Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Birthday Party: American Girl Place, Chicago

The lovely cake. Chocolate and vanilla. My daughter patiently waiting for lunch. She was so hungry, that I was feeding her mints. K- and her cousin A- were dressed alike, as were their dolls. Aunt Kristin and Uncle Tom gave K- the matching outfit as a birthday gift. K-'s birthday is in December and often, Aunt Kristin and Uncle Tom don't get the pleasure of being able to watch K- open it. This time, not only could they see the opening, but also the wearing. By the way, people thought that K- and A- were twins. A display right outside of the cafe holding area.
The Hancock Building.
95 floors up, you get to see this out the window. Not too shabby, since I had to use the zoom with no flash while we were standing in the waiting area of the observation area restaurant. No, we didn't eat there. It was pretty, though.

We started out on the road at about 3 PM on Friday. Hubs worked 1/2 day, but the school was late in arriving, the program was even later starting because of the little tiny bladders needing to dispense upon arrival, K- was in school and I was busy packing, packing, packing as I didn't do it the night before because I was busy making party necklaces for the next day. (At least I didn't do them on the drive like the church secretary suggested.) We need to take the air mattress, cot for K- and sleeping bags, as well as all the clothing, gift, doll and her trunk.

You'd be glad to know that we crammed the 5 1/2 hour drive into 7 1/2 hours. Sweet Pete! I'm happy to announce that the Chicago Skyway is passable at 9:30 PM with little traffic. At least, that was our experience. By the time we arrived, unloaded, set up sleeping quarters and the girls got to hang out, we remembered to add an hour onto their Central Time, we discovered that K- was tucking into bed at 11:30 PM. Eeeee-ghad!

We had a nice time at the party. American Girl is very efficient in how they run things. You are in and out in an hour. They greet you with warm cinnamon rolls, followed by appetizers of fruit, fresh veggies and pretzel/cheddar balls. You order your food. It is up lickety-split. It is good food and not crappity crap. The cake comes out. You do the singing and the candles, it comes back out cut with a little plastic flower pot filled with ice cream then voila! You are done. You leave with a little gift bag and you are spit back out into the store where they are hoping that you will continue to keep their store recession-effect free.

With the amount of merchandise flying from the shelves on Saturday, you would think that they were giving things away. I had already had the talk with K- in the car on the way to Chicago that we would NOT be buying anything. I told her that Miss Nora helped us to get her a lovely dog (Coconut, but re-named Cutie) and that she was permitted to touch things, but that we weren't buying anything.

She didn't ask for a thing. I was so proud!

Uncle Tom took us on over to the Hancock building to look out. The birthday girl wanted to do that, but discovered that the cold she was suffering from rendered her without her sense of hearing once we reached the top. We stayed just a brief time, then got her back down to solid, asphalt and concrete covered land.

Tom was kind enough to drop Hubs off at the Field Museum so that he could look around while we were doing the girl thing. Hubs was able to spend 4 hours in the museum and said that he still didn't see all of it. Folks, he was in love. I am so glad that he got to do that!

After the party, we returned back to Kristin and Tom's to find that the birthday girl's godfather had arrived. We took K- downstairs, had her change and had her take a nap. While she was napping and they were opening godfather gifts, Hubs and I escaped. We walked to the thrift store in their neighborhood, but found nothing. Then, we walked to the candy store around the corner from Tom and Kristin's house. We bought a few things, then headed down to Whole Foods. We always walk down there when we are in town. We wished that we had one here. How we love, love, love that store. We got some snackin' things, the homemade tortilla chips that MIL wanted and headed on back. K- was up and playing with the girls. Tom made dinner for all of us, which was great. We bathed and settled into bed.

This AM, we left by 10:15 EST. We stopped in at Bass Pro Shops in Toledo. Hubs gave me a Christmas shopping list to tackle. As soon as I got it done and the merchandise in the car, Hubs called to tell me that K- puked. (What would a trip to Chicago be without puke?!) I ran up, checked on K-, ran back out to the car for clean clothes, back up again to retrieve K- to take to the bathroom to clean up, and then out to the main aisles for K- to have fun with their rodeo weekend. So, why did my kid puke this time? She drank the equivalent of a can of soda (or better) in less than 5 minutes. Probably no breaths. Very cold. She doesn't drink pop, but by sips when she is sick. She suffers from reflux and gluttony. Don't worry about her, though. She is fine. But she has learned. I explained that drinking that much water is quite different from drinking that much pop. I told her that all the bubbles kind of collected together, they probably just wanted her to burp, but she got more than that. The in-law's apologized. They said that they tried to feed her, but she just wanted soda and they gave it to her as a rare treat kind of thing. Like the chocolate milk incident, I'm sure that they'll rethink that next time they consider soda.

So, I'm here this evening. I'm tired. I read the update on Dawn. I read the update on Michelle's dad. Both situations aren't ideal by any stretch. Please continue to keep these folks in your prayers. Thank you for doing that for my blogoversary (and all the time for the regular checkers!) I have a heart for prayer. I just find that even when things seem so funky, I can always pray for someone. I may not be able to find the right words to say to them, but I've got the words to God covered for them.

Smiles in my weekend:
- To Chicago and back safely.
- K- having a nice time playing with her cousins.
- Hubs is done for Christmas. (Thank you Hubs and nice sales person at Bass Pro that took my list and just kept handing me things.)
- Hubs stayed $5.05 under budget. That's enough to throw a few little things into a stocking. (K- filled it last year with things that she chose, so I'll probably do that same thing with her this year. He'll get an odd assortment of things, but she has fun with it. I give her a limit to stay within, so she's pretty good with it, too.)


Rach said...

Oh, what a FUN trip! The girls are SO sweet in their matching dresses. :o)

We had a gargantuan trip this weekend--not quite as long as yours--all in one day. Lil is BEAT. ;o)

Jamie said...

Glad you made it there and back safely!

Love, love, love the matching dresses on the girls and dolls. I always wanted to buy one of my girls a matching doll dress but I am cheap. It was a nice gift though and I thought it was cool that their dresses also matched the room they were in.

Michelle said...

oh it looks like it was a magically wonderful time together! What memories were created!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I'm so behind on my blog reading thanks in part to work and being at the boys school (including later today, thank you... I should be on the payroll).

This looks like fun and I love the outfit and the pretty, fun girl birthday. No crazy boys. No one beating each other up (that I saw anyway). Just a lovely lady like themed party. Sigh....

Come visit me. I'll take you to our Whole Foods. I could use a visit...when I'm not at school:)

Glad the weekend went well. Hope K's tummy issues are better. J's had an on again, off again low grade temp. I think he's fighting something. Hoping he fights it. But it's doubtful. Good thing it started AFTER our follow up at the Dr. on Tuesday. Wouldn't want to actually be ill when we were at the Dr. More co-pays in our future..

Happy Halloween!! And send Halloween hugs to your little butterfly for us:)