Monthly Archives

September 2017


    Toddler Parenting, on a Loop

    I started writing down all of the things I say to Hudson, all day, every day… and I suspect I may not be alone. I have the fuzziest memories of my own mom saying more than a few of these sentences between my siblings and I, and at the park if I listen to the chatter around us, I’m likely to hear at least a few of these one-liners. (Side note: the toddlers are having way more fun. A little boy sprinted up to Hudson and I the other day, yelled “MY NEW JACKET IS SO COOOOOOL!!!” and then ran away again. Imagine if adults retained toddler-like levels of spontaneity and enthusiasm for life. “OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS LATTE!!!” “AHHHHH YOU FORGOT TO ATTACH THE FILE!!”)

    I’m not really sure what to call Hudson at almost 14 months–he’s floating somewhere in between baby and toddler-hood. Today (against my will) I’m going with toddler because in most ways he’s totally unrecognizable from the baby I brought home from the hospital not very long ago. But: totally still a baby. Right?!

    Hudson these days is mischievous, hilarious, dramatic, sweet, and did I mention mischievous? He’ll plant his little feet, look at me out of the corner of his eye, and utter quietly, with conviction, “Nyo.” as he’s doing something that he knows he shouldn’t, like touching the tv. (Hudson unintentionally does amazing accents… he says “NYO!” for no like a Russian child and a sing-song “MAma!” like an Italian baby. It’s so great.)

    I find myself saying the same things all. day. long. I would draw the obvious Groundhog’s Day comparison, but on the other hand he’s always finding new things to put in his mouth so really it’s always a new adventure. The other day I fished an acorn cap out of his mouth after we’d been inside for at least 15 minutes. #winning

    And there’s eating: all of his once-favorite foods are now dramatically flung to the floor with a look of horror and disgust on his face. Also, he reaches his little arm out backwards, behind the chair to drop the food, as though the invading bite of chicken doesn’t even deserve to be in his line of sight. How do you not laugh at that so as not to encourage him?

    So I’m resigned to being a bit of a broken record for the foreseeable future. But as always–I wouldn’t trade this for the world. And anyway, wasn’t I just up five times a night to feed him and Googling to make sure he was making the appropriate amount of eye contact for a baby of 3 weeks? Oh man. It goes so fast.

    Deep Thoughts

    Featured on PopSugar Moms – To the Man Who Made Me Cry at the Pool: Thank You

    2017 has been a weird year for me to process. On one hand, it’s been a dream: seeing my little baby grow from a completely dependent little snuggle bug into a still mostly dependent but very mobile little boy who says both MAMA and CHEESE a lot is awesome.
    On the other hand, every time I read the news I feel like I’m in a looney bin/alternate universe/dystopian nightmare. I find it unlikely that 2017 is going down as a spectacular year in the Wikipedia overview, despite my personal joys. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the life that lies ahead and worrying about how the choices that I’m making or our leaders are making will affect the landscape of Hudson’s future.
    Even though those that know my sappy self well will likely respond, “well, it IS a Monday” to me tearing up about an off-hand comment from a stranger… I recently did just that, and got a much-needed reminder about the only way to deal with the overwhelm. If you’d like to read about it, PopSugar featured my essay the other day! (Another positive mark for 2017 😃)
    If you’re interested in checking it out, here’s the link!

    To the Man Who Made Me Cry at the Pool: Thank You

    Life Lately

    Life Lately

    Happy Friday, friends! I thought I’d share some snapshots from life lately. It’s been a fun few weeks around here.


    Quick Starbucks stop on our first stroller-less walk!

    The biggest news: HUDSON IS WALKING! A lot of baby milestones aren’t as black and white as they’re described… we’re not even sure what his first word was because he sort of said so many things for so long that it all blurs together. The same is true with walking–when asked if he is walking lately, I kept thinking… well, he’s trying? Does that mean he’s walking? He’d take one, two steps here or there and then fall, and some days he wasn’t interested at all. But he was increasingly interested in walking around while holding our hands.

    Then suddenly over the last weekend, it was priority number one, and while there’s still a lot of “boom booms,” he’s trying to walk BEFORE crawling, and doing so great. I even took him outside for a walk without the stroller, so we had a lot of runway and nothing for me to hang on to besides Hudson. (I did have the baby carrier for backup!) He worked hard and then we made a Starbucks stop for Hudson’s favorite order: water with a straw.

    I have basically no pictures of him walking on his own because I’m typically hovering nervously a foot or two away from him during the action.

    Chicago definitely got the “it’s fall now” September memo because it has been like a switch flipped, and our beautiful, 80-degree summer gave way to crisp 65 degree days within the last week… which is OK by me. This picture may be the last sandbox picture of Hudson for the season… also OK by me, because sand is the devil, and Hudson is obsessed.

    We finally made it to the aquarium! After seeing my sad Facebook post about not being able to get in on a previous attempt, my friend Amber and her son Bran took Hudson and I… and it. was. awesome. They’re members so we got to skip the very, very long line and head right in–Hudson and I felt very cool, ha. (The ghost of Laura 10 years past is LOLing at me somewhere.) We saw belugas, turtles, three million “FISSSSS” and the highlight: an open dolphin exhibit! We skipped the dolphin show because #wigglybabies, but we got to walk up to the tank to watch them practice. We were SO close and my 12-year-old dolphin-trainer dreams were rekindled for a minute there.

    And not only was the aquarium itself awesome, but we took a WATER TAXI to get there! I vaguely knew that this was something that Hudson and I could do, but it seemed like a lot of work. As is true of all things like this… it was really pretty easy, and there is nothing like the view of the skyline from the lake. With this, I officially checked my final, unchecked box off my summer bucket list: take a boat ride. Thanks Amber!

    Shoes! This picture cracks me up. Jason took this picture on one of his adventures with Hudson.. they headed over to Niketown and Hudson was in heaven. Shoes continue to be a major obsession so seeing walls of “soos” and helping his dad pick out a pair may have been Hudson’s top life moment to date.

    While there have been a lot of nice park days and outdoor time, we are of course, still spending countless hours in his little play area too because it’s the safest for him (and least exhausting for the rest of us) to explore and practice walking in. He seems to be testing the boundaries of this area, however: lots of “no no no”s! and also the somehow more treacherous quiet, emphatic no’s while doing something he knows he shouldn’t, like playing with the tv or door to the patio. And then he looks over at me like: you heard me, right?!

    We stopped by our favorite waterfront cafe at Burnham Harbor with Hudson over Labor Day weekend, thinking we would maybe be able to quickly have one drink and run. He’s SO wiggly and active right now that I could not imagine a world in which he’d be up for much more than that. But sometimes he seems to sense when mom and dad need a break, and he was an angel. He sat nicely in my lap for over an hour, which was probably due more to his little snack cup filled with cheddar bunnies and a colorful drink menu to flip through than anything 🙂 But whatever works!

    Here’s Hudson and his gal pal Cam playing in the water exhibit at the Chicago Children’s Museum. I’m trying not to take Hudson more often than once a week right now in favor of going outside instead–sort of saving it up for this winter, when it’ll be our only option a lot of days! But it’s the best and we are so lucky to have this resource a short walk away.

    We took a little picnic to the new park to the south of Navy Pier and it was such a beautiful day! I’m working on convincing this little family of mine that picnics are worth the effort, and I think this day went a long way towards that initiative. Hudson has overcome his city-baby fear of grass, as is evidenced by him walking shoeless in it and in eating it in our family selfie.

    We’ve made two trips over the river (Chicago, please, please, PLEASE finish the river flyover!) to Maggie Daley–once on a quiet weekday morning, which was heaven, and the other time on a not-so-quiet Sunday afternoon, which was… a lot. But whatever the crowd situation may be, it’s such a beautiful park with lots of areas to explore. Most of the playground stuff is too big for Hudson, but right now he’s just happy to walk around and see the other kids. They have a lot of these rubbery, built-in hills, which are great because he is obsessed with climbing right now. And bonus: no wood chips to eat!

    I just love these two 🙂

    Hudson’s had a rough time with the naps lately, and on this afternoon it was a particularly crap nap… I think maybe 20 minutes or so, if I remember right. Yikes. We were having some quiet time and Blitz came over to sit in Hudson’s lap like he knew he needed some snuggles. Best kitty award.

    We stopped by my office to visit our friends. He’s funny in that he loves seeing other people but is definitely of the “look at me but don’t touch  me” school of thought, ha. I was really impressed that he warmed up to my friend Sue-Ellen so quickly but maybe that’s because she has a little one of her own on the way… he knows his people!

    Honestly, I just think he looks cute in this picture 🙂 This is what most days really look like: mismatched outfit because we had to change one piece of clothing or the other after the nuclear bomb that is mealtime, Hudson eating something weird, and that face that says both, “I am adorable” and “I am trouble.”

    And that’s all she wrote. Cheers to Friday, friends!