Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A grown-up weekend

This last weekend has proven how quickly we turn into grown-ups doing grown-up stuff. As those of you who have read Taylor Street this week know, we spent the weekend in Urbana (and Champaign), Illinois with our good friend Colin Taylor, who was born and raised in said town. We stayed with Colin's parents John and Barb and passed the time with them, Colin's younger sister Abby, and his good friend Ben.

Saturday morning brought the Hartichs (Nate, Laura, Simon, Theo) for a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit and cinnamon crumble cake, followed by chasing children and dogs in the backyard. Simon has opened up to everyone and showed his true colors while running around the yard in circles yelling things like, "I like your grass!!! I like this yard!!!" Theo impressed me (and others) with his intelligent baby babble and chill demenor. Lily was her usual intense self, sticking to missions like: Pull all the toys out of the box, Eat the leaf, and everyone's favorite, Growl really loudly.

Lily has definitely reached a new stage in which she recognizes that she can exert her will on the world. No longer does she cry when something she wants is out of her reach; rather, she sees something she wants and immediately focuses all attention on obtaining that thing, even if that requires crawling over large obstacles. This goes for when she wants to be held by someone in particular. When she's tired, she won't let non-mommy/daddy people hold her. If someone else picks her up, she knows all she has to do is stretch her arms out to mom/dad and she's home free. Today in the bath she demonstrated another fun example of how she has realized her physical abilities. Lily sometimes sucks on her washcloth full of warm water. Usually when it dries up, she wines and shakes it. Today she just dipped it back in the warm water and put it back to her lips; she did this several times. Like Short Circuit, Lily craves input and she is learning.

Back to Urbana-Champaign...Colin and I took Oli on a tour of campus and campustown, complete with stops at Espresso Royale and Murphy's. While sitting on the sidewalk sipping our Royale mint hot chocolates, we witnessed a Bar Scramble, which I can only guess is equivalent to what we called a Bar Crawl in my day. Members of some co-ed organization wore matching T-shirts listing the bars they had to go to as part of this scramble. At each they were required to take a different type of shot. I don't know what the prize was or what organization they were part of, but let me say that I took great pleasure in watching them flip their blonde hair, adjust their baseball caps and talk in loud cutesy voices all the while feeling superior...and nostalgic.

On Saturday night we went to the Eastins' with the family and Ben for a chilli cook-off in which many guests brought chilli for everyone to try. Then we all voted for our favorite recipe as we sat around the campfire, drinking beer, eating caramel apples and brownies. Lily slept on me the whole night and I have to say, a great way to spend a Saturday night is by a campfire with your friends and other great people, eating comfort food, cuddling a very cute warm sleeping baby. Beats a night out at a club any time.

Sunday was more chill. John took Lily on a 6-mile walk; it's good Lily LOVES taking walks. Colin, Oli, Abby and I went for a walk on a sculpture trail and stopped by the Japan House and garden. This was followed up with watching Hocus Pocus with the family and Colin's friend Ben.

(Don't we look like two pairs of brother and sister?)

Between all the good food provided by the Hughes-Taylors and the relaxed flow of events, we're feeling like we've just come back from 7 days on some beach. What else could you expect from a town with gas stations like this one:


The Tricyclist said...

Next trip on your agenda: Bloomington. We have sweet gas stations too.

Really, it was great to see you. Just name the date, and we'll be thrilled to host you here. You and your ardently determined baby. I do declare, that girl will be an early walker, yes she will.

potunky said...

I've stopped for gas there!

Note: the gas isn't free. I think the sign is talking about the people inside the gas station.

Megan said...

The sign is talking about AMERICA, Potunkey. Freedom is synonymous. Also God is the same. AMERICA=FREEDOM=GOD. Not like the oppressive regime I've come to know here in London.

I can't wait to have a staring contest with Lily. We'll see who's intense.

Oliver said...

I don't quite understand what America=Freedom=God means. Though, I might put it on a t-shirt and sell it to Americans; they love that shit.