Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cousins + More

This past weekend my sister's father-in-law celebrated his 70th birthday. We were invited to the party and had a good time celebrating, especially the kids. :) I walked in the room where all the kids were playing and they were all actually sitting on the sofa together and Cort was getting ready to take a picture. I think that may be about the 2nd time Cort has ever picked up my camera without me asking, ha, ha! He quickly handed it over once he saw me and I managed to snap a pic. They may not be looking, but they at least all look happy! The two boys at the end are cousins-in-law if there is such a thing. They are Noah and Claire's cousins (Mike's sister Maira's kids), Stefan and Lukas. Interestingly enough, Mike and Maira grew up literally around the corner from Cort and Ian. It is a small world and interesting how things work out!
Mia, Claire, Noah, Cole, Stefan and Lukas
Cort just cozied up to the boys, I think he was happy to have some male bonding :)

Claire and Cole
Mia and Noah-can I have some cheese please?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break-Day 2--Shedd Aquarium

Today was Day 2 of Spring Break and I am loving it!! We decided to go down to the Shedd Aquarium as did all of the Chicagoland area, ha, ha! We love going to the Shedd since we can get in for free with our teacher IDs and both the kids used to get in for free. Now that Mia is 3, we have to pay for her, but the lady working the counter today let her in for free even though I said she was 3-Yeah for nice people who save us $18!!!

We now have our strategy down pat, which is making sure to get to the Shedd right when they open. That way we can park at a meter instead of a garage (way cheaper) and beat some of the crowds. The Shedd got INSANE today with the amount of people that were there and we were able to avoid *some* of the craziness. People were telling us they waited an hour to get in and when we left the lines were super-long.

Anyhow, enough of that! As always the kids had a blast! We had a bit of a rough start though. As we were unloading the car, Mia was standing on the sidewalk waiting for us. Next thing we know, she was facedown on the concrete. I think she was spinning and fell (if you know Mia, this is not surprising!). When I peeled her off the concrete there was a disgusting amount of blood coming out of her mouth and she was obviously very upset. After cleaning her up and making sure there were no loose teeth, she recovered quickly and we were on our way. The kids had a great time looking at all the fish, especially the dolphins. The Shedd also has a new kids area called the Polar Play Zone that they enjoyed with some hands-on activities. I look forward to going back since we didn't even check all of it out due to it being so crowded.

Here are the pics...

Our Family
Eye to eye with the fish Mia loved the rays!
Raising her hand to answer a question at the tortoise presentation

The tortoise
Cole checking on the rays below him The view from our table at lunch-so beautiful!
Cole LOVING watching the dolphins. He was shrieking and laughing. :)

Mia thought they were pretty cool too
Mia posing with a penguin (notice her scraped up face)
Cole tobogganing like a penguin (yes, his overalls are coming unsnapped!)
He was loving this!!!
Mia dressed like a penguin in the Polar Play Zone
Even though these are blurry (couldn't use a flash) I still like how colorful they are

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break-Day 1

I cannot even express how excited I am that it is Spring Break! I have been so busy the last couple of months working on National Boards (more on that to come in another post), but I am ready to take it easy and spend some quality time with my family! Today was Day 1. Since this was supposed to be the worst day weather-wise (and if that is the case, it is going to be a good week ahead!), we hit up Gymquest for open gym. The kids had a blast and were worn out!! Here are some pics...

Cole having fun going in and out of the jumpy

Mia was pretty fearless with her jumping today

The kids loved the trampolines there!

A quick video of Mia jumping into the foam pit-she was a little hesitant, but did it!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Color Me Mine

This past Saturday I decided to take a break from what has seemed like nonstop work with National Boards and take Mia to Color Me Mine, a really cool place where you can pick out something ceramic to paint and then they will fire it for you to bring home a couple days later.  Color Me Mine just opened in the Burr Ridge Town Center, which is so close to my mom's you could walk.  Unfortunately the weather was windy and rainy so we drove over.  :)  My mom had the idea to bring the 2 older kids there and it was a hit!  Mia saw several things that caught her attention, but ultimately she picked the clownfish (still hanging on to that love of Nemo!).  Noah appropriately picked a guitar. :)  They got to pick out the colors they wanted to paint and then they got to work.  Mia was very focused on her painting, it was cute!  Afterwards we headed over to Buffalo Wild Wings where we met up with Cort and Mike and the 2 little ones.  What a great day and THANK YOU mom!!
Mia with her clownfish bank
Prepping her fish to paint
This face cracks me up!  She was so focused!
Noah working hard
Our little artist
You didn't realize this is what Nemo looked like??
Looking slightly more like Nemo
The final masterpiece (when they fire it the colors get darker and shiny)
Mia was so proud of her work
Grammy and Noah
Grammy and Mimi

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Brookfield Zoo date with Cole

Today I got to have some 1-on-1 time with Cole.  Cort had decided to take Mia on a student council activity with him (she sang to seniors at a nursing home, I will have to share that video later), so we decided to take a trip to the zoo since it was so nice.  I had been thinking about going during the week and Venessa mentioned that she might be going too.  Pam and Ryan's weekend plans fell through last minute, so they were able to come along with us also. 

The weather was awesome and lots of animals were out.  It was so nice to finally get out and get some fresh air-yay!  Hopefully Spring is finally coming!  I didn't take a ton of pics, but here are a couple...

Snacking and watching the animals
This horse was VERY into Cole and the crumbs that were all over his pants
This picture of Pam makes me laugh :)
Could this goat look any more content?  It's good to be a goat!
Just like his big sister-click here to see what I mean
Group shot
Pam and Ryan visiting Ryan's family (Sorry!  I couldn't resist!)
The giraffes were very into this vent.  Somehow I imagine this isn't really healthy...
And he's OUT! (notice Leo)
The End!