30 June 2009

Up North - Day 5

You will never believe it. But it is cold and raining ... again. I know, right? Storm had fun this morning frolicking with a Golden Retriever (I'm still not sure where he came from). Together, they ran the shores of the lake, and even met up with a beautifully groomed little white dog. And I'm not kidding. I went for a run, came back, and that silly Golden Retriever was still waiting in the yard for Storm to come out and play. So they did. We decided to go for a lumberjack breakfast at Paul Bunyan's. I hadn't been there since I was a kid -- it was fun. Then we headed over to see a tour of the Art Oehmcke Fish Hatchery. The boys were bored, so afterwards, we played a round of miniature golf. I'm not one to gloat, but I WON! When we came home, C slept, I read, and H and Brian fished. Sound familiar? Really though, it was another fun day.

29 June 2009

Up North - Day 4

Well, it's another cold rainy day in the northern woods. And do you know what I decided? It's really hard for our family just to relax. Seriously. We are normally running around like crazy (like everyone, it seems). But today, we did nothing. Ok, the boys fished a little. We watched the lake's bald eagle fly around. Oh, and we also went to the grocery store and Walmart -- we had to stock up on board games, red wine and beef sticks, after all. It was the big excursion of the day. We even took the dog. When we got home, Brian and H went fishing for a couple hours. C slept for 4. And I read ... and read ... and read. And decided, that once in awhile, it's ok to do ... nothing.

28 June 2009

Up North - Day 3

What is up? The first day we were here, it was so sunny and hot! Today was cold and raining ... again. And it's supposed to be like this most of the week. It won't stop our fun though. This morning, we headed to Elmer's Fun Park in St. Germain for a little horseback riding and go-carts. H and I rode Maverick, and C and Brian rode Jasper. The trail went along a river, and through gorgeous woods. It was absolutely beautiful (a bit of a surprise, actually). We were the only ones on the trail with the guide. It was great. Then we rode go-carts, which the boys loved.

After another lazy day at home, we went to Dan's Minocqua Fudge to pick up some salt water taffy, toffee and peanut butter fudge, then over to the Thirsty Whale. We were some of a few brave souls sitting in the stands watching the Min-Aqua Bats water show. Brian's seen the show a million times, and I've probably seen it at least six times myself. But we saw something we've never seen before -- the harness jump (see video). Crazy stuff. One of the guys was pulled by the boat -- another was pulled by the guy in the front -- and another pulled by the middle guy. And then, they went over the jump. It poured on us. But we came home to a warm, toasty fire and snuggly boys. Now, that's nice.

27 June 2009

Up North - Day 2

It was a rainy day. But a good day. H and Brian went out on the boat fishing this morning, while C slept in. When they got back, the boys searched for toads again. They also spent a ton of time on the pier fishing for pan fish. They would stick their pole in, and a fish would latch on. It was great. C even caught a large mouth bass (seen above) with his Spongebob Squarepants fishing rod and a plastic worm. How awesome is that? Storm's having fun too. Our little urban dog is turning country. He met up with a big, wet yellow lab today, who taught him that it was ok for a dog to go into the water. He's made it up to his chest now -- that's a big deal considering he wouldn't even stick his feet in this morning.

We did get some bad news today though. Our friend Jeff lost his son Pablo to cancer this afternoon. When they found out about the cancer, he was the same age as C. He just celebrated his 6th birthday. I never met him personally, but Jeff and his family chronicled his journey, and he was the most incredible kid. I can't imagine. Cancer sucks. I made sure to give H & C an extra special hug today.

26 June 2009

Up North - Day 1

We are up near Minocqua, Wisconsin on vacation -- and are lucky enough to be staying in the house Brian grew up coming to. He's in heaven. The boys are having a blast. So far, their favorite thing to do is to search for toads. There are lots! C thinks it's funny when they go to the bathroom on him. Yeah, I'm not so sure what to say about that either. We are all very tired tonight, but it's going to be a great vacation.

25 June 2009


Brian got home from his trip, saw the boy's new haircuts, and decided he needed one of his own. He recruited H to help. They even used the same clipper size. I've got myself some triplets.


Today was the boys last tennis lesson. The session only went for two weeks. The first week, it rained the whole time. This is H's third year, and C's first. They both did awesome, even though it was 90 degrees. It sure was a hot one.

We're looking forward to Brian coming home today. He was in Colorado Springs all week.

23 June 2009

New Haircut

When I got home from work today, C was still sleeping. Summer break has completely thrown him off. He's been staying up later, not taking naps and is just exhausted. He finally came downstairs, and I noticed his hair looked a bit different. I thought it was bed head. An hour later, I came upstairs, only to notice a pair of child's scissors out ... and tons of pieces of hair laying around. I ran downstairs, pushed the long strands aside, and sure enough, underneath it all, a big ole' patch right in the front. Gone. He's threatened to cut his hair before, but he's never succeeded. Well, tonight, he did.

I should have seen it coming. On our way back from the pool yesterday, he commented that his bangs were in his eyes. Silly me. I forgot to mention to the babysitter C has hair issues, and to HIDE THE SCISSORS. H said C cut his hair today when she was downstairs. Upon discovering the missing hair, I called my friend El, who is a stylist. She calmly said it happens all the time, and that I probably should shave it. So I did. The boys have been wanting "Papa Hair" for a long time now. But I like hair on the boys. And this is Papa. Papa doesn't have much hair. Oh well. All I can say, is C is thrilled by his new Papa-haircut. In fact, H was so bummed out he didn't have Papa-hair, that guess what. He got one too. Honestly, they could not be happier.

22 June 2009

Finally ...

we made it to the pool. It was a perfect evening for it, too. As soon as I got home from work, we packed up our gear, changed into our suits and hit the water. The boys didn't want to leave, they relaxed as I made dinner later, and C even fell asleep on the sofa. What a great summer night.

21 June 2009

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, fathers! I was lucky to get to spend today with Brian and the boys, and my Dad and Mom. The boys were so excited they came for a visit. Too excited, to be honest. So much that they were a complete handful (see top photo), and I didn't even get a photo of them with Brian this year. Humph. But we had a nice day, that centered around a picnic in the park. The big treat we had been working on over the weekend for the Dads were these little "hamburgers and french fries." They were made of sugar cookies, cupcakes, brownies and frosting (recipe here) ... and were so yummy. After my parents left, we went to Bodhi for dinner. It was a good day.

20 June 2009

Penny's Birthday

Today was Penny's birthday, and I got to celebrate with her by going for a massage and an amazing lunch at Le Colonial. Lucky me ... I know! When I came home, Chris was watching the boys. He and M had made Penny a delicious cake, and we all got to partake. Today was also the South Oak Park House Walk. There were some amazing homes on tour this year. It was a jammed packed, really fun day.

19 June 2009

Tea by C

Photograph of a tea bag in a cup, by C

18 June 2009

The Blanket

This blanket -- C's blanket -- has been a very important part of our lives for over four years now. C strokes it, puts it on his head to cover his eyes, rubs in on his face, and sucks his thumb while rubbing his finger over it. It's kind of like an extra limb. A couple days ago we had the "when are you going to stop using your blanket" conversation ... for the hundredth time. Because if we can't find it, or forget it somewhere, we are doomed. And it's annoying. Anyhow, it used to be "when me married." But this time he said when he was five. I reminded him that was only a couple months away. He said he changed his mind -- it would happen when he was six. For some reason, when C woke up this morning, he walked over, handed me his blanket, and said he didn't need it any more -- that he was a big boy. So far he hasn't asked for it at all. But I will say this ... he's been super crabby all day. I'm wondering if he's going through some sort of withdrawal. We'll see how it goes! But, whether he gives it up for good, today, two months from now, or not until he's married, I sure will miss that part of him that is a blanket-toting-thumb-sucking-tough-guy.

17 June 2009


I actually left my desk at work today. And when I was walking back, I noticed Daley Plaza was having a Sister City International Festival. Normally I don't stop, but the tents were so cute. Plus, one of the booths featured fair trade goods -- it kind of sucked me in. I saw these great push bike toys from Kenya that pedal as the wheels move. (They are actually called galimotos, and are made of wire and cloth.) I thought the boys might think they are a little old to play with them, but the toys were a great size, and the boy had a fun running through the house with them. The galimotos (I just like saying that now) are really cute. Oh, and only $6.

16 June 2009


It's raining again. So here's a picture of pretty flowers from the Farmer's Market last weekend. The boys started tennis lessons today. C fit in his entire class, but H's was rained out. He was bummed out, but a good sport about it considering tennis is his favorite sport, and he's been looking forward to this all year. Oh well. There's always Thursday.

15 June 2009

Ashland, Oregon

Brian just got back from Ashland, Oregon. He was there for a Super D (Downhill Cross Country race) and chainless event (a 3-mile mountain bike course ... without a chain .. meaning go fast and try not to use your brakes). H & C were very busy today -- Brian was greeted with "Welcome Home" chalk art around our house and two poster signs on the doors. I think they are glad to have him home.

14 June 2009

A Visit from Nina

Truth is, I've been under the weather since Friday. And Brian's out of town. The boys and I were thankful to have a quiet weekend planned, but I was more than thrilled when my mom suggested visiting today. We took the boys for hair cuts, ate at Papaspiros, and she played with the H & C while I looked through old photos from my grandparents. It was what the doctor ordered. And now, after watching Enchanted for the second time this weekend, I'm going to bed.

13 June 2009

Rainy Saturday

More rain! We made crepes in the morning (Nutella and cinnamon & sugar). We went grocery shopping. We saw Up in 3D (very cute -- unfortunately, we were late so had first row). Then it stopped raining so we played in the mud and took showers before dinner.

10 June 2009

Hot Dog with Ketchup

During our last trip to Kiddieland, we spotted this sign for the condiment station. I can't say I've noticed it before, but I'm sure it's not new. A little odd. A lot funny.

09 June 2009


It was slightly cold and rainy again today. We came home to a plate of chocolate chip cookies the babysitter and kids made. I really like her. (Cute umbrellas from Raindrops via Oh Happy Day.)


Is it just me, or does this guy have "trouble" written all over? P.S. Do you like C's photograph smile?

08 June 2009

First Day of Summer Break

(Stormy Weather by H)

I'm so excited for the kids. We have a babysitter this summer . They will go to child care for a day a week, and the rest of the time, they get to sleep in late, lounge in their pajamas and go to the pool. Which is exactly what they did today. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't super cooperative, and it rained most of the day. But, I think it will be a great summer.

07 June 2009

Trains at Day in Our Village

Our non-stop weekend continued the entire day. Brian left before 4:30 a.m. for the Rockman Triathlon. While he was doing that, the boys and I went to a birthday party in the city. By the time we came home, Brian was home (and tired) so we made a quick visit to Day in Our Village before I had to whisk C away to yet another birthday party. Day in Our Village is the day that the trains in our nearby park come out. The boys go nuts over them, and I can completely see why. Aren't they great? Hopefully there will be a lot of train riding this summer!

06 June 2009


Today was the Spring Kiddieland fundraiser for C's school. It's something we've looked forward to for five years now, and especially did this time since it's closing this Fall (it's official -- September 27th is the last day of operation per their website -- their lease for the land runs out.). The few hours were were there was fun and all, but let me tell you something. It was cold! And raining on and off. We got to ride most of our favorites, and we stayed until we had to go (to H's 1st grade party), but did I mention it was cold? Still, it was fun, and I'm going to be so sad to see this favorite place go.