Our first official sighting of the water cannon at the mouth of the Chicago river! I love watching it soak unsuspecting boaters over the summer–hopefully Hudson is up for a little schadenfreude 🙂
I’m working on Hudson’s 8/9 month update (whoops) and have so many cute photos of him to share soon, but I thought I’d share a look back on life over the last few weeks. I am pretty impressed by our activity level lately! I loved the quiet, snuggly fall and winter with Huds, but I am feeling antsy to get out there and show Hudson his first summer in the city.
Last night, Jason said he thought May might be Chicago’s best month because all of the anticipation of summer is still ahead of you. I totally agree: I am PUMPED. We have more fun plans with friends on the radar and are just so, so excited for warmer temperatures and consistent outdoor time. Bring on the beach, parks, street festivals, pool time, and lots of time on the balcony. Here’s a look at life lately!
No words. Just amazing.
Two weekends ago might have been the best weekend of my life! Except for the weekend Hudson was born, of course. Oh, and our wedding. And honeymoon. Okay, so forgive my hyperbole, but it was a REALLY good one: WE WENT TO SEE HAMILTON! Jason surprised me with tickets for our 2nd wedding anniversary this spring and I have been anxiously, impatiently waiting ever since. Despite my sky-high expectations, it still exceeded everything I could have hoped for in a show. It was thought-provoking, hilarious, heartbreaking: just everything. Best present ever, J!
A peanut butter infused vodka cocktail from Arbella.
After the show, we went to Arbella for a pre-dinner cocktail. I got a peanut-butter and chocolate concoction because how can you NOT try peanut butter infused vodka if it’s on the table? I’m happy to report it was as ridiculously good as it sounds. River North has long needed something like Arbella (upscale, creative cocktails, intimate atmosphere) and we actually went back after dinner for one more drink because we loved it so much.
“Wonder” – the dessert course from the Art Menu at Topolobampo.
Dinner was Topolobampo… long on our must-go list and it was just out of this world good. We did the 7-course tasting menu with wine pairings and enjoyed every bite of a long, delicious meal inspired by Rick Bayless’ modern Mexican art collection. I even braved squab for the first time (major trip down memory lane recalling my 22-year old self Googling “squab” while working in marketing for Fox & Obel and subsequently being horrified at the notion of pigeon as a delicacy.) It tastes, of course, a lot like chicken 😉 The only photo of dinner I took was our dessert, which tasted like light, fluffy, heaven. Or maybe that was the wine pairings talking? Mama’s a lightweight these days.
Pineapple aguachiles and Hiramasa laminados at Lena Brava.
And I have to add–that marks TWO Rick Bayless restaurants in just two weekends. Who am I!? The weekend before last, I went with a girlfriend to his new place, Leña Brava in the West Loop for dinner and it was equally good. Much more casual and trendy but no less amazing on the food front. Also, Mr. Bayless himself was there! I’ve heard before that he’s often seen around Chicago but it was my first sighting, so I was pretty excited. My hungry little heart was pretty happy about all of the great food over the last few weeks.
I became OBSESSED with redoing our balcony this year, and I’ve made some major progress! To be honest, by redoing, I really mean doing anything at all with it. My biggest challenge was finding a functional, outdoor table with an extremely small footprint that was 32-36” high, which is just high enough so that your view is not of the railing but not too high so that you’re staring down a 35-floor drop to the ground below. Not to be dramatic or anything. I’m happy to report that I found the PERFECT solution: a balcony bar!
We have officially named our little 7×9’ outdoor paradise the Sky Terrace, which sounds more than a little bit like the name of an early 2000’s hotel rooftop bar in the Gold Coast, but we are tired new parents so please forgive our lack of creativity. Now we can say to each other, “Hey, want to go have a drink at Sky Terrace tonight?” This is helpful in us pretending we have a summer social life when really we’re in for basically every night at 6:30PM due to the almighty Bedtime.
Hudson is unsure about his new digs.
I’m apparently on a home-improvement kick, because I also attempted to read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up—I got about 40% through it before I just couldn’t handle any more “tidying” as a verb, but I do credit the book for kickstarting some intense spring cleaning and organizing. We donated or tossed a TON of stuff and I organized even the deepest, darkest corners of our little condo—a very necessary endeavor as Hudson’s empire continues to expand and take over our entire condo. His little play area has the best view in the whole place.
Hudson’s favorite part of swimming lessons: the part where he’s not swimming.
I signed Hudson up for mama-and-me swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School and I have to admit I’m a little underwhelmed by the whole thing. He has officially outgrown his talent for instantly napping in the carseat, so getting through Chicago traffic down Grand is pretty miserable both there and back as he is not a happy camper being stuck in the back seat alone and is extremely vocal about that.
I love the water, and really I just want him to be comfortable in it. But I’m thinking I can probably get him to that point by myself this summer in our pool, and later I can worry about him actually learning to swim. Plus, he’s so BIG that I can’t really do a lot of the exercises with him during the lessons— the instructor will say, “hold them under one arm and with your other arm, help them kick their feet!” Meanwhile, I’m holding on for dear life to my 22 pound, wiggly, wet, pissed off baby with both arms as he’s trying desperately to climb on to my head so as to avoid being dunked again. Lots of work, little reward as of yet 😃
By far the biggest thing we’ve done lately was a weekend trip out to Ohio to visit family, but that’s getting a post of it’s own–so I’ll wrap it up with this picture: our official first trip down to our pool deck. No swimming yet, just a little playtime on a blanket because I have to figure out how the heck you get a baby and yourself in and out of a pool that doesn’t have stairs (Google? Mom?) but get ready Hudson Bean, it’s only a matter of time!