A little labor on labor day…

So we had our weekend away – my goodness time away flies. I can’t believe here I am on Tuesday, drinking coffee and starting another week.

Since we haven’t taken any big vacations this last year we decided about a month ago that a get-away was a must for our family’s sanity. The kids were also craving 100% daddy time and when we’re home the temptation of work around the house, real work, side work and of course the kids playing with the neighbors spreads us thin and disconnects us at best.
So Saturday we headed north to meet up for an early lunch with my dad at Portillo’s. If you haven’t eaten at a Portillo’s and you find yourself up in the Chicagoland area – I recommend you stop. Yum, yum, with a capital “Y”! My dad, of course, has started to channel my mom and had a goody bag of sweet treats or “snacks” as Drew calls them for each of the kids, not to mention crackers, cookies and of course swedish fish and gummy bears for Ryan and I. After lunch we headed to Schaumburg, Illinois. If you know me, I love this area – not just because my dear friend Jill lives there, but also because it is home to IKEA and the Container Store. Ah, how I love thee. This time around our focus was on the kids and we went to Legoland. This place is really fun and the kids had a blast. We got to see all sorts of cool lego models, the had a lego ride, 4D movie (which mom and her motion sickness tolerated at best) and how legos are made. Then the kids built models and raced them and Penny and I made towers out of toddler friendly foam legos. The best part was the gift shop where the lessons of financial budgeting took place. The kids had spending money, we recommended they spend half at the lego store and then save the other have for the rest of our weekend. In the mind of a seven and four year old, the possibility of something greater than what is right in front of you is unfathomable. But better judgement did prevail and everyone left happy.
Happy Shopper
My neurotic weather boy LOVES rides – he’s an interest character, he is
I’ve scared my husband out of smiling in pictures because I always tease him about his squinting and his cheeks, it’s too bad really…
We went to our hotel and decided to go for a swim – the pool was outside and it was damn cold and the water wasn’t much warmer. We splashed for about ten minutes and then mom and dad decided that blue lips and chattering teeth weren’t going to do anything for small immune systems and the constant threat of the pig flu. So we headed back up to our room, we bathed and went to sleep.
Sunday morning we got up and headed to downtown Chicago – day two of our adventure took us to the Museum of Science and Industry. At the museum was the exhibit, “Harry Potter: The Exhibition.” We started reading these books this summer. Jon is on book two and we take turns reading chapters. He loves reading about Harry’s adventures and to be honest, I do too. We have all the books (and the movies), they were my moms. She read all but the last book – I love the fact that Jon and Drew are so into the stories, it ties them to their Yia yia because I know she loved the stories so much herself.
Prior to going to the exhibit, I purchased wands for each of the kids – I mean you can’t exactly go to the Harry Potter exhibit without a wand – that and I was tired of losing all my chop sticks to battles in the backyard or finding sticks around my house from the outside. Not to mention really not wanting to pay ten times more for them at the exhibit – my rare, frugal side came out for this event.
The exhibit did not disappoint. They had so many cool artifacts from the movie sets. We snuck a few pictures, but got busted and had to delete them – the little punk security guard was so uncool and truth be told I could have been his mom (albeit a teen mom) for how young he must of been. I did manage to sneak a touch of Cedric Diggery’s robes -when Ryan saw me he said, “Are you touching those because he did?” meaning did am I touching them because Rob Pattenson wore them. My response was, “Absolutely!” I mean when am I going to get that opportunity again?
Happy Harry
Mom and Drew
Annie and the Harry’s
This was the best picture of the three of them at the museum – grandparents note – it will be slim pickin’s for the calendar this year…
The major fun was in the gift shop where once again the concept of money had to be reestablished and negotiations got heated. In the end the boys exited with Gryffindor winter hats and HP glasses, chocolate frogs and book marks for their books. Penny was happy with a purple t shirt and Ryan and I bought the exhibit guide, since Mr. Joykill made us delete our pics. We enjoyed the rest of the museum and then headed to our hotel. We decided to order room service for dinner because we were all tired and the thought of dragging the kids to a restaurant and then arguing about sitting still and eating, was so very unappealing. Everyone was very happy to just sit and eat and then we headed down to the pool.
We, like all good parents before us plopped our children down in front of the TV with fries and ranch, in order to enjoy our own dinner. Go ahead, judge.
On Monday we took our time and swam and then headed our to Navy Pier to eat our picnic lunch we purchased from the local grocer. It was a foggy day, which stressed out Jon to no end. We still got to see some yachts and sail boats and of course seagulls. We used our left over bread to feed our feathery friends and honestly the kids had more fun doing that than anything else. We fed those silly birds for the better part of two hours and got some amazing pictures. We retreated to our car after lunch for our journey home.
Looking out at the water
Stressed by the fog

Lil’ Miss Big Hair
A rare, yet beautiful moment
Stealing mom’s sunglasses

We arrived around dinner time yesterday – Penny fell asleep for good (but woke this morning at 5 raring to go- my midnight bedtime bit me hard in the bottom), the boys happily playing with their new legos, Ryan cut the grass and I had to go to the grocery store. We went to bed too late last night, but it feels so good to be home.
Today feels a bit like a hangover, not like I ever have those, but I’ve heard… I have laundry to do, a house to clean, mostly because Cyd, whom our neighbors graciously pet sat here at the house, pulled his best Goldilocks act and tried out every piece of furniture he knows better than to touch while we’re home- so the Dyson will be getting a workout this week. On to a very full week – PTO meeting, Salsa making, sport practices, my Dad visits and then the best part of the week is my birthday on Saturday! I can hardly wait!
Well, I hope that everyone had a bit of rest this holiday weekend and a bit of fun too! Thanks again!

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