Saturday, July 26, 2014

Fun with family & friends in Chi-town

Today was a fun (and exhausting) day in Chicago! The Stephens hosted a BBQ so that all the people who wanted to see us could just come to us. We had a lot of local friends as well as some visitors who came all the way from Wisconsin to see us. My Auntie Shelly and my cousins Nicole and Krista drove down from Northern Wisconsin and our friends from Seattle, Liz & Heather, who moved to Milwaukee came down as well. After they all left Michelle's grandma and uncle came over for dinner so it was a very full day!  Here are a zillion pics

our busy girl
smiley girls
Grandma Stephen got lots of toys out for the babies!
Ellie & Auntie Tracy
lots of playing "pass the baby"
baby time in the cool pool Grandma got for the visit
Avery loved the sprinkler action!
The trio with Nicole, Krista, & Shelly
Avery & Nicole bonding
Isaiah bonding with Auntie Shelly
Ellie chillin' with Krista
big kid time in the pool!
a washed out pic of Michelle, Laura, & Justin
Isaiah bonding with Liz 
all this socializing makes a girl thirsty!
mmmm...little people are delicious
that camera is cool! can I see it?!
Auntie Nicole entertaining Isaiah
contemplative Elle belle
Avery's squishy nose smile
can't get this adorable sisters kissing pic to turn
Mama & Avery
why, yes, I would like to stand up!
The northernWI crew before they headed out 
the southern WI crew before they headed back north =)
Isaiah bonding with Uncle Matt
Avery chillin' with Grandpa & Addie
(Addie LOVED to lick the babies' faces ALL DAY)

Cuteness times three

Just catching up on some cute pics from the past month or so!

standing gets tiring sometimes
mmmm...this mirror is yummy
so is this block!
Happy boy

this tupperware is fun

Big girl!  So excited to cruise back forth
bedtime book early summer
this is how it usually looks now!

too cute...some potty reading material
snuggle me
hey, wait...I want that bottle!

This next set of pics is all from a birthday party...we got a lot of cute ones that day!
Mama & Ellie having fun!
Smiley baby in her party dress
fun with sunglasses
yup, I'm cool like that
Me & my little man
borrowing a friend's studly hat
Love these three cuties!
got a couple of pics before Avery decided to try to stand up
ready for Hollywood!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A one car family no more

After talking about it for months, Michelle and I finally decided that the time had come to acknowledge that being a one car family isn't really working for us anymore. Michelle is going to be doing a research project this fall and there will likely be times when we both need to be gone at the same time, leaving the kiddos with the new nanny. Plus now that they're getting older there will be more times when whoever is home with them wants to be able to take them out for adventures, like going to the library or the science museum. So we did a lot of research online and then went to Workman Auto, a local used car dealer who came highly recommended. We brought all the babies with us the first time and the first thing he said was "so, it's time for a bigger car, huh?!"  I'm sure he thought we were there to look at the minivans, or maybe a big SUV.  But, actually, Michelle and I spent a lot of time talking about our longer term car plan and decided that we want a Prius and a Highlander and in the short term, a Prius just makes more sense for the second car so that we have one car that gets good gas mileage.  But once we explained our plan, Dave, the salesman, was on board and great to work with.  He gets a lot of the higher mileage Prius trade-ins from the local Toyota dealers and is a big Prius fan.  So we are now the proud owners of a "new to us" Prius!  (And YES, the car seats all fit!  I tested it out before we bought the car!)

Yup, another blue car for us!
(you also get a peek at some of our beautiful flowers!)

if only it would stay this clean!

See, they fit! =)
And I have to say, this was the most pleasant car buying experience!  You know you're in a small town and dealing with a nice guy when you show up to test drive and he just sends you off in the car (no copying licenses or anything like that).  And then when we decided to buy the car he tells us that they'll take a personal check (what?! really?!) and when we told him we forgot the checkbook and would have to go home and drop Michelle and have Matt come back with me so she can do dinner with the babies he tells me "No worries, Michelle can sign now and then you can just drive the car home, make sure the car seats fit and whatever else you need to do, and then swing back by with the check and you can sign the final paperwork."  All in all, it was an easy process and it feels great to just have it taken care of and not feel like I need to be continually searching craigslist for all the metro areas within 4 hours!  It's kind of like the kiddos bought us this car (or at least a good chunk of it) because I got a sweet tax refund this year thanks to them that made this possible. =)  (And a big thanks to my mom and dad for helping with the last little bit so we could just get this car and not keep searching!)