Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Safety First

Ella informed us that she was going to wear her helmet in the car which sounded like a great idea to me. I figured it was a reaction to Rick's driving. He calls himself an "aggressive" driver. Fellow motorists have used different adjectives to describe his driving "style".
It didn't sound like as great of an idea when she insisted on keeping it on walking around the mall "in case I fall down".

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sidley Picnic

We went to Rick's company picnic Saturday. It was a relatively successful outing. Everyone had fun. Loads of junk food was consumed by Sophia and Ella. Ceci and Katie were excited when they discovered that they had their FAVORITE toy there.

Dirty Water!

They were ecstatic to see this big vat of dirty water. Ceci tried to climb into it at one point. She had one leg over the edge when I heard the girl supervising the sand pit yelp and looked over to see her on her way in. Early in the summer we had a sand and water table in the backyard that Rick turned into a sand only table after the first hour of playing with it. Right away Ceci and Katie dumped the sand into the water and then poured buckets of muck all over themselves.
I think she stuck her chin in at one point and I missed it. Probably was thirsty and took a big gulp:

Here Ceci is happy to be covered in sandy water. We had to strip her down to her diaper for the ride home. Next year I'll remember to bring a change of clothes.

A couple more pictures from the afternoon:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sunday Morning

Rick ran a triathlon Sunday morning. It was a very long 4 1/2 hours since it was rainy and wet outside which left us cooped up indoors. Ella got out their bike helmets and we did our own triathlon. She was pretty cute running out of the garage yelling "Who wants a helmet? Who wants a helmet?" Of course Katie and Ceci obliged. Anything to get some positive attention from their big sister.

Then we fed our webkins...

And finally played dress up:

Which can be exhausting...

Monday, July 14, 2008


We took the girls to Kiddieland Saturday which is an amusement park for 2-6yr olds. Kind of like a poor man's Disneyworld. Well, maybe more like a poor man's Six Flags although that's still giving it way too much credit. It's been in the family fun business for 80 years and most of the rides look like they've been there for at least that long.

We told the girls Friday that if it was nice out we'd go to Kiddieland the next day. None of us had been before and Saturday morning Ella was very excited:

"Mama, I'm going to be very gentle and not touch their faces or eyes!"
"OK. I have no idea who you're talking about but that sounds like a great plan."
"It's KIDDIEland Ella, not KITTYland."
I can't imagine what she was picturing Kittyland to be like.
The kids had a blast. Even Katie and Ceci went on a bunch of rides. I definitely wouldn't say that safety is a priority at Kiddieland however. There were a number of rides that Ella shared a "car, spaceship, helicopter, flying elephant" with one of the twins that went pretty high in the air and the seat belt was literally a rope that went into a hook on the other side. Probably an eighty year old rope. Like the kind that Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies wore as a belt. It was honestly like they let 1 year olds on Dumbo with a 2yr old guardian and no restraint whatsoever. Seriously.

Here's a good shot of the rope belt:

I was worried either Katie or Ceci would try to jump out or Ella would push one of them out for kicks. I don't have any pictures of the flying saucers up in the air, but they went up pretty high. At one point Katie kept trying to stand up and get out while they were waiting for everyone to load and Rick was yelling "Sophia hold her down!" He said to the 14yr old ride operator "Don't worry, once it gets moving she'll be fine." This seemed to work for her. I was really shocked that there were no restrictions on who went up in these rides. I guess they rely on the judgment of the parents. However, that judment is seriously clouded for me and Rick since spinning rides cause us both to vomit. It seemed sensible to us at the time to let Ella ride with Ceci.

Rick did a great job of crushing the competition (Sophia and Ella) in the ball toss. Look at that concentration. He did share his stuffed dinosaur with them though. Ceci kept calling it a bear.

Here's another ride that Ella would not have been able to ride at an amusement park that emphasized safety. Yippee!:

Katie and Ceci wanted to get on too, but we had to draw the line somewhere:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Phone Etiquette and Camp Photo

Sophia answered the phone last night for the first time. I was doing dishes downstairs and Rick was in the basement. I heard the phone ring and thought Rick answered it. A couple of minutes later Sophia came down holding the phone on speaker and said "Mom, it sounds like grandma, but it's not grandma". It was a very nice lady from AmVets who said "It's not grandma. I'm calling to see if you have anything to donate." I can only imagine the conversation they had before she came downstairs. I guess it's time to go through phone etiquette with Sophia. I can't believe how fast she's growing up.

Here's Sophia's camp group picture. She is in the center of the back row.

Sophia and Ella are both really enjoying camp. Ella is making some great art projects and Sophia is learning how to swim. They both took tennis lessons last week in the afternoons and Ella loved it although I don't think she ever actually made contact with the ball. Every day she'd come back very excited and say "Mommy, I'm SO good. I ALMOST hit the ball!"

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July

We had an action packed All-American weekend. Barbequing, parades, fireworks...we did it all.

The highlight for Sophia and Ella was the Evanston parade. There were over 130 floats/bands/marching politicians, but the BIG disappointment was no candy. This is all the girls look forward to at parades. The Wilmette Memorial Day parade is chock full of girl and boy scout troops tossing candy. Actually, that's all the Wilmette parade is plus a couple fire trucks and the "Just say No to drugs" PT Cruiser police car.

We did get some microwave popcorn and bubbles, but only one group handed out lollipops and I'm guessing that those were forbidden since they were the only ones. My girls are candy crazy and I was surprised at how quickly they recovered when they realized no candy was going to be distributed.

Halloween 2005 is when I realized Sophia had a sugar addiction. I love this picture. She is crying because her candy bag is toooo heavy and she needs me to hold some candy because she needs to get MORE.

In Rick's new effort to document that I was actually around when the girls were little even though there are no pictures of mom, here are a couple shots he took. My only guess is that he wants the girls to remember how much they hated me putting on sunblock everytime we left the house.

Here are a couple more pictures from the weekend:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Joe's Birthday

Last Saturday we celebrated Joe's 6th birthday. It was a fun party despite driving rain and hail (yes, it hailed...welcome to summer in Chicago). Luckily the awesome entertainment was an indoor presentation. I'll post photos of that at the end. It was truly amazing.

Ceci and Katie looked adorable in the outfits my parents brought back from India. Sophia said a couple times "They don't look anything like Indians mom." We'll have to get out the globe and explain the difference between Native Americans and India.

Before we went to Elizabeth's house I asked Rick to please take some pictures of me with the girls. I have realized that we have almost no photos of me with the kids. are the beautiful memories he captured:

No clue what I'm doing here. Maybe checking out my sweet tan while my daughter is trying to eat a balloon on the floor?

I can't believe I'm posting this picture of my rear, but couldn't not post the amazing action shot of me jumping to retrieve a balloon that floated to the ceiling. You'll have to ask Rick why he was sitting on the couch snapping pictures instead of helping. Actually more curious is why he was even taking a picture of this spectacle.

Now the entertainment! Yes, that is actually Polly Pocket playing the role of Hannah Montana in the finger puppet show. You always hear that celebrities are smaller in person, but I was surprised at how tiny she is. I can't remember how the dinosaur and lion figured into the plot, but the puppeteering skills were breathtaking. Sophia kept telling Katie to get down like she was ruining the show by everyone being able to see her head. I also snuck backstage to get a shot of the master finger-puppeteers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

After dinner fun

Rick had to work late Wednesday which usually means some sort of chaos during the witching hour of dinner, baths, bedtime when I'm flying solo.

Dinner went smoothly and as I was getting Katie and Ceci changed for bed Sophia and Ella asked to play in the backyard which was fine except I forgot to have them wait until the younger girls were upstairs. Once they saw their older sisters outside it was complete meltdown at the windows crying to go outside. So, we all went outside. Katie in a diaper, t-shirt and sandals and Ceci in her pjs. I'm sure the neighbors were wondering why I've got two one year olds outside looking like they did. Ceci was wearing footie pjs which aren't really appropriate for 80 degree weather. To top it off, they were on backwards. We started doing that when she learned how to take off her pjs and diaper at night. After finding her totally naked two mornings in a row we moved exclusively to footie pjs that we can flip around. I didn't edit Ella out of the picture because it captures the fact that at some point from 5-8pm someone is always crying. It rotates and I have no idea why Ella was upset at this moment.

At one point I looked over and Ceci was chewing on a half eaten piece of watermelon. I thought to myself "hmmm, we didn't have watermelon for dinner... WE DIDN'T HAVE WATERMELON FOR DINNER!" I ran over to grab a moldy watermelon rind out of her hands that looked like a family of squirrels (best case scenario) had been chewing on it since our BBQ Sunday night when we did serve watermelon.