Showing posts from 2011

WANTED: Book Club: Reading Optional

I know what you are thinking.  A Book Club?   Reading ?  Who has time to read a book these days, let alone commit to it monthly?  I understand and empathize with your concern(s).  When pregnant, I read very few books about children.  Attempts were made to prepare for the future baby, but each time I picked up a book on infants my eyes glazed over and my hands uncontrollably wandered back to Girl with a Dragon Tattoo . Ahh, those pregnancy days -- hours of luxurious free time; the ability to eat out, shop, and relax.  I didn’t realize how it would drastically change, so needless to say, there was a lot to learn (and read) when our son arrived.      As each stage flies by, the array of advice books is overwhelming.  I imagined once I "caught up" in the reading I delayed in the beginning I could relax, but instead am in constant prep-mode for the next phase.  I consider it rude, but he won’t pause and wait for me to catch up.   It is nearly impossible to st

Urban Dweller

Disclaimer: this entry is  not  touting the city as superior to the suburbs or small towns.  Being from a small town and having many friends in the 'burbs, I have an appreciation and love for both.  I just think the city gets a bad rap, and while the city is not for everyone, it is the best option for us.      Not only do my husband and I have a child and live in the city, but we plan on staying. For some reason, when the above statement is shared, I am often met with a look of disbelief or horror. To many, the idea of having a child and living downtown is less than ideal. Most couples run to larger, greener pastures when the plus sign is achieved on their pregnancy test. Well-intentioned friends cite the joys of a backyard, less traffic congestion, and more space when asking whether I will move to the suburbs. For me, however, raising a tiny Chicagoan goes beyond a life of concrete, pollution, and a higher cost of living. There is so much to love about urban life, I wa


Chase Alexander has officially survived one year of life!  Some said it couldn't be done...but that may have just been me.  Hi s highlight reel is below and photos are included for those interested (simply click each month):   Recipients of the 6 month update may want to skip down to 7 Months (it is highly repetitive): 0 - 1 Month: Lots of crying. Some sleeping.  Experienced the longest night of our lives: 6 solid hours of crying (night was dubbed: "Babyggedon").  Weight and Length placed him in the "heavy-weight" division.   2 Months: Chase began to quiet down and operate well as a photo prop, helping pass the days more quickly.  We were promised "coo'ing", but received "baby dragon" growls.   3 Months: Chase started daycare; Tracy started work.  Chase melded in quickly and easily, taking a quick liking to his teachers.  Tracy struggled working 8 hours in a row without naps.   Was told there would be cots. 4 Months: Caugh

The Playground

I am not sure if a world record exists for the most hours logged at a playground, but we may be in the running.  And while the playground began merely to get our son out of the house (and apparently to build his tolerance for sunscreen application -- the less you move, the lower the chance of white stuff in the eye kiddo ), we had no idea of the learning opportunities awaiting us.  Below are some of the highlights: Share-ground The playground is mainly a lesson in sharing: sharing of time, space, and toys.  Currently our son is one of the youngest at the park, deeming him the "learning tool" for older children.  When parents see our son (Chase) ambling in, children are quickly instructed to be gentle and let the baby play.   Typically, the older child greets ours with a hug and head pat (his bald head just asks to be rubbed).  Little does the head patter realize how this action has cemented Chase's love for his new best friend.  Whether climbing a  slide, playing

Thank You

A Father's Day thank you to my husband: Thank you for knowing the details .  During the do-we-have-a-child negotiation phase, I may have reacted harshly toward you when I learned some dads don't know how to pack a diaper bag.  Little did I know there was nothing to fear.  Not only are you an amazing father and an expert diaper bag packer, but you have kept our son alive, diapered, and clothed when I travel for work or go out for a ladies night.  You have continued to impress me and surpass all my expectations. Thank you for letting my gene pool annihilate your gene pool .  It's not a competition.  But if it was, I'm definitely winning.  While you may not love it now, down the road it may come in handy.  When our son toddles over to you and asks: Dad, why are my cheeks so big?  Why are my shoes so tight?  Why are my shirts so short?  you can just shuffle him over to me.  Then I, and my dominant gene pool, will have to explain how my attributes equate to always h

Best & Worst

To kick off a Tale of Two Cities , Charles Dickens probably had the first eight weeks of parenting in mind when he wrote "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." The beginning moments are never forgotten.   Holding my baby for the first time was surreal.   I would spend hours watching him sleep.  Though most of those hours were to ensure he was still breathing.  Nine months of work wasn't going down the drain on my watch.  Another perk of newborns is their surprising portability.  Once asleep, hardly anything woke him and packing him in a carrier or stroller was a sure nap in the making.  As long as a bottle or boob was nearby, we were good to go. However sweet those moments, there also came a few bumps in the road.  People warned of sleep deprivation and high expenses, but I don’t remember anyone mentioning the topics below.   Consider yourself warned . The Witching Hour We were blissfully ignorant of this expression pre-infant.  The witching ho

Cry Baby

 I was promised water with my ducks                                               Take. Off. This. Hat. I've been referred to as dead inside. As having a heart of stone. You know the phrase Speaking Truth, in Love ? Apparently I have mastered the first half with a little to be desired on the second. And those are just comments from my husband.   Though I haven't loved these descriptors (I prefer the term “realist”), they were, in essence, true. Historically, I was never very emotional or known to shed many tears. Notice the past tense? Me too. Sometime during my post-partum stay at the hospital, there was a change.   Maybe it can be chalked up to the 24 hours without food or water, but a sniveling version of myself nestled in and refused to leave. Like a free boost at Jamba Juice, the cry baby emotion was included with my stay. Situations which previously left me unaffected now make me cry.   I misted up watching a marriage proposal of a couple I never met. Well

My Apology

A smile when laid down to sleep isn't a good sign.  A yawn when you are trying to leave is even worse. I'm sorry. Friends with children, friends without. No matter. You are due. Let's consider this my official Apology Tour. To friends with children : If you had children before me, there is a 100% chance I judged you.  How hard was it to shower each day? Could you really be that tired?  Weren't you home sleeping all day?  And what is the deal with your inability to be anywhere on time (or to get there at all)? We swore our family would be different. We are not. Luckily, finding time to shower was not too hard for me (by sacrificing sleep, a 5am shower would suffice).  The problem was more in how pointless it was to shower.  I enjoyed being clean no longer than 10 minutes each day before being drenched in spit up.  At a certain point I even gave up changing clothes.  The extra laundry wasn't worth it. Now onto sleep.  Sleep - Oh how I miss you.