Friday, June 28, 2013

Where in the World is Marianne?

Just about everyone in Chicago was in Grant Park today:

Photo credit: Megan Walsh

With really cool signs:

This one was clever AND had correct spelling and grammar.  Makes me happy.
Photo credit: Megan Walsh
Celebrating this:

Photo credit: Colleen Capola

But where the heck were Joe and I?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
In desperate need of one of these:

Seriously.  It was looking at me.

After a long day spent here:

This was snapped pre-beer tent
It may seem odd that a couple of Blackhawks fans skipped out on the big rally.  It's not every day our favorite hockey team brings home the Stanley Cup.

But commitments had been made.  Tickets purchased.  Friends waiting.

I promise to explain fully once my head stops pounding.  But I will reveal that I had a lot of "fun."

As in...


To be continued...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Minivan Moms Meet Famous Actor

It was a girls' night out.

And I totally would've put on an extra pair of Spanx had I known I'd be hobnobbing with acclaimed actor types.

See that scholarly guy behind Miniature Friend's blurry head?  He's totally famous. 
Photo credit: Rebecca Healy

Full story click HERE in today's Chicago Parent.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

History of a Blackhawks' Championship

It all started with a do-or-die game five, with the Blackhawks down 3 games to 1 against Detroit.  Because big brother Daniel went to Great America last year, Jack had been promised a Blackhawks game this season.  So it was a do-or-die moment for fulfilling that promise, too.  When tickets became available through a nephew, Jack finally got to go to a Blackhawks' game.  And the rest is history:

Game 5 vs. Detroit

Hawks win!
Jack uses his rally rag to keep things going...

...and sleeps under a Blackhawks sign (as well a map of the United States and poster of treble clef notes because I'm such a Tiger Mom). 

There was a good luck net.

And a good luck puck.

And even a good luck jersey.

The key?  Jack needed to be AWAKE for victory.  Blackhawks lost this one.

I got home from an outing to find Joe had put Jack to bed with the Hawks in OVERTIME.  School be damned, I woke the kid up & bada-bam.  Hawks win.

And in case you missed it:

Congratulations Chicago Blackhawks!  And thank you Jack for always being such a good sport! 
I promise you can take a nap today.  
Before the Sox game.

Friday, June 21, 2013

You Thought Your Morning Was Bad?

There is no better way to start your day than looking out the back deck only to find a dismembered fireman lying there:

Aren't joggers always supposed to find the dead bodies??  I'm practically a sloth. 

At least that's what I thought until my own fireman heard me scream and explained that his house had two fires the other night and he was simply drying out his gear from all the water.

It's going to be a three Xanax kinda day.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

When BlogHer Comes to Town

My very first conference was in Nashville and the entire event revolved around interstate insurance licensing procedures and practices.

That bag contains folders on the educational insurance requirements for New York, California and Idaho.

I pretty much assumed all conferences were dull and uninspiring.

But with BlogHer coming to Chicago next month, I have been told that the times are a-changing.

Full story click HERE in Chicago Parent.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Father's Day Dilemma

Here's my quandary.

We could really use a new grill.  Ours is about 10 years old and nearly exploded about three times.  Last summer, I was so convinced it was about to light the house on fire that I almost called the fire department. 

Joe wouldn't let me.

I guess there is a bit of a stigma when a fireman burns his own house down.

But on the other hand, I really like cake.  Joe really likes ice cream.  And look what I found:

Baskin-Robbins has these bad boys available for Sunday. 

New grill or ice cream?

This is an easy one.

I'll be hiding the propane.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Did Ancient Romans Even Eat Popsicles?

As we wrap up the longest school year EVER next week (the Chicago Public School strike has the kids going until practically July), Dan's teacher thought she'd throw in one more elaborate project for good measure.

While some parents might be jumping in on the assignment with excitement, research assistance and ancient blueprints, I took another approach.

Full story HERE in today's Chicago Parent.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Boy & His Bear

In what initially seemed like a story of lost love and neglect, my sister sent me this sad picture (on right) of her son's red stuffed animal, aptly named Bear:

Before & After

I figured the photo reflected Bear's abandonment on a sandy beach - a final disavowment of him for being such a horribly old and decrepit thing.

But I was wrong.

Before I go on, let's first reflect on life with Bear.

Bear as Teething Toy

Bear as pillow

Bear as pre-op nurse (for tubes in ears)

Bear as protector of the wild

Bear as artistic muse

Bear has served many purposes in his worn and wearied life, perhaps none as important as his role as grief counselor when my nephew suddenly and unexpectedly lost his father. Bear represented continuity and consistency when the whole world went mad. Bear was as real and as important as any friend or relative out there.

I am not sure what the mental health experts have to say about childhood attachments to stuffed animals.  I do not know if they frown upon kids finding comfort and love through "imagined" conversations and friendships. 

But I believe there is some magic in these loyal companions, these bits of cloth and buttons, who loom so very large in our early years.

And what of that picture of "abandoned" Bear on the beach?  'Twasn't so.  It was actually Bear accompanying the family on a recent vacation and our tired red friend was simply getting some color.

Thank you, Bear.  For all that you have weathered and all that you have done.  Next time you visit, I will be sure to introduce you to a very good friend of mine. 

I call him Pooh.

In case of fire, Pooh is the only thing I would grab after my children and husband.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pomp & Panic

I am having a hard time with all these June graduations. 

When they play Pomp & Circumstance, I cover my ears, rock in my chair, and sing Mary Had a Little Lamb instead.

Full story in today's Chicago Parent - CLICK HERE TO READ.

Joe's graduation from the Chicago Fire Academy.  I'm not in any of the pictures because Jack threw up on my hair and I accidentally applied black eyeliner as lipstick liner and wound up looking goth.  

My 1978 preschool graduation.  I hated my short hair, and my mortarboard hat blew into the street and got run over by a Cadillac Coupe deVille.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Boys Rock

I've got three of these boy-model children:

Dan's First Lawn Mowing (today)

I may never pick up anything heavy ever again.

They really ought to put this information in the boy-baby marketing packet. 

Who needs American Girl dolls?

Not I. 

Not I.