As I have mentioned a few times in the last few posts, we went up north to visit family this week. Memorial Day is when Steve has his big barbecue bash, which we actually dislike pretty heartily, but since Sarah was using it as an excuse to visit Mom with her kids, we thought it would be a good time for us to visit our favorite nephew. And Mom really wanted us to visit, too, because she drove for four hours just to pick us up on Sunday, then drive four hours back with us in the car so we could visit. It was a nice few days, but pretty exhausting.
We didn't arrive at Mom's house until about ten on Sunday night, so mostly we just chatted with Mom and Sarah for a while and followed the little ones to bed. Logan knew we'd be visiting and he wanted to stay up to meet us, but we got there too late. The next morning before we got out of bed, I heard him say something in a distraught voice that sounded like, "But I want my two aunts!" Awww. We didn't stay in bed too much longer after that.
Before the big party, Logan helped us fill the pinata with candy, and then we played with Mom's Kindle. He told us that Mom calls it a Kindle but he calls it an iPad. We kept calling it a Kindle, so he switched over, and by the end of our visit, all tablets were Kinnles. I guess brand names don't mean much to preschoolers. And I don't remember when this was, but it was my favorite nephew quote of the whole visit. We were on Mom's bed, and the wind kept blowing through the cat door and moving the blinds. Logan thought it was Mojo going in and out, and we all like cats, so at one point I got up to check. I looked outside and informed everyone, "I don't see any Mojos out there," to which Logan responded, "Okay, but there's only one Mojo."
At the party, Steve brought a hammock, and it wasn't long before Logan figured out that you could swing in it, so when I was at the party, most of my time was spent pushing kids in a hammock swing. There were battles between Logan and his little brother about whose turn it was, and those were usually solved by letting them swing together. Great for the kids, not so great for my back. Sarah kept trying to tell us that we could say no, it was time to stop, but Logan kept mentioning his cousin and we figured it couldn't be that long before the cousin showed up and we could fade into the background. Eventually Logan's father gave him the bad news that his cousin probably wouldn't be coming, at which point we decided to blow it all off and go back to the house to play Kingdom Hearts Unchained Chi. (It helped that Sarah came over and said, "Okay, we're done with the hammock." We heard later that she made it official by climbing in it herself so no kids could get in.)
The party ended without incident (and Logan's cousin did eventually show up), and then we babysat Logan and his younger siblings while his parents went on a date (to see Captain America: Civil War). Celeste came over with her kids, too, so Athena and I ended up babysitting almost everybody. But we got to play the Snorlax and Pikachu game that we bought for Logan when we were in Japan, so that was nice. In the game, Snorlax is in a hammock, and you take turns piling Pikachus on top of him until they all fall down. It's surprisingly difficult to get even the first one on there! But with some practice, you can get up to four without too much trouble. (There are six Pikachus total, and during our visit no one succeeded in piling all of them on top of Snorlax, but Athena made it up to five.)
The next day, we went to the zoo. Since we moved away, the zoo upgraded and installed a super cool Africa exhibit, with a big savanna enclosure that has giraffes and rhinos and gazelles and zebras and elephants all in the same space (but usually keeping to their designated areas). They also added a cheetah, and a lion. Maybe two or more lions, but the lions were hiding most of the time we were there. In fact, as we were walking past the lion exhibit to get back to the main zoo, I was reflecting on how sad I was that we didn't get to see the lions...but then I noticed in some tall grass there was what appeared to be a lioness's head. She woke up from her nap and looked around just long enough for us to see her head over her hiding place, and then she went back to sleep. She didn't even give me time to take a picture, but that's okay; I'm just happy we got to see her.
Logan was being cute and bratty at the same time. We think it's because he had very specific things he wanted to do, but he was tired, but he also knew he would be going home after the zoo and that would be the end of seeing his grandma and two aunts. But anyway, the day before the zoo, Logan's attention was directed to my camera, so when we went to the zoo, he made sure to tell me to take the camera so they could take pictures of all the animals. Then he would ask me for the camera periodically throughout the visit, and I nearly had a heart attack when he brought it over to the giraffe area (which is on a high platform so the giraffes don't have to bend over anymore when you feed them). He was really good with it, though, and he never dropped it! On the other hand, his little brother was not to be outdone, and whenever he was around and Logan took a picture, he would say, "Now I take a picture!", and the camera had to be shared. He got a lot of pictures of his fingers. And he dropped the camera once. Fortunately, the camera still worked after that, and I'm hoping it fixed whatever's making it so I can't connect the camera to a computer with a USB cable. Anyway, Logan got a great picture of a giraffe, and some good pictures of the sea lions.
After the sea lions, everyone was exhausted, but Logan wanted to see one more animal because he was trying to put off going home as long as possible. So we went to the wolf enclosure, knowing full well that the wolves are never out in the summer. And in fact they weren't, but as we walked along the enclosure one last time, I noticed some movement, and sure enough, one of the wolves had climbed out of the little hole it was resting in to dig some more, so we got to see the wolves before we left, too.
Then we made the mistake of walking too close to the emu enclosure, which put us right in front of the reptile house, which Logan now had to go see. But I was okay with it, because I wanted to see the cobra again before we left. Also, he was walking on his own feet now instead of being carried piggyback, which saved Athena's back, so at least it wasn't too extra tiring. But alas, the cobra wasn't out that day. But I got to see the komodo dragon, so that was nice.
Finally even Logan couldn't deny that he was too tired to go on, so we all left the zoo and now it was my turn to carry the kid, so Athena got a neat picture of me leaning forward so that Logan could lie down because the only other option was for him to fall over backwards, since he was too tired to hold himself up. It was cute. He cried when we put him in the car, and that made me cry.
But! we had already planned to go visit him in his new city the next day, so we were able to tell him we would see him tomorrow. I wasn't sure how we were going to deal with leaving him then, but fortunately the whole camera thing made it so I could tell him I'd send him all the pictures when we got home. I still need to do that.
Our visit to Logan's house mostly consisted of us sitting around playing Dragon City on the iPad, but it was nice to spend time together. We went back to Mom's house after that and showed her our photo book from our Japan trip, which was also really nice. Then yesterday we came home and found a package containing comp copies for a series that as far as we know hasn't been announced yet, but it is listed on Amazon. It's still not listed in the "series" link at Kodansha's website. I'm not sure if I should just say what it is, because on the one hand, if people don't know about it they can't buy it, but I don't want to ruin the surprise.
A quick Anime News Network check later, and we've discovered that apparently Kodansha announced it last July. Heh, heh, heh... Anyway, it's Complex Age, which is about a woman in her twenties who's still cosplaying, and the various issues that come along with that. We're pretty sure the editor thought of us to translate it after he saw us at Anime Expo last year, with a different costume every day (although really only one of those sets is, like, cosplay cosplay). I'll also mention that it's a josei series, because I know there are people out there who go out of their way to read josei. If you're one of those people, you won't want to miss this one!
Today I'm thankful for getting to spend time with our family, getting to see a lion and a wolf at the zoo, surviving the curry potato chips that came in our Tokyo Treat box last month (and we finally got around to trying them; we've been busy!), discovering that we could have been talking about Complex Age all this time, and getting to buy cute new pajamas.