Tuesday, October 29, 2013

look! i'm a witty and descriptive title!






 So it’s really late but I’m trying to catch up on things in my life…like blogging (mostly because I went over my grading quota for the day and I know I should do more but I don’t want to and so I’m going to blog instead).

Here’s the thing—it’s super late, so all the italicized stuff in this post is from  be the email I sent to my family on Sunday (my mom has this awesome thing where she has been writing us Sunday emails since I first left for college in 2001.  THAT IS FOREVER to write emails!  Anyway, it’s fun when people write back because we all know what’s going on that week for everyone—as opposed to the super long group texts that are mostly full of pictures of my parents/sisters doing something awesome and me texting back a picture of my kids doing something crazy.  I’ll see your Pacific beach and raise you one screaming toddler! Anyway.)

Basically the email is about our weekend--we went to the Chicago Temple on Friday and it was so great!  So that's what all of the nice dressy pictures are about--taken before we went into the temple session.





Also, I'm not going to try to really organize this post.  Today I was thinking ohmygoodness I need to quit blogging, and this is my compromise with myself.  A non-organized post.  Random pictures and text.  Good times!


 I posted this to Facebook because I was so impressed with myself for doing my hair.  I think this is the first time I've done it since my sister's wedding in June.  Mostly because a) it takes forever and b) when I do my hair Nathan grabs it in his fist, shoves it down his throat, and then throws up all over both of us (trust me, I've learned the hard way).



Something I forgot to put in my email:  my favorite part of this weekend was when I was in the temple and had just barely missed the session by literally one minute—when I was asking if  the session had started I explained that I had a nursing baby and I was trying to time things around his schedule.  This made the ordinance workers really worried and so I quickly explained that it would be fine, and then one asked if my baby was there at the temple, and I said yes, he’s here with my husband and my other children, and then they asked how many kids I had, and I said five—and they both looked so shocked!  One of them told me I didn’t look old enough to have five kids, and the other asked if I had any twins or triplets.  Then they asked how old I was and I said thirty and then made some joke about how it was good to know I didn’t look haggard.  Hah!  Apparently I should have knocked on wood because I totally looked dead the next morning after a crazy night up with all 3 boys ALL NIGHT.  

 oh, and I really like these 3 photos.  especially the one where 4 of the kids look kind of crazy.

 Anyway, here is the email.  
*****

This weekend was the girls' fall break; we had been planning a temple trip for quite some time (I was bummed to miss out on this super-cool Halloween party we'd been invited to, but by Thursday Luke & Nathan both had such nasty colds that I knew we wouldn't have been able to go anyway).  We drove up Friday morning (Neil worked through his own fall break so he could take off this Friday) and really had a great time being together as a family.  We stopped at the Albanese candy factory on the way and the kids were AMAZED at the awesome variety of candy--Neil and I made all sorts of wisecracks about wow, it's like a kid in a candy store!  Luke was especially impressed by the 20-foot-tall chocolate fountain ("hew-ds canny, Mommy!").  
**Note:  I have pictures from the candy store but they're on another device and if I wait to upload them it will be another week before I publish this post.  So...eventually.**



 Neither of these are great pictures but look!  our whole family! in one photos!  and...I love Abigail's expression as she is looking down at Nathan.

 We made our way over to the temple & Neil and I took turns doing sessions and hanging out with the kids at a nearby nature park/center/thingie.  It was the first time we've been able to see the new video and I was just blown away--I loved it so much.  It was a wonderful experience and I wanted to turn right back around and go through again--but I couldn't leave Neil with a hungry Nathan!  So I took the kids for a walk in the autumn woods and we had a wonderful time jumping from stump to stump and checking out turtles and frogs.  It was really lovely.  

 Here we are with the giant turtle--I was trying to take a selfie with the scary turtle but it moved away.



 The kids inside the bark lodge...well, this isn't the lodge.  It was like a teepee but are teepees still called that if they're made of bark?



We all--myself included--ran around the clearing jumping from stump to stump.  It was awesome.









I took some photos of the kids asleep in the hotel because they were so sweet and darling.  Please note that no man-child slept for more than 20 minutes consecutively all night, so these pictures are very deceiving.
 Okay, back to my email:  Then we went to IKEA, because Neil loves me more than he loathes IKEA.  I had a fun time.  :-)  And then we went to our hotel in Schaumburg, which was really lovely and a very comfortable suite.  It's a shame that we didn't get to enjoy it--the boys were so sick and miserable that they were up literally almost the entire night.  It was so horrible that it was actually funny.  Abigail & Juliet slept soundly through everything and popped out of bed way before anyone else wanted to get up--fortunately they were willing to watch cartoons on mute for an hour or so (hey, very exciting compared to no cartoons!) and that hour was the most sleep that Neil or I got all night.  Then we went to the hotel breakfast, which was quite good, and then to the LEGO store, which was pretty much heaven for everyone in our family.  Neil and I managed to sneak a couple of cool sets (for Christmas) through the checkout line without the kids noticing, because they were all in ecstasies over their new Star Wars minifigures which they'd bought with their money.  Seriously, you have never seen such happiness.  It was awesome and I loved seeing the joy on their faces.  So fun.

 Yeah, the boys totally conked out in the car on the way to the zoo.  I think I fell asleep too but I'm not really sure.  I do know that I fell asleep standing up while nursing Nathan and singing to him.  I was kind of impressed with myself.

 And then we drove downtown and all three boys conked out on the way.  They were SO tired.  I was totally going in and out of sleep myself--but we eventually parked and made our way over to the Lincoln Park Zoo.  Luke & Isaac had been talking for days about going to the zoo, and when we got there lo and behold it was the Lincoln Park Halloween celebration and it was CRAZY!  Tons of costumed people everywhere and almost all of the animal exhibits were closed.  Bummer!  We did hang around long enough for the African house to open and we went through that, but we skipped everything else (didn't want to wait in line for 2 hours to go through the haunted house made from the seal exhibit...it was all kind of like that).  So then we drove downtown and parked again and walked for half a mile or so down Michigan Ave. until we got to Hancock Tower, then we went up to the 95th floor and checked out the lake views.  By this time everyone was pretty exhausted and so we skipped the Tribune building and just drove home (the four youngest kids all fell asleep on the way, but they woke up before we got home to join in outraged chorus!).

 So here's something to know about Chicago--they go ALL OUT for Halloween.  Like crazy all-out.  There were giant spiders climbing over buildings all over the place.  This particular one in the photo also had a recording playing that was some version of the myth of Arachne.

Cute Jules taking a break across from Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue.  It was actually pretty fun walking down Michigan with the kids (on the way there...the way back was another story).


 So if you're ever in Chicago and you want to see an awesome view, here's a little secret for you: don't pay to go up Willis Tower because you can go to the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the Hancock building for free.  Not the observatory, but the restaurant just below.  Same view, no charge.

Here's the thing--it's really busy and noisy and you might feel a little weird about not ordering any food, but there are a ton of other people doing the same thing.  Bonus: if you have your kids with you and they start crying because they're tired you can just pretend like maybe you WOULD have ordered some overpriced appetizers if your kids weren't tired.  (Full disclosure:  I have eaten there, the food is delicious, and I sat there and watched helicopters fly by underneath me which was really cool.)


Isaac as we were loading everyone back into the car.  I wanted to do the same thing.


Completely unrelated but I thought I should post photos of the thousand and one projects I've been doing around here.  I have been making so many things.  I feel a really desperate need to create these days because it's so soothing for me.  Anyway, I made these owl bookends for the girls trying to figure out a pattern for teacher gifts--now that I've done these I think I will do the next one about half-size (yes, I'm still trying to use up all the extra fabric from the girls' quilt...)


So my plan to make the kitten love me is sort of back-firing because now he doesn't want to sleep anywhere except on my pillow curled around my head.  Last night after I moved him 3 times he finally sulked away and fell asleep on my feet.

The kids and I did some Q-tip painting today.  So fun and just what I needed on a super-stressful day (aka the girls were still home from school and I ran out of antidepressants.  You better believe I ran 5 miles as fast as I could this afternoon trying to get enough endorphins to survive until Neil came home with my prescription...).


1 comment:

Elise Gray said...

Also...i don't know how I missed this before, but I love the pic of the kids on a bench at the temple where Abigail is holding Nathan--the expression on their faces as they look at each other is so sweet!

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