Friday, May 04, 2007

Recap of Kian's First Trip to Wisconsin

Let me preface by saying that Jamie had to stay home while Kian and I traveled to Wisconsin. Jamie is getting deep into the project he's working on and was unable to leave. It also was a bit of a stretch for just me and Kian to go....if Jamie came too we would have to tack on the cost of parking and kenneling Toby (our dog). SO, Jamie had to stay home...we all really missed each other a lot. But the trip was worth it :)

Tuesday, April 24 –
Kian and I head out from San Francisco to Wisconsin. We get in late and have little time to visit before Kian needs to get to bed. It was very good to be back home, but after a long trip it was good to rest.

My mom, my sister Laura, Laura's boyfriend Brian, Grandma and Grandpa Z. and Aunt Lori were all there to greet us when we passed through the security point.

Wednesday, April 25 –

Laura took a day off of work and went shopping with us downtown Appleton so I could do to the Irish store there. I probably could have spent all my money there! I was able to find a wall plaque with Kian’s name on it in the store! I had to special order it, but it’s going to be worth it! Where else can you find Kian’s name but in an Irish store ;) I will take a picture of it once I receive it – I think it’s pretty cool!

That evening was a celebration for my cousin Melissa’s 21st birthday. A bunch of family members gathered at Frank’s Pizza Palace for some GREAT pizza and beer (well for those who were of age ;)) Kian had a great time hugging his third cousin (my cousin Steve’s daughter) Ameerah and going to see what he called the “whale” in the fish tank in the front of the restaurant. It was a great time to visit with family and Kian’s first induction into being at a big family event.

Thursday, April 26 –

Wednesday night Kian woke up screaming in the middle of the night. He had caught a cold the day we left on our trip and I was afraid he might have an ear infection – especially after I asked him if he owies and he told him his ear did after he finally calmed down. I felt SO bad for him. So, Thursday morning I called our insurance company to find an urgent care in the area that would take our insurance. Luckily there was one nearby (and it only cost us $10). My step-dad, Randy, drove us there since so much has changed in the area and I had no idea where the place was! Kian was ok, we were just told to keep him on cough meds and pain reliever to prevent the infection. He was much better after that.

My mom took a half day of vacation and was done with work at 11AM. We picked up my Aunt Lori at my Grandparent’s house and headed to the Fox Cities Children’s museum. We all had a good time. In fact, I’m not sure if Lori, mom or Kian had more fun lol! There were a lot of things to do there! Kian was able to “shop” at Kwik Trip, play doctor, ride a fire truck, work a crane, play with a ball structure that was really fun (we have photos of that, it’s hard to describe), play in a water exhibit and tour a Hispanic cultural exhibit phew! We all did have a great time!

For dinner we ate at Tom’s Drive In – and yes I did have fried cheese curds ;)

Friday, April 27 –

Randy and Mom took off of work. It was Randy’s birthday. In the morning Kian and I watched him open some gifts and we hand delivered our cards to him. Kian was able to play outside with Mom’s dog Hannah – they had a good time. Later on Kian met his Great Grandma and Grandpa Lopas (Randy’s parents).

That evening we went out for a classic Wisconsin Friday Night Fish Fry. Kian didn’t have fish (he’s not able to have fish until he’s about 5 because of his food allergy) but he did have some jello and yummy chicken nuggets. I really enjoyed my fish though! Yum!

We went back to Mom and Randy’s house while everyone else went out to a bar near the house. Laura visited with me and Kian until his bed time. Then me and my mom switched places so I could spend some time with my cousins at the bar. The seriously funny part is that BOTH me and my sister (who is 27) were carded!!! Let me tell ya, I was pretty proud to have someone ask me for my ID being that I turned 30 in October ;)

Saturday, April 28 –
Since I knew that Kian would be really overwhelmed by people, I planned a day at home for me and Kian. He loved being able to have time to play with all the fun little toys my mom got him.

After his nap, we started to get ready for the big party – my Grandma and Grandpa Zuelzk’s 50th wedding anniversary. Kian was pretty overwhelmed at times – which was to be expected since he’s never really been around that many people that wanted to see him! My sister and her boyfriend Brian sat near us and were big helps with Kian (thanks again guys!) The dinner was great so was the entertainment! My sister and Brian sang some songs that were special for my grandparents. My uncle Steve put together a picture slideshow of family from the beginning of the 50 years of marriage on down to the great-grandchildren. It was really neat to see that – he did a great job! Then we were asked to clear the dining area so they could set up the dance floor. In the bar area, where we were waiting, there was one of those machines that has all the stuffed animals in it with a crane to pluck them out. Laura spent about $7 trying to get one out and then my cousin Melissa walks over and gets one after putting a dollar in! My third cousin, Camlyn (she’s 3 ½) saw Kian’s toy and wanted it. So after Laura gave it two more tries my cousin Melissa walks over and gets another stuffed animal! So Kian and Camlyn both had one. Kian wouldn’t let go of his all night - it even followed him to the dance floor! Kian and I headed out well before everyone else. Kian was beat and honestly so was I. I put Kian to bed and was able to just relax a bit before heading to bed myself.

Sunday, April 29 –
Kian and I relaxed a bit in the morning and then got ready to head over to my Aunt Sue and Uncle Terry’s house to visit with the Kesler side of the family (some of my dad’s sisters and brothers). My Aunt Katie drove about 2 hours from Milwaukee. My Uncle Jim came with his wife Debbie and daughter Jenny from Madison area (about a 3 hour drive I think). My Uncle Paul was there as well as my Aunt Sue’s daughter Becky and son Craig. Laura and her boyfriend Brian were there as well. My Aunt Jane in Texas “joined” us via telephone after dinner was over. It was a pretty good turn out, in my opinion :)

My Aunt Sue had a wonderful BBQ planned which had some of the same foods I had a lot growing up – like Knox Blocks and Beautiful Salad. That really brought back a lot of memories for me. Not to mention, my Aunt Sue and Uncle Terry live in the house that my Dad grew up in and I guess I did a bit too. I have a lot of memories of spending time at that house.

Kian had a good time walking both my Uncle Paul and Uncle Jim around the outside of the house. I think they both probably walked about a mile with how much Kian was asking them for walks :)

It was very good to visit with them. I am very thankful for those who traveled a long ways to see us and for my Sue and Terry hosting the shindig.

I took Kian home for a much needed nap. When he woke up we headed over to my Grandma and Grandpa Zuelzke’s house to visit with family there. Kian had a GREAT time playing with Camlyn.

Monday, April 30 –
We kind of took it easy. Mom and I went to the mall so I could look at some pieces live-in person of my Fiestaware so I could figure out what I wanted to add to my collection. We also walked to another store in the mall, which passed by the service desk where they have a TON of balloons. Kian saw a Blue’s Clues balloon that my mom couldn’t resist getting him. I think he played with that all day on Monday. We had lunch at Tom’s Drive In again – per my request :) After we ate we headed to the cheese store near my mom’s house for some fresh cheese curds so I could bring them home with me.

Then we headed over to Brian’s house for cook out. Brian made some GREAT brats and we had some other yummy things like beans and Best Chocolate Cake. My Aunt Lori, Grandma and Grandpa Zuelzke, and my Mom and Randy were all there. We shared family stories and shared some wine. Then it was time for us to say our goodbyes.

Tuesday, May 1-
Kian and I got up early to start our trek back to Wisconsin. My Aunt Lori, Mom and Grandma and Grandpa Zuelzke came to say goodbye at the airport. My Grandpa bought Kian a Packers baseball hat. Kian was a big crank and he wasn’t in form to give anyone a hug goodbye so he just waved and blew kisses (after I prompted him). It was hard to leave, but I am so happy we were able to go to celebrate my Grandparent’s special day.

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