Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Loud family dinner, forest preserve, and goofy children.

I was hoping to sum up the post in the title. We shall see how well I do. 

On Saturday I got to steal away for some child and husband-less time with my BFF Dana. I love her and she's amazing. She's the momma to the redheaded kids you will see on here from time to time. 
Our husbands play Wiffleball ALL summer long-we refer to ourselves as Wiffleball widows. 
We claimed a Saturday (before the season starts) for ourselves. We left the kids with their papas and had a girls day. We went to have our toenails painted (ew I just tried to take a pic of my toes b/c the color I got is really pretty but...ew...feet...not cute.) then we went to lunch at Benihana (yummmmmmy), THEN we were gonna go to the Coach outlet store but we ran out of time, so we went to the Family Christian bookstore and looked around. 
It was so nice to have some time to catch up and be leisurely. We don't get much time to just ourselves now, and it really makes us appreciate our friendship more. I love my Dana!!!!

Okay-then after that we had a family dinner at Buca Di Beppo. Brian's brother's family was all in town. My sister-in-law had a birthday last week and mine is coming up so we went for a big loud family dinner. Not too many pics, but here are a couple.

I tried to get a shot down the table, but people kept moving. It was crazy but it was fun. The Shrimp Fra Diavolo was REALLY GOOD but it gave me a tummyache the next day. LOTS of crushed red pepper. 
The guy in the very back right is my father in law, Ken, and the one sitting next to him is my brother in law, Scott. 

That's Milo playing with his Nana's water. She introduced him to straws. Milo spent much of the evening either playing with her straw, or under the table with his cousin Kayann. that I think about it...he tried to escape a few times also...hmmm

Yesterday (tuesday)  our family friend Caroline (she belongs to Dana) came over to hang out with Milo and I while she is on Spring Break. I always loved spring break as a birthday usually followed and the weather was getting warm. Caroline got dropped off by her dad in the morning and then we went to the Deer Grove forest preserve. 
Anyways, I love these kids and I think they had a ton of fun-they were cracking me up all day. 

It was a beautiful day. We were looking for trees with buds on them, but only saw a few. I can't wait for the green to come! You can bet on some photos from this same preserve soon with MORE GREEN! We wanted to see some deer also, but no dice. Saw a few squirrels though. 
There is a creek running through the Groves (that's what I call this preserve) and we crossed it a couple times. We started off on the big paved path and crossed a bridge. Caroline kept calling it a moat. She's a goofy person. She amuses me because I know her mother very well (and she knows my '50 things about me' post), and its funny to see how alike they are. More on that later. 

To the the right...(my hair) nothing natural at all...

We started off on the paved path you see above. After awhile we came across this little footpath that went off into the woods. I knew that we would be safe on this footpath, as they all interconnect and there was only 1/4 of the place open for us to wander. No danger of getting lost. The Groves is a huge place, but unfortunately much of it is closed due to erosion. People take mountain bikes back in the woods and they aren't supposed to, but I am sure they aren't the only reason for the environmental damage. 

This red post told us where we needed to turn back to return to the car. Caroline sees the 'no bikes' and says , 'But we saw bike tracks! You gotta take a picture of those.'
So I did. Caroline is a rule-follower like her mommy, so this made me laugh. 

Milo really wanted to walk on this log, but his balance is not quite there yet. So he inched along and hugged Caroline. 

My attempt at an arty shot. I like how the kids are moving behind me. 

After we left the Groves we got into the car to go get some lunch and go to Home Depot. I needed to return a 15 pound bag of plant food I accidentally bought and I wanted to take advantage of the extra pair of hands. 
Now, as everyone knows, I am a rookie mom. I don't babysit other people's children during the day. It is usually just Milo and I. So I really REALLY had no idea what I was in for. 
Especially them being REALLY GOOFY in the car. 
Milo kept flipping his bottom lip out like that, and Caroline couldn't get the hang of it right away...oh my it was FUNNY. Lots of laughing. And YES I took these in the car. With the camera over my shoulder without looking, really. I am pleased I got some decent shots. 
Back at home. Milo is pantsless because he sat in the mud. Caroline is laughing at Milo because he is gnawing on a plastic chicken breast and drooling. 
After Milo went down for his nap, we made cookies, then went back to Caroline's house for family dinner. Where I WHOMPED at Trivial Pursuit...we didn't finish the game because children started to melt down, but hopefully we'll be able to continue it. 
Smell you later!!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Good Morning Week!!!
(that was me saying hi to the upcoming days here.)
this past weekend was a busy one for the Smiths, since the STL Smiths were in town. 
Milo is in LOVE with his cousins. They went to see Sleeping Beauty at the Marriot Lincolnshire and apparently Milo is not a big fan of the theatre. Too realistic, I'm guessing.  I couldn't go, since I was working, but I have a distinct fondness for that theatre. I've been lucky enough to see quite a few shows there, and it truly founded a love for live performances in my heart. There's just something about watching it happen in front of you. SUPERCOOL.  
 For those who don't know, the Marriot is a theater in the round. The players run past you to get to the stage, and sometimes there's stuff happening through the entire place...behind the seats and everything. Pretty impressive to a little kid. 
Except my little kid. 
But I guess he wasn't the only one. 

On Saturday, we went to an Easter egg hunt in Bloomingdale with the Smiths. It was supposed to be outside on a football field, but it snowed all crazy this past weekend, so it ended up being held in some middle school gym, then we went to some other place around the corner for some other weird stuff.... a Peeps eating contest (gross), and some VERY LOUD
terrible music. 
Milo was antsy at the starting line for the hunt.
that's Gabe there on the right. My MIL and I were trying to get a decent pic of both the little boys but failed miserably. 

Except he does not call them eggs. He calls them bok-boks (or bawk-bawks. I haven't decided how to spell that yet). Because apparently Milo is convinced that eggs are currently chickens. Even brightly colored plastic eggs. 

Now, I didn't know this, but there is a VERY definite strategy for egg hunts like this. You don't start picking up the eggs right at the start, nonononooo!!!
You RUN up ahead to the other end and you will have your choice. That's what Gabe did. He got a basketful of blue eggs. The force is strong with that one. 

Milo balked at the gate. Freaked out. I kinda was too. It was pretty crowded in there.  But he got some candy, and believe me...he was fine. 
here we are. blurrily. I think Brian kept moving the camera. 

Milo met the Easter bunny. 
Name that movie. 
Milo also met the Easter...lion...
Love the shoes. 
Milo waved at him numerous times. 

There was a 'petting zoo' with some bunnies and some baby chicken. 

Have a good day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Something to do

To be perfectly honest...Milo smells bad and I don't really want to deal with it right now. Before you call me a terrible mother, I'd like to note that I am also trying to help him become more aware of when his butt stinks. Wish me luck.
This particular post is my reason for killing some time before wiping poo yet AGAIN. (sorry)
P.S. I just changed him while all the photos were uploading. 
The brief period of the day before the living/dining/play room gets trashed. 

Milo is learning what the cats will tolerate. Plus I liked his pajamas that morning-2008(I think) Wiffle shirt and red/white striped pants. 

The addition of my slippers really makes the ensemble POP. 

I left the room to do something and when I returned i saw...

The light in our bedroom was really good. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

He is TWO!!! (and some stuff I made)

I am now the mother to a toddler. Oh my goodness. Saturday was the party AND the birthday. I love when that works out. We had a smallish family gathering, although it looked like a big party in our smallish townhouse. 
Okay. Forgive the not-so-great photos. If anyone has a super-awesome Nikon they wanna give will get better photos. Heehee. This is my messy kitchen the night before the party. I stayed up to bake. I sewed that banner thingie all by myself!!! I wanted something we could use more than once. 
Okay, another not-so-great one, but I wanted to show off the construction paper letters I made and Mr. Smith hung up. That's pretty much all the decoration we had!
Streusel cupcakes from Martha's cupcake book. The recipe made WAAAAAY too much streusel topping, so if anyone has ideas...I need to use it up. 

Birthday boy having said cupcake for breakfast. 
Auntie Megan helping Milo get Mack out of the box. Remember what I said about perfect blonde hair? Yeah. Perfect. And natural. Please try not to hate her. 
Baby sister Emilie. We don't get to see her a lot because she is in college, so we were all very grateful that she got to come out for this!!!! She was giving me a hard time about taking a dorky photo of her so I snapped this one. I don't think it is dorky at all. Hah. 
Action shot of Milo and my cousin Spencer. Milo REALLY likes Spencer. 
Group shot from my vantage point. Let's see...we have (from far left) : My Aunt Mary (her head is right above the bottle of Cherry Coke Zero), my mother-in-law (also named Mary), my mom (not Mary. Debbe. In the purple), Spencer again, Emilie, Milo, Megan and brother-in-law Brad in the foreground. 

The redhead is my BFF's son Jeremy. He was teasing Milo with one of the cars they brought him. I've known Jeremy since he was Milo's age. Wow. I love that kid. His parents did a good job. 
From left...Spencer again, Milo, Caroline (Jeremy's sister and another one of my BFFs. I love those redheads like they were my family, for real.), Mary the MIL, Debbe the mom, and Jeremy in front. I have no idea what they are looking at. 
Lighting the candles.
Note the expression on Milo's face. 

Before we started singing, I screeched "TAKE A PICTURE OF THE CAKE!!!!' Devil's food with vanilla frosting. There is one piece left and I MIGHT eat it for breakfast today. 
The expression on Milo's face means "Can I have cake yet?"
Also,please ignore my grossly large upper arms. They are a result of genetics. Thanks, ancestors...
Crazy eyes and bag of wrapping paper on the floor. Welcome to my life. At least I only have ONE chin in this pic. 
Milo got sets of silverware with wheels on them. This is Milo at the after-party...driving his fork...He has also taken his (hard, poky, metal) cars to bed with him since this party. Naps too. Loves them. 

This photo was taken by my mother in law. I love his smile. I also enjoy kissing those cheeks. This kid will actually come up to me, throw his arms around me and SMASH his cheek into my lips for a kiss. Heaven. Seriously. I said to Mr. Smith last night, " Sometimes, I look at him (Milo) and my heart wants to explode, I love him so much."
Mr. Smith nodded knowingly. He's a smartypants. 
Another good smiley one. That shirt made him look like a big boy badass skater/mechanic. 
DO YOU NOT WANT TO SQUEEZE THIS KID??? I mean really. He is going to be sooooo embarrassed by this post when he's 14...sorry Milo...
Oh. Here's the cake the night before. In the fridge so the frosting would set up. I got that cake stand for FIVE BUCKS!!! I LOVE resale shops. Like...REALLY A LOT. 
BASIL!!!! And chives and some struggling flowers in the back there. I think I killed them already. But the cilantro is up too! I need to go buy pots for all these little babies!!!
Well, that's about it. I wanted to post lots of photos for people who weren't at the party. I also wanted documentation that I maybe have a wee bit of a green thumb. Although it is pretty early in the season to say. 
The End.