Boo at the Zoo! 

A fun morning was had by all, and the boys got a kick out of seeing the Halloween transformation throughout the zoo. We even had the good fortune of running into one of my besties as she was chaperoning her son’s kindergarten class field trip!

The sun seems to have hidden itself again, and the wind has picked up, but the blue skies and sunshine earlier today provided a great weekend kickoff. 

"It smells like a cheap seafood restaurant in here."

Will, walking into The Living Coast exhibit at Brookfield Zoo this morning. 

To be fair, he was merely repeating what my mother said when we all visited the exhibit together last month, but none of the people around us today (who snapped their heads around in surprise) knew that. 

This kid. 

Tags: will chat

7 Years. 

There’s no one else I’d rather be with on this crazy ride. Marriage can be incredibly fulfilling, comforting and safe; It can also be a boat load of work to keep things moving in the right direction. I feel so lucky that we found our way to each other, that he has the patience to deal with my craziness, and that I’ve learned to accept those things about him that I can’t change (must you chew that way?!). In all seriousness, we’ve been through some heartbreakingly difficult stuff together - things that tear couples apart all the time - and we’re stronger because of it. I’m his biggest cheerleader, and he is my rock. Our little family fills my heart with happiness every single day, and the fact that I get to feel that for the rest of my life is pretty amazing. 

Happy Anniversary, A. 

Fall morning at Lincoln Park Zoo

Touch a lizard - check! 

Ride the new Lionel train - check! 

Use up our carousel punch pass - check! 

Feed hay to a cow - check! 

Touch a lizard - check!

Triple sanitize hands before sharing a bucket of popcorn - check! 

It was a fun-filled morning, and I feel so lucky to live in a city where outings like this are a hop, skip, and a jump away. 

No Sir, YOU made MY day.

The boys and I hit Lincoln Park Zoo this morning - probably our last outing there until Zoo Lights when I’ll be freezing my ass off and regretting the decision to go. Anyway, I wanted to let them burn every ounce of energy in their little bodies and head home for a nap. Naturally, in making our way to 90, we got stuck on North Ave. (I’ll never learn, will I?), and the “OMG, PLEASE DO NOT FALL ASLEEP IN THE CAR FOR 5 MINUTES AND THEN REFUSE TO NAP” fear set in. Moms, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve been known to pinch my children to keep them awake, feed them things I’d otherwise never allow, roll down the windows on the expressway … you get the idea … all to avoid that 5 minute “nap” that ruins everything. 

We sat on North Ave, not moving, with a cop next to us (ugh, I can’t even check my phone now?!). A quick look in the backseat, and eyes were dropping. NOOOO! I turned on “Thriller” and engaged in the most epic car dancing/karaoke you’ve ever seen. The boys were bouncing their shoulders, clapping, singing along. We love “Thriller” around here. It perked us all up and passed some time. 

I’d kind of forgotten that the sunroof was open and 2 windows were down (hey, it’s 50 degrees, I’m not harming them). When the song and performance ended, the two cops sitting next to us, did a quick horn tap and starting clapping and motioning for me to roll down my window.  I did. “Ma’am, that was awesome! Those are some lucky kids. Thanks for making my day.” 

Is it possible to simultaneously die of embarrassment and beam with pride? 

[Fellow Chicagoans - the light is broken at North/Elston. Avoid Stanley’s like the plague … ain’t no reasonably priced organic produce worth that mess.]

food52:

Citrus season on it’s way and you should make this first.

Citrus Salad with Kale, Pistachios & Pecorino via The Kitchen Sink 

Drooling. 

Looks like he’s mine.

Cooper is still working on speech development (man, is it crazy when your first born was speaking in complex sentences and carrying on full conversations before turning 2 and the second is rarely understood by adults who are not genetically linked). 

He has a ton of single words, and he will loosely string them together: “Mama …. book ….. please …” or “Will …. school …. bye bye” but he never really puts two words together fluidly. Until today. 

"French Fry." 

"Mama please" 

"French Fry." 

I nearly cried tears of joy at both the fluency and the shared sentiment of wanting a french fry more than anything as we drove past that McDonalds. 

Attack of the Giant Toddler! 
Cooper had his 2 yr well visit this morning, and while I knew he was a big boy, I was still shocked to find out how much he’s grown in the last 6 months. He’s now 30lbs (just 4 less than Will, who is 2 yrs older) and 37.5” tall (off the charts)!
The ped said that with Cooper continually being off the charts for height, we could expect the trend to continue, with him ending up taller than his 6’3 father!  

Attack of the Giant Toddler! 

Cooper had his 2 yr well visit this morning, and while I knew he was a big boy, I was still shocked to find out how much he’s grown in the last 6 months. He’s now 30lbs (just 4 less than Will, who is 2 yrs older) and 37.5” tall (off the charts)!

The ped said that with Cooper continually being off the charts for height, we could expect the trend to continue, with him ending up taller than his 6’3 father!  

A lesson in controlling my rage

While giving Will a bath tonight I noticed that he had a bad scratch on his side and on his ankle. When I asked him about it he said that one of the big kids on the playground was poking him and scratching him, but he doesn’t know who his is. 

I’m guessing this is also why he sprinted to me today at pick up and starting sobbing immediately saying, “I just missed you so much. Please don’t leave me so long again.  I want to go right to bed when we go home” and making me carry him to the car. 

Obviously, I want to stalk the playground, identify the demon who is harassing my precious child and then tear him limb from limb. Ya know, totally rational, right? But I guess this is when it’s more appropriate to just give the teacher a heads up. Instead of going to jail … 

Happy 2nd Birthday, Cooper! 

Looking at these two photos, I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that two years have passed in what feels like the blink of an eye. 

You’re a mama’s boy, Coop, and it secretly thrills me. The snuggles, hugs, eskimo kisses, cuddles, and hand-holding are some of my favorite moments each day. You have an inner happiness and joy that I rarely see in people of any age. You simply love life, and laughter, and find the humor in almost everything. Among the many things that bring a smile to your face: telling us “no”, airplanes, anything Cookie Monster (and imitating the way he speaks), singing with Mommy, reading Little Blue Truck, Honk Honk Beep Beep, and Moo Baa La La La, blowing bubbles, sitting down for a meal, your brother climbing into your crib with you, and being tickled under your chin. The list goes on and on, and it fills my heart to hear you gasp in delight so many times each day. 

I feel a special kind of protectiveness over you that I don’t have for your brother. Perhaps it’s our shared experience of being the younger, same sex sibling of a very outspoken and demanding first-born? I jump to your defense sooner than is necessary at times and go out of my way to make things “fair” for you, when it comes to dealing with Will. I don’t want to see you steamrolled, but I should probably let go of some of that and allow you to find your way more often. (Your size and strength will surely keep Will in check sooner than later!) Still, the way you admire your brother, the way you seek his approval, look for his hand to hold, and belly laugh at his silly jokes lets me know you love each other with all your hearts. And there’s nothing better than that. 

As you’re beginning to talk more, I can’t wait to hear what you have to say. You have the same stubbornness and fierce independence that is shared by everyone under this roof, so even when you can’t communicate verbally, you find a way to get your point across. Daddy is pushing me to start you in a drop off program a couple mornings a week, and while you’re ready, I’m not. Sorry kiddo, you’re stuck with me a little longer. I don’t think you mind. 

I love you, Cooper. More than words can say, more than it seems possible. I’m so lucky you’re mine. Happy Birthday!  

Tags: super cooper