Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fall fun

Fall is fun. Even if Election Day is the worst. Here are some pics from us lately. 

Snuggles on the couch! Sometimes D asks, "Mama, can you hold me like a baby with the pillow in your lap and read stories?" Then I melt and then we do just that.

Out in the sling! Franklin and I hit the streets with this contraption. It's a blast -- he's snuggled in and I can do a lot while still keeping him close.

We attended the Fall Fest at the high school a few blocks away -- B & Kittycat D painted a pumpkin. We also met some animals at the wild petting zoo.

A turkey and a goat! Friends? Enemies? Daily is not certain.


Daily & I met up with friends Emi & George at the Skokie Exploratorium on a rainy day. The Exploratorium has a huge water table, a magnet table, a giant Light Brite, a big climbing structure, dress up clothes and giant blocks. It's terrific. 

Under the water table's waterfall. 

Water table!

Giant Light Brite!

Franklin at a Huskie tailgate serving as Grandpa John's chip plate. 

Monday, October 31, 2016


Time and Place: Halloween afternoon - Daily is relaxing/watching a show, Franklin is napping, B is at work. 

Wearing: Lots of yoga pants, t-shirts, nursing tank tops. Usually topped off with a jean jacket and cozy scarf. 

Devoted to: breastfeeding! Like Daily, Franklin wasn't a great nurser at first so I pumped a lot (like, too much) and we worked together on it. He's a champ now! I will say that breastfeeding the second time is way easier -- I was confident and patient with Franklin and myself. And, I already have at least some tricks for when I'm breastfeeding on the go.

Snacking: ALL THE TIME. Breastfeeding makes me hungry. But it's a great thing to do. 

Working on: Being hydrated. Completing some organizing/cleaning projects. 

Listening to: NPR Politics Podcast

Watching: Cubs baseball! And election coverage. #Imwithher GO CUBS!

Cooking: On a schedule! We made a meal plan for this week and we're actually sticking to it. Last night we had chicken soup with dumplings and tonight is some Halloween mish-mash hopefully containing fruit and vegetables.

Experiencing: New baby / toddler life. As expected this is challenging and strange. Daily is frustrated that Franklin is getting lots of attention, but she's dealing. She was a pretty crabby beast for a few weeks, but recently returned to being a happy, silly, adaptable toddler. Welcome back, D! 

Reading: For myself, Karin Slaughter's creepy-creepster books! They're phenomenally scary with strong female leads. The books all take place in Atlanta so if I ever go there I'll be completely terrified of probably-normal things like Peachtree Street. Yikes!

Toddler reading: Little Witch books -- these early-reader books were favorites of mine when I was 6-8 years old (?). My heroic parents dug them out of their basement for Daily and she is LOVING them. She loves Little Witch's bat Scrubby and pretending to fly on her own broomstick. 

Excited for: Halloween tonight! Daily is excited for trick-or-treating -- she's also a little shy when she first sees people so I'm not sure she's going to actually SAY "trick or treat" this year. Fingers crossed. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

And... 27 weeks! With plenty to do.


Daily's baby-brother-to-be is more than halfway through his adventures on the inside. We're due in mid-October and very excited, though completely unsure what life will be like.
  • Will D cope with not being the center of the universe? (Yes, she's pretty adaptable! Right?)
  • Will we remember all the tricks with babies now that our first is a busy, chatty, opinionated 2-year-old person?
  • Will we ever sort through all of D's baby stuff that was perfect for a girl born in May to find that stuff that will work for a boy born in October? (I realize boys can totally wear pink and love cupcakes. But, I also want this kiddo to not be all hand-me-downs all the time! Thankfully Grandma Karen is on the case! She hit enough garage sales that we have pajamas lined up for the first few months. At least. Possibly much longer.)
  • How do you manage a toddler who needs to keep busy and a new baby who shouldn't really go public much during flu season?
For now we are enjoying every second of just-one-kiddo life. We go swimming whenever we can, we take walks, we snuggle with D on the couch reading story after story and seriously enjoy the post-bedtime time we get together. 

D met a baby the other day and seems to be slowly processing facts about babies. Her current base of knowledge:
  1. Babies are tiny.
  2. Babies eat milk from "boobs" or "bottles."
  3. Babies poop everywhere.
Pretty smart, right?

I'm simultaneously exhausted and raring to do ALL THE THINGS. I painted a bathroom and bought a mirror for it. I took down a cabinet. It seems like every time we figure one house thing out another, new and ridiculous home thing rears its ugly head, but that's homeownership.

D loves swimming! After neglecting to sign her up for baby-swim-lessons, despite my promises to do so, I am so tickled to see her comfortable, adventurous and happy in the water. She loves lakes and shallow/zero-depth type pools where she can run in and play on her own without being held by me. She's not too upset about getting her face wet (this happens a lot when you do a really, really happy dance and are not super steady). Hooray!

D on a walk through Winnemac Park -- summer looks good on Chicago, on D and on our little gang. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Go Cubs Go!

Summer's been exciting and beautiful and busy! Here's Daily, age 2, at her first Cubs game on June 2! 

Grandma & Grandpa came to town for a wonderful visit. We got to Wrigleyville early for beverages and ballpark exploring. Daily got a First Timer's certificate. This is her fourth baseball game, second Major League game.

Gotta see the sights at Wrigley! We went on the Jack Daniel's deck, climbed all the way up from street level to the upper deck, ate snacks, cheered and climbed all over the seats around us. We sat next to very nice people. Obviously.

The game was wonderful -- we saw four homeruns and got on the jumbo screen! A friend from work and a friend from high school spotted us! 

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Zoom, zoom, zoom!

That's part of a song the B sings to D when I'm on my way home. When the weather is even slightly nice they'll come out on the porch and wait for me -- B with his coffee, hoody and pajamas on, D in pajamas usually attempting to explore something. It's such a sweet sight at a strange time when my day is ending and everyone else's is starting.

Spring is here! Or at least it was today!

I worked last night -- the hospital is offering some crazy extra money for nursing help, so I picked up some hours with extra pay + extra pay + overtime. I got home quickly and was asleep before D & B started breakfast. I slept while they played, cleaned and did regular weekend stuff. We all slept while D slept, then all woke up when she stirred from her nap. Our sleep schedule is weird.

We set off on a walk -- running into neighbors on the swings on our way. We stopped at a busy little park then reached our destination: Lady Gregory's!

Lady Gregory's is a delightful pub with good food and outdoor seating and excellent service. D loves the sweet potato fries (#1 way to enjoy beer gardens with toddlers). We love just about everything there. D walked much of the way home and when we got home a couple neighbor kids were outside with squirt guns, a tricycle with a back seat, chalk and balls, so D happily chased them around.

I'm off until Tuesday night. Tomorrow D & I will find some adventure somehow -- even if it's snowing. We have visitors here this coming weekend and can't wait for more spring.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


This is a blog thing that I wanted to try out, just to provide an update, get on this blogging thing and take a little snapshot of this batty life right now.

Time and place: 11PM at home.

Cooking: Black bean soup, pumpkin muffins, pita pizzas, grilled pita bread, tomato red pepper soup, pasta, cereal....

Awaiting: Some packages from Amazon including Playdoh tools for Daily, a puzzle for puzzle-whiz Daily, accessories for my new cell phone (!), some lavender essential oil to help me relax after night shift (I sleep in a bright, bright room, which I love, but it's hard to settle down) and other junk.

Experiencing: a toddler! She's chatty and adventurous and smart and funny. Daily is terrific! She is a ton of fun these days. She loves the tub, exploring, songs, eating (except for today - she ate cheerios mostly) and stories. She loves stories so much. Her dad and I pretty much turn into goo when she brings a book to us and asks us to read it. It's wonderful.

Working on: My Advance file for work -- it's a program my work has for nurses to demonstrate their expertise and get a nice bonus check. I'm excited to work on it and have a few cool projects to do in the next few months. I am also a major work nerd. I love being a nurse.

Reading: Notorious RGB: The Life & Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- a completely amazing story of a completely amazing woman! Just finished it!

Listening: Podcasts! I'm nutty about podcasts -- I love Planet Money and Serial! Planet Money is quick and not-too-heavy, so I go pretty crazy for that. Who knew the fed could be so cool? I learned about the history and math of lotteries! I listen on my way to and from work. It's pretty fun! And also, Adele is amazing.

Craving: Soup!

Hating: The bright, blinding sunshine of mid-winter. It highlights all the dustbunnies, dried up spots of salty snow and random mess. As a night-shift-er I prefer clouds. Especially when my window are shut. Also, I think we need to clean our windows. Hrmph.

Loving: Any bearable moment outside, reading stories with Daily, cooking and my new planner.

Anticipating: A new cell phone that connects with my continuous glucose monitor! One less thing to carry! Our first spring in the new house, a maybe-deck-redo, flowers, grass, flowers and more flowers.

Watching: The Intern -- it's a hoot! We are finishing it tomorrow. Yay!

Happy! On the deck of Aunt Jules' place in LA. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A few days in the desert

If you've met Daily you know she likes to move. She's an adventurer, like her dad!
She likes to climb. She likes to explore. She likes to see what people around her are doing. She likes to check things out.

Daily had no idea how much she'd love Joshua Tree National Park and neither did we! All in all, it was a blast to show her the joys of hiking, stopping for snacks, staying on course (some of the time), exploring, observing and enjoying the nature all around. 

Upon our arrival in Joshua Tree (about a 2.5-hour drive from L.A.) we climbed out of the car to hike around Hidden Valley (not where ranch dressing comes from) -- there were plenty of kids and regular people around. Daily loved watching the amateur rock climbers practice on the rocks while we ate lunch. She loved finding rocks she could climb too!

We took a 1-mile hike through rocks and hills and many terrains. Daily walked almost all of it! What a champ! Despite the hills, a few falls, the rocky terrain, many stops along the way to write in the sand, many calls to "keep going!" -- Daily kept up with her jumpy, happy, jog-ish walk. She delighted people all along the way (somehow) with her smile, her excitement and her interest in everything!

We retired to our beautiful vintage desert farmhouse -- an Air BNB we rented that was terrific. Hammocks, sand to draw in with sticks, treats, amazing bath stuff, a retro-but-usable kitchen so Aunt Jules could cook and a retro fridge that kept drinks just the right temp. We ate some amazing fried chicken (reheated) from Jules' friend/Daily fan Tenny, salad and cake from Tenny too. (Tenny is amazing. Obviously.) We sat around the wood-burning stove chatting. Jules watched some tennis on her iPad because it's Australian Open time!
Daily knocked out after a good stretch of sand-drawing and snacking. She woke early, probably freaked out to be in a new place with her silly parents in the same room. 

Day 2 we ventured out on a 3 mile hike after some not-great retro pancakes! We used our Cat Bird Baby Carrier most of the time (but D still got to hike by herself too!) and made it to an oasis and back. It seems like the best method to keeping a toddler happy for any extent of time, for D & us at least, is having plenty of snacks and being ready to change things up (making stops along the way! being willing to play in the dirt as needed.). 

That night we ate pasta, more salad, ice cream (not well-frozen by the retro freezer, much to my dismay) and sat around the fire more! I don't think there is a "too much sitting by a fire" point for me. 

We revisited Hidden Valley on the way out of town -- more rock climbing! Jules and B climbed up high -- champions! D and I climbed too, but not high. We returned to beautiful Los Angeles for a delightful dinner out, a walk through Jules' neighborhood, gelato and packing. B & I even left Daily & her auntie to handle bath/bed/tennis stuff and went out for drinks at a hipster bar. 

We arrived back in frosty Chicago after a long day of travel -- a drive to the airport, bus to the terminal, plane to Chicago, tram to parking and a drive home! Phew! The travel is a little tricky but so worth it for all the fun we had. Can't wait to see you again California!

Hiker, hikers and a hiking family. B chilling out on the couch. Daily & her aunt enjoying vintage desert farmhouse happy hour.