Happy, Hot, Monday!

Hello Friends,

Full disclosure – only half of this title is true. It is hot and humid here, typical Chicago late August weather. I remember sitting in classes at university just sweltering in the historical, not-modernized (read: not air conditioned), classrooms. And speaking of classes…

Yeah, neither girl wanted to get up for school today. It took a solid twenty minutes of rousing to just get them dressed. Things moved along, slowly but surely, until we got to the door. There Cricket flatly announced, “I’m not going to school.”

She did go, but she refused to get in the photo. And Sweetie? Despite the smile, she is not happy. The school recommended gym uniforms for all students due to the heat index. She wanted to wear her usual – polyester jumper over her uniform shirt (with undershirt). This warm weather option was the compromise. And when we rolled up to the sea of navy blue gym uniforms? “I wish we could go home and change into my gym uniform.” Ah heck.

Despite the heat and the sluggish start the girls are good. Wife is out of town unt late Wednesday, and they are not pleased about that. But we all promised to be good to each other the next couple of days, so things should be just fine. And so we roll into school week 2! I hope you are staying cool out there friends. As I tell the girls – make it a good day!

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First Day of School – Day 2!

Hello Friends,

So true to form, Cricket’s “First Day” post fell to the wayside. Better late than never though, right? No worries, I’ll make up for it with an abundance of photos. That’s easy since her Welcome Tea was on the first day of school on Monday while her official first day, a full day, was Tuesday. Here is how the child who was up and playing by 5:30 AM all summer greeted Monday:

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Zzzzzz…

Yep, their bodies know something is up. But she got moving soon enough.

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Once she was up she was all smiles, so I was feeling good about the full-day school situation. We’ve been talking up the lunches and the nap time for a couple of weeks, so the transition should be smooth. Here’s the official front yard shot:

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Wife was off on Monday, so she could share the morning with the girls. In Cricket’s case, she shared the whole day.

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Welcome Tea is an event for the early childhood students. Pre K-3, Pre K-4 and Kindergarten students come in for a classroom tour where the kids meet the teacher and check out the room. It all starts with a gathering in the school hall with socializing, snacks, and announcements from the principal.

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Monday went well. With only an hour at the school we weren’t expecting too much drama. Besides a moment when Cricket had to show her teacher her necklace, despite the teacher explaining their weekly schedule, things went smoothly. Cricket was ready to return for Tuesday’s full day of class.

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Again, all smiles on Tuesday. And the day went well overall. There is some adjusting, which is natural. And Cricket has some things she needs to get used to as well. Needless to say, she fell out immediately after we made it home. Ah well, best to rest up for the next day!

Back to School (Day 1)

Hello Friends,

Today is the first day of school for St. Viator students, first through eighth grade. Sweetie is now a first grader, so here we go!

Cricket stops in for a welcome tea today, then her full days start tomorrow. She’ll have to wear real clothes tomorrow, no throw blankets as outfits!

I know we are heading back earlier than CPS. Are your little ones heading back yet? Whenever it happens, I hope your back-to-school is happy and tear free…for your kids too!

R.I.P. The Queen of Soul

Hello friends,

By this time in the day most of you have heard the sad news about Aretha Franklin’s passing. While I haven’t checked the tv, I have listened to reports on all of our radio presets this morning and have seen articles in my news feed as well. Music is in and around our lives, and with the girls’ interest growing it’s a matter of time until they learn about the influence and impact of Aretha Franklin.

A soul music historian on the radio claimed that Aretha Franklin was dubbed, ” The Queen of Soul” right here in Chicago. That’s a cool connection to an amazing artist. And of course there’s her appearance in The Blues Brothers movie, another cool Chicago connection. I don’t known her deeper cuts, but who doesn’t know Aretha Franklin’s hit songs? Spanning generations, her musical legacy is strong.

While Aretha Franklin’s passing makes me sad, her music and story inspire me. From her vocal abilities and songwriting skills to her mandate for African-American musicians being hired for her bands, her influence reaches far. She will definitely be included in the list of strong women, talented artists, and social activists that we teach to our girls. Rest in peace, 1942-2018.

Zoo Camp

Hello Friends,

Man, how the summer has flown! I hope you can forgive my absence. We have been both travelling and entertaining family here at home. The girls have enjoyed all kinds of summer adventures so far. They’ve travelled, had beach visits, sampled children’s museums and my favorite, attended camps!

We are wrapping up our summer at the Lincoln Park Zoo Conservation Camp. I wrote last summer about Sweetie’s adventures at LPZ Camp, and now Cricket is old enough too.

Gettin’ comfortable with the group

The girls enjoy the crafts and games, and especially love the daily trips into the zoo to check out the animals and their behaviors.

Very comfortable!

The zoo and camp are located in the very accessible Lincoln park neighborhood, so kids come from all over the city. We randomly reconnected with some friends from swim lessons. One of those wonderful coincidences where both the older and younger siblings are the same age. Good times!

I hope your summer is wrapping up well. Travels? Camps? Whatever your adventures are I hope your kids are loving it. Next week…school!