Chicago Moms Stuff

October 29, 2008

Forever Young and Intelligent

3 My father used to tell me when I was a kid that I should study hard and make sure that I got good grades because the key to my happiness was success.  He used to tell me not to worry about the way I looked that all that mattered was how smart I was.  "Beauty fades, but stupid is forever." is one of the ever-present mantras that I heard growing up.

My father was not always right and in this particular case I would say that he was most definitely wrong.  Those that are attractive and not particularly smart are often given the benefit of the doubt.  As recent as a few months ago I went on a round of interviews and found that it was relatively easy for me to get a job offer in these hard times.  I know that it is because my resume is impeccable and I have worked hard to manage my career.

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October 27, 2008

LeapFrog shows Chicago Mom Bloggers a hoppin' good time

Leapfrog_3 Chicago Moms Bloggers and their families made some noise at a recent party sponsored by LeapFrog. The noise wasn’t all from the company's educational electronic toys, though. Hosted at the South Loop KinderCare, there was plenty for the little ones to do. Only one child, an eight-year-old boy, was glued to his new Didj the entire time. Yes, that was my son.

The mostly under-five crowd kept busy with other LeapFrog products as well as the playscapes, the trains that passed by at eye level, the amazing face painter, and the talented caricaturist.

Meanwhile, the adults (and a few little hangers-on) had a discussion with LeapFrog Educational Advisors, Elliot and Cathie. We discussed the role of electronic toys, how to select ones that are right for our children, and how LeapFrog’s new Learning Path can help us track their child’s progress. 
Some moms, especially those with children age four and under, expressed concern about their children playing with too many electronic toys, preferring to stick with wooden toys that are well-suited for imaginative play.  Elizabeth did think it will be good to have such a highly regarded educational option to consider when her kids get to that stage. Marketing Mommy admitted that she was reluctant for her kids to go high tech, too, until she tried the LeapFrog Tag a few months ago. Now she sees how the technology can be fun, useful and instructive, and no, just because some books “talk,” with the Tag, her preschool-aged daughter doesn't find traditional books less appealing.

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October 08, 2008

The Yelling Parent

1_2 I tend to be the kind of parent who, when tired and frustrated, yells at their toddlers.  I'm not proud of the fact that I am a "yelling parent" but I am - deal with it.  Actually, I usually only yell at bedtime when I have to deal with the crying and whining of "But I don't wanna go to bed!"  The yelling had pretty much ceased this weekend because I have caught the cold that everyone else seemed to have and gotten over.

I'm a little slow on the catching colds and now it's my turn.  My throat is so sore that it feels like every time I swallow, I am swallowing sandpaper - 40 grit sandpaper that is.  Then, there is the fact that I spent the afternoon at my in-laws' house for David's sister's 50th birthday and I must have eaten some bad potato salad because I'm am nauseous as all get-out.

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September 23, 2008

Fall is in the Air

1 In our house, we've been so wrapped up in the new school year and fighting of colds but I haven't forgotten that it's fall.  I am one of those crazy people who absolutely loves, loves, LOVES Fall and am happy to see Summer fade away.  I love Fall because it means crisp, cool days (okay so there are not enough of them) and Halloween.  It means that the holidays that I love so much like Thanksgiving are around the corner.  This year I am on a mad hunt for fun things for the boys to do.

I've started to scour the Chicago Special Events website looking for things and for the most part there are lots of things to do.  The person that I share a cube with at work has a 3 year old and it would be nice for the kids to get together.  Then there are trips to the Chicago Botanic Garden and Morton Arboretum as well as the pumpkin patch.  So many things to look forward to!

Original post to Chicago Moms Blog.

September 18, 2008

This Week's Hot Posts - We Survived Back to School

Hot Depending on where you live, your kids went back to school either a few weeks ago or a month ago. We're all settling into the new routine, some of us for the first time. Back to school changes our lives and we heard about it throughout our sites. Although being back in school was the inspiration, it took our contributors in many different directions, including surfing, Johnny Cash, and zits. Here is a sampling of some those posts....

September 09, 2008

Be Nice To Me, I'm NOT a SAHM

IreneI used to be the best parent - before I had children of my own.  I tell people this when they ask me what it's like being a parent.  Granted I've only had this job for the past 4 years, but it is HANDS DOWN the hardest job I've ever had.  What job have you ever had that (1) makes you cry on occasion, (2) pays nothing monetarily, and (3) doesn't provide you with any kind of feedback.  Seriously, parenting is not for the faint of heart.

And if you're a working outside the home parent (especially if you're a mother), I think it's twice as hard.  Okay, let me preface that by saying that if you're the mother, working outside the home, but still do the typical mom things like schedule social events and take care of school then it's twice as hard.  I'm not a single parent but if I were I am sure that I would probably be found somewhere in a fetal position in a corner of my house rocking myself.  Why would I say this?

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September 05, 2008

This Week's Hot Posts - Diving Into Politics

Hot

The conventions are over, the VPs announced, the nominations accepted and the race to the finish is now fully on.  The gloves are coming off and our blogs are exploding with political posts.  The truly historic nature of this election is inspiring everyone to get in the debate.  This week's hot posts is a recap of all the election posts in the past week or so.  All viewpoints are featured here... although currently the bulk seem to be in the Democratic camp.  Maybe this week's Hot Posts will get those Republican Mom Bloggers posting!


Deep South Moms Blog - Michelle - There But by the Grace of God Go I ... and You

Los Angeles Moms Blog - Jessica - Feminist Republican Housewives Unite in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Moms Blog - Nina - Obama did it. So can you.

Los Angeles Moms Blog - Suzie - Roe v Wade v McCain and Palin

NJ Moms Blog - Lois - Timing is Everything - is this the right time for Sarah Palin to be VP?

Silicon Valley Moms Blog - Tekla - Separated at Birth?

Silicon Valley Moms Blog - Karianna - The Palin Problem

Silicon Valley Moms Blog - Beth B. - McCain, Don't Play the Mom Card

Silicon Valley Moms Blog - Jill - Sarah Palin, You Scare Me

Chicago Moms Blog - Mary Ann Mohanraj- Not Actually So Much About Palin

Chicago Moms Blog - Alma - Palin, the Ultimate Working Mom?

DC Metro Moms Blog - Suzie P - Lookie Who is Running for Office

NYC Moms Blog - Beth F. - Dorothy and the Tin Man

NYC Moms Blog - Nancy R - Why John McCain Should Have Picked Me

NYC Moms Blog - Kelcey - I Hate to Talk Politics But...

50-Something Moms Blog - Arleen - Code of Silence

50-Something Moms Blog - Cynthia - The Content of their Character

September 02, 2008

The Reluctant Football Mom

2 Early last year, my oldest son David, a sophomore in high school, announced that he wanted to play football. 

Inwardly, I cringed.  Football is not a sport that I'm fond of.  At least not anymore.  I used to love watching football games with the hubby years ago.  For several years, I was the hubby's sounding board as he anguished over his fantasy football draft picks and sought my input on which quarterback to add to his line up.  As we added babies number two and three to the mix, I found myself deep into diaper changes and less into men crashing into each other on TV. 

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August 17, 2008

Feeling Violated

Cmb_feelingviolated So yes, I was violated.  Someone used my American Express card to charge just under $5,000.00 worth of things on my account.  Yes, I wrote FIVE . . . THOUSAND . . . DOLLARS.  I discovered this last week when I was checking my personal e-mail and received an e-mail from American Express letting me know that there was "suspicious" activity on my card.

By "suspicious", American Express meant $195.00 for a dating website.  Sheesh - even Amex knows that I'm an exhausted married mother of 2 toddlers.  Just kidding.  But, the e-mail made me decide to look at my statement for the month which is next to nothing usually.  Imagine the look on my face when I saw a balance of over $5,000.00 on my on line statement.

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August 13, 2008

This Week's Hot Posts

Hot The Olympics are in full swing and many posts across the sites are full of Olympic and Phelps fever. It turns out that Olympics fever manifests itself in many different ways: ranging from lust to gratitude. We also have plenty of HOT parenting posts this week including a mom who dodges date night, another who embraces her connectivity, one who ponders whether to expand her family, and one who got into the groove at a kiddie concert. And last but certainly not least, we also have a hippo looking for a lawyer. Enjoy!

August 10, 2008

Laws of Attraction

Cmb_law_of_attraction Wikipedia defines the Law of Attraction as "you get what you think about; your thoughts determine your experience".  There are books out there, like The Secret that talk about the Law of Attraction and it even comes up in everyday life.  Or, at least it came up a couple of nights ago when I went out with co-workers for a drink.  One of my single co-workers whose boyfriend decided he needed "a break" is reading The Secret in hopes of trying to get her boyfriend to come back.

And, if you believe in the Law of Attraction then you believe that your thoughts bring about reality.  It's a scary proposition and I say this only because lately what I've been thinking about is "how in the world did I ever get here."  What I mean by this is that here I am in my late 30s, a married mother of 2 toddler boys, a full time working outside the house kinda gal and this is not what I thought my life would ever be like.  I never dreamed that I would be overweight, tired, and feeling unattractive.

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August 08, 2008

Confession: I Have Never Pumped

Cmbstephamyarianne Most people would assume that in the combined total of four and a half years that I've breastfed my children, I would have done some serious pumping in my day. But, I've never even once pumped. I don't even own a pump. And truthfully, those pump things kinda scare me.

I've always just kept my babies and toddlers close by, and since I stay at home, I have found that it's just easier (lazier?) to put them to the breast than offer a bottle. And bottles... we've never owned one of those either. Sometimes I've thought it would be very wise to at least keep some formula and a bottle here for an emergency, but I just have never done it. Thankfully we've never had a crisis come up. But anyway- back to this pump thing. I'm not asking for a pat on the back because I've never needed one. I am actually in awe of those of you that do pump day in and day out. Now that is devotion. And the things I hear that your pump says to you while you do it... this fascinates me.

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August 04, 2008

This Week's Hot Posts

Hot With so many amazing pieces to choose from, it's always so hard to choose a post from each blog each week. This week's Hot Posts is highlighting some moving posts including a tribute to Vicki Forman's son by Kari and the return of Karen's children from their camp for deaf children. Cindy reflects on how parenting never becomes easier. We also have two posts about struggles with the environment: Aimee about being exposed to a smoker, and Emily about struggling to eliminate dangerous toxins. And finally, we also have some humorous posts about Sandbox Politics by Rebecca, about playing Simon Cowell gently by Amy, and about Marsha's dangerous procrastination. Enjoy!

August 01, 2008

When Did the Library Become Barnes and Noble

Cmb_whendidlibrarybecomeI spent part of yesterday at the library studying for a certification exam.  It was after I had attended the all day training class and my brain was a wee bit fried - okay it was past fried.  I found a cubicle at the library and started taking some practice tests only to get through 10 of them before there was a ruckus.

It wasn't so much the toddler that was screaming for her mommy because little kids don't always know to be quiet in the library.  Nope - it was the grown up patron shouting across the room to the library asking where a book was.  On top of that, the library shouted back to the patron several times on where the book in question was.  I was shocked and annoyed and couldn't figure out why the library couldn't get of her lazy duff and attend to the patron or why the person couldn't walk 10 feet over to the desk where the librarian was sitting.

Continue reading "When Did the Library Become Barnes and Noble" »

July 24, 2008

Stay At Home Dad Needs Help

Cmb_stayathomedadneedshelpMy husband, God love him, gave up his career to stay at home with my 2 toddler sons.  He's a great guy and is a lot of things, but organized and able to follow a schedule he is not.  Case in point - our 3 year old is scheduled to attend speech and occupational therapy sessions for his very slight developmental delay.  Because my husband cannot adhere to a dinner/bedtime schedule and I am often late getting home from work, my son has slept through the last 2 appointments.

It's frustrating only because I know that my son's "developmental delays" will only be helped by consistency and because of the inability of my husband to stick to a schedule, this consistency is compromised.  Yesterday I came home early from work and was able to get the boys fed, diapered, pajama-ed, and in bed (asleep) by 7:30 pm.  And today, I came home early again and accomplished the same thing.  I cannot understand why this is difficult for him.

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July 21, 2008

Feeling Puffy

5 It's been really warm outside in Chicago lately and yes, I am fully aware that it is summer but still.  For whatever reason, the warm weather makes me even more acutely aware that I need to lose some poundage.  It's tough because just when I get going on a routine of going to the gym and eating right something happens.

Something in the form of drinks with co-workers or a local Greek Food Fest.  We wait ALL year for the Greek Food Fest at a nearby Greek church.  Actually, David waits all year for it and I endure him mentioning how wonderful it was and how he can't wait until next year.  It's funny, but true.

The event is an annual thing for me too because it usually marks the time of year when I tell myself that I will diet and exercise and take better care of myself.  What is it about this particular event that makes me take a "healthy vow"?  It's because it's hot and humid outside and I'm watching uber-skinny people in tank tops and shorts eating lamb on a stick.  I always end up feeling like a troll.  So, I'm right on schedule because I feel very puffy and this is the weekend of the Greek Food Fest.

July 18, 2008

This Week's Hot Posts

Hot The BlogHer Conference is in full swing, but our sites are still buzzing with new posts, even while many of our contributors are mingling in San Francisco. This week's Hot Posts has some BlogHer experiences, but also has plenty of our regular fare including parenting blunders, name changes, and tooth fairy confrontations. Enjoy!

July 06, 2008

I'm Very VERY Sorry

CookiesIn addition to the phrases, "Please" and "Thank You" I've made sure that my sons know how to say "I'm Sorry".  Sometimes they forget to say those 2 magical words but overall they're pretty good about it.  Today was a pretty stressful day because the house is a mess, laundry isn't done (or started), and David has been spending all day out in the back yard putting the boys' playset together.

In the meantime, I have been left with the boys and they've been in foul moods today.  Someone is grabbing someone else's toys more often than they should and both of them seem to have over-active bowels.  In addition, to poopy diaper duty I've loaded and unloaded and loaded and unloaded the dishwasher a zillion times; made 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies; and played referee between the boys.  It's a typical Saturday but for some reason I've gotten nothing accomplished and I'm exhausted.

Continue reading "I'm Very VERY Sorry" »

June 19, 2008

They Look Good On You

StephBabywearing is all the rage lately- whether you're a new Mom, celeb Mom, or an old pro. Many parents wear their babies to keep them close, some wear them out of convenience, and others just need to keep track of all their kids. I tend to fall in, um, all those categories.

It's quite fashionable to wear your baby as an accessory- so many stylish slings, wraps, and carriers are available now in boutiques and online. More kids and smaller cars leave little room for bulky strollers, but a sling can be taken anywhere. And if you're breastfeeding on the go, wearing baby is the best way I've found to be discreet and get the job done. I have heard from many parents, however, that they have tried to wear their baby but they "just didn't get it." They can't figure out just how to use their carrier or haven't found one that really works for them.

Continue reading "They Look Good On You" »

June 13, 2008

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Pissed Off Mother

Cmb_hellhathnofury It's taken me a little time to pull myself together and decide to write about my 3 year old's first day camp experience.  I can be unreasonable and angry which tends to throw my judgment completely off, but now that it's been a couple of days I think I can write this with a clear head.  My 3 year old attended a nearby preschool and enjoyed it very much; my husband and I love, love his preschool teachers and think that they do an excellent job.  I need to say this because the day camp that I signed my son up for is run by the same place as the preschool and I want to make it perfectly clear that it is NOT my son's preschool teachers that I am upset with - nor am I upset with the person who is in charge of running the day camp.

So the story goes like this: my son missed the first day of day camp and my husband dropped him off on the second day.  The room that the campers were in was the exact room that my son had preschool in and there is only ONE door that you can enter and exit from.  David, my husband, saw that my oldest son was settled into a game of cars with another child, scooped up my youngest son, and walked out the door.  The door leads to a large lobby and then to TWO sets of double doors.  David walked through the lobby and through the first set of double doors.  When he turned around to push the second set of double doors

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June 11, 2008

Tight Times Call for Spam

SpamThe economy is not doing so great - it's a sentiment that I'm sure most families are aware of.  The price of everything, not just gasoline, has gone up dramatically this past year and as a one income household we feel the pinch.  My husband is a wonder with stretching a dollar and his favorite store is Costco.  Ask my sons what Daddy's favorite store is and you always get the same answer.

My husband has told me funny stories about going grocery shopping at the Costco and the boys embarrass him by squealing, "I love Costco!  Costco is Daddy's favorite store!" while sitting in the cart being wheeled down the aisles.  Hmmm, I wonder if I could turn that into something that would help pay for college.  One of the staples that the hubby loves to buy is Spam - the edible kind and not the kind that you get in your e-mail box.

Continue reading "Tight Times Call for Spam" »

June 01, 2008

New Meaning to the Word "Tired"

IreneI remember before David and I had the boys and there were times when I felt so tired that I wondered how in the world I could ever keep my eyes open.  When we registered at Babies R Us one afternoon, we had to go home and take a nap.  Then we had the boys and tired had new meaning.  During the first trimester of my first pregnancy I wasn't just tired - I was TIRED; so tired that often times I couldn't stay awake past 7:00 pm.  There were times that I wondered how it was I was going to drive home from work (I left at 4:30 pm) because I was so tired.

Then, when we first brought our oldest child home from the hospital I wondered if we were ever going to get any rest.  I thought that until then I hadn't know the real meaning of tired.  Now after 2 kids back to back, tired means something entirely different.  Tired for me isn't tired as in "I can't keep my eyes open" but more like I'm sick and tired of saying the same thing over and over and when is this going to get better."

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May 25, 2008

Why Won't These Allergies Go Away

IreneSince it started getting warmer and the trees and flowers started budding, I have had what feels like a perpetual head cold.  Once or twice this year I have had something severe enough to take antibiotics but the stuffy head, coughing feeling has yet to leave me entirely.  Yesterday I went out to my car and saw what was a nice thick coating of pollen on my car windows.  This is after I've driven the car the day before.

When I mention the inability to shake whatever it is I seem to have, I've been told that it has been a horrible allergy year.  So, here is my question - when does the allergy season end because I can't take more of this.  I'm sick and tired of not being able to breathe; sick and tired of coughing and not getting a descent night's sleep; and sick of feeling like I'm hung over every morning that I wake up.  I suppose it wouldn't be such a bad thing if I were actually hung over because that would mean that I had fun the night before.

Continue reading "Why Won't These Allergies Go Away" »

May 11, 2008

Not Sharing Mother's Day

Irene_2 This is the first year in 30 something years where I won't be spending Mother's Day with my mom.  No, no - it's not like that; my parents decided to up and move to another state and took 2 of my aunts with them.  As much as I gripe about how overbearing my mother is, I have to say that Mother's Day without her is a little - well - weird.  This is my first eggroll-less Mother's Day.

It is also the first time since I became a mother that I don't have to split Mother's Day between 2 mother (mine and my husbands) and the first one that I don't have to share.  One would think that it would be a great feeling.  Today I can do anything that I want because it's MY Mother's Day.  Uh yeah right.  It didn't turn out that way.

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May 07, 2008

Watch Now: MomBloggers On The Today Show

If you missed mombloggers on the Today Show live, watch here, and find out just how influential bloggers and YOU readers are!

April 28, 2008

Even Brunch Can Be An Adventure

Chicago_moms_blogThe Chicago Moms Blog divas gathered for good food and conversation yesterday, thanks to our gracious hostess Mary Anne. Still not sure if we should come out from under the covers with where we really live, Arianne and I made the easy Sunday mid-morning drive from Indiana up to Bucktown in no time at all. 

Our adventure really began as we entered Mary Anne's apartment for the first time and I thought I heard her call us on up to the 6th floor. When we entered the elevator we soon realized it only went up to four. So, we thought maybe we should go to the 4th floor and walk up the rest of the way. (Or actually I think this is what I thought and Arianne just thought I was crazy.) We find the stairs- pitch black as the light was out- and proceed to what should be the 5th floor. Turns out it was the roof. Right about then we hear a small voice calling for us from far away. Hello?

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April 13, 2008

Made in the U.S.A.

Cmb_made_in_the_usa Growing up we had 2 American made cars and both of them were lemons compared to our Toyotas that we went through every 6 or 7 years.  In our family, we passed cars down so it wasn't a surprise when we kids were driving cars that were 10 or 12 years old.  For us, our American-made cars that lasted 5 years did not hold a candle to our beloved foreign-made cars.

As an adult, I still hold that value as do my sister and brother; we don't usually drive American cars.  The term "American-made" is now an oxymoron because most Toyotas and Hondas are made in southern United States.  Still, it isn't likely you will see any of us driving around in Dodges.  Even though I still hold this belief, I have another belief that there are A LOT of things that are made in the USA that are better made than anywhere else in the word.

Continue reading "Made in the U.S.A." »

April 08, 2008

Katie Couric and the Mom Bloggers Video

As you have probably heard (cause gosh, we can't stop talking about it!!!), a few "Parent Bloggers" from  Silicon Valley Moms Blog, New York City Moms Blog, Chicago Moms Blog and DC Metro Moms Blog had a rare (and wonderful) opportunity to spend a Friday afternoon with Katie Couric.  Here is a video of our visit with Katie Couric from CBS, from her You Tube channel

... and just in case you missed Katie's writeup on CBS.com, here is what she said about our meetup: Meet The Parents (Who Blog)

 

April 06, 2008

Mom Bloggers Meetup With Katie Couric - RECAP!

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Want to hear more about our meetup with the fabulous-we-want-to-be-her-new-BFF, Katie Couric? Then click over to the post on the CBS Couric & Co. blog titled "Meet the Parents (Who Blog). Or take a look at the You Tube video of the event on Katie Couric's channel. Click on the "continue reading" link at the bottom of this post to see the You Tube video loaded on our site. And for more fun, here are the posts from our contributors:

Continue reading "Mom Bloggers Meetup With Katie Couric - RECAP!" »

April 04, 2008

Katie Couric Meetup With Mommybloggers

Img_1369_3 LATE BREAKING NEWS.... The Silicon Valley, DC Metro Chicago and New York City Mom Bloggers (and their special guests Mom 101 and Lisa Stone) met with  Katie Couric!!

We will update you as events unfold........

April 03, 2008

I Think therefore I am (not happy enough)

Snowbunnyeaster I was reading Eckhart Tolle's book: The Power of Now and before you start rolling your eyes, or guffawing, here me out. In the book he discusses how we are NOT our thoughts, that sometimes (I am paraphrasing, obviously) it is best to just BE. To disconnect from the thoughts and focus on being free from your own mind. This has been a tough Chicago winter. The snow has piled on us. The skies hang low with grey cloud cover, and as mothers, we are spreading pretty thin trying to come up with new ways to entertain little ones, keep our spirits high without sunshine, and still balance a somewhat positive outlook.


The day before Easter (The official second day of spring) this year, my daughter and I built a self-ironic snow bunny with the six inches of snow that fell. We made it work. To be honest, I came up with the idea, but when she jumped at the actual implementation, I was filled with dread. Get both of us in snow gear. (check), find the missing mitten (check) spend thirty minutes in the snow (sigh). I am done. Done, done done with the snow, and winter and cold.

Here is what I find interesting…as soon as I let go of thinking about it all, and just got in the snow, watched her laugh and took each second as it was, be it funny, or silly or cold, it was easier to process. It was that simple. I think we all know that we live in a world where we, as mothers, feel the need to

Continue reading "I Think therefore I am (not happy enough)" »

April 02, 2008

Fighting Against The Evil Forces Within

Cmb_fightingevil The sun is shining and it's around 50 degrees, so it's a nice day.  But, inside my mind it may as well be pouring rain outside.  I am one of the unfortunate many to struggle with depression.  What I have is called dysthymia, a low grade but pervasive type of depression.  It doesn't keep me from functioning, on the contrary, I am a highly functioning person.  People who know me and don't know that I have this type of depression are surprised that I even have this "issue".

There isn't an event that triggers what I call an "episode" and instead it is more like a series of events that causes my mood to dip into an area where I am (what I liked to call) unhappy.  I would say that I am unhappy today and the feeling is caused by the stresses of moving; the stresses of starting a new project with a person I've worked with in the past and who I really like; the stress of taking the train in the morning; and especially the stress of dealing with a toddler who likes to swallow things, jump on the bed, or do things that lead us to take him to the emergency room early in the morning.

You'll notice that among the list of my stresses that cause me to tip into the "unhappy" territory are actually GOOD things.  I've been told that this is normal - that happy things can cause stress.  Ain't that a bitch?  So because one of the stresses was my toddler son throwing up at 1:00 ish this morning and us

Continue reading "Fighting Against The Evil Forces Within" »

March 23, 2008

SAHM turns CM

**First of all, Happy Easter!  To me, Easter is a time to celebrate the beginning of the Spring season.**

zutano

"CM" is my made up acronym for "career mom" because I'm not sure what to label myself from here on out. I've spent the last two and a half years tending to my toddler on a daily basis. Watching her grow, learning with her and just enjoying life in general.  I am obviously not giving that up but I am now hanging up my "track suit" in exchange for some new business suits and trying to pick up where I left off before I brought my beautiful daughter into the world.

Ultimately, I knew this day would come. One just cannot live in the Chicago suburbs on a single income alone, in a home that refuses to sell in this market. I tend to believe that things happen "for a reason".  I realize the first few weeks of this transition will be equally as hard for my toddler as it will be for me but she will soon get over it, go on about her day playing with new playmates and know that I will return to pick her up. I, on the other hand, will probably sit and stare at a photograph of her on my new desk, longing to just sit and hold her or take her to the zoo or to the park.  Is that the working mother's reality?  I will sure miss my freedom to come and go as I please and discover new things right along with her.

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March 15, 2008

If one were to wed in the Windy City

proposal

My sister-in-law just got engaged and is planning a Spring 2009 wedding.  I've been married going on 50 years now, just kidding, it will actually be six years for me this August.  That being said, I haven't been in the wedding market for quite some time now, so I'm a little rusty.  My, my, how time flies when you're  gaining weight and having babies.

Back in the day when my husband proposed to me, we (or I) had already decided that we would get married in my hometown in Pennsylvania.  That is where the majority of my HUGE family lives and it's always been important to me to get married in the same church I grew up in.  My sister-in-law will marry in the city, that is, provided there are any "openings" a year from now.  I don't know anything about planning a wedding in the city of Chicago.  The one thing I do know is how quickly churches and venues book up and how much more expensive it is to wed here as opposed to in a town where the population doesn't exceed 14,000.

Continue reading "If one were to wed in the Windy City" »

March 13, 2008

Today I Saw My Future. And It Looks Bright!

SunThe sun came out in Chicago today.  The temperature went over 50 degrees.  My kids spent the morning happily playing outside in the yard.  They ran and ran.  And then they ran some more.  We hunted around the yard for bulbs poking their heads out of the ground to say hello.  I dug the bikes out of the garage for a little spin around the block.   We ate lunch out on the deck (with our coats on).  I made a pitcher of lemonade.  Then both of my little ones fell fast asleep because they were exhausted from their much-needed morning romp outdoors. 

Those of you reading this in California or other warm, sunny locales can go ahead and have a little giggle if you want to, but for us Chicagoans -- summer is here!

Continue reading "Today I Saw My Future. And It Looks Bright!" »

March 12, 2008

Mothers Everywhere Are Counting

Cmb_mothers_counting Yesterday I was taking a well-deserved break from moving, unpacking, and taking care of the kids.  It was still daytime and was running errands - going to get a pedicure and running past Barnes and Noble.  As I was walking towards the children's section - because even though they're not with me the boys are always on my mind - I heard the following, "ONNNNNE - TWOOOOOO!  What did I say?!?!"

The phrase that was exclaimed is one that I am sure all parents are familiar with.  My parents said the same thing to me growing up, although they never got to 2.  What can I say, I can hear a Filipino accent saying that phrase in any store and to this day I look up.  Usually, it's preceded by "shttttt", the Filipino version of Psst. 

Continue reading "Mothers Everywhere Are Counting" »

March 11, 2008

American Idol: The Top 12 Sing The Beatles

idolI'm going to go ahead and get my main American Idol spoiler over right now.  Either David Hernandez or Kristy Lee Cook is going home after tomorrow night.  I'll get to my reasons why in a bit.

Overall, tonight's show was pretty entertaining.  Everyone was getting a little crazy and what was up with Ryan Seacrest mosh pitting around the stage with Chikezie?  Soon he'll be wearing a mohawk.  Speaking of mohawk's, when will David Cook bring back his?  I'm all about that David Cook boy.

Continue reading "American Idol: The Top 12 Sing The Beatles " »

March 09, 2008

You want to talk social?

social network confusion

I just clicked over from reading my favorite Techmama and wanted to comment on her latest entry, "Compete's Top Ten Social Networks" in which she inspired me to jot down my social networking thoughts.

I know I'm probably preaching to the choir here but just hear me out.  Let's say you have five friends.  Two of those friends have profiles on Facebook, two are on Myspace and one frequents hi5.  Are you going to activate accounts on all three networks just to leave comments for your five friends about the latest episode of American Idol?  Talk about social networking overload.  Unless the top social networking site guru's create something similar to the package like Trillian from Cerulean Studios where you can access all of your instant messaging accounts with one log in, then color me logged out (no pun intended).  I predict this won't happen any time soon, as there is too much of a rivalry going on between Tom Anderson and Mark Zuckerburg for whose site is more "pimp".  Ah...I kid, I kid.  I don't know if there is really a rivalry or not but in my opinion, I think the social networking band wagon has reached full capacity.

Continue reading "You want to talk social? " »

February 29, 2008

How Do You Learn to Take Care of Yourself

YogaAfter sitting at home for a few days nursing a cold that seems to just keep getting worse (along with 2 small sick boys and a sick husband) I wonder how it is that I allowed myself to get into such a state of "disrepair".  Even though I have a cold now and feel like absolute crap, I know that when I'm feeling well I'm not really feeling that great.  I know that taking care of yourself includes eating right, getting exercise, minimizing stress, and getting enough of sleep but I cannot remember a time when I actually did all that.  Maybe I never felt good?

I find it hard to believe that I never felt good but I cannot remember a time when I felt, well, healthy.  Maybe it was the years from 1997 to 2000 when I worked out everyday or when I was a child bopping between skating, ballet, and gymnastics.  Whatever the case, I would love to know how to "fix" my system.  I know that my metabolism is way off because if I'm not going at 100 miles per hour I get sick.  Case in point, the cold that I have now.

Continue reading "How Do You Learn to Take Care of Yourself" »

February 27, 2008

Transition from Nursery to Big Girl Room

RoomI've had an itch to do some redecorating, so I thought I'd make a few changes to my toddler's room.  When we initially decorated her room, we did it so that we wouldn't have to make "too" many changes as she got older.  We stuck with a butterflies and bugs theme, which is now sort of transforming into a princess theme.  If you would have told me that my little girl would have a princess room five years ago, I would have laughed in your face.  Not MY little girl.  Nope.  No way.  She was going to be a little retro/punk/non-girly...girl.  well let me just tell you, the minute we were told, "It's a girl!" on that ultrasound table, the smile on my face just stretched from ear-to-ear and thoughts of the color pink and flowers and butterflies just raced across my mind.  I even apologized to my husband saying, "I'm sorry but this is where all of your money is going to go."  He kept his gaze on the monitor as if trying to look for the slightest indication that the ultrasound tech might be mistaken.  Don't get me wrong, he adores that little girl like no one else could but he knew what he was in for.

Continue reading "Transition from Nursery to Big Girl Room " »

February 26, 2008

American Idol: The Top 10 Boys

Ai*Alright, ya'll know that I'm the spoiler if you've set your DVRs and Tivos to catch the show later on.  Do not read further to hear all about tonight's American Idol show.

Amy M. here, live blogging from my couch while watching American Idol.  Seriously though, to the producers of Amercan Idol, I could totally live blog for you FROM American Idol.  I'm available asap.  Call me.  We'll talk.

Without further ado, here is my play-by-play opinion on tonight's Top 10 Boy Contestants:

Continue reading "American Idol: The Top 10 Boys" »

February 22, 2008

American Idol: The First Four Voted Off

Warning: Spoiler ahead.  If you haven't watched tonight's show, I'm about to ruin it for you.

I wasn't planning to report on all things American Idol here at the Chicago Mom's Blog but I've invested enough time in Season 7 thus far that I feel like it's my rightful duty to spark up some conversation about the show.  I should really be writing about Lost, my all-time favorite t.v. show.  It's amazing and has me more and more lost (no pun intended).

Tonight on Idol, the first four contestants were eliminated and I can say that I was not surprised about the two guys who were voted off but was a little surprised at one of the girls who was sent home.

Continue reading "American Idol: The First Four Voted Off" »

February 21, 2008

Ameican Idol: Top 12 Women and They're So Stylish!

AaHey, weren't they the Top 12 "Women" last night?  At any rate, the girls have made their mark on tonight's show and the voting lines are open.  I wasn't extremely thrilled with any particular contestant's performance this evening.  I hope they all bring it in their upcoming performances.

Tonight, my favorites were:

Continue reading "Ameican Idol: Top 12 Women and They're So Stylish!" »

February 20, 2008

American Idol: Top 12 Boys and My Secret Crush is Revealed!

Ai_2Alright, I'm very proud of myself for getting through all of the crazy American Idol Season 7 auditions and Hollywood week.  Generally after the first couple of audition episodes they lose this Chicago Mom, but not this time.  I have taken an interest in the musical talent this year.  Tonight was Idol's "Top 12 Boy" performances.  My toddler now knows that "Tuesday night is mommy's t.v. night".

My favorites tonight were:

Continue reading "American Idol: Top 12 Boys and My Secret Crush is Revealed! " »

January 31, 2008

What Will People Think?

Cmb_whatwillpeoplethink I'm sure you've heard it growing up and it was ridiculously prevalent at school.  The thought, "what will people think" plays a prominent role in almost every teenager's life.  It's like the moment you hit puberty or at least become aware of what people think of you (the court of public opinion), that sentence plays in your head over and over.  "What will people think?"

And, if you grow wiser as you grow older you realize that it doesn't matter what people think.  In my case, I was in my 20s when I learned that it didn't really matter to me what people thought - well, at least it didn't matter as much.  I don't think it was so much that I grew wiser, but more tired.  What with all the extra responsibility a full time job held and the rigors of everyday life not to mention the weekends with my friends, I was just too exhausted to really pay attention to what people thought of me.  Besides, by the time I was in my late 20s I had really gotten to know myself and like myself.

Continue reading "What Will People Think?" »

December 06, 2007

Of Babes and Boobs: Reflections on Breastfeeding

Bfday_2 If you're reading this, chances are you have breasts. Or boobs. Or whatever you want to call them.  It's also pretty likely that before you had kids, you didn't think too much about breastfeeding.  Your breasts were something you admired, or maybe reviled.  You dressed them up.  Then undressed them.  They were part of your sexuality.

At least that's how it was for me.  Until I got pregnant, I really didn't give much thought to the fact that my breasts could actually serve a purpose-- feeding a baby.  So breastfeeding was a novelty, and, as I soon discovered, it wasn't all that easy.  There were leaks and aches.  Awkward bras.  Feedings at 3 a.m.  Even an occasionally bewildered husband.  But don't get me wrong.  It wasn't all bad.  There were moments of sheer bliss.  Moments when it all came together, and our son fell asleep in a milk induced stupor.

That's just a little bit of my story, and I'm sure you have one, too.  Whether you loved or hated breastfeeding, whether you did it for one day, one week, one year, or even longer, breastfeeding probably made quite an impression.  That's why we're all focusing on babes and boobs today.  Be sure to check out Silicon Valley Moms Blog, New York City Moms Blog, Chicago Moms Blog and DC Metro Moms Blog for our different takes on "the milky way." New posts will be going up on all four sites throughout the day, as we dedicate today to breastfeeding.....

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Andi Silverman is the author of the new book, Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner's Guide to Breastfeeding. She also runs the blog Mama Knows Breast and blogs at the New York City Moms Blog.

November 07, 2007

Oh hell naw: Minivan love in bloom

BootsOne of the perks and pains of blogging is the PR push to review products. Sometimes, the ask is as thrilling as trying out a Swiffer, and other times, it's books or make-up or better. A few weeks ago, the CMBers were approached to test drive brand spankin' new cars for a week. Sure, it's a minivan, which I ardently resist in my quest to be just a tad bit hipper or sassier or something than they convey in my over-analysis and my prideful aesthetics that easily conquer mommy pragmatism. But when they surveyed me thoroughly on my work, opinions and weekly activities and then swiftly approving all that, invited me to roll a fully-loaded 2008 Dodge Caravan during a week I'm displaced from my home and normal routine, I was actually excited. They had me at "We think you are one of just 50 socially and professionally influential women in Chicago." My next and clearly logical thought was about my shoes.

Continue reading "Oh hell naw: Minivan love in bloom " »

October 31, 2007

New Features

Coming Soon!

October 15, 2007

Superwoman Returns

Superwoman_2 In 1997 working moms took a hit...a big hit. No, we didn't lose our tenuous rights (FMLA, paid sick time, vacation time). No, we took a hit even bigger than that - A high profile woman resigned her job to stay home with the kids.

I vaguely remember this incident. I was at the end of college or just out of it, recently engaged, and still recovering from failing to get into graduate school. How could the CEO of Pepsi step down to bake cookies? I think I was more mad at her because I was mad at myself for not only failing to get into graduate school, but also because I didn't fight hard enough for it. A lot of women were mad at Brenda Barnes.

Well she's back...with a vengeance.

Continue reading "Superwoman Returns" »

September 14, 2007

Bringing the Field Museum down to size

AlmaIf you think the Field Museum is too big and perhaps a little too overwhelming for small children, think again! Today marks the opening of their brand-new Crown Family Playlab, a children's museum within the museum geared toward children 2-6 years old.

I took my family with me to preview the exhibit earlier this week, and my almost 3-year-old daughter loved it so much not even the promise of a visit with Sue, the Field Museum's famous T-Rex, could lure her away.

Continue reading "Bringing the Field Museum down to size" »

September 12, 2007

On nightmares and newspapers

JessicaIf you are in Chicago, take a little peek in today's Sun-Times. If you are elsewhere (and why would you want to be on a sunny, breezy day like today?), take a little peek at the paper online.

Lil E and I are featured in an article on the distress dreams that commonly disrupt the little bits of sleep new moms get. And do be sure to study our own Catherine's smarty pants comments about her own experiences.

I was surprised to learn that many mothers scramble about in the night, searching for their babies in the bed, just as I did for nearly two years. The nightmare sensation -- it even has a term, BiB for (you've got it) Baby in Bed (clever, eh?) -- is thought to borrow stress from a parent's waking life for the dream state.

Continue reading "On nightmares and newspapers" »

August 19, 2007

Announcing the DC Metro Moms Blog

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming launch of DC METRO MOMS BLOG (www.dcmetromoms.com), a sister site to Silicon Valley Moms Blog, Chicago Moms Blog and the soon to launch New York City Moms Blog!

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DC Metro Moms:

Please pass the word to any DC Metro moms you know. To be considered as one of our initial group of contributors, you must:

  • Reside in the DC Metro Area
  • Be a mother or grandmother
  • Love to write and be willing share your HONEST experiences about being a parent in DC Metro City. If you've got a perfect life, tell your mother, your sister, or your best friend; if you're struggling to do the best you can, can laugh at your mistakes, rant about your disasters, or cry about your tragedies, we want to hear from you. Tell us about your view of the world through the eyes of a DC Metro mom!

Interested DC Metro Moms, kindly email us at info@svmoms.com .  Please submit two writing samples as potential posts or provide us with the URL of your personal blog.   

July 31, 2007

Huge Thank-You To Our Swag Bag Sponsors

It's Time To Celebrate Our Swag-Bags!

Siliconvalley_momsblog_chicagomom_2The Silicon Valley and Chicago Moms Blog contributors had a fantastic dinner sponsored by Yahoo, the night before BlogHer07.  You can see from the picture that we are all smiling, not only for the great company and food but because of our amazing swag bag! We were speechless after seeing all the wonderful swag our sponsors donated to our contributors. So, we would like to pass on a BIG THANK YOU! Here is a listing of the sponsors below. Please take a look at their products, they are all first rate. And another big thanks to Amy for being the Chicago swag production center.

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Yahoo_sponsorpg First of, we need to extend a big thanks to the sponsor of our dinner as well as 11 passed to BlogHer - Yahoo. Many of us are Yahoo users already so it was amazing to have their support to help our contributors meet-up at BlogHer.  Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo!'s mission is to connect people to their passions, their communities, and the world's knowledge. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. Yahoo has a number of company blogs including the Yahoo Search Blog,Yahoo Tech, Yodal Anecdotal, Yahoo Developer Network Blog, and many other blogs. Yahoo also donated a mini-colored pencil set to our swag bag.

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Zazzle_3Zazzle_tee_shirtsZAZZLE - Zazzle not only donated our first set of blog tee shirts, but helped us with converting our blog design into a tee shirt design.  Their new printing technology allowed a quick turnaround time with a smooth feel, and their large selection of custom shirts allowed us to find the right style and color. We had so much fun, we are thinking about making buttons and stickers.

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Nannydeprived_planetmoms PLANET MOMS APPAREL was a big hit with their high quality fabrics and fantastically funny sayings on their hats like "Nanny Deprived" and "Secretary of Transportation". And tee shirts such as "I need a playdate", "World's Best Moms when her kids are at school" or the  "Whine? No. Wine? Yes. shirt that Kathy Griffin wore on her Bravo show, "My Life on the D List."

We know that there will now be a bunch of moms walking around town wearing the "Nanny Deprived" hats and "I need a playdate" shirts... cause we all are! And we will proudly wear our "World's Best Moms when her kids are at school" tee shirt for school drop-off.
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Wati_3 WATI.  Have your kids ever worn a Wati Design? This is one hip, savvy, exquisite designer that you must check out. Wati is a local, silicon valley mom who designs the most beautiful children's clothes.  You can typically find her designs at high end, boutiques or or her site.  Consider purchasing a "back to school dress" from Wati!  Your little girls will simply look darling - and the clothes are comfortable and child friendly!

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Love-Me-Knots - What little girl wouldn't look Adorable wearing a beautifully designed bows in her hair.  The dynamic creators of Love-Me-Knots, have created darling bows for all occasions!  If you are a mother of a little girl, you must take a look at these beautiful, hair accessories.   


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Wateroos - Are you trying to teach your kids healthy eating habits, which of course isn’t easy. The founder of Waterloos (who happens to be a Silicon Valley Mom) was always “inventing” ways to get her daughter to eat healthy stuff. And we  don't need to tell you that it doesn’t always work. With so many packaged sugary kids’ drinks readily available, it’s especially hard to make healthy choices while we’re on the go.

That’s how she got the idea for Wateroos purified water and all-natural fruit-flavored waters. With Wateroos, your kids can sip from a colorful drink box while they play along with Puddles the Penguin and the other Wateroo-ligans. And we get the convenience of a juice box but with healthier water inside instead which helps make at least one of our daily nutrition choices a little easier.
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Healthyhandfuls_2 Healthy Handfuls  generously gave us all boxes of cookies and Enjoy Life natural Brands Snickerdoodle cookies   Ok, let's be honest ladies - Who actually gave their kids the snickerdoodles?  I ate them before my kids, and they were simply DELICOUS! 

Healthy Handfuls, a company created by two moms, makes great-tasting
organic snacks that kids love – without all of the trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives and artificial colors. Try all three yummy snacks, available in convenient single-serve snack boxes or fun-size pouches – they're perfect for on-the-go snacking!
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Joan Goldner, the creator of the BusyBodyBook Family Organizer, screamed for joy and jumped up and down when we told her about the swag bags that we were giving to our contributors.  Joan has been reaching the blogosphere in full force, trying to let the mommy (and daddy) world know about BusyBodyBook.  This unique (and beautifully designed) family organizer is a great tool for the busy family, with many activities and events.  There are four different designs and a school year or calendar year option.  We absolutely encourage you to check out her website and learn more about BusyBodyBook!  Oh yes, Joan is also blogging, so check out her BusyBodyBook Blog!

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Teenspirit_3 Teen Spirit by Lady's Speed Stick is a fun way to introduce girls to deodorant with yummy fragrances including sweet strawberry, cool coconut, berry blossom and pink crush. Their FAQ page has information for parents and kids on using deodorant.   (Let's face it, what teen girl wants to be walking around with B.O.?)

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Jif_creamy Jif Peanut Butter - What can we say about Jif Peanut Butter other then what would moms do without that family food staple? The Jif website has recipes, giveaways, listing of entries from the Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Contest and information about the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

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Tutor_com_3 TUTOR.COM: Tutor.com donated a certificate for 75 free minutes of online tutoring to our swag bag. Tutor.com Direct is the leading live, on demand tutoring service for families. Students receive one-to-one help the moment they need it from a professional tutor. There are no appointments to make and no schedules to keep. Traditional and online tutoring services force students to schedule time with a tutor days in advance and results in help just once a week, in one subject, at a scheduled time. Tutor.com empowers students to get help on demand - whenever they need it, in any subject.  Access to a professional tutor "right now" is a powerful tool that ensures students never fall behind, get frustrated or give up.

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Innobaby_logo_3 Innobaby Innobaby's Packin' SMART® is an all-in-one on-the go feeding solution for infant and toddler years. It's four products in one convenient stackable unit! The five-tier stack can be used as a formula dispenser, a snack case, a serving bowl, and a pacifier holder.

(Why oh why didn't they have this product years ago, when my kids were infants?)

LtdLTDChix.com (which stands for Living The Dream Chix) provided our contributors with the most amazing (and soft) mom tee-shirts. These tee-shirts are for the active, hip, savvy mothers. 

LTDChix tee-shirts show every day, overwhelmed  "mommy" situations and showcases mommy-hood at it's finest.  Does this sound familiar?  Do you drive a minivan?  Are you stuck to the vacuum all day and/or do you seem to have mountains of laundry that never seems to go away?  Maybe you play referee  between your kids, or do all the food shopping, while dragging your kids through the store...... If so, you simply have to check out these t-shirts.  Believe me, every mom deserves an LTDChix shirt....

BTW, the shirts are so incredibly soft, and make a great YOGA shirt!  Really, the quality of these tee's are outstanding!

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What do moms needing swag do for help? Call Phyllis of BabySwags.com. BabySwags.com provided us with these great products from two of her clients: DVD's from Baby Hands Productions and a PediaSense ReliaDose dropper

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Baby Hands - My Baby Can Talk First Signs and Sharing Signing DVD's. My Baby Can Talk has been honored with  fourteen national parenting awards that recognize this series as quality viewing for babies. These DVDs are the first baby sign language learning programs that features preverbal babies signing all of the words presented."

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Reliadose_pic_4 PediaSense - ReliaDose bottles - a bottle with a built in medicine dropper. ReliaDose® works with a baby's natural desire to feed, providing an easy and precise way to give medicine to a baby. It can ensure complete and gentle dosing of over-the-counter and prescribed liquid medication, as well as for liquid vitamin/mineral supplementation. Designed for accuracy and ease of use, it's a medicine delivery system that works for both babies and their caregivers.
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Vox_2 VOX from Six Apart donated tee shirts for our swag bag. We use Typepad for our blogging platform from Six Apart, so it was great to have them join in the fun. VOX is a free blog, blog hosting and photosharing site that has privacy controls perfect for families and friends to keep in touch.

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Onetruemediapic_3 One True Media - A one year premium membership to One True Media, an easy way to combine photos and video clips with words and music to personalize your online stories. "Quickly share with our Online Slideshow or get as creative as you want with our Video Montage. One True Media is quick and easy to use with no software downloads and immediate results."

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Bottle_coverCarseat Couture generously gave our contributors Baby Bottle Covers....What, you have not heard of a Baby Bottle Cover? Tired of scraped up bottles and chewed up sippy cups? Introducing the bottle slipcover that grows with a child from baby bottle days to sippy cup independence. Velcro TM closures also make this cover easy to monogram flat and a turn-down cuff gives it a cute tailored look. The velcro expands to fit a standard water bottle. Moms love the way their friends respond, saying the covers help their little ones identify their own bottle at daycare, thus keeping germ exchange down.

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Clean_well Clean Well What mom is not obsessed with keeping the children's hands clean? Really, arent we all walking around putting hand sanitizer on our kids 24/7?  Well, we are proud to let everyone know about CleanWell Hand Sanitizer Spray.   CleanWell Natural Hand Sanitizing Spray  is made with Ingenium, a patented formulation of essential plant oils proven to kill 99.99% of the harmful germs that can make you sick. The easy-to-use spray bottle with "no mess" flip top cap makes it perfect for your life on the go. The small size is great for any purse, back pack, glove box, or baby bag.   BTW, you can now get this hand sanitzer in Chicago at Whole Foods!

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Nibbler And last but not least, this was the biggest swag surprise. When Sugarmama from the Chicago Moms Blog emailed saying she would donate Nipple Nibblers we originally thought it had to do with breastfeeding. But we then found out that Nipple Nibblers is a product from Intimate Pursuits for Adults only. (no, not for the little guys....it is for the big boys!)

One of our contributors told us that Nipple Nibblers makes a great lip gloss, as well.... hmmmm.... Dare I say, I don't think you would find Nipple Nibblers at a tech conference!

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Again, on behalf of all of contributors, we would like to thank all of the businesses that donated gifts to our swag-bags.  We really, really, REALLY appreciate it!

Jill Asher and Beth Blecherman ... and the contributors of Silicon Valley Moms Blog & Chicago Moms Blog. Cross posted on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.

July 16, 2007

The scoop on what to do in Chicago during BlogHer 2007

chicagoskyline.jpgConsidering I live in the host city of the 2007 BlogHer conference, and I blog with many fine Chicago mommies on this site, I thought it was my our duty to share with all visitors some things to see or do in the city outside of meeting our favorite bloggers and partying it up. I even recruited a few friends to help expand my short and narrow-minded list. Trust me, we're better than any concierge at the W.

Sadly, my hubby nixed the idea that I camp downtown Chicago for the weekend. Boo.  But, if you are so lucky to be staying just off the Magnificent Mile, you might just enjoy the following in the Windy City.  (I personally believe the nickname is derived from politics, not by the strong winds off Oak St.  Just be glad you're not visiting us in December!)

Eating Out: Why watch what you eat? You're going to be hanging out with all women for the weekend, anyway.

  • Pizza-  Although I prefer New York Style pies, many like Chicago-style pizza, with its oddly square-cut pieces that leave you with only a few crust options and center pieces of all cheese. But I digress.  Some choices for the 'za: Giordano's, (Rush St. location), Lou Malnati's, or Gino's East (East Superior location).  I like Lou Malnati's the best, but you'll have to take a cab. The deep-dish pepperoni pie just might be worth it, though.
  • Quick bite or snack- My friends at the Chicagoist turned me onto this neat little market off the Mag Mile called L'Appetito.  Seriously, the sandwiches rock.  And they won't cost as much as the peanuts from your snack bar.
  • For the serious foodie in you - Head on over to Randolph St.  A short short cab ride away will offer you 3 consecutive blocks of some of the best eats in the city.  I'm partial to the sushi at Sushi Wabi.  But I realize that if you're flying in from California, you're probably laughing at the idea of sushi in Chicago.  So go to Red Light or Avec instead. Your stomach will thank me.

Out and About: You don't have any kids with you... steal away for a few!

  • Millenium Park- Everyone was skeptical when Millenium Park was built, but even the harshest critics were proven wrong. This free, 24.5 acre park has some of the coolest outdoor art I've ever seen.  And a free 8 a.m. exercise class will help you burn off all that great food you ate.  For more information about what to do at Millenium Park, read Kim's great round-up.
  • Lincoln Park - I know it's like so cliche Chicago and all, but really, this park is 'da bomb. There's a free zoo, (petting zoo too!) a beach and conservatory.  And, oh yeah, every Saturday morning there's a fresh "Green City" market.  (It opens at 7:00 a.m. so you have no excuse!)
  • Architectural Tour - Chicago's got some of the best architecture around, and the best way to see it is from our beloved river.  Take one of these river tours because it gives you the prettiest (and most relaxing) view of the incredible Chicago skyline.  You could take a walking tour instead, but well, I'm feeling too lazy right now to recommend that one.
  • Navy Pier /Lakeshore Drive - Oh right, most of you are staying right next to this quintessential Chicago landmark and wonderful walking/ bike path. If you can break away from all the great speakers for a moment or two, tour around the Navy Pier grounds, ride the ferris wheel or rent a bike.  The view of the pier is great from any angle!
  • Be like the paparazzi - If you don't have time to do any sightseeing, the ladies at Cool Mom Picks are giving incentive to stalk out your favorite bloggers at the conference. Go on a BlogHer scavenger photo hunt and earn points to win cool stuff.

Shopping: You would all be lying if you didn't want to do a little shopping while you're all alone in the nation's third largest metropolis.  Unfortunately, we don't have that cool "no sales tax thing" that New York City does, but we do have some good places to get some great duds.  Trust me. I like to shop. A lot.

  • State Street - Believe it or not, State Street between Wacker and Madison has some of the best discount shopping in any 4-block radius I've seen.  Besides checking out the summer sales going on at our beloved Marshall Fields, er, Macy's flagship store, you're just a stone's throw from Nordstrom's Rack, Filene's Basement and H&M.  You didn't come all the way to Chicago to go boutique shopping, right?
  • Oak St. - If you're hitting it rich from your blog, you can probably afford to buy a thing or two at one of the chic boutiques on this famous Chicago shopping block just off the Mag Mile.  I'm not yet, so I just go down there and drool over the diamonds in the window at Graff. (I wonder how many more click-throughs I'll need for that canary yellow one?)
  • Boutiques - Unfortunately, most of the good boutiques in Chicago are a cab ride away.  But if you're in need, check out Wicker Park (stretch of Division St. near Damen Ave.) or Armitage Ave. between Sheffield and Halsted streets.  Lori's Shoes is still my favorite place to shop in the city.  Even if it's worse than O'Hare's security lines on a Saturday.

Most of all, enjoy the conference and your visit to our wonderful city!

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Sara also blogs at Self-Made Mom.

July 11, 2007

Chicago Moms! Tell Us What You Think About: Amy Jacobson

Amy_nathanAmy Jacobson is a Chicago mom not unlike many of us in many ways.  Like me, her name is Amy.  Like some of you, she has - or had - a full-time job outside the home.  She lives in the city. She has a couple of young kids.

None of us are perfect, that's true. But as a media professional is she under higher scrutiny? Is that fair?

Did she make a grave error in judgement simply by taking her kids swimming at the home of an acquaintance whom she had interviewed?  Did she not think of the reprocussions?  Should she have lost her job?  Did she cross the line -- did Channel 2

C'mon Chicago Moms, put on your thinking caps and speak your mind! 

June 29, 2007

Open Thread Friday - what to do with your children in Chicago this weekend!

Hello Chicago.  We decided to have an "open thread" on Friday of each week.  Everyone reading Chicago Moms Blog is welcome and encouraged to comment, and join the conversations!

For today, we want to know, What will you be doing with your children this weekend? Are there any local/Chicago events that we should know about?  Are you taking your kids to the movies or the park or are you just going to "crash" at home?  Are there any musicals, plays, sporting events going on? Are there Farmer's Markets or Street Faires? What about Fourth of July events?  Please.... do share!  Curious Chicago minds want to know.

June 27, 2007

New zoo review

Well, Cosley Zoo in Wheaton may not be entirely new (it's been around since 1974), but hey, it's new to me. And to Lil' T, who had a blast there! Now you get to hear all about it, you lucky people you.

It has a small barn and pens of domesticated farm animals, cows and horses and sheep and the like, with everything at kiddie-eye level for little ones. Right now T is very into Old MacDonald Had A Farm and all things related to said ditty, so the timing could not be more perfect. It also has a duck pond, turtles, and a number of native Illinois wildlife including deer, coyote, owls, hawks and other birds of prey (caged, of course). There is also a cute old-timey railroad caboose for kids to explore, and a nice concession stand area to grab a snack or picnic tables if you want to make a half-day of it. The day we went, someone had a party hosted there, an idea I would snag for the T-ster if his birthday weren't so borderline wintertime.

What I really like about this zoo: it's the perfect size to keep my toddler engaged but not overwhelmed. I can actually let him "loose" a little bit - I hate confining him to a stroller, as does he. The walkways are clean, and being a small zoo it attracts less people so there is enough room for everybody. There is a lot of green - it looks to me as though the zoo was carved into the forest preserve, it has less of that pre-fabricated, overly landscaped feel to it. You really do feel like you're in a natural setting (well, as natural as a zoo can be). It's run by the Wheaton Park District, and admission is free, but I encourage you to leave a donation to help keep it going. It's a great place.

So, for those of you who dare to leave the city ... this is a good destination. I leave you with more sights (sorry, you'll have to imagine the sounds yourself).

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


It's home to a sassy burro ...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And a gigantomous bunny rabbit

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

There are many tranquil little spots throughout the zoo, T really loved the bridges and ponds

Cosley Zoo
1356 N. Gary Avenue
Wheaton, IL 60187
630-655-5534
Open year round. Currently open daily from 9AM-5PM (check the Cosley Zoo Web site for its seasonal schedule).

May 05, 2007

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April 2008

SheKnows 4/22/08 A Delicate (Digital) Balance

Catalyst Chicago 4/9/08 Around The Blogs

Shine 4/9/08 Katie Couric Chats With Mom Bloggers 

CBS News 4/7/08 Meet The Parents (Who Blog), by Katie Curic

March 2008

Catalyst Chicago 3/31/08 Around The Blogs

February 2008

Time Out Chicago 2/14/08 Almost Famous

February 2008 - Chicago Moms Blog was listed as one of 171 best blogs in Chicago in February 2008 issue of Chicago Magazine. Click Here to see the online article - Chicago Moms Blog is listed under the "Parenting" category. 

January 2008

Christian Science Monitor  1/17/08  Automakers put bloggers in the driver's seat

November 2007

Daily Herold  11/27/07  The Power of Mommy Bloggers

Chicago Sun Times 11/23/07  Checking Our List

Today Show  11/13/07 Wall Street Versus Main Street: Customers Cut Back As Economy Slides

October 2007

ABC News  10/23/07 Dumbledore's Gay: Does Anyone Care?

Pressconnects  10/14/07 A blog of one's own

ABC News 10/08/07 The Letter of Sex Discrimination Laws Versus Reality

John Edwards Blog  10/02/07 
Have you heard about Elizabeth Edwards and the Mommy Bloggers? 

Daily Kos  10/02/07 
Have you heard about Elizabeth Edwards and the Mommy Bloggers?

September 2007

New York Times    9/29/07    Recalls Make Toy Shopping a Source of Anxiety

Chicago Tribune Online 9/26/07 Autism and the Adopted Child

BNet Research Center  9/21/07  Come In And Play; Cooler Weather Leaves Parents Searching For New

Chicago Sun Times 9/12/07 Many moms suffer similar nightmare 

August 2007

ABC News 8/14/07 Toy Recall Has Parents Wondering 'What's Next'

Chicago Tribune 8/10/07 Parents cast wary eye towards the toy chests

June 2007

Chicago Tribune   6/27/07 New blog site lets mothers write it out 

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April 20, 2007

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February 01, 2007

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