Thursday, June 28, 2007

quick post

We have friends in from Texas so my blogging time is limited.... but I am taking lots of pics! :-)

Oh... I scrapped a quick page today....details here

I'm off to bed...


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

pure laziness

Rainy days do that to me.

But... I did manage to scrap another Disney layout from our trip in April....

details here

Nothing else to report, oh.... except I made something yummy for dinner. I'm trying to do new things with veggies, so tonight I made roasted green beans and my son who thinks it's painful to eat three green beans, ate three HELPINGS! They were really tasty!

Here's the basic recipe...
2lbs fresh green beans (washed and trimmed) (I used 1/2 this amount because it was all I had)
2 TBS olive oil
minced onion (I used about a third of an onion)
salt and pepper to taste

Lightly brush a baking pan with olive oil and add green beans. Sprinkle with minced onion and drizzle with olive oil... salt and pepper to taste.

Bake 30 minutes @ 400 degrees, stirring once.

That's it! Sooooo good! I'm definitely using more green beans next time so Jeff and I can actually have some.

Okay... off to bed! Hopefully I'll have pics to post tomorrow since Clara has her camp performance in the morning!


Monday, June 25, 2007


my little girl got her feelings hurt today :-( If you've been reading my blog you know that last week we were told that her body mass was too high (actually right on the dividing line between normal and too high) and we would have to do some blood work. So, her weight has been a sensitive issue in our house between my husband and I but Clara was unaware of our concern. We worked out a plan to change our diets so that we , as a family, would eat healthier versus micro managing her meals. Well... today she became aware and it nearly brought me to tears. She was a little down after camp today and I finally got her to tell me why. One of the girls in the camp pulled Clara's friend aside, pointed at Clara and said "look at her big fat belly", right in front of Clara. She was so profoundly sad and on the verge of tears. For crying out loud... she's FIVE!!! She shouldn't have to be dealing with body issues at this age! She's never thought twice about her size or shape before.... that is until now. She's always since day one had a "belly", it has just been her shape. She's a good eater who eats more veggies in a meal than her stick thin brother will eat in a week. We don't drink anything other than water in our house and sweets are very limited. We walk EVERYWHERE (20 blocks just today) and she's in dance and gymnastics. The doctor said that this may just be her body type... which is fine by me... I love her baby face and the fact that she's so squeezable... LOL! But what mom thinks doesn't matter as much as a random comment made by some random little girl at camp. Ugh... that's about the only word I can think of to describe how I feel.

Okay... so the layout I posted yesterday... I uploaded it to the CK website this morning and within an hour or so it was on the front page under "featured layouts"....
so, now I'm thinking that the featured layouts are just a randomly generated thing... perhaps it automatically shows the last layout you uploaded and I've never noticed it before. So, although it was fun to believe my Mayfest layout was chosen the other day... I'm thinking it's just a random thing and really doesn't mean anything! LOL!

Okay... the washer is beeping... time to put laundry in the dryer!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

head hurts

I hate sinus headaches and I have a major one right now.

We had a pretty uneventful weekend here. Saturday we went to Target. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal to many of you, but since our move I had not been inside a Target until yesterday! I went SIX MONTHS without setting foot inside a Target... and this from a woman who couldn't go six days back in Texas. Honestly we bought nothing of any importance... it was just nice to be back on familiar territory. Clara did add more little bitty animals and teeny tiny accessories to her growing Littlest Pet Shop collection. But since she's been doing chores she has her own money to spend so what can you do?

After that we went to the garden to work on our plot. I wish I would have taken my camera (except for the drizzling rain that was coming down)... you would not believe the transformation that place has gone through in just the past month or so! Each of our pepper plants have a pepper growing, our tomato plants have tripled in height and our basil is doing really well. While Jeff and I pulled weeds and do some other general tending... the kids caught and corralled bugs under the tent. At one time they had about 12 millipede looking things trapped in a makeshift corral they had made on a picnic bench. Let me just say that they are much braver than I! LOL!

Today we went to Home Depot and finally bought some furniture for our back really looks nice out there and it's really nice to finally have a place to sit down!

Oh... the kids decided to take up scrapbooking today. I'll have to take some snapshots of their work tomorrow. Let me just start by saying that I never was nor am I now a paper scrapper... paper scares me. However, that has never stopped me from acquiring supplies. Now, in my early days of acquiring supplies I bought really goofy sticker sets that you would never imagine me using giving my fairly clean scrapping style. So, all of those odd patterned papers and goofy stickers have been passed on to Alex and Clara... and quite frankly... they love them and made a couple of really nice layouts today... lol!

And speaking of scrapping... here's a quick page that I did this afternoon...

details here

Okay... tylenol is kicking in so I'm going to head to bed!


Friday, June 22, 2007

nothing much

seriously.... nothing much went on here today. We got a very slow start to our morning, then we were gone all afternoon for our homeschool group's playdate. The kids then went straight from the playdate to the parents' night out that a local business runs. Jeff and I went out to dinner at a really good Indian restaurant and then walked home. Pretty boring, huh?

I did scrap again... details here

Tomorrow is going to be a low key day as well. If it's not raining we're going to go to the garden to work on our plot and then we'll just work around the house. We may go to pick out furniture for our deck.... woo hoo!

Okay... I'm going to wrap this up before I bore you all to tears (I may be using the term "all" too loosely since I may only have one blog reader out there.... LOL!).


Thursday, June 21, 2007


Once again it's 10pm and our kids are just now getting in bed... sigh.

Today was a busy day. Clara had camp again this morning. Then after camp we decided to try out a new park with a spray pool that we spied on our ride home in a cab last week. The kids had a great time! After that we came home just long enough for the kids to change clothes and then we went to the Art Institute again for Drawing in the Galleries. It was such a pleasant surprise to see our friends there (the ones we played with at the beach last week). We did our drawings and investigated the downstairs for a while then we all hopped on the el for a trip north to "new" Chinatown at Argyle to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant. After that we said our good-byes and hopped on the el to go back home.

Whew! Tomorrow we get to sleep in... thank goodness!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

do you see what i see???

See that little blue square on the front page of the CK website?

Yup, it's my Mayfest layout! And apparently I can't write with the pen that goes with my tablet... LOL!

I'm going to keep this short since apparently we played in the alley too late again tonight.

See my smiling little girl up there? Well... we had her new patient well visit today and found out that I need to schedule to have some blood work done on her. She's a "healthy", active kid, who eats well and never sits still... yet her body mass charted too high, and add to that her blood pressure was elevated today and a family history that includes diabetes and high cholesterol. So as soon as we can swing it, she'll be going in for tests for high cholesterol and diabetes. :-( The reason I say "as soon as we can swing it" is because the glucose test is a fasting test so we want to be able to schedule it as early in the morning as possible. I'll make some calls tomorrow. Isn't 5 too young to be worried about these things??? I'm dreading this on so many levels... 1) mainly because I dearly hope there's nothing wrong and 2) she is really hard to draw blood from... it usually takes multiple sticks.... ugh. Thankfully she's my tough one.

Okay... I've obsessed enough this evening and spent too much time on it's time for me to go to bed.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007


drawing a blank on a witty title.

You can tell that it's officially summer here.... we're outside so late every night that by the time we get in and get everyone to bed... I have nothing left in me to write a decent post.

Nothing news worthy happened today. Oh... except Clara was in tears today because she broke her "best friend". Scary enough... this "best friend" was a kleenex she had drawn a face on and played with every morning when she woke up. We got her through this with an afternoon of making pom pom creatures... her's are named Rainbow, Bella and Jenna. She was on edge all day... so maybe all of that falling yesterday did take it's toll on her. On a fun Clara note... part of her camp is musical theater and they're doing a song from Annie. You should see Clara do the dance and sing "It's a hard knock life".... just too cute! We downloaded the Annie soundtrack from iTunes today and she's been practicing over and over and over again.

I did scrap again today....

details here

Okay... I'm off to bed!


Monday, June 18, 2007

monday, monday

Fairly uneventful day here today. It was back to camp for Clara this morning (and there are more girls in camp every day that she goes!). This afternoon the kids started their summer classes. Clara started gymnastics and Alex started cooking classes. Clara LOVED gymnastics! She had taken tumbling class over a year ago in Texas but never a full gymnastics class. I lost count of the number of times she hit the floor today (and not softly, I might add) ... but she popped right back up and kept on trying every time! I was so proud of her! Alex loved cooking class as well. He made barbeque chicken and johnny cakes. They ate some there but brought home big portions as well. So, Alex made dinner for us tonight! He's so excited about some of the things on the upcoming menus. Although he's pretty bummed that he's going to miss the week they do sushi rolls.... the boy loves sushi rolls. Next week is key lime pie with homemade whipped cream... yum!

I did manage to scrap a page as well....

details here

Nothing else really going on... for some reason I am completely freaking out about next school year and I just need to get over it and relax... but right now I can't... sigh.

Okay... I need to head to bed!


(Bridget... I'll email you about a photo playdate tomorrow morning!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

the alley

Who knew you could have so much fun in one?

street hockey
bikes... and later once the sun went down.... lightening bugs!! The kids had a great time playing with the neighborhood kids in the alley after dinner tonight. So much fun that we didn't get them into bed until really late.

And now it's time for me to go to bed! :-)


Saturday, June 16, 2007

sprinkler fun

This morning we went to Home Depot and FINALLY purchased a hose and sprinkler for our little patch of grass. The kids really enjoyed our new purchase (including the three pack of spray bottles).
do you think she'll hate this picture at some point? :-)
I just got Holly McCaig's new actions today and they are great! I've never really used actions before and man are these fun!

Oh Bridget - we were actually pretty far north (it's a trek for us on public transportation, but we've got friends up there)... just north of Loyola, so almost to Evanston.

Okay... time for bed again!


Friday, June 15, 2007

an afternoon on the beach

The kids and I decided today was a good day for a trip to the beach...

The post beach rinse off in the sprinker (above) and a special treat (below)...
The kids had a great time even though another mom and I had water quality concerns. They were exhausted tonight. It was family movie night and Clara maybe made it about a third of the way through the movie before she passed out.

The kids should be exhausted. Not only were we at the beach today and out late on Wednesday... we were out late last night as well. We went back to the Art Institute for drawing in the galleries. This time the kids got to use oil pastels... it is just so much fun to see them work on their drawings. Anyway... we didn't leave the Art Institute until after 8:00 and we got on our bus that was displaying the wrong sign so the driver had to stop at EVERY stop and announce the correct bus route number... it took FOREVER. We hadn't eaten dinner yet (we had eaten a big lunch late) so the kids were starving and exhausted. Jeff met us at a noodle shop near our house at about 9:30 and we had a light dinner before going home and passing out. As of right now, we have nothing really planned for tomorrow which is nice.

Okay... I'm a little sleepy myself so I'm heading to bed!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

more from wrigley field

Just some more photos from last night.
Does that give you any idea as to how early we got there?? LOL! We were there by 6:00 for a 7:05 start.

Embracing the sun flare.

Don't you just love those yellow/orange lights? That's the way they really are. The crazy thing is that they neutralize other colors so my red camera bag looked grey. And so did the little red dot on my lens that you use to line it up when changing lenses. I decided to change lenses on the platform and it nearly drove me INSANE trying to line it all up since my red dot had completely disappeared (okay, it hadn't, but it was grey and I wasn't expecting it to be grey).
I took two lenses last night.... my 20mm 2.8 and my 85mm 1.8. My 20mm is really beginning to grow on me. To be honest, I hated it the first time I took it out... I was nearly sick with disappointment. I bought it to be my wide angle lens for our Paris trip and I *thought* I had researched it thoroughly enough... sigh. Maybe it was just first use panic, user error and questionable subjects... who knows. Actually, here are two of the things I learned... 1) I'm so used to longer focal lengths and tighter shots... meaning that I'm used to a subject dominated shot with not a lot of "junk" in the picture. It was hard for me to get used to wide shots and getting closer than I thought I should be. 2) I've stopped using the lens wide open at 2.8... I shot at 3.5 last night at least most of the time. I currently LOVE this lens. It, by no means, is going to become my everyday lens but it was perfect for last night. I was able to photograph my kids as they sat right next to me in the stands. Loved that.

A fun thing about photography at Wrigley Field is that there doesn't seem to be any restrictions... except that your bag must be of a certain size that will fit under your seat. I took my Crumpler bag with my 20d body and two lenses and had absolutely no problem going through security. Next time I'm going to try my 20mm 2.8 again and my 70-200mm 2.8L. I have nothing really usable of anything going on on the field... but that really wasn't my focus... this time. It was more to capture my kids' first trip to the ball park.

Okay... the kids are in art project mode... so I've got to run!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

cubs win!!

Can you believe the kids lasted until into the 8th inning of a night game??? Needless to say, we're all exhausted so just a few pics from tonight and then I'm heading to bed!

Our dainty little flower eats a hot dog... lol!

Cotton Candy Craziness!!!

Okay... that's it... I'm ready for bed!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

woo hoo!

My router woes are over! Our wireless router has been dying a slow painful death for a long time now... but last week was the worst. I couldn't keep my connection for more than a couple minutes at a time. Now... thanks to Jeff and we have a new wireless router and an "excellent" connection! :-)

I did manage to scrap a couple of pages... one is way out of my norm and the other is one of my typically simple layouts.

details here
details here

The layout right above here is another page in my Paris Shutterfly book. I'm trying to decide how much journaling I want to do on these pages. I do want to preserve the memories, but I was also thinking of this as a photo showcasing coffee table type book. So, here is the page for now.... 3 pages down, 17 to go... hopefully I will have made my decision about journaling by the time I'm done.

Nothing much else going on here. Clara started camp yesterday and it was a bit of a disappointment. We signed her up for a three week camp (longer than I would have liked), but it was close to our house and we were hoping that she would make some neighborhood friends. Well... yesterday there was only ONE (yes, one) other girl in the ENTIRE camp!!!! I'm not talking about her class... but the entire camp! Today there were 7 other little girls, so things are looking up... however, they all seemed to be friends who are doing the camp together... ugh.

Tomorrow night we are taking the kids to their first ever Cubs game!! I'm so excited! It's a night game so it should be interesting.... needless to say, we won't be seeing the whole game.

Shawna... I didn't forget about the wonderful surprise you had for me on your blog today... I'm just totally unprepared to do my post about it tonight! LOL! But I do thank you very much! You made my day!

Okay... I'm off to bed!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

art at the art fair

Wow... I think I hit art fair overload today! We started our morning at the Old Town Art Fair and finished our afternoon at the nearby Wells Street Art Fair. We were gone from home nearly 6 hours and spent most of that time on our feet. The kids were exhausted but happy. Especially after spending some time in the tent sponsored by the School of the Art Institute. Here are a few pics.... (please excuse the odd skin tones on the first two... I was trying to adjust for the weird cast from the red tent we were in)...

(just look at Clara's perfect posture... LOL!)
Besides food, we only made two purchases... a crazy cool metal dog bowl holder in the shape of a dog for Friday (the kids have named him "Rusty"... I should probably take a pic so it makes sense). And Alex bought a cool metal plane made out of a spark plug and other found metal objects. Unfortunately, the booth sold out of them before he decided that was what he wanted to purchase.... but one will be shipped to him this week.

One of my favorite booths at the show was Anne Leuck Feldhaus' booth. Aren't her paintings fun? Love, love, love the dog portaits... hmmm... maybe Friday needs one done :-)

Oh... our evening at the Shedd was amazing! I love going there regardless but it was amazing being there without the crowds... it was killing me not to have my camera between the unobstructed views of the tanks to the amazing city skyline view from the terrace.... sigh.

Okay... Clara starts camp tomorrow so I need to get her stuff together and get to bed!


Saturday, June 09, 2007

scenes from our saturday

Alex the dog-faced boy...his duck
his spastic sisterand her balloon
We had a great morning at the Printers Row Book Fair. I'm such a goof... I get totally emotional being in the presence of *that* many books! We didn't get any cool used books (it was hard to look with the kids) but we did find some fun stuff.

Well... that's all I have time for... Jeff and I are off to his work party at the Shedd Aquarium!