First day of (home)school!


We began our “school year” today, kicking off our Apple Harvest unit with a day of planned activities and (on the last day of her visit to Chicago) with Grandma in tow. The plan was fun, I thought: hop the bus for a short ride to the library in our new neighborhood, check out some books, get lunch in Lincoln Square, and return home for a nap and some fun in the kiddie pool before grilling a delicious and summery dinner.

The best laid plans….

I wish I could say it went splendidly. I wish I could say it was Pinterest perfect and downright heavenly.

It wasn’t.

My son – who is smart and amazing and the light of my life – drove me crazy today, testing limits as only an almost-three-year-old-can. We did all the things on the list, yes, but not without whining and crying and not listening and all other sorts of toddler-tastic behavior. The kid is exhausted from nearly a week of pure fun with Grandma, in addition to growing up and learning he has his own opinions. But yeah, it was not a great day, though there were some nice moments.


Reading with Grandma.


Lunch under the El!


Fun in the pool

I know every day can’t be perfect, and things won’t always go as planned. Still, today was tough. (And things are always made tougher when your kid chooses to act up when people are visiting – thanks for making me look like a terrible Mom, dude.) Kid is finally napping now – hours after he shoukd have – so I shall make the best of dinner and the rest of the evening and try again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

Applejack from "My Little Pony" - our mascot for the month!

Applejack from “My Little Pony” – our mascot for the month!

After a “summer vacation” in July and August that included traveling to Michigan and spending a week at a lakeside cabin with family and getting back into nature, many Chicago adventures (including Millennium Park and Adler Planetarium) and, you know, moving to a new apartment, we’re getting back into the swing of “school” this September by celebrating/learning with a unit I’m calling “Apple Harvest!”

Within the below activities, we’ll be working on counting and writing. He’s pretty much mastered letter recognition, and is starting to make lines on paper and tell me he’s writing, so we’re going to emphasize that and fine motor skills.

  • Read: “10 Apples up on top” by Dr. Seuss (already a favorite), “Apples for Everyone” by Jill Esbaum, “Apples” – which is the title of several books – by J. Farmer, Gail Gibbons, and N. Wallace, “Apples Galore” by Jane O’Connor, and many more. I’m sure Johnny Appleseed comes into this, too.
  • Watch: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” – Disney version. (We’ve been reading “Snow White” lately anyway, since I found a cute little hardcover edition with gorgeous illustrations) and “The Apple Dumpling Gang” – simply because it’s a joy.
  • Make: All sorts of paper and paint apple crafts
  • Visit: Chicago Botanic Gardens, Apple Holler – or another Chicagoland apple-picking place, Green City Market, the Andersonville Farmer’s Market, and a few others, Lincoln Square Applefest
  • Cook/Eat: Apple chips, Apple pie, Applesauce, Apple butter, Caramel apples – in our own little pretend restaurant!

*In addition to all these things, kiddo will be going to weekly soccer and swimming classes, and we’ll be spending a ton of time outside as our new apartment is a mere 2 blocks away from a huge and amazing park AND has a grassy backyard. He’s rapidly growing – turning 3 in October – and the more energy I let him burn, the happier he is!*






Things I love.


My $6.98 pink Converse I got at a thrift store last night. I used to have a pair of these, and wore them until they were gross. :)

imageAs a frugal-minded Mom, I’m a big fan of the Chicago Public Library.  Not only are libraries themselves amazing resources for books and information, but libraries also offer classes, events, concerts, and other enriching activities for people of all ages.  Though we’ve moved a little Northwest, and it’s not our closest branch anymore, I’ll always have great memories of bringing kiddo to the Bezazian branch of the Chicago Public library. 

We ventured back to the old ‘hood today to attend a concert by Chicago Kids Musician Little Miss Ann as part of CPL’s Back-to-School-a-Palooza. Little Miss Ann put on a great show and the kids got to dance and jump and sing their hearts out. Good times were had by all, and kiddo is still singing her songs this afternoon.  (She has a gig coming up in October at Beat Kitchen, and I think we might go!)

Love your libraries – and music for all!


Scenes from a busy week.

It’s been seven days since we moved, and it’s been a whirlwind. I thought I’d share photos of our daily adventures, because life doesn’t stop just because everything you own is in boxes.







I’ll write more soon. Currently, I’m unpacking – obviously – and gearing up for a visit from my Mom in two days. That means I am of course going to try and get the house in perfect condition in two days. It won’t happen, and I will accept this. :)



We moved on Monday in a flurry of movers, a visit from Grandpa, and our own anxiety.  

We went from this ->image

…to an apartment so empty it became perfect for soccer ->image

To the new apartment, which was soon full of piles of boxes ->image

Whew!  But we survived, and kiddo and Grandpa got to spend a ton of time playing together, so all is well.  Grandpa’s visit couldn’t have been better timed – it was great to have him here to take the kiddo for a tricycle ride around the block when we were in the middle of heavy and busy things.  image

We’re a few days into unpacking now, and things are starting to take shape; the kitchen is almost totally done, kiddo’s room is 75% done, and tonight we’re putting up the dining room table and dealing with that room.  We all have places to sleep, can function in the space, and the cat is even over his initial stress and indigestion.  I even managed to cook dinner last night in the kitchen, which is a big triumph.


Kiddo and I even went to the park yesterday for a while.image

All this hard work tuckered the kiddo out so hard he passed out asleep on the couch last night.  Which I totally understand. And may do myself. imageLooking forward to writing more soon, and sharing more photos. My Mom comes to town next week, so  I’m aiming for 90% unpacked by then. Fingers crossed.


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