Karma bit me in the....

>> Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm sure none of you have ever done the following bad deed, but I did last week and it came back to bite me.

I was sitting in our pediatrician's waiting room with my very sick two year old and I saw a magazine I had been wanting to read. Only once in his life has being sick slowed him down so I was too busy chasing him around keeping him from pulling all the tissues out of the boxes to glance at the magazine. One article in particualr caught my eye and peaked my interest so I grabbed the magazine and stuck it in the diaper bag (GASP!!). In my defense, they had at least 4 copies of the same issue laying on the table. Also, in the past I have wanted to read an article I saw and was told by my pediatrician that it was o.k. to take it with me. But, this time I didn't ask for permission. I just stuffed it in my bag so that I could read it later. (I know...GASP!!)

Well, I didn't have a chance to read it before I traveled to my parents' house so I again stuffed the magazine in my carry-on. When I finally had a chance to sit down and read it at my mom's, I checked the table of contents, turned to the page where the article was reported to be, but no article. I flipped a couple pages in either direction and then I noticed that someone had torn out those pages and left the magazine sitting on the waiting room table! How dare they!!!! Twarted!!

So the magazine I stole to read a specific article had already been raided by a fellow mother who was a bit more slick than me. Furthermore, how unlucky am I that the one copy I chose to steal was the one missing the one article I was stealing it for. I mean, can you imagine the nerve of that mom to tear out those pages there in the waiting room where all could see and hear her!! At least my crime was quiet and non-property-destroying. I am obviously not the only magazine/article stealing mother out there...there is at least one more who is probably sitting at home now contently reading MY article.

I got bit by karma...right in the a**! Now I have to go buy the magazine so I can read the article and hopefully appease the karma gods. :)

Cross posted at Chicago Moms Blog


Real men wear pink

>> Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lucas found this pink swim vest at my mom's house this morning. It was shipped to her by mistake when we ordered some beach apparel for Lucas last summer and we decided just to save it for, well, whatever. Lucas insisted on wearing this pink and purple bikini with floatie vest around the house. He wore it for about an hour or so and when I took it off he had dark rings around his thighs where it was digging into his skin. But, he had a ball and didn't seem to care that pink is not his color.... or is it?
Bono watch out!! Lucas Brown in the house!! Only the coolest of the cool wear their glasses upside down!

Plus, not to toot my horn but.... I just joined the Chicago Mom' s Blog and I have my first post up there today! I feel a little famous and a bit intimidated but a lot excited. :)


Another review...

Mama Speaks has a review of BabyLove Slings up today. :) Hooray! Check it out for some kind words about the fruits of my labor and a coupon code if you are in the market for a new sling of your own.

Or you could try to win a BabyLove Sling here!


A good ol' Southern day

>> Saturday, February 23, 2008

You can't get much better than this...

Lucas slept with me in a queen bed so I didn't touch him (or get kicked) all night but he slept until 7am (which if you know Lucas you know is an absolute miracle!). When he did wake up, my dad was there to take him and feed him and play with him so I could go back to sleep. When I got up again at 9am (yes, you read right), my mom was in the kitchen cooking none other than southern-style BISCUITS AND GRAVY!!!! (my all-time favorite and the only food I have wanted to eat for literally months now.)
, a shower and some Lucas play time was followed by an early nap for Lucas and another nap for mommy. I had forgotten the pure joy it is to feel tired and to say "I think I'll lay down for a little nap" and then actually be able to lay down and take a nap. Heaven.

In the evening, we went to the beach where it was sunny and in the upper 60's with just a slight breeze. Lucas rolled in the sand and I sat there enjoying my surroundings. For dinner, we went to a hole-in-the-wall seafood shack for fried shrimp, crab claws, fish and hush puppies with real sweet tea (I am QUITE sure they brew their own!)

Lucas fell asleep on the drive home and stayed asleep as I transferred him to the crib. Perfect.
The only thing that could have made this day more perfect would have been hubby and puppy sitting on the beach with us. But all-in-all, just a good ol' Southern day!

P.S.~ Visit popularbabyproducts.com this week for an amazing BabyLove Slings giveaway!! :)


The not-so-golden arches

>> Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Here is an unfortunately true story that happened to me today....

I am driving my sick toddler to the pediatrician this morning after two nights of coughing, wheezing, fever, very little sleep... the whole nine yards. All of a sudden, I start to feel a bit sick myself - maybe hunger, maybe pukey - it is so hard to distinguish the two these days. I look at the clock and realize it is 10:30 and I haven't eaten anything all day (I've been up since 5am at this point). This is not recommended in normal circumstances but especially when you're 14weeks pregnant and constantly riding that fine line between O.K. and vomit.

As I fight off the nausea, the gleam of those yellow arches enter my peripheral vision....ah, a McDonald's. Saved. I pull in and start to ponder what I need to settle my tummy. I haven't craved much so far this pregnancy, but biscuits seem to always sound good. "I'm sure I can get a plain biscuit at McDonald's," I think. Isn't it "Have it Your Way" or maybe that is somewhere else. Well, it certainly was today.

As I pull into the drive through my cell phone says 10:38. I order a sausage biscuit planning on saving the sausage for my puppy. "Sorry, we are only serving lunch right now." Are you kidding me? "At 10:30?" I question. "Actually, it is 10:40" the voice responded.

Me: "You have no breakfast at all in the restaurant at 10:40?"

Voice: "Let me check...(2 second pause)...NOPE!"

Me: (in my head) well you don't have to be rude about it...

O.K., I think, I will just get some sweet tea. I know what you are thinking. Sweet tea at McDonald's? It is actually really good.
Voice: "Umm, it's not brewed yet."

Are you kidding me? They BREW it. Really? Although it tastes yummy and pretty authentic, I was sure it was the creation of some scientist in a lab trying to replicate one of the yummiest drinks of all time. I can't win.

Me: " Just a Sprite then."
Voice: "What size ma'am?" (dripping with sarcasm)
Buddy, I am trying so hard not to throw up. Please just get me some Sprite!!

So breakfast for me today was a MEDIUM Sprite and the emergency piece of gum I keep in my wallet for just such an occasion. Breakfast of champions. At least it got that "about to puke" taste out of my mouth. That will teach me to try to get customer service at McDonald's. Better luck next time, I guess.


Chicagoland Indoor Fun

>> Monday, February 18, 2008

I decided to post this list after several people have inquired. This is a list I compliled after a bit of research and using the holiday 2007 edition of Chicago Parent's Going Places magazine. It is such a great resource for finding cool things to do to stay warm. Some of these I have been to but others I haven't tried, yet. I am working my way through the list with some friends as we try to keep our toddlers busy and kep from going stir carzy ourselves. If you have been to any of these places and have anything to add, I welcome your comments.

Chicago Children's Museum: downtown Chicago; free the first Monday of every month (otherwise $8/person)
Kohl's Children's Museum: Glenview; cool Clifford exhibit until May, tons of cool play areas, very toddler friendly (vet clinic, dolly day care, a mini-Dominick's grocery store, a mini Pottbelly's sandwich shop. etc...) It is more play-oriented than the Dupage museum and feels a little more spread out. See my previous post about our recent trip for some cute pics. We really loved this one!!

Dupage Children's Museum: Naperville; very learning oriented. Lots of fun blocks and building play areas. Other highlights include the bubbles, the water area and the HUGE tinkertoys! We visit fairly regularly...Lucas loves to build!
Art Works Children's Museum: Ingleside; kids get to create art with a variety of items and play with instruments and puppets.
Field Museum: downtown; free in February, has a cool Family Play lab for little ones. We can't wait to check out their current dino exhibit.
Shedd Aquarium: downtown; main exhibits free on Mondays and Tuesdays in Jan and Feb. Lucas LOVED the Wild Reef exhibit with sharks and stingrays. He also loved the Lizards (lizard and shark areas are an extra cost). The baby whale and other oceanarium exhibits are very cool too.

Dinosaur Discovery Museum: Kenosha, WI; kids dig for dino bones on Saturday afternoons, free admission; kinda far but sounds super cool. We are hopefully going to trek up there one of these weekends.

Creative Kids Art Learning Studio: Roselle; the floor is a chalkboard and the kids can paint the walls and other fun art projects. Kinda expensive- $10 per kid for 2hours studio time.

Jumps"N Jiggles and Carousel: Elmhurst; indoor carousel, lego room, ball play area. Geared towards toddlersand preschoolers. Only $3per person.

Little Village Playplace: Arlington Heights; Construction workshop, child-size grocery store, fire dept, etc... For ages 1-7 $8/kid, adults free. See my friend Cath's great review (and cute pic) on Chicago Mom's Blog. It was a blast!

Pretend Playground: Mundelein; imaginative play areas $7/kid (adults free with paid kid). We haven't been to this one yet, but the website looks fun so we hope to try it out soon although it is a little far for us.

Room2Play: Chicago; indoor city backdrop with kid size pretend zoo, coffee shop, post office, etc...$12/kid

CoCo Key Water Resort: Arlington Heights; Indoor waterpark, Free for kids 2 and under, Monday-Thursday adults are $16 (normally $28)

Mayan Adventure Indoor WaterPark: Elmhurst; Lazy river, tube slides, etc... $15 Mon-Thursday

OakBrook Park Distric Family Aquatics Center: indoor pool and water slide, seperate toddler play area, $10 adults, kids 2 and under free

Pelican Harbor Aquatic Park: Bolingbrook; $8 adults, kids 2 and under free

Splash Landings: Glenview; $5.75 per person

The Waterworks: Schaumburg; $9 adults, $7kids

So again, this is just my list- places I have found that look fun and entertaining without too much drain on the pocketbook. Go to ChicagoParent.com for even more possibilities and a full list of all kid-friendly activities in the greater Chicagoland area. I hope this is helpful and inspiring to those of you who are looking for ways to stay busy until spring. I have a whole other list of outdoor fun that I can post later.... maybe when the temp. stays above 30 for at least three days in a row. :) For now, stay warm and have fun.


Babywearing in the kitchen

>> Saturday, February 16, 2008

It has been too long since I have posted any babywearing pics or info. It is, after all, my latest passion and the title of my blog/business/ hobby. Here are two recent pictures that show how hubby and I get things done in the kitchen. Lucas is so fascinated by all kitchen tasks from cooking to emptying the dishwasher, this is the easiest way for him to watch and be involved and for the work to actually get done at the same time. If you have ever tried to empty or load a dishwasher with a 2yr. old "helping," you know exactly what I mean.

Lucas and hubby emptying the dishwasher. Later, Daddy and Lucas made chicken wings for the SuperBowl with Lucas safely "helping" on Daddy's back.
Mommy and Lucas making dinner... a rare site these days. But the first trimester is almost over, so there is still hope for my culinary contributions to come. :)


A few of our favorite Valentine's things

>> Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lucas got Valentine's Day packages from both sets of grandparents today. His package from Mimi and Pa (my parents) included several things including a Spiderman card, Bob the Builder stickers (among others) and a new dino. He insisted that these three items take a nap with him today. I did take them out of his crib after I took a picture. :)
The amazing roses from hubby for Valentine's Day.... so beautiful! Thank you hubby!!

These are some of Lucas and Mommy's favorite children's books about love... I would love to know what your favorites are.

Also, check out my contests tab for two great babywearing giveaways. One ends tonight so enter now. :)


Some Valentine's Love

Drea and Elizabeth over at Simple Reviews have a Valentine's Day review of BabyLove Slings up today.... There are some great pictures like this one and a coupon code if you are in need of some babywearing bliss of your own. I hope everyone feels loved and shares love today!! Happy Valentine's Day!!


Think, think, think...

>> Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Recently Lucas has gotten into watching "Tigger and Pooh" on Disney channel. I have to admit this is because it comes on at 6:30am and it is Mommy's way of getting a few extra minutes of sleep. He affectionately calls the show "think, think, think" with his cute little finger on his cheek because that is what Pooh does.... he thinks. Life seems to be coming at me so fast these days that I long to be a little more like Pooh. I want to sit under a tree and think, think, think. Sitting on my couch with my laptop will have to do for now...
Do you ever feel like you have no non-asleep free time? Because I am pregnant and nauseous and chasing a toddler, when I have free time I sleep. But also because I am pregnant, I have so many "things" in my head that I need to sort through, to figure out. Thankfully, a blessed friend took Lucas to her house to play this morning so I could have a few hours to sleep clean think.

A few months ago a read a post by a woman who had found out some potential bad news re: her pregnancy. She speaks here about being terrified to know the truth but needing so desperately to know so that she can go on with the rest of her life with this baby as a part of it, no matter what. At the time, her thoughts resonated deeply with me, like watching an old home movie and reliving events from my past. But now, being pregnant again and facing the 50% possibility of losing another child, those same thoughts run through my head in real time in a never-ending loop of doubt and fear and sincere attempts at joy.

To be able to say "no matter what" ... kinda tough at times. How does one finish that phrase? No matter what, I will survive it. Or, I will have joy. I will be content. I will trust God's plan. No matter what, I will be able to be a good mom to Lucas. I will not go insane or lose my true self. I will enjoy this baby, this pregnancy. No matter what, I will be a mother of three.

Like my friend Heather, I have been pondering last week's sermon at our little house church about the first few verses of James. James writes:
"2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
"Consider it joy"... also kinda tough. To thank God for our trials does not come naturally for me. It is our trials, though, that begin to chip away at our outer self and reveal more of Jesus in us. It is like the analogy of a block of stone (used by the speaker at church). God looks at that block and sees His Son. But in order for the rest of the world to see what God sees, He must shape us and break away the excess. Is this current trial God chipping away at my excess? I must have a LOT of excess for God to use this familiar trial for further shaping.

"If any of you lacks wisdom...ask God." Wisdom. Is that what I lack? That among so many other things. Is it the lack of wisdom that contributes to this broken record of doubt and uncertainty in my head? If I could see how this ends, would I rest in that knowledge "no matter what?" Right now it is the not knowing and the fear of the "what if" that paralyzes me. But in 7weeks I will know more about the fate of this baby, this pregnancy. What then? Will I complete the "no matter what" phrase the same if the outcome is happy or tragic? That IS what it means to say "no matter what." But it is certainly easier to say I will be content if I am preparing a nursery and not another funeral. Wisdom. Not just knowledge of what path I am on. It is wisdom I need. Wisdom to know how to persevere in the face of this trial God is using to shape me. Wisdom to know how to respond. And wisdom to be a mom and a wife and a friend and a sister, etc... in the meantime. I am not the only one in the midst of an excess-shaving trial.
James tells us that if we lack wisdom, just ask and the Lord gives it freely. So here I am, asking. Lord, I need Your wisdom and Your comfort and Your strength. Help me Lord to have joy, no matter what.

I leave you with two songs we sang at this same house church this week. Songs that were difficult for me to sing but only because they so depict the raw emotion of my heart and use words that I need to say to God but often can't make cross my lips...

I will bless the Lord forever
I will trust him at all times
He has delivered me from all fear
He has set my feet upon a rock
And I will not be moved
And I'll say of the Lord
You are my shield,
My strength, my portion,
My Shelter, Strong Tower
My very present help in time of need

Hungry I come to You for I know You satisfy
I am empty but I know your Love does not run dry
So I wait for You
I'm falling on my knees, offering all of me
Jesus, You're all this heart is living for.
Broken I run to You for Your arms are open wide.
I am weary but I know Your touch restores my life.
So I wait for You....


Children's museum

>> Friday, February 1, 2008

O.K.... a few more pics, too cute not to share. We ventured out yesterday in the cold to the Glenview Kohl's Children's Museum. What an awesome place!! Lucas and his friend Brooke had so much fun exploring the mini-Dominick's grocery store and animal hospital and baby doll nursery and of course Clifford!!! I admit that mommy had a great time too. Perfect outing for a blah winter day!

(Clockwise starting at top left)Mommy and Lucas with Clifford, the future vet giving puppy some medicine at the animal hospital, big-brother-to-be practicing giving baby a bath,and checking out at Dominick's with Brooke. Plus the day wouldn't be complete without some cooking- Lucas' favorite activity.

Aunt Julie would be proud....Lucas' first Chase ATM transaction.


Cold weather fun

The temps are low and there is a LOT of snow of the ground, but we are still finding ways to have fun and keep ourselves busy. Enjoy some pics of Lucas (and mommy) trying to pass the time until spring!

Lucas shoveling snow before we got several more inches last night. I might as well put him to work, right?! :)
A rare moment when they are both quiet- Lucas and Hadley watching the snow fall.
He decided he wanted to put on ALL our winter apparell.
Nothing like a little "nakie" time!


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