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!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dentist Appts and an Update

Eli and Charlie had dentists appointments a few weeks ago and I snapped a few pictures since it was Eli's second time to the dentist and Charlie's first time. Eli went first and showed Charlie how fun it was :) I was happy that Charlie was fine, didn't fight having tools in his mouth and was content to watch a show on the t.v. in front of him. 
Here are some random updates - 

Still has bathroom issues, pees his pants on a regular basis. It's been a loooong road and I really have to fight the urge to not get super frustrated when I realize he's had an accident. We took him to a pediatric urologist last month (who was wonderful but was running TWO hours behind that day!!). He recommended that we try the Rodgers Wireless Alarm underwear. He also ordered an x-ray and ultrasound on Eli's bladder, kidneys and spine and everything turned out fine. We just got the underwear and Eli is so excited about it, but had three accidents in one day. Boooo. 

We also met with a pediatric neurologist to rule out some more extreme reasons why Eli might still be having bladder issues. Thankfully, the neurologist was on time and very thorough, kind, and helpful. His recommendation was that Eli get re-evaluated for physical therapy (for his gross motor skills) and get a new evaluation for occupational therapy (for fine motor skills). Eli did physical therapy last year, but then we took a break because his therapist said he made great progress and she didn't think it was necessary for him to continue. It will be good to check in and see if things are okay. 

But the real breakthrough was when I spoke with the occupational therapist. 

I seriously wanted to cry when we hung up the phone, because I think she is going to be wonderful. She brought up that the fact that Eli has low muscle tone means it's a good possibility that he has sensory issues that keep him from sensing when he needs to go to the bathroom. There is a lot more to it, but I was SO hopeful when we hung up the phone. 

On a more positive note, Eli is very into building these days and his creations are more and more elaborate - with blocks, little legos, or anything else that he can find. It's so fun to watch him create and play with these tiny structures. He loves math and we talk about simple addition and substraction nonstop. 

"Mom, what does nine take away seven equal?" :) or - 

"Let's say I have four coins, then I give one away, but someone gives me one. How many coins do I have?" I love his inquisitive questions and that his brain is always thinking about things like that. I see a lot of Ben in Eli - they are both very analytical and methodical in what they do.

Is growing and changing and developing so fast. He says all kinds of stuff and a lot of his sentences make me laugh. He is a very independent child who can be feisty but also very sweet and tender. He still loves his blankie and stuffed puppy and sucks his thumb when he's holding them.

Charlie is still very into choosing his own outfits (much to my chagrin) and is very into wearing underwear now, so I guess we are potty training! I was very hesitant to start the potty training because we're still having so much difficulty with Eli, but it's been MUCH easier with Charlie. He usually does a little dance when he has to go, so I know to grab his hand and we run to the potty. He poops and pees on the potty just fine, it's just a matter of making it to the potty in time. I'm amazed at how simple this has been - he understands the concept and I'm sure it helps that he's the second child and will be three in January. But hallelujah for not having two difficult potty training children!

Both Kids:
They are becoming such good friends. It's hilarious watching them wrestle and roll around on the floor like little puppies. They are so funny together and I am constantly amazed at the fact that we have two boys that close together considering our fertility issues. We'll still hopefully have a third someday (it's now been 7 months since the miscarriage; so strange to think we would have had a baby next month), but in the meantime I feel blessed and lucky to have my darling kiddos. There is plenty of fighting and yelling between the boys, but for the most part, they get along pretty well. I love them to bits.

It's been yet another crazy year with work and we're crossing our fingers that things will start to get better. He's been playing in an indoor soccer league with some friends and LOVES it - I'm happy he has that outlet along with his book group. He's not excited about winter coming soon, but we're hoping to travel somewhere warm in the winter. We'll see. 

BUSY!!! But happy and trying to keep up with it all.

That's it - the end of my silly long post about the dentist and beyond :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Early Morning with Eli

One morning, Eli and I were up early together. Ben was already gone at work and Charlie was still sleeping, so it was just the two of us hanging out in our pjs. I love morning light and snapped some pictures of Eli making an elaborate drawing/map/story of some sort and then explaining it to me.
Eli Morning Coloring-1 Eli Morning Coloring-3 
He loves drawing centipedes (shown below). Gross Illinois bug!
Eli Morning Coloring-4 Eli Morning Coloring-5 Eli Morning Coloring-6 Eli Morning Coloring-7 
He looks so big to me in these pictures! I feel like he's grown a lot in the last few months (at least his legs seem longer to me lately). 
Eli Morning Coloring-8 Eli Morning Coloring-9 Eli Morning Coloring-10 Eli Morning Coloring-11
Telling me his story - 
Eli Morning Coloring-12 
And adding more details. Love this boy! I'll have to take some of Charlie some other morning when he's up first :)
Eli Morning Coloring-13

Chilly Day at Wagner Farm

Last weekend we went to Wagner Farm in Glenview for its fall festival. The sun was shining, but the wind and cooler weather made it pretty chilly to walk around outside. Ben came straight from playing soccer (and was wearing shorts), so he was extra freezing. We survived though and had a fun time together :)
Wagner Farm-8 
Eli was a little pouty at the beginning because he wanted to go inside the main building first, but we convinced him to see the animals that were near the entrance. We thought these huge pumpkins were neat too.
Wagner Farm-1 
Peeking in on the huge cows down below - 
Wagner Farm-2 Wagner Farm-3 Wagner Farm-4 
There were huge horses too!
Wagner Farm-5 
Our favorite was this funny pig devouring a pumpkin - 
Wagner Farm-6 
We got to go on a ride around the farm being pulled by a tractor in the front. The tractor driver kindly took this picture :)
Wagner Farm-9 Wagner Farm-10
It definitely feels like Fall! I'm having my busiest season yet with photography and have had lots of shooting and editing photos, meeting with clients and placing orders. Business is good, but I'll be happy to have a normal sleep schedule once winter arrives and things aren't so nuts. :)