Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chance's Potty Week

Dear Big Boy Chance,

You make me so proud.

This week we've all watched, cheered and encouraged you as you rocked Potty Week (our family's version of potty training, here's Mia's Potty Week). For the past 4 months I've been prepping you for Potty Week with talks about all the fun things we'd do, all the cool prizes you'd get and how we'd celebrate the end of the week with a potty party. You sounded pretty excited about it and I concluded every one of our talks with you'll know when you're ready and when you know, you come and tell us.

And so we waited until after Indy was born and waited and waited some more and then suddenly preschool started and I knew that all you needed was a teeny tiny push. Moms are good like that. So last Sunday I pulled out the underpants that your Nana bought you so you could "try" them on and wouldn't ya know,  you flashed the hugest smile (which melts me every time) shook your cute little tush (or as you call it buttfish) and ran around the house showing everyone your BIG! BOY! UNDERPANTS! Which come to think of it, I hope that's the last time I ever type that sentence  :)

When I went to take your underpants off, I was met with some resistance so I calmly reminded you that it's not yet Potty Week. And with a wave of my imaginary wand, I held my breath and waited for your reaction. Then suddenly you yelled  "But Mommy, I ready for Potty Week!!!"

Cue the choir of angels.

You woke the next morning greeted by a huge banner and you immediately knew it was yours because you spied your name (which was totally precious btw). It was the perfect kick-off to our celebration.

Prizes, outings and special gestures make up each day of Potty Week. It's a milestone that I want to honor the heck out of, because really, it's a big one. The last shred of infancy gone right before my sappy little eyes. Trust me, it needs its own week.  

Later that night Bella bestowed your first of several gifts and her big sister speech is just adoarable, see:

The next day I picked you up from school and had your lunch already packed in a little travel bag and you were THRILLED. I wanted to pull you aside and say "dude, it's only lunch in a bag" but nothing could damper your spirits.

So off to Target we went and you ate your lunch in the shopping cart like you were king of the world. It's here where we picked out your underpants. After a brutal 15 minutes in the underwear aisle you  finally decided on a superhero trio: Superman, Batman and Spiderman. Seriously Chance, you jump phases quicker than your sisters. All of a sudden Lightning McQueen is a nobody and Thomas the Train might as well be civil war toys.

But I digress.

You proudly showed off your underpants to the cashier and exclaimed loudly "It's Potty Week" but instead it came out sounding kinda like Sloth from The Goonies and I swear she thought you were moaning "my body's weak" cuz she shot me a look like I should take better care of my child. Hmmmph.

Once home, you meticulously layed out your underpants in your new designated underwear basket and fell asleep for naptime with a smile on your face.

The next day your surprise came in an edible form. I busted out my small alphabet shapes and spelled your name in cheese.

Your excitement slays me. In fact you said, "that is sooooo awesome mom" like a total surfer and I couldn't have been happier. I sat at the table and just silently watched you eat, smiling with you as you crunched your Sun Chips, and chewed your cantaloupe--marveling at how happy you make me and how grateful I am to have you as my child. I hope your sweet innocense stays with you forever Chance. You can be happy with the smallest of gestures. MAN, I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOU.

Oh look! You found the hidden green Skittle :)

 The following day you came home from school and your surprise was an HD Nature movie all about birds. Sidenote, you freakin' love large birds; eagles, hawks and seagulls just to name a few. But this movie blew any other Wild Kratt show outta the water because this movie had video cameras ATTACHED TO THE BIRDS. We were both blown away actually!

It also had some savage and gruesome deaths by a lion and a tweeked out baboon....but the birds were sure fun to watch.

Later that evening, Mia gave you a gift for doing so good. His name is Bongo.

Welcome to the family, Bongo. You'll probably be wiped with, spit on, thrown around but trust me, you'll be loved, even by our littlest of members.

And as promised Chancey, we ended the week with a Potty Party. Good food, great desserts and a roomful of people who were proud of you! Not a bad way to start the rest of your life, eh?

I'll love you forever buddy! Great job@!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back To The Future

From deconstructed tacos to antique musket balls this certainly was an adventurous weekend! We started Friday night with another awesome meal at ING. We've been there once before for their Nightmare Before Christmas Menu and was equally impressed with their newest menu, Street Foods.

The food was totally inventive and explored famous street dishes from all over the world! What a great night with friends and to be out of the house without kids was definitely something I needed. That zombie drink you see below helped too!

Check it, they garnished the drink with a gelatinous brain and accompanied it with a syringe filled with "blood" that I needed to add to the drink. So cool!

On Saturday, we stepped back in time and got our fur trade on...

A River Thru History is a re-creation of life in the Des Plaines Valley during the Fur Trade Era, where traders would barter supplies with local tribes. This "rendezvous" would sometimes last as long as two weeks, where they'd meet to socialize, dance, sing, eat, drink, fight and race canoes. Sounds like a bender!

Bella, who has become quite the expert on this time period (and pretty much every major historical event because of the Magic Treehouse books) was in major awe.

The participants were hardcore with their costumes and my kids ate it up! Literally.

She loved the apple butter. 

I always poke fun of those who participate in re-enactments and I realize it's because I've never actually been to one. I gotta admit it was so intriguing to watch from afar. 

Dude, they shot a cannonball.

With the utmost curiosity my kids learned about life without Crayola markers.

And marveled at the ruffles and capris. 
On men.

And listened to the tunes of our history...

They each picked out a souvenir.

Um, yeah, I think Mia missed the boat when she went for the CHINESE UMBRELLA, HELLO???!!!

Chance's wooden King Cobra. Trust me, it's a lot better than the rifle he was eyeing. 

Ahhh, the good child. Rock out with your pan flute, girl!

I wondered what type of pioneer mom I would have been as I pushed my stroller past tent after homemade tent. Sure, the whole churning my own butter would annoy the shit outta me, but I also wouldn't have Facebook taking me away from my kids either. 
Childrearing of the past was mainly centered around a work-based approach, 
which let's face it, isn't my strong suit. Life would have been a lot harder back then, that's for sure.

But for a VERY brief moment, I envied those participating--I mean I have to give them credit for the committment factor. As a young girl, I'd spend hours dreaming of what life was like in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. My 9 year old self would have totally rocked that bonnet and fetched a pail of water. 

But I do know this, whether its 1813 or 2013, I would have loved just the same.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Labor Day: A Weekend Review

For a hot second Eugene and I contemplating going away for Labor Day weekend for an official end-of-summer hurrah but decided instead, to stay local. I forget how great Chicagoland can be when you actually leave your house for longer than 2.5 hrs. The girls finished their 2nd week of school and we started the weekend with Friday Family Movie Night and watched this:

The kids gave it two thumbs up but really they have absolutely no cinematic standards so don't listen to them. Talking animals is ALWAYS a hit with kids, enough said. On Saturday we headed out to the city and ended up at the Museum of Science and Industry. Our intent was to rock out at the jazz fest but since it was raining cats and dogs we headed south on Lake Shore Drive and put our yearly membership to the test.

The museum was great, as always.

Tires as big as your children!

Blood 101

Later on we attended a 1st birthday luau for a neighborhood friend and had such a great time.

On Sunday we took the kids to Santa's Village, a creepy little kids amusement park that they loved the shit out of!

Pardon me for my error, it's not just an amusement park, IT'S AN AZOOSMENT PARK!!!!

With real animals. To feed. And smell.

See the llama that photobombed the above picture? That damn llama grabbed my feed cup right out of my hand and I spent a RIDICULOUS amount of time playing dodge-and-grab-the-cup from him. And he was quick and I was embarassed and now I just really dislike LLAMAS.

The hit of the day was Parakeet Paradise where the kids got to feed hundreds of parakeets. I watched from the sidelines mumbling something under my breath about H5N1 but the kids absolutely LOVED this place.

The feed sticks were only a $1 and it's by far the best return on investment around! 

I think my parents rode these cars when they were kids.

There is no where that I won't take this AWESOME baby. 
Indy was just happy being outside and getting a little attention here and there. 


And a kiddie roller coaster that neither Bella nor I would try. 

Bless my heart, Chance is a daredevil like his dad! I couldn't believe he raised his arms!!!

I swear I'm done buying the 80's novelty tees but isn't this one hilarious?!

There's nothing like good ol' fashioned carnival fun and I'm glad that our summer ended this way.

Tomorrow Chance starts preschool. These birds of mine, they are a flyin'.


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