Since I'm a teacher, I typically have the same holidays off as my niece (we'll call her A1) and nephew (A2). But, I teach in a different district, so our holidays don't always coincide. When I do happen to have the same days off as these guys, I usually volunteer to babysit them. One, it keeps my sister and her husband from having to take time off of work to stay home with them. Two, it saves them money by not having to take them to a daycare. And three, it gives me the chance to hang out with the kiddos and catch up on what has been going on in their lives.
So, when President's Day weekend rolled around, I told my sister not to worry about who would watch the kids. She dropped them off early Sunday afternoon. After the kids got settled down, Dan and I took them down to the playground at our apartment complex. It's nothing special, but it gets them outside and gets them active.
A2 has been in this technology phase. If it doesn't have batteries, animations, or a screen, he's not really interested. But, we convinced him to go down to the playground and have some fun for a little while. We might have bribed him with sugar...
Our niece, the monkey.
A1 had this cute panda hat to keep her head warm in the cooler weather.
Even Uncle Danny got in on some panda action.
After the playground we headed back upstairs and relaxed. A2 played on my iPad for a little while and A1 sat on the balcony and reconnected with her favorite furry friend. Seriously, these two have an unspoken connection. The minute A1 sat down in the chair, Periwinkle climbed right up into her lap and got comfy. They must have sat together for an hour.
After dinner, A1 asked if we could go for a walk - something she and my sister do. So we put on our jackets and made one lap around the complex. We thought we'd stay out longer, but we underestimated how quickly the temperature was dropping. A1 tried to keep A2 warm on the last leg of the walk.
This is my favorite picture of the two of them. They may fight and bicker with one another on a daily basis, but deep down, they still love each other. It's a brother/sister thing.
Monday, we woke up early and met up with my friend and her son and headed out to the Webster Flea Market. I don't know what we were thinking... holiday weekend.... cold temperatures.... 2 children and a toddler... But the kids were champs. The big kids helped keep the toddler entertained. They even decided on their perfect lunch: fresh strawberries. Yep, I bought half a flat of strawberries for the kids to pig out on for lunch. I've never seen kids eat so many strawberries.
After my friend and her son left, A1 & A2 and I had some quiet time. It was more for my benefit than theirs. But I promised them that if they gave me an hour of quiet, I would take them to a new park before taking them home.
The monkey enjoyed the jungle gym, while A2 kept it simple and hung out under the pavillon.
Overall, we had a good time. I seriously love spending time with these two. Sure, they can test my nerves, but I also know that the time is going to come where they aren't going to think having a sleepover at Aunt Hannah and Uncle Danny's is cool, so I need to soak up as much time as I can with them.