Archive for May 2012

The Field Museum presents Extreme Mammals (or meet the Indricotherium)

The Field Museum presents Extreme Mammals (or meet the Indricotherium)
What are the three typical characteristics of mammals? If you said having hair, possessing three middle ear bones, and being warm-blooded, then you can go to the front of the line because you've got a head start on many of us. If you got hair and being warm-blooded but totally flubbed the three middle ear bones component, then I've got a really interesting learning experience to recommend to you. Side note: Three middle ear bones? I totally did not know this. You too? Yes? Anybody? Last Wednesday, my three year-old Colin and I had a chance to check out the brand new Extreme Mammals exhibit at the Field Museum. This is really unusual and interesting exhibit (trust me when I tell you that you've never heard of many of the animals featured here)...

Fight the Summer Slide: Sign Your Kids up for a Summer Reading Program

Fight the Summer Slide: Sign Your Kids up for a Summer Reading Program
The school year is ending in just a few days. This means we’ve got about 90 days of splashing in pools, building sandcastles and sipping lemonade ahead of us. Yeah for summer fun! The bad news is that your kids will also likely forget many of the things they learned during the school year. This epidemic is called the "summer slide" (I wrote an article about this topic for the July issue of Chicago Parent magazine, but until it is online, trust me when I tell you that this is an unfortunate problem for our kiddos). Educators and experienced parents agree that the best way to combat summer learning loss is to keep your kids reading during the summer months...

Lurie Children's Hospital opens June 9th (you know this, right?)

Lurie Children's Hospital opens June 9th (you know this, right?)
I have heard a million commercials and seen a billion bus stops that have mentioned that the new Lurie Children's Hospital opens June 9th (props to their pr folks for a clear, concise and simple message). If I asked my three year-old when the new Lurie Children's Hospital opens, he would likely tell you "June 9th."  These people really did their job. I wanted to quickly post about the new hospital --- just to make sure that you all know that it opens on  . .. . . . . all together now . . . JUNE 9th. But also wanted to acknowledge that Chicago-area families are so flipping lucky to have this amazing resource right in our backyard. In my view, this resource is literally one of the very best things about raising kids in Chicago. Now, we are a generally healthy little family (thank goodness, knocking on wood). However, I have needed the services of the talented and kind folks at Children's Memorial many, many times. A short list:
  • A consult to determine whether my tongue-tied first-born needed surgery
  • Numerous blood tests for subsequent jaundice babies
  • Outpatient surgery for Brendan to have his adenoids removed and ear tubes placed
  • Emergency room visits for middle-of-the-night ear infections
  • Routine blood test for Colin's food allergies
  • A bloody, frantic emergency room visit to have Colin's head stitched up after a nasty fall
  • God only knows what is next.
And we are a pretty healthy family (I swear). I have been grateful to the expertise of the staff at this hospital many, many times. I know that many other families (facing far more dire circumstances) feel the same way. I feel better knowing that this resource is here when I need it (because we will certainly need them again). I missed the opportunity to attend the press tour a couple of weeks ago because I had a kid home sick from school (although I once again swear that we are a generally healthy family). However, my doctor friends who have seen the space say that it is totally mind-blowing. Please take a minute to read on so you are in-the-know about the fabulous new Lurie Children's Hospital (here's is hoping that you don't need it -- but you will be glad that it is there if you do)...
Advertisement:

Xtreme BUGS invade the Brookfield Zoo

Xtreme BUGS invade the Brookfield Zoo
When I first heard about the Xtreme BUGS exhibit opening at the Brookfield Zoo, I wasn’t sure if I should expect real bugs or gigantic, fake bugs. Turns out that the answer is both and the term “Xtreme” perfectly describes both components. Xtreme BUGS features two distinct elements: the first is the 20 larger-than-life animatronic... Read more »

Chicago Fire brings the fun

Chicago Fire brings the fun
We've really expanded on our local sports experience in the past year -- checking out the Chicago Wolves and Chicago Sky amongst others. But we'd never been to a Chicago Fire game -- until last weekend. Boy, were we missing out. I highly recommend a family outing to a Fire game to any Chicago-area family. My kids reported that it was the most fun they had in months (which is a total indictment of the massive birthday parties we just threw for them and basically every other activity I've planned recently, but whatever). My oldest two kids play AYSO soccer we we spent a fair amount of time locating our cleats and shin guards every week in the spring and fall. But I have to confess that I've seen very little professional soccer on tv in my life (save for maybe one or two World Cup Games). And while I am making confessions, I am also going to go ahead and admit that I am pretty foggy about the rules of the game. However, despite our lack of soccer knowledge, we headed down to Toyota Park last Saturday night to check it out...

Moms! Moms! Moms! A Mother's Day Round Up

Moms! Moms! Moms! A Mother's Day Round Up
I've got so many Mother's Day - related items to share with you that I feel compelled to do a round-up post. You'll find that lame round-up posts are far and few between on Wee Windy City, but sometimes it just has to be done. Mother's Day is less than a week away. Most women have already made arrangements for all of the mothers and grandmothers in their lives. Thoughtful plans are already in place. Packages have been mailed. Flowers have been ordered. On the other hand, most of the men out there are probably still a couple of days away from starting to think about Mother's Day at all. Sigh. ...
Advertisement:

The Chicago Children's Theatre presents A Brown Bear, A Moon, and A Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle

The Chicago Children's Theatre presents A Brown Bear, A Moon, and A Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle
A few years ago, I took my kids to see the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia perform a puppet show of Eric Carle's stories at the Field Museum. We were all absolutely floored by this show. They still talk about this experience today. So I was so thrilled to hear that these amazing performers were heading back into town again with a new show. This month, the Chicago Children's Theatre presents A Brown Bear, A Moon and a Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle performed by the acclaimed Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia...