Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Boo Bash

Tonight was our first opportunity to see if Aaron would keep his costume on for any length of time.  It was the annual City of Gardner, Boo Bash.  It's a big Halloween party in the park with lots of candy, games, food, and music for the kids.  As it turns out he likes his little T Rex outfit and kept it on the whole time!  We didn't stay for long as he can't really enjoy all of the festivities that the bigger kids can but Aaron liked walking around from booth to booth, game to game, collecting candy and trinkets for his pumpkin bucket.  Grandma and Granddad met up with us and got to see his cute little tail wagging around as he pranced through the park.  He was really more interested in running around and occasionally climbing on the playground than getting candy.  We all had fun following his lead and watching him get the "ooohs" and "ahhhs" from people around him.  There were lots of cute costumes but his was the best if I may say so myself!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Little Apple

So Chelsee and I had this great idea to surprise Katie for her birthday by making a trip to see her in Manhattan.  Both our husbands kept saying that we should just tell her we're coming but in true Thies fashion we wanted it to be a surprise.  Chelsee, mom, and I all tried on numerous occasions to get her to tell us her weekend schedule without openly telling her our plan.  I thought we had it pretty well figured out that Saturday afternoon would be perfect.  Too bad the boys were right... Katie wasn't even in town.  BUMMER!!!  We're sorry we missed you bug.  We really wanted to surprise you for your b-day but next time we'll clear it with you first!

Though we were sad to have missed Aunt Katie, we still had fun with Aunt Chelsee!  We went to HuHot for lunch and then hit the park.  Aaron had a blast and was so tuckered out by the time we left.  He didn't eat much at HuHot so I stopped at McDonald's to get him a happy meal for the drive home but before we hit the highway he was already asleep with a nugget in one hand and a fry on his lap!  He woke up close to Lawrence and started munching away again on the same nugget!  Too cute!  Here are some great pics from our trip today.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Losing my mind

Baby brain can be silly and cute... or it can be absolutely ANNOYING!  You remember my post a few weeks back about my missing cell phone?  Well, now it's my glasses.  I am soooo frustrated that they are missing.  I know the generic time frame that I lost them in but can't imagine why I would possibly have taken them off during that time.  I can't remember.  Did they fall off my face when I wasn't paying attention?  All I know is that while giving Aaron a bath last night I realized I wasn't wearing them and started looking for them.  I've looked everywhere in my house and car with no luck.  I surely would have realized if they were off for a long period of time.  I went to a park party yesterday and had to drive to get there.  Wouldn't I have noticed that my vision was crapy while driving in the car?  I have no idea exactly when they mysteriously fell off my face.  I think I'm losing my mind.  I guess I should expect my car keys and wallet to be next. 

The bummer is that I really NEED my glasses.  So if I can't find them I'll be getting a new pair - just like I had to get a new phone...  Might end up being a good thing but it's still money out of my pocket for sheer absentmindedness.  I'm hoping they turn up soon.  I'm out of contacts too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicago Part 2

So I left off on Saturday morning.  After our early check in at Congress Plaza Hotel John revealed that he had purchased a City Pass which allowed us to visit any of 5 major attractions including several museums and Willis Tower. This was one of the coolest things we had the whole trip because we were treated like VIP everywhere we went and got to skip the lines at every place! He handed me a description of them all and I had to put them in order of what I would like to see first because it was likely we couldn't do it all.

So my first choice was The Museum of Science and Industry.  It was incredible.  We saw the U-505 submarine, a 40 foot tornado that the company that John's best friend Brian built, and a creepy section all about humans including real bodies (a little too creepy for me - don't think I would have liked the Bodies Exhibit that was here in KC a while back!).  We also got to experience the Omnimax which was a dome theater where you watch a video almost laying down.  It was all about the Hubble satellite and it felt like we were really in space.

We could have spent an entire day there but wanted to make sure we could see some other stuff so we left around 3 and headed for Willis Tower.  When we got there we were told the wait was over an hour.  But lucky for us, we had the City Pass so we skipped a TON of people and were up in about 10 minutes!  If you are ever thinking of going to Chicago I would HIGHLY recommend those passes!  The trip up to the top was aboard a very crowed elevator but only took 60 seconds to get to the top!  On the way we watched a video overhead that told you when you were passing well known landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Arch, and the Eiffel Tower.  The view was amazing.  You can supposedly see 4 states from the windows that go all around the 103rd floor.  It was very high up but didn't feel real so it wasn't that scary.  The Skydeck was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip.  The first step out was intense!  But after you got out on the platform it didn't seem too bad.  (No this is not a backdrop...)

After that we headed back to the hotel to change for dinner.  We had plans to eat at the steakhouse at our hotel but after a mix up between their menu online and their actual menu, we left and went to a recommended Italian place called The Village.  It was wonderful but the portions were beyond huge!  Mama bear was too pooped to do anything after dinner and we nixed our plans to walk on Navy Pier to see the fireworks scheduled for 9:00 and watched them from our hotel instead.  We didn't mind though - I think we were both pretty tired! 

The next morning we ate breakfast downstairs and headed to the Field Museum where we saw the coolest display of dinosaurs!  It made me miss my kiddo and his favorite show, Dinosaur Train.  I knew half the dinosaurs just from watching that show with him!  The Bears were playing that day and the stadium was literally right next door so there was a sea of blue and orange and when we left we felt like 2 fish swimming upstream.  We were hoping for more time to see Adler Planitarium and the Aquarium but we didn't make it to either.  No worries - we still had an awesome day.

After checking out of our hotel at noon we headed to the Chicago Union station to check our bags on the Amtrak!  I was ecstatic to ride the train home.  We have always talked about it and now we finally had an opportunity.  Our train didn't leave until 3:15 so we had some time to kill.  Perfect for getting some stuffed deep dish pizza at the famous Giordano's.  It was soooo good and VERY filling!  We ordered the smallest size and still only managed to eat half of it.  Neither of us have ever tried true deep dish pizza.  While it was very tasty, I think I prefer my thin crust for everyday pizza!

After picking out a cute train t-shirt for Aaron we headed for our first class boarding lounge.  John really went all out to make me feel special this weekend and the train was no exception!  The special lounge had plush couches and free drinks, unlike the airport style lounge for coach passengers.  We didn't get to enjoy it long because they were already boarding when we arrived!  After a brief mix up in which car we were supposed to board, we finally made it to our own private room.  It was very comfortable and I would suggest riding that way to anyone instead of coach.  We walked through the coach section and it was set up just like an airplane, with seats close together all in rows.  Our room had two roomy chairs that faced each other and converted to bunk beds when we wanted to rest.  We walked through the train as it was moving and explored the dining and observation cars.  We made reservations to eat at 6:00 and it was included with our tickets.  The food was not the greatest but it was very cool to watch the countryside go by and the sun set as we ate.  It was cruise style so we ate with another couple who were traveling to Las Vegas.  Our train was headed all the way to L.A.   This was the highlight of the trip for me.  It was such an experience and I would LOVE to do it again someday.  We've even talked about taking a train tour across the country someday.  That would be sooooo fun!

We arrived back in KC around 10:00pm (yes that's 8 hours but it felt like 2 tops.)  Aaron was a little fussy when we saw him out in the truck at Union Station but he had a GREAT time with grandma and granddad while we were gone.  They spoiled him to the core but that's what grandparents are for!  They went to Fritz's and watched the trains deliver food.  They bought him a K-State hoody and matching hat - so adorable!  And they spent lots of time playing outside taking hikes and feeding the horses and chickens.  I'm not sure who had more fun, Aaron or the grandparents!  The next morning Aaron was back to himself and in such a happy mood!  I was so happy to see him - it's amazing how much you can miss someone over just a short weekend!  All in all, John did a TERRIFIC job planning this all out.  I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful hubby.  It was one of the best birthdays ever!

P.S. I've posted most of our pics on FB so check them out if you haven't already!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Birthday Trip to Chicago! Part 1

So John had been planning a mystery trip for weeks leading up to my birthday.  I wanted to be surprised so I didn't even try to guess where we were going.  On Friday after our doc appt, we headed to his parents house to drop off Aaron and catch a ride to the airport where we boarded a plan headed for the windy city.  I was so excited - always wanted to see Chicago.  John asked me if I wanted to know the plans but I prefered to go with the flow and not know what we were doing.  We caught a shuttle to our hotel by the O'hare airport called Aloft.  It was very modern and chic.  The room was great and we were able to take their shuttle to the Blue Line where we got on the City Transit and headed downtown.

John had planned to take me to eat at this place called Yoshi's (one of the top 10 places to eat in Chicago) but after looking at the menu outside, we decided it wasn't the place for us...  mostly me...  something about Duck Liver Mousse did not sound appealing and neither did their prices.  But from that point on John told me I was not allowed to complain about prices, a feat which was very VERY hard for me!  We ended up at a nice place on the corner called Jack's where we had some of the best food all weekend.  After dinner it was time to go see the Blue Man Group!  VERY COOL.  I'm so glad we got to see them perform.  My favorite part was the finale when they basically TP'ed the whole auditorium under black lights.

We awoke Saturday morning and checked out of Aloft hotel.  With suitcase and CTA (3 day unlimited city transit) passes in hand we headed for downtown once again.  This time toward the Magnificent Mile and Millennium Park right next to beautiful Lake Michigan.  We had early check in plans at the Congress Plaza Hotel right on Michigan Ave!  The view from our room was AMAZING!

The middle window opened all the way with no screen... kind of scary but cool to lean out and take pics!  Anyway, there is a lot more to post but I'm going to go relax and watch some House episodes with my hubby.  Sorry folks, ok just mom, - you'll have to wait to hear the rest!

It's a Boy!!!

Before I get to my birthday trip I must share our news...  We're having another boy!!!  We are so excited to have a playmate for Aaron.  They are going to be best buddies.  We found out Friday morning right before John whisked me off on a surprise trip to Chicago so this is the first chance I've had to blog about it.  We don't have a name nailed down just yet.  We think we have the first name and have been calling him Ethan for the whole weekend.  We've lovingly called him E-man, and Mr. E for the past few days so we'll see if the name sticks.  We have many options for middle names but plenty of time to decide.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rewards Crock

Excuse me while I get on my soap box...

Price Chopper has really ticked me off with their little make-you-think-their-rewards-card-thing-is-the-best-thing-since-sliced-bread marketing crap.  Two months ago they rolled out a new chopper shopper card.  I have limited choices in Gardner so naturally John and I have had one forever and have been getting their little deals on food with our card for quite some time.  No complaints - just about every grocery store has one now a days right?  Except for Wal-mart because their prices are usually lower anyway without one.

Well a few months ago they rolled out this NEW cool improved card that gave you MORE than just discounts on food items.  It gave you actual savings you could see in the form of accumulated points.  For example, over 2 months I purchased $500 worth of groceries.  I specifically chose Price Chopper over Wal-mart (the cheaper and only other option in Gardner) so that I could build these points up.  The next time I bought groceries I got $10 off on top of the normal chopper shopper card savings!  I was pretty impressed.  It was worth choosing to shop and PC because every once in a while I actually got something back on top of their supposed discounts on food items. 

A few weeks ago they tossed this rewards program out in exchange for a new one.  Apparently, according to the cashier, no one was interested in the previous program and no one used the rewards points.  What??  There was no thinking involved... just spend, build up your points, then it automatically comes off your next bill.  No - I think PC regretted the program they put in place because they gave away too much money.  So marketing decided to make a new plan - a "better" plan for the consumers...  RIGHT...

Now, instead of getting dollars off my grocery bill occasionally, I get pocket change off my gas bill.  A gas bill that has to be purchased at Quick Trip - which I might add does not exist in Gardner.  I have to drive to Olathe to get the deal.  The deal is that if you spend $50 AT ONE TIME (it doesn't accumulate) than you get 5 cents/gallon off your gas.  If you spend $100 at once you are supposed to get 10 cents off.  PLUS you have to have a large rewards card to make it work at the pump.  So that means if you threw the big card out and just kept the key chain card then you have to get a whole new card. 

Reluctantly, to play along, I got a new card and the next time I went grocery shopping my bill came to $99.36.  Naturally I wanted it to be over $100 since I was so close so I added a bag of M&Ms just to make it.  I get my rewards receipt.  It states that I now have 100 points - whatever that means - and I am entitled to 5 cents off a gallon for 20 gallons.  What happened to 10 cents?  I didn't have time to complain.  Tonight I went to Quick Trip in Olathe on the way home from my mom and dads and recieved my whopping 5 cents off per gallon.  Guess how much I saved?  $0.74!!!!  All of that for 74 cents.  So times that by 5 to equal the $500 I spent in the old program and I now have a total of $3.70 savings at the pump I have to spend as much or more to get to, versus $10 off my grocery bill...

Well PC, you've done well at not paying out as much and making it seem like you were doing a good job by saving people gas money.  Too bad it's just a game.  I am returning to Walmart where the prices are better all the time without a stupid rewards program.  You lose. 

I probably shouldn't complain about something so trivial but it ticks me off how hard they are trying to market this thing as the best deal ever.  What a crock.  Ok - I'm done now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Everyday Life

Oh the joy in the simple day to day activities...

Like watching Ellie scarf her food,

brushing our teeth,

watching the neighborhood kids play in the street,

and taking a bubble bath.

Too bad I didn't capture the wearing-underwear-on-my-head-in-the-living-room moment.  It was pretty priceless.

Monday, October 4, 2010

RIP old cell phone

I have become so attached to my cell phone that I am just downright depressed that it's gone.  I lost if Friday night and I don't know if I misplaced it, or if my kiddo ran off and hid it somewhere.  I've retraced my steps (and memories) of what I did Friday night before I realized it was gone but still no luck.  I've torn apart my house looking in every cabinet, toy box, drawer and trash can that Aaron may have stuck it.  I even went so far as to con my hubby into emptying all of the trash at the curb before the trash truck comes so it won't go off to the land fill.  I'm not so worried about all of the phone numbers I lost - I can replace them even if it will be a pain in the rear.  It's all the pics and videos of Aaron that I took and never downloaded onto my computer. 

Call me sappy but there were a TON of short clips of Aaron doing many firsts such as running in the sprinkler, sliding down the slide at the park on his own, and swimming at the pool.  I didn't have a real video camera with me in those moments and relied on my phone.  They aren't the best quality but still I wish I would have copied them to my computer.  I tried once but couldn't figure out how to convert the files right.  It's not the end of the world but I'm still really bummed that its gone.  There were over 300 pictures of Aaron on there too.  It was all on the little SD card that's in the phone.  I also had tons of music stored that is gone too but again that can be replaced. 

The ironic thing is that I was getting a new phone fact I have it now and it's a really nice one with lots of cool features that my other one didn't have.  I guess I'll just start over and be more diligent in downloading things.  Hopefully it will turn up someday and I can retrieve that SD card.

This seems like a stupid thing to post about but I guess I figured if it's worth crying over it's worth blogging about.  (Yes, preggo here has cried many times over the last weekend about my silly phone!)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

13 Days and 8 years

The countdown is on... I have 13 days until we find out what we're having.... AND until some mystery birthday trip John is planning.  SOOOOO excited.  Don't worry, we've decided we'll be calling everyone after our doctors appointment since we'll be away the rest of the weekend.  So you all will know what we're having!

Our 8th Anniversary was Tuesday night this last week.  John was off so we took the boy out on a topless Jeep ride and then to the park...followed by Sonic ice cream!  It was a fun afternoon.  Then we dropped Aaron off at Nanny's (who thouroghly enjoyed her evening with him) and headed to the Legend's to the Olive Garden.  It's become a staple anniversary date - I know, not real fancy but we both LOVE thier food and I even allowed myself a small glass of wine.  We wanted to go to an Olive Garden that we had not been to before and figured we could walk around afterwards.  Unfortunatly I wore the wrong kind of shoes (although very cute) and the 4 throbbing blisters prevented me from walking around too much.  We did make one lap of the shops down there - all of which were closed by the time we finished dinner.  But the weather was nice and having no agenda was actually relaxing.  We hit up Starbucks on the way home to top off our night. 

I count myself blessed beyond measure to be married to such a wonderful man.  I love him more and more every minute that passes by.  He works so hard for our family and to allow me to be a stay at home mom and he is an awesome daddy.  I look foward to growing our family through the years to come and growing old together after that.  I love you honey.