Monday, November 20, 2017

Weekend Recap

Not much to report from the weekend.

Saturday morning was great – A made breakfast, S and I read books in bed, and we stayed in our pajamas all morning.  It was so nice to ease into the day.  A decided to take the boys to a movie while I got a haircut.  I believe it was the first time he’s taken both W and S.  Nani took the boys to a movie over the summer, but I don’t think they made it through the entire movie.  They saw The Star and both boys really enjoyed it.  They ate nearly an entire tub of popcorn through the duration of the movie and I’m glad they all had fun.  I’m not much of a movie person so I’m happy A gets to enjoy movies with the boys.  While they did that, I got my hair cut and caught up with my stylist who just adopted the cutest baby girl.  She’s waited so long and I’m thrilled for her.

Sunday was the usual.  Both boys were so cranky/sassy/challenging/defiant.  I’m not sure if they have cabin fever or what was going on.  But several time outs later, bed time could not come soon enough.  I even threatened to text Santa.  Probably not the best threat, but I had had enough.  On the bright side, we got a lot done, I ordered several Christmas gifts, gathered some baby clothes and sleep sacks to take to my stylist, and A raked leaves, did laundry, and made a yummy dinner.  I’m excited for a short work week, but not so excited that I have a dentist appointment and A has conferences.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Parent Teacher Conferences

This is the third (and final) year W will be in preschool and yesterday marked my fifth parent-teacher conference.  I’m assuming conferences in preschool are normal and W’s preschool takes them seriously.  Over the past 2+ years, I’ve come to dread conferences.  Yesterday’s started out like all of the previous conferences.  “Here are the results of W’s assessment.  He’s right on track in regards to his score, BUT…”.  I’m assuming preschool assessments are normal, but there is always a BUT in W’s case.  And it always gets me down and makes me feel like I failed him.  In the past, I’ve heard “he’s having trouble cutting and needs to work on his fine motor skills” or “he’s clumsy”.  So my mom found a cutting book in which he’d have to use scissors to cut a pattern and lo and behold he enjoyed it and mastered scissors use.  Yesterday’s BUT was “W’s fine motor skills are lacking and he is very behind in his writing abilities”.  The assessment included drawing shapes and W was unable to do so.  I already know that he doesn’t hold a pencil correctly and doesn’t show much interest in drawing or coloring.  I hadn’t been very concerned about it and just assumed that W wasn’t interested and would eventually master the skill.  And now I feel like I’ve failed him again.  Have preschool assessments always been a thing?!?  Because I’m not convinced I was assessed on my writing abilities as a 4 year old, but I digress…

I feel like these conferences fail to recognize all the amazing things W CAN do…  He understands time.  If I tell him that it’s 10 minutes to 10:00, he’ll say “so it’s 9:50?”  and if I tell him it’s 10:45, he’ll point out that there are 15 minutes until 11:00.  He knows every car make and while I recognize that this isn’t important in school, I think it’s impressive that he has picked up on the differences among cars.  He notices minute details.  He can count to 100 and recognizes several sight words.  He excels at puzzles and building.  He can look at something and recreate it.

W’s teacher did say that he was a great listener and a rule follower.  That he’ll point out when someone hasn’t followed the rules.  He always helps clean up and constantly looks for opportunities to help (he was cleaning up the class room as I spoke to his teacher).  He gets along with everyone.  He understands conversation and will wait for his turn to speak.  He has a large vocabulary. 

I’m sure he’ll master writing in time just as he mastered scissors.  We’ll work on writing shapes and letters and I’ll try to focus less on the shortcomings.

And you know what, at the end of the day, I’d much prefer my child to be kind and helpful as opposed to having perfect penmanship.  When did preschool become about assessments and meeting criteria anyway?

P.S.  S’s conference is next week… Lord help me…

Monday, November 13, 2017

Weekend Recap

We had lots of fun this weekend!!

My company sponsored a Corporate Day at the Museum of Science and Industry.  We arrived just before noon and started with the big farm tractor.  The boys loved sitting in it and pretending they were driving.  They also enjoyed the combine.  We soon made our way to the city setup with several model trains, a steam engine, and a trolley car.  We also saw baby chicks and finished with the Idea Factory (an area for kids with water, conveyors, gears, all sorts of hands-on fun).  I think the boys would’ve stayed all day if we’d let them.  

We stayed at the museum for about 4 hours and I was starving (and the museum was closing).  We purposely tried to avoid eating at the museum because the food is so expensive and not very good.  W really wanted to eat at a restaurant in Chicago for some reason.  Somehow, we convinced him that PF Chang’s was in Chicago (it’s in a northern suburb).  I was a little worried that the boys wouldn’t like anything, but I was also really tired of our usual chicken fingers and burgers options.  The boys ended up getting kids chicken and fried rice and ate really well.  I had chicken pad thai and A had chicken lo mein - everything was SO good!!  While there, this conversation happened:

A:  We have a nice view of the horse’s butt (there were large horse statues outside the restaurant).
W:  Daddy!  You’re not sposed to say that!  You can only say that in the potties!
A: laughing…
W:  I’m always right!  You must be res-petful!

Bahahahaha!!!  Calling this a parenting win!  And I guess A needs to work on his manners. ;)

We finished the day with a stop at Bath and Body Works.  My boys LOVE going here.  They have so much fun choosing bath bombs and hand soap, smelling the candles, and picking out pocket hand sanitizers (a must have in our house).  It was such a great day!

Sunday was our usual.  After Starbucks, Jane came over to watch the boys while A and I headed to The Melting Pot for a belated anniversary date.  I love, love, love that restaurant and I ate so darn much.  But my gosh, the fondue was so good.  A and I were at the restaurant for two hours – stuffing our faces and having great conversation.  

At one point, my mom called and I thought it was odd because we’d just seen her earlier in the day and she knew we were going out.  I honestly thought something might be wrong.  I called her back and she excitedly told me, “You’re not going to believe it… I won the boys a Power Wheels Jeep at the church raffle!”  I guess she had nonchalantly placed one of her raffle tickets in the Jeep drawing never expecting to win.  And my mom NEVER wins anything!  Also, I would never ever buy something like this for the boys.  We decided it’ll be a Christmas gift and I think they’re going to lose their minds.  I also fear one of them will get run over. :\  We shall see…  But they are going to absolutely love it.

We finished the date with grocery shopping where we enjoyed perusing the aisles without frequent bathroom trips and unlimited questions.  We even sampled wine cooler… because it seemed like a must do with no kids in tow.  Our night ended with football and a crossword puzzle.  I’m sad such a fun filled weekend had to come to an end. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Thoughts

Oh my gosh, it’s so cold!  I woke up to the first snow flurries of the season and 16 degree temperatures.  Fall, where did you go??  On the bright side, we had a fire in the fireplace last night and it felt so festive.

A and I have been spending several evenings lately working on crossword puzzles.  Yes, we are basically 70 years old and lead very exciting lives, obviously.

I got to attend W’s very first field trip on Wednesday.  We went to the local forest preserve and had a great time.  W’s little “girlfriend” even got to ride in our car and he loved having her join us.  Being able to attend made me wish I could work part time and spend more days with the boys.  It isn’t an option (sometimes being the primary breadwinner stinks), but I enjoyed having the morning off to go on an adventure with my oldest little man.

These photos make me so thankful for the area we live in - I love the change of seasons and we really need to visit our forest preserves more often.  So gorgeous!

Since the time change, W has been waking up early and has been incredibly cranky!  The past week was filled with many time outs and challenging days.  He finally slept until his usual time this morning so hopefully he’s back on track with sleep!

We have another busy weekend planned.  These are getting to be a bit overwhelming – we haven’t even found time to grocery shop lately!  But it should be another fun weekend.  We’re taking the boys to the Museum of Science and Industry tomorrow.  Work is offering free admission and we’re taking advantage.  I remember S puking in the car on the way home after last year’s museum trip so hopefully we won’t have a repeat of that!  On Sunday, A and I are going on a belated anniversary date!  I’m so excited!!

Happy weekending!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Wedding Weekend Recap

We’re back from a whirlwind weekend!!

I meant to post last week, but things were a bit crazy.  I worked from home Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and took a sick day on Wednesday so it’s my first time in the office in a week.  S had a virus that was more of a cough than anything else.  He was mostly fine during the day, but would cough hard at night and vomit.  Lots of laundry throughout the week!!  My brother-in-law got married on Saturday and I was so afraid Nani would get sick before the wedding so I stayed home with S on Wednesday.  It turned out to be a good thing – I only had one work meeting scheduled so I didn’t miss much, but it also gave me a chance to drop W off at school, spend a little extra time with my boys, and run a few errands.

Friday, A and I worked in the morning and then headed out to pick up tuxedos.  S fell asleep in the car so I waited with him while A and W went in to try on their tuxedos.  This ended up being a good thing because I was totally surprised when I saw the boys dressed up the following day.

From there, we headed towards central Illinois (I’m not even sure it counts as central IL since the city was a bit more north, but it certainly felt like central IL so that’s how I’m referring to it).  We arrived at our hotel in the middle of nowhere (ha!) and checked in.  We had to leave pretty quickly to get to the wedding rehearsal at a nearby Catholic church.  S was restless and ran around the church with his cousin, Tim.  Those two were having a ball.  W was good, but told us quite a few times that he was scared to be the ring bearer.  I know W is quiet and prefers not to be in the spotlight.  I’m the same way and could totally empathize.  A and I continually reassured him and went over his responsibilities.

After that, it was off to dinner with several family members and friends.  We didn’t leave until close to 8pm and the boys typically get ready for bed around 7:30pm so I was a bit nervous about how they’d behave the next day.

Saturday – wedding day!!  I got up to take a shower and mid shower, I realized that the bathroom was flooded!  I had towels and clothes on the floor and those were completely soaked.  I finished up my shower and once I was out, noticed our carpeting in the hotel room was even wet!  A called the front desk and the maintenance guy came to our room while I tried to get ready.  He mentioned that others had complained of a leak and it must be in the wall.  Why would the hotel continue to put people in that room knowing there was a leak?!?  A few minutes later, he brought us a key to a new room.  No upgrade, no discount, nothing.  Ridiculous.  It later occurred to me that W woke up coughing and now I'm wondering if there was mold in the room given the leak issues.  Gross.  We quickly moved all of our things to the new room and continued to get ready for the wedding.  My curling iron broke.  I somehow forgot S’s suit pants.  I might’ve acted like a crazy lady.  But somehow, we were all ready and looking decent in time for the wedding.  You guys, W was the cutest ring bearer I have EVER seen.  I know I’m biased.  But still…

We made it to the wedding early… yes!!  W was still nervous and I told A to be sure to talk to him before he had to walk down the aisle.  I know W always does best when he’s prepared and knows what to expect.  Sure enough, when it came time to walk down the aisle, he did so perfectly carrying his little ring bearer pillow.  And he looked so grown up and confident!!  I was incredibly proud of him!!  He was great during the wedding and with enough snacks, so was S!  The wedding was beautiful – I think Catholic weddings are the best (obviously biased) and before we knew it, it was over.

The guys stayed for photos.  Once those were done, we still had about 2 hours until the reception.  Because of the leaking room fiasco, the boys had eaten a late breakfast and didn’t have lunch before the wedding.  SO we decided to hit up a nearby pizza place.  I have to say, it was kind of fun entering a shabby pizza restaurant all dressed up.  And the pizza was delicious.

After pizza, we headed to the reception.  S fell asleep in the car so I waited for him to wake up while A and W went in to take more photos.  I had to change S’s shirt because pizza and white are not a good combination.  Soon it was time for the DJ to introduce the wedding party.  Again, I wasn’t sure how W would react and thought he’d end up walking in to the reception with A.  Nope.  He confidently walked into that crowded room as soon as he heard his name.  When did he get so big?!?

While everyone was conversing and waiting for dinner, W made his way to the dance floor and danced in front of everyone.  He was having a blast.  Again, when did he get so big and gain so much confidence?  I couldn’t be more proud of him.  And I really want to sign him up for a dance class because he was having so much fun.

A gave his best man speech and I was so impressed and proud of him too.  The speech was excellent, but A’s delivery was perfect.  I couldn’t even do a reading at mass because I get so nervous.  A on the other hand spoke easily and confidently with no notes.  And his speech was funny, sweet, and genuine.  Perfectly done.

We took photos in the photo booth, ate cupcakes, and danced until 2 hours passed the boys’ bedtime.  I got so many compliments on both boys and was even told motherhood suited me.  Extraordinarily sweet.  And now I’m so sad it’s all over.  A and I have attended so many weddings together.  About 30 of them.  But as we get older, there a less and less weddings to attend (because all of our friends are already married).  This was likely the only time both guys will be in a wedding together, which makes me sad.  BUT on the bright side, they both rocked their roles as best man and ring bearer.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Weekend Recap

OH Monday, we meet again…

This weekend had its ups and downs.  I mentioned that Friday was our anniversary.  Our 10th anniversary!!  We didn’t plan an evening out because kids.  But we decided to meet at one of our favorite pizza places.  A texted me to let me know that W was coughing nonstop all of a sudden.  Great.  Other than that, he seemed fine.  When we got to the restaurant, I decided I was definitely going to order dessert since it was a special day.  Throughout dinner, every now and then, S would mimic W’s cough or make a weird throat clearing noise.  Not sure if he was trying to copy W?  I decided I’d better not order dessert since W was still coughing and S was making his noises.  Boo.  As we were getting ready to leave, S made the noise and proceeded to puke.  In the restaurant.  So so embarrassing.  We cleaned up what we could, A let the waitress know, and I hurried one puke covered boy out of the restaurant.  As soon as W was buckled into my car, he puked all over.  WTF.  Seriously?  It was a disappointing anniversary to say the least.  Maybe our 20th will be better… K

The following day (and my only day to sleep in), S decided it would be fun to wake up at 5:45am.  Because why not?  We laid in bed for awhile and watched tv.  I had a headache.  S and A ended up going downstairs and I laid in bed until 8, which was really nice, but it would’ve been nicer to actually sleep past 6am.  Sigh.  And the boys seemed totally fine.  W coughed here and there, but no signs of being sick??  I’m not complaining.  Well, maybe I am… I still don’t understand the pukefest after pizza.  Definitely could’ve done without that, though I’m glad the boys aren’t super sick.  It was a really cold, windy day.  A and I had talked about outdoor fall activities, but the weather was not cooperating.  The boys got their hair cut and we ran a couple errands, but spent the rest of the day inside.

Sunday, after church and Starbucks, we started our trick-or-treating at Grandma’s house.  I had plans of stopping briefly and heading back home, but the boys had other ideas.  They stayed to play for a bit and had some lunch.  They even brushed Meiko, the cat.  I have no idea why they’re sooo much nicer to the cat than our dog??  We visited my mom’s next door neighbor, Joan, who loves seeing the boys and then finally headed home.  I left a bowl of candy outside while A and I took the boys trick-or-treating around our neighborhood.  It was chilly, but sunny and not too windy – I’ll take it.  The boys were awesome little trick-or-treaters!!  They had a blast.  Every Sunday night before bed, we each take a turn talking about our favorite parts of the weekend.  We all really enjoy it.  W always goes first and last night, he said he LOVED trick-or-treating… he doesn’t use the term ‘love’ often so I know he meant it and it made my mom heart happy.  Oh, and when I checked our candy bowl, someone had left a note that said something like… “thanks for being cooler than your neighbors”.  Bahahaha.  Smart ass teenagers – I guess they weren’t happy that our neighbors don’t participate in trick-or-treating.  I also had made a huge pot of chili so I got to enjoy that when we got home and ate way way too much Halloween candy.  I can’t stop, guys!!  Happy we had a great (early) Halloween!!

Happy Halloween from your neighborhood recycle man and fireman!!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Thoughts

Well, it went from 70 degrees to 40 degrees.  Typical Chicago.  But I do love an excuse to wear cozy fall sweaters and scarves.  When I picked up the boys from school yesterday, one of W’s teachers approached me and said, “I always have to check out what you’re wearing.  I really love your style.”  How sweet is that?!?  These [terrible] photos basically sum up my fall wardrobe… sweaters, scarves, cardigans, plaid, vests, army green, booties, and good to go.

The boys aren’t really into movies (unless you count garbage truck videos, which I don’t).  However, they love Charlie Brown.  I loved that they were into something different and nostalgic and clever, until S started quoting Lucy.  Now I occasionally hear, “I’ll pound you”, “I’ll slug you!”.  Some days he makes up for it by saying, “thank you, pal!”  I envision explaining to his preschool teachers why he occasionally threatens to pound people (note: I’m pretty sure he has no clue what he’s saying).

Trick or treating in our neighborhood is this Sunday and I’m just hoping for no rain.  W is going to be a garbage recycle man (shocking to no one) and S is going to be a firefighter.  I’m looking forward to walking around the neighborhood, eating all W’s candy (he’s not a fan, so really, I’m just doing him a favor), and making a pot of chili.

When I was purchasing my car, we had the option of getting a dvd player in the car.  I said no way.  I didn’t want my kids thinking they could watch a movie every time I started the car.  BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER.  I really really wish we had that DVD player for long drives.  Learn from my mistakes, friends!  Get the DVD player.  On a side note: Nani gave us her portable DVD player to use when we drove to Michigan and the boys loved it.  A and I also got a break from W’s 93,740,503 questions.  Think I will add one to my Christmas list.

A and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary today!!  Time sure flies.  I’ve enjoyed looking back at our wedding photos.  We had such a beautiful day and a beautiful wedding.  There’s no one I’d rather have spent the past 10 years with.