Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Why not to go to Chicago

The day started off fine. The roads were clear of snow and ice. Everyone was in a good mood and on time. The whole ride up to Shedd Aquarium was great. We bought tickets in advance so we didn't have to wait outside in the cold in a long line. Brooke was thrilled by all the underwater creatures. 
We even got a cute stuffed animal at the gift shop to remind us of our time. In fact nothing actually went wrong until we got back to the car...
I put the key in, turned it and then...nothing. Tried it again. Nothing. So we're stuck in a parking garage in a city we don't know with nowhere to go. Awesome. We sat there for a little while praying it would start. Still nothing. Next step was to call for road side assistance through insurance to arrange for a tow truck. Where do we tow it to though? A dealership? The closest garage? Someplace close to the hotel or the doctor's office? Will a dealership be open tomorrow since it is a holiday? How reputable would a garage would be? We went back and forth A LOT but decided to just have it towed to the hotel. The insurance representative tells me the tow truck will be here in an hour and 45 minutes. Kill me! Little did I know that what they meant was 3 hours and 30 minutes!
We stayed busy for awhile but then it was time to find a restroom. Future reference to all: the restrooms in the North garage by Soldier field are on the 4th floor by the West elevators. Basically the complete opposite of where we were. And don't make the mistake I did and ask some guy wearing bright orange just like the lot attendants if he knows where the bathroom is.
Him: I don't know LADY. I don't live here.
Me: I'm sorry. It's just that my child out in the cold needs to use the restroom and I thought a kind looking man like you would at least point me in the right direction.
No I didn't say all that. I did apologize for him though.
Ok, now that one crisis has been averted and we're approaching the 3 hour mark it's time to figure out what's going on. I called the insurance company again to see where the tow truck is. They told me it would only be 20 more minutes. Yeah right! Soon there after the tow truck guy calls me himself and tells me it will be 20 more minutes but I would have to figure out how to get my car out of the garage because he would not be able to put it on the truck. Guess it's time to turn up the female charm and go talk to the lot attendants. I get not only one guy but FOUR guys to help push my car! I guess I've still got it! They even go flag down a cab for us.
After we're in the cab and warm I get a small sense of relief. Of course Brooke is scared we will never see her stuffed animals that are in the back of the jeep again and starts to cry. Luckily the tow truck is almost right behind us to I can assure her it will be ok. The hotel was a matter of minutes away. I called the front desk to warn them that we were coming with my jeep literally in tow. After discussing it with the valet we get prime parking right in front. They get the jeep off the tow truck, the valet gets in, puts the key in and IT STARTS RIGHT UP!! What the heck?! At that moment I was so embarrassed and hating life so what's left to do but...go swimming!
After a wonderful dinner of chips and poptarts we put on our swimsuits and went down to the indoor pool. All I could think of was how great it would be to get in the hot tub but guess what, it was broken. Not that big of a surprise really. Kind of the cherry on top of the day we had. Nothing left to do now but try to sleep and pray that the car would start in the morning.
The next day...

The car starts! Woo whoo! But now it's snowing...

So what did we learn?
1. Seahorse daddies have the babies, and
2. My mother-in-law and I can survive horrible weather, car troubles and a busy children's attraction without killing each other.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day Party

Brooke's preschool Valentine's day party is this week and I signed up for games. After a search through Pinterest I found a couple ideas and also came up with one on my own!

The first game sneaks in a little math. Don't tell the kids! It's called "How Many Hearts?". The object of game is to get rid of your hearts (or subtract!) the fastest. All you need is some foam hearts, a game board and some dice. Pretty simple to make. I got my inspiration from Creative Connections for Kids.

The second game (a Rachel original!) requires some carnival ducks and a tub of water. Since I don't have carnival ducks lying around I went to my friend I can always rely on! With my prime account and free shipping the ducks were here in no time. I had initially wanted the cute theme related rubber duckies but come to find out they do NOT float! Who makes ducks that don't float?! Anyways...I will just have to come up with another reason to use my carnival ducks in the future and probably end up being known as the "Carnival Duck Lady" :) Back to the game. I made sure I had 4 ducks per kid. I wrote the letters L, O, V and E in even amounts on the undersides of the ducks and threw them in a bucket of water. Game done! The kids take turns picking out ducks until someone spells the word LOVE. In Brooke's class they like everyone to win so we will continue until each child has 4 ducks in front of them spelling love.


I haven't tried yet but I'm pretty sure the permanent marker I used to write the letters will come off with some acetone. Need to be able to reuse my ducks!

Her she is with her super cute Valentine's day box. Target had this kitty cat kit for $5! She could do most of it all by herself and it turned out really nice with minimal adult supervision. I consider that a success.

Here we go...

After much debate I have decided to start a blog. I never really saw the point or thought I had much to share. Talking with my friend I realized it doesn't have to be about others reading it. My blog can be more of a scrap book just for me. A way to record events with my family and also show the work I put in to projects around the house. If I happen to inspire someone along the way all the better. To all who do read it I hope you enjoy it.

Here we go...