« October 2008 | Main | December 2008 »

November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Papa!

Audrey says: Happy Birthday, Papa! I loved seeing you yesterday for my Thanksgiving feast of corn and biscuits. Say hi to Nana for me!

Posted by Thrillmer! at 05:12 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2008

bonus vacation photo

I really like this one of Audrey checking our some butterflies at the Field Museum.

Posted by Thrillmer! at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Vacation, all I ever wanted

We invaded the big city this week for our big family vacation! Aunt Erinn and Uncle Kieran gave us the run of their place while they were off honeymooning. We had big dreams of hanging out in old haunts, dining with old friends, soaking in new sights...it didn't exactly work out that way. Audrey kept us from sleeping, Jill got sick, and I had to spend some time in the office. But we did manage to have some fun.

The reason we chose Chicago for our vacation spot, aside from the donated accomodations, is a simple one: we've been wanting to take Audrey to a number of museums, but between her nap schedule and her willingness (or lack thereof) to get ready in the morning, we haven't been able to make it work, save for a trip to the Shedd some time ago. First up was the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier.

The girls picked me up from work Monday morning. We had driven in the night before, but due to a late departure, decided we would simply order a pizza and go to bed early to be ready for a fun-filled day. Unfortunately, Audrey refused to sleep in her Pack-N-Play and the only way we could get her to lay down was by sharing our bed. That wouldn't have been too bad had she gone right to sleep, but for some reason the guy in the condo upstairs decided to do some home improvements at around 10pm, just as the girl was starting to drift off. After enduring the sounds of much hammering and drilling, Jill marched up the stairs at midnight and gave him a good talking to. Eventually we got some rest, but it really wasn't much.

Back to Navy Pier. As I was pulling Audrey from her car seat I immediately noticed something damp; the girl had soaked her diaper all the way through to her jeans. We should have turned right around, but having lost most of the morning to my meeting we decided to press ahead. Fast forward a few minutes to me drying her pants via the hand dryer in the mens room and finally emerging triumphant, only to hear the front snap of her jeans fall to the floor before I even reached the stroller. Again, we probably should have cut our losses but trudged on. Amazingly her pants held for most of our stay with a number of adjustments here and there, but by the end Audrey thought she was hilarious by pulling them down to her ankles and trying to run away from us.

Despite all my grumbling, let it be said that Audrey really did have a good time at the museum. The photos don't lie. She especially enjoyed throwing on a raincoat and getting her hands on the fun features of the Waterways room, like building a network of pipes to carry water. She even brought it up out of the blue today, I always love when she gives us a peek into what's going through her mind. The wings she's wearing are one of many props for a snowman in the winter room, we just had to let her try them on.

The remainder of the day saw our sleepy family try to catch up on rest and little else. The worst part was now Jill was starting to feel ill and we were all feeling grouchy. At least the upstairs home improvements were kept to a minimum.

The next day saw us in better moods, so we started out early and went out to breakfast at the Bongo Room downtown. Jill and I had lived near the one in Wicker Park years ago, but had never been because the line for brunch was always crazy. Since we were so close to the Roosevelt stop, we hopped onto the Orange line and took an El trip around the loop. Audrey got the whole CTA experience, complete with a folks standing in/blocking the doorway and a brief unscheduled stop for equipment failure (plus you gotta love that no one bothered to offer up a seat for my quite visibly pregnant wife...ah, just like old times)

We hit the Field Museum this time and I'm happy to say the girl stayed dry for this one. We asked her what she wanted to do at the museum and each time she answered "see animals," so we hit the Nature Walk after checking out Sue. Audrey liked seeing all the birds, but I think she liked pressing buttons to hear their calls even more. The wild cats made a big impression; she reassured us several times that they "can't get out," which left us trying to explain to her why she wouldn't have to worry about too much about that.

We walked through a few more exhibits and capped off the trip with a lengthy stay in the Family Playlab. Some of the activities were definitely designed with older children in mind, but Audrey had a great time nonetheless. Playing with the baby dinosaurs was fun as was collecting corn from the fields. The music room in particular was a big hit: it may not be completely evident in this shot, but she played that taiko drum like a pro!

We had discussed staying overnight again and hitting another museum in the morning, but Jill was beginning to feel miserable and I can't say I complained too much when she suggested we head back home after rush hour. Jill and Audrey settled in together for an afternoon nap, but the girl refused to fall asleep and I could tell Jill was reaching her breaking point so Audrey and I took to the streets and wandered the neighborhood, eventually nerding it up at Monster Island Toys. At one point while we were walking hand-in-hand down those mean streets of Chicago, she looked up at me and flashed the sweetest smile a guy could ever hope to see; I can't begin to describe what that did for my flagging spirits.

Even though it was a bit of a disaster, we were sad to see our family vacation come to an end. Having packed all our things, it was time for good-bye kisses; believe me, Bella, Audrey misses you!

Posted by Thrillmer! at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2008

happy birthday, erinn!

Audrey and I traveled into the city and met up with Erinn and Todd for lunch to celebrate Erinn's birthday.

Audrey and Erinn give each other the "eyes."

We also wished Erinn bon voyage, as she and Kieran leave for their honeymoon to Paris tomorrow!

Posted by jill at 05:27 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2008

play date

Audrey had a play date with her friend Jake today. We hadn't seen Jake since before his baby sister Brooke was born last month. Jake and Audrey were awfully cute together. Here they are hanging out underneath Laura's kitchen island together.

The toddlers are red-faced because the moms were taking pictures at the same time. You can see a little peek of Brooke in her bouncy seat in the background.

Posted by jill at 10:28 PM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2008

happy birthday, allysa!

Saturday we celebrated Audrey's cousin Allysa's sixth birthday.

Aunt Erika with all of the kids: Audrey, Allysa, Seth and Grant.

Posted by jill at 10:13 PM | Comments (1)

November 12, 2008

Abby Grace

My friend Tracy, who I worked with at the ACS, visited today with her month-old daughter. It was great to catch up and meet sweet Abby. Notice Tracy sporting a Walk & Roll t-shirt!

When Audrey wasn't pointing at Abby, she was pulling everything out of the diaper bag and trying to pile it all on top of her.

Audrey regressed while Abby was here. She only used a pacifier a few times as an infant but today she was very interested and couldn't keep Abby's out of her mouth. When Tracy left we couldn't find this one anywhere. I think Audrey stuck it in her pocket for later.

The last time Audrey saw Tracy was when she came over to visit when Audrey was just over a month old. This was before we really started posting much on this blog so I thought I would share a picture from that day. It is so strange to think that Audrey used to be as small as Abby, but here is the picture of Tracy and Audrey to prove it.

Posted by jill at 10:25 PM | Comments (1)

November 10, 2008

looks can be deceiving

Audrey looks so angelic in this picture with the light behind her. This day, though, was one when she was so uncooperative about getting ready that we didn't end up leaving the house. We had a fun day inside anyway.

Posted by jill at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2008

Erinn & Kieran

Last night was finally Erinn and Kieran's wedding! Erinn looked beautiful, Todd rocked his officiant duties, Audrey stayed awake the whole night without getting crabby and we all had a great time. Welcome to the family, Kieran!

Posted by jill at 09:35 PM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2008

twenty-three months

The girl celebrated her big Twenty-three with a trip to the polls today to cast her vote for, and I quote, "Oh, Mama!" With history unfolding as I type this, I hope your big milestone isn't completely lost in the shuffle, Aud. You're coming up on your second birthday so quickly, I wish you'd give us a chance to catch up. There is a lot to be impressed with, but on the whole I'd say your enormous vocabulary and ability to carry on conversations is what is really knocking my socks off these days. And your ability to describe any liquid you're drinking, from soy milk to water, as "lime-y" is pretty spectacular too.

Thanks for helping me cast my ballot today. You get my vote for best daughter ever, hands down!!

Posted by Thrillmer! at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2008

"rehearsal" dinner

Less than a week to go before aunt Erinn's wedding! On Saturday Todd's family met up with Kieran's family for a rehearsal dinner without the rehearsal.

Flowergirl Audrey with future bride Erinn at dinner.

Audrey dressed up for the occasion with her fancy coat and argyle knee socks.

Posted by jill at 04:10 PM | Comments (1)