Sometimes it seems like the little people in our lives are the ones who are really running the show. Those bossy little buggers.
Chicagoan Alexis Stein Tande knows a thing or two about bossy babies (and how to make them happy!). As mama to Oliver and Scarlett (two beautiful but bossy babes), Tande began making her own children personalized books and reward charts to gently mold and encourage appropriate behaviors.
After a decade of art directing major advertising print campaigns and commercials both in Chicago and Manhattan, Tande decided to combine her business smarts and creative skills to bring her personalized creations to families everywhere. And the Bossy Baby Chronicles was born.
“I wanted to create personalized tools to help parents talk to their children about important topics like potty training, good behavior and starting school,” Tande says. “These books feature your child’s name and tell his or her special story.” The Bossy Baby Chronicles product line includes
books about potty training, good behaviors and heading off to preschool for the first time. In addition, the Bossy Baby Chronicles offers a line of personalized reward charts and stickers so kids can work towards tangible goals.
We asked Alexis to tell us about her favorite things surrounding raising a family here in Chicago.
Cheeky: What are some of your favorite spots around town for family outings?
Alexis Tande: We love to eat out as a family. And practice makes perfect, right? Our favorites are Jam ‘N Honey for breakfast, Cafe Des Architectes at the Sofitel for lunch, and Crosby’s Kitchen for dinner.
Cheeky: What is your favorite local date night destination?
AT: My husband Brett and I love Tango Sur on Southport. We went here on one of our very first dates and two kids later we still love bringing a bottle of wine and chatting each other up. When we sit outside we get to people watch and in the winter when we sit inside, it feels like an instant getaway.
Cheeky: How’d you decide between raising kids in the city vs. the ‘burbs?
AT: I grew up in Highland Park and my husband grew up in suburban Minneapolis and ironically both of us are more at home in urban environments than anywhere else. We love the diversity, hustle and bustle, and everything Chicago has to offer. While we might get more square footage in a suburban home, nothing replaces the depth of character that comes from living among so many culturally interesting people and places.
Cheeky: What do you love most about raising your family in Chicago?
AT:We were living in NYC for seven years and proactively decided to move our family back to Chicago because we missed it so much. From the Lincoln Park Zoo to Wrigley Field to the lakefront, Chicago is a family paradise. Plus my parents live down the street.
Cheeky: What is your least favorite part about raising your family in Chicago?
AT: Delivery. It takes an HOUR to get food delivered. Really? An hour? Someone has to work on this. It should be 20 mins from phone to doorbell.
Cheeky: Do you have any tips for managing work/life balance for all of the busy Chicago moms out there?
AT: My tip is to listen to your children. Really, really listen. My kids are the most amazing, most interesting and truly awesome people I have ever met. They astound me and teach me invaluable things every single day. My work/life balance instantly recalibrates after they tell me about their day.
Cheeky: What do you do to recharge and take a moment just for you?
AT: I read. I am a voracious and insatiable reader. Every year my goal is always to conquer 26 books. And every year, I fail. I thank God every night for the invention of the Kindle.
CC: What is the Cheekiest thing you’ve done recently?
AT: I took my kids to see the Lichtenstein Retrospective at the Art Institute this summer and today we tried to paint like him in the backyard. I’m hoping it’ll rain this week because while our creations are beautiful, the backyard is an unbelievable disaster.
Do you know a Cheeky Mama we should profile? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us all about her.
She is fun, fabulous and fierce. She is chic, intelligent and in-the-know. But most of all, the Cheeky chick is the kind of woman who embraces, admires, respects, smiles at and opens her heart to other fabulous chicks. Now THAT'S Cheeky, darling!