28 February 2008

Pancake Meow

Last Christmas, we (I) found really fun necklace charms for our nieces that looked and smelled like cinnamon rolls. Pancake Meow creates jewelry that look like miniature desserts and other sweets and smell like the real thing! I would have (do) loved these as a little girl. One of my nieces asked for another for Christmas this year, but unfortunately, I couldn't get anything in time for the holidays. Fortunately, her birthday is around Valentine's Day, which gave me plenty of time to design a custom order cupcake. Again, a big hit (you do need to plan ahead -- orders take quite a bit of time).

I was just on the Pancake Meow site and saw that she is now making ice-cream bowl charms! How cute are these?

Photo courtesy of Pancake Meow

NOTE: Again, a good thing we have boys, because I think they would have one of each.

24 February 2008

Papa's Birthday Weekend

It was my dad's birthday this weekend. Since Brian has been wanting a weekend alone to get some house stuff done, the boys and I thought it was a perfect one to go up to Wisconsin and visit. So H, C, Storm and I all piled into the car and drove up for the weekend.

Gulliver's Travels - Model Railroad Show was at the Domes (Mitchell Park Conservatory). I hadn't been there since I moved to Chicago 14 years ago. But any time there is warmth and plants in the middle of winter, it's like a mini vacation as far as I'm concerned. My nephew was a little bored, but C left kicking and screaming. They loved it.

We came back, and my sister and her family came over for dinner. Of course, we had cake for the birthday boy. I don't think he got to blow out one single candle.

The next morning, we went for breakfast at The Lumber Inn. Always just plain-ole'-good home-cooked breakfast. Brian couldn't believe we went there without him.

Next, we relaxed ....

then we went for an "adventure walk" in the woods. My parents live surrounded by a forest, and "adventure walks" are always a fun thing to do winter, spring, summer and fall. This time, we were looking for deer and rabbit tracks. (We did get to see seven deer come up to the feeder when we were inside. I always love that.)

Even Storm had a blast. He loves just being able to run free. It was a great weekend for all of us.

22 February 2008

Good Mail Day

Typically, our mail box is overloaded with junk mail and bills. Just depressing. But today was a good mail day. This is what I got:

1) Shutterfly photos from mid-December through last weekend. Yes, I'm still one of those people who put photos in albums.

2) A postcard from my cousin who was in the South Pole. I think it was sent around the holidays, but the South Pole is far away as you know, so it takes a long time. He was there for work, and I find it so interesting. Probably because I think I'd be totally claustrophobic there -- ironic considering it's open space. Just snow, snow, snow for miles. At least in Chicago there are glimmers of mud and dirt to mix things up.

3) A delivery from Amazon, containing:

20 February 2008

Back from Germany

We are all very excited, because Brian just got back from Munich, Germany. It was a short trip -- he left on Saturday and is back today, Wednesday -- but nonetheless inspired a work of art by Hudson (a big box, that he colored on and made a garage out of) that said something like "these four days were not quick." Brian was there for meetings, and had a nice time. This past year he didn't make it to Germany at all. The year before, he was there several times, so he got his fix, and I got my supply of Labello and Mozart Kügels. He stayed at the Anna Hotel, which is in a great area. He went running with his co-workers through the streets of Munich -- something he couldn't have done here with all the frigid weather. And he had a great meal at Brenner, where he saw Boris Becker.

19 February 2008

One of My Favorite Things

It's been pretty yuck outside -- snow + rain + freezing cold = ice. Our whole back yard and most of the sidewalks are ice, and it's cold! Bitter, bitter cold. Basically, we haven't been outside much the last few days. So, I guess I'm noticing the stuff in our house more. One of the things I always find amusing is artwork in the boys bathroom. So I thought I'd share it, especially if you are one of those far-away friends who has never been over.

Superheroes on the Toilet

Funny, right? It's a series of postcards I ordered a couple years ago. We framed them in cheap IKEA frames and hung them all over the kid's bathroom. Truly, it's one of my favorite "finds" in the house. I think they are perfect. I checked, and it seems that the "Superheroes on the Toilet" series are still available. In case you are interested, you can find them here.

18 February 2008

Who the Boys Look Like

People always try to figure out which kid looks more like which parent. Brian and I resemble each other (I'm not sure what that says about either of us ...), so whether C or H looks one or the other just kind of depends on the day. My Heritage is a fun site that has a celebrity look-alike feature, as well as a Look-Alike Meter. So, here it goes:



There it is. (By the way, my celebrity look-alikes are Tiffani Thiessen, Katie Couric, Christie Brinkley, Debra Messing, Meg Ryan, Melanie Griffith and Martina McBride -- I really can't see any of those).

President's Day

H in the President's Day hat he made at school.

16 February 2008

Choo Choo Restaurant

Today we went to the Choo Choo Restaurant in Des Plaines. We make it up there a couple times a year, and the boys go nuts for it. The food ... whatever. They got hot dogs and fries, and I had a bowl of turkey chili. But we of course always have to get a booth seat because the best part about the Choo Choo ... everyone's food is delivered via electric train. Heaven, for two train-crazy boys.

And here they are, back at home, doing what they love the best.

14 February 2008

Happy Valentines Day from Us!

(Hearts by H & C, 2007)

13 February 2008

Great Contest

You won't believe all the prizes that Mod*Mom is giving away.  I, of course, never win, but it doesn't hurt to try!  Check it out yourself.

10 February 2008

Kohl Children's Museum

The company I work for is the sponsor of the Hands-On House at the Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview. We were invited to a private viewing of the Clifford the Big Red Dog exhibit, and since Brian was out of town, it worked out perfect since we are always looking for things to do. We met a co-worker and her daughter and sister there, and it was so nice since the museum wasn't open to the public yet (by the time we left, the line was long). What a great museum. I wish we had something closer to us like that. It has 17 hand-on exhibits. Some of the boys favorites were the Water Works, City on the Move, Dominick's (a grocery store set-up) and of course Clifford. Actually, when H was telling me his favorite things, he said they all were actually.

Ray's MTD Indoor Park

Brian just got back the 1st Annual B-I-K-E Event at Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland, Ohio which was this weekend. I asked "what in the world does that mean?" I guess it's like H-O-R-S-E on the basketball court, but they try to out-do each other freeride mountain biking. Sounds scary to me. His company is one of the sponsors of the event, and a bunch of the pros were there. Of course, Brian got to do a bit of riding too. I guess it was a fun, crazy, out of control time that went really well.

07 February 2008

Downloadable Paper Houses

Yes, I have boys. And I love them. And I love boy stuff -- the trains, planes, balls, cars have all grown on me. But, the truth is, when I was young, I was a girly-girl. So, sometimes I see something girly, and a bit of me gets very excited. Like these downloadable paper houses I found on yokiddo.com. Probably not too kid-friendly, and they look like you'd need a ton of patience to put them together (something else I don't have), but they are pretty amazing nonetheless.

06 February 2008

A Gift from H

Look what I got from H today. He made it at school, and I love it. Brian got a rectangle one yesterday.

04 February 2008

A Weekend with More Snow

Super Tuesday

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday! And I'm just saying ... go Obama.

Treasure Dough

Santa brought the kids each a bucket of Treasure Dough, and we finally dared to open it up this weekend. C tends to be very messy with play dough and sometimes, I just can't deal with that. But, I have to say, it kept both kids occupied for a good 45 minutes, and was actually more fun for them than I thought. H got the Under the Sea, and even made underwater creations once he uncovered the treasures. C got the Zany Zoo, and was more into taking the little creatures out and hiding them again. Both kids asked to play with it again later that day. It's great -- it's non-toxic and flour-based. Ours came from Polka Dots, but if you are anything like us, you have tons of tiny, random plastic toys and I was thinking this would be a very easy thing to do at home on a rainy (and if anything like today, mixed with snow) day. I've never made my own play dough, but I know it's very easy. Here's just one recipe idea.

02 February 2008

Hyde Park

Me ... "So, what do you want to do today?"
H ... "Dad, can we go to that train place again?"
Brian ... (quietly) "The lines, the crowds ... why don't we find a new train store?"
Me ... "Since when did you become lame? That's my job. We live in the city, let's just do it."
Brian ... "Fine, but you'll see..."

And with that, we headed south to Hyde Park. I don't know what it is about this area, and I'm really not that familiar with it, but I like it. A lot. We ate lunch at The Medici on 57th. Kids had pancakes, Brian had soup and salad, and I had a salad. We all ate well. Then we moved onward, to "that train place," The Museum of Science and Industry. Brian had taken them when C was still in the Baby Björn. We got there with three hours (enough time) to spare. And there were no lines (it's Winter after all, not as many tourists). We spent an hour watching the model trains (even I thought it was amazing), we walked through an old time town (H thought it was scary), "drove" tractors, saw a submarine and more. As you can see, there is much more than trains. It just happens to be the highlight of my kids trip. It was a great day.