October 31, 2007
We have literally about 20 kids and 10 adults coming over this afternoon for some pre trick-or-treat festivities. In other words, trying to fill up the kids with some good food before setting them free on the candy. And giving the adults some beer (for medicinal purposes only) to help weather the madness.
It should be tons of fun. Here is Firemaster Finn along with Minnie Mouse (as portrayed by Emma Jones) this morning at daycare. And note how he can't keep his eyes off her. He loves the ladies!
October 29, 2007
the Madisons come to Chicago
This weekend, Matt and Margot were in town with their entire mini-tribe. You may know Matt from his fine line of gelato, Madisono. Or maybe you know Margot from her exclusive line of paper products like notecards, stationery, notepads, and more, Margot Madison Stationery. Or maybe you just remember them from my Cincinnati days. Or not at all.
Anyway, Matt was in town for some sort of food producers conference, so they brought the whole family--including Julia, Natalie, and Oliver--to Chicago for the weekend. It was so fun to see them, especially the kids. I hadn't seen Julia since she was not yet two (she's now seven) and I had never met Natalie and Oliver. They all came over for pizza on Friday. And then Saturday, Margot and I took all the kids to the zoo.
Finn really loved his Cincinnati pals. He and Oliver played so well together Friday night, with Finn constantly running up to us saying, "He share this with me!" when Oliver would give him one of his own toys. (That's a daycare kid for you.) And Saturday at the zoo, when Finn would get fussy and not want to follow the group, he let both Julia and Natalie take him by the hand and lead him with the group.
Let it be said that Finn loves girls. His two best friends are girls (Delilah and Ella). And when Julia and Natalie took his hand, he got all blushy and shy. Just look at him in this photo--he can't take his eyes off the girls! On the car ride home, he asked me to tell him stories about Julia and him going to the park. (An honor reserved for only his favorite friends.)
October 27, 2007
Welcome, Caitlin Mary Burns!
Congratulations to Chris and Becky on the arrival of their beautiful baby girl, Caitlin! We met Chris and Becky when we moved here. Chris is a friend of Shawn's from work, and Becky is his lovely doctor wife. We look forward to playdates with Baby Burns!
October 26, 2007
So, today, Finn and I were watching old Tom & Jerry cartoons while he's drinks his morning milk. And when it comes to the end of the cartoon, the words "the end" flash across the screen. And then Finn says, "Look, Mommy! The ... end."
He totally read the words! He's a baby genius!
Really, I'm astonished, and I couldn't be more proud. Many of his books conclude with the words "the end". He usually chimes in at the end of his stories and points to the words when we get to them. But this was totally out of context. I have to say that it is extraordinary watching this little one grow and learn. And it's not egregious bragging if I'm just posting these milestones on a site that people elect to visit, right? Right?!?
October 24, 2007
Here are some Spiderman Jammies that I got secondhand. Finn absolutely loves his "spider pants." So much that I had to bribe him with sweets to change out of the pants before daycare and compromise on letting him wear the shirt all day at daycare. I found myself rationalizing with him that even Spiderman needs to get washed sometimes.
October 23, 2007
auntie kimbers visits
This weekend, Shawn was in San Francisco for a guy's weekend. It was due to be a gorgeous Fall weekend here, so I invited my friend, Kimberly (aka, Kimberly the Sexy Artist), to visit from Cincinnati. I literally had not seen Kimberly in something like five years, so it was delightful to catch up with her.
Finn was a little out of sorts with Daddy was gone for the weekend and the fact he had to share my attention with "Auntie Kimbers." So, there were some pretty obvious pleas for attention. (Read: tantrums.) But he did enjoy visiting with Kimberly, too, as evidenced from these photos taken at Millennium Park.
October 22, 2007
Toddler's Day Out
Since Delilah is no longer the baby of the family, she's had some major adjustments to make. Finn and I decided to take her mind off things Friday with a trip to the children's museum. Lilah could not believe that she was allowed to leave the house without her parents or sisters and go play with Finnie. I half expected these two to shout "Spring Breeeeeaaaakkkk!", they seemed so happy and free.
They held hands in the car, sang songs, and had a blast at the museum together. At lunch, they ate together and even shared their M&Ms with one other. They enjoyed each other so much that it was serious meltdown time when it was time to go home. Finn started to cry and said, "I want Lilah! I love you, Lilah!" And Delilah was saying, "I stay with Finnie! No go home! Noooo!"
But like Romeo and Juliet in miniature, I had to pry them apart and they were cruelly left to contemplate their solitude during naptime. But I'll scoop up that Lilah for a playdate any chance I get.
October 20, 2007
Welcome, Matthew Cole Downs!
Last Saturday, Finn's best buddy, Delilah, became a big sister! As she is the youngest of three girls, I think we were all expecting a the Downs household to have four of a kind in their proverbial hand. But everyone was extremely delighted that when the baby arrived, that it was a boy. (And probably no one more than Brian, their dad.)
Here are the proud
mommies big sisters with their new baby brother!
October 18, 2007
Here's Finn goofing around in his new Elmo chair (thank you, Uncle Alex and Auntie Smears!). Despite the fact that it looks like Elmo is just waiting for the right opportunity to devour his delicious pristine toddler flesh, Finn totally loves and trusts the mighty Elmo chair. Not to be confused with his naughty "time out" chair, the Elmo chair is the preferred place to view episodes of Thomas, eat peanut butter sandwiches, and make pretend phone calls. "Hello, Daddy? You at work? ... OK. .... OK. ... Uh huh. ... Now come home."
October 15, 2007
Finn's New Word
He got a great illustration of it and employed its usage enthusiastically this weekend. He helped us with the de-gut-ification of Mommy Pumpkin and Daddy Pumpkin and then moved on to painting Finnie Pumpkin (see below)...
Since Finn has been so enthusiastic about Halloween, we have been going absolutely nuts with the Halloweenie-ness around here. Two weeks ago, we went to the pumpkin patch, last week was a Chicago festival. This weekend, we carved pumpkins, went to a Chicago Halloween party sponsored by Cookie magazine, decorated the house, and went to the annual neighborhood Halloween party.
These photos are from the latter. Finn was so into it. First of all, there was face-painting, which he thinks is just about the best thing ever. He opted to become an orange-haired kitty cat. There were also games, cookies, cider, and fake tattoos. And all this awesomeness was held at the neighborhood park and all his friends were there. The proverbial package. The event kind of collapsed into utter chaos two hours into it, as all the kids, tweaked out on sugar, were running absolutely wild. But I guarantee they all (like Finn) slept really well that night.
Photo viewing tip: See the numbers 1-4 below the small photos? Click the different numbers to access the different "pages" of photos.
October 08, 2007
We ran into Finnie's little girlfriend, Ella, at a Halloween party at the local park. Despite the fact that it was the most sweltering Halloween celebration in recent memory, these two lovebirds had a great time at the petting zoo, pumpkin patch, and even took their first pony ride. It's worth noting that both of them were too scared to approach the ponies alone, but were definitely in it together and loved it so much Ella's mom, Katie, and I had to pry our respective little ones off the ponies.
Here's Finn going in for a smooch.
October 04, 2007
What Lisa's been up to, September edition
Another busy month for the staff here at LHD&E. The first thing I did was a new site design for Alert Chicago, a site for residents of Chicago that helps them get ready, respond, and recover from local emergencies. The challenge with this site design is that there was so much information that needed to be represented, including different dynamic news feeds. I incorporated different photos from the city on a seven-column grid to give the site enough space to breathe, while being navigable.
Next, I did a design for Dr. Lauren Streicher's personal site. Dr. Streicher is perhaps one of the best-known OB-GYNs in the country with an absolutely amazing career. As well as her practice, she is a book author, XM Satellite Radio host, Chicago Sun-Times columnist, host of iVillage's In The Loop, and frequent contributor to Good Morning America and Chicago's CBS affiliate. She's also wonderful in that she takes otherwise taboo/scary topics regarding women's health and invites discussion. It was truly inspiring to work with her.
Lastly, I wrote an article on design for the book industry for HOW magazine. Obviously, a topic I know a lot about. I got to talk to some really interesting designers from Picador, HarperCollins, Quirk, and (of course) Chronicle. Read it here.
courtney and jonathan's wedding
This weekend, I traveled to California, solo, for my dear friends, Courtney and Jonathan's wedding. This was the first time I had been back to California since we moved, and this trip was extra-special because so many of my favorite people were going to be at the wedding.
The wedding itself was held at Jonathan's family's home. Court mentioned that they had a house on the ocean in Carmel. What she neglected to mention was that it was a sprawling mansion/estate with beach access. I absolutely could not believe it. My experiences with such homes is exclusive to reruns of The O.C. and Dynasty, for that matter. I celebrated like Alexis Carrington, enjoying the ocean views, downing tuna tartare, and sipping Chardonnay.
It was an absolutely beautiful day. The weather was auspiciously perfect, the ceremony was touching and meaningful, and it was delightful to see old friends. That night, H, John, Fiona, and I stayed overnight in a national park.
I managed to squeeze in some friend time in San Francisco, catching up with Brenda, Alicia, a glimpse of Sarah and Phoebe, and the old Chronicle crew. I also got to meet some of my San Francisco clients.
I took the red eye home on Monday night/Tuesday morning. I did miss my boys, but the thought of toting Finn on a four-hour flight, then a two and a half hour car ride, only to turn around and do it again the next day sounded unusually cruel. And Finn probably wouldn't like it too much, either.
I felt a little like Chicago's answer to Britney. Daddy had to repeat for four days, "Don't worry
Sean Preston Finn. Mommy is out playing with her friends at a mansion and drinking wine. She'll be home soon, promise." Although Finn did fine in my absence, he seemed pretty ticked off at me when I returned home. He expressed by throwing toys around and giving such a tantrum that daycare called me to come pick him up. (A first, by the way.) But Mommy's home and all is right in the world again.
October 01, 2007
Actually, the truth is, I've been scheming to get him a drum set since he was in the womb. Mommy's absence provided the perfect chance!
He's getting the hang of it, though he disagrees that the sticks are only for hitting the drums...