Saturday, December 31, 2011

Park Outing in December

Ben had the day after Christmas off from work, so we took advantage of the unusually warm December day and headed to the park to play and ride bikes. (All month has been pretty nice - 40-degree temps in Chicago at this time of year are a treat!!) Look at those blue skies!

First, here's Ben showing off on the playground... :)
Then Eli copying him -  
 Climbing Charlie:
 It was high noon when we were at the park, so the sun was pretty intense and overhead, but I liked the effect on the photos. 

Charlie had a nice juice mustache from indulging in cranberry juice at breakfast. We don't usually give our kids juice, but I'm okay with it on holidays/vacation/when we're not at our house.

Love these boys! They are so fun.

(I will post Christmas pictures soon!)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hanukkah with Becca and David

We had a fun evening last week sharing a Hanukkah dinner with our neighbors who were about to move (Becca, David, and their girls Ella and Hanna) and some other friends. We enjoyed latkes, chicken, applesauce and salad and got to hear them sing in Hebrew as they lit the Menorah. My kids thought the candles were cool :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Grinch and stories from my crazy life

Just when I think life is going to slow down a little and I will get caught up, things happen and it gets crazy! Today I woke up, raced to get showered and the boys ready for the day, then ran over to take a friend to the airport, raced back, put Charlie down for a nap while my crazy house cleaners were here  and took Eli out to help me with a photo shoot of a darling 3-year-old girl (note to self - he's still not that helpful for things like this, especially when it's cold outside). It was absolutely freezing with the wind and so we lasted about 30 minutes outside and then came inside to do some studio style shots. 

Have I mentioned that I now own a studio setup?? I need to change my natural light photographer tagline... :) It's just too dark and cold here in Chicago in the winter time, and now we have the boys sleeping in the same room, which leaves a bedroom available to house my studio! If we have another child someday, I'll move the studio stuff down to the basement. I'll have to post some fun shots taken with the new setup sometime soon. 

After the photo shoot, my Gram came over for an hour and then I had to race and pick up a babysitter so I could hurry back, finish getting ready and drive downtown to Ben's holiday party, also known as the ping pong tournament :) They play a lot of ping pong at that company! It's a good stress reliever, particularly this year with the market still being so nuts. On my way into the city, I got stuck in horrible rush-hour traffic and once I was finally down in the Loop, and had a very hard time finding parking. I finally made it to a garage that only charged $8 after 3 p.m. (miracle! so cheap.) and got up to the party. 

Phew. If you've made it this far, you're either tired for/with me or just ready for something visual. 

I present to you - The Grinch at our ward Christmas party. So awesome. Eli was totally impressed!
 Charlie too, somewhat. 
 There were about 200 people at the holiday party. This picture doesn't give you the full scope of the audience, but it really was a great turnout.
Jeff Mulcock dressed up as the Grinch and acted out the story. It was hilarious. 

 Cindy Lou Hou (is that her name?? I'm forgetting now). Isn't her hair fabulous?? Dixie cup was the magic tool (inside the sticking up hair). 

 They had the kids come up and sing. I thought it was cute that they were the Whos from Who-Mette (since our church is in Wilmette). 

I love the holidays! But next year, I'm simplifying things. I can't keep up with this crazy pace!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Decorating the Gingerbread House

I am SO behind with all of my personal pictures because my business has been extra crazy busy lately, but I was messing around with Animoto today and put this slightly cheesy video slideshow together of our gingerbread house decorating last night. I say cheesy because the music options were a little limited and this seemed to fit the best. But the pictures are fun and it's less than two minutes, so not horribly long. :)

The boys were so excited to work on the gingerbread house and I was amazed watching Eli work on it with the small candy pieces - his fine motor skills are coming along really well (he's doing occupational therapy now twice a week and I've seen a big improvement so far).
Someday I will get caught up again! Be prepared for a random, two-months-later Halloween, Thanksgiving, and everything in between post mixed in sometime soon...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Recent Videos - Singing with Gram and Reading Books/Ninjas

I've been a total slacker with blogging lately, but here are two recent videos - the first is my Gram and Eli singing the Little Wee Man in a Little Wee House song that has cute actions. (and yes, we still have Halloween decorations up in our house, that's a paper spider garland on the wall) :)

Here are the words to the song - 
Little Wee Man in a Little Wee House
[first verse]
There's a little wee man, in a little wee house, 
lives over the way you see. 
And he sits by the window, and we works all day, 
making shoes for you and me.


A rap-a-tap-tap. A rap-a-tap-tap.
Hear the hammer tick-tack-tee.
A rap-a-tap-tap. A rap-a-tap-tap.
Making shoes for you and me.
[second verse]
He pulls the needle in and out, and the thread flies to and fro.
With his tiny hands he works all day. Hear the hammer steady blow!
[repeat refrain]

And finally, I snuck up on my kids last week early in the morning - Eli was reading a Curious George book to Charlie (mainly just telling the story while looking at the book) and it was really cute. It's a long video though so feel free to skip to about minute 3 1/2 when they decided to pretend to be ninjas and were jumping around being silly. This was with my laptop camera so the quality isn't super great in the low light, but that's okay. It cracks me up seeing Charlie constantly copy Eli. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Chicago is known for its wind (political and the weather kind of wind), but yesterday's wind was nuts. 60 mph winds that caused up to 25 ft. waves at Lake Michigan... it was a crazy day that knocked out our power for a few hours (this time was the last straw... when the power went out, I threw the kids in the van and headed straight to Costco to buy a generator that we had debated about the last time our power went out... We have lost power countless times this year and it's maddening!!). Thankfully our power is back on and we are safely warm and protected in our cozy house while the wind still howls outside.

Yesterday I drove over to the lake during preschool to snap some quick pictures of the crazy waves. It was SO windy at the beach and the wind was blowing sand and freezing rain everywhere. I could barely stay standing or open my eyes because I was being pummeled by the elements. I took a video on my phone to demonstrate how nuts the wind was -

Here are some of the pictures from the lake - the waves by us weren't as big as in the city, but still more frequent and bigger than normal.

Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-1 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-2 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-3 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-4 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-5 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-6 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-7 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-8 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-9 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-10 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-11
The metal lifeguard sign kept flying up in the wind.
Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-12 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-13 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-14 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-15 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-16  Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-18 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-19 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-23 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-25 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-26 Wind Storm Oct 19 2011-27
And one hilarious video from the news showing the huge waves in Chicago knocking down stupid bikers and runners who went past the barricades (people weren't supposed to be on the bike/running path because of the wave advisory). It makes me giggle seeing them get blasted by the water. They must have been FREEZING!!