As you know, our children are blessed with an abundance of relatives, including a larger-than-normal number of grandparents. Four of them came for the joint occasions of Rachelle's blessing and Kevin's graduation. We had a great time going to the beach, swimming in the pool, cooking and eating the insane amount of food they bought us, playing with toys, eating Jaxson's ice cream and of course Pass the Baby. In fact, all four proved themselves to be consummate baby soothers and excellent preschool playmates.
Thanks for coming, Grandma & Grandpa and Grandma & Grandpa! And to the myriad other grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and great aunts, uncles and great uncles, we missed you. Come see us soon - but not all at once, please! I'm not sure our air mattress can handle it.
On Tuesday, Kevin and I (and Rachelle) went to a reception for engineering students at FAU. We didn't know anyone there, so we sat at our own table and observed while we ate. The table next to us was so full there was a man who didn't have a seat. He was rambling on about the local casinos and how he always won because he understood the laws of probability; I said to Kevin, "That must be their crazy Uncle Barney. They wouldn't even give him a seat!"
As we continued to watch, I noticed that the rest of the family seemed more than a bit detached from his remarks, and then leaned over and whispered, "Kev, I don't think he's their crazy Uncle Barney. He's someone's crazy Uncle Barney, but not theirs!" Kev observed that he must have just been wandering around the tables chatting with people.
As we were quietly eavesdropping, Rachelle informed me that she was hungry. Since we had the table to ourselves, I discreetly covered up and started feeding her. I told Kevin that nursing a baby would be the surest way to ensure the table stayed ours and ours alone. Sure enough, as soon as Uncle Barney had sufficiently bored the table next to us, he came over to ours. Kev was refilling our lemonade, so it was just me and Rachelle.
Uncle Barney said, "Who's the graduate today?" I gestured to the empty seat next to me. Then he noticed the tiny pair of feet hanging off my lap and cleared his throat. Awkward silence. "Well, I guess I'll go annoy the next table." I audibly replied, "Good luck with that!" I silently added, "Not that you'll need it."
So I just want to make it known that if you need a little time to yourself at a semi-private function, Rachelle and I are available for hire.
Oh, and in other news, Kevin graduated. That's right, now he's an official Master of Science!
In case you didn't feel like flying across the country and sitting through the whole ceremony, here's the moment you would have waited for:
For her baby blessing at church, Rachelle was privileged to have 4 grandparents visiting for the occasion. Her Grandma Steward even graciously offered the gown she and her brother wore for their christenings. Rachelle looked beautiful, the blessing was beautiful, the photos are mediocre. Oh, and Rachelle has decided to be the kind of baby who is pleasant and calm pretty much all the time - unless you want a family photo.
Today we had some Mormon royalty visiting our congregation. Julie B. Beck, General President of the Relief Society, attended our ward with her husband. We got to hear a bit from her, and she had some very nice things to say. After, as she was leaving the stand, she approached Kevin, who was slightly bemused (since he's not a member of the Relief Society). It was quickly established that she was, in fact, coming to see Rachelle. Yep, Sister Beck stopped my husband to tell him how beautiful our child is.
Yesterday we went to the circus. No, not the big top. In fact, it was held in a conference room at the Davie campus of Florida Atlantic University. It was sponsored by the FAU Kids Club, who occasionally plan events for students with children. It was super cute, with a family of performers that did everything from magic to juggling to acrobatics. There were also carnival games, goodie bags and circus food. Stellan loved it - at least as much as the "real" circus we went to several months ago. Rachelle slept through most of it, waking up only to eat and then look around adorably for the last 15 minutes. Stellan can't stop talking about it, and the remnants of it remain littered around our house; tonight he couldn't leave the house for an evening stroll without his foam clown nose.