After breakfast Janel and I walked to the Harold Washington Library with the boys. We spent some time in the Children’s Library reading board books and then hoped to see the big garden on the 9th floor. It was closed for a private event so we only could peek in. We walked back to the hotel and headed for the airport to say goodbye to Aunt Janel. I only had to make a few U-turns before getting her off for her flight. We already miss her. We were really glad she could come. She has been so helpful on this trip but the truth is this trip was just an excuse to get to hang out with her for a week. We’ve been looking for a chance to do something like this. The kids love Aunt “Jelly” too.
The boys and I found Friendship Park Conservatory in Des Plaines (near our first hotel) and ate our sandwiches there. Isaac loved watching some school kids play baseball while we ate. There is a little playground there so the kids played for a little while. We didn’t last long because it was like 85 degrees and all the playground equipment was too hot. I hate that!
After lunch we headed to LEGOland. I drove around and around first hoping that the boys would get a good nap. The twins took advantage of the time and snoozed but not Isaac. We got there just after all of the school kids left (about 3:00) and it was perfect timing.
We pretty much had the place to ourselves. Isaac was so proud of himself for going down the BIG slide in the play place.
I’m glad kids are so easily amused.
The day kind of went downhill from there….
The plan was to drop off the van and take the train into town. Derek could have met me at the airport/car rental after the conference but I was feeling brave and said I could do it on my own.
I’ll never do that again.
We headed to IHOP for dinner (pancakes are Isaac’s favorite) at 4:30. I figured that would get us there in time for an early dinner (no cranky kids!) and then back to the hotel at a decent hour. It would have worked perfectly had we not run into construction and took 45 minutes to go three miles. Awesome. Isaac and Carter were both asleep by the time we got there so I had to wake them up. And they were starving. Cranky kids for dinner again. At least they ate without a fight. But then the twins thought it was the perfect time to have a shrieking competition. They only laughed and screeched louder when I told them to stop. I was so embarrassed. I scarfed my dinner down and then got everyone out to the car before they could start throwing food too.
The lady checking in my car was so helpful and so was the shuttle driver who took us to the train. The kids were a little restless on the bus but it was only a 10 minute ride so we survived that leg without a problem.
The train ride was a different story. (I so miss you Janel!!) The plan was to leave the twins in the stroller and put them in one of the cars that had wheelchair access. Well, it didn’t work out so I had both twins on my lap and Isaac next to me with the folded up stroller crammed in next to us. The more tired Carter is, the crazier he acts. He would not sit still the whole ride (45 minutes-ish). He would thrash and whine and try to get down and try to sit on Isaac and try to hit Cooper and try to stand up on the seats and look out the window…. At least the other two boys behaved most of the time. About three stops before we were supposed to get off they all snapped. I was holding down two screaming twins and trying to get the stroller open just hoping Isaac wouldn’t run out of the train door at the next stop (he kept saying he was done and wanted to get down to see Daddy). By some miracle, I got the stroller set up and the twins in it before we came to our stop. Derek and his boss Sean met us at the train station and walked us home.
(Boys found this hiding place this morning)
Whew. I’m glad that’s over. I’m glad that I usually have Derek to help me tackle the boys in public (and at home!!). He went out tonight after they were all finally asleep and brought me chocolate ice cream to eat while I typed up this blog post. I’m glad he’s mine.