Grandma Susan came for a visit just two weeks after the Thompson grandparents headed home. Ellie has been enjoying all the extra attention.
Jeff and Susan conspired to surprise me with an evening away. On Monday, with just a few minutes' notice, Jeff whisked me off to the Edgewater, a waterfront hotel downtown. Grandma Susan stayed at home and had Ellie all to herself for the evening.
We walked up to Pike's Market for a lovely French dinner at the charming Cafe Campagne. It was wonderful to have a leisurely dinner and talk about things other than work and childcare. But, of course, we ended up talking about those things too. Ellie is making such marvolous strides, and is so adorable that it's impossible not to talk about her.
The next morning we slept in. A lot. We've both been fighting colds and to get an uninterrupted night's sleep and wake up late was a much needed luxury. Jeff made coffee, of course, and we lounged about in the big fluffy white robes the hotel provided. Our room was right over the water with large windows to let in all the light. Even though it was gray and raining, it was exceptionally beautiful. Two big comfy armchairs sat in front of the fireplace with a funny bear footrest (a "bearstool") between them. Relaxing wasn't a problem.
Since this was the first time we got away since becoming parents, the thing that made the biggest impression on us was the calm. When we are with Ellie there is always this feeling of being on call, even if it's just to a small degree: Will she need something? Will she wake up? Having an evening and morning that didn't require anything of us was euphoric.
We woke up too late for breakfast but walked to Belltown to nearby Macrina Bakery for lunch. Although it took longer than we expected (we were getting anxious to get home and see Ellie) lunch was marvelous, with a lemon raspberry cupcake for dessert. Mmmmm.
Ellie and Susan had a wonderful time together. I'm happy to say that Ellie seemed just as happy to see us as we were to see her.
Later that day, Susan, Ellie and I went to the zoo while Jeff got some work done. We were able to introduce Susan to the Zoomazium. And, when the sun poked its head out for a bit, we took advantage of it to see some animals.
A new penguin exhibit just opened a few days before, and we were all excited to check it out. The exhibit is spectacular and allows great viewing for kids.
When Ellie saw the jaguar, which was lying right next to the glass, she got very animated and started saying "cat, cat, cat" over and over again. I'm constantly amazed at her bravery. She just went right up to the glass to get a better look.
This was the first zoo visit where Ellie seemed to actually notice and want to interact with the animals. Previously, if they weren't right next to her and moving rapidly, she had little interest.
The rest of Susan's visit was less eventful, but no less fun. We went to the park and Swanson's Nursery and hung around the house making Ellie laugh.