Thursday, April 30, 2009

beep... beep... beep

... that's the sound of this blog backing up to last....

THURSDAY

And no... these are not the only photos I have from that day.... they're just the only ones I feel like editing at the moment.

While Alex and Jeff were gone to the Pirates exhibit at the Field Museum, Clara and I walked up to a new cupcake place that opened in the neighborhood to buy some cupcakes for our little family birthday thing.

Here's Alex's cupcake...
Chocolate with peanut butter icing (Clara had vanilla with vanilla icing, Jeff had carrot cake and I had red velvet... yum!).

Here is the boy patiently waiting for us to get our act together so he could eat his cupcake....
the cupcake was seriously calling to him....
Finally the candle was lit....
and it was time to sing...
apparently...
something about our singing makes Alex a tad uncomfortable :-) ....
Time to blow out the candle....
and dig in...
Okay.... off to figure out which day's photos I will edit for my next post! :-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Race to Wrigley

Saturday

Saturday morning Jeff and Alex were signed up to run the Race to Wrigley 5K at Wrigley Field. Jeff brought his parents along as their personal photographers and cheering section (Clara had dance so I was with her).

This was Alex's second 5K.

Here the boys are in front of Wrigley Field before the start of the race...
and here they are post race....

Look how red Alex is!!!

I still can't believe that he manages to run the whole way! Jeff said that he struggled a bit at the end but pushed through. I think his time was around 36 minutes. He enjoys doing them and would like to run more... we'll see!

Okay, this post marks the end of the photos that I already have edited, so for tomorrow I guess I'll have to pick a random day and work on the photos! Hmmmm.... which day should it be? :-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

random play

That's what my next few blog posts will be like... random play (or would that be shuffle?). Anyway, we had a LOT going on at the end of last week and over the weekend and I actually have lots of photos to post. However, I have chosen to edit them in a random order.... so with this post you'll have photos of Friday even though I have photos from Thursday that I haven't even opened to edit yet. If I wait until I have them all edited, I'll never get anything posted.

FRIDAY

On Friday Clara had her performance at the spring gala. Her part was very small but it was a HUGE deal as they were on stage at the Auditorium Theatre, dancing with on the same stage as the professional dancers and dancing to music by a live orchestra. She had stage rehearsal from 11:45 until 1:45 that day.... so I snapped a couple of photos of her in her costume before we left...


I had her pose for a few shots but then she just started dancing around and that's when I got the shots above.

While Clara was in rehearsals, Alex and I went with some friends to a field trip program at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We always love going to these.

Jeff's parents came in for Alex's birthday, so that night Alex got to have a special night with grandpa and grandma (dinner, bowling and watching a movie at home) while Jeff and I attended the performance. The kids did really well and it was so exciting to see them on such a big stage.

Clara was completely DONE after the performance and refused our offer to take her out for a special dinner. She just wanted to go home. So that's what we did... ordering Thai food from the noodle shop behind our house once we were home.

Okay.... it's time to get to work (school work, that is!).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

n.i.n.e.

Yesterday my boy turned NINE! Can you believe it? For his birthday I told him we could do whatever he wanted to do. There was one place, and one place only that he wanted to go.... The Lego Store.

We got there not long after it opened. My parents had reserved a kit from his list and had it waiting for him at the counter. It was one of the two kits that he really, really wanted. He was so excited that they had gotten him the Power Miners Crystal Sweeper.

Now it was time to decide what to spend his birthday money on....
He knew exactly what he wanted and went straight for it....
... the Lego City Passenger Train (and some extra track). According to the store, they hadn't had this kit in the store in about a year... it had just shown up in a shipment the day before. Talk about good timing!

The kids also filled a cup in the pick-a-brick section....
... I love pick-a-brick for some reason. :-)

After that, Alex wanted to go home and build but I talked him into going to lunch first...
... we ate at Ed Debevic's! I hadn't been there in YEARS and thought the kids would enjoy it.

Here's Alex with the regular menu...
... he was officially too old for the kids' menu (8 and under).

Since it was Alex's birthday, our normal rules were out the window and the kids ordered very special drinks.

Here's Alex and his Root Beer Float....
And Clara with her Strawberry Ice Cream Soda...
Our waiter constructed this special "birthday brat" hat for Alex to wear...
Hmmm.... I wonder what Clara thinks of it?
After lunch (which Alex didn't eat since he inhaled his Root Beer Float before it came), our waiter sang an atypical version of "Happy Birthday" (Happy Birthday to you, 1, 2, 3... you just wanted something free) and presented him with a "world's smallest sundae"...

Given that he was already maxed out on ice cream, I got to have a scoop or two! :-)

I made them pose for one last photo before we headed home...
Once we were home, Alex immediately started to build... and he continued to build until we had to leave for book club. I had thought that he might just want to stay home and build, but he really wanted to go to book club. We brought snacks since it was his birthday. The book was set in Mexico (well... San Diego during the time of the war with the US) so we just grabbed some chips and salsa and a sweet treat as well.

From there it was time for Clara's swim class. Since it was the first day of the session, Alex and I just sat in there and watched. She really is improving. Alex isn't taking Tuesday swim class anymore because he's in a stroke clinic during the week and he still takes his Saturday class as well.

We finally made it home and Alex started building again while I got dinner ready. Right after dinner, he got ready for bed and moved all of his Legos down to his room so he could continue to build. By 10:30, he had completed everything!

He claims to have had the perfect birthday, which makes me very happy. It's just funny how different my two are.... Clara's birthday wouldn't be complete in her mind without a big party surrounded by lots of little girls.... Alex wanted no party and to be surrounded by lots and lots of Legos! :-)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

alley time again!

With the weather getting nicer.... we're hanging out in the alley again! It is complete chaos and I love it. Kids everywhere... on bikes, on scooters... just running around. It's pretty funny to see the reactions of people as they come across this crazy mass of kids in the alley.... especially those who might have moved into the area over the winter. Most of them don't even realize that there are kids around here and then all of a sudden there is a swarm of 7 or 8 of them zooming around.

Clara was anxious to ride her bike again...
Alex was being a speed demon....
Just the boy.....
and just the girl....
Clara with Noah from next door....
The kids had a great time and I had a good time catching up with the other moms (and seeing the newborn from next door!). Hopefully the weather will realize that it is spring and we can do this more often!

Other than that... Clara had dance rehearsal last night and dance class this morning. Jeff ran a 10K and locked himself out of the house (he had to come to Clara's dance class to get my keys). Alex had his last swim class of this session. We watched the Bulls win, and we watched the Cubs win. We had family movie night and FINALLY watched Wall-E. Busy!

Okay I'm going to go catch the rest of the news and head to bed!

'nite!

Friday, April 17, 2009

bile 'em cabbage down

Okay... so I still haven't taken any more photos... but I did take some video today :-)

Here are the kids in their music lesson today...
video

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but Clara does a one hour lesson now for violin... the first half is just her and the second half is her and Alex learning to play together. They do pretty well (for the most part). You can't tell it in this video... but they were pretty squirrelly today. I think the nice weather made them a little crazy. :-)

Perhaps I'll get my camera out tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Silver Dollar City!!

Yay!!! I think I'm finally able to post! Blogger and I have been having a slight disagreement but appears that we're all good now and I'm able to upload photos again! :-)

Last Wednesday was the best weather day while we were in Missouri.... it was beautiful out!!! A perfect day to go to Silver Dollar City with our cousins who live in New York. We only get to see them about every other year... but it is such a treat when we do. My two love going to Silver Dollar City with their cousins.

Alex decided that he wanted to ride PowderKeg again on this visit. He had ridden it once before... a couple years ago. About halfway through the ride he started begging to get off of the ride. I knew a couple of years had passed... but I wasn't sure how he was going to do. He was going to ride it with Hannah this time.... no parents.

Here they are... all smiles as the coaster gently gets into it's starting position...

Their faces after "launch"....
(from the website: "launching from 0 to 53 miles per hour in just 2.8 seconds")

Clara and Rachel are almost inseparable when they get together.

Here they are playing at Geyser Gulch...
After riding a bunch of other rides, the kids decided that they wanted to ride the Lost River of the Ozarks. Given that it was a nice day but not that nice... we purchased some rain ponchos for them to wear on the ride.

They seriously would have been SOAKED (especially since a couple of the non-riding family members were shooting the water canons at them)....
Yellow ducks... all in a row :-)
Clara and her cousin Rachel (technically they're second cousins)...
Clara always has to play one of the games....
.... because you know we need more of these....

We got there about when it opened and left at about the time the park closed. It was such an amazing day!

I think that's the end of the Missouri photos... so I guess I'll have to take some more so I have something to post tomorrow! :-)

Monday, April 13, 2009

missouri

I really took very few photos this trip. I'm not sure why that was.... well... except that the weather didn't cooperate much while we were there so we spent an unusually large amount of time shopping instead of just hanging out and playing outside.

Tuesday eventually warmed up and became a nice day. Alex had been carrying around my dad's little inside/outside thermometer thing, constantly monitoring the temperature outside. Once he deemed it warm enough... they were out the door.

First order of business was to test out the new set of golf clubs my dad had gotten them...
Dad informed me that unfortunately, there seemed to be no natural talent with our two. :-) They had a lot of fun... but they did manage to chop a lot of tees in half.

Next they were off toward dad's garage.

Clara "drove" the tractor...
And then went with a ride with her grandpa....

... they were off to sow seeds in a few wildflower plots.

And Alex was left to do what he was dying to do...
... practice with his BB gun. He's a pretty decent shot actually.

The next day was our best weather day of all..... I have a few photos from that day that hopefully I'll get posted tomorrow!

'nite!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We're back! We went to Missouri last week to visit friends and family (I'll have photos to post later). We just got home yesterday evening.

This year was our first year to be home at Easter since moving back to Chicago. We weren't sure which service to go to at our church... I think there were four to choose from. In the end we decided to just go for it and went to the 6:30am sunrise service on the beach. I am so glad that we made that choice. It was an absolutely beautiful day and such a nice service. There's something pretty awe inspiring about having "church" while watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan. A perfect start to our day.

I did bring my camera along and took a few shots of the kids in their Easter outfits...

No.. it was not that warm... about 38 degrees maybe... but I wanted a couple of shots without coats. Notice how warm and relaxed Alex looks... LOL!

Since we knew we were considering the outside service and we DO live in Chicago.... we went with practical footwear for Clara's Easter shoes...
She's totally in love with them.

After church, we headed out to have "brunch" (but given that we were there at 8am... it was technically just "breakfast") :-)

Here are the kids waiting for their food...
Playing with my camera became the entertainment while we waited.

I forgot what Jeff had told them when I got this shot...
Here they were giving each other bunny ears in honor of Easter...
(yikes.... Clara was sitting in a bright spot... oh well)

These next few fall into the category "fun with wide angle lenses"...


Mmmm..... cheese grits....
After that we headed home and I tried to get another shot or two of them.... but they weren't real cooperative....
Now the kids and Jeff are out for a run/bike ride along the lake. I was trying to distract myself with this blog post... but now I feel I must begin pacing (this is Jeff's first time to run with both of them on bikes).

Happy Easter!

FYI: They made it safely back from their run/bike ride.... 5 miles!! :-)