Saturday, September 15, 2012

Trip Back in Time

Today the girls and I took a trip to the Chicago History Museum. We have had a membership for the past two or three years but we don't go often enough.
We had a blast! They had a cool new exhibit about magic that we all really enjoyed. They even had an area where the kids could dress up as magicians. Maggie was not too sure about it, but Lucy looked really cute in her cape and top hat.
Maggie loved "driving" an old steam engine and Lucy liked riding on the old "el" car.
They both liked sitting in the hot dog bun too.
When I was little, my family used to go to the History Museum all the time. One of the things that I love most about living in the city I lived in as a little girl is recreating my childhood memories with my own kids. I remember coming to the museum and seeing the dioramas and the Lincoln bed (there was no giant hot dog when I was little). I hope that when the girls grow up, they remember these outings we take and even take their own kids to the museums and around the city.

Side note: We wish that my husband could have come with us but he was busy at clinical for school. (Less than twelve weeks until he graduates!)

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Lucy was born four weeks early. I was in total denial throughout most of my labor because it was only July and she wasn't due until August.
Now, I know that in the grand scheme of things, four weeks isn't much. In fact, she barely qualifies as a preemie (a 6 1/2 pound preemie). But, she was preterm so along with our pediatrician we have been basing her developmental milestones off of her due date rather than her actual birthday.
At her one year checkup last month, she was babbling but had no specific sounds meaning specific words. So, the pediatrician suggested we give her another month.
Today we went in for a follow up appointment and she is still not making sounds with meaning. So, now we have a referral for a hearing screen and a speech therapy eval.
I'm sure everything is going to be fine and I would much rather give her help while she's young than try to catch up when she's older. But it sucks hearing that your perfect baby toddler is not perfect to everyone else and needs a little extra help.
But, she is very social, loves to interact with other people and WILL NOT SIT DOWN EVER AGAIN OMG! She needs to stand and walk all the time!
And she really is pretty perfect.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just funny

These girls of mine are so funny.
Lucy has decided in the last week that she is going to learn how to walk. She was never too interested before, but this girl is determined. She is starting to pull herself up on furniture and she grunts as she stands up. When she gets nervous, her palms get sweaty. She sweats up a storm walking, but she is getting really good at it!
Maggie is starting to say some really funny things too. The other day, she woke me up by coming in our room and telling me "I'm ready for action". Today when I was talking to my sister in law, Maggie asked if she could play with my hair. I said yes, so she stood behind me and starting playing with my hair. All of a sudden, she announced "I think I need a chair". Then she went and got her little chair out of her playroom, sat on it, and proceeded to play with my hair some more.
And to top it all off, tonight at dinner, Maggie put a pea up her nose. She was sitting in her highchair (on the floor, don't ask) talking about peas while I was making dinner. Then all of a sudden, she tells me "Mommy, I need some help getting this pea out of my nose." It was really funny. Luckily I was able to push it out from the outside. Of course when it came out, she wanted to eat it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

25 Things About Me

I've been writing a lot about the girls, my family, crafting and decorating. I haven't written too much about myself though. So, here are twenty-five things about me.

1. I have two younger brothers. When I was little, I really wanted a little sister. Now, I have two sisters-in-law.

2. If I won a million dollars, I would pay off my student loans, and buy a bigger house.

3. If I had a lot of money, I would be one of those crazy people who redecorates their houses every year. This is fed by my pinterest addiction.

4. My first bachelor's degree is in advertising. My second is in nursing. I am so happy that I went back to school.

5. If I could, I would live on diet coke, baked lays and goldfish crackers.

6. When I was pregnant with Maggie, I craved nachos and squirt. When I was pregnant with Lucy, it was chocolate milk and brown sugar pop tarts.

7. I was born with one kidney.

8. I have always wanted four kids, two girls and two boys. If my next baby is a girl, I am not sure if we will try for number four.

9. My house is 95 years old. We are probably only the 3rd owners. (the people who lived here before us lived here for 67 years)

10. I am obsessed with Ikea. We remodeled our kitchen with Ikea this spring and I can't wait to go back.

11. I have to limit myself to one trip to Target a week or I will be broke in no time.

12. Planning and cooking dinner is the most frustrating part of my day. I wish I could hire a personal chef.

13. I love old houses. I would love to buy an old Victorian someday.

14. I am allergic to dogs. This makes my husband really sad.

15. My fifth wedding anniversary is coming up in about six weeks.

16. I have lived in two large cities and one small town, but I have never lived in a suburb (and I don't plan to). I am a city girl.

17. I feel like a magician when I get both girls to take a good nap together in the same room.

18. I hate to cook but I love to bake.

19. I don't like to run but when I was running regularly I was in the best shape of my life. Then I got pregnant.

20. One of my biggest fears is that I will die young and the girls won't remember me.

21. I always wanted to move to Boston.

22. I worked as a nanny for three years. It was one of my favorite jobs.

23. I became much less judgemental at other people's weddings once I had my own.

24. I have twenty-six first cousins.

25. We went to Italy on our honeymoon. Best decision ever.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


About a year after my husband and I started dating, I decided to go back to school to become a nurse. The first semester that I was back in school, my husband went back to get his EMT certification. It took me four and a half years to finish my nursing degree. At first, I worked full time while going to school, but in the last few years, I could only work part time because of my school schedule.
We got married halfway through nursing school and luckily my husband had a good job and was able to make enough money to support us. We made a deal that as soon as I was finished with school, he could go back to school to pursue his paramedic degree and I would be the one to work full time.
It was a great plan. But then, during my last semester of nursing school I caught baby fever. I was convinced (for various reasons) that I would never be able to get pregnant so I insisted we try as much as possible. The week before I graduated, I found out I was pregnant with Maggie.
My husband was still busy working at his job and there were no definite plans for him to go to school. When I was five months pregnant, he lost his job. I told him that he either needed to start school or get a new job, pronto! That spring semester when Maggie was just a few weeks old, he started school again.
We've been plodding along with him finishing an associate's degree while I worked full time. Then this past January, he was accepted into a very rigorous paramedic school program.
So, I have been working two jobs since January so that he can focus on his schoolwork. We are constantly juggling childcare. Of course, things would be easier if we didn't have the childcare dilemma, but our lives would be so much emptier.
Sixteen weeks from yesterday is his graduation. When he finishes school, he will be able to start working and I can quit my second job (or scale back my hours considerably because this job might pay for the girls' tuition at private school).
It is taking a lot of sacrifice on all of our parts, but I am confident that the end results will be worth it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Going to the Zoo

Last week I had a much needed day off so the girls and I went to the zoo. We haven't been for a while and it was fun to see how much fun they had. Of course, there were tons of people there because school hasn't started again yet. I think it will be even more fun to go back in a few weeks when the older kids are back in school. We had a nice little picnic lunch and saw a lot of the animals. Maggie really liked the monkeys and the rhino. Lucy liked the snakes and turtles in the reptile house. I love to see the chimps but they were off display when we were there. We also missed out on the giraffes becuase it was hot and getting close to naptime. They had so much fun and when we came home they both napped for over two hours. When I worked as a nanny I was so good at getting the kids out of the house and going to different museums and zoos. I really need to work and making this a more regular thing to do with the girls. There are so many cool museums and zoos in our city and we should take full advantage, especially since we can get free admission passes to most museums from the library. Next week we will aim for another field trip. I can't wait.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Crayon Wreath

My mom is an elementary school principal. She had kind of a rough school year last year, so I wanted to give her something to start this new year off on a better note. I saw these crayon wreaths on Pinterest and decided it would be a cute decoration for her office door. The ones that I saw online were made using two wooden embroidery hoops of differing sizes. When I went to JoAnn's, however, they were totally out of all of the wooden hoops so I improvised. I started with a 12 inch round styrofoam wreath.
I bought two rolls of wide satin ribbon to cover the wreath. The colors for my mom's school are maroon and gray so I chose maroon ribbon. I pinned the ribbon to start with a straight pin and then wrapped it around the wreath overlapping just enough to cover all the white styrofoam.
When I was finished, I pinned the end in place with another straight pin.
When it was finished, it looked like a pretty satin wreath. I bought three boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons to glue to the wreath. I had seen some people use a 64 count box of crayons, but the 24 crayon boxes were 75 cents a piece at Target. I had a hard time laying the crayons out ahead of time because the wreath was rounded so I just spaced them out evenly in the beginning and hoped for the best.
Some of the wreaths that I had seen had the crayons laid out in a rainbow spectrum pattern but I liked the randomness better. I did try to alternate warm and cool colors and avoided putting two of the same color next to each other. I used my glue gun to attach the crayons to the wreath. I was careful to turn the label out so the Crayola part was visible. (Not necessarily because of my love for Crayola, but more so that they would look the same). I think it turned out pretty cute. I just folded some left over ribbon into a loop and pinned it to the back for a hanger.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


The girls are taking baths together, which I love for several reasons. They have fun in the bath so we don't have to fight about it. Plus, they are both done at the same time. I found these bath fizzies at Target a while ago (they used to have Elmo on box, he disappeared for some reason). They are basically like colored alka seltzer. You drop them in the bath water and they fizz away while coloring the water. The color is pretty vibrant but it doesn't stay on skin or wash cloths, which I love. Maggie calls it mermaid water and loves picking out what color their bath will be every night. Tonight it was two pink fizzies. There are few things that I love more than watching them splash and laugh and play in their mermaid water.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


This afternoon I got the sad news that my sister-in-law's teenage cousin passed away early this morning in a car accident. She was sixteen. Her twin sister was not in the car. Every day when I drive on the highways around Chicago I see the signs listing the number of traffic deaths so far this year on Illinois highways. Suddenly, those 500+ deaths are a lot more personal. I did not know this young girl very well. We met a few times two years ago during the wedding festivities when my brother and her cousin got married. We were both bridesmaids (along with six other girls). But I know that my sister-in-law was very close to her cousins. I also know that this is not the first time a child died too soon in my sister-in-law's family. Her own brother died about fifteen years ago from a heart condition when he was twelve years old. Parents should not have to bury their children. Grandparents should not have to bury their grandchildren, let alone two of their grandchildren. All I can do right now is to send my prayers and hug my own daughters a little tighter. Tonight I let Maggie stay up a little past her bedtime just to spend a few more minutes with her. As parents, we do all we can to protect our children. We teach them how to recognize and avoid danger from an early age. And yet still, accidents happen. Kids drive to fast. Cars flip over. Families are shattered beyond recognition in the blink of an eye. So hug your babies while you have them. Call your griend that you haven't talked to for a while. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I have mentioned in the past that I work 12 hour day shifts as a nurse. This means that I work 7am to 7:30 pm three (rotating) days a week. I absolutely love my schedule and I can't imagine working five days a week. I love that I can work full time (and make a full time salary) while having four days off every week. Another HUGE advantage of my schedule is that it makes it really easy for me to work overtime and to work a second job. My husband is in paramedic school for the next four months or so and my second job helps us make ends meet in the mean time. Because he spends so much time in class/clinical, it's hard for me to pick up overtime shifts. This past weekend, however, I had four days off in a row from the hospital and they were short on night shift nurses for Friday night. After discussing it with my husband, I decided to bite the bullet and pick up an overtime night shift. Of course, the money is really good but the sleeping adjustment has been difficult. I am terrible at taking naps, so I am better off to just stay up and drink extra diet Coke. It's hard on the girls when I am gone for long periods of time and a huge advantage to picking up night shifts is that they are asleep most of the time I am gone so they don't even miss me. Of course, then I am not sleeping and all that. It's a sacrifice I am willing to make every now and the for right now as a way to make some extra cash, but once my husband is finished with school, my overtime days will be over!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Picnic Dinner

I need to work on taking more pictures of the "everydayness" of our lives. I know that someday, this will be what I miss. Anyway, Thursday night, my husband left for class and the girls and I made a picnic dinner and headed off to one of my favorite parks. We used to live about three blocks from this park and went there all the time. Since we bought our house and moved last summer, we don't go quite as often we do have a pretty decent park a few blocks away). Maggie was so excited about being at the park that she barely ate dinner. I made her take a few bites of her sandwich and she probably ate about half an apple, so at least she ate something. She would run, climb, slide for a few minutes, then come over and take a quick bite before running off again. Lucy ate much better (but she is also much less mobile). They loved the see-saw and swinging next to each other in the "baby" swings. I need to enjoy this while I can because I know that next summer they will probably be entertaining each other and I'll just be another mommy on the sidelines. Sometimes I feel really overwhelmed and sad because I spend so much time working. I hope the girls remember some of these special times like picnic dinners too so that they can realize how much I love them!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

T-shirt bags

OK, so I mentioned earlier that I wanted to try out some pinterest crafts and see how well they work in real life. My first project was to make reusable grocery bags out of old t-shirts. I thought this was a great place to start because I am trying to be "green" and use mostly reusable bags when I go to the grocery store (and to Target where I save 5 cents for every bag I bring from home, yay!)Plus, I have a lot of old t-shirts that I hold on to for sentimental reasons but I know I won't wear anymore. The first step was to find an old t-shirt to use. I used this Beatles shirt from high school. While I still love the Beatles (enough to name my daughter after their songs), I am very unlikely to wear this shirt out in public ever again.
I turned the shirt inside out and sewed the bottom closed. I used very small stitches to give the bag strength and stability. (I have seen where people pin the shirt closed, but I was lazy and just held it. It turned out just fine.)
I wanted to give my bags a boxy bottom so that they would hold more things. To do this, I folded my bottom into a little triangle and sewed across it about 1 1/2 inches down. Again, I could have been really precise and measured and pinned this, but I didn't. I am not entirely sure where my straight pins are right now and I didn't feel like looking for them. My bags turned out fine and pretty even without the measuring/pinning.
That was the end of the sewing (woo hoo!!). The next step was to cut some handles. To do this, I simply lined up the sleeves from the shirt and cut them off.
I cut the sleeves off before the seams so that the sewn seams stayed in place. This provides some extra stability to your handles.
The next to last step was to widen the neck hole. This is going to be the mouth of the bag, so you want it to be big enough so that you can put things in it. Again, I just lined the shirt up and cut what I felt was a nice sized opening (being careful not to cut too much off the design of my shirt). The nice thing about using a jersey material like t-shirts are made from is that they do not really fray so you don't have to make a seam. Just cut and go.
And that's it. The last step is to enjoy your cute, new bag. I have made a few of these and I am impressed by how much they hold. It's a great use for a shirt you might not be using any more and they're so easy to make. (I think each bag took about ten minutes - max!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Lucy!

Saturday was Lucy's birthday. We had a backyard barbecue with our closest friends. Luckily the weather cooperated, not too hot! We started the party later in the afternoon when the yard would be mostly in the shade and it was perfect! This was also the first party we've had in a long time where all the grandparents were able to attend (not an easy feat when they all live out of town!)
We tried not to go overboard with the presents, but we wanted to get something fun that she would play with for a while, so we went with the Princess Cruiser (complete with flower bow from Grandma). She loved it!
Otherwise, she got mostly fall clothes. I know it's boring, but honestly, she won't remember this birthday and we have a lot of one year old type toys. Plus, Maggie was in 12-18 month clothes during the summer, so there aren't many hand-me-downs that we can use. She got some really cute stuff and I can't wait for the weather to cool off so we can try them on. (Since she still lets me pick out all her clothes, unlike her sister...)
We got a cupcake cake for her party. It was easy and cute. Lucy got her own cupcake of course and she devoured it! All in all it was a great day and a fun party. Now on to toddlerhood.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Eleven Months

Lucy will turn one in exactly three weeks. I am simultaneously excited and terrified by this idea. I can't believe it has been almost a full year since I was last pregnant. A year since that crazy day where I denied being in labor and wouldn't let my husband take me to the hospital until about three hours before she was born. A year since I first looked at this beautiful little girl with her huge eyes and her mile wide smile. In the past few weeks, Lucy has learned how to give open mouth kisses (ALL THE TIME), take small steps while pushing her baby stroller, and how to say "dadadadada" and whisper "tatata". Now, to plan a first birthday party worthy of such a wonderful little girl.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Put a Pin on it

So, like most women of a certain age lately, I am obsessed with pinterest. I can easily lose hours drooling over recipes, fashion, and home decor. I get inspired with fitness exercises, and activites and crafts to do with the girls. I laugh at the quotes and the funny pictures. (I spend a lot of time on pinterest!) I have decided to try to actually do something with some of this inspiration, to add some excitement to my blog and to actually spend some time blogging again. (It's been almost three months since I last wrote here, but I've been a little busy.) I'd like to start blogging about some of the crafts/decor/fashion/activities that I see on pinterest. I feel that often things are shown as easy and then are much more difficult. I am fairly crafty when I want to be, but I think I can give an accurate description of just how easy/hard it is. So, here we go.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Since my last post was about Maggie, I thought I would write a little about Lucy.
Lucy is my fiery baby. She is very passionate about everything she does. When she's happy, she is smiling and laughing at everything. When she is upset, she screams so loud I think they can probably hear her in Wisconsin.
Picking her name was very difficult for me. I had picked Maggie's name out when I was much younger, so that was a no-brainer. I was at a total loss for what to name a second daughter. I had considered Lily, but I thought two flower names would be weird. My husband and I discussed her name endlessly and decided on Lucy. We considered Lucille or Lucia, but neither seemed right.
Being a huge Beatles fan, she is also named after the song "Lucy in the sky". When she was born, the first thing I noticed about her was her huge eyes. They are so dark blue that they're almost purple. When she's happy they are shiny and clear. When she's sad, they are dark and cloudy. She truly is the girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
I can't wait to see who she grows up to be!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Coming out of her shell

Maggie is a funny, smart little girl who loves to run and dance and sing. She loves to watch other kids at the playground or when we're out, but she has always been hesitant to go over and play. I'm stuck straddeling the line between making her go over to play with kids and sitting back and letting her do things her own way.
Three weeks ago, we signed up for a playgroup at our local park with lots of kids her age. The first day she pretty much sat on my lap and watched the whole time. Today, though, she went over and tried to hold another little girl's hand. She was also interested in following the other kids around so she could play next to them.
I love being able to stay home with them and have my husband stay home with them while I'm working, but sometimes I worry that she is going to have a harder time socializing with other kids.
I love how this playgroup is helping her come out of her shell.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dollars and Sense

It all started innocently enough. I was only working 6 hours a week my freshman year of college so I was a little short on cash. One day as I was walking to class, I passed a guy giving away free candles if you signed up for a credit card. Sounded good to me. I got a free candle and a little extra spending money. Until I kept spending and kept spending and kept spending. Then I signed up for another credit card and another and another.
Then I graduated got a decent paying job (well, not that decent paying but I was also living with my parents) and paid my balance almost all the way down.
I thought I had learned my lesson until I moved in with a friend of mine and we started going out A LOT! And we needed clothes to go out in and new shoes and new purses and cabs to drive us to the bars we were going to.
Then I got engaged and started wedding planning (lots more money!). About six months before my wedding, my husband fiance lost his job. And I was in school full time (again). So everything went on the credit card again. My wedding dress, the bridesmaid dresses, the dj, the limo.
When it got out of control, I signed up for a debt consolidation company and started to make a serious dent in my debt. More importantly, I was not allowed to use my credit cards any more so I learned to live without them.
And today, I paid the last of them off. Which is giving me an extra $600 a month to spend on anything I want. I am SOOO excited!! And proud of myself!! And I will never let my daughters get into the same financial problems I did.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Growing Up

My girls are growing up so fast. When I was first pregnant, everyone told me how fast it would happen, but I didn't know that this is what they meant.
Maggie is two years and two months old and has officially entered the language explosion phase. Every day she picks up ten new words. Tonight, we had a five minute discussion about how everyone we know hears with their ears. She is also a master mimic. Sometimes, I make up dances just to watch her copy them. People talk about the terrible twos, but my two year old is AWESOME!!
But then, so is my seven month old. She is so happy and smiley. People stop me all the time out in public to tell me how cute her smile is. It's to the point where I worry that Maggie might get a complex. She loves blowing raspberries and reaching for things (especially hair!) Then the switch flips, and you see the other side of Lucy. The banshee-shreiking, bloody-murder-screaming, why-can't-you-feed-me-or-change-my-diaper-fast-enough kid. Luckily, she calms down pretty quickly, and blows more raspberries.
As excited as I am for them to grow up, I wish I could freeze them just like they are today.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Double your pleasure

One of the things that concerned me most when I found out I was pregnant with Lucy was how I was going to have time to spend with each child. I know most parents worry about this with a second (or later) child, but knowing how close in age they would be scared me.
When Lucy was born a month early, the twenty months that were supposed to separate my kids' birthdays shrunk to nineteen short months. Even now, when I look back at pictures of Maggie when Lucy was born, she looks like such a baby herself. I think there should be a bumper sticker made that says "I survived two under two!"
It is difficult to find time for each of them individually. Since Lucy is still small, Maggie and I will often go on "Mommy and Maggie dates" while my husband stays home with Lucy. Usually, these are trips to Target or the grocery store, but mostly they are a chance for us to spend time one on one together. As Lucy gets older, we will switch out.
Some days their nap schedule is totally off so Lucy is wide awake during Maggie's nap. As frustrating as this can be for me sometimes (naptime is my break time!), it is nice to play with Lucy while Maggie is sleeping and then to play with Maggie while Lucy is sleeping.
Just recently, the girls started playing with each other. They make each other laugh and play little games that they (or just Maggie) make up.
This is the best part of having them so close together.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Two nights ago, Maggie woke up around 3 in the morning crying. When, I stumbled into her room to see what was wrong, she was crying "Bea, Bea". Beatrice is her Winnie the Pooh lovey/ blanket thing that she tells me is her "best friend". I found Bea in the covers and gave it to her, but she kept crying.
I asked her if she had had a bad dream and she nodded her head. I told her that I would tell her a good dream so that the bad dream would go away. She liked this idea, so I laid down next to her and began to make up a story about two princesses named Maggie and Lucy who rode their flying ponies to Grandma and Grandpa's house to play. She LOVED it!! She curled up next to me while I told her the story, and then fell back asleep.
I figured that since I had been half asleep at the time and couldn't remember the incident too clearly, she wouldn't be able to either. Wrong. She not only remembered the whole thing, but now when it is bedtime or naptime, she tells me "Lay down, mama. Dream!" I tried to switch the story up a little bit this afternoon, but she wouldn't have it.
At least there haven't been anymore bad dreams.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


It is sooo warm here in Chicago today. We have had a very mild winter, but today is awesome. I think it is close to 60!
To celebrate the weather (and leap day), the girls and I went to Target this morning and got some new chalk and some bubbles for the backyard.
When we got home Lucy took a nap inside, and Maggie and I went out back to play. She had so much fun running around in and out of her playhouse and drawing on the sidewalk. I have a feeling she is going to take a really long nap this afternoon.
I also bought some new clothesline and clothespins so I was able to hang the cloth diapers outside to dry. This is my favorite way to dry the diapers. They might take a little longer to dry, but the sun gets the stains out and they smell much better. When we lived in our apartment, we had sun in the backyard all afternoon. In our new backyard, the sun starts moving behind the neighbor's tree around 1pm. I guess this means I'll have to wash the diapers the night before this summer so they will be ready to hang first thing in the morning. At least, there will be some nice shade in the afternoons when it is time to drag out the baby pool! Or to play on the swingset that the girls are going to get in a few weeks.

Lucy enjoying the weather.

Maggie drawing with chalk.

Diapers drying on the line.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Girls Day Out

I worked the last four days in a row (which is a big deal for me since I work 12 hour shifts). So today, the girls and I really needed to spend some time together. I could tell that they had really missed me the past few days (Maggie especially) and I really missed them too!
So, today we spent the morning at the Museum of Science and Industry. Since I was a little girl, this has been my favorite museum ever! In recent years, they have a done a lot of work to fix some older exhibits and it is just AWESOME. My husband and I took Maggie when she was about a year old, but it was more for us than for her. Today, she loved it! When we pulled up across the street from the museum, I pointed it out to her and she started yelling "BABY CHICKS, MAMA! BABY CHICKS!" I had been telling her that the baby chicks would be there, but she had not even seen them yet.
I spent the rest of the time there trying to keep up with her as she ran from exhibit to exhibit. She was so excited at one point, that she just started shaking.
When we were finished with the museum, we hit up McDonald's on the way home for lunch. I don't normally eat fast food myself (fried food upsets my stomach) and I rarely feed it to Maggie, but I thought today called for a treat.

Here's the girls trying out the airplane at the museum. Maggie was so excited, she couldn't even sit still for the pictures!

Today is also Lucy's seven month birthday, so we sang Happy Birthday to her and she got to take an extra long bath. (OMG, Lucy loves the bath!)
Now that Maggie is getting older (and Lucy is not far behind!) I think I am going to start taking them for a girls day out once a week or so. It probably won't always involve eating out, but I think it would be a nice way to show them the city. We are so lucky to live so close to so many amazing museums, and I want them to grow up appreciating them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. My awesome husband got me my own camera (since I am not a fan of the one we bought on Black Friday. This morning he also gave my a Lucy necklace. Last year for Christmas, he gave me a heart necklace with Maggie's birthstone, so now I have a necklace for each girl.
I gave him a new coffee mug with a picture of both girls on it. I have one more present to get him, that I need to go out and get when nap time is over.
We got Valentine's presents for the girls, too. A paint set and new paint brushes for Maggie and a stuffed monkey toy for Lucy. I love watching them open new presents and playing with them. It's probably a good thing we don't have a lot of money because my kids would be overflowing with toys and clothes if we did. (Girls clothes are just so damn cute!)
Although Valentine's Day is special for us, our dating anniversary is coming up in three weeks and that is my favorite day to celebrate.
I can't wait!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winter Warm Up

Last year at this time, Chicago was preparing for the worst blizzard in recent history. We got over 2 feet of snow in 24 hours.
This year, we are on the opposite end of the spectrum. This afternoon, the temp is supposed to get up to 55 degrees. The girls and I went to the park so they could burn off a little steam. Maggie is terrified of the swings and the slides but she loves to run up and down the stairs and to watch the other kids. Lucy loves the swings. I like getting out of the house. I think the fresh air and activity is good for all of us.
Lucy had her six month appointment yesterday where she got three shots, her regular vaccinations plus her flu shot. She has been running a temp and just wants to cuddle and rest. I am trying to get better about putting her down for naps instead of cuddling with her all the time but this week I think the cuddles are more important. I know vaccines are important, but it sucks how hard their little immune systems have to work to fight off these terrible diseases.
Hopefully all the running around will help Maggie take a long nap, so we can all rest well this afternoon.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Last Friday my husband got a rejection letter from the paramedic program that he applied to. It was devastating for both of us. He has wanted to work as a paramedic since I first met him almost eight years ago.
Then two days ago, he got a call asking if he was still interested. Apparently someone dropped out, and he is now in!
The last few days have been a whirlwind of him running around getting copies of transcripts and making doctor's appointments.
His first class in next Thursday evening and I don't know who is more excited, me or him!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


We had a really dry winter here in Chicago up until the last few days. Yesterday it snowed six inches. I was supposed to go into work but I took a mental health day instead. (Plus, I was exhausted from waking up every 90 minutes or so with Lucy). So I slept in until 10 am thanks to my awesome husband and didn't have to drive in the snow.
Of course, now that we have a house with a garage, the snow has become much easier to deal with. I used to have to shovel out parking spaces and parallel park my way into them skidding back and forth on the ice. Now, I just open my garage door and drive right in. Best part of owning a house!!
Maggie and her daddy went outside to shovel the sidewalk and play in the snow yesterday afternoon and Lucy and I stayed inside.
I was starting to worry that we wouldn't get any use out of Maggie's light-up princess snow boots, but I guess I shouldn't have worried. This is Chicago afterall!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lazy Days

A huge benefit of my job is that I work three 12 hour shifts a week. This allows me to work full time while still having four days off every week. I get to go to play groups and story times with the girls while still earning a full time income.
On the flip side, 12 hour shifts are loooong. I leave the house at 6:30 in the morning and I don't get home until 8pm. (Although I realize there are people who have hour-ish long commutes who do something similar to this Monday through Friday!)
So when I do have a day off (which means my husband is probably working), I like to take it easy. I always think about how productive I could be during naptime. But the reality is that I like to spend naptime watching TV, playing around on the computer, reading, or even napping.
There are few things nicer than waking up with your kids knowing that you don't have anywhere to go or anything to do all day. We play, we do crafts, we eat, we laugh. It's heaven!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Things are looking up

My husband lost his (well-paying) job when I was about six months pregnant with Maggie. It took him almost two years before he found a new job. Part of the reason that it took him so long is that he is also going back to school to get a degree.
Last spring, he got his EMT certification. And last week, he took the admission test for paramedic school. The letters were mailed out today and we should know tomorrow or Thursday whether or not he gets in.
I got a new part-time job to help make ends meet, which I am excited about. It seems like finally we are going to be able to take a deep breath financially. Once he is finished with school (hopefully in November), we will both be able to work full time and make a good income.
What a relief!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


What a crazy few weeks it's been!
Maggie's birthday was three days before Christmas. My parents came up from St. Louis to visit starting on her birthday. They were able to stay until Dec. 27 which was fun for everyone.
We celebrated Christmas with my dad's family on Christmas eve. My dad is one of seven kids and I have 18 cousins on that side alone. It's kind of like the family from My Big Fat Greek Wedding! We had a blast!
On Christmas day we celebrated Christmas with my mom's side of the family, although my husband and I both had to work. I was a little disappointed, but my cousins on that side can be a little crazy, so it was ok.
We had Maggie's birthday party the day after Christmas. My mom got her some giant helium balloons and she got tons of presents (of course!).
We opened some Christmas gifts at her party from people we were unable to catch up with in the previous weeks. (Although I think next year, we will just make her party about her and celebrate Christmas another time.)
We went to my parents house on Dec. 30 so that my husband and dad could go to the 49er/Rams game on Sunday. They had a blast and my mom and I had fun taking the girls to the park.
It was a busy few days but we all had a lot of fun!

Christmas/ birthday

Maggie's birthday is two days before Christmas. Even though this is her third Christmas, it is still a little shocking to me that I have to plan (and make special) her birthday in the midst of all the Christmas craziness.
Of course, the first Christmas, we were just lucky to survive with a three day old- fresh from the hospital infant.
Last year, we went a little crazy with the toys and presents. I figured it was her one time a year to have everything special and we might as well celebrate. That turned out to be a good plan as five days before Christmas last year I found out I was pregnant with Lucy.
This year was a bit more work. I wanted to keep things even between the girls (they both got 4 presents and a book from Santa) but I still wanted her birthday to be special.
I think that this Christmas birthday will be something I will have to adjust to, but I hope that it turns out to be a lot of fun.