Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Like a Lion......Out Like A Snow Leopard?!

The new fashion for spring is funky hats

March has not brought mild, lamb like weather yet.
But, our neighbors brought a much needed chuckle,
amid the slushy snow and lingering winter cold.
We couldn't help but laugh
at a new life sized, figure
lurking on the corner
last night.

March 2009: In like a lion...............Out like a snow leopard?!

Today is my birthday, at 4:44pm to be exact.

"Happy birthday to you... The kids had the flu... Its rainy, cold and nasty.... and your house is a zoo."

If the kids are well enough to stay at school today, I hope to collect some birthday freebies. Andies Mediterranean restaurant offers a free birthday entree with advanced reservations and ID, on your actual birthday. Flat Top Grill also gives a free birthday stir fry coupon to anyone on their mailing list, and they even give you a 30 day window of time to use it.

Finally, this offer is not birthday related, but expires on my birthday by chance. Bleeding Heart Bakery, one of our favorites, is offering a free cupcake ($3 value) with a coupon from their mailing list.

I still haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire which has finally trickled down to the Logan Theatre, $3 all showings. It's hard to duck out and see anything that's not animated these days and most showings aren't early enough to coincide with the school day. Or maybe we can duck out to see Watchman which is on the Kerasotes $5 club list now. There are benefits to being behind the times on the latest releases. We'll see. I have big birthday hopes............

The kids surprised me with homemade cards this morning. Du drew my favorite shape, spirals and wrote lots of I love yous.

Sagezilla declared, "My card is big and poppie outie and it's something you love to do every day that makes Daddy crazy."

She appropriated a big cardboard box and made me a lap top complete with a mouse, pop up screen and keyboard! The keys have rune symbols and she "wrote" 4 lines of my blog on the screen and drew in pictures. (melt)

Waffles with fresh strawberries followed for breakfast. Then Dad left to take the kids to school, out the back door. Minutes later the front bell rang. UPS? FedEx? I opened the door and was serenaded with a chorus of "Happy Birthday to you............." from my lovely family. They had circled around the house to surprise me. We all cracked up. It was a sweet way to start the day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I ♥ Faces Pets--Nakama at the Drinking Fountain

I ♥ Faces Pets--Nakama at the Drinking Fountain

I ♥ Faces Pouting Sage--Little Hawks Fan

I Faces Pouting Sage--Little Hawks Fan

If ya can't beat 'em.........beat 'em up.

We were at the Blackhawks game last night where we lost to the Vancouver Canucks with a depressing 4-0 score. Du-Jay remarked, "Hey, it's just like the last game we went to. The Lemonheads truck won the Zamboni race, the bagel won the Duncan Donuts contest, and The Blackhawks lost." Yes indeed.

So, we can drown our humiliation in coffee and a free bagle and justify our sour faces by sucking on 2 boxes of free Lemonheads. We did arrive over an hour early and scored literally the last of the Patrick Kane collectable bobble heads. The kids made another poster and we snapped off a few pixs with our favorite mascot, Tommy Hawk.

We have a family tradition of soft serve ice cream between the second and third periods, but I bumped it up by one intermission because they actually sold out of ice cream at the Islanders game earlier this month.

Dad was stuck working, so we went with our friends from the 1st Roller Derby post. They forgot their tickets and had to go back, so it was half way into the 2nd period before they made it to the seats. "I see 2 and o," said Prix, as he sqeezed in to share a seat with Sagezilla. "Who has zero?"

"Um. That would be us." I replied, causing the row behind us to crack up.

As the crowd began to yell, "You suck, Canucks." Du replied, "Unfortunately, it's us that suck."

It was Athenia's 1st game, and the kids all rocked out to Queen's "We Will Rock You", "Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones and all the other rock and punk ballads that get everyone all hepped up between hockey plays. The kids weren't going to let that big goose egg on the score board wreck their rockin' good time.

"I'm noticing something," Dugan said, as they scored again in the beginning of the 3rd. "They're scoring once every period."

Then the big brew ha ha broke out. It was undoubtedly the biggest hocky fight I've ever witnessed! Instead of repeating, I'll paste a link to Puck Daddy's blog, since he so eloquently summed up the whole amusing deal, including a great video. The brutal ballet was performed to the score of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday." It's well worth a look.

All in all, we had a fun time. And we're still rooting you on. "GO BLACKHAWKS". It's not over yet.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking or Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraimsdaughter Longstocking is one of our favorite book characters of all time. Sagezilla decided to be her for Halloween last fall.

A few weeks ago, Zilla again had a chance to don her patchwork apron, mismatched tights and braids for breakfast with Pippi at The Swedish American Museum Center in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood. Big Pippi cooked a wacky pancake for the kids with mustard, ketchup and pickles. Then she made a second one with gummy worms, chocolate syrup, M & Ms and an assortment of candies. Fortunately, someone else cooked the main pancake breakfast of Swedish Pancakes (more like crepes) and lingonberry jelly, sausages, coffee, hot cocoa and juice.

We've always been impressed with the Swedish Museum's children's programs. Du-Jay thoroughly enjoyed their international camp last summer, and we're regulars at the annual Breakfast With Tomten (Swedish Santa).Pancakes with Pippi was equally delightful.
She played "Pippi says" with the kids and
took them on a
museum wide
scavenger hunt.

The kids also made goody bags for the scavenger hunt treats, decorated Pippi masks and shoes, and got a Pippi coloring book to bring home.Following breakfast, the kids enjoyed playing in the turn of the century Swedish village upstairs. Highlights are a Viking Ship, a wooden cow that can be "milked"--real water comes out, two play cottages, magnetic fish, a wooden veggie garden and a steamer ship.It was interesting that during Halloween, almost all the adults recognized who Zilla was, but few of the other children had heard of Pippi. Zilla was quite annoyed to be mistaken for Wendy of the hamburger chain fame.The 1969 black and white Pippi movies are fantastic and can be rented locally at Facets Multimedia, on VHS. There are also several remakes in live action and animation, the kids have enjoyed. Numerous Pippi books can also be found at local libraries and bookstores, including the gift shop at The Swedish American Museum Center.

Pippi is a fabulous, mighty girl role model and the books and movies have provided much laughter in our family. So, it may be time to reintroduce the scrappy red haired super girl to a new generation. The world today needs a wacky pirate girl with superhuman strength, who can thwart thieves and hoist a horse. And thanks to Astrid Lindgren, the world has one, and she's out there to discover.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Monsters Vs. Aliens or "Cake and balloons for lunch. I love you guys."

At long last, Monsters Vs. Aliens opened yesterday and Du-Jay had his friend birthday party. He treated his best friends to a 3D show and lunch at John's place.

Several of the kids had never seen a 3D movie and the kids were a hoot in the over sized glasses.

Multiple trips up and down the escalator provided lots of vertical fun while we waited for everyone to arrive.

And Du and Sagezilla are still having a blast
with their digi cameras from Grammy and Gramps from 2 Christmases ago.

Even Eli didn't want to miss the fun. He just had surgery to remove metal pins
from his broken leg. Last summer, he was bowled over in the park, by two big dogs leashed together. The bones are finally healed and strong enough to lose the metal, but he has one more round of healing to do, now.

We thought it was too funny that there's a line in the movie, "Cake and balloons
for lunch. I love you guys." After the movie, we had a half walking, half driving birthday parade a few blocks away, and indeed we did have cake and balloons for lunch.

Du chose a delicious chocolate cake filled with choc. mousse with cream cheese frosting. We barely finished his chocolate/vanilla layered cake from the family party on the 14th. And my own birthday is 3 days away. So much for project skinny Mommy!

The movie was fun and enjoyed by all. One of the Moms remarked that she was worried Ginormica would snap in half because her waist was so skinny. And her feet were freakishly small. But, she was smart and strong, so that was somewhat of an improvement over most mainstream cartoon heroins.

My kids were excited to discover lots of DIY crafts and free games at the official Monsters Vs. Aliens site and we printed out tote bags, themed dioramas, cootie catchers and movie posters with the party friends listed in the credits, for the goodie bags.
Thanks for joining us, everyone. There's nothing like lunch and a movie with best friends.