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Monthly Archive for September, 2011

A Moment

Playing in her crib

Playing in her crib

She’s so worth it.

Dream Room

This might be my dream living room with a different coffee table.


source

I showed Nathan, and he laughed. Good luck with that, he said. It’s true with a dog and a cat that are both on the dark and shedding side it seems down right impossible to make that dream room a reality. But the closer I look I see that it’s just white walls. The couch is slip covered. It might even be from Ikea. And, everything else is just carefully chosen randoms that give the room life.

I think we can do it. I don’t see why I can’t have the things I want when they are so easy to get. This seems like a simple, affordable facelift. So this is my goal for the holiday months – a bright, clean living space. It’s my present to myself. Wish me luck!

Blissful

Day 3 Belize - Tropical Storm Alex blows through

While I look like an absolute lunatic in this picture there are so many things I love about it.
Tropical Storm Alex.
Rum.
Sand.
Island.
Thin.
Laughter.
Love.
Fun.
Wind.
Vacation.
Relaxed.

It looks like pure bliss, really.

Happy Birthday

Swinging

Swinging

Swinging

Swinging

Swinging

Swinging

We went swinging like children on Nathan’s birthday yesterday. It was fun to feel so young.
Happy Birthday to a loving husband and a wonderful daddy.

Next Time

goofin off (a picture just for fun)

I was watching an episode of The Middle the other night. The oldest son was on the highschool basketball team, and they got their butts handed to them. The score was something crazy like 34 to 98. But he was celebrating as he jumped out of the car holding a trophy. Every kid received a trophy for playing, and were somehow given the impression that they had done well. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but then today a bunch of us were talking about the idea of settling for mediocrity. And, it got me thinking about the generational gap growing around me. SO I began to question why there appears to be a mentality of mediocrity growing.

I started thinking about how these days if you go to a child’s birthday party more often than not the sibling of that child will receive a gift, as well. Why? It’s not their birthday. But parents do it so the other child doesn’t feel left out or hurt. But doesn’t that diminish the overall special feeling that birthdays have?

Or back to the ball game. A co-worker mentioned today that their son was on a soccer team and got their butt’s kicked. 0 to 10! And, the coach told the team that they tied! So of course the little boy was celebrating – his team tied, and that other team they played against was really good! In reality they didn’t tie, they weren’t even very good. So now, how do they know that they need to work harder next time? Practice more? Work together as a team?

Of course you are not going to win at everything you try and do. But isn’t that what makes us better? Isn’t that what makes us want to prove that we can win next time? It’s why we stay late to finish a project, run 10 minutes longer, dress to impress, and set new goals for ourselves. It’s why those special days that come once a year filled with cake, presents and love are so amazing. It’s how we know winning feels so good because we have lost.

I guess like everything in life parenting is about balance. As much as I want to protect Eleanor, save her from sadness and loss a bigger part of me knows it is my responsibility to let her feel all of those things along with happiness, triumph and pride. I remember always being on the losing softball team growing up. I still loved going to play ball though even if we just walked away with dirty pants, an oatmeal cookie and capri-sun afterwards. It was sad that we lost, but we promised next time one of us would hit the ball or run home or catch a fly. And, what mattered is that there was a next time to improve upon.

Your First Fall

Hello, fall.

This is your first fall. I like to sit you in the grass on sunny days to play with the leaves and shiny green blades. You tug until your tiny fingers are stained from the ground. The bright blue sky is overhead but you are mesmerized by the green below you. It brushes against your skin. It’s cool to the touch. The air is turing crisp. Time is moving faster now than it ever has but in these moments I slow it down. Just you and me and the season. Changing.

Hello, fall.

Hello, fall.

Hello, fall.

Home sweet home

As we were about to board the plane from New Hampshire to Chicago a month ago we got a phone call from our property manager. Our neighbors who we have had issues with (or rather they have had issues since they moved in) are apparently suing the landlord for something or other. The landlord is completely fed up, and wants to sell the place. He offered it to us first. Honestly if it had been 6 months ago or a year ago we might have jumped at the offer but timing is everything. We had just gone from a two person income to a one person income, and are in the middle of making major life decisions regarding where we want to “settle.”

So that leaves us with the very high possibility of having to move if the place sells. Most likely it would be knocked down for some new development as Humboldt Park is fast becoming gentrified. The truth is we have outgrown this place. There are three of us now, well five if you count the dog and the cat (which I do). We have the possibility of starting a family business with It’s a Lamp. And, Nathan desperately needs a work space. Eleanor needs her own room. I need tidiness. We still love it though. We have things that most couples who live in the city don’t. We own all of our appliances, we have 2 kayaks, a lawnmower and all of that needs storage space.

We looked at a 3 bedroom in west Logan Square. 1300 square feet (our current place is about 800) with a garage included and lots of closet room. The only thing is it’s far away. It’s still in the city, but not really near anything and at least 5 years west of any up and coming gentrification. And, the thought of moving just makes my stomach turn.

I feel like in a weird way we are in a convenient relationship with this house. It’s like that boyfriend or girlfriend you had a few years ago who didn’t really do anything for you but it was comfortable. And, the thought of breaking up with them would just take too much energy and hurt too many people so you just keep putting it off. It’s not necessarily healthy but it’s also not killing anyone.

So we are staying here for the time being. We are going to invest that time and money that would go in to moving in to things that will make this house better. Purge (it’s time to do this again – we did a lot of it before Eleanor arrived and it made me feel so good), have a yard sale, set up the 2nd bedroom as an organized and clean office/workspace for Nathan, and Eleanor will just stay in our room for the time being.

Another reason we are staying is because well, we love our neighborhood. There is still the possibility that this place might sell (but I doubt it will go fast in the current real estate climate), but maybe that’s when we make our decision. I love our neighbors, their kids, the dead tree across the way, and the plethora of community gardens within walking distance. I love our yard, the garden, people asking when the Scarecrow will make his appearance next. I love that we can walk to our favorite coffee shop and cafe on a Saturday morning and enjoy brunch. I love that I can bike to work (when I have the energy) and it takes less than a half hour.

I guess the good outweighs all the other things. And, I’m perfectly fine with that.
To celebrate we enjoyed breakfast at Birchwood Cafe. It was extra delicious from the coffee to the ham and fig sandwich to the potatoes and the little lady sitting all on her own in a chair.

Birchwood Brunch

Birchwood Brunch

Birchwood Brunch

Birchwood Brunch

Birchwood Brunch

Connections

What a weekend! I have so much to write about, and I need to make time for it asap! I hate feeling like a bad blogger. But while I have a quick minute I wanted to share the fact that I got to meet Kelley from Brixton Makes Three this weekend! Her awesome family stopped by our booth at Renegade Craft Fair, and it was so fun to hug and chat and have baby connections! Kelley is so funny (I mean do you read her blog?!), and she is a GOOD blogger. Not only does she write well, she tells stories and is so honest which I really appreciate. She is even more cool in person, and Brixton is absolutely adorable! I think Eleanor and I both wanted to snuggle him.

Here is a picture her husband Brendan snapped from this weekend.
Kelley from Brixton Makes Three

She got some other cute photos of Brixton and Eleanor, and wrote some of the sweetest things on her blog. It was definitely a highlight from my weekend!

Eleanor – 5 months

Eleanor - 5 months

Eleanor James you are 5 months old.
Me and your dad, well we are more in love than ever. I can tell you right now that you are the best thing that has happened to us (along with us of course). You have grown so much, and will grow even more in the next 4 weeks. You love to sit up on your own now. And you are one nosy little lady! You love to watch the action whether it be people talking, the dog, cat, or any noise. Sometimes I can’t even get you to nurse unless it’s completely quiet around. You love to observe and take in this big ole world.

You had a lot of firsts this past month!
This past month you flew on your first airplane! You were an angel child. Not a peep out of you on the plane ride there or back. We made sure to bring a bottle just in case, and a couple of your favorite toys but you were just fine sitting and chatting on our laps. Then you fell right to sleep on the way down in to NH. Wake up little lady – we are in the North! On the way back you nursed all the way down, and didn’t blink an eye! We were definitely proud of you. You were also amazingly happy during our time in NH. You loved your grammi, grampa, aunt and uncle and your cousins! You and Jacob had the best time ever. He really knew how to make you smile.

Eleanor - 5 months

You also got your first two teeth! Both your bottom teeth came in with a matter of minutes it seemed like. We noticed while we were in NH! You chewed on a popsicle and ice to soothe yourself, and you loved both. You also went swimming for the first time – first in our back yard, and then in Lake Sunapee! Let me tell you Daddy was so happy that your first swim was in a fresh water lake in the state he was born and raised. You just loved it. So far the title of Little Guppy is definitely sticking.

This month just flew by, baby girl! Mama has a hard time remembering all the wonderful things you are up to. We are still working on a consistent way to get you to nap. But for the most part you get sleepy every hour and a half to two hours. We usually feed you, rock you, and then put you in your crib so that you can soothe yourself to sleep. On good days it takes just a few minutes. Bedtime is easy peasy! Naked time (you love to pee, though!), bath time, and rocking and nursing. You are still getting up 3 or 4 times a night but I think it’s due to teething. I’m sure we will all be sleeping soon!

Eleanor - 5 months

Most days I miss you every minute of the day. I can’t wait for my time to pump at work so I can check to see if Daddy wrote anything about your day or what time you woke up, or if you pooped yet (it’s true)! I love how big your smile gets when you see me after a day at work. You and Daddy have so much fun while I’m away! You read books, garden, play, and go on fun errands around the city. He has such a hard job, but he does it so well.

I love you so much Eleanor. I’m sure it will grow as fast as you are.

Eleanor - 5 months

In the Air

I’ve been trying to stay off the internet more during the nights and weekends as an experiment. Basically I would love to see what I could accomplish during that little bit of time I steal for myself to unwind via reading blogs or checking my email. Lately it’s only been sleep. But I am fine with that.

There was a lot of co-sleeping this weekend. The chill in the air, and need for even more sleep (of course like most babies Eleanor sleeps a lot better with us than without us) just called for it. If we don’t bring her in bed with us she has been waking up more frequently throughout the night (at least 4 or 5 times) because of her teeth. I’m sure the top two are making their way through soon.

Our little lady turned 5 months this past week and I still have yet to write about all her lovely milestones! I swear I will get to it today! She deserves it that’s for sure. Yesterday she wore tights for the first time – Um, adorable! Nothing cuter than a chubby baby bum in tights.

Eleanor

It was such a chilly, fall day that we had a nice little bbq outside and then roasted s’mores around the fire pit. I’m not really ready for summer to be over already, but I do love the feeling of this air on my skin.

Oh, and in bigger news we decided to start solids a little early! We were planning on waiting until 6 months, but Nathan and I both decided that Eleanor seemed ready. She’s been able to sit up on her own for a few weeks, reaches for our food (well, she reaches for everything!), and seems very interested in what’s going on when we are eating. And, boy was she! She ate all of the rice cereal on her first try! Nom nom!

Eleanor

Eleanor

Eleanor