My sister Karen visits the states from Lebanon every summer for a month or so and we usually get to catch her for a couple weekends. This year, however, she flew through Chicago and stayed here for almost a week. Then, my dad came up to spend the weekend and drove them all back to the farm. We had so much fun with them!
Anna is 7 years old now and Thomas is 9. Anna was super helpful with Elliot (ehem, that's code for almost smothering him!) and unfortunately, he responded with too much pushing and biting, even when she wasn't trying to hug or carry him. Really, though, she was a nice set of hands to have around. Thomas helped a ton, too. Maybe it was boy-bonding, but Thomas tended to clue into Elliot's "space" more and thus was well-liked. Anna took it in stride and I think everyone is excited to get back together in a few weeks when the entire family will be at the farm-- all 9 cousins to play together!
We got really used to having them here and it was sad to see them leave on Sunday. Karen kept us fed well and easily worked around Elliot's naps, etc. We were able to do the city on the cheap with free passes to places and getting lucky with other free options like storytime at the library and an art session at a local museum one afternoon.
Everyone (except the stick-in-the-muds-moms) went down the slide more than once. Elliot goes down with dad, and just has to be lifted up upon entering the water. It's a 3 ft pool with a lifeguard right at the bottom, offering a helping hand.
Elliot loved looking over the side.
"Land Ho!" ??
By the time we got to Millennium Park, everyone was just about melted down. Grandpa and I headed home with Elliot while Pat and the crew stayed behind to catch the train home, just to have a train ride added to the vacation events. What a full week-- we had a blast!!