restless nights and sunny days

Oh man, you guys.

I’ve hit the part of this pregnancy where I want to maybe throw my FitBit, because it’s mostly telling me I’m no longer sleeping.

As if I hadn’t noticed that I am rolling around all night. I really think I need a human-sized rotisserie to help turn me over when I’ve been on one side too long, but that’s a business plan for another day.

The lady baby is pretty active. Boo, if you will recall, was breech at this point and so despite not yet knowing it, I was merely being head butted a lot.

Now I’m being stabbed in the ribs with appendages, but chickens, it’s the miracle of life, right?

I’ll have a word with her when she arrives.

Other than that, I’m enjoying the gradual warm up around here (and the dry-up, it’s finally stopped raining, and I’m crossing my fingers that Theo, at some point, stops being made mostly from mud) and getting ready for this little girl by online shopping in a way that could be considered unhealthy and thinking that it might be almost time to buy some newborn-sized diapers.

That’s all it takes to raise them, right?

Help me out guys- I can’t really remember, even though it’s only been two years.

Now all it takes to raise them (him) is an unlimited supply of cereal bars, a nearby park, and Night, Night, Elmo on repeat.

This kid stuff is easy.

And with that, I’m off to coax my child into the car, despite my unreasonable demands that he let mama drive and that he sit down in his car seat.

Be easy, chickadees. Enjoy this sunshine!

 

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racking up wins and good advice

You guys, I am so sick of the cold and the rain hanging around in Chicago this week.

Can we please, please move on to summer, right now please?

Thank you for your consideration, weather gods.

This week I’ve had the following parenting wins: I reasoned with Boo to eat one more bite of dinner in exchange for dessert and it worked, I think I have almost taught him to excuse himself from the table instead of just shouting “THEO DONE!” and launching himself from his chair whilst covered in crumbs, and while we were accidentally co-sleeping the other night, he asked me for a pillow while still mostly asleep and mumbled thank you mama when I gave it to him.

He also has screamed into my belly (I imagine trying to rile up his sister), insisted on reading the same book 87 times in a row, and demanded to use very specific cutlery in order to eat his dinner, but you guys, it’s all give and take, I think.

*****

In other news, I’m reading Cory Booker’s United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good and obviously I love it because I love him and his attitude and his dedication to service and that he really is always helping people, but my favorite parts so far are when he passes on advice from his dad.

Thanks for sharing your dad, Senator.

My very favorite quote so far is this one:

“No matter what the circumstances, you exercise your power, you demonstrate your worth when you decide how to react, how to act in the face of it all. If the world punches you in the gut that doesn’t define you; what you do next, that speaks your truth.”

Man, I could use that one to fall back on about 37 times a day.

Good thing I’ve got it now.

Enjoy this one chickens- let’s all hope for a little sunshine!

 

 

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five good things: april showers edition

Ok pals, it’s April now and while I am over this will-it-or-won’t-it weather, I am keeping my head down and dreaming of May flowers and grilling and lots of time “play park” as Theo likes to call it.

Let’s do five things, because I think we need some good things around here (always we do, chickens):

  1. I had brunch with my lady friends this last weekend, and it was a delight because brunch is always a delightful meal and also because there is nothing like laughing with your people. There just isn’t.
  2. My nephew Gio has learned how to roll over. This means he’s basically a grown up and it makes me want to cry a little but also, it is the first of so many fun milestones to come (sitting! standing! going to college!)
  3. JW and D painted Theo & Lady Baby’s room this weekend. It’s a minty, beachy green, which means it’s bright and fun and no longer greasy from my son’s tiny paws touching everything. We’d like her to enter this world with a clean four walls to hold her- I think that’s a fair expectation.

    I also picked it because it reminded me of our aunt Mimi’s favorite color, and it just goes without saying that a little reminder of Mimi in your babies’ bedroom makes everything sunnier- without realizing it, we painted the weekend that we lost (bad word, I know) Mimi two years ago, and so as expected, she’s always with us when we need her, I think.

  4. This clip of Bernie Sanders and his thoughts on religion. I know, I know, I know it comes across as political, but to me, it’s not.It’s just so human, and so right.  To me, anyway.
  5. I’m still on my reading kick (I mean, I guess I can stop saying that, since it’s lasted like 27 years so far), and I’ve got Corey Booker’s new book next, which I am super excited about, because of my love for/crush on/immense respect in regards to NJ’s senator.

And with that, I’m off to start this one grateful that it’s already Tuesday. That’s a good thing, chickens.

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let’s talk about feminists.

Morning, chickens!

And welcome to another week!

Today is a post about feminism.

Or like, maybe just choosing your choices.

Last Friday, I threw up this video, in which Lin-Manuel Miranda (master of my heart) so effortlessly answers “yes, of course” when Emma Watson asks him if he’s a feminist.

I loved it, obviously.

Then I read this article, coincidentally on the same day, and then I had all these thoughts that you know I have to share with you because I never can help it.

I hate when people hesitate when they’re asked if they’re feminists. Like, you know they want to say they are, but you know they’re a little afraid to say “yes,” like they might get judged.

I shamefully admit that this is how I felt when people asked if I thought gay people were okay when I was fifteen in rural Michigan.

I mean, obviously I thought that gay people were more than okay, but also, someone was about to snicker at me or roll their eyes, or maybe even be outraged.

Luckily I’ve grown to like being an outrage.

So anyway, I get why people want to pause.

I’ve been a pauser.

Or they say, “yeah, I believe men and women are equal, but I’m not a feminist.”

Yes, ma’am (or sir!), you sure are.

I know that there is a group of people that think feminism means that you think men are the worst (that’s called misandry, I know, we don’t hear that word very often), or that women who do certain things are wrong, but it’s not true.

I promise.

I also hate when I see women walking around, being judgmental about other women’s choices, because that’s not feminism. It’s actually just being shitty.

And there are people who aren’t paying enough attention and are gonna pick up on that and assume that’s the feminist message.

So here’s what feminism is, you guys:

It means I think men and women are equal. And it means that I believe, really, really hard, in your choice to do whatever makes you happy. If you want to stay at home and raise 20 babies and hang with your husband or wife, yes! If you want to ditch all relationships, run a huge business, and maybe just own a cat or dog or just yourself, yes! 

If you want to try and do both, awesome! Share your secrets, please!

Anyway, the article I cited above bothered me because essentially that woman is a feminist, she just doesn’t understand the definition (which is okay, we’re all here to learn). If you are given the opportunity to truly choose your choices and that’s what you want for other people, men and women, you’re a feminist.

There are extremists everywhere, chickens, and so next time you see someone who’s judging, or guilty of misandry, try and remember that’s what it is.

It’s not feminism.

I got to thinking about this because I’ve been thinking about bringing a lady baby into the world a lot lately (which is good, since she’s due to show up in 11 weeks), and I realized in my thought process that I think it’s just as important that Theo considers him a feminist as it is that my daughter considers herself one.

We’re all gonna be feminists in my house.

Feminists mean we’re psyched that Mama goes to work every day, because that’s what she loves, but if she didn’t, we’d be good with that too.

It means we’re cool with me keeping my last name because I love it, but that if took your husband’s name because you loved that, I think it’s awesome too. I don’t think any of it will confuse our kids, because they’re smarter than us, like a million times.

It means if Dad wants to stay home and we can afford it, cool- go for it (well really, let’s maybe talk because we have a true professional helping us to raise our babies and I’m not about to give her up, but…you get what I’m saying).

I think what it all comes down to is that we want people to have the freedom to pursue what makes them happy, and we want society to back that notion.

I want everyone to say “yes” to the question of feminism as easily as Lin does.

And with that, I’m off to choose some more life choices this morning. Enjoy it, chickens!

 

 

 

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five good things: happy to be here edition

You guys, it’s Friday. And it’s been a windy week, and I’m ready for a weekend with my people. Here are five good things to get us started.

1.This video:

Emma Watson and Lin-Manuel Miranda Freestyle

I love Lin. I love Emma. I love being a feminist. What’s not to love about this? Thank you  guys, for making everything I love (at least) kind of cool.

2. We’re headed to a fish fry tonight with Boo and the S Family, which means my favorite assortment of toddlers, teens, and adults. Also, “Fwench Fwies!”, as my son would very seriously point out.

He’s right, obviously.

3. My latest read,which is taking me longer than 2 days (a good thing, I’ve decided, as I’ve been tearing through books at a ridiculous speed) is called Wilson by A.Scott Berg, and it’s a long, very complete biography of Woodrow Wilson.

Wilson is the reason we have majors in college, was actually named Thomas, implemented Jim Crow laws (which did not turn out the way he envisioned), was the President of Princeton, wrote steamy love letters to both his wives, and also led us through World War I.

So many things I didn’t know, and I’m not even halfway done yet. If you’re into biographies about presidents (which we all know I am), I would recommend this one.

I promise to get to some fiction soon, you guys.

4. I’m scheduled for yoga and brunch with JD and KB tomorrow, which is a delight because despite the fact that we generally speak all day, every day via text message (am I ashamed? No. I need constant supervision), we haven’t all been together in one place in approximately one million years. There is no one I would  rather eat an order of table doughnuts with this weekend, you guys.

5. It’s NCAA March Madness time, chickadees. And UCONN not only squeezed their way into the tournament, but also won a game yesterday, which keeps both my hopes and my bracket alive. I also saw a commercial featuring Jim Calhoun (UCONN’s former coach) and Kevin Ollie (UCONN’s current coach and also a former player in my youth) embracing, and it gave me all the feels. I LOVE A SPORTS TOURNAMENT.

And with that, it’s time to get through one more productive office day before splitting for the weekend. Enjoy this one, chickens!

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the third third

Ok, let us talk of something else today.

Yesterday I realized that somehow, I have already hit the third trimester of Pregnancy #2,or, Lady Baby’s about to make her appearance.

I received a weekly newsletter telling me so. It also informed me that the baby is the size of a Chinese cabbage, so I marched into GB’s office so we could Google how big that really is.

Pretty big, it turns out.

These pregnancy newsletters were amazing the first time I was pregnant, but now that I keep seeing tips like “rest now while you can” and “consider taking a babymoon with your husband” I vacillate between laughing and crying.

More realistic tips would be “try not to think about the fact that in 12 short weeks you have to keep two humans alive” and “consider sending your two-year old to overnight camp for the next six years”.

I’m kidding.

Sort of.

This also meant that JW has started a Google Drive document dedicated to the needs of the new baby, because our family organizing skills are on point, and also, I sort of forgot that despite having a lot of items from when Boo showed up, I’d need a fresh supply of pacifiers and tiny diapers for the new arrival.

There’s a whole trimester to go though, chickens. I don’t want her showing up until she’s far larger than Asian produce.

And with that, I’m off to contemplate the fact the things are going to be doubly interesting in a hurry over here.

Enjoy this one, chickadees!

 

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back up and at it

Am I losing it you guys?

I feel like I’m losing it.

This primary cycle is starting to make me crazy. I’m doing my best to focus on things like cute little baby girl clothes (rompers with heart patterns help a little, I think), or reading books about societies far scarier than our present one (see The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe and/or 12 Years a Slave as examples of things that make me sicker to my stomach than Donald Trump and his followers), but it doesn’t seem to be working, because I just keep coming back to this loud, bigger-than-I-wish-for population of people who just hate whole segments of their fellow man.

COME ON HUMANS. We are better than that.

I keep trying to think of ways in which I’m jaded, but I’m still having a hard time. Yes, I am (so very obviously) white. I’m from Connecticut. I have a comfortable home and a good job, and I went to college. But then also:

I live in Chicago. It’s a segregated, often violent place with its share of problems. It’s also the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen, a place where every single day I see people of one million different ethnic and religious and economic groups (maybe slightly less) living and working together, because that’s the reality. It’s not perfect- it’s so entirely far from it, but it’s diverse. The violence makes me angry, yes, but it doesn’t make me want to hate people. It makes me want to figure out how we fix it.

I grew up in a time where college costs so much money, it’s ridiculous. I graduated 10 years ago, and I’ve got student loan payments for the next five years, still. And they’re a lot. And that’s a system that’s broken and needs to be fixed. But it doesn’t make me hate anyone, even when people tell me I’m an ungrateful millennial who doesn’t want to work hard (although I haven’t not had a job for one second since I walked out of college graduation).

I’m a woman (obvious, I think). There are people out there whose political message is that I should stay home with my babies (never, you guys, I’d be the worst) and that law should tell me what I can and can’t do with my uterus. That thinking birth control should be covered by insurance (which I pay for) means I’m somehow promiscuous and that it’s unthinkable that I should believe that we should have government supported maternity leave so that taking 12 weeks off to be with my babies isn’t so stressful (again, I’m lucky, I have the means to make up the difference). I think we can do better as a society. But this doesn’t make me hate people.

My point is, everyone has something to gripe about. It’s easy to focus on where you’re getting the short end of the stick.

I think it’s fair to get angry, chickadees. I get that people with high school educations haven’t had a raise in decades, and that people are trying to make ends meet and feed their families and pay their bills. It’s fair to be mad because change isn’t happening fast enough.

But it’s not fair to take that anger out on other Americans who are trying to do the same thing. People of different races, immigrants, Muslims- they’re not the enemy, you guys. They’re just another segment of Americans, trying to do the same thing all of us are.

Hatred is such a bad look on all of us.

And I’m exhausted by watching what I assume to be otherwise good, decent people fall prey to the easy way out. Let’s point fingers and blame other hardworking people. Let’s say it’s their fault. Let’s demonize religions or races or educated people. Let’s blame someone else. Let’s insist they just get out already, because then America will be great again.

When we try to just get people out, chickens, we have bad marks on our American history record. We have Japanese internment camps and segregation. We have trails of tears and Jim Crow laws. We have freaking slavery, you guys. Historically, hatred and oppression embarrass us. I cannot point to one single time that Americans have discriminated against a segment of our population only to look back and say, “Yeah you guys, we were right about that one.”

Right?

And so in the next weeks, I’m going to try and focus on the positive, because otherwise I’m going to go crazy, but I think we need to address this. I think we need to keep saying, not me, I don’t agree, because right now even though I know in my heart that the majority of Americans don’t believe this nonsensical rhetoric, I don’t think we’re getting loud enough about it. It’s not acceptable to let people think that it’s okay. That doesn’t make me radical. It makes me kind and decent.

And with that, I’m off to start my day, which includes the most powerful thing I can do about this election: vote in it. If you’re in Illinois, I hope you’ll join me at the ballots today.

 

 

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