Last week was a very busy week. The kids were on Spring Break. Now for some people, that means a less hectic time, a time to rest up and get energized for the last few weeks of the school year. Not for us! I think last week was just as busy, if not busier, than any other week we've had this year! Trips to the grandparents' house for the kids, 4-H workshops, swimming lessons, a sleep-over, and then to top it off an extra-special trip the kids had been looking forward to for weeks.
We took the kids to Chicago for a day! DD had decided that this year for her birthday she wanted to do something very different since having a party with her friends on her actual birthday was not an option (seeing as how it lands on Easter Sunday this year). She requested a trip to the American Girl Place in Chicago. DD had been saving up her Christmas money, allowance money, and birthday money to buy herself a doll and she was ready to make her purchase. DS heard her plans and decided against a party this year as well, thinking that a visit to the Lego store in Chicago would be a good replacement. DH & I gave the kids each the amount of money to spend in Chicago that we usually would have spent on their birthday presents. Anything above and beyond that they were responsible for paying for out of their own money. They both readily agreed and the trip was planned (it worked out well as Spring Break landed 1/2-way between both of their birthdays).
We visited the American Girl Place first. DD was beyond excited! (DS, on the other hand, was not so excited----he spent the entire time wandering around with us playing his Gameboy!) She was in absolute awe while looking at all of the dolls and their accessories throughout the store. The store was quite amazing. Two stories of dolls, accessories, books, and clothing, as well as a photography studio, doll hair salon, craft store (to make doll T-shirts or other accessories), doll hospital, sweet shop, and restaurant. As a treat (originally for DD, but DS greatly enjoyed the food as well, if not particularly the pink, dolly atmosphere!) we ate lunch at the restaurant after DD had made her doll selection & purchase. She purchased Chrissa (the "Doll of the Year") with her own money, which she was very proud of,and used her birthday money from us to buy a doll carrier and several books. (I do have to point out at this point that she ended up with an extra book as a reward for finally riding on the escalator in the store. She was terrified of it and refused at first to ride it, but after several attempts finally faced her fear and rode it.....and now loves escalators!)
After lunch we headed down the street to the Lego Store for DS's birthday treat. He was quite excited to be surrounded by so many of one of his favorite toys! There were several very large Lego models built and on display that intrigued both kids. Poor DS had quite a hard decision to make as he tried to figure out just what he wanted to buy. So many Legos to choose from! After filling a small container with loose bricks that you can choose from on your own, he spent a very long time trying to decide which model-building set he wanted. After a while he had finally narrowed it down to the fact that he definitely wanted a Star Wars vehicle.....but there were several of those to choose from! With some very much appreciated help from one of the store employees, DS finally narrowed his choices down, one-by-one, until he chose a set that will make the Twilight starship from Star Wars Clone Wars......and to top it off, it was on sale for 1/2 price! What a deal! He was almost as excited about getting it for such a good price as he was about the Lego set itself!
After finishing up at the Lego store, we headed back to the parking garage to load up and head home. The kids, as well as DH & myself, had a wonderful, fun-filled day in Chicago! The kids had never been there before and were quite intrigued with the sights to see (especially Lake Michigan & the Sears Tower) as much as they were with the two stores we specifically went to see. All in all, a wonderful way to help them celebrate their birthdays!