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We have a new blog.

If you check here often, you’ll be disappointed because we don’t update this site any longer.

The good news, though, is that you can easily follow us at the new address:

http://thebareden.wordpress.com

(But make sure to follow us from a safe distance. We don’t want you to get in trouble for violating the restraining order.)

So give the link a click, subscribe to the new blog, and stay up to speed. And if you feel so inclined, read though all the content from this blog over there. Everything transferred over!

Thanks for hangin’…

::M::

Friday Five

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Disclaimer: I’m a wee bit tired today so if my writing is quite random at points, I am not to be blamed.

Also, when you have a disclaimer at the beginning of a post, it’s never a good thing.

Aaaaaaand…here we go.

Michael: Shocker. I failed to ask him. But if I had to guess, I’d say pretty much all day Wednesday was a highlight for him. He worked in the morning, but then the fun began (and none of it involved me…should I be worried?). About a week or so ago, a friend of Michael’s asked him to go to the Cubs game. His reply? Um, of course! Thankfully the rains held off and Michael and Adam had a stellar time at the Cubs game, despite the blue flag sporting the “L” that was flying after the game. I know he had a lot of fun. That evening, he went out with some friends of ours to a local Mexican joint for some hang out time (due to Cole having Cubbies and a lack of a babysitter, I was on duty…which actually worked out. I wasn’t feeling great and welcomed the quiet drone of the tv while I vegged on the couch). I know it was a great day all around for him.

Leah: My highlight is coming up in approximately T-1.5 hours and counting. My sweet husband pricelined a hotel in the city and lined up childcare, all to my surprise, for a nice little over night date. We don’t really have a plan. Probably dinner and a movie, walking around, chillin’ out. Who knows. But I’m looking forward to it and just know that it will trump anything else that has happened this week (which, frankly, hasn’t been much).

Cole: At Cubbies this past week, Cole received his “first book award” which was a little stuffed Cubbie Bear that attaches via velcro to his vest. Granted, I think every kid who shows up gets on of these, but Cole couldn’t be more excited. In fact, I haven’t even had a chance to put it ON his vest because he wants to carry it wherever he goes. He carries him in his pocket, sets him up to watch tv with him, goes to sleep with him and puts him on the bar stool while he eats. It’s really cute how much he loves this new little treasure of his.

Lila: No question here. This week Lila finally got a big girl bed. I had been selling things on craigslist in order to save up to buy a bed for her. I wanted to buy bunk beds since she and Remy share a room and, with being the “think ahead” girl that I am (ok, TOTALLY not me), figured I might as well spring for bunk beds now and not worry about having to buy another bed when Rems is out of her crib…a lifetime away. I finally saved enough, bought them, picked them up yesterday and today finally set them up. The bedding is still in the dryer, but Lila was quite elated at just looking at the frame of the bed. She kept walking in as I was setting it up and telling me how beautiful it was. How pretty. How excited she was. Since it wasn’t completely ready for her naptime, she had to sleep in her crib. When I put her in there, she just started to whimper, saying how she just wanted to sleep in her big girl bed. Aw! Poor honey. I assured her it would be all ready to go by the time she sleeps in it next (which will be TOMORROW…since Mom and Dad are jetting for the night…woot! Have I mentioned I’m excited?).

Remy: This little porker has just been such a bundle of fun lately. The point where babies hit 9 months has always been the start of one of my favorite developmental stages. They learn to do all sorts of things and pick up on gobs of things from kids around them…which works well for Rems since she just sits and watches Cole and Lila all day. She is crawling all over the place, jabbering up a storm and jumping right in to play time with her brother and sister. Nothing in particular for the munchkin this week, more just the start of a really fun stage.

Well, there you have it. This week has been a fairly average one for these five Bares. Enjoy your weekend, all!

~L~

Pretty Cool

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I was sitting upstairs with Lila tonight, and we were talking about tigers.

“They’re pretty cool, huh?” I said.

“Yep. They’re like cats, except bigger. So big they can fly,” she answered.

“Well, I’m not sure about that last part. But they are big. Are they one of your favorite things?”

“I don’t know what my favorite things is,” she replied as she shrugged her shoulders, “but I like tigers a-very much.”

At this point I decided to egg her on based on a conversation she’d had earlier today with Leah about which of the members in our family were cool. As it turns out, I am cool and Cole is cool, in her opinion. But none of the girls in the family are cool. They’re just pretty. I wanted to explore this some.

“What else is pretty cool? Am I pretty cool?” I asked.

“Yes, you are cool. And Cole is cool, too.”

“What about mommy?”

“No, mommy and Lila and Remy are pretty.”

“Well, the tiger is pretty and cool. Can’t you and Mommy and Remy be pretty and cool?”

“No, daddy, that’s silly. You’re silly. I’m pretty.”

I’m trying to figure out what that means.

I try to tell Lila all the time that she is pretty, just like I do with her mother. I think it’s important that she knows someone besides a God she can’t see thinks she is beautiful. This is a physical world, and the spiritual is so often unseen. The leap to an unseen God loving her and cherishing her will be infinitely harder if she doesn’t experience the dad she has right in front of her doing the same. Lots of people are going to express the opposite sentiment. She’ll need something constant.

And until she gets older, the only kind of pretty she will understand is the “to look at” kind. The Disney princess kind. I don’t view this as a problem, as long as I make sure I work to ingrain the concept of an “inner” kind even harder once she’s old enough to grasp what that means. Still, that doesn’t mean she’ll need to hear “You’re so pretty!” less often. There will just need to be a slight shift on which one holds (or should hold) the greatest importance in her heart.

And yet I still find myself wondering what she means by separating cool and pretty? She obviously understands what “cool” means, because she’s meaning to compliment Cole and me. The same goes for “pretty” with all the Bare ladies, in her mind. Maybe she recognizes already that “pretty” is its own form of cool as far as women are concerned. In which case, her statement subtly nutshells American adolescent social currency. (This point was brilliantly explored in one of my favorite anthropological documentaries, Mean Girls.)

However, I know it’s more likely that she’s simply given the words a gender exclusivity, for some strange reason, in which case I’ll have to work on that. The girls need to know their gender can be cool, if only so when their mother attempts to convince them that she is cool, they believe that’s actually possible (zing!).

Whatever the case, as long as my daughters don’t end up being Plastics, I think we’ll all be just fine.

Or I should say, that would be pretty cool.

::M::

Are we done yet?

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It has seemed that the more kids we’ve piled on in this family, the more drawn out sicknesses become. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to those with multiple children, but seriously, germs are nasty little buggers that kids just LOVE to share…over…and over…and over…

It has been a rough past, oh, 10 days or so in the Bare house. And this mama is worn out. It all started last Monday night when, as I was getting Cole (who was already coughing and snotting) ready for bed, a massive amount of gunk kept piling up in his eyes. Michael immediately said that Cole was going to wake up with a nice, swollen eye a lovely shade of pink. He was totally on the money…minus one detail. It was TWO swollen eyes both a lovely shade of pink. Thus, the quarantine time began. I’m really quite thankful that Cole and Lila are absolute buds, but the downside is that keeping them from playing with each other was quite rough. Everything Cole touched was followed by me with a Clorox wipe or a can of Lysol. I was going to keep that thing contained if my life depended on it. We went to the doc and got him a good dose of medicinal eye drops. I’m not sure if the thought of us pinning Cole down and prying his eyes open to put eye drops in them has scarred him or not, but he’s woken up about 7 nights out of the past 10 saying he’s been having bad dreams.

Sweet Rems has been battling some nasty cold the past week or so and on Sunday night of this past week, I woke up at about 3am to the sound of a poor baby struggling to even catch her breath among the coughing. I went in and got her, settled her down, gave her a bottle and tried to put her back down. She was going to have none of it. I ended up staying up with her, trying to rock her back to sleep, until about 4:30am. She finally fell back asleep. Her sleeping has been interrupted almost every night with fits of coughing. Poor honey.

About 2 days ago, I noticed a very familiar goo leaking out of Lila’s eyes that I was sure I had beaten. Alas, pink eye remained the victor. I hauled Lila off to the doctor to get another dose of drops (because, of course, I had thrown out the other bottle thinking I, in fact, was the winner…lesson learned). After sitting in the waiting room by OURSELVES for 2 HOURS (seriously…there was NO ONE else in the waiting room, yet we still had to wait 2 hours past the time of our appointment? Still kinda fuming here…), we got some more drops and Lila is on the mend. But of course, since she’s also had a lovely cold, she’s been waking up almost nightly several times crying due to boogies, coughing, having to go to the bathroom…a slew of reasons.

Michael has also felt like total garbage the past week and a half due to a wonderful thing called allergies. His allergy attacks almost always turn into a sinus infection relegating him to the bed for most of the day. Poor guy. I know with all of the kid sickness, he’s been wanting to help out, but he’s been absolutely miserable.

I haven’t felt the greatest either and today, Michael looked inside my throat with a flashlight and saw some pretty white spots on my throat which I’m sure is a clear indicator of strep. I think I’m just going to have to battle this one out.

All that to say, it’s been a really long week and a half with not one full nights sleep. It almost feels as if we have a newborn again, but instead of a newborn, it’s a slew of 3 different kids crying at 3 different parts of the night. Ay yi yi.

But there have been some really really great parts of the past 10 days. (Peaks and Valleys, anyone?)

My 2 sisters were in town with their slew of monkeys and it was really fun to see them a bunch. We all went out for lunch one day. Another day, we went to Maggiano’s for my one sister’s birthday (sans kids, of course). Cole (now pink eye free) was able to take his 2 cousins, CJ and Olivia, to Cubbies with him. I was able to hang out with my out of state sisters one-on-one at different points of the week. I had come home from taking Cole to the library to find that Michael had drug himself out of bed and swept and cleaned our whole first floor (wood floors) and vacuumed all the carpet in the house. He had looked at my weekly list and saw that “clean floors” was on there and, being the stellar husband that he is, did that BIG job for me so I could get some rest during the kids nap time. I know the poor guy felt awful. I immediately started crying as soon as I walked in the door. That was such a sweet gift to me. And to top it off, it is now 8:02pm, I’m in my pj’s and glasses and Michael is out picking up Taco Bell (we’re high class) and we’re getting ready for our in-house Thursday date night with our favorite NBC shows. (edit: Michael just got home and the man just went to Chipotle…which if you know me, you know it is probably one of my most favoritest foods…but it’s a little more expensive than Taco Bell, so we really don’t get it that much. He also showed up with 2 tubs of ice cream. Have I mentioned he’s my fav?)

Despite the “Are we done yet?” question regarding the sickies, the good and fun things have truly outweighed the yucky things. Despite pink eyes, snotty noses, white spots, and sleepless nights, I’m really thankful that a good dose of family was the biggest cure this girl could use.

~L~

Grown Ocean

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Looking forward to this new record. Sounds like they’ve pepped it up a little compared to their last one, but still sounds like them. Good times.

::M::

Friday Five: Outdoor Edition

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The weather has been ridiculously gorgeous this week. Here are some of our favorite outdoor moments of the week.

Michael: We went to the zoo yesterday and saw an animal we’d never seen before…African Wild Dogs. We’ve been to the zoo countless times over the past 2 years and this is the first time we’d see these creatures. I’m not sure if it’s a seasonal exhibit or what, but Michael (have I mentioned he’d sell his soul to work for Animal Planet?) was pretty stoked about seeing a new animal. They were pretty cool looking. I failed to take a pic of one, but here’s what they all looked like (compliments of google images):

Leah: There is a local eatery in Palos Heights called Royalberry. It is far from something you’d write home about, unless you’re above the age of 70. I’m pretty sure that is generally the clientel that they market themselves to, as that is the average age of a resident in this town. Anyhow, I digress. We often go there with my parents and when the weather is nice, it is the perfect walking distance. Today was one of those days. The kids and I spent the morning at my mom’s house playing with my niece and at lunchtime, we broke out the stroller and headed up to Royalberry. Again, the food is nothing special, but there’s just something fun and wonderful about walking up to a local restaurant.

Cole: On Monday of this week, 2 of Cole and Lila’s friends came to hang out with us for a good chunk of the day…Jackson and Emily. Cole has very few playmates that live around here so to actually have a buddy to play with (granted, Lila is his buddy, but she’s not awesome at light sabers and scooters…just yet) was quite exciting. They rode scooters, bikes, swung on the swings, played football and all other things boy related. He had a blast having his pal around.

Lila: This past year, Lila has grown up quite a bit. Even since last summer, she’s a lot more confident in her running around and playing with all of the “driveway” toys (bikes, cars, generally anything that requires a smidge of coordination). The other day when we were playing outside, she kept running over to me telling me that she was doing “chalk” with Cole. She loves her big brother so much and I’m thrilled beyond belief that the 2 are total buds. Here’s a bit of them in action:

Remy: The outdoor activities a 9-month old can do are quite limited. Her usual default includes sitting in a stroller, watching the big kids run up and down the driveway or swing. Thankfully, some friends of ours from Indiana gave us a kid swing when Cole was little. We’ve hung it on a big sycamore tree in our front yard (Maury) and this was the first week where it was nice enough for Remy to finally have her turn at enjoying it. She was all smiles.

And there you have it. We’ve enjoyed the warm spring teaser while it lasted. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that next week is 30 and gross again. Chicago, at least you’re consistent in that you’re completely inconsistent.

~L~

Girly Girl Room

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Well, I’m just about as done as I can be right now with my girls’ room. I’ve been really excited about decorating it as soon as I knew we were going from 1 girl to 2 girls. There are still a few things missing (curtains and a big girl bed) but those expenditures are being saved up for via craigslist items I’m selling and a potential garage sale I’m having this summer. I also have 2 super cute flowers that I’m going to hang on the wall with ribbon coming down to hold the gazillion bows I have for my girls hair (of course, this requires hair to begin with…we’re hopeful Rems will get some…someday). There are also 2 bird hooks that need to go up to hang up hoodies, pj’s, blankies, whatever their little minds can dream up. I thought I’d take you on a little tour of the crafties I’ve been up to in getting my girls room all together. Here we go!

This is, quite obviously, the “name” wall.  

Here’s a closer peek at each name:

I added the ultra close look for Remy’s name because those blasted letters took me FOREVER!  They’re made of 2 pieces of felt stuffed with, well, stuffing.  I’m really happy with how they turned out, which is good, because they near drove me to doing very bad things.

Next is where Remy’s bed is.  This is the future spot of bunk beds for the girls so I didn’t really put anything above her bed, figuring I’d just have to fill nail holes and paint later on…which will hopefully not be TOO much later on.

Here’s a closeup of the sign on the wall.

Pretty much as soon as we found out that we were having a girl (Miss Rems), my dear mother-in-law found this sign at an adorable baby boutique in Wheaton. She had them customize it with the color pink I was going to decorate with. I’m in love with it.

This is Lila’s bed, which once we get bunk beds, will turn into Remy’s bed until she is old enough to be in a big girl bed as well.

Again, another closeup of my handmade goodies:

As I was perusing one of my girlfriend from college’s facebook pics, I saw she had cavases with gerber daisies on them so I copied the idea and tweaked it to fit my girls room perfectly. This is probably one of my favorite things in the room.

There you have it! I had such fun decorating their room. And as you can tell, I’m a glutton for pink and green. Michael often refers to my love for color as “BING!” (often accompanied with jazz hands). I’m thankful Mr. Subtle humored me and my love for color in decorating this totally whimsical space.

~L~

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