Andi was suppose to be traveling for work this past week/weekend, so I'd arranged for Tory to spend Friday night at Grandma Janie's house. Janie offers to have Tory over for a sleep-over all the time but with preschool, swimming class and weekends at the cabin, it's difficult to find a night that works for everyone. Tory was excited to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house and raced out the door without a second glance. I tried not to take it too personally!
They took her to a Friday night fish fry at a local church, and she enjoyed being the center of attention. Meanwhile, Aden stayed home with Andi and I and I've never seen him so animated! Aden hopped around the living room on his knees, dancing and screeching with glee. I thought he'd be lost without Tory by his side, but he reveled in his newfound only child-ness. After he went to bed, Andi grilled crab legs for dinner and we enjoyed a quiet night at home together.
Andi, Aden and I headed out early Saturday morning for coffee and pastries at Rustica. Once again, Aden loved all the undivided attention he received from Andi and I, as well as the other cafe patrons. He smiled and shouted "Bye!" to everyone he saw.
We cruised by Andi's parents house around lunchtime to pick up Tory. She was happy to see us, and even more excited when she learned about our afternoon plans. We decided to take the kids to the Sea Life Aquarium at Mall of America to see the new "Meet The Rays" exhibit. I think aquariums are so neat, and knew Tory and Aden would get a big kick out of it. And, yes, we were completely nuts for going to the Mall of America on a weekend. I hadn't been there in years and even then never went on a Saturday of all days, but we braved the crowds and had a great time.
Someone handed Tory a balloon-shaped flower while we were in the mall, and she was in absolute heaven with that thing. All the money and quality time we spent together as a family that afternoon, and all she could talk about later was her flower balloon. Three-year-olds!
The four of us went to church Sunday morning, then drove over to Andi's sister Lindsay's house in Minneapolis. Lindsay agreed to watch Aden for the afternoon while Andi and I took Tory to her very first movie at the Riverview Theatre. We saw Paddington, the only matinee movie playing that afternoon, but we didn't really care about the movie itself. It was all about the experience of going to the movie theatre and Tory was so, so excited. It was a rainy and cold Sunday afternoon; the perfect day for a movie.
The Riverview is a renovated 1950's style theatre with one movie screen and old-style seating. At $2/per person for admission, it's the perfect place for a toddler date to the movies. The entire place was packed with parents and kids. Tory sat down in a seat between Andi and I, but the chair kept springing shut like a clamshell. She was too lightweight to keep the seat down by herself, so she ended up sitting on my lap during the movie.
Obviously, the snacks were Tory's favorite part of the entire experience. She gobbled up her kid's size popcorn, some of Andi's and I bowl of popcorn, Swedish Fish candy and Kit-Kats. At some point she looked back behind our chairs in the theatre and said, "Wow! Look at all those people. There must be a thousand chairs!" It was adorable to see how fascinated she was with her surroundings. After about an hour, Tory was getting pretty wiggly so we left before for the movie was over.
And if that wasn't enough excitement for the day, we hosted our friends Derrick, Ellie and their daughter Sierra for dinner at our house Sunday evening. We had to take advantage of the rare weekend opportunity to meet up with our old friends while we were in the Cities over a weekend.
Phew! Ever feel like you need another weekend to recoup from your busy weekend? The cold I've had for the last 10 days kicked up again this week, likely because we were constantly on the go all day Saturday and Sunday. Staying home for the weekend was fun, but it was exhausting! I'm looking forward to getting back to the cabin again soon for a calmer, more relaxing change of pace.