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Author: Christine (page 1 of 18)

colorfully creating

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, this fall has been a busy one so far with many activities and running around. One of the activities that Aidan has been participating in is a drop-in art class. Last week seemed an especially busy one and the thought of leaving the house by 9am and missing out on spending time with Mike that morning just to get to an art class was really not sitting well with me. So, Aidan and I decided to skip the class, stay home, hang out with Mike, and then when Mike left for work we took time to do our own art projects together. What a blast we had together! We spent almost two hours painting, drawing, reading about famous artists (from Discovering Great Artists), and just having fun. The next day Aidan wanted to do more art so we found a great resource online (called  Art Projects for Kids) and dove into more art projects exploring watercolors and pastels, and trying our hand at copying the greats like Van Gogh, Miro, Klee, and Mondrian.

Aidan loves art and he loves to explore his creative side with all types of art. And I love seeing him creating and exploring. I, too, love art (looking at it, appreciating it, etc.). However, I don’t consider myself creative at all when it comes to making this type of art. I joke that I can’t make myself deviate from the example that I’m looking at–something in me just makes me want to replicate what I see without really putting my own touches on it. I have such a difficult time letting go and just being free with painting or drawing. But, despite my shortcomings with this, I love trying my hand at this type of art. It makes it even more enjoyable when Aidan and I can do this together–sharing, learning, laughing, and creating. Here are photos of some of our recent artwork:

hello, my name is chris and i have become a soccer mom

This past month seems to have gone by in a blur for me. Part of this blur in due to Aidan’s decision to try a bunch of new activities this fall. So, right now almost every day is booked with something–from gymnastics to robotics and everything in between!

In addition to the variety of classes and clubs, we have also managed to go on a few recent tours. One was at the Romeoville National Weather Station. We all got a look at some of the tools of the trade, along with the computers that they use to track storms. We also learned about what the job of a meteorologist is all about and what it takes to become one.

The other was a tour with an engineering scientist at Fermi Lab where we got to learn about and see the Tevatron accelerator, which has been in use for 26 years. While some of the material was presented in a overly scientific manner, it still was an interesting tour/talk. It’s also pretty cool because we got to see this accelerator before it shuts down (shut down is scheduled at the end of this month).

the good and bad of august

August has always been a strange month for me. When I was younger, August marked the end of summer. A time when school was going to start back up and summer fun was going to come to a screeching halt. As I got older it still mark an end, but in much more real ways. It’s the month my dad and my grandma passed away and the month that my favorite uncle died in a freak accident. It’s the month that my mom was diagnosed with a stage 4 aggressive brain tumor. And most recently, a time when we have again just learned of bad news concerning the health of a family member. It’s also the month that I ended up in the hospital months before my son was to be born and ended up delivering him prematurely just a week later.

The birth of my son is the shining light of August. While it was definitely one of the scariest times for myself and my husband, everything worked out well in the end. I ended up delivering him via c-section eight and a half weeks before he was due–he was born exactly two years from the day that my mom was diagnosed with her brain cancer. So, that date remains firmly ingrained in my mind as the day that everything changed in my life–not once, but twice. First, bad changes that led me to lose my mom at way too early of an age, but now the date has led me to see that there can be new beginnings in August–it has led me to celebrate my son and our life and our family.

My son seems to take on the spirit of my mom when it comes to his birthday. He believes (as she did) that we should celebrate his birthday all month (or at least the entire week)! And we do have a tendency of stretching the celebration out a bit. This past week we spent a fun day at a water park enjoying the slides and the lazy river. Then we spent his actual birthday just the three of us. We had a relaxing day opening presents, building and baking and doing things he enjoys. We went out for a “fancy” meal, and then ended up at Build-A-Bear. For a kid who loves stuffed animals like my son I’m surprised that we have been able to avoid this place for so long, but the gig is up! And now that he knows about the place he is already planning on what he wants to buy with his birthday money and has his next birthday all planned out! It really was a fun time, and I love that the innocence still sparkles in his eyes as he’s selecting which animal he wants to love “fur-ever.”

The next day we had a birthday party for him. We typically just have family over and then plan a special treat day with one or two of his friends. But this year he really wanted a “big” party with everyone all together. We decided on an outdoor venue to better accommodate more guests. However, we also did not want the party too big for fear that everyone would end up at our house due to the unpredictable weather (mostly the oppressive heat) of this summer, so we suggested that he select five of his own friends and we would invite them and their parents along with our family and our closest friends. We reserved a spot in the local forest preserve, requested a favor from Mother Earth for some beautiful weather (which she happily obliged), and had a enjoyable day playing games, eating good food, and catching up with friends and family. It was an awesome way to celebrate our little man and to be present in the everyday moments of our wonderful life. Simply put, it was a beautiful August day for my beautiful 8-year old boy!

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