Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Evanston Layover Part 4

We started Monday off by meeting the Dunnebacks at Little Monkey Bizness for some playtime.  Jackson, Connor and Kyle had a good time running around, playing ball with the daddies, and jumping in the bounce houses.  Josh and Brian used to work together in Chicago.  They came over to our Crystal Lake house when the twins were newborns, so it is fun to get together knowing we’ve known each other for so long J  I totally forgot to get out my camera to catch the boys in action--BOO!!!  After leaving Little Monkey Bizness, we headed to Herm’s for lunch (as we did almost every day this trip) before naps.  Josh and I enjoyed our second round of Lou’s for dinner and watched some Olympics on TV while Mom had yoga and Dad had a dinner meeting.
Silly boy!
Another new one from Pinterest: coffee ice cubes with Bailey's poured over them--delicious summer evening beverage!
I just couldn't choose between the rest of these pictures--they make a pretty cute montage all together :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Evanston Layover Part 3

The boys were hanging out in the morning, and Jackson requested a photo :)
After naptime, Mom and I took the boys to visit with Nan for a bit.  She got to hold Graham...
...and kiss him :)
Of course, Jackson had to get in on the action!
An updated four generation picture :)
Chatting with Mimi
We did a little Christmas in July baking project from Pinterest
I baked a box of brownies and cut them into small squares.  Then we spread Cool Whip on top.
We topped them off with strawberries.
Jackson was an excellent helper!
Yay for yummy dessert!
Quite proud of our Santa hat brownie bites :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Evanston Layover Part 2

Thursday was a super fun morning because Auntie Cassie and Jonah came to visit!  Cassie is due with a baby GIRL at the beginning of September, and it was so fun to see her and her adorable pregnant belly!!!  
Sharing some Munchkins :)
The boys had a good time playing, and I thought it was hilarious that Jonah remembered that Mimi has a pretend grill at her house to play with.  That made me feel better about Jackson remembering what toys other people have at their houses and then asking to play with them!   
Jonah wanted Cassie to hold Baby Graham so he could grill!
Jonah also has a monkey lovey named Momo (that’s where I got the name, in all honesty), and he know has FOUR Momos who ALL came to visit us! 
Josh left to play golf with Dad again, and then Cass and I took the boys to Herms’ for lunch.  
This evening we FINALLY got to Lou’s for dinner!!!  It was Graham's first Lou's experience :)  That was SO unlike us to not go within the first night or two, but we were on a few different people’s timelines that we really wanted to see on our trip, so that ate up our first few nights.
Before we left for Chicago, Graham started tracking our faces and hands--it is a fun new trick and a good way to interact :)
Happy baby!
Josh had his THIRD tee time of this trip with some friends he used to work with, so we said good-bye to him early In the morning and waited for Kim to come over!!!  
Sleepy Graham

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Evanston Layover Part 1

You can't quite tell, but the boys are wearing their "matching" outfits that I realized I had on accident!  LOL  Really the fact that they are in stripes and the stripes are orange and turquoise is the only matchy part...
Jackson LOVED playing around in the music room!
We jumped right in with things to do on this trip!  We kicked off the visit by taking Josh to visit Dad at school so he could see the finished product of Roycemore in her new home J  Mom came with since she had the day off, so after the tour we all went to Herms’ for lunch.  SOOOO yummy!!!  
After naptime, Mom, Jackson, Graham, and I headed to visit with The BEST Group (Becker, Ehrlenbaugh, Smith and Tadelman for all of our last names).  Jackson was super excited to play with Ryleigh and her toys—he even remembered his favorite toy at her house: the Fisher Price mailbox!  LOL  We had a great time as always visiting and catching up!
 Auntie Abbey made some delicious ice cream cookie sandwiches!
This was a slow morning for us.  Josh and Dad were supposed to golf, but we had a heavy storm overnight.  We spent some time looking for a different course that was allowing the use of carts.  After they went off, I took the boys to Herms’ on my own, then back to the house for naps.  Jackson took an excellently long nap, so Graham and I enjoyed the quiet (he did that by napping too)!  That afternoon Mimi and I took the boys to visit Nan.  She was so looking forward to meeting Graham!  We had a good little visit in her apartment and then we took her with us to meet up with Josh and Dad for dinner at Ted’s Montana Grill.  
Silly Boys!!!

Yesterday, Mom had the day off, so she was able to come with me to meet Donna, Christina, and Christina’s son, Russell, for lunch at Chik-fil-a!  I was thrilled there was a Chik-fil-a this “close” to Evanston, since I thought the only one in IL was way into Chicago.  I was able to get my peach shake, finally, and it was delicious J  We had such a nice time catching up.  Usually I pack up Jackson and drive all the way out to Elgin to visit friends I taught with.  This works well during the school year because I get to catch former colleagues, students, and parents.  Since it was summer, and since I always wish I had more time to catch up with certain people, I tried to get us all together somewhere where we could sit and chat.  This was great because Jackson was able to play in the play area and we were actually able to talk like adults!  
In the evening, Jackson was thrilled to have Katie come babysit!  Of course, Graham rounded out our party of four grown-ups ;)  Jackson was so excited for Katie to come over, and we were so excited to carry on conversation without a little voice needing a turn to talk every five seconds ;)  We went to Wildfire for dinner, but then we drove over to Baker’s Square for dessert!  Wildfire was yummy, but it was SO loud!  Baker’s Square was more our speed J 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Great Summer Road Trip 2012: Leg One-Dumfries to Indianapolis and Evanston

We successfully drove from Dumfries, VA to Avon, IN with a dog, a 3 ½ year old, a 7 ½ week old, and two adults in not much longer than it would usually take J  We planned to leave when Graham woke up for a late-middle-of-the-night feeding, which I was hoping would be around 3am, so we would leave around 4am.  We had decided any earlier was a little too much.  Of course he woke up around 2!  I was trying to think of what to do to hold him off, but that wasn’t really working.  I ended up only giving him half a feeding and not unswaddling him to change his diaper figuring that was enough for him to go back to sleep, but only for a couple of hours.  Nope, he slept until 5am!  We got up with him and Josh hustled to get all of the last minute things in the car.  We were able to drive for about two hours before stopping to feed Graham.  That stop was only about half an hour, which THRILLED me since I was so worried about our stops taking forever!  Our stop for lunch coincided with Graham’s next feeding, so that stop really didn’t add any more time.  We stopped one more time before we got to Katie and Nick’s at which point Graham was hungry again, but at least we were at our destination!  The boys both were really good in the car.  I was so worried about my road warrior husband with all of the extra stops, but he was wonderful!  I was the one that was so tired of turning around to find Graham’s paci, that I felt like saying, “Just keep driving!  He can cry!”  I was a bit flustered when we got to the Conners, but it really was a good travel day.

The day according to Facebook statuses:
On our way and Graham has picked up his 2nd state, West by God Virginia.
Dear Graham, Here is your third state: Maryland. Sorry, but it's a necessary evil. Love, Mommy and Daddy
Graham, welcome to state #4, Pennsylvania. At least it isn't Maryland.
PA was traumatic. After a brief revisit to WV for lunch - Hi-O-Hi-o
In(diana) Graham's sixth state to meet his 5 Conner friends!
Graham, this is what all the (Illi)nois is about: your seventh state is home to Mimi, Bampa, Lou's, Herm's, and so much more :)
We are in Evanston :) We had a mostly successful drive that ended with Jackson being carried into the house and asking to go to bed!

As always, we had a GREAT time visiting with Katie, Nick, Paige, Lexi and Caleb J  
Paige got the first turn to hold Graham.
Lexi was next in line--Katie was obviously going to have to fight her daughters in order to get her snuggles in!
We got there just in time for dinner on Saturday night, and Katie and Nick cooked a really yummy dinner.  They marinated chicken breasts in Italian dressing and then grilled them.  They also had delicious roasted veggies and rice that tasted EXACTLY like the rice from Chipotle!!!  We walked over to the playground across the street after dinner to burn off some energy.   
After the kids went to bed the guys played Baggo with the new set of Purdue boards Nick made, complete with lighted holes for nighttime games!  
Reading some stories before bed.
And, then feeding the fish before bed :)

The next morning the dads took the big kids to the playground while Katie and I got Caleb and Graham ready.  Then we all headed to a different playground.  The kids had a great time playing on the huge structures before we went to lunch at Qdoba.  After nap and an early dinner of pizza, we hit the road for Evanston!!! 
Caleb checking out Baby Graham
Paige and Jackson came with Josh and me to walk Pax, and they were oh, so cute together!  They were walking holding hands without any prompting, just because they were good friends :)
FIVE kiddos!!!

 We only had to stop once before we were able to introduce Graham to Bampa!!!  Their meeting was oh, so sweet: