Sunday, September 28, 2008

What is a "G?"

(before reading, please hit "play" over there on your left for the appropriate mood music. thanks.)

Awww, you guys left such nice comments.... But yes, like Jenni and Debbie, I too had to ask what a "G" is. So I sent a text message to my manicurist's daughter, a senior at Great Big Urban High School. She sent back to me "he's gangsta, as in he's really cool."

Well now, that's a relief! Right????

Before writing today, however, I checked with Urban Dictionary. And found 22 pages of definitions! Which came to 148 definitions. I stopped reading after about 100, but did check the last one. Many of them were not flattering, but here are the ones that I think my senior "translator" and the young man on Facebook meant:

#19: something very stylish, cool or badass

#26: a term for a cool style of living or just a cool type of person

#33: something that is positive, cool, neat or sweet, as they say (um, who's "they?")

#83: someone who keeps it real, thug.

#86: a friggin' awesome (ok, being a lady, i can't print the term here, but it begins with "m" and ends with "-er," and i usually only use it when alone with the Pink Power Ranger. you figure it out.....)

#148: an individual who is NOT of limited intelligence but rather an individual who is able to gain respect in areas where you need to fight your way to the top. Does not necessarily mean inner city men, or rappers. Also does not need to break laws to be a gangsta.

My. This has been educational. Must be all those "gangsta" ties that the Urban Dad wears to school every day. (he has a weakness for the Italian ones)

I might go buy him this t-shirt.

Like oh my gawd and tooootally gag me if he isn't like the most totally bitchin' dude! Fer shuuuure!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Urban Dad's Facebook Page

There's a page on Facebook called the Mr. (Urban Dad) Appreciation Society. It was started by one of his former students, apparently back in January, and has 154 members so far. He refuses to look at the page, feeling that it's for the students and not really meant for him to look at. He gets quite the reviews at too, but won't look at those either.

I, however, feel no such self-imposed restrictions!

Below are quotes from the Facebook page. See if you can guess which ones are posted by girls.

1. Definitely the best group ever! Mr. (Urban Dad's) class is my favorite of the day. =)

2. this group is great, he was my favorite teacher last year and i still go in there to talk to him occasionally. i loved his stories, especially the one when he biked through europe and had a gun put to his head. (Urban Mom readers....I'll tell this story sometime in the future)

3. I once considered failing all of my classes so I could be in (Urban Dad's) class one more time.

4. mr. (urban dad) is a G!


6. I had him freshman year, then got him AGAIN this year! I was so excited when I got my schedule. walking into his class was like the best kind of dejavu ever =D-

7. I'M IN LOVE!!!

8. best teacher @ (great big urban high school). you simply haven't gone to (gbuhs) unless you have had him at least once. and if ur a girl and havent been in love with him at least a little... whats wrong with you? =P

So why am I looking at this tonight? Because it's 7:15, and he's just left to go to a coffee shop to do more work. And looking at this stuff reminds me of the bigger picture when we have a week like this one.

PS: Did I mention that Urban Kid 1 is currently at Grandma Camp in St. Louis until Tuesday night? Boy, it's quiet around here................

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hubba Hubba ....... Dammit! (get it? get it? oh, never mind)

I don't know why I get excited about this. I just record all of them and don't start watching until about the 20th hour. I have to do it this way. I can not wait a week between episodes. So they all stack up on the DVR until Urban Dad has to ask, "so are you ever going to watch these or what?" Once I get going, I can burn through them in about 2 1/2 weeks. But alas, eventually the kids think they should get be spoken to. Even fed. And U-Kid 2 wants out of the yucky diaper now and then.

And what's any woman's fascination with Jack anyway? Seriously, anyone within a 10-mile radius of him seems to have a miserable life. A short one, too! But c'mon ladies.... while he isn't Mr. Right, he's one hell of a Mr. Right Now, isn't he? Isn't he, dammit!? (get it? oh, never mind......)

Urban Dad is infinitely patient. In. fin. it. ly.

I know at least a few of you will enjoy this.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Proof That God Loves My Neighbors & Me

Oh Sweet Mary Mother of God, do I have exciting news to share toooodaaaay!

No. I'm not pregnant. Bite your tongue.

First, the backstory:

Our next-door neighbor is a jerk. The building immediately to our east is a fairly new condo building (1999). And the condo just across the gangway from us -- as in, we can kinda see into his dining area from our living room, so I leave the blinds closed when U-Dad isn't home -- is a lovely, duplex-down place. And it was once occupied by a quiet old man.

Then the quiet old man disappeared. And a younger guy, Mystery Jerk, showed up.

Along with his three yappy little barking rats dogs. That he would put out on his front deck. Where they could yap-yap-yap at people all the live-long day. And there's nowhere in our place to escape the sound of those little mongrels dogs.

Our landlord, Mike, who is a real-estate agent and general Man About Town, told me that the old man went into a nursing home. And he wasn't sure who the new guy was. A nephew? A young thing that the old gentleman took to?

But Urban Dad had finally had it with the dogs one day and went outside, where he yelled at the guy to "take the damn dogs inside already! They're all we've heard all day since 8:00 this morning!" There were a few more choice words for the entire block to hear, and he then summed up his oration with "and sober up already!" 'Cause Mystery Jerk was stumbling around a bit outside and slurring.

Then the awning over the entry door to the building that's closest to his deck was all beat to hell.

Then one of his French glass doors to his front deck was boarded up.

And after awhile, Urban Mom started channeling Mrs. Kravitz from "Bewitched."

First, it was the Mom Across The Street who has two kids who like to play with U-Kid 1. She dished that the dustmops without sticks dogs drive her utterly batsh*t too. And that she'd seen the police there before. And one day, while sitting on her stoop, she saw some dirtbag come to Mystery Jerk's side of the gate, where they quickly exchanged things between bars of the gate. Nice. Drug deals next door. Just. freakin'. beautiful.

Then we chatted with the family that lives across the hall from Mystery Jerk. They have four kids, and they were gentler in their description... a credit to their classiness, really... but their point was made. The ankle biters dogs bugged them -- seems that they've tried to nip at other residents of the building. And Mystery Jerk once had the nerve to call the cops on this family! Seems that the cops quickly assessed the reality of the situation and left.

But then things started changing. Mystery Jerk had a bunch of furniture delivered. Then the awning got fixed. You could see a new flat-screen TV on the wall. Then the door was replaced.'s the shocker... he started walking the dogs! Nobody could remember ever seeing him do this (imagine how that place must smell). The Mom Across The Street and I started to wonder if perhaps he had sobered up and was pulling it together. And (*sigh*) figured that he was settling in and staying for good.

Now for what happened today!

As the U-Kids & I returned home from the playground, I saw this outside of his place:

And his front deck doors were open. And the lights were one. And it all looked so neat and tidy.

And I looked closely at the description posted outside and realized, "oh Sweet Jesus thank you, Christmas is early this year!"

As I herded the U-Kids up our front steps, I saw the realtor come out and futz with the sign. I asked if, indeed, it was the condo right next to us that was for sale. She confirmed that it was and asked if we lived here. I pointed to our front window and said, "yes, but we rent." She brightly told me that she was there until 1:00 and that we should certainly stop by.

And then Mystery Jerk came out with Satan's lapwarmers the dogs. They always seem nervous when out on the sidewalk in the big world.......

I hustled the girls inside. And before their shoes were off, I was texting Best Namma Ever! and the Pink Power Ranger with my joyful news.

And there was no way I was going to go over there, sign my name and go through Mystery Jerk's place. Ugh. Creepy. I had too much decorum for that.

So I threw on the computer and looked it up on-line instead!! This guy thinks he'll get $759,000 for this place. Apparently, he does not watch the news on that shiny new TV?

A little later, once U-Kid 2 was down for a nap and U-Kid 1 was in her room chilling with some books, I saw The Mom Across The Street outside with her kids. I threw on my flip-flops, grabbed my keys and went over there. As soon as our eyes met, she beamed a smile and pointed excitedly back across the street to the sign. I started dancing outside of her gate. She said that she'd been so excited when she saw the sign that she phoned her parents (who also live on the street). And we both wondered aloud if the realtor might start to wonder why the neighbors keep dancing outside of her client's place.

Best Namma Ever! always says, "God provides." Can I get an A-men, people????

(see that place on the lower left... if you have $759,000 lying around and want to be my neighbor, it's now available! and the place on the lower right? that's where the nice family with four kids lives. also, notice the shiny, new, no-longer-beat-to-hell-on-Mystery-Jerk's-side awning over the front door)
(see that window? it faces our living room. very often, you'll only see a set of tightly closed blinds.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Proof That The U-Kids Are Natural Blondes

I swear on Best Namma Ever!'s eyes that this is true.

A few days ago, I was playing with Urban Kid 2 while Urban Kid 1 sat at our computer desk with her spelling book.

She then hopped up out of the chair, raced to the light switches and turned them both off.

And went back to her chair and her book.

"Ummmm, sweetie? What are you doing?"

"Turning off the lights."

"Yeah, I see that. But how can you read now? Turn them back on, please."

"But Mom, they're supposed to be off."

"Honey, turn them on. Really."

"No, Mom! They're supposed to be off!"

Now I'm almost to the point where I will actually have to get up and do it myself. Luckily, my curiosity is stronger than my annoyance. I walk over to U-Kid 1.

"Why are they supposed to be off?"

"It says right here... 'say words in dark,' see?" She points emphatically.

I look at the book and it takes unprecedented control over every muscle fiber to not laugh at my own child.

"Honey, it says 'say words in dark print,' not 'say words in dark.' You have to read all of the instructions before starting. You can read them in the light. So, um, go ahead and turn the lights back on, ok?"

"Oh...... okay......."

She hops up, flips the lights back on, goes back to her book and takes no notice that her mother has gone around the corner for a minute.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More of How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I've been meaning to post these for a while now.... But I'm easily... hey, look! a shiny object! ... distracted. So I'm catching up.

Urban Kid 1 is in Spanish class at a wonderful place called Language Stars. It's 85 minutes/week of full-immersion and high energy. And supplementing it with Rosetta Stone or an occasional video in Spanish seems to make it all quite effective. Honestly, if money were no object, I'd have her there two mornings a week for a 3-hour session. But it's our Big Ticket Item of our activities. And as I start considering that U-Kid 2 will soon be ready, I've been trying to figure out ways to budget it all in.

Well, God provides, huh? Language Stars has a Scholarship program -- you can do work for them and earn up to 50% of the tuition for your kid. So I applied -- I can sit in front of the TV at night and cut out shapes and such for language classes as easily as I can sit and eat snacks, so why not? And then Language Stars moved to a shiny, new, larger location. And then another Scholarship Mom that I know agreed to paint pretty things on their shiny, new, larger walls. And she was kind enough to fold me into the deal too!!!

So while I have no artistic talent whatsoever, I helped fill in her pencil sketches on the walls. And as my lack of talent became clearer, I learned that I liked painting in the stems and leaves. And the little critters, too. And she couldn't stand painting the stems and leaves, so we became a good team.

And so I got to spend a bunch of hours in August painting and chatting while U-Dad was home with the U-Kids. And I earned all of my Fall semester hours before classes even started. Good deal all around, I think.

And the Scholarship Mom who was so kind as to let me hang on her coat-tails? Melanie, who is co-owner of The Paintbrush, where U-Kid 1 takes (and adores) her Art class.

Thanks, Melanie!

See that puny little purple flower with the weird scribbles on it? That's me figuring out that I don't know how to blend and swirl colors like Melanie does.

Do you think Language Stars will ever see my little note down by the floor in yellow paint?

I did this critter too. (painted her, not drew her...I can't draw stick people.)

At some point, Melanie is supposed to draw and paint a map of the globe across another wall. Neat, huh?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vote With Craig!

If you're like me, when you go checking out blogs, you're very "click-ety." Click. Click. Clickclick. Clickclickclickclickclick. In other words, not sitting still for too long. Attention span of a ... clickclickclick ... gnat.

But if you have a few minutes, may I humbly direct you to Craig Ferguson's show on September 10th? It's interesting to see the process that we're all in right now through they eyes of a Brand New American.

Common sense and fun all wrapped up together. How neat is that?

(thanks to Pam "SFSOM" in TN over at WTM Boards for the tip!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Walking Books?

At the end of Fahrenheit 451, Montag meets a rag-tag band of people who are essentially "walking books." They have each memorized one, word for word.

Currently, I am a "walking book" for this one:
U-Kid 2 approaches me constantly with it lately, waving it at me with a sweet, hopeful look in her beautiful blue eyes.

What are you a "walking book" for lately?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wet and Slightly Weird Weekend... and Post

Yeeesh, I would never make it somewhere that has hurricanes. I'm just not that hearty of a soul, I guess.

It's rained all weekend. All weekend.

Yesterday, I was going to take Urban Kid 1 downtown. The Joffrey Ballet has a nifty new building that's just opened. You can see the huge rehearsal space a few floors up from the street and the dancers doing their thing. And on Saturday, they were going to let the public have a look-see at the new space. I thought that U-Kid 1 might dig that.

But it poured all day long (just like today). And the thought of maneuvering a 5yo with an umbrella through the puddles and onto a bus and downtown seemed far less carefree than what I had envisioned when I first marked this in the calendar.

So I assured U-Kid 1 that we'd look into a real show, The Nutcracker or something. She bought it. We continued our rainy-day-hunkering-down instead.

Then it was time for a birthday party to which she'd been invited. Luckily, it was a 10-minute walk from our place. I ended up staying and chatting with the other parents. And while it was pleasant enough, I eventually felt rather...... iconoclastic, I guess. Let's say it wasn't quite my crowd. For example, everyone gushed over how great San Francisco is, comparing detailed notes on how often each made it out there and listing all of the genius things done in SF that should just be done everywhere. Instead of regular chatting, it felt more like a strange game they were playing, like they were sizing each other up or something. And I've never been to SF and won't be going anytime soon. So I quietly tried to help the kids paint their flower pots instead.

After that was a comparison of how often everyone made it to yoga (not since having U-Kid 2). We all belong to the same neighborhood gym, so I was at least able to tag along when the yoga chat made that turn.

And when the food came out, one family made their good-bye's. I overheard a quiet explanation of a vegan diet or this or that. Well, hey, ya can't knock 'em for trying to make everyone else tiptoe around them, I guess.

Then came a conversation about schools: private, public, neighborhood, etc. And how one couple was totally committed to public education -- but had their 4yo in a private preschool. And how great the neighborhood elementary school is (it isn't). And another family isn't Jewish, but has their 4yo in the local Jewish preschool. They were careful to let us know how much they are not religious and that they were oh-so-nervous about accidently causing offense. Yet they chose a religious preschool. So I guess by choosing another religion's school, they're showing ... oh, I don't know anymore ... I started having trouble keeping up. It's a personal decision for each family, so I guess I'll leave it at that. I ended up contributing that my kids' godparents are Jewish, and I was familiar with the school through them, and had heard lovely things and that more than 1/3 of the students are inter-faith, so don't sweat it.

I did not volunteer that we're homeschooling. And that we plan to for as long as we can swing it. And probably for another year after that. And that the delightful little girl at the cupcake table is reading at a 3rd-grade-level, doing 1st-grade Math, learning Spanish and Piano and loves Art class. I just got the vibe that I did not want to reveal anything deeper than polite surface conversation.

Later, the Birthday Girl's Grandparents were chatting about their recent retirements. And they shared that the grandfather had been with the New York City Fire Department. And the grandmother was a flight attendant with United.

And... I'm not kidding here... one of the mom's actually asked... OUT LOUD even...

"So did you lose anyone on 9-11?"

I got busy gathering plates. And luckily three other people wandered into the room, and the subject changed.

But U-Kid 1 had a blast with the other kids. And she has a very cool flower pot and a bulb to put in it. And she tromped home in the rain, happy as a clam and buzzing like a chainsaw from the sugar intake.

And while it's fun to meet new folks, especially from around the neighborhood (we all live within a few blocks of each other), I realized how wonderful it is to have people in your life to whom you can reveal your real thoughts and feelings. Don't get me wrong...I like knowing people who have their own take on things. And in this town, and in this neighborhood, I definitely get that. But it's also nice to let your guard down now and then and not be the one smiling and nodding like you're deaf and mute.

So if you're one of the handful of people I know IRL who know about this blog, whether we see things eye-to-eye or not, I'm eternally grateful that that we've built such lovely friendships. I'm well aware of what rare and wonderful gifts you are.

Now.... when the hell is it supposed to stop raining!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Birthday Wrap-Up

The birthday went well. We have a button that says, "Today Is My Birthday," which U-Kid 1 proudly wore. We started by going to the gym (her decision), where she was oooo'd and aaaahhh'd over at the KidCare place while I meandered the weight room looking for new and interesting forms of self-flagellation.

One of the employees had his guitar with him, so U-Kid 1 soon had the whole KidCare place singing Happy Birthday to her. He then proceeded to play a few more songs, thus giving a small concert in honor of her birthday.

After the gym, we went to our neighborhood candy store. We got a bunch of little bags of pretzyls covered in white chocolate with sprinkles. We got about eight little bags with five pretzyls each. U-Kid 1 chose light blue ribbons for each one. While CandyMan put it all together, he noticed her Birthday button and was very excited for her. We've known CandyMan since before U-Dad and I were married, so he's seen the U-Kids grow from mere giggly ideas to the cute little people that they are today. So oooo'ing and aaaaah'ing there, too.

Later in the afternoon, I took U-Kid 1 to her 4pm Spanish class, which ends at 5:30. After dropping her off, U-Kid 2 & I zipped up to Great Big Urban High School to pick up U-Dad. From there, we threw together a plan for feeding the U-Kids and still meeting her godparents and their kids here by 6:30.

So we settled on here for dinner:

Oh yea, smoothies for dinner before cupcakes. 'Cause that's not too much sugar..... It is, however, extraordinarily portable as we maneuver Chicago traffic.

However, we were running almost late. Spanish class is now in a new location, and I'm still learning the in's and out's of the area. And traffic at almost 5:30.....oh, Lord let this light stay greeeen!!!! Well, you get the picture. I was nervous that her class would end and that her classmates would take off before I could get there with her treats. Oh God, imagine the heartbreak! Not to mention, how looooong I would hear about it!

But alas, I did get there, with barely a minute to spare. And she did get to pass out the treats. And they had sung Feliz Cumpleanos to her there, as well.

So into the car. And off to Jamba Juice. And at Jamba Juice, the clerk saw her button and gave her a Free Smoothie card for her next visit (score!). So each U-Kid had a cute, little Orange Dream Machine with a VitaBoost, while U-Dad and I split a big one in the front. And U-Kid 2 was soon wearing some of hers on the front of her shirt. And we were almost to the cupcake joint, when the godparents called and..... cancelled. Their kids were swamped with a ridiculous stack of homework. Three hours at least looming ahead.

Hmmm. Ok, change of plans.

We turned the car around and headed downtown to here:

The really big McDonald's on LaSalle Street -- takes up a block, two floors, escalators, neat views of the city, designer furniture. If ya gotta go McD, this is the one to do. So yeah, sugary smoothies followed by hot grease! I'm Lovin' It!

It was getting close to U-Kid 2's bedtime, so I dropped off U-Dad and U-Kid 1 for one of these:

They did a 30-minute trip around the city. (we did this last year for her 4th b-day and are going to try to make it a b-day tradition for her)

Then they went to the top of the John Hancock building to see the city:

After that, they meandered Michigan Avenue and Oak Street for a while. Then they hopped into one of these to come home:

U-Kid 1 loves taking a taxi. She can't explain why. She just does.

She can't stop beaming over being five. It's beyond cute. And she wants to know how old she has to be to do everything. How old to go to the Grown Up Side of the Gym by herself? How old to vote? How old to go to college? How old to drive? How old to fly on a plane by herself? How old to become a mommy? How old before she loses her baby teeth? She's so excited to be growing up. And I'm realizing that she is going to grow up, and it'll be fast, and then she'll be gone. So I'm beaming over five too. And just five for now, thank you very much!!!!

PS: Took down the picture of the U-Kid 1 with the Starbucks cup. After spending time this evening gleeping images from all over with Google's help, I started to get nervous that someone might do that with this particular picture. And as much as I love it and want to show it to everyone, I don't necessarily want to give it to everyone. Yeah, I'm a hypocrite. And I own it too. So what. Enjoy the quiz instead. I think I first saw it over at Blessed Existence. So thanks, Tiffany!

Happy Weekend!!!

(hey, eye update! saw the doc on monday -- still 20/20 in the left eye and now 20/25 in the right -- was 20/40 a few months ago. i am so happyhappyhappyhappyhappy!)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Great Big Urban High School

Can I tell you about Great Big Urban High School? Well, you're here and still reading, so here goes...

GBUHS is a wonderful place. It's also huge -- two blocks long, a block wide and four stories high. When I was there all pregnant with Urban Kid 1, I stayed in great shape hustling around that building.

Also, it has 4,000-plus students. Being a magnet school, they come from all over the city. But really, all over the world. There's a significant immigration population, and a lot of these kids are bilingual in something -- Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Urdu, Farsi, Polish... name it, it's spoken there by somebody. It's like a Bennetton ad!

And there's something for just about everyone... Advanced Placement classes if you want college credit, auto tech classes if you want to learn to fix cars, and just about everything in-between.

U-Dad has been there for sixteen years, since he bagged being a trader at the Mercantile Exchange for what can only be described as his calling. Plenty of teachers start out in the city system, then head for the greener pastures of the suburbs for 1.) more money and 2.) a system that can get their paycheck correct. Not U-Dad. He likes it at GBUHS and is happy to stay put.

But I digress. U-Dad has seen a great many people come and go. And a great many Department Chairs. The last two have been complete flakes who used the position to bounce out of teaching at GBUHS. One went on to be an administrator, and bets are currently being placed on when she nails a job in the 'burbs (oh hey, did i mention that in a meeting she mocked a parent's letter expressing concern about a book selection? classy, huh?). The last one did it for about two years before bouncing out to a Leafy Northern Suburb.

This is the largest department (appx 40 teachers) of one of the largest schools in the country. And they keep giving the chairmanship to gossipy, self-important id-jets. In fact, the last one was her predecessor's drinking buddy! After her appointment, several colleagues approached U-Dad and expressed their stunned amazement that he wasn't tapped for the job.

So we come home from our summer roadtrip and find a message on our answering machine from GBUHS. The English Department Chair was gone. Would U-Dad like to interview for the job?

This thrilled me -- Chairs don't get more money, but they get two fewer classes. Which means less work to bring home. And some dude wants to be U-Dad's student teacher in January, so that would mean another class gone for a while. Hallelujah!!! The man busts his ass every day of every school year. He now has two small kids at home. And wouldn't it be cool to have a year of lightening up a bit?

Also, U-Dad makes **** get done at GBUHS. He created a relationship with a publisher to get paperback books at 40% off retail. He was just doing this with his own classes, but it's expanded to the whole department. Due to U-Dad's business background, he actually gets the bills paid, so the publisher actually continues this relationship with him. Now all kinds of books are in the hands of GBUHS's students. Also, he has about six gazillion sick days saved up since he actually shows up every day. He's been teaching AP for years, and kids jockey to get him. He's been voted Teacher of the Year for the last two years by the student body. And 25 out of 30 days a month, the copiers work because he's fixed them.

U-Dad was not thrilled. Why do they need to interview me? I've been there sixteen years. They don't know me yet? And if there is an interview process, why wasn't I called in two years ago? And I like being in the classroom. I don't want to dump off my classes.

But the thought of having a say in new hires hooked him.

And off he went to chat with GBUHS.

And they wanted to pay him less for the job than what he's bringing home now.


He gets paid a bit more for the book program out of a lovely stipend that was created for it. And he's made it clear that if that stipend goes away, so do his hours of work. Each teacher can buy their own books and forge their own relationships. This program ain't The Lord's Work. He was puttering along minding his own business until word of what he was doing leaked. He's willing to go back to that, if necessary.

Oh yeah, they also want him to mentor first-year teachers. He's done this before and been paid a token sum for it.

But if he accepted the Chair position, he'd somehow be double-dipping. And so those dollars would go away.

Once he choked back a blunt, "You're ****-ing kidding me, right?," he came home to give them 24 hours to consider their options. He then called and said that he had a great conversation and blah, blah, blah. But gas and groceries are going up, and that we couldn't afford to let go of the additional pay he gets for the programs that he does. But thanks so much for thinking of him.

I know, I know... a bad decision came out of the Chicago Public School System. Shocking, isn't it? Just stunning.

Ah well, he keeps two classes. About sixty more kids get to hang with the U-Dad.

And I shouldn't really complain. Lord knows he carries his weight around here. I just know that he was truly the best choice. And that GBUHS blew it. It makes me a bit sad for both of them, I suppose.

Any bets on how long the newest Department Chair lasts?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Dream

My dream....

is to go to bed at 10pm and to have completely uninterrupted sleep until 6am.

What's your dream?

(PS: Best Namma Ever! and Her Husband are coming to visit, so I'm out of commission for a few days. Happy Weekend!)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

A reminder for one of the rules of the Urban Mom blog here at the Urban Family Country Day Academy... no pictures of us. So in order to do this "How We Spent Our Summer Vacation" post, I can only use the goofy pictures that don't show our faces too much. Thanks for understanding!

If you've never been to Chicago's Millenium Park, you have to go! It's the most beautiful $40-million-over-budget project you've ever seen! These are from a section that has two large, glass block walls that show faces of Chicagoans. Water runs down the walls into the reflecting pool between them, and they occasionally spit out water. About 15 seconds after opening, the kids of Chicago took it over. As you can see, they had the right idea.

I think Urban Kid 1 is in there somewhere.

In late June, we did a day trip to the Indiana side of Lake Michigan. It was U-Kid 2's first time putting her feet in the sand.

I kid you not...she made a beeline for U-Dad's backpack in order to retrieve her.....

shoes. She is truly and deeply, an Urban Kid, I suppose.

U-Dad with U-Kid 1 checking out the water (it was cold!).

Tiptoeing in with U-Kid 2 (U-Kid 1 has made herself at home... and borrowed a toy from another family).

For July 4th, we went to Best Namma Ever!'s, who lives in a 'burb of St. Louis. Ya gotta love the Independence Day Parade!

When you are from St. Louis, you learn about Lewis & Clark. A lot. And often.

Best Namma Ever! loves, loves a marching band in a parade. She grew up in Edwardsville, Illinois, so perhaps it has to do with her small-town roots. Sadly, these kids played nothing until they were about 50 yards past us.

Errrr... this might just be a Missouri thing. I'm not entirely sure. But it did get quite a reaction from the crowd!

And the ever-popular firetruck! No parade is complete without one! (seriously, U-Kid 1 was intrigued)

U-Dad took U-Kid 1 to her first Cubs game at Wrigley. It was hot as Hades and then had a cloudburst of pouring rain. But the Cubs won, and U-Kid1 came home bursting with the news!

Finally, U-Kid 2 had her first haircut. Once the U-Dad finally got me to agree to it, he got up and went to get the scissors himself. Heck, NO! I was only going to allow a trained professional near my baby's head! Luckily, Lee, hairstylist to both myself and Best Namma Ever!, threw her scissors in her bag and ventured north from her salon in the Loop to see us. Her reward is that she got to work out with me at the gym. (ok, ok, she piled on the favor by letting me tag along for her relentless workout so that I might actually learn something new!)

More over the next few days about.... who isn't the English Department Chair... and getting started with our schooling at home.
Have you noticed that the days are already shorter? And we're expecting a high of only 73 tomorrow.
Summer is too short!