Friday, June 29, 2012

Go to the pool this weekend!

Who's ready for the weekend?! Meeee! Cuz look who I get to hang with?!

A couple of links that were interesting this week.

Updated list of foods you should always eat organic, and those you don't need to. I will add you should always buy corn that is not GMO. GMO is different from organic. I *believe* organic food can be grown with GM seeds.

I made these bean burgers this week. They were yummy but the leftovers got unedibly dry. Next time I will make a half recipe.

I am not a big Nora Ephron person, but I love this quote: "I have a theory that children remember two things—when you weren't there and when they threw up." –Nora Ephron. Via Joanna

Annnd, I'm like six months late to the party, but these no heat curls are making me look so much more put togehter. Via another working mom, Melissa. When I get my hair cut next week, it's gonna be epic! ha! (PS - It's been 10 months since I got my hair cut! Bananas!)

Have fun this weekend! XO

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Is Ina May the new "It" girl?

Via this article. PS - Those Braids? Awesome.
No. Seriously. Ina May Gaskin, the mother of natural and empowered (modern) child birth and authentic midwifery is suddenly everywhere.

Of course, we all know her tomes to natural childbirth. But now, more people are learning about here through some really exciting projects and stories.

* Documentary I can't wait to see. (Please consider helping them with their Kickstarter fundraising. Any level of support will help more people see what is sure to be an amazing film.)

* Profile in The New York Times Sunday Magazine.

* Feature in Sun Magazine. maybe a small, independant, ad-free magazine isn't exactly everywhere...

And then there was this article recently about the midwife as a status symbol in the Times' Style section. (!) As celebrities like Natalie Portman and Gisele Bunchen seek natural childbirth with the support of a midwife, it becomes appealing, or at the very least intriguing and worth exploring, to more women.

While birth with a midwife doesn't have to be natural or without medical intervention, it very often is that. So this midwife movement may be spurring more women to consider forgoing the epidural and taking control of their own birth together with their partner. We can only hope so.

While I am a dedicated natural birther and wholeheartedly believe everyone can and should do it - I also understand it is not for everyone. As long as you are making a conscious choice about your birth experience (natural, epidural, planned C, home, whatever), that is the best choice for you.

Giving birth is probably the strongest emotional experience women will ever experience (I imagine it only close to the death of a parent or child) and you should make sure you know what you want, so that when you get what you get (because nothing in parenting goes as you expect it - starting with birth), you're able to respond.

I will put together a list of birth resources to share here. What's your favorite I should include?


Working Mom Wardrobe Basics - Sale Alert

LOFT is having a sale right now. I picked up these basics today at lunch for great prices.

I can't find the link to the dress. It's a slubby, cotton dress with a nautical drawstring waist and rolled sleeves. The neckline is such that it is nurse-able. Win! It was just $18!

The skirt is this one in a polished cotton that I can't find online. The store I was at had it in black, olive, grey and fushia. The skirt was $29, down from $49.50.

My last black pencil skirt was from Ann Taylor and I wore it for....around seven years I think. I have high hopes for this one too!

Monday, June 25, 2012

This was the weekend

This weekend wrapped up the fourth consecutive weekends of family visits. My family. For four weekends. It was as exhaustingly fun as it sounds.

My husband is a saint. Never once complained or said anything slighting them. Even when I was.

And this was an epic one.

Mimi was in town. Mimi is my mother. She takes her role of grandmother very seriously. When Z was first born and she came to help, she was singularly committed to being the one who settled her during the witching hour, and being the one to do it fastest. And she was.

Mimi brings kisses and fun and love and adventures and presents when she visits. Such that Sunday after she leaves, moreso than usual Sundays, is a tear-filled extravaganza of Mimi-missing.

This weekend was nothing extraordinary - we hung around town and did usual stuff - but it was an excellently summery weekend.

Friday I took off work and we headed downtown. It. Was. Gorgeous! One of those days where I kept looking up and thinking, wow, I live here! The city was full with tourists, but not overly so. Office workers mingled with locals playing hooky who mingled with tourists and all enjoyed the gorgeous weather and relaxed atmosphere.
We went to the Crown Fountain and after some initial hesitation, the kids went to town splashing in the water.
There is something supremely humane about playing in the water in public. You're wet and trying not to slip and it's FUN. Kids behave, adults are polite, everyone smiles. It just feels good.

We also took the customary stroll to the Bean and Pritzker Pavillion.  If you come to Chicago in the summer and you don't go to Millennium Park, you haven't really visited Chicago. It is the most glorious part of the city and my love for it is unabashed!

Z was really into the reflections for the first time.

It was a beautiful day.
The rest of the weekend was just as perfectly summery. Playing on the slipnslide (Z), wine in the backyard (adults), barbeque-ing dinners, pool time, relaxed brunches.

Sunday evening, Mimi went to the airport and we are back to the grind. No meals are planned, we are behind on laundry and the coating of dog hair on the living room floor is epic. But we are happy and relaxed. As much as I loved having family in town for the past month, I am already looking forward to a quiet weekend in five days.  We just have to get through the week!

Me and my mom!

Monday, June 18, 2012

This was the weekend

It was two (two and half, if you count slipping home after an early afternoon off-site meeting) glorious weekend days. Summery and hot long days with warm, humid mornings that remind me of summers at my grandparents in Milwaukee. I didn't hardly think about work and we had nothing to complicate our days.

On Friday we met up with my dad and his wife and their daughter for dinner, who were visiting from Arizona and staying with his wife's parents in a nearby suburb. We met and ate much later that we usually do, but the kids rolled with it and were totally fine. I love how kids can sense your mood and enthusiasm and know when going off schedule is a good thing!

My dad has three daughters, and I think it's evident he is very happy to have a grandson. Already he has a very different way about him with G.

He is all about squeezing on this boy and the boy loves his chin facial hair.

Saturday we went to the beach (Jim stayed home with G because it was going to be too hot and windy at the beach for a baby). It was so hot that the cold Lake Michigan felt very refreshing but not so hot that we couldn't spend a couple hours playing in the sand, staring out at the amazing boats and people watching.

Next time we will find more old tupperware/the actual sand toys we own and bring them to the beach.

At one point, Z said to me, I fink dey haf popsicles here. I said, Really? I'm not sure...(knowing full well there was a well-stocked snack bar). She responded, Mmmhhhmmm, dey do. Where Papa Mark? He buy for me.

And sure enough, the man who I split popsicles with growing up, bought his granddaughter two.

The black on her lip is coloring from a gumball eye on the popsicle. Gross looking, but a huge hit for a little girl who doesn't get bubblegum.

On Father's Day, we didn't do much. As he should, the father of the house slept in a bit, went to play some golf, came home to a kitchen smoking with bacon and pancakes and hung out with his wife and kiddos. I wish I could say I planned and executed a grand day for the father of my children, but I didn't and I think he was very ok with that. It was a low-key day for a man who is always low-key but incredibly tuned in. He responds to his children's needs and wants lightening fast and with nothing but love and enthusiasm. He is a dream partner in this parenting journey, and I can't imagine doing it with anyone else. The love he shows his children is beyond measure.

Putting practice in the basement. (Ignore the airbed, ugh we need real guest furniture.)
I went to bed last night feeling very, very tired but very, very full. It was just the kind of summer weekend we needed to kick off the weekend.

How about you? How'd you thank the fathers in your life?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Let's try this again

My lovely plans for posts this week have gone by the wayside as I have been completely stressed and on edge with an almost comical series of life disasters. Like car accidents (no one was hurt!), plumbing issues, work snafus, babies waking up at the literal crack of dawn. I say almost comical because it would be funny if it wasn't me and it wasn't expensive.

So here's some nice things that have been distracting me lately:

Amazing clutches

Dream birthday plans

Dinner ideas

Gorgeous knitting

My new poster for the kitchen

And finally, some cute:

How do you stay sane when what you really want to do is jump in the car and speed off to someplace remote alone?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Midweek check in

Last Friday. Rather illustrative of the juggling that goes on, no?

How are we doing this week guys? I have managed to stay on top of things. No doubt in part to a sorta of quiet week at work (yay) and the good weather we've been having has helped too (double yay).

I was spent a lot of time thinking this week about this big joke. In an obvious and blatant effort to court votes, President Obama and the Democrats called the Equal Pay Act for a vote. KNOWING FULL WELL IT WOULDN'T PASS. Sorry for yelling but this is where it gets offensive.

Efforts like this do little to actually support working women, and even less to support working mothers. By bringing it up for a vote knowing it won't pass, they are further debasing the contributions working women and working mothers specifically make to society, the economy and their families.

Why do I work? On a good day it's because I like my job, I see it as a career and I like my independance. On an honest day, it's because I need to support my wardrobe and the standard of living it provides us. But really, I work so my little girl and my little boy see that both mommy and daddy work. It's that simple.

And then there's this. Read and discuss. OK? Go!