Sunday, September 2, 2018

Hi from Michigan!

Leaving Chicago and spending a few days elsewhere is always an adventure. This Labor Day weekend we headed to some cabins in Michigan with lots of friends (and their kids). There's a playhouse on the cabin grounds for Daily and lots of kids running around all the time. 

We can walk to the beach and already survived a few rainstorms. And saw beach lightning! (So cool!)

We are also finding sand EVERYWHERE, intermittently losing everything (loveys, cups, keys) and applying sunscreen or bugspray at least every 20 minutes.

I finished a library book that I loved (The Kind Worth Killing) which is a most remarkable feat.

Happy Labor Day! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

5 years

5 years in March!

I've been a nurse for 5 years.

When I started there was no Daily, no Franklin and no house.

5 years (mostly) of night shift.

5 years of amazing 7pm-7:30am with outstanding nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, housekeepers, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, logistics people, nursing assistants, charge nurses, new nurses, security officers, police officers and so many other people who march on at odd hours making the outstanding place where I work work.

I love it so much.

I love the pace (that seems to change every time I've figured it out). I love the problem solving. I love the tasks, plans, the constant change, the learning, the conversations, the teamwork, the frustrations and the rest.

I've done a lot in 5 years.

  • Worked through 38 weeks of pregnancy at work then a baby Daily (worked the Sunday before her Tuesday birth day).
  • Worked through 34 weeks of pregnancy at work (then 2 weeks inpatient at Prentice Women's Hospital where I could look out a window and see my work) then a dramatic arrival of baby Franklin.
  • Became a Certified Pediatric Nurse.
  • Got completely oriented to our PICU, NICU, CCU, Emergency Room.
  • Earned my Advance Nurse clinical ladder promotion (like a promotion, except no job change, just demonstrating that you are doing higher-level work). 
  • Joined 2 committees.
  • Got promoted to be a co-hospital-wide representative on one committee.
  • Made about thousand amazing friends.
  • Worked three Christmases, a New Year's, random summer holidays and every single daylight savings Fall Back Nights where you work an extra hour (why is this not more clearly marked on my personal calendar?). 
  • Helped a dozen or so nurses learn the ropes as a preceptor.
  • Learned something new every single shift taking care of wonderful, wonderful kids and their outstanding families. 
  • Gah! So thankful. I can't EVEN.
Whoa! Five years! Cheers to many more.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Here we are.

Intermittently we lament how fast time goes, how moments ago Daily was a tiny baby and Franklin was just born -- what was it? a few days ago?

Or that somehow we have been stuck in a decade of "NOOOOOOoooooOOOOO" and "Those clementines are TOO SPICY" and babies dumping out 60-piece puzzles just at the moment you turn around to check on the muffins in the oven.

So, we are here in this mostly beautiful stage of completely amazing, insane, frustrating, uplifting, sweet, irritating, renewing, depleting part of raising kids. This might be the all of raising kids, but right now it's... it is intense.

I remember when I was training to work in the Intensive Care Units at work, feeling just wrecked by the gravity of cases, the stories that were so sad, the patients who were so complicated, the possible outcomes that just sucked. I read an article that I still reference today (it's in my work email inbox so I can just peek at it as needed).

To paraphrase, we have room in our hearts for whoever needs it.

And we do.

So, we trudge on and enjoy the moments of everyone happily destroying the living room or finally delighting in a delicious breakfast (despite the spicy fruit and eggs that were yucky but now are quite good).

Photos from bottom up: Daily at Foster Avenue beach during an unseasonably warm morning literally, it got cool during our drive home, but such a treat to get a little fresh air and look at that lake!). Franklin & mama time. Who would yell about food or throw a plate across the room? Not these children.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Seasons, traditions

I love season and I love traditions.

But we don't even have a Christmas tree up and it's December 23. And we haven't made a single cookie. And that is totally fine.

We have taken walks up and down the streets of our neighborhood looking at holiday lights, ooohhh-ing, aaaahhhhh-ing and discussing all the things we see. We have had hot chocolate several times. We shopped Damen After Dark to check out some of our favorite stores on a fun night. We play a lot of music. We've gone to a lot of parties. We read Christmas books (but probably will read them more in January).

I'm trying to do ALL THE THINGS, but also to chill. I want to enjoy the moments when Daily and Franklin play together on the floor. I want to dance around. I want to stir soup while I hold my kids up to help. I want to take snow walks and eat candy canes and open cards we get in the mail.

Someday I will totally have my shopping done early. I will be coordinated. I will balance work, kids, sleep, shopping, doing fun stuff, being spontaneous, being politically engaged, responding to emails and spending like 5 minutes by myself reading a book. Someday.

But for now, I will be really happy that today I can check off my list that I set up a cool train scene for Daily and Franklin. And that I did good at work and made dinner and snuggled my kids and drank wine while B and I watched a show. And that's amazing and merry and bright.

Here's Daily and I at the Wrigley Winterland Market. We skated! Daily made it around a few times and sorta loved it. There was also a big screen showing The Grinch so I'm not totally sure what she was thinking. But it was glorious to skate and skate with Daily. And we topped it off with a mug of glug or whatever that warm-wine is. Divine!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Highs and Lows

What a week! 

Awesome: We attended a 40th birthday party + housewarming + holiday shindig with some of our most amazing friends. Drinks, food, kids knee-deep in toys (we were warming the house of a guy who works at a toy company, after all) and laughs galore.

Not cool: About 24 hours post-party tummies started rumbling and a gastrointestinal bug plowed its way through kids and adults alike! B lost about 1.5 days of work and I called in sick for the first time in almost a year. Gross. All recovered now, so we can just laugh about it next year. And add hand-sanitizer favors for all future parties.

Amazing: Daily protested leaving preschool twice this week because she was missing books. "I love books!" she called out as we hustled out the door. Twice.

Less so: If Daily takes a 20 minute nap at preschool her bedtime is delayed by 2 hours, apparently. We are trying every trick we have to get her to bed, but these naps are the worst. 

Terrible: My iPhone, which is about 22 months old, stopped working, or at least the screen did. I took it to two Apple stores, questioned all decisions I've ever made in my entire life that lead me to be standing in an Apple Store with two small children on a freezing day when Daily screamed about wanting to just stay home, and then gave some sort of meaningful death stare to one of the dozens of Apple employees...

Excellent: As we waited for tests and a diagnoses, an amazing Apple Store Old Orchard employee named Ozzie played Beast Balance with Daily and Franklin for almost an hour. Daily is a pretty peachy kid and I don't blame Ozzy for enjoying playing this silly Jenga-Jumanji-computer-phone game with her, but it was a nice part of a stupid outing. 

Delightful: It's December -- there are lights up all over and we can take short walks around to see decorations. We can read Christmas books and we've put up a few decorations.

Cautious: But we're totally afraid to put up our tree because Franklin might totally topple it. He's getting bigger and almost walking and so interested in everything. So, do we wait? Do we get a tiny tree? Do we just gate off the tree? Not sure how this will shake out, but we're enjoying December even without a tree.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A meeting of the minds.

A rare happy hour with B & F before picking up D from school. 

Franklin is ONE! ONE!

Here Franklin and Daily stare at each other because they super, super love each other. Daily says she wants to marry Franklin. For real. That's not allowed and she'll certainly get over that idea, but it's a cool that Daily loves Franklin and Franklin loves Daily. 

CAKE! Glorious cake.

The best/worst part of small kids is when you do something like fold laundry and get help!

Friday, September 1, 2017


  • Tonight is my first Movie Night. Daily & B have their own movie nights when I work or am out of town. Movie nights involve a snacky dinner and a move (duh). Daily is pretty apprehensive about most movies and deems many "too scary." This is understandable because she's 3 and because our offerings are sometimes unintentionally frightening. So far D has seen a few Winnie the Pooh movies and Lady & The Tramp. At this very moment we are watching Finding Nemo. I've teared up twice and I've seen this movie (dozens of times in pieces at work) before. But Brave D is loving this movie so far. She's got some sea life smarts from watching The Octonauts, visiting the Shedd Aquarium and her regular daily Daily curiosity.
  •  B and I have been married for 7 years. Whoa!
  • B has a new video game that is playing a little Morraccan-sounding tune as he dozes off while Daily gets herself dozing off. #bedtime
  • We might do a little fall getaway! Camping? Visiting a city nearby (Milwaukee or St. Louis/Town-With-A-Frown?)? Just making our friends in Champaign-Urbana host us? Unknown! What's next!?!?