An All Day Affair

Today we met our friends Adler and Roya at the Children’s Museum. Our friends stayed the morning. We made it an all day affair. It was the first time I was testing out Ben and his no-nappiness. Most days I give him a quiet period, usually in front of a movie. If he falls asleep, great. If not, great!

"Ice Skating" with Roya

There was definitely a period in the afternoon where we all looked tired. In fact one Dad’s comment was, “I’m not sure who is more tired, you or the kids”. Perhaps I was pushing too hard and it was a mistake. But we made it through with a little help from some sugary lemonade. Coming home in time for dinner, bath and the last night of Hanukkah presents was much nicer than an afternoon of watching the kids move toys around the house like a tornado.

Whenever Jack has vacation from school I’m filled with dread at the thought of juggling more kids. But one thing I’m realizing is that it’s always more fun with Jack around. If he were at school today, Ben and I would be at Target or doing some other mundane task. Having all the kids with me makes me want to do more fun things for them, which at the end of the day translates to me feeling like a better mom.

Pin It

Happy Birthday to Me!

My Birthday Play Date

When you are pregnant, it really rules out a lot of options you normally consider doing on your birthday. Like drinking. Or staying out late.

But some things never change, like wanted to spend time with your good friends.

So that’s what we did. A play date with all of my girlfriends and their kids. (Those that don’t have jobs on a Tuesday afternoon, anyway.)


Pin It

Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights, Lincoln Park Zoo

Last night we decided to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo for their annual Zoo Lights.

It was unusually warm which made it very pleasant to be outside. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea as us. Or maybe it was because it was opening night. Either way it was packed. A big open space with lots of exits, huge crowds and darkness are a lethal combo for a mom of young kids. I spend a lot of time screaming at them to stay close. I didn’t care if I looked like the crazy mom who yells. I wanted to see my kids at all times!!!

Roya and Ben riding the Train

The kids didn’t seem to mind. As long as they all had each other (we trolled around with 7 boys, ages 1 – 6 for most of the evening) they were happy. Mom tip: I finally told them to form a train. They held onto each other’s shoulders and shouted ‘choo-choo’ and ‘all-aboard’. It kept them all together which was a great relief to me.

The actual zoo lights are free but if you park in the lot it will cost you $17 for the first 3 hours. It’s pretty amazing what they’ve done and I highly suggest going down for a look. They run November 25–27, then again from December 2–4 and 9–11. Finally they open nightly starting December 16–January 1 (Closed Dec. 24 & 25).

Besides walking around to see the lights, you can also see ice carvings, do holiday crafts, see Santa and also see some animals. Lots of the indoor exhibits are open, as well as the train and carousel. The food kiosks like popcorn truck are open too.

Pin It

Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm

Me and My Pumpkins

Yesterday we were invited to join our friends, the Smiths, at Bengtson\’s Pumpkin Farm. I have only been to one other pumpkin farm before so I didn’t have much to compare it too. The one I went to was called Sonny Acres and it was quaint and country-like. Bengtson’s, by contrast, was like arriving at a theme park in Orlando. The rides were much better, but the lines were much longer. It made me realize the Jack is ready for a place like Disney. He had a blast, didn’t mind the lines, actively sought new rides and laughed hysterically when he rode them. Ben is definitely not ready. He did not appreciate us telling him where to stand and for long periods of time, or getting ushered around in any sort of time frame that was not his own.

Frog Jump Ride

Petting Zoo

As usual, our city born and raised kids were too scared to feed the animals at the petting zoo. In fact, after I fed the Alpaca carrots and it thanked me by spewing carrot chunks out of his nose at me, I didn’t blame them. Adam tried to protect me by threatening to turn it into a nice sweater.

The price for admission was free for ages 2 and under, $10.99 for kids 3-11, and $11.99 for age 11 and up. They do have a coupon online which gives you a $1 off each admission price. Some things were free like the playground, slides, hay ride, pig races, and much more, other rides like the Frog Leap and Train were $2 per person. Pony rides were $5. There was lots of naughty food to eat and I took full advantage of my ‘eat for three’ status and enjoyed a funnel cake. Mmmm.

Pin It

A Week of Play Dates

This week’s bout of great weather, soon to be over, coupled with the fact that the life as I know it, also soon to be over, put a fire in me this week.

We spent the whole week at parks, meeting up with friends and enjoying the good weather….

Pin It

Sugar Filled Fun

Today was another one of those days that was jam packed with fun and candy with a few pizzas and hot dogs in between.

We started the day with breakfast at Feast. We love the Bucktown location, noticed they opened on the Gold Coast, and thought we ought to check it out. Yummy. If there was a kid menu for breakfast we never got it but it didn’t matter, one regular meal and some sides worked perfectly for the kids.

After we attended Logan’s birthday at Chuck E Cheese. It brought back loads of childhood memories.

Remember these Scary Characters?

It also brought pizza, cake, and cookies. Jack and Ben amassed 360 tickets, enough for a monster truck and candy. Japo sharked the coin tables and managed to get us our longest strip of tickets by strategic coin dropping.

From went from party to party. Next on the agenda was our annual Block Party. Dayton Street rocks. Band, Kegs, BBQ, Bike Parade, Pie Eating Contest, Face Painting, Arts and Crafts, Bouncy House, Pinata, Magician, Ice Cream Truck and the most delicious treats from Charlie Trotter. Every year he delights us with something new and different. I saw watermelon juice with rum, oysters, brownies but I’m sure there was more that I missed.

The kids absolutely loved the Magician, The Great Scott. He was silly funny and very interactive.

The Great Scott Captivates

If you want to see real fun just do what we did tonight, get them all sugared up on cotton candy, ice cream and candy then throw them in a bouncy house. Jack’s buddy Roya held her own in a house full of boys. After seeing her take Jack down again and again in the tent, I’m considering signing him up for her Tai Kwan Do lessons!

Roya the Tai Kwan Do Master

Pin It