End of Summer

Well- we’re winding the summer down in a fun fashion! During the last week if the summer- I picked up one of Chicago Public Library’s Childrens Museum pass. Nico and I went to check that out while Dave covered a cubs game. 

We stayed for almost four hours. I managed to finish reading a book while I was there. It worked out well- because he wasn’t bugging me to leave and I wasn’t bugging him either. 
We also did some back to school shopping- he got some new nike kicks and a couple of new shirts and shorts. I learned my lesson last year and didn’t delude myself into thinking that I could get him to wear non-athletic clothes. I hit up my favorite consignment shop and scored some sweet deals on clothes for him. He has outgrown all of his warmup pants though. Seriously- it’s a joke how much ankle he shows now. So- I guess in a few weeks when it’s not so warm- we’ll have to start buying those again!!


The first day of school went off without a hitch, mostly. Nico ended up being separated from his best friend. There are only two kindergartens and two first grade classes, so he knew everyone in his class.

There was a bit of a kerfuffle after school. The busing paperwork got a little messed up- and they had Nico on the bus list, along with some other kids. Luckily, Dave got there in the nick of time. Nico dealt with it pretty okay, but Dave was stressed out. Nico assumed that the bus was going to take him to me at DePaul. So there is that 🙂

Chicago Fire

As part of AYSO-we got a special deal on Chicago Fire tickets. I got them for

Dave for an early Happy Father’s Day gift. The stadium is pretty sweet- although far. In the future- we’d probably want to take the “pub to the pitch” bus.

Nico was a gem for most of the night. I thought he was going to lose it over some candy he wanted, but the massive meltdown was *narrowly* avoided. 

Fun on the schedule

Spring is here- which means our weekends get a bit more exciting. This past weekend- we started with a house party at a fellow AYSO family’s house.

 

Nico ran around with his little rabble for the night- and had a great time. 
 

 

Sunday we headed out to Oak Prairie Park in NW Indiana. I wanted to try our hand at fishing- which was an abysmal fail at. Maybe because we were using those crappy rubber worms that came with the pole I got Nico. But it was fun.
I got a chance to hike/walk along the trail at the park. The trail is in the book “60 Hiked within 60 Miles of Chicago”, which Santa brought me a couple of Christmases ago.
Monday I did “Murph” with my gym. It’s a hero WOD so named for a Navy SEAL who died in 2005 in Afghanistan. I definitely had a bad attitude going into it- but am glad I did it.

 

That is me on the far right.
Tuesday we went to a birthday party after school. I’m not sure how I feel about birthday parties on school days. It’s nice to not have to tie up a weekend day with it. But we didn’t get to any homework on Tuesday. But we didn’t do any on Wednesday or Thursday either.
The place we went was awesome. They had inflatables and a rock wall. A rock wall.
In other news, we bought a used patio set from someone in the neighborhood. We’re also going to work on getting some paver stoned for the backyard. It’s about to be an oasis up in here!
This weekend we have more fun on the schedule. Pizza with my dear work friend’s family tonight. Outdoor movie night+hawks game tomorrow night. Going to see a Fire game next weekend. Our summer is starting to get booked!!

 

The Amazon Debacle

I got home late on Friday night… the train trip was easy.  And good.  I got to read and play candy crush most of the way.  I also picked up the TNT cowboy brisket rueben from Zingermans to have on the train.  It was amazing.

Nico was glad to have me home.  I ended up taking him to CrossFit with me on Saturday.  I am working on an advertising campaign for them, and we needed Nico.  If it works out, I will probably post a picture here 🙂
Nico wanted a go at wall balls.  Wall balls are were you go down into a full squat and stand up, throwing the ball at a target above your head.  He did pretty well.  It’s the second time he’s been to CrossFit with me, and was a gem both times.

After, we swung by a birthday party for one of his classmates.  It was pretty fun- and the weather was perfect.  Before I left for Ann Arbor, Nico and I were watching TV and we saw a commercial for Planes: Fire and Rescue.  Nico thought that looked pretty good, so we made a plan to go see it when I got back, if he could be good for Dave while I was gone.  Well, we ended up going after the party on Saturday.  And this is when the fun began.  
When we were leaving, Nico saw a kid with a Dusty plane (Dusty is the main character) and wanted to get one.  I didn’t see it, and I am not trying to go to a toy store looking for this thing.  So, I got the great idea, to let Nico look at Planes toys from Amazon on my iPad so I could identify the plane, yada yada yada, problem solved.  
Well, I dont know if you knew this or not.  But if you are signed into Amazon on your iPad and you touch the “one-click to buy” button, you can buy that item.  And Nico bought a tent.  It was on my wishlist, so when he was navigating the app, he must have bought the item.  He also managed to buy a play station and a dusty toy.  And then I realized I should sign out of the app. 
Luckily, we’re not getting a play station.  Amazon let me cancel the purchases.  But seriously, how hilarious is that?  Good thing he is cute…

Summer in the City

I got a notice from work last month that I hadn’t taken any vacation days. I don’t need to be told twice, so I scheduled some days off this summer. With July 4th on Friday, I took yesterday and today- which is fantastic.

Tuesday night I introduced Nico to “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” on Netflix. It was amazing. He loved it. I think his media viewing tastes are evolving. He’s been watching a LOT of the World Cup. He’s starting to get into the Nat Geo documentaries- which is fantastic. Because a Kim can only watch so much Cailou. 
Yesterday we rode down to the Loop. We checked out the family fun festival in Millenium Park. Nico played Cornhole for about 2 hours. And did hula hoop (which I am still terrible at). After, we stopped by Margie’s on Montrose for ice cream.  
Not sure what we’ll get into today. Maybe go for a hike or something. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It was 65 degrees in the house last night. In July. Don’t be jealous!


I Love you to the Moon (and Right on Back), I Love you to the Moon (and Right on Back), I Love you to the Moon (and Right on Back)….

The days are getting longer.  Not much longer.  Just a scotch.  But I will take it.  Obviously, this event is heralding spring coming, so we went ice-skating this weekend.  Apparently, outdoor ice skating only happens through February.  So we went.

Nico was a champ.  An absolute- bonafide champ.  It took us probably 20 minutes to go around the rink once (just like the only other time I’ve been ice skating, once was enough for me).  He fell a lot.  But he didn’t cry and didn’t fuss.  He was so grown.  I love it.
I’m coming up on just a shitty part of the year with my work+teaching.  We’re at the midterm- so there are a lot more assignments to grade.  Plus, faculty are starting to think about the research projects they will work on over the summer.  So, I’ve been working a lot more.  Dave got Nico out of the house on Sunday and went to Kohl’s Children’s museum in Glenview.

 

While there, Nico played at working in a sandwich shop and being a cashier, which is pretty funny.
Tuesday I went in a bit later than normally, so I got to be at the house when Nico woke up.  He was very snuggly and it ended up being the best part of my day.  He’s starting to get into singing and songs.  Which is kind of new.  It used to be I would sing to him and deliberately mess up the words or change the words and he would get annoyed.  But now, he thinks its hilarious.  The latest song?
“I love you to the moon and right on back.  I love you to the moon and right on back.  I love you to the moon and right on back.  Yes, yes I do.” (obviously, then I love him to the Lake and right on back.  Then I love him to the train and right on back, etc.  To the tune of “Wheels on the Bus”.)  Even better, when I went to sing it the other day, I “couldn’t quite remember” the order of the words.  But he did and taught me.  Seriously, that kid has a great ear, just like his Dad.

Winter Fun

Sorry I haven’t been really good about posting.  It will be a while before it gets better… with all the work, and the teaching, the CrossFitting, the parenting, etc.  Its times like these that make me really sad I am a muggle.  If I could do magic, or even if I had access to a time turner, things would be so much easier.  

Dave’s cousin Will and his wife and daughter (Tracey and Darby) stayed the night with us last Friday night.  They were in town for a conference and checked out of the hotel and stayed with us Friday night… we had Lou Malnati’s on Friday night and went sledding on Saturday.  So much fun!!

Seriously, isn’t he adorable?

The Bishop-Royses go to Royse City

 We had a really fun Thanksgiving Holiday.

The Friday night before we left, I scooped up Nico and got him out of the house so we could run some errands.  This entailed dinner down in Lincoln Park.  We were headed towards the train when we stopped by the DePaul Athletic Center and caught a DePaul volleyball game against Butler.  Nico and I watched for about 30 minutes.  He seemed to be pretty into it.

A new development, which will get it’s own post probably next week, is that Nico has just taken off with the reading and the writing.  It’s pretty amazing.  He has filled up a composition book at school with “work” and he brought it home before Thanksgiving.  And he is just so smart.  It’s fantastic.  He is reading street signs and signs at the store and everything.  It’s awesome.
 
For Thanksgiving, we drove down to Texas to see Nico’s cousins.  They had an absolute blast.  Nico was so excited to have other kids to play with (NOT AT SCHOOL), that he showed his tail a bit.  He was totally over stimulated and off his schedule, so I guess I can cut him a little slack.  Plus, Nicole and Cody’s house is amazing.  Seriously- they have a zipline: 
I know, right?
We stayed with Nicole and Cody Monday-Saturday and had a good time hanging out.  I got in a little shopping and had so much fun.  The weekend before we headed out, we got Nico a couple of new pair of shoes (blue adidias with flourescent orange stripes and blue pumas).  Whenever Nico was not wearing the shoes and becks found them, he would bring them to a grown up and ask for the shoes to be put on his fit.  What does it say about an 18 month old’s feet when they can fit in his 4 year old cousin’s shoes?  Yeah.  Big honkin feet.  

On the way back to Chicago, we ran through Royse City, Texas. A town founded by Dave’s people.  It’s pretty non-desript.  The depot has a sign that was clearly spelled Royce City, but that someone had to fix, which I found very funny.  
We got back on Sunday- and have been back on the grind since.  While we were gone, someone stole the catalytic converter off of Dave’s 4Runner- which is annoying.  Have you ever driven a vehicle without a catalytic converter?  So annoying. It’s loud.  Not like, man- that is a souped up engine loud.  But rather, who doesn’t have a muffler on their vehicle loud.  Normally its a $2200 repair job, but luckily, we had comprehensive coverage on the 4Runner… so Progressive is handling it- and all we have to pay is our $500 deductible.  It’s always something… but it could have been a lot worse. 
All for now.  

Bayth

Nico has been in the midwest for all of four months, and it appears that he has begun acquiring a midwestern accent.  Sweet Jesus.  An actual midwestern accent.  So, it started the other day when we were playing around and he said something about taking a ba-yth.  A what, you ask?  A ba-yth.  No, let me stop for a second and explain something, so you can fully appreciate what the hell was going on.  A couple of months ago, I was tickling Nico and he laughed and said, “You’re tickling my hip.”  But what I heard was, “You’re tickling my heeeip.”  To which I laughed and said, “Hip.  You’re tickling my HIP.”  He thinks this is hilarious.  And so it becomes a game.  So, I thought he was joking me the other day when he said “bayth”.  No.  Not joking at all.
I envision this:

Right?

He’s also started asking if he can go outside by asking, “Can I go outside to stretch my legs?” This is hilarious, because he got this from Dave. But usually only in the context of roadtrips. It’s pretty great.

We had a fun weekend. I went to Toledo, Ohio on Thursday for a conference with my boss. We presented Friday morning and killed it. We had over 100 people at a 9am session. In academic standards, that is pretty much like standing room only. I got back Friday night while Dave and Nico were at the YMCA and putzed around the house. Saturday morning Nico and I walked up to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. After, we headed to the YMCA for swimming lessons for Nico. Saturday afternoon, we met Nico’s new babysitter. She is a student at North Park University and does music. In fact, today she asked if she could take him to her bell practice. She thinks he might enjoy helping her ring the bells. Are you kidding me? He’s going to love it.

Check out this meatball playing catch:

Sunday, Nico and I ran some errands, including a couple of book stores. One of these was a used bookstore, I pass twice a day going to and from work. I can’t wait to head back some time without Nico… to see if they have any treasures. It looks like the kind of place that would have treasures.

Bikey McBikersons

The main problem with Nico riding his own bike is that it’s difficult to go anywhere.  We are trying to teach him good habits, so we have him get off his bike and walk it across streets.  Well, we live in the city, so we’re always off the bike and walking it across the street.  I have been toying with how to get Nico and me to ride together, so that we can do some more exploring.  And stuff.

On Saturday morning, we rode up to DD for breakfast.  Which is fantastic. However, I have come to the realization that Nico is a lazy only child.  There, I said it.  When it comes to walking- he wants no part if it.  He hates walking anywhere longer than about five steps.  Normally a trip like this would require me putting him on my shoulders.  Which gets annoying after a while.  This particular trip was okay, since he rode the entire way.  
I have been exploring options for Nico and me to ride bikes together.  There are the seats that attach to the back of a bike.  The seats that attach to the front.  The little cart thing that pulls behind.  And this:

What is that? You ask.  That is our new bike trailer.  The grey part is basically just a kid’s bike without the front wheel, attached to a tow bar.  It attaches to the seat of my bike.  Saturday morning, before swimming lessons, Nico and I put it together.  Saturday afternoon, wevgave it a test run.  We rode on the bike path that runs north/south towards downtown.  It is the route I take to get to work, but it rolls by 2 different parks.  And he LOVES LOVES LOVES it.  
I need to adjust the seat a bit so that he can reach the pedals better.  As it is now, he isnt much help when it comes to pedaling.  But he totally just enjoys riding along together.  I feel like it is pretty stable, but I want to get a lot more comfortable on it before we take it on any longer range trips. In the time that I have been riding my bike often in the city, I am getting a feel for where bikes can be ridden safely.  Like, if you go just north on Kimball from North Park, you get to Lincolnwood.  But doing so requires crossing to major intersections (including a sketchy diagonal at Lincoln Ave).  I am not sure I’d feel comfortable riding that way with Nico… but I need to figure out something, because there is a really nice greenway on Kimball/McCormick going towards Evanston and Skokie.  I am hoping to take Nico over to the lake before the end of the summer, for some swims.  Wouldn’t that be fun??
Yesterday, I took Nico to school and scooped him up after.  This morning, Dave took him on the bike.  The only downside to having the bike trailer hooked up, is that we ended up hooking it up to my bike.  Today I had to ride this ancient roadster bike with the low handlebars.  I havent quite figured out how to shift which made for some slow going up a couple of the hills on the trail.  Plus the seat is old and hard.  And the handlebars are low… so I am really supposed to be way-leaned over on this thing…. which is just so awkward.  Even worse is that non of the “universal” accessories fit this damned thing.  Which means I have to carry my bag on my shoulders.  But Traps McTrapsimus here seems to have a pinched nerve in her neck (or something) because that hurts.  Which is a bummer.  So, I am going to look into buying a cheap used bike.  Or stealing one.  Bikes are like those take a penny leave a penny trays at the checkout counter, right?  No?
Damnit.