Sunday, June 14, 2009

9-1-1 What's Your Emergency

Uh Uh ,... The Ice Cream Truck is playing music!   Let me start from the beginning:

Early on in the spring, after a long, lo0000000ng hard winter,  - and spring being when Chicago hit a balmy 45 degrees ... nothing seemed more "spring-ish" than the ice cream truck playing it's merry little tune.  So we, and every neighbor with in ear shot ... ran to the ice cream truck like it was the second coming of Jesus!  "YES YES ... Hand me that stale snow cone ... doesn't matter ... we are in joy just to have the opportunity to buy year-old ice cream".  Now fast forward 2 months.  The Ice Cream man has become un-relentless.  He's our stalker ... if we set foot in the front yard ... he's driving up the block with some crazy "one flew over the coo coo nest' organ tune that is so cult-like that it creates a mad dance on the sidewalk in all children under age 10.  
Last Sunday, Chris and I decide that we need a change from our backyard.  We pour a glass of red wine, open the garage for access to scooters and bikes for the boys and park ourselves on the front porch.  We sit down and that mad mad ice cream truck music starts as if he's been waiting for us to emerge from hibernation.  Jet and Charlie immediately start the "crazed" dance on the sidewalk.   The words out of our mouths are, "Are you sh_tting me?".  So the truck pulls in front of our house and stops.  Chris stands up and yells, "Move on."  The truck just stays ... playing it's music as the boys whip into a frenzied dance.  Again, in a much louder voice, Chris yells, "GO, MOVE ON, WE'RE NOT BUYING!" .... more music ... increased hysteria on the sidewalk.  Chris yells again, "BEAT IT >>> MOVE IT>>>"  This time up on his feet and moving Chris moves with purpose towards the ice cream truck ... he moves 10 ft in front of in front of our neighbors house .... still playing it's sick cult music ... our boys all the more inspired.  OK Chris is livid!  He yells even louder ...." I TOLD YOU TO MOVE ON!"  Now our neighbor has heard the commotion and has come out.  The I.C. man opens his serving window and yells, "I've got a license ... I can sell anywhere!"  To which Chris replies, "@*#@&#*"  and Jet runs into the house saying to me, "Dad is so mean ... he's yelling at the Ice Cream Man!"  (who ranks 3rd behind Santa and Grandma).  

So the next morning - I have to congratulate Chris - he takes time out of his busy schedule to call village hall and ask what can be done about the Ice Cream Man.  Basically nothing.  He's licensed, he can sell as long as he's on the street and it's against village ordinance for him to play music .... WHAT .... yes that's right says the village manager, if you hear the music, you call the police, they'll cite the guy and we'll revoke his license.

Which leads my to last friday.  I am upstairs and I hear the music one block over.  I grab the phone .... I'm an American and I'm doing this for every parent in the Tri-state area ... I dial 9-1-1:

"9-1-1 What's your emergency?"

"uh uh, the ice cream truck ..."

"9-1-1, come again ... what is your emergency?"

"OK, the ice cream man has been stalking my family and the village manager told me to call the police when I heard his music.  Did you know that it's against village ordinance for the ice cream man to pay his music?"

"Maam, Where is the Ice cream truck ...  CAN YOU STILL SEE THE ICE CREAM TRUCK?"

"I think so  I hear it on the block behind me".  I want to add: by the way, I'm only 47 yrs ... I'm not old, crabby and deaf.  
Then I realize ... God ,  I'm only 47 ... and I'm calling 9-1-1 on the ice cream man?  Oh god,   they are going to play my 9-1-1 call on Leno.  I'm not old or deaf but I'm certainly crabby with a strong biased against the ice cream man!  

I run outside to tell Chris that I've made the call to the police.  Then I see the police cruiser going down the street in search of the music playing Ice Cream truck or maybe to check out the house of the crazy lady.  I can hear the call now.

"Joe this is dispatch."

Joe munching on his dunkins
"Go ahead dispatch."

"Joe, can you check out Kensington Ave?  We got a looney ballooney calling about the Ice Cream Truck Rock band.  Just make sure "kensington crazy" is not dancing naked in the middle of the street"

"10-4 dispatch out".   

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer is Here!

May was a flurry of activities and teacher farewells. Both Jet and Charlie said goodbye to school last week. Summer started off in full swing. We've already made several trips to the pool and the boys have already acquired their tan lines. Swim lessons started this morning , soccer ended on Saturday, tennis starts in two weeks when TBall finishes up and of course we have Tae Kwon Do. So basically, we'll be swimming, kicking and hitting balls until school starts up in August. The only camp we have is Camp Pride which is one week at the end of July. You throw in a few library events, a trip to Omaha and Ah Ram's arrival ... we'll got a full, fun summer.
We made our way this weekend to a chilly, rainy Chicago White Sox baseball game on the South side. It was Jet's second major league game and Charlie's first. We made it 5 innings and were surprised at the zeal that Charlie showed toward the game. He loved it and watched every batter hit. Jet is much more fair weather ... when it was raining, he was not in the stands. The statement of the game was Charlie asking, "Mom, why are we here?". "Ummm to watch the White Soxs" "oh". We ate our way through 4 hot dogs, 2 pretzels, 1 dippin dots, 1 ice cream, 2 cotton candy bags, one peanut bag, and 2 beers (beers for Daddy and Mommy of course). After springing for two new ball caps ... well the funds were tapped out and it was time to go home. Charlie managed to find Southpaw, the team mascot, and got a special hug from his new friend.

As part of our summer project, we picked up a 799 pc lego set to work on over the summer. A Mommy and Jet project - like the puzzles that are worked on all summer. Well, we are 4 days into summer vacation and the project is done (with very little help from Mommy). I was worried that the project would be too much for Jet ... he's 6 and it was a project for ages 9-13 years. Well let me tell you he's a natural at building and figuring out how things to together. I'm seeing engineer, architect, carpenter or builder in his future.

For all of you inexperienced at these huge lego projects, the KEY IS IN THE SORTING! Always sort before you start! It will save you frustration, headache, heartbreak and therapy sessions ... trust me ... I did not sort Christmas Lego project. So I guess we're back to finding a puzzle for the summer. If it would ever clear up and get warmer, we'd head to the pool. And so it goes as I type ... the sun just came out! See ya, I've got to catch the few rays while we can.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mom's Day Loot

One of my favorite blogs is our friends, the Murphy's, blog.  From their travels in India to their arrival back in the states, it's always very entertaining.  When I read Tracy's blog this week about Mother's Day, I felt a little remiss that I didn't share all the wonderful stuff I got on that very same day.  So here it is.  OK, first hugs and kisses from Dad and the boys .... those rank the highest.   After that ... and in no order .... I got a bouquet of flowers (signed Jet and Charlie but I know where they came from), a really cool art coffee mug created by Jet in kindergarten (I swear my coffee taste better out of this beautiful mug which is not dishwasher safe ... I have to save this from Chris's loading each night), Rosetta Stone - Korean from Chris to prepare me for Ah Ram's arrival in July/August.  I hope to speak a few more sentences of Korean than I do now (and by that I mean one Korean sentence would be more than I speak now).  AND finally, since Charlie was out of preschool last week due to his tonsillectomy and did not get to create a Mom's gift, I did my motherly duty and picked up these really cute, way cool sandals for him to give to me.  It was kind of double duty since I was taking care of Charlie's gift and stimulating the economy at the same time.   What can I say, I'm a multi-tasking mom.
It doesn't get much better!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Game On!

It's May and the annual start of spring ball.  Soccer and Tball for our family. We had our first games this week.  It was all Jet's games that we attended since Charlie had his tonsils out on Tuesday which makes him unavailable for two weeks ... but more about this later.  Jet's Tball team has been rained out most weeks.  We finally got a game in this week.  Much to the dismay of Chris, it's just not hitting expectations for Dad on Tball.  For one thing, nobody keeps score.  Secondly, every kid bats 4 times ... 28 players (14 for each team) x 4 at bats makes for a really long game.   Thirdly,  there are no practices and little organization which really just frustrates Chris.  So after game one, Dad is rethinking signing up the boys again until it's coach pitch with actual coaching.  Soccer on the other hand rocks!  No practices, 45 minute fast paced games and much more organization.   
OK, it's been a three hospital week for us with Charlie.  Sunday night was a trip to the ER as Charlie took a light saber to the nose resulting in blood flow from the nose, mouth and onto Mom's brand new gap shirt.  Nothing broken but he was definitely bruised for a few days.  We are in awe at how quickly it disappeared.  Anyways, after spending Sunday night in the ER, we show up at Children's hospital on Monday morning to get Charlie's tonsils removed.  I was given instructions on Friday to have no food after midnight and only clear liquids to drink.  What I failed to hear or they failed to tell me (probably the former), is that I was to stop clear liquids two hours prior to surgery.  I was 45 minutes off the mark and the surgery was rescheduled for the next day.  In some weird way it was comforting .... the ENT showed me  his schedule with back to back tonsil and adenoid removals ...  no room for fudge in this schedule so he must be good and expect everything to go like clockwork.  
FINALLY Tuesday the tonsils came out.  The ENT check the adenoids and they were completely gone (had not grown back).  Charlie was such a good little patient.  He had Popsicles immediately out of recovery and didn't stop until they kicked us out at 10:30AM  (The surgery was at 7:30am).  At this point Charlie declared that he needed to stay longer and relax in addition to telling the staff the Popsicles at home "stink" ... you know the all fruit kind.  We finally got him out the door and he is back to his usual speed.  
OK, off to frost the cupcakes.  Have a good mother's Day.

Post script to my original blog:
You always know the doctors and nurses with boys:
"wow what happened to his nose?"
"Light saber"
"ah .... chuckle chuckle"

You also always know the doctors and nurses with more than two boys because instead of saying goodbye when you leave the ER they say "See you next time"!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Steakcation at the Dells

Vacation at the Dells is what the opening line should read. We rented a cabin in the Dells for a short little vacation starting on Wednesday after Jet got off school and coming home today ... Saturday. Oh my, the boys were so excited. They have been talking about this all week long (several weeks actually) ... in fact, much to our alarm, Charlie told everyone he saw. The list includes (this is not a joke) his teachers, all the neighbors, woman at the car wash, the sprinkler guy, grocery store clerk (s), grocery store baggers, Target check out associate, Target Deli manager, and so many more including the UPS guy (the most coveted man, after the husband of course, for every 'stay at home' mom. Who doesn't love a guy that is consistent in his dress, his wheels and comes with a quick 'toot toot' before depositing the VERY thing that you desire at your feet on your doorstep). OK, I digress. Fortunately for us, Charlie wasn't telling people that we were going on vacation but rather steakcation or staycation. Most folks figured it out but for the confused few ... we're had a big rib eye steak party at our house this last weekend.

The Dells in WI are a short 3 hour drive away. We stayed at a cabin in the Wilderness Resort. The lodging was better than we could have imagined. Clean, spacious, updated and with it's own fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer on a private lot with a view of the golf course. If we had known it was so spacious we would have invited you along .... 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, large deck, and most importantly .... 1 flat screen, surround sound speakers, DVD, a TV for each bedroom, 5 bars on the cell telle and Internet access. So yes, Chris was happy too.

The resort had 3 different pools - 2 water parks and 1 wave pool (boasting the largest in the USA). So here's how our days laid out .... Arcade, pool, indoor play ground, water park, nature walk. REPEAT for the next three days and add Mommy/Daddy juice at night.

We really had a blast and are scoping out this as a possible multi-family shindig down the road. It's always a good vacation when everything smells like chlorine (and what better excuse for not giving baths ... I mean doesn't it kill every bacteria on the skin?). Well, we're all beat so I'm going to load in the pics and close the chapter on this vacation.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Slacker Blogger

Geez, talk about really falling down on the job, this is one area that I haven't been able to keep up with this last month so we have a lot of updating.  I started out meaningful ... planning to blog everyday of spring break but it just didn't happen.  I feel off the bandwagon after day 1.  SOOOO .... here's what's been happening in a nut shell over the last month:Charlie's Birthday! Charlie turned 5 on 3/27.  The only party that he wanted was with the family ... wow definitely something that Mom & Dad were not going to fight.  
He was thrilled to receive a Powe
r Ranger Costume (one side Blue Ranger and one side Red Ranger) ... yes Power Rangers are still around ... the series that keeps re-inventing itself much to the dismay of every adult who has had to endure an episode.  Charlie also got art books and supplies which always come to good use in our house.  We have two boys who draw, color, cut, tape, paste, create everyday.  We've killed a fe
w tree's with the reams of paper we've gone through.

Moving onward, for the first time since we have lived in Chicagoland, we had snow past Charlie's birthday.  But gosh darn it ... it's spring and we're still going to u
se the swing set ... snow or no snow.  It has been a very long winter (snow season) and
 FINALLY the trees are in bloom and the tulips have arrived.  It was nice enough on Easter morning to do our annual block Easter Egg hunt.  Since we have rabid raccoons in the hood, the Easter Bunny
 must appear Easter morning ... somewhere's between 8:00 and 8:45  ... just in time for the "race for the eggs" which commences at 9am.  It was fun and the kids on the block, all 15, had a ball.
One other highlight for the 
month was Charlie and I being promot
ed to Green Belts in
 Tae Kwon Do.  We tested and passed.  I don't think we'll make the next test in late May.  Neither Charlie or I have a strip on our belt yet for Kick, Form or One step tests.  We try to get into TKD 3-4x per week but we were out last week when I got strep throat, we are on vaca later this month and Charlie gets his tonsils out in early May.  In addition, we are starting up soccer and tball.  May and June are going to be busy.  Here's our other news, it looks like we are all set to host an exchange student next year from Korea.  Her name is Ah Ram and she'll attend our local high school.  We feel very fortunate since our HS only accepts 4 exchange students per yr.  She'll come in August and stay with us until June.  It looks like it will be an exciting year with lots of good blogs coming.  

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day One Spring Break!

Originally our spring break plans included a trip to see the grandparents and other relatives in Omaha.  About 12 hours after we called Grandma to let her know that we were coming, Charlie had scarlet fever and Jet had a nasty upper respiratory infection.  So even on antibiotics, we couldn't risk infecting the Omaha crowd.  Two years ago at spring break, Charlie was in Omaha with mono.  We're still getting blamed for any mono contractions.  
So our quest for this spring break week is to get out and try a few things around Chicagoland.  Today's adventure was lunch, bowling and ice cream.  Audrey, our neighbor friend, joined us for the outing.  After a lovely lunch, we hit the lanes for what will probably set the record for the longest bowling game in history.  Who knew it would take an hour and half to bowl 10 frames.  An for the record, we even accomplished something that several of the seasoned bowlers near us had never seen before ... the ball stopping mid-lane ... yes a dead stop.  This is tough to do!
About the 8th frame, I was asked by each of my partners when we could go home.  We decided that we worked up enough of an appetite to have an ice cream (or sorbet for Charlie since he can't do dairy).  
Jet remarked that bowling on the Wii was much easier then hefting the ball down an actual lane even with bumper pads.  
So what's on the docket for tomorrow?  Stay tuned.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Charlie's Norman Gentle Impression!

If you watch American Idol, you'll get the joke.  If not, here's a cute Charlie quirp for you:

Charlie: Mom, I had a bad dream last night.
Mom: Really, What was it about.
Charlie: That you were married to Daddy and hugging him.
Mom: Charlie, I am married to Daddy and do hug him.  Why is this a bad dream?
Charlie (in his saddest voice): Because I want to marry you mommy.  I LOVE YOU!

Can I just bottle you up Charlie and keep you just like you are!

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's been busy!!!!

So busy that I've really neglected this sight.  So to provide you cliff notes of all that's happened in the last month, I'm going to bullet point all the activities and provide video and pics:
  • Jet's Birthday Ballooza ... family party, shared 'Pump it up' party for classmates and the 'after party at McDonald's playland' for those who missed the first two.  Yes, Jet is now 6 years old and VERY social.  He gets called for a playdate everyday.   What's a playdate you ask?  OK  ... these days kids no longer run out the door to their friends houses ... no it's all pre-arranged in 'playdates'.   Yes, it's kinda creepy because it's so hands on and too much parental involvement.  That's why we love our block ... it's front yard back to the basics ... shouting sidewalk across the street to the other sidewalk, pick-up star war shootouts, and bike/razor races down the sidewalk and unfortunately the lawns.  Did I mention the adult pick-up happy hours???
  • Chris's trips since the last blog: 3 trips to London, 1 trip NY, 1 trip Dallas, 2 trips Wisconsin ... I'm sure I'm missing a few.  He's been out at least 2-3 nights per week sometimes leaving on the weekend.  We miss him and don't know what we'll do when he's home for a week straight!  OK ... it will be a week of 'no honey when you are away we do it this way!' or ' no honey you don't actually qualify as  doing the laundry when you take the clothes out of the dryer and dump them on the laundry room floor ... you actually have to FOLD them'.
  • Charlie lost the training wheels on his bike.  In two days he learned to maneuver corners, start from a stop, brake and actually avoid mowing down pedestrians on the sidewalk (that's a good thing).  
  • Chicago Area Families for Adoption (I'm on the board) hosted a conference for 300+ pre-adopt families, post-adopt families and adoption professionals on 3/14.  We do this once every other year and it's a major event/time commitment for the board. It's so helpful for families and a passion of mine.  We chuckled because our theme was 'parenting through adoption' but we were so busy ... actually crazed ... that we were anything but good parents the last two weeks.
  • Jet earned his first Deputy belt in Tae Kwon Do.  When you have black on your belt ... you are in a whole new league.  There are 4 deputy belts before you earn your black belt.  Jet was the youngest testing at this level at our school.  He did awesome. See his board breaking video below of the always crowd pleasing "board breaking" test.
  • A few visitors ... my cousin Mike and his lovely family and Juli, our good friend from Minneapolis.  We are syched that Southwest now flies from Midway to MSP.  Cheap flights!!! YIPPEE!  Thanks for the visits ... we love seeing you!
  • I got my orange belt in Tae Kwon Do.  Seems rather lowly after seeing the deputy belts but I LOVE TKD.  I hope my body holds out until I can earn my black belt.  Hopeful but doubtful.
Mix this in with the everyday stuff and it's a bit nuts.  SOOOOOOoooooo, I'm going to work harder to keep this updated.  Even if it's just a snapshot of a thermometer on our back porch (see previous blogs)

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's official

I'm not sure how we've skirted this for 5 1/2 years but we have.  
But baby, the party is over.  
We had our first "throw up - exorcist event" starting at noon yesterday.  It started with Charlie saying "My tummy hurts" and ending up with projectile vomit that spanned 3 beanbags chairs, 1 leather seat, 24 feet of carpet and my front side (just 15 minutes out of my shower of course).  
I couldn't feel too upset .... jeez ...  moms of most 6 & 5 year olds have been through at least 10 of these events by now.  We were starting to chalk our record up to the strong Korean gut but now this may only hold true for Jet.    Well as a courtesy to our readers, we will not post pictures of this event.  
We're happy to report that exactly 12 hours (to the minute) after the first symptoms were recorded, all evidence has dissipated ... thus the naming of the "12 hour bug".  
For you moms in training ... we have used this vomit episode to drive home the result of "eating your buggers".   Though there is no true correlation between the two behaviors ... you've got to use the material you have!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Funny Funny Boys

Our boys just make me giggle .... almost everyday.  Here's the latest from each:

Jet attends an after-school class called Cooking with Della.  Della is this sweet 60-ish Italian grandma (born and raised in Italy) who teaches this class.  Jet loves it and comes home with great food.  Well, I pick up Jet from class last Wednesday and Jet gets in the car and says, "Mom, for class on the 8th we have to wear make-up."  
Mom: "What ... why would you have to wear make-up"
Jet: I don't know that's what they said
Mom: Who said?
Jet: Ms Dell
Ok so I pull of pondering this whole wearing make-up to cooking class.  'why would they ask little boys to wear make-up?'  'do Italian men wear make-up when they cook?'  'is there some weird Italian holiday where the men wear make-up?'

Finally pulling into the driveway, I put it all together.  Jet's class the previous week had been cancelled.  I'm betting Della said something like this in her Italian accent: 
Next class is on the 8th.  It will be a make-up class for last week's cancellation.  So on that assumption, I will not be sending (or scarring) Jet by sending him to his next cooking class in make-up.

Charlie and I were eating at Noodles & Co yesterday.  In a table a few yards away from ours were a young 20-something couple nuzzling and kissing like they were on the Spanish Steps of Rome and not the stroller suburban mom hangout of Noodles.

Charlie pointing at the couple: Mom what are they doing?
Mom: Looks like their hugging Charlie 

By this time a few tables around us have tuned into our conversation and are smiling.

Charlie: Wow, that's beautiful.

More snickers from surrounding tables.

Charlie: I think they love themselves.

Now it's laughter that's erupting around us.

Charlie again: That's really beautiful.  They just love themselves.

Then all the sudden, my 4 1/2 year old is hugging my arm, planing a kiss on my cheek and trying to nuzzle my neck.  It was sweet but a little difficult to eat my Pasta Al Fresca (have you ever eaten at noodles ... it isn't cheap).  As for the young lovers ... totally unphased with their attentive, interested audience.  I don't think I was ever so elated to see a table leave!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Let It Snow, Let it Snow ... Ok enough already

It's a snowy winter here in Chicago even by Chicago standards.  Usually by this date, we've had 15" but this year we have already tallied 36" (the snowiest start to winter sin.  Seems like every morning we awaken to the hum of the snow blower.  Oh, it's not all doom & gloom.  We have our share of sledding, snowmen and outdoor fun.  But when you are looking at the golf tournament in Hawaii ... well its a big weather tease that's not easy to take.  Blast you Tiger!

The next two months are the toughest from a weather standpoint.  The doldrums set in as we desperately seek new ways for child entertainment.  So much so that it trumps all other points of discussion with other Chicago parents.  This morning at the "Pump it up" birthday party we talked about what to do with the kiddo's during the next two months.  Discussions ranged from planetarium shows to bowling to babysitting exchanges.   IX-neh to the last suggestion.  I can't get my two boys under control much less the addition of other boys.  Speaking of which, the rug rats just invaded my blogging space & Chris is spraying highly smelly spray about an inch from me so until next time.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Starting the New Year with a new virus!

Well as luck would have it ... all 4 of us got the crud immediately after school break began and Chris took vacation time for the holidays, including his birthday.  Hey ... don't make fun of my homemade cake ... it's dairy-free and eats better than the store bought stuff.
Jet ran a fever on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ... I followed him, remaining in bed the following Saturday, Charlie was next up and finally Chris is sniffling.  The good news was that we could keep the agenda pretty low beat since there were no great travels or plans.  The bad news is that it's a stinky way to spend the holidays.  It was a virus so there was no quick antibiotic fix (darn it) ... but it won't keep me from filling the "just in case - Amox script" that my doctor gave me
 as I was leaving her office ... it's like handing me a chocolate and saying "only open it if you are on the verge of starvation".  
Oh well,  Santa answered the call and delivered everything on the boys lists.  Oh by the way ... in this picture, the boys are not opening up presents on Christmas Eve ... no ... it's taken immediately 
following  the 5:30am wake up call by the boys bounding into our room on Christmas morning ... that's the reason it's pitch black outside the windows.  Well Santa and Grandma made sure it was a Star Wars Clone Wars Christmas.  We are well outfitted here on Kensington Lane should any aliens or Darth Vadar come a calling.   
Chris and I did make it to a neighborhood Christmas party and
 another neighborhood New Years Eve Party though it's hard to mingle without a voice.  The Demi Moore voice gave way to nothing by 9pm ... thus we were home by 10pm and asleep by 10:30pm.  We did make it for the New Years ring in for London ... that counts right?
So as we're rounding the bend towards the end of the holiday break, we celebrated with a visit to Chucky Cheese and are planning a visit to Legoland tomorrow.  It was AMAZING how everybody's spirits rose after Chucky.  Chris and I did sneak a quick date in.  We caught the movie Slumdog Millionare and sushi this afternoon.  Great flick by the way but not somethings that's going to be uplifting.  

Finally, a thank you and we'll miss you to our good friend Carol who has been working with our Charlie for over a year.  We love you Carol and will miss you.  Thanks for all that you do.  You've made a great impact on our family and in our lives!