The kids and I got down to Venice around noon. First things first: a quick stop at the playground. But, it was a rather hot day (such is life these days) so we quickly retreated indoors. Of course, the walk back to Aunt Debbie's house was adorable in its own right:
Stop it right now.
Back in the air conditioning, we got some quality playtime underway. Molly's kids and mine are very close in age: our oldests, Ellie and Santiago, are almost exactly two months apart, and our youngests, E.J. and Milena, are eight months apart (a seemingly large gap now, but in a few years, it will seem like nothing!). I love that these cousins are so close and have the opportunity to be great friends! This visit was fun because it was the first time we really got to see Ellie and Santiago playing together. They seemed excited to see each other and, when Ellie stopped hoarding the rocking boat that she took a liking to, they actually interacted and shared some laughs.
They were playing a game that involved throwing beads on each other's legs ("rain") and they found it hilarious.
Watching Curious George together.
Santiago put his arm around Ellie all on his own and the kids had to fend for themselves the rest of the day because the adults all died on the spot.
Cute little cousin feet
The boys watching a little Curious George...
...while Ellie and Milena cuddled. Aaaaw!
We also learned that it is very hard to take pictures of four children three and under and get a photo in which more than one of them looks halfway decent, and you can just cast your dreams of everyone looking at the camera aside right now because that's crazy-talk. Hey, they're all IN the picture. It's all about managing expectations over here.
Oh yeah. We're framing this one.
After lunch and naps for the littler two, we walked over to some nearby fountains and gave the big kids the chance to run around in the water a bit. Ellie was a little timid, and mostly stuck to one or two fountains on the perimeter, but Santiago was fearless!
The little ones riding to the fountains in style
Big kids got the wagon!
Santiago loves it!
Ellie took a more mellow approach.
The little kids got their feet wet, too!
E.J. loved running through and getting splashed!
Milena gets to try it, too!
E.J. is showing his baby cousin what to do
Fun times together!
After a while things started to wind down, but we spent a little longer just sitting in the shade.
Ellie loved cuddling her little cousin
She didn't mind cuddling her bigger cousin, either!
On the walk home, Aunt Debbie treated us to some gelato. Yum! Thanks, AD!
Back at the house, we had a yummy dinner of pulled pork followed by molten chocolate cakes, then my kids and I said our goodbyes and hit the road. We'll be seeing Molly and her kids again this weekend for our family reunion, so it was easy to say goodbye knowing our next visit was just a couple weeks away!
By the time we got home, it was late. Both kids had passed out in the car almost immediately, and neither was happy to wake up to move into the house for bed. Ellie walked in to my dad's house and did this on the chair in the entryway:
Bless her sleepy little heart.
Then she sort of whispered, "I just want to go to bed. I just want my jammies," and trudged into her room. That has never happened before in the history of Ellie, so I take that as a sign that she enjoyed her day with her cousins to the fullest!
Thanks so much for a great visit, all! Can't wait to see you again soon!