The week of my birthday Brent and I decided to take a short family trip to Chicago. We left on Wednesday afternoon and drove up through the city. Bad move in terms of traffic, but it was kinda nice to look at the building and city-scapes while we slowly moved along. We saw the Sears tower and watched the trains and planes go by. Kinda funny to see trains, planes, and automobiles all at once.

We just relaxed that evening and enjoyed our hotel stay. We got a nice, big room at a good hotel for just $40 a night through Priceline! I was quite impressed.

Our plan on Thursday was to meet up with my blogging friend Kim (whom I had never met in person up to that point) and together take our kiddos into the city to visit the Children's Museum. The day ended up being a bit rainy and due to traffic and parking delays we didn't catch the train we wanted. No big deal, though. I hung out with Lydia and Kim's son Micah (just 6 weeks younger than Lydia) while Kim & Brent figured out the parking situation, and ultimately we were settled and waiting for the next train for only another 15 or 20 minutes. We had the babies in a double stroller and must have gotten at least half a dozen "are they twins?" comments. Funny because they really don't look much alike, but understandable because they are very close in size.

All in all, travel took much longer than anticipated. Something I'll keep in mind next time we visit Chicago! We had a nice train ride and arrived in the city around 11:30, but then had to try to figure out our best method of getting from the station to Navy Pier where the museum was. Walk? Bus? Train? The rain had stopped and it wasn't horribly cold out, but we opted not to walk and waited for a bus. We ate lunch at Navy Pier then decided that it was getting too late to bother with paying $10 a person to get into the museum. We needed to catch a 4:00 train back to our cars which meant we'd likely need to start heading back to the station around 3 to ensure we didn't miss it.

So instead we opted to go visit Millennium Park. We chose to walk there and enjoyed the city scenery on the way. While we were in a tunnel an emergency vehicle came through with sirens on. It was SO loud! Kim and Brent went to cover the babies' ears. Brent told me he had to laugh because here he figured Lydia would be upset (if for no other reason than the fact that he was holding her head), but instead he sees her smile and mouth "hi" in the midst of the chaos. Silly girl! Speaking of saying "hi"... that was Lydia's favorite thing to do the entire trip! Whether we were in the hotel lobby eating breakfast or riding the train/bus, she would wave and say "hi" to just about everyone she saw. Hilarious!

We went to "The Bean" at the park and took some fun pictures of reflections. Then we walked to a coffee shop to get something warm to drink. After Brent finished his drink I asked him to push the stroller for us. It was fun having him carrying all our gear and pushing the stroller while Kim and I walked behind him sipping our drinks and chatting. ;)

Though the trip into the city had not gone as planned, I could not have asked for better company. It was a pleasure getting to talk with Kim and see our little ones together. If we lived closer I am certain that those two would be great playmates! The kids were much more lively on our train ride back. They were babbling and climbing all over us. Lydia taught Micah how to eat out of her snack cup and the two of them shared (and spilled) a whole cup of cheerios and baby puffs. Sincere apologies to the train staff who had to clean up the mess!

Once we got back to the cars we packed up the babies and drove to Kim & Eric's house for dinner. They made their famous homemade pizza (delicious!) and then brownies and ice cream for dessert. While the men stayed downstairs and prepared dessert, Kim and I went up to Micah's room and let Lydia and Micah go crazy with all of the toys. They had mostly been stuck in the stroller all day, so they were ready to play hard! And Lydia had the bruised knees to prove it! The best part was when they both crawled out into the hallway on opposite ends, then would turn and start rapidly crawling towards each other squealing at the top of their lungs. It was like a game of baby chicken! I really wish we would have videoed it.

We let the babies stay up way past their bedtimes since both had slept some on the car ride to Kim's house, but after Micah went down for the night it was time to say goodbye. Lydia was already in her PJ's and we expected she would fall asleep on the drive back to the hotel. I wasn't sure how she'd do transferring from the car to her bed for the night, but she was so worn out that she didn't make a peep when we put her down in the Pack N Play. Just rolled over, sucked her thumb, and went back to sleep.

Checkout in the morning wasn't until noon so we enjoyed sleeping in (as much as Lydia allowed) and taking it easy getting packed up. We opted not to drive back into the city on Friday due to cost and traffic, plus Brent wasn't feeling very well, so we hit the road on our way home. I'm so amazed by how much Lydia is growing up. When we have travelled in the past I have always had to pack tons of baby food and such to make sure she had food to eat. But now that she is getting older, she can actually eat stuff that normal people eat! She still doesn't have many teeth (2 are fully in and 2 more are just past the surface), but there was always something on the kids menu that could work for her. She's even starting to get into different beverages and enjoyed when we got her an apple juice with her nuggets from Burger King. And the men in my family will be happy to hear that she also enjoyed the sip of Dr. Pepper that I let her have. :) When did my teeny baby turn into an actual person???

I had a great time on my little birthday adventure and it was the perfect conclusion to a perfect birthday week. Thanks again to Kim & Micah for hanging out with us, and to Kim & Eric for letting us crash their house for an evening. We had a lot of fun!
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2 Responses
  1. kimmama Says:

    It's funny reading about myself on your blog. hehe!! We enjoyed your company so much and hopefully we can come visit you guys sometime soon! After you guys left I was really sad when I realized it would be a long time before I'd get to see Micah and Lydia play like that again. Shoot - if only we did live closer!


  2. I felt the same way when we left, Kim!


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