Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer in the City

We have been trying to enjoy more of our time in the city this summer. We know our years are numbered in the city since Austen starts kindergarten next year so as hard as it is sometimes I have to remind myself of all the good things that I will miss when we move to the suburbs. Here are the ones that I will miss about having kids in the city:

1. My kids having friends of all races, religions and backgrounds. Chicago is definitely a melting pot and my kids get to benefit from that as they learn all about each other at school.

2. Watching Austen play t-ball with the backdrop of the city to the south and Lake Michigan to the east. There's no way we're getting that view anywhere else.

3. Walking everywhere. Today we got together with some friends that Austen and Peyton go to school with. We hit the local park and then walked to a neighborhood bar for lunch. On the way, we stopped at the local fire station for an impromptu tour.

4. Taking school field trips on the el to Millennium Park. It's cool to have this world renowned park in your backyard.

5. Short rides to any museum, ballpark or event like the circus or some show on ice.

I will miss all these things but what I will miss most about living in the city are those nights when we get a babysitter and try out another neighborhood gem for dinner or meet our friends out at a local watering hole. And, for a few hours we get to relive our 20s or reminisce about them....there's nothing better, especially when it's summer in the city.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Austen's First Bike

For Austen's 4th birthday, my parents bought him his first bike. Since his birthday is in January, he didn't really get much of a chance to try it out for a few months save the short rides in our family room trying to get used to the pedals. So when summer arrived, we figured it was time to get out the bike and see if he could really ride it.

We go on lots of walks together as a family thanks to Adler so Austen had a lot of opportunities to try out his bike. So as summer approached we figured it was time. He struggled at first getting the hang of the pedals and I wasn't sure he was going to make it around our traditional mile and a half loop that we do for Adler's walk. But he kept trying and the more he tried, the better he got at pedaling. Yes, one of his pedals fell off (I don't know what he does to them because he also lost a pedal on his Big Wheel) but that didn't really deter him from wanting to ride his bike.

He really did great once he got going. He still needs some work on braking as you can see in the video but I can hardly believe that my first born can ride his own bike and in the city nonetheless. That's a lot more of a challenge with busy streets and alleys than suburban riding! Check out my little Lance Armstrong.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Family Time

On the weekends it's all about us. During the week it's a race to pick up the kids from school, get home, play, eat, bath and then bed. So when the weekend arrives we enjoy taking at least one walk a day sometimes two to our local coffee shops (Austen knows the names of both of them and has to get a coffee cup that looks like his dad's but is really only water).

Most of the time we even run errands together as a family or we are doing something else together. This weekend, yes, we ran errands but we took the kids to a tailgate and baseball game to watch the Milwaukee Brewers play with some friends. Austen enjoyed the other kids and playing "cornhole" with them. Peyton enjoyed picking up the bags from the "cornhole" game, even ones that weren't ours and running around trying to find a new family who would adopt her (she certainly wasn't shy about approaching other people!) Once inside, we watched five innings (Peyton too! Although she was a little squirmy) before taking a break to check out the many play areas for kids. Austen got to race Corey Hart (essentially the 50 yard dash against a piece of wood that moves next to you) and took a picture in the outfield!

We probably arrived back in our seats during the 7th inning and watched the Brewers sweep the Cardinals 4-3. I couldn't believe Peyton made it 9 innings but she did. And, I can't believe as much as she hates to be contained, she essentially sat and watched a baseball game. She did great and Tom and I can check that challenge off our list!

Can't wait until more family time next weekend...maybe at the beach!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Adler and Austen

Sometimes I like to tease my kids, especially Austen now that he's at an age where you can have an actual conversation with him. So last week, I picked him and Peyton up at school per usual. When we got home I unbuckled Austen from his car seat first and then I went around to get Peyton out of the car. Normally, after Austen I would open the back hatch of the car and let Adler out. But that day I didn't have Adler because it was too hot to leave her in the car while I ran inside to get them. Austen hadn't noticed that she wasn't with us that day too absorbed in telling me about his day and his after school snack.

So now that Austen was out of the car and Peyton was out, I hit the button to close the garage door. Immediately Austen was in a panic telling me that I forgot Adler and she was still in the car. I decided to play along. Oh she's in timeout I told him. She has to stay in the garage until her six minutes (her age x 1 minute) are up and I will come back down for her, I lied. "No!' he yelled. "She doesn't know how to open the door!" he cried growing more frantic with each passing second. I was debating how long I should keep the charade up since I could see he was truly concerned about her but I wanted to test him with one last thing before I told him that Adler was safely in our house in the air conditioning.

"Will you give me your new soccer watch (which he had been wearing around the house religiously since he got it a few days before) if i let Adler out of the car?" "Yes!" he pleaded with me, "I'll give you my watch."

Wow, I though to myself clearly impressed that this little boy loved his dog so much that he was willing to give us his current favorite toy to make sure she was safe and not left behind. So I put Austen out of his misery telling him I was kidding and Adler was upstairs waiting to see him. I don't think I've seen him race up the stairs so fast to see if she was really there or if I was kidding him again.