Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Date Nights and Cooking!

Last night we went out for my birthday Date Night! We had "Miss Stephanie" over to watch Lilli. Actually, I guess she's Mrs Stephanie now since she got married earlier this month!
Brent and I went out to eat at Margot's, a really nice restaurant in our neighborhood that we haven't been to in a while. We had a great dinner and kind of forgot to take any pictures of ourselves or our food. Buuut, while we were having dinner Stephanie called and Lilli had puked all over here. What is it with vomit and special occasions in this house??? She does that every once in a while (like maybe once every 2-3 months) when you lay her down for bed, like maybe a reflux thing. And she had eaten and eaten and eaten last night for dinner, so I think she was just TOO full. Anyway, she REALLY got poor Stephanie and she was calling asking where/if she could borrow one of my shirts. Poor thing, hopefully she will come back and babysit again in the future!!!My little assistant is all about helping me with dinner. Tonight I was making a Plum Glazed Pork Medallion dish, and since she always wants to help I gave her a little bowl with some of the extra chicken broth in it, figuring she would just play around in it, stirring and splashing since I was stirring and combing things for the marinade.
But nope, she just stood there the whole time I was cooking eating room temperature, plain chicken broth.
She was happy as could be....
And even thought Brent should get in on the action, HA!
But I think he preferred his chicken broth mixed with all the other ingredients and on top of the pork tenderloin instead!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Don't Mess with the Lady(Bug)

Don't mess with me, or this Spottie Dottie Lady will give you a knuckle sandwich.That picture just cracks me up. She actually has an inchworm on her hand. For some reason our yard is full of them right now, so while I was cooking dinner they caught another one and he was her BFF for a while. I think the sweet little ladybug shirt just makes the expression even better!

She took him on a walk all around the yard and then has him here on the porch next to her toy camera.
And then she took him on a tricycle ride.
And since they upload in groups of 5, here's two more bonus ones from yesterday!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back to Date!

Vacation posts take me forever, there's always so many pictures and so many things we do! I think we took about 800-1,200 pictures per day on that little 3.5 day trip! A friend was whining about having 100 pictures to go through after their 7 day beach vacation, HA!

There's been a ton going on since we've been back - from trips to the fair and birthday parties, library story time and even an art show! My little camera died and Brent already surprised me with a new one! The lens started going bad and showing a big dark spot on all my pics during our Chicago trip, and then it completely died during Library story time last Thurs night. Brent had already bought me a new one for my b-day and went ahead and gave it to me. A lot of these pics are from it! It's the same version of my old one, just the latest Canon version.

Lilli and I have been working on her letters - she's getting pretty good with A!She loves to write and write, and anytime she's writing with pens or anything she starts saying little bits of the alphabet. She loves these little window markers. We spent a long time Sat morning drawing on the front door and then erasing it and starting over again.

Pippin is up to the usual. Pretty much just living the life.
We met a new friend, Mr Inchworm.
We have the best time when Daddy pushes on the tricycle and takes us for a wild road. (And yes, her bunny is wearing a swim diaper. All our dolls/animals have diapers on at all times. And it does create a lot of stares when we go out in public.)
This morning Brent was going to change Lilli into her play clothes and I told him to take her outside and snap some pics. He said "But she's eating an apple, with apple all over her, and she's marked all over her arms with pen." Well, that's Lilli today so we should get it on "film"! She always ends up with pen all over here at the grocery store when she steals my pen. And she loves apples, so every week she grabs one out of the bag as we're putting everything up! She makes the biggest mess of it and takes all these little bites out of it all over.
This one cracks me up - totally her little personality. Just charging around the yard at full speed.
She was yelling for Pippin. She copies us in everything we do, so she'll walk around calling Pippin the same way I do when I'm trying to get him in from outside, or calling him to come eat, etc.
Another classic family photo. No one but me will ever look at the camera....
Much better! Although it would have been appreciated if Pippin would've turned around for the shot!
So that's the everyday update!!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chicago: Day 4: Shedd and Welcome to Nashville!

We all had a really spotty night of sleep with both Lilli and I coughing and with a little bit of a runny nose. We got up around 7 and ate breakfast at our Starbucks - where they were now recognizing me! We hopped on the bus and headed towards the Aquarium. Poor Lilli was already so tired from the trip she fell asleep on the bus.We had gotten really lucky with the aquarium - it was free on Tuesday as well! But, by free I mean we still paid $18/each for Brent and I to get in. The only free things were the main floor - mostly large tanks and small exhibits, but if you wanted to see the penguins, whales, dolphins, etc then you had to pay the $18. And even more if you wanted to see a live show, which we passed on.
Lilli was super excited as soon as we walked in. She never wanted to leave the first tank! In this case below she laid down on the floor to get a better look! It's hard to tell, but her shorts have little seahorses, shells, starfish and fish on them and her shirt has a crab on it.
We decided we should go see the big animals first. We had gotten to the aquarium right when it opened since we knew we'd have a shorter day with a flight to catch. So we went down to the big animals first before the crowds arrived, and I was SO glad we did. It got REALLY crowded later. First up were the dolphins.
They'd swim and twirl right past us and she'd just squeal.
They were so pretty and really putting on a show for us.
She loved the kids area where you could touch various little things and splash around.
Then we visited the penguins. Normally she loves them, but she kind of thought these were ducks the way they were swimming, and then for some reason she got scared of them.
Here's the little penguin area.
They had a little Arctic play area with these fun little "ice" slides where you were supposed to pretend you were a penguin.
Of course we had to hug the penguins....
And we can't forget the little guys....
They had a big submarine and she could've stayed there all day pressing each and every button. Unfortunately I didn't have a good perception of where the glass was and REALLY hurt my nose. So glad Brent got that on "film".
The Beluga Whales were so pretty.
Then you could go up top and watch them surface and blow water.
Lilli thought it was fabulous.

From this point on she was just fussy and clingy. She didn't want to walk and wanted to be carried all the time and was just SO short.
The shark area was cool as they swam all around and above us...
This guy was pretty awesome, he doesn't even look real (but he was!)
We thought lunch might help her attitude, so we grabbed some food from the Pizza Hut they have in there and ate one last time out on the patio overlooking the lake.
She was hamming it up for us!
Looking mischievous!
When we went back in she was so tired it was only a few minutes before she fell asleep. Poor thing! This trip really tore up her sleeping schedule.
Of course Brent took this opportunity to put things on her in the Gift Shop. I ended up getting her a little pack of toy penguins that she LOVES. I was so worried that we wouldn't have room in our luggage for our souvenirs, but we seriously bought hardly ANYTHING. We came back with a toy lizard, toy dinosaur, toy penguins and a toy frog. That's it! I never could find a shirt or anything for her that I liked, and we really just don't need more junk in our house.
Here's Lilli and I outside the Shedd. It was PACKED when we left, totally miserable.
The Planetarium is next to the Aquarium and was also free. We had a little time to kill before we needed to catch the bus so we walked through it. It was pretty boring and just not our thing (all about the moon, solar system, etc.)
It's a pretty cool building though.
And of course Brent loved the photo opp!
Lilli slept the whole time we were in there, so she got pretty decent rest. The bus ride back was NUTS thanks to a crazy lady on there with her screaming toddler and screaming baby. It made me very glad we were heading home, we were all so tired and tired of crowds and people!

FINALLY, on our millionth walk past Garrett's popcorn there was no line!! Every day the line had been out the door and down the block, so we hadn't waited even though I wanted some of their popcorn so bad. A vendor had brought us some when he came down for a sales meeting so I KNEW how good it was!
We went back to our hotel and got our luggage, we'd had to check it there since we had a flight out later than check out time. We had stayed at the W Lakeshore Chicago and I would not recommend it for families, at all. From the late night noise level to stuck up employees (including a valet I heard mutter "someone needs to get that baby under control" when a tired Lilli was throwing a fit in the lobby and TRUST me this place was so pricey they should've been over there with tissue helping us clean her up) to the fact they don't even have a changing table in their public bathroom - it's clear they don't want or accommodate kids. The main bathroom off the lobby has a look-thru to the men's bathroom, so Brent took this picture of Lilli and I in the women's room from inside the men's bathroom.
We took a cab back to the airport. It had been a 2 hour nightmare getting from Midway to our hotel and the cab went MUCH better!!! And Lilli can now say she's ridden in a cab! And yes, that is my precious Garrett's popcorn in my lap, ha.
Everything went smooth at the airport and we ended up having a while to kill. We strolled her and kept thinking she'd take a nap but never would. We had a 5pm flight out of there, so we bought her a Happy Meal to eat on the plane so she wouldn't be starving. Our flight back was completely full, every seat taken. Ugh! And mostly business travelers with just a few other kids. Lilli was ok, once again we thought after she ate her dinner she'd fall asleep but she totally fought it again. We got home, and Brent and I still had not had anything to eat and little Miss ran straight to the cabinet with her snacks and dishes and things and asked for a snack!!! It was SO funny since she's the ONLY one who had had any food! She ate a bunch of craisens and called it a night.
And that was our trip to Chicago! It was a ton of fun, but I'm not sure a big city trip is totally the best option with a toddler, primarily just because of naps and the long amount of time it takes to just get from hotels to public transportation and then your ultimate destination. By the time we'd ever get anywhere she'd already be tired or else just tired of being held on the bus or confined to her stroller.