Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Out for the Count

I spent nearly all of last week housebound, taking care of The Girl, The Tot and The Dad, all of whom were sick. I did sneak out for an hour of sanity-restoration on Friday afternoon, stocking up on super cheap fabrics for Lazy Days Skirts and cloth shopping bags at Jo-Ann. I also went to pottery class on Saturday morning and finally had a breakthrough in my ability to both center clay on the wheel and make a few cylinders. I want to make a salt pig, because I don't want to pay $30 for an Emile Henry one. There's only so many wonky bowls a girl can make.

Despite the 3-day weekend and no classes/plans, I regret to say that our big outing was on Sunday afternoon, when I took The Boy with me to Blockbuster to get videos, and to Trader Joe's to get groceries. It wasn't what I would call "quality time," but The Boy seemed to enjoy having my only-slightly-divided attention. He was very helpful.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Justin Roberts!

I found out from a friend yesterday that Justin Roberts was in town for a concert yesterday afternoon. I checked his tour schedule, and man that guy gets around! Today, he is in L.A.

But he'll be back again soon. We all love Justin Roberts, so I am hoping to score tickets for one of his upcoming Chicago(land) shows:

Saturday, January 31st, 2009 10:30 AM
Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players
Skokie School Auditorium
520 Glendale Avenue
Winnetka, IL 60093
Price: $15 (Under One Year Old FREE)
Winnetka Public School Nursery Musicfest!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009 10:00 AM
Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players
Tivoli Theater - Presented by Downers Grove Area Newcomers
5021 Highland Avenue
Downers Grove, IL
Price: $12 in advance, $15 at the door

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009 12:00 PM
Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players
Old Town School of Folk Music
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL
Price: $15 Gen. Public/$13 OTS members
TWO SHOWS: Noon & 3:00 PM!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Jammin with Julie, Coffee, Errands

We started the day off by seeing the drive-through teller at Midwest Bank to make both deposits personal and deposits for CFC. The Boy was not happy about sitting in the car for 20 minutes while I took care of my business, but he changed his tune when the teller enclosed three sets of lollies for the kids. Our main bank is out-of-state, but I've been so pleased with how incredibly nice the folks at Midwest Bank are, I bring them my local banking business.

The Tot and I started the new session of Jammin with Julie today. Oddly enough, The Girl chose to skip preschool, go to the full day of MDO, and come along to music class with us. With only The Boy to drop off at school, we made it to music class well in advance of its 9 a.m. start time, which is a departure from our usual method, which is to arrive 5 minutes late and try not to disrupt the flow of the class.

While The Girl is tall and looked Amazonian next to all the 1-2-year-olds, even The Tot looked big against the newest crop of babies in the class. It's weird to think of him at the older end of the age range. When I asked him if he wanted to jam with Julie, he nodded vigorously, which is amazing for a child whose standard response to any question is, "no." He listened with rapt attention, tried to touch the animal-puppets, helpfully put away the shakers, chased bubbles, and didn't want to go at the end of class. To me (and I think to Miss Julie), this means that music class is a success!

You, too, can Jam with Julie in the neighborhood (at Irving Park Lutheran Church) on Wednesdays and Fridays, now through April 22, 2009. Call Julie Helenius directly at 773-267-7607 or e-mail her at jtjujubee@aol.com. The 16-week session is $192, which represents a bit of a price break over the Old Town School's Wiggleworms classes ($240 for a 16-week session), which are similar to Julie's classes.

After music class, we schlepped over to CFC so The Girl could play with her friends, attend another music class (this time with Ms. Andrea, whose instrument of choice is a viola), and practice writing letters. Meanwhile, I spent the first hour of MDO visiting with my friends, drinking coffee, eating muffins and trying to divert The Tot from nursing.*

We ran to Target to buy a new iron and ran into a mom from The Boy's school as well as Becky and Baby G. The Tot had great fun helping me push the buttons on the elevator, pick out storage bins for The Dad, and eat Sour Airheads. Then we went home, had lunch, and he took a nap.

* It has been 20+ months and I'm still nursing this kid! I am a fan of breastfeeding and even extended breastfeeding, but this is ridiculous. Chicago is pretty pro-breastfeeding, even more than it was when The Boy was a baby, but nursing a 6-month-old in public is understandable and even cute. Nursing a gigantic toddler? Notsomuch (for me).

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Moms & Tots, Playdate

The Tot and I started our Moms, Pops, & Tots Interaction class today at Independence Park. I haven't taken the class since The Boy was a baby (it is for kids aged 18-36M) and Miss Julie (now Kilbourn Park's Supervisor) was its instructor. I still see a handful of people from that class, but I was surprised to know many more moms/kids and even nannies/kids in today's class. I guess that is just one advantage to living in the same neighborhood and attending neighborhood events for the past 6+ years: recognizing or knowing many of the people in your children's activities.

Miss Teagan is the new instructor for the class and she kept the class moving with 1/2 hour of free play/socializing (The Tot liked the mini Little Tykes slide), 1/2 hour of singing/dancing and 1/2 hour of art/craft activity and snack. The Tot, who is normally quite slow to warm up to things (as Julie of Jammin' fame can attest), had so much fun that he did not want to leave to pick up The Girl from school.

But we did make it out of there and on-time to retreive The Girl from preschool. Afterwards, because we hadn't managed to see anyone from playgroup over the break, we went over to Becky's house for lunch and catching-up. The Girl and F. played rather well together, although The Girl inexplicably (to me) wanted to leave after about an hour. The Tot was extremely interested in Baby G. (9 months), which amused him a bit and scared the baby a lot. I got to drink coffee and visit with Becky. And a good time was had by all.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back to the Grind

Today was the first day back at school after our 2-week winter vacation. It was both good and bad to be back to it. The Girl was super excited to go back to preschool. The Boy was not so happy to go back to kindergarten.

The Tot and I puttered around at home and took The Dad to Urgent Care for staple removal. We also went to the Family Fruit Market for groceries (he made a beeline for the yogurt case, saying "Go! Go! Go!" [Go, Diego, Go]), and did a lot of running around between school, co-op and home. He had gotten used to having his big brother and sister around and seemed to miss them while they were at school.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Trying on Houston

My parents, Grandma and Grandpa Texas, live in Houston. More accurately, they live in Spring, which is just outside of Houston. I am not from Texas; they moved there in 1998, the same year that The Dad and I moved to San Francisco. I've been trying ever since to get them to move back to Chicago(land). Until that happens, however, we'll enjoy escaping the Chicago cold during our grandparent visits.

The purpose our visit this time was to fete Grandpa Texas's 60th birthday. Which we did by spending lots of time with him, and lots of time outside. On Friday, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Sam, The Dad and I took The Boy, The Girl, and The Tot to the Children's Museum of Houston, which is one of my favorite children's museums in the country. We spent most of the time outside in the newly redesigned water works area. The Tot was especially enthralled with this area. We also ate a lot of good food, went to the park, and visited with Aunt Jenna, Uncle Chris and the kids' new cousin, Baby N.

Despite the warm winter weather, I don't think I could ever live in Texas. I need public transportation and big, tall buildings. But it's nice to visit.

We flew home this morning at 7 a.m. The kids, especially The Tot, did not do as well on this flight as they did on the flight down there. He was really fussy during takeoff, although he eventually did take a nap on the flight (as I did, too).