Claire and Sam (and I) were lucky enough to have my sister and her two daughters come visit us for most of this week. Laura was brave enough to drive (without her husband) all the way from Columbus, OH to visit us here in the Windy City. I am a total wuss about driving. I hate driving anywhere. I start asking Matt how long the trip is going to be when we even just drive out to the suburbs! So, I was very thankful that she was the one willing to make the drive.
The first day we took the kids to the Shedd Aquarium as we had planned. It was suprisingly easy to take all four kids and hike around the pretty-packed aquarium. I'm realizing that my days are numbered until I have another tiny one. I have been spoiled by just having big kids that are pretty independent.
Granted, I have Sam, which means someone is still running crazy circles around me most of the time, but it's still different than having to go somewhere with a diaper bag and stroller and all that. Sammy thought he was afraid of the dolphin show for some reason, so we hung back, but he ended up caving and we went in afterall, (though we had to sit in the back). He is so weird about what he's afraid of lately. Dolphins? Really?
Sam and Jane are only a few weeks apart in age and are good buddies. They dug up the backyard for a good part of each day. The only fight was over the child-sized shovel, which we unfortunately only own one of. You can see from the picture who won that fight most of the time.
On Thursday we decided to take Sammy to school because the girls were going to have an American Girl Store day! He did not put up a fight about school at all: he can't stand the AG store. Our poor struggling Josephina had to be admitted to the hospital for loss of one limb (notice the rubberband holding her left arm on) and a lazy eye.
The ladies at the hospital were very nice and said she'll come back looking good as new!
I have considered buying Claire a new American Girl doll since Josephina is about 12 years old now, but she always says that if she got a new one she'd just want another Josephina so I decided that we might as well just hold on to her and keep getting her fixed up. She's supposed to come back to us in three weeks complete with certificate of good health and a little purple hospital gown! (For $30, I should think so).
The girls like the historical dolls best so that is where we spent our time.
Ellie got a Rebecca doll for her birthday this year, so she had saved up her pennies to buy a new dress for her. She was very proud of her purchase.
Finally, (and still before picking up Sam) we stopped by our favorite cupcake store, Sweet Mandy B's, in Lincoln Park to celebrate Claire's 7th birthday (her b-day is Sunday).
This place has the cutest decor and the best cupcakes ever. I made a mistake and got a red velvet cupcake or something one time, and they are not as good as their original.
Stick to the original man. Either chocolate or vanilla cake with frosting. They are butter and sugar and fabulousness with sprinkles on top.
We sat at the bar and watched a man icing a bunch of cupcakes. It was fun to see the colors. It reminded me of the rainbow cake I'm trying to make for Claire's birthday party Saturday.
The girls loved it, as did the mommies. We all felt a little like hurling afterwards, though, because they put about a cup of frosting on those things.
My Claire Bear. Almost 7! And almost a big sister again.
Laura and Ellie and Jane gave Claire 8 books for her birthday! They really know this girl, man. I think she's finished with at least one of them already and she just started it this morning. Laura got a great selection: Caddy Woodlawn, Black Beauty, Doctor Dolittle, Betsy-Tacy, etc. We also opened up gifts from my mom and dad for Claire so that was fun.
Mom nicely included a little something for Sam. He got this airplane and a flashlight. He loves them both.
One of Claire's fave gifts from Grammy and Grandad were these sweet gel pens. The girls went nuts with them for the rest of the afternoon.
The last thing on the to-do list was a train ride. Jane REALLY wanted Uncle Matt to take her on the train, so I dropped them all off by his work Thursday evening and he brought them all home on the pink line. Do you see Sammy standing on the blue line that you are supposed to stay BEHIND so that you aren't hit by the train??? Jeesh kid.
They liked it.
And so did Sammy Sam. As soon as the cousins left this morning Sammy declared that he wanted them to come back and live with him until he's dead. I feel the same way Sam. I feel the same way.