Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012: Catwoman!

Sonia is on the cusp of being able to choose her own costume, but this year when I asked her several times what she wanted to wear, she kept saying that she wanted to be a kitty cat again (just like last year).  When I found out that her cousin, Peter, is going to be Batman, I suggested that Sosini go as Catwoman.  I showed her pictures of Eartha Kitt as Catwoman in the old Batman television series, and Sonia decided that dressing up as Catwoman was a fabulous idea!

Seriously, how cool was Eartha Kitt?

Anyway, Sosini and I whipped up her costume with a little help from Auntie Niki (thanks for finding the leotard!), Party City (that awesome Batman utility belt was the perfect find and will provide dress up fun for years to come), and Target (gotta love that crazy gold necklace-- it will also be used for dress up in the future).  We got a mask, too, but at the last second, she decided it was too annoying to wear (can't blame her-- masks are a pain!).


Uh oh, here she comes!

Her costume got its first road test when we went with the Rieths to Lisle Park District's Monster Madness party.  The fun included carnival games....

...a cookie walk (Ike won and shared his cookies with Sonia)....

....pony rides....

....a hay maze, a pumpkin "patch", a couple of haunted rooms, and a petting zoo!

We had such a great time, and Sonia's costume seemed nice and comfy.  She wore it again to our playgroup's Halloween playdate (pictures of that in a future blog post) and yet again to preschool yesterday. Lisle's Gentle Learning Preschool had the kids do a little costume parade and perform a few Halloween songs for us parents.  It was the first time Sonia has really participated in a "performance"!  So adorable....

Ha ha-- Mickey Mouse's costume was hampering his ability to do some of the hand movements!

Sonia's beloved Mrs. Cheryl (the teacher's aide) was amused that only one of the kids knew that she was Raggedy Ann, not a clown!  Niki remarked how shocking it was that only 2 of the 6 girls were dressed as princesses.  We'll see what the ratio is next year....

Catwoman and Batman!

Sonia is so excited for trick-or-treating tonight, but unfortunately, with the temperature in the 40's, not much of her Catwoman costume is going to be visible.  Oh well!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Gooooooooooo Irish!

The Fighting Irish football team of the University of Notre Dame in undefeated in the first eight games of the 2012 season.


It's been a loooooong time since Notre Dame football has been, um, relevant.  Not since the glory days of the team that included Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, and Tom Zbikowski has Notre Dame's football antics been this exciting.  As I type this, ND is ranked #4 in the AP poll, but they still need to get by Pitt, BC, Wake Forest, and USC before the season is done.

I tried to explain to Sosini how well ND is doing this year, but her eyes kind of glazed over and she asked for some Pirate's Booty (her favorite snack).  Despite her disinterest in football, Sonia seriously loves her ND cheerleader outfit.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Another first: school pictures!

Considering the teacher's aide saved Sonia from a complete melt-down just moments before (apparently, Sosini was not pleased with the whole picture-taking process), this picture didn't turn out too bad!

She smiled the same fake smile in the class picture, but what impresses me is that she was one of only two kids who smiled for that picture!

Sosini wore the same outfit that Charlotte wore last year for her school pictures....  It's a super-cute dress that Grandma JoJo bought and Charbunkle handed down.  I love that they were both able to wear the same outfit!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bits and bobs from the past month (or so)

At the Phillips Park Zoo, Sonia decided to pose on this turtle statue by sitting on the turtle's head.  The resulting picture looks a bit.... odd.

It's a bit blurry (my camera was not happy with the lighting provided by a sky that was rapidly darkening and  about to pour down rain), but I like this picture of Sonia Balogna and me (by Zach's tree, of course)!

While my mom was here visiting (more about that fun visit in a future blog post), we learned that Sosini's preschool class had some of their art displayed at the Lisle Library.  My mother is pointing to Sonia's creation.  I love it!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A bit more from Michigan

Last month, Sosini and I drove to Michigan to visit Charlotte, Peter, Corey, and Niki-- and to see their new house!  They just moved to Michigan from Tennessee, and this was our first trip to Oakland Township (right next to the Detroit suburb of Rochester) to see them.  I forgot to bring a flash drive to steal the tons of pictures we took on Niki & Corey's nice camera, so you'll have to check out Niki's blog to see those.  But I took a few pictures on the small point-and-shoot camera that I keep in my purse.

The Lisle Library has a fun little program where you can check out a "Lisle Crocodile" (a stuffed crocodile from the hilarious comic strip Pearls Before Swine) as a little buddy to bring along on a vacation.  If you send a picture of your child and the crocodile having a great time on the trip, the library posts it on the Lisle Crocodile bulletin board.  This is the first time we've ever checked out a croc, and Sonia thought it was hilarious!  He posed with Charlotte, Sonia, & Petey at the awesome cider mill we visited:

Then we took him inside to play in the dried corn table.

The kids had such a great time playing with the corn and the farm equipment!

Even though Peter is a little blurry, I love this picture of him mid-jump!

After we got home from the cider mill, we ran around in their awesome backyard.

Connie dog loves running around with little kids!  Such a beautiful doggy.

Sonia and I had such a fabulous trip!!  We can't wait to go back for Christmas and bring Andrew.  He's going to love the Stringers' new house!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sonia and the City

Last week, Sonia and I had a rare day with absolutely nothing planned, so we hopped in the car and headed toward downtown Chicago to bum around Millennium Park.  We had such a lovely time!  We emerged from the underground parking garage and immediately explored the Lurie Garden, which is such a nice oasis.  We also happened to find a great place to take a picture in front of the building (Prudential II) where I worked at my very first post-college job:

Other than going to the Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry, which are both on the far edge of downtown, Sonia has been downtown only two or three other times.  This is the first time we really spent a good amount of time just walking around, soaking up the crazy downtown aura.

Sonia and I were bummed that the Great Lawn of the Jay Pritzker Pavillion was blocked off to help restore the grass from a long summer of outdoor concerts.....  It looks like a fun place to run around!

Sonia was so confused as to why I kept referring to Millennium Park as a "park".  "Where are the slides and swings, Mommy?" she asked several times.  That stopped once she saw the bean (AKA the Cloud Gate).

Little Narcissus loved looking at herself from all different angles.

I wish I had a video of the silly dance she was doing while I snapped these next two pictures....  That bean thingy sure put her in a silly mood!

So ridiculously awesome....

A nice passerby offered to take our picture together as we were walking toward the Crown Fountain (which Sonia loved).

Crossing over Monroe Street on the Nichols Bridgeway, which connects the park to the Art Institute:

One of the main reasons for our impromptu visit into the city was to meet up with one of our favorite people in the entire world: Emily Borlik!  We kidnapped her from work and went to lunch at the fantastic and shockingly kid-friendly Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe.  Sosini's beloved "Auntie Em" is going to become a bona fide aunt around Thanksgiving time-- so exciting!!  Congratulations to the whole Borlik clan....

Sonia was positively despondent when she realized that we only got to spend one measly hour with Emily!  Seriously, Sosini almost had a full-on sobfest when I told her we had to walk Emily back to work.  (It is a testament to how awesome Emily is that she took this as a compliment rather than being horribly annoyed by Sonia's sudden crabbiness!) But Sonia rallied, and when we went back to Millennium Park, she had a good time pretending to watch the Fresh Beat Band perform on the stage of the Pritzker Pavillion.

Ice cream also helped cheer Sonia up!

By the time we finished our ice cream, I could tell Sissy was getting tired.  Little Miss No-Nap was so wiped out from exploring Millennium Park that she passed out cold in her car seat before we even got on the Stevenson Expressway to head back home.  I love when she car naps!  There is something so peaceful about driving in a car with a sleeping child in the back seat.  It was the perfect end to a really nice day with my Sonia Balogna.