Roof Top

Wrigley_Field_and_Wrigley_RooftopsLast night we were invited to a Spring Launch Party for one of the roof top venues in Wrigleyville. For those of you not from Chicago, or from Chicago but not that versed in the world of Cubs Baseball, the roof top venues in Chicago are a unique experience.

Owners of houses with views into Wrigley Stadium eventually realized that they could use their rooftops to make money. An unusual business venture was born. Soon all the houses surrounding Wrigley had their rooftops kitted with bleacher seats and lower levels with bars and food service below. It was an fun, different way to book parties.

I’m embarrassed to admit that after over 10 years of living here, I’ve never visited a single roof top. Adam has been to every single one. I was amazed to see just how incredible the views were. Not just of the baseball field, but of the city as well.


I’m also embarrassed to admit that I had no idea what was going on with the roof tops right now. Having four kids does not help keep me up to date on local news.

I’m not sure if you can see in the picture above, but Wrigley is building some large billboards that will block some of the rooftop view completely. I spent a lot of time asking people at the launch party about it, and at some point I realized I was completely sticking my foot in my mouth.

That this has been a struggle that has been going on for some time between the rooftop owners and Wrigley. There were squabbles over whether or not roof tops should pay royalties to Wrigley. Some say Wrigley is ruining a landmark, others argue the renovations will improve revenue and therefore the team. It’s a big mess, and I can see pros and cons for both sides.

Which is what made last night so awkward. It was like meeting a B rated actor for the first time and slowly, through conversation, realizing they are in a the midst of a painful divorce.

After all that foot in the mouth, I still wasn’t sure who was right or wrong, and probably much like a divorce, both parties are right. And wrong.

Either way, losing the one of a kind experience that roof tops provide will be a real shame.

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Winter Thaw

In one week we went from piles of snow higher than our heads to short sleeve shirts.

It was a dramatic change and it effected us all dramatically, in our own ways.

Every morning the twins and I walked the neighborhood enjoying the changes.IMG_8790

Monday we were so happy to be outside and in the sunshine that we never even made it to a park to play. Leftover snow on the sidewalk was fun enough for the morning.


By Wednesday all that leftover snow had melted into huge puddles everywhere, making for another kind of exciting adventure. A very wet and muddy one!


By Friday I had gotten smarter. We visited Montgomery Ward Park, a park with soft surface, no sand, and built high on a hillside – all leftover snow would have melted away and run off. Also by Friday we were out jacket free.

DSC_0822Saturday we dusted off and pumped the bikes up.

The new weather invigorated me as a mom. I have definitely been suffering the winter doldrums, cabin fever, the winter blues, inertia, call it what you will. I was suffering from ALL of it.

It made me excited to get up and go again. And it renewed my interest in the kids.

Recently I have felt like all I do is run from one emergency to the next, before one emergency is fixed another one is screaming in my ear. As I’m wiping a poopy butt, someone is falling down the stairs. As I’m pulling one kid off another one, two others are fighting over a toy. I’m cooking three different things in the kitchen while walking back and forth over a toddler having a tantrum. Burn the eggs or pick the kid up? But wait, I haven’t started packing the lunches yet! Over and over and over again, all day long.

After a winter’s lockdown, I realized just how long it had been since I looked at the kids. I mean really looked at them. Just like the weather, all of a sudden, they were new to me.

Ben, who refused to ride his new bike last year because it wasn’t EXACTLY the same model as Jack’s not only got on the bike but actually had the gross motor skills to petal it himself. His sensory processing disorder seriously effected his ability before and I was so proud to see him overcome it.

He also has started a budding friendship with Sam. Instead of just following his older brother around, he has been able to build another, new friendship on his own. Today at the Chicago Botanical Gardens Sam insisted on holding Ben’s hand most of the walk.


Watching them all together, how they all interacted differently, had their own friendships and yet they were all so close melted my winter heart.



I hope they will always be this close.


That they will always enjoy each other company, and look out for each other.


You never know what life will bring you, but in the end, family is everything. And today, I feel very blessed for not only the family I came from, but the one Adam and I have created.


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Me and My Guys

Jack and Ben’s school does so many wonderful things to make life extraordinary for them.

Tonight I attended the “Me and My Guy” dance with Jack and Ben.

After spiffing ourselves up a bit and after Adam and Jack had a secret talk, we headed over to school.

At first Jack was very sullen to see he was the first of his friends to arrive. As a result he was very straight faced for our first few attempts at pictures.

IMG_8707He perked up instantly once his buddies started arriving and pretty soon instead of hanging out with mom he was racing around the room with his cronies, running and giggling. IMG_8717

As soon as those two arrived I hardly saw Jack. But he did make a few appearances, bearing water bottles or brownies for me.

I spent the entire evening like this….


I danced with Ben in my arms until I was shaking, and then I danced some more. I guess Ben noticed there wasn’t a twin in that spot and decided to exploit the opportunity. It made me realize just how young he still is. He looks like a giant next to the twins, but he’s still my little baby boy. Also I noted in my head that Jack would never let me do this to him, so I’d better get all the cuddling in I can while he will still stomach it.

And even if I’m not cool enough to dance with, Jack later found Ben and gave him a few spins on the dance floor.


He also asked if he could pose with Ben for the camera, sans Mom.IMG_8737

Later I found out that the talk Adam had with Jack was to let him know he was taking Mom out and he should take care of her, hold open the doors and make sure she’s well hydrated and fed. He was the perfect gentleman.


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Sky High

As the boys get older, the places you can take them to indoors to play changes.

This year two of Jack’s buddies had their birthday at Sky High.

At the same time, Jack has been bugging me to invite his two mischievous little buddies over for a sleep over. Which I’ve been avoiding. But when I saw this invite I thought to myself, this is the night. If this place doesn’t exhaust a bunch of rowdy 8 year old boys, nothing will. It was my best chance of having them over and not having them up all night too.DSC_0797

If you’ve never been to sky high, I’m not sure what to tell you. It’s awesome. It’s terrifying. It’s unique. It’s a perfect place to wear out your pent up little Chicagoans in the dead of winter. It’s a sweaty, gross sort of experience. Kids don’t notice that kind of stuff, but I made sure and buy the grip socks they offer instead of having them jump barefoot.

The kids jumped for almost two hours straight. They were red and sweaty and I have no idea how they kept going, and going, and going.

In addition to this open trampoline area which is for kids 7 and up, they also have another trampoline area for 6 and under. I understand it’s for safety but remember that tip when you want to take your family of different ages there by yourself!

The other areas they have are a trampoline that lands into a foam pit, and another trampoline area where you can play dodgeball, and one where you can play basketball. I didn’t get to see it all because I was too scared to leave the boys for an instant. There were a lot of accidents, people bumping into each other to kids falling and another person jumping on them. Luckily nothing happened to any of the kids I was watching!

DSC_0813They managed to scarf down a quick pizza and birthday cake before heading right back to the pit for as much jump time as possible.

When they got home Jack was so tired he fell asleep at 9:30 with the lights on, next to his friends who were systematically dumping every toy bin we have in the basement. If you’ve been to my house at all, you know that’s a painful statement.

I would have been angry except I can only blame myself for having so many toys and in truth I’ve been meaning to sort through them for a while and now I had a great reason to start the 6 hour project.DSC_0819

I asked Jack’s buddies to lay down for bed at 10:30 and they did without question and were silent from the moment their heads hit the pillow. It was almost too good to be true!

Ironically Ben, who was invited to the sleep over, ended up in our bed and at midnight Jack woke up disoriented and I brought him to his bed to sleep. So it was a “sleep”, but it didn’t last until the sleep was “over” for my two kids.

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