Friday, September 30, 2011

Apples to Apples.

Apples to Apples
Apple Holler

One of my favorite memories growing up was our annual trip to the local apple orchard.  Then we would spend the next two weeks peeling, coring and baking apple goodies.  Nothing tastes better than a fresh apple pie topped with vanilla bean ice cream.  YUM-O!  Apple picking (just like our Christmas tree tradtion) is something I want our boys to know and experience, especially while they are young enough not to complain about it.  We kidnapped Jane and Mike and hit the road to Wisconsin for a day jam packed with Golden Delicious and Jonathans!  
The weather did not cooperate.  It was a gloomy day and mud seemed to be on every surface from our week long rain out.  Not to mention, the school buses and field trips kind of take the wind out of you a bit.  But, it didn’t stop us.  No, I tell you, I would not let it.  We found our way to a quiet part of the orchard, where Michael and William could run about and taste anything their little hearts desired.  Where my father-in-law could climb and fall out of a tree without anyone noticing.  Where I could give Dennis a lesson in apple fetching from the top branches- the apples are top notch up there!  Where I could enjoy our little family doing something I always cherished as a kid.
After a quick lunch at The Brat Stop (and some sausage shopping) we were on our way home with two very tired boys.  
I must tell you I believe that Dennis has come to appreciate these (what he initially thinks are crazy) traditions I am so adamant about keeping.  And, to see the boys in row after row of juicy treats made me so happy.  What a great day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

Five days.  Five straight days of rain.  What's a mom to do with two little boys who beg to be outside every single second of the day?  Well, that mom laces handsome (not pretty) necklaces, let's those two little (naked) boys eat whatever their little hearts desire for lunch and breaks out the finger paints (escaping a trip to the ER because one little boy thought he would eat the paint).  That's what this mom did today- and, well, that's what we've been doing for the last five days being as we are being held hostage by Mother Nature.  On a lighter note, as you will see in the photos below William is now eating with utensils.  This "I wanna do it because Michael is doing it" has started much sooner than I was anticipating.  Most of the time it's cute, but sometimes it isn't.  For example, today William wanted to walk up the stairs like his big brother.  William doesn't know how to walk yet.  Do I need to fill you in on what happened next?  We're ready for a little sunshine in these parts.

Oh, and how could I forget?  We built a fort, too.  The boys were in it for three hours.  Didn't move.  It also happened to be where Michael ate his dinner- Chez Michael's as we now call it.  He wanted to sleep in it, too.  Had I not needed a little couch time at the end of my day I might have let him.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wrestle Mania

wrestle mania
Does your family have a witching hour?  Yeah, so do we.  It usually starts at about 6:00 and lasts until we tuck the boys into bed at 7:00.  It’s not exactly the calmest part of our day.  Enter Dennis.  He is so wonderful about getting the boys outside each night for some wrestling time.  Michael loves tackling Dennis, and William loves watching from a distance until Daddy forces William to tackle Michael.  I, too, enjoy from a distance in a patio chair because my body simply cannot take any more physical activity after a day with my two toddlers who NEVER sit still.  Again, THANK GOD FOR DENNIS and his witching hour magic.  We're due for rain over the next couple of days so I guess the next wrestling match is TBD...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Snack Time


William loves his snack time...

Michael... not so much. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Brave Little Boys

When Did They Become
So Brave?!

With cold weather right around the corner we are soaking up every second of sunshine that we can these days.  After William woke up from his nap (and I cleaned up the Play-Doh) we ventured to one of our favorite parks to burn off some energy before dinner.  It occurred to me during this trip that my babies have become incredibly brave.  William has decided that he likes to go down slides backwards and Michael like to climb UP the tallest of slides.  William tries to take the wagon for walks and Michael makes friends with wild animals (enter sigh of relief here that both of them came away injury free this trip).  One thing is for sure, William tries to immitate every single thing that Michael does these days and it is incredibly cute.  They chase each other around the playground and occupy themselves (finally) for hours on end.  We are not looking forward to colder days and *shiver* snow.  What will I do with the two of them when we can’t be outside??  Time to put on my thinkin’ cap and get to planning excursions for those blasted winter months that are knockin’ at the door.



Michael's first experience with Play-Doh... HE LOVED IT!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

For the Love of Hats and Good Food

For the love of hats and good food
I hate it when the Bears lose.  But tonight, it isn’t bothering me so much because after I was done wiping my tears from the horrific three hour debacle I gave the boys a bath and then we spent an hour playing in the kitchen looking up recipes for the week to come.  I loved every second of it.  Michael, as you will see, would not help me find recipes without his Blackhawks stocking cap.  In fact, Michael doesn’t do much of anything anymore without his Blackhawks stocking cap.  It goes just about everywhere that he goes these days.  Maybe the kid knew ahead of time that the Bears (more particularly the offensive line) were going to be terrible and decided that he’d rather watch hockey.  Needless to say it is his new obsession.  How can you argue with the kid when he looks so stinkin’ cute in it- and so does his baby brother who just had to see what all the fuss was about and Michael kindly let him borrow it... for six seconds!!

Da Pup & Da Bears

Da Pup & Da Bears
Sundays in our house go a little something like this... Wake up.  Eat breakfast.  Prep menu for Bears game.  Shop for menu.  Come home and prepare football foods on menu.  Enjoy the company of my MIL and FIL while watching Da Bears win or lose (which was the case today).  But, today was a treat because Laura Pup was home and she spent the afternoon with us.  The boys cannot get enough of her.  Oh, how we love her so!!  It will be so wonderful when she is finished with school and comes home next summer.  I believe the boys will enjoy having her around on a regular basis.  Laura left after the game and we had to console Michael for about five minutes as he was in hysterics that his buddy had left.  We'll be able to continue the Auntie Pup fun in a few weeks when she is home for fall break.  But, let me tell ya- I am so looking forward to her graduating.  Can you say BABYSITTER?!?!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Party on the Old Block

Tamarack Block Party
(The Old Stomping Grounds)

Today was beautiful.  Long, but beautiful.  We spent the afternoon in Darien- on Tamarack to be exact.  It happens to be the street my husband grew up on just about his entire life.  To say that there's a little bit of sentiment on Tamarack is an understatement to say the least.  The folks on Tamarack were hosting their annual block party today, so after my in-laws convinced me to leave the house (because I really didn't want to) we packed up the boys and the wagon and were off to meet the old neighbors.  Little did we know that going to this event was the highlight of Michael's weekend- THEY HAD A BOUNCY HOUSE.  This kid did not leave that contraption the entire time we were at the block party.  He was making friends with all of the neighborhood kids, bouncing his little heart out and even tried to show William just what you do when you are in a bouncy house (of which William wanted no part of).  Will was happy crawling about the block- outside of the bouncy house.  A little grilling, good food and some conversation later we left with a tuckered out Michael and a bright-eyed William.  It was wonderful to see the home Dennis grew up in (Laura, Den and I got a private tour from the current owners), meet the people who knew him growing up and see just what all the hype about living in Hinsbrook is all about.  Now, two questions... 1.  Where in the world can I purchase a bouncy house?  And, 2...  Will Dennis let me put it in the backyard and by doing so kill all of his grass??  Dear grass, it's been great having ya but I'd be willing to let you go.  If only you had seen Michael in this damn thing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Websters

Meet the Websters
Last summer I was introduced to an amazing blog following the lives of the Sullengers after they had suddenly lost their 18 month old daughter, Preslee, in a drowning accident. I have followed them for the last year intently, amazed at the strength of this young family.  I learn something new from them with every post.  Today, I popped in on their blog and was introduced to the Websters- a family that lost their young daughter at 4 months to an awful, incurable disease.

Meet the Websters!
After wiping away tears reading up on their lives since losing their little Makenzie, I read about their latest struggle.  You can read about it here.  After you have a moment to compose yourself let me tell you something wonderful about the Websters.  Knowing now that they both carry the gene of this horrible disease that has now taken the lives of their two little ones they are pursuing adoption in order to expand their family.  To help offset the expense of the adoption they are composing a cookbook with recipes from friends, family and you- the blog world.  All the information about this project can be found right here.  If you have a recipe to share simply follow the easy directions to help this family add to their "Baby Fund".  It's amazing the impact someone you have never met can have on your life.  Because of the Sullengers and the Websters I am a better mom.  Please take a second and visit these blogs.  As hard as it is to read about their struggles you will come away feeling overjoyed about their perseverance and gratitude. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011