Chicago

May Day! Mayday?

Things that have happened or are happening: new job, lots of work, spring weather, consumerism at its finest, sailing season is gearing up, the patio is ready for enjoyable evening wine sipping, Gracie amusing us day in and day out.

Things that have not been happening: blogging. Not even a little bit.

The new job continues to stretch my mind on a daily basis but the good news is that I really, really like it. The subject matter is stuff I’m passionate about, I am using said subject matter in new ways, and the company I work for us a good match for me. Win-win-win!

B is also busy at work, billing hours and taking names. Sailing season has begun again- he was down in Charleston for a week to kick it off- and the boat work days have begun. He managed to get my Dad sucked into sailing a few years ago, so we’ve been seeing my Dad as he comes into town to travel to the boat work days with B. Gracie has really enjoyed the time with her Papa. 11162449_10100729400657059_9180194025056143886_n

We’ve had a lot of family in town over the past two months, and that has been great as well. Grandparents and Gracie get along like peas and carrots. Rhett Butler doesn’t mind a few extra hands to give him belly rubs either. My brother also got to come which was really nice- meshing our schedules is never easy and it was great to have him out here.

For Easter we hosted a bunch of friends in Chicago that were not traveling home (or having family travel to them) for various reasons – it was really nice and fun. My cousin at Northwestern was able to come down, we had multiple kids hunting eggs in the living room, and I made enough ham for 40 people despite only having about 20. Nothing better than a home full of laughter and good food. I highly recommend this fancy truffled deviled egg recipe for anyone feeling like they need to provide a fancy side dish. 11136744_10100708777376279_6785622986687657326_n

Gracie continues to amuse us daily. This evening we were in the kitchen and she was holding a clean mixing bowl. I told her it went in a drawer where I have about 6 nesting mixing bowls. I didn’t think much of it, but when I turned back around she had taken all the bowls out of the drawer, then she spread them out, properly nested them back together in the right order and then began giving herself a pep talk about putting them away carefully because they were “so heavy.” I watched from a distance and when she turned around I gave her a big high five and hug. She never ceases to amaze us with her new skills -and take this as an endorsement for those dang nesting stacking cups babies play with! For Mother’s Day we all went to brunch and then over to Nordstrom where her foot measured at a 7.5 (what?? all her shoes are size 5 and 6…Mom guilt…) and she charmed shoppers on every floor by carrying a shopping bag and a shoe department balloon with a lot of sass. She was not interested in photos at brunch though: 11046499_10100738023861089_6805897363226861124_n

I have tried a few new recipes I’d like to endorse. Try this cheesy pasta with tomato cream sauce if you need something delicious and comforting (it makes well a day in advance), these spinach and black bean enchiladas for vegetarian Mexican food, and this roasted broccoli if you need to mix up the usual side dish suspects.

As far as consumerism…oh man. Gracie got two new car seats because we’d like to keep her rear facing past the age of two (we are aiming for as close to 4 as we can get) and she was outgrowing the original seats we bought, at least rear facing. We traded out a Combi Coccoro and older Britax Boulevard 70 G-3 for a Britax Boulevard Clicktight and a Chicco Nextfit CX. We love both and we are glad to upgraded. The Britax is great for a center install with seatbelt in my car, and the Nextfit is awesome in our SUV- both are compact front to back, which is great. (No judging those who move their kids around earlier, but extended rear facing feels right for us). Speaking of cars we *finally* traded in our 2003 Grand Am for something new – Mama is now driving a 2015 Subaru Legacy and it feels downright luxurious every day when I get in. Bluetooth, safety features, all wheel drive, and heated windshield wipers (and seats) – yup, talk about upgrades! In less pricey news, I got a Fitbit Charge HR that I’m really enjoying (further proof I need to move more during the day) and we bit the bullet and had a carpet cleaning company come out and steam clean our upholstered furniture. I won’t go into the details, but, uh, everyone should consider doing that from time to time. I also strongly recommend the Babyiator sunglasses Gracie is wearing above- flexible, shatter proof, and come with a one year guarantee against breakage or loss. She wears them in the car when the sun is in her eyes and they do the job quite nicely. 10401958_10100699893898839_1376992976444023149_n

I braved the crowds at Target for the Lilly for Target bonanza, thinking that my Chicago target would be just a few people perusing the racks. I sorely underestimated my fellow Chicagoans, but I did manage to grab a few cute things for Gracie. I wouldn’t have braved the women’s department if someone offered me $100 for my time. My Mom found a few more pieces for next summer at her less-crazy Target so that was a fun foray into controversial consumerism. (You know what they say about opinions….)

I have had time to read a few books (books over blogging I guess…oops?) and I finished All The Light We Cannot See the week it was awarded the Pulitzer. It felt very fancy to be sure. I also enjoyed Girl On the Train and now I’m halfway through (and very much liking) Cold Sassy Tree. Next up is The Royal We and Elephant Company. Let me know if there is anything I should add to my list.

B is getting a bike this summer and we are looking into getting a bike trailer for Gracie to ride in so we can go on rides as a family- if you have any suggestions, please pass them along!

Anyway, with all of that mashed together into one lump, I think we can call this a blog post. Things are going well despite my infrequent writing and I hope you are all doing well (or, you know, still around and haven’t totally forgotten about this little blog).

(Amazon links affiliate, as per usual)

 

Status: Everything is Good

Life continues on at break-neck pace despite my lack of blogging. The new job is great but I have a big learning curve and I find that while I’m enjoying my days I come home and I’m exhausted before the lather-rinse-repeat cycle begins. I’ve been traveling for work as well, which has totally shifted our usual family dynamic but all family members seem to be doing well and happy despite the many transitions.

The weather has finally been giving us glimpses of spring- we’ve had open windows in our house for a few days- and that has done so much to lift my general mood. We took Gracie to REI to get fitted for a “bike hat” (note: she calls regular hats “head costumes”) in anticipation of letting her take her wheels for a spin on the sidewalk. We got the helmet with a watermelon print on it, which just tickles my fancy entirely too much. Bonus: the style of helmet means we can put it to use next winter when we take her ice skating!

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With my new work schedule leaving us less time to do things as a family during the week, we’ve been packing our weekends incredibly full. Zoo trips, nature museum trips, grocery store runs as a family (it doesn’t hurt that Gracie has made friends with the spice lady at our grocer who gives her samples of yogurt covered pretzels and fawns over her), walks to the park and general merriment. B and I have had a few more dates, both as a couple and with couple-friends and I’m so glad they are a regular feature for us. Sure, we spend lots of time talking about Gracie, but we also talk about a million other things and enjoy being able to enjoy each other. We celebrate our 6 year anniversary this fall and I’m still really glad he’s my one.

All in all, things are good. We have fresh sheets on the bed, a breeze blowing through the house, a sleeping toddler, and a full calendar for the next few months. What more can you ask for?

(Amazon links are affiliate, same old same old)

Something Unpredictable, But In the End is Right

I won’t even start with “so I haven’t been blogging much” and I’ll just cut down to the chase. Much of my radio silence as of late is because off in the background was a new job opportunity that came sailing in without warning and then occupied much of my mind when I wasn’t working or parenting. And to make a long story short (many interviews and written tests) I have accepted an offer for a new job. I’m leaving my current company in a few weeks, and then beginning with the new one. I’m excited, sad, scared, nervous, and excited. All at once. It is a wonder I can eat.

The job I’m leaving has been really wonderful to me for six years but as I began to feel the itch for something new, my new position popped up and became a reality. I apologize for the vagueness but I’ve never been comfortable talking work specifics online- too many downfalls in our uber-connected world. Notable changes for me include:

– no more working from home

– an equally long commute but in a different direction

– still lawyering but in a very different way as I did previously, although with much of the same content/similar legal arena

– some exciting new areas of law to dig into

– no more riding boots and jeans in the office, I have to find some suits and business formal in the very near future

My current job has a whole lot of wonderful coworkers and perks and I’m very sad to say goodbye to them. I’m nervous that I’m swapping a good known for a bit of the unknown (who wouldn’t be?) but I’m hopeful that the new opportunity will be just as great if not better. There is (as always) the potential for the job to impact the blog, and I haven’t really figured that out. I’ll figure it out and make the best decision for me, but I do love coming here to write so I’m hopeful about the future of everything.

In the meantime I have taken inventory of the current wardrobe, deemed it “barely passable” (seriously guys, jeans and riding boots for years) for my new position and I have begun a Lady Lawyer board on Pinterest to save my favorite ideas. I’m scouring the old favorites- Boden (see also, Boden, y u no Pinterest compatible?), Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, Ann Taylor, and Lands’ End (errant apostrophe/fist shake). As I’ve been telling everyone, if you see something great, pass it my way. For example, I have realized I don’t own brown pumps or any hosiery beyond casual black tights. I am now accepting tights suggestions (although I’m dying to splurge on a few pairs of Wolford stockings…worth it?) and anything else that might pop into your mind.

In Summation

I promise we are all alive and well over at Casa de Daisy & B. Work has been busy for the both of us, throw in a monster Daycare Virus (nothing serious, but in the spirit of sharing it has felled the household) and a visit from my family, brother included, Busy is the word of the day. Which isn’t special or new or anything- everyone is busy, full stop. But! When I reach High Levels of Busy I stop doing things like blogging or jumping on Ye Old Facebook/Twitter. So! Here I am! Alive and well-ish, minus the sinus pressure.

My parents and brother came into town on Friday afternoon (parents took a daytrip on Saturday leaving the brother to hang in Chicago with us) bringing the last Christmas gift stragglers that didn’t fit into luggage in December, which means I was reunited with my cappuccino maker and Gracie was reunited with her doll high chair. Love at second sight for us both!

My cappuccino maker rounds out the Beverage Station filled with popular items of the moment. I make no apologies, I love them all. Stop by for some coffee, a latte, or a smoothie. Whatever tickles your fancy.

A photo posted by D (@d.chicago) on

And Gracie feeding Piggie in the aforementioned high chair:

A photo posted by D (@d.chicago) on

My parents in town for two nights with my brother meant two dinner outings. On Friday we opted for a babysitter and we all went to Petterino’s in the Loop, which we always enjoy and my brother hadn’t had a chance to try. Saturday night we drove a bit west and tried Ponce, which is described by various websites/articles as either Latin American, Caribbean, or Puerto Rican. Bottom line: awesome food in a small, nondescript establishment. You order at the counter and fight for a table and it is worth it. Everything we had was awesome, even Gracie dug into some rice (in her words “I yuv wice Mommy”) and enjoyed herself. If you don’t speak Spanish you’ll want to pull the menu up on your phone with the English translation.

Saturday morning also found us at Gracie’s first dentist appointment where they counted her teeth and showed us some brushing techniques, and her the tools and chair. She seemed cool with it all, we return this summer for a full cleaning….. and my brother was a good sport and tagged along.

Sunday we spent nursing our ailments and whipping the house into shape – the snow and temperatures mean we have constant salty slush drips near our entry ways and the dog has taken to digging into the trash to find Kleenex to artfully shred into little tissue-piles that you stumble upon at the worst time. I can neither confirm nor deny we resorted to Frozen and Olaf snuggles to make the kiddo happy on Sunday morning, but hey, we all made it to Monday in one piece.

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