Monday, June 30, 2008

Summer Cliff Notes

There has been lots going on but just not a lot of time to put it into words. We have a busy busy summer. The boys are loving summer camp, Tae Kwon Do, swim lessons, pool time, visitors and summer festivals. Throw into the mix a few trips, birthday parties, weekend excursions, Charlie's therapy and exploring Chicago ... well it's a summer filled to the brim.
Backing up the boat, the week after our last blog "the block party" ... Jet and I took a weekend excursion to see friends. We spent a weekend with Tracy, Billy and KK (Jimmy & Tom were fishing .... meanwhile at home ... Chris was teaching Charlie how to retrieve beers from the beer fridge during the golf tourney). Since our visit was short ... flew in Saturday came home on Sunday ... we packed in Como Zoo, Korean meal, Splash park, pizza party and a park visit. It was great to see our old friends who were on a short visit stateside before returning to India. It was as if time stood still and our Bonnie/Clyde duo (aka KK and Jettie) who picked up without skipping a beat. As you can tell from the pictures a good time was had by all.

Upon our return, both boys picked afternoon swim lessons at our local high school. Charlie was in Stage One and Jet in Stage Three. Unfortunately ... neither advanced this year ... in fact it was in the second week of the two week session ... when Charlie was being carried around the pool by the high school crew that I was questioning our investment (time, money and sweat) in these lessons. Especially when Charlie is a fish at our other pool (see pic) ... pushing off the wall in the deep end, jumping in the pool, practicing his strokes ... so needless to say, it was irritating to sit in the humid 102 degree auditorium and watch Charlie flirt and play scared. SOOOO we are going for round two on the swim lesson front, both boys are getting private lessons at our pool.

On June 28th, the boys completed their Tae Kwon Do testing and accomplished another belt level. Charlie is now a yellow belt and Jet is a red belt (1/2 way to a Black Belt). After high red,

Jet will start working on his deputy red belts and the pace will slow down .... which at $100 a pop per test is ok by mom & dad. Even with our busy summer, we're still hitting class three times per week.

We had a busy July 4th weekend. It was Jet's Gotcha Day and we had Juli visiting from MSP and Mel (the boys cousins) up from Decatur, Il where she is doing and internship for Catepillar. We kept the pace going hitting the pool 3 days, Chucky Cheese, and July 4th. Jet loved his special day with special fireworks and his mom's homemade chocolate cake (dairy free so all can enjoy). Jet stayed up late and watched his first fireworks show and caught lots of fireflies which are out in full force this year. We are amazed that it's only Jet's 5th gotcha day but also amazed at how big he's gotten all of the sudden ... actually Charlie too. He's such a big boy and getting into big boy things: Superheroes, peer parties, bikes, competitive sports, ect .... . Makes us want to stop time.

One of the reasons I've been so slow to post is that I was in another 'assassin' knitting game making a summer tote. I was just finishing up the straps when I was killed. At least I got a really cool bag out of the deal.
Chris is busy in his new role. Since it's been officially announced, we can share that he is taking an equity position in the new company. It's really exciting and we're so proud of all his hard work. On a funny note, this blog caught the eye of the IT team prior to the official buy and announcement. Funny what comes up when googled. They were checking to make sure nothing was seeping out prior to the deal being announced. Ok ... so Chris tells me that the IT team told him that they read my blog ... my response ... Did they enjoy it. Chris "yes they said it was very good". "wow I thought ... a third party thinking my blog is great ... how cool is that". It took until after the boys were in bed and I had time to really ponder this that I realized .... "what are they going to say .... Chris your wife's blog sucks! Of course they are going to say that it's good. My bubble was burst. So big brother ... if you are out there reading this ... do you really like it?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Annual Neighborhood Block Party

A distinct feature about being a "Chicago-an" is that we treat our parties seriously. This includes tailgates, life milestones, charity events, and even room mother parties. So when we have a block party ... this isn't your normal, run of the mill neighborhood get-together. Our block party this last weekend included a jumpee, a balloon guy (aka juggler), a live band, a slip & slide, two grills serving brats and burgers, an outdoor movie for the kids, appetizers, sides, desserts and lots of beverages. Now throw in 3 downpours, thunder, lightening, a tornado watch and the party is really memorable. This is my all time favorite thing about Chicago ... our neighborhood. It looks like Mayberry and it's a fantastic place for kids to grow up. Our block could field it's own baseball team, we have that many kids, that young. We live in our front yards during the summer and we keep up with what's going on with each other's families, kids and pets.

The only thing missing from our evening was a wet t-shirt contest but after the first downpour ... that too happened (not such a good thing for those past our wet tshirt prime like me)!

It was hot, muggy, buggy and rainy but everyone had a great time. Gosh, our best trouper was our across-the-street neighbor Walter. He's 93 years old and lasted through 2 downpours and the Belmont.

Our niece Melanie made it in for the weekend. It was so nice to have her. I think she enjoyed her stay ... it certainly was entertaining. She's living 3 hours away this summer (internship for Caterpillar) so we hope to see more of her ... assuming that we didn't scare her off this last weekend.

Back to the party, we had lots of creative retreats ... front porches, umbrella's, garages ... yes that's our youngest set eating dinner next to our gas filled lawnmower ... and under tree's. We didn't say that we were the brightest lot huddling under trees with lightening but after viewing the horse race with a few beers ... we liked our odds!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Note to self ... shower and clean up before the next photo op.

We made the news this week with one of the adoption groups that we have become involved with - see the link. OMG! If this isn't motivation to diet then I don't know what is. The message however is fabulous and the boys - all three- look great. That's what happens when you schedule Pet Parade (see below), the chinese MD appt (which ran 2 hours late and we finally had to leave) and a photo op back 2 back. Well I guess it wasn't really back 2 back. If the Dr. Wu would have been on time, I would have looked marvelous - at least that's what I'm telling myself.,ws-webadopt-060308-s1.article

Monday, June 2, 2008

Look Ma! No Wheels ... training that is!

The big milestone this week was Jet riding his bike without his training wheels. It didn't take him long to get the hang of it. He's taken a few tumbles but goes at a pretty swift pace and can make corners. He did give a local Senior, out walking his Bischone, a near heart attack this morning as he came barreling toward him on the sidewalk screaming "Get out of the way! Get out of the way!" while at the same time doing non-stop ringing on his bike bell. I had to scream back for Jet to stop his bike and let the gentlemen and his dog pass - another near heart attack as I was using my top "mom" voice and it came from behind the poor old guy. I think this man will be taking a different path on his morning walk tomorrow. God bless him. Jet seems like such a big boy ... all done with preschool and on his way to kindergarten.
The other excitement for the week was the big local village Pet Parade. It's a parade that is in it's 62nd year in our village. Really anyone can walk in the parade ... pet or no pet. We saw alpacas, llamas, goldfish, every dog (and rescue group) known to man, guinea pigs, camels, and even a boa constrictor. You throw in a couple of local marching bands, a few bagpipe groups, clowns and some old tired looking floats and it's a parade. The highlight was the candy tossing to the kids ... let's face it ... with all that I mentioned above ... it's kind of a kiddie mardi gras. We got there early and set up camp on the sidewalk in the shade. It's a huge deal ... a little Mayberry-esk ... that's part of the charm. We ended up near the announcer's stand so it was like one rolling advertisement after another for local businesses. The cutest ad was the camel with two humps who carried the sign for the local chiropractor ... "don't let your back look like this ... come visit La Grange Chiropractors". That gives you a little taste for the parade.
Charlie's last day of school is this Thursday. I'm not letting the grass grow underneath his feet though. The boys start summer camp on Monday (3 mornings per week). Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I spend spring break with the boys with nothing planned. That one week motivated me to plan an action filled summer. We should have lots of good stuff to report.