27 January 2008

Finally, Sushi is Close By

We are so excited! Finally, a sushi restaurant opened in Oak Park, so close by that it could be dangerous for us (and a reward for actually going our gym which is located across the street). There are a couple others we've tried: Sagano Sushi, which tends to get pretty high reviews, but we really didn't like and and Fuji Grill - in a scary strip mall, but reasonable for standard sushi fare. But none that we'd necessarily get really excited about going to. Until now. Sushi House opened up a couple weeks ago in our neck of the woods, and we tried it out for lunch today. The atmosphere was great. We sat in sunken seating next to tall bamboo branches. The food was really good. My favorite is still Sai Cafe, but for a near-by alternative, this is perfect! I had the daily chef's special sashimi meal, Brian had a bunch of different sushi pieces and the kids had their favorite, agedashi tofu and (really cool) kids bento boxes with steak. Both loved them and ate almost everything. We'll definitely be going back.

Learning to Skate

The Park District has indoor ice skating during the winter months. We've meant to go for years now ... Brian even bought me brand new sparkling skates two Christmases ago ... but just never made it. We finally took the kids last night for their first-time-ever skating, and had a blast. Both did really great. H said he even wants to learn how to play hockey. Maybe next year.

25 January 2008

Cali & Colorado

Brian just got back from a work trip to California and Colorado. The kids say he's on vacation, which is kind of funny since it was no picnic this week including a day off of school (thanks Mom for coming down to watch them) and a couple snow storms. It's really not that bad though - we've kind of got our routine down. Besides long meetings and brainstorming sessions, there were a couple fun things he got to do including go to the Monster Energy Supercross event in Anaheim, California, and dining at Fruition (our friend Jesse is a proprietor) in Denver, Colorado. He said it was amazing (he had the Oven Roasted Beet Salad and Maple Leaf Duck Breast). We are glad he is home.

Look who he saw at the Supercross event! Pink and Carey Hart.

23 January 2008

Good Thoughts

For some reason, I'm feeling stressed out. Busy at work, busy at home and I feel like if I let one thing slip by, everything else will suffer. I know that's not true, and that it won't happen ... it's just one of those days. So, I was thinking of things that made me happy today. Here are some of them (ironically, centered around one the things stressing me out - more snow):
  • The sound of kids in snowpants
  • Snow angels
  • Big dogs with snow covered noses
  • Pink cheeks
  • A patient husband (not snow related, but still helpful)
  • Kids without lice (the Hair Fairies were at their school today)
See, it worked. I'm already not as stressed.

20 January 2008

Burr, it's cold!

The current weather conditions are saying it's 9 degrees out, but feels like -8 degrees. Where's the best place to go? The Brookfield Zoo, of course. People always think I'm a little crazy to say that, but Fall, Winter and Spring are my favorite times to go. There's so much to do indoors, and I guess other people don't think it's the best place to go, so it's usually not crowded at all. Today, hardly anyone was there. First stop ... the Hamill Family Play Zoo. We got to pet rabbits and lizards, watch the lemurs get fed and the boys favorite ... spray the plants. We also went to the Tropic World, where we were able to ask questions to the docents about the different primates, and The Swamp to visit the alligators. We were not there long, but it was a great way to get out of the house in this otherwise unbearable weather.

17 January 2008

The Time has Come

I might just cry. H has always, always, always had longer gorgeous hair, even as a baby. But he's been talking of getting it cut short for awhile. So we figured, ok.


He's so happy! Where did my baby go?

15 January 2008

Student Parent Night at School

We had such a fun evening. Once a year, parents get to go to the school and work with our kids. It's very different from observing, which we do in the fall. This is hands-on, with the kids telling us what they are doing. There are also only a few parents at a time (it's offered 3 different times), so it's not so crazy, and it's only one hour. H showed us some math, smelling, polishing and penmanship. It's pretty amazing how much he knows. C did painting, lots of pouring, whisking and, to slow him down, cookie baking (his favorite). Here are some highlights.

Poached Eggs

H's newest food obsession ... "dipping eggs."  So called, obviously, because he likes to dip his toast in his poached egg.  Maybe it's because of Brian's dislike of all type of eggs besides scrambled, or me finally appreciating eggs for what they are again, but we've never really made many eggs in our house.  C loves hard boiled, probably because he gets to break something and it's ok.  A family of egg loving kids in our house - who would have thunk.   

14 January 2008


One of H's favorite subjects in school is science. Yes, he's only Kindergarten age, but at his Montessori school, he presents experiments to the class every month. Being a person who still doesn't enjoy public speaking, I think it's a great way to build up some self-confidence in this area.

This month, we made up our own experiment. I sent him along to school with six jars - three filled with primary colors - red, blue and yellow. Then he poured the colors into the other jars to make the secondary colors - purple, orange and green. You all know this, but it's a pretty cool experiment for a 5-year old, right? Well, he was excited. The other experiments he's done are: Runaway Pepper and Dancing Raisins. Who knows? Maybe he's following the tracks of my cousin who is an Astrophysicist currently located in the South Pole. I certainly didn't get those genes (and our moms are identical twins - go figure).

13 January 2008

Big Boy with Bedroom Set

Finally, C has a big boy room. It's about 7 months late, but those crib-to-toddler bed are really great for parents who just can't seem to get around to buying new furniture. Thank goodness for IKEA. We got a terrific set (the MALM series - same line as H's, but different styles), and didn't even spend close to as much as most bedroom sets would have cost. Yes, it did take most of the day to set it up, but we even fit in a quick ride to our local Bedding Experts, where we had a really great sales guy (not the least bit creepy even) who showed us one that happened to even be in stock (and was also very reasonable). So, here it is!

(We already had the bookshelves.) Brian was very patient setting it up. C and H were curious, but found ways to spend their time. Is this a look into our future? It all seems too natural.

10 January 2008

Fake Teeth

I survived my first crown on my tooth. This is a big deal considering how petrified I am of the dentist. They sent me away with a 800 mg Motrin and said I will probably be sore tomorrow. But as I mentioned in my earlier Florida trip post, I lost half a tooth on New Years Eve. Eating a water chestnut. And as my parents and grandpa said "Honey, those things happen as you get older." Not sure which I'm supposed to feel worst about - the crown or my parents calling me old.

Booster Seat Option

H and C have, how shall we say, ... not the best table etiquette sometimes. They sit on their knees and are always moving around. Part of the problem, we know, is the chairs they sit on. Booster and even the standard fall-back, the telephone book, just didn't work. How excited were we to find KABOOST? I wish we discovered these years ago! They are perfect for kids out of high chairs (or small 5 year olds - they actually fit kids up to 6 but I imagine H can sit in it for awhile), but too small for big people chairs. I ordered them one day, and they were delivered the next. Our handcrafted table is not ideal for them, but for most, this is a perfect solution.

09 January 2008

World's Smallest Political Quiz

(Disclaimer: this is just to have fun with, and does not necessarily reflect actual beliefs.)

I was on goodyblog.com and came across a link to World's Smallest Political Quiz.  It's quick (key), and compares personal versus economic issues, then rates you on a grid versus a dividing line.  As I guessed, my outcome was centrist, leaning more liberal (especially regarding personal issues).  Go ahead, try it.

08 January 2008

Fun Photographs

A co-worker forwarded me a website with some really cool photographs. I thought they were worth a post.


(Photo courtesy of Jan Von Holleben website.)

07 January 2008

Thank Goodness for Dentists

H and our neighbor won these ugly teeth from an toy dispenser at Wishbone. Look who's bummed out he didn't get any.

At least the machine was one that did a crazy chicken sound and dispensed plastic eggs. C had fun imitating the chicken.

06 January 2008

New Year's 2008 in Florida

We just got back from a fantastic trip to Bonita Springs, Florida. This is our 6th New Year's Eve. in Florida and we always have a really nice time. It's a great way to unwind after the holidays, and to spend time with Nina and Papa (my mom and dad). Great Grandpa Bobby and Elaine also visit, so that is nice since we don't get to see them much.

The weather has spoiled us the past few years. This year was raining one day, and freezing cold two of the days. When we arrived the weather was perfect, so we luckily did take advantage of it. And even though it was just wrong not to be warm, in a way it was nice because we did a lot of things we typically wouldn't have been able to do since most of our time would have been at the beach or in the pool.

Here are some of the highlights:
- H swimming without floaties - underwater, but he did great.
- New Years Eve. - Papa had to save C in the pool, H nearly choked, and I lost part of a tooth (gross).
- White wine and yummy lunches at the country club. H proved he has a refined palette by begging to go back to eat there so he could order the delicious salad Nina had -- a tuna sashimi salad with cucumbers. Every one at the club was a blown away when he ordered it, and he did eat most of it. It was still his favorite thing he ate.
- Outlet mall shopping and even regular mall shopping.
- H fishing with Papa and Bobby.
- H and C playing tennis with Nina and Dad.
- Brian was invited it watch the live Manchester United game with Harry and Laura, my parents friends from Manchester, UK.
- The Naples Zoo - a really pretty zoo with a boat ride around islands of monkeys, a bunch of alligators (we got to watch them be fed), and a lion that entertained us with big bellowing roars.
- The Estero Community Center playground and dog park (my parents had their dogs with).
Miniature golf - the boys first time. H loved it.
- Barefoot Beach - sand castles with Nina, looking for sea shells and other funky sea life (jelly fish, a symphony of clams (they snapped their shells), and star fish, to name a few).
- The best dinner I think we've ever had at The Real Seafood Company - again, H surprised us by ordering the kids lobster.
- Hours of Monopoly Junior

It was a great time, and I hope we get to continue this tradition in the years to come. Happy 2008!