Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Great Day for Soup

Winter is finally upon us. Even if we haven't gotten to the winter solstice yet, it's been cold and wet (mostly rain). Great soup weather!

I've made soup each weekend. And this time, I had help.

As I have reported here previously, our oldest grandson, Gaige, is a wrestler. Wrestling is not like soccer or baseball where you show up, play a game and are done. It is played in tournaments and can be an all-day thing. I don't know who that is more torturous for, Amy, since she has to keep track of a very energetic 2.5 year-old in a gym full of people, or Joey and Brianna, who need to occupy themselves while their brother is off doing the Hulk Hogan thing.

So, knowing there was a tournament scheduled for Sunday, Hubby and I offered to keep Brianna and Joey.

It is quite a different dynamic with two kids here instead of three. Or, to be more precise, only one of the older kids. Brianna and Gaige tend to bicker a lot, like any brother and sister. It drives me crazy. My old brain can only take so much noise and chaos. They tend to run (literally) through the house chasing each other, too, which also drives me crazy.

Anyway... we had a very nice and relatively quiet visit with the grandkids this past weekend.

Joey just LOVES all of the emergency equipment we have here. It is all battery-operated with flashing lights and sirens. I have my parents to thank for saving all of the stuff, which was Eric's when he was little. That means most of the stuff has been around for 17+ years!

Amy said that as soon as Joey heard he was coming here, he was saying "Pop and G firetruck. Firetruck at Pop and G's. Etc."

We keep the emergency equipment with the other toys in our formal living room, which we call the library (it has also has bookshelves full of books). You can see some of the books in the background of this picture, which Brianna insisted I take to show that she and Pop finished this USA puzzle.

At one point on Saturday evening, Pop told Joey they had to put all of the trucks back into the "firehouse." What he meant was, before you (Joey) go to bed we need to put all of these trucks away.

Well the next day, while Joey was eating lunch, I said something to Brianna like, "You can leave that in the library when you leave." And Joey said, "Not library G, the firehouse." He'll remember that, too. So from now on, we'll be referring to that room as "the firehouse" when the kids are here.

He really does love those trucks.

He loves this ride-on train, too. All the grandkids do. It also belonged to Eric, who was on it all of the time. Who knew that it would get so much mileage?

As a quick aside... is there anything cuter than a little boy in red, flannel pajamas? Flannel pajamas, period?

Sunday was soup day. As you can see, Brianna helped me make a big pot of beef vegetable soup. The pot you see above ended up being too small, so halfway through the process, we had to switch to a larger pot.

She was really enjoying helping me. It's not often that she gets to be the center of attention. It's hard being the big sister/oldest kid all of the time.

She was telling me how "so not fun" it is playing hide and seek with Joey. First, he only counts to about two before he starts looking, so she has to hide FAST. Then, when he does find her, he decides that was a pretty good hiding spot, so that's where he'll hide for the rest of the game.

Pop must have overheard this conversation. When it was Brianna's turn to be the seeker, once she started to look, walking slowly and taking the high road to find him, Pop ran and grabbed Joey without her knowing it and plopped him in the recliner. She was quite surprised when he wasn't in the spot where she expected him to be. We all had a pretty good laugh when she finally saw him sitting in the chair, smiling away!

She really did make a pretty good helper. See how full the pot is? And we still have more stuff to add!

While Brianna and I were cooking, Pop and Joey were looking at family photos. Something else the boy loves to do. A couple of times, when he saw me in a picture, he'd get all excited and say, "That's G! Look, there you are, G! Pop, there's G!" It was very cute.

Joey really is the smilingest 2-year-old I've ever encountered.

After we got the soup transferred to a larger pot, and Brianna got dressed, the soup-making continued.

While Brianna and I continued to cook, Pop and Joey watched A Bug's Life and ate some snacks.

In this shot, she's adding the diced cabbage, which she had cut up by herself (mostly). I would have taken pictures of that, but she was using a chef's knife as long as her arm. So I figured I'd be better off paying very close attention to that. I mean, documenting this stuff is important, but so is keeping all of her digits and limbs intact.

Joey was quite engrossed in the movie. Shortly after this was taken, we fed him lunch and put him down for a nap.

By then, the soup was finished, so that's what Brianna and I ate for lunch.

Afterward, we worked together sewing a holiday outfit for Klondike (her dog).

I would have made Hubby take pictures of us sewing, but he was napping, too!

This grandparent stuff is tiring. Wonderful, but tiring.

We are both looking forward to doing it again. Soon.

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