Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Down by the...

Aunt Kerry told me Gunnar could fill in most of the words to "Down by the Bay" so we gave it a try!

Speaking of Watermelon...
Gunnar finally enjoyed his first watermelon yesterday. (After almost a year of pushing it away)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gunnar's first Play!!!

I know what you're thinking. You took Gunnar to a play? Isn't he 18 months old? Were you thinking he'd actually sit through it all? Or sit quietly?
To be honest I didn't know what to expect. But when I heard Chicago Children's Theatre was Presenting A Brown Bear, a moon and a Caterpillar based on the beloved book of Eric Carle (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, A Very Hungry Caterpillar and Papa please get me the moon)...I had to look into to it. I wasn't sure if Gunnar was old enough but when I read that the play has a "No Shush" policy I was sold! A play kids can babble through? Amazing!
Just recently Gunnar has started saying "Brown Bear" and "Pillar" for two of his favorite books...I was pretty sure it would be a hit...
However, when we arrived in the theatre 20 minutes early...I started questioning whether this whole thing would pan out. Gunnar would not sit down with me...he took one look at all those stairs to climb in the theatre and took off! In the back of my mind I was will he ever sit through 50 minutes!?!?! Finally when a cute little girl sat down next to us and offered Gunnar some squeezy applesauce he was smitten and agreed to sit with me until the lights went down...
And from there out it was all smiles from ear to ear...laughs...and of course naming everything he saw "Moon" "Sun!" "Apple" "Pillar" "Brown Bear!" "Meow" "Duck"...I have never seen Gunnar more mesmerized and completely ecstatic. After each little play Gunnar cheered and laughed and was always the last one shouting "YAY!!" I promise you everyone from the 6 month old behind me to the 8 year old and all the parents beside me were loving this show.
And to make it even more exciting at the end the puppeteers (who are from The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia) came out to show us how it was all done!
And YES! Gunnar sat through the whole thing! And when it was all over he gave me hugs and kisses and said "Fun Mama! Fun!" It sure was...more theatres should adapt these kind of toddler appropriate plays that bridge all age groups. And if you live in Chicago...RUN and see this before it closes on Sunday!!! I'm so glad we did!

Ticket Information
Bring Theatre like this to your area (More info on Mermaid theatre)

Monday, May 14, 2012

My shopping helper

When I go to the grocery store with Gunnar I try to be prepared. As many moms know shopping with a toddler isn't for sissies.  They can be loud, they want to get out of the cart and run around and do anything to keep you from fulfilling your shopping needs. That is why I bring things he can hold on to and play with or snack on but I also ask him to help me find things and put them in the cart. Sometimes we sing songs or play silly games in the store just to keep him from getting bored too quickly.

But what Gunnar always looks forward to is helping me at the check out. It's his favorite part. He helps unload from the cart and puts items onto the conveyor belt. He hands the checker our discount cart and any coupons and then he always helps me pay by swiping the credit card and helping me push the buttons. This is his favorite part.

I get asked all the time by cashiers "Is he always this good?" and generally he is...I think because I'm letting him be a part of it rather than just ignoring him and whisking through the aisles trying to get him out of there before he screams. I just think of every trip out with Gunnar as a potential classroom of knowledge not just practical but social skills as well.

Today's trip, however, ended on a very sour note. If the other line hadn't been so long I would have chosen a different checker (I usually choose my checker from an instinct on who will be more engaging with Gunnar) I'd had this cashier before and I remembered the exchange was incredibly weird. And then I heard her repeating the exact same exchange I'd had 3 weeks ago to the woman in front of me "I see you're a 'Just for U' member, CONGRATULATIONS. Isn't 'Just for U' great? I'm so glad to see you're saving money." She said in a very monotone voice. Awesome...I knew this same rehearsed statement was just seconds away from being directed to me so I tried to think of something I could do to avoid it...but I failed. With no voice (slowly recovering from a battle with laryngitis) I decided my best weapon was Gunnar....kill her with cuteness G...please!

Gunnar handed her our club card and yes we got that same rehearsed line. I just nodded and put my card away. But Gunnar clearly couldn't handle how strange this woman was acting-he thought this was he started laughing. To which the cashier replied "What's your problem? What is so funny?" If I had a voice I might have said: "Come ON lady...he's 18 months! Can't he just be silly and laugh? Don't take it personally!"
But that she did...or at least I think she did; because, then she did the worst thing a cashier could do to my little shopping helper...she looked right at that credit card in his hand ready to swipe and said "NO! He can't pay. There is wine on this order and if you let him swipe the card that means he's paying and he is under age."

 WHAT?!!?! Oh come on lady...I have bought cases of wine with Gunnar swiping the card and no one ever stopped him before. So now not only did she make me feel uncomfortable with her stupid questions...but now she gets to revoke my son's reward for being such a good shopper??!!?!? UGH!! I just wanted to ring her neck...and if I had a voice I think I would have given her a mouth full...or at least her supervisor...I mean really? The card has my name on it...I'm still buying it. I'm all for rules but this one is just completely ridiculous.

 So guess what? She made a crier out of Gunnar, my super shopper helper cried big crocodile tears because he couldn't swipe or punch the buttons like I promised he could. Thanks a lot lady. And sadly...I didn't have a voice to try to explain things to Gunnar....I certainly couldn't speak over his cries. Sad. I just hope this doesn't effect our next shopping trip.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

assistant directing

 Check out the blog I wrote about {title of show} which opens at Northlight Theatre tomorrow night! So proud to have been a part of this beautiful production.
from Kirstin Franklin, Assistant Director of [title of show]
One of my earliest memories as a child was performing a ballet to Copland’s Appalachian Spring with my sister in our family room. I remember carefully selecting a pink hand-me-down leotard for the performance and holding back giggles as I pretended (read more>>Northlight Blog)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In Honor of Maurice Sendak

This mama has been too busy to blog for the last 2 months. What can I say?  I've been working on 2 shows at once...and have been lucky enough to have my mother and my mother-in-law take over Gunnar duties for most of the day.
Gunnar has become increasingly interested in books...and his current fav happens to be "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. When I read the news of Mr. Sendak's passing this morning, Gunnar was in the middle of reading it for the 3rd time today (and it was only 9:30am)...I thought it appropriate to make a video of Gunnar's enthusiasm for his book. Of course he lost interest half way through (when I filmed it was probably his 9th read of the day)...but you can tell he knows the story by heart and loves it.