Tag Archives: Chicago

five good things: even though it’s monday edition

Morning, chickadees! It was a beautiful, beautiful weekend that went really way too fast, and I’m still buzzing off the fumes, so I refuse to let Monday get me down. Here are some good things to get us through the day:

  1. I’m no longer illiterate. Whew. I was a little worried about it, but I finished The Nest last week which was the perfect New York-y story to get me back into the pages of books. Now I’m reading The Glass Castlewhich I never read when it came out, and man, it’s a fucked up memoir, but it’s also fast moving and interesting and great train fare. I’m back at it, and I’m so glad.
  2. Monday means a new Presidential podcast, and we’re already up to LBJ.  Since I know this podcast has an ending that’s coming fast and furiously, I’ve been binge listening to the Moth, which my coworkers at SB told me to listen to a million times, and I never listened because I’m the worst. I’m listening now, and I’m hooked, because who doesn’t love a good story?
  3.  This weekend was baby-heavy, just the way I like it. I got to meet sweet little George, my friend A’s baby, and even though my own baby isn’t even four months old yet, she seems like a full-grown adult when compared to that cuddly, sleepy, handsome guy I got to hang out with on Saturday afternoon. I swooned.

    Also this weekend, my newest niece (we don’t share blood, but I share important life stories with her mom & dad, and so it counts just the same) Helen Grace was born. Helen is beautiful and being a parent looks so good on my friends M&M that I can barely stand it. Let it be known that this season of life seems impossibly hard sometimes chickens, but it’s also impossibly sweet and that is important to remember in the middle of the night when the baby wakes up.

  4. JW and I celebrated our anniversary by eating the best pot stickers we’ve ever, ever had at Fat Rice and trying to play high/low with our marriage. Here’s the bottom line: we came up with a lot more highs than lows, and we like our life even better now than we did when we started.
  5. This weekend we had our wedding photographer Calynn take family photos of us downtown. We loved her when she captured our wedding, and we love that she got to capture our whole family. Also, we got to celebrate the photo shoot being over by eating gyros and french fries in Greektown, and so overall, it was a win.

And with that chicks, let this week begin. Bonus good thing: Chicago’s weather is done scorching us, and it looks like summer might bow to autumn, finally. Enjoy the sunshine if you’ve got it!

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You are the best thing.

You guys, tomorrow JW and I have been married for five years.

And we’ve been a couple for ten years, almost.

And we’ve known each other for 18 years, in the spring.

All of those things are important chickadees, and they’re all worth celebrating.

In five years of marriage, so many things have changed and also, thankfully, a lot has stayed the same.

We still love sushi. And football. And Chicago.

And each other. Like, a lot.

JW still makes me laugh the most, and I still love the look on his face when I’ve managed to do something just a little crazier, this time.

He’s a good friend, a great husband, and the best dad. Like, when Theo wakes up in the middle of the night and cries, “I want my Daddy,” I want to be like, yeah, get in line, so does everybody else.

I’m pretty lucky he’s the guy who carries the heavy stuff and opens the windows in my life.

Literally and figuratively, in case you were wondering.

In five years, we’ve gotten some serious shit done, good and bad.

We’ve finished MBAs (well Jon has, I’ve just been along for the ride), and lost people we loved. We’ve battled through my unexpected RA (which is now blissfully controlled), found new jobs, purchased a home and a car, run a lot of races, and made people we love.

We’ve fought about silly things and important things, because that’s part of being in a great partnership.

We’ve got each other to show for it, and of course, we’ve got this, too.

fam

Happy anniversary, JW, and thanks for being the best thing, always.

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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?

Into it.

Morning, chickens!

I’m a couple weeks into it now, and I’m you know, getting after it.

My greatest accomplishment every day is getting my kids safely and on-time (ish) to daycare every day, where A does magical things like teach Boo what Saturn is and get Ellie on a schedule after only two days.

If ever there was a woman with a calling, it is her.

Meanwhile, I’m fumbling around trying to figure out how to get through all the Mom-ing and the working and trying to have one conversation with JW a day that doesn’t involve Fireman Sam, but it is still a funny, beautiful stage of life and I don’t mind too much that my little baby likes to eat four times a night when I would like to be sleeping.

Last night, JW and I had a conversation (not about Fireman Sam!) about the corner desk in our living room that we’re thinking of moving because the expensive, unnecessary computer that we bought when we were 24 and couldn’t afford it is broken.

I’m glad we’re moving it before Christmas, I said. Because we would have had a fight over where to put the Christmas tree, since the desk is in its spot.

Jon looked at me, puzzled, which unfortunately is the way I think he’s gotten used to sizing up his wife’s next move, but I can’t help it.

The fight would have gone like this. I would have said, where should I put the Christmas tree, and you would have said, Nik, I don’t know, the desk is there. I then would have looked at you and said, well we need to put up the Christmas tree, and you would have said, I don’t know what you want me to do. And then I would have just looked at you.

By this point he was at least laughing.

Then you would have moved the desk. But I’m glad we get to avoid that fight.

It’s the little things you guys.

Also up this week: Cubs, Cubs Cubs! (Sorry, Bears, I just can’t right now), wondering if it’s ever going to cool down into fall weather (and knowing I’ll regret wishing it so when it finally does) and giving up on all my current library books, returning them, and starting over with The NestBabies do me a lot of good, chicks, but they also make me momentarily illiterate and I’m over it. I’ll report back, and sorry, pile of books that never got read this summer. It’s not you, it’s me (it’s Ellie).

 

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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Weather

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:

ellie1

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

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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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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

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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