Monday, August 3, 2009

A Trip to the Garden State

We just got back from NJ where we were able to visit most of Joe’s family. This was Ella’s first visit to Grammy’s house. Janet started renting her house out right when Ella was born, so we never got to stay there when we went for a visit. She is now in the process of trying to sell her house, but we all got to pile in and hang out for a few days.

As I’ve mentioned before, Joe is one of 8 kids, so when everyone gets together there are nearly 30 people. Not everyone was there this weekend, but we did get to see much of the family. On Friday night it was just us and Grammy. Ella pulled out all the stops and showed Grammy that she really is a genius. Her favorite game was sitting on the pool table and Grammy had all the pool balls at the other end. Ella would tell Grammy what color she wanted, then Grammy held up the ball so that Ella could see the number. Ella would then say, “What number is that? 7. Good girl. SMART!” Yes, she would ask herself the question, tell herself the answer, then compliment herself on doing a good job. She played this game the entire weekend and was more than willing to show off to her cousins and aunts and uncles. I think she liked the laughter and cheers she received.

Saturday we ran errands. The first, and most important, was to visit Grammy’s friend who is currently training a puppy to be an assistance dog for people who are blind. This puppy is just a few weeks old and is so sweet! We then went to lunch at a Jersey shore favorite, Harrigan’s. I was really craving some fish and chips, but unfortunately it’s only on their dinner menu. Our waitress cashed in a favor with the chef and he made me a special lunch batch of fish and chips! After lunch Ella was pretty tuckered out, so she fell asleep in the car while we ran to the grocery store.

That afternoon Joe’s only brother, Billy, and his family came, as well as Joe’s sister, Katie (awesome name) and her husband. It took Ella some time to adjust, but eventually she was fine and did her pool table game for everyone. The adults all went out for the evening, so Ella and I stayed with Grammy and Billy’s kids, Julia and Nick. Ella absolutely loved watching Julia and Nick play and dance. I have so many pictures that I will post soon, but just know that she was having a great time. Julia and Nick had a competition for who could stand on one foot the longest. Julia won and every time Nick would fall Ella would say, “Oh No Nick!” Later they put on a show for us and sang a Black Eyed Peas song while Ella danced in the middle of the living room. Julia and Nick even went and got their doggies (yes, they each have doggies that they sleep with…Julia’s is named Molly and Nick’s is named Doggie, just like Ella’s. Only Nick’s is the boy doggie and Ella’s is the girl doggie…please DO NOT get them confused) and they had a lot of fun throwing them up so that they hit the ceiling. Ella would even grab doggie and hold her over her head then bring her down and grab her just like they did. Julia read books to Ella and they all played with this ball toy and this other car toy. We even sang some of Ella's favorite songs. Julia even taught me to Pictochat on my DS and apparently if we have the same game them we can play against each other. The best part of the night came when Ella was playing in the side bedroom and Nick went over to her, leaned down and gently kissed her cheek. It was so sweet!

The rest of the Murray clan arrived on Sunday to celebrate Jenny’s birthday. I love the Murray’s and I love being a part of their family, but one thing about the Murray’s that everyone should know…they can be rather loud. And the more people that arrive, the louder things get. Unfortunately I couldn’t fully explain this to Ella, so she was very overwhelmed with the whole thing. Every time someone new would walk in the door she would burst into tears. The only time she didn’t was when Jenny and Danny came and brought Zoe, their dog. This was enough distraction to keep Ella from crying. Ella got to see 8 aunts and uncles and 7 cousins. Once she got over the initial shock of all the people, she was fine and read books, played with Zoe and watched all the uncles and boy cousins play whiffleball outside.

We headed home Sunday afternoon. I am still completely stuffed from the weekend. I feel like the moment we arrive until the second we leave we are constantly putting food in our mouths and it takes days to recover. Ella did great on the drive both up and back. She slept most of the time both ways, and then watched her videos. We had a great trip and it was so much fun seeing the family.

1 comment:

MATT & DANA HIGGINS said...

Glad you guys had a safe and fun trip to Jersey. Glad you got to spend time with loved ones!

Has Ella's sleep pattern improved?

Love and hugs to the Murray family!