Chicago Christmas Recap

After lots of snow and delayed flights, we made it safely to and from Chicago. It was so much fun to be back in Chicago for the first time in 2+ years and had such a great time with the grandparents and friends. I took 400+ pictures so it was hard to whittle them down.

We'll start at the beginning. Mae had lots of Don's and Brad's toys for Quinn to play with. Here he is sitting on Brad's pony. Quinn really got this pony rockin'! (Notice the James train in his hand that he's unwilling to let go :)



And how Quinn loves to open gifts. You can see a very happy and proud Mae in the background.



On Sunday we went to this great Children's Museum -- it was more like an educational indoor play area for kids. Quinn had such a good time!! There were lots of cars, trains, diggers, water, instruments, and other fun stuff for him to do. Here he is getting a little help from Mae with his digger.



Listening to the music he made in the music section.



Riding the conveyor belt in the grocery store.



Then we headed to Corky and Meg's. Here are the men in the family checking out the cardinal on the birdfeeder outside the kitchen window.



Quinn had great fun with these blocks. His great grandmother "Nana" played with these blocks when she was a child. (Again, notice the James :)



Quinn didn't quite catch on to Grandma Meg's name and just called her Eg or Grandma Eg. It was so cute. Here they are checking out the rotating santas powered by a candle.



And speaking of Santas. We spotted this house that must have had 100+ santas in their yard. This picture does not do it justice. I loved it!!!



We visited a museum that had a huge train set in the basement. You might be able to tell what Quinn is "saying" in this picture. Choo Choo!



Grampa and Eg






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mr. cutie-pie

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Chicago...We Have Arrived

After spending 10 hours in airports and airplanes we have arrived in Chicago. Quinn was such a trooper right until we were descending and we had to put the iPhone away. There was about 10 minutes of full on crying and then CRASH!

We're looking forward to seeing everyone :)

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Choo Choo! All Aboard!

You might remember that Quinn got a train table for his birthday in October. He loves it and plays with each and every day. This table is the "coffee table" in our living room. We keep the spare tracks, trains, etc in a drawer in Quinn's playroom upstairs. We found that whenever he was in his playroom, he would just pull out the tracks and trains and play with them upstairs. He plays with his other toys in his playroom too, but he really loves his trains. So, we decided to get a train table for his playroom for Christmas. We found a great set on craigslist with the table, miles of tracks, buildings, and lots of trains and car.

Here he is getting down to business. He must be thinking very hard because his tongue is sticking out.









Mr. Engineer, Don, loves this table because all the curves are very gentle and the trains won't fall over when going around a curve. He put alot of thought in to the design and it is really great. He also revamped the table downstairs with some spare parts from this table so that Quinn actually has 2 new train configurations. It's funny because I found Don sitting in the living room staring at the table on Christmas day and I asked him if everything was OK. Yes, he was just studying to the configuration to see how he could improve it. I'm sure both table will be tweaked and improved over the next 3 or more years.

Christmas Day

What a great Christmas! We actually got all our Christmas decorations and tree up early so we had plenty of time to enjoy. We ordered all our gifts on-line and avoided the malls. Mom arrived on Monday and we spent the week relaxing and having fun with Quinn. Quinn had a great time opening gifts this year. I was wrapping gifts one day and he thought it would be fun to start unwrapping them right there and then. Needless to say, gifts weren't put under the tree until our little elf went to bed on Christmas Eve. But what fun he had opening presents on Christmas morning! He loved all his gifts and spent the day playing!

We started out with a gift from Uncle Brad.



Here's Quinn trying on my new winter coat. Just in time for our trip to Chicago.



Helping Grams with her gifts. This is a necklace from all of the grandkids.



Say Backpack! OK, I watch too much Dora. Quinn loved his Thomas backpack from Uncle Ross, Aunt Tamara, Sami, and Ty. It's been packed full of activities to take on the plane.



What a cute little elfin bum!



I think Darwin wants to play with Quinn's new race track.



Now Grams is getting in on the action.



Looking Handsome!



Having fun with his new racetrack.



Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas to friends and family near and far! I couldn't ask for a better Christmas! So happy to have mom here to spend the week. And then off to Chicago for the first time since 2007 to spend some quality time with Quinn's other grandparents. Just missing my sister and our brothers. I feel blessed :)

Fun in the Snow

We had a decent snow on Saturday night and got out for a walk that evening but haven't had Quinn out since then because of his cough/cold. Today mom, Quinn, and I got out of the house for a while while Don put together Quinn's new-to-us Thomas Train Table. It was great to get some fresh air!

First things first...build a snowman!! And look at my two handsome snowmen!



Did you notice that Quinn is holding the snowman's "hand"?



An obligatory picture of mama ;)



I think it's funny that the snowman used to look pretty happy but now he looks a little irratated at Quinn for walking away. Look at those accusing eyes!



Out for a walk around the neighborhood.



Quinn loves these big chunks of snow. Guess what he really loves to do with them.



Yes, this!



What did you notice first? The big blue eyes or the faucet of a nose? Cute none-the-less.

Santa Arrived Early

Grams arrived on Monday for Christmas after a 2 hour delay at Amtrak. We are so happy to have her here for Christmas. Every morning Quinn wakes up and says 'go see Grams'. They have such a great time together! Since she is leaving the day after Christmas, we decided to start giving Quinn some of his presents early so that she can have time to enjoy the presents with him.

Yesterday he got an easel from Grams and has had a great time drawing all over it. It's very cool because it has a white board on one side, a chalk board on the other, and then a roll of paper in the middle that you pull over the white board for painting. Quinn loves to draw and write so I know he will have alot of fun with this.

Here are Quinn and Darwin checking out the new easel.



Peek-a-boo!



And the little Picasso begins...



He ended up writing all over the board frame, on the inside of the easel, and just about anywhere he could. But, he never wrote on anything but the easel (ie walls, couch, etc).

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

We went to a local nature preserve for our Christmas card photoshoot.  Now that the cards have been printed and are in the mail, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the other photos.  I usually take about 200 photos to make sure I get a couple of good ones so I had a couple left over ;)


We'll start at the end of the photoshoot with this picture of Don.  He was pretty agile climbing up that tree.  Quinn and I were duly impressed by his show of skills. 
























As you can see, Quinn was having a great time.  Nothing like a boy running through the woods...
















...or climbing a tree.









































Our 1st Trip to the ER

Don't panic, all is OK. First, we got about 6" of snow late yesterday in to last night. Around 2 am, we woke up to Quinn breathing really hard and laboring to get his breath. He had a 102 temp. We all got up and Don jumped in the bathroom with Quinn for a good 20 minute steam. Quinn was much better once he was vertical but was still weazing very heavily. Don went outside to shovel the driveway at 3 am while I called the on-call pediatrician. The doctor didn't seem too concerned so we gave Q some motrin and stayed up for a bit. We headed back to bed around 5 am and were again woken around 8:30 by Quinn's very labored breathing. Back into the steam bathroom and then another dose of Motrin at 9:30. Both Don and I were pretty alarmed by Quinn's breathing and decided to take him to Urgent Care which opened at 10 am. We packed up the car with all our safety and warmth stuff just in case we got stuck in the snow and headed off to the Urgent Care. We got there and it wasn't open because of the snow. So, off to the ER. We were really pleased with how well the roads were cleaned and had no problems getting to the hospital. This was our first trip to the ER with Quinn and we really liked the expedited service they give to kids. The final diagnosis was croup. Quinn got an oral anti-inflamatory to reduce the swelling of the throat and also a medication via the nebulizer. And we were sent on our way. Quinn's getting in a good nap while Don works on the snow and I clean up the house. All is well again :)



Lightroom Software

I'm trying to win a copy of Lightroom Software to make my pictures really pop and shine :)

http://www.mycharmingkids.net/2009/12/power-of-two.html?success

Big Fat Noodles

In our family, we frequently eat Big Fat Noodles for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Basically it's fresh udon noodles cooked in mushroom broth with some tofu and spinach. OK, sounds kinda gross but is really delicious and Quinn loves it too.

Here's our boy after slopping up some noodles.





And this is a picture Quinn took that I thought was quite clever. The flash on my small digital camera often washes out the face. Quinn put his fingers over the flash to give it this orange-y glow.