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Monthly Archive for May, 2011

Summer?

It’s been hotter than this fair skinned girl is used to, and have we been keeping busy! Eleanor has been all over the city the past few days, and I am feeling rather proud of our accomplishments. I can’t wait to share pictures, and hopefully start a little Chicago Loves Eleanor memory book for her soon. I really want her to be able to look back at the city she was born in with wonderment and love. I moved here 5 years ago this past weekend, and look at all The City brought me!

cooling off
Me and Ellie Bean cooling off in front of the Art Institute today. We tuckered ourselves out, but it was worth it!

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This Little Piggy

This is the first Memorial Day weekend Nathan and I have spent together where we haven’t traveled somewhere. But that’s just fine because I’m ready to explore Chicago with our little Ellie James. And Candyce! Candyce is our cute as a button, lovely friend from Florida who will be here any minute! I don’t think we’ve seen her in 4 years!

Eleanor and I started the weekend like we do every Saturday with a trip to the market. Here’s our loot!

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This week we picked up swiss chard, asparagus, eggs, lemon verbena, arugala, an allium (for my pretty baby girl), and some other flowers. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Butterfly in the Sky…

we grow up, we leave home, we do the best we can

I’m reading The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. And, I’m also reading the Little House in the Big Woods to Eleanor (slowly but surely).
What are you reading?

Hair Tales

So I’m just going to come right out and say it… I am not a natural red head.
Most people know this, some people think I am, and some still think I am even after I tell them I am not. I am naturally a blonde. The worst blonde there is – dishwater blonde. And, I don’t even think I have a photo to show you what that looks like because I’ve been dying my hair one way or another since I was 14. Once it changed from this pretty pale blonde:


growing up

I asked my mom to take me for highlights, and she did! So I was blonde until I was about 19. Then I went crazy! (Not purple crazy just dye crazy). See for yourself.

the many shades of my hair

the many shades of my hair

the many shades of my hair

the many shades of my hair


So now that that is understood, can someone please tell me how my baby got strawberry colored hair?

Eleanor and the Giraffe I made her

It’s so hard to get a picture of her whispy baby hair, but I swear it is red! I’m blaming one of Nathan’s dormant genes. Maybe his beard?


Sunday funday

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

We’ve tried to soak up as much outdoor time as possible the past few days. Eleanor is starting to love it especially when the sun isn’t in her eyes! I keep joking with the neighbors that last year the garden took one day to put in and this year it has taken 10 weeks! But it has been so much more fun this year, too. We have been out in the garden more which has created a lot of neighborhood buzz, and I think we are already showing Eleanor how much the outdoors mean to us as individuals and as a family.

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We have so much growing in the garden right now!
Peas, radishes, boxwood basil, purple basil, regular ole basil, dill, peppermint, lettuce, cucumbers, swiss chard, tomatoes (cherry, big boy and roma), green, red and lilac peppers, carrots, beets, yellow squash, butternut squash, zucchini, and green beans! We just have to get corn seedlings sometime in the next two weeks and put those in and we will be set – oh and I need to desperately plant the potatoes! It might seem odd that we have so many cool and hot weather plants going at the same time, but since we started 10 weeks ago a lot of our plants are growing in succession. Last night I made one of our first meals with our radishes – Stir fried chicken with lime, chile, and radish. And, it was delicious!

Boxwood Basil

Pea sprouts

Radish

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Tomato

Nathan dug up along the fence line this weekend between our house and our neighbors to plant more peas and cucumbers. Our neighbor is this funny little man from Puerto Rico who fixes bicycles, raises pigeons, plays the cowbell, and seriously speaks to dogs! He is always asking about the baby and giving us gardening gloves! I have about ten new pair of gardening gloves now. So we thought we would return the favor with as many fresh cucumbers he would like to have!

I put Eleanor in the Baby Bjorn facing forward for the first time yesterday, and we enjoyed a nice walk through all of our community gardens. One of the many great things about living in Chicago and Humboldt Park is the numerous community gardens. I love strolling through them to see what everyone else has growing. One had the biggest lilac bush (shhh I snapped a few off to put in a vase at home).

Nathan also set up the garden table out front for me to enjoy during the morning sun. This weekend I squeezed some reading and coffee time in, and it was lovely (even the pigeons think so).

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Today Eleanor and I have a date with two other mama’s and their babies! I’m super excited, and need to go get dressed. It’s barely 50 degrees out and raining, so I suspect we will be in doors for this one.

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Summer Fun List!

- see a movie in the park
- visit the market each week
- take Eleanor to the barn at the zoo
- Indiana Dunes with the Jacksons!
- camping x2 with friends
- hike Starved Rock
- visit Montrose Bird Sanctuary
- go to Michigan to visit our favorite fruit farmers – Ellis Family!
- lots of grilling out
- family photo shoot with Mister James Andrew Kirk
- Ren Faire
- Apple Picking at the Holler
- tend to our Front Yard Farm
- ride my bike as much as possible including Critical Mass for my birthday
- throw a party with balloons and cake
- spend a few Sundays at the Lake
- festivals – Chicago Blues fest, Do Division, Renegade, Printer’s Row, Green Music fest, West fest, WP fest
- read 3 more books (1 for each month)
- enjoy the days with my little family

I’m so excited to do most of these things with Eleanor (minus Crit Mass which my mom will be here for and can babysit!). It’s going to be a rockin summer.

Sleep

sleepy face

Sleep. It might as well be a four letter word in my house. I am having a hard time prioritizing it. I haven’t taken a nap (when Eleanor naps) in weeks. You think I would since my baby naps so well, but nope. And, right now? Well, she’s been on this funny little schedule of waking up every hour to hour and a half the past two nights. So instead of sleeping after I put her down I came out to the living room.

The issue: I would much rather stay awake than get woken up again. Some nights, okay most nights I will stay up as long as she is sleeping until her first feed. Her bedtime is 7 pm, and normally she would sleep until 10:30 pm which seems perfectly okay. Then she started sleeping until midnight or 1 am and I kept kicking myself for not going to bed with her. 5 to 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep?! That’s like gold!

If my body is awake I don’t notice the tension in my back or the weight that 7 and a half weeks of interrupted sleep has done to my state of being. It’s only when I’m pulling the covers back or rocking my baby that my eyelids begin to droop with exhaustion. I know I am doing it to myself. I’m sure even one extra hour of sleep is better than me sitting here in the dark typing this out.

Okay, okay I’ll go to bed now.

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7 Weeks

7 weeks

She is changing before my eyes.

7 weeks

The other day as I was nursing Eleanor I couldn’t help but stare at her belly button. We were once connected there, I thought. And, now while there isn’t a physical tie holding us together I feel more tethered to her than ever before. I was always nervous about what kind of mother I would be. When pregnant I would often think who is this little person? How am I supposed to love her? I don’t even know her. I just couldn’t understand yet.

7 weeks

I understand now, though. She made me a mother, and we’re defining this love as we go.

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Baby girl is growing real goooood. (That’s what we’d say in the south, but make sure to really draw out the goooOUuood.)


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Last night we sat out front to grill and enjoy the weather. When Eleanor is super alert she loves the outdoors. Nathan showed her all the vegetables growing, and told her which ones she would eat. Peas!! We probably have 50 pea plants growing right now!

We met a neighbor who is super interested in having chickens, and since we have a coop this might have awesome potential. Chicken co-op, anyone?! This spring we have really fallen in love with our little street. Lots of new people moving in and everyone seems to be interested in stopping and chatting for a minute or ten. We love that. Nathan and I were out planting squash and beans this Saturday, and a man we have never seen walked by. He didn’t stop, he just said, “Oh look it’s the front yard farm people.” It was so matter of fact and had no inquisition to it that I couldn’t help but laugh.

But do you want something that will really make you smile? Look at this face!

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Welcome to Parenthood

Happy Friday everyone!
This week flew by, and we have been busy. At least I feel like I haven’t had much time to relax. Is it even possible to put newborn and relax in to the same sentence? Well for the most part I feel like it is – I really try to section out my day so I get that time to rejuvenate myself. However this week has been a marathon!

Suntimes

We are still trying to get Eleanor to take the bottle, and while two of Nathan’s many attempts worked today has been one big fat fail. She is super cranky now which is not good since we are going out as a family for the first time tonight to a friend’s for games and mexican food. I feel like we should maybe cancel, but we won’t. I was planning on Eleanor to be asleep while we were there, but if not we can always leave early or I can hang out with fussy baby on the porch. She never cries (you know the wail of cries on and on) except when we attempt the bottle. Oh, I hate to see or hear her crying like that. It breaks my heart especially because I know I can give her what she wants.

We have had some fun, though! Yesterday I took Eleanor up to Anthropologie to meet everyone! She loved it! We walked around and I swear she was in awe of all of the eye candy. I think we both wanted to go on a shopping spree.

She has definitely grown up this week! All she wants to do is look around and absorb everything. Her favorite way to sit is facing out so she can take it all in. She can hold her head up so much more, and is getting stronger every day. Her smiles are more frequent, and so is her little sing song voice. We love hearing her coo and talking to her. The downside she gets overstimulated easily!

Today it was beautiful! Not only did I get to lay out for a bit after lathering up in spf 55 (okay so maybe I did get some relaxation in) but we went on a long walk. I picked up an iced coffee, and we headed to Myopic Books. After finishing The Help I really want a new book. I wanted to pick up The Poisonwood Bible, but they didn’t have a copy on hand so I got The Bean Trees by Kingsolver instead.

Suntimes

We did a little more window shopping and browsing and my love for baby carrying was once again affirmed. I love baby carrying! So many people stop to talk to you or comment. Maybe it’s the baby? But I feel like people are less likely to interact if I have Eleanor in a stroller. An old man asked what her name was. After I told him he told me his granddaughter’s name was Edith and her daughter’s friend’s baby Sophia. We chatted about the popularity of such generational names, and laughed about the ones we like but haven’t quite appeared yet. I love Beatrice (my grandmother), and he likes Mildred (his mom). I also stopped and chatted with a lady who had a toddler in a sling. I have been looking for a sling, but don’t know what to get. She had a lovely french accent. Well that’s enough of me rambling on about my random encounters. I picked up some Sultan’s for lunch and came back home to enjoy the sunshine, baby and husband. Speaking of husband…why has he been so absent on the ole blog?

Suntimes

I signed up for the mom group meetup next week (thank you for all of the advice and encouragement), and made a date with two of the women from my birth class. They both have babies that are within weeks of Eleanor. We are going to grab tea and walk to the park. I’m excited about that. And, I started crafting a bit. I made the little flower on Eleanor’s head. It’s not perfect, but I want to keep trying so I picked up felt in every color possible!

It’s supposed to be in the 80s and beautiful all weekend. Perfect for cookouts, market trips and gardening! Hope yours is lovely, too.

Suntimes

Update: I wrote this a few hours ago. I finally got Eleanor to sleep in my arms after she cried off and on for two and a half hours. My poor baby girl. Needless to say plans are canceled. Welcome to Parenthood?

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