Archives for July 2011

Keeping Busy…

It’s funny how something as simple as a cast felt so restricting to me as a mother and I wasn’t the one wearing it. It’s funny how that cast represented, because I tend to be a glass half empty person, all the things we couldn’t do. Yet, we could. And then it came off. But I was also four weeks farther along in my second pregnancy so “doing” got tougher exponentially. Add the heat and humidity to the mix and this summer has been a hot mess for lack of a better word. So can’t do seems to be stuck in my head.

Side Note: As I sat down to write today, in the comfort of my parents’ family room, I was thinking about all the things I need to share. I have so many updates including things going on in and about our house, my mother’ s guilt and sadness over my only becoming a big, the nursery that was once filled with zoo animals that has changed into a chic pink and gray sanctuary, meeting a tiny newborn and watching one my closest friends seamlessly transition into being a mama, my obsessions on Pinterest and more. So, like any planner, who by the way is IN LOVE with her new MomAgenda, I decided the old blog is going to change. I am going to become more organized in posting, writing, editing and making sure that I talk about other things that I enjoy. I also am moving to wordpress so bear with me here for the next few months as CHANGE will be the key word in our household.

I had this bucket list this summer of “things” that Brady and I were going to do. Seriously, I wrote it out this spring when I was daydreaming about summer days in the city. I wrote it as I thought about this being the last summer where he would have 100% of my attention all the time. As the days have marched on and the heat, my second pregnancy and some others things have gotten in the way I thought I should simplify the list and just try to do a few things and do them right.

When I think about the heat and humidity, I find myself missing my pool days. I spent every summer day there as a kid before high school. And then I started working there all the way through college. I love being around the water. I love being outside and I have always wanted my kids to love humid nights catching lightning bugs, the cool water to splash in on hot days and the way sunshine can instantly make you happier. When we spent spring break in Florida, Brady was still observing the water world. He sat on the edge a lot, played with his toys on the ledge but didn’t do a lot of swimming…unless you count jumping in the waves.

This summer… whole new world with water. My kid oves the water. We have a water table, a small baby pool in our backyard, and the hose/sprinkler is our greatest enjoyment when we are home. And the past two days we have gone to Anderson Pool in Normal, IL for toddler time. Awesome concept. Open the toddler pool ONLY in the am to toddlers and their parents. No big kids, no big pool, just a zero depth pool where toddlers can roam. We have spent two mornings playing in this pool, slowly watching as he gets more daring and joy overcomes fear. Yet it has never failed that Brady has begged to go in the big pool when it opens. He went from sitting on the side to now jumping in, kicking his legs, squealing in delight as you tickle his toes from underwater, dunking his own head and refusing to get out or to leave and just saying more, more more. . And, I have to admit, I love it! I also love the monster nap he takes as a result as well!

When not down at my parents, I have tried to expose Brady to water. We live in Chicago where the park district pools aren’t the best for clientele or ease with a 21 month old so I ventured to Wilmette, IL to Centennial Pool last week one day. To my delight, they do toddler time too! Seriously, whoever thought this up, is a genius in my eyes. One zero depth pool, open in the am to toddlers only. We played with buckets and trucks and had a ball. The water thing, we have it figured out. It makes us hungry and thirsty if you can’t tell!

And then there are the days when the pool just isn’t an option. We have had two extremes this summer; hot, humid and sunny or these monster storms. Buckets of rain that last forever and have everyone in the Windy City running for cover.

Last Friday, Brady’s aunt wanted to spend some time with us. It had been unbearably hot all week so we said toddler time at the pool would be perfect! But, of course, the weather said otherwise. I had been reading about Pickles Playroom since it opened this spring. Located in Lincoln Square, it is an indoor play space that has a cafe and hair salon attached. I knew that Brady would love it so we ventured there. I could write a whole other post ranting about the “latte moms” who did not play, watch, or discipline their kids, but instead I will tell you this…the place is worth every penny. The play space is awesome. Laura, Brady and I spent two hours there (which was plenty) and the fun was all around us. One week, two cool outings.

I only have two weeks of summer vacation left when I return from Bloomington, so I am thinking that Wagner Farms and Foster Avenue Beach are musts but I am trying to figure out if I am missing anything. I am sure I am but remember, the list had to be cut down.

Happy Weekend Friends! More adventures await us and in the next post I will give you a sneak peak of Baby Girl’s nursery… can I just say that I LOVE IT and she is coming pretty darn soon!


What Happens When Dad Stays Home

I rarely talk about my handsome husband of four years on this blog, because let’s be honest that there are some things I like to keep to myself and if you know him he is pretty private. He’s actually fiercely private. So, for the most part I honor his wishes and I don’t talk about him. Here is something I will tell you about him that is no secret to anyone that knows him; he works HARD. REALLY HARD. He works a lot of days, he loves what he does, and he is good at it. So, getting him to take a day off is hard work too!

But, Thursday we celebrated four years of marriage and the cards we exchanged were fitting. Mine was sappy, his was hilarious. I insisted on no gifts. So, he SUGGESTED he take Friday off and we spend some time together as a family. That is one of the many reasons I love him. No prodding from me…just him suggesting we do something together.

I wanted to cross something off our “summer bucket list” so the destination: The Shedd Aquarium.

View from Shedd Balcony

Brady AND I have NEVER been so this was big. Did you know teachers get in for free? Score. Brady was free. So, really, we paid for Glenn’s admission and parking.

Looking at all the cool fish

Playing in the submarine (He could of and would of stayed here all day!)
Look at all the buttons!

Scoping out the jellyfish.

I don’t really know what I was expecting but seeing whales, dolphins, jellies all the different fish up close was honestly amazing. I wonder what we should cross off next?

Guest Posting and Other Thoughts…

Today, I had the privilege of guest posting over at Back to the Basics! Go over and give Julie and her blog some love! The post is all about my commuting with a toddler at the end of the school year! I have to tell you reading my own post, makes me laugh…I think that’s a good sign?

A baby was born yesterday… one of my bestie’s welcomed a sweet boy on her mama’s birthday and Glenn and I’s wedding anniversary. Coincidence? No way! I am just so happy for her family as they start the amazing journey of parenthood.

Another one of my dear friends is in crisis with her family. I don’t want to say much more but know that our hearts are heavy with worry and sadness and we are praying her family comes through this.

I am 33 weeks and starting to freak. (I try to take deep breaths but it doesn’t work.) We have so much crap to do. The good news is that my parents are home from Colorado so things will get done. Pretty pathetic it takes my mama to get my butt moving. I am 32.

Brady’s cast is off. Still got a ways to go…we need to be patient with him and his leg. More on that later…

Happy Weekend! Started off with a trip to the Shedd today and family time tomorrow.


My Home Away from Home

With summer moving quicker than I would like to admit for many reasons, namely a toddler that still has a cast on his leg (it comes off next week) and my ever growing stomach, slowing my down and reminding me that our time as a family of three is getting shorter and shorter, I did what I do each summer last week…I went home to Bloomington-Normal to visit my parents. For some reason when I am down there, I relax. I am sure it has something to do with the fact that school is out leaving the drama and the daily grind in a distant memory as I drive down I-55 South but I check my phone less, my shoulders aren’t as tense and I spend more time soaking up a toddler who I am madly in love with and find myself trying to keep little. So we took a trip back to my first home.

A place…

where the success of your days are measured by how dirty your feet are from the splash park and the yard no not how many minutes it took you to get home.

where the dinners are cheap but so good and don’t need a magazine rating to tell you why you should eat there.

where watering the plants is a daily ritual because the heat and humidity are enough to stifle your energy reminding you that there is such a season as summer.
where toddler time at the parks and recreation pool means the freedom to let your kid roam, explore, splash and play all while an equal amount of parents keep a watchful eye.


where a trip to Dairy Queen is easy and drinking the last drops makes it taste that much better.

where the car can be washed in the driveway, not in an alley or the automatic washer at the gas station and the help is even better.

where eating a Popsicle on the porch only last minutes as the sticky liquid drips down your chin on to your shirtless belly.

where the swings are a plenty and grass is so soft it tickles your feet when you walk.

My HOME is with my boys wherever they are, both of them. Our little house in the big windy city is my home. But Bloomington-Normal is where I am from, my first home. On this trip, I found myself nostalgic. Unplugged from technology, I spent a lot of time worrying less, crafting more, watching as my toddler got to spend hours doing simple things that brought him so much happiness. Spending time with some of the most important people in my life never gets old. The look on Brady’s face after his nap when his daddy arrived will be carved in my memory. I may not get home as often as I would like but I feel like each time it gets a bit sweeter and I am proud to say it’s where I am from. My home away from home.