Ah, motherhood and the new perspective that it gives you.

That spending money on a good nanny will probably be far more satisfying than buying shoes.

A mere shower can make the day.

I can carry enough various things in my hands that I could apply for honorary octopus status.

That "baby" is now the third most frequent tag on my blog.

Hand wash only clothes are the divas of the closet. Really? The delicate cycle in a lingerie bag will have to do for you!

And the hour at the gym that used to seem like a tedious, dreaded chore, is now a joyful time to escape and repair the distortions wrought by pregnancy. I had to laugh at (and commiserate with) the comparison made by Girl Gone Child blogger, Rebecca Woolf, of her pre- and post-partum fit.

That last photo captures the chaos just right too. Calvin attempts to catch onto my hair sometimes with a tenacious grip!

The Blustery Day

As much as I really like beautiful, sunny, warm days I confess to taking equally great pleasure in the cloudy, rainy days.

On the good days, I spend time conflicted about whether to rest and take a nap or get out for a walk.

On the miserable days, the decision is made! We are staying in, napping, snuggling, watching tv and working on little home projects.

Today was one of those days. Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day perfectly captures the gloomy, calamitous whirlwind of a stormy day, like the one we had today. I'll be holding onto Calvin tight so he doesn't blow right away like Piglet. And adding this book to the Amazon list, since its an essential lesson in meteorology for our son.

(UPDATE: It appears A.A. Milne had nothing to do with the Blustery Day as it was conceived as an animated feature by Disney, so there's no book! But we an watch it on YouTube.)


Animals Talking in All Caps... I mean, ANIMALS TALKING IN ALL CAPS is a hilarious website I stumbled upon recently and it's just the thing to prompt a laugh. Each post is offered in a bite-sized piece appropriate for those of us only getting up to three hours of sleep at a time. (I try to stay sharp and read the NY Times online while nursing, but I often fade quickly after the lede.) SHHHHHHHHHHH. THEY’RE LISTENING.



I don't know why, but imagining animals talking, and either drunk, conniving, or in histrionics is something I enjoy. A lot.

Go get more here!!

Let's Hear it for the the (Room &) Board!

This is the kind of customer service that makes for life-long customers. Of course, we also tell our friends about positive experiences. (Link here in case my Deniece Williams "Let's Hear it for the Boy" reference escapes you, or you're feeling nostalgic with the remake of Footloose.)

An odd thing happened to our Room & Board dresser (coincidentally named Calvin) where one day there was a hole in one of the drawer faces. On the floor was a tiny pile of saw dust. We were perplexed and, as you'd suspect, perturbed. Was it an accidental drill hole that had been filled in? Some vulnerability in the wood, like a knot hole that fell out?Since this furniture was above and beyond our usual IKEA spend, and something I had considered an investment, I emailed Room & Board to ask if we could fix this. I was willing to buy a new drawer if they'd sell me one.They did even better. Within maybe two days of my email, Room & Board called us to ask when they could bring us a replacement. Not a replacement drawer, but a whole new dresser! It was delivered a week later! (And by the way, Room & Board has the most considerate, clean, and efficient delivery guys. They shuck off their shoes, while holding the dresser up in their arms, to enter in their stocking feet and keep your floors clean.)

Customer Service diagnosed the problem as a beetle that was trapped in the wood. We were advised that all the wood they use is kiln-dried which usually kills any bugs, but we had a virulent little guy who, two years later, apparently worked his way out.

...Of course now I can't help but wonder where in our house this dura-beetle went.

Thank you, R&B. p.s. I love your pillows.

Red Carnations!

Thank you, Jason for surprising me with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers, with red roses and red carnations. Since I'm home all day, it's something to look at and enjoy.

What Are They Thinking?

Tell me, pet owners, that these are not hilarious and endearing: Tiny Confessions animal prints. It seems like they'd be funny in a small powder room, since that space lends itself to confessionals, or maybe a vet's office.

You know it's true with the disdainful look that your cat gives the television every weekend (ok, every day.)For Jason's mom's dog,Hank:Oh, me too somedays. Me too. Especially when I was 7+ months pregnant.And this too.

Bundle Up, Baby

Just in time for me to go back to work after maternity leave, a weather pattern is predicted that will surely drive me right back home as soon as possible: another very bad winter for Chicago!

"Meteorologists at predict that Chicago will get between 50 and 58 inches of snow this winter..."

"Chicago has seen at least 50 inches of snow in each of the last four winters, according to the National Weather Service, dating to a whopping 60.3 inches during the winter of 2007-08. "

And lucky us, we've lived in Chicago for the last five winters, including that '07-'08 year. For long-time readers, you may remember that, and the playlist I made to go along with the many dreary months.

Photo via the Chicago Tribune.

I Carry Your Heart

One of the aspects of pregnancy which absorbed me more than anything else was the idea that for nine months I had two heartbeats. My own, and the fast gallop of Calvin's heart that I had the chance to eavesdrop on at every doctor's appointment. Thinking of this in bed last night, and then looking over to the heart that now beats outside of me, in his little swing, this e.e. cummings poem came to mind.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

- e. e. cummings ~

I have a feeling that I will always carry Calvin's heart in me still.

Photo by Elliot Erwin.

The Humble Carnation

The humble carnation, sold in hastily packaged plastic packages on roadsides and in supermarkets.

Garishly green for St. Patrick's Day.

In ninth and tenth grade, Valentine's Day brought on the carnations to send to your friends and beaus, white = friendship, pink = a crush, red = love. I secretly always wished I'd get pink, or someday red, but if anything it was usually a handful of white carnations. Regardless, I loved the smell of them and spent most of the day holding the flower up to my nose.

I am pleased, therefore, to see the carnation coming into popularity. Maybe I see a bit of myself in its eventual blossoming, like the girl in high school who didn't get many flowers on Valentine's Day, but now finds herself happily married and loved.

An lovely ode to the carnation, "nature's pom pom", via Besotted Blog and Making it Lovely. Martha Stewart has quite a few tips for putting together these hardy blossoms. As they last so long, it's likely the only flower that's actually worth all of Martha's required effort.

Seems Like This Should Have Come Sooner

Let's face it, going to IKEA is really a two-person job. Unless, you are content to shop only in the marketplace and pick up just the things that can be carried by one person, like meatballs and sheets.

Jason does not list IKEA trips as among his most favorite shared activities. I think most husbands agree, which is why I've eagerly volunteered myself to be an "IKEA buddy" to any woman I meet who might have the same concern. Even acquaintances at cocktail parties, if she mentions loving IKEA I'll immediately jump in with, "Me too! We should go! Call me whenever!!" It sounds a little desperate, I know.

But those clever Swedes are thinking and I just hope that they bring this idea to the Schaumburg IKEA soon: MANLAND.
Drop husband off at the "man nursery" filled with video games, televisions, and activities, shop away, and then call him when you need him in aisle J28 to get the EXGRET (or similarly funny-named IKEA item) off the shelf and onto the cart. Happy everyone.

A Few Thoughts From the Sleep Deprived

Without being able to schedule activities that last more than 1 hour for fear that Calvin will show up with other plans, blogging has been a bit of challenge. However, it hasn't meant that I haven't had a few thoughts to share.

Here are a few musings from the sleep deprived:

- Jason and I have realized that we have a new weathervane for our relationship. The last two arguments we've had were initiated by one screaming baby. We later look at him lying small and innocent in his pack n' play and wonder how someone who's less than 20 days old has such power. - I don't understand why baby monitors are sold with multiple cameras, but just one monitor for the parent. I know these are modern times, with single parents being quite common, but for the two-parent household I have to wonder if this isn't just perpetuating a gender stereotype that mom is going to be primary? (Ok, maybe if it were pink I'd have more of a case.) Or is it a safety thing: if both parents have a monitor will baby suffer from the "bystander effect" where we each think the other person is addressing the crying?

- Seriously, babies go through a lot of diapers. This a primary impetus for my finally calling the bank to refinance our mortgage to a lower rate. Not kidding.

- For any new parent, I share the recommendation from my friend Maya to watch, and watch again, The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. The 5 S's being key to getting an unhappy baby to calm down. I am so grateful for our baby swing, bouncy chair (which we call the rumble seat), and white noise CD.

- But I understand the humor of "Go the F*% to Sleep,." However, right now I am more often in the desperate pleading stages, "please, please, please go to sleep."

-Everyone's said to savor every moment, and it is kind of crazy to see that Calvin already looks bigger than when he arrived, with a pot belly and jowly, chubby cheeks.

And he has actually been a pretty good sleeper at night. Though I wake up a million times every night worrying: 1. is he breathing? 2. did I remember to feed him? and 3. did I put him back to bed, or did I fall asleep and forget him somewhere?

Every time he's just here.

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