Emily & I just got back from a fun visit with Austin's family in Des Moines. We took off right after the Tripoli parade. Austin's cousin, Shannon, got married in Des Moines on Saturday afternoon. We didn't make it in time for the wedding, but we went to the reception. That was quite an event. I think I sweat more chasing Emily around the West Des Moines Sheraton than I did during the parade that morning! All she wanted to do was look at the 7-story waterfall between the twin glass elevators. (She enjoyed riding the elevators, too.) Both she & Asher had fun when the dance started, but the DJ's computer crashed after a couple songs and the music stopped, so we called it a night by 8:15pm.
On Sunday Emily didn't even make it through the first worship set, but had fun in the nursery at Valley Church. Then we all took Dave & Cheryl out for brunch to celebrate their 30th anniversary. I quickly remembered why we rarely go out to eat in restaurants! Emily didn't want to sit, eat or even color.
It was scorching hot on Sunday & Monday, but Emily & Asher had a blast playing in the little blow-up pool on Grandpa & Grandma's deck. They had quite a few opportunities to learn how to share. ;o)
Lorenzen, Brandi & Asher and Emily & I went to the Clive Public Library. They have a really fun children's play area. Then we got a McDonald's lunch and had a picnic in Union Park. There was a nice carousel to ride for $.50. The fearless Emily all of the sudden decided that she was too scared to actually sit on any of the animals--even the giraffe that didn't go up and down. So we went twice with me holding her standing next to the animals. :op The park also had a wading pool. We didn't know this, so the kids didn't have swimsuits on, but they walked around and had fun anyway. The last highlight of the day was when Grandpa Lorenzen got out Brandi's old snare drum and bell set. Copper (the dog) sure didn't appreciate that one!
On Wednesday it was finally cool enough to go to the Blank Park Zoo. This was Emily's first zoo experience. It's pretty small, and many of the animals were just laying around, but it was perfect for her age/attention span level. We got to watch the trainers feed the sea lion. When we stopped to have a picnic lunch we were entertained by the gibbons swinging and "singing". Emily's favorite part was probably feeding the goats, watching the koi and riding the little train.
Lorenzen, aunts & uncles and Cousin Asher! However, despite her constant pestering, Cheney missed Emily. Austin said Cheney kept vigil next to Emily's crib the whole time we were gone. Then when we did return I had to haul a baby gate out of the basement to prevent Cheney from barging into Emily's room and setting up camp while she was supposed to be going to sleep. Crazy dog!