On Saturday afternoon we drove to Grandpa and Grandma’s house to visit for a couple days.We arrived about 5:30pm on Saturday, chatted for a while and then had delicious grilled tandoori chicken with rice for dinner. Everett liked it so much he had seconds! That night all three children slept in the same room: the babies were in their pack and plays and Everett was in bed. Chris rolled up bathmats and put them under the sheet on each side to keep him from rolling out. Having them all in the same room might have been a tactical error because they were all awake about 6am the next morning. Granted it was the shortest night of the year, and the sun is bright in that room in the morning, but it was still a rough way to start the day. As a result of getting up so early the babies were down for their nap before 9am. During their nap Everett and Grandpa made brownies.
Once the babies got up and were fed we all packed up and drove the Mall to visit a museum or two. We meant to go to the National Museum of American History but instead ended up at the Natural History Museum.
Afterward we walked through the National Gallery of Art sculpture garden, and then took some obligatory tourist photos.

The babies slept on the way home, but after a while Everett started poking Teddy and woke him up. Once Melissa realized what had happened she told Everett that Teddy hadn’t slept enough, and as a result he was probably going to be tired the rest of the day and the next day as well, and summed it up by saying “You set off a chain reaction of crabbiness!” Chris heard this and couldn’t stop laughing, which took the edge off the seriousness of the offense. it also made Chris recall the time from childhood when he was bored in the morning and wanted someone to play with, so he taught Sean how to climb over the gate that was meant to keep him in bed. Not a popular move with the parents!

As soon as we returned home Everett had a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream. You know we are staying at a grandparent’s house when brownies are served in the morning and ice cream in the afternoon :-). Then Chris and Everett found Tripoley in the camper and Chris taught Everett how to play. It’s a lot to learn at once because a round of Tripoley is actually three games: hearts, poker and rummy. Everett quickly began to learn the different games and the art of betting. He relied on Grandpa to help figure out his best poker hands. We played about 5 rounds and then took the babies outside for some play time.

That night we fed the babies first and then had grown up dinner with Everett, followed by three more rounds of Tripoley. Everett won a lot of chips. Unfortunately, all of his lost sleep finally caught up with him and he really started coming unglued so we wrapped up the game and got him to bed around 8:30pm.

On Monday we drove to the NSA Headquarters to see the National Cryptologic Museum.
Chris has been there once before; neither Melissa nor Everett had never been but both were very interested. There was no sign of Perry the Platypus at the museum (Perry is a secret agent, FYI), but there was lots of other interesting code-breaking history. Everett cracked a few codes (all substitution ciphers),
wrote messages using invisible ink, and got an NSA portfolio notebook at the gift shop. Afterward we went back home for lunch and an early nap for the babies. We left around 2:30pm for the flight home.

It took 40 minutes to check in for our Southwest flight (we think this is a record for Southwest), and another half hour to get to the gate. The babies were maniacs for the first hour in the plane (which was spent on the ground). There was really nothing we could do, so in desperation we switched babies. This seemed to help considerably. Teddy settled down in Chris’ lap. Gwen was still moving nonstop but at least she stopped screaming. About halfway to Milwaukee one of the flight attendants walked up to Melissa and said “Are you the Mom with twins? A woman in front of the plane sent this drink coupon so you could have a glass of wine.” All we can say is thank you T Harmann, wherever and whoever you are – that was very thoughtful. We can’t pay you back, but we will certainly pay it forward one day when our children are older and we see another couple struggling with infants on the plane. We note that Dad wasn’t offered a drink coupon, but that’s ok because in fact Mom is the babies’ primary caregiver, and Chris has amassed his own collection of Southwest drink coupons. At one time during grad school he had about 160 of them, which was more than enough to buy a round of drinks for the entire plane.

During the flight home we knew we could occupy the babies for a while with dinner. We fed them each two pouches. Then Gwen chomped on Melissa’s chicken sandwich using her newly grown incisors while Chris fed Teddy little balls of brownies that Everett and Grandpa made the day before. This is one of the first times Teddy has actually eaten a few bites of solid good without scrunching his face and spitting it out.

We picked up a pizza on the way home and were able to relax a bit before bedtime. This was a great visit with Grandpa and Grandma Linda! We hope that next time we can make it to the pool and plan some more visits to museums and monuments, especially now that Everett has reached an age where he is beginning to appreciate them.

Comments (2)

2 thoughts on “Visit

  1. Oh, you were so close! I’m sure you were busy, but I’d have loved to see y’all.

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