I Love a Parade

PW does not, however, which is why he’s not in any of these pictures. He claims that he doesn’t enjoy it, but I think the fact that he has a heart attack every time Baylor runs into the street to get candy has something to do with it. Which is why he goes fishing when we go the Livingston Parade.

I, on the other hand, LOVE the parade. I love the rodeo queens. I love the Costco “float” where they throw out rolls of toilet paper. I love the totally random groups of people that roll down the street and call themselves a float. I love the man who drives his truck through with a sign saying that he’s been in the parade for the last 65 consecutive years. I love that you can sit on the sidewalk outside of a bar and legally drink. It’s all around good fun.

The Noni with Ms.B and me with Augg.

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Ready to get started!
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Love the rodeo queens. Actually, I think was a queen wannabe…
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In my defense – it was empty and I didn’t know he was chewing on it…

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Baylor, Zoe and Siena trolling for candy

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The big man enjoying the wagon to himself

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Dinner and a Show

dinner

This is the face of a kid that is only satisfied eating his dinner if his mother is making a fool of herself by singing to him while he eats. His favorites are The Wheels on the BusOld MacDonald had a Farm and Holla Back Girl (for when he’s eating bananas). He also enjoys when his mother is getting really frustrated but trying to stay calm by singing a new verse of The Wheels on the Bus about how the mommies are getting off the bus to go have margaritas.

It’s My Kinda Town…

When we saw friends Karen and Patrick in January, Patrick issued PW a put up or shut up on a visit to Chicago. Patrick has been living there for nearly the last decade and Peter is always saying we need to go. You can only make your wife cheer for the Cubs for so long before you actually have to take her to see a game. (side note: I’ve now been to two more major league baseball parks than Peter. Which kills him. )

So, we booked tickets, PMac and Karen’s guest room, and dropped the kiddos at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. The party started at the airport when we decided we had time for margaritas (plural) before our plane ride. Patrick and Karen had planned a full weekend of baseball, great meals, a little sight seeing and a lot of fun. It kind of went like this: arrive, drink, drink, eat, drink, sleep, eat, drink, drink, baseball, driiiiink, eat, drink, eaaaaaat, drink, drink, sleep, repeat. It was, in a word, fantastic.

Game #1, Cubs v Astros. Bleacher seats.

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photo 3 (13)We actually believed that it was going to miss us. We were wrong.

photo 4 (12)Three hour rain delay felt much shorter with the assistance of many many beer vendors. And a batting helmet full of nachos. No really. Like an actual sized batting helmet. With nachos.

 

photo 5 (6)How do I know our friends are professionals? They brought their own ponchos. $0.69 v $10.

 

photo 1 (14)Watching the mechanics of rolling back the tarp was so cool.

 

photo 2 (17)I love the ingenuity of the people that own the buildings across the street from Wrigley. They remodeled the rooftops with bleachers. Genius.

photo 4 (13)The ivy. Properly trimmed to keep jerks like me from picking it.

 

photo 3 (14)After the game, we headed home to change and then back out to The Loop for dinner at The Girl and the Goat. Reservations in June were booking for August…thank goodness Karen is a smart thinker and booked our reservations in February! It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Tapas with amazing ambiance, good wine, great servers, no time to take pictures because we were too busy eating a drinking. But I did manage to snap a picture of the Chicago River from the cab – so pretty.

 

photo 5 (7)Saturday brought sunny skies and game #2 – or as PW called them “the really good seats”. We were in the 6th row behind home plate. I’ve rarely seen Peter as excited and happy as he was for the pregame, game and post game.

photo 1 (15)Panorama of our view

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photo 5 (8)Post game bar crawl. Happy camper.

photo 1 (16)Our last stop of the night was Red Ivy – an all encompassing Chicago sports bar. We caught game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals and it was a blast. Everyone in the bar was electrified – it would have been hard not to cheer for the Blackhawks.

Duh duh du duh duh du da da da duh duh!!

(Chealsea Dagger. Look it up)

photo 3 (16)Check out that mullet.

photo 2 (19)We went home tired, a little hung over but oddly well rested. It was the break from parenting that we very much needed whether we knew it or not. Getting to laugh with old friends, swear, sleep in, drink at will and have conversations that were only inturupted by more food, drinks or funny comments was amazing. Big hugs and thanks to Patrick and Karen for being the most amazing hosts! Can’t wait to see you in the desert in July and for the big day in 2014!!

 

 

 

I always worry that I’m not doing enough for the kids. Not reading enough. Not playing enough. Not being patient enough. And that I’m going to give them permanent issues because they are sharing a room. Worry worry worry. You want the best for your kids so you work to give them the moon…but sometimes the moon isn’t totally necessary.

When my sister was in kindergarten, she was sent to the nurse for a bump or bruise. She came home from school that day enamored by the fact that the nurse had “made” ice. She begged my mom to ask the nurse for the recipe. Perplexed, my mom agreed. She realized later that the nurse used ice-cube trays – we had an ice maker so Ali had never seen a tray before.

My niece Madi used to beg my step sister to please turn on the “normal” radio in the car coming home from school. Her friends didn’t have satellite radio so she wanted to listen to the free radio that her friends were listening to.

The other night while getting Baylor out of the tub, she told me how she had been in the bathroom at a friend’s house recently and how she thought they had a HUGE window in the bathroom. But when she pulled back the curtain, she found it was actually the bathtub. Better yet, the bathtub HAD A SHOWER IN IT!! The look of pure joy on her face over the idea of a bathtub and shower together was priceless. This as I’m pulling her out of the claw foot tub that took weeks to get, was installed incorrectly, had to be removed and then put back into place and cost a small fortune…if I had only known she would have been more impressed by a tub shower.

The moral that I need to remember is this: no matter what the gift is, the box is most likely going to be more fun. And that’s a good thing. They are going to enjoy the fact that Baylor used to climb into Auggie’s crib in the morning to play and that they used to wake each other up in the middle of the night. They will laugh about how they put stickers all over each other behind me as I scrambled to get a few things done in the office (hell, they do that now).

At the very least, this will all be good things to talk about at therapy some day. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

My Assistant

I was desperate for an hour’s worth of work time late yesterday. I asked B if she could work on her computer too so I could get a few things done. She agreed so I dialed in and tuned out anything that wasn’t a “I’ve critically injured myself!!” scream.

An hour of work, dinner, bath, dinner for PW and I, another 1.5 hours of work and I caught a glimpse of this in the mirror:

I knew she had been playing with my shirt, I just didn’t know I was a canvas for her new stickers. And I like that PW never asked why I had 100+ stickers across my back. When I pointed out this fact his response was “it’s impressive how straight she made the line”.

Big Girls Don’t Cry

We have been on a mission to turn Bay’s room into a shared room for her and her soon to be brother. It has been quite the process. What should have been just moving some furniture, a new bed and some bedding, has turned into a multiple weekend project.

First, the garage needed to be cleaned out and reorganized to be able to hold the extra desk from the office and other odds and ends. Next the kitchen set and table and chairs from B’s room moved to the office. Finally the changing table and bookshelf had to be emptied and moved around in the bedroom so that the crib could be moved and then the big girl bed assembled.  Then the furniture didn’t fit in the room so there was another rearrangement. Then there was a discrepancy in the color of a few items so there was spray paint involved. Countless trips to Lowes, Home Depot and Target….And trust me, this is the short and sweet version. There were many arguments, coercion of friends to help move furniture, a few tears, a lot of cleaning and the realization that we have far too many hobbies and crap in general.

In the midst of all the chaos, Bay was transitioning to her new bed. Part of the reason this is all going on now was that I wanted her to have lots of time to move into her bed when she was comfortable. It turns out, she not only was ok with sleeping in her new bed, she insisted on it. She loves her new bed. As we were putting the sheets on it, PW began giving me puppy dog sad eyes. When I asked what was wrong, he responded that she’s a big girl who doesn’t need her crib anymore. I laughed a little because he gave me the business when I got upset about deconstructing her room a few weeks ago in preparation of the furniture move. It wasn’t until I reached into the crib to take the sheets off that I realized that the soft pink sheets are never going back on.

We stood outside her door that night looking at her room and fighting off the urge to snuggle her and cry “you’re our BABY!! You can’t grow up yet!!”. We checked on her a few hours later and were happy to see that she was tiny in her giant twin bed – it made my heart happy to see that at least for now, she’s still little.

Here’s a sneak peek of the room – the final results will be up on Scottsdale Moms Blog for Pregnancy Week (5 contributing writers are currently pregnant!) at the end of August.

 

 

Pig or People?

Last night we tried out a new baby sitter who cousin Zoe just loves. Her name is Olivia and we tried to build up the fact that she was coming – we find if we make it  really exciting, there’s no melt down when we leave.

So yesterday morning PW asked B if she was excited about Olivia coming and she responded “oh yes. I just loooove Olivia”. Confused, we looked at each other and then back at the kid and told her that she’s not met Olivia so how does she know she looooves her? B was quiet a minute and then said “oh I know her”. I went back to making breakfast and then it hit me – she thinks Olivia the Piglet is coming to baby sit.

So I mentioned to her that Olivia was not a pig but a nice girl and she seemed a little bummed. And the rest of the day she asked “is Oliva a girl or a boy?”. When I would respond that she was a girl, I could see the wheels turning in her head thinking ‘Olivia the piglet is a girl too….”. Thankfully, despite Olivia being people and not piglet, they got along famously as Olivia let B go through her purse, stay up late and she “believed” Baylor when she told her that she got two M&M’s before bed.

Schooool’s Out For Summa

Holy moly. It has been one jam packed school year and yet it’s hard to believe that it’s over! And my how much B has grown this year – just look. Here’s her first day of school:

All chubby cheeks and finally getting some hair!

And on the last day (btw, it’s pajama day at school):

Look at how long she is! And finally hair!

It’s hard to believe in just a 9 months how fast she’s gone from “being able to get her point across ” to talking like a teenager, hand gestures and all. The chubby cheeks have thinned out and her hair can no longer be described as baby curls… I know that the teachers have a present for the parents that is a collection of pictures from over the school year…I’m getting my box of tissues ready now. What am I going to do when she’s graduating high school?!

I Heart TJ’s

Despite really really liking it, I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s that often (I know, I know, I know). It’s really out of sheer laziness. I like Safeway, it’s close and it has it all. But I don’t always love the prices there and TJ’s does have great stuff so I’m making a bigger effort to split the groceries up and maybe save a little cash in the process.

Yesterday afternoon after nap time, I persuaded Baylor into the car for a grocery run with the promise of a mini cart at TJ’s. She was intrigued by going somewhere new – this kid has a memory like an elephant. She knows where all her friends and relatives houses are, which street we turn for school and which street leads the way to our favorite restaurant. She also knows where we get our hair cut, where Safeway is and where the pet store is and points them out as we drive. It’s a little scary what she remembers sometimes (like how to get to the airport after not driving there for 6 months…). As we drove, I was relating where the store was in relation to where we get our hair cut. This satisfied her that it wasn’t “real real far” and so she turned her attention to the mini carts.

As we walked in the door, she spotted them. It was like nirvana. A real grocery cart in a real grocery store. She asked me for a wipe to get the handle (just in case there was any doubt about her being my kid) and we proceeded to the produce section. All the while getting smiles and nice comments from everyone she passed.

It was there that I learned that mini carts are not as awesome for the parent as they are for the kid. You know why? Because they are the perfect height to cut your achilles tendon. The third time I was flat tired by the little cart, I became terrified of it. I couldn’t let B out of my sight – it was less about her being kidnapped and more about self-preservation. Much much more. The carts come with a long pole attached to them (security? location? I have no idea) which I proceeded to use as a guide to keep her in my peripheral vision so that I could keep my ankles from being accosted. She was less than pleased about this, but was easily assuaged by a jar of enchilada sauce so all was well.

The kicker was the checker gave her about 2 dozen stickers at the check out. I was so proud when she sweetly pointed to one sticker in the bunch and asked if she could have that one, rather than assuming they were all for her. When the nice checker told her that they were all for her, there was a brief moment where I’m certain she thought about asking if she could move in. And really, who could blame her? The brilliant part is that now she’s asking me “do we need to go to the grocery store??”.

I couldn’t get her to open her eyes for the pic – any time spent taking her eyes off the stickers was a total waste, in her opinion.