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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Visiting Grandpa!

This one is gonna be a long one. I typically try to split up vacation posts by days but when you just go for a short trip somewhere it's hard to decide where to divide it :)

A couple months ago Dad invited us to come up to visit them sometime. I have been excited, nervous, and anxious about this trip for awhile. Excited because I don't get to see Dad often and I want he and Kye to have a relationship, nervous because Dad and Audrey aren't used to little kids and Kye is at a tough age right now where you really have to be on his case at all times, and anxious because I haven't been to Dad's house in 5 years and SO much has changed since then that I thought it'd make me sad. I'm a very sentimental person and growing up I remember playing at Dad's and swinging on the swing set and (no joke) envisioning pushing my own child on those same swings someday. Well, now the child is here but the swing set is gone!  Dad has been through moves and different situations during these past 5 years; now that he and Audrey are married and settled back in Gainesville for good they did several renovations to make the house a forever home. I was POSITIVE that seeing those changes would make me sad. To go into that house and not see all the memories from my childhood would be heartbreaking. I (in true Emily form) prepared for the worst but hoped for the best. I like doing that as then I'm never disappointed! And I wasn't!

We headed out Friday morning and stopped to eat lunch at a Chick-Fil-A on the way so Kye could get energy out and we got to Dad's at about 2. He immediately gave us a tour and I LOVE the changes! The little girl in me wanted that house to stay the same forever but the adult in me can see WHY it needed to change: mega outdated kitchen, tiny master closet, and ridiculously small master shower. The changes made sense and they all turned out awesome! I also love the woman's touch Audrey has put into the place. She has a very retro style that I LOVE and it blends well with dad's Elvis, polar bear, duck, Portland Headlight, and corvette collections.

Obviously Kye was ready to run wild when we got there and my dad is a man of many small, breakable, knickknacks so I suggested we go outside. While he doesn't have a golf cart, Dad does have an argo. What's an argo you say? It's basically a land or water tank that is driven with breaks. I know random...but whatever it was something to ride so we went with it! After a four wheeler I'm down for whatever :)
He loved it, of course
It was neat to see my son getting to ride where Brandon and I rode our go-carts sooo many times!
For dinner we met Audrey after she got off work at Mellow Mushroom. The reason we went to Mellow Mushroom is that it's located in an old mansion that actually used to be Rudolf's. Rudolf's was special to my family as it is where we would go every New Years Eve and it's sad to see it gone but neat that the Mellow Mushroom took it over!

Zach took Kye out to play while we waited on our food and it meant so much to me that the first thing my dad said when they were gone was that I got lucky with Zach and that he's such a good, involved dad! It's always so awesome to hear your parents approval of the one you love ya know?
After dinner we headed back to the house and Kye got ready for bed and on his way to get tucked in for the night we saw a family of deers in the front yard. While I personally will probably always live in a neighborhood, I LOVE all the nature surrounding my dad's house in the woods. I love the hummingbirds that are always eating on his porch, the family of about 20 little bats living in his garage attic, and the deer that just hang out in the front yard like it's their home. A mommy and her two babies came both nights we were there and just hung out eating while we were sitting on the front porch. So neat!
Kye was very excited about the deer
Prior to our trip, Dad had written me an email inviting Zach to go fishing with him. Zach hasn't been fishing since we MET so he was looking forward to it. Saturday morning the guys got up EARLY to head out and once Kye got up Audrey and I ate breakfast (she made KILLER smoothies...and I let Kye have a donut) and got things together for the lake. While they have a dock at their house it's a LOT of steep steps to get to it so we drove our car and had them pick us up at a community dock nearby. The weather wasn't looking promising (and it was the morning of the Copponex Family gift drop off so I was nervous!) but Kye wouldn't do well if we tried to just hang at the house so we went for it! Kye got his first boat ride ever and it's neat that it got to be on our pontoon boat on Lake Lanier (yes, we had a life jacket for him but no he never once wore it).
He enjoyed driving with Grandpa, and especially honking the horn
Kye, shocker, really enjoyed the boat ride but he was dying to swim. He went back and forth to each door and tried to open it and even hiked up his leg and tried to climb over. Poor child!
It started to rain on us but we knew we HAD to let that kid swim so we stopped and got out. It was so pretty to be in the water and see the rain all around us. At one point we all had to go under the boat it was raining so hard! Kye wore his floaties (I bought a puddle jumper for him but it's still too big) and he is a PRO now! I was so impressed how great he did. We didn't hold him hardly at all. He "swam" constantly. He loved going back and forth between us and just floating on his own. He can 100% hold himself up now!
The boat ride after we swam was pretty horrible. The rain was pounding us and it was freezing and we were all soaked. Kye's little lips were purple! We were all thankful to get back and get warm showers. I was happy for Zach as that morning he didn't catch ANY fish while Dad caught two but then on their way back Zach caught the biggest one of all (or so he says as it conveniently got thrown back in on "accident" before they got to the house).

While I was giving Kye his after-nap snack he kept pointing to something in the kitchen and making his "I want that" noises. I couldn't figure out what it was then I realized he was pointing to the cabinet where I had put back the donuts from breakfast! How did he remember where I put them? He for real gets his Sweet 16 obsession from his grandpa! Probably my favorite moment of the trip was during his snack. I told him he wasn't getting anymore donuts so he was savoring the last bit of it when Dad kept asking him to share it with him and you could tell he really, really didn't want to share. He gave Dad tiny little pieces and Dad kept asking for more and then Kye gave him the rest of the donut and didn't even ask for another one. So sweet! After we let him down from his snack he played a bit while Dad and I were still at the kitchen island talking and Kye walked back in, pointed at both of us, said "wanna donut?" then pointed to the cabinet. It was hilarious!
We're not big on TV but in a house filled with non-kid-friendly stuff I turned that junk on! Audrey (who Kye, we decided, will call Grammie) even let him borrow her Monsters Inc movie to bring home since he enjoyed it so much. It really helped Zach and I too so we didn't have to have a constant eye on him!
Once the rain cleared up a little golf was needed (he's gotta get his daily fix) and I enjoyed sitting on the porch seeing Kye play and remembering Brandon and Christy (our German Sheppard) making fires and cooking food in the back yard. I liked that we just stayed at the house and cooked out for dinner as it was much less stressful than having to get everyone ready would have been.

We don't have many hills in south Georgia so Kye loved watching his ball roll away!
made contact!
Men and there grills...
I'm pretty sure they are making fun of my picture taking...
I think they enjoyed their male bonding time out fishing and with their afternoon golf tv watching!
I love getting to spend time with my Dad!
Kye's favorite thing, hands down, in their house was the jukebox. He loved watching the lights and the bubbles and dancing to the music (it's a cd player). It kept him well entertained which was nice on Sunday when Zach was making his famous pancakes for everyone causing breakfast to be a little later than usual :)
pancake pro!
The skies looked a little clearer on Sunday so while we waited for Dad and Audrey to get ready to go to the lake, Kye played a little pinball on the Elton John pinball machine. This picture is funny to me because one of the first things my dad said to Zach when we got there was that every gun we'd see in the house was loaded...that's a LOT of ammo.
Now that Kye knew about swimming he was so fussy the whole boat ride wanting to swim
Yes, I got in the nasty lake water (I'm a POOL girl people)
Zach found a rope swing and had to try it (thank the Lord we have a good life insurance policy!) so while I took a video of that, Grandpa and "Kye Boy" (Dad's nickname for him) got some lake play time in
This time no rain! We didn't want to go in but had to hit the road so we ate lunch on the way back
Zach struggled with the floats ;)
Dad and Audrey eat VERY healthy. It was so odd to be at my dad's house and see him eating plums and grapes and not Sweet 16's, Frosted Flakes, and Nutty Bars. It's a great, healthy change and I'm proud of them for it! After talking to them (especially Audrey) so much about nutrition it really makes me want to buy Organic milk...it's so true that all these chemicals we eat and drink are ruining our bodies and hormones! Dad packed a tupperware of watermelon for the boat ride and I'm not kidding, Kye ate HALF of it!

poor kid strugglin' to eat with those floaties on
watermelon boy!
We left right at Kye's nap so we would sleep most of the way for us (which he did, score!). Overall, I'm BEYOND happy with how the whole weekend went. All you mothers know that the saying "if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy" should REALLY be "if baby ain't happy ain't nobody happy" because in reality,  our happiness revolves around how well our children behave doesn't it? Kye was practically an angel and nothing got broken (although he did pull a heavy ipod stereo down on his head but he was okay and so was the stereo) so I considered the weekend a success! It made me feel good that Dad and Audrey had a good time too and I hope we get to see them again soon. I loved getting to visit the house where I have so many memories and love that it's still that house but that it's also a new house for new memories to be made :)

don't judge: we were all fresh back from the lake and gross!

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