Monday, September 16, 2013

Saying Goodbye

As you have probably noticed my posting has fallen off pretty dramatically since Summer started. The first half was due to our travel schedule. The second half?  It has been much harder. My mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on July 23rd. Every time I have tried to post since then I am able to write only a couple sentences and then my mind wonders or just goes blank. I am now writing this post from my moms bedside as I watch her sleep in the ICU at the Cleveland Clinic. Right now we are looking at days until this part of the story ends...

I wrote that on Sunday, September 8th.  My Mother passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 11th surrounded by her family.  We were lucky enough to get 51 days to say our good byes, I love yous and everything else we wanted to say.  It still wasn't enough for any of us.  One of the hardest things I have ever done was to write and deliver her eulogy at the funeral.  I have two sisters and my father but this was something that I felt I had to do.  Words aren't enough to describe her and if you were ever around her or my family you would be able to see and feel the things my Mom would do that made her so special.  Following is the gift I gave to my Mother.

Thank you everyone for coming today.  I speak for my whole family in gratitude for all the love and support we have received from you during this difficult time.  It truly is a testament to my mother that all of you are here. 

She is the center of our lives.  My mom is the strongest, most loving person I know.  The love that her and my dad share is unbelievable.  In a couple weeks is my parents’ 42nd wedding anniversary and they still would look at each other like newlyweds.  It is the love they show and share that we all should strive for in our daily lives and it is something I was able to witness for 36 years of being around them.

We did it as a family.  As you may or may not know we moved around growing up but every time it happened we sat down at the kitchen table and talked, cried, shared our thoughts and feelings about whatever the next step was.  But it was always about us doing it together as a family.  At the center of all of that was my mother who seemed to always know exactly the right thing to say or do to make the difficult transition easier.  Every night we would sit down together and hold hands and pray before dinner.  We would all sit and talk about our days and what our challenges were and celebrate our successes, as a family.  When cancer happened to strike this family we took it on as a family “we got this” became another way of saying to each other that we loved them

My mom could light up a room with her smile.  The twinkle in her eye never went out.  She was so happy for us kids as we found our way and new lives with our partners.  Grandmother, now I told you how she was a great mother but she was an amazing grandmother.  Always ready to spend time with the kids to play, read, watch and yes most especially spoil.  Any time I would challenge her on the last one she would always say “it is the grandmother’s job to spoil their grandchildren” and that would end the discussion as she handed them whatever they wanted. 

My mom had this amazing memory.  I am going to miss that.  The things she would remember would blow you away.  The whole family knew that if we were trying to recall something that happened on one of our family trips or adventures and our story differed from hers than she was right and we were wrong.  As we have gone through these last couple days and have shared our memories of her we have had some contradictions and we don’t have our final answer.  But the one thing we do have is love.

We Got This!  Love you mom

Me and my Mom.  I showed this picture to M & EJ and they both thought it was M.
Supporting my Mom
Me and my Mom shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Life of Dad Podcast Fun

Earlier this week I got the opportunity to talk to Art Eddy and Ryan Hamilton from Life of Dad.  This turned into a podcast.  If you don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook (hint hint) I linked it there.  Now I have linked it here.  Hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Oh and here are some photos of my kids (the real reason you are here anyway)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Music that doesn't suck is back!!!  To honor its return I am dedicating this song to my mom who gave me my first music memory.  I don't remember exactly when this was but what I do remember my mom putting this record on and listening to "The Gambler".  It's odd what you remember in your life but this is one of my favorite memories and how vivid it comes back to me when I hear this song is really remarkable.  Enjoy!

Oh and here are a few photos from Monday when we met mommy after work and rode the water taxi and ferris wheel.

M was a little bit excited about the ferris wheel

The water taxi was awesome

It's a miracle when EJ looks at the camera

If you read EJ's answers you know she is in heaven in this picture

Watch out Zoolander

Monday, August 12, 2013

EJ's Answers Pt. 3

After a crazy summer I'm back with questions for EJ.  I have been getting regular requests from EJ to ask her more questions so here you go.  The blog should be picking up again with EJ starting preschool in a couple weeks.  As before, all these responses are EJ's recorded by me.

Q - What is the biggest word you know?

EJ - Mumford.  (yes, that is referring to Mumford and Sons)

Q - What is your favorite thing about mommy?

EJ - She loves me

Q - What is your favorite thing about daddy?

EJ - Sometimes you put me on your shoulders.

Q - Are you excited to start preschool?

EJ - Yes (why?) Because I am going to meet new friends.  I am nervous about going to school because I don't know my new teacher, I hope it is a girl. 

Q - What are you going to do at preschool?

EJ - Letters, circle time, play in the playground

Q - What is your favorite popsicle?

EJ - Pink, purple & green swirly (from Aldi)

Q - What is your favorite sport to play?

EJ - Soccer & Basketball (why?) because I know all the rules 

Q - Who is your favorite person in the whole world?

EJ - You daddy, no wait, Ronica (Veronica our 14 year old next door neighbor)  Me - EJ her name is Veronica  EJ - I know but I call her Ronica
Come on these questions are pretty weak.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Questions for EJ

Hi everyone.  It has been too long since I have been on here.  To kick things off with me back in the saddle I bring you questions for EJ.  

EJ asked me this morning for more questions and since I'm her dad I can't say no to that. You know the drill send me questions in comments here or on Facebook

I can already tell these questions are going to be easy

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Coming to America - Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!  On this day I think of my Grandmother's journey just to get to this country.  This is the story in her words:

My Dad came here in 1921, from what is now Slovenia, leaving behind our Mom and my sister Mary and me – ages 4 and 2. It took 7 years for him to be able to send for us. So in 1928, my Mom packed everything she could, into 2 large suitcases and we sadly kissed our grandmother goodbye. My uncle took us to board the train for Ljubljana , our largest city, where we met up with about 20 others who were leaving by train for Le Havre, France, the port near Paris, where we were to board the French Liner – Ile De France—sailing to America. . The ocean trip took about 4 ½ days. One day the fog horns were blasting away—we were saluting a ship going East—their fog horns sounded in salute also – the noise was deafening—It was the steamship America bound for Europe. Two huge ships passing in the middle of the ocean!!! I think many of the passengers came on deck to see this. And again  when we sailed into NY harbor very early in the morning of June the 6TH, , everyone was on deck to see the Statue of Liberty. Many people cried, their emotions were  so overwhelming!!
     On Ellis Island, we were given physicals , and our papers were checked. Some people were sent back, for whatever reason. I wonder at how efficient  the whole process was. It didn’t take long, considering the large numbers. We were met by a Slovenian travel agent who escorted us to a train
     He pinned identification tags on us – with our names and destination. On the train , there was a man carrying a huge tray supported by a band around his neck—he was selling cigarettes and candy. We pleaded with our Mom to buy us the candy, but she refused – she didn’t know how much it would take of the money she had. Two men sitting across the aisle form us bought us the candy and we thanked them in Slovenian , as we didn’t know a word of English!! We slept on the train, and the next morning the conductor who had been put  in charge of us, came and put us off the train in Youngstown, where our Dad was waiting. Happy Day!!!

Life has been good  and I am here at 93 to tell how it came about.

This is only part of the story but it is amazing to see what people went through to be able to have the freedoms that we cherish and celebrate today.  

My Grandma and some of her Great-Grandchildren

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Hey!  Lots to be happy about today...4 day weekend coming up, nice weather and most importantly healthy kids.  Today we made a trip to a heart specialist for M due to a heart murmur that hasn't gone away.  I tried my best up until today not to freak out about it mostly because M's pediatrician wasn't worried.  Once you are in the office and the nurse comes in and does her thing and leaves and then a resident (I think) comes in and leaves and then the main doctor comes in and listens to his heart for what felt like 45 minutes you start to worry.  No need though it is what is called an "innocent murmur" which means it should go away on its own and our Dr. was right, no worries.

Anyways on to some music...The Mowgli's are playing this year at Lollapalooza and this song is just so upbeat and happy it feels right today so ENJOY!!!

Me and my little trooper

Monday, July 1, 2013

Roadtrip with the kids part 1

Hi everyone.  Miss me?  We went on a trip with the kids for 11 days to California, Oregon & Washington.  Between packed days and early nights blogging took a back seat.  I would say I'm looking forward to some normalcy but we got home on a Sunday and left on that Friday to head to Jersey for the weekend for a wedding.  Anyways, here is part 1 of the breakdown of the trip:

Thursday - Fly from Chicago to San were pretty good on the flight and M actually slept for some of it.  Stopped by a Target to get some stuff we didn't want to bring/didn't fit in our bags and then continued on to Santa Cruz.  The impetus behind this trip was a friend's wedding in Santa Cruz, so we stayed here until Sunday.

EJ & El hanging at the hotel

Santa Cruz was great!  They have an old time boardwalk with rides and games which the kids loved.  We walked on the beach and out on the wharf where we saw some sea lions.  The highlight for me, though, was being woken up one of the nights at 3 in the morning by EJ screaming "Daddy! Daddy! Help me! I can't get out!"  I walk out to where she was sleeping (fold out couch) and somehow she is under the fitted sheet in the middle of the bed like she burrowed under it or something.  The fitted sheet is still tucked in all the way around so I have no idea how it happened.

This ride was a big hit with M.  EJ had some issues making the plane go up.

Lounging at the pool. (don't mind the glare coming from the left side of the photo)

The wedding was up in the mountains outside of Santa Cruz in a redwood forest.  We had to take a 45 minute train ride to this awesome clearing called "Cathedral Grove." Very picturesque and unique.  Adults only wedding so we had my SIL come up from San Diego to hang with the kids (adults night out yea!).

Figured you needed a pic of the wedding for proof.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

If you have been following these posts you know of my love of NPR's Tiny Desk Series.  Their desk moved across town to a new office and to celebrate it they enlisted the Chicago band OK Go to help them.  If you don't know OK Go they are the guys with the catchy songs and videos like this or this.  Anyways here is the video of the move.  Enjoy...
Photo of EJ & M before EJ's gymnastics show. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Happy Wednesday!  I had my parents in town this weekend and they just left yesterday.  It was great having them around but now I am trying to catch up with everything.  A big hello to all the new followers that came over from Dad on the Run.  To the new people here Wednesday is music day here.  I started doing this to fight off all of the awful, crappy kids music that torments me day and night.  The band this week, Temples, has a strong Beatles sound.  Enjoy...

Oh and the real reason anyone comes to this page...a picture of my kids.  Yes, that is a double piggy-back ride. 
Don't try this at home

Monday, June 3, 2013

EJ's Answers Pt. 2

Hope you all had a great weekend. The weather here wasn't the best but was perfect for the 10k I ran on Sunday morning (45:08 yeah I'm pretty proud of that). 

EJ is back with her answers.  Thank you for all your questions. I will save them and include some of them in the next round. These are all EJ's responses recorded by me.  

Q: What is your favorite type of music or song and why?

A: What Do I Stand For (Some Nights by Fun.  she makes up titles for songs) - why? because I like to dance to it

Q: What would you do on a day when you could decide everything?

A: Eat cereal for breakfast. Go with her friend V to the Nature Museum. Go to a restaurant for lunch and eat grilled cheese. Go to a park (the one near our house, I asked since she has wanted to go to only new parks lately).  Eat sloppy joes for dinner at home and eat chocolate cake for dessert.  Watch a show and go to bed.

Q: Where does the sun go at night?

A: In the sky near the earth like this close (holds her hands together about a foot apart)

Q: What is the biggest word you know?

A: I need to think about it for like 2 minutes (I think I'm losing her here) "tomorrow, that is my answer"

Q: How do you build a house?

A: You get blocks and then you build

Q: What makes an airplane fly?

A: Gas 

Q: How did the beach get made?

A: With sand and water.  (How did the sand get there?)  They put it there (Who) I don't know Dad (rolls eyes)

Q: What does mommy do at work all day?

A: Work on her computer and has lots of meetings.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Mac n Cheese and Pizza

Q: What's the best thing about being a big sister?

A: I get to pick M up. (we don't want you to pick him up) Oh. Why not? I'm good at it.  OK!  Showing M what to do when you won't play with him, you know when you are cooking dinner and can't play with him.  Oh and I get to chub his cheeks (chub is a verb in our family)

Q: If you could change one thing about your brother, what would it be?

A: He would be a little girl because I like girls

That was too easy...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

I love Blitzen Trapper's well crafted songs and their melodies are always great.  Big shout out to my buddy Joe who I believe introduced me to this band.  The clip here is from a few years ago but still great.  Enjoy...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ask EJ pt 2

Travelling home tomorrow from our trip.  We had a great time and the kids were better than we could have asked for.  Golf, sun & sand was just what the doctor ordered.  Now on to the main reason for the post...

You wanted it you got it!  EJ is back answering your questions.  Now that she is 4 you really need to bring it if you want to try an stump her.  Remember EJ knows it all and has been asking for more questions.  Please post questions on the blog or Facebook page by Thursday night and I will ask her and post her responses on Friday.  You can see her responses to the last round of questioning here.
The Princess
Beach time
The kids love having their names in the sand

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Travelling with Kids

As I mentioned in my post yesterday we left on vacation a trip to Hilton Head, SC.  I think I made the mistake of calling it a vacation yesterday and I am sorry for doing so.  A vacation is supposed to be relaxing and when you return home you feel rejuvenated.  Travelling with kids is neither relaxing or rejuvenating.  Case in point here was our breakdown of yesterday:

3am - EJ comes into our room complaining she can't sleep...I take her back to her room and lay down with her for 5 minutes until she does and I end up falling asleep next to her.  Proceed to get kicked, punched and pushed around by a 4 year old for 2 hours.

5:00 - Finally get up and go back to my bed.  Don't ask why I didn't do this earlier.

5:30 - Get up, shower and get dressed

5:35 - Walk into M's room.  He smiles and sits up. Get M dressed while my wife showers and gets dressed.

5:40 - Wake up Attempt to wake up EJ, she growls and pulls the covers over her head (seriously when did she turn 15?)

5:50 - Finally get EJ out of bed and start trying to get her dressed

6:50 - Leave our house.  Yes it took 1 hour for EJ to get dressed/fed.

6:50 - 8:00 - Drive to the airport in the rain and traffic with kids screaming in the back seat.

8:00 - 8:30 - Check in and go through security (kids sitting in strollers and somewhat calm)

8:30 - 9:15 - Chase M & EJ around terminal hoping to burn off some energy.

9:15 - Announcement that plane is broken and we will be delayed (NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!)

9:20 - Announcement that we are switching gates and getting on another plane (YESSSSS!)

9:25 - Board Plane

9:45 - 12:45pm EST - Wrestle with M for 2 hours straight

12:45 - 1:45 - Get luggage and rental car

1:45 - 3:45 - Drive to Hilton Head from Charleston...everyone else in the car sleeps.

3:45 - Arrive in Hilton Head.  Chug first beer.

What part of that sounds relaxing and rejuvenating?  We are on a trip.
Slides at the end of a long day.

EJ doing some prep work for her next round of questions.

Why am I the only one looking at the camera and smiling?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Whew! I have been up since 5:30am and travelling all day.  We are on vacation down in Hilton Head, SC for a little while.  EJ's birthday is today as well...too much fun.  In honor of her birthday I will pick a song she likes right now...Gotye's "Somebody I Used to Know".  I saw Gotye in concert around the time this song was starting to get some play and he played it early in the set.  It told me that he was confident in his other music and he didn't disappoint.  Anyways this is a cool cover of the song by Walk off the Earth - 5 people playing 1 guitar.  Enjoy...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Links v3

Hi everyone.  Busy but fun weekend.  Saturday we had the kids pictures taken because their 4th and 2nd birthdays are coming up, went to a street festival and had some friends over from the burbs and ended up the night hanging out on the street with some neighbors.  Sunday involved watching my wife's cousin's kid while they went to a Cubs game, had a friend of EJ over with her parents for a playdate and sprinkler/outside time for the kids.  Somewhere in there I was able to fit in a 6 mile run so all was not lost.  Enough about me...on to the links.

We have a sand table but most of this post is spot on with my feelings about sand.  The guy who wrote this is hilarious.  Check out his post about Max and Ruby.

A bunch of dad bloggers wrote about depression.  I have had my battles with it and reading these posts make me feel like I'm not alone.  Maybe, someday I will write about it.

You may recall my post about Mr. Mom. Here are the Top 7 things never to tell a SAHD.  I would probably have added a couple more but these are good.

Finally check it out there is a quarterly magazine that focuses on modern fatherhood.  I got a subscription from my wife as an early father's day present!
EJ & Mom looking good for the camera...
M deciding he wanted to be in the picture
A little al-fresco breakfast...I can't believe I fit.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Back at it on another beautiful Wednesday here in sunny Chicago.  This 4 song set by Wilco on NPR's Tiny Desk Series is perfect to sit outside and listen to.  Enjoy...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Love You EJ

If you couldn't tell from this, this or this EJ definitely has her own opinions.  Proof of that came again yesterday.  EJ did something that required her have a time out.  Time out over I turn to EJ and tell her I wasn't happy about what she did but I love her.  This is the conversation that follows:

EJ - I know dad, you say that all the time

Me - Well I do love you and when I put you in time out or take something away from you I want you to know I still love you when I do that


When did she turn 15?
Seriously Dad?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Links v.2

The cousins with Grandma and Papa
Hope you all had a great Mother's Day weekend.  We went to Cleveland this weekend where my family lives.  It was a good/busy trip as my wife's whole family was there as well for a baby shower for her cousin.  To make it more interesting the in-laws all stayed at my parents with about family time.

This weekend I went to a museum with EJ, celebrated EJ's & M's birthdays, was used by my kids and their cousins as a human jungle gym, ate at a restaurant that may or may not be owned by the Irish Mob, golfed (horribly), went to the pre-baby shower party, had brunch with my mom, and got to see a friend.  Needless to say it was a busy weekend but fun was had by all.  We drove back early this morning (Monday) which will hopefully result in the kids going to bed early so I can do the same.

Anyways, on to the links:

I like this post about working moms.

One blogger went out and did a product review of his wife as a mom.

Disney finally puts out the movie "Brave" that has a princess that isn't over the top girly and then they go and do this.

Neither of my kids used binkies for that long (thumb and finger suckers) but when they did I'm glad I was ahead of the curve.

Men! Do you need to get something for a special woman in your life?  My sister-in-law has some cool stuff (well at least most women I know think it is) over on her site.  Oh and she also blogs about all sorts of things too (like family visiting).

Mother's Day photo

Me, EJ, wife and sister. EJ wanted to match her mom.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I am lucky.

I have a fantastic wife who is a wonderful mother to our kids.  

I have an amazing mother who has helped me become a better parent. 

I still remember when I was little playing checkers with my now 93 year old grandma and sitting on the davenport with my other grandma eating pizza. 

I am lucky.

I have these special women in my life. 

I love you all.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there I'm sure your kids are lucky too. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Happy Wedne...errr, Thursday!

I saw Rodrigo y Gabriela at Summerfest in Milwaukee a few year ago.  Their high energy show was something to see.  I highly recommend seeing them if you have a chance (July 24th in Chicago would be a great father's day present)  What they can do with their guitars is amazing.  Bonus today since I am a day late in getting this up you get the NPR Tiny Desk version so you get a couple extra songs.  Enjoy...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Links

Hi everyone.  It is a beautiful day here in Chicago.  Kids are napping and I am sitting outside typing this.  Nap time for EJ is starting to go away so I need to treasure this time now.

Made pizza with the kids Friday night.  I put some pictures below.  They don't do justice to the mess we created, it was great.  Saturday, I went to MCA Day Chicago.  It was a charity celebrating Adam Yauch (aka MCA) of the Beastie Boys who lost his battle with cancer last year.  The reason I went was to support a very good friend and his family's foundation that funds research towards head & neck cancer.  Oh and She's Crafty an all female Beastie Boys cover band was headlining it.  One of the other acts performing was a bluegrass band that covered a couple Beastie Boys songs that were surprisingly good.  The highlight might have been the end of the night ending here.

Some parenting ideas I may or may not use.

I heard about parents in Brooklyn that don't use diapers a couple weeks ago and I don't think I could ever do this.

I love The Onion. I just hope I can be as successful as the guy in the story

A SAHD reality tv show?  I'm sure it will shine a great light on stay at home dads and dads in general.  I guess there are two other shows in the works on other channels.

Way to go Yahoo!  Hopefully this will start of a trend and many other companies will follow suit.

How was your weekend?

The help loved putting the ingredients on (and eating them)
A little pizza dance party.  Is EJ doing the running man?

Friday, May 3, 2013

EJ's answers

Thank you everyone for your questions.  These answers are all EJ's, all comments I made to her during her answers are noted.

Q: Why is the sky blue?

A: because some men on the roof painted it.

Q: How is one of the four major food groups, macaroni and cheese, made?

A: I asked her on Monday.  She kept telling me she needed to think about it more.  I asked her again that night and she said she needed to sleep on it.  I asked her in the morning and  she said she was still thinking about it but today she would know the answer.  I asked her Tuesday night before bed and she sat there a second deep in thought and came up with this answer.

You put it in a pan with butter and peas.  I know because we make it sometimes.

Q: EJ What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: An airplane driver (easy one already knew that, duh dad)

Q: Please describe a full recipe for baking bread including all ingredients and steps

A: Can I think about it for a little bit? Me - how long? EJ - about 20 minutes (2 minutes later) I think I know now.

You mix some onions and butter together and put them in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Q: Why does Cora (our dog) have four legs and you have only two?

A: Because she is a dog. (after I pressed) Because we go faster than dogs by going to sleep and eating healthy food.

Q: Why do we have bugs?

A: Because they want to eat our food. (I repeat her answer and she raises her hand) Because Red Eye Tree Frogs eat them.

Q: How do you make a sidewalk?

A; That's a hard question.  The truck (cement mixer, her favorite truck) takes the cement and puts it on the ground and then you wait for it to get hard and that makes a sidewalk (wow...kind of surprised about this one)

Q: Where does food come from?  How do they make it?

A: The baker...they bake it

Q: How do you make cookies?

A: You put beer in it, not the bottle, just the beer, crack eggs, sugar and powder (wife says "you mean flour" EJ turns to her and says "I SAID POW-DER") mix it together put it in the oven and then eat it.

That was easy

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Saturday night without the kids

Yes I know it is Thursday and I am talking about what I did last weekend, sue me.

Sunday morning my wife and I were signed up to run in a 5k in our neighborhood.  The best part about this plan?  Fitness?  Accomplishing something?  Nope, the kids stayed at our friends house since we had to be out the door early and I wasn't going to push them in a stroller for 3.1 miles while they asked me all sorts of questions (Daddy why are you wheezing?  Daddy, why are you clutching your left arm?  Daddy, why are you laying down? Oooh, oooh, Daddy, Daddy, an AMBULANCE!!!!).

Saturday night rolls around and right before we drop the kids off I walk into our bathroom and step up to the left foot is wet.  Finish my business and have this conversation with my wife.

Me - Hey did you notice the water around the toilet?
Her - Yeah I noticed a couple times and just cleaned it up.
Me - Why didn't you say anything?
Her - I thought you missed or something

Now this really got me going...she was questioning my aim???

I take a look at the toilet and confirm it wasn't my aim (still a deadeye) that was the problem...just a simple leak. (that could have been fixed earlier)

Drop the kids off at our friends house (thanks E & D!) and what I thought would be a nice relaxing night without kids turns into a trip to Home Depot on a Saturday night so I can fix the toilet.  My wife volunteered to come and we pick up what was needed and some stuff that wasn't needed and start to head home.

Wife - Think we can stop at McDonalds and get a sundae?
Me - Ahhh that's why you came along.

Got home. Ate sundae. Fixed toilet. Went to bed.  At least we didn't have enough time for Bed Bath and Beyond...

Photo of a kid because really isn't that why you are here?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Happy Wednesday!  Warm weather always makes me want to listen to the Backspin Channel on Sirius (old school rap/hip hop).  This is one of my all time favorites.  Enjoy...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ask EJ

Ok, I am going to try something new out.  EJ, my 3 (almost 4) year old has told me that she doesn't need to go to school because she knows everything.  I now need your help...ask her a question.  It can be whatever you want and on Friday I will post her answers.  Be creative and have fun!

Bring it!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Little Things

We have had pretty good weather the past two days (finally) so I have been out walking around the neighborhood running errands with the kids quite a bit.  It is interesting to see them get excited about different things as we are out.  Yesterday EJ saw her favorite truck, a cement mixer, 5 times.  Yes she counted.  Every time she went nuts.  M on the other hand got excited at trucks, buses and construction equipment, telling me the color of the vehicle each time.

Today as we head out for errands I get an idea...riding the train.  About halfway through the errands the kids were getting a little restless.  Perfect time to negotiate...they are good for the rest of the errands and we will go on the train.  Worked like a charm.  

Waiting for the train.  Headband was mom's idea this morning.

The train! Can it go faster?

All that excitement wiped them out.  Success!
Total travel - 4 stops and half mile walk home.  Best $2.25 I have spent.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

What I told my kids about Boston & Newtown...


I have been reading things about what to say to your kids about these tragedies and I don't get it.  Now my kids are almost 4 & 2 but at least a couple of the articles I read targeted a 4 year old.  I find no reason to tell them about it because: 1. how will they find out any other way 2. it will open up all sorts of questions EJ in particular doesn't need to be asking yet.

What will me telling my kids about these things (or any in the near future) accomplish?  Make me feel better?  I don't know.  I'm not naive, bad stuff happens but can't my kids be that way for a little longer?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Music that doesn't suck

Ok its been long enough, The Avett Brothers are coming back and you get to hear the full band this time.  Although this is one of their slower songs it is very powerful.  I highly recommend seeing them live, the energy they put forth on stage is incredible.  Anyways, on to the music.  Enjoy...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Quick thing to start the weekend

Busy day so I had M take his nap early so we can get some stuff done this afternoon.  M sleeps for around 3 hours so I had time to play with EJ some games that only she can play and help her with her workbook.  After doing that for a bit EJ decided she wanted to lay down for a little bit and asked me to wake her up when M got up.  M gets up and I play with him for a little bit and then send him in to wake EJ up.  At some point in her sleep EJ knocked her stuffed frog off her bed.  M walked over and picked it up and whispered "" and then patted her back.  So cute.  EJ just rolled over and kept sleeping, now facing him.  M's next move?  He took the soft basketball nearby and bounced it off her head...Brotherly love only goes so far.
My sweet devil

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Funny Kids

We had our kitchen cabinets repainted last week.  Part of that process involved us getting new hinges.  For some reason the type of hinge we needed was sold at one place in all of Chicago and they didn't have enough.  No problem, we ordered new hinges and they came today.

Our beautiful newly painted cabinets
Now on to the kids...M & EJ were playing great together so I figured I would hang the rest of the cabinet doors.  The kids were coloring right by me at their little table when I started and about halfway through EJ asked M to go upstairs with her to her room to color the cardboard house she has up there.  When I heard EJ ask M I was happy since she usually doesn't want him in her room let alone coloring her house.  What great kids, right?

I am putting on one of the last doors and EJ calls out to me "daddy look at my arms!".  I asked her to come down and show me...

They're washable, right?
Yes, that is marker on her face, arms and hands.  M has it on his face, arms, hands and, as I found out when I changed his, diaper his legs.  EJ thought it made her look "extra special".  

Once I got past the initial shock I started laughing and haven't stopped since.  At least they were playing well together.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Music that Doesn't Suck

Sick kids this week has slowed me down from blogging.  Hopefully they get better soon since we have a busy weekend coming up.

Anyways, that's not what this post is about.  It's music time!  I went to a show on Monday with a buddy and really liked the opening band, The Lonely Forest.  Enjoy...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Living With Kids in the City

When we were looking to move from our townhouse into a house in the city last year we brought the kids along.  It was a good way for us to see how kid friendly the house was and also it was always funny to hear EJ's responses.  When we finally settled on the house we wanted we asked EJ what she thought of it.  EJ's response was "There are no swings, no slide, and no monkey bars!"  We got the house but we still had the problem of no swing set.  There is a park 3-4 blocks away but that wouldn't do for miss EJ.  Our solution?   

Nothing beats an early morning slide in your PJs
Yes, that is a slide off the deck and the kids love it!