We had to leave our hotel outside of Chicago at 7:20am in order to get to church on time. We ate a fast breakfast and then I loaded the boys in the car in their pajamas. We got to church on time but I had to dress them in the parking lot so that made us late going in. Alex was freaking out because I had told him he was going to play with Canon and instead I took him to church! How dare I?! We sat in the back and then Canon and Alex reunited after sacrament meeting. Canon walked right up to Alex and they hugged. Then they got to go to nursery to play for two hours. They were both so excited.
After church, we had lunch and then the kids went down for naps. Or at least we attempted. Canon screamed Alex's name for two hours, Abby cried, and Alex was jumping in and out of bed. Alex and Edison finally fell asleep and it was a much needed nap. At naptime, Edison and Alex shared a room but at bedtime, Canon shared his bed with Alex. It was so funny to have them in bed together. By the end of it, Alex was about to murder someone though. After they woke up from their naps, we went on a walk to a nearby pond to walk around. Alex just wanted to swim with the fish though. I had to be careful to keep him out of the water.
While we were making dinner, Edison climbed up on the table that was already set and threw a plate. It shattered and I felt so bad. But then Kristen made me feel so much better and that is when I remembered that this family is pretty much the coolest ever. Normally, I would be completely mortified by something like that happening.
The next day, Canon had preschool in the morning so we went to the Mitchell Park Conservatory, or the Domes. They were really cool and Alex got to see the fish he had been looking for the day before. I wish I had been able to look at the plants more closely but the single parenting thing is tricky.
Kristen wanted to go see a lighthouse nearby the Domes so we drove around to find it. By the time we got there, Edison was asleep. It was his first nap of the day and I didn't want to make him wake up. So Kristen stayed in the car and fed Abby lunch while Alex and I walked around the lighthouse.
When we got back to the car, Abby was asleep and Alex fell asleep just a few minutes later.
That night, Nathan and Kristen went out on a date while I watched the kids. It was insanity to try to get four kids into bed at the same time. And have them clean up their messes before bed. Yikes. It was a crazy night.
The next day, we went to the zoo. Alex was talking about going to the zoo on our whole drive from Williston. He would list all of the animals he planned to see. He had been asking to go to the zoo since we got to Williston but I haven't found a good day to drive four hours to the nearest zoo. Poor kid.
The kids saw the monkeys and then imitated them.
Four cute little backsides.
We found a picnic table to eat lunch. The kids were running around and wouldn't eat anything.
Kristen and her kids had to go home for an appointment but I stayed to let the boys pet the goats.
After they fed the goats and Alex got his fingers nibbled, we went to get ice cream at the dairy barn in the zoo. There was a very informative video about how they milk cows for us to watch while we ate.
You can never have too much ice cream so after we got home and the kids took naps, we headed to Kopp's to get frozen custard. We totally spoiled their dinner.
We put the kids to bed a little early that night and then Kristen and I left to have a night out. It was so fun. Because I was with the kids nonstop during this vacation, it was really nice that Nathan was willing to stay home so we could have some time without them. We went out to a barbecue joint. After we sat down, the waiter informed us that they were out of three cuts of meat. We ended up both getting the brisket. It was a cool place because the meat did not come with sauce on it but the table had four different sauces and you could add them to your own meal. We tried lots of different combinations and it was so fun to test them out.
As sides, Kristen got fried okra and I had coleslaw. The okra was disgusting. It was so slimy and she hardly ate any of it. We both ate all of our brisket. Anyway, the waiter could tell that we weren't super impressed with the sides and so he brought us a complimentary dessert. But it was whiskey ice cream. We weren't sure if that was okay to eat so we each had a few bites and it was nasty. So I smashed it down in the bowl so it looked like we had eaten more, and then we quickly walked away from the restaurant. I felt so bad because he was trying to be nice and it looked like we didn't appreciate it. But it was still an awesome night. It was one of my favorite parts of the vacation.