Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hi from forever away

Since Kara returned to work we have not returned to blogging. But here we are 1.5 years later with a 6 and 2 year old. They are just starting to be play buddies. 

Baby Jude is now a first grader. His life captured on this blog from Day 1. Harry is a smart special 2 year old with the normal but challenging terrible twos. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

time for a new hat

I retired from blogging about the Oak Park Millers when I returned to full-time communications. But I've just put on a new "hat" that I hope is a better fit. Welcome back being-at-home-mommy, at least part of the time.
Mommyhood and Communications- my new 'hat'
We wrested through 9 months of me in a full-time role, Greg traveling more, an amazing nanny, but very little time to see the boys, stop or breathe. After a series of events that seemed to confirm what's been pulling my heart for a long time, I walked away from the BIG job to pursue LITTLE freelance jobs and possibly other BIG, but not so work-all-the-time jobs. Prayers and wine are appreciated.

A few others in our home have news too. Our oldest Oak Park baby is in kindergarten! And Harry is now two.  And sadly George is no longer with us.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

graduation time

The Oak Park Millers are graduating to a new phase of life.  First up we have Jude's actual adorable 'graduation' ceremony from his Alphabet class.   The Park District program focused on different letters each week, every class had toys and activities aligned with those letters.  What a cute idea.

Grandma Carole, Chuck and uncle Todd joined us for the festivities as we also celebrated an early Christmas with them that day.

I don't think jude will be creating letter charts anytime soon but he is growing in his understanding of letters and showing some reading skills, recognizing words here or there that he sees.  He continues to be very verbal.  Sitters and teachers now regularly comment on his advanced vocabulary.  which is pretty amazing when you consider at two I had to write the emotional post about him needing speech therapy and facing the questions as a parent about what I could have done better.  I'm so glad development happens, whether we try/help it or not.

The other development for us is that Kara is going back to work.  The full time position is expected to start in the new year.  This is a huge adjustment life-shift for us. Please pray for us to work out the many details and to adjust to the day-to-day expectations and new realities that we face in 2013.

Harrison continues to be curious and busy.  He is saying words like truck, airplane, ya and car with abandon.  he even gave us his first shot at 'thomas' recently.

we hope your graduation from 2012 goes smoothly, safely and with some glimpses of the savior who made christmas possible and a celebration.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween?

This Halloween was more challenging than the last few.  But in the end we have some great memory moments that outweigh the challenging ones.  Having two mobile kids who both have opinions and need attention leaves us feeling stretched in any activity or crowded events, but especially hit us this year around Halloween.

Our trick or treat times actually began two weeks ago.  It led to two late nights of mom sewing hems for ironman and repairing a butterfly hat early in october.  but it was nice to have their costumes set and ready, long before the actual halloween.
Harry, 15 months, Truck or Treat 2012
Wheaton, IL
We took the kids and met friends at a well run even out in the suburbs.  I was not feeling well, like basically sick on the couch the two days before.  So why would I drive the boys 40 minutes west, on a friday night with costumes?  Because I still can.  I am very conscious this year, as I apply and work hard to find a job, that I may not have too many more holiday and family nights where my schedule is up to my energy and effort and not a business clock.  I was grateful, even feeling icky, to take them to touch trucks and snowplows, meet super heroes and run around.

Halloween weekend 2012 began early with the annual Oak Park Halloween parade.  Its actually a two block long walk, followed by way crowded stores getting hounded by hundreds of trick or treaters.  but its always fun to meet up with friends for a kid photo. and nice to have harry in the shots this year.

Oak Park, IL 2012 Halloween parade
The parade morning was the first time where the harry/jude demands hit us. Jude wanted to keep up with his friends but harry needed a chance to walk/toddle/fall, out of his stroller.  Which means he moves 2 miles an hour and turns around a lot.  Greg and I tried to split the parent duties but we were unprepared to make coordinated communication decisions early on a cold morning.  Eventually we figured it out and both boys had some fun moments.  at one point butterfly harry was mobbed by several women from the local nail salon with cameras.  He seemed to take it all in stride.

Halloween itself began with a visit from Grandma Carole and Grandpa Chuck.  We took Jude to his preschool for their 'parade' and trick or treating.   The weather here is cold and windy. and the parade proved to be a freezing, frustrating trip around campus.  Jude wanted to go home and so did we, but we stuck it out to trick or treat a few offices.  Eventually letting the grandparents and harry sit in the warmth while we visited another building.  We are really happy with jude's preschool experience and the love and encouragement his teachers provide. But the group outing was a lot for us and the baby.

after recovery time the 'actual' halloween began...or so we thought.  somehow jude kept saying halloween only started at night and got teary eyed when we told him, this IS halloween.  yes four for jude was a challenge today.  he refused to put on his costume and happily passed out candy instead.  eventually he joined harry and kara outside, but not in a costume.  fortunately ironman jude reappeared for our trip the garfield park conservatory.

ironman meet snake, creatures of the night
garfield park conservatory 2012
We had a great experience with a halloween outing about 4:15pm. usually we are inundated with trick or treaters, so it was a nice change. and what a cool time we had.  garfield park conservatory, on the city's west side, brought in live animals amid the plants and water.  jude held a snake, touched a bat, saw a wolf up close, held a millipede, and looked at many other creatures.  even harry got in on the fun.

Harry, 15 months, Garfield park conservatory
Halloween 2012

We ended the night with an early dinner at Inspiration Kitchens. This amazing spot is right down the street from the conservatory.  The restaurant provides economic opportunity through job training and even housing for people from the neighborhood.  can i just mention how amazing the food was again?

glad for the fun memories and glad some of the halloween challenges are over.

Happy Halloween from the oak park baby and the millers.