Friday, February 22, 2008

And now for the answer to... Name That Crud!

Brian and I bought Chase this cool toy for Christmas:

He LOVES it. We put it in his playpen and he has a blast in there. He will put all sorts of toys on it, including blocks, stacking rings and sippy cups. It's great fun.

Thursday he was playing with it while I was getting ready in the morning. I heard the music coming from the table but something was different. I looked over and the piece in the middle wasn't spinning, so none of the balls were doing anything. They were just sitting there. Huh.

So that night after I put Chase to bed I grabbed the table and immediately realized something was up because you could hear pieces of something rattling around inside and little white flakes were falling to the floor. I took it down to the basement and while I got caught up on my American Idol episodes I took a screwdriver to the table and dismantled it. What you saw in the "Name That Crud" post (see previous) fell out of the table all over the floor when I finally got the thing apart.

It's dried milk.

I gagged, too.

I guess the milk from a leaky sippy cup (or 20) flying around the table must have seeped in through the table's speakers or something. I spent over an hour taking the insides of that table apart, cleaning everything out and putting it all back together again.

No more sippy cups allowed in the play pen!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Time to play... Name That Crud!

This is a photo of how I spent my night. Any ideas what this stuff is on my carpet?

Leave your best guesses in the comments section. Answer coming soon!

Tampa Trip

Chase and I got back from Tampa yesterday. Brian had a conference scheduled there so we tacked a little family getaway onto the front of it. We all went down there last weekend for a few days and then Brian stayed after Chase and I left and is doing his conference thing now.

We have a lot of family down there and I'm happy to say we were able to spend some time with all of them, though not as much time as we would have liked!

This is by no means representative of our entire trip but here are a few photos from my camera. The rest are in our Photo Album.

At the Tampa Aquarium, Chase got up close and personal with the fish:

Aunt Jen (Brian's sister) and our nephew (Chase's cousin) Ryan took us to Picnic Island, where we played at the beach...

...and made use of a park there:

Jen and Ryan had a lot of fun together on the swings:

We also were able to introduce Chase to his only living great-grandparent, Great-Grandma Paine:

We also spent time with Brian's Uncle Carl & Aunt Elaine, cousin Jason and his wife Glenne (and their adorable son, Smith) and his Uncle Rodney & Aunt Carol. Unfortunately I don't have photos with them but I'm hoping they share some of the ones they took (and if/when they do, I'll add them to our Photo Album).

Chase and I had an OK trip back. It's hard traveling with a kid by yourself! I missed the extra set of hands, definitely. We had a connecting flight and the first flight was a tough one. You know, I love that people love my son, but when you're trying to get your kid to sleep it's the most frustrating thing in the world to have people come up and try to play with him.

He fell in love with a flight attendant on the first flight. I mean, he fell in LOVE. She came up and said hi to him when we first boarded the plane and the minute she walked away he started to cry. So as I tried to get him to sleep the entire flight I constantly prayed she wouldn't walk by. But of course every time he started to get comfortable on my shoulder, there she was.... "Hi, cutie!" His head would pop up and he would smile and lo and behold, she would walk away (because I guess they have other things to do than entertain my son), and he would cry and crane his entire body around to try to see her. So then I would calm him down and get him relaxed, almost ready to drift off to sleep again, and then BAM! She was back. We went through that cycle over and over and over again the entire flight. Needless to say on the 2nd flight he was passed out before we even left the ground. PHEW.

When we got back to Chicago we dug our coats and hats out of our suitcase and started the trek to my car. Let me tell you, carrying a 23 pound child on your hip while pulling a 50 pound suitcase with a diaper bag over your shoulder that feels like you filled it with rocks is NOT an easy task... especially when you didn't plan your son's outfit very well and dressed him in a slippery jogging pants outfit. I have no idea how I did it. Seriously.

Anyway, it was so nice to get out of the cold Chicago weather, if only for a few days. Next time we need to go for a longer period of time!

Chicago Auto Show

For Valentine's Day this year I took the day off work, we put Chase in daycare and Brian and I headed to the city for the auto show. We have wanted to do that for years and had to get it in before we moved! While we were there Brian picked out his next car (ha!):

(He has wanted one of these Porches forever and he hated me for this but I just HAD to take his picture in it.)

My favorite part of the show was seeing all the concept cars. Here are a couple faves but you can see them all in our Photo Album.

Friday, February 15, 2008

NIU Shooting

I'm sure you have all heard by now about the shooting at Northern Illinois University yesterday. That's where Brian goes to school and has taught the last few semesters. I just want everyone to know he is OK. It hits close to home but he's fine.

I have the hardest time with these things because I just don't GET them. And I get so scared about the "you just never know" aspect of it all. I get afraid for myself and more importantly, for my family. But I guess you just have to let what's out of your hands be out of your hands.

MAN, that's hard.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dancin' Fool

Chase and I attend a weekly Music Together class. It was recommended to me by a music teacher and at first I said, "Isn't he too young?" but the class is for kids from birth to age 5. We went to a free demo class to see what it was all about and Chase loved it so much I just couldn't help but sign us up for the 10-week session. So every Saturday morning Chase and I bond over music with other parents and their kids. It's really fun!

Of course dads are welcome, too. After our first class I called Brian to tell him all about it and he said, "You know what? That sounds pretty cool. I might like to come with you guys one time." I was like, "Oh, that would be so great! We would have so much fun! Are you serious?!?" to which he responded, "Uhhhh... NO!!!!"

What a poop.

Anyway, Chase's favorite part of the class is when they bring out the big bin of instruments. All the kids get to choose an instrument and jam along to a song (he is never a happy camper when he has to put his instrument away). At our last class it came time for this part and the teacher asked an older kid to get the instruments. Chase watched the kid walk across the room and as soon as the boy pulled the bin out of the closet my son yelled, "WHOAH!!!!" I almost peed my pants. That's my boy!

Anyway, they give you 2 CD's when you sign up of all the music used in the class and we play them at home and in the car for fun sometimes. Here's a little clip of him dancing to one of his favorite tunes at home:

Music Together is a national company with classes all over the place, so if you think your kid would love it as much as mine does, you can find a class near you on their website at

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Well, That Was Easy!

We sold our house today. Well, I guess technically we have a contract pending but we had our first and only showing this morning and they made an offer tonight. Our house went on the market THURSDAY, remember?? It has been 5 days. Unbelievable. If all goes according to plan we will be closing April 25th, so we'll be homeless for a few weeks but I guess that's better than having 2 homes (a.k.a. 2 mortgages)!

It's funny because when we bought this house it had been on the market for one day when we made an offer, and I remember our realtor saying that the wife of the couple who owned it was freaking out we made an offer so fast because they didn't have anywhere to move yet. I remember thinking, "That poor woman!" But now here I am! Must be the house.

Anyway, we are counting our lucky stars, with the market being the way it is today. Here's to hoping it all goes off without a hitch! Cross your fingers for us!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Z z z z z z z . . . .

I was busy deleting photos from my digital camera tonight when I saw this out of the corner of my eye. I guess someone was tired!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Peter Alsop is My Hero

To all you parents, teachers and other caregivers out there: If you haven't checked out Peter Alsop yet... DO IT.

When I was little I had his album "Wa'd'ya Wanna Do?" It was a copy of a tape someone made for my mom and I played that tape CONSTANTLY and sang all the songs... all the time (I'm sure I drove my mom nuts). Anyway, Mom was cleaning out her attic a little while back and found the tape. I was SO excited to have it back but then sadly realized I didn't have a tape player to play it on! I went online to see if somehow, some way I could find a CD of it and was thrilled to find he had a website with tons more albums and other products (DVD's, song books, etc.) to purchase!

I ordered my CD, got it super fast and have been playing it constantly since. Chase loves the music and I have to admit I play it in my car on commutes when Chase isn't with me because I still remember all the words and it puts me in a great mood.

The wonderful thing about Peter Alsop's songs is that besides being fun, they teach great lessons. Without going into detail I can tell you that Peter's music made an incredible impact on my life as a kid, and still does today when I revisit it. Peter Alsop taught me invaluable lessons through his music, and I'm so excited to find he has more products because Chase will be getting lots of them throughout the years.

Peter is an educational psychologist who writes songs for kids AND adults. You can learn more about him and order products, etc. on his website at (and if you click on "Peter's Tunes" you can listen to sound clips of some of his music). If you are looking for great songs that teach great lessons and are sick of cheesy Barney tunes, definitely check him out. It just may change your child's life, like I believe it changed mine.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fun With Books and Snow

I've been kind of slack in the photo department lately but over the past couple days we've had more excuses to take pictures.

Thursday night we had a huge snowstorm here and Chase LOVED it. I took him outside when I got home from work to play in it for a couple minutes. He wasn't so sure about touching it and really didn't love sitting in it, but he couldn't get enough of the big fluffy flakes flying into his face (say that five times fast)!


Then today my mom called asking for some photos for an article she is writing on reading with kids, so we did a little photo shoot today. Chase really does love reading this much!

Photos of both our fun with snow and books are now in our Photo Album. Enjoy!

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