Monday, October 22, 2007

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

We got back from Kansas City yesterday afternoon, and although it was a short weekend, we had so much fun that it seemed like the perfect mini-vacation. We left Saturday morning, and I was a little worried that Alex's friend Quinn might've told him that the sights on the way to Kansas City were a little more scenic than the view of the back of his eyelids. But apparently they hadn't spoken because he fell asleep about ten minutes into the trip and slept the entire 3.5hrs there.

We got to the hotel about an hour before my parents did, so we hung out in our beautiful room at the Westin (thanks, Dad!) until they got there. Alex found the bed to be quite comfortable, so he was a little disappointed when I reminded him that he would be sleeping in his pack 'n' play while his father and I shared the comfy bed.

He protested for several minutes by hollering at us through his teething blanket. It was a little hard to understand him, but I think I caught something about age discrimination and how he was entitled to certain rights as an equal member of the family, yada yada yada. He eventually gave up arguing and changed the subject. To college football of course.

G-ma and G-pa finally arrived and were shocked at what a big fat fatty Alex had become. (I'm paraphrasing. I think their exact words were, "I can't believe how much he's grown!") And they came bearing gifts - a teeny pair of red, white and blue Nike's that Alex will be able rock in about a month from now.

We played in the room for a while until our growling stomachs compelled us to go get some lunch. We ate BBQ at Arthur Bryant's until we could eat no more and still took more than half home for leftovers.

Our next stop was Babies 'R' Us, where Alex tested out some toys to see if there was anything he couldn't live without. He was pretty pooped by this point, but he seemed to like the jumperoo pretty well and asked Grandpa to buy it for him. Although he was tired and a little crabby, we decided to have some fun at Alex's expense. For example, we insisted that he try on this cowboy hat. We thought it was funny, but he said that it made him look "dorky" and was upset that we had humiliated him in front of his peers at the B.R.U.

We tried to make it up to him by going for some ice cream at the Cold Stone Creamery on the plaza. Of course it was more for our benefit than his since he's not allowed to eat ice cream yet. Grandma tried to test him by offering him a bite of hers - a test he passed with flying colors. "No Grandma," he said. "I'm not allowed to have ice cream yet. Besides, I'm working on my six pack." Way to go, Alex. We are impressed by your self discipline.

In lieu of ice cream, Alex decided to chew on Grandma's arm for a while.

All of that chewing on Grandma left him quite thirsty, so he made his best effort to get into this bottle of water.

All of us were pretty exhausted and it was already past Alex's bedtime. So we went back to the hotel where we put A to bed, had our leftovers for dinner, and watched the Illini play football. We weren't sure how Alex would sleep in his pack 'n' play, but he slept from 8:45 to 3:45 then back to sleep until 7, when Timothy's cellphone alarm woke him up. Oops. We were very impressed that he slept so well, although now that accomplishment seems meager compared to last night's all-nighter.

Sunday morning, we had brunch plans at 10 so we killed some time playing with Alex in the hotel room before heading to the plaza. He and Grandpa checked out the awesome view from our room, then he and Grandma tag-teamed his board book (Grandma read and Alex turned the pages).

Once we got to the plaza, we still had a bit of time until brunch. Despite the extremely blustery conditions that morning, we took a walk and did some window shopping. Alex was ready for a snack, so he tried out Grandpa's finger. The verdict is still out on whether it was tastier than Grandma's arm.

Brunch at the Cheesecake Factory was to die for. Alex had fallen asleep on the way, so poor G-ma took one for the team and held him with one arm while eating her french toast with the other. Not that she was complaining. And apparently he looks more mature when he's sleeping because the waitress offered to bring some bananas for him to eat in case he woke up. I thanked her for her thoughtfulness but explained that he was on an all liquid diet and that he was a little young to be eating bananas anyway. When he finally woke up at the end of the meal, Grandma let Grandpa have one last hurrah before we all had to hit the road.

So that was it, 'til next time. And right now, next time is Thanksgiving, when we will be driving to Peoria to spend the holiday with my extended family. We can't wait!

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