Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Tortoise and The Hare

I have two little girls. One of them is my tortoise. She is so slow it drives me crazy! A simple task, like climbing into her car seat, could take forever. So could putting toys away, washing her hands, throwing something in the trash can, etc. She gets side-tracked, stops to think about things, comments on everything she sees, and often forgets what she was doing. She comes by this honestly. It cracks me up to watch Bob mow the grass; I'll see him stop, with the mower running, and just look at the house, thinking, I'm sure about all the things we need to/plan to do to it. And, eventually, he'll start moving again. I'm much quicker at washing the dishes (and the floor stays dryer) because I don't hold dripping dishes over the floor while I finish a couple thoughts. Not that he does that, of course.

The other little girl is my hare. That girl does not slow down, ever, unless she's asleep. She takes after Bob's mom, who goes a mile a minute most of the time. She's also a little accident-prone, like her grandmother. She's often running into things, falling off things, etc. (Okay, so I do that, too! But she still gets it from my mother-in-law.)

Anyway, it makes for a constant tug-of-war: Caroline, hurry up! Lucy, slow down! Neither of them, of course, are moving at the rate I want them to. It should be interesting to see where this little boy fits into the spectrum. By the way, I'm due in 35 days. 35 days. Good grief. I'm excited. I'm ready, emotionally. I can't wait to meet him. But... we have so much to do! If he came today, the poor kid would have nothing to wear. I'd be able to set up a bassinet for him pretty quickly, but my bassinet sheets are all pink or purple.

We need to get hoppin'.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Day of Fun

Yesterday, Bob was headed up to Chicago for a meeting with one of the nuns (his company is owned by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago), and he invited the rest of us to tag along for the day. Of course we said yes.

We had an uneventful 2 1/2 hour drive up there, though Lucy only fell asleep shortly before we arrived, and Caroline didn't fall asleep at all. Then, we parted ways: he to his meeting, and us off to find some lunch. Of all the opportunities for good food in Chicago, I think (hope!) this was the crappiest. Nonetheless, it fit my criteria, since I'm 34 weeks pregnant, not so full of energy, and pushing an awkward double stroller: it was relatively close, there were no steps to get in, and it wasn't too crowded. That should have been a clue. Ugh. I actually called my mom after lunch to complain about how bad it was, from the food, to the environment, to the other customers, etc. (I mean, really, if you were the only customer, and you hadn't sat down yet, and a pregnant lady struggled in with a double jogger, would you STILL take the only table, rather than sitting at the bar-height counters with backless stools, where, clearly, a responsible parent could not seat her young children??? Would you? Tell me you wouldn't.) (Clearly, I'm totally over this already.)

Then we walked to a delightful little park where I sat in the grass, in the shade, and watched the girls run and burn some energy. They had a great time, and they definitely chased their fair share of pigeons. We even fed the pigeons (shh! don't tell!) the rest of the girls' crappy sandwich from lunch. The pigeons liked it.

At that point, I was feeling like I was wasting my time in Chicago ... I can get bad food and sit on grass at home! So we headed off to Tiffany & Co. Thankfully, Caroline fell asleep, and Lucy had a great time (lots of shiny things to see) while we waited for them to clean my ring. I go in once or twice a year, and it's amazing how shiny my ring is when they're done with it. That, or I just think it is, since I know they cleaned it...

Bob called then, having just finished his meeting, so we headed over to meet Sister Frances Clare, who was very sweet. You have to like a nun who gives you a hug immediately and is clearly sincere. She told us how the valet parking guy never knows what to call her, so her car is usually listed under The Nun. Sometimes The Nun Clare.

And then... after a quick trip to Starbucks to get the girls some whole milk (for Lucy) and soy milk (for Caroline), we got on a bus and headed up to the Lincoln Park Zoo. I'd looked up bus routes, and I thought I had a pretty good idea of where we were going; nonetheless, I'm sure it was obvious that we aren't from Chicago. I didn't have correct change, getting the stroller on and off the bus was less than smooth, and we weren't exactly sure where to get off. But, since I didn't feel like walking a mile and a half there, then strolling the zoo, and then walking a mile and a half back, the bus was a great option. And cheaper than driving there and parking.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is free. This was nice, as we were trying to keep the cost for the day pretty low. However ... Bob and I both agreed that if they charged about $15 or so for admission, the experience would probably be a lot better. Too many people! And some of the adults were behaving as badly as the children. I could not believe it when I saw adults banging on the glass of the exhibits, trying to get animals to look at them so they could get a good picture. Wow. We also concluded that they'd probably have more funding to fill some empty exhibits if they had an entrance fee... All that said, however, I loved it. It was beautiful, the animals were incredible, and Caroline had a great time. Lucy finally fell asleep, so she didn't see everything, but it was definitely worth it. I may have enjoyed the landscaping more than the animals, but that's ok with me.

The plan was to then walk down to Navy Pier, where the Children's Museum is free on Thursday nights. However, it started raining, and we took refuge under some scaffolding, and finally, I got tired of being on my feet, so we just headed back to the car. We drove out to Oak Park and ate at a fun little Italian cafe (pizza, followed by gelato), and then headed home. What a day. Exhausting, but oh, so memorable, and fun. I think my favorite part (and I wasn't even there! I was sitting on a bench, resting...) was when Bob and Caroline were exploring the Waterfowl Lagoon at the zoo, and all of a sudden, she got so excited because she saw some flamingoes. Bob didn't see them, but he followed her, and sure enough, there they were. She was in heaven, even though Bob said they reeked to, well, high heaven.

Next time we go, we're going to ride the El. I know a certain almost-three-year-old who would love it. As it is, she keeps talking about her ride on the bus yesterday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


My brother-in-law jokes about blogging about laundry. But since that's what I've spent the last day-and-a-half doing, I'm going to write about it.

I don't have tons to say. I'll keep it short.

1. Is our water bill low because I've been drastically behind on laundry for 7 months?

2. (corollary to #1) Will our water bill for this month be totally out of line, thanks to this little laundry spree I've been on?

3. The 3-6 month onesies I just pre-treated and washed: have they been dirty for forever, or did I fish them out of the attic because I ran out of clean ones in the right size? (Please note: my youngest is 15 months old.)

4. Or is my youngest just really small for her age and can still fit in them? (Who am I kidding? If you can't really snap the onesie, it doesn't fit.)

5. Perhaps I really don't need a whole new set of maternity clothes. I've discovered all sorts of things I forgot I had. This is embarassing.

6. Front-loaders are the best. (By the way, after once hearing a guy refer to a bra that clasps in the front as a "front-loader", I'm always a bit nervous using that term. But there's no denying it: my washer is a front-loader.)

7. I've worked up a sweat, hauling all this laundry up and down two flights of stairs (though Bob has carried some of it for me). I'm hoping there's still some hot water left so I can take a nice long shower.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I'm now 32 weeks along, or seven months, for those of you who aren't familiar with the forty-week countdown.

This is my third pregnancy*, and it's been the roughest yet. Pregnancy #1 was a blast; I felt fantastic, I loved it, I could have stayed pregnant forever. Pregnancy #2 was rough, though I think it was mainly rough because we were living in a big unfurnished house, and there was no place to sit down except for our bed. (All our stuff was in storage while we were having the house rewired, replastered, etc., etc.) This one, though... ugh. It's been hot, and that's been hard. But mainly, my body has changed with the previous pregnancies, so this little guy is sitting a lot lower and causing me a good bit of discomfort. And the contractions! I start having fairly big contractions after merely climbing a flight of stairs. Or sometimes, just walking from one room to the next.

The good news is that I feel pretty good, apart from the back pain and the contractions. (Did I forget to mention the back pain? Man, it's a doozie.) And the girls are enjoying the pregnancy. Caroline loves praying for her brother, and Lucy gets a kick out of the fact that my belly button has begun sticking out. She likes to compare our belly buttons these days.

I was worried that I might deliver past my due date, which would not be ideal, since Bob's scheduled to be out of town for two weeks starting just a couple days after my due date. Not being there for the delivery is NOT an option. But with all these contractions at this point in the pregnancy, I'm inclined to think I probably won't deliver late. Let's hope not, anyway.

Anyway, this little guy is looking healthy. His heartbeat is strong, he's very active, especially after about 11pm, and he gets the hiccups all the time. (I feel slightly guilty that I delighted in all of Caroline's prenatal hiccups, and I find his annoying. The novelty has worn off, I guess.) I think we've settled on his name, which won't be revealed until he makes his appearance. I can't wait to meet him!

*This is actually my fourth pregnancy, though it's the third I've carried this far. I miscarried a baby at 10 weeks, shortly before I got pregnant with Caroline.