We woke up Sunday, almost impossibly, without plans. Felix had crashed for an early nap, Simon was reading Grantland and Hazel and I were sitting on little chairs… eating toast. While looking out the window, I had the passing thought that I was in the mood for some theatre, a musical. And then it hit me - I could actually make that happen! So I turned to my daughter and said: Hey Girlfriend, want to go on a theatre date today?!
Suessical the Musical @ Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.
Hazel was, as you can imagine, ALL IN. She hailed a cab, climbed up and requested the driver to head towards the Ferris Wheel (located just down the pier from the theatre). We were on a mission.
I let her take the lead, where possible. She handed our tickets to the ticket-taker and took our playbills from the usher. I excitedly walked her right up to the stage - we had a pair of seats in the front row. This gave me the chance to explain my love of the front row to my daughter. :) She didn’t really get it at first…but I am certain she understood what I meant by the end of the show.
Curtain went up and Hazel was captivated!
Watching her watch the show was just amazing. She didn’t speak from the moment the overture began, and burst enthusiastically into applause at the end of each song. I could read the joy all over her face. She loved it and that made me happy in a way that is hard to even describe.
This production was wonderful - really great. Like, I loved it. Very family friendly and the tickets were $28 adults/$18 kids! Chi-town families - you should totally go.
I first saw Seussical during previews on Broadway - that was almost 15 years ago. I went with my (then-friend, now-brother), Andrew on one of our theatre-weekends in New York. This show has happy memories for me.
Anyone who has spent any time with a toddler knows they have mighty imaginations.
Felix is convinced her foot is a phone….it rings, she answers it and funny enough “Mama” seems to always be the person on the other end of the line.
And anytime she hears an unexpected sound (Boom! Bang! Or otherwise) she is adamant that it is a bear. A bear? I mean, really.
Of course, there is also the way she stands captivated at our highrise window, watching the city bustle below her. I can only imagine the stories unfolding in her little mind. When I ask what she’s thinking about, she only says: Chicago.
Witnessing Felix & Hazel’s imagination emerge has been one of those mom highlights, for me. I am in awe of they way they are - unconstrained. ”They think very big thinks!” It is in this spirit that Plum Organics launched a new line of products for toddlers called Mighty. (Plum Pouches have been a staple in our house since the girls first started on solids - mega thumbs up.) And I think it is pretty great that the folks at Plum have given me a gift pack of Mighty products to share with one of you!
How about this:
Leave a reply, reblog, or shoot me an email with a great Mighty Imagination moment from a little person in your life. Winner will be picked (at random) on Friday.
**This is a sponsored post for a brand we use & love in our household
I gave Simon the morning to sleep-in a little (he returned the favor on Sunday). I wanted to get the girls out of the apartment…and figured our early errand ought to include donuts (obviously).
I got a little ambitious and decided is was a perfect morning for the commitment that is Donut Vault.
I loaded the girls in the wagon and we walked the mile or so along Franklin Street, which runs under the el tracks. Trains rumbling overhead added a layer of excitement to our trek.
We arrived at Donut Vault a few minutes before the doors opened and spent the next 1:15 in line. Long lines with little ones can be daunting but the girls kept busy exploring each windowsill, garden box and piece of patio furniture we passed.. The last 15 minutes things started to get a little rocky, but 2 pieces of sidewalk chalk and a baggie of wipes saved the day.
Simon surprised us just as we were about to step into the bit-sized shop (Turns out, once you are a parent…you sort of forget how to sleep in aggressively). We ordered one of each donut variety - and two of the glazed, (It was named best donut in america, after all), and we sat outside together enjoying the sun and sugar.
A gorgeous Chicago Saturday spent eating donuts with the people I love most? That’s what I call #winning.
Friday Night / Saturday Night
Fri: Mom & Dad H are spending the month of July in Chicago. It really is the best having them here. As a THANK YOU for all of the enthusiastic (and free!) babysitting they have been doing, we took them (+ Aunt Dinah) out on a double date. Well, technically it was a thank you dinner…but really we just love eating out with them. It was a fantastic night!
Multiple moscow mules, deliciousness spread on toast and a bowl of mussels that I actually did dream about that night. Gilt might be one of my favorite dinner spots in the city. (And just became my go-to rec for out of town visitors)
Sat: Dave proposed. Jamie said yes. And this weekend we got to celebrate the bride to be with a proper bachelorette party! It isn’t often that I get to get dressed up in a little dress and sparkle shoes and take to the town with a big group of girls (and by “not often,” I mean… never) But that is exactly what we did.
Aberdeen Tap (a staple). Stella Barra (fantastic). Paris Club (hilarious)
The best part of the night (aside from Jamie’s dress) was the chance to spend quality time with some really awesome new and old friends. The worst part of the night came the next morning in the form of a no-joke overhang. Small price to pay to the gods of love!
(photo on the right lifted from the super lovely Ali)
Alright Monday…let’s do this thing.
"Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”
Just because I’m just totally curious what screen time looks like in other households, here is a fairly comprehensive list of what plays on the screens in our home:
YouTube easily earns the largest share of screen time
Lots of musical clips. Current rotation includes: Matilda, Miss Saigon & the performances from the Tony awards back in June.
Hazel also likes….sort of dramatic, random stuff. Surgeries, Bot-flies…or last night, for instance she was glued to: Baby Jessica’s rescue coverage And 2 episodes of rescue 911. (The one where the babysitter collapses and the 5 yr old calls 911, and the one where the mom collapses and the 4 yr old calls 911.)
Curious George (Netflix)
An occasional Disney princess movie (DVD).
They are partial to Cinderella, but I like when they pick Beauty - Belle was my JAM as a kid.
Les Mis, the movie.
I swear to God this is Hazel’s favorite. She is OBSESSED.
She puts on the Les Mis vinyl while eating her cereal in the morning (always the side with “One Day More.”)
Last weekend, apropos of nothing, she asked what Jean Valjean’s last name was.
Sound of Music.
This one is in our HEARTS. Felix sings Cuckoo-Cuckoo like a champ. And tonight while getting ready for bed, I heard Hazel tell Felix that she could be Liesl…and Hazel was going to be Gretl.
And, of course, NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL!!!
Through the screen, we have found a way to share our passions with the girls. And while I am totally not down with letting them veg-out regularly in-front of the tv or anything…I do think that there are ways that screen time can be used for good. :)
What do you watch with your littles? On what Devices? I’d love to hear!
and ended up on a Sex Tape blog.
Um, wha? (Settle down, dad..I can explain)
This Friday, a new movie opens in theatres called Sex Tape. In the film Jay (Jason Segal) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) are a married couple still very much in love, but ten years and two kids have cooled their passion. To get it back, they decide to try out every position from THE JOY OF SEX and film it. Bold Choices.. Their very private film is leaked and hilarious adventures ensue.
Oh god, can you imagine!
In the movie Annie is a successful mommy blogger (thumbs up) and I was thrilled to have the chance to contribute a guest post on Annie’s blog, Who’s Yo Mommy about how my own relationship has evolved over time and the ways that tech has helped/hurt/reflected our evolution.
Simon & I fell in love while living in different cities, and our long-distance relationship unfolded over email. Thousands of notes, 10 years and 2 Children later - the tone of our emails has shifted towards….well, life. As we have grown, so have our emails. Love poems replaced by pdfs of Mortgage statements.
But not all romance is gone. Click here to visit Annie’s blog and read about our beginning and the little thing Simon still does that reminds me of the early days. (Swoon!)
And definitely check out the Sex Tape Trailer here.
*This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Sony Pictures
Simon picked up Hazel from his mom’s house (who picked up Hazel after school). I headed straight home to let our nanny go by 5:30, her nightly finish time. It’s always sort of a scramble right after work.
Simon & I agreed on a plan: meet at Chipotle
Felix & I decided to walk the 5 blocks. Along the way, I pointed out 5 things for us to talk about…to keep her engaged.
- The dog bowls of water sitting outside a crowded patio.
- A Geronimo the Mouse poster on the Bookstore window
- Red Eye Newspaper Rack - We took one
- Bath Bombs in the window of a fragrant soap shop
- Red Fire Hydrant (there’s water inside!)
Hazel joined us for the walk home and the sweetest thing happened. Felix pointed out each of our five microstops to her sister. She did her best to share what she had learned with Hazel…an amalgamation of disjointed words, gestures and facial expression. But she got the general gist across.
It was the first time I have seen Felix teaching Hazel about the world.
A great mom-moment.
While Simon worked on dinner, I took the girls out for a quick adventure.
Our building has an up close view of a beautiful church steeple. Simon says it is close enough that if we were in an action movie, he could leap onto it from the pool deck. Hazel has been asking to see the church - she wanted to know how far away it was…
Let’s find out!
We walked to the end of the block, around the corner and there it was. They wanted to go in, but the doors were locked. So we sat on the steps and Felix shared her peanuts. I scanned the park for a Part II to our adventure. Ah! Newberry Library. I’ve lived within eyeshot of this independent research Library for 7 years, but had never actually gone in…Why not now?
The vaulted, stone lobby, echoed aggressively. The girls’ eyes were wide. I tiptoed to the security guard, perched at the base of the sweeping staircase and made sure it was cool that we peeked around the lobby. It was.
Turns out, there is the most perfect little bookshop right in the lobby of the Newberry Library. It was fantastic with an artfully curated children’s section. This place is a hidden gem! (#HazelApproved)
We had 15 minutes to browse before they were closing for the night, which gave us just enough time to do a little bit of outdoor climbing before we headed home for dinner.
This city serves as a spectacular playroom for my girls. We love Chicago.