July 31, 2012

Two Surprises

On Saturday, RoadTripDaddy and I got the kids up early and headed out the door for the first of two surprises.  When we got to the train station, we told the kids we were taking a train ride.  Monkey LOVES trains.  They were very excited for their first train rides.  We boarded the train and headed towards the city.  The kids were enthralled looking out the windows.  It was fun to watch the excitement in their eyes.  Sweet Pea asked why we were stopping.  At every single station.  All 10 stops.  We had to change stations when we arrived downtown so we could head to our next surprise.  We walked the couple blocks to the Ogilvie and hung out for a bit until it was time to head to Ravinia.  On the train we told the kids that we were headed to see Laurie Berkner!  Sweet Pea kept asking if we were going then.  She later proceeded to tell a nice woman on the train that we were going to see Laurie about 15 times.  RoadTripDaddy and I figured she was excited.  However, this didn't stop her from asking why we were stopping again at every station.  This time there were 12 stops to question.

The kids had a blast at the concert and it was definitely worth the trip.  After the concert, we headed into the city and explored Millennium Park.  It was a ton of fun but we were exhausted by the time we finally made it home.  More about our weekend to come later.

Don't forget to enter to win a 6 month US Deluxe Membership to Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker 2012.  You have until this Friday!  Click here to enter!

July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Roots and a Giveaway!

For the past few years I have had a membership to Ancestry.com.  What started as a family tree project when I was pregnant with Sweet Pea turned into a mission to find out more about my family.  I think that's what happens with most people who start using Ancestry.com.  You put in the information you have and that little leaf pops up.  You can't help but click on it.  Before you know it, you are tracing back your family history over a century or more.

My mom was one of seven growing up, so my extended family is large.  About 20 years ago there was a reunion and someone took the time to put together a packet with our family tree and connections on it.  I'm pretty sure seeing that at the reunion started my interest in my family's history.  Two years ago, I received a copy of that packet.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  I feverishly entered names, birth dates and other information onto our family tree.  I was excited to see that some of the information had already been filled in due to my previous research on Ancestry.com.  I loved getting new clues into our history.  It has been so interesting to learn more about our family.

But while my side of the tree goes back hundreds of years, RoadTripDaddy's is noticeably less detailed.  My mother-in-law was adopted and the only information we have is her birth parents names from the adoption papers.  We have been able to find their marriage license in Chicago as well.  But then the track disappears. They seem to appear out of thin air and then disappear again.  Every time I sit down to work on our family tree, I try to find more pieces to the puzzle.  I started with my MIL's adoptive parents and have filled in quite a bit of information.  But the lack of information on her birth parents eludes me.  Ancestry.com has helped with the information they have, but I hope that with the continued release of records as time passes will help fill in the gaps.

Recently, the 1940 census information was released to Ancestry.com and they have been working to get all the records scanned, reviewed and posted on their website.  As part of the release, members were asked if they wanted to become Ancestry.com Aces.  (Fancy, huh?)  In turn, I am able to giveaway a 6 month US Deluxe Membership to Ancestry.com.  The winner will also receive a copy of Family Tree Maker 2012.

All you have to do to win is comment on this post telling me what person in your family you would like to learn more about from Ancestry.com.  For an additional entry, follow my blog and post a comment about it. For a third entry, like my new page on Facebook.  I will pick a winner using Random.org on Friday, August 3rd.
Disclosure: This was not a paid post and honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own and may vary from others. Thank you to the company who supplied the product for giveaway.

July 24, 2012

Is it Saturday yet?

Today was one of those days that felt longer than usual.  Little irritations and not so little things made today drag on.  It was a day that made me long for a weekend, even though the calendar says we just had one.

I don't want to rehash my whole day but thankfully it ended on a mostly positive note.  After not seeing my counselor for three weeks I was anxious to talk through things with her tonight.  She reminds me that I must take care of myself.  She makes me feel like even though today was a total fail in my eyes, I made it through and not all days are like this.  A well timed email from Maureen and Amy had me looking forward to next week.  And finally, a chat with K had me smiling and relaxed.

I'm looking forward to the weekend and the adventure it will bring.  We are taking the kids to Ravinia for the first time (it's our first time too) to see Laurie Berkner.  We haven't told the kids yet what we are doing.  We are also riding the train for the first time, which we are hoping they enjoy.  RoadTripDaddy and I are really looking forward to it.  And I can't wait to see the looks on Sweet Pea and Monkey's faces when we tell them who we are seeing.  

July 23, 2012

Giveaway coming soon

I will be posting a giveaway in the next few days where you will have a chance to win a 6 month US Deluxe membership to Ancestry.com as well as a copy of Family Tree Maker 2012.  Hope everyone had a great weekend!

July 22, 2012

I'm not ready

Sweet Pea starts preschool in August.  She will be in school two days a week for two hours.  She won't be gone that long.  And I will probably quickly realize how much or how little I can get done with one child twice a week for two hours.  But right now, I'm not ready.

Sweet Pea has been missing school (full day daycare) since I have been home.  For the first three months I was home, we had regular visits to her school.  We visited her teachers and friends for less than an hour once a week.  Sweet Pea hated leaving.  The visits tapered off, but whenever we drove past the school (several times a week), she would ask if we were going or when we could go next.  

After being home for six months, one of her old daycare teachers moved back to the area and started watching the kids for a couple hours twice a week.  Having Miss Shutterbug back in our life was a blessing.  Sweet Pea and Monkey loved having her visit.  And I loved having the chance to go to the grocery store on my own, during daylight hours, to get our weekly shopping done.  I ran seven errands, got lunch and made it back early the first day Miss S was back in our lives.  In May, Miss S moved away again.  And the calls for school increased from Sweet Pea.  

In June, we picked a preschool.  Technically, we picked it in April but didn't get around to letting them know (read paying registration) until a few weeks ago.  Since that time, RoadTripDaddy and I have talked more about school with Sweet Pea.  She is beyond excited.  In fact, Sweet Pea wants to go to school so badly that after financial registration (for preschool not college), she had a total meltdown in the parking lot because  she didn't want to leave.  During the meltdown, RoadTripDaddy was left to contend with Sweet Pea, while I hightailed it to the car with Monkey, silently praying that no one looked outside.

The next night at dinner Sweet Pea calmly tells RoadTripDaddy and I that she wants to go to school.  She explained that we "don't need to worry because I won't miss you while I'm at school."  Sweet Pea asked if she could take her little brother.  She said that she wanted Monkey to be with her.  She wanted him to meet her friends and learn too.  RoadTripDaddy and I looked at each other with smiles.  And tears rolled down my cheeks.  Because "she's ready."  She "won't miss us."  We "shouldn't worry."

She may be ready but I'm not.  Thankfully I know that we have another month before school.  And I'm pretty sure she will miss us.  Even if it's just a little.

July 21, 2012

Baby bumps (NOT MINE)

My dear friend Amy had her first book, Baby Bumps, released on Monday, July 9th on Nook.  On August 9th, her book will be available on all other e-reader formats.  And on August 15th, her book is coming out in paperback.  I could not be more excited for Amy.  If you have clicked over to check out her blog yet, go!  Seriously...she's hysterical.

You should also check out my other amazing author friends and pick up there books as well.

Maureen Lipinski is another awesome friend who has helped me through my transition from working mom to stay at home mom.  She's the kind of friend who can cheer me up when I feel like I'm failing.  And our husbands and children get along, which we are both grateful for.  Maureen has written two adult books, A Bump in the Road and Not Ready for Mom Jeans and an YA book, Shadow's Edge.  Maureen has her next YA book, Cleopatra Ascending (the second book in the Shadow's Edge series) coming out in January 2013.

Stephanie Elliott has been a great friend through both my pregnancies and after.  Even though she moved out to Arizona and I miss her, she's still there to chime in with words of wisdom or something to make me laugh. Her e-novella, The Cell Phone Lot, is available on Amazon.  Stephanie also blogs over here and here.

What are you still doing here?  Go check out there books and blogs!


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