Tag Archives: 2014

five good things: homeward bound edition

Chickadees, we’ve almost hit the end of the week. I’m currently (hopefully, fingers crossed) on a flight in the direction of Chicago, with one more big meeting to take me into Sunday, but I’ve got lots of positive things to say about all of this, so let’s stick with a rose-colored lense. And with that, five good things, because I haven’t done it in awhile.

1. This is the child who I am cruising through the air to this morning. I need not say one more thing about why that’s good.

photo (4)


2. While I had to fly five hours across the country on Tuesday, I got to spend it with people who I liked in a place where I didn’t have to wear a coat. In December. Ditto on my Saturday in the office this week- long days, good company. You guys, work should be fun. We have to do it anyway, right?

3. My baby sister got married in September. If you want to check out some of the gorgeous pictures from that amazing day, click here. Also, please only focus on my sister and pay no mind to me, since I’m mostly making this face:


It was one of my favorite days ever, I promise. I just can’t be trusted to be appropriate in any situation.

4. It’s Thursday, which means I get to wake up to a new episode of Serial. Last weekend I was making dinner with Ky and Jen and after too many bottles of wine while massaging kale (it’s a thing, you guys), I randomly shouted, “BUT WHAT ABOUT ASIA MCCLAIN?!” because I cannot stop thinking about this. Because justice, chickadees.

5. It is 100%, without a doubt, Christmas time in the city. And amen to that, because we can all use a little comfort and joy.

And holiday beverages, too.

Keep it easy, chickens.

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staying out of the end of the spectrum

Morning chickadees!

Two for two.

I like the sound of that.

Today I would like to to discuss with you some interesting things that I have learned upon my entrance to virtual mothers’ groups.

Because I don’t have tons of friends with babies (my pals and I are basically raising T as a group project), I joined a bunch of these groups so I could lurk and see what other people do and get a sense for maybe what I should be doing.

Even though, to be honest, I’ve always just done what I wanted, in the end.

So after being immersed in a handful of these forums, I have noticed the following:

Mothers in these groups generally fall into one of two camps.

Camp #1: My life is perfect. I stay home and make crafts (or I work and seamlessly juggle it all), I love my perfect husband, and my baby is well behaved and eats only organic food and never watches television and also will be breastfed through puberty. These people are terribly frightening to me.

Camp #2: My life is in shambles. Having children is a cross between insanity and hell, and I am being real with you. My house is an absolute mess, I haven’t cooked in a decade, and my child chews on electrical cords. My kids watch sixteen hours of television a day and I can’t stand my husband BUT GODDAMMIT IT IS ALL WORTH IT. These people also frighten me, because I can’t believe things can really always be that bad.

But then, I only have the one baby.

Both of these camps scare the shit out of me, because I’m afraid they maybe are real, but deep down, I have to believe they are both lies.

I mean, as someone who’s only been tagged into this stage of life for a little over nine months, I know I’m unqualified in ways I don’t even know about yet, but it seems to me that my experience is as follows:

Theo is 100% the most interesting thing JW and I have ever done, despite the fact that billions of people have done this before us. Boo is funny and smart and looks just like his dad, which is definitely a plus. I don’t really have any steadfast parenting techniques, except I’d like to think I’ll try not to yell all the time and also always keep him fed, but I can’t commit to either of those on a 100% basis.

On occasion, even I forget snacks.

Also I love yelling.

Sometimes, I admit, when he’s teething or melting down because he can’t eat my iPhone, I look at him, and I think If it weren’t for you, tiny human, I could be at happy hour right now.

And then I pour myself a glass of wine, and I consider it a compromise.

Fake it ’til you make it, my friends.

And stay out of the absolutes, I implore you.


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spark of madness

Chickens, I have been remiss.

Work is crazy, having a baby is crazy, trying to wring out every little ounce of summer sunshine is crazy.

It’s all beautiful.

I’m writing today, because last night JW told me that Robin Williams died, and I know I’m not the only one who feels so sad about this.

I am a silly person.

I consider it a gift though, even when it gets me in trouble or I say the wrong thing, or drive someone nuts.

I’ve never really been embarrassed by the lengths I will go to so someone will laugh.

So I will laugh.

Robin Williams was a silly person. He told jokes, he made faces, he did voices.

He made people laugh.

His silliness always made me feel like maybe it was okay for me to follow suit.

My favorite movie (I’m not ashamed to say) is Mrs. Doubtfire.

It always has been. Something about the ridiculousness of a hairy little man dressed as an old lady for the sake of his kids touched me and cracked me up at the same time.

Robin Williams got that you could be silly with a serious message.

Or just silly, because guys, it’s a short life and we all need to laugh.

The world this morning is a little more serious, and we’re all a little bit worse off for it.

Last night I watched Good Will Hunting because I wasn’t ready to watch something that made me laugh too hard.

But today’s a new day, and we could all use a belly laugh.

Let’s work on that one together, chickadees.


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keeping us guessing

Good morning everyone!

It’s only 7:40, but JW and I have already been up for over two hours on our shared day off, since Boo has decided that he’s into rising early.

I can’t blame him, there’s a lot to do.

JW asked if we should watch Divergent this morning, but I proclaimed that coffee and a movie was something I wasn’t quite into, as of yet.


So I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before (because I am generally sleep deprived), but one of the hand-me-down items we received from sweet baby (NOT A BABY, he is ONE!) Sam was a bouncer, which we’ve been strapping T into since he was born when we need a couple minutes with both hands.

He’s really into it right now because he’s big enough to make it bounce pretty intensely.


Here he is, bouncing away, with a mustache.

As you do.

Anyway, while we pretty much love the bouncer, it’s also become a source of both cursing and laughing for the last five months.

We’re tired and we’re cracked up.

We keep running into the damn thing, tripping over it, and knocking into it.

It could be nowhere near me, and yet, I will somehow find a way to fall across it.

Sometimes with T in my arms.

Thankfully, generally solo.

Last week, I woke up in the middle of the night to feed Boo, looked at it, acknowledged its presence, and immediately stubbed my toe on it so hard I thought I might have broken it.

We move it around the condo, attempting to get it out of the way, and then breaking into hysterics when inevitably, someone (usually JW) manages to go flying after smacking into it not two minutes later.

I will not be sad when he’s too big to fit into that thing and it has to go in a closet.

Where I will likely trip over it.

Yesterday, I relayed to JW that while Theo is still rather small, he finally fits in his exersaucer.

photo (37)

His feet dangle out the bottom, but that is of no matter.

JW admitted that T is adorable in this new toy, and then observed “Well, it’s another thing to run into.”

Best to have a variety of joys in your lives, chickadees.

Enjoy this one! 

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everything is awesome

Boo and I are playing very quietly this morning, because of sleeping teens.

Let me back that up.

Just a few nights ago, I was lamenting to JW that I hadn’t seen my teen pals in awhile. They’re very busy, even though it’s summer, and you know, I have to be asleep by ten.

Cut to their dad randomly calling and asking if we could supervise an emergency sleepover due to an unexpected work trip.

Cue a night of chicken tacos and The Lego Movie, which is seriously hysterical.

We’ve been watching cartoons together since they were 6 and 7, and happily, they continue to indulge me.

It was my kind of night, and I even willingly stayed up past my bedtime watching old episodes of Lost and chatting.

This morning, Boo’s happily playing on his mat in his room while I relay this news to you, and two teenagers snooze on my couches.

I’m in a pretty good place here, chickadees.


T and I had a fun first day off in a series of three yesterday. It involved: Raffi, two walks, singing, lots of rolling over, and a three hour nap.

Which meant reading my newest library book and episodes of I Love Lucy for mom.

Who knows how we’ll manage to top it today.

Also exciting: Boo and I started practicing the tripod method to work on sitting up. I find that I describe his every move in yoga terms (he’s mastered cobra!), and this new feat will be no different.


Sorry it’s blurry, but it’s an action shot. Boo is starting to get the hang of it, but I confess to you that immediately after this picture was snapped, he threw himself backwards and knocked his head on the ground.

He seems no worse for the wear, in case you were wondering.

In the Palluzzi/Wagenschutz family, we don’t let much get us down.

Enjoy this one, chickens!


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Filed under Chicago, Good times

taking a slow ride around this week.

Morning, chickadees! 

We just finished up a beautiful, low key weekend over here.

Which was exactly what we needed after last weekend/week’s craziness.

Lucky for us, it didn’t end with two days only.

A’s taking the week off (in Miami, no less!) so JW and I split up the week so we could hang out with Boo.

Which is way more fun than heading into work, if you ask me.

This weekend we took walks, returned to the Farm market (and bought everything we could get our hands on), drank white wine spritzers, and laughed a lot at how cute Boo is.

He also used the weekend to perfect his rollover, which means we will never be safe again- T’s on the move and wants everyone to know it.

Also now I spend all of my time just watching him flip over.

I’ve always been easily amused, you guys.

And with that, I’m off to grab T from his morning nap and get to playing, round 2 of this morning.

Way better than meetings and spreadsheets, if you ask me.

Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it, chickens.

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and the circle, it goes round and round

Morning, chickens.

And again, my apologies for being flaky lately.

There are so many things I want to share with you, such as:

1. Theo’s five months old today. I can’t decide if I’m all like “time flies” or like “I can’t believe you’ve only been part of our lives for five months.” Instead, let us simply look at the evidence of this adorable little guy who we’re lucky to call our son.



2. This past weekend we celebrated: Jennie’s wedding, Theo’s baptism (my best friends J&C served as godparents, which means they’re officially in our little family even though who cares about being official when you love people that much), my grandparents’ anniversary, and my nephew Sam’s first birthday.

It was a whirlwind celebration that reminds me how grateful I should be every single day just for waking up, breathing, and existing in the life I’ve got. Here are the oldest and the youngest people in my family, since I can’t fit all the people I loved this weekend in one little frame.


At Theo’s christening, there were five little kids receiving the sacrament, and when it was our turn, I walked up to the font and looked down and man, there were a lot of people there to celebrate my baby (almost embarrassing, but you know me. No sense of shame). And you know what, no matter what I do or don’t think about the Catholic church, that was a lesson in what an amazing tribe T has. That’s the picture I would have liked to take from that day.

3. I’m in Denver this week (one night only) for my first work trip away from Theo. And it’s not so terrible, except that nothing is as fun as hanging out with him and I wish I was doing that instead.

Also, I packed lightly, which means my only extra shirt of course has some kind of weird coffee stain on it I didn’t notice before I left.

My outfit is questionable. I’m hoping people are kind (but not caring too much if they’re not).

4. I’m a reading machine this summer. After T was born, I was exhausted and nervous about taking care of a baby, so I filled any empty moments with episodes of I Love Lucy instead of reading (I do not regret this decision, for the record), and I worried that I would never love reading again.

Said the girl who once devoted a diary entry to the injustice of a canceled book fair.

Anyway, I’m back at it now, thanks to a new mobile app from the library and one million titles I’d like to read. My most recent accomplishments: Delicious by Ruth Reichl (into it, even if it was a little cheesy), My Name is Memory (my cousin Shelly recommended it to me, and it’s by the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants lady, and it was a good love and life story),  Salt, Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (this made me want to forage for nuts and seeds, but in a good way), and Eleanor and Park (a YA book about the 80s and tough families and love, and I adored it).

This is just a sampling, but man, you guys, I’m overwhelmed by all the things I want to read. WHAT ELSE should be on my list?

5. I’m going to do better at writing. So many hysterical nuggets have been happening around here, and I better capture them now, I think.

And with that, I’m off to dry my hair and compose myself as someone who’s not headed to meetings in a questionable outfit.

Something things never change, chickadees.

Enjoy this one!



Filed under Uncategorized

It will be great.

A thought on things, chickens, after a lovely weekend (heads up: any weekend is a good weekend, especially when it involves fish tacos + ribs + my adorable baby).

This came to me a couple of days ago, and I sort of threw it aside, but I think it’s worth sharing.

Once upon a time, when JW and I were 23 (well, I was 23- that rascal was probably only 22), he moved to my beloved Chicago from Grand Rapids.

Prior to this we had been dating long distance for six months or so, and prior to that, we’d been pretending we wouldn’t end up together for all time for the past four years or so.


When JW moved here, we were obviously both super excited and also terrified, because sure it was fun to get together and go out to dinner and hang out in bars for lovely, too-fast weekends, but what would it be like when we actually lived in the same place?

Gulp, we thought.

It turned out to still be great, after working out a few kinks (kinks are part of the whole thing, though), and as we relaxed our stringent rules about how often we could see each other and for how long (let’s be honest, he was basically my third roommate by the end of the summer), we started to talk about moving in together.

We were babies.

I don’t recommend this for everyone, but we lucked out, so basically, do what you think feels right, chickadees. The worst that can happen is that you’re wrong, and I’m wrong about something at least once a day. It’s not so bad.

Anyway, we started to talk about all of the weird, seemingly boring things that we could do when we lived together, like laundry and grocery shopping and laying on the floor doing nothing.

We should do laundry on Wednesdays, JW said seriously. It’ll be great.

I laughed, because that’s always what I do when JW gets serious.

I tucked that away, and we moved in together and did laundry basically never because we were still children who couldn’t manage to do more than make it to work on time and eat a lot of chicken wings at Mystic Celt.

Fast forward one hundred years until right now.

Or a few Wednesdays ago, anyway.

I got home from work, kissed my husband and my baby, and we ate dinner and hung out and then JW threw in some laundry.

And in that small, actually-sort-of-irritating move (because now there was laundry to fold), I couldn’t help but think about all those years ago and all those things that seemed not-too-exciting but actually help to make up the thread of a life that I love so very much.

And you know what, chicks?

He was right.

It is pretty great.




Filed under Reflections

a walk on the ocean

What a crazy week this is shaping up to be, chickens.

Before I get swallowed up by it, I thought I’d make you privy to a few things going on around here:

1. My sister, her pals, and various family members are rolling into town for Theo’s christening this weekend. We’re also hosting a shower for my baby sis, and doing a bachelorette party in her honor.

Pray for me, chickadees. I’m mostly excited to have four days off in a row filled with family and visitors, but I’m also concerned I’ll be running on empty by the time we get to Boo’s festivities.

I cannot be hungover in pictures of my baby’s christening.

That’s my mantra.

2. Last night, JC, Ky and I headed to Ravinia to see Toad the Wet Sprocket and Counting Crows, r as I like to call it, a 90s delight. Generally, we have a lovely spread of food and cocktails, but the three of us headed in from separate directions, which meant the following things happened: I missed a train and brought warm, 7-11 wine, JC had to park at the botanical gardens and came bearing baguettes, and Ky staked out a spot and hung by herself for over an hour.

We toasted to the miraculous fact that we all managed to get there before the concert started, and then put fruit in my 7-11 wine to make it slightly more acceptable.

I couldn’t ask for better friends.

3.  Because I was headed to Ravinia last night, I was schlepping around a different pump that had a battery pack (yes, I sometimes have to pump in bathroom stalls, it’s just my new glamorous life) and I had a malfunction of some kind early in the day.

I have no further details on how it happened, but basically, I’ve injured my shoulder in an attempt to produce food for my son.

I’m not sure if this is hysterical or horrifying.

It probably depends on who you’re talking to.

And with that, I’m off to finish this day of working-from-home and get on the road to hang with some clients in Rosemont tonight, because this week just won’t quite.

Enjoy the sunshine, chicks!


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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Good times

rolling into chaos

Chickens, it’s Friday.

And sunny.

And  I’m typing with a wiggly, wobbly four-month old in my lap.

And listening to a song called “Hot Dog.”

It’s a good life.

Photo on 2014-07-11 at 07.18 #3

Here’s a strange, washed out photo of Theo and I, trying to figure out if Photobooth is something that might be more fun with a baby.

Spoiler alert: almost everything is more fun with a baby.

Now if only he could help me with my photo settings so we don’t look so ghostly.

Up this weekend: Boo’s first trip to Ravinia (a double header, because that’s how we roll, you know, a little bit on the crazy side), more visitors in town, finally fitting in some yoga, and getting ready for next week, which is an epic weddingshowerbachelorettepartytheoschristening kind of party.

We’re so excited to see how many good things we can jam into one weekend.

My guess is: all of them.

Enjoy this sunshine, if you’ve got it, chickadees, and enjoy the weekend headed swiftly in your direction.

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Filed under Good times