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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Black Friday adventures

We wrapped up our Thanksgiving weekend with our friends on Saturday with lots of food (Vietnamese for lunch, Chinese sze chuan for supper) and visiting at home. Friday, though, saw us taking the EL downtown to explore a bit. We started at the Christkindlemarket and got a shot of our group in front of the Christmas tree at Daley Plaza.

Every subway stop had a singer, much to the girls' delight.
 Lunch of deep dish pizza--a Chicago must-have!

Back in the tunnel, waiting for a train, headed for Michigan Ave. = ,more musicians.
This guy caught our eye and attracted quite a crowd.
The girls wanted to pose like him!
No trip to the Mag Mile with little girls is complete without a visit to the American Girl store. Lucy would not stop petting the long blond hair on the doll behind her--it was her favorite of all the dolls.
Kate headed straight for the books and wanted this one--she actually read the title and knew what it was about.
Adalah getting cozy in the egg chair.
Followed by Jodi!
They found the tent and piled in to perform a doctor exam on one of the babies.
Kate was finally lured over to the dolls by a gymnast doll. She was bummed to find out that none of the dolls had a pixie cut like her though. I asked at the hair salon (!!) if they would cut hair and they said no. The shortest cut on any doll was a bob. So sad.
Lucy, on the other hand, loved it all. I thought her head was going to pop off when she saw the horse and carriage.
Fortunately, we walked out with wallets intact and no crying children. Back on the subway to head home.


James was pretending that he didn't know us--he was way too cool for our shenanigans.
What a great way to spend the holidays! The girls were still talking about them today and we're already looking forward to seeing them again in 2015.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day 2014

We are so excited this year to have some friends we met on our adoption trip 3 years ago, join us for the holidays. James and Jodi adopted their youngest daughter, Adalah, on the same day that we adopted Lucy. Here they are three years ago...
Their other daughter Emara came along for the trip. She was only 12 at the time.
They are in the front left and we are in the row behind, on the right.
Although the rest of our travel group has kind of dropped contact, Jodi and I have touched base every year to see how the girls are doing. This year the stars aligned and they were able to make the trip from the East coast for the weekend. We've been looking forward to their arrival for months--Kate and Lucy are thrilled beyond words to have 4 more kids in the house! Yep, Adalah and Emara have two brothers, Grayden and Brevin.

They got here Wednesday afternoon and we feasted on pasta and sauce with salad.

Thanksgiving morning found Kate helping me peel potatoes.
Two hungry girls!
The bird.
Time to eat!

Having a bit of fun with the turkey head.
Kate ate the turkey butt.


Kate later attacked the neck.
Len did ALL the dishes!


Jodi brought projects for the kids to do. First up were bean ornaments.


Next up was riding the pink lion.
Followed by intense concentration with Perler beads.



Projects completed, it was time to get the littles to bed. More adventures to follow tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks

Kate worked on a card at school this week to show what she is thankful for. It contains all the usual suspects: her school, her class, her home, her sister, mom and dad. And then she added in the drawing on the middle bottom of the page, the black box with the smiley face.
Me: What is that Kate?
Kate: Meters.
Me: Parking meters?
Kate: Yes, silly! There is money in the little box sometimes!

Funny, I always saw them as taking my money, not giving me money. It's all how you look at it in the end.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I never want to do that again

It all began last Sunday night. Lucy got up several times, coughing, complaining that her throat REALLY hurt, feverish, sweating. She ended up in bed with me while Len was booted to the guest room. He ended up getting Kate to school on the train while I stayed home with Lucy who was just as miserable as she could be.
She spent most of her day on my chest, wrapped in a blanket, sleeping.

Her temperature kept flirting with very high temps (at one point it was 104.9) so I kept her hydrated, doped up and in a tepid bath twice to get it back down. Unfortunately, as afternoon approached, it was time to go pick up Kate from school. And did I mention the Polar Vortex? It was frigid outside...not the best place to take a sick kiddo. Thank goodness our neighbor agreed to sit with Lucy while I was gone for the hour roundtrip to get Kate. Once home, Kate got right to work on her coloring and made a sign for Lucy...."Git wel soon Lucy".
Monday night was basically a repeat of Sunday night but Tuesday morning things went off the rails. Len was again faced with getting Kate to school except the wind chills were in the negatives which meant standing on a train platform was going to be brutal. Change of plans with Len driving Kate into school and then leaving work early to pick her up. This would have been great except that the traffic report revealed that all of Lake Shore Drive was closed and frozen over. Seems a bus caught fire and when they hosed it down, the water made the road into an ice rink. All the other roads were jammed to make up for the LSD closure. In short, Kate was going to be staying home too. Len finally made it to the train and that ended up being a 25 minute wait as the trains were delayed. With only one train coming through (instead of 3-4) you can imagine how packed the train was--so glad Kate was not on it with him!

Kate managed to amuse herself with Legos for most of the morning but by the afternoon, she started complaining about not feeling good. Uh oh.



Several calls to the doctor with the lists of symptoms revealed that they both had the flu. I was amazed at how sudden the symptoms appeared--really over just a few hours! Kate's temperature shot up, Lucy's kept going up and down and both were just miserable. By the time Len got home that evening I was in the weeds. Kate was vomiting, Lucy had diarrhea, and I was starting to feel the flu hit me too.

And no kidding, not more than an hour later, I felt like crap. I went to bed not long after the girls and didn't get up until Thursday! Len stayed home Wednesday and Thursday, plying us all with liquids and trying to avoid the germs.

To tell you just how bad it was, Kate willingly went in for a nap on Thursday at 2:30pm and didn't wake up until 7 when Lucy was getting back into bed for the night.
Kate got up to use the bathroom and have some water and then went back down until 9pm when she complained of hunger. Len fixed her some dinner and then she went right back down and slept all night.

Len needed to get back to work on Friday so we muddled through the day and I collapsed again last night quite early. So a full week of school was missed and I got nothing done in preparation for Thanksgiving or Lucy's birthday. We all seem to be on the mend now with no fevers but we still have coughing and runny noses to contend with. I'm not back to full speed at all and am actually headed for another nap right about...NOW.

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