Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Collection of Canada Days

For as long as I can remember, I've been celebrating Canada Day with my BFF by joining her family to watch the city's parade in the park. We show up bright and early every year to reserve our spots and to eat the delicious food before the huge crowds form - pierogies, spring rolls, souvlaki - there are booths set up with foods from around the world and it's always so delicious.  I look forward to it every year and hope to continue the tradition forever! 

The progression of growth...
2011 - eight months pregnant with Little m!
2014 - spot the tiny baby head!

Little buddies!


Friday, August 28, 2015

The First Broken Bone

My babe took a huge tumble off of the monkey bars this spring and broke two bones in her forearm. It was awful to watch, as I was only a few steps away, but was busy with baby sis and couldn't act fast enough to catch her. I went back and forth debating on whether or not to take Little m to a doctor to get checked out because visually her hand looked fine and she was acting fairly normal. Sadly the major thing holding me back was the cost to see a doctor ($1200 out of pocket in the end) so I waited till the following morning to see how things were (obviously I would have taken her in, no matter the price, if there was something seriously wrong). By morning Little m was cradling her arm and wouldn't put any pressure on it, so I decided we needed to get it checked out, for peace of mind especially, as the hubs and I were heading out of town on vacation a day later.

Well, am I ever glad I got her checked out - two broken bones in the forearm. My baby! First I went to a nearby walk-in clinic but they told me they couldn't do x-rays on someone so young.  Thankfully the doctor there brought us back right away just to take a look and they thought there was nothing wrong because Little m could move her wrist all around. They almost sent us out the door, but near the end of the exam they got a wince out of her while putting pressure on her arm and suggested we go somewhere more child specific.

I was able to make an appointment at Lurie's Convenient Care clinic where they took x-rays and found the two broken bones. The doctors there were super nice and sent Little m home with a splint. I was under the impression that she would wear the splint for about a month and would be good to go, but I received a phone call the next day from the fracture clinic asking me to make a follow up appointment, which was fine except when I told them I would be out of the country and that my parents would be taking Little m in to the appointment they gave me a huge hassle. I had to get a letter notarized stating that my parents could make all hospital related decisions, including the possible need for surgery. WTF? Surgery? What happened to just wearing the splint?
Being sassy as ever waiting for the technician to read the x-rays.
Clearly, the splint did not slow her down in any way!
My parents went in to the follow up appointment a week after the injury initially occurred and thankfully I was able to find a decent enough wifi connection in Nicaragua to text my mom throughout the whole thing. The doctors said that a cast would be needed due to Little m's activity level and to be sure that her wrist stayed immobile while the bones healed. On went the cast, in her chosen color of red. We paid $40 extra for a waterproof cast, which was absolutely worth it! 
She was so brave!
The cast stayed on for three weeks and the absolute worst part about it, other than the broken bones of course, was that it had to be "watered" every day. A bath every day? Ain't nobody got time for that! Actually, the bath I could handle, but the cast was supposed to have an hour of drying time before bedtime, and since my kids go to bed around 6pm, this was really difficult to do! Needless to say, I think everyone was happy when the cast was removed. 

Last day with the cast - and good thing - it was starting to get grubby!
So that's the story of Little m's first broken bones. She was such a good sport about the whole thing and the cast hardly phased her. Thankfully the doctors all told me that this would not impact the growth of her bones in the future and I know things could have been a lot worse. The doctor okayed her to go back to being a (more careful) monkey and she was hanging on the playground bars later that day. I hope for her sake she doesn't take after her Grampie and this will be her first and last experience with broken bones!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Chicago's Maggie Daley Park

Guys, this might be the best park ever. 

After visiting Maggie Daley Park for the first time last winter, MY MIND WAS BLOWN. It's seriously amazing. To fully enjoy the park though, take my word for it and follow these two rules: 1) Never, and I repeat never, ever, in a million years go to the park on a weekend after 10am, and 2) Don't even think about coming here with more than one child to watch. You can thank me later.

My secret, that I can now share publicly since I no longer live in Chicago (crying face), is that Maggie Daley at 8am or earlier on a Saturday or Sunday is the shiznit. Pay parking starts at 8am (we always park on E Randolph), so if you can make it in earlier you'll score some free parking, plus the park is empty, as you can see from my pictures. To ease the pain of getting up early, make a stop before or after at Do-Rite for equally mind blowing donuts and some Dark Matter coffee. 

Oh hello, drab wintry Chicago. 
The slides can be ridiculously fast and I've heard of a few broken leg stories, so be careful, but wow, they're amazing. And big. Little m enjoyed the equipment as a brave 3 1/4 year old but I wouldn't recommend the park for anyone much younger. Yes, there are specific areas for the little ones (the splash pad area is pretty darn cute with little statue animals for the youngsters), but I wouldn't make a special trip out unless your child is a bit older. 

Whether you're visiting Chicago or just playing tourist in your own city, I highly encourage you to spend a morning at the park, followed by a walk over the bridge to Millennium Park to get a picture with the bean, and to top it off, bring a bathing suit for the kids and let them play in the cesspool at the Crown Fountains! 

Bravo, Chicago, on creating the most fabulous park I've been to. Your streets may be riddled with pot holes but at least you have beautiful Maggie Daley park.