Monday, August 24, 2009

Deep in the Heart of Texas

I know…I know. It has been over a week since my last post. Please don’t shun Team Joella and never visit us again. We’ve been busy! Actually, we’ve been on vacation, which is way more important than just being busy.

Last Monday we flew to Dallas, TX to visit my extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins). Ella did pretty good on the plane, but was not keen about riding in a little car. Since she’s used to the minivan, whenever we have to go somewhere in a little 4 door car she doesn’t like it. Once we put her video up for her to watch she did ok, thank goodness. We stayed with Aunt Gail and Uncle Clay in Garland. Ella was her typical shy self. She did warm up eventually, but she never fully let down her guard. We spent Monday afternoon at the house just letting Ella get acclimated to all the new stuff around her. We also went for a dip in Clay and Gail’s pool. Ella has never been a fan of swimming pools. We think it’s mainly because there are a lot of kids around splashing and going crazy, and the water is usually too cold for her. Not so in the Texas heat. The pool was like bathwater! It was so nice and warm and since there were just 4 of us around, she didn’t have to worry about other kids. She was still nervous, but she warmed up to the idea and soon she was floating by herself in the little floaties and even asking daddy to jump off the diving board. That night we went to cousin Thomas and Jessica’s house for dinner. They made a wonderful steak with all the sides. Ella loved it and just kept shoving steak in her mouth.

A little side note: Aunt Gail bought a little seat for Ella to eat in and the back was a lion. Ella is in a new lion phase so she instantly fell in love with this seat. She would ask to sit in her lion seat and as soon as I put her in it she would turn around and say "Hi Lion!" then blow the lion kisses.

Tuesday morning we relaxed around the house then headed to a Mexican food restaurant for dinner. It was SO good! I love Mexican food and my only problem with the east is that I have yet to find a great Mexican food restaurant. We’ve found some that will suffice, but nothing amazing. Ella was exhausted and slept all the way through lunch. After lunch we headed out to the farm to see Big Mama and Big Daddy. Ella warmed up very quickly once she saw the piano. She was very excited that her mommy could peck out ABC’s, Twinkle Twinkle (which is the same tune, in case you didn’t know), the Itsy Bitsy Spider and of course, Uncle John Had a Farm. We had a yummy dinner and as we were leaving she even let Big Mama give her a kiss. She must have felt the Ella bond (Big Mama is the original Ella and little Ella is named after her).

Wednesday we headed back out to the farm for lunch. We grabbed Subway sandwiches on the way. As a side note, this particular Subway needed some serious operational intervention. There is a Subway located right across the street from my office and I eat there almost every day. At lunch that place is packed, but the workers have their system down to a science. Each person is in charge of just a couple of things and they have their job down perfectly. They don’t break from their section because that’s what it takes for the system to work. In Texas, however, I’m not sure if this was a new Subway, or if they just weren’t used to the crowd they had for lunch that day, or if all the employees were just new. Anyway, it seemed like there was only one person working who actually knew what was going on so it took forever for us to get our sandwiches. Of course it was nap time, so poor Joe was doing his best to keep Ella from having a complete meltdown right there in the middle of the restaurant. We were both glad to get back in the car and head to Merit…by the way, Ella was asleep within a few minutes. Ella slept all through lunch, which gave Joe and I some good time to catch up with Big Mama and Big Daddy. After Ella woke up, Uncle John came by for a few minutes. We tried to sing "Uncle John Had a Farm" but Ella was being her typical shy self and didn't want to entertain a stranger. After lunch we headed to Uncle John's barn to check out his miniature horses (don't worry Beck, I don't have any pictures). They are so cute and one of them kept trying to lick Ella's foot. She wanted to get down and play with them so badly, but unfortunately she didn't have her shoes on so walking in the pasture was completely out of the question.

Thursday night the whole family came to Clay and Gail’s for a wonderful dinner! It was so much fun seeing everyone. We had a lot of fun catching up and just hanging out as a family. And Ella had a lot of fun playing with her cousin (actually I think it's her second cousin) Callie.

I can’t let this post end without giving a very special shout-out to Sadie, the dog. Sadie was the perfect dog for Ella this week. They had a love-love relationship. Ella loved that Sadie was so gentle and didn’t jump up on her or go crazy, and Sadie loved that Ella kept giving her food. It was a match made in heaven.

We had a ton of fun in Texas and I always love seeing my extended family. I wish we lived closer so that we could all hang out more.


Ben and Lola said...

Katie, re: Subway - maybe it's a Texas problem but the one here in Clifton has the same problem. It's seems like just a simple thing to have an assembly line but something gets lost in transition. We stopped going there on Wed. nights because it was so slow with only a few customers. Glad you had a great time with your kinfolk in Texas. Hopefully you were able to tolerate the heat - at least that was in your favor for the swimming pool!

Becky said...

Thank you for not posting pictures of the miniature horses.... however, I got sick to my stomach just reading your post.