Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More Parenting Squad

Are you totally out of ideas for keeping your kids busy while the cold and snow have you stuck indoors? So am I.
Check out my solution at Parenting Squad, a great site you should be reading, anyway. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Alright Snow . . . That's Enough

More snow for us in Chicago today. February feels endless.

Not one to let the snow deter me, I thought it would be something of a "winter adventure" to take my double stroller out today to walk the two blocks to a little playgroup. Not a good idea. We got stuck about every twenty feet. Not the kind of adventure I had in mind.

Are you looking for a bright distraction from a cold, gloomy February day? I offer a picture of a beautiful girl in a beautiful place with a beautiful sea shell she found with her Dad. Happiness.

Here is to warmer times (they must be on the horizon, right?).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Proud Mama

Today was something of a "Mommy Milestone" for me. I successfully (really, quite successfully) flew alone (without the Daddy, that is) with both of my little guys. Daddy had to fly elsewhere to do some lawyering. The three of us headed back home alone. Despite my fears and night shakes, the trip couldn't have gone better really.
The last time I did this alone, Brendan was two-months-old and his busy sister was just two. Last time was not so smooth. While we were waiting to board the plane, Ellie literally ran down the gangway, with several airline employees and me (with little Brendan in the Baby Bjorn) giving chase. I was in a full sweat. The whole thing was sort of a mess. I definitely did not feel eager to attempt another flight.

But today, I was travelling with a little girl and a toddler, not a toddler and a baby. What a difference it makes! Ellie needed to go to the bathroom minutes after Brendan had fallen asleep in my lap. "Don't worry Mommy. I can do it alone. I'll be right back." Off she went. She couldn't reach the lock on the door, but other than that, she perfectly executed a big girl trip to the bathroom. My big girl.

Now I feel emboldened. We can do this! New possibilities.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Moms vs. Snow Boots

So I know that this doesn’t rank very high amongst the world’s problems in general . . . but I'd briefly like to vent about a reoccurring problem that has been driving me crazy this cold and snowy Chicago winter.

How is a grocery-shopping Mom supposed to extract her snow-boot-wearing toddler from a shopping cart without (a) breaking both of his ankles with all of the contortion required to get him out or (b) having both boots fall off, creating the need to stop and put the little guy’s footwear back on before proceeding to car with groceries?
Grocery shopping with a kid (or two) in tow is hard enough. Frankly, it is exhausting for both of us. When my little guy isn't grabbing for items on the shelves, he is begging and whining for prohibited items ("Treat! Treat!") while attempting to open and eat whatever he can reach in the cart. Meanwhile, I am working overtime to thwart all of his efforts while also trying to buy food for dinner.

Getting him in and out of the shopping cart in the winter just doesn't seem like it needs to be another grocery shopping challenge. Here is how I see it: There are times when you just have to bring your kids to grocery store with you - it is a fact of life as a Mommy. I have to put the little guy in snow boots to trek through the snow and mush to the car (it is February in Chicago, for God's sake). I have to use the cart at the grocery store or he would terrorize the place. And every single time I pull him out of the cart, the boots come off, or he screams like crazy because I am hurting his ankles in my efforts to extract him.

Is this a cart design issue? Am I the only idiot who has this problem? Does my kid have freakishly large snow boots? Grocery stores, are you listening? Can you help a Mom out and look into a cart that works better for Moms and kids? Or do you smart Moms out there have a solution to this dilemma?

Caitlin rants and raves about other inconsequential things at the Chicago Moms Blog, where this is cross-posted.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Other Good Stuff

Have you had a look at Parenting Squad yet? I am a contributor over there and I have a post up today about why YOU (yes, you) should sign up for a CSA. Check it out and leave a comment (please).

Cute T-Shirt or "Party Training?"

I am usually not one to love a slogan tee. But I thought these were pretty funny (after seeing my baby nephew in his adorable onesie version). So I ordered up two for my little guys. Cute, right?
Well, then I read this on And this on MOMOCRATS.
And now I feel like a little bit of a loser . . . and kind of a bad Mom because apparently I am using my kid's bodies as advertising space (even though we are just wearing these as jammies, for God's sake).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

These Could Be a Problem For Me

We have a croisssant thing going on at our house lately. Can't seem to get enough of them. Every Saturday morning, I try to fight the temptation to head down to Sweet Thang to get my croissant fix. But now, I have a significantly better solution . . . frozen mini croissants from Trader Joe's. That's right, from Trader Joe's. And they are frozen. But they are amazing.

First, of all they are not mini. Well, they start out mini but you leave them out to proof overnight and they get HUGE. These little lovelies bake up in twenty minutes. Warm, buttery and puffy. A perfect (although not healthy) breakfast.

I am often skeptical about Trader Joe's frozen items (obviously the ice cream sandwich cookies excepted). I saw the croissants in the store yesterday (while looking for the ice cream sandwiches) and grabbed a box. I think they are a relatively new item. I also just learned that there is also a chocolate variety (good God.)

Do yourself a favor and try some. Croissant heaven. Yummy.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yoga for Mama

I woke up yesterday and decided that, for the first time in a very long time, I was going to attend a yoga class.

Despite getting sick to my stomach, having my yoga outfit ridiculed by a three-year-old , and pulling a hamstring while pumping gas (how? how?), I actually did manage to attend a yoga class. And it was fabulous.

Prior to said fabulous yoga class, my last yoga experience was a Mommy and Baby Yoga Class in late 2004. Pathetic. Why aren't I making time for this, given that I do really seem to enjoy it?

Plus, the yoga studio is at my corner. At. My. Corner. Door-to-door, the whole experience took an hour-and-a-half. What could my excuse possibly be?

I am hopeful that it will not be another three years before my next yoga class.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Treats for My Sweets

I made bittersweet chocolate truffles for our Valentine's celebration. Ta Da! They have a very "homemade" look (I know, I know, I've never seen such poorly shaped truffles either). But they are tasty little guys. Yum.
I'd be content to eat truffles for dinner, but our Valentine's Day menu also includes bolognese sauce over homemade heart-shaped pasta (at Ellie's request). So . . . I have to get going because I have quite a bit of pasta to roll. Happy Valentines to you all.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Thoughts on Playing and Napping

Hey, want to read some other things I have written? Great! Thanks so much!

Check out Parenting Squad for thoughts on creating a more serene play space for the kiddos.

And visit Chicago Moms Blog for a little ranting and raving about Miss El giving up her nap (and do chime in if you have advice on that situation).

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"Super Duper Tuesday"

Voting with your toddler and preschooler is so much more fun than voting alone.

El, B and I headed down to our local polling place this morning. As I fumbled around my wallet for my voter registration card, El informed the election workers that "we are here because we are boating for Barack Obama. It is Super Duper Tuesday, you know."

She insisted on holding the pen thing so I can't really say what judges we voted for.

Meanwhile, Brendan ran around shouting "Mamak Mamama," which I think the other voters found helpful.

In the car on the way home, El told me that the next time she votes for president, she is voting for me. Sweet girl.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Outsmarted Again

Me: "If you eat all of the dinner on your plate, you can be a member of the "clean plate club."

E: "What is that you are talking about? Do they have a clubhouse? Are my friends in the club? Where is the club? Is my little brother in the club? He always eats all his food. What do they give you in this club? What color does your plate have to be? What if you are allergic to milk and can't finish it? Do they play music? Is it in Europe? How am I going to get there? Can we go after bath? I want the clubhouse to be red AND purple." And on. And on.

Me: "Ummm. I am not sure. I think you have to be in the club to know the answers to those questions."

E: "I am not eating this. Your club doesn't sound good."

Me: "Dammit." (Quietly to self, of course.)