Sunday, September 27, 2009

My City My Chicago

Paul Konerko, 1st baseman...perhaps discussing college football with a Detroit Tiger?

We have a family secret...we are cursed. It seems as if the Chicago White Sox can not win a game if we are inside park boundaries. The curse has settled over us for about 5 years now.

Last night, we attended the Sox vs. Tigers game at the Cell. We had great seats. The weather was perfect. We knew going in to the game there were no playoff dreams. It didn't matter--it was a beautiful night for baseball.

In the 5th inning, the score was 5 to 0, Sox were up. Rob and I looked at each other and without exchanging ONE WORD we reminded each other that yes, this could be the night the curse finally ended. We knew that if we spoke the words out loud, we would jinx the lead.

Apparently, the curse doesn't care if we speak our thoughts or not. During the next 4 innings, the Sox managed to bungle their lead (that's an understatement) and eventually lost by an unbelievable 7 runs. (Final 12-5 Tigers)

It was embarassing. There were so many Detroit Tiger fans in the stands that it was hard to remember we were actually IN Chicago.

Sam cried as we left the Cell, realizing that in his 5 years, he's never actually seen the Sox win a game in the ball park.

In the car on the way home, we decided to take a break next year and stay away from the Sox park. However, both boys chuckled at the thought of attending a few Cubs games next year...will our curse follow us? ; )

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pure Joy!

Ah the joy of being tossed in the air by a loved one!
Air toss

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My City My Chicago

The view from inside The Bean (Cloudgate) sculpture in Millenium Park

Inside the bean

Friday, September 18, 2009

Apparently, this was a wise purchase

Last night, we hung a world map in our boys' room. We had it up in a common area in the old house, but here, it seems to fit best in their room. Sammy walked into the room and immediately said, "Oh look, here's the Phillipines," and he correctly pointed to the Phillipines. I assumed it was something he learned in Kindergarten during these past few days because there are a few Filipino children in his class.

Then, he pointed to Brazil (again, correctly). This time, I figured he read the word.

Next, he pointed to Papua New Guinea. Not only did he pronounce it right, but he was spot on with his i.d. of this rather obscure, smallish country which shares half of the island of New Guinea with Indonesia. He even pointed to the right side of the island. I was pretty sure he didn't learn about Papua New Guinea in school, didn't think he could read the words with such proper pronounciation, so I started to wonder.

Next he pointed to the teeny, tiny African country of Djibouti. I doubt most people have even heard of this country, let alone be able to identify it on a map. I was certain this time that he wasn't reading the word, because Djibouti sounds like Ja-boo-ti and that is exactly how he pronounced it!

Sam continued to identify really obscure countries for a few minutes until finally, we asked, "Sam, how do you know about these countries?--" wondering if perhaps he has the best kindergarten teacher ever.

"Scientific Smart Globe," he replied....

Apparently this was a VERY good use of our money!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My City My Chicago

Crown Fountain face

Man face at the Crown Fountain--this one made my kids laugh out loud!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Thursday, September 10, 2009

My City My Chicago

my chicago 1 bean view

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First day of school (finally!)

Joey certainly seems old hat at this whole school thing now that he is in fourth grade. I think he's just relieved to be going back--Joey LOVES school.

Sam was feeling strong before we set out for our walk to his first day of Kindergarten. He even asked me to take a photo of his new back pack.

But by the time we dropped off Joey and got to the Kindergarten entrance, Sammy didn't seem quite as enthused about this whole thing.

And after I kissed him good bye and he got in line, he really looked nervous! Poor little guy. Thank goodness, about 30 seconds after this photo was taken, his friend Caleb arrived!

He's home already (1/2 day Kindergarten) and is just fine. I think he's ready for his first homework assignment!

Monday, September 7, 2009

As summer comes to a close...

we remember all the fun we had in 100 (+2) words.

This summer...

we swam under the light of the moon, milked a goat, walked amidst dinosaurs, played with friends, played with cousins, hit a triple, got soaked to the skin in a rain storm, watched a lot of baseball, played a lot of baseball, learned to skip rocks, rode our bikes, golfed in the dark, licked lots of ice cream cones, built a sand castle or two, caught a ball at the Cougars game, climbed a lighthouse, marched in a parade, rode a roller coaster, roasted marshmallows by the fire, met new friends at camp, played tennis, climbed rocks, explored an island...

Phew! It's been a busy summer and I am looking forward to the first day of the new school year tomorrow.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A trip to the candy store

candy collage

Friday, September 4, 2009

Washington Island

This is the first year we felt we could attempt a "longish" bike ride as a family. Joey rides a 21-speed bike on his own and can keep up with us quite easily (or, are we keeping up with him?). Sam is on a third wheel (tag-a-long) and can choose to pedal or not. Lily is in a child seat on my bike.

We were feeling a bit (over?)confident and decided to bike Washington Island--a sparsely populated island located at the tip of the Door County peninsula. We left our car on the mainland and took only our bikes on the ferry across to the island.

I immediately regretted that decision and imagined us dealing with whiny, tired kids on the other side of the island with no way to get back to the ferry. Surprisingly, we made it all the way to Schoolhouse Beach--our first stop for the day and on the opposite side of the island--with only one short break.

The kids had a blast skipping perfectly smooth, round rocks on the water--fun that is until some guy told them they couldn't throw rocks into the water because the rocks were protected. The rocks actually are protected and you can not take them from the beach, but I don't believe that throwing a few rocks into the water is going to cause much harm. Afterall, they got that way from being tubmbled in the water and washing up on the shore. Anyway...I digress.

Joey learned how to skip rocks and Lily learned that if you throw a rock into the water in the precise location where your brother is, he gets hit in the head and yells.

After lunch and a brief stop at a local bar to purchase a bottle of Death's Door gin for my favorite summer cocktails, we thought we would just head back to the ferry boat. But the kids were feeling strong (Mom and Dad, not so much!) so we decided to take a little detour to the Washington Hotel. The Hotel is a restaurant, hotel and culinary school. They emphasize local products in their cooking and I really wanted to try it out.

It felt like an oasis in the desert--it was such a welcome retreat!

We arrived at 3 p.m. and while they weren't serving lunch or dinner, they were serving drinks--exactly what we needed after a day of bikes and beaches.

Sam loved the locally brewed beer ; )

In the end, the kids made it all the way back to the ferry (the trip was a total of 18 miles).

We were treated to this beautiful sunset on the drive back to the cottage--a perfect vacation day!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More vacation fun...

We had GREAT weather for biking during our vacation--cool and just a bit breezy. We managed to get out for three different trips.

The first trip we took was to Toft Point--a nature/historic reserve close to where we stay. We always go to Toft Point and let the kids throw rocks in the water and climb around on the rocky shore.

Toft Point used to be inhabited by Emma Toft, a great naturalist, but today it is unoccupied and maintained by a university. The kids peek inside the cottages and shout "Mom, they left some books in there!" or "Mom, there's a chair in there," as if, for real, an alien spaceship came along and people ran from the place leaving their belongings behind!

We were quite pleased that Joey could help Lily with the mile + walk back to the cottages this year. You can tell from his face that he was pretty pleased with himself as well!

Many years ago, I used to walk with my Dad in the woods at Toft Point. I used to daydream about living in this little one room cottage that overlooks a bay in Bailey's Harbor:

While that dream never came true, I hope that this annual visit to Toft Point instills a few dreams in my own children!

Tomorrow...the island bike ride!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Views of our Vacation!

We had a fabulous time in Door County--probably one of the best vacations we've had up there ever. It was chilly, but perfect for LOTS of bike riding!

The first thing my kids always do (no matter what time we arrive, no matter what the weather) is head for the sand and the beach. Our first afternoon there happened to also be the warmest and the sunniest, so it was a good thing they were ready to get sandy...