Thursday, December 22, 2011

Five Days of Worth The Read Christmas Books: Day Two, Vivian Walsh's Olive, the Other Reindeer


If you've ever sung the wrong lyrics to a song, or have seen the VW Rocket Man commercial, you know that song lyrics, however melodious, can be seriously misheard by the human ear. And that is what the story of Olive, the Other Reindeer is all about.

Olive is going about her business doing normal dog things, taking walks, wrapping presents, and listening to the radio when the holiday classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer comes on. True to the song, the lyrics "All of the other reindeer" waft over the airwaves, but what Olive hears is "Olive, the OTHER reindeer". When Olive hears this song, she no longer believes she is a dog, but a reindeer.

Olive sets out on a trek for the North Pole to meet Santa, and to become part of his flying reindeer team. She encounters many obstacles along the way, but the story ends in the most perfect way.

The book's title, with it's subtle humorous play on words carries throughout the book, creating a lovable character that children are sure to love as well as keeping parents intrigued with humor that would otherwise he over the heads of their children.

This books is worth the read for many reasons, the cute illustrations, the humor throughout, and because in 1999 Olive, the Other Reindeer, the movie, became a prime time sensation. That means it's got to be good, right? Pick this one up and you won't be disappointed. You might be able to catch the movie on TV, check your local listings.

Salt Dough Ornaments, Part One

Today I set out to have a "crafty" day with Lil Man, I was quite ambitious in thinking that we could make salt dough ornaments AND decorate a gingerbread house. Apparently, 20 month olds don't craft quite as fast as 25 year olds. :) Needless to say, today we only made it to half of the salt dough ornaments.

The Paper Mama sucked me in with her 50 DIY Christmas Crafts Salt Dough Ornaments. I love the folk art feel of salt dough crafts, and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to share my love with Lil Man. So while he was napping I prepped the dough, as directed in The Paper Mama's post. Then after he woke up we set off to make some ornaments! Lil Man LOVED it!



Some of the creations... we did use a straw at the end to put holes in the top

Lil Man making a star ornament

Super excited about his accomplishment!
During our time crafting the ornaments, we spent time talking about the different shapes of the cookie cutters, working on enunciation of words, and talking about different textures, turning the ornament making process into an early-literacy experience! I don't think Lil Man knew he was learning at all. :)

You'll notice that there aren't any pictures of the finished product in this post, that's because the ornaments have to bake for almost 5 hours. So, they are baking away in the oven right now. They won't even be out until after Lil Man is in bed. So stay tuned....there's more to come!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday -- Celebrating Hanukkah As Christians

Call me crazy, or whatever you want, but I'm a Christian that celebrates Jewish holidays in conjunction with Christian holidays. It is my personal belief that Jesus came and amended the laws of the Old Testament, not threw them into the fire. Therefore, since Jesus was Jewish, I celebrate the Jewish holidays as well as the Christian ones. In our home, celebrating both sets of holidays promotes tolerance. Not to mention, I'll take any excuse to eat a latke or some sufganiot! So this WW, I wish all of my true Jewish friends, and those like me who celebrate anyway, a Happy Hanukkah!

The perfects.....and the defects....

Tasting a piece of Latke

Not the clearest shot, but Little Man decided he's a Latke Monster!

Learning about Hanukkah, this is now one of our favorites! Dogs in a "lift the flap" book, nothing could be better! ......except......

Playing Dreidel!!
And winning CHOCOLATE MONEY!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Five Days of Worth-The-Read Christmas Books: Day One, Jan Brett's Who's That Knocking on Chirstmas Eve?


For day one of "Five Days of Worth-The-Read Christmas Books", I thought I would start with the opitome Christmas authors, Jan Brett. Ms. Brett has written so many Christmas and wintertime stories, that if you miss a few of her everyday books, you would think she writes Christmas and winter books exclusively.

Most of Brett's books are riddled with folklore and fantasy, and her trademark old worldly illustrated hindsight/foresight sidebars lend an accent to those styles nicely. Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve (WTKOCE) is no different in style.

In this story, a young boy from Finmark, Norway is on his way to Oslo with his Ice Bear when he smells something delicious and stumbles upon a cabin in the woods.

Inside the cabin, a girl name Kyri is cooking Christmas Eve dinner for her family and is startled by every sound she hears. She's had trouble with Trolls invading and eating her Christmas Eve dinners in the past, and she's afraid they'll be back for more this year. Deciding that the young boy's knock was polite enough, she lets him and his Ice Bear inside to warm up. Soon, they are invaded by trolls.

I don't want to give away the whole story, but it ends with the young boy and his bear being invited back for Christmas Eve dinners to come.

Overall, this story is well written for it's intended audience, and incorporates some of Brett's favorite themes: Winter, Bears, and Trolls. The Illustrations are stellar in classic Brett style, but my favorite illustrations in this book lie within the sidebars. Brett did a phenomenal job incorporating the troll theme into her illustrations of the northern lights and constellations, I had to go back after I finished the story itself to take in the beauty and detail of the sidebars. I was left in awe. The detail in the illustrations alone make this book "Worth The Read", but the story by itself is sure to please young readers as well. As with most of Brett's books I say, the story is for the kids, but the illustrations are for the adults. :)

Stay tuned for what Day Two brings! Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Mittens Coloring Page For Kids | Kiboomu

My good friends over at Kiboomu tweeted this this morning! With a coloring page, song, and book tie-in, it's a complete activity!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fingerplay Friday - Santa's Here!

Since I owe you a Fingerplay Friday post from last week, here's a really cute Sants fingerplay from kidnkaboodle.net.

Image borrowed from operationlettertosanta.com
Santa's Here Fingerplay
Someone's peeping through my window (peek through fingers),
Tapping at my door (make knocking motions),
Sliding down my chimney (make sliding motion with hands),
Landing on the floor (stomp feet).

He's filling all the stockings (make filling motions),
And looking at the tree (turn head and widen eyes).
He has lots of presents (pretend to count on fingers),
Some for you and some for me (point at others and then at self)!

Im peeking round the doorway (peek around hand),
And OH!, what do I see (look surprised)?
The jolly face of Santa (smile),
Peeking back at me (peek through fingers)!

Fingerplay Friday - Making A Snowman

Image borrowed from mrspatterson.edublogs.org
Making A Snowman
Find it, Find it, Find a pile of snow. (make searching motion, hand in a brim above eyes)
A Rolling, rolling, rolling we will go. (make rolling motion)
Pat it, pat it, face it to the south. (patting motion, like making a snowball)
Now my little snowperson's done, eyes, nose and mouth (point to each)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Brilliant Educational and Homemade Crafts



During my Wordless Wednesday hopping today, I found a stellar post about different homemade, educational, and dare I say, Green toddler toys. These simple toys are sure to improve motor skills, and promote cognitive development. Be sure to stop by TMuffin and show her some love!

Tmuffin: WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: DIY Christmas Gifts#c5067924526947269751

Wordless Wednesday - Storytime at the Library

Little Man and I spent this morning at "Mommy's Work", and went to StoryTime! I played with some editing software this time around, and I kinda LOVE it. Let me know what you think!





Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Handwashing Awareness Week-Song One

“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

Twinkle, twinkle little star
Look how clean my two hands are
With soap and water, wash and scrub
Got those germs off, rub-a-dub-dub
Twinkle, twinkle little star
Look how clean my two hands are!

Early Lit Tip Tuesday--Naptime As a Magical Experience

Monday, December 5, 2011

National Handwashing Awareness Week

Today marks the start of National Handwashing Awareness Week, and though it doesn't directly relate to early literacy, I wanted to be mindful of it throughout my blog this week. Since, I'm a CMA and all.... :)

As we all know, in order to stay healthy, and keep our kids healthy and learning, we need to wash our hands. Clean hands are crucial in preventing the dreaded "invinceable bug" that often times gets passed back and forth between family members.

Here are some facts from the Centers for Disease control on when you should be washing your hands, and what the proper way to wash your hands is.

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage

What is the right way to wash your hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. If soap and water  are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.

Be sure to follow my posts this week as I post different handwashing resources; songs, books, and maybe even a coupon for soap or two.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Storyline Online-Beloved Children's Stories Read By Celebrities

Image borrowed from
digthelibrary.com
One of my co-workers found this site, and after I browsed around, I just had to share it with you all, my wonderful readers.

The site is called StoryLine Online, and it is supported by the Screen Actor's Guild Foundation. So do you know what that means? You guessed it!

Image borrowed from blogs.voices.com
Your favorite celebrities reading your favorite children's books! I mean, seriously, what could be better than Betty White reading you and your children Harry the Dirty Dog? Um, NOTHING! :)

Along with the stories, there are downloadable activity guides that you can save or print off, as a way to futher the story's educational use. The activity guides are a perfect counterpart for the story whether used at home, or in school.

Just in time for the holiday season, Lou Diamond Phillips is reading one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE books, The Polar Express!
Image borrowed from petitbookshelf.blogspot.com

Be sure to check out this fabulous site, you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-- Family Photos

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, while Uncle Sucker was home, we made sure to have some family photos taken. Here is the result.






But not every picture can be perfect...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Early Lit Tip Tuesday Week Three

This week's video focuses on an "old school classic", one that you might not have yet played with your child. I SPY!

Friday, November 25, 2011

FingerPlay Friday--Two Apples


Image borrowed from unadorned.org
I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving! I know I did. Mine was filled with lots of food, family, and fun with the game I love to hate, Scrabble.


Yesterday, I had some of the most delicious apple pie I've had in a LONG time. So I guess you could say that today's Friday Fingerplay was inspired by the pie....


Two Apples
Way up high in the apple tree. (Point up high)
Two little apples smiled at me. (Smile, pointing to corners of mouth)
I shook that tree as hard as I could. (Shake arms like you are shaking a tree trunk)
Down they came. (Bring arms down and slap knees)
M-m-m were they good! (Rub Stomach)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

This holiday season, surely the "adult beverages" will be a-flowin'. Should you choose to partake, it's important that you have a designated driver to get you home. In 2009 alone, there were 411 motor vehicle traffic fatalies on our nation's highways during the Thanksgiving holiday.

You don't want to be part of a statistic, do you? You don't want to be the one who chooses to get behind the wheel after one to many and causes a fatal traffic accident. Keep in mind, fatal doesn't necessairly mean that YOU die. In fact, in most drunk driving collisions, the drunk driver walks away unharmed. You could kill someone else, thier children, or even your kids if they are in your car. Could you live with that? I know I couldn't.

Still think that it couldn't happen to you? Check out this video.


This Thanksgiving, please think before you drink. And if you choose to drink, a designated driver is the safest way to get home. Here's a link to a list of designated drivers by state. Before you go out, store the number in your phone, so you have it at the ready. Don't bring excuses to the party.

But maybe you are throwing the party this year, and aren't leaving the house. I have something for you too. Just because you won't be out on the road intoxicated doesn't mean that shouldn't think of how your friends will be getting home. You are thankful for your friends, right? You can make sure all of your friends get home safely by providing their designated drivers with "drive-friendly" drinks.

Easy enough? Go sign the pledge, and let the world know that you won't be getting behind the wheel buzzed, or worse.

Have a SAFE and HAPPY Thanksgiving all!

Wordless Wednesday- Heartsick for Florida

Three years ago, I took my first "adult" vacation. I went on my honeymoon with my husband to Florida as a wonderful wedding present from my Aunt. We stayed in Daytona Beach Shores, but traveled all over the state. It was my first foray with the ocean--that I remember--and I was sucked in. Fascinated. Mesmerized. It was my first time experiencing Disney as an adult, and I believe it was a better experience than when I was a child.

But this time of year, I get a little sad. I want to go back. And I don't know when I ever will...








Monday, November 21, 2011

Be Thankful For Your Librarian This Holiday Season

Article From ZenCollegeLife.com

85 Reasons to be Thankful for Librarians

1. Librarians take care of libraries, which are still invaluable today.
2. Not all information is on the internet.
3. Older books still hold great cultural significance.
4. Libraries are still repositories for some of the most valuable works of literature in the world.
5. Even with the internet, the library is still the best place to do research.
6. Girls with glasses can still rock the “sexy librarian” look.
7. “Sexy Librarian” is still a popular costume at Halloween.
8. You can’t exactly find periodicals like The New England Journal of Medicine in Barnes and Noble.
9. For that matter, looking at turn-of-the-century National Geographics is still pretty entertaining.
10. Colleges need something to remodel every so often.
11. The library is still the best meeting spot for college students working on group projects.
12. Libraries are where most colleges store some of their history (choir CDs, videos of athletic matches, etc.).
13. A library is one of the few places people can have free internet access.
14. This means some libraries even hold LAN parties during later hours.
15. Somebody has to help lazy people find what they want.
16. Even online collections of books usually connect directly to a library.
17. “Librarian” is still a better career choice for spinsters over “School Lunch Lady.”
18. Studies have shown libraries and librarians improve student test scores.
19. They also have been shown to improve students’ individual learning skills.
20. With their training in instructional design, librarians can help teachers find resources for their curriculum.
21. Librarians also help teachers to use a variety of media in the classroom.
22. Many libraries today offer enough DVDs to serve as a poor man’s Netflix or Blockbuster.
23. Librarians often put together special programs to get children to read early on.
24. While teaching children to use the library, librarians end up teaching them valuable problem solving skills.
25. They also teach children to use multiple resources to form their own original works.
26. If librarians were no longer around, kids wouldn’t understand the opening scene from Ghostbusters.
27. Librarians know a lot about proper citation skills, as well as ethical uses of information, in order to avoid plagiarism issues.
28. Libraries are still a cheaper place to make photocopies than FedEx Kinko’s.
29. Despite the advances in computer technology, a human will still find information better than a search engine.
30. Librarians can also find information better suited to the person who needs it.
31. A library is much MUCH more well cataloged and organized than the internet.
32. Libraries have much better quality control than the vast majority of websites.
33. Who else is going to learn the Dewey Decimal System? You?
34. Seriously though, no one wants to learn the Dewey Decimal System.
35. For that matter, who else is going to show you how to use that microfiche machine?
36. Experienced librarians often know exactly what resources students need for particular courses.
37. Many libraries collaborate and offer book exchange programs, offering users an almost limitless supply of books and media.
38. Librarians can help relieve some of the workload from teachers by helping students to understand information better.
39. Some engineering teams have already explored the idea of a fully digital library…and ended up designing a traditional library with some advanced technology.
40. The copyright costs for digitizing all literature would be astronomical without even factoring in distribution and storage.
41. Even without the costs, digitizing all books in existence would take hundreds of years at the current rate.
42. The internet still mostly only holds information from the past 15 or so years, compared with the hundreds of years of knowledge found in a library.
43. Even though libraries themselves may be losing attendance, their online archives and websites are still receiving plenty of visitors.
44. Despite the rising popularity of e-books, 80% of people surveyed say they still prefer paper books.
45. The experience of reading an actual book is being preserved by libraries.
46. Libraries provide one of the few places for anyone to find quiet area to just read or study.
47. Sometimes, but not always, libraries have free coffee.
48. Sometimes there are even free snacks.
49. Unlike the internet, libraries are careful that the information they contain is checked for usefulness before being included.
50. Also unlike the internet, libraries are much less influenced by corporate interests.
51. They are also less likely to be manipulated by individuals, like search engine optimizers.
52. Information on more specific topics can be much easier to find in libraries.
53. Digital or not, a library still needs a human staff to run it.
54. The resources of a library are well indexed and will always deliver reliable results (I.e. no “broken links”).
55. Many popular news publications still require subscriptions to view their content online, but are still available for free at the library.
56. Libraries provide free and abundant knowledge to everyone (a privilege people didn’t always have).
57. Not everyone can afford books, but everyone has access to the library.
58. Someone has to buy all those books that college professors write.
59. Public bathrooms in libraries are usually cleaner than most places.
60. A library can mold itself for the specific community it’s in, whereas websites usually try to bring in everyone.
61. At libraries, you can take practice qualifying tests for almost any profession.
62. You can always make suggestions to librarians for specific books you’d like to see.
63. Many libraries also display original works of art or even have separate galleries.
64. Some libraries also hold a limited number of free museum passes that anyone can use.
65. If you don’t have a computer, you can always use the ones in the library.
66. The same goes for certain premium software and special databases.
67. If your library offers wi-fi, it’s probably free.
68. Several libraries also offer programs that cater to senior citizens.
69. Believe it or not, studies show that libraries are good for their local economy, since they make their community for attractive to potential businesses and individuals.
70. Libraries are still a cornerstone for free speech and open access to information.
71. When dictators like Hitler and Mao Zedong set out to eliminate a country’s culture or history, they started by shutting down the public libraries.
72. A library still provides a neutral environment for the free exchange of ideas.
73. Public libraries are surprisingly cheap to maintain, but benefit everyone in the community.
74. If you’re a comic book lover, you can probably find plenty at your local library.
75. They might even have some of those expensive indie graphic novels available.
76. We’re still an incredibly long ways away from a paperless world.
77. You might as well use the library, since you’re already paying for it through taxes or tuition.
78. There’s less risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome from reading books.
79. A library is a great excuse to get out of the house (seriously, why would anyone argue with you about it?).
80. Books are very portable and never need recharging.
81. With the economy these days, going to the library is a great source of free entertainment.
82. You can “try before you buy” any number of books without spending a dime.
83. Some libraries even have bookmobiles or mailing programs that deliver books right to you.
84. Studies have repeatedly shown that reading improves your basic vocabulary and just generally makes you smarter.
85. Regardless of what form a library takes, a librarian will always be ready to guide you to the information you need.

TumbleBooks-Stories for Kids Online

By now, you know that I love a good online story. If your child is going to be on the computer, or on the Internet, there's no reason why they shouldn't be reading and learning, not to mention having fun doing it!

Image Courtesy of
familyeguide.com
That's why I wanted to tell you all about TumbleBooks! TumbleBooks is an online library where kids can select a book to "read" and it is read to them in an animated format. There are six options to narrow down what kind of book you would like to read: Story Books, Read-Alongs, TumbleTV, Puzzles and Games, Language Learning, and Non-Fiction Books. The site also includes the grade level, the Lexile number, as well as the Accelerated Reader level for the individual books, should those things be inportant to you, or your child's teacher.

Your child can also take a quiz on the book, play a book based game, create a book report with the book report creator, or as parents and teachers you can view lesson plans surrounding the book. The lesson plan feature is an invaluble tool for homeschooling!

But don't take my word for all of these great features! Go explore TumbleBooks!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In Case You Missed It...The 2011 National Book Award Winners

The 2011 National Book Award Winners
Inside Out & Back Again
Young People's Literature 
Inside Out & Back Again
(Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers)  


Head Off & Split
Poetry
Head Off & Split 
(TriQuarterly, an imprint of Northwestern University Press)
 
  



The Curve
Nonfiction
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
(W. W. Norton & Company) 



John AshberyMedal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters




Mitchell KaplanLiterarian Award for Outstanding Service
to the American Literary Community 

Mitchell Kaplan

Friday, November 18, 2011

A sweet gift idea for Military Members!

I saw this commercial about Hallmark's recordable books last night. It melted my heart. What a brilliant Christmas, or anytime for that matter, gift to send to family members that are stationed overseas.


My brother-in-law is a sailor in the U.S. NAVY (my husband is a vet), and once Lil' Man can read, I'm sure that he would love to send his Uncle Sucker a storybook. And I bet that Uncle Sucker would love to hear a story read by his nephew.

FingerPlay Friday! - 10 Little Turkeys

10 little turkeys sat in their pen (Hold up 10 fingers)"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
But the other ...9 decided to stay! (Hold up 9 fingers)


9 little turkeys sat in their pen (Hold up 9 fingers)
"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew out of the gate, (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
And when he was gone, there were...8. (Hold up 8 fingers)


8 little turkeys sat in their pen. (Hold up 8 fingers)
"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
But the other ...7 decided to stay. (Hold up 7 fingers)


7 little turkeys sat in their pen. (Hold up 7 fingers)
"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little  red hen.
One little turkey hid with the chicks, (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
And when she was gone, there were...6. (Hold up 6 fingers)


6 little turkeys sat in their pen. (Hold up 6 fingers)

"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
But the other ...5 decided to stay. (Hold up 5 fingers)

5 little turkeys sat in their pen. (Hold up 5 fingers)
"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little red hen.
One little turkey hopped out the door, (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
And when he was gone, there were 4. (Hold up 4 fingers)


4 little turkeys sat in their pen. (Hold up 4 fingers)
"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
But the other ...3 decided to stay. (Hold up 3 fingers)


3 little turkeys sat in their pen. (Hold up 3 fingers)
"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little red hen.
One little turkey flapped her wings and flew. (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
And when she was gone, there were ...2. (Hold up 2 fingers)


2 little turkeys sat in their pen. (Hold up 2 fingers)
"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little red hen.
One little turkey flew far away. (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
But the last little turkey decided to stay. (Hold up 1 finger)


1 little turkey sat in his pen. (Hold up 1 finger)
"Hide, turkey, hide!" said the little red hen.
The last little turkey flew off toward the sun (Fly one turkey away from in front to behind your back with your index finger)
And when he was gone, there were none.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Corn Cob Prints--Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Corn-Print Place Mats Thanksgiving Table Decoration
I've heard of taking apples and cutting them in half and making prints of the "star" that appears. I've also heard of taking potatoes and carving images into them to make prints. One thing I hadn't thought of is using corn to make prints. It makes such a cool pattern!

Check out the directions on how to turn an ear of corn into a cool new stamp at Disney's Family Fun. Use the corn stamp to make place mats as suggested, or use fabric paints and decorate a canvas apron, or even cloth napkins. What a neat way to decorate your Thanksgiving table that will last for years to come! If you do decide to try this please leave a comment with a picture, I'd love to see how your creations turn out!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-Chi Town Adventures with an Aussie

For the first time in my 25 years, I took a "girl's" trip. My friend Blair traveled roughly 9495 miles from Sydney, Austrailia to come see me. So, I left my husband and little man behind and ventured out--to Chicago!

*sings*
Chicago, Chicago, that toddling town
Chicago, Chicago, I'll show you around, I love it

I was sad, yet exhilarated! Ultimately it ended up being a brilliant whirlwind trip. And I'm so happy to have been able to share it with one of my best friends that I never get to see!

My foot in an Apatosaurus, formerly Brontosaurus, footprint


Blair and I taking the requiste picture of ourselves in "Cloud Gate"


Touching "The Bean", it's kind of like the Blarney Stone of Chicago


One of my favorite shots. "The Bean" in Autumn




Jellies at Shedd Aquarium


We had a beautiful day to sightsee!


Chicago: The City That Reads Together