Sunday, August 30, 2009


The yard was finished the middle of last week. Keeping Sammy and his friends off of our tiny amount of grass has been a project in and of itself, but we're trying to keep it pretty here people!
Before Matt left for the week, last week, we started a bit of a tradition in the evenings called: "Boys camp army vs. Girls camp army". It means that the boys make a camp and stock up on nerf guns and ammo...
...and so do the girls. That's our camp there behind the chairs with the red cushions. The boys have some tactics, but don't mess with Claire...she has her own! After this game ended in tears a couple times, we stopped playing it for a while. It was fun while it lasted.
Also before Matt left town Claire lost her first top front tooth. Then, the day after he left she lost her second front top tooth. At least we know what to get her for Christmas!
While Matt was out of town it rained a lot. Which meant that I had to entertain two kids all day long inside a lot. So, we got out the power tools. Sammy has been using Matt's drill to make holes in boxes. I think it helps him get out his aggression! Safe? I'm not sure. But we can't be safe all the time.
Then I let the kids repaint the dining room/kitchen/entry with me. It needed it badly and we're trying to get renters to come see the house, so I decided we might as well start the projects while daddy was gone. We needed something to do! And honestly, they weren't that bad at it. I was surprised.
Of course, we made a trip to the thrift store, where Sammy found this sweet tool belt complete with RAINBOW suspenders to hold it up. He was pleased as punch.
We also made a trip to the 'burbs just to get out of the city a while. We ended up in Wheaton, where Matt and I went to college, and we visited the little red door candy store, went to the park, and ran on the prairie path. Sammy even got to take a peek at the football field where Matt had played. He was very disappointed that there was a "Field closed" sign on the gate.
After an unfortunate incident with some permanent markers, I decided the table (formerly regular wood) needed to be painted white. So, we did that together too.
Matt came home on Friday, and then the kids had their last t-ball game on Saturday.
The kids have really loved t-ball, and both of them have gotten pretty good this year!
And Sammy met this cute kid who can make sweet armpit noises! Instant best friend.
And here is Sammy showing Miles how huge his muscles are.
Coach Matt is still cute, in case you wondered.
Since this was their final week, coach Charlie decided they should hit without the "tee". They all got at least one hit! Claire ran all the way to third on this hit.
Then, on Saturday night, the Cowens came over. They brought sweet baby Dixie, who is now 7 weeks old. Sammy made her a bed in a laundry basket, so they let her lay there for a while.
And, miraculously, my sitter has moved back to Chicago, so the adults got to go out to dinner while the kids stayed home with Coco. Dixie came with us of course.
Here are the Cowens at Baba Reeba, our favorite tapas spot.
I got this beverage trio called "White Flight". Don't worry: I shared. Most of them were too sweet anyway.
But, speaking of sweet, Mary decided she needed a cupcake for dessert so we headed over to Sweet Mandy B's in Lincoln Park after dinner. She didn't have to twist my arm too hard to get me there. I love this place! The whole place smells like buttery sugar.
I left with all of these. Alright, one of them was Mary's, but I got the rest for myself. I really did. The kids and I had the leftovers for breakfast this morning.
****Disclaimer: So, all in all, things have been on the up-and-up. Except that after the date Matt and I got in a huge fight. And then I didn't want to go to church this morning because I was upset and tired from the week. And then while I was trying to have "me" time, this Jehovah's witness guy came knocking at my door. And he wouldn't leave even though I was sitting there in my underwear. So after about 15 scary knocks I got up and opened the door (after throwing on a sweatshirt of course). And then I had to stand there for 45 minutes and defend the deity of Christ to him because I'm a good pastors daughter and it upset me that he was at my door on Sunday morning telling me that Jesus isn't God. So now everyone is about to walk in the door from church and I'm still in my underwear with coffee breath and there are no cupcakes left. Wah! Alright, I'm done.

Monday, August 24, 2009

We just might close on the house...., like a big dork, I spend every waking spare moment fantasizing over what I want to do with it when we get in there. I feel a need to figure out exactly what I want to do to it even before we close, because we'll only have a month to get it ready before we need to move into it.

Of course, Matt is thinking about the greasy catch basin in the backyard and the sewer pipes that need to be rodded out, but I'm thinking about tearing walls down, paint colors, and furniture, and about wood floors that are under the old carpet that I want to rip out. What do you think of the ideas for the living room? I'm into grey blue and beige together right now, but with something dark or colorful mixed in to keep it from looking like a baby's room.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

They start young

Sam and Claire's buddy, Cecilia, was over this morning for a little playdate. They had a tea party. There were cookies. There was excessive sugar poured into tiny tea cups. All the good stuff.
I was very involved, can you tell? I was totally paying attention to them and engaging them as a good mother should.
A little fight broke out about who was to have the last cookie, so after splitting it EQUALLY three ways, I turned on a little music for dancing. Usually, they just dance individually, but Cecilia and Claire decided that it should be like a wedding reception and that Sammy should dance with each of them to wedding songs.
The boy has some moves....I'm not gonna lie. And a tight grip on that waist.
Cecilia had a few Charleston-like moves herself.
Nice finish son.
Then Cecilia announced that she and Sammy were the bride and groom and that "there should be a kiss". I was about to say "on the cheek" but he suddenly planted a huge mouth kiss on her. Then he laughed. She looks a little stunned doesn't she? Sorry for letting him be so fresh Cecilia! Alright kids, go play something else now....good grief.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This week in review

Things at our house are CRAZY right now. The new house (it doesn't belong to us yet) is being worked on so that the "inspection issues" can stop preventing us from closing. So last week I spent a lot of hours with Tommy-the-tool-man while he and Sammy spread plaster over formerly moldy walls. But they aren't moldy anymore! Bonus.
Sunday we went into the Working Bikes Coop, which is a great non-profit that fixes up donated bikes and sends them to charity organizations all over the world. They also sell a few of them, which is why I was there. I've had two bikes stolen in the last five years so I wanted to get something less expensive this time. And something vintagey and old would be cool. I didn't find the exactly right thing this time...maybe next time.
We also went to Matt's favorite place in the world: Oberweiss. Chocolate milkshakes make him very happy.
This waffle recipe is the best thing in the world. I got it here. It has cornmeal in it, which we are big fans of. If you have a waffle-maker, make these. Your family will thank you.
Matt has made his pizza a couple of times and he has really perfected the crust. Keep it comin' Big Guy. Any night I can NOT cook makes me happy.
This project has been going on for a week and I'm totally ready for it to be done. Our yard has always been an embarassment and doesn't grow grass. We found out that was because our builder just put sod on top of a junk yard. Sammy dug up beer cans, bricks, bathroom tile, gloves, boots...awesome. So, we dug down six inches and now the nice guys from Lake Street Landscaping are supposed to come this morning to put down new soil and sod.
Sammy found this bike basket in the trash behind our house so he has been playing delivery-guy this week.
*Update: I just found out from my mother, and others, that people are thinking I meant that Sammy can write these words like this...and he can not. I write them and he sounds them out. He can't even draw a nice circle, let alone letters. Sorry for the miscommunication!
In light of our landscaping adventures, Sam has been practicing his letters more and more (he knows all the letter sounds now and how to sound out some three-letter words!) and now knows how to spell "sod" and "grass" and a few other landscaping words. I wasn't sure if this kid was going to be a good homeschooling candidate, but he's been suprising me lately!
Something that is NOT making me happy right now is an infestation of fruit flies. They seem to be really fond of wine, so we put a little wine in a glass and put the fruit-fly trap on top. It has done the job pretty well, but I hate bugs. Ick.