Monday, October 25, 2010

Soaking up the Sun

Today we took advantage of yet another beautiful, warm, fall day! We walked home from school and enjoyed a nice picnic lunch outside. After we raced and chased with Bowman for a bit we went in for a little apple cider and homemade pumpkin bread. I love fall and a WARM fall is even better!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Noah during 'Quiet time' today

Man do I looove this! I colored one pic with him, but then had to get back to work. He is only using his left hand because he said his right hand was tired (he was pressing pretty hard). Haha!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Can't beat 'em, join 'em.

As crazy as our days get and as messy as our playing is sometimes, Bowman still enjoys our company. He doesn't always have the most comfortable spot to lay, but he doesn't seem to mind as long as he is right next to us!
We love ya Bow.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The 'Totally Amazing Bridge'

Ever wonder what my stinkers do while I'm trying to work?

To quote Noah...
"Mommy, Millie and I made a totally amazing bridge!"

I'm not sure what is crazier...the fact that they came up with this thing, or the fact that Noah said 'totally amazing'. Hmmm, wonder where he got that???

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rainy Morning

Today is a dreary, rainy morning.  After soo many beautiful days lately it's tough to complain so we made the most of it and stayed inside to do a favorite project...homemade play-dough (see here for my recipe).  Millie has never made it before and they both enjoyed measuring, mixing etc.  I think they liked making it as much as playing with the finished product! 

Stirrin' things up - and being silly.

Millie squishing
(as you can see, she couldn't get by without a quick taste)

Noah deep in concentration.

This is a great learning project too...measuring, following directions/recipes, colors....and patience!
After naps we are planning a little puddle-jumping!
Hope you are enjoying your day, whether it be rain or shine! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A new twist on time-out

As I have posted before, Millie likes to join Noah in his time-outs...that still hasn't changed. But today, after Noah served his couple of minutes on the stairs, I went to talk to him about what he did wrong and this is what I found. I guess 'sitting' was too much work.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Whoa, that was a close one!

Ok, I know I haven't been good about posting this summer, but summers seem to be tough because we are ALWAYS on the move!  I have been collecting my pics to post in a few 'all encompassing' posts that I hope to get out there soon!  In the meantime, enjoy this little tidbit...

I was just upstairs confirming my to-do list for the day while Noah and Mille were peacefully playing downstairs (I love that they are both to a point where they can play independently for short periods of time without me having to hover over them).  Next thing I know I hear Noah say, "Whoa, Millie!  You are STINK-EEE!  Mommy!  Millie is stinky....her poop is green and very stinky!"  I say, "Okay Noah, I will be down there in just a minute, I need to finish my list quick..."  Then I think to myself, WAIT  how does he know it is GREEN?!?!?  I race downstairs to find Millie laid out on the living room floor, jammies off and diaper open.  Noah has a wipe in his hand and says..."Mommy look at this!  It is gross AND stink-eee!"

Yet another crisis averted....just in time!  I can only imagine what I could have walked down there too!  What even made him think to 'help Mommy' this time???  Who knows.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Splish - Splash

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend.  The kiddies were a little under the weather this weekend, but still managed to get some fishing and swimming in at Grandma and Grandpa K's house.

Millie was feeling a little better this morning so after walking Noah to school we took a detour on the way home at stopped across the street for a little run through the sprinklers.

She started out just putting her hands in the sprinkles...

She was soon over her shyness and started running right through the streams of water...

By the end she was pretty soaked and had no fear in getting up close and personal with the sprayer.
She squished all the way home.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Chicago Sunday

After having a big cookout for our neighbors on Saturday (where Jon made DELICIOUS ribs!), we had a low-key family day on Sunday.  It was a beautiful day so we went to the park by the lake (near Montrose Beach) to play a little baseball and pick a few dandelions.  I soo enjoy days like this!

Millie picking flowers for her mommy.

I just love those little hands!!

Noah practicing his swing.

Millie trying to help out...
It is quite a chore to keep her away from the batter's box
and to make sure Noah doesn't swing when she is too close!

Someone wants to be like her brother!

Bowman taking a breather in between fetches.

After the excitement of our ball game,
we all laid in the grass for a little rest before heading back home for lunch.

Indulging in one of our favorites...a banana split from Margie's Candies!
(okay, so this wasn't on Sunday, it was on Monday, but I wanted to post it because I love the pic of us three demolishing that sundae...wait, I guess it is a Sundae after all!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New York, New York!

The past few weeks have been spent catching up from our week away, enjoying the beautiful weather and many trips to the park (there is a new park just a block away from us and we just love it!).  Last Tuesday I took a break from all that and on a whim flew to New York to attend the National Stationery Show. 

Ever since I learned about the show 5 years ago, I have wanted to go.  At that time I had just left my corporate job (as a systems analyst/programmer - that seems so crazy and foreign to me now!) to do something less stressful and more 'me.'  I was hired as manager of a cute paper and gift boutique in the North Shore.  The owner (and thousands of retailers from all over the world) attends the Stationery Show every year to find the next best thing, see new designs and to place orders with the vendors to stock her store for the upcoming months.  To me, the idea of all that paper, all those designs, all that creativity in one place is so exciting!
One of my business goals has been to attend that show as a vendor and have those retailers buy my designs.  Knowing myself, the chances of me getting there next year would not be very likely having never been there to see what the whole thing is about.  So this year, since I am officially and legally a business in the stationery industry I meet the requirements for someone who can attend!  By the time we returned from Florida the show was only 8 days away, and it didn't seem likely that I could make arrangements that quickly to go, BUT after mentioning my idea to Jon and discussing with him the logistics and finding a cheap flight we both decided this was something I HAD to do!  So he, being the #1 Toluka Paper supporter he is, took a day off work to stay home with the kiddies while I left the house at 4:15am to catch my 6am flight to NY and returned at 11:55pm that same night.  It was a looong, but VERY exciting day.  I learned so much from walking around, chatting with this year's vendors, from visiting the booths of suppliers and fullfillment companies...and I also learned a lot about myself!  That trip was a big deal for a little, midwestern girl like me -  to get on two flights in one day (I HATE flying), maneuver to and from each airport reaching my destinations on time, and approaching many companies with my compliments and questions while being totally intimidated.  After all that, I KNOW that ...if I can make it there - I can make it anywhere!  See ya next year New York!!

This is one of the booths right at the entrance of the show.  If you can picture row after row after row of booths like this one (some smaller, some larger) taking up almost an entire floor of the Jacob K. Javits convention center.  It took me FIVE hours to walk the whole thing and according to people I talked to, it has been getting smaller each year for the past 3-4 years and used to take up TWO floors!  Whoa!

(I  know the pictures aren't super exciting, but the vendors aren't too keen on having pictures taken of their products, as copying of ideas and designs happens all to often in this industry...can't say I blame them!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

We're Back...

We are back from our trip to Florida.  It was SUCH a wonderful trip we only wish we could have extended it another week!  The kids were so good and the weather was beautiful (nice and hot, but a good change from the soggy cold we have had in Chicago).  We had a couple things on our agenda while we were down there...a trip to Ft. Myers to visit family, a trip to the beach...and of course our visit to 'Mickey's Castle' (Noah's words for Disney World) and the rest of the days were filled with fun times at the amazing kiddie pools at our resort.  Here is a quick run-down of our trip:

Day 1
Left the house at 4:30am to make our 6:30am flight.
Arrived in FL in once piece - once there, we grabbed our luggage, rented our car and made it to our resort all in less than 1 hour...Jon and I make a great team!!!
Stocked up on groceries and other necessities for the week.
Went to the pool.
I placed a bet on Super Saver to win the Kentucky Derby...and WON!
Kids went to bed in the same room...and Millie in a 'big girl bed' (for the first time)...and loved it!
Jon and I pretty much hit the sack soon had been a long, crazy, day.

Day 2
Lazy morning
Lazy day by the pool
The 'pirate pool'- it has two small slides on the other side.  Both kids enjoyed the slides!
Packed up and drove to Ft. Myers that evening
Had a great meal near Ft. Myers beach...including an icecream treat!

Day 3
Went to the pool with Aunt Verda while Jon and Uncle Dale played golf
Kids both took loooong naps that day...just about the only day they had naps!!
Another GREAT dinner at the Beachey house...thanks D & V!
Packed up and drove back to Orlando that evening.

Day 4
Lazy day at the pool

Day 5
Arrived at Disney World before the park opened to the public.
Had an early breakfast at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and Friends.
Millie was not too sure about those huge, fuzzy characters - Noah loved them!
Headed straight to Mickey's house to meet him and Minnie
Met Goofy and Donald...they made Noah laugh...then Noah started breakdancing for them... on the ground...that made Goofy and Donald laugh!
Rode lots of rides
Shared ice cream
Rode more rides
Watched the Fireworks
Left the park at closing time
What a loooong, but wonderful and 'magical' day!
N & M's new best friends

Day 6
Recover from 'Disney Day'
More lazy-ness at the pool
(actually, the pool is anything but lazy with these two!)

Day 7
Drove to Cocoa Beach for a day of sun, sand and waves.  The kids loooved playing in the sand and the waves!  They would have stayed all day if we let them...we spent FIVE hours there!
Noah riding the waves
Millie exploring the sand

Day 8
Pack'em up and ship'em out.
Kids slept for half the flight home and overall, were very good!
Breakfast the morning we left...they insisted on eating ALL their meals outside!

It was so nice to have 100% family time for an entire week!  Jon and I have both been crazy with work lately, so time with our two favorite people was just what we needed to recharge and put things in perspective.  We all had such an incredible time and can't wait for our next family trip together!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Right now...

Right now I am sitting in the car downtown waiting for Jon to get out
of work so he can take the kids and Bowman to meet Bonnie (my mother-
in-law) who is keeping Bowman for the week while we are on a much
needed vacation (big thanks to B and R!) while I go home to finish
packing, wrap up the last of my outstanding orders and clean the
house. Noah has a crazy hat on and no shoes and is doing his fire
truck impression over and over and over. Millie has also taken off
her shoes, pulled one arm out of her shirt and is singing her 'pretty'
song...'pretty' loud! (if you have ever heard a cat fight, it sounds a lot like that). The sunroof is open, windows are down,
passersby are staring...or laughing...and I am giggling too.
Welcome to my crazy life.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Incredible Hulk

It is 80+ degrees outside and my son is wearing his 'credible polk'
outfit. Where did I get these kids?! They are nuts!

Thanks Jamie M for this hand-me-down. It gets lots of use :o)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No pictures please.

How stinking cute is this? Millie found a set of 'play' keys (my old
keys from college) and wanted to bring them with her to run our
errands. I have been saving that little Vera Bradley purse for almost
a year to give her for her second birthday, but today I just couldn't
wait...and I am glad I didn't! She is (usually) such a trooper when I
cart her around with me to run errands (which has been just about
everyday lately!), so I consider it a little reward for her patience
with me. It also serves a gives her something to do while
I am lugging her from place to place. Today she was all set for a
quick stroll down Armitage in Lincoln Park...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Our Easter 2010

We had a nice Easter in Chicago this year.  Here are the highlights...

On Friday, we invited our neighbors down to color eggs with us.  It was crazy fun!  After the kids went to bed, we enjoyed a nice of Jon's specialties...roasted lamb - delicious!

Millie looved dumping her eggs in the dye...most of them ended up with cracks on them, but who cared? 

N&M after church.
  Millie was pretty tired and this is Noah's standard 'smile' when we say...'Noah, smile!' 
Real nice Noah. 
The only way we can get him to smile is to tell a knock knock joke...

After the knock knock joke.

Hunting for eggs in the front yard.

Noah finds one in the tulips.

Millie managed to find a few...even after Noah pretty much 'cleared the field'

After their hunt, they both sat on the sidewalk and worked on peeling their eggs.  This kept them busy for at least 15 I know how to entertain them when I need to get things done...bring on the eggs!

More concentrating...Bowman keeping watch.
Although they look so innocent with their eggs...the moment was not without a little rivalry.  A couple times Noah caught Millie stealing an egg from his bucket.  He was not too happy, but in Millie's defense...he had 90% of the eggs!!

I hope everyone had as wonderful an Easter as we had.
We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful morning!

I looove it!

Until now most of Noah's drawings start out nice, or at least have a
little form to them, but usually they end up a scribbly mess...until
today! I could not believe my eyes when I saw the picture he drew
while waiting for lunch to be ready. (NOTE: he told me he wanted to
draw a picture...instead of me suggesting it and getting turned down,
like most days)
I am in love with this little guy (Noah AND the circle man)! I might
have to use him to make Noah some new stationery...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dancing Machines

I LOVE to dance.  Sometimes I dance to be silly.  Sometimes to squeeze in a little exercise in a hectic day (like chasing my two monsters isn't enough!).  Sometimes in front of the mirror when I am getting ready for a fun night out.  And sometimes to make me feel (even if for a short moment) like I am 24 again.  Regardless of when or why I dance, I love it and I am sooo happy that my kids share this love!  On most friday nights you will find my family in the dining room cuttin' some rug to our favorite tunes played by none other than DJ Daddy Dad.  Both Noah and Millie truly enjoy hopping, swinging and spinning around.  Millie seems to take it one step further...she loves to lift her leg like a ballerina (a move she picked up last December from watching a glimpse of the Nutcracker...aparently the Sugar Plum Fairy left an impression!).  She will stop anytime, anywhere to do her perfect arabesque...once to lift her right let, then again to lift her left!

So based on all this, it was no surprise when the kids were thrilled when they noticed we had Dancing with the Stars on two nights ago.  Noah has not stopped talking about how he wants Mommy and Daddy to be on the show and he will sit in the audience and watch.  Man - I would LOOOVE the opportunity to be on that show!! ...first, just need to find a way to be famous, ha!  So this morning he started talking about it again and decided to put Millie's tutu on her...I could hear him talking to her through the monitor..."Millie, hold still, step in, you are going to be a beautiful ballerina and I am Knight Noah!"  Seriously...did he just say that?  Next thing I know they are in the dining room doing their 'fancy dance' (Noah's words, not mine :o).  It was a nice change from our usual crazy breakdancing and booty shaking!  Aaahhh, the memories!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Always enough time...

No matter how busy life makes us, I always have time to make sure my
family knows I love them!

This time I got a little creative. I left this message for Jon on the
bathroom counter earlier this week.

Anyone else have fun ways of saying 'I love you?'

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bear with me....

As I am writing this, the kids are in the tub and I am sitting on the bathroom floor with my 'best friend forever' (my laptop) sitting on my lap.  This has been a familiar scene lately.  I have been buried!  It might sound crazy coming from a stay-at-home-mom, with just a little side job that I pick up every once in a while, but it is the truth!  Business has really picked up in the past couple months, which is good because I have been working to take it 'to the next level', but because of this, things have been a little crazy.  I have been working hard to balance being a  good mom, a good wife and a competent entrepreneur...not always successfully, but I am trying.  A few long nights and a lot of patience (on everyone's part) has helped quite a bit.

Just a quick summary of this week so far:
- Enjoying the beautiful weather!!  We love it and have already taken many walks to the park (the Chicago park district finished building a new playground last fall just one block was MUCH needed and we love it!)  Tomorrow we are planning a picnic there if it is still nice.
- Today we all wore green, had green shamrock pancakes for breakfast (the kids loved these!) and green bagels and grapes for lunch (I know, total carb overload).  We used green plates and cups all day and Noah pointed out everything green he saw for the first couple hours of the day.  Happy St. Patrick's Day!
- Printing, Packaging, Printing, Packaging, Printing, Packaging.  I was accepted to be a vendor at a craft show in Frankfort, Illinois this weekend and have been working diligently to prepare...on top of the 7 customer orders I also have right now...complete craziness, but I love it!  (I am soo thanking my lucky stars for having project management experience from my previous corporate a systems crazy does that sound now!)

Anyway, so I am hoping next week I will have a little more time to catch up on the details that have been going on here for the past couple weeks!  We have also been busy with birthdays, milestones, etc and I want to make sure I 'record' those memories!

Thank you for bearing with me while I strive to 'keep it together!' ...and wish me luck at the fair!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Big Girl Millie

Every morning Millie takes Noah his backpack for school. Today I
decided to give her a little treat and let HER take her backpack to
school to drop Noah off. Now she is in love with her backpack and
enjoyed all the attention she received from teachers and students who
thought she was 'just adorable' ...despite the crazy outfit!

Friday, February 19, 2010

My little veggie lover!

I had to post a quick picture of Millie.  This girl will eat just about any veggie you put in front of her.  Here she is eating a piece of FROZEN broccoli...and loving it!  Sometimes I have to get creative (or desperate) to get her to stop squawking while I make dinner...

Broccoli Pops anyone?