Tag Archives: baby

the second time around

Let me start by saying that this is exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me, and I mean that in the nicest, most self-deprecating, kindest way to my own self.

But seriously, Palluzzi, get it together.

What happened was this.

As you may remember, when I had Theo, he was a few days late and I was in labor for one million hours, approximately. I labored at home, I went the hospital, I walked laps, I had an epidural, I had some Pitocin to get me to move faster, I met every medical professional there, I pushed for four hours, I finally had a beautiful baby like two whole days later.

And while I forgot most of the things about that first labor that traumatized me (poor JW wasn’t as lucky), what I did remember was that it just took so long.

This time around, everyone reminded me that it wouldn’t take that long. I nodded my head at them, but thinking yeah, maybe it won’t take a million hours this time, maybe it will only take like half a million hours. 

I was convinced I had time.

So last Thursday, five full days before my due date, I woke up, felt a little cramping (I googled it, this apparently is a thing that can happen before labor starts with your second baby), but decided to wrangle the boys and head to work. I got to work, finished a few things, had a meeting in which, looking back, I was likely in labor for, ate some lunch, and decided that even though I most certainly was not in labor, I was going home because I didn’t feel great. I could work from there.

That was at 12:30.

I got on the train, because like, why wouldn’t I? Once I got off, I headed to my car, noticing that these “cramps” were becoming almost rhythmic, but knowing that they weren’t labor because this felt nothing like when I was actually in labor with Boo.

I drove home, pulled out my computer and turned on some Real Housewives, and then decided that maybe a bath would help.

I climbed in, felt better for like ten minutes, and then as the “cramping” started back up, a light bulb came on, as I realized that perhaps I was actually in labor. I crawled out of the bath, put on the weirdest outfit ever, and texted JW that he should maybe come home.

Should I jump in a cab? He asked.

Maybe, I replied.

That was at 2:15.

It was at this time that I realized that there was no perhaps, and that 2 things were certain:

  1. I was in labor
  2. I was definitely going to die.

You’re not going to die, my very wise friend Michaela’s voice piped into my head. She’s a labor and delivery nurse, and she’s super calm, and she’s always right.

She basically had told me this would happen.

She was also at that moment on a plane to China and so remained only a voice in my head.

JW walked through the door a little after 2:30, and I got into the car. He drove as fast as he could- straight into a Cubs’ traffic jam.

We better win the World Series this year.

By the time we got onto Lakeshore Drive, it was clear to me that I was not only in labor, but pretty much actively delivering a child. I told JW we weren’t going to make it to the hospital, and he called 911 and pulled off the highway.

A fire truck showed up and tried to ask me some questions as I yelled through some contractions and then an ambulance showed up. Four burly men threw me on a stretcher, loaded me into the ambulance, and headed to St. Joseph, a lovely facility that also happens to not be my hospital.

During this time the EMTs told me not to push while I alternated between screaming and laughing at them because chickens, you can’t just not push when a baby is coming out of you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, even if they’re medical professionals and you’re just a lady wearing yoga pants and yelling like a maniac.

We got to the hospital, thankfully, and I squeezed my eyes shut and headed into the ER on a stretcher. We made a move for the elevator to head to labor & delivery, when I realized that my child was about to be born in an elevator and told them it was too late for that and to please turn around because the baby was coming (this is the polite version I’m sure, but I can’t actually remember the words that came out of my mouth).

Ellie was born one push and thirty seconds later in the ER, and while technically a doctor made it downstairs to witness her birth, I wouldn’t say that anyone really delivered her, per se.

She’s an independent woman. She delivered herself.

That was at 3:30.

Ellie is perfect, obviously, and she actually showed up in much better shape than her brother did, likely because she did it on her own terms.

The people at St. Joseph were a delight, and while it would have been preferable to have my own doctor there, you know, things turned out great and I’m feeling good five days later, to which I credit my not-on-purpose quick and all-natural and drug-free birth.

The moral of the story is twofold, you guys:

  1. Always listen to Michaela (I already knew this, I don’t know why I never learn).
  2. You maybe don’t have the time you think you have.

It was a little scary and a lot dramatic, but chickens, look at what we got for our trouble:


Welcome to the world, Eleanor Grace. Thanks for letting us know who the boss is.


Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Near Disaster

Quick check in

I know, I know, I know. I’m so remiss and also, behind, but man, you guys, I mostly want to laugh with Boo and sleep through the next four weeks and some change, even though I am deeply aware that this is not an option.

Lady Baby reminds me of this with a swift kick to the ribs regularly.

In preparation for welcoming my second little baby into this world, I’m doing things like making lists of what to take to the hospital (apparently I remember nothing from the first time, and so I did some googling. You know what was on one list? White Christmas lights for ambient lighting. C’mon, internet), going to yoga because I believe it will keep me sane, and reading an insane amount because last time I had a baby, I became illiterate and spent three months watching I Love Lucy (I do not regret this, if you were wondering).

We also redid the closet in the children’s bedroom so that we can fit all of the pink outfits that somehow have accumulated in my home. I thought I was being Highly Reasonable, but you know, those are just words that don’t really describe me.

Pretty much, once we hit June over here, she’s welcome to show up at any point. We may not have a crib or a vision of what our lives look like with two little ones, but I put my money on crazy, full, and incredibly exciting.

In the meantime, I’m back to my 80 pages per day quota on Alexander Hamilton, which is keeping me calm during this election season by bringing to my attention the fact that nobody ever gets along and everyone’s always been bat shit crazy.

Don’t ask me why this calms me, but it just does.

Enjoy the sunshine, chickens!


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Filed under Chicago, Good Reads, Reflections

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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Filed under Chicago, Reflections

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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Filed under Chicago, Good Reads, Reflections

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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What’s shaking.

Thanks, chickens, for all your congratulations on our addition to our little family.

We’re so excited for Lady (baby) to join us soon-ish, and Theo has decided that either Abby or Mommy are acceptable names, so thank God we’ve got that taken care of already.

I’m just hoping she chooses to be a tomboy, because otherwise JW’s going to have to learn how to french braid and apply make-up, as surely we all know I’m doomed in those departments.

My dad has been known to call me his only son, you guys. I can’t help who I am.

However, who I am has not kept me from purchasing floral onesies and pink leggings in advance, because honestly, I can’t look at another pair of overalls.

Even though Boo, you are very cute in overalls.

Other things going on around here:

  1. I managed to finish Three Wishes (another Liane Moriarty title) and The Wright Brothers (David McCullough at his shortest, which was great, since I could tote the book on the el with me) last week, which was productive and keeping me on track to continue 2016 as the Year of Literacy.
    I’m trying to front load my reading because during my last maternity leave, I basically became illiterate, I think because my brain needed every single cell for keeping my baby alive, and so just in case that happens again and I find myself watching Roseanne and I Love Lucy exclusively for 12 weeks, all the books need to happen now.

    It’s a survival tactic.

  2. I’m turning 32 this week, which is amazing and funny and not at all as terrifying as I thought it would be.

    I had one scary moment in which I decided that I was nearly 40, but then I remembered how much happened between 22 and 30, and realized I’ve got all kinds of time for cool things and disasters to occur before I hit 40.

    Also, my thirties have been really rather fun and eventful so far, so I’ll just run with them. I’m not someone who ever had (or has) great expectations about how everything’s supposed to unfold, so it makes it pretty easy for me to just take things as they come at me.

  3. Jen and I have still been at the yoga, albeit a beginners’ class because sometimes you have to be willing to start over. This week our delightful and quirky teacher told J “You’re really flexible, actually” and looked surprised when I hopped up into an inversion, and so I’m hoping that we’ve actually convinced her that we were yogis, once upon a time and we’re not just liars on the mat.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to get this one started. Enjoy Mardi Gras, and please, eat some packzis for me (as I was remiss and didn’t locate any in time- lady baby, please forgive me)!


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Filed under Chicago, Good Reads, Reflections, Uncategorized

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…


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

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


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.”


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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Filed under Did I really do that?

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.


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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Filed under Did I really do that?

stringing thoughts into one.

You guys, it’s tough to keep it all together this summer but it’s only because it’s full of so many activities, all of which are a Pretty Good Time.

Currently, my main objective is keeping Boo from being one huge bruise (spoiler alert: I’m failing, he just tripped over a truck into a table) and wondering what it says about my parenting skills if I send him to daycare with coffee stains on his shirt (he likes a sip of black coffee: it’s adorable, and also, it can’t be worse than soda or kool-aid).

Aside from that, JW and I are finishing up The Good Wife, Frankie & Grace, and I’ve accumulated a small library on my nightstand.

After reading approximately 1000 books on various wars, I’ve decided to take a quick break so that I stop crying on the train in the morning.

It’s not a good look, chickadees.

Up this weekend: farm marketing it, especially after JW has cleared up the matter of whether or not he likes rainbow chard, and hitting up All the Festivals, because that’s the time of the year it is.

And with that, I’m off to explain to my toddler why it’s important to wash your face and also why he doesn’t need to assist me in completing my morning blog entry.

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

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Filed under Chicago, Good times