In the run-up to Daddy's departure for China, life went on as normal...
Harper made her own style. Always prominently featuring CUPCAKE SHIRRRRT.
The tent continues to be popular - even more so with the alfresco dining conditions outside (at least for a few days last week).
Luke put together this dining table situation. About six rags, a Mother's Day craft project flower, mismatched chairs, and hot dogs. "Now it is like a fancy schmancy restaurant!"
Luke Casey: Living the High Life.
Harper is ready to play t-ball.
Put me in, Coach!
This time, the tent is a rocket ship. After blast-off, it is tipped on its side.
Giant steps are what you take...
Their one-day album cover
Ah, hot dog shirt, we hoped you were forgotten.
Another birthday party! This one had a "superhero" theme. Harper pulled together - what else - CUPCAKE GIRL!
(still working on the smiling on cue)
Luke creation, "I am called the Man of Steel."
Apres party, Harper made Lion and Giraffe take a nap. In the high chair. With a baby doll changing pad for a blanket.
"You watch them for me, Mama, OK? But don't touch them! OK?"
Yes, she has marker on her face. Don't ask.
The nerds made a "bed" in the laundry basket.
And did this.
And then Daddy left. That is packing for 17 days. He is insanely good at packing.
There is an elaborate sticker chart - Luke is gunning for a trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center and Harper wants to "see dinosaur skeletons."
And so, Mama sent up the Auntie Bat Signal for the long weekend.
Uncle Charlie and Aunt Sharren were the first to come to their rescue, flexibly relocating a zoo date to the mall on a frigid and rainy May Saturday (what gives, Mother Nature??). They good-naturedly pumped the ride-on machines full of quarters.
And we went for a spin on, as Harper called it,
the "merry-go-ride." She declared it to be "so so fun."
Auntie Slater and her friend, Jodie, were next, joining us for a hot dog party on Sunday. Aunt Slater, concerned that Lion was going to come to an untimely or unsavory end, arranged a back-up plan.
Introducing the newest member of the Casey Family, New Lion.
According to Harper, "He is Wion's Daddy!"
A lemur, a leopard, and a cheetah were also given. Luke adopted the jungle cats. And then regaled us with facts about them.
New Lion meets snuggleability requirements.
And on Monday, Aunt Lisa came up for hamburgers and tent festivities. She brought the kids a "tent kit" - including fancy hot dog and hamburger trays, a light up beach ball, GORP, flashlights and....
Luke immediately set about making them fangs
And as Luke goes...
...so goes Harper
And after all of the Aunties had gone, and Harper was in her crib singing to Lions both old and new by the hazy, artificial light of glow sticks, Mama taught Luke about Trouble's patented Pop-O-Matic!
4 days down, 13 to go...