7 years of blog!

March 27th, 2013

wow! this blog is almost 7 years old!

We’re still here!

Today was a slow, at-home day. We found a whole season of one of our favorite shows, 6teen, on youtube, so we watched that together. Both Henry and Zibby are super into it lately.

After dinner (I made chicken nuggets from scratch-time consuming, but very worth it!), we played Uno and Memory. I also got out two games that I think I acquired at a homeschool resource swap, and played those. Ive had them for a while, actually, but this was the first time we played them. The first was a game called Lets Go Sailing Its one of those hippy dippy (TM) cooperative everyone wins games. I snark a little, but it was fun and the kids liked it. The other was a box of colored plastic rods and balls that made joints. Those were fun, too. We all made some fun designs. Zibby made a symmetrical ‘art’ piece. Henry made a structure that he explained was a house. We flipped all the designs over and around to see if they would still stand up on their other ends, and if they still made sense or looked like something else. It was just fun messing around with the shapes.


February 16th, 2013

Zibby turned 9!

Zibby is 57 inches tall (4 ft 9in) and she weighs 121 lbs. She wears a size 4 shoe.

She loves fashion and beauty and makeup and music. She loves watching Charmed, 6teen, New Girl, as well as My LIttle Pony. She likes the Madagascar movies and many other movies. She likes drawing and making portraits and pictures. She likes to draw tattoos on herself and family and friends. She loves family time- we play games, go swimming, go to the park, visit with family and friends. She is currently really into Uno.

She likes to play with her American Girl dolls, put on puppet shows, making gifts for others.

Zibby is funny, sweet, sensitive, and very loving. She is so fun to talk to and be around.

Happy birthday to my Special Baby!

Henry turns Five!

September 13th, 2012

Henry is turning 5!

Happy birthday to my little boy!

Henry is a great kid. He is sweet and funny and loves his family, including our cat (he will remind you!)

His favorite things, in no particular order:

Ninjago the tv show, and the lego figurines and sets
Wii, especially Kirby, Mario, and Rayman games,
Chocolate :)
Being goofy
running around at the park
being with friends and family
McDonalds chicken nuggets
Dunkin Donuts chocolate frosted cake donuts

He has one alter-ego, Crazy Mohawk. Crazy Mohawk is responsible for all the naughty things that happen (lol)
Henry likes to cuddle and he sleeps with me and John.
Target is his favorite store. He likes watching walkthroughs on youtube of his favorite games. He likes to splash in the shallow water. He is not a fan of the beach or getting sandy.

He is 42 inches tall and he weighs 37.5 lbs He wears a size 11 boys shoe and size 5t or XS-S clothes.
He likes tie dye tshirts and long shorts. He likes to play with his sister. He likes to play Wii with me and John.

fun with wordle.net

September 13th, 2012

Wordle: henry

Wordle: zibby

keeping busy despite the brankle

June 21st, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Zibby fell off the swings at the park and busted up her ankle. We are calling it her Brankel (BRoken ANKle) She got a hot pink cast to wear for 3 weeks. Its been tough, since we cant really go to the beach or play at the parks with our friends too much, so we have to find other things we can do…


Like visit Buckingham Fountain downtown Chicago. We drive by it alot, but its fun to stop and get up close. There are special lights at night, and at the top of the hour, the jets get a lot higher. We went several times when Zibby was littler because she loved fountains so much, so tonight we drove down and checked it out.

Last week we went to the Chicago Field Museum


We saw Sue. This is fun, because there is an episode of Curious George cartoon where George breaks his leg falling off a dinosaur skeleton at the museum. It was one of Zibby’s favorite episodes and we watched it a zillion times when she was 3 and 4.

Also my friend Catherine and I took the kids to Brookfield Zoo. This is the zoo I went to as a kid. It was hot, but we made sure to ride the carousel and the motor safari around the park.


Thats me with Zibby and our friend, Augie who just turned 3!

my imaginary housekeeper

January 28th, 2012

The other day, my 7 year old daughter came out of her bedroom and introduced herself as “Stevie”.
This has happened before. She has a rotating cast of characters that she inhabits from time to time.
These characters usually have a lot in common with my daughter, but with a slight twist. For instance, Stevie’s mom has a broken arm. I had a broken leg. Stevie’s brother is really into Super Mario. So is ZIbby’s brother. The characters love to expound on their backstory, which we always love to hear. Stevie was no different.

so zibby is firmly in character : she is “Stevie” who is unfailingly polite and sweet, came up to me and said she’d like to offer me some help.

She has now cleaned zibby’s room, the family room, and both the kitchen table and the craft table. and put clean silverware away from the dishwasher. SHe has offered to come back every week and be my housekeeper. I fed her a meatball sandwich and now she is going to clean my bedroom. Its awesome. She is awesome.

I want to also report that I have never once made a chore chart for her. She is not routinely coerced into chores.
Sometimes I ask for help and she says no or yes, and if she says No, I try really hard to keep myself from starting a guilt trip. I usually succeed. Sometimes I offer her money to do a specific job. Sometimes she says no to money, too. Its ok. Sometimes I hire another mom to come help me clean. Sometimes the cleaning has to wait. It all gets worked out somehow. At any rate, no chore charts. No chores. No allowance tied to chores.

And yet, Stevie showed up and basically straightened up the whole house. She did a really good job, too.

happy new year 2012

January 25th, 2012

Its been 6 months since my surgery to fix my broken leg (tibial plateau fracture. who knew I had a tibial plateau? not me)
I am done with physical therapy appointments, but am seeing a chiropractor for a little help with my ankle movement.

So, while I was down with my broken leg, I made Buzz finally get an xray on his bad hip. I cant even remember how long its been bad, but its been seriously bad for at least two years. Turns out he needs a whole new hip altogether. So, next Wednesday he goes in to get it. I wish it were as easy as that sentence was to write. Like, just stopping in at the pharmacy for the new hip. Alas, it is going to be surgery, and we are nervous and anxious, but also, I feel so glad that we can finally move forward to getting him to feel better. He has been in such pain for so long, I doubt he remembers what its like to just walk around pain free.

So thats our major news. I feel like for sure the last 6 months we have been living in major crisis. All non essential things got axed. Weve been cutting corners on everything. I think the next month is going to be more of the same, tough and crazy, but we will get thru and come out on the other side stronger than ever.

On the kid front, we’ve cut way back on activities and classes. A lot of it is financial, but also, needing to simplify the schedule for all our sanity and health. Most of what we are scheduled now is social, like open gym time and physical, like gymnastics for henry. Zibby and I are doing a clay class too. Zibby spends a lot of her free time drawing, coloring, creating paper craft stuff, and playing dolls etc. She has a rich imagination. I love to hear the stuff she says when she is deep in play. She turns 8 in a few weeks.

There was a craft fair at our homeschool group today. The kids had their own tables with their handmade crafts and they all bought, sold and traded each other. Zibby made TVs with remotes. She used all our saved shoe boxes, put foil on one side, drew a picture on it, and drew a remote on paper and covered that with tape. She sold each and every one! for 1$ each! I thought they were kind of silly, but I guess I am not her target market :) She also made book marks out of giant paperclips and ribbon. She sold all of those, too. :) She also got some really cute stuff, so I think all the kids had fun.

Henry is 4. He is seriously into the Wii-he loves Kirby games and Mario games. He plays every day. He also likes to play barbies, cars, legos, and magnet (what are those things called? the ones with the marble balls and the connectors?) He likes to cuddle, to pretend to be animals (turtle, dog, cat), and to hang out with the family.

Happy 4th Of Henry

September 20th, 2011

Henry turned 4!


Every year I post about his birthday and I always say the same things, but they are still true. Henry is sweet and bright and fun and we all love him like crazy. He loves other kids and being part of a group. He madly loves Daddy and Zibby. He loves to cuddle and hug. He is helpful and enthusiastic and persistent.

Right now he is really into Super Mario Bros for the Wii. He plays every day for hours. When he is not playing, he is watching walkthroughs on YouTube. He has some Mario toys that he likes to play with too. He also still likes Toy Story, Woody and Buzz, and still likes Cars also. For tv, he likes pocoyo, caillou, pucca, mario bros show on netflix. He likes Despicable Me and Megamind and Tangled (movies). He can lie on the floor and play with his toys for hours. As long as someone is nearby :) He likes to put stuff on his head.

Henry also loves the park, the slides, to run and he likes balls and sticks. He loves Park Day and his friends (he likes to chase the older boys around-there is usually a little gang of them all running around)

Henry is 38 inches tall and weighs 31 lbs. He wears a size 4T clothes and a size 9 shoe.

He likes fried mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets, noodles, bananas, apples, meatballs, corn, rice a roni, chocolate ice cream, grapes, pirate booty, bologna sandwiches, hamburgers and fries. He likes chicken noodle soup. and oreos. He nurses to go to sleep at night.

He is curious and social and often jumps to defend others. He says things are scrumptious. And he says “A-course!” and “buh-cuz” and tells jokes and always wants to be in on the action.

I still mostly pick out his clothes and dress him. He puts on his own shoes. He can work my iphone like nobodies business!

I feel lucky and full of love when we snuggle together and Im so happy he is part of our family.

Happy 4th Henry!!!



Gratuitous Henry Sleeping Shot


My Super Hero


busted summer

September 4th, 2011

Today is a gorgeous early fall day here in Chicago. Its sunny, breezy and the temp said 68F.
The windows are all open and the now familiar strains of Super Mario for Wii are going non stop :)

Buzz has taken Zibby to a movie this afternoon, and Im home with Henry.

This summer has been kind of a bust. That is because I broke my leg on July 3. Breaking bones is no fun. I broke my right arm when I was 5, and then my left arm I broke twice during the 4th grade, and then had 2 surgeries on it to fix it a year later. I had figured I was done with broken bones! And I dont think I have to tell you that breaking a bone as an adult and parent is much worse.

To make a long story somewhat short, Henry had fallen (or jumped?) into a pool and was drowning. I jumped into the shallow end and as I landed and pushed off to swim towards him, I jammed my leg, feeling pain instantly. We got to Henry (me and another friend) and he was ok, but then I could not walk out of the pool! An ER and several Orthopedic Surgeon visits later, I had surgery to correct a tibial plateau fracture. I was then told I could not put any weight on it for 8-12 weeks. It then takes a few more weeks after that to be fully walking again.

Im at week 7 post surgery and the Dr has said I can start Physical Therapy and put a little weight on the leg. There is a lot of scar tissue inside where the surgery was done that is limiting my range of motion, so that I can bend my knee just a little bit and everything is sore and my muscles are all gone…its going to take some hard work to gain it all back. I remember having to do lots of PT for my arm 25 years ago, too.

So, Ive been stuck at home for most of the past 2 months, which is frustrating and can be lonely for me, but my kids too! Luckily I have an amazing community of friends who have taken the kids out several days a week and of course, Buzz is doing so much. Its been challenging and stressful, but Im doing my best to stay positive and gracious.

We will never forget the summer that mommy broke her leg! I can tell you that!

baby steps

May 2nd, 2011

A little while ago, Zibby and I went to participate in a research study on “nature”. I decided to do it because I thought it would be interesting, it was for both of us to do together, and we would get 25$, which I was going to give Zibby to spend at the American Girl store for her birthday.

First: We drove to a local college, met the lady and went into a room with a table and a tv. Zibby and I sat on one side, and the lady sat on the other side and she filmed us. She gave us a stack of laminated photographs and asked us to sort them as we wanted. I have never seen Zibby act so weird. She was acting shy and goofy, talking in a high pitched voice, baby talking, and kept hiding her head into my body. It was completely unnatural and odd for her, and was obviously about this encounter, “being tested” or being asked to perform. The lady was completely non threatening and hardly talked to us at all, and was really friendly and non committal about anything. I was glad she didnt comment or otherwise make a big deal about how Zibby was acting.

The photographs were of different scenes. Some were animals, some were trees or lake pictures, some were birds or fish. Some were of flowers. Some had multiple items in the picture, some had just one. We sorted them a few different ways.

Then I had to fill out a questionaire about our level of physical activity, interaction with nature, outdoor activities, now and in my own childhood. It made me realize a couple things.

For one, while I do really value the idea of being outside and doing stuff outdoors, it does not come naturally to me (har har).
We live in Chicago. When its nice (may-october) we go to the playground several-most days a week, and the beach usually once a week. But we drive everywhere and hardly ever go for walks. There are several reasons I can think of. Im sure there are ways around every objection I have, but I just havent thought too hard about any of it, to be honest. I mean, I just thought, “well, we live in the city!” but I know plenty of people in this city with kids and they do lots more than we do outdoors. but another real limitation is that my children really really do not want to wear outerwear. Neither willingly consent to jackets, coats, mittens, hats, etc. Its hard enough to get clothes and shoes on them. Sometimes I wonder if I can ever civlize them, or if we need to move to warmer climate. :)

When its not nice, its MUCH harder to do anything outdoors. And lots of indoor activites cost money. I do try to get the kids into gymnastics classes, or other physical activity classes, but thats usually once or maybe twice a week for less than an hour.

Doing the questionaire, I realized that this is pretty much how I grew up, although I did grow up in a suburb. As a child, I had TONS more time outdoors by myself or with other kids and no adult supervision, in yards, in the neighborhood, on bikes, etc. We did walk to places as kids together, like the school playground, to other kids houses, to the candy store. We walked to school. We had free reign for approximately 6 blocks radius of our house, Id guess.

But as a family, we did not walk places, and we did not do sports or outdoor activities together, except going to the beach. I think we went tent camping once. maybe twice. Our vacations were to our condo on the beach or west to visit family. We were a family of board and card games and watching tv and movies. I think that me and my siblings probably participate in one sport type activity a year, but I dont think that was particularly encouraged and not pushed, ever. We had a pool, but it was indoors.

Id like to be more active, myself, and Id like to give my kids that experience, too. Try hiking. Try walking along the lakefront. How do YOU do it?