Arizona Nieces

After my trip to Anaheim for the ALA conference I headed to Tucson to visit my sister and nieces for a week. The timing worked out really well as it was much more convenient for me to fly there on my way back from California as opposed to making another special trip out there. My sister had her second baby 2 months ago and had asked my parents to come out and help her with the kids during that week while her husband went back to Boston for a wedding. They agreed and then days later booked themselves on a cruise to the Baltic over that exact time. My dad called me all panicked asking me if I could go out there instead. I was already planning on going out at some point after the baby was born, so this wound up being perfect.

My niece Katelyn got to stay up past her bedtime and greet me at the airport. It was an excellent way to be met at the airport.

I also got to meet this little cutie for the first time while I was there. Jaclyn is a super sweet little baby. She’s still young enough that she spent most of her time just eating and sleeping.

But I got a few smiles out of the kid. She’s just starting to smile and seemed like she was being even more smiley by the end of the time I was there. Love that cute little smiley face.

Katelyn is not to be outdone by her little sister though. Apparently my mother calls her Miss Hollywood when she’s wearing her sunglasses (pink Hello Kitty ones of course), so she insisted that we call her Miss Hollywood, and I caught her striking a little pose.

I got there on Monday night, but on Tuesday my sister and I ditched the kids with her husband before he left and spent the night at their local Ritz Carlton. Due to the fact that no one in their right mind wants to travel to the desert in the summer she can get some really good deals as a local through her company. Since it was her last week on maternity leave before heading back to work, she decided she wanted a girls’ night away to relax without the kids. It was also our belated celebration of our birthday which was a few weeks previous. We got massages, relaxed by the pool (at least until thunderstorms chased us inside. What’s up with that? Weren’t we in the desert?), had food and drinks with two of her friends that came out to join us, and most importantly at least to my sister I think, we got to sleep with no kids waking her up.

We didn’t do too much else while I was there other than hang out and play in the house and take some trips to the store. One day though we took the kids to the children’s museum in Tucson, which was quite enjoyable.

Here’s Katelyn and I making our escape from the museum on a police motorcycle.

Katelyn is at a really fun age. She has lots of hilarious kid logic going on. She calls her naps light naps and bedtime dark naps, which totally makes sense when you think about it. Also, one day we were planning on going out to lunch and she asked to go to Five Guys. My sister told her no because it was too far away. Her response was that we could go to Four Guys then. How can you argue with that logic?

She likes to play the same thing over and over again on loop. We had her little imaginary games she liked to play in which there were very specific things I was required to do/say, which we would do and then immediately have to repeat over and over again until I couldn’t take it anymore and would try to distract her with something else.

In true aunt fashion I bought her a Rapunzel set with a little Rapunzel doll that came with lots of teeny, tiny accessories with little thought to the implications of that. My sister took one look at it and was like you get to keep up with all those parts while you’re here. We played with that quite a bit, and I think maybe only lost a shoe, but now it’s totally my sister and brother-in-law’s problem. That’s the beauty of being an aunt. Ahaha.

I also decided that Katelyn needed Candy Land. I have been eagerly waiting for any of my niece and nephews to be old enough to play board games with. I really can’t wait until they’re old enough for Sorry but that will be several more years. Though Candy Land is marked ages 3 and up, Katelyn really didn’t get it, mostly because she didn’t understand the concept of playing a game. She had no problem moving her piece to a space corresponding to the color on the card she drew, but she moved to random spaces corresponding to the color not the next one on the path, wouldn’t leave her piece on the board, and, didn’t understand she was trying to be the first one to get to the castle. Plus all she wanted to do was draw the ice cream card. In her mind that was winning the game. I think the best lesson we worked on was that she wasn’t always going to be the one to draw the ice cream card. Sometimes other people might draw it too. Baby steps I guess. Next time I make it out there she might be ready to play for real.

I also got to stop in and see the new house my parents just bought out there so that they can live there part of the year to be near their grandkids and take the nieces to the library that is right near my parents new house as any good librarian aunt should. Of course Katelyn’s method of picking out books to check out was to find the ones that had pink spines and choose those. I did get her to take Knuffle Bunny Too as she really likes the first one even though it didn’t fit her profile.

Unfortunately, I won’t see them again until Christmas which makes this Aunt Dan-yoll (that’s how Katelyn pronounced Danielle) very sad. I hate that they live so far away. For some reason my sister refuses to quit her job and move back East so we can be closer though. Can’t wait until December when I get to see these girls again.

4 thoughts on “Arizona Nieces

    1. I could, but I don’t really want to live in Arizona. I’m an East Coast kind of girl. Also there’s the matter of convincing my husband to also quit his job and move to Arizona, which isn’t going to happen.

    1. We did not play with the castle, but we did play a game in which she was the princess and I was her prince. She would just have me say “Princess” and then she would say “Prince” and she would run to me like it was some big ending to a romantic movie. Then we would go to the ball, where I would twirl her twice. Then the ball was over and we would do it all over again.

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