Thursday, July 31, 2008

Grandpa! and Swimming Class

Bob's dad was here last night. Every now and again he has work meetings in Baltimore. He was supposed to have a meeting last October, but it kept getting postponed until now. Jaide was very excited all day long and kept asking when Grandpa would come.
Grandpa took us all to Chuck E. Cheese. We all had a fun time, even though Bob spilled pop all over me and Kiree. In addition to all the games they have a little ride thing that takes a picture which prints out on register paper and they also have a little booth that draws a sketch of you.

Here are the pictures we made at Chuck E. Cheese.

Jaide got to have Grandpa read her some stories before bedtime before he had to go.

On Monday, Jaide had her first ever swim class.

The girls before we left for class.

She was so excited and fortunately unlike her excitement about going to the dentist the first time, she is still excited about going back to swim class. She was a little bit scared about putting her face in the water, but she did do it a few times.

Jaide after class.

We went to Chick-fil-A after class. Jaide got a free kids meal from doing the summer reading program. Kiree ate some of the french fries and baby food from home. We found out about the story times they're having at the local Chick-fil-A's and we went to the one this past Tuesday. We got a cow doll, a coupon for a free kids meal, and a paper pirate ship.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pictures! From Jaide's Birthday and the weekend

On Jaide's birthday we went to Six Flags America with Bob's cousin and her family. Jaide loves her second cousins Josh and Esther! We had a very fun time and were so glad they could come with us. Sadly, we had to ditch our double stroller we got in Chicago at the park because one of the unfolding lock thingies broke and we couldn't get it folded back up. So we left it there with a sign that said, "Free. Doesn't fold."
That night when we got back we had some homemade bread Bob had made the other day and we had some of the little cake Little Grandma had given us in Chicago for our anniversary. I did eventually make Jaide a real birthday cake.

On Saturday we finished painting the walls we had put magnetic primer on and also painted the walls around the stairs.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Jaide!

It's hard to believe my oldest baby turns 4 today!

Jaide now, and Jaide the first time I held her in my arms.

3rd Birthday Party, 2007

2nd Birthday, 2006

Yum, Elmo Cake!

1st Birthday, 2005

Yum, Dirt Cake!

In the hospital, 2004

A week or two old, one of my favorite pics.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Our Life Aquatic

Here's a random pic of cute Kiree
I forgot to post about the micro mini snail baby boom! When we got back from Chicago, we checked the fish tank to make sure the fish were all still alive (they were) and we discovered tens of mini micro snails. They also all look like Dora. Now there are at least 14 or 15 of them, plus the original Baby Snail and From Thirsty (the yellow snail that we bought to replace Dora).
Several snails along the waterline, Baby Snail is the big one there.
We thought From Thirsty was dead for a couple of days, but he keeps moving just a little bit so he's alive, um, we guess. He's just not going anywhere unlike those crazy (and getting bigger every day!) micro mini snails. Maybe we'll have to freecycle those extra snails when they get big enough.

Today was Bob's work's annual crab feast party. It was pretty fun. It was at a beach club just on the other side of the bay bridge. There were crabs and mallets and some other stuff. Good thing for Jaide there were also hotdogs. I ate a crab and it was pretty good. I had never cracked open a crustacean and ate its innards before today. Too bad we forgot to bring a camera even though I said, "Bob, we should bring a camera." at one point before we left. We got to go swimming on the little private beach.
Here's a picture of the actual beach from their website.
I didn't really swim, just held Kiree around in the water. Kiree and I saw a horseshoe crab and a jellyfish. We didn't stay anywhere near the jellyfish for very long. Some other people picked up the horseshoe crab and we watched them. I tried putting Kiree down on the sand for a bit, but anytime I put her down within reach of anything she can possibly put in her mouth, she puts it in her mouth. She ate some sand I think, but she did also spit up shortly thereafter. Jaide was excited that her good friend Megan was there. Poor Megan got stung by a different jelly fish while she, her dad, her sister, Bob and Jaide were all out in the water far from the shore. Jaide really loved swimming and playing in the sand. There was a face painting artist there also and Jaide got her face painted as a rainbow colored cat. She was extra happy when people told her how neat and cute her face painting looked. It didn't quite last so beautifully until we got home to take a picture of it- but you kind of get the idea. The mouth looked more cat like with white above the lips and her lips were painted black.
Poor Bob had to deal with 3 hot, tired, and cranky females by the time we left. But at least two of the females slept most of the way home.

Back on land- this morning Bob dug up the poison ivy growing in front of our house. Yikes!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Things Aren't Always as they Appear

A couple of weeks ago we bought Jaide an inflatable pool- sort of an early birthday present. This past week I finally set it up and we've now used it twice! We sort of agonized over which one of the many at Target to purchase. They all seemed so big, and our backyard is so small. Finally we decided, duh! we could use it in the grassy common area and then just dump it out and move it once we're done. We'd have to empty it each time anyway. So we got a cool giraffe one with a slide and water fountainy thing. It didn't turn out to be nearly as big as it looked on the box. That's some interesting photoshopping they did there. Kind of deceptive, no? See for yourself in this very random picture.Jaide, making a very Bob face. A close up of the box, look at the teeny kids. That giraffe head must be 5 feet tall! Jaide's leg is blocking the tiny little boy splashing into the massive pool from the huge slide.
An action shot of Jaide going down the slide. A padded landing pad, they thought of everything!
Jaide likes her pool, the slide is a bit tippy (it's a separate piece tied down in two places) but the giraffe head squirts water at the slide, and if we turn the water on all the way, the head tilts way back and squirts way far off. Jaide playing in the giant sprinklerness

We finally got the pool out the day I signed Jaide up for swimming lessons. Jaide was sooooo disappointed when we left the swimming lesson place without actually participating in any swimming. Actually extremely angry is more like it. She would not get in the car. I promised we would go swimming some other way since class doesn't start until the week after her birthday.

We did a little painting this weekend. Nice little Cruella DeVille look we've got going there, huh? I think I'll post more on that when it's all done.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kiree's 8 Months

Kiree hit the 8 month mark on the 8th. I guess it's a golden montha-birth-ery or something. Here's a little bit about Kiree at 8 months.

You love mommy! You think that if you can see mommy, she should be holding you or at least be focused on you.
You're working very hard at pulling up on any and every thing you can. You keep getting better and better at standing while holding on to stuff.
You've gotten very good at sitting up and are crawling pretty well.
You stick everything in your mouth- especially paper. You are very determined to grab any bit of paper you can see.
You want to eat whatever we're eating and you get upset if we don't share with you. You sometimes take matters into your own hands.
You say da da, ma ma (occasionally), and ungy which we think means something like "I want something else to happen other than what is happening now."
You also like to make a lot of other noise like "ahhhh" sounds and raspberries.
You have two teeth and while you don't have a ton of that reddish hair, you do have enough for a "Kiree Hawk."
You love your big sister Jaide; she makes you smile and laugh every day.
You love to feed yourself cereal and whatever else we let you try.
You're usually a very happy and smiley girl.
We love you Kiree!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Trip to Chicago Part 3: The Exciting Conclusion (many pictures)

On Monday we went to Six Flags Great America. That's the one awesome amusement park in the Chicagoland area. We used to go there quite a bit in my adolescent and teenage years. The park is even bigger now than it used to be. Knowing we would be going here is what made us get season passes to our local Six Flags park (Six Flags America- random huh? It's just America, not Great like Great America! and it really is but anyway...) With our season passes to our park (only $49.99!) we can get into basically all the rest of the Six Flags parks (all much more expensive for 1 day admission). And our season parking pass got us free up close parking at Great America, what a deal. Along with our passes we got coupons for free bring a friend days and it included one coupon we could use at a different park so we got three free tickets for our family people.
We had a fun time at the park. The whole family watching the kids so Bob and I could go on a few rides together thing didn't work out as well as I had hoped due to the very, very long lines on a lot of rides and some general crankiness. That and no one else wanted to go on the water park rides. Kiree is quite clingy, but Kathy and Rusty did a great job with her. Kiree got snugly with Kathy when there was no mommy around. Grammy took both kids while the rest of us waited to go on the superman ride. It took way, way too long to get on (long line + stopped for a while due to a problem). Grammy was then done for the day as far as kid watching went. I was happy that I got to go on a few of the waterpark rides with Bob though as there are several at our park we can't go on since you can't go on in singles.
Jaide is very close to 42" so we tried a trick our friend Nina did when we were kids. We put Jaide's hair up in a half ponytail on the top of her head to add a bit to her height. Jaide went on the 42" water ride with me and then with Bob with no problem. She loved it! Jaide also loved going on a little rollercoaster with me and a big rollercoaster with Bob (the whizzer- twice!)

If you look real close you can see Jaide and I in line for the little roller coaster.
We ended up staying until the park closed.

Tuesday we went down to the Taste of Chicago.
Taste of Chicago is the big food festival in Grant Park near the lake.

They close down several streets and different restaurants from around the city set up in booths and offer some of their signature dishes. We all went down together and then split up. We had some pizza from Lou Malnati's, Home Run Inn, and one more that I can't remember. We had chicken satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad. We got a roasted corn on the cob that Jaide and Bob shared. We also had a slice of turtle cheesecake from Eli's and some strawberry cheesecake flavored frozen yogurt in a waffle cone. If that sounds like a lot of food, well, the portions aren't enormous and we shared everything between the three of us. We got a few free things as well. That's the other thing you do at Taste of Chicago- get free samples/coupons from different companies that come out. They also have music performances, and other random stuff (like a ferris wheel) which we never really did and didn't do this time either. We did watch some of the street performers like the bronze cowboy and the leopard print unitard wearing contortionist.
Wednesday morning we hung out around the hotel. Rathy (Kathy and Rusty) and Mamber (Mick and Amber) came over to go swimming in our hotel pool. I really wish we had gotten a picture of the girls in the pool. They were so cute. Little Grandma took us all out to eat that evening at a Greek restaurant. I had salmon phyllo which I thought was pretty good. Jaide wasn't too impressed with her meal- no kids menu :( Jaide wouldn't even try to flaming cheese- they put the fire out. I thought it was pretty good too. We made lots of jokes with Kathy about "you don't eat no meat!?! That's okay, I make-a you lamb" She ended up having a salad.

Thursday we checked out and drove down to Lincoln Park Zoo. My first job ever was as an education intern at Lincoln Park Zoo the summer after I graduated high school. That was the summer they were filming Return to Me which was shot partly at the zoo (not while I was around sadly). We met up with our old friend Nancy who was also in town visiting her family.

Lincoln Park Zoo has a "farm in the zoo" which has cows, goats, chickens, and other farm animals. Some people have thought it was odd when we've talked about seeing cows at the zoo, but they're there! Jaide, Grammy, and Kathy went in and petted the goats.

We got to see a lot of my favorites including the giraffes. The giraffes were near these meerkats Bob is imitating. It was a little bit chilly, good thing we brought the red blanket since we forgot to bring any jackets for any one at all- silly us!

At about dinner time we headed back down town. Rathy wanted to go back to the Taste and get some more food. Nancy also had to head back down to the loop to catch the L. We decided to head down since the Art Institute was free admission after 5pm. We didn't end up staying too long though since we did need to get going and it was pretty crazy down town. July 3rd is when Chicago has it's big fireworks show on the lakefront. There were way, way too many people down there. At least not all of them decided to go to the Art Institute. We headed back to Lincoln Park to get the car and we were on our way. It took us a bit to figure out how to get onto the main part of Lake Shore Drive but we finally did. We drove by tons and tons of people camped out along the lake front for the fireworks. We managed to figure out how to get to I80 and went on our merry way. We stopped somewhere in Ohio (sooner than we thought we would but were like totally out of gas) and just decided to stay at the nearby Super 8 and get some sleep. We weren't sad that we did. It did make the next day a longer drive, but we still managed to get home by 8:30pm. On the ride home Jaide entertained herself by taking lots (and lots and lots) of pictures. We'll have to post a slideshow of them sometime, some are kind of funny.