Saturday, December 27, 2008

Colin Murray Giles

He's here! Colin arrived today at 2:04 p.m. We could not be more delighted to meet him.

More later (including cute pictures) . . . but for now back to snuggling my sweet baby.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hmmmm... I Wonder Why The Baby Doesn't Seem to Want to Come Out?

No wonder this baby would prefer to remain in my uterus rather than join us out here in the world.

Our house is full of sickness. Ellie has a cough that won't quit, plus a fever and a runny nose. Brendan is starting to exhibit cold symptoms as well. I have a sore throat and body aches.

We traded the past few days of sub-zero temperatures for blizzard-like conditions, with more snow expected tomorrow.

We are also expecting an ice storm that is going to coincide nicely with my scheduled induction on December 27th.

Delightful. Definitely not going to have any more babies in the dead of winter in Chicago.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Poingo: A Review

Watching Eleanor learn to read is almost as thrilling for me as it is for her. As a parent, few feelings can compare to the pride the wells up when I see my child learn something new and experience a sense of accomplishment ("Look Mom, I can do it!").

Because we have a beginning reader at our house, I was offered the opportunity to try the New Poingo, an interactive book complete with stories, songs, and games.

Both my four-year-old and two-year-old were very interested in this techno toy (which comes at a nice price point -- $34.99). The starter set contains the Poingo pen which reads the stories aloud and two books featuring the characters from Disney-Pixar's Cars and Finding Nemo. The set was easy to use (even my two-year-old was able to turn it on and get the story started by himself).

Even though my kids are familiar with the plots of both of the movies that the books are based on, the language and dialogue in the book seemed boring and not age-appropriate. Frankly, the stories moved at a snail's pace and seemed too detailed for young kids. My kids did enjoy the chance to stop and play a game from time-to-time as the story progressed.

New Poingo is marketed as a toy to help kids ages 3-7 want to learn to read -- and I am not sure that I agree with that. The words were too complex for her for my four-year-old to sound out, plus the story is moving at a fast pace and it isn't really possible to slow it down and take a closer look at the words. It just doesn't strike me as a learn-to-read aid.

That being said, I do think that New Poingo has its place as an age-appropriate plaything for young children. I think that every parent finds that there are times during the day when kids need to be able to play independently for a short time (i.e. while Mom feeds the baby, checks email, or generally attends to other things). I would much rather have my kids play an educational game on the computer or sit with a book that reads itself to them rather than plop them down in front of some inane cartoon. Around our house, my kids have been happily playing with their New Poingo books during those "quiet times." If you are looking for a little bit of "quiet time" in your life, I recommend giving this product a try.

A Girl Who Doesn't Let the Cold Slow Her Down

Sledding at Cricket Hill with Daddy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peppermint Bark

No baby -- just obsessive amounts of peppermint bark.

I am generally following this recipe (except substituting Andes peppermint crunch chips for a more subtle mint flavor). If you decide to attempt your own batch, make sure that you allow each layer to completely cool.

It is delicious. I will never want for Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Maybe If I Change It, He Will Come

In anticipation of my third chick, Eliza from Crooked Tree Ink designed a new header for me (I am just changing the name on the header . . . way too lazy and busy right now to change the url address).

So all is right with the blog. Now labor can begin. Baby boy, are you listening?

P.S. If anyone is looking for a help with a new header, email me and I will put you in touch with Eliza. She is great.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Questions About Santa . . . Already?

Eleanor has gone from being totally terrified of Santa Claus to just mildly terrified of Santa Claus.

And as her fear wanes, she has been paying more attention to the big guy (well, big guys actually).

Today, she asked me if the Santa we saw at the Nature Museum a few weeks ago was real or not. Then before I could answer, she said, "Because that Santa didn't look the same as the Santa I saw with Aunt Meg at Navy Pier."

While I said something like brilliant like, "Ummmm, " she (thank God) gave me the answer she was looking for.
"I think that the are both real, even though they looked different," she confidently declared.

"That's right," I said.
Caught totally unprepared again (this is becoming a chronic problem).

So I am wondering . . . . what do you tell your child about Santa Claus? Is every single Santa you see the real deal? Or are the guys who make appearances at the local toy store Santa's "helpers" because he is so busy this time of year?
I am feeling panicked by her questions and I want to get prepared now before some jerk kid at school tells her that his older brother says that Santa isn't even real.

I thought that all of this nonsense was several years off. She is so little.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

One Last Night Out For the Three of Us

I treated my baby to a really, really lovely dinner and opening night of Puccini's Madame Butterfly at the Chicago Lyric Opera last night (please insert your own fat lady at the opera joke here).

We all had a great time -- which is good because God only knows when we will get out for a date again (April? Probably closer to June?).

I was also glad to be able to provide a full spectacle for all who laid eyes on me (from homeless guys on the street commenting on my girth, to the four waiters at the restaurant who felt the need to escort me to the lady's room, to the usher at the opera who proclaimed, "Woo hoo honey, look at you!").

Now, back to the couch to knit and wait for my baby to find his way out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

He Loves Her the Best

Eleanor is out-of-town on a two-day adventure with her Grandma and Aunties -- and Brendan is totally miserable without her. Truthfully, it pains me a little bit to acknowledge that she (and I guess therefore not me) is the center of his world.

He has been asking me, "Where Eyyee?" over and over for nearly twenty-four hours now. He went to her room to wake her this morning and demanded to know, "When she comin' back?"

Each time we get into the car, he first asks if he can ride in her booster seat (all situations have their perks) and then wonders, "We goin' pick up Eyee now?"

It is like he is suffering from a bout of toddler depression. David found him sitting alone on the steps this morning, with his chin in his hands, saying, "I sad."

He doesn't really want to play with me -- although it is a rare day when he truly has my undivided attention.
He wants her. She is his most favorite person. That makes me happy for them and hopeful for the future of their relationship.

But it also makes me feel a tad bit . . . marginalized.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Long Wait

My baby is showing no signs of wanting to exit the comfy home that is my uterus (I must create a particularly nice little nest for my babes because they have all been reluctant to make the separation).

So I am knitting and waiting.

Big sigh.

Please see the comment section to leave me advice on how to ripen one's cervix or any other labor-inducing tactics you have found helpful. Thank you kindly.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Sugar Plum Fairy

Eleanor at the Dance-a-long Nutcracker at the Chicago Cultural Center on Sunday, December 7th. Pure sweetness.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Making Pizza With Daddy

Oh, how I love this group of pizza-makers. This was the kind of night where I feel like I could just stay in my house with these guys forever and be totally, perfectly happy (eating delicious pizza of course).

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Thank You (Albeit Overdue)

I am in the final weeks of my pregnancy and my body is totally maxed out. I feel like I can't possibly gain another pound or grow another inch (but I am also wise enough to know that yes, indeed, I will get a bit bigger in the coming days).

Anyway, I am over at Chicago Moms Blog today giving a long overdue thanks to my body for its cooperation in growing, nursing and caring for all of my babes.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Big Kids

My busy, busy ones -- running away from their slow, pregnant Mama.
They are most certainly going places.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Dreaded Holiday Card

I don't mean to sound like the Grinch . . . but sometimes sending out a holiday card is just no fun for me. First, there is the issue of obtaining a decent photograph. Then I end up haphazardly updating this address list I keep from year to year. Then of course you have to print the labels or address the cards and actually get them stamped and into a mailbox. Ughhhh.

That said, I really do love getting holiday cards from my friends and family (especially those with cute pictures of the kiddos).
(artwork courtesy of Ms. Eleanor)