12 years

We celebrated by marching in a Puerto Rican Festival parade (Nat was a champ at candy distribution) and biking to an iconic Italian restaurant in Springfield. 

We usually do something for our anniversary rather than exchange gifts but broke the rule this year… 

Anniversary gifts: 5 years = Bikes, 10 years = trip to Aruba, 12 years = Weight bench and weights. 

Kids are obviously loving it! 

(And I actually do too – significant additions to our at-home gym which previously only had yoga mats and resistance bands. thanks Jordan Linville!)

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I know you weller than anybody

Elliott calls, “I went pee and poo!”

The baby-sitter is here, but I’m closer to him, so I say “I got him”

Elliott, “I knew you would come Mom.”

Me: “You know me so well”

Elliott: “I know you weller than anybody” (meaning more than Natalie or Jordan know me)

Me: Chuckle

One min later, Elliott: “Can you get my underwear the right way?”

Me: “Sure bud, see its almost there”

Elliott: “Thank you Butt-Loaf” (which we discovered is an animal in his opinion, aka a buffalo)

The joys of motherhood and childhood – I’m glad I’m working from home this aft!

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WI time!

We had a wonderful trip to WI too! Green Bay to see G and G and Becky and fam!  And Sun Prairie to meet my new nephew Xander – and see his parents parenting like champs!

My parents bravely watched all five grandkids so Becky and I could go out on our first double date with our Hubbies!!! Natalie was “13 weeks” in utero at Beckys wedding so it’s been a busy 7 years prego or parenting between the four of us!!

Natalie also explained to Trevor that “Bay Beach is even better than Disney World!” (Maybe bc the lines are shorter and she can go on nearly everyone – I’m pretty sure she won’t feel the same way when she’s 8)

And the kids loved time with their cousins. Total goofballs 

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6.5 year olds are pretty exasperating too

It’s not too easy living with a 6.5 year old at times either – but I know I will miss this one day!

1. Constantly whispering in my ear to make sure that I know that something Elliott is saying (eg he is as fast as Flash or he is taller than Natalie) isn’t true

2. Insisting that it’s embarrassing to play with me at the park when other kids (in Sun Prairie WI where the only people she knows are 0, 29 or 31)… to then play fish fishy cross my ocean with 3 grown ups and her brother 20 feet from the playground 

3. Empatically telling us “you don’t understand me; you don’t respect me” when we have left her brother two flights of stairs away to listen to her, are practicing our pre-marriage counseling listening skills and just happen not to AGREE with her (since “respecting her” is really putting down her brother)

4. Trying to give her more independence to spread cream cheese on her bagel – only return to find out that all the cream cheese is gone and fully digested 

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All I can do is sigh

It’s very interesting to share your life with a four year old. Some things from the past couple days:

1. Getting in the car after going out to eat (with half of his chicken nuggets not eaten bc he swore he was full), “Mom I’m hungry”

2. Not being able to walk to or from the beach bc “my legs are out of energy”… despite sprinting (like the Flash) at top speeds down every hallway at the hotel

3. “Hey butt-loaf!”  (Then explaining that’s a type of animal – and is figuring out he means buffalo)

4. Making Jordan close his eyes while he waits for Elliott to pee. And then promptly getting off the toilet and striking a Gladiator like pose – 100% in the buff

5. Kissing Natalie’s bear good night (? maybe to procrastinate, maybe because she’s not in the hotel room right now)

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Love you

“I love you from the deepest part of the underground to the highest point of the highest heavens in the entire world”

Right back atcha bud! (I hope I am always that lucky!!!)

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Day 2. The old hood

We ticked off three things on our Chicago to do list on Friday. 

1. Polar bear at the zoo. (We even saw him eat hard boiled eggs!)

We saw some other great animals too. We had a lot of luck.  Elliott was especially happy to see his “brother” King who was born around the same time as him – but who likely was moved so this was just another rhino we spent 20 min gazing at. 

Nana and Pop watched the kids while Jordan and I checked out a suburb. 

Clayton held Natalie’s hand throughout the zoo and copied a lot of what she said. Cute. Cousin time. 

2. Chi Che Wang Park, which was our “backyard” when we lived on Diversey

Elliott forgot to look at our old house so we actually had to swing by on our way back from our 3rd to do item

3. Scooters for worms and dirt ice cream!

On the car ride to ice cream Elliott requested “get drunk on a plane”. I think he had been listening to too much country with Alison! 
We had a great and full 2 days with the Linville crew before they headed to South Dakota for vaca and we headed to Green Bay! (3 hr 45 min trip for us – longer than usual due to Milwaukee traffic/ maybe an accident and construction comes – with no construction). Makes us think twice about moving to the SW suburbs!

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Day 1. Chi town 

At Alex and jira’s suggestion, we headed to the bubble fountain at navy pier. The grown ups liked it as much as the kids. 

We needed a rinse-off in the awesome new water fountain. Elliott kept teasing me – coming over to get me wet. Natalie used Jordan as a towel too. 

One of Natalie’s “must do’s” in Chicago was Potbelly’s. According to Natalie the one in Prentice hospital wasn’t as good as the one in Lincoln Park. Maybe it was the ambiance. Or the fact that it’s tough to eat sandwiches with four missing teeth!!

Afterwards Elliott wanted to stop at Trader Joe’s for O’s. He entered saying I recognize this place. Then he was thrilled to see the small grocery cart and was happy to try all the samples.  Grape juice was the only one he really liked. 

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Future Ivy Leaguers 

In May we stopped by Dartmouth in NH on our way to Storyland in the White Mountains. I have no idea if this is a famous building but it was closest to where we parked on the green. 

In April we went to Boston. Here are the kids at Harvard and in Cambridge. 

Let’s hope for some academic scholarships!

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Enjoying homemade popsicles. This one was hot chocolate with marshmallows, recipe courtesy of Highlights. Take a peak at Elliott’s shirt – you’ll see why we are outside!

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