This is why we moved to Ann Arbor

We had a good weekend. Chris's freshman year roommate from Michigan (Sol) came to town with his wife Catherine. Originally when we planned this visit, we thought that we would be in our new house, and that they would bring their two daughters too. But it was still good to see them. We had dinner with them, Sol's brother and SIL, and Rita & Noah at Zingerman's Roadhouse. You may be asking...where were the girls?? Get this...with a babysitter. A real live, non-related babysitter. It was the second time she has sat for them, actually. But the first time in the evening. I have been too nervous to leave the girls in the evening because our bedtimes have always been challenging. Two infants the same age make it difficult at its best, but our routines are on the absurd side. It has involved bottles, cuddling, walking, bouncing, begging, cajoling, raindances....ok, maybe not raindances. But pretty damn close. But there have been recent improvements. So we decided to give it a shot. We put Rowan in bed before we left, and told Lissa that she could put Saoirse down when she seemed tired. When we got home at around 11:00, all was quiet. Lissa said that Saoirse went down at 9 PM, no fights, and hadn't woken up since. Halleluia!!! We left our kids with a babysitter, had dinner with other adults, and the sky did not fall!

Yesterday we took the kids to Rita & Noah's house for a barbecue. Sol & Catherine and Avi & Ginger and their daughter Charlotte joined us. We got another chance to see Noah & Rita's adorable new son, Rohin, along with Milin, of course. The girls have been there a few times now, and they made themselves right at home. They were playing with the fridge magnets within minutes, and soon emptied a cupboard or two. This is why we wanted to be here. When I was growing up, we lived near enough to family to be together often. I spent time constantly in my grandparents, aunts & uncles' houses. I grew up with cousins. But we don't have that. So I wanted to be able to recreate it with out friends. I want the girls to grow up comfortable with their aunties & uncles, with these kids who they'll grow up with. I loved it.

Today was ridiculously hot, and we had a lazy summer day, just the four of us. We went out for lunch at Max and Erma's, stopped by Toys R Us for a kiddie pool. We looked at all these fancy inflatable ones, but settled on the molded plastic one that was like the one Grandma and Grandpa Hales had when I was a kid. It cost 7.99. What did that one cost in 1976? Seriously, 1.99? I think, for 7.99, it's going to be well worth the money. Unfortunately, it did not get christened today, because as soon as we got it home and the girls wrestled into their swimsuits, a storm rolled in and the lighting started. :( So no pooltime today. And no adorable photos of the girls looking like surfer chicks. Maybe tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's Rowan "Hey Dad, seriously, let's play some X-Box" :

And here's Saoirse's latest funny face, the cutest pout I've ever seen: