Wednesday, July 28, 2010 far


City Garden Summer Camp

Luella and Sam

Chores (Sammy uses the clorox wipes on the bathroom and Clalire cleans the glass table in the living room)

The kids at Fosco water park...Wella sleeping

Claire's butterfly habitat

Luella cries...but not for long. Someone is always there to comfort her, giver her a pacifier, kiss her, hold her...etc.

Legos....picture taken by Sam, (see his reflection in the toaster?)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

6 weeks

How did it go so fast? Our little Wella Wella is 6 weeks old this week and getting more precious and chunky by the minute. I, of course, have not made my 6-week postpartum doctor's appointment. I didn't go to one after Sammy's birth either, but who has the time?
We had ALL kinds of fun this past week. Matt was out of town for the week last week, my car broke down with the 3 kids in the backseat and I had no cell phone on me, and then, over the weekend our TWO houses flooded from the rain (and my friend Bridget's house which I am watching while they travel). So we're having tons of fun.

The good news is that our little precious Luella keeps us all happy and, if anything, the kids love her too much. Sammy kisses her so much that I have to push him off occasionally so she can get a breath! And Claire still continues to amaze me at how capable she is with the baby. I might be giving her too much freedom, but I'm hoping it will give them a good relationship.

My extended family is coming into town this week and we are super excited about that! Mom and Dad and my older sister and her family will be here this week as well as my Aunt Marty and Uncle Bruce from Colorado. We'll all commune at my Aunt Becky and Uncle Rich's house in Barrington at the end of the week, which will be so fun. We don't get out of the house quite as much this summer, so I'm maybe overly excited to get together with everyone. Haha. Aunt Katie, my baby sister, will be missed however. She's very busy with her grown-up job in Wichita, (and probably a little busy hanging out with her new boyfriend). ;)

This summer has been a weird one. We're all adjusting to a change in activity level with the new baby. Sammy, especially, is used to much more running around and I'm sad that I can't take the kids to as many fun activities as they are used to doing in the summer. Suddenly, taking a newborn to the pool or the beach seems pretty impossible, but I guess I knew that was coming. It's just one summer, right? We're adapting. We go to a splash park that is pretty fun, which doesn't require me to actually get into a pool with the baby, but it still allows the kids to get wet and cool off. Our summer pictures to come soon.....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A little preciousness for your day

I'm drinking coffee right now and eatting the leftover thai food that I ordered with my good friend, Kristin, last night. I have to brag on Kristin because she's a big-time corporate pilot who flew in for a night on business and stopped by to see me and meet Luella. I think she's very fancy. She's my best buddy from childhood whose wedding I was in last summer. And it was great to see her.
I'm alone for the week because the Big Guy is on a business trip until Friday. And when he's out of town I like to make sure I do a little blog with pictures of his babies in it, so here's are some pictures of the Wella. He likes to read the blog when he's out of town to see what we're up to. And I try to make what we are doing sound fabulous so he thinks I'm a great mom.

But right now the honest truth is that I slept in until the big kids came in imploring me to get up because there were NO MORE YOGURTS in the fridge! Heaven forbid. So I got up and little Wella-Wella woke up with me. We made breakfast (raisin bran) and then we made "second breakfast" (leftover thai food) and now I'm trying to will myself into action for the day.

So far, the hardest part of being a mom of three for me has been balancing everyone's activity level. You see, Luella was up for one rigorous hour of eatting, making cute faces, burping, and getting her diaper changed. Then she was all tuckered out and ready for a nap. Sammy, on the other hand, was, at that same moment, dressed in head-to-toe camouflage and asking to go to the park to shoot golf balls.

So, what's a mother to do? Park or rest time? Poor Sammy. He lost this time. But...if I go brush my teeth right now (actually, that's totally optional) then I can be ready to go for the next brief hour that little Luella is awake. Then she can ride to the park in the stroller and listen to me yell at Sammy: "Hey! Don't hit the ball that way...there are cars over there!" and "Give your sister a turn" and "no REALLY, it's her turn now" and "SAM-U-EL....don't hit it that WAY!" and "Don't look at the bench where the teenagers are making out!" (okay, I don't say that part...I just decide that it's time to go at that point). My friend Julia was here with her three boys yesterday and she got to experience our park first hand. Lovely.
Alright, have a good one.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Good Big Brother

Sammy loves his baby sister. He may not remember what her name is, but he really loves her. And Jesus loves her too.

4th of July with the Barbars

There are no pictures of fireworks or anything in this post as our 4th of July did not include any this year. But it DID include our friends, the Barbars, and swimming in a sweet roof-top pool.

Nice view, huh?

Wella enjoyed it because it wasn't too sunny, and the kids had a great time with the Barbar kids, Tori and Anthony.

Tori is about a year younger than Claire and Anthony is about a year younger than Sam. The Barbars (who were here, from Florida, living in an executive apartment for the month while their dad worked in Chicago for a few weeks) are from Boca Raton and they have a pool in their yard at home so Tori and Anythony are GREAT swimmers. In fact, their baby, Drew is pretty good too!

Look at their great view! The balcony gave me serious panic attacks though.

Being on the 31st floor was very exciting for my kids. The only downer was that we planned to watch the fireworks from this window and instead they were all blocked by buildings. That's okay though. We had a great time anyway and Matt took Claire to fireworks in Glenview the next day (Sam was sick).

Tori holds Wella.

During the time they were here, we managed to have a few playdates at our house, go to Ed Debevicks and Gino's East (twice actually), swim in their apartment's pool, AND spend another day in Wheaton buying the kids college t-shirts and letting the boys visit their daddies' football field. What is it about old friends? You can always just pick up where you left off. I love that. We miss you Barbars! Come back next year!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Favorite things: baby and post-maternity edition

So I was a mom to babies 5 years ago, but things have changed since then! I know, I know, it's not like it was really a long time ago, but they come up with so much new stuff all the time that I'm having to figure it out all over again! I'm not one to get a lot of stuff. I tend to spend money on only really practical things, but the following things are the "stuff" that I'm really into right now for babies and for their moms.
Weleda products. This Calendula Oil is my favorite for moisturizing everyone in the family (okay...not Matt, but the rest of us). I also like the Calendula shampoo and body wash for babies. I'm not a total health nut, but we do have really dry skin around here, so I'm trying to steer us away from the usual Johnson's baby shampoos and stuff which I've heard area actually kind of drying. This stuff is expensive but a little goes a long way. I get it at Whole Foods but also Target.

I've definitely narrowed down my favorite Onesies to the Gerber brand. These are also from Target. I hardly buy my kids any clothes because I'm just not a huge clothes person (and because I think a baby in a onesie is pretty darn cute anyway) but I am picky about my onesies. Gerber is long and skinny which fits a newborn baby much better than other brands. I don't know why other brands make them so short and fat. My kids are usually even chunky babies, but the proportions are so weird on other brands! They are usually so wide and then they look all floppy and stretched out. I also like them to be slim fitting because then they can wear them under other clothes better.

So, this is for the nursing crowd, but I couldn't live through the first few weeks of nursing without Lansinoh's Lanolin. Target of course.

This is something I've had for a long time, but I've started depending on it more since Luella was born. It is Revlon's Tourmaline Ceramic curling iron. It is digital so you can set the temperature for anything from 200-400 degrees (I like it at the hottest for speed) and it heats up in about one minute. So, even if I have to leave the house with crazy unwashed hair for the third day in a row, I can still straighten out my bangs if they are going 10 different directions.

 This isn't technically a baby OR mom thing, I guess, but Playmobils are becoming a huge thing at our house. They seem to be the one thing that my two kids will play together! Sammy got all kinds of pirates and soldiers for his birthday and they are keeping everyone very happily playing...and that is rare. So, if you are a mom of more than one child, get a collection of playmobil guys going once the baby is born to keep everyone happy indoors for the first few weeks.

I got the Jeep Liberty jogging stroller from my friend Brigitte and so far I love it. I know you aren't supposed to put a newborn in a big jogging stroller, but if you throw a giant pillow sham in there first it magically becomes a pram-type stroller! Haha. See how I roll? I mean, I'd love to get one of the $800 strollers that sorta grow with your baby, but this $100 stroller (on sale) will take me through toddler-hood I'm sure and it's working great now too!

The Moby wrap. I've mentioned this in past posts, but I have to reiterate that this thing is magical. It takes me like 5 minutes to get it on right, but friends have assured me that I'll get used to doing it much faster. It really doesn't hurt your back though (and I have a BAD back) and baby Lulu falls asleep in it in about 30 seconds! It's very cozy in there for the baby and it's really soft and comfortable to wear.

I can't actually promote this yet, but I'm ordering it because I really need some core strength after this pregnancy. My lower back and ab area feels super weak and with all the holding of baby and bending over and lifting stuff (like strollers in-and-out of the car) I'm determined to get my middle area strengthened. I'll let you know.

I finally figured out a sundress-style that I can wear comfortably all summer! I love these kimono-style dresses. I got two from Target. The pictures wouldn't copy from the website, but the ones I bought are here and here (except in black). See how they fit all the requirements? Good for nursing (check). Good for covering upper arm fat (check). Good for defining a part of your "waist" that isn't fat (check). Good for draping gracefully over the part of your waist that IS still a bit fat (check). Also, other sundresses with skinny straps show your bra straps and I can not be wearing a strapless bra right now...just not practical. Also they are cheap (check!).

Someone gave me this bathtub and at first I thought it would be a giant waste of space, but actually, we put it in our own bathtub and fill it up and it's awesome! That little green plastic piece holds the baby in a sitting up position so that they don't fall down into the water. She can actually sit in it independently! And Lulu loves the water already. The green piece is removable for when the baby gets bigger.

So...those are the things (in no particular order) that are getting me through the day right now.  Just thought I'd share for any other new moms out there (or third time moms who have been out of it for a while like me!!!).

Birth Video

I forgot to post this video that our birth photographer, Jamilla Yipp, created for us. It does give me a little bit of a tear in my eye. Wella Wella....we love you.

Create your own video slideshow at

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Daddy Daughter dates

So, last week Matt took Claire to the Sears tower. It is now officially named the Willis tower but I don't think anyone actually calls it that. They have had it on their list of things to do since she was 5 years old, but they finally got around to it.

The funny thing is that even though Matt grew up around Chicago, he had never been to the top of the Sears himself! I went as a kid several times, but maybe that's because I was a "tourist". Here is Claire on the 103rd floor looking through the telescope thing.

Here is the CNA building. It's the big red building if you look at a picture of the skyline and I used to work there back in the day. It was my one and only adult job. My entire professional career. And it only lasted about 13 months. I started there the week of Sept 11, 2001 (traumatic as you might imagine) and that was about 4 months before Matt and I got married. Since I got pregnant about 2 seconds later (okay...6 months later) I didn't end up there very long.

A view towards the Hancock building. 
And one of the Chicago River and the Chicago SunTimes building.

Um....why is my family standing in a glass box 103 floors in the air?

It's sooooo good that I wasn't there because I would have ruined the experience with panic attacks.

Aaaaaaahhhh! What are they doing? That can not be safe.

This is when I'd be giving Matt death looks and saying things like "fine...if you want our first born child out there levatating over the city that's just FINE! You obviously don't even care about us. Claire....seriously....step back honey. Seriously."

More falling feelings are happening in weird parts of my body right now. But, alright, that is pretty cool looking. I'm glad they had that time together. Now that we have "all these kids", I think one-on-one time is going to be rare. I did tell her that she is stealing all my dates with daddy though. Wink, wink.