Wednesday, December 17, 2014

lights lights lights

Well, we've seen a lot of lights in the last two weeks.  Tis the season and all of that.

First I took the kids to a local outdoor mall.  Krista went to yoga class so i thought it would be a fun adventure to take both kids out to dinner and then walk around looking at mall christmas lights.  Dinner went well but when we got out into the mall Arthur complained the whole time about the cold weather.  Gridley had a great time running around.  she got a ton of happy looks from the other shoppers because she was rocking some velcro sneakers, a Burton snowboarding coat, and a cool floppy teddy bear.  she also had a huge grin and was giggling a lot.

This is apparently what a "Santa House" looks like these days.  the whole thing was covered in what seemed to be tv screens.  but they were just showing drawn pictures of what the side of a house should looke like (ie windows).  there was the occasional bit of snow blowing through the tv screen.  it was really weird.  we didn't wait for santa.
Here is Arthur at his Holiday Sing concert.  as usual, he didn't sing.  Krista says he might have sung a few words though and maybe showed some real interest in the whole thing.  He got the hand motions all perfect.  He had a great time though, which is the important part.

On Saturday we built Arthur's bunk bed.  he's been sleeping in the upper part for a couple years now, but it has been on the floor.  the bottom bunk has been in the basement this whole time.  But now the bed is complete!  Lots of fun.  Arthur told me rules 4 and 5 for the bed were to go up and down the ladder safely.  That was good to hear.  Krista put some christmas lights up in the bottom bunk.  So far the two kids have not slept in the same room, but hopefully they will soon.  I think they will both enjoy having someone else in the room.

So Saturday night we made plans to go see the lights at the Brookfield Zoo.  We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants with our friends the White's.  They have two boys the same age as Grid and Arthur, so they have lots of play dates together.  We drove over to the zoo after dinner and the traffic was a complete nightmare.  The zoo lights are a pretty huge attraction, and they just sell tickets without specifying a date.  They also don't pay very many cops to direct traffic, so it was just complete insanity (since the weather was nice).  we sat for an hour and were not even at the gate, so we bailed.  we went to our town green where they have a huge christmas tree and just ran around for a while.  we met some nice people there with some little kids so everyone got to have a lot of fun.

Sunday we went back to the zoo, but this time we went earlier and we parked at the train station which is only about four blocks away.  we dropped the kids in the wagon and made the short walk to the front gate.  easy as pie.  It was awesome inside, but super crowded.  We even met up with the White's, so that was super cool.

The boys got some near spinning lights which ended up being a real hit.  Not real high quality though so they are all broken.

Here is our christmas tree.  The kids are showing off some trucks.  I recently learned that when Grid says Cucks she means "truck".

Jim and Mary sent us these matching hats and scarves.  Lots of fun!

In cancer news, i met with my oncologist and reviewed my bloodwork and CT scan.  we're definitely approaching treatment time, but we're putting it off for another six weeks because i still feel pretty good.  She's all cranked up to use that new drug Ibrutinib which sounds great.  Unfortunately, some insurance companies are paying for it because of the cost and it isn't approved for my disease yet.  In January I'm switching to Blue Cross, so I hope that improves my odds.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


well, another thanksgiving, another lentil loaf.  this time around we had our turkey in cake form.  awesome stuff.  we kept the side dishes to a short list and ended up with just a few leftovers.  had a great time, just the four of us.  here is the turkey cake with another turkey making a funny face.
With the book in the background from 1970.  turned out just like the picture!

The next day we asked arthur what to do and he said take the train into the city.  I don't think he considered how cold and windy it would be, but we went along with the idea anyway.  there is a cool German open air market in Daley Plaza that we've never really checked out closely.  It was pretty awesome, but super crowded and Arthur got himself an attitude that made things kind of unpleasant.
This puppet show on wheels shows up all over the city.  it is really fun.  someone is inside with little hand puppets dancing to music.  the puppets have a great time with the tips.
Saturday we got our tree!  same place as always.  two miles down the road.  always an awesome tree and always a great time for the kids.

Saturday night we went to see Illumination at the Arboretum.  Mind blowing as usual.  Here are the kids hugging some trees.

Gridley has some amazing Burton snowpants and coat.  Super awesome stuff.  Especially in this blue light.

Sunday nights we have now started a fun tradition.  krista cuts up some simple snacks and we eat in the living room while watching a movie.  Arthur generally forgets to eat.  So far we've seen Madagascar, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Madagascar 2.  Oh and Milo and Otis.  great fun.  Gridley laughed through the whole movie tonight.  I really love sunday movie nights.  healthy simple food with a good movie.  I had a cuddly giggly little girl on my lap the whole time.  pure heaven!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


what a week.  everyone got a pretty nasty cold.  you know it's a doozy when Krista actually gets symptoms.  she's the queen of avoiding colds, but this one got her.

Gridley got it worst though.  starting about Sunday she's been in full congestion mode all week.  Still fighting it today, a week later.  Krista went to pittsburgh for a few days for work, so I was at home with the kids.  We struggled, but it wasn't too bad.  Arthur was great at being a helpful big brother while Gridley was under the weather.  we had a lot of nighttime wake ups, but over all it wasn't too terrible.

We all went to a great party last night at our friends the Bourgeois'.  Elloise, their fifth child, turned one.  Big time for everyone.  hopefully we didn't infect everyone there.

It's official, i signed the papers, I took a new job within my company.  I'll be in the "regional" engineering group supporting 8 plants throughout the country in Process Controls.  not officially a promotion, but definitely a career step in the right direction.  For the first time in my whole career I won't be working in a chemical plant every day.  That will be weird.  hopefully I can keep travel minimized.  two of the eight plants are in chicago, and at the others ones i'm hoping to leverage remote access tools.  we'll see how it goes.

Here we are all being sick in bed together.  We had some fun movie watching time.

 Arthur helping mom plumb our new bathroom sink.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

random photos

Got some random silly photos to share.  i have even more, but can't seem to get them on to this computers.  i tell you what, the better the computers get the more complicated everything becomes.

 Gridley and Arthur are starting to play connect four together.  here is Gridley with her minnie mouse slippers on.
 On Friday we went to Ikea.  Friday nights at ikea are awesome

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gridley sleeping in our bed.  she's really filling out her favorite pink fox jammies.  what a big girl!!
 She and her brother had Mom to themselves on Friday.  She put them both in the same bed for a nap and they had a great time "pretending" to sleep.
 Krista's dad was in town briefly.  Arthur insisted on taking him to the Planetarium again since that's where we went last time he was in town.
 Here are the boys making some silly faces.  

 Here's everyone sleeping on the ride home.  Good nappers everyone.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Well, Grandma Diane came through on the costume.  Arthur wanted to be a One Man Band and she made it happen.

Grandma made a cool ladybug costume for Gridley.  She didn't like it at first, but came around.  She wasn't entirely sure if she liked going to the neighbor's houses and asking for candy.  Maybe next year it will make more sense.

You can see Gridley has a bunch of red stuff on her face.  That isn't face paint.  She had some redness around one eye that slowly got worse and worse and then spread across her face and onto other parts of her body.  The doctor gave her some antibiotics and she is on the mend now, but for a while there it didn't look so good.  It never seemed to bother Gridley though, so that's good.