mamas day 2014

Since Chris had to work on Sunday, we celebrated Mama’s Day in a few different ways over the past week. We celebrated with a family lunch at Little Goat Diner on Tuesday afternoon. The food was outstanding. I recently read an article about Stephanie Izard is beloved by Chicagoans, and in most opinions, can do no wrong when it comes to food. It is true. Perhaps it’s because we loved her on Top Chef? We ordered way too much, and took home a substantial amount of leftovers. We will be back, Little Goat, to further explore this menu. So good.  Bonus: they have a photo booth, and we took our first family photo booth photo!

The best time to take L with us to restaurants is during that time of day when it’s too late for lunch and too early for dinner where there are few people in the restaurant, so our meals don’t take long to prepare and where we can let L run around a bit after we order and before we eat. This makes it possible for us to still enjoy a meal out as a family, and it prevents an epic meltdown. After lunch, we explored the West Loop neighborhood and found a park with lots of room for running around. It was a great afternoon with my boys.

IMG_5400 IMG_5409{Chris had the ‘goat almighty’}

IMG_5412{I had the blueberry pancakes}

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On Saturday, my cousin got married in southern Wisconsin. It was a fun day celebrating with family & friends. Also, it was at a camp & conference center, so L had tons of space to run around outside during the ceremony with Chris. Lots of dancing, running around, and outdoor time.

DSC_0323{My sweet sister & I at my cousin’s wedding}

DSC_0328{new favorite family photo ^^^}

On Sunday, we went to church with my parents and sister and brother-in-law in town from Michigan. It was a great service. Our church’s emphasis on families and motherhood is a blessing. After the service, we went back to my parents’ house where L took a THREE hour nap, which allowed me to eat in peace & take a nap. We were back home in time to see Chris before he jetted off to work. Play time, bath time, bed time. It was a good day. With enough time to spare for me to have a little SATC marathon before bed. #happymothersdaytome

photo-2{a realistic photo of motherhood. a toddler with attitude; a toilet paper roll & a bag of random items hanging out over my shoulder.}

I hope that all the mamas — hope-to-be, soon-to-be, and non-traditional mamas were loved and celebrated. Happy Mother’s Day to you.


…and just for fun, Mother’s Day last year. My, how the little dude has changed.



thoughts on motherhood: 4 // breastfeeding

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{me & levi @ 10 months old}

before L was born, i wanted to prioritize breastfeeding. my hope was that we would make it to the one year point before he self-weaned. silly me thought he would want to start weaning around 12 months. little did i know. after a bit of research {google!}, i realized that most babes prefer to breastfeed past 12 months, and that WHO recommends breastfeeding until 2 years old. although there are days when i swear he’s starting to wean, they’re followed by days where it seems nursing is the only thing we do. for the entire day. not only is he still very interested in “milk” {which he signs by opening and closing like he’s milking a cow}, he is still consistently waking up 2-3x/overnight for it. the silly thing is that he was getting better a few months ago, then BAM – he got sick and sleep was heavily interrupted. so he’s regressed.

i’ve read the books, i’ve scoured the internet for gentle solutions for night weaning. there are times when L will cry himself back to sleep, but i can tell {i can tell!} the difference between these wakings and the “i want the milk” wakings. {funny how that happens, isn’t it? how one learns to differentiate the cries of their progeny. i didn’t believe it until it happened to me.} we tried this method, read this book and this book. although we seemed to make a little progress by reducing the amount of time i fed him each night, we never made it to the final stage of letting him cry himself back to sleep because he would just carry on, sleep for five minutes, and then start the process all over again. so, we stopped. stopped stressing about trying to train our kid to sleep through the night just because i envied the other mamas who were well-rested. do those even exist?! i’m skeptical.

so, here we are. 14 months in. no signs of weaning. and i’m still stumbling bleary-eyed in the middle of the night into L’s room to nurse him. some nights are worse than others {like the night he was up 5 times because of teething, and 3 times because he threw up all over himself}, i’m sticking with what my mantra has been all along… to trust my gut and accept that his needs {for now} might continue to interrupt my sleeping patterns.

a few things that have gotten me through the nights {and the next morning} when it feels like sandpaper has replaced my eyelids.

\\  this website has really great advice. it really aligns with my overall philosophy about parenting and breastfeeding.

\\ i decided to break up with my medela backpack {aka my breast pump}. i know just breastfeed on days when i’m home, and overnight before/after work. freedom from my little black backpack that i used for 416 {yes, i counted} days.

\\ i also found this article interesting regarding the different things that can impact the nursing relationship: distractibility, nursing strikes, teething.

\\ i have a little list of all of the places that we’ve breastfed outside of the house. it’s a fun way to remember our nursing adventures.

the bottom line is that i love nursing. i love our special bonding time, and if he’s not ready to give it up, neither am i.


PS. remember this? that about sums up my thoughts about sleep learning.


When we moved into our new apartment, I thought we would be seeking a nanny for in-home care. Due to the irregularity of Hubby’s schedule, we soon figured out that it would be nearly impossible to find someone who’s able to switch days each week.  We found a daycare about a mile from our apartment that offered us the flexibility of changing our days as needed. The daycare also happens to be on my route from home to the office. This meant that I would be responsible for getting Levi to daycare 2-3 days per week. Since Hubby uses our car to get to/from work, it also meant that my “vehicle” would be our stroller.

The first day when I had to bring all of the “extra” things to leave at daycare, we basically bottomed out the stroller. I somehow managed to carry Levi {both of us in winter coats} down two flights of stairs, carrying four bags, and get him situated into the stroller. We’ve come a long way since just a few weeks ago. I now find myself looking forward to our little daily adventures. Picking him up at the end of the day just melts my heart {cheesy, but true}.

Here are a few photos of our daily schlep: 

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Levi is a champ at being in the stroller {as are most city kids}. However, right after I snapped this final photo, he had a meltdown. Naturally.

thoughts on motherhood: 3

I found this in my drafts from June… I look back on this now and think how far I’ve come since then. Still, I thought it was worth sharing.

Well I’m starting my fourth month of being a mother, and am well into my first month of returning to work. Although I’ve been able to flex my time to work at home some days, it’s still difficult to find time in the day for all of the things I want to accomplish. Taking a shower? It falls low on my list of priorities next to having clean clothes, organizing bottles, and stocking the diaper bag. I never thought it would be so difficult to find time to take care of myself. My eyebrows are in desperate need of a wax, I’m still sitting on a massage gift certificate from Christmas, and am desperate for a hair cut {this postpartum hair loss is no joke}. Instead of spending time scheduling these appointments and carving out the time for myself, I opt for basic daily goals like: brush hair, teeth, face, and apply a little makeup to cover the bags beneath my eyes. I used to think that I was going to be one of those moms that pureed all of my own baby food and cloth diapered. I’ve since dropped both of those things from my list of priorities of things that I need to do. Are there times when I make purees for the little dude? Yes. Is that all he eats? No. Are there times when we cloth diaper? Yes. Are there times when we use disposables? Yes. I’ll take it. Motherhood is teaching me to readjust my expectations to reflect what is attainable with the time that I have. 

in my bag

I am always intrigued by “what’s in my bag” posts. They’re a fun way to see what people carry around on a daily basis, how often {or not often} they clean out their bags, and what items they deem “essentials”.

Now that L is a year old, I’m able to toss a few items into my regular bag instead stocking an entire diaper bag. It makes my life much easier. Here are the things that I found in my bag when I emptied it at the end of the day…

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Items {in no particular order}:

madewell – the transport tote, a pair of hubby’s leather gloves {i have no explanation…}, coach card case, coupons, otter box iPhone 5 case that is disassembled {i intend to clean it off and put it back on}, planner {yes, i still use a paper planner}, notebook, headphones, rebecca minkoff wallet {my absolute favorite}, diapers, wipes, a plastic fork {i think it’s from chipotle}, business card case {a gift from hubby}, random hair products & nail polish kit {gifts from sister}, hand lotion, a toy cow, three lip balms, sharpies, bandaids, locks of L’s hair {from his first hair cut}, mirrors {for work}, and a used tissue.