Blog Archives for category Owen

Facebook, friends, and scallops—oh my!

I had a major kitchen crisis (nothing fits anywhere and I was losing my mind) and jokingly asked on Facebook if anyone wanted to come help me figure it out…

And Jami volunteered! And then was serious! (She lives about 1:30 away so it wasn’t completely insane.)

She’s an amaaaaazing cook and has bragged about her perfect scallops so, since I LOVE SCALLOPS, she brought them to teach me how to do it! So I learned how to make perfect scallops with a saffron wine sauce on fresh spinach Fettuccini. It was divine!! Of course, she also brought snacks and wine…and a cast iron pan and avocado cooking oil and cream because my kitchen isn’t up to par yet.

They were so beautiful they really deserve a full-size shot:

She had brought cookies to Owen and Katie. When she handed them out, age called them by name. Katie asked how she knew her name and I said she knew her from the day she was born. (I had told the kids previously that Jami was from the same group of friends as Uncle Eddy, Aunt Sheryl, Miss Nancy, and the whole group of people that came to our house a few times). 

Owen waited on his cookie, but Katie was all in. 



Owen being silly after tasting other desserts.


Then we played with makeup a bit, did an unplanned Facebook Live video, she bought two new lip colors and a blush, and we drank wine.

I had to get creative since we forgot to keep it chilled. Yes, that plastic ice cube is from a boo-boo bunny. 


Oh yes, we did also get some kitchen stuff figured out (also with Linda’s help).

Eagerly waiting for Grannie and Papa. 


A quick visit to the splash pad

Friends invited us to the pool but then as can quickly happen with kids, behavior went downhill and they cancelled. We were already dressed for water so I took them to the splash pad. It worked out better, though, since we were awaiting the arrival of Grannie and Papa!


Dinner, wine, and s’mores with the neighbors. 

Our two next door neighbors could not be more welcoming. Aside from letting our kids play together all the time, this happened tonight…

Stacey came to collect her kids and I happened to mention that Tom was gone so I was ready to pop the wine and she said her husband was going to be really late so we should do a patio dinner. Yes, please! She would do hot dogs and pizza sticks and I’d bring wine and fruit. She even had frozen peaches for the wine! The middle neighbor, Ines, joined us and felt guilty for not bringing anything, so she offered s’mores at their house after! Yes, please!!

We met Owen’s principal and teacher today!

This morning was a “meet the new principal” playground playdate—that I completely forgot about until it was almost over. It’s a good thing we live three minutes away so we were there in a hot second. We met the principal (he seemed very nice) and the kids played and had icee pops. 

This is one of two playgrounds at the school (this is the one for Owen’s side). It’s nice but seemed a little small for as big as the school is (comparing it to his last school). They do have a huge grassy area and a huge blacktop area as well, though. 


As things were wrapping up, I asked the principal if there was any way we could take a quick walk through the school or schedule something and he offered to take us through right then! So we walked the halls and even met Owen’s teacher!! She’s really nice and I have a good feeling about her. Yay!!

Braving Chicago, Day 2: Shedd Aquarium

Starting the day with bear hugs.

Going into the pool (aka basement) for breakfast.

Arriving at Soldier Field after parking in the garage (it’s kitty corner from the aquarium).

Waiting patiently while we get our free (!!) tickets! 


Getting ready for a 4-D movie short.

Do you know what these are?

How about now?

Shark eggs!

We got a stranger to take our group pic…

But of course I had to do a selfie!

After a somewhat agonizing drive home through rush hour traffic, we arrived to this:

I’m glad we got to see our friends, but after two full days in Chicago I cannot understand how people there don’t go postal. Between traffic, bikers, and congestion, I had a headache almost the entire time I was in a car plus I got stuck in rush hour coming home today so that made it a sucky ending. I understand there is a crap ton to do there but it’s just not for me. So I was right, I will be visiting even less then I visited DC because at least DC was only 20 minutes away. Caitlin, I love you, but next year you’re coming to the ‘burbs. :) :heart:

I wouldn’t brave Chicago traffic for just anyone.

My good friend Caitlin (that I just had to leave in Virginia) and her kids came to Chicago (they were already in Indianapolis) so we drove down to explore some touristy stuff with them. I hate traffic and congestion so it was a mini nightmare for me… But I did it.

Our first stop was the Museum of Science and Industry…where we spent seven hours (egads, I know). The kids had fun but it was a long day.

At the Toy Maker area, it cost $5 to get your own personalized gravitron—and you could watch as it passed through each station. It was cooler than we thought it would be.

There was a Fault (you can’t see the red light on in the photo) so the human operator had to come in and fix it.

And I was thinking it was just a top but it’s a gyroscope—so much cooler than a top. They had a little station to test it out so we all played with it. Then it was back to the exhibits.

Katie got to create her own fireworks display!

Wind tunnel! Owen wanted no part of it (even though he had to do it at the $2 machine in Virginia at swim lessons).


I should have recorded more of this—the kids had an absolute blast with it:

Ice cream for lunch because why not?!

The kids loved the big tractors SOOO much.

If you stood still, butterflies would land on your shadow.

Then it was finally time to head to the hotel… The drive was a bit precarious with all the traffic and insane bikers…but we all made it in one piece. The hotel was really neat—it was all sports-themed and the rooms were like dorms.

And then after a brief rest, it was off to Navy Pier! The kids really wanted to do the Ferris wheel (like we did at National Harbor).

After we walked around a bit, it was time for dinner—and we wanted to sit down and waste time since we had to wait until the fireworks at 9:30. I figured I deserved this:

The traffic wasn’t actually that bad getting out after the fireworks (thank heavens for small favors) and soon we were back at the hotel, where the kids were all super excited to sleep on the top bunks!!

The kids finally quieted down around 11 and Caitlin and I stayed up chatting until almost 12:30.

New city, same Lego build!

We were very excited to learn there was a Lego store here which meant we could continue the Lego builds!

Our first Illinois dinner outside!

The kids’ new schools!

I had to pick up missing paperwork at Owen’s school today so we took a picture… And then Katie wanted one at her school so we did that, too. 

   
 

First time at the water park!

Our neighbors invited us to the water park and we eagerly accepted. Unfortunately I didn’t have my waterproof camera so missed being able to take pics of the little ones going down the kiddie slide and Owen going down the big water slide! This was the only pic I got of them—the other two were off playing in the grass.

Also unfortunately the day was cut short because of weather. Kind of. There were darkish clouds in the sky…

And apparently Katie has now turned into Maggie and completely freaks out at just the mere thought of dark clouds and potential rain so she was a hot mess crying to go home. I put it off as long as I could but when it actually started to sprinkle ever-so-slightly out was game over.   

We are now Wildcats!

Today was the Proof of Residency/packet pickup for school. It was quite the process overall as we were there for about an hour, though most of that was time doing other stuff like signing up for library cards, talking to people about school programs, shopping for spirit wear, etc. Of course they only had Katie’s packet (?!) so it was a bit more involved to get Owen’s info (they were able to print some but I’ll have to pick up the rest at his school in a few days). 

 

No more training wheels!

He’s been going out biking a lot with the neighbor kid and he said he was finally ready to take the training wheels off. Tom had moved them so they were still on but up high enough where he couldn’t really rely on them. So we made him ride down the street and I followed him to see if the wheels ever touched. They didn’t, so Tom took the wheels off! Then it was time for the first real ride!

And of course sister was with us, too, because she is a bike riding fiend.

 

  
  

And getting his reward for learning to ride—his new (adult!) bike!!

  

Returning mail leads to this. 

The neighbor kids brought over our mail which then led to our kids going to play at their house. About a half hour later the mom and I had this text exchange:

Stacey: Girls are putting on a concert on the trampoline.
Me: I’ll be over.

I walked in to them jumping in tutus (of course there was an outfit change—there’s always an outfit change). :) So we just sat and talked while all four kids played and rode in the power wheels. 

Ahhhhh, neighbors. ❤️

   

Len Summer Christmas 2017

Nick and Gracie making Christmas M&Ms (the rest went into Lisa’s monster cookies).

Just a few brats to cook…

All the kids like to fish but they say Aubrey is the one who loves it the most and is the best at it. She apparently gives lessons to other kids at their house!

Katie caught a fish!

Someone took an unplanned jump into the river (learning you can’t walk on lily pads):

Drying off…

I think this picture is a tradition.

And the mandatory annual family Christmas photo! Every year they give us grief about taking it… And this year with the craziness of the move I didn’t post it immediately and they were all asking about it!! So there. :p

And the annual kid comparison—Katie is getting closer to Aubrey but Aubrey is still ahead (which should be the case, as she’s almost 9). And as usual, Owen is definitely taller than Gracie…

But I think he beats Nick this year!!


Last year:

More fishing!

After a campfire and s’mores it was time for bed. The kids decided to all sleep in the living room… Poor Timmy. :)

 

Owen’s treat with Gramma!

Owen was bummed that Katie got a small present from Gramma at the art fair but there weren’t any “boy things” for him to get so Gramma promised to take him out to buy something at the store. I jumped in to suggest an experience instead of a thing and they were both good with that. We ended up getting ice cream at a shop downtown and eating it in the gazebo. And he told Gramma he wanted a day with her for his birthday like Katie had!!

Own patiently waiting at the wine store. 

 

“Get out of my bed, dad!”

It was another late night for the kids (they got a bath at 9:50 to clean their dirty feet) and Tom was tired from working on Gramma’s new computer all evening (where Owen sleeps) so Tom just jokingly collapsed on top of Owen and said he was just going to sleep there. Owen was adamant that Tom leave. :)

  

This is what happens when both kids have dirty feet at bedtime.

Gramma to the rescue… Giving them both a quick bath. There was a lot of laughing and shrieking. :)

 

Sparklers!

            

It’s so nice when he pushes her and we don’t have to.