Sunday, October 30, 2011

Make New Friends, but Keep the Old...

...One is Silver and the Other Gold! There are some friends that no matter how long it has been, or how much your lives have changed, things just seem good when you are together.

Ryan, Sabrina, Mark, and I were invited to a wedding this past weekend. The wedding was for our friend Katie, a long time friend from high school. We were reunited with a bunch of our soccer girls from back in the day and had so much fun hanging with high school friends and their families. I really looked forward to this day and it was even greater than I expected. The wedding itself was beautiful with not a detail missed. The Church was Old St. Pat's, the venue was fantastic- The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, there was good food, a photo booth, candy bar, pizza in the evening, a great band, and even flip flops for those of us who don't sport the heels often enough. Ryan's Mom and John watched the kids overnight so we were set (Thanks!) and we all got a nap today (woo woo). The weekend was a blast. An amazing day for Katie and her new husband Blake to start their marriage!

Katie and Blake. I mean, how cool is it that his name is Blake. I think he's the only other Blake I have ever known!
Katie, Maggie, and me. Maggy and I love to talk about our kids on facebook. It was so nice to finally see her in person!
Katie L, me, Katie M, Beth (the birthday girl!) and Sabrina. Katie S was there too, but she is missing in this picture. I think she was hiding from my camera!
Sabby and Me!
This was the best picture I could get at church. It's the oldest church in Chicago!
Me and my handsome husband.
Do you think we had fum? The boys weren't being serious in my attempt to take a group shot. Pretty hilarious.

In between church and the reception, we got to hang out with some friends of Sabrina and Mark (Terry and Jen). We got to check out their view! They are on the 37th floor, looking out on Lake Michigan. I think they are brave to live so high and have to take an elevator all the time. Anyway, we took a picture from the balcony. I think it almost looks fake. It was pretty cool though!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Santa's Village

Santa's Village was a little adventure when we were kids. This year it re-opened and we got a "groupon" type deal for half off. (Which is good because it costs $16 for anyone 3 and up to enter)- that's an expensive adventure for a family of 5. Anyway, the passes were expiring in a couple weeks and we had to use them. The kids had a blast. The saw Santa when we walked in, there was a sleigh ride, a little show, and a ton of rides for the kids. They loved the rides because they could go on them all-- and all by themselves. Of course, we went on a few with them (Ryan being the best as I swear I have a very sensitive equilibrium and want to barf on most rides... even slow ones).
So, overall, I give in 2 thumbs up when paying half price! :)
Chase climbing on the hay stacks.
Our bad attempt at a group shot.
Blake and I flew a rocket. Chase and Reese flew one too.
Blake loved these swings. He went on 3 times and cried every time I took him off.
We left when this guy got crabby.
This was Reese and Chase's rocket.
Chase's favorite was these monster trucks.
Our stroller was in our broken van that was in the shop. Blake enjoyed the ride but wanted to walk most of the time.
Daddy, Blake, and Reese rode in the hot air balloon a couple times.
Reese driving the hand cars.
Reese giving us a sad face.
Look what I found.
It was a little windy and the hats kept the kids nice and warm.
This was the first ride that Ryan and Reese went on. She didn't love it. Neither did Daddy.
Blake checking the place out.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oh, Blaker Doodle...

Poor little Blaker's been a mess. I am telling you, this kid has been to the doctor so many times! We didn't want to take him, but he had a fever from Tuesday-Friday. He has been getting up for an hour each night and just being miserable. (It's been over a year since we had to get up in the night!) We kind of thought that it was going to be an ear infection, but it's just his teeth coming in. Better safe than sorry I guess. So, we are on day 5 of getting up in the night for an hour. Oh well, this too shall pass. (And his pacifier will have to go bye bye after all of this. For now, he has that thing in his mouth every second or he is crying!)
Can you believe this happy boy is so grumpy!?
And the famous 15 month faces.

A day in the life at the Staniak house...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just Can't Get Enough

Who can honestly deny that this weather is amazing. I know, it's out of character for October, and it obviously will not last long, AND today happened to be a day off... so, we got out and enjoyed the beautiful day! Dylan was with us today, and we all ventured out. We packed up some picnic lunches and planned to meet my neighbor friend Beth and her girls at Cosley Zoo, but everyone had the same idea. It was packed and there was no where close to park and with 4, I wasn't going for it. Beth introduced us to a nearby Wheaton park (yes, another awesome thing about Wheaton).
Chase and Blake enjoyed some of their lunch while watching Reese fly down the zip line.
Chase was swinging away on these big swings.
Blake would have sat in the swing all day!
Dylan loved the swing too. He enjoyed the outside too.
There are so many things you love about your kids, but Reese is so funny. She makes friends everywhere she goes. She told me she made a friend, Julia. I watched her run around with this girl who is "only 4, not 4 1/2" (like Reese), but it is VERY different. Next thing I know, Reese is on this tire swing spinning with another 4 girls. She just gets right in there!
Here is Reese on the zip line. I mean, really? Could this park be cooler?
Abigail was awesome on this. Reese was scared to go on until she watched Abigail. After she went on once, she waiting in line over and over again. Next time I am getting Chase on there.
Chase is finally enjoying a little time with some markers and paper. It's been a while... 3 years and 2 months to be exact, since Chase wanted anything to do with drawing. At this point, we are just working on tiny geometric pictures. He will randomly find a letter or shape in his drawing and is just so proud. It's just a start, but we will get to his name one day. Go Chase!
And Blakers... He's still a happy guy. We are slowly working on his words. On occasion he will give us a "woof" when we ask what a dog says, or "all done", but it's still nothing consistent. I know we will get there. He still loves when the kids sing him "Blakey Doodle"- he will stop and clap no matter what. He loves his cousins. He loves the bigger ones and the smaller ones. He loves to be with them. He loves to follow Chase around and will let Reese pretend she is taking care of him. He eats like a Staniak. He is working on his "fangs" and has all of his molars (the first set anyway). He only gets his pacifier in his bed and he LOVES it. It's going to be a pain to take it away. Oh yes, and his favorite thing is still a high five. If you don't put your hand up, he will just hit you, so watch out!

Monday, October 03, 2011

God Bless Brayden James

Our nephew Brayden was baptized this past Sunday. The day was great with brunch, family, and the baptism. The day was extra special for Ryan and I because we became Brayden's God parents. We are honored and excited to spend such a special and important part in Brayden's life. God Bless our God Baby!!

Ryan, Brayden, and Me.
A lovely picture of our family and Brayden. Not sure anyone is looking but me, but all the other attempts at a picture had Chase hiding behind my big head.
Oh the joys of trying for a group shot. Oh, how much I love these kiddies...
My baby girl is almost 5. I just can't even believe it. That's half way to ten!
This picture is funny. Ryan and Jen are so silly.
Brayden and his birth parents. :)
He's my boy!
"Mom, you want me to take a picture in front of a delicious Costco cake and not dig in?
I think not!"
Jen always has the best set ups for the kids. All 7 "big" kids eating the delicious brunch. The little 3 will need a spot next summer... wonder how we are going to work that one out!
The man of honor. He did so great. He even snuggled with me for most of ceremony.
We love you Brayden!