Friday, September 19, 2014

Visiting Jon, Jess and the kids in Napa - Part 1

Theresa and I took off work a little early this week so we could drive up to Napa to see my brother and his family.

Since we were driving, Theresa and I tried to plan it out smartly. Ian goes to sleep around 7:30pm and traffic in LA is lighter at 7:30pm, so we put Ian in his jammies and took off late. By the time we got to the freeway from our house, Ian was already asleep. He stayed asleep for the whole ride which meant for the entire 6 hour drive, we didn't have to stop once. The drive itself was uneventful besides a few stretches of the road where there was a strong crosswind that was blowing all the 18 wheelers all over the road. We arrived around 1:30am with Jon greeting us in the driveway and we immediately went to bed. Just because we haven't slept, I don't think Ian is going to give us a break. He'll still be up at his usual 6:30am.

After waking up the next morning, Ian's cousins were all over him. Eli reading through some books for him while Ian seems deep in thought. 

T and I brought the nephews and niece some presents including a bunch of temporary tattoos. From the point forward there is a good chance that any pictures you see of them will have at least one tattoo visible.

Shasta just hanging out while everyone opens their presents.

Here I'm helping Emma color here new picture.

Ian got some pretty awesome presents too. Jon's hobby is woodworking, and Jess loves to draw and do woodburning. The end result was these awesome Mickey shaped wood teethers!

We spent a whole lot of time playing. Emma and I are stacking some blocks.

And it didn't matter how many times I did this, I kept getting "Again! Again!"

The twins wanted to have a joust and needed two kids and two adults. Hmm, I wonder what the adult's role will be. They got all dressed up in their armor but said us horses didn't need any.

Hanging out in the kitchen with his Aunt Jess.

Ian got so much attention from the kids and it seemed like he always had someone around him.

They liked picking him up.

I always got a kick out of seeing them carry him around. When any of us try to carry him, he's a big squirmer. For them, he just goes along for the ride.

We were curious how Ian would react to Shasta, their dog. He was so tickled with her. He'd just be staring at her and then burst out with a laugh. In this video he got the giggles whenever she would bark.

I asked Emma to give me a real smile. Meh, this is the best I could get.

In the play room, Ian was really excited to see Aunt Jessica pull out the musical instruments. He really enjoyed the tambourine and the maracas.

I get a lot of attention from the niece and nephews. I do play with them a lot.

All four of us went outside to play in the hammock.

And the hammock turned into a spaceship where we flew to different planets and shot asteroids out of the sky. Such big imaginations!

Lots of things to crawl on and play with in the backyard.

And Ian got some more practice learning to walk. He's getting really really close now.

In Jess and Jon's backyard they have a few fruit trees. Theresa got the idea to make some cider with the apples, so she picked a few to juice. Eli helping her peel and core them to start.

From there they went into a food processor, then into the Vitamix blender, where the remaining mulch was put into cheesecloth and squeezed by hand. It was around this point that someone said "Hey, don't we have a juicer?" Yes, yes they do. After that, the process went much faster.

The resulting cider was a delicious mix of apple juice, cloves, all-spice, cinnamon and orange. Mmm. I could drink this all the time. 

After that, Theresa got the bug to start doing more juicing. Out to the backyard again, but this time the orange tree.

Emma sure does love oranges.

Jon shows Ian a bell that he enjoyed.

Haha. Jon was holding Ian and Ian grabbed his glasses. Jon put them on him and the poor guy went cross-eyed.

Ian's getting sleepy and it's time to head to bed. Goodnight Uncle Jon.

Skip ahead to the next morning where Ian let us sleep in until 7am. Celebrate the little victories.
After he woke up, he's checking out the oranges his momma picked the day before. This one is nearly at big as his head! What are the oranges for?

Why some fresh squeezed orange juice to go with breakfast of course.

Nice to have the juicer instead of doing this by hand.

What's the main course for breakfast? How about made from scratch pancakes? How made from scratch are they? Well Jess is milling the flour here so... pretty much completely made from scratch.

These are going to be awesome!

And yes, they were sooo good.

Even Ian got in on it. He had a half pancake all by himself.

Theresa letting him try some of the fresh squeezed OJ.

I don't think that's what he was expecting.

Oh, so mean.

Encouraged by their earlier success, T and Jess went back out to the apple tree and got a whole basket full for more cider.

Jon, Jess and Theresa all went to work in the kitchen juicing all those apples.

And I kept all 4 kids entertained. Ian was the only one missing out, and he was down for a nap. 

Nice to have an automatic Cheerios dispenser.

Kids just love technology don't they.

We'll end the first half of the trip report here. Stay tuned for the rest soon.

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