A Collection of Thoughts

Over the past few days, I’ve had the urge to write, but haven’t had the time. This evening, I have the time but not much focus. So, instead of a cohesive story, I offer you some snippets and a glance into a few different aspects of our lives.

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Napless in Chicago

Today marked two weeks of Ramona not napping. I. Am. Exhausted.

During the past two months or so, the girl had been fighting her mid-day nap tooth and nail. Then, THEN, she would fight sleep for an hour (sometimes an hour and a half) at night. Ramona not falling asleep until 9:30pm meant me not going to bed until *at least* 11pm, and that just wasn’t sustainable. So, Josh and I decided to see how the wildling would do sans nap. The result? Besides me being fucking tired all time time, you mean? Well, amazingly, it worked. Ramona can make it through the day (most days) without napping (unless we’re traveling in a car-in that case, all bets are off), and only gets extra cranky starting around 6pm. However, she’s also noticeably tired, which is something she hadn’t been for a long time. Bedtime takes, at most, 20 minutes, but usually it’s closer to 10 or 15. For Josh and me, this means we’re getting to bed at a (slightly) more reasonable hour, even while feeding my Doctor Who addiction.

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Cabin Fever

Two days ago, I snapped.

This winter has been the coldest, snowiest, and most miserable winter of my 32 years on this planet. Chicago has had more days with a high temperature BELOW ZERO than I’d care to count. The kids and I have been home (mostly) and dealing (mostly) all winter. We’ve read books and watched movies, played LEGOs and built forts. We’ve swung on our indoor swing and jumped on our trampoline. We’ve had dance parties. We’ve napped. We’ve painted pictures, played (Don’t) Burp (Break) the Ice, mined in underwater caves in Minecraft, visited museums, and had coffee dates with our artist friends… but it’s just not enough.

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Turning In

Lately, I’ve been spending much of free time (read: minutes stolen, here and there) delving into radical unschooling books (right now- Free to Learn by Peter Gray), listservs, and (egads!) Facebook groups. One piece of advice that keeps cropping up is “turn in.” Turn in to your family. Look inward. Find joy within, rather than without. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been being intentional in doing just that.

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Theatre, Darling

Dear Rogers Park neighbors: Stop what you’re doing right now and go and get yourself a subscription to the 2013-2014 KidsSeries at Lifeline Theatre. Don’t walk. Run. Seriously.

This afternoon, Lifeline Theatre had an open house for the first show in their 2013-2014 KidsSeries lineup, Click, Clack, Boo! Jude and I have been to a few of these open houses in the past, and they’re always a ton of fun. Today we got a sneak peak of the show, and, wow. Really. WOW. I am always impressed by the productions put on by Lifeline, but today, I was blown away. The acting, even just two weeks into rehearsals, was top notch, and the music? The music was awesome. Catchy and fun and funny. Jude was literally on the edge of his seat listening and watching.

After seeing a bit of the show, the Education Director at Lifeline (Lea Pinsky) came out to talk to the kids and get them started on some really neat Halloween crafts. Jude usually isn’t a crafty kid, but he really, really enjoyed making the ghost puppet and jack-o-lantern mask Lea had planned out for them. While that was going on, the adults chatted or took a tour of the theatre. At the end of the program, I did the only thing I could after having been wowed and awed and amazed: I walked my butt up to the ticket counter and paid for two subscriptions for the season.

Please, neighbors, take my advice–get a subscription for everyone in your family. We’ve seen every show in the KidsSeries since 2010, and we have not yet been disappointed. You won’t be either. Promise.



I made the promise to myself (as well and Josh and the kids) that this year would be the year I suck it up, get some museum memberships, and take the kids on a regular basis. Doing this will be no small feat-we don’t have a car, and the closest museum we have interest in is the Nature Museum, and that takes at least half an hour, if not 45 minutes to get to via public transit. Let’s just say that an hour or more of travel time makes for a very long outing. So, getting to these museums is the first obstacle. The second is the age gap between Jude and Ramona. Jude is six. He’s definitely at the point where he wants to take his time and look at things and ask questions. Ramona, on the other hand, is two. She likes to run. Full stop. Can you see how this might be a problem?

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Together, Together, Together

Last week flew right on by me. Mostly, I kept my head down and focused on getting through the hot temperatures that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday held and then basked in the sweet relief of cooler temperatures for the rest of the week. Also-the kids and I had some really good days, so while I was tired at the end of each (and every) night, it wasn’t the “I’m-going-to-pull-my-hair-out-because-I-have-a-six-year-old-and-a-two-year-old” kind of tired. And for that, I was grateful.

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Holding it Together

Some days, I just have my shit together. Not always, but sometimes. Today was a good day. A day when, even though I was on my own with the kids for almost 15 hours, and even though I was in considerable pain all day, I got shit done, and held my shit together.

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Star Wars

Josh and Jude have been working their way through the original three Star Wars films. I can’t say I see the appeal. I mean, have you seen them? The acting is terrible. And, muppets? Huh?

Today was long and only mildly productive. I got a bit of cooking and cleaning done and finally baked Josh some birthday cupcakes, but other than that, nada. Josh took the kids to the park in the late morning, so Ramona’s nap got pushed late, and we ended up having “lupper” again. Hopefully we’ll get back on track tomorrow.

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Oh, my. What a day.

It started out fairly well with an early morning text from a good friend offering to take me shopping at our new local Trader Joe’s. Sure I went out sans breakfast and coffee, but it was ok, because, free samples. Amiright?

And then, the text message from my husband asking me to call him. Then the phone call that relayed the news that Jude’s new bike had been stolen from our lobby (Josh’s had been stolen, too). Finally, exhaustion and tears as my friend and I made our way back home, where I knew we’d have to break the bad news to the boy.

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