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Mr. Mike and Mama Gail's Annual Visit (Plus Special Guests Chelsea and Nolan)

Two days before they actually came up Chelsea texted me asking if I worked this weekend. I said yes thinking she wanted me to get her something. She then said she was planning on coming with my parents this weekend. They arrived late on Friday. 

Both Nolan and Meadow took late naps so they just wanted to party.

I think the in-laws were excited to see their littlest granddaughter.

Meadow showed them her new tricks.

Then Scott decided at 11:30 he was going to hide the speaker wires.

You can't wait when you are motivated to do some housework. I've needed to do some wire wrangling for a while and Meadow has been eating the speaker wire going across our living room recently.

Eventually we all headed to bed while Scott kept working. A while later we all heard a crash.

While getting the last cables in place I turned out the TV like I always do. This time the front-heavy boob tube came falling down right at me. It hit me hard and I could feel it the next day.

Scott came running upstairs to tell me he dropped the TV and cracked it.

The corner was smashed.

The next day everyone (except Scott and I) went to Ikea. I had to work and was planning on doing a half day.

I went and bought a new TV while they got ready for their Ikea expedition. Thankfully it was Presidents weekend. I got a wicked deal of an LG LED TV.

 I told them to tell me when they were done and I would meet them back home. They didn't leave until the store closed. So much for a half day. I told them they are never allowed to go to Ikea again.

My dad wanted pizza for dinner so I suggested Psycho Suzi's.

I think I made the suggestion, but that's just my recollection.


Photographing the family was the perfect opportunity to test out my new Nikon 28mm f/1.8g.

Nolan no longer looks like a grandpa. He's a good little baby. Balances out Meadow's attitude.

Mom grabbed a City Pages to read.

She read about gay marriage. At least our parents are open minded.

We settled on chicken wings for an app and one deep dish and one regular pizza.

Did you just say app?

Yes the original app.


There was one piece left and everyone started chanting "Eat it, eat it, eat it."

She ate it.


Hi Meadow.

Where did Meadow go?


Brooke's my "Mender of Broken Dreams." That means  I love her.

I thought beer was the mender.

My parents were lucky and found a spot in the parking lot. We didn't even try and parked a few blocks down.

We get so much baby food every month from WIC that I gave some to Chelsea.

We've started donating some of the baby food we don't need.

The next morning I was planning on making vegan pancakes for breakfast since we were out of eggs. Then Chelsea said she wanted crepes so Scott ran out to the store to get ingredients.

Meadow was fine with milk.

Looks like Nolan wanted milk too.

Then the cousins got some play time together.


I stopped by Aldi down the road to get some apples, fake-Nutella and some donuts.

I forgot the donuts, so I tried CVS on the way back since I didn't want to disappoint Mr. Mike. I disappointed Mr. Mike. No donuts.

Grandma Gail is probably making fun of Meadow's bald spot. It's definitely getting better.

Nolan fell asleep on his Grandpa.

Then I made crepes for the next hour. I made the typical maple syrup apple cinnamon sauce.

Meadow sucked on an apple.

And climbed on more things.

Then breakfast was ready.

If you can't make them thin enough thin them out with some more milk. 

Scott had to leave for a little while.

I had to finish and unlock and iPhone for the Goddess of Glass.

I then suggested we spend the day at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.


Chelsea didn't  have Nolan's stroller and we don't have one either. She wore him in the Ergo and I wore Meadow in the Moby.

Meadow must have thought this was pretty great.

The babies loved looking at the fish.


Grandma Gail would call this a stupid photo. (I kid Gail. you're the best!)


Scott fixed the Ergo straps for Chelsea.

My mom stretched her legs and we thought it looked like she was holding up the wall so everyone else helped her out.

There were lots of kid activities today and Meadow got her first face painting.

Then Nolan got one too.

So cute.

Chelsea was wearing a white shirt and was afraid his purple heart would get on it.

Some of the rooms at the conservatory are quite steamy.


You should have your wedding here and hire me. I'm a heck of deal.


This is one of my best places to photograph crowds.

The edible room is my favorite. I need to come at different times of the year to see different things growing.

Checking out more fish.

Meadow wanted to join in on the fun.



Santa Claus hangs here during his off-season.

I made Scott takes this picture because I thought her eyes looked so pretty in the light.

The in-laws needed a portrait of the just two of them. The lighting was too good.

Mr. Mike and I got bored quickly at the gift shop.


After the gift shop we checked out the zoo. First we looked at the monkeys.

I can't wait for some "Zooper Food" this summer.

Then some of the African animals.

Meadow wasn't impressed with the animals.

I remember these plastic mold machines when I was a kid. My dad got a lion for Meadow.

Before they headed home Scott suggested eating dinner together first.

I'd been to the Como Park Grill a few times with my fellow Google photographers.

I had never heard of this place. Pizza was half off today. Too bad we went out last night.


This place has the perfect balance where it's family friendly, but also a great date night spot.

Beers were on Happy Hour too.

This is where Mike said that Meadow would have tons of fun up north playing in the woods; Nolan would watch TV all day.

Chelsea ordered pizza anyway. I got a burger.

I got a pot roast pub sandwich. So good.

I'm sure he'll love playing in the forest and lake with his cousins.

Meadow ate everybody else's food.


Then it was time to say goodbye. I wish they could have stayed another day.

I love my little bear. She just doesn't know how to pose for pictures.

I watched Downton Abbey on the new TV when we got home.

I gave Meadow a bath.

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