Monday, August 31, 2009

D Week!

Done with D Week! D is for:

Dogs for their alphabet notebooks! Pretty cute, eh?

Decorating wall art! (thank you, Michael's! 40 cents each!)
"You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares, so go DOWNTOWN, where all the lights are bright, DOWNTOWN...!" (you know you're singin' it now!)

Done eating lunch in Millenium Park:)

Delighting in a trip to the Lego Store!
Deliriously tired from downtown fun...

D is for Dinosaurs!! Dinos at the zoo, in the park, pretending to be dinos at home until mommy goes crazy...

D is for Daddy!!!

More buildings

Puppet Show
Heading home with the Thomas DUO (check out S's crazy eyes!)

D is for Donuts!!!

Donuts to roll in Cinnamon-Sugar! Maybe not healthy but fun!

D is also for Drums, books about Dora the Explorer, Dinosaurs, Double Delight Counting, and Daisuke (a girl out of our children around the world book), Digging in the Dirt (too rainy to do ourselves but a movie about it sufficed:), Dogs, Auntie D, Dangerous and the Desert!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The woman of many names..

This morning at breakfast, Samuel said, "Hey, mommy, you have a lot of names! Mommy..Heidi..Woman..and Ma'am! That's a lot!" You could also call me "wife, Sweetie, breakfast maker, cleaner-upper, errand-running, giver of hugs and kisses, comforter, nose-wiper, diaper-changer, laundry-doer, chocolate-eater...." and many more:)

I took the boys to the Museum of Science and Industry today just to get out of the house we have been trapped in for the past 2 or 3 rainy days. The boys had such a good time! Samuel had gotten a small space shuttle as a prize before we left (thank you, dollar section!) and he was absolutely ecstatic to see that MSI had a bigger version of his space shuttle! He's been flying it around all day and as another prize this afternoon, he got to watch some space shuttle videos on the computer with daddy! Talk about making a little boy's day!

Zakkai has been..well, Zakkai! He is getting so big. He plays really well by himself once he gets involved in something. He'll play with the train table, color on the walls, cut paper with scissors, play with small legos, squeeze toothpaste all over the sink...All in a day's work!

Tomorrow we are off to finish our "D" week with a slam-bang finish! I'll give you a starts with a "D" and ends with "town." Have a great Friday night!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


  • A cool, autumn-like wet night
  • Rosy cheeked boys bursting through the door soon after a walk with Daddy
  • Hot soup boiling on the stove
  • Crusty loaves of Asiago Cheese Bread from Panera waiting to be sliced
  • Solo grocery shopping done
  • Dollar section at Michael's perused
  • Toys picked up
  • Jammies laid out
  • Soreness after a good morning's workout
  • A hot cup of blueberry tea to be enjoyed, laced with milk and honey
  • Quiet evening of quilting ahead
  • Enjoying fresh chocolate iced cake for dessert
  • My favorite season just around the corner
  • More family to come in the next 2 weeks
  • Much to be thankful for:)

Cheddar Ham Soup

  • 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 chicken bouillion cube
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded colby-jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed or diced fully cooked ham
  • 1 cups frozen peas


  1. In a large saucepan, combine potatoes, water, carrot, celery, onion and bouillion cube. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let cook for 10-15 min or until tender
  2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk and salt. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 min or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted
  3. Stir cheese mixture into potato mixture. Add ham and peas; heat through.
  4. Enjoy with crusty bread!!

*Sometimes I like to add 1/2 cup pureed butternut squash. It thickens the soup a little more, adds more nutrients and a slightly sweet taste. Yummy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why I Blog

I was totally inspired by this post, written by my eloquent friend, Angela. I totally resinated with many of the things she said about why she started a blog and why others should too. I turned away with the question ringing in my heart, "Why do I blog?"

I, like many other people, started my blog to keep family and friends that don't live close by up to date on our very exciting life, er, I mean updated on the boys. Yes, that's it! It started out with pictures and silly little, wonderful stories. But on my end, it quickly escalated into comparisons. I read other blogs, in my newly formed blog addiction, and actually felt pangs of jealously that these other women had huge followings and actually got comments on their posts! They were witty, charming, thoughtful, name it. I would go back to my blank screen and stare at the blinking cursor just waiting for a brilliant brainstorm to hit me. I felt discouraged for awhile and thought about quitting since I didn't think anyone was reading it anyways.

I needed to find my own writing style. Not copying off of MckMama or Pioneer woman (who makes me laugh outloud). Not forcing coherant (which is tough for me these days!) and beautiful, inspiring thoughts like Angela or coming up with some dramatic story like so many others out there. I am me! I am living life here in a big city, away from family whom I miss, trying to honor God while loving a busy student and raising two crazy, adorable little boys. It may not be dramatic (thankfully!), it may not always be funny but it's real life. And it's my life.

And so I write about my silly little boys and the silly little things that they do so I can remember all the little details when they get older and my mind can't recapture these days quite as easily. I, like my friend above, soak in all of the little colors of my days. How my boys smell after their bath, their bright eyes as they smile at me, their soft little lips as they speak words of innocence and their tears of anguish when they behave badly or are ornery, which rarely happens but still...I am much more observant now to the things they say or do, thinking about the possible story to be recorded and shared here, a sweet memory to remember some day. And sometimes I write a little bit about me.

I love to write. I have always journaled, during the worst of times and during the best of times. I was introduced to the amazing world of creative writing when I was 10 years old by my all-time favorite teacher, Mrs. Fenner. And lately, as I get more and more comfortable expressing myself here, on my own little turf, I find the desire to create and weave stories rising up in my heart again. I feel the longing to create words that evoke laughter, thoughtfulness, and emotion in my readers. I really enjoy it, especially when I forget about what everyone else might think about me or what I write and I am just myself. Just plain old me!

And you know what? It's much more fun that way...

Monday, August 24, 2009

The letter C

Still Rollin' with the Alphabet and always open to ideas (hint, hint!)

C is for:

Counting cookies!! So thoughtfully and graciously donated by our favorite neighbor!

Watching the Cars movie with Samuel's new friend:)

C is for Cat!

Making Cookies for our family!! Think Zakkai needs an apron?

Samuel working hard on his cookies!!
C is also for: books about Caps, Cats and Counting, Carrots, Crafts, Celebrating family, Cousins, Curious George, Cleaning-Up, Cute boys (mine, of course!) and Chocolate (who wouldn't add that in there?)
Here we come letter D!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


My family left this morning. Even now as I write this, I feel the tears rushing to my eyes again. It was such an exciting and busy week preparing for them, knowing I was about to share my life with them, some of whom haven't been here yet. And in the middle of Saturday afternoon, surrounded by the familiar beautiful faces of the family that I love, I was struck with a pang of sadness, knowing that it was coming to an end.

In a flurry this morning, they packed up their scattered belongings and loaded the van. We took pictures, shared a round of hugs and tramped down the hallways of our building, just like we had all weekend, with lots of talking and laughter. Ben, the boys and I stood outside and watched them pile in, my beloved grandparents, my sweet mom and stepdad, my sister and nephew, my cousin. We blew kisses, we waved and just as quickly as they had come, they were gone.

We returned to our empty quiet apartment that only moments before had held such love and such life and Ben held me when I broke. Tears of sadness and homesickness trailed down my face that, for a moment, overshadowed the joy of the past 2 days. It always happens this way but more so lately. I miss my mom, my best friend. The quiet strength and love of my stepdad. The teasing laughter and steady love of my grandpa, the sweet loving spirit of my grandma. My ornery lovable nephew, my strong beautiful sister. And my cousin who is my lifelong friend and full of grace.

Ben reading a bedtime story to all the boys:) Zakkai, Samuel and Dylan
Grandpa-Great teasing Dylan and bringing back fond memories of us as children:)
Zakkai and his new best friend, Papa!
This is for you, Grandma!
The boys calling for the Lions: "Yions! Yions! Yiiiiii-ooooonnnss!"
My beautiful mom, my stepdad, my warm and selfless grandparents
Samuel was fascinated by these statues. Before he plopped down for a picture (all his own idea), he stuck his finger up their noses...
My cuz, Charity!
My sister, Chantelle
My beautiful mama and I. She was showing me the next step for my quilting!
2 of the most wonderful people I know! Grandma, don't say a word, you look BEAUTIFUL!
My loving parents:)
I miss my family.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Sooooo sorry I have been a blogging bum this week! I have been incredibly busy these past 6 or 7 days to the point where I reached my limit on Wednesday and fell into a sound sleep on the floor during Samuel's rest time. I think I remember him trying to lift my eyelids up and get me to talk to him....could've been a dream...

We have several family members coming into town tomorrow! My grandparents, my parents, a cousin and one of my sisters and her youngest son. It'll be a fun-filled weekend, probably filled with lots of stories and laughter. My family likes to tell stories. And laugh.

At dinnertime tonight, Samuel leaned forward and his eyes got huge and round like something special was about to explode out of his mouth. His sparkling eyes darted back and forth between Ben and I and he said, "Mommy and Daddy, guess what? I have something e'citing to tell you. (insert brief dramatic pause) Mugga and Papa are coming tomorrow!!" He's so darn cute! He is thrilled to pieces over his Mugga and Papa (my mom and stepdad) coming to see his home!

So besides preparing for family coming (how long has it been since I've dusted this piano??!/ I have to clean behind the toilet and change the shower curtain liner/ clean out the refrigerator/ vacuum under the couches/ oh so much to do!:) and doing a little extra cleaning, I also watched a little boy all day Monday and Tuesday (9 hrs each day!) among regular weekly things. Can we say tiiiii--rrrrred?

And here I am still up at 10:45pm.... So please excuse me if you don't hear much from me until Sunday. I'm bummin' around Chi-town with my family!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Things I think about..

Here are some very (and I mean VERY) random thoughts and opinions that cross my mind (in no particular order):

  • Boys are very stinky (big and little)

  • Why, when you get a cut on your finger, does it always happen to be at the tip where it's the most painful and where you rehit it over and over and over....? or is that just me?

  • Why does chocolate taste so darn good?!

  • Bugs are nasty and I don't know why God created them. Especially the creepy crawly ones like the one that woke Ben up the other day..

  • There are a lot of good things about living where we do. Ex: Being able to walk 10-15 minutes down to the lake and hang out at the beach

  • Why are there only 2 seasons in Chicago? Summer just came like last week and I already hear people talking about winter coming in 2 months....sigh. I feel like I just put away our snowboots and hats! wait, maybe I just did....

  • Whoever invented Costco was pretty smart.

  • Whoever invented Chocolate candy and chocolate anything was just plain genius.

  • Why does our building have to shut off the water approx once a week during the summer? Don't they know that it's freaking hard to do anything when you don't have water?! Especially when you have kids?!

  • Why is it that I could use a nap waaaaaay more than the boys could and yet I never get one? Where do they get that energy? Am I old already?

  • Why do my most profound thoughts occur in the middle of the night (like great blogging ideas) when I have no one to share them with? Ben certainly would not appreciate the brilliancy of my mind at that time! And why is half of my brain missing during the day when I need it the most (like when I'm sitting here blogging about absolutely nothing)?!''

I'm sure you are highly impressed by the inner workings of my extraordinary mind, aren't you? Wait, don't leave! If I promise not to spill my randomness out onto my blog again, will you come back? Please? Whew! Thanks!

Monday, August 17, 2009

B Week!!

Sorry I am so late in blogging about "B Week." It has been such a Busy week! Haha.

B is for:
Painting with Baby Bottles

Z and his masterpiece! Painting B's.

S painting his B's

Having a lakeside picnic while looking for BOATS
But....we only saw one or two waaaaaay off in the distance. See?

My Baby

My Big Boy
B is for a Breakfast of Blueberry waffles with Banana faces (first I used raisins, then I used blueberries)

B is for Baryonyx dinosaur at the Brookfield Zoo!
Boys at the Zoo

B is for Brown Bear
and polar Bear

B is for Beach! We spent several hours down at the beach on Saturday and this is the result:

Here is our Alphabet wall! I forgot to take a pic of their B papers for their alphabet notebooks:)

B is also for balls, butterflies, bananas, birds, boys, bicycles, baths and Breakfast for Dinner!! Now I'm trying to think of ideas for C week which starts today! Any ideas??

Friday, August 14, 2009

J-E-T spells Jet!

As part of our "B Week", I took the boys down to the lake to have a picnic and look for boats. (more to come on B Week this weekend) It was a glorious day, a bright blue sky with wispy white clouds, the sparkling lake went on for miles with an occasional sailboat bobbing by in the hazy distance. We were on the last leg of our lunch, all sitting in a row on our little picnic blanket, staring out onto the peaceful water with only the sounds of the occasional runner or bicyclist behind us when all of the sudden we hear this incredibly loud noise (which is impossible to convey in "computer", I"ll have you know) "Neeee-aaaaiirrr..Whooosh!" (that's the best I can do:) And, startled, we look up to see this fly by:

An F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Fighter immediately followed by another one! The second one being so loud that it threw the boys into a complete panic. They hurled themselves into my lap, one on top of the other, burying the heads and screaming, which only added to the noise! And in only a brief moment, they were gone...

Z was able to calm down, once the immediate "danger" was past, sitting up and staring at the empty blue sky in astonishment, probably plotting to fly one of those himself one day.....while S, who is terrified of loud noises, went into COMPLETE panic mode. When I say panic, I mean panic. He laid on the ground with his head in my lap clutching my arm and pressing his hands to his ears, with tears just streaming down his face. My heart completely broke over the look on his face. He was in one of those places where reasoning, especially adult reasoning, is like throwing darts at a brick wall. It doesn't stick.

I stroked his wet face, tried to remove his stiff arms from his smashed ears and reassure him that the jet fighters were gone and it was quiet and we were safe, etc. But he would have none of it. We went from crying to S.C.R.E.A.M.I.N.G. Screaming like I have never heard my child scream before...well, except maybe Zakkai because he has the lungs of a pterodactyl but that's beside the point. I finally, after 10 minutes of fruitless mommy-like platitudes, had to force myself to stand up on my now-asleep legs and go sit a few feet away on the concrete steps, facing the lake. Zakkai sat down with me and S's panic escalated until I had to get firm with him to make him stop so he didn't get sick. I went over and stood him up and made him come sit with me and pried his hands off of his ears. He calmed down almost instantly, although he wanted to go home. We did pass the last 10 minutes of our picnic rather peaceably with Samuel hiccuping and sniffing beside me.

And since then, on that fateful Tuesday, we have heard the word "jet" approximately 43 times a day from this little 4 year old who now has a love/hate relationship with those incredibly loud, fascinating jets. We read our airplane book everyday, which has a whole section devoted to fighter jets, we built a jet out of Lego's, he carried his airplanes out with him and on and on. He'll say in a very chipper voice, "Mommy! Remember those jets we saw that bwoke the barrier of the sound?" and then when I smile and nod my agreement, he'll follow with "but I don't want to EVER see those jets AGAIN!" followed by some tears. It's very strange.

And then he says "Mommy, J-E-T spells jet!" with a very proud look on his face! And then he scrunches that beautiful little face up and exclaims, "We are NOT going to see jets todayor ever again!!"

And that is the story of the jet and the little boy who loves, er hates? Loves and hates jets.