Monday, August 31, 2009

Our Kindergartener

Up tomorrow: Brendan starts preschool.

Back-to-school blues

I'm not the only mama who has the back-to-school blues, am I?

I know that there are others of you out there who recently sent little ones back to school only to return to your home or office and feel the onset of a sort of sad, empty feeling.

There were days over the summer when I thought that the first day of school could not come soon enough. You too, right? But mostly, summer was full of trips to the beach, bikes rides, and belated bedtimes. We moved at our own pace.

One more Popsicle? Why not. Jammies until noon? Let's do it. Can we catch fireflies? Absolutely.

I know that it is time to welcome structure and packed lunches back into our lives. My kids are ready for a change too. This morning, we woke to an alarm (6:15 am!). I prepared a proper back-to-school breakfast -- oatmeal and fruit smoothies. My daughter dressed in her crisp uniform instead of her bathing suit. We arrived at school a full ten minutes early. As we entered her classroom, I watched her eyes sparkle as she surveyed a sea of new friends and never-been-used crayons.

Tomorrow, I send my son off to preschool for more of the same.

Part of me does welcome this change of season and schedule. I have work to do and an eight-month-old who would benefit from some one-on-one mommy time. I know that my kids are going to hop into the car after school and excitedly blurt out, "Mom, guess what I learned today?"

But every first day of school leaves me with a teary, melancholy feeling. I know that the summers and first days of school are going to fly by. These beautiful little people who are my life's work are growing at an impossible rate.

As I kiss them goodbye and say, "I'll see you after school," part of me wants to whisper into their ears, "Don't go. Stay and catch fireflies with me."

Cross-posted on Wee Windy City.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

7 New Foods in Seven Days

Is your family in a food rut? Same basic dinner line-up week after week? Yep, we know how that goes.

In an effort to expand our dinner repertoire, our family embarked on a week-long culinary adventure and I wrote about it for the September issue of Chicago Parent.

Think your kids will balk at foods like quinoa and tofu? I did too. Have a read to see how our experiment went.

Monday, August 24, 2009

So long training wheels!

Not the best photo -- but this is her actual first time riding alone.

Ellie is an official bike rider.

It is really thrilling to watch her -- peddling away, riding in circles and then coming to a dramatic, screeching stop.

I am so proud of her that I wrote a whole post about it on the Chicago Moms Blog.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Cutest Little Cubs Fans on the Planet

We stayed for the whole game -- all nine innings. We bought them matching Cubs t-shirts. They ate hot dogs, ice cream and peanuts. Brendan sucked down a Pepsi like it was the most magical thing he had ever had in his mouth. We even got to see a bit of the Air and Water Show taking place above the stadium.

Several times this week I have heard Brendan singing to himself in his room, "Go Cubs go. Go Cubs go. Hey Chicago, what do you say. The Cubs are going to win today."

Hey kid, you got the time?

I wrote a story for the fall issue of Going Places Magazine about local opportunities to teach kids how to tell time. Chicago is home to some pretty cool time pieces that will help you explain the difference between the minute and hour hands.

But really the story is about looking around Chicago and seeing it through your child's eyes.

Trust me, it is so much more interesting that way -- whether you are looking at clocks or waves or a bulldozer or anything else really.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It All Started With a Twice-Baked Potato

Colin has been a reluctant eater -- until he ate a whole twice-baked potato at his Grandma's house last weekend.

For about two months now, I have been trying to coax him into opening his lips to try just a little bit of food. No matter what the offering, he made faces like this. He flatly rejected every food I served. He is seven-and-a-half months-old now. I was starting to get worried.

My, how things have changed in only one week.

In the past few days, he has enjoyed quinoa, oatmeal, avocado, banana, zucchini, sweet potato, cheese, Cheerios and yogurt. We've gone from zero meals a day to three full meals.

With his chubby thighs and ample jowls, Colin has always looked like a baby who loved his food.

Now, it finally seems like he has the appetite to match.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Official!

Boy, it's been quiet around here, hasn't it? Sorry about that.

Vacation and birthday parties and swimming and out-of-town friends have (happily) kept me away from my computer. Frankly, it is too hot to blog any way.

More of the same this week.

But I did want to pop in and let you know that Chicago Now, home to my new blog Wee Windy City officially launched today. Woo-hoo!

If you haven't had a peek yet, please do go over and read a bit about all that Chicago has to offer families.

If you are thinking ahead to fall registration for Chicago Park District Programs, I've got some tips for you.

Maybe you are wondering how to spend a day at Millennium Park? I've got some advice for you on that subject as well.

Need some suggestions on what to do over the weekend? Check out my Wee Weekender Guides.

I've also got the occasional guest post from other Chicago parents -- have a look at this one about a very cool fire and drum circle.

I've even got a blog roll of local parenting sites that might be of interest to you.

A little something for everyone, I think.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


So all of the sudden Colin can crawl -- like really crawl. I left him on the floor in my bedroom today while I was switching loads of laundry and he crawled around to the other side of my bed and started eating a catalog.

He is also working on his downward dog -- it's looking pretty good.

And he sits all by himself and hardly ever tips over -- just sits there in the grass looking cute and watching his brother and sister run around.

This is all going too fast, I tell you. Too fast.