Tick Tock and You Don’t Stop

As if this post couldn’t be more annoying, I went ahead and did THAT title. Let me start out by apologizing if you are reading.

In professional life, you never start out a presentation with an apology. It’s a terrible habit, and ruins whatever you are about to show.

But I AM sorry.

The great thing about the internetssszz is that you can just simply close the page without as much effort as it takes to scratch an itch. So lucky for you, no one is forcing you to read the details of my day.

For the two of you left, what I have done is record in notes and pictures (via my iPhone) a typical day for me (29 weeks pregnant with boy #2) and Benton (a happy little toddler of almost 19 months). Moons is a cat. Schween is too, but she seems to have less impact on our day. J is Justin. He is my husband who works full-time as an attorney here in Chicago.

I have done this exercise maybe two other times since B was born. This will be my last recording of The Minutes with one kid. I want to look back on it in a year and see how different things are.

The day that was recorded was pretty typical and low key. Sometimes we go to the museums or aquarium instead of the park. Or a play date with friends. Sometimes we go out to lunch. And this day happened to include one of the longest naps he has ever had. So that part is not really normal. But he is generally a good 2 hour napper. Sometimes we eat up at the table, and sometimes dinner is in the living room. To some of you, this day may seem luxurious. Others I’m sure will want to sleep after reading it. It’s all relative, eh? Life is nutty.

The Minutes from 1.29.12

4:30 B hollers and I go to his room and lay with him in hopes that we can sleep until 6 or 7 if it is a good day. B settles down and dozes, and I am awake because I am in the 3rd trimester and suffer from pregnancy insomnia and other sleep problems.

6:24 He’s up for real. He starts immediately jabbering and walks out of his room down to the kitchen as I follow. I make coffee, feed B cheese and berries while making oatmeal. I feed the cats, pour coffee, go downstairs with B, turn on WGN morning news, get out the tubs of little cars and animals, do a diaper change, and we share oatmeal.

6:53 Oatmeal w/strawberries is gone.

6:54 B gets all the balls out. He seems to be trying to poop. More coffee. I throw away the nighttime diaper, put breakfast bowls in sink, and B plays with baby doll.

7:00 Second cup of coffee is poured. I spill half ‘n half, note that living room was clean a moment ago, B babbles and names animals, then he throws football at coffee.

7:10 I attempt to check for poop. There is poop. I take off his jammies and change  his diaper while he is holding an elephant. I note that his gums are swollen in several places. I throw away poop diaper in garage, drop off jammies in the washer on way. B chases me back upstairs holding football, says MORE DADA and tries to get into the master bedroom. I put his real pants on and wash my hands. B brings his stuffed puppy downstairs and shares it with his baby doll.

7:15 Coffee is chugged. Milk sippy is chugged. He spills some milk and says “oh no.” I clean up milk and lay out puzzles on the coffee table. B cheers for sports cast highlights on the morning news.

7:25 B plays ball and trains and I watch and name animals and say yay. I delete the bad photos I have taken so far and finish coffee. Check twitter and make a mental note of who is awake and textable. B looks through his books. I have to go to the bathroom so I take all the puzzle pieces out and lay them on table to attempt to go alone. I drop off my empty coffee cup in the kitchen. Moons jumps on my lap while I’m on the toilet. Very typical. I get a glass of water for me and water sippy for B. I drop off the sippy on the downstairs coffee table while B shows me a truck and calls it a “big car.”

7:37 I note my lack of socks. I go upstairs to search for socks in the dark and I get the dirty laundry out. I wrangle Moons and B away from bedroom. I sort the laundry by throwing it over the upstairs railing. B is whining and weird. I give him forest animals and a number tin. I help him open the tin a million times. Then I start laundry downstairs while B un-sorts the piles of laundry. He throws little balls up the stairs.

7:50 All the balls now get thrown back down and then he delivers the forest animals to me. Major whine. Odd. Pooping again? I hold him in my lap.

8:01 Justin opens the bedroom door and asks me if I will pick out his clothes. B yells DADA! Runs! Hugs dada, flops onto our bed, finds a ball for Moons and starts to play, and then weighs himself. I pick out J’s clothes and make the bed. J gets in shower. I pick up socks and discarded clothes and throw them over the railing. B yells and grabs his belly (what?!) and then starts to play with the toys in the bedroom. I hide the baby monitor from his reach, remove cough drops and jelly beans from J’s side of bed, and take water glasses off the side tables. OMG why is B whining? He really isn’t a whiner.

8:10 I pick up the dining room toys B was playing with during the earlier clothing sort, return the empty laundry basket to closet, tell Moons no when she tries to climb closet shelves.

8:15 B asks for more at that at kitchen baby gate. I start scrambled eggs and give him pretzel stick in mean time. Moons and B chase each other while I make eggs. J emerges from bathroom and I get my first text of the day from Erica! I chug water, apply chapstick, text Erica about poops and sleep while cooking eggs. J and B talk in bedroom, “tell mama thank you for the pretzel.” I put the eggs in freezer to cool for a bit.

8:23 I open oven instead of dishwasher to unload…? I throw J empty Target grocery bags so he can scoop the kitty litter downstairs. I smell poop. Poop check. Weird poops. I change another diaper and apply Butt Paste to B. There will be no more kiwi today. I take diaper to garage dumpster, pick up half eaten pretzel from the bathroom floor, wash my hands, and chug water.

8:35 I talk about weird poops with J. He asks about dry cleaning, hugs B and leaves for the day. I put B in his high chair to eat eggs. I return to the kitchen to unload the dishwasher. B finishes eggs and plays with his bowl. I go back over to feed him yogurt. I wipe him up, clear his dishes and wipe the table. We have a brief stair cuddle and he seems happier after the weird poop. I drop off sippy back to coffee table. B makes a moo cow request.

8:45 I go upstairs to pee. Everyone follows. Moons, B, and moo cow. B locks us in.

8:49 I return to the dishwasher and finally finish unloading. I realize it is suspiciously quiet. I check, but nothing weird is happening in the living room. I load dirty dishes into the washer, and chug water. I add cat food, dish soap, and eggs to my shopping list app. I note smell of horrid wet cat food. I add a candle to the list. I round-up all the drinking glasses and a colander from last night’s bath time and add them to the dishwasher. I wipe down the counter and stove top. I spy a tiny bit of coffee left in the pot. Drink.

9:00 I tidy up the living room while B plays basketball, drop my phone for the 4th time, and start the second load of laundry. I retrieve balls from downstairs. I note my hate of the laundry room and add it to the nesting list. Drop phone.

9:13 Chug more water. More chapstick.  Pee again. I toilet text and check twitter. I listen to B play with a bouncy ball in living room. Moons and B run upstairs. He comes into bathroom saying “vroom car. Halp.”

9:19 I say “Elmo” and B runs to the bedroom. I shut and lock the master bedroom door. I play a YouTube playlist of 34 classic Sesame songs while B and moons hang out and watch. I keep the bathroom door open so he can come in if he wants or I can poke my head out to see him. Today is not a shower day. I note that the towels and rug need washing, then spray the shower with Method daily shower cleaner. I wash my face, delete bad photos from the day, and notice a lot of pelvic pressure. B playing with toys on the bed and chewing on his fingers. So much teething. I lay on the bed and B tackles and snuggles.

9:45 I answer my email via phone while B puts a sand shovel in my mouth and then brushes my hair with a fingernail scrub brush. He requests water so I go downstairs to drop off towels in laundry room and get his sippy.

9:50 I pee alone, wipe down bathroom countertop, apply makeup, then drop phone. B comes to ask for help with a monkey toy as I apply mascara.

10:00 I apply belly balm and get dressed and then re-string a necklace. I note my hate for the messy jewelry drawer and add to my nesting list. B steals a bracelet from the drawer. I clean my earrings that I wear every day with an electric toothbrush. I’m hungry and thirsty,

10:15 I turn off YouTube and make sure bathroom cannot be infiltrated by Moons or B. I take the water sippy back down to the living room.

10:19 Chug water. B asks for cheese so I cut up cubes and put them on the baby gate. I steal a couple for meyself. It’s grapefruit time. B tries to wake up moons while I race to eat by myself. I get threes bites before he comes to eat half.

10:28 I load more dishes, B plays with moons, and I remember that I haven’t touched my hair. I turn on my straightener for the bangs, B offers me a sheep and a dolphin. I add bread, gold headband, and breakfast sausage to the shopping list. I pick up B for “I love yous,” then he goes to brush moons with a baby comb.

10:38 I pee again while B tries to climb on my lap, then I quickly brush my hair and put it in a ponytail.

10:42 I get pretzel sticks for me and actually sit down on couch. B steals two, and I finish my email via phone while B and Moons play.

10:45 B breaks forest friend because he was driving it like a car.

10:49 Forest friend glued. B says “oh no” 102838 times and the fixed deer is placed on high self.

10:50 I get the pile of J’s clothes that need dry cleaning. I tell B we are going and he pounds on coat closet. He wants to put slippers on. I put on his shoes and coat. Today he hates the coat. I put him in the stroller in garage.Then I grab my coat and shoes and the dry cleaning in a big Ikea blue bag. There is a very narrow passage out of the garage. I walk carrying the bag. B yells with excitement at the cars and birds.

11:15 Dry cleaning drop off. B talks about birds and cars to the lady. J texts to say I can make beef jerky if I want.

11:20 We arrive at Trader Joes, I give B sample cups to play with while I shop. I use the stroller as a cart.

11:30 Pay, leave and walk home. Hang bag on Mommy Hook. I have to pee. Pelvic pressure.

11:43 We enter via the garage. I unhook the grocery bag and drop it off inside the door.  I get B out of stroller and let him in, and take his coat off, he demands bread that he can see in the grocery bag. I unload the groceries while he eats heel of the loaf of bread.

11:48 Peeing. I am locked in bathroom with B and Moons again. He asks for more bread.

11:50 I heat pea soup, chill B’s soup in the fridge while seasoning mine. He demands more bread. I give him strawberry instead. Then he asks for bread again. He eats that while I finish lunch and put more things in the dishwasher.

11:58 We eat lunch at the table. I check twitter. B says Mmmmm.

12:03 B says all done and claps his hands. He is a pea soup disaster. I wipe his hands and face, remove his shirt and add it to laundry room pile. I get a new shirt for B, finish my soup standing, clear dishes, load dishwasher, and wipe table. B finds a random discarded pretzel stick.

12:10 I change B’s diaper while singing songs, find a kiwi seed in odd place, text J about the seed, update my notes and B crawls all over me and says “no no no no,” then calls for Moons and gets her a Moons ball.

12:17 I put new wipes in changing area, add soap to dish sponge dispenser and B plays ball in the living room. I retrieve a forgotten sippy from stroller diaper bag, pick up other unloaded garage sippys and add them to the dishwasher. I steal a piece of J’s candy. It’s super gross.

12:28 The laundry loads are switched out and the first basket is up for folding. I sit in window folding while Moons bathes on the clean piles. B brings a book over and I read it while he turns the pages. One rips and I tape it. He wants his shoes and socks off and then plays cars while I return to folding.

12:53 The laundry is put away while B is playing ball in the living room. I pick up random stuff upstairs and books that have been pulled off shelf, return laundry basket to downstairs and B steals it. Sit down and he climbs up to snuggle and show me a football. Moons arrives and B leaves to play with her and a string. I check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

1:00 I ask B if he wants to nap with his puppy. He brings puppy upstairs and goes to his bedroom. I pee, wrangle cats out of room, put socks on him, hand him a book, and fill a bottle with water. I lay with him and read one book, then he asks for water and I turn light out. I lay next to him. My back hurts. 1:15 he is out. I attempt to sleep next to him but I am too uncomfortable. I leave.

1:20 I chug water, apply chapstick, take pants off, lay in my own bed, turn on video monitor next to the bed and attempt to get comfortable. Someone opens and closes their garage eight times and slams car doors in alley while the baby kicks me.

1:32 I fall asleep after ten more minutes.

2:00 B is sitting and crying. This was too short of a nap so I go in and lay with him. He falls asleep with his hands in my shirt.

2:38 I check twitter. My back hurts. I check FB and update my status, organize photos from day, check weather and it looks like we can go to park. Weirdly warm.

3:10 Leave B’s room to pee. I note that the cats are still napping. I do not flush during a nap. I put pants, socks, and slippers back on, remake my bed, and hide the baby monitor.

3:12 I chug water in the kitchen, start tea in the electric kettle, eat a couple of ginger thins, tidy up living room and bring balls upstairs from basement.

3:20 I pour tea. We are now entering bonus nap territory. I eat more ginger thins and add whipped cream and half ‘n half to make the chai tea seem real.

3:27 I  put last load in the dryer. More hate for the laundry room. Then I sit down on the couch to fold.

3:40 I start to worry about how long his nap is and make a mental note to really wear him out at park for a smooth bedtime. Then I text Justin a nap update and park plans. 

3:50 I text Erica about mourning the loss of my own ability to nap, drink more tea, eat a banana, eat a honey wheat pretzel, and put away laundry.

4:04 Concern over the crazy long nap grows. I pee, flush the toilets, text, post to IG, consider making jerky, but don’t want to be caught in the middle of meat slicing when B wakes.

4:08 I heat breakfast sausage for after nap snack. Also add strawberries, ginger thins to a plate.

4:15 The door opens and B walks out. I ask if he had a good nap and if he wants a snack. He takes my hand and pulls me toward the kitchen. I put him in his high chair to eat and he is happy.

4:19 It’s getting dark so we need to hurry. B says mmm after each bite and also “No, Moons.” He seems to be pooping in the high chair. I text Justin about naps, B leans in for kisses, calls Moons with clicky noises, continues eating and pooping, requests songs, points at things and wants me to tell him what they are, and makes silly eating faces. Longest snack ever.

4:31 He signs all done. I get him down for a poop check, then change diaper, sing Pop Goes the Weasel and he adds in the “pop.” I drop off the diaper at the  dumpster in the garage.

4:36 I pee and chug water. Alone! B throws balls downstairs.

4:40 I ask if he wants to go to park, he says  “go go go” and sits in my lap for shoes. He asks for help with dinosaurs…? We get coats, hats, and a football. I put him into stroller the stroller.

4:45 We leave for the park. B points out the real moon in the sky for first time. He yells “choo choo” at the Metra. I text J about the moon discovery.

4:50 We arrive at the park. He stalks big kids, holds football at all times, runs the ramp, fall on slush, talks trucks, digs in wet sand, watches the seesaw, yells “choo choo,” eats sand!?!, slides, does stairs, shares the football, moves little chairs around, kicks a found soccer ball, swings, and climbs.

5:38 I get B into the stroller and leave because he was asking for a hat and a snack. I give him a water sippy to chug.

5:44 We are home. Coats and shoes are taken off and put in closet. I wash our hands. B wants to brush his teeth.

5:47 J says he is leaving the office.

5:50 I pee, put away more clothes in B’s room, and chug water. B yells for a banana but doesn’t  actually want it. I eat banana and a strawberry, he asks for cheese, I preheat oven, dump preseasoned Brussels sprouts into pan and add butter, and pick up random stuff in living room. B plays ball then I put the sprouts in the oven and set the timer.

6:03 I bring the last load of laundry up. B throws all his balls downstairs.

6:05 J arrives home. B yells about balls while J takes his shoes off and throws all the balls back upstairs. I fold clothes and towels and put them away. J changes to sweats on and sits down. J plays catch with B. Then plays mini basketball.

6:18 I check on the oven sprouts and heat the foreman grill. I cut pork loin that was roasted the night before and assemble sandwiches for pressing. There is massive wrestling noise down stairs.

6:35 I assemble plates for B and J and drop them off in the in living room. They are watching 30 Rock. 

6:38 I bring my own plate down and eat. B eats pears and turkey and steals our sandwich crusts.

7:00 J turns on the Bulls game and B watches and plays basketball with J.

7:08 J brings plates up and puts them in dishwasher. I start cleaning up the kitchen. I deliver more pears and a milk sippy to table, pour vinegar down the disposal, and wipe the counters.

7:17 I give J water and a vitamin, take my own vitamins, then accidentally pour water on myself.

7:19 B brings J a book and the tv is off. I chug water in the kitchen, finish cleaning up, and start the dishwasher.

7:24 I lay out pajamas while J reads another book to B downstairs. He yells up for me to start the bath. They read a dinosaur book.

7:25 I run the bath. 

7:27 Feed cats.

7:30 B has bath time with J in charge. There is brief toddler nudity in the living room. I clean up the living room, turn the major lights out, deliver teething meds in bath, pee, and grab the baby lotion. J drops off B in the bed wrapped in towel. I lotion him and sing You are My Sunshine, Goodnight Benton, Twinkle Twinkle little star, and the Rainbow Connection. J fills the humidifier and gets me butt paste for B, and fills his bedside water bottle. I put B in an overnight diaper and footed pjs while singing. I set him up on pillows with his monkey and puppy, we read a book about a new baby coming, and then say goodnight and bye bye to the book. I say “it’s sleepy time now, mama loves you.” I put the book under bed so he doesn’t slip on it if he climbs out.

7:52 Lights out. He turns on his side toward me and has his puppy to spoon. He asks for water then drinks for minute and hands it back. I put it the side of the bed. He lays silently and blinks. He tries to scratch at my chest and I tell him no and hold his hands near puppy. He blinks slowly until 8:03 and then falls asleep. His hands rested on my shoulder. I catch up on the notes I have been taking and while the baby in belly kicks. My back and neck hurt.

8:09 Heavy sleep breathing and little muscle jerks are happening as he falls deeper asleep. I check in on twitter but don’t say anything. 

8:14 It’s time to extract myself gracefully despite a huge belly. My neck muscles are on fire. I remove his towel and lotions from the room and creep out slowly. I close shower doors in the bathroom and kick moons out.

8:20 I pee, turn on the video monitor in our bedroom, change into pjs, wash my face, brush my teeth, and apply oil and lotion to face and belly.

8:36 I pee again. Not kidding.

8:37 I convince J to let me use computer to get my photos off the phone, he is not thrilled at all.

9:23 I’m still using computer because it was broken and then the sync took way longer than I thought it would.

9:30 I’m done with the photo transfer. Bah! I go up to my computer in our bedroom and make a quick slideshow with unedited iPhone pics from day.

10:36 Done. I take Tylenol PM, drink water, pee, put more toilet paper in our bathroom, and lay in bed with 4 pillows. I hope that B doesn’t wake too much in the night and prepare for 4am move to his bed. 

10:44 Lights out. Baby is moving a lot.

10:58 counts how many times I peed today (13?). I text J this number.

11:00 I close my eyes and fall asleep sometime later.

Big Fish

I’m typing this with one eye open, wearing glasses that I found in the back of the junk drawer. My eyes burn like coals from the fires of Hades. I assume it is because they are wind-burned. Because I live in the windiest city this side of the Mississippi, near a lake. I also assume that if I stopped going outside on all these outings in the winter, my skin and eye problems would cease to exist. *googles: hibernation, hermit, gollum how-to* It’s just so dry up in here that I have even resorted to washing my face with oil. Desperate times. I may also have to pee as usual, but I thought I would try to delay that to see if it makes me type faster.

Speaking of wind, I was actually blown off the sidewalk with the stroller today. My hood acted as a parachute and nearly took my head off in its attempt to take flight. CHOKE. I silent cursed the wind, which I am rather pro at. I have much practice whisper-cursing terrible cats during nap time, so I am an expert at screaming WTFSTOPin my head or at barely audible levels with frightening effectiveness.

Do not be deceived by the apparent calm.


This post was actually supposed to be about the aquarium. We go there a lot.

A couple of weeks ago, Justin and I took Benton on a weekend. The above photo was taken in the Shedd Oceanarium submarine, just across from the Beluga whale tank. This may be in Benton’s top three favorite spots that he has yet to discover on Earth. So we returned to the Shedd today, mainly for this part of the exhibit.

I get to sit under these fake icebergs while B creeps older kids and PRESSES ALL THE BUTTONS ALL THE KNOBS. He is so excited and adorable. Occasionally he will squat and bounce with his arms in jazz hand excitement. He stomps his feet in the submarine and announces to all the other littles: DOOOT doot BWAHHHH Doot! GAH. Then runs to me, sitting under the fake icebergs, clings my legs for two seconds then sprints back to the BUTTONS.

*pee break* *fail at fast typing* *apply more face lotion and chapstick*

Then we went over to see the Belugas that I have been singing about for 18 months. Guess what? MORE BUTTONS! BIG ONES! Toddler heaven.

Then he whispers in wonder “Big fishy.” I die.


The Up and Up

These pictures are from Friday when it felt a whole lot like spring instead of winter. It was one of those days that idealistic moms-to-be daydream about as they rub their pregnant bellies

Benton and I woke up and he gave me a bunch of kisses and said “I ooou.” This is his short version of “I love you.” We had breakfast  and then went out to Grant Park.

He is completely obsessed with stairs since it is his latest skill, so I thought it would be fun to go to the statue of Grant and let B loose onto the hill. He went nuts for about an hour or so. It was nearly 50 degrees outside, and the sun was almost warm.

I offered him my hand a few times to see if he wanted help on the way down the stairs. Denied. BIG KID. I get it.

After all those stairs, we went to a new restaurant in my south loop hood called Waffles. I was so happy, just sitting there on my date with little B after a fun morning in the park. The waffles were perfect. Sometimes life is so good and simple.

Benton then passed out in the stroller on the way home, and I transferred him to the bed without any trouble. We both napped. Then we went to another park in the afternoon with a million other neighborhood kids. This is completely bonkers in January. The sunset blew my mind. I ended the day with a fabulous tapas dinner with good friends and stayed out way past my bedtime. Just a really sweet day, no?

Not every day is like last Friday. Especially in the winter. Today, I found myself in the familiar winter funk again today. I wish I could say that it wasn’t common for me to feel this way, but I can’t claim that. I don’t like my mood to be so dependent on the weather and I would do almost anything not to feel this way. But it’s extremely hard for me to control. So grey is what I felt. This winter has been so mild so far, that it makes me feel even more silly to feel so low.

I have probably written about winter sadness every year on this blog. I’m tired of writing about it and certainly tired of feeling it. But I figure I may as well stick a few paragraphs in here at the end of some pretty pictures and get it out-of-the-way for 2012. So there you go.

I know that getting out of the house and getting exercise helps. Seeing friends and not being alone too much helps. And sometimes comfort food really does help. Taking photos and posting them here helps me end the day end on a good note. So thanks, little blog. You do me good.

Mittens are Dumb

This is such a picture heavy post, that I think I will just talk via captions. We went to the park. It was cold, but not freezing. B hates his mittens.

How does he already have smile wrinkles? What an old man. This picture gave me baby fever, even though I am pregnant.

Toddlers need to burn off A LOT of energy in the day. Or at least mine does. This can be tricky in the winter unless you are paying a mortgage for kid classes/activities in the city. If the temps are above 30, we are going to the park for sure. Maybe he will sleep through the night? (heh)

Ah, yes. One of his favorite park pastimes is Big Kid Creeping. He is enthralled by all things big kid. They generally ignore him because little kids are boring.

Speaking of big kids, he is obsessed with steps and learning to jump. Many hours a day are spent on this skill. Many.

I can't tell you how tired I am of this ball. It is always in the laundry room, blocking the doors to my washer and dryer. Since we have about 6 bajillion trajillicats more, I donated yet another to the park. It will be loved. Don't feel bad for it.

I was lucky enough to capture his first I-Can-Walk-Like-A-Big-Kid-Up-And-Down-The-Stairs success. He usually needs to hold on to something or crawls up. Whoa.

More creeping. Now with mouth breathing.:-/

"OMGAHHH mama! Are you seeing?! The Big Kid is playing with me!! Mouf Breaving worked!!"

And then it got dark and I had to pee. This is generally how the day ends.


The Museum

Hi there! You want to go on another walk? You want to Go GO GO GO on an adventure? You and Benton have a lot in common. Poor guy never knows if he is getting into the stroller for a ride to the dry cleaner or a museum. It could be the PARK!…or the grocery store.  The stroller is the equivalent of toddler gambling. He participates because he knows it could be his ride something really good.

Lucky for you and him, today we had plans to meet friends at the Field Museum.

I adore the museum campus. The Shedd is my favorite building, but the Field is a respectable behemoth of a place. The park that they reside on is outstanding (in the summer).

Look how pretty the Shedd is, sitting with the best view of the city and the lake.

Back to the Field. We met up with Kate and her littles this morning and let the kiddos run around the stuffed animal exhibit before feeding them a lunch at the in-museum Corner Bakery. Please enjoy these blurry photos. The museum is…dark. And toddlers are fast.

He repeatedly ran towards the whale hanging from the ceiling. BIG FISHY. BIG FISHY. He woke up from his nap requesting said fish.

Next, we always visit the bears. This place is better than a zoo for little ones, because there are no crowds and the animals are super close. They are just dead is all.

Then comes the hundreds of stuffed monkeys. Kind of creepy and yet another good place to show off the always cute toddler skill of "What sounds does the (such and such animal) make?" See also: more running.

Boy howdy, these are blurry and terrible photos. But how cute is this stroller maintenance in the African exhibit? Elise is master of her umbrella stroller. Don't mess with her. Don't.

Then after lunch, it is a race against the clock to get the kids home to nap. This is Benton's face about 2 seconds after being snuggled into his stroller palace. He fell asleep 5 seconds after this was taken. Stroller naps are dangerous beasts for us, but I had luck with the transfer into the bed today.

We are lucky to have the Field and other museums as our neighbors. So many exhibits to see, especially as Benton gets a little older. His brain is absorbing and analyzing more than ever, and I can’t wait to see what happens when he starts telling me what’s in that growing mind of his. I think he is going to be a pretty cool kid.

A Little Walk

I wore a hat indoors all day. It kept my brains inside and trapped a bit of heat. Today was one of the first really cold days here in Chicago. It seems like we Chicagoans have gotten away with something for the icy air to wait until January to smack us. Things are CRISP out there. Or frozen if you will.

I had to pick up dry cleaning today, which can only be done via stroller, so Benton rode in his cozy Arctic Bundle Me thingy and I pretended my stroller muff was going to provide sweet precious warmth for my whole body. It did not, but it is still pretty sweet. Probably the best winter accessory I own. You should get one if you walk around in temps under 30 degrees like I do. *Waves to other crazy person.*

For being so cold out, it was still kind of pretty because of the time of day I chose to go. My eyes were a bit watery from the air, so everything looked kind of like a fun house. These photos are from my phone of course, but they document our little insignificant walk pretty well. And we didn’t get hit by any cars running red lights at State and Roosevelt. So there’s that. *Shakes mittened fist at stupid cars.* 

Thanks for walking with us. Wish you were really here. Bring a muff.

Obligatory Pregnancy Post

Um. I haven’t done a pregnancy post on here since I announced that we were having baby Boley #2. It was kind of dramatic start to things, but I am happy to report that it has been super easy since then. All the midwife appointments have been really quick and boring–besides hearing the heartbeat which is never boring–and I haven’t had a lot of questions or issues. I feel at peace.

Although I am excited to meet our second son, I am not incredibly anxious or impatient. Since I was lucky enough to have an uncomplicated delivery with Benton, I have a lot of confidence about the upcoming birth in April, so there isn’t much stress there. We already have the baby gear that we need for the most part, so I am not worried about all that. Things are just moving along smoothly.

I am SO HAPPY about this. Boring, or uneventful as I should say, is just fine when it comes to pregnancy issues. And don’t hate me, but I’m pretty much enjoying myself. I am 20 lbs less than I was at this point in the game last time, and I haven’t hit the tired phase of the 3rd trimester just yet. I am nesting like mad. Things have never been more clean around here and I feel good.

Things that I do wonder about are the day-to-day logistics of taking care of a newborn and a toddler. I know how challenging breastfeeding can be in the beginning, and I remember sometimes nursing for up to eight hours a day with B. So that is probably my number one anxiety with this baby. I just don’t know how all that will work, but I am sure we will figure it out.

I think I’m actually more excited about meeting this baby than I was with my first. Or maybe since I am less anxious about the unknown, there is more room for happy anticipation. This time, I feel more like I am waiting for a person then a baby if that makes any sense. A new family member.

I know each and every kid is very different and this one could be the complete opposite of laid back baby Benton. But I’m now equipped with a support system, some base knowledge, more patience, and a confidence that I didn’t yet possess when I was a brand new mom with B. I also have confidence in my partner and have the advantage of seeing him as a dad already. That is no longer a mystery factor. Justin and I are a good team, and we have our share of victories and losses just as any good team does.

I’m sure I will have more to say about this pregnancy, but for now, that is all the important stuff. Non important stuff? I really needed a lot of orange juice today and cleaned and organized every inch of the kitchen cupboards and pantry. NESTING ALL THE THINGS CLEANING ALL THE THINGS MORE NESTING MORE MORE MORE CLEAN.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you will likely stomp your feet now because I haven’t posted the obligatory belly photos on the blog. Apologies, apologies. I think all of them are iPhone pictures so far. Let me see if I can find some.

K, here you go.

21ish weeks

22ish weeks

23ish week comparison.

And my favorite shot so far. He is such a dear.