Tag Archives: weekend

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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Filed under Chicago, five good things

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

Five Good Things: The Founders’ Edition

You guys, for the first time in my professional career, I have Presidents’ Day off, and so does JW, and that is a very, very good thing indeed. And thus, let me lay out a few more good things I can think of:

1. Since we have the day off, JW and I are planning on taking Boo to the Museum of Science and Industry, which is among my favorite things to do. While my guess is that the little guy won’t be as excited about the U-505 submarine as I am, I do have a hunch that the giant tractors, trains, and baby chicks might catch his interest. I love the MSI because you can touch everything and be loud, which means it’s perfect for both my two-year old and myself.

2. Four day work week. Enough said, chickens.

3. My brother-in-law J found an old VHS tape that belonged to my family last week, and digitized it for us, which means that I forced JW to watch it, and I loved seeing all my family show up in it (if you’re a cousin, aunt, uncle or grandparent and want to see it, let me know, and I’ll send you the link), especially my grandfather, who JW never got to meet but who I know would have liked him very, very much. My most favorite thing about the tape though, was how much Theo and my baby brother Mikie are twinning it, 23 years apart in age (although Mikie won in the hair department):


4. My sister’s friend (also my friend too! I claim her!) KC is my life role model even though she’s one whole year younger than me. She’s an author and generally kick-ass lady from New York who lives in Boston, and aside from being in next month’s Hamilton viewing group, her book is being developed into an MTV series, which is amazing. I can’t wait!

Check it out! 

5. We’re celebrating Theo’s birthday this weekend, which will likely be low key  (like this child needs any additional gifts), but is exciting because it means my tiny little baby is a sturdy, loud toddler, clear as day. It also means I get to eat cake, again. I won’t force him to stay little since instead I’ve decided to replace him with another tiny human.

Just kidding Boo, you’ll always be my baby. Until you’re 107.

And with that, I’m off to enjoy this free day. Enjoy the sunshine, chickadees!

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the road to recovery

Ok chickadees, it’s finally Friday.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Boo’s been sick, and when I picked him up Wednesday, A told me he hadn’t had a great day and wasn’t feeling very well.

We just gave him medicine, she noted, as he came teetering over to me and face planted, drunk-toddling a side effect from the Motrin, apparently.Since I am a responsible mother, I picked him up to comfort him and only snickered for three seconds first.

We discussed his symptoms as a circle of three-year-old swarmed me, trying to hand me various objects of T’s to bring home.

This is his water, one said.

And his pacifier, another said, shoving it at me.

My godson tried to climb into Boo’s car seat with him.

I’m fairly certain that the toddlers think I am their peer and not a mom.

I’m not sure how I feel about that, so please don’t ask me until I’ve had more time to consider it.

I decided that daycare was maybe not the best place to calmly recover from a cold, so Boo spent the day with his Auntie J yesterday, demanding to hold her hand all day and getting all.the.attention.

That’s usually what it takes around here to get back to wellness.

And with that, we’re off to get through one more day and then celebrate the weekend, even if it just means movies on the couch.

Especially if it means movies on the couch.

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

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five good things: goodbyes and celebrations

Morning, chickens!

And a very happy Friday to everyone. In honor of the weekend, here are five.good.things.

1. We’re headed to a happy hour tonight to celebrate our friend KC. She’s off to bigger and better things in New York City, but before she goes, we must have several drinks, because really, how else do you send the youngest and most fun member of the group off?

2. Boo is going to be eleven months old tomorrow. It’s insane to me that this little guy is almost a year old. It feels impossible that he can be this old and also that he hasn’t even been with us for a year at the same time. Remember this?


3. It’s been above thirty degrees all week, which means I’ve been able to walk outside without wearing a ski mask and snow suit. In late January, this is essentially the same as beach weather, and I will be sad when it eventually ends. And it will. Because it’s winter in Chicago, and it’s nowhere near over.

4. I’m still on the running circuit, and I’ve neither broken anything or died of respiratory distress. This is a double win, as far as I’m concerned.

5. The weekend is stretched before us and aside from our celebration tonight, I don’t have one thing planned. Which means it’s essentially about to be the best weekend ever.

But first there’s a diaper I’d better change, before the fun can really begin.

Keep it easy chickadees, and enjoy this one!

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bonus features.

This weekend was not a holiday or a travel destination or a work trip for the first time in a very long time.

Sunday morning we bundled up Theo (it was thirty degrees out and we had a mild case of cabin fever), unfolded the stroller, and walked over to Tobin’s first (maybe second) soccer class.

It was a circle of two and three-year olds, with moms and dads hovering over them while a very nice, endlessly patient British coach explained games that taught the littles fundamentals of the game.

JW, T, and I were obviously the only spectators, because who shows up to toddler soccer?

I loved every second.

T’s mom is also generous enough to share her little guy with us, so I had a crack at being T’s adult, which basically meant chasing him around on a “hunt for dinosaurs” (read: soccer balls) for an hour.

And then, during a water break, this happened:


Watching T hang with Boo is probably one of my favorite things about both T and Boo.

When I got lucky enough to pick up the S family, they were an amazing tribe of four. I couldn’t have asked for a better bonus leg of my family.

Then T showed up.

Then Boo showed up.

These are the things that make Mondays far more tolerable, chickadees.

Now excuse me while I pull Boo out from behind the trash can, where he’s rifling through baby wipes like a raccoon.

Keep it easy.

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Filed under Good times

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!



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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

cruising into the routine.

Morning, chickens!

I’m trying to do better, over here.

We had quite the weekend, filled with friends visiting and concert going and picnic having.

Three days should be the normal length of a weekend, I think.

Also during the weekend: Theo figured out how to flip himself from belly to back, pretty much ensuring that he’s never doing tummy time again, even though he’s figured out how to do this:

photo (6)

I know, I can’t stand how cute he is either.

Yesterday was back to reality, with a quick stopover to the doctor to get a shingles vaccination.

Since T was born, my RA has been back with a vengeance (well, I mean, it’s not quite that bad, but it’s not cool), and since apparently long time steroid use is a bad solution to my problem, I’ve got some new drugs to try out in the next month or so.

Which is good, because the steroids are making it easier for me to bruise, which means I look like a cage fighter.


Another proposed solution: having one million kids Duggar style, but JW and I aren’t sure that’s the best approach to this issue.

The condo wasn’t made for Duggars.

Anyway, I headed into the lab for a vaccination, handed it to the woman (I had to pick it up myself- doing my own dirty work these days), and the woman looked at me pointedly and whispered, “How old are you?”

When I told her, she looked at me, and the vaccine, and then looked shocked.

Which was surprising to me since we were in a rheumotologist’s office, where I’m pretty sure autoimmune disorders come up.

I explained I was down with the old lady shots, having just gotten my pneumonia vaccine a couple weeks ago as well.

She eyed me suspiciously, but here I am, vaccinated, ready to try to even out that overactive immune system of mine.

Never a dull moment around here, chickadees.

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five good things: making good edition

You guys, I’m not doing a great job at the consistency thing lately.

It doesn’t help that my computer is currently living in Theo’s room, which means when he’s sleeping, I can’t be writing.

It also doesn’t help that what I want to do most right now is just stare at his face, and when I’m not doing that, watch the West Wing and read library books.

I’m a very busy woman leading a very glamour-filled life, obviously.

July is the month in which I will do better.

In honor of that promise, here are five good things I’d like to tear through (oh man, there are a lot more than that):

1. It’s summer book reading season. I currently have 10 books home from the library, and a slew of new reads in transit. Here are a couple I’m into at the moment:

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald








I’ve always heard that good old Zelda was pretty much insane, but this book showcases a  (fictionalized) version of the story where no one’s left blameless. These two were celebrities  in their day, and their lives seemed to be perfect, but obviously, the gin-and-tonic-ing and  partying of the 20s eventually caught up with them. This wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was  interesting and kept moving, and about people I’m into, so I’d recommend it on those  pretenses alone.

Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar


So my friend Ky told me to follow Kelly Oxford on the social media, and like most things Ky demands of me, I complied. She’s funny, and she was promoting her book, so I picked it up. The book makes me laugh, even though I think I’d care a tiny bit more if I understand exactly where she came from, but I’ve got confidence that the book is headed in that direction.

2. The World Cup plays on, and so does the US, in the knockout league. While I wish I was going to be at Soldier Field watching the game with what feels like the rest of the city, I can cross my fingers from work. Go USA!

3. Theo has learned how to roll over. However, every time he’s almost there, he panics and springs onto his back. He’s also started holding onto a ring on his mat so he can pull himself back when he’s gone too far.

Smart kid. Here’s an unrelated photo, because it’s adorable.

photo (34)

4. Last weekend we headed to Michigan, where we hung out with family, baptized my sweet nephew Sam (it’s also his birthday next month, so I decided it’s the Summer of Sam. Just not in a murder-y way, you know), played Mario Brothers (ohmygod I’m still addicted) and got through part of a library book. Theo had his first swim in the lake and first boat ride, so he’s now got experience to go along with all of those nautical-themed outfits.


5. After what feels like a week of sub-par summer weather, it has finally stopped storming. Which means that JW and I can take a couple walks with Theo and that I can make it to the grocery store so we stop eating exclusively carbs.

Because being exercise-free and eating only carbs seems like a bad plan.

Enjoy this one, chickens, and I’ll be back for more, I promise!

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Filed under Five Good Things, Good Reads, Michigan