Tag Archives: winter

let’s talk about feminists.

Morning, chickens!

And welcome to another week!

Today is a post about feminism.

Or like, maybe just choosing your choices.

Last Friday, I threw up this video, in which Lin-Manuel Miranda (master of my heart) so effortlessly answers “yes, of course” when Emma Watson asks him if he’s a feminist.

I loved it, obviously.

Then I read this article, coincidentally on the same day, and then I had all these thoughts that you know I have to share with you because I never can help it.

I hate when people hesitate when they’re asked if they’re feminists. Like, you know they want to say they are, but you know they’re a little afraid to say “yes,” like they might get judged.

I shamefully admit that this is how I felt when people asked if I thought gay people were okay when I was fifteen in rural Michigan.

I mean, obviously I thought that gay people were more than okay, but also, someone was about to snicker at me or roll their eyes, or maybe even be outraged.

Luckily I’ve grown to like being an outrage.

So anyway, I get why people want to pause.

I’ve been a pauser.

Or they say, “yeah, I believe men and women are equal, but I’m not a feminist.”

Yes, ma’am (or sir!), you sure are.

I know that there is a group of people that think feminism means that you think men are the worst (that’s called misandry, I know, we don’t hear that word very often), or that women who do certain things are wrong, but it’s not true.

I promise.

I also hate when I see women walking around, being judgmental about other women’s choices, because that’s not feminism. It’s actually just being shitty.

And there are people who aren’t paying enough attention and are gonna pick up on that and assume that’s the feminist message.

So here’s what feminism is, you guys:

It means I think men and women are equal. And it means that I believe, really, really hard, in your choice to do whatever makes you happy. If you want to stay at home and raise 20 babies and hang with your husband or wife, yes! If you want to ditch all relationships, run a huge business, and maybe just own a cat or dog or just yourself, yes! 

If you want to try and do both, awesome! Share your secrets, please!

Anyway, the article I cited above bothered me because essentially that woman is a feminist, she just doesn’t understand the definition (which is okay, we’re all here to learn). If you are given the opportunity to truly choose your choices and that’s what you want for other people, men and women, you’re a feminist.

There are extremists everywhere, chickens, and so next time you see someone who’s judging, or guilty of misandry, try and remember that’s what it is.

It’s not feminism.

I got to thinking about this because I’ve been thinking about bringing a lady baby into the world a lot lately (which is good, since she’s due to show up in 11 weeks), and I realized in my thought process that I think it’s just as important that Theo considers him a feminist as it is that my daughter considers herself one.

We’re all gonna be feminists in my house.

Feminists mean we’re psyched that Mama goes to work every day, because that’s what she loves, but if she didn’t, we’d be good with that too.

It means we’re cool with me keeping my last name because I love it, but that if took your husband’s name because you loved that, I think it’s awesome too. I don’t think any of it will confuse our kids, because they’re smarter than us, like a million times.

It means if Dad wants to stay home and we can afford it, cool- go for it (well really, let’s maybe talk because we have a true professional helping us to raise our babies and I’m not about to give her up, but…you get what I’m saying).

I think what it all comes down to is that we want people to have the freedom to pursue what makes them happy, and we want society to back that notion.

I want everyone to say “yes” to the question of feminism as easily as Lin does.

And with that, I’m off to choose some more life choices this morning. Enjoy it, chickens!




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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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in the greatest city in the world

I went to NYC last week and it was everything I dreamed of and more, because I ate bagels and met up with friends to have delicious dinners (a food theme, always) and got to spend a day with my sorella, AND SAW HAMILTON WHICH WAS AMAZING AND THE BEST THING EVER, and hung out with two of my favorite kids and learned about “dabbin” and also famous YouTube people,  and just enjoyed being in the vibe of NYC in general, because despite knowing I can never have you New York, I love you just the same.

Two funny-ish things:

  1. I woke up in a panic the first night I was in NYC because I thought I had bed bugs, but it turned out that I was rolling around in pretzel salt, because I am a pregnant lady with a lot of carb needs, and apparently I’m a messy pretzel eater. It was terrifying, until it was hysterical.
  2. One of the best things about being in NYC and staying in a hotel was that I had cable on Super Tuesday, which meant that I got to lay in bed and watch Chris Christie look uncomfortable behind Donald Trump for 20 minutes on live television after eating a delicious meal in Brooklyn.


It was an awesome, awesome trip. Seriously, should you live in an area where Hamilton is coming, I order you to see it, because it is the best. Totally worth a whirlwind, mid-week trip, and even worth sitting in the middle seat on the plane home next to a giant man who hogged the armrests and kept sighing like I was taking up too much room.

Enjoy this one, chickens. Chicago’s heating up and I can feel spring coming, I promise!

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five good things, the room where it happens edition

You guys, you guys, you guys.

Today I’m leaving for NYC, where I will get to see my little sister and her excellent friends, and also, see HAMILTON. I’m such a fan of a quick-ish trip to reboot, and NYC is one of my favorite places to do just that. Five good things, in honor of heading to one of the best cities:

  1. This is the second time I’ve taken a trip to NYC while pregnant, which is sad because I cannot drink but awesome because I can eat all the pizza and bagels I want without feeling badly about it. I love you more than life Chicago, but you just don’t offer me the same quality level of carbohydrates, and so it’s off to the East Coast I go.
  2. Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton!!! I don’t even care that we could only get tickets for a show at 2pm on a Wednesday, because all I care about is seeing this amazing musical that I have been obsessed with for months (thank you, VB, for your initial introduction and for being the kind of boss who used our touch base meetings to listen to cabinet rap battle songs- you get me). If you don’t know about it, please go freaking Youtube everything you can about it.
  3. I have a weird little collection of pals who live in NYC, and it’s my goal to see all of them while I’m here. I’m looking forward to laughing my ass off under the wings of some people I’ve missed. That’s the best kind of visit, after all.
  4. Last time I was in NYC I headed to the 9/11 museum, because even though I am from the East Coast and therefore do not view myself as a Tourist, what’s the point of being in the city and not seeing what it’s got going on, which is like, everything. My sister and I have plans to go see the Statue of Liberty, and since I haven’t done it in 21 years, I think it’s fine. And also I might buy a foam crown, and I don’t care who knows it.
  5. The weather is supposed to be in the high 50s the whole time I’m there, which means I can trudge around outside and not freeze or sweat to death (last time I was there it was August, and I almost died sweating in inappropriate clothing- my fault, I admit it). We’ve got the setup for a perfect little getaway, chickens.

And with that, I’m off to start my trip with TSA precheck and Frontera. Enjoy this one, chickadees!

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Filed under Chicago, Five Good Things

starting halfway through

Morning, chickens!

This long weekend was just as fun and full as I thought it would be, and so it took me a little bit longer to get back into a routine.

Which I do not apologize for.

Here’s a picture of my baby and my godson hanging out at the museum:


When I met the S family, oh, 11 years ago, I was in college and looking for a way to make some extra cash. In the end, I gained a whole extra family, including T, self-proclaimed “brudder” of both Theo and his yet-to-be-born sister.

In fact, I believe my godson’s words were “And when she’s born, I’ll be the brudder of her too.”

Yes, yes you will, little man.

Man, we get lucky sometimes.

Other things I love right now:

This article, because it pretty much sums up my exact feelings for Thomas the Tank Engine and his whole annoying show.

Amnesty at the Chicago Public Library through Thursday, because of course I need it.

It’s going to be 55 degrees on Friday. Thank you thank you thank you. Also thank you from my toddler who has had enough of the cold and could use a break to play outside.

And with that, I’m off to get this one started- we’re already halfway through the week, chickadees!


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Filed under Chicago, Good times

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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giving in and giving up

So I know yesterday I wrote about maybe not worrying too much about giving something up, and I still believe that, but I also thought about it a little bit and decided that I have a clear contender for something that it’s about time I worked on eliminating.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am strangely attached to my phone, really for no reason at all. I’m pretty much obsessed with scrolling through the Internet, looking at really nothing of importance, and so this Lent, while I can’t ditch the little screen all together, I’m going to work on cutting down. Here are my self-imposed rules:

  1. When I get home from work, the phone goes down until Boo does. Facebook drama can wait, I’m pretty sure. So can adorable Instagram posts. I trialed this the other night, and it meant I could get in on a game on Farm before bed.
  2. No phone when I’m with my pals. I mean, if I’m with my pals, who am I even talking to? My circle is not that wide, trust me.
  3. I can check my e-mail before I get to work one time. Not sixteen. Who am I, the President?

I’m open for suggestions (and I’m sure JW has some additional ones). Listen, technology is the best. It means I can text my friends across the country whenever I want and play games like fruit ninja, so I fully understand its importance, but I’m hoping a quick break in the action means a permanent ramp down in the screen action.

Wish me luck, chickadees, this will likely be my undoing.

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to dust you shall return

Listen chickens.

I’m not a particularly religious person these days. Boo was baptized in the Catholic church and JW and I were married there, but I suspect that for me, that’s more cultural than anything else, and because I find comfort in rituals.

When I lived in Italy, I loved sliding into pews for Mass because no matter where you are, Catholic mass is the same. The rhythm, the smell, the kneeling and sitting and standing, it’s the same no matter where you are and that’s immensely comforting when you’re nineteen and thousands of miles from home.

Plus I’m really into the whole crowd of saints that hangs out in the belief system of the Catholic Church. Trust me, you guys, I need all the help I can get, and having a patron saint for just about everything is useful.

We obviously also all know that there are unsavory things about religion and church and I don’t pretend that it’s not there. I have a lot of feelings about it. I especially have a lot of feelings about it after I watched Spotlight with JW a couple weeks ago and just generally felt like, gross, after.

So these days I subscribe to good energy and being open and listening to my Mom, who has always said that you don’t need religion to just be nice to people, and she’s right, obviously, because she usually is.

Today is Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, that Ash Wednesday is my favorite part of the Catholic calendar because I like nothing more than when the priest outlines a cross on my forehead and reminds me that you were made from dust and from dust you shall return.

Morbid, I know.

But for me, it’s like someone singing the Circle of Life, or reminding me that everything is cyclical.

It’s a relief really, and a reminder to not take any of this too seriously.

I’m probably reading it wrong, but it’s my right to do that too, I think.

Despite not being a fully-believing Catholic these days, I am into Pope Francis, because I believe he’s got the right idea on a lot of things, and he’s reminding us this Lenten season that “Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.”

So basically the Pope and my Mom agree on this one- if you’re gonna use the next forty days and nights to do anything, use it to be nice, chickens.

And if you don’t believe in any of it, just be nice anyway.

It won’t cost you anything, I promise.

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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?