Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chicago (the sequel)

I can't believe we've been here two and a half weeks already! Time sure flies when you're having fun (and eating nonstop). Really, when the kids and I were making lists of places and people we wanted to see here in Chicagoland, we must have come up with a dozen different restaurants. I think we've hit them all! That's a big reason why I'm so ready to get back home - I think I've gained twenty pounds since we got here!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Am One Hot Mama! (No, Really I Am)

This is reason 239 why I can never go on a date. I met my friend Jen for dinner the other night. I was so excited to see my friend and to go partake of some delicious Greek food. And let’s face it, having an evening out without kids is always nice. Heck, I schedule dental appointments just to get out of the house by myself, and sharing a plate of saganaki with one of my very best friends is way better than rinsing and spitting into a miniature toilet bowl!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Day at the Museum

My kids and I went to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago this week. This is one of our favorite museums because it’s FILLED with hands-on exhibits. My kids never say, “I’m bored. Can we leave yet?” when we’re there. Usually, it’s more like, “Just five more minutes, Mom? This is fun!” You could spend an entire day at the Museum of Science and Industry and not cover everything (although the museum isn’t so huge that you’d walk away feeling like you’d hardly made a dent).

You can see pictures from our day at the museum here!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Brain Games

My kids and I went to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago this week.  This is one of our favorite museums because it's FILLED with hands-on exhibits.  My kids never say, "I'm bored.  Can we leave yet?" when we're there.  Usually, it's more like, "Just five more minutes, Mom?  This is fun!"  You could spend an entire day at the Museum of Science and Industry and not cover everything (although the museum isn't so huge that you'd walk away feeling like you'd hardly made a dent).

If you don't live in Chicagoland, you can still enjoy the museum at home.  The MSI, Chicago is offering the Summer Brain Games, a FREE online activity kit featuring weekly, at-home experiments on summery science themes!  It's free to participate and the experiments use items that are easily and inexpensively purchased, or found around the house.  Kids (and adults) of all ages will love the Summer Brain Games!  I mean, who wouldn't love to build a catapault to use in an extra-fun water balloon fight?  And I can't think of a better way to learn about temperature changes than by making ice cream, can you?

And what a great way to fight the summer brain drain that inevitably affects all kids over the summer?  You know what I'm talking about - your kids' brains turn to pudding as they forget everything they learned in school throughout the year.  And let's not forget about the "I'm bored"s that set in during the summer.  The Summer Brain Games are a great way to combat that with fun and engaging information about science that's around us all summer -and year- long.  Why do cans of regular pop sink in the cooler while diet pop floats?  What's happening when a beam of light bounces off certain objects and not others?

The program just kicked off Monday, June 18 so you can sign up now!  Just go to to register!  Families who register to be "Summer Brainiacs" will receive a voucher good for a FREE general admission ticket to MSI.  Participants will get weekly emails with tips on each experiment and additional ways to play with science this summer.  And each week, one lucky winner will receive a family membership to MSI for a year of hands-on science fun!  Participants will also be invited to share their Summer Brain Games experiences with photos and essays about what they learned for a chance to win a tech package - a notebook computer, iPad and digital camera! How cool is that?!

You Can't go Back

For those of you who don’t know, my kids and I moved from Chicagoland to Florida last June. We’ve been living and working and going to school there for a year. One whole year! We’ve made a new life there. Now we’re back in Chicagoland for a couple weeks to visit friends and family. While we’re here, we are staying in our old house that hasn’t yet sold. Why not, right? I mean, it’s ideal! I don’t have to pay for a hotel (which I couldn’t begin to afford), and we don’t have to put anyone out by taking up residence with them. Plus, we’re right by all our friends and the kids can walk to their buddies’ houses.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

When Your Kids Act Like Freaks...(Grab Your Camera so you Have Material for Their Wedding Videos)

I was going through some pictures the other day. I really love looking at old photos! When my kids were younger, they looked a lot alike. In fact, I have a hard time telling them apart in old photographs. I usually have to use context clues to figure out who is in the picture. Hmmmm, the wall is green in this picture so it can’t be Brooklyn because we’d painted over that wall when she was born. There are sports curtains in the room, so this can’t be Austin. Maybe it’s Clay? As I was flipping through pictures, trying to figure out who was who, I noticed that I have a lot (and I mean A LOT) of pictures of my kids looking like freaks.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

When Zombies Attack

The kids and I loaded up the van and hit the road for Chicagoland. You want a good way to really get to know the people around you? Drive for eighteen hours with them! You'll learn more than you ever thought possible. You'll probably learn more than you ever really wanted to know. I wonder if, one day, my kids will look back on these road trips fondly, or if they'll refuse to go anywhere with their own kids when they're adults because they're so badly scarred from these vacations.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Kind of Town, Chicago Is . . .

When I was house-hunting in Florida last May, my realtor drove me past downtown Orlando. I asked him, “So this is where all the restaurants, museums, and theaters are?” He laughed at me. Orlando is not exactly a cultural mecca. Theme park capital of the world? Yes. Enriching civilization? Notsomuch. Over the past year, I’ve found myself missing Chicago.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Double Time

I almost never do book reviews because A)  I rarely have time to read, and B)  I'm afraid I might hate the book and then what do I do?  Lie and say it's fabulous?  Tell the truth and say I hated it?  As a writer myself, I cannot bring myself to say anything bad about a book, especially one written by someone I know.  Sooo, I choose to avoid the whole thing by simply shying away from book reviews altogether.

But when my friend and fellow blogger over at Babble, Jane Roper asked if I wanted to read a copy of her new book, Double Time, I jumped at the chance.  I love books about pregnancy and babies.  I think most moms like reading about/hearing other moms' stories of pregnancy and childbirth, and raising little ones.  It's always great to know you're not alone.  It's comforting to hear how other moms cope with the struggles of childrearing.  And then there's the fact that I really like Jane!

Jane doesn't disappoint with her book! It's a humorous look at being pregnant with and raising twins.  Sure, there are books out there about having twins, but Jane's is a personal account of what it's really like.  And it's not just about having twins, but also about dealing with post partum depression.  Reading Jane's book is like sitting down and chatting with a good friend over coffee.

As her website describes:

When Jane Roper found out she was pregnant with twins, she searched high and low for a memoir of the first years with multiples, but came up empty-handed. Four years later, she wrote the book she wished she’d had as a new mother of twins. Double Time is an entertaining, up-close and very personal look at Jane Roper’s first three years raising twin daughters. From trying to get pregnant to processing the idea of twins, from round the clock feedings and diaper changes to the joy of watching “twinteractions” between her girls as their (very different!) personalities emerge, Jane tells all. Meanwhile, she struggles to keep a history of depression under control—and find answers when her symptoms get worse. All this while falling steadily in love with her duo as they grow from sleepy newborns to mischievous toddlers with a penchant for potty talk.

Full of warmth, honesty, occasional advice, and more than a little humor, Double Time is a smart and engaging account of the first three years with multiples, as well as a refreshingly candid and vulnerable look at parenting, clinical depression, and the quest for work-family balance. It’s Jane Roper’s story, but it’s one that will resonate with countless women—especially those parenting in double time.

I have a copy of Jane's new book, Double Time, to give away to one lucky reader.  Just leave me a comment here and I'll choose a random winner on Monday.  Good luck!  And you can get your own copy HERE!

Always Behind the Eight Ball

I feel like I'm always behind the eight ball. Not only will I never get ahead, but I'm destined to remain behind, never quite able to keep up with everything. Most days, I make the best of what I've got. I don't sweat the small stuff, the stuff over which I have no control. Most days, I can find something to laugh about. Most days, I don't feel like crawling into bed, pulling the covers over my head, and staying there indefinitely. Most days.

And then there are days like today.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Birth of a Blog Post

Now and then people ask me, "Dawn, you amazing blogger, you, how do you come up with your ideas for posts? Your blog entries are always so witty, intelligent, well thought-out, and simply brilliant." (I may have taken a little liberty with that quote.) Well, my most loyal readers, today is your lucky day! I'm about to let you in on the secret of my blogging awesomeness.

The Birth of a Blog Post

Friday, June 1, 2012

No Cookies? No Large Soft Drinks? What's This World Coming To?

A couple days ago, I posted to my Facebook wall, I can’t get a stinkin’ cookie at lunch anymore?! Thank you, Mrs. Obama! This started a debate of epic proportions wherein perfectly nice, sane women started finger-pointing, name-calling, questioning each other’s parenting abilities, and trying to “one-up” each other on the quality of the lunches they pack for their kids. I didn’t need to read all that! I was mostly kidding around; all I wanted was a freaking cookie!

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