Friday, February 27, 2009

Odds and Ends

I am technically on vacation so I don't know why I am blogging . . . . but here I am because I wanted to tell you about a few things:

(1) Did you enter my giveaway for a Cranberry Pomegranate Facial Masque from the June Jacobs Collection, courtesy of Skin Botanica? The deadline to enter is Saturday, February 28th at midnight so go enter now. Who knows, you might win a little treat for yourself.

(2) If you are in the mood for something crafty, check out my story on making bead necklaces out of paper scraps you have around your house in the March issue of Chicago Parent.

(3) Are you a local? Do you have young kiddos? If so, I hope that you are checking out Being Savvy: Chicago from time to time to get great ideas on things to do around town with your preschoolers. Check out my recent post on 99 things to do with kids in Chicago.

(4) Finally, another note for those locals . . . have you visited the newly-launched Chicagonista website? I am a big fan already (and I absolutely love the tag line -- "We're Movers, Shakers, and Baby Makers"). Have a peek for yourself.

Now back to my vacation.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Quadruple Nap

Let me begin this post by saying that I am tired. I am trying not to dwell on it too much because no one likes a complainer. I tell you that I am tired only so you can understand the lengths I will go to for a nap.

Over the weekend, I executed a "quadruple nap" for the first time. I was able to get all three of my children sleeping at the same time so that I too could take a nap.

This is not an easy maneuver for a mom of my experience level. I can think back on the many times when I have struggled mightily to get one child to sleep. But this past Saturday, the stars aligned for me and my nappers. Here is how it went down.

I began with Brendan, a little man who loves his sleep. Once he was tucked in (which was a piece of cake as it is every day), I focused my attention on the baby. He is a newborn so sleep comes pretty easily to him too. I strapped Colin into my baby sling, bounced him up and down a few times, and eventually he dosed off. Two down.

Then I turned my attention to the one person who stood between me and my nap: Eleanor. As an extremely busy almost-five-year-old, the last thing this girl wants to do is nap. And even worse, she was actually quite tired, which set the scene for a lot of "But I am NOT tired Mom!"

Wail, wail, wail.

I told her that she had to lay in bed with me and rest her body. After about ten minutes of all sorts of silliness (i.e. somersaults, songs, an impromptu ballet performance), she finally laid her body down on the bed -- which was a step in the right direction.

I then began my fake sleeping. I have found that if I ignore her long enough, she usually does close her eyes and fall asleep. Sure enough, after about five minutes, I heard the sound of heavy breathing and she was out.

I was so excited about my napping success at this point that I could barely sleep myself. I wasted several minutes thinking that this was too good to be true and straining to hear the sounds of a small child stirring.

But all three of them slept. And I slept. It was fantastic and I am not sure that I will ever be able to do it again.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Giveaway from Skin Botanica!

Do you regularly go out and buy facial masques for yourself that are worth $60?

I didn't think so -- especially in this economy. Since you can't treat yourself to that type of skin care luxury, let me treat you (thanks to Skin Botanica). You are worth $60 facial masques -- you know you are.

Behold the June Jacobs Spa Collection Cranberry Pomegranate Moisture Masque. This product promises to leave your skin "luminous, supple and revitalized." Sounds pretty good, right?

This giveaway is courtesy of Skin Botanica , which has an extensive selection of natural and organic beauty and skincare products for you, your babes, and even your husband.

To enter, leave a comment with your name and contact information by Saturday, February 28th at 11:59 p.m. CST. Good luck!

p.s. Family and friends who read this blog from time to time . . . you can enter too!

Congratulations to Mimi (Comment #16)!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is This Baby My Baby?

That is what I am wondering in my latest post at the Chicago Moms Blog.

By the way, this post was selected as part of a syndication agreement with the McClatchy Tribune Company so if you subscribe to the Idaho Statesman, Modesto Bee or another McClatchy Tribune-owned paper (which is unlikely, I realize), look out for this piece next week! Yippee!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

i got an iphone

There she is. Isn't she a beauty? I got it for Christmas (thank you, thank you Bethany). It is a great gift because, although I have coveted it for awhile, I would never have bought it for myself because I really don't need it (and isn't that the benchmark for all great gifts, really?).

I don't really know how to use it -- although Eleanor showed me how to take pictures (she apparently learned her iphone skills from her babysitter).

I hope that I will use my calendar, email on the go, expand my itune collection, check the weather in various locales, and keep current on the stock market.

More likely, I will use it to take blurry photographs of my children and makes an occasional phone call.

So much fun to be had.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine to a Little Child

Dear heart, on this thrice-blessed day,
And thou my sweetheart be,
The rose of love shall bide alway
Upon the red-rose tree.

And in the garden of my heart
So ceaselessly shall shine,
The little birds will know thou art
Mine own true Valentine.

And I will bid them wing and sing
To all good winds that blow,
That to thy little feet they bring
All blessings, even so.

And o'er thy cradle I will coax,
By every lucky charm,
The friendship of the fairy folks
To fold thee from all harm.

So may they hover round thy head
And gently there upon,
As doth the April sunshine, shed
Most gracious benison.
And all fair gifts that Fortune hath,
I'll pray she promise these,
And that she loose about thy path
All sweet influences.
Then here's a kiss! and there's a kiss!
And kisses, one, two, three!
I seal them in the folds of this,
And speed them unto thee!

- Evaleen Stein

Monday, February 9, 2009

Giveaway: Win a Mini-Cuddle Blanket from Ambajam!

I have a great giveaway for you to enter. See over on the right-hand sidebar where it says "Sponsors?" See it? Okay, I have started accepting sponsors on my blog and one of the companies that I am working with is called Ambajam. Go ahead and check out their website for a second. See, don't they have cute stuff? I am particularly partial to the frog and turtle applique t-shirts.

Ambajam offered to giveaway a mini-cuddle blanket on my blog and I couldn't pass it up (because I live with a connoisseur of soft blankets). The mini-cuddle blanket is super soft and features an embroidered turtle design. This would make a great a baby gift or just a special treat for the baby in your life. The winner gets to pick the color.

Want to enter? Here is how you do it. Visit the Ambajam website and pick out your favorite item. Leave a comment on this post telling me which Ambajam item you like best and your email address (very, very important) by Friday, February 13th at midnight CST.

And come back next week because I have another fabulous giveaway for you from Skin Botanica!
Congratulations to Therese (comment number 11)!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

New Tricks

He started smiling (my favorite baby milestone). He coos sweetly and makes funny little expressions when he looks at us.

But I don't have any pictures of those things yet.

Instead, here is a photo of Colin riding in his papoose with Mama.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Disney on Ice - Take Two!

On Monday night, I headed off to the United Center to see Disney on Ice with three kids and two sisters (because I needed some adult companionship in order to endure two hours of princesses).

As we approached the United Center, I noted that it seemed awfully dark. And the parking lots were empty. And that was because there was no Disney on Ice show on Monday night.

Cue the crying from the back seat ("I want to see Lightening McQueen! Where are the princesses on ice?").

I had no other choice than to take them out for ice cream sundaes the size of their heads to try to make up for this massive disappointment.

Maybe if I let them consume their body weight in ice cream, they will forget the fact that there was no show.

When I got home I sent the company who offered me tickets for this non-existent show a nasty email. Nobody offered me an apology, but they did give me six tickets to the Wednesday night show.

So on Wednesday night I packed my car full of the same group and we headed back to the United Center. Much to our delight, there was in fact a show that night. And, even better, there were six tickets waiting for us at the will call window. Hooray!

The kiddos all loved the show. Wide-eyed, they saw all of their favorites -- Lightening McQueen, Ariel, Mickey Mouse. The show was really quite a visual spectacle and it was kind of neat how they reenacted scenes from the movies (although I think we all could have done without the stampede that left Mustafa "dead" on the ice).

If you think that this is something that the little people in your life would love, the show is in town through February 8th.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Make Your Own Fun

Looking for something really, really easy to do with the kids on a cold afternoon?

Check out my latest craft column in Chicago Parent Magazine. (I bet you have everything you need in your kitchen cabinets).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fighting the February Funk

Not too cold for us, Mom.

Snowman courtesy of Dad.

Is February really only 28 days long? Really? This is not my favorite month.

In an attempt to avoid any sort of winter gloom, I am adopting the attitude that Eleanor and Brendan have (i.e. if we put snow pants and ski gloves on, we actually can go outside and have fun).

Plus, I am going to get regular manicures and pedicures to avoid that dry winter skin thing that tends to happen.

Oh, and I booked us tickets to Florida at the end of the month. Only 23 days until our toes hit the sand (and Colin makes his first trip to the beach).