Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Let the Halloween festivities begin!

My mom and I needed something to do to keep these kids busy so we decided sugar cookies would be perfect, not to mention tasty!
It got a bit messy rolling out the dough......and I am pretty sure my kids would have been happy with just frosting...
...but most importantly, we had fun!
After rolling out the dough, both normal and gluten-free, baking them off, frosting them, and cleaning everything up to eat our delicious treats:

My mom, sister and I were feeling brave and headed out to Gardner Village with my kids and my three nephews...and no stroller! It was actually a lot of fun and I think Kaleb's face tells you how excited the kids were to see all of the witches and the lit up trees... They had music blasting the entire night with a stage to get up and dance. Roman threw a fit when we were leaving without giving him a chance to get up and groove. I put him on stage and he showed he has some serious rhythm:
Capri was as happy as a clam when she had a balloon and pipe-cleaner spider to hold onto:
Our attempt at getting a group picture!
At least Kaleb was looking!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sun Valley in 24 hours...

Last month, Tucker's boss offered him a last-minute trip to Sun Valley for the weekend. His bos wasn't able to go so the spot was free...and so was everything else! I have to admit, I was dragging my feet at first due to the long drive we would have to endure for such a short trip. Fortunately, Tucker talked me into it and away we went to enjoy the great outdoors as a family.
We arrived at the resort and I was immediately impressed. It was beautiful with an abundance of evergreens and aspens, swan-filled ponds, cobblestone paths, and plenty of potted flowers. Maybe those 5 hours in the car were going to be worth it! The best was yet to come, however, as we walked into our lodge apartment. Oh my goodness. We are talking full kitchen with granite countertops and stainless appliances (yes, an oven, stove and sub-zero fridge), living room complete with vaulted ceilings, marble and stone fireplace, and plenty of room to hang out, and then a separate bedroom fit for a king. At that point I was thinking, "let's just stay in our room all weekend and I will be happy!" But don't worry, we were there for all but 20 minutes before we were out and about exploring the resort.
Roman's favorite activity while in Sun Valley was dropping leaves, sticks, dirt, really whatever he could find, into the streams and watch them float down. What can I say? This boy is easily entertained! Capri decided to join in on the fun as well...

The next morning, we decided to rent some bikes and a trailer and go for a ride. The kids loved hanging out in their little "tent" as we ventured into the city of Ketchum. There was a perfect bike path to take and we got to soak in all mother nature had to offer including horses right off the path.This is the view of the front of Sun Valley Resort:
The quaint little town of Ketchum. Think Park City Main Street, but more than just one street!
Nothing better than a pregnant girl in jeans on a cruiser!
We had to meet the group for lunch back up at the country club so we rode our bikes back to the resort. The golf course was amazing and our lunch on the terrace was absolutely delicious-do things taste better when they are free? I wish I had gotten a better picture of our surroundings, but here is one of Tucker and the kids with the course in the background.
Later that day we played in the pool and fed the ducks. The kids got such a kick out of them and the angry swan. Those things can seriously be mean.

Brotherly and sisterly love...

As fabulous as our stay was, there were some definite downsides. The night we got there, the kids would simply not go to sleep. We didn't have cribs for them and were hoping we could lay with them on the bed until they fell asleep. Not going to happen. After hours of tossing and turning, I took Capri into the other bed and Tucker kept Roman out on the pull-out. After Roman had fallen off twice, it was my turn to take the pull-out so Tucker could get some much needed sleep. To make matters worse, we were so busy the next day, that we didn't get the kids their afternoon nap. For those of you who don't know, my kids have been on a pretty strict schedule from day one and if they don't get their sleep, they will literally turn into possessed monsters! Capri had even fallen asleep while we were getting ready for dinner-something she never does. That's when Tucker and I decided we weren't going to make it another night so we packed up and headed home. Don't you just love the way your kids can change your plans in an instant?! Even still, however, we had a great time just being together as a family of four...something that is going to change here quickly!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's A Girl!

"Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what girls are made of."We just found out today that we are expecting a girl and couldn't be happier! She is growing and seems to be healthy with 10 fingers and 10 toes-absolutely precious. We had a 2-D and 4-D ultrasound done and it was amazing to see her in such detail. As the technician was inspecting our little bundle, I admit I got a bit teary. This baby was truly a miracle and I was incredibly grateful.
I think Roman and Capri are almost as excited as their mom and dad!
In their "Big brother" and "Big sister" jammies!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Night, Night

Our nightly routine consists of reading or telling a story first and lately it has been Mom and Dad's version of Cinderella per Capri's request. I don't mind at all considering the responses I get every time. As soon as I mention that Cinderella's stepsisters tear her dress into pieces, Roman says, "oh, broke," and Capri says, "oh no!" Then, when you talk about the beautiful new dress that the fairy godmother makes, Capri waves her hand as if she had the wand. They both express worry when Cinderella drops her shoe as well. Such empathy for such an early age.
After "the end," Capri jumps in with "prayer." They both fold their arms as Mom or Dad begins to say prayer and have recently started trying to repeat what we say. "Amens" are said to complete the prayer and then we give our final hugs and kisses.
Tonight was extra sweet. As Tucker was asking for our new baby's health, Roman reached out to pat my belly. Both patted or rubbed my tummy and said "night, night" to their baby brother or sister. Then Capri said, "kisses" and puckered up for us. I couldn't have been happier when getting a kiss and told both of them that I loved them. Capri replied, "I love you...Thanks Mommy." My heart melted. Tucker and I both agreed that no matter what trouble they get in during the day, with that treatment at night, they are the sweetest things we could ever hope for!
p.s. This doesn't have anything to do with nightly routines, but I can't forget it. Earlier this evening, Capri was in timeout and letting the entire house know how she felt about that. Roman couldn't handle it for too long and soon walked over to find her laying down on the ground. He then laid down next to her and continued to rub her back (his very favorite thing!). Again, my heart melted.

Chicago...and All That Jazz!

What an incredible city?! I had never been to Chicago and truly, had never had much of an interest in going. However, when Tucker had business in the Windy City last month, I decided it was worth a trip without the kids...especially one that was paid for!
I am not going to lie, this was the first trip without the kids and I was a bit of a wreck the few days leading up to our departure date. The night before I was crying imagining all of the horrible things that could happen while I was gone. Let's go ahead and call it a small anxiety attack. My mom gave me some words of wisdom and encouragement and I decided I was good to go. Thank you mom.
As soon as we were on the plane, I was feeling much better about things and the trip got better from there. We drive into the city and immediately I was plastered to the windows. This was such an awesome city! Where else do you have the combination of incredible architecture, more skyscrapers than one could imagine, a beach complete with volleyball courts and boardwalk, big beautiful parks, and of course, a river running through it? I have always loved New York, New York, but Chicago was so much cleaner with much less traffic crowding the streets. And again, the beach.
We quickly checked in to our hotel, The Allerton, and headed out onto Michigan Ave, a.k.a the Magnificent Mile. Our first stop was Millenium Park. We admired the odd and reflective Cloud Gate (and I almost got sick as we walked underneath), the Pritzker Pavilion, and the fountain that the show "Married With Children" made famous. It was an enormous park so we couldn't see everything, but were totally impressed with the greenery, floral arrangements and architectural pieces.
The next item on our agenda was our boat tour of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. This was the best way to see the city, from the comfort of a boat loaded with drinks and snacks. We learned lots about the city and some of the famous buildings. My dad had always talked about climbing the antenna on top of Sears Tower and now I can fully appreciate how insane that was. Funny story about being out on Lake Michigan. It was windy that day, surprise surprise, and so the water was quite choppy. Due to the plentiful drinks, I soon needed to use the restroom. Picture this, a bathroom the size of those on airplanes, a metal toilet about a foot off the ground, the boat violently swaying back and forth, and me, the pregnant girl trying to make this all work. I swore there was going to be a candid camera somewhere!
That night, we got all dressed up and headed to Joe's Stone Crab restaurant. Tucker was in heaven with enough butter-soaked lobster and crab to last him a lifetime. I have never been a seafood fan, but even I had to taste and enjoy. We were all so stuffed that it was hard to get up and I had to lower the zipper on my pants even further (I couldn't zip it up to begin with because of this pregnancy!).
The guys had the next morning off so we got to experience the most amazing aquarium I have ever seen. Folks, I lived in San Diego for almost 2 years, I have been to Monterey Aquarium-this one takes the cake! I was mesmerized! The shark tanks, the Carribean Reef tank, the trained dolphins and even the ridiculously cheesy show all contributed to a fantastic visit. I had finally decided to bring the camera so here are a few...
Me and my husband at the aquarium in front of Chicago's spectacular skyline':Tucker's boss Paul and his wife Jill who had been to Chicago before so they were great tour guides and so much fun to be with!Me and Tucker again in front of the aquarium:As soon as the guys had to head to meetings, Jill and I were free to shop and shopped we did! Staying on the Magnificent Mile put us within a short walk from every store you could possibly want. Even window shopping was a treat! We first went to the American Girl store which was every girl's dream land. I had grown up with the Samantha doll and had always loved the detail that this company goes to on each doll and story. At the base of our hotel was the Disney store and we spent some time and money here as well. I got the kid's costumes and cannot wait for you all to see them! Here is Jill and I with our loot:
We didn't leave without a trip to a local joint (with a 6 ft square hole where the window was supposed to be) for some serious Chicago pizza. We were looking for a Chicago chain restaurant, but ended up a bit lost near the law school and found this fab place that was delicious!
Such a great trip and I can't wait to go back someday. So sorry for the lack of pictures-I will try to post more once I get them from Jill!