Wednesday, March 24, 2010

J's Baby Shower

I hosted a baby shower/ladies retreat at my house this past weekend for my dear college girlfriends, J being the guest of honor.  Her husband is an engineer (do I have that right??), and as this first baby of theirs is a boy, I went with a construction theme. 
(Sorry for the dark picture!)
The caution tape made more than one person nervous as they approached the house last weekend.  A neighbor was quite uncertain about knocking at the door or not, so I finally had to take it down.
Construction wrapping paper, courtesy of Target!  Perfect!
Some of the "Warning" signs I found online.  I especially liked the "open hole" one.
There was no shortage of treats!

L & V (they spent the night --we were up until 1:30 am...I'm still paying for that)
L & L (they couldn't sleep over, but they stayed plenty late!)
L & J (the pregnant lady...isn't she cute?...the non-swollen ankles part, anyway)
L brought this book to share with us.  It was given to her grandmother when she was pregnant with L's mom.  The copyright is from the 1930's, I think.  The advice was a bit, um, outdated...and totally hilarious!  It's a wonder we have all lived to be mothers ourselves!
For instance, one bit of advice was on making milk for a baby (for non-breastfeeders).  If I have it right, it was 15 oz cow's milk/17 oz water/8 tsp sugar.  We were all stunned about how obsessive we get about buying the right baby formula now!  Amazing!
More good treats.  Friends who were unable to make it may appreciate knowing that the "brotherhood" made an appearance!
And this was all AFTER we had Vietnamese take-out!  We ate ourselves silly.
V orchestrated a madlib for the occassion.  It was super funny!

Those of us who attended, and some who were unable to, got together to get J a Bjorn carrier. 
We also each wrote little encouraging notes/ quotes/ scripture/ prayers that we clothespinned to the Bjorn.  That way, when J wears the Bjorn with the baby in it someday, she'll also be wearing our encouragement (though she will have removed all the little notes by then!). 
J also got other baby gifts.
We can't wait to meet the little baby that will be getting to use all that fun stuff!
We love you, J!
And K, K & L, we missed you guys!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cousins Camp

Greg and I tried to go to Chicago in December 2008 to celebrate our 10-year anniversary, but we all got sick...the kids, the babysitters, and eventually us.  So, we didn't go.  This year (in February) we thought we'd give it a go again and do it for our 11-year anniversary.  And a few days before our departure, our babysitters got super sick. 

After much plan B, C & D discussions (including just taking a hit and giving up our hotel reservations), my parents said, "If you can get your kids here, we can watch them."  You see, they had already agreed to watch my sister's kids for the same weekend.  God bless them!  So, I spent all day (literally--4 hours there/4 hours back) driving my kids to their house so Greg and I could leave our own house at 6 am the next morning to head for Chicago.

Greg and I had a great time in Chicago!  We were major tourists and did very touristy things.  I'll share some pictures of that some time.  While we were enjoying the windy city, our kids were enjoying "Cousins Camp," as my dad enthusiastically dubbed it after finding out they'd have every grandchild they own parent-free for several days. Again, God bless them!

My parents took pictures of their fun weekend and sent the CD home with us so I could have documented proof that they fed my kids only junk food, and that they did have them change their clothes occassionally.

Art projects in the living room...Owen, Aubrey, Sophie.
While my mom was driving several hours to pick up yet another grandkid (God bless them!), my dad took the first three arrivals out on the lake near their house.
I think Owen may have been pelting Aubrey with a snowball here.  Good supervision, Grandpa!
Junk food evidence #1 & #2.  Look at that "milk" in Owen's cup!! 
The whole gang...Owen, Jozie, Aubrey & Sophie
More outdoor fun
No idea what happened here, but it doesn't surprise me.

I believe there was snow-licking occurring here based on other pictures in this sequence.  I'm hoping it wasn't yellow.
Junk food evidence #4
and #5. 

Our kids had such a wonderful time at "Cousins Camp!"  Sophie got to sleep with Aubrey in a big bed with a TV in their room, Owen got to sleep with Grandpa, and both kids refused to speak to us on the phone every time we called (at least once a day!).  They didn't want to leave, but when I finally pealed them away, Sophie was already talking about "the next time" and "couldn't just us two big girls [Sophie & Aubrey] go alone sometime without the little kids or moms and dads?"

I guess my parents had a good time too.  My dad even made certificates for all the kids to commemorate the occassion.  If you zoom in really close, you can see it says "First Annual Cousin's Camp."
God bless them!

Thanks so much, Mom & Dad!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The State Capitol

We took our kids to see the State Capitol this weekend.  We parked fairly far away in FREE parking, and then Greg and I had to schlep the kids up the hill.  But we made it!  See them?

There they are!

Sophie thought this building looked like a castle (which is why we took her!)

Checking out the big star in the middle of the floor

And the beautiful domed ceiling waaaaaay up above
We paid $2 for a scavenger-hunt flier that contains pictures of 12 items you can find by walking around in the building (statues, carvings, etc).  When you find one, you put a gold star sticker next to it (provided).  At the end, when you've found all 12, you can return it to the front desk for a special "seal" and "signature" authorizing you as a junior historian.  And if you're really lucky, the drama-major information desk worker will likely sing out "We have another junior historian" very loudly for you as well. 

Checking out the special scavenger-hunt flier

The kids took turns putting the stickers by each item.  Sophie was pretty good at finding the artifacts.  Owen mostly just liked putting the stickers on the paper.  For a while.

This was one of the statues we were looking for.  I can't remember his name, but he was important when he was alive.  Something to do with the Civil War.

Even though our kids are young, I think they enjoyed the building.  It was a lot of walking around, but we had a good time exploring.

I liked this mural on the wall. for thought.  Talk amongst yourselves...

We were looking for these griffins everywhere!  They were right by the door where we entered.

The last artifact...the angel on the outside of the building.  Sophie spotted her first!

When we exited the capitol, here is what we saw on the front lawn.  Freedom of speech in action!  My favorite sign said, "Be nice to me.  I'm on your death panel."

Repulicans are hilarious!  :)