Lizzard Loves Blue Sky Snow Covered Vail

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Recap 10/19/18 - Fall Beach Time, Lounging & Dancing Lulu, Onion Puppy, Coming Home, The Kindness of Strangers

Well, today we are off on a family adventure to Ireland! I'll be late posting next week as a result - but hopefully having an absolute ball with Chris & the Bug while we're away! On to this week though....

1. Fall Beach Time
Hi hi! I'm on the beach.
We had some sunny weather this week - one day was in the low 60s! It felt really great & made me want to take Owenn pup & the Bug to the beach. It makes me happy that in the off season Owenn can romp & run & roll in the sand without too much fear of repercussions. I hardly bring him to the beach in the summer- other than pretty darn early- so its nice to have the chance this time of year!
2 of my loves enjoying the beach
Lulu amuses herself by splashing in the shallows, climbing on the plastic boardwalk, and looking for sticks to throw for Owenn. I feel happy anytime I'm near the water - there is something so relaxing about the sound of the waves & the wind. To be able to look out over the water & see....more water is somehow quite calming. We do not live in a big city anymore, but we do have an urban feel to our suburb. The lake always gives me a nice break from our small city hustle & bustle.
Beach Bum Bug

2. Lounging & Dancing Lulu
They are hilarious. Full stop.
We sometimes go to a drop in playtime at a local community center. We went this week & Lulu & her friend Alex both struck this hilarious pose that my friend (& Alex's mom) caught with a photo. They crack me up.
Go Lulu! Go Lulu! Go Lulu!

Lulu's friends needed to go home before the singing started at playtime, but that didn't stop her from rocking out some of her sweet dance moves. She pretty much slays ;)

3. Onion Puppy
Onion Puppy

My friends got a puppy! Eek! We got to meet him on his second day in their house. He's adoreable & maybe driving his human parents a bit crazy. Kind of like a baby. Angel baby terrorist. Angel puppy terrorist.....I think it works! He's tiny & fluffy & has mini dagger teeth in his head! Can't wait to see how big he gets over the coming months - shouldn't be crazy as his parents were medium size. Still. Puppies. So. Darn. Cute.

4. Coming Home
Lulu was having fun - despite her scowl!!
 Because home is where Dada & Owenn pup are!! Makes me so happy to see Chris & Lulu get to have time together after Lulu & I were away last week. Just smile worthy, that's all :)

The bug is still SUPER into teeter totters!!
5. The Kindness of Strangers
Lulu tends to be a good traveler, she's had a bit of practice & is generally pretty flexible. She also puked in her pack & play on night 1 of our CO trip last week, so I'm not saying things are all roses & sunshine - but generally speaking we do pretty well.

Yeah. Not so much "sleeping" as quite awake!
Coming home from the mountains, I hoped Lulu would sleep on our short flight to Denver. Instead she watched with rapt attention the flight attendant's safety demonstration, demanded that I open the window shade, and mowed both bags of United Airlines pretzels we were given! Which is all to say- she most certainly did not sleep. Which left me in one of those ugly travel places where I began to panic about what my un-napped toddler would look like on the next leg of our trip.........which was a full flight where we were seated in the window, not the aisle.......I figured it would not be pretty since we were scheduled to land a full hour after Lulu's bedtime. 
I figured I had to try for an airport layover nap, we've never done it before - but I had approximately nothing to lose. I wrestled the bug into submission and rocked her in a relatively quiet terminal connector hallway. I had to wake her 2 hours later so we wouldn't miss our connection! Score one for the team!
Yay! Snoozing bug!!
But, this is not about napping exactly - its about how willing to help people are when you have a napping toddler on your lap in the airport!! One woman came up, asked for my phone to take a photo of us because "it is just so beautiful, you will want to remember it". Seriously? What a nice offer! And to say anything was "beautiful" about my unshowered, just took care of 3 toddlers for 2 days, been up since 330am self was quite generous indeed!!
Thanks stranger for snapping this photo for us!

Then Lulu chucked her little blanket stuffed animal lovey thing on the floor in her sleep. I caught someone's eye & waved them over........and silently asked them to please pick up the lovey. Thankfully the woman said, "I remember those days" and gave it to me.
Then my phone was near dead and though I was seated next to a power outlet - there was no way for me to get my cord plugged in because the outlet was on the same side as Lulu was sleeping. Insert another stranger waved down & more than willing to help. Sometimes its easy to think the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Days like last Saturday are a great reminder that people are kind and generous & willing to lend a hand. Particularly if you have your baby/toddler sleeping on your lap.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Friday Recap 10/12/18 - Colorado Cousin Time, October Summertime, Chicago Marathon Spectating

Woof. This is late, even for me! Happy Wednesday that I am pretending is last Friday everyone!!

1. Colorado Cousin (& Sister) Time

A childhood friend of my brother in law died of cancer late in September. A terrifically sad situation given that he was not yet 40 & he & his wife have 3 little kids. A family to keep in your prayers if you have the inclination. My sister & her 2 girls are in Colorado to soak up some autumn in the mountains, but that leaves her without her usual overnight babysitter, who lives in Connecticut. So Lulu & I flew out to spend a couple of days with my sister & the girls & then a couple of days just with the girls so Marg could fly to Michigan for the memorial services and celebrations of her husband's friend.
Lulu & I had some weather whiplash (see #2 for an idea of the home weather we left) when we woke up Wednesday morning to 6ish inches of snow in town & upwards of a foot on the mountain!! It was fun & freezing & all around great. I do wish Marg & I lived closer so that we could see more of each other, but at least we get to see each other pretty often :)

Lulu has started to say her version of "Hennie" which is making my heart basically explode. As far as I know it's the first name she's really trying to say. Amazing what a few days of constant hanging out can do for Lulu's little brain!

2. October Summertime

It was crazy warm at the start of the week - I mean - over 80 degrees in mid October seems insane, right??

Sometimes public nudity is the only option.

The only choice for this weather was to walk to downtown Evanston, get ice cream & check out the renovated Fountain Square. It was a bummer that the square was closed all summer for the renovations - but I think it turned out really well. I imagine it will be a gathering place for community members long into the future. And for a city without splash pads - the splash friendly fountain is a huge bonus.
Waving to passersby :)

The memorial to veterans brings thoughtfulness and reverence to the space - but in a good way - I like that public spaces can serve so many distinct functions.

3. Chicago Marathon Spectating

Watching the wheelchair races & elite field is incredible

For the 2nd year, we brought Lulu to Lakeview to watch the Chicago Marathon. The weather was cool & rainy, not the best but certainly not the worst either! We got to visit with my wonderful friend from high school while standing outside her building & cheering on thousands & thousands of runners.
Hopping on the train before it was fully daylight :)

We cheered for Chris' colleagues, my friends & a veritable shitton of strangers!
Lulu is a really good sport - she rolls with all of our "adventures" 

Lulu doesn't like when I cheer loudly it turns out. Frightening. I guess I should've known that would be the case!! That aside - it was a fantastic day. An event that makes me well up & gives me goosebumps every time.
The rain didn't scare us away!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Friday Round Up 10/5/18 - Don't Pave 10 Campaign, Simple Ways to Encourage Brain Development in Babies, Bike the Ridge

Happy Friday all! Hope you enjoyed Wednesday's blast of summer weather! 

1. Don't Pave 10 Campaign
We are so lucky to live on a community resource such as Canal Shores Golf Course. I am not a huge golfer by any stretch of the imagination - but I use Canal Shores for its beautiful green space almost daily. Lulu & I walk Owenn, we walk just the 2 of us, Chris will run the course in the early morning, we play in the snow & cross country ski there during the winter, its a fantastic, giant park open to all. Seasonally you must be willing to yield to the golfers........but that is what it is I suppose. 

Unfortunately there is a request for an easement to allow a private entity to pave much of hole #10 on the course. Once this happens, there will be no going back to the green space that was once there. I oppose the paving over of a beautiful natural community resource - I hope you do to. Click the link above to find out ways to speak out and speak up about this issue. I sent an email to all the people listed including this photo  - I hope it helps.

2. Simple Parenting Advice
I read this article on "5 Simple Ways to Encourage Brain Development In Your Little One"   - it really resonated with me. What delightfully simple things we can all do to foster healthy brain development in babies, our own & those around us. I figure the more eyeballs that see this piece- the better off our babies are. Win, win, win all the way around.

3. Bike the Ridge

I'm a sucker for community events. I love seeing people come together, often outdoors, to enjoy simple stuff that makes up the fabric of our community. People, food, music, it doesn't take much for folks to have an awesome time! This event, Bike the Ridge (which I assume is modeled after the City of Chicago's Bike the Drive event), happened last Sunday & was our first time participating. 

Lots of people turned out to ride bikes up and down Ridge, which is, on a normal day, off limits to bikes because it is so godforsakenly narrow for the 4 lanes of car traffic. So for one Sunday a year- the road is closed to cars & bikes get to have their run of it! The novelty is really the thing! We biked up & down in the chilly, drizzly weather & stopped to enjoy the students from the School of Rock perform some songs. Grabbed delectable tacos from Amanecer who was out with their food car.....its a tiny little car they peddle tacos from the hatchback :) Looking very forward to next year's event & hope for some sunshine!

I hope you all have a great weekend, despite the rainy/dreary weather forecast :(

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Friday Recap 9/28/18 - Fall Fest, Garden Beauty, Happy Bug, Cookie Monster

Oh dear. I am so so so so late on this post! Oops! Oh well, sometimes the Friday recap happens on a Tuesday! 

1. Lincoln Park Zoo's Fall Fest

I couldn't be more proud of my bestie for planning & executing Lincoln Park Zoo's Fall Fest. 

It is an awesome totally family friendly event held annually throughout the month of October (starting late in September :) Because I volunteer at the zoo, we are invited to the preview party and have loved it both last year & this year! 

All of the attractions, food & drinks are free to staff & volunteers at the preview party & we run around like crazy people trying to do it all. Lulu rode the Fun Slide no less than 3 times! It was awesome. She rode on her first kiddie Ferris Wheel & her first legit adult sized Ferris Wheel! 

As much as it is family focused - aka kiddo focused - Chris & I LOVE it. It is so darn fun. Thanks Stace for all of your hard work & planning an event we simply LOVE to attend.

2. Garden Beauty

I was struck by how beautiful this hydrangea in our backyard was last week, I snapped a photo.

And check out this ridiculous bean that is growing in the Edible Garden at the Lincoln Park Zoo! Pink & purple hiding in its green shell! Love it.

3. Happy Bug

We've gotten into the habit of taking showers with Lulu just to save time for everyone. I'm not sure when we stopped giving her regular baths, but it has been awhile. Last week we had a chilly rainy day that we had nothing planned. So, we took an afternoon bath & the Bug loved it :)

4. Cookie Monster

The same bestie mentioned above wanted to order 100 cookies from me for a tailgate she hosted last Saturday. What fun it was to have someone want me to bake for their special event! It was such a treat. Yum to Salted Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookies all over our kitchen!!