So, Whatcha Think?

You may have noticed a slight change here.... How about our new banner?

Seriously, we want to know. What do you think?

Matt and I collaborated on it. Admittedly, we're not great at working together on things while we're going through the motions, but our end products usually turn out pretty right on.

Exhibit A: William

Exhibit B: New banner

Am I right? Or am I right? (Someone give this guy a creative job!!!!)


Guess Who Has a Best Friend...

William and Jack have figured out how to play and, man, they're good at it. There's nothing sweeter than seeing your child make a friend. And there's nothing that can bring on more irrational rookie mom emotions.

See my post on Chicago Moms Blog.


An Open Letter to ID Checkers

Dear ID Checker,

My name is Lisa. I'm 31 years old. I am buying wine and there’s a 50/50 chance you will ask me for identification. Granted, I know certain stores will check my ID 100% of the time and, sure, I’m getting to the point that I appreciate it. It feels good to think that you might be thinking I’m 27 or 28. I know you don’t think I’m 20 and you’re checking just in case I’m an undercover shopper or your manager is watching. I get how it works.

Here is what I don’t get: Lately when you look at my birth date the reaction has changed. I used to receive a shrug or nod. Now I’ve graduated to “wow, you look a lot younger” or “huh, I never would have guessed that” or the attempted compliment “Go girl!” REALLY!?! I beg you to rethink this reaction. These are not compliments.

31 is not old. 31 is not the age that I figured I’d start receiving these looks or comments. I know, I know you mean well. Fine, I get it. But, please, stop the madness.

Sincerely yours,


Happines is.... Sledding with Uncle Toto

Have I ever mentioned how crazy W is about Uncle Toto?

No? Well, let's just say he has a pretty big crush on him and loves to hang out with him whenever given the opportunity.

Why? Because Uncle Toto does stuff like build a William-Only sledding hill in his backyard.

Now, this is happiness:

Pull-Ups Potty Dance Party and Ralph's World

This week I went to the Pull-Ups Potty Dance Party featuring Ralph's World. It was a free event to people who registered in time, but let's face it, I work full time and am not generally in-the-know about kids events in the city. But, luckily I was invited as a Mom Blogger.

Since it was on a week day, my first thought was to pass up the opportunity. However, I mentioned it to a friend and realized that by not introducing William to Ralph's World I could quite possibly ruin my career as Best Mom in the World. (Thank you for enlightening me, Lara.) So, I decided to take the day off and check it out with Grandma H who came in town to see the little guy.

So, first off, I really loved that attendees were asked to bring a diaper donation for a local organization. What bummed me out were the number of moms who did not bring said diapers (tsk, tsk) and that they only mentioned the recipient organization once and in all the hullabaloo, it was lost on me. Could have been a good partnering opportunity to give the organization some face time and potential donors, but that's just how my mind works as a fundraiser....

Going on... Learning the Potty Dance did not make William a potty training sensation over night. We're not quite there yet, but I have a feeling it's coming. On the contrary, he was a little freaked out by the loud music and seemed much more interested in trying to pilfer snacks from other kiddos. However, he loved Ralph. And so did I.

I had a chance to chat with him after the show and, though I could have probably picked his brain for a while, there were way too many moms shoving cd's and children in his hands for hugs, photos, and autographs. (Plenty of mommies were also shoving themselves in Ralph's hands for hugs, photos, and autographs.) Which leads me to this... A 12 month old cannot tell you who his favorite singer is or what kind of music she really loves, so why the following? Why are all these parents claiming Ralph is their kids favorite? Because obviously he's mom and dad's favorite. So, I asked him.... And he had a really good answer.

We vicariously connect with our kids through music (so says Ralph). A baby can't say "I love you," but can smile and wave his hands to a certain song and suddenly your life has been transformed. Even more, it allows parents to dance like kids again and act silly. We can pull out all the moves we wouldn't dare pull out when we're having a cocktail with a friend or dancing at a wedding.

(OK, side note: Anyone who has ever witnessed my crazy dancing moves knows that I DO pull out moves most people would not. Moving on....)

Anyway, it was refreshing to hear that from him. After his history as a rocker (thank you, Alan, for enlightening me) and move to kids music, he seems to have figured out his crowd. And the crowd that is willing to buy all his cd's, beg for autographs, and dance like they're kiddies again. For the record, any man who writes a song about mommies, coffee, and vino... Well, that man is a friend of mine.

So, I guess these days Lisa + Ralph = BFF. And now instead of listening to Dean Martin only, William is willing to listen to Ralph as well. That means he must be good, right?


Munchkin Face

I taught the little man to say "Hey, munchkin face!" last night. I thought it would be a nice way to greet Matt when we picked him up from the train. It didn't quite work out as I was hoping, but my vision was pretty great.

That's the thing with kids... They just don't take a cue. We have a toddler on our hands with a crazy vocab. Seriously, it's unsettling sometimes. But, my boy simply refuses to be a trick pony. He likes to write his own dialogue. I think most kids roll like that.

I used to get really annoyed when my friends would put their kids on the phone and try to get them to talk to me... The kid would sit there, I would make some uncomfortable one-sided conversation, and then start calling the parent's name in hopes they'd hear me and save me. So, now the roles are reversed and I'm putting W on the phone with directives of what to say. Who the heck is this lady? I am so sorry to everyone I have put through this. (Except Aunt Danni, cuz she calls for that reason alone most of the time.)

But, seriously, the hesitance or annoyance in your voice alone is not enough. I hear it. I just don't care, because I figure once you have a one-sided conversation with my kid I'll be forgiven. And even when you tell me you have to go, I'll quickly thrust the phone at the boy with even more insistence that he say "Ti amo, Howie" or "monster jammies." If I was a more thoughtful person I would take a moment to realize that no one wants to talk to an almost 18 month old, except for their parents. So, I'm really going to try to work on this.... Try is all I can do.


Is My Blog Blushing?

For the most recent Chicago Moms Blog Book Club I read a book about ...ummmm... sex. And now I'm supposed to ...uh... write something about it, right? So, the book is Mominatrix by Kristen Chase. You get the idea.

What can I say? I'm just not really that into talking about ...umm... sex on this blog. I guess that's kinda funny since the blog is mostly about having a family and we all know how that happened. Well, I guess you do now. But, really, it's just kinda like one of those things, ya know?

It's no surprise that once the baby comes along the romance takes the back seat and every day survival takes over. Duh. I just think you underestimate it. You never think it's going to happen to you. The same way you think that you'll never sacrifice a shower for an extra 30 minutes of sleep or leave the house in the same clothes you wore to sleep (black comfy pants that you happen to wear to bed don't really count as pj's). You also never think you'll be thankful to get into bed at 9:00 on a Friday night or suck on a pacifier that might have fallen on the floor just to get it clean for a frantic child.

Everything else you promise yourself you'll never do kinda takes care of itself as your child matures. But, the romance thing... Well, that's mostly up to you. So, of course someone writes a book about ... you know... getting your groove on. And getting your groove back. Except this time she's telling you to ...umm... tie your groove up and do something that will probably make you blush and giggle.


Happy Valentine's Day!

We're not big Valentine's Day people. No gifts. Rarely do we do cards. We do share a bottle of Veuve each year (cuz I love it). This picture was actually taken on Super Bowl when Matt and I worked together to create the spiciest damn chili I've ever had. Can't think of a better photo to share on this special day.

Snow Bunny

Every winter I start talking about leaving the Midwest. Too cold. Too dark. Too dreary. Except on days like this...


Well, hello computer...

The little guy is obsessed with watching videos and listening to music on the computer. It's making it pretty hard to get much computer stuff done when he's around.


Hi ho... Hi ho...

Meet the little-known 8th dwarf. After a fall out with the other seven, this little dwarf forged out on his own when that Snow White broad showed up. He had a feeling she had some baggage.

He found himself in the mystical suburbs of Chicago and settled into a life with his new family, including a mirror that always tells the Queen of the house that she indeed is "fairest of them all" and a Prince who doesn't necessarily ride in on a white horse, preferring a gray Acura with a ton of miles.

Is he silently pleading "help me" or is it just me?



I have officially taught the little guy his first naughty word. I was looking up possible preschools for him and realized I missed the application date for all the recommended places in the area, so called my trusted co-rookie-mom Lara to complain about being the worst mom in the world. So, maybe I said "Dammit!" OK, maybe I screamed it. Guess what he repeated for an hour?

After countless reminders to get my mouth in check, I am now admitting Matt was right. But honestly, I don't really care that much. It could have been *tons* worse. In terms of bad words, this is pretty PG. Plus, I figure it'll give him some street cred if he goes to preschool in the fall as a two-year-old. Too early? If I wait another year imagine the colorful language he'll have picked up from me by then.


Hoarders: The Lost Hannemaniacs Episode

Do you ever watch Hoarders and get a little nervous?

How about when your husband piles all the stuff that needs to be put away on the dinner table and you tell him that you can't get to it, so just move it aside to make room for him to have his sandwich?

Is this his cry for help?