Find Dad. Find Art. Don’t Starve the Baby.

By on Oct 20, 2014 in Chicago, Life With Three, Parenting, Photography, Stay at Home Mom Days, To Do With Kids | 2 comments

Lucy is only in preschool Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the week, meaning she gets to stay and play with us on Mondays and Fridays. Fridays are reserved for the Forest, which leaves Mondays as totally open ended time for me and her siblings. I also want to use this time as a way to do some activities with Lucy since I’m relatively disappointed with the preschool program that Lucy is in. She’s having fun and likes it, but when I see what they are doing I just want to beat my head against the wall. It’s just very very traditional and in my opinion very, very lame, but she has friends and plays and gets excited to see said friends and play with said friends. She’s also learning sign language and doing a lot of things with letters which she’s really into. But come on teacher, how about one less coloring book printout page and let them put some of their own goddamn PAINT ON THE FUCKING PIECE OF PAPER. See this all caps, which is me yelling in my head (or honestly at Jason..not yelling, just speaking in a loud voice), is the reason I probably can’t be a preschool teacher. Thus I’ve deemed Mondays “Mom and Kids Adventures in Chicago Day”. Given that Baby V is still just over two weeks old, today it was Mom and Kids and Grandparents Adventures in Chicago Day because I knew I would need some help corralling all the kids on this particular adventure: visit Dad at work. The building he works in is right on the brown line, so before we went Lucy and I spent some time looking at maps of the city. Where our house is. Where Jason’s work is. The train lines that go near it. When we got past the Merchandise Mart, the train voice let us know that Washington & Welles would be the next stop and Lucy immediately said, “Mom that’s it, that’s where Dad’s work is!” So yay! She remembered something. We had lunch at Corner Bakery where the most exciting thing that happened (aside from seeing Dad obviously) was that Rocky pooped in the potty there. ***Sidenote*** Oh my god potty training this kid = way harder than potty training Lucy. Maybe we are lazier, or he really is more difficult or like Jason mentioned yesterday, since he has gotten more candy in general in his life than Lucy, the bribery of M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces isn’t enough to make him take a leak or put some turds in the potty. I mean literally last night he peed in his underwear while standing on a stool and after Jason said, “OK, buddy let’s change your pants,” he said, “But why…they aren’t dirty!” Ok then. Just sit there in your urine soaked underwear. After lunch we walked to Daley Plaza where we checked out some Korean dancers/music as well as the Picasso statue. From there we raced to the train because I realized the baby was coming up on three hours since her last feeding. And, while she had spent the entire trip in the Moby strapped to me (except for a 10 minute lap stay on the train when I had to tighten up the Moby) and sleeping, I was worried about a) her waking up and realizing she was starving and b) my boobs getting mad at me that the feeding was getting late and explode on me. Since she’s going 3-4 hours between feeding, it really wasn’t a big deal and there was no reason to be rushed like a lunatic. Plus a) she’s a third born and she will probably have to get used to waiting 30 minutes for things and b) I could have fed her on the train if it really got crazy. In the end she didn’t wake up until we got home. A fun day downtown on a beautiful day. Always fun to see Jason in the middle of the day and an awesome way to start off the week. Check out the pictures from our trip! On the train ride home, Rocky was cracking up my Dad and I with his incredibly loud and crazy talk. I mean I think my Dad was crying laughing so...

Another Friday in the Forest

By on Oct 11, 2014 in Chicago, North Park Village Nature Center, Stay at Home Mom Days, To Do With Kids | 0 comments

Our plan, as I think I’ve mentioned in the past, is that our kids will attend a forest play based school on Fridays. This still is not approved but I guess there has been some steps forward. For now we are just meeting there on Fridays with some of the other families and letting the kids run and explore. We went this past Friday. The older two kids went with Grandma and Grandpa right around 8:45am. Jason and I came a little bit later with Veronica knowing that I wouldn’t last carrying her or standing for the 4-5 hours that the kids have typically been spending there. I bought some mini gourds at the farmers market and the kids started their day in the forest by playing find the gourds which were hidden in the forest by grandpa. When we got there we went for a walk with the other kids that were there towards the tall grass area. On the way the kids found a slug and were fascinated by it. There were two three year olds, Rocky who is 2 and a little bit and then Lucy who is almost 5. The four kids watched the slug move for probably about 30 minutes. If you’ve ever met my son you know that him sitting still for any amount of time is a big win. But if he is interested in something then there isn’t a problem usually. And apparently crawling slug fits the bill. We had a snack in the woods and then it was time to head back. My dad walked ahead of us and then told Lucy that he must have found “her” log in the woods. When she looked she found that her name had been carved into the bark. She spent some time running up and down “her log”. We left at that point but the kids and grandparents stayed for another hour or two. One of the friends there noticed that I was carrying Baby V on my chest in the Moby wrap. She ran to find her baby and stuck her in her sweatshirt and carried her around the woods. I thought it was really cute that she immediately went to find her baby to copy me. I really hope that the school itself is approved in the next few weeks because I’m anxious to see what it’s going to be all about. But until then we’ll keep heading there on Fridays to play, explore, learn and run.  ...

A Date Afternoon with My Daughter

By on Oct 2, 2014 in Chicago, iPhone, Stay at Home Mom Days | 1 comment

This morning found me running around getting some blood drawn in advance of the scheduled c-section I have tomorrow morning. Followed by a few errands in the neighborhood. Then it was time to pick up Lucy. Since everyone’s world is going to be rocked tomorrow I wanted to spend some one on one time with her. So after leaving school I asked her if she’d rather have some ice cream from “the place with the little spoons” or pie from “the new pie shop“. She chose ice cream (personally I would have gone butterscotch pie because OMG, but her choice and she will probably always choose the ice cream option). We ate our treats outside looking at the kids playing in Giddings Plaza in Lincoln Square where Lucy spied her friend Alanna from school. The two of them played for about 30 minutes while I chatted with Alanna’s mom. I didn’t know her so nice to meet her. They are from Dallas and when they moved here a few years ago the winter was *quite* the shock to their system. Hell, I grew up in Chicago and winter is a shock to my system every year. I can’t imagine coming from somewhere warm. I think she said they moved here *in* the winter. Hello! And welcome to Chicago! From the square it was on to the shoe store. I wanted to get her and her brother their winter boots while I was thinking about it because every year I wait too long and then it’s snowed and I’m like, “Well hopefully your toes won’t get too cold. Go Play.” While we were there we found perhaps the greatest pair of high tops on the planet. Sparkly. With pink accents. And rainbow stripes inside. As Jason said they are most likely her spirit shoes given all those features. Lucy- tomorrow you become a big sister to another brother or sister. I know you are hoping for a sister but I think have come down to being happy with whatever comes out. Given this one acts a lot like you did in utero I feel like it’s a girl…or at least it’s a boy that’s a little calmer than your current lunatic of a brother. I am excited to see how you handle the challenge of being a big sister times two. I know you’ll be...

Just a Tuesday

By on Oct 1, 2014 in Chicago, iPhone, Photography, Stay at Home Mom Days | 1 comment

Nothing special really happened today. Although the amount of laughter I got from Rocky by pulling his legs on a swing to get him going was hilarious. He didn’t sleep really well last night and we think that both our kids are getting some kind of colds with T-2days till baby day. Good timing kids! Good thing they don’t usually keep their sickness around very long so I’m hoping it disappears by Thursday or Friday morning if we have to do that. Anyways back to our Tuesday. After helping me put together the bassinet for the baby in our bedroom and folding some clothes and putting them away. Ok fine he didn’t really help with that but rather just played with (threw around…) magnaformers on the floor. He also tucked his “babies in” under our comforter which happened to be on the floor. At one point he ran into his room and ran back with his pillow, “because the babies needed it for sleeping”. After that we took a walk to the park. Realizing as we left that it was actually pretty shitty outside. Cold and raining and bleh. But we had fun at the park. Mainly sticking to the swings because everything was soaked (I don’t care but Rocky doesn’t love it). With no other kids there the squirrels were *super* aggressive. Like climbing in our stroller and rooting around for crumbs. Seriously felt like I was in a Hitchcock movie, The Squirrels. The tagline, “Coming to a Playground Near You”. From there it was a stop at the shoe store where we got some boots that should be good for low temps and wet mud (more forest play time is on the dance card for these kids). Then it was lots of errands for me while Grandma Sue took over. Fun day kid. I like hangin’ with...

A Monday in the Forest

By on Sep 29, 2014 in Chicago, North Park Village Nature Center, Parenting, Stay at Home Mom Days, To Do With Kids | 1 comment

The plan was for Lucy to be in a full day 5 day a week preschool program at the Catholic school where she did 5 half days last year. As the school year approached the thought of her being there 5 days a week was making me anxious. Not that I don’t think it’s a good program. Or that she wouldn’t have done fine and been happy and all that. But then. Then I realized that for the next 13 years of her life she will be in school 5 days a week with no option to not be. This is because we are going to go with a public school route. Of course there are other options for kids, but for us and our family that is the plan. So we re-evaluated the situation. Could she go three full days still getting that time to be with her friends and get used to a full school day and stay home with Mom, Rocky and new baby (and let’s be honest grandpa and grandpa) on Mondays and Fridays and still be “ready” for kindergarten. Given that I think she’s ready for kindergarten right now (plus what does “ready for kindergarten” even mean?) giving her some freedom for exploring and time with family and city adventures seemed like the right choice. Right now she’s home Mondays and Fridays and at school for a full day Tuesday-Thursday. We were planning on her doing a Forest playschool on Fridays with her brother but that program has not yet been approved. Apparently there is some circular logic with DCFS needing a contract from Chicago Park District before approvals and Chicago Park District needs DCFS approvals before rendering a contract. I’m not a lawyer but can’t these people sit down in a room together and write up a goddamn contact? The forest playschool will take place (if it happens) at the North Park Village Nature Center. As it’s not happening officially now some of the parents decided to have a playdate there a few days a week to get the kids used to the site, etc etc. So today we went to meet some new friends play in the forest. We were there for 3 hours. We saw some deer. We climbed some trees. We found new bird houses within the trees (a red, pink and yellow one if you are interested). We made some new friends. A great way to spend a Monday morning....