Saturday, October 15, 2016

Fixer upper

For an old house (built in 1917), ours is in pretty good shape and previous owners did a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of remodeling and updating. But there are 2 large projects we plan to take on while we're here. The kitchen will be next year's project.... This year, we're going to combine our current master bedroom and tandem room into a master suite with a full-size bathroom and walk-in closet.

I am a little nervous about taking on a large project like this, but SO excited about the possibility of having a bathroom that's big enough for both Jason and I to brush our teeth at once and a closet that can hold clothes for all 4 seasons.

We have a contractor lined up and are close to finalizing the plans. It's probably still going to be a while before we get underway, but now that we have the plans, it's starting to feel real.

Here are the before pics ...

The tandem room.
Currently the location of my closet and Jason and my dressers.
The plan is to rip out the closet and turn this room into the master bedroom.
Current master bedroom.
Right now, we only have space for the bed and a small closet for Jason.
In the new plan, part of the space will be used for the master bath and the rest will be converted to a walk-in closet and sitting area with a vanity for ME :)
Our current master bath. Looks like it belongs in an episode of Tiny House Hunters!
The toilet is so close to the shower and sink, it's not even up to code according to the contractor.
In the new plan, the shower will be approximately twice the size and we'll have room for two sinks and shelving for towels. Heaven!

Sunday, September 25, 2016


Molly promised she'd cheer for Northwestern this weekend, but as soon as Uncle Joe, Uncle Keith, and Dianne showed up wearing Husker red, she was all about Nebraska. She chose well ... Nebraska won this year (again) 24-13. But Northwestern played their best football of the season and it was an exciting game. Regardless of the outcome, we had a wonderful weekend hanging out in Evanston and feeling the school spirit.
Posing for the camera -- Molly insists on making a goofy face for every photo
Our crew ... despite her purple face paint, Molly was chanting "Go Big Red" all game

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rainy first day of first grade

What a difference a year makes. Last year, we had tears. This year, despite the rain and chaos of getting dropped off in the gym, Molly was nothing but excited for her first day of school. Last year, we had numerous park dates and meet and greets with other Kindergarten kids and teachers. This year, I had no clue who was going to be in her class and still haven't met the teacher. Ha!

I took a half day off work today and told Molly I'd pick her up at 3:30 with the rest of the kids ... she told me not to worry about it because she wanted to see her after care friends. What's this? I'm actually getting vacation time back?

Here's the first grader:
It's no wonder she wants to work at D&D, our neighborhood grocery store -- they treat her like a princess there!
I'm sure this year will come with ups and downs, but for now, it's feeling, as Molly would say, "easy, peasy."

City livin'

These past few days, I think we've been back and forth to Chicago more times than the rest of the summer combined. We went out on Saturday night to a bar in Logan Square to celebrate our friend Mark's 40th, caught a concert (Wilco!) in Millennium Park on Sunday, and then spent Mon and Tues with Molls tromping up and down Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier. I quadrupled my normal step total!

Nothing beats an outdoor concert at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Especially when it's Wilco. 
Molly with her American Girl doll. We braved the store and Molly stuck to the plan of 1 new outfit without asking for more.
A ride on the new Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier
Water taxi, just for fun. Check out that new gap-toothed grin :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Summer's end

Although the weather is still warm and sunny, it's starting to sink in that summer's almost over. Molly got her first grade class assignment today and school starts up again in a week!

Looking back over the past couple of months, I really couldn't be happier with how this summer went. Molly loved her camps, which was a big relief. She made a ton of progress with swimming and is pretty comfortable in the water now, diving down to touch the bottom and practicing handstands with her friends. And just like that, in the last couple of days, she started learning how to ride a bike! I'm still keeping my fingers crossed she has a similar epiphany with reading in this last week before school :)

We took a couple of road trips -- Minnesota and the Wisconsin Dells -- but for the most part, we just hung out around Evanston. It was just the right mix of home and away (for once!). The only low point was when we all got lice. That was the worst. I'll be washing our hair with tea tree oil shampoo from here on out to hopefully keep those critters from ever coming back. Eeeew.

Celebrating after lunch at Culver's -- we crashed an invite-only soft opening and got our food for free!  
Go-carting in the Dells
Summer smiles
Of course we're trying to cram in as many activities over the next few days as we can. Golf, tennis, dinner on the beach, a couple of outdoor concerts ... there's still a little bit of time left for summer fun. We're even planning a trip downtown for back to school shopping, a ride on a double decker bus (per Molly's request), and a night at the Drake using Jason's hard-earned hotel points.

What's next for the O'Grady fam? First grade, Jason's art shows (Bucktown Arts Fest and Renegade Craft Fair), and a Labor Day weekend trip to Lake Geneva. And hopefully a few more blog posts from me :)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Public service announcement

A boy almost drowned when we were at the pool on Saturday. It was awful. One moment, I saw a man sprint past me with panic in his eyes. The next thing I knew, the lifeguards were trying to resuscitate a little boy by the edge of the pool. It felt like they gave him CPR for ages. It was probably 5 minutes.

We hustled Molly and her friend outside to the car, not sure how to explain what was happening. As we were leaving, we saw a fireman running out with the boy's limp body in his arms. According to the news, he was breathing and had a pulse. I pray he's ok.

Another parent was walking around the pool muttering, blaming the father for not keeping track of his kid. But it could have happened to anyone. I was just on the other side of the pool. How was it possible that I didn't see this happening?

There are a million reasons. The pool was crowded. It was late in the day and half the pool was covered in shade. I can only feel so sorry for the family that this happened to.

In the future, I'm going to keep my eyes glued on Molly, and any other kid we bring with us to the pool, no matter how well they know how to swim. And I'm going to try to pay more attention to our surroundings.

I think it may also be time to take a refresher course in CPR. Whatever happened leading up to that point, the lifeguards undoubtedly saved his life by performing CPR until the firetrucks arrived.

I don't really have any pool safety tips for this PSA, but just wanted to put a reminder out there about how important it is to be hyper aware of everything that's happening with your kids in the pool!

Monday, July 18, 2016

The big six

Molly is six. I'll let that sink in for a minute. Six years old and going into first grade. 44 inches tall and 43 lbs. She's still a little kid, but also starting to act older too.
New birthday PJs
We had a super-packed birthday weekend (what's new?!) including a sleepover the night before her birthday party (Bad idea!! Ever hear of a little song called, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to"? Ha!).

Despite being overtired, it really was a wonderful birthday weekend, including dinner on the beach with whole fam-damily, a big party at the park with old friends and new, and a lazy Sunday to play with gifts.
Hanging with her friends at the party
Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us, or sent gifts, cards, or other happy birthday wishes!