nun! He wasn't quite sure what to make of the group of about 8-10 fully habited nuns walking through the terminal.
While we were in Michigan, my parents & Dave took Ben to the park one day while I was getting a much-needed haircut. He had a good time, although reportedly the geese thought he looked like a yummy snack.
We also took Ben for his first cider mill experience at Yates Cider Mill, founded in 1863, and one of my favorite places to be in the fall. Ben loved the water wheel ("round & around!") and got to try their wonderful cider & doughnuts.
Tony & Jen had their reception at Dave & Buster's. The food was really good and the cupcake tower had too many tempting choices! My Uncle Bill & cousin Bradley drove up and we got to catch up with them, which was wonderful. We didn't play any games because it was already past Ben's naptime when we got done eating and visiting and Ben was a little cranky & overwhelmed by the noise and lights in the gaming area, so we went home instead.
Niru "Nani" took a turn chasing Ben around the private dining room after dinner and managed to catch him. He looked really cute in his striped button-down shirt!
My dad brought my grandma up from Toledo and we had a nice day together. We had been prepping him for the trip by telling him who he was going to see, and on the plane rides, he would frequently ask, "See Great-Grandma?" Ben colored some Christmas ornaments while she watched & had fun repeatedly saying hi to her.
Four generations of our family:
Tony, Grandma & Jen:
Ben wearing his blanket as a cape:
We also had a nice amount of down time during the trip. Ben enjoyed playing with toys & reading books. Mom found a drum that Niru & Neilam had brought me from India during high school and Ben thought that was great!
Playing with the rocking chair that was my Grandma's (I think? I'm sure Mom will correct me if I'm wrong). Tony & I had this chair & another when we were kids.
One night we drove to my favorite pizza place, Buddy's Pizza, and then went back to Tony's & Jen's house. Tony has taken an interest in pinball games and has a couple that he's restored beautifully, along with an old game console that's got an emulator to play hundreds of old electronic arcade games. I could've played down there all night!
Ben was really unsure of the drum set at first, which was surprising, but eventually warmed up and decided it was the coolest thing ever!
Our flights back to KC were fine, although Ben started the first one by saying "All done airplane?" He got his own seat on the second flight and was happy as a clam with the sandwich & fruit we'd packed for his dinner. He turns two in about two more weeks (!!!) so those were the last free flights he gets! Once he turns two, we have to start buying him a seat.
We had Thanksgiving dinner over at Dave's parents' house. Ben liked the attention and LOVED the food. He was asking for Grandma's rolls & sweet potatoes for several days afterward.
We are expecting a new dishwasher to be delivered this Friday, as ours started leaking the day before Thanksgiving and the appliance repairman/plumber said Saturday morning it couldn't be fixed. Luckily, we were able to get one of the Black Friday sales that was still in effect Saturday night and got a great deal on a Whirlpool. We're especially glad that it has a lock-out feature so Ben can't repeatedly start the wash cycle or play with the settings as he's enjoyed doing with the old dishwasher!