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.
Posted in Chicago, Uncategorized
Tagged Chicago, Daily Picture, dph, good day, grant park, photography, SADD, south loop, sunset, toddler in the city, waffles, winter
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.
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.
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.
Editing all the year’s photos down to a less than ten minute slideshow was full of pleasure and pain. The best part was seeing all the spring photos. I have hundreds of photos from May and June. The whole project really got me prematurely excited for warmer weather.
But, I had to cut a lot of photos out because of time constraints. If you have a LOT of time on your hands, and do want to see them all, just go here. However, I am pretty sure that nearly 10 minutes of DPH is more than enough for you to handle.
On a time budget? Just skip to the end for a special DPH that I haven’t been able to show you until now.
Happy New Year to you all.
p.s. Jordan–I apologize for the quality of the video. I already know you are disappointed in lack of HD-ness. 😦
I have so many photos to go through. This is a good and bad thing. It means I have a lot of DPH…more than usual. But I haven’t had much downtime in the last few days, so the pool of photos just keeps getting deeper and deeper. I am also about to go on a four-day trip to a design conference in Austin and the DPH pool will soon turn to an ocean.
When I surface, I will let you know. Bring your scuba gear for safety. I am predicting a tsunami.