Thanksgiving 2010 was fantastic. Aunt Leanne was reunited with her "favorite baby" (I've been demoted to her "second favorite baby" if anyone is keeping track. I'm not sure if I should be more offended that she still considers me a baby or that I'm no longer her favorite, but I digress...). What cracks me up about this photo is that we have one of Leanne with a firm grip on my forehead, trying to feed me a bottle when I was Josie's age and Leanne was about four. Her technique hasn't changed.
Mama Hop (and Lillian) worked tirelessly to prepare a delicious Thanksgiving meal. She is a PHENOMENAL cook and that is no exaggeration!
Just today, Travis was inquiring why I don't make soup like my mom does and I said "Do you realize she actually boils the bones to make the broth?! You're out of your mind if you think I have the first clue how to do that or the inclination. It's called Campbell's in a can, Buddy! Get used to it!" It's a good thing Mama Hop comes to visit us regularly so poor Travis can get a decent meal every now and then.
We've started a little tradition where Leanne helps us decorate for Christmas. This year, Leanne took care of the tree while Josie watched.
Leanne is less than 5 feet tall and it's reflected in the ornament placement. Perhaps next year we should put the tree on the floor for Leanne to decorate it. Or maybe not...I kind of like it like that!
Tis the season where we embrace the spirit of giving and I must tell you that Leanne does not wait for the holidays to do that. On the day after Thanksgiving, we went to visit my Grandpa in the nursing home. Leanne patiently stood next to his wheelchair and fed him his lunch while chatting with him - even though he's barely responsive. She chopped up the apples in his apple crisp and gave him a hundred little tiny bites, each with a scoop of ice cream. Afterwards, she gently wiped his face and removed his bib.
It brings tears to my eyes but I love sharing this story because it truly reveals Leanne's heart of gold. I'll never forget when she came home from her day program with the citizenship award. She earned it because every day, she would help feed lunch to her peers that have severe physical limitations and would clean them up afterwards - without being asked to do so. The beautiful thing about Leanne is that even though many people would consider her limited, she is always eager to use the abilities she has to help others.
While we're on the topic of Leanne's *ahem* limitations, she reminded me of a very important lesson: do not underestimate her. In the past, when there was a baby around, we would always make Leanne sit down and we would gently put the baby on Leanne's lap. Just this past weekend, Leanne decided that she didn't need to be coddled like a child. In fact, she surprised me by scooping Josie up and walking through the house with her. At first, I wasn't sure how to react but then I realized that she had it under control and Josie was just fine. Leanne was very proud of herself!
Leanne demonstrated such confidence that I even let her change Josie's diaper without any assistance from me. Granted, this was her first solo diaper change and it took FOREVER. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep in Josie's rocking chair at some point. But I'll be darned because Leanne did it! She even snapped every little snap on Josie's onesie correctly.
Lesson learned: She is far more capable than we give her credit for.
Not only is she capable, she's manipulative :-) The morning my mom set out to leave, Leanne insisted that she read Josie "one more book" before going. I'm pretty sure she read at least four more books to Josie before my mom finally picked up on Leanne's scam and insisted they hit the road!
Thank you to Mama Hop & Aunt Leanne for another fun-filled visit. Come back soon!