Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Presents...It is the Little Gifts that are best!

Got this in my stocking. How funny...a sushi stapler!

Santa was good to Gilbert. And Kristen. And Me. We had a fantastic Christmas and hope you did as well!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Meeting with Santa

After the holiday show last week we took Gilbert and his grandparents out to lunch at Macy's on State Street. While we didn't make it into the Walnut Room, I did manage to snap a photo of G with the Great Tree. After Lunch and some shopping we had a visit with Santa (a first for Gilbert!) Gilbert LOVED meeting Santa and was sure to ask for his most most wanted gift for Christmas. We shall see if the Big Guy delivers on Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ready for Work or Dressed for His Holiday Concert?

Still working on reminding myself to blog! Sorry for the week delay.

Love this picture? I sure do! Gilbert had his school holiday concert last Friday. Dress was dark pants and a white shirt. Little Man insisted on wearing a tie. I drove around too many retail outlets looking for a tie, but still could not find one. Kudos to Kristen's work colleague on having one already.

This has become one of my favorite pictures!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Today Was Not a Good Day

To wax poetic from an Ice-Cube song, Gilbert had a rough day at school. Kristen and I took a breath and reminded ourselves we all have 'those days'.

We had a nice talk, Gilbert explained it and we hugged it out. The best part was as I dived down like a police investigator getting to the truth, Gilbert responded with a "Well, what the teacher said was not completely accurate." I had to turn away and laugh. Who talks like that!

Little Man is Back!

Hi, folks. If there are still readers out there, my apologies for the hiatus. Feeling invigorated and moving forward, expect a few posts a week. Gone are the days of a post a day, but you can expect news from Team Johnson as it happens!

To get us started, we'll be looking back from the past few months.

I recently went to my first Bears game in the new Soldier Field. Yes, first game. I could tell you why, but that is another conversation.

During halftime, I walked around the stadium and took this picture. A melding of new and old!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Kid's Eat Free!

Wishbone is a great, fun food diner in Chicago. With one located near G's school, he and I had a daddy-Gilbert night out. And on Tuesday, kids eat free!

Wishbone has a special menu for the evening and drops a huge screen where cartoons and animated movies are shown. As you can tell, Gilbert had no interest in what was playing on screen.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Party

Gilbert spent a weekend recently with his grandparents in MI and was treated to a holiday party at Grandpa's work. He came back sporting a reindeer face painted tattoo and a reindeer balloon animal. Cool!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our Big Boy

Columbus Day meant no school for Gilbert Monday. I used it as an opportunity to get some appointments completed. First Stop: The Dentist- Gilbert LOVES Laura and Dr. Bonanno. He did awesome and Laura said he was her Best patient of the day.

Next stop, Dr. Starr's office for the flu shot. G had the option for the nasal spray or a shot- he went with the shot! He did Awesome, not a flinch, not a tear. I could not belive it- I will give all the credit to the nurses at the pediatricians office.

And finally for a special treat for our very BIG BRAVE boy! Love You Buddy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple Fest

Our Posts are few and far between these days, but I assure you Little Man and his parents are alive and well. Last weekend we went to MI for Apple Festival. Gilbert loved the rides.

Friday, September 9, 2011


The purpose of our trip was to attend a wedding. And a beautiful wedding it was! Held at the Sebastiani winery in downtown Sonoma so many of our friends (current and some past) were present. It was great to catch up! The ceremony was outside followed by a wonderful hour of hors d'oeuvres paired with the vineyards wines. The wine floweth!

Kristen took a bunch of excellent photos and with a black and white setting, who doesn't look good!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

In Sonoma

Foregoing the typical hotel stay, we used to find a pool house on a large property in the hills above the town. Totally awesome. Each morning I was in the pool. With the pool water temp at 70 degrees and the morning air around 60, let's just say it was a refreshing swim!

During the day, though, the temps were hot at near 90 degrees. We did the usual and not so common. Wine tours and tastings, drives in the countryside with a couples mud bath thrown in!

First stop was northern Sonoma County in a town called Healdsburg. Grabbed lunch and then went to the Ferari-Carano winery. We selected the vineyard for its Italian-style gardens and grounds which hearkened us back to our visit a few years ago.

The wines are fantastic too and we stumbled upon a reserve tasting room, that although cost a few bucks more was definitely worth it as the wines are superb. We definitely came back with a few bottles!

Next stop was a small winery called Foppiano. A quaint vineyard we selected due to having a train caboose and being one of the oldest still family run vineyards in the county. The Petite Syrah was tasty and we have some bottles at home of that as well!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An Adult Trip to California

Over the Labor Day weekend we got away for an extended adult weekend to attend a destination wedding in Sonoma! A fantastic trip. Gilbert was equally excited as it meant a weekend of spoils with his grandparents in Michigan.

They kindly came into Chicago to pick him up on Friday. He could hardly wait. All morning (and frankly in the days leading up) he was walking around telling us all the stuff he was going to do as he ticked it off on his fingers. "First, we are going to do this. Then we are going to go here. Maybe I will take a nap. Then this and that." You get the point!

When it came to good byes it was all we could do to get a half ass hug out of him as he was heading out to the elevator. In the garage, he jumped in and buckled himself before Kristen could get one last good bye hug. He was grinning all day long!

They left so quickly, we found ourselves with an hour to spare before we had to leave for the airport. You can imagine what we did. Oh jeez, not that, get your mind out of the gutter!

Virgin America is a new airline (distance sister to Virgin Atlantic) courtesy of Sir Richard Branson. Touted as the cool airline, when it secured its single gate at O'Hare, we took advantage of flying deals and roundtrip for both of us to San Francisco was under $400. A damn good deal.

The airline is just plain cool. From the leather seats to the lounge mood lighting and the attire of the flight crew to the free Google Chromebooks with wi-fi, the airline is definitely hip to making travel fun again.

Once landed and in the rental car it was off to Sonoma. To be continued!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My First Trophy Since High School!

Yep, I won a trophy. Took first place in my division at a recent golf tournament.

Here is the funny story. I sent a picture of the trophy to Kristen. She and Gilbert along with a classmate and parents are at a food truck fair in Chicagoat the time. Very cool (but that outing has a story all its own that Kristen can post)!

Anyway, Gilbert calls me and yells "Congratulations!" Made my day.

Back at home, we are talking about the trophy when he tells me to win another trophy next time. Yeah, sure. Easy to do. Jeez, no pressure! Then when I do win to tell Mr. Tiger Woods that it is okay he didn't win. Seriously! So, either Gilbert thinks I am playing the same golf as the guys on television or he knows that Tiger is playing so bad he is now down to my level. Either way, I was a hero for a day to Little Man. What a great feeling!

Oh yeah, it didn't hurt that I filled up my trophy with three different kinds of M&Ms. Gilbert asked if he could have some for breakfast today!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Face Painting

At a recent friends birthday party there was professional face painting, a first for Gilbert. He sat very still and was so excited to show me the finished result. While the majority of the boys got Pirate themed beards, and the girls got butterflies and rainbows- Gilbert opted for his favorite:

It was a lovely train, and then he added a blue beard and a skull and cross bones- Quite a look (sorry no photo). As we headed home, he tripped on the sidewalk, scraped his knee and what the tears didn't wash away my White T-Shirt caught.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Old Blue Truck

Last weekend Gilbert and I visited my Dad and Kathy in Michigan. My dad is restoring a 1970 Ford truck for fun. Gilbert got to do some "pretend driving" before we headed out for a short ride. One highlight was that G got to sit in the front seat with only a lap belt- and can you believe it- we made it home safe and sound!

Grampa wanted to show Gilbert something special- The old Round House where the Trains go when they need to rest and get cleaned and fixed. Now this was something to see, I never knew my home town had a round house- but the BEST part was the old turntable that the trains sit on and spin until they are pointed to the correct door at the round house.

What you don't see pictured are all of the "Private Property- No Tresspassing" signs. I guess my dad thinks with a cute kid in tow he can get away with a short visit.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tall Ship

Gilbert had a kit to paint and assemble a Tall Ship. He was in the mood to paint this past sunday. I think it turned out well. You will notice it is missing its sails- funny story.
The material that was for the sails looked EXACTLY like fabric softener sheets, being the multi-tasking mom that I am- while Gilbert was painting I was doing laundry.. well you can figure out the rest, Yes I am Mother of the Year!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Self Entertained

Last weekend I took the car to the golf course forcing Gilbert and Kristen to hitch a ride from friends to soccer. Car seat removed, Little Man wasted no time to entertain himself while waiting for his ride.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Eyes Closed

You tell me is this a typical kid thing or a Gilbert thing??
When falling asleep Gilbert does not close his eyes. Instead he just kind of stares off into space until he is actually asleep and then his eyes close. Is this typical? On our ride home from Gram's this weekend I told Gilbert to close his eyes and rest, I turned around and he had this pained look on his face. I don't get it, do all kids fall asleep this way?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Little Man's First Trip to the Driving Range

Kristen is out of town for a few days. I wanted to hit golf balls, but have Gilbert tethered to me. Solution! Take him to the driving range!

Little Man has not been overly interested in golf, but he loves an 'urban adventure' so it was worth a shot. He was fantastic. Incredibly well behaved he watched me hit balls and then finally piped up it was his turn. What fun!

His golf swing resembles more of a hockey slap, but it is a start! Seeing his face light up with a smile when he hit the ball was incredibly gratifying for me!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Got to love Groupon! I purchased a bowling Groupon awhile back and it was time to introduce Gilbert to rolling the rock.

We had a blast! Gilbert was enamored with the ball return machine, but also liked to throw the ball. For one hour we spent a whopping $10 with shoes and the lane. We had a great time!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Houston Trip - At The Pool

With Gilbert's cousin, the two had a great time at the pool. All they wanted to do was swim and jump. Each day at the pool Gilbert progressed dramatically and by the end of the week, he was diving off the side of the pool without assistance (from me or his arm floats) and swimming a good 10-15 feet under water to either me or Kristen.

Now back home, our goal is to keep it going!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Houston Day 1 - Houston Children's Museum

Arriving mid-morning and on the other side of the city, we stopped by the Houston Children's Museum (got to love the all access membership!). The museum was fantastic. I love the Chicago Children's Museum, but I have to give the nod to Houston's. Maybe it is because there is more space, but I liked it better as there was more active exhibits. Some of the 'thinking' exhibits were engaging as well! I found myself wanting to do the work!

There was the mechanical section with a cross-section of a car so you could see all of the engine along with the parts in a door to understand how the locks and door handle work. Gilbert, of course, just wanted to drive.

Then the was an exhibit which was a small city run by the kids. Each child receives an ATM card and earns money doing work. They can then spend money at the grocery store or restaurant. I found myself playing a sugar market futures game where you received information and then bought or sold sugar futures. It was awesome!

Gilbert enjoyed the grocery store the best. The place was awesome. Fully stocked with pretend goods, the place was organized and looked like a real grocery store. Little Man immediately headed for the checkout counter to ring up Kristen's purchases. The computer screen was a real checkout register and with a touch screen an actual total and amount could be tallied. Very cool!

I mentioned active exhibits. The rock wall was in the basement and to get down to the bottom, Gilbert had to descend a series of connected platforms in a wire lattice. Looked like something out of Alice in Wonderland as each platform was convex and looked like an oversized mushroom top. We had to pry Gilbert out of there! And at the bottom was also an obstacle course. A bit hesitant at first, I completed the obstacles with him, but after that he would not come out. Loved jumping over to the fire pool for the slide down!

A bit too much for Gilbert at this age, but the science exhibit was incredibly engaging. You took molecules to make chemical compounds. I could have built molecules all day! Held G's attention for only a few minutes as it was off to the next exhibit!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Water Park

Still stuck in time, we took a trip to the Pulaski Park to partake in the splash park and get Gilbert reacclimated to the pool before heading down to Houston for an extended time in the pool.

Little Man had a blast working the splash pad, but particularly enjoyed going into the 'big guy' pool!

Back From Vacation

Back from vacation, the posts will be flowing. We started off with a 4th of July party with friends. They had a bounce house and Little Man lived in it the entire evening. Was able to catch this quick video. Makes me laugh every time!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

From our family to yours, have a wonderful 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lil' Kickers

Gilbert and two friends are taking soccer lessons through Lil'Kickers this summer. First day was saturday, he had a blast and his happy that is jersey has his favorite number 7.

We are looking forward to tons of fun. All ready looking like a pro?? Patrick said he looks like Captain Morgan

Post practice Silly Session.