Yesterday, some friends called me and invited themselves over for a coffee playdate. It was great fun. Emma and Is played Robin and Catwoman for hours and Helena had a little baby to wrestle with. At one point he crawled over and gave her a big kiss on the mouth… at which point, she bit his poor little lip and made him bleed! Poor kid! Eleanor, of course, ended up skipping her nap and spent the entire afternoon chilling on my friend’s lap, too tired to play.After everyone left, Emma was singing “Emma and Is, sitting in a tree…” Ahh… the preschool superhero crush.

We had a late dinner because of Ava’s dance class and the the end of it, Eleanor had fallen asleep sitting up. Her little head was wobbling around as she tried not fall forward onto her plate! I put her to bed and then Ava and I read another chapter in our book about Jane Addams. I think we will need to plan an outing to Hull House when we are finished. Not to be outdone by Eleanor, Ava fell asleep cuddling with me on the couch and John carried her to bed. But… she had faked falling asleep and as soon as he laid her bed, she started giggling like mad. Emma and I read The Snowy Day and she thought she would fool us too. Not so much…

Helena is getting ready to crawl and did a side-sit yesterday. Her two teeth are annoying as Hell, as she is constantly biting things (like her friend… and her mom). She has hardly eaten any solid foods (and I am fine postponing those nasty big kid diapers for now) but she does loooove potatoes in any shape or form. It seems like life has been all things baby lately… we have 4 pregnant friends, my sister had her baby girl on Tuesday night, and I brought 2 new mamas a meal last week (and two more had babes, too, but I let the other moms hog some of that meal-bringing glory!).

My bread has risen, so I should really go do something about that now. I am stewing up a post on my New Years Resolution but I haven’t quite decided how it’s going to work. Care to share yours?


John was chatting with our landlord the other day when she informed him that is selling our apartment. Not the whole building, just our apartment (the only one that is finished enough to sell, really). She said, for US, she would sell it for as little as 380K and give us all of our rent back as a downpayment. Although, I recognize that this is a pretty generous offer, LMFAO!!!! That would DOUBLE our rent! I am just seething right now. We had NO intention of moving out of this apt for at least 3 years. I do not feel like up and moving 6 people AGAIN so soon. And what if we have to switch schools???

Even if we could afford it, I am pretty soured on the whole home ownership thing. We still own our fuckin house in MI and it is clearly going to be a ball and chain to us forever unless we can someday afford to give it away.

I am normally pretty good at recognizing silver linings, but I am not seeing one here. At all.

  • It seems wrong to be so annoyed by snow this early in the winter. I have to walk Ava to school in the morning and home in the afternoon no matter what, so I need to just buck up and quit whining. But really… January 8th and 4 blizzards already??? Better than a nasty windchill I suppose, but people, shovel your effing sidewalks!!! People with strollers are trying to walk on them!
  • Since moving to Chicago, I have become a total jerk about being green. Really. Jen, you had my respect before, but it has grown exponentially now that I know how hard it is to live sustainably in a major city. I can’t just dump my scraps in a big old pile in the yard, growing my own food will take serious work and hunting down of resources, I have little control over the heat, hanging clothes when we are already hurting for space sucks… yadda yadda… excuses excuses. Sorry. I will get better. I will buy or build an enclosed compost bin. I will hang clothes whether I like it or not. I have every true intention of seeking out at least one community garden plot this year. If nothing else, I will be able to grow some herbs to dry and some tomatoes to can. Everything else can come from CSA or farmer’s market. We’ve been eating way too much meat, too. But we have hardly eaten out at all. Maybe once-twice per month. (And I have been saving the containers to re-use when I bring meals to new mamas.) The not driving must count for something, right? RIGHT?! If it is withing 3/4 mile we walk. If the weather is too crappy to walk, we don’t go that day. I use the El once or twice a month for a meet-up, or I carpool with other moms sometimes. We are getting rid of cable, too. (But not my beloved internet! I need you, facebook!)
  • Emma had her first formal paid-for activity yesterday. Tumbling. She loved it. Chicago Parks District classes are CHEAP. $15 for 10 week class (one hour/week). Ava starts Mexican Folkloric Dance tonight. So fun!!!
  • I have finished two scarves. Not bad for a beginner, methinks. I think I am going to knit one for myself and maybe a hat, too, although I am not sure how beginner-friendly a hat would be… I have a friend who has offered to teach Ava to crochet, too. If I had this many totally awesome friends in Michigan, I would never have left. For real.
  • I think I might start baking my own bread. Lots of my mom friends insist that it is cheaper. I am skeptical, but I do like making bread so I’m gonna give a try. Today, my goal is two loaves of honey wheat bread.
  • I am still ambiguous about career plans. I know I could get into teaching within 2 years, make decent money (ie: be financially secure)… I know I would be good at it and be relatively happy doing it but… holy God, I just want to be a midwife soooo bad! It is my calling. CPMs are not legal here though, and I feel like it will take me years to get my foot in that door and earn the trust of an underground MW. Then  more years actually apprenticing. Do I want to wait years to have a job? Not really. No. Yeah, I could go the CNM route in a few years but DO NOT WANT. AT ALL. I don’t believe that pregnancy is a medical condition and I don’t want to be immersed in a culture that treats it as such. Gah. So, DePaul, here I reluctantly come.
  • Last but not least, Eleanor’s new favorite word is thumb. As in, “My mitten! I want my flum! My flum in the hole!” It cracks me up. (And can you believe we have met 3 other Eleanor’s since moving here? I told John that we are naming our next kid Gwar. Not there is gonna be a next kid, but you know what I mean.)

Yesterday was our 7th anniversary. And we got into a fight, which we never do…

Ava had a friend’s birthday party to go to. Completley forgot about it. I mentioned it to John in the morning, after which I took Ava and Emma to Quaker meeting.

When I got home and mentioned it again, it was clear that it had gone in one ear and out the other because John became all huffy about the “last minute” plan. And the party was in Rogers Park, about 45 minutes away on the El. And I got to listen to all sorts of “Why do I get volunteered to take her to the party? Why don’t I have a say in these things? Why don’t you do it?” To which I said. “Because I go to the PTA meetings and volunteer in the school and walk Ava to and from school everyday and help her with her homework. And all you have to do is hop on the train, drop her off at a friends house, and walk two blocks to your friends house, have a couple beers, and walk back a couple of hours later. Woopteedoo. So hard. You lost the choice to participate in your kids life when you chose to have them and become a father.” It is a serious mistake to try and one-up me on the whole child-caring competition. And then he said, “Oh, by the way, happy anniversary.” Gee, don’t say it like you mean it or anything. (Also, I am pretty sure there were a few swear words thrown about.)

But they did go. And he came home in a good mood and everything was well. And we made dinner together and I went to knitting night and drank wine and talked about education and was so glad for the group of friends I have found here. Except that we never did say happy anniversary like we meant it.

And this morning it was -15 with the windchill. John called to warn me about the weather and icy roads and sidewalks. he also mentioned that he had forgotton to take our stroller out of the van. I tried to call some of Ava’s classmates to see if she could bum a ride, but no one answered so we bundled up and headed out. Eleanor was in her snowsuit with the footies and I plopped her into her old, crappy stroller. Well, the rear wheel nearly snapped off once any weight was placed on it. I seriously considered taking everyone back upstairs and calling Ava in sick, but it was a field trip day. So… back upstairs to get Eleanor’s boots and kid leash. Now we are sooo late. Walking at a toddler’s pace for 3 very icy blocks also makes you sooo late. When I came home, I sent John the following email.

I am mad mad mad at you. I think the mei tei is still in the car. And the white stroller is broken. I don’t even know how you used it yesterday. The back wheel is two seconds from snapping right off. So I got to walk Ava to school at Eleanor’s pace and my shoulders are killing me from the Maya wrap. Ava and Eleanor both fell on the way to school. Don’t get all defensive either. I know I have noooo right to be mad at you, but I have to be mad at somebody for my cruddy cruddy luck today. ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH.

To which he was very sweet and replied without his usual sarcasm:

I am very sorry about the situation.  I noticed the wheel was is bad shape yesterday when I came home.  I didn’t look closely at it though.  I fully expect you to take it all out on me.

And I said:

Thank you. Perhaps I will send you to bed without supper.

I am just glad I noticed the wheel before we left or we would have had to come back for the backpack. Plus I had Eleanor in her snowsuit with no boots on.

So we are fine. Of course, we are… we are always fine but I hate arguing with him especially about stupid stuff.

Oh, and I am out of diapers and Eleanor is peeing all over the damn place.

There was a boy. He ate a box. The box was a stick monster. And then a monster ate the boy. And then the  boogie man ate the monster. And an alien ate the boogie man. And a dinosaur ate the alien! But God ate the dinosaur. And he took the box out of the boy. The boy came back to life and said he was sorry.

I make babies.

Okay, okay. It’s not really a super power. But it makes my OB awfully paranoid.

I had my annual girlie check up in October. Helena was a few months old and the ol’ birth control talk came up.

What were we using?

Um… (awkward silence)… breastfeeding?

You’ve never seen a doctor’s eyes grow so wide so quickly.

Breastfeeding? You know there is no guarantee with that, right? RIGHT? You need to be using condoms!

I started laughing so hard.

A) No. Just… no.

B) I do not care to get pregnant right now, but much worse things could happen.

Actually, when she heard me say that a fifth child wouldn’t kill me, I thought her head was going to start spinning. You’d think that as a doctor she would have heard more shocking things than “I like making babies” in her professional experience, but maybe not?

I mentioned wanting an IUD. We really aren’t ready to make permanent decisions right now but I didn’t really want to be on the pill either… She said she’d start filing the insurance paperwork and yadda yadda…

Before I left she reminded that we need to be using condoms. To make her feel better, I agreed. In reality, see point A above.

Here we are today. Still no word on the IUD. John had an appointment with her tonight. (Don’t get any funny ideas. She’s a family doc, too.) I decided to try and sneak in and ask for a prescription for the pill.

You’d think I’d have been the one relieved to hear that my pee test came back negative but it was hardly a shock to me. (Duh… I know when I am knocked up and when I’m not.) I am pretty sure I felt her sigh in the  next room when she pulled the stick out of the pee cup.

And she was hilariously eager to write me that scrip.

As I was leaving she reminded me, You don’t have to wait until Sunday to take the first pill, you know. You can take it tonight. You should just start tonight! (Oh, noes! I might get pregnant if I wait two whole days!)

Fertility. You’d think it was contagious.

From Jen.

Put your music player on shuffle, and write down the first line of the first twenty songs. Post the poem that results. The first line of the twenty-first song is the title.

It was our third time in New York

Gonna get back to basics

And if I’m wasting my time

If I close my eyes, I can almost hear my mother

You come out at night

Oh, my lover don’t you know it’s alright you can love her

When sky blue gets dark enough

I’ve got everything I need

First off, here’s what you’ll do to me

I see a dog star divin’ at his magic, snatchin’

That there, that’s not me

Stop my flight to fight and die

Where are you off to with that head of yours?

We do it cheap hide our money in a heap

Won’t you look up at the skyline?

You can bump and grind.

The light came throught the window.

Blind date with a chancer.

I am the captain and I have been told

Should you go looking for a testament to youth in verse

Matthew bring in your fishing nets.

(The Tragically Hip, Counting Crows, The White Stripes, Neil Diamond, Sarah McLachlan, PJ Harvey, John Mayer, Fountains of Wayne, Sloan, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, The Cure, Foo Fighters, MIA, Ben Folds Five, Violent Femmes, Leonard Cohen, Pavement, Dar Williams, The New Pornographers, Tori Amos)

Totally fun in a pointless and nonsensical way!!! I think Thordora just lost all respect for me. 🙂