Monday, August 16, 2010

July!!!

I don't know about you, but we had a fantastic July!!! As you can see, it was very busy! I'll try to catch you up to date on all of our exciting adventures...
Thursday, July 1

Rode the 'L' down to Taste of Chicago and Millennium Park with our buddies and Auntie Em. We had so much fun last year, we just had to do it again!


Owen with his finger in his mouth on the L. Gross!


Everyone was so excited when Auntie Em met us on the train!

Walking from the 'L' to the Taste, we saw this giant eyeball. New "art" for downtown Chicago. My friend Melissa heard something about it on the radio and they were debating whether the eyeball is art or crap. I'm kind of leaning toward not art... Whatever it is, it is odd!

Things we ate:

Owen- Cheeseburger, Sausage, Rainbow Ice Cream Cone (I had to fight him for each and every bite!!!)

Yes, I did spend some time carrying Owen in the Ergo. Yes, it does hold up to 40lbs, but I wouldn't advise it :o)

Katie- Irish egg roll filled with corned beef and cabbage. This was so delicious last year, I just had to try it again! Rainbow ice cream cone (shared with Owen!)

Ben- Milk


The highlight for the kids was most definitely the train ride down to the city and playing in the fountain!

The non-highlight of the day- 4 week old camera dropped and broken! Boo! Please accept this as the reason for why my blogging has been so horrible for the last while! Also, I have been a little busy preparing to move across the country with my infant and preschooler. I'm just sayin'.

Saturday July 3rd:
We took the boys to the Choo Choo Park. They had a great time.

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After we put them to bed, a babysitter came over so Mike and I could go out to dinner and to a going away party for our Mike's classmate and our good friends, Tommy and Lesley.

They were some of the first friends we made in Evanston, and are always so much fun to be around. I have many fun and silly memories of hanging out at their Evanston apartments and carving pumpkins, cooking, eating, intramural sports cheering, drinking margaritas, and bachelorette watching. Another week and we have to say good-bye to more good friends. I don't know how much more of this I can take! They are moving to London where they will be doing very exciting research and living the sweet life in some bazillionaire's mansion for free. We wish them the best of luck and I hope we can go visit!

Sunday- 4th of July


Walsh family trip to the Greenwood Beach. 4th of July party with the Lakofka's, Conklin's, Pierszchalski's, McDonnell's-to-be, and Tommy and Lesley.



Despite the rain sprinkles, we toughed it out at the beach for the fireworks.


By the way, Ben loved the fireworks.


Owen was thoroughly unimpressed by the fireworks. He kept asking everyone to play with him. We usually go see the fireworks with Owen's buddy Andrew and his family(who just moved) so I think he was missing his buddy :o( It was a great last 4th of July in Evanston. Unfortunately, our I-phone pictures did not turn out so great.


Monday, July 5th

Milwaukee with the Pierzchalski's! The boys went to a Brewer's game- Owen's first baseball game!

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I think he was most excited about this giant slide and the treats!
Emily, Ben, and I went to the Pleasant Prairie Outlet Mall :o) x2!!! What a fun day!

July 14th: Ravinia for Swell Season
We went with Em and Jim to celebrate our birthdays. Ravinia is a little less fun with 2 kids. Last time we went, Owen was 3 or 4 months old. This was definitely a different experience. Public service announcement from our visit to Ravinia: always buckle your kids into the stroller!!! We were crossing the train tracks and Owen was asleep in the stroller but not hooked in and we hit a bump. Let's just say, Owen had a horribly unpleasant wake-up. Lesson learned!


The boys and I dancing in the moonlight!


Post fall, but recovering nicely...

July 16th: Owen's vacation to visit Emmy and Jimbo. Mike, Katie, and Ben's house hunting trip to MD!
Let's just say, Owen is super lucky to have such a great aunt and uncle. They were preparing to move to Kansas City and agreed to have a little helper for an entire weekend. We are so grateful to them for taking such good care of him! They took him out to eat several times, to a movie, the zoo, the beach, the farmer's market, and even Ikea. He had a blast! Also, while Owen was staying with Emmy and Jimbo, he completed his poop-training. I know this is too much info, but it has been a big breakthrough for the Walsh fam!!! Owen told Uncle Jim that he had to "go" and Jim took him to the bathroom in a restaurant and he actually went! This was a cause for big celebration! When they called to tell us, we really couldn't believe it! It was then that we knew Owen was completely potty trained!!! Only 9 months after we started...
Ben, Mike, and I had a little less fun in MD. It was super-hot, but Ben was truly a trooper! Friday we flew in early. Ben did great on the flight. I think he loved his weekend as an only child. That afternoon we went around with a realtor and saw 6 townhouses. It was quite a lot of in and out of the car for Mr. Ben. He would just fall asleep in his car seat and then we'd arrive at the next destination. We'd bring him in to the townhouse in his seat and then he would wake up again. Poor kiddo. We saw so many nice places and could have picked almost any of them. We were so happy with the possibility of having so much more space! Friday night we celebrated my birthday at a sushi place while we re-hashed all of the townhouses we had seen. Saturday morning, we got up again and went to see a few places we found from Craigslist. We had made an appointment to see a place that looked so nice from the pictures, but after we looked Friday night, we called to cancel the appointment because it seemed too expensive. The owner encouraged us to come over for a look anyways, saying that they could be flexible, so we went to check it out. It was great! Super nice, clean, and in a nice neighborhood not too close to any big streets and with a playground near by. We really liked it but decided to keep looking because the price was a little too high. After spending the better part of the day driving around looking at place after place, the owners called us and told us they would knock $150 off the rent if we would sign a 2 year lease. We agreed and the rest is history. The owners are a nice family with a baby girl a couple of months younger than Ben. Mike and I kind of hope they'll want to be our friends, too! 3 bedrooms, 2 full and 2 half baths (yikes! I'll be cleaning 4 toilets!) and a finished basement, too! We can't wait for visitors! We'll actually have some room for our company to have some privacy.
That night we went out to dinner with Mike's Grandma and Grandpa Walsh, Uncle Danny, and Aunt Rose.


It was great to see them and they made it a special celebration for my birthday which was so nice of them. I was very touched and surprised!


We look forward to many more celebrations with them!
We returned Sunday night to collect Owen and Lola feeling very happy about our new home! We missed Owen TONS, but it was so much easier to focus on our task without having to entertain him, too.


Monday, July 19th: The boys were in town for the Pitchfork Music Festival, so we met up for lunch. What a fun morning! I just love this picture of Owen and Ben with Emily and my brothers! What cuties!

July 22nd: Grammy and Grandpa George into town for vacation! They met Mike and I and Em and Jim for dinner at Las Tablas (we had a groupon) after their long drive! It was fun to try out Columbian food and go out to dinner in the city!

July 23rd: I snuck out for a haircut while Grammy and Grandpa watched the boys! How lovely for me! Then, in the afternoon, Grandpa George and Mike watched the boys while Em, my mom, and I went to afternoon tea at the Peninsula. If you have never done this, I would highly recommend it! I had gone a few months ago with my girlfriends and knew that Mom and Em would love it too!!! And, they did! Then we went to Anthropologie. What a fabulous day out! And the boys did fine. Mike, Grandpa, and Ben were VERY happy to see us when we returned home!

July 24th: Schieber family vacay to Saugatuck, MI. So much fun!!! We stayed in a big log cabin in the woods with a hot tub, basketball hoop, campfire ring, and big yard for playing all kinds of games. We went to the beach, explored Saugatuck, shopped, ate, rested, played and even checked out a wool farm (not the highlight of our vacation!) We had so much fun being together. Owen and Ben loved spending so much time with their aunt, uncles, and Grammy and Grandpa George.

Sam, Owen, and Alex at the ice cream shop


The Walsh Family at the campfire. Poor Ben missed it. He was in bed already!


Building a log cabin with the jenga game pieces and Uncle Alex


Blues concert in downtown Saugatuck


Owen picked up a couple of mermaids...


Another Walsh family picture minus sleeping Ben


Owen hot tubbin' in his Wall-E undies


The aviator navigating in Grandpa's truck

July 30th: Home from vacation. So sad it is over. We had a blast and it went way too fast. Thanks for the great vacation!
July 31th: Em and Jim moved to Kansas City. Too sad. I can't even think about it or talk about it any more! We are excited for them, though, as they begin this new phase of their life in Kansas City.
On a happy note, we did pick up the camera! It is fixed. We are so happy to have it back, but now I have to get back into the habit of taking pictures again!
So, in case you were wondering what the heck happened to us in July, now you know. We were a little busy. Though I didn't specifically mention it, I was still working, too. And because I don't get vacation days anymore, I had to work 2 days in a couple of those weeks in order to get out of town. I'm not complaining... It just added to the craziness and chaos of the month! It was a great month, though! Full of lots of fun and exciting things! Having such a nice place to move into makes the move seem much less daunting. And, actually seeing the area makes me more excited. It is definitely very suburban there! And, the space will be great! I don't even want to think about leaving Evanston, though!

8 Months Old!


Where on earth has the time gone? Mr. Ben is 8 months old today. I really can't believe it and I really can't imagine our family without the little guy!

Here are some highlights:
Vital Statistics
Weight: 17lbs 9oz (20th percentile)
Height: 28 3/4" (75th percentile)

Accomplishments
Moving a moving fool!!! Ben started crawling on 7/15, one day before he was 7 months old. The week before that, he figured out how to push up to a sitting position, though he wasn't very good at sitting yet! It was kind of funny! He would do his little tri-pod/lounge sit, but unfortunately he fell over quite a lot. After he started crawling, he got the sitting figured out. Then, about 2 weeks ago, he started pulling up all of the time and unfortunately falling over all of the time. Last week, he decided to be a little more cautious with the pulling up and he is getting much better. Towards the end of last week, he did his first cruising along the couch. He is very cautious (which I appreciate!) but he can go a good few steps before falling over. I am dreading Ben becoming a walker!!! I don't know how I'm going to chase them both in different directions. With our luck, I'm sure Ben will start walking right before we move into our townhouse! There are definitely worse things, but this will just add to the chaos of the move, I'm sure.


Other random tidbits about Ben
He sits up in a high chair well when we go out to eat. At home he still eats in his Bumbo chair, but the end of that is nearing... If we weren't moving so soon, we would have switched him to the high chair by now.

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He is a great eater. He still nurses many times each day but eats lunch and dinner with the family. He likes baby fruit and veggies and is starting to eat more finger foods each day. Of course he loves puffs and cheerios. Last week, the pediatrician encouraged us to be more "creative" with Ben's finger foods, so we have tried bananas, peaches, watermelon, and peas, all of which have been received very well by Ben! Please feel free to contribute more finger food ideas in the comments. I need to get out Owen's baby book for some ideas!

Ben is sleeping great, which I am SOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY to report. You may or may not know, but the little guy was sleeping fantastically until about 3.5 mos, at which time he started getting up every two hours. This lasted for 3 months until we finally moved Ben out of our bedroom and into his new bedroom: the hallway! Poor second child, sleeping in the hallway. Since his first night in the hallway, he has slept great! And, he is so much happier! It is amazing what a change it has made in his personality!

He also LOVES the water. He is a little froggy in the pool and the bath tub! I can't wait until I can put the boys in the tub together... I think we're getting close!
Ben continues to become more interactive each day. He is very smiley and giggly. He talks all of the time. He says ma-ma and bbbb. He waves his arms when he gets excited. He loves to play with toys. We can't wait until we get all moved so we can get out all of our baby toys for him to check out! Also, he might either do the baby sign for milk or wave. We're not quite sure which it is supposed to be, but at about 7.5 mos he started doing one or the other (or maybe it's both!)

Owen continues to be a fantastic big brother, though we have noticed a little sibling rivalry since Ben started moving. Owen is coping well, but I don't know how many times each day I have to remind him to play with his toys that he doesn't want Ben to share up on the table. Owen is Ben's favorite, without a doubt! It is so sweet!