We’ve had a busy last week. Ilya and Lena met all their cousins for the first time, as well as two of their aunts and their uncle. Their cousins are 11, 8, 5, 3 and 6mo. They stayed with us for a few days. I wasn’t sure how it would go… I figured they’d all have fun together, but I anticipated some conflict. Nope, not at all. They all got along wonderfully. My sister’s older kids were great about helping my two. There was wrestling and rough housing and then there was hand holding and stories. Ilya and Lena really loved meeting their baby cousin and would often run up to him and give him kisses or a big hug.
It was a week for a lot of firsts… we went to Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary… a really neat place in Louisburg, Kansas. They have tigers, lions, wolves and other animals. We also went to Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead… if you are in Kansas City with kids, GO THERE. It is free Monday-Thursday, and only $2/person on the weekend. They do have other activities which you must pay for, but it is all very reasonably priced. My kids rode on toy tractors, fed baby goats, tried out fishing, saw all kids of animals and spent a ton of time on a very nice playground. Everyone, grown-ups and all ages of children really enjoyed Deanna Rose. We spent 5 hours there and easily could have stayed longer if it wasn’t closing for the day!
We also had some other adventures during the week, like trips to the dog park or up onto the University of Kansas campus. Our other very exciting adventure was our first trip to the pool! We have a couple of very nice public pools here in Lawrence. One which is indoor and one which is outdoor. My sister and her family had gone to the indoor one earlier in the week, but I wasn’t comfortable taking two kids who had never seen a pool before without an extra set of adult hands. But, with my other sister in town and Aaron free to join us, we went yesterday.
Ilya just loved the pool. He just walked around for hours, he wanted to try everything out, including stuff like the big slide, which he’s just too little for. Lena was more hesitant. She did not like to get her face wet. She clung to me or my sister most of the time we were at the pool. Occasionally, she’d waddle around in the kiddie pool, coming to check in with me every few minutes. Both kids had a good time, though and did not ask to get out once during the 3 hours we were at the pool.
I really enjoyed having my sister and her family here. It was a great opportunity for Ilya and Lena to get to know more of their family. I also think it was a very positive experience for them to see how families function in day to day life. I also felt like I got to experience another side of both Ilya and Lena, seeing how they acted with other members of their family, especially how affectionate both of them were with “the baby.”