It's 9:00 at night, but my body things it's 2am. I'm beat. The craft fair that I've been preparing for during the last few months is done. Halloween is done. I have a ton of back-listed things I could do tonight, but as I enjoy the quiet (D's asleep) and empty (Z's at work) house, I find that I just want to talk about my family. So here's a long overdue post on my sweet family.
I still have China stories to share, but they can wait.
Last weekend we went to Plant City. Zane picked me up from work at noon and we stopped in Hunter's Creek for lunch at a lovely little cafe called Bistro Europa Express. It was a beautiful day, and I heartily recommend the restaurant for their delicious food, fanstastic service (they brought a bowl of water for Rufio!), and comfortable atmosphere.
In Plant City, we enjoyed the great outdoors by feeding Zane's grandpa's goats...
...and meeting his geese. Daisy's not a fan of scared geese who make loud honking sounds.
Daisy and her cousin Maddie walked along the grounds holding hands, and wouldn't slow down for a good pictures, so all I have are blurry ones. But they were darn, stinkin' cute.
Zane and I took advantage of free grandma babysitting and had dinner with friends in Tampa. Make that: dinner and strategic games. We spent five hours eating, drinking, fellowshipping, and playing Dominion and Small World. I seriously, seriously needed an adult night of lighthearted laughter and fun. Thanks, Heather and Olon!!!
Saturday we went to a local Plant City corn maze, where once again, we basically basked in the utter cuteness of Daisy and Maddie.
We went into a screened-in butterfly exhibit, which was really cool and full of butterflies, except that Daisy was afraid of them. She loves them in books and shows, but in real life she was baby-talk saying, "Back away from me, you winged spawn of Satan!"
I liked it and even had one butterfly land on my finger. I was also proud of Daisy, because she eventually overcame her fears enough to touch one butterfly with one finger.
Plus I got to wear my cool cowboy boots, and in Florida, you don't get to wear cool cowboy boots all the time, so you have to take every opportunity you can.
Saturday night we went to Cracker Barrel, and after dinner we hung out in the store for a long time watching Daisy and Maddie parallel play with the different toys. They're favorite was the kitchen set.
Daisy is 16 months now and continues to blow us away with her smarts and cuteness.
My dad asked me how many words she knows the other day, but I haven't been keeping track. She says lots of words prompted ("Where's your nose?" "Nose") and lots of words unprompted (points to the moon and says, "moon"). She loves giving hugs and kisses to us and inanimate objects. She loves going "side" (outside), but not in her stroller. She wants to walk and interact with the world and put leaves in her purse.
I'm still working three long days a week, but I'm more at peace and grateful for my job situation than I was earlier this year. Daisy gets full days with her grandmas, dad, and mom. When I say goodbye in the morning, she gives me a hug, a kiss, and a confident "Bye-bye" with a wave. She loves her caregivers, which gives me peace when I have to leave her for 11 hours.
Plus, thanks to i-devices, they share photos with me throughout the work day (above pic), which only makes me feel somewhat left out as opposed to completely in the dark.
Best of all, I get two weekdays with her. It took me too long to snap out of being sad that I miss out on three days a week and realize how fortunate I am to have a benefits job with two weekdays and weekends at home.