Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monkey Joe's

This week Cort, Cole, and I have been on Spring Break and enjoying it.  Unfortunately, Mia has break next week, but with her having half-day kindergarten, we still get to spend the morning with her.  And I do have to say that it is nice to get some one-on-one time with Cole.  Yesterday afternoon we took him to Monkey Joe's and had a great time.  Monkey Joe's is one of those jumpy places and Cole really enjoyed going from jumpy to jumpy and encouraging us to climb and slide with him.  :) 

That brings me to the video.  Cort is such a kid and heart and I secretly believe he wishes these places were made for grown-ups.  He was having a good ole time with Cole.  This video is of the "pinball" jumpy where you are supposed to bounce off the things on the side.  I have watched this video over and over and over because it just makes me laugh.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Shedd Aquarium

As I mentioned back in this post, each month we have been doing a different excursion with my mom.  This month we headed into the city to the Shedd Aquarium.  It was so much fun!  My mom was a good sport and let us pick her up at 8:15 (gotta beat those crowds and be there right when they open!).  We saw so many cool fish and sea creatures.  According to the family two big highlights were the big aquarium when you first walk in (where we got to see the diver feed the animals and talk to the audience) and Wild Reef (amazing aquariums and sharks).  Mia even got to ask the diver in the big tank a question that he answered while he was swimming-How does he get in there?   :)

Please excuse any blurriness or funky colors in these pics.  They discourage flash photography around the fish, so I only busted out the flash when fish were not present.  :)

Mia and Cole checking out one of the many aquariums
 Cole and Grammy checking out some fish
 Doesn't he look happy?
Mia checking out one of the poison-dart frogs 
 Kiss for a fish
Here was Mia with the same fish 4 years ago!  My how she's grown!

My mom's reaction to some of the ENORMOUS river fish (true River Monsters!) 
 Mia and the snake
Cole and the snake 
Grammy and Mia 
Insane crab! 
Cort and my mom 
 Mom and the kids at lunch (you can't tell here, but we had a nice view of the lake)
 Cole touching some sea stars
 Mia's turn
 Some hands-on exhibits
 Thanks to my mom for getting pictures of me with the kids today!

 My mom loved the otters-they were sooooo cute!!
 Kids today-Mia asked if she could take a video of the penguins with my phone-really???
 One of our penguin friends
 My two favorite penguins
 Family shot
 Grammy and Mia learning something new
 Me with Mia
 Mia, Cole and a turtle
 My favorite of the day!

Thanks mom for a great day!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Flashback Friday-American Girl Store (8.6.11)

In an attempt to catch up on many missing 2011 posts I am going to do some "flashbacks."  Eventually I will go back and put them in order, but they will be here for the time being.

Last August Mia was going to be celebrating her 5th birthday.  About 2 years prior to that we began receiving the American Girl catalog at our house.  Immediately Mia said she wanted one of those dolls.  Thinking that a $100 doll was not in her future, I told her that those dolls were for girls who were at least 5 years old, thinking she would forget by then. 

Well, she didn't.  :)  However, she has a wonderful Grammy who said that was a special gift she wanted to get for Mia (Thank you Grammy!!).  In addition, her Gigi also chipped in so we could get her doll some clothes and accessories.  So, for Mia's 5th birthday, we took a ride down to the city to American Girl Place. 

What an experience!  It was truly such a magical day for Mia and seeing the sparkle in her eyes and joy on her face was worth every penny.  Here is a glimpse into the day.

Mia and Grammy on the car ride down to the store
 On Michigan Avenue-so excited!
 Mia knew ahead of time that she wanted Julie from reading her catalogs.  Within 10 seconds of stepping in the store she spotted her.
 We looked around and checked out all the displays (here she is in front of Julie's)
 Posing with Grammy
 With Mom
 The display for the "Girl of the Year"
 But finally it was time to buy Julie!!!
 After buying her, the salesman asked if she wanted to carry her around the store (if you have never been to American Girl, there are young girls everywhere toting around their dolls.  Mia said yes and this is the moment Julie was placed in her arms.  :)  I love the joy on her face. 

 We did some posing with Julie

Family pic-ha, ha! 

 We had to revisit the "Girl of the Year" booth with Julie
 Next, we had lunch reservations in the dining room. This is an experience itself!  It is a very fancy dining room (white tablecloths and all) and there are special seats for the dolls.  We chose the birthday package for Mia, so she got a little goody bag and crown  and birthday t-shirt for Julie.  We had a little appetizer tray and then got to pick our entrees.  Mia was just in heaven.

 The waitress brought "tea" for Julie
 As we were winding up our lunch Mia started noticing birthday cakes being brought out for other tables and singing for other birthday guests.  She kept checking if any were heading her way.  :)
 All of a sudden she noticed one coming her way...

 And soon she was serenaded by the waiters and waitresses

 The perfect cake for a little girl

 Mia and Julie-LOL!
 Cort found this slightly odd, ha ha!
 (I should add he was a great sport for putting up with all the American Girl craziness-he was a bit out of his element)

 Group shot
 Mia posing with her loot on Michigan Avenue
 And the proof of a great outing

Thank you again Grammy for helping us make such wonderful memories.  Not quite sure how to top this for Mia's 6th birthday!