Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas '07

As I'm sure you guessed Christmas '07 was a very fortunate event for the Bear girls.  As you can see they left Santa a nice note with milk and cookies and carrots for the reindeer.  In fact Ashton's name is also on the note but the photographer didn't position the card correctly to show that.

The wagon (and the hat and gloves) have already gotten some good mileage in the weeks after Christmas.   The wagon was from Grandma and Papa Terry.  The hat, gloves (and matching sweaters) were from the Chicago cousins.  The big Santa gifts were a "my first dollhouse" for Jacqueline and a "Baby Alive" for Ashton.   Bob did attempt to negotiate that Ashton could change her sisters diapers if she wanted a baby to wet itself but somehow that didn't stick so now we have yet another butt to change in this house.

While the Tj Berrytales was Jacqueline's gift I think it is Ashton who appreciates the stories more.  Jacqueline keeps pushing the button to play the music much to the irritation of her sister who was mid-story.  This was Jacqueline's gift from Grandpa Bob but it's ok that Ashton likes it too since Jacqueline is over the moon about Ashton's Black and Decker workbench and power tools.  Lots of things are regularly being built and fixed in this house now.

Christmas dinner was also great -- thanks to Judy of course -- we had an excellent ham dinner and wonderful dessert of Yule log.  We also managed to get a nice neighborhood walk in with the wagon since the weather was gorgeous.  We are truly blessed.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Bears 2007 Christmas Letter

So by now you've realized that I've moved to an online version of a Christmas letter. The first reason is, of course, that its easier to do, no more stuffing envelopes and extra lead-time for the holiday cards to get color copies. Those of you who noted the lack of a letter last year might have realized that two small kids just took the wind out of my sails for pulling a letter together.

The second reason, is to make more people aware of this blog and let you find out as much (or as little) about the year in review as you want. To that end, I am going to focus this letter on the christmas season and let you read prior entries to catch up on things like easter, halloween, etc (if you haven't been bored to tears of course)

Chrismas season is, of course really just kicking off but its the nature of the Christmas card that requires you to pre-report your plans. Our plans this year are delightfully low key. We are going to be home for both Christmas and New year this year. We've moved our ski trip to the second week in January to extend the vacation season for ourselves and I'm guessing this might prove the new tradition for us. Not rushing out after the holiday sounds pretty plesant to me right now, we'll see if I'm right to feel so optimistic about it with the ski report entry. I am a little concerned about what we are going to do with Jacqueline for the ski trip though, she isn't going to be excited about the idea of everyone going skiing and she is not. I'm still trying to figure out the story there. Ski school requires you to be 3 and a half and potty trained so there is no way she can go this year.

As you have noticed from the photo we managed to decorate outside and in already. Since we are only in the second week of December I'm personally impressed with this accomplishment. All credit goes to Bob as this year he did the whole thing himself with my only participation being keeping an eye on Jacqueline to make sure she didn't jump off the wall and/or run into the street. Trust me that was a full time job.

Last weekend we also did our Breakfast with Santa at the gym. While this was not a relaxing breakfast for us (we can always hope for next year on that front) it was cute to see Ashton tell Santa that she wanted a doll and her sister wants something Dora. Jacqueline made it very clear she didn't want Santa to come anywhere near her so Ashton took it upon herself to make sure her desires were covered as well. Very sweet!

Of course they also had to play in the lockers, I did toy with the idea that they would be fine in there by themselves but decided that maybe someone would frown on that idea. After breakfast the girls went to the children's center so mom and dad could get a work out and recover from the festivities. Made for a very nice day for all involved.

Turns out that this holiday has Ashton with the biggest social calendar. Not only is there the school party but also she is going to see two different shows without any of us. She is going to see the Sippy Cup Band with Judy and Julianna and to the Nutcracker with [neighbor] Dan. This year she is still going to pre-school M-W-F and has just taken up a gymnastics class on thursdays to keep her busy. While she is not reading, Ashton is very interested in words and has begun to focus on sounding them out. She is also surprising both Bob and I with how she is transitioning out of any glimmer of a baby. It's still hard for Bob and I to get used to the idea that she doesn't miss anything that goes on around her. It certainly makes planning Christmas more complex as I need to have places to hide things in our small house.

Jacqueline, of course is fully into her twos and has been anxious to have her opinions heard (!). Her current response to not getting her way is a combination of tattling on whomever is not doing her bidding (daddy wouldn't let me play with water) and running away yelling. I guess its a slight step up from throwing herself on the floor and banging her fists but only a very slight one. So far the rest of the family finds great humor in this show which is probably not the desired response. Jacqueline not in pre-school this year, instead she goes to a music class on wednesday and we are testing her out with a gymnastics class also. Last week was the first week so we are still not 100% confident it will "take". She likes the climbing and tumbling part but not so much following allong with the rest of the class part. Still too early to tell if she is going to catch on to the point or if we are just wasting our money with the idea.

Bob and I are both happy and blessed to have had such a wonderful year with our girls. We have enjoyed every minute of their baby years (even the bad ones) and are looking forward to see what 2008 will bring. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and look forward to catching up with each of you when we can. Feel free to leave a comment on the blog and let us know how your holiday was, we'd love to hear!

Bob, Meg, Ashton & Jacqueline Bear

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Can't believe it's the end of Thanksgiving weekend already. Seriously this is getting beyond life going quickly and on to some kind of crazy time-lapse photography existence where everything seems to blurr past. I find I need to just get comfortable with the idea that I'm always behind and quit trying to really catch up. Instead I am now focused on survival.

Anyway enough complaining. I should be showing the wonderful things we have to be thankful for. Of course top on the list this weekend should be the wonderful dinner we had with family on thursday. Not only was this my turn to cook (first time in something like five years as I've been pushing off my turn for reasons named Ashton and Jacqueline). Well maybe its old-timers setting in but I really do believe that this was the most beautiful turkey I have ever done. It tasted pretty good too. Sadly in the rush to get everything on the table I didn't take a photo myself. Suzie did though and if I get a copy I'll post it so you can see for yourself. I did take a photo of the table though.

We started out the weekend with the Thanksgiving dessert at Pre-school. Jacqueline was thrilled as she got to go to "school" for the party. The rest of the weekend involved Suzie and the girls coming over on wednesday night to help with the preparations, a wonderful feast on Thursday, a bike ride on Friday, a trip to the movies for Mom & Ashton on Sat (The Bee Movie -- Bob and Jaq went to the gym) and a christmas card photo shoot for the girls on Sunday.

We didn't get the tree this weekend but we did put up some lights and decorations out front. Next weekend we'll have to finish that up. Guess that means we have another pre-christmas post or two coming. I also ordered the Christmas photos and decided to use the blog for the holiday letter. This will at least keep me from being quite so late getting the cards out since stuffing envelopes is a lot quicker without a letter.

Disney Princess Extravaganza

I know I know -- its taken me a very long time to write up this trip summary. I apologize and I'm sure I have a good reason but somehow I can't remember what it is. Something about kids being sick and us being busy I'm sure.

Anyway I do appreciate your patience so here it is our report of the Bear's Vacation at Wally World, oops Disney.

The trip was really just a long weekend, arriving on Sat and flying home on Tuesday. The girls were wonderful ages for the park and Suzie and Cuong were there to help with the adult-to-kid ratio (I would consider 1.5:1 the minimum requirement for a Disney trip). Otherwise the lack of naps would require serious upper body strength to survive. Thankfully, Baby decided to nap on Auntie Suzie for a bit ;-)

We started out with the idea that we would have matching tinker bell outfits on Saturday but Jacqueline didn't make it out of the hotel, seems that two is a much more practical age preferring comfort to style.

Ashton, on the other hand, made it most of the day in her Tinkerbell costume. She was especially happy when Crush talked to her in his show calling her "the girl with the shiny shell". He called her "Awesome Ashton" when she introduced herself. He called on her since she had her hand up to ask him a question (How did you learn how to swim?). When Crush asked her what she had on her noggin (sunglasses) she didn't understand him and she said "My Tinkerbell costume". Then Crush put some sunglasses on and said "look at my Tinkerbell costume" to the delight of the whole audience. It was very cute.

Throughout the trip the girls were beside themselves with glee. Especially Ashton, who seriously could have been an advertisement for the place with the total joy she was oozing out of her very pores.

The highlight of the trip was the princess lunch which got several photo-ops with each of the princess characters who came by the table to see the kids. It was a big hit.

Both the girls loved all the rides. Even baby who was pretty tired the whole trip refusing to nap (and as we found out later coming down with something). Turns out we were there at the same time as the SoCal wildfires and the winds at the park were really strong making air quality pretty poor.

On day three Bob, Meg and Jacqueline got a real-life e-ticket ride via an ambulence to the ER to get Jacqueline a "Breathing treatment" (we also got her a shot of antibiotic, some tylenol, some additional medication to help her breathing). Not exactly the trip end we were expecting, but the Disney help was great, they even picked us up from the ER and took us back to the hotel and got us a humidifier for the tough night.

Luckily, Ashton got to stay at the park with Auntie Suzie so at least one of the Bear's had a fun last day.

Thankfully baby bounced back a bit for the flight home which was a relief and in a few days was back to normal. Mom and Dad however, were very tired and ready for a relaxing trip back to work.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The run-up to Halloween

Its getting close to Halloween and that means a frenzy of costumes, pumpkins, bounce houses and various other fun activities.

I know the suspense was killing you but we have chosen our costumes this year. For Ashton the theme is Barbie's Island Princess, for Jacqueline it's a cheerleader (go team!).

Of course we have to not only have a costume for Halloween but we also need to practice several times by watching the movie, doing the dancing, etc.

We are all very excited I can assure you. Today we took them to one of the very fake "pumpkin patches" which is really just an empty lot that has a bounce house, some bails of hay a large inflatable slide and a pile of pumpkins to "pick". Of course Jacqueline had to go on the slide as well. Which then meant that I had to go up with her and let me tell you -- I was feeling a bit high up after that climb (she on the other hand was thrilled and only smashed her face one time coming down).

On the home front we are mostly getting ready for our big Disney adventure next weekend. We are also hoping to recover from our various electronic plagues which this week include our washing machine having fried the electronics and our TV often deciding to die after 10 minutes of use (everyone knows you need 22 minutes of use to watch any kids show so this is a problem!)

We are also attempting to adjust to a nap schedule with a mobile 2 year old (no more crib). We've had some interesting stories with a few occasions of a nap on the floor, a few occasions with a request to actually sleep (I need to sleep) and one occasion of her getting "stuck" inside her cooking stove by taking off the top and climbing in.

The last one happened yesterday with the dialog going something like this -- [door closed and somehow not opening for her (turns out it wasn't the door she was messing with after all but I didn't realize that until later)].

Jaq: I need to get out
Meg: go to sleep -- its time to sleep
Jaq: Daddy -- I need to get out (tears)
Meg: You need to go to bed
Jaq: Mommy -- tears, I need to get out
Meg: Jaq go to bed now
Jaq:... tears
Jaq: ... tears.. Mommy I stuck
Meg: [finally going into the room].....ohmygod! How the heck did you get in there?!

All kinds of fun!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I get out [of] my bed

Yup, our baby is two and there is a lot to update everyone about. First lets get the vital stats out of the way. She had her dr. apt today and weighed in at 27lbs and 34.5 inches, that's 50% weight and 75% height. This is a good improvement over the 25% weight she was at 18months. I attribute this to less sick days vs. any significant improvement in appetite to be honest. In general she was looking good with excellent showing off of verbal skills and (of course) more fluid in her ears.

Which brings me to the next topic -- her ENT (ear-nose-throat) dr. consultation this week. I had gone in suspecting she would be getting ear tubes and left a bit unclear. The dr. didn't mention tubes but instead said her tonsils and adenoids were infected/enlarged. She has to go back for a hearing test week after next (after a round of antibiotics to clear up the current infection) and then I guess we will see where we go from there. Of course through all of these dr. apts and 2 shots she was an excellent sport only really crying when they tried to get her to lay down vs. when they gave her a shot.

The birthday party was an excellent family event, with gifts being of specific interest this year (to both her and Ashton) and the bounce house being a big plus for both girls. As you can see there was a lot of bouncing and even the kids push car had to be ridden by the big sister.

And lastly we must discuss the big transition to the "big girl bed". Now those of you who know me well realize that I'm in no rush to get them out of the crib. I'm a HUGE fan of a cage that they cannot escape from (only in a good way I assure you). But alas our girl decided that a great two year old accomplishment would be the climb out of my crib trick. Yup, so just like she took her first steps exactly at age one, she decided she was done with a crib exactly at age 2. Good thing I had bought the conversion kit for her crib a few months ago. Bad thing was that we had to work out a temporary solution on the birthday night which I will forever remember as the over-bounced-over-caked-under-napped-terror-kids event where both she and her sister decided to freak out and make me wonder why we had them. Anyway we all survived that and now we have a toddler bed. We have even gotten one nap out of her in the bed (but only one out of about 6 tries, the rest of the time you really would have to call it a "bedroom party" vs a nap.

Which of course gives us the quote for this blog entry. Monday morning (first morning of the toddler bed) she came into the bathroom where I was getting ready and announced that "I get out my bed" with much glee. Sadly, Tuesday morning she decided to instead fall out of bed with a big THUMP. So we are all adjusting. For the record I still plan to continue to call her "baby" though out this year as she is still my baby and I'm in absolutely no hurry to have her grow up.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Congratulations Driscolls

A hot day, a wonderful wedding.

Appropriate envy on the part of the little sister who also had to wear a princess outfit. Special thanks to Justine for getting the Tinkerbell outfit for Ashton a few years back -- did just the trick!

A near meltdown on the part of the flower girl and a wonderful recovery on the part of Shannon, who turned tears into glee and even got a few rings of the bell along the way. Ashton was very grateful for the last minute [second] change of plans that gave her a friendly hand to hold down the aisle.

A cute photo op trying on the veil with Heather just to see how it would look.

And, of course, a photo of the cute couple was also in order. Both Mother and Father of the bride held up and looked great too.

As [my] dad would say... a good time was had by all. Couldn't have thought of a better summary myself!

Thanks for letting us share Heather and Aaron. It was a great anniversary party!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

10 years of Wedded Bliss

Decided to create a post to honor our wedding anniversary, even though Ashton has expressed disappointment several times at not being invited to the event (!?).

Anyway, just got wedding photos scanned so decided I should post a few. Yes I think we look exactly the same today and anyone who wants to suggest otherwise will do so at their peril. We miss you mom & dad Bear.

Those silly things kids say

I know everyone who is around children has their stories about things that child says that are either a) funny or b) odd or c) profound or d) all of the above. We all know that kids are both smarter then we give them credit for and more observent then we are.

Anyway here is one of those stories to share.

Ashton -- 4.5 years old
"Mom what are we going to do about the candles? All our princess dresses are flammable."

Now, this is/was a completely legitimate question. There was an entire table of girls in princess costumes [which are, indeed, highly flammable due to the vast amount of tulle]. Birthday cake was on its way and candles would be involved, for singing and wish making. Essentially a scene from any 4 year old [girl] birthday party, trust me, I'm becoming the expert on the topic.

Of course, the mother standing next to me at the party asked "Did she just say that the dresses were flammable?" (!). To this I had to sigh and say "yes".

I also know exactly how Ashton came to know about the risk of flammable princess dresses and birthday candles concern -- yup its all my fault.

In my defense, I was not being a paraniod mother, nor was I planning to make my child sound like someone in an old folks home. It happened the same way that all conversations happen with Ashton, very innocently and normally until such point as you somehow jump off the cliff and end up explaining something she doesn't need to know for years and years.

I am pretty sure the discussion was several months ago, since I do remember it but can't place exactly which birthday it was. The conversation went something like this:

Meg: Scoot back a bit honey[from the table/birthday cake]
Ashton: Why ?
Meg: because there is a candle there
Ashton: Why do I need to scoot back when there is a candle there?
Meg: Well, you are wearing a princess dress and its a bit close to the flame [in fact the dress is almost in contact with the flame]
Ashton: Why can't my princess dress be close to the flame?
Meg: because Princess dresses are flammable.
Ashton: what does that mean?
Meg: it means they could catch fire easily and that might not be a very fun thing for a birthday party

Of course, I realize where I went wrong with the whole discussion now, but honestly you never expect that they are listening to you anyway, let alone planning to quote you around other 4 year olds!

Somehow, you think that if you just answer matter of factly, with some specific detail, it will make the questions stop. Anway, there you have it, I have a 4 year old who would fit right in any senior citizen's club, I guess that is something.

Friday, August 24, 2007

All Princess all the time

My house is a house of princesses. I have no idea how long this "phase" lasts but I can tell that I'm smack dab in the middle of it. It goes way beyond princess movies and princess dress up clothes. Everything in our lives is brought into the context of a princess. So who do I have to thank for this? Is it Disney? Their excellent marketing department? The friends at school? While there is probably some culpability on all sides I have to say that I am even to blame. Let me explain:

You are in the store and have to get something, we'll say a toothbrush. You can either get some generic toothbrush and not be sure if its accepted or rejected OR you can go with the princess one. Sure it costs you a bit more but you figure how much is it worth to you to have no hassles about "I don't like my toothbrush" or worse "Jacqueline got the better toothbrush" or "I don't want to brush my teeth". Nope you decide very quickly that princess is the clear winner by any measurement.

Then you find yourself using princess as a description of good behavior. "would a princess eat like that? I think not." "would a princess take her sister's blanket and make her cry?" and so on.

After awhile you find yourself happily going to the disney store to buy lunchboxes and jammies and that is when you decide that, hey these girls look pretty cute -- just like a princess.

So of course then you plan the Disney trip to include the "princess lunch" and find yourself looking forward to it. What can I say? Its all princess all the time... now where did I put my tiara?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

School's out for summer

Ah yes its true, I've turned into a mom. I remember vividly thinking that the whole topic of a year round school year was just dumb, and now I'm finding myself thinking... hmm why does a school year have to ever end?

To be fair, having a school year that goes from Sept to July is pretty close to year round. I guess the real reason to end the school year is the end of year party and to get a chance to look at all the fun school by-products.

The most interesting of school artifacts this year was the journal. What a cute idea to have a 4 year old keep a journal. From this journal I got a whole new insight into how information travels from home to school to be chronicled by a teacher taking dictation. I learned such sage information that Ashton likes bugs (huh?!) and that Jacqueline likes cheese puffs (true).

I also had the sappy mom-happiness of reading "Jacqueline loves me" chronicled as well. All kinds of fun.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Where is our firetruck anyway?

Its been a big few weeks. Getting home, getting the house back together, getting another trip to Urgent Care for Ashton's ear infection, celebrating my birth week and having end of year school stuff has seemed to limited the photo ops.

I think [hope] we are back on track now. The ear infection came as a result of the school pool party that thankfully Bob took her to (last year I got a sunburn and a clear sense that I was walking around in water that was going to give me a rash from the knees down). We caught it early and as a result didn't suffer any real "down time" as a result. Even urgent care was very accomodating cutting our typical 2 hour wait down to 20 minutes.

It was the urgent care visit that took us to San Mateo which was having a street fair and thus giving out these cute firehats. So where is that firetruck anyway? Turns out it is lost in the abyss that is our attic. Good news is that we have no room for it downstairs anyway and as the firehats have already torn it seems we haven't really missed anything anyway.

This weekend had Bob and I off to Napa with Bob's work -- Ashton and Jacqueline had a sleep over at Dan & Jani's with excellent success. Ashton produced her own cooking show with Dan (hope to get the video shortly) and asked the sage question "Why would you have a pool party with a girl who has an ear infection?" when Dan suggested that they could play in the baby pool in the yard. Jacqueline managed to lose her blanket (which was later found at a great cost) and both seemed reasonably happy to see us get home.

Yesterday we did a nice (short) bike trip with the only downside looking to be Jacqueline rubbing off the sunscreen around her eyes. This resulted not only in her eyes hurting yesterday but the appearance of a sunburn under both eyes today.

Today is Ashton's last day of school so we will be starting summer camps and other summer events for August as well as getting back to the swim lessons we keep missing on Saturdays.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I look so cute!

Was trying to decide which cute phrase to have as the title and this one seemed to top the list. Yup, humility is probably one of Jaq's best qualities but honestly she was right when she mentioned that she looked cute.

Other excellent phrases included

"I'll try it" -- this typically said for something her sister was going to do like go on a ride or jump in a pool.
"I closed the door" -- this one really meant that she Opened the door to the room and came out when she was supposed to be napping. To get the full effect of this phrase you have to imagine the biggest smile you could imagine on a baby -- and then make it bigger.
"one more time, watch do-do-Dora" -- this one really speaks for itself.

All in all a good trip. Vic and Lisa and Kathy and Jenny were very nice and accommodating for our many challenges along the way. First challenge was, of course, the big hot water heater fiasco. By Tuesday we had hooked up the old 20 gal water heater which worked enough for a single shower and/or bath and a load of dishes so we were really fine. Surprisingly Jaq never did attempt to crawl into the open hole in the counter where the missing cupboards belonged so really it wasn't too big of a setback.

Then on Wed. all hell decided to break loose. In fact it had started a bit earlier but I was just not catching the signs. Baby wasn't really eating or sleeping much as of Monday but I figured it could be teeth, altitude, whatever. By wed I decided to break out the tylenol and see if I could get a decent nap. Instead I just got a nice mess to clean up as the poor baby proceeded to get sick all over her bed (good thing the hot water was working so a bath was available).

For the next several days we were fighting a major fever and of course getting very little sleep as a result. Ashton was a trooper and was a big help as we attempted to keep on top of the fever and keep baby hydrated. Then on Friday night Ashton came down with it herself. One flight later, a rough night for all and a sunday trip (at home) to urgent care has found out that baby and Ashton got the beloved Hand, food and mouth virus By today Baby had also gotten an ear infection to keep it real. So one round of antibiotics and some extra tylenol for good measure and we should be back to normal by Tuesday.

Oh to add to the fun our washer has decided to not spin anymore and our Tivo seems to be on the fritz as well -- perfect timing. Good news is that our fridge managed to stay working during our vacation so we do have a fridge and the dvd player has come back to life after the rest. I do think our house might just need an electrical/appliance exorcism though. That I hope to delay working on until after I get baby to an ENT doctor and see about getting those tubes in her ears.

Anyway, enough vacations for us for awhile. We need to get back to work to get some rest!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Wedding Mania -- THE dress is here

Yes, in the "unrealistic expectations" section of our childhoods we are about to embark on the biggest one of them all -- at least for girls. The Wedding...

Now I know what you are thinking, how can this be coming up already when our oldest child is only 4? Well we all have forgotten about the little girl wedding initiation process -- the Flower girl. And this is not just any flower girl, this is THE flower girl event of the year. This is the flower girl event that in the imagination of a 4 year old is bigger then any wedding you can imagine -- you don't even need a groom to be a flower girl -- just an amazing dress and someone else to do the vow part.

In fact I'm pretty sure that the vows are not even reaching consciousness, its all overcome by the ability to wear this dress and have people gasp in delight. Really is there anything else to a wedding? Certainly not when you are 4!

So what is the job of "mother of the flower girl" -- hmm.. never thought about this before -- in fact NONE of the parenting books I had other people read for me ever mentioned this dilemma.

And yes it is a dilemma of vast import

1) How am I going to control the expectations? I guess that will need to be a discussion, or several discussions over the course of her life -- no I do not plan to pay for your wedding -- I *might* consider purchasing your wedding dress as long as it doesn't cost as much as that flower girl dress...
2) What are we going to do with "the dress" after its over? Clearly you can't wear it -- do you realize what 4 years olds do in a day?!
3) What do we tell your sister when she wants her own dress event -- hmm... I'd suggest we block it out of family history forever (hey it worked for the Pharoah) but I'm SURE that isn't possible when the older sister will happily rub it in for the rest of their lives

and speaking of missing out of a dress opportunity I would like to bring up the fact that I never had an 8th grade graduation dress or necklace Mom & Dad. Yes I'm still keeping score -- I'm sure my girls will be much more evolved then I am with things like that.....

Makes you say hmm......

No pressure Shannon but Jacqueline's future happiness is in your hands ;-)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day weekend

A great weekend but a bit of a rocky start. On Sat. morning we got up to find out that our refrigerator had quit working and it was a nice 64 degres inside. (This was very helpful to know I must add -- excellent electronics on this machine!).

It was also especially nice that this happened AFTER we had just got new groceries including a new ice cream (of course the freezer went out too). We quickly called to schedule a repair vist for 4pm, unplugged it, added blocks of ice and left for our day.

The big event for the day was the Cast Iron Family picnic at Great America. The girls really enjoyed themselves and our "crazy baby" was actually pretty tame. She even let me hold her hand while walking in the crowds. Sadly we forgot her cute backpack/leash -- I was really looking forward to having people glare at me for child abuse with that one (and having the opportunity to suggest that they figure out what to do with a baby that wants to ditch you at every turn in a crowd). We actually wished we could have stayed a bit longer since Ashton was really enjoying the kids rides (and baby was sleeping in the stroller) but alas we had to go to meet our repairmen at 4.

Of course when the nice repairmen arrived they quickly plugged in the fridge and it worked perfectly. I really should have just set fire to $45.00 myself and saved everyone the hassle on that front. It is excellent to know that we have another opportunity to spoil newly purchased ice cream some time in our future -- maybe we'll get lucky this time and it'll happen when we are on vacation so that we can come home to a nice smelling experience as well.

Sunday we had a BBQ at the house with Suzie, the cousins and Grandpa Bob. It was a beautiful day so that made it especially nice, for a change we didn't put Grandpa Bob to work but instead just visited and chased the kids around the yard.

As you can see everyone had a nice relaxing afternoon. We also managed to buy some new ice cream as well so we are all ready for our next meltdown... stay tuned for that fun event.