Then it was time to head back to the Midwest for some family visiting and watching our youngest grandson, Aiden while Mom and Dad went off on a week vacation with friends to Cabo. We flew from Mesa to Peoria, IL and rented a car. We drove to Bloomington, IL for a quick visit to my Dad and then drove to our daughter, Sommer's home in IN for a few days to see the older grandkids there. Jasmyne is living in MI going to school and working so we didn't get to see her and Brooklyne lives in Georgia with her Dad so we didn't get to see her either. Fortunately we were able to see Caden and Ryleigh the two younger grandkids in Sommer's family. We didn't really do a lot other than hang out and play some card games. We did go to a Mexican restaurant one night and I took Caden to get his haircut. Ryleigh played a lot in her room on the computer chatting with school friends. Caden is big into online video gaming so he spent a lot of time in his room too.
Photo from last summer....Lazy
After our long weekend with family in Indiana we headed to Bloomington, IL to see my dad and spend some time with him. He's 92 now and beginning to feel the effects of his age and health conditions.
After his hip fracture 3 years ago he's been in a wheelchair and not as sociable as he used to be. We struggle with not always being there for him with our lifestyle and his need for assistance. So far with my brothers help and the help of wonderful care givers at the assisted living home he does pretty good. I know soon he'll need more help and may then have to move on to more skilled care like they have in a nursing home. We make the most of our visits and enjoy some reminiscing. We have additional care from hospice right now and we'll see where that leads us. We appreciated the opportunity to stay at my brothers home while he got away for some time in Florida.
After our visit there we drove to Bartlett, IL to perform our grandson sitting duties. Aiden is 4 years old and still wants as much grandpa and grandma time as he can get. We very much enjoy the opportunity to spend this up close and personal time with him because we know in a few short years he'll too be in those teenage years and will probably be too busy for us. That's life and we know how it works.
Heather and Paul have two dogs. Izzy and Zeus that love as much attention as they can get too. They're up at 6 am and need fed and walked each morning then during the week Aiden goes to Daycare(school) which gives us some relax time preparing for the evening and playing games, hot wheels and trains.
Aiden needed a haircut so we made an appointment at KidSnips in the Arboretum Mall. Cool place where the kids sit in little cars and watch an IPad with movies while getting the haircut. Great concept and after the haircut they get to pick a small prize from bucket to take home.
Aiden loves trains and his mom has taken him on the Metra train to downtown Chicago and then ride back. We thought that would be a fun thing to do too so after Mom and Dad left on vacation last Saturday we spent that day on the train and some time in downtown Chicago at union Station. It was cold and wet that day so we didn't get to enjoy much outside the train station. However the train station it's self is quite an experience. So many different people. We had a fun time.
The rest of the weekend was playing with Aiden and then getting him ready to go back to school on Monday. On Tuesday we got a call that Aiden needed to be picked up due to a behavior issue. Disappointing but these things happen. It was a pretty quiet day as consequences needed to be enforced. Later in the day we did play some board games but no IPad or TV.
Wednesday was the same since he was not allowed to go back to school the whole day after being sent home. But he did have swim lessons that evening and we enjoyed watching him becoming more comfortable with getting his face under the water and floating on his back. Coach Brian makes sure you get wet.
It was another quiet day but as the day progressed we talked a lot about listening and following the teachers directions. We really got our one on one time. This lead us to buying some new games that Aiden could learn and we could enjoy playing with him. Glenda did some grocery chopping and came across some kid's card games and Connect 4.
Oh my goodness, they worked wonders. We played game after game of Connect 4, Candyland and War(card game). The fun thing is, Aiden was winning most of the Candyland games and a fair amount of Connect 4. The Connect 4 box says for ages 6+.....Aiden is 4. He always had to be yellow and would typically put his first chip in the middle slot to start the game. We would try to outwit him but many times we would outwit ourselves and he would win.
We told Aiden that if he had a good school day on Friday we would take him to his favorite restaurant. 2 Toots in Bartlett, IL. They have booth arranged around a train track with a train that has baskets on the train cars that bring your food to you. He loved it.
I got this photo the next day with Heather doing a selfie with a sad face after her 100th game of Candyland. We had a wonderful visit and really enjoyed spending time cultivating our relationship with him.
On Sunday we left early for the drive back to Bloomington, IL for one last visit with Dad before driving to Peoria, IL to turn in the rental car and board the flight back to AZ. It's going to be a while before we see everyone again. November in the Midwest is a crap shoot on weather and we didn't win this year with our fall visit. Wet, cold and windy, Reminded us why we chose AZ to come to for the winter. We left IL in 30 degrees and we arrived in AZ in 60 degrees. The next day I immediately put my jeans and long pants away and got back in my shorts.
Lazy Blogger.....we didn't take any photos while we were visiting our daughter, Sommer and Todd in Indiana and while visiting Dad. I'm so sorry I didn't get that done. I try to capture photos each time we are with family but I really fell down this time and I sincerely apologize to them for that. As you see in my post we did take some(a lot of) photos of Aiden while we did our care giving duties. That doesn't mean we don't love everyone the same just that the little ones seem to get more of the attention and I'm not as focused on photos when we visit. Lazy or not focused? You decide.
Feeling Guilty.....The time went by so fast with everyone and we do wish we could see more of everyone. My brother takes so much responsibility in checking in on Dad and handling his affairs while I winter here in AZ. I do what I can while there but I know it's not the same as the sacrifices that my brother makes. I truly appreciate his willingness to take that all on. I also know the rest of the family would like us to be closer too. We try to make our time count when we're there with them.
One day we will slow down and I hope we've done enough to show them how much we do care.
So there you have it.....I am a Lazy Blogger and have Guilty Feelings. Now you know why.