Thanksgiving Vaca (Chicago-Style)

We woke the kids up bright and early and headed to the airport for Thanksgiving vacation in Chicago. I bought Emmy a little backpack and packed it with some of her favorite things: Elmo stickers, a couple light books, bubblegum Chapstick, a drawing pad, new crayons, and lots of tasty snacks. She wouldn’t let us carry it for anything. She was so proud of her little backpack and it definitely came in handy for airplane entertainment. Traveling with kids is just a lot of work. I always find I’m sweating by the time we make it through security. And then there’s the pressure of everyone’s judging eyes as you load the plane. How random that the one and only empty seat on the plane wound up in our row. Haha! The kids did great though and we didn’t hear a peep out of sweet Tucker. Em’s was a wiggle worm, per usual, and we ended up watching Elmo on the iPad for the last couple minutes.

As soon as we arrived at the Smith house we were told there was a BIG SURPRISE for Emmy! Pops went a little overboard and bought Em her very first car!! πŸ™‚ He had it covered with a blanket, which Emmy pulled off herself. We bundled up right away and headed out for a drive. I gotta say, she looks pretty cool in her leather jacket and black Beamer! The car can switch between being controlled by the foot pedals or a remote which is awesome. She was all smiles and woke up the next morning asking for “Ommy’s car!” at the front door. πŸ™‚ Good job Pops!

Thanksgiving was a fun time with the family. We were so glad all the kids could make it this time. Emmy loved meeting new and old friends and family. By the time she woke up from her nap everyone was already eating. She wanted to join the kids table right away but refused to eat anything (thanks to her cold I assume). We got a special violin recital by Miss Sophie of Em’s favorite: Twinkle Star. E loved clapping for her and dancing along. Β We missed Norah and Jonah and being at Kim’s for the day but are so glad we got to be with this side of the fan that we Β haven’t seen in so long! Later that night we immediately started celebrating Christmas by changing into reindeer jammies. πŸ™‚ Emerson loves her Aunt Chelsea and cuddling before bed.

Thursday night was a ROUGH one! We slept in the same room as Tuck and both him and Matt coughed the entire night. I literally got up at least 25 times. Argh! So we decided to ditch our plans on Friday morning and spend time resting and relaxing at home. Em woke up with some serious bed-head and took another spin in her new ride, played copy-cat with Uncle HJ, and colored with Aunt Chels. We took a trip out to the mall later that day and found some deals at H&M. Yesss!

Later that night Emmy changed into her Christmas Onesie Jammies (haha) and her and Pops enjoyed their favorite treat: chocolate pudding and whip cream. Mmm MM!

Emmy got to open another early Christmas present from the grandparents: ELMO! This Elmo laughs and talks though! Our girl was in heaven…

20131130-195001.jpgWe got to join in on a Chelsea-inspired family tradition of a gingerbread house making contest. After Em went to bed we pulled out a million kinds of candy and got to work on our miniature masterpieces. Of course things got competitive pretty quickly. It wouldn’t be a contest unless there was a little smack-talk. So, Matt and I would like to know who wins here…

Saturday was when we took Emmy downtown to the Children’s Museum. Later that night we got a date night downtown at RPM Italian. I’ve been waiting for this night a long time now! I am slightly obsessed with Bill and Giuliana Rancic and desperately wanted to try Mama Depandi’s pasta dishes. We made reservations as soon as we booked our flights and I was just praying we might run into them. No such luck, but it was still a fabulous experience. I got to try a G-rizzle and Mama Depandi’s famous buccatini. I love making memories with this man…

Sunday morning we went to Solutions Church to see our second church family. Emmy loved cuddling Grandma throughout worship and Tucker was very content with Uncle HJ throughout most the service. Emmers was entertained by buckles for about two minutes before she started asking quite loudly for the next thing she wanted. Grandma and daddy took her into the lobby to eat waffles and dance instead. It’s always great to visit such wonderful people..

Later that day, per tradition, we headed to “GG’s” house for lunch. Emerson LOVES her GG. She kept running by saying, “Hi GG. I love you GG. Where’s GG??” She even wanted to help her clean the floors. We all love GG!

Later that night the adults got to open their Christmas presents from Matt’s parents. We continued our Christmas celebration with popcorn and Elf. Emmy wanted to rock all by herself or watch the movie about a foot from the TV. Funny girl!

Monday morning we spent the day enjoying our last moments with Grandma and Pops. We hope they can make another visit real soon. Emmy had me cracking up the whole way to the airport. She loves when we scream back and forth. πŸ™‚ Bye-bye for a little while Grandma. Thanks for all the fun!

Our journey home was less than ideal with many moments of stress. While unpacking our many bags, bottles, shoes, coats, hats, etc. to get through security I was horrified to lift Tucker from his stroller and cover my arm in poop. An explosive diaper through security- perfect. As I’m holding this messy little babe I find I’ve been randomly selected for inspection. Perfect, just watch out for the poop all over my hands and the screaming baby in my arms. AH! After running around the airport in search of a change of clothes for Tucker we finally decided upon a $25 dollar onesie. I mean, seriously!? After changing everyone and making it to our plane, we hear mechanics are coming to fix someone’s tray table that won’t go up. What!? It happened to be the tray table attached to the back of Matt’s chair so him and Em had to unload and wait in the back of the plane for them to work on it. So for the hour they worked on the seat, Tucker fussed and cried as I felt the heat of everyone’s frustration with me and THAT BABY. After changing Emmy’s dirty diaper in the airplane bathroom, we were off. As soon as we got in we smelled a third dirty diaper of the day and realized only after completely undressing Emmy, we were wiped out of wipes. Cool! Oh, and then they lost my luggage. All this on several nights of poor sleep equals a mommy melt-down. Oh boy. Glad we went and had a blast but glad to be home after that experience!

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