Friday, October 28, 2011
Here's my little ladybug: Chiara in her Halloween costume - I thought she wouldn't like wearing the antennae headband but it turns out I have to hide it from her or she'll want to wear it everywhere we go. Grandma is still working on Daniel's costume...he's going to be a mummy. On Sunday, we're celebrating Halloween at my our annual Halloween party: I'll be making the usual mummy dogs with a side of spooky tater tots, then we're headed to the 13 Terrors on the Lake haunted house. Happy Halloween!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Her big brother, Daniel, age 10, is also benefiting from having the Nonni around. Once again, if you ask Daniel if he speaks Italian, he'll say no. And then you'll find him having a conversation in Italian. He also speaks Italian along with his sister, so it's as if they are almost at the same level of the language, learning together.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I just spent a wonderful long weekend in Nashville - my first time ever visiting music city USA. It was a quick (just over an hour via direct flight on United), fun escape from Chicago. I'll be writing some articles for travel-based publications which I'll eventually link to, but for now, here are my top five Nashville picks:
|Fun Shops in East Nashville|
|Live Music on Broadway|
|Vintage concert posters: Hatch Prints|
|Popsicles at Las Paletas|
|Singing my heart out at the Ryland Auditorium, after the backstage tour|
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Lookingglass Theater's latest production - "The Great Fire" - offers the perfect chance for families to explore the tragedy that led to the rebirth of our city. Hugely entertaining, it explores the myths surrounding the fire, following several Chicagoans as they struggle to survive both before and as the fire enflames their city. Writer and Director (and ensemble member) John Musial has weaved together and reinterpreted actual accounts, one of them from Charles Anthony (the inspiration for the characters Arthur and Frenchy), the son of a Chicago Judge who recalled his memories of the fire that he survived when he was just 15-year-old in a 1919 publication. Anyone living in the city will appreciate the antics of 7th and 8th ward (today's Pilsen) alderman James Henry Hidreth, brought to life by the brilliantly versatile Cheryl Lynn Bruce. Julia Lemus, played by Stephanie Diaz, recalls what this disaster meant to the hundreds of working-class immigrants trying to make a decent living in Chicago at the time.
The fire itself is portrayed by Lindsey Noel Whiting: she's a nasty, backstabbing, heartless redhead in a white petticoat.
The Chicago Fire is appropriate for kids over age 8. Before you go, familiarize your kids with the basic facts and story behind the fire. I recommend The Great Chicago Fire, by Kay Olsen (available on amazon.com), an engaging interpretation in comic book format. After the show, be sure to visit the Great Chicago Fire exhibit at the Chicago History Museum, where you can even find Julia Lemus' painting of the fire. The Great Fire, now playing at Chicago's Lookingglass Theater. For tickets, call 312-337-0665 or visit lookingglasstheatre.org
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Meanwhile, I had a signature pedicure and transformed my toes happily with pretty a pretty fall plum polish.
This working, urban mom gives Urban Mom Salon 4 stars. I'll be back soon!
Urban Mom Salon offers hair cuts, color and restorative treatments, nail and waxing services. Prices are very reasonable; on par with most city salons. Childcare is a steal: just $7 per kid no matter how many services you indulge in/how long you stay (extra kids $4 extra).
Urban Mom Salon
2143 N. Damen Ave,
Chicago IL 60647
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Every other year or so, on graduation day, I have to announce the names of the students in my homeroom. As I proudly and carefully read their full names and watch them walk up to receive their diplomas, I always have to try my best to gulp down those happy tears. I have to completely avoid looking out into the audience, at their hopeful, happy parents if I plan on reading all the names clearly and distinctly.
So if graduation day for my students makes me emotional – what am I going to do when it comes down to the graduation days of my own kids?!?!
Some moms dream of the day that their daughter marries. They dream of the day when she’ll be dressed up as a princess in her white wedding dress, when she walks down the aisle to the wedding march, a bouquet of flowers in hand.
I dream of the day when my daughter walks down the aisle to Pomp and Circumstance at her college graduation. I will be the bawling mom in the audience. We will have the biggest party ever or I will take her on a trip to the destination of her dreams – maybe even both. When and if she is conferred her PhD? I will spend more on her outfit that day than on a wedding dress. I will be delighted to save up every penny, nickel and dime, enough to take my daughter to Chanel for the most beautiful dress or suit ever. (The same goes for my son, too. And he’s already chosen his dream destination, Australia, so I’d better start saving!).
Don’t get me wrong: I love fancy weddings! And should my daughter choose to have one, I’ll help her plan a day to remember down to the very last detail. Just as well, should she forgoe college to choose a career path that meets her dreams and doesn’t require extensive education – we’ll find a way to celebrate that, too.
Just take a look at latest cover of any celebrity magazine: Our country celebrates over-the-top weddings and glamourizes women who have done little more than meet a guy and make some arrangments. We need to tone done the celebrating women for their manufactured wedding days, and focus more on celebrating women for their achievements.
On her wedding day, I will be over-the-moon happy for my daughter. On her graduation day, I will be over-the-moon proud of her. She’s still my baby girl so I’ve got lots of time before either big date, but for now, I want her to always know that I value her education and her dreams more than anything.