Friday, February 20, 2009

Enjoying the City

I must admit, I was quite nervous about what I was going to do to entertain a 14-month old for the 5-month-long Chicago winter. We have had double the amount of average snowfall this year, and temperatures have rarely been above freezing. However, despite these conditions, Addie and I have been able to do a lot together and keep ourselves quite busy!

On Mondays, I am working on starting a play group with other Moms in the area. We figure we can just rotate homes and let the children visit together. We're also trying out various Chicago locations. At the suggestion of my friend Maureen, we met at the Children's Museum one day. You can see the attached picture there of Addie "driving a CTA bus." She loved it!

This week, Maureen and I also took the girls shopping. The two other pictures below are from J. Crew at 900 N. Michigan. Despite only being about 38 degrees, Addie didn't mind shopping along Michigan, but she really loved this moment when I let her out of the stroller, and allowed her to explore. She liked seeing all the cars race down Michigan Avenue. Quite a view!

Tuesday and Thursdays, Addie normally comes with me to cheerleading practice and one of my former students Mary Colleen plays with her. Addie loves running all around Loyola - exploring the big hallways, watching the cheerleaders get thrown into the air, and meeting new people every week. On Thursdays we have also been going to the Lincoln Park Library for story hour. This has given me some useful tips on encouraging reading at home, as well as information on letter recognition, repetitive sounds, etc. All in all, time well spent.

And then of course Fridays are still Miss Addie's favorite - GYMNASTICS! Today she walked right up to the beam, climbed up the stairs, and asked for my help so she could walk across. She also laughed excitedly as we did "log rolls." I hold her to my chest and roll across the floor, protecting her with my elbows. It is supposed to help with their spacial awareness, but I don't think Addie knows - she just loves the movement!

So you can see, despite not being able to go on walks, go to the park, or simply hang out on our deck, we are keeping busy. Thank goodness it's almost March though - we are on the downhill towards Spring and Summer!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

$100 well spent???

Just when I think Miss Addie is a direct replica of her father - she shows a little "second-child" - aka getting into trouble and acting a bit mischevious.

We bought these wonderful retractable gates for our townhome, because with three flights of stairs, and a quick-moving toddler, we realized we could be in for trouble. The gates can be easily moved from one set of stairs to the next, and they roll up to get out of the way when we have company or simply do not need them.

But of course, we didn't realize just how bright Addison is. The gate which separates the foyer floor from the main living floor had to be mounted about 6 inches above the ground due to the base boards. Well, on Sunday Addison figured out how to crawl underneath that gate. Dan was sweeping the stairs, and she wanted to get to her "Da Da." So under the gate she went.

On her third attempt, we caught the ordeal on video. My favorite part is her sly smile at the end - I guess she does have a little of her Mom in her! At least her Mom when I was in middle school!

On Sunday evening we celebrated Dan's birthday with his family and Elizabeth. Addie enjoyed blowing out the candles with her Dad. And eating some of his cake and ice cream! All in all, a fun day.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

We're going to STATE!

I vividly remember leaving Addie last year, when she was a mere six weeks old, for an entire 6 and 1/2 hours. I had to go with my cheerleaders to their biggest competition of the year - Sectionals - but my heart was at home with Addison and Dan.

A very quick year later, Addie was able to come to Sectionals and cheer on the girls. I must admit, in her Santa Clara cheer outfit, and big white bow, she fit right in. She behaved flawlessly, of course, hanging out with her Grampa and Aunt Elizabeth.

And she must be good luck - for the first time ever Loyola placed in the Top 5 and qualified for the State tournament next weekend in Bloomington. Approximately 100 teams competed yesterday throughout Illinois, and the girls will be one of 25 teams heading to ISU for the State Competition. I'm so excited and proud of the girls!

This week Addie and I also went to the library story hour for the second time. While I think she likes running around and socializing more than she likes sitting for stories, it is another fun (and free!) outing for us each week. The librarian leads the children in songs, tells them stories, and reads book. It is a very nice program.

Tonight Addie gets to play with her friend Evie at a Superbowl Party. Should be fun!