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Friday, July 22, 2016

Five on Friday: 7/22/16


For my birthday, the hubs got us tickets to see Bob Schneider at Old Town School of Folk.  This is a guy I used to see at frat parties at Texas, then later playing at bars where my friends and I would have too many Bud Lights and scream our favorite songs at him until he played them.  It's quite a different (grown up) experience to see him now, sitting down, quietly listening.  Sometimes being an adult is A-ok.  

We got front row seats, though we didn't realize how front row it was going to be.  Our table was up against the stage, which honestly was a little much.  Staring up someone's nose isn't quite the experience I'm looking for so from now on, we'll be a little less greedy with our seats.  (Speaking of being less greedy- we were one of thousands of people in Chicago watching that dreaded spinning circle on Ticketmaster trying to get tickets to Hamilton.  We finally gave up trying for big Friday night out plans and tried for a Tuesday... success!  So I guess the moral of the story here is um... be less greedy and you, too, can see Hamilton?)

Whenever we have grandparents in town, we go out and do something really hip and fun and cool.  Just kidding, we play pub trivia.  But let me just say that the husband and wife team of Spoiler Alert are on a roll, folks.  

These knuckleheads.

My sister came in town and while I hope to do a little recap post on it, I gotta throw her visit a bone in case that doesn't ever materialize.

Lastly an endorsement for anyone looking for new games to play with your kids.  Miles has always loved playing games but we're always trying to move to the next level because I can only play Chutes and Ladders so many times.  Also, that game is never ending.  Same with Candyland.  And Uno, since he makes us deal out 15 cards each game.  But we have finally found a game that challenges him as well as us old folks: Ticket to Ride.  You can tailor it to make it harder for the adults but easier on the kids all at the same time.  We are also fans of those Peaceable Kingdom games, which are cooperative games, meaning you all work together and you don't end up with a pissed off child who lost and now needs to play just one more game before bed please please please!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Five on Friday: 7/8/16


I find it very important to note that I wrote this on Thursday, 7/7/16, which is why it is all so frivolous.  It seems so silly and trivial to update today but maybe if you perhaps need a few minutes of distraction I can offer that.  

Been keeping super busy ever since school let out for the summer. Checking out new parks, going to splash pads, and hitting up all the free museum days so I can make up for spending $40 to take the kids to see Finding Dory.

Loving all the swag at the Pride Parade.

Miles' first baseball game at Wrigley.  Go Cubs!

Thursday concerts in the plaza (that's Miles in the red on the lamppost).

Take your kid to work day.

Homemade fudgsicles.  The one on the right was happy after the first bite, then quickly realized I'd snuck in "yucky things" like Greek yogurt and bananas and that was the end of that.

Field Museum

Nature Museum

Anytime anyone would come near this tank Atticus would yell, "NO!!!  My turtle!" and shove them away.  Sweetheart.

Checking out the butterfly exhibit.

Donahue Park, which is fantastic and of course opened right by our old condo a few months after we moved.  Luckily it's just a train ride away.

We've had a revolving door of visitors (which is a good thing, I don't like an empty house) including my parents, in-laws, sister-in-law and fam, and today my sister arrives!

World's most poorly configured seesaw ride.  
Those kids were up there a long time.

Polka dancing at Maifest.

We honestly could just ride around town all day on the train and he'd be entertained.

While my sister-in-law was here, we had what I'll call a triumphant beach day. That is not an exaggeration. We had a group of seven kids who played perfectly together for two straight hours.  This is a minor miracle for this group. The genious was that my brother-in-law set each kid up with a separate job for creating and maintaining a giant sand hole and hill so each kid was busy and focused.  Beach hole for the win!

Another great idea if you need the kids to all get along is to just bury them away from each other.

Atticus came down with an ear infection, fever, and cold which meant we watched a lot of tv while Miles was at camp.  I also got a lot of these looks.

Going back a bit, a few pics from the kiddo's final school assembly and last day of school.

Excited for the weekend and my sister and Square Roots fest!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five on Friday: 6/24/16


I'll start by saying that my classy group of readers sent me more emails about the butt picture than anything else.  I know guys, I love it, too.  And, to answer a specific question, no I didn't frame it.  Although I wish I'd have thought of that.  All I'm left with is a photo because I asked Miles to turn it into something better than butts and give it back to his teacher.  Here's what he came up with: BUTTerflies.

Atticus has picked up this habit where anytime anyone looks out of the ordinary, he points and yells, "Goofy guy!".  This is usually reserved for cartoons or headless mannequins and the like, but the other day the buddhists from a temple nearby were walking by in some sort of ceremonial prayer or something (can anyone help me with this?).  They were clinging some chimes and walking slowly and silently by.   You know where this is going, right?  Our windows were open and Atticus was watching for awhile (which was when I took the picture) but then starts yelling "Goofy guys!  Mama wook!  Goofy guys!".  I closed the window as fast as I could but the total mortification was well taken care of by then.
I'm trying my hand at gardening this year.  Here's our first strawberry!  I think I'll make a pie.

Summer is in full swing which means block parties, street fests, and beer fests galore.

Ending with a PSA for my Chicago friends: Get your kids to the nearest library and sign up for the summer reading program.   They give you an activity book full of games and things to make, a page to mark off everytime they read another 20 minutes, and a serious amount of free books to take home (see photo).  They also have a separate program for 4 years and under.  See?  Even Atticus is excited to participate.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I'm Baaaaack! (But Then, Did You Even Notice I Was Gone?)

Soooooooo... that whole "gone for the summer" thing didn't really pan out that way, did it?  The thing is, I was gonna give it a go last summer but with two kids at home with only a couple weeks of half day summer camp for the older one, I was just trying my best to keep them busy, happy, and not kill each other.  Now that the younger one is even more active (also stubborn with a strong tendency to flee his location at the sound of a gate click), they are going to keep me on my toes more than ever, so I'm not exactly sure how I think I'll manage the blog easier than last summer... however!  I'm commited!  I can maybe do it!  Or you'll never hear from me after this post.  We shall see.  So.  In honor of my first post of 2016, a top ten recap from the past 10 1/2 months.  So here we go, in order of appearance...

Starting at the very beginning, last summer was pretty packed with lots of visitors, summer camp, beach days, and our first annual block party.  Here's a big old photo dump for ya.
Summer vacation begins...

Movie night with his best buds

Oma and Opa visit

Our new business: Kitchen Kuts

Hot dogs and s'mores at Grandma and Grandpa's house

Shakespeare in the park

Wedding in Michigan

 4th of July fireworks

Montrose Beach

Block party

Nana and Pops visit

I was able to get away for a weekend and headed to Austin.  Meghan had a baby!  I had some new local beers with my sister!  I got stung by a bee!

Fall was pretty sterotypical with pumpkin patches, cider mills, and a Traverse City wine trip.  The grand finale was my sister-in-law getting married!

Halloween was freezing and rainy and cold.  Again.  So the kiddos costumes were mostly covered up with coats a la Jerry Seinfeld.  Miles picked out both of their costumes and at least it worked out that they had to wear hats and mittens.  Side note: I couldn't find a plain yellow shirt for Miles to wear so I had to settle on buying a Notre Dame shirt at Goodwill and having him wear it inside out.  When the day came to put on the shirt, he about lost his mind.  He saw the ND logo and absolutely refused to wear it.  He finally settled on a grey and yellow striped shirt that didn't look near as good but he was very happy with it.  That is definitely my husband's child.

Somewhere around this time the hubs decided we needed to buy a lifetime supply of bacon bits.  I'm pretty sure I know who he gets this overbuying tendency from...

Christmas rolled around and under the Christmas tree was a big helping of strep for everyone!  This forced us to have our annual NYE party on new years day when everyone was already well into their hangover from real NYE.  Also, Michael still couldn't speak and spent much of the party like this:

and this

Still we carried on...

In the spring, the hubs and I dropped the kids off with Grandma and Grandpa and went on a cruise!  It was my first and I was very very weary of how this was all going to go down.  I watch enough Lifetime movies to know that this doesn't always end well for the wife.  Michael tried to get me to change our life insurance policy before we left but I politely declined and ended up having a wonderful time.  Also, we are old.  Evidence: we plotted out our nights around the activities that appealed to us (trivia nights, live music, etc.) but one night after we'd been enjoying big band music, we walked around and found a big party happening at the pool deck.  A party that apparently had been happening for the cool kids every night while we slow danced to "I Left My Heart in San Fransisco".

The boys turned 5 and 2.  The kids love each other to pieces but they are so very different, especially comparing Atticus to how Miles was at his age.  Miles was never terribly into playing with trucks and cars, which is what Atticus wants to do 90% of the time.  Miles hated (and continues to hate) getting messy.  He to this day doesn't even like stickers.  "They are too sticky and messy".  Atticus gets to the playground and rather than play on the jungle gym, he heads straight for the dirt.  He is the filthiest.  Miles these days loves playing games, playing basketball and baseball, and above all wants to be outside throwing water balloons.  He is so fun and goofy and he makes friends easily.  Atticus loves cars, trucks, trains, (dirt), bubbles, puzzles, running into the street, chocolate, fruit, and following his big brother around.  He has become a cuddler and when he snuggles up next to you he says "nice, cozy".  They are my very best.

Miles found himself in some hot water at school (so close to a trouble free year!) when he used his art time to create this butt collage.  I have to admit, it was incredibly hard to talk about why he shouldn't draw butts at school without cracking up.

Speaking of school, we finally find ourselves catching up to present day.  Miles's last day of preschool was Tuesday.  Here he is on his very first day back in 2014.

His first day in 2015

And his very last day

He's "graduating" from the school he's been at for two years and in the fall, he'll be starting at a new school where he'll be through 8th grade (as long as he doesn't get kicked out for butt art).  And while I'm at it, a little bragging here.  Miles tested into a gifted school, one of the best schools in the state.  We are so proud of him and really quite exicted to see what next year has in store for him.  It'll be a bit of a drive (which is painful, considering our local school is a few blocks away), but it's a small price to pay.  Maybe he'll learn to love the bus.

So that's it!  I'm hopeful that I can carve out some time to get myself back here on a weekly basis again as long as you guys continue to show up to read the nonsense.