a girl or a gang

Chickens, at this moment, I’m on a plane to my first work trip of 2016 and my first work trip with my new gig.

And I’m going to…

Orlando.

Because why wouldn’t I be, oh home-away-from-home?

Luckily, it’s warm and an easy flight, and so I cannot complain.

Anyway.

On Monday JW and I headed into the city for an appointment, because oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I’m having another baby.

Don’t get mad, you guys. I hate cutesy baby announcements (it’s not you, I’m not judging you, I just have a heart of stone) and I like to keep it private because although I love the kind of attention where you’re all laughing at my jokes, I hate the kind of attention where people feel like it’s time to give me advice and tell me what to do and stare at my stomach.

I hate when people tell me what to do.

And avert your eyes, please.

I’d actually rather go into hiding like it’s the middle ages for the duration of my pregnancy and come back with a baby to show for it.

I know I’m a weirdo.

So yesterday we went in for an ultrasound, and to find out what kind of baby we’d be bringing home in June, and I admit, I was nervous.

We’ve had what amounts to a pack of boys born around here lately, and although I am perfectly happy with the idea of another crazy little man child running around my home, the numbers are mounting, and my friends and I were concerned that one more would mean we had an official gang on our hands.

Worse than the pressure to contain the violence of Chicago was the fact that mostly as a joke, I asked Theo what kind of baby he wanted, a sister or a brother.

He’s not even two. I was sure he had no idea what I was talking about and just wanted me to hand over more goldfish crackers and be quiet so he could hear Elmo singing about his moves.

He looked at me like I was the biggest idiot he’d ever met, and very clearly said, “A sister.”

Shit.

Guessing this was a fluke, I continued to ask him the same question for the next two days, to which he provided the same answer every single time.

At one point he became more specific, letting me know that his sister’s name would be Abby (I assume after his second-favorite Sesame Street character).

At one point I switched it up (I know, I’m very clever) and asked if he was looking for a girl baby or a boy baby to come into our home.

It was then that he decided his mother truly was a moron, and basically rolled his eyes as he said “a girl” and continued smashing things in the living room.

So chickens, I admit, I have finally lost my mind, because as I walked into the ultrasound room, my biggest concern was letting down my toddler and producing the wrong kind of sibling.

It’s hard enough for me to reset expectations when I break the news that we can’t have cookies for dinner, how am I to submit him to a life of living with the wrong kind of baby?

Of course, Baby #2 made us wait as long as possible to figure out what gender it was. The tech told us the baby was “modest” (Let me also lay out for your that this was the same tech who told us that Theo was breech, so when the baby was heads down, she told us so, then screeched “FOR NOW!” and cackled. Gee, thanks), and said that she thought that was a good thing.

Finally, she pointed to a blurry place on the screen, and said, you see this (we nodded, even though you can’t tell what anything is in an ultrasound, you just lie), and then told us that we were, in fact, having a girl.

I sighed in relief.

JW almost fainted, I think.

I’ll let someone else tip the scales in favor of our tribe’s baby gang.

In the meantime, our little girl shows up June 7 (or thereabouts, anyway).

We’re excited to meet our next big adventure!

 

 

 

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Forehead to the floor

So, as I previously mentioned, I’m back into the yoga practice.

Or trying to be.

I promise not to make this a blog about yoga. I’ve been reading some archives, and every time I get obsessed with some kind of fitness kick (which is basically always), everyone gets dragged along for the ride.

A potentially boring ride, I see now.

Anyway, I will mention this new foray because obviously I do not have the luxury of all the time in the world this yoga go-around, which means I can get to class on the weekends, and then to my mat in the midst of toys and books at home a couple nights a week.

My how things have changed, chickens.

So I’ve been trying to squeeze in these 15-20 minutes practices during Theo’s bath, but last night I heard him proclaim “All done!” way before I was ready to get into Savasana (otherwise known as lay on your back and pretend it’s nap time).

Since half the reason I’m back into yoga is to get back into a go with the flow mentality, I decided to roll with it, and when Boo came out, saw me, and demanded I take off his pajamas (I don’t know, you guys, maybe footie pajamas aren’t good for your downward dog?), I let it happen.

Then he pulled out his yoga mat (yes, he has a yoga mat. When I had him, my yoga studio sent it, which was amazing and adorable), and started mimicking me.

JW started taking pictures.

It was yoga with a crowd.

While there are over 20 photos of this hysterical practice, this is the only one I can show you because I don’t need the world to see what I look like in happy baby pose.

This is more for you than for me.

nikkibooyoga.jpg

What we didn’t get a picture of was my favorite part, where the yoga instructor places her hands in prayer, says Namaste and bows, and Theo touched his head to the mat.

Yoga’s about more than flexibility and breathing, it turns out. It’s about appreciating what you’ve got, and what I’ve got, my friends, is pretty cute.

Enjoy this one!

 

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Filed under Chicago, Yoga

I invented that one.

You guys, a cold has fallen upon my house.

And probably all of your houses too, because it’s winter and this is the stage in winter during which it is certainly safe to say:

Winter, you suck.

You know what else sucks? Trying to convince your pretty-much-two-year-old that he should rest and also that he should, please, please, please let you wipe his nose.

This usually ends in one of three ways:

  1. He makes a run for the couch and bounds up on it, belly first, smearing his snotty nose into the furniture.
  2. He rummages around in the cargo hold of his ride-on bus, pulls out a dirty pink washcloth that I thought I took from him weeks ago, wipes his nose, and then rubs the washcloth on his head while laughing uncontrollably.
  3. He points his finger at me, makes a face that is basically a snarl and that I’m very familiar with because I invented it, kid, and then yells “Mama, stop!”

Children are a blessing you guys.

The main thing is, even when they’re doing these kinds of things it is important to show your dominance and wipe their noses anyway, even though you’re terrified of them and actually are considering letting them live their lives as running, snotty faucets, because they can smell your fear.

In the meantime, clementines, water, and soup are the only prescription I have for beating the winter cold, and in conjunction, the winter toddler terrorist.

My advice is survivalist chickens, because that’s really the only end goal I’ve got.

Enjoy the sunshine!

 

 

 

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Five good things: good morning, beautiful

Man, I’ve missed five good things. It needs no introduction, so let’s get to it.

  1. It occurred to me earlier this week that since I’ve been off the scene awhile, some of you may have missed my intense Hamilton obsession. If you are living under a rock and have never heard of this amazing musical, you should check it out. My baby sister and all her friends are indulging me by going with me in March to see it in NYC. In case you were wondering, there is nothing better than a musical based on a founding father where the music is all rooted in hip hop (THERE ARE CABINET RAP BATTLES, YOU GUYS). It.is.amazing, and also, you can find it on Spotify, for free. And no, I’m not willing to admit how much I paid for tickets.
  2. Speaking of Spotify, I’m currently obsessed with its Discover Weekly mix, which is usually right on in getting me through the work day. This morning it greeted me with a Weezer cover and a song called “Good morning, beautiful” and so I know it really knows me.
  3. The weather this week in Chicago is above freezing, which means only a few layers. I’d be wearing even less of them, but Boo insists that we dress in the same exact number of layers before heading out, and so I have no choice but to obey when he points to my head and says “Mama, hat.”
  4. February is coming up, and it’s a big month around here. Birthdays for my grandma, myself, Boo, and significant progress toward the end of winter. It’s a cold month, but it’s full of little celebrations to move us along to a sunnier set of days.
  5. I wouldn’t be my nerdy self if I didn’t mention that I have declared 2016 the year of literacy even though I read every year and that I am currently using a combination of my book club, the library, and Goodreads to conquer all kind of titles while it freezes outside. My favorite at the moment is Liane Moriarty books for when I want to read fast and easy, and also I loved Sarah Vowell’s Lafayette in the Somewhat United States because as mentioned in #1, I’m very into the Revolutionary War right now, and also Vowell makes history fun. Read on, you guys- TV is pretty boring right now anyway, and football’s almost over.

And with that’s I’m off to get through another wintry day. Enjoy the sunshine, chickadees!

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Pick up where you left off

Two for two, chickens.

Don’t expect this to stick. I have a toddler who insists that we spend my only free half hour a day together holding hands and watching the “Choo Choo” and even though I wish I could fire bomb Thomas and his Tank Engine, I’m obsessed with the aforementioned toddler.

Anyway.

This one’s short. So last week I was rereading this article that is very poignant and important and about how crucial it is to have a tribe of people to get you through all the messiness that is life, and I got all choked up and sent it to my very own tribe because I hate being the only one crying, and I decided that everyone should read it (everyone being the 22 people who read my blog, but that’s a wide enough net for this chick):

HOW I (SORT OF) MANAGE DONALD TRUMP AND THE REST OF THE BULLSHIT.

It doesn’t really have anything to do with Donald Trump, so if you’re as sick of him as I am, you can still click and be safe.

My favorite lines, I think, are these ones:

Each week when I ask “What can I bring?” or read “My house tomorrow, 5:45pm,” I know soon I’ll be at a table with friends who are just friends because we are friends. If that makes sense to you, you are a fucking blessed human.

*****

People, I never tell you what to do, but I’m telling you this: Get yourself a crew. Find them. Show up. Cook some food. A lot. Pick up where you fucking left off. 

I think it’s right, chickadees. I think it’s exactly what we all need. If you have a tribe, get at them. If you don’t, make one up, it’s winter and you’re not doing anything else, anyway.

Man, I love when people have the right idea.

Enjoy the sunshine, chickens.

 

 

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Come back, kid.

Listen, guys.

I’m back.

I’ve been taking some time over the past six months to reflect and retract and figure some shit out.

And I came to the conclusion that  you’ll never get all your shit figured out.

That is totally okay.

But I missed you guys (I missed it all being out on in the world, because even though JW is constantly reminding me that you don’t have to tell everyone, everything, you know, he also was the one who told me this week you know you haven’t written in your blog in months and so I know that a) he’s sending me mixed messages and b) he know perfectly well that I do need to tell everyone everything.

So here’s the short list of what’s changed since I last told you everything (the abridged version):

I got a new job, JW got a new job. Theo’s still not pulling his weight. I became briefly obsessed with Donald Trump in a way that was funny at first, but now it’s not funny, because he’s the worst. My best friend gave birth to a little boy so beautiful that I can’t believe how lucky I am to be his auntie. We finished out 2015 with this huge burst of loss and life in my tribe of most important people, and you guys, there’s nothing out there to make you feel more grounded than equal measures of loss and life happening to people you love. At first I tried to even it all out, you know, take the good and bad and average it into something okay, but I decided that’s kind of bullshit. As my very wise cousin M has said, you have to feel your feelings, and so I am trying harder in 2016 to do that.

Even when it’s terrible.

Because sometimes it’s amazing.

I have been a little overwhelmed as of late with all of the terrible things going on in the world (the big World and my small world) lately, and so in addition to feeling my feelings I am trying to take deep breaths and look around at what’s good, and when that fails, I’m eating french fries and tickling Boo and giving all my money to Syrian refugee babies.

Jen and I went back to yoga after a long absence last weekend, and after struggling through an hour and getting angry about it, she reminded me that we have created life since we last practiced regularly and maybe we should go easy on ourselves.

She’s right, as usual.

So that’s where I am and what I’ve been up to. Right now I can’t promise that I’ll write every day (or that when I do write it will be worth reading), but I think like making it back to the mat, making it back here might be a struggle because I haven’t been practicing but worth it because I love it so much.

I do promise that I still know that so many things are funny and good, and mostly I’ll be talking about that because I think it’s what’s important.

Stick to what’s important, and the rest will shake itself out, I think.

Thanks for having me back, chickadees.

 

 

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in it for the long haul

I’m totally unreliable around here and not willing to apologize for it, but today is an exciting day for me.

Twenty years ago exactly, I moved to Clinton, CT, a little shore town where I would only end up living for less than four years. I lived there through middle school and the beginning of high school, and as we all know, these are probably the most awkward, painful, funny, and formative years of your childhood.

When I moved away to Michigan a few years later, I was pretty much sure that my parents had ruined my only chances at me keeping my very best friends. I remember dramatically wishing that I would have the opportunity to have lifelong pals, and knowing that my chances had just been shot because how are fifteen-year olds supposed to stay friends 1,000 miles away?

We didn’t even have Facebook, you guys.

TWENTY (HOW HAS IT BEEN TWENTY YEARS!?) later, my BFF Ky lives literally down the street from me in Chicago. I just got back from a trip to stand next to my beautiful friend Laura while she was married to her husband, and I spent the morning after the wedding watching Boo play with my funny, crazy pal Kristen’s first daughter, Koralyn.

We did it, you guys.

I’m sorry (again), Mom & Dad.

20 years is a long time, you guys. It’s like college x five, or Boo’s life x 10ish, or like 1 million episodes of Dawson’s Creek. It’s enough time to watch hundreds of movies, laugh until we’re crying for hours on end, or play flashlight tag a few dozen times. These ladies and I can talk for hours after not seeing each other for a year, and it a) doesn’t matter, no one’s keeping score of who called who last and b) doesn’t change a thing about how much we love each other.

We have watched each other graduate high school and college, get new jobs, get more education, fall down and screw up, do really awesome things, meet amazing people, meet terrible people, hold each other up when things are awful, and be proud of each other when things are great.

We’re pretty amazing, you guys.

So on this anniversary of friendship, I’d just like to say that I’m proud of us for knowing what’s important. For summer trips to Connecticut and Michigan, for visits to Chicago and Boston, for knowing that cell phone long distance in the early 2000s was free after 9:00PM and on weekends, and for being my friends despite my 20 full years of being the weirdest person you guys know.

I can’t wait to see what we do next, you guys. Here’s hoping the next two decades are as interesting as the last (spoiler alert: of course they will be).

lmeswedding

P.S. The traditional gift for one’s 20th anniversary is China. In lieu of being normal people, Ky and I will be having Chinese food to celebrate. xoxo.

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Filed under Reflections