Category Archives: Daily Picture

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.

 

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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.

Four Score and What Seems Like a Bajillion Years Ago

Well, lucky YOU!

I just typed and deleted two paragraphs about blogging and why sometimes I do it and other times I don’t. But no one really cares about all that, and I don’t feel the need to apologize or construct some fake blog guilt, because WHO HAS THE TIME? It would be dumb.

Anyway. I’m still here and I am perfectly fine. Yay! Shockingly, I have a lot of energy for someone who parents a toddler and is approaching the third trimester of growing a baby boy. I still don’t sleep through the night and probably won’t for a while, but I am kind of used to it after a couple of years. Most days I can function as a normal human. So, no that is not why I have been away.

The other day, I was looking through some old photos for a #flashbackfriday pic to upload to Instagram. I found myself lost in my DPH (daily picture of happiness) albums from not so long ago but what feels like a lifetime ago. Unexpectedly, I got homesick. A real achy feeling. I missed my dusty camera. My REAL camera. I missed my old neighborhoods. I want to look at things differently again, searching for the DPH that I used to post so religiously each day.

I want to take the time to fall in love with little details and daily moments, and to make capturing and reflecting on them a priority again. I want to celebrate the big things, too. My life is richer now than it was when I created those albums, so why was I achy when I saw them? Do I miss the ritual? The daily reflection? The creativity? The perspective it brought to me? Yes, I suppose I do.

Life is about to change again in a big way this April. In no way will it be easier to photograph and write when I add another person to care for. I know this.

But somehow it has to work.

I am not promising DPH every day again. Or long posts or perfect images that were captured with a real camera and edited on a real computer. But I am promising myself to live with that goal in mind. I’m excited to make this a priority again, and I hope the achy feeling in my heart was just some pent-up awesomeness that is about to come out.

While Justin put Benton to bed tonight, instead of laying in the dark with my glowing phone, I went into the quiet living room with my camera. I captured some shots of the Christmas decorations that I refuse to take down until it snows at least a few inches. These aren’t life-changing photos, but the act of taking them was my first step towards a place I want to get back to. Or forward to. Forward sounds right.

Happy..Trumpet?

I hate to have the sad trombone post stuck at the top of the page for too many days. Because things are better.

Today I went outside and the snow was melting. I know better than to get my hopes up that spring is really here. But today? I got a hint of it. And it was SO. GOOD.

 

I walked into my bedroom when the sun was hitting my yellow friend just right. I wanted to Pin it. Which means I have been spending far too much time on Pinterest. Ahem.

 

 

Nearly Finished Nest

What to see the nursery? It is pretty much done, minus a few things like adding some maps and globes and more black-out curtain panels that are clearly needed. The answer to “where did you get that” is most likely IKEA and Target. It is an incredibly budget-friendly space.

Ready? Follow me.

This is what you see when you enter. The glorious poo station.

Here is the frontal view of the changing area.

These are one of my favorite parts of the nursery. They are animal prints from Berkley Illustration. Click this photo to go directly to the Etsy Shop.

Pygmy Marmoset!

I love the changing "table" because it is clearly a nice sized dresser that will be with us for years. Top drawer? FULL OF TINY SOCKS.

Here is the lamp light that we will be changing nighttime diapers by. I imagine it will be kicked onto the floor. But it is cute now.

If you are standing by the changing area and turn around to face the opposite wall, this is what you see.

Ceiling entertainment. We will probably also add some crib entertainment accessories at some point I imagine.

The rug is two reversible runners from IKEA that I plan to hook together at some point.

Schwen approves.

Now we are in the corner looking at the fabulous window wall.

Hello.

These are for treasures.

Here is one of the MANY blankets we have for this little guy. This is made by my mom though. And it matches the walls so I love it.

This little rocker has appeared on Megagood before. It was my mom's when she was little, and then mine when I was a wee-one.

This was also my mom's rocking chair. I have no clue where it is from. But I will be spending a lot of time sitting in this scene.

Schween approves.

The Most Unflattering Photos Ever

Before I get to the point of this post, let me just describe for you the scene in my bedroom.

Porpus just puked. Then she and Schween ate it. Now Porpus is bathing Schween in the sun. Enya is playing in the background and I am sitting on a birthing ball eating a popsicle. Something inexplicably smells like corn chips, but only I can smell it. I just looked through some old baby photos of myself that came the mail, which reminds me that there is a possibility that my child may be born with a reddish mohawk. Which would be kind of rad.

So about a million times a day, if I leave the house, I will be asked how I am doing. I’m not sure if people want the short answer or the real answer. Usually I just say, “good.” Sometimes “Meh.” or “Ehh.” IF they linger, or they are a good friend they will get the whole story, including the saga of my Shrek hands.

My hands and feet are in a terrible state. I was worried that I was going to go into the midwife this week to be told that my blood pressure was high. But all she said was to try drinking a ton of water (I do), and eat some watermelon and asparagus. But for the most part she just pitied me and said that life was likely to be horribly uncomfortable until after the birth. And also? My pelvic pain? Totally normal. Just my bones separating. Eegads.

So, asparagus and watermelon. That sounds pretty good. Since I hate complaining and not trying to do anything about the situation, I decided that I should look up some other foods that help with edema. I added tomatoes, celery, and grapefruit to the list. There are many more, but this is a good start.

And a pretty start at that:

One of these things just doesn't belong here, can you tell me which thing just doesn't belong...

LOOK at that hand. You are lucky no feet pictures are being uploaded. You would be puking along with my cats.

FAQ about the hands:

  • WHY are they like that? Because I am pregnant. And it is July. And they just are.
  • Does it hurt? Yes. Like arthritis in the joints and sort of like the skin will bust open at any moment. Like I have rubber bands around my wrists on a 110 degree day. I can’t open jars or make a fist.
  • High Five!?! No.

On the bright side of things, this baby is full term tomorrow, my bags are packed, and we are really excited. I am ready to be done, but trying not to get my hopes up for an early delivery. I just want to meet him so badly. GO TOWARDS THE LIGHT, LITTLE ONE.

22 days to go.

Tiresome and Dangerous Beauty

In less than a month, I will be a parent. This being said, I have been actively seeking advice from any parent that will pay attention to me (in real-life and online.) I’m also reading books and taking classes, but I prefer to hear what worked for REAL people. With REAL human babies. Which I assume I will give birth to very soon. Although, if I have a litter of cats, I would know exactly what to do.

Here are a few examples of the advice (solicited and unsolicited) that I am getting from some wonderful moms and dads:

On Birth:

  1. Take the epidural. Drugs are your friend. Don’t try to prove anything. Natural birth is crazy.
  2. Definitely go for a natural birth. It is best for you and baby. Swim with dolphins during birth if you have to. Do chanting and light candles. Hospitals are evil.

On Feeding:

  1. Breastfeeding is really hard. You have to be a saint to do it and some babies just won’t feed from mom. Supplementing or formula feeding is just fine. So-and-so grew up on formula and he is a brilliant scientist Olympian who rescues sea turtles.
  2. You have to breastfeed. There is no other choice. And you have to do it within an hour of the birth. Breast is best. You should be comfortable enough to breastfeed in the nude on public transportation if you have to. It’s your right. If you have to supplement or use formula you should feel like a horrible mom. Good luck, you will be great!

On Sleeping:

  1. Babies are loud sleepers. Put him down to sleep in the crib from day one or you will be sorry. And you will never sleep again.
  2. You must co-sleep with your baby. Or with a bassinet near your bed. It makes night feedings so much easier. Or you will be sorry. And you will never sleep again.

On Help:

  1. Make sure your mom is there right after the birth for at least a week. And don’t leave your bed. Friends and family will feed you, clean your house and take care of the baby in the first weeks. Don’t try to do too much or you will burn out and fall into post-partum depression.
  2. Make sure you and your husband have alone time with the baby in the first weeks to help with bonding. Limit visitors. If you don’t, he will be over-stimulated and confused as to who his parents are. The family unit will crumble and then you will probably get divorced.

SO.

Maybe I am exaggerating a wee bit on some of these. Most advice I’ve received has been well-meaning. And I do like to hear about what worked and what didn’t from parents that have been through it already.

BUT:

Obviously there are different styles of parenting. Most people think they know best, which is probably true for their family. In fact, I’m sure that it’s near impossible for them not to do what they think best for their baby. But knowing what is right for my family? We will find out on our own when we get there. At least I know my options. Right and wrong can only be decided by Mom and Dad. Not by a neighbor, friend, grandparent, coworker, or woman on the street who is interested in my birth plan.

HOWEVER, there is one piece of advice nearly everyone has given me.

On the Home Stretch:

  1. Get as much sleep as possible before the baby arrives. Nap, sleep in, sleep at work, sleep, sleep, SLEEP.

CURSES! I suck at this. I have never had a problem sleeping until pregnancy. But now, when I am supposed to be taking advantage of  sleeping in, I wake up with the stupid sun every morning in between 5 and 6. At least I am good with napping. Although napping at work is surely frowned upon.

An advantage to waking up this early is quietly watching the sun rise with one Schween Boley.

Can you see her in the lower left of the nursery windows?

Then we make our way to the balcony to start the day. She is in her signature Cooked Turkey position on the left.

Although it is gorgeous, this does become a tiresome way to start the day at 9 months pregnant when I should be “taking advantage of sleep” as they say.

Speaking of skies, we have had a billion thunderstorms in the Chicago area recently. This has made for some incredibly beautiful and dangerous looking skies. Last week, there were tornado warnings followed by a rainbow and some golden/amber colored light. My mom was driving WITH THE STORM from Chicago through northwest Indiana and into Michigan. Probably the worst time to drive ever. She’s fine by the way.

I really need to break down and get a tripod so I can take a photo that isn’t grainy. I stitched this rainbow together from some shots taken towards the east off of our balcony. Click any of these to view full size…and full grain 😦

Seriously, the sky was glowing. I didn’t change the color of that photo. See, here is what Alma captured in Oak Park.

And this next shot shows the storm from its backside. It was looming over northwest Indiana as my mom drove through, while most people were in their basements. Pretty, eh? But yikes for sure.