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October 2016

    Illustrations

    Illustration: Go Cubs Go!

    Originally posted on my portfolio site LL Creative

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    I was blessed with a huge head. The bigger the brain, as my mama likes to say!

    And it looks like my son has inherited my big brains, because his head size is in the 98th percentile and he looks like an adorable, cartoon bobblehead these days. Read more

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    Chicago

    Pumpkin Patch at the Loews Hotel

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    Continuing our tour of Hudson sleeping at pumpkin patches, next up is the pumpkin patch at the Loews Hotel!

    (And actually, Hudson was awake at least 50% of the time. Progress!)

    The Loews is a newer hotel in our neighborhood, and J and I have been huge fans since their opening. We’ve gone to have a drink and listen to live jazz in their lobby, enjoyed dinner at their restaurant Rural Society, and the best part: hanging out in the summer on their huge terrace bar and lawn.

    The Loews’ outdoor bar is called Streeterville Social, and we love the unique views of the Magnificent Mile. But what makes it really unique is the huge lawn to the side, with additional bars, lots of low, comfy lounge furniture and fun lawn games like giant Jenga. Very little makes me happier than a competitive game of giant Jenga on a warm summer night with a glass of wine in my hand! I love living in Streeterville, but wide green expanses are few and far between, so living a block away from a terrace like this is a huge perk. Not complaining, by the way! Lack of green space is a trade I happily make for living along the lakefront.

    Last year we found out that they were hosting a pumpkin patch and biergarten on the lawn just a little too late to check it out. So when we got pregnant and were thinking of all the fun things we could do with Hudson, this was top of the list!

    After a nap, we bundled Huds up in his Cubs suit and headed out on Saturday afternoon, hoping that he’d be awake to take a little more of it in than our last attempt.

    The lawn was transformed into an urban fall wonderland, with pumpkins and cornstalks everywhere. Hudson looked on enviously and vowed to be back next year for the pumpkin painting and face painting stations. Then he fell asleep.

    Jason and I, however, were most interested in the offerings for the really big kids. I picked up a cider and Jason tried a few of their seasonal beers. We grabbed a table to enjoy our drinks and a pretzel (when in Rome) and watch the barely contained chaos of happy city kids running around.

    It was a great way to spend a few hours outdoors and enjoy the Chicago’s beautiful fall weather. I’m already looking forward to returning next year to carve a pumpkin with Hudson and watch him run around in a little costume. Thanks, Loews, for hosting such a great event for city kids… and city parents 🙂

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    Life Lately

    Through the Camera Roll: Life Lately

    I had a realization. Saying, “time is flying by!” every week may be approaching the annoying-ness level of people who always respond, “so busy!” when you ask how they’re doing. Forgive me. I’m going to work on it. Does it ever get less startling, though? How another week or month can go by in a flurry of diapers and walks and iPhone videos of cute new firsts?

    Here’s a rather random collection of photos and memories from the past week or so.

     

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    Despite Hudson’s skeptical expression, this photo documents a major milestone: my two babies together! Our cat Blitzen refused to surrender his ground when I needed to lay Hudson down for some playtime, so I figured I’d see what would happen if I put them next to each other. Until now, they’ve pretty much ignored each other with the exception of a few tentative sniffs of Hudson’s head from Blitz. Hudson stretched his little fingers out and sort of “pet” Blitz by opening and closing his hand. Blitz didn’t seem to mind and I’m convinced they’ll be best of friends any day now.

    The truth behind this idyllic picture, though: Hudson’s big move lately is hand-to-mouth and upon his attempt to eat the hand that he’d just been burying in cat fur, I quickly went to stop him. As there’s nothing cats like less than sudden movements, poor Blitz completely freaked out and ran out of the room, stepping on Hudson’s little foot on the way out. Which, of course, scared Hudson to death and I spent the next 10 minutes trying to calm down a red faced, screaming baby. Poor guy. Still counting this as the sign of a great friendship to come!

     

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    And Blitz isn’t the only one doing big things this week: I achieved a big personal goal this week! I recently submitted some work to the Huffington Post for consideration to blog for their parents channel. I found out last Thursday that it was accepted and the Huffington Post featured it on their site! I’m now a blogger for the Huffington Post. How crazy is that? I’ve mentioned before that I find it really difficult to put myself out there, but something about having Hudson in the picture makes me so much more brave. Thanks, bud!

    If you’d like to check out my first Huffington Post article, which is actually a variation of a blog post I posted here a while back, here’s the link. 🙂

     

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    It would be impossible not to mention the almighty playmat as a major hallmark of the last few weeks. We spend hours with this thing every day. His face completely lights up when he hears the music start (music that Jason and I now hear in our dreams, by the way) and he’ll lay there kicking and waving his hands for sometimes upwards of half an hour. Hall-e-LUJAH. It’s also been semi-helpful getting him to tolerate tummy time without flipping out. The day that he tires of his mat will be a sad one—I have no idea how we’ll ever find something else that can keep him entertained for so long that also benefits his mental and physical development!

     

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    Last week, my grandparents drove in from Ohio so that they could meet their great-grandson. Seeing them holding Hudson was a really special moment and I will always treasure these photos. My grammy said Hudson talks more at 2 months than any other baby she’s met and my grandad was mostly just taken by his giant baby size. It was a great visit and I hope to take Hudson to Ohio to spend some more time with them soon.

     

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    If there remained any doubt, summer is officially over. (Though we’ve still been getting into the 70’s fairly regularly!) Hudson and I were walking on the river the other morning and got to see about 50 sailboats heading up the river to hibernate for the winter… and the Odyssey was close behind. All of the bridges were going up to accommodate the masts on the boats and I was so glad we stumbled across such a beautiful “I love this city” moment.

     

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    Another snapshot from a walk down to the end of Navy Pier—on a Monday at about 9am, the only time I can stomach it! The city has done a lot to improve the pier in the last few years but no matter how much better it looks, I usually can’t handle the crowds. Quiet, early mornings are empty enough for us to tough it out, though, and this view is so worth it.

     

     

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    Jason and I got in a mini-date last week when his parents came down to watch Hudson, and I met Jason near his office at the Franklin Room for $1 oysters and a drink. We didn’t stay long because the Cubs were playing and we needed to head home to our lucky charm: Hudson! A successful night all around.

    We’re really, really lucky to have family nearby to give us little breaks like that. Plus, Hudson is always a super happy camper to see his grandparents, so it’s a win-win. Thanks, Jan and Ron! 🙂

     

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    These two! Hudson’s been crying more than usual lately and the evenings in particular can get rough. But watching Hudson’s face break into a huge smile when he sees his daddy come home is the CUTEST thing, and Jason’s patient, calm demeanor gets us all through the “witching hour” before bath and bed. I love my boys.

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