Friday, September 18, 2009

Back to the grind

1st of school-on our deck with my beautiful rose plant
(birthday gift from Ella) in background.

So we've survived the first two weeks of school--hard to believe how quickly it goes. Ella is enjoying Pre-K again and has turned into quite the class clown and leader. According to her teacher she has been orchestrating puppet shows involving the whole class! Of course instructing everyone exactly what to do. She keeps telling me she plays "tricks" on the playground at recess. Still haven't quite figured this one out, so if anyone wants to enlighten me that would be great. Most of all she continues to be all about her birthday and is counting down to her party and then her actual birthday when she'll get to wear the birthday crown at school and bring treats in for her class.

Swimming started up again and we have had two sessions. Ella has the body to be a great olympic swimmer! She put the moves on at the end of a lap on Tuesday and wow did she go fast! I couldn't believe it. We also enrolled Nicholas in a parent-tot class this session so he has now been in the swimming pool twice. The first session he was a little hesitant for about 10 minutes but then warmed up to the idea and enjoyed the "jumping in". The second session he was so excited and loves it all. He "jumped" in, learned to blow bubbles, and can kick his feet like crazy. He now blows bubbles in the bathtub and asks every morning: "Jump? Go. Shoes." And I have to tell him not again until next week!

Next week Gymnastics and Ballet start and I will be sorry we are doing so much again. Ella will have Ballet and Gymnastics back to back Thursday's which means two hours of killing time with Nicholas (with a quick stop in to help her change and move down to the gym floor). Luckily it's right by the library and grocery store so we can make good use of the time. Then Friday morning's while Ella's in school I will take Nicholas to his parent-tot Gymnastics. I think he might even like it better than swimming. He's a climber. Will update on how it went next week.

In the midst of this all I'm trying to do the typical SAHM tasks and not remain too angry with the CTA. Though I have already reported on one belligerent bus-driver who was harassing myself with the stroller AND an old lady with a walker. Nicholas has big sister withdrawals while she is gone and also dislikes the commute on the bus. I've been trying to walk at least one or two of our four trips there or back. It's about 1.2 miles which isn't too bad except it's not the only walking I do on any given day and 4x can add up AND depending the direction I have to beat the clock and make sure we're on time. However, that said, my legs are much more reliable than the CTA anyday so while the weather is still nice I will walk as much as I can. Nicholas has also been thrown for a loop by our new schedule. Babies really do thrive on routine and he is so antsy in the morning when we get up that he won't eat breakfast and we have to put his shoes on right away so he knows he's going and will stop asking for them! He has also had a major set-back in potty training with the new schedule. I had already gotten spoiled with not changing pooped diapers so it's been an adjustment. Hopefully he'll bounce back soon... Update: between writing this post and now adding pictures and about to publish Nicholas has gone on the potty several times this weekend. Yay!

Birthday planning for David and Ella is at it's peak and our anniversary will sadly take a backseat as usual. That's what the triple-play will do for you. Though David's birthday usually gets lumped in with our anniversary in the shadow of Ella, since this is a SPECIAL one for him :-), I'm trying to avoid that.

We are having some wonderful late summer weather here in Chicago. Fall is coming.

Breakfast on the deck is a family favorite
Nicholas loves corn on the cob and is still teething miserably....

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 07, 2009

Forget me not-summer lovin'

So I've had some memory issues lately. The worst was my debit card PIN and the most recent my blogger password. I find it frustrating. I did eventually remember by debit card PIN but not alot of other things. I thought this was supposed to happen at a much older age! Ugh.

Anyhow, we've had alot going on around here. Today is the last day of summer for us. In the morning it's back to year 2 of Pre-K since the state of Illinois says Ella can't start Kindergarten because her birthday is 28 days too late. This hotly debated topic (at least in Chicago it is) has been close to our heart lately. The Illinois law is currently being challenged but won't come back for a vote until January I believe. It is feasible to say that the state should have some say in when a child must go to school, but alot of state's have much broader timeline's (i.e. age 5 by end of calendar year, etc.) Then the flip-side of the coin called "red-shirting" is the parents not enrolling their children who do turn age 5 by the required date. To them I say: How unfair to me. But good for you. It is sad that the state, who presumably has no knowledge of my child's school-readiness, mandates school start dates rather than the parents who know their child. As to the unfairness of red-shirting, I commend parents for not starting their August 29th birthday child if they know they're just not ready--but it frustrates me that I can't do the flip side of that with a September 29th birthday and put my daughter where she belongs. So I'll save the rest for the Chicago northside parents network message board where other's share our frustration....and here's to another year of "really, she's not even five yet--I thought she was at least seven!"

Our summer has been filled with alot of visitors, which we love! And alot of summer Chicago fun.

Nicholas keeps me very busy and is seeking independence in all ways right now. He also can't seem to keep his mouth safe. We're hoping his front tooth will make it for the next five years or so but it seems to constantly get injured. Usually when he wakes up the first thing he says is: "Truck? Bus? Plane?" Meaning do we hear any of those things right now. He has a huge fascination with large mechanical vehicles. He goes absolutely wild over trash trucks, planes, trains, buses, delivery trucks, fire trucks, etc. Thank goodness we live in the city! He is very well rounded though and also loves to dance in his sister's fuchsia tutu and wear my high heels around the house. And most notably Nicholas has now been medication free for almost one month. We met with his Urologist and got permission to try it without the meds. So far so good and we are thrilled and thank God for his health.

Ella has been growing taller and taller and is always drawing in her sketchbook. She has turned into quite the actress and we even sent her to Theatre camp because of her interest. This was a week called the "Enchanted Musical Forest" and she was in heaven. Singing, dancing, acting all the time culminating in a show on Friday for us to attend. They did a mini-version of the title song from Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods with full choreography and a few other Theatre games. The funniest thing to me is that I told Ella I had actually played in the musical Into the Woods when I was in college and she became star-struck over Mama for a brief moment. Ella also attended a week of VBS at the Moody Church which was over the top in all ways. It's so nice that they welcome anyone to attend since our very small church could never put on such a great kids program! Nicholas enjoyed getting his "sticker" (special visitor nametag) every morning when we signed her in to VBS. By day 3 he asked for it when we walked in the lobby. Too cute. Ella has also been continuing to learn how to read. It's amazing to me how well she does, and funny to think that's how we all started something that we do without thinking about now. And finally, today was historical. Ella had her very first haircut. Yes, at almost five years old. She still wants long hair but it needed to be trimmed, so I did the honors tonight and we put the first piece in her baby keepsake box! Remember, it took a long time to grow those golden tresses. (just look at Nicholas if you need a reminder!)

Other things we did this summer: Swimming lessons for Ella, zoo, Field Museum, Aquarium, Beach, Grant Park Orchestra concerts at Millennium park, Art Institute Family nights, road trip to Minneapolis for 4th ofJuly, alot of grilling and alfresco dining on the deck, playground palooza, Chicago History Museum, Dairy Farm trip, and stoopin' with sidewalk chalk and bubbles, water taxi.

Overnight Visitors we've had this summer (let's start in April since we moved here): #1: Jeff & Marion of St. Louis, #2: Jeff, Cheryl, Tori, Jin of Minneapolis #3: Faith, Jesse, Caelin, Christine, of Scottsdale #4: Karen & Ibsen of Caracas Venezuela #5: Nana & Pa of Oak Hills, CA #6: Andrew and Jackie of New Orleans . I think that's it. Ha! So really, you can see it is o.k. to come visit us!

Dancing Ballerina's

1st haircut!

Fancy Gabriella!

Andrew (my cousin), Jackie (his girlfriend), Ella and Nicholas

Fireman's carry at the beach

Keeping warm with Papa

Fun in the sand

Modern lounge chair
(actually a sculpture on the terrace of the new modern wing at the Art Institute!)

Suspended over Monroe street. The famed bridge to the Modern Wing.

Reading Glub! Glub! (King Bidgood's) with cousin Andrew

2 silly penguin's at the Aquarium

I love my new stroller

Jin & Tori Hudson & Ella at the Minneapolis Walker Art Center

My Aunt Faith, Uncle Jesse their kids Caelin & Christine, my cousin Raney's husband Chris, and sons Jaren & Conor Fleck
with us at the Field Museum

Shopping in my high heels


Hangin' out in the swing while sister is at VBS

Riding the turtle statue

Fancy Gabriella found another use for the tutu.

At the park

Another family night at the Art Institute
making Japanese screens

on the bridge again
(Can you tell us Chicagoans LOVE the new addition to our already fabulous Art Institute?!)

Injured yet again...

Walking with Nana

Water Taxi on the river

We love Potbelly's!

swim girl jumping in

Nice kicking!

Labels: , ,