Rhett Butler

Checking In

I know, I know, long time/no write. My new job is fantastic but to say I’m burning the candle at both ends (and anticipate doing so for awhile) would be an understatement. We’ve already begun implementing some new ideas to make our days flow a little more smoothly – this weekend I cooked ahead to make sure our fridge was full of easy meals and snacks, we hired a housekeeper, I’m making more lists than seems imaginable. All in all the changes are good, but I’m exhausted at the end of the day and fall into bed so I can get up and do it all again!

All of that said, my favorite part of my blog is keeping things for posterity, so here are some tidbits/happenings/Gracie-isms that make me smile…..

– Gracie turned two (I will write about this soon) and she is such a joy and a tornado of energy. When she is good she is very, very good, and when she is bad…… well for instance, lets just say I had to pick my chin up out of my lap when she informed me on a recent car ride that “Mom, no talking. You don’t know me.” OH. OK THEN. (Discussion about manners immediately commenced)

– My husband has taken to getting up early and using our spare set of car keys to warm my car up. Our temperatures seem permanently stuck in the negative to single digits, and his little act of service is so beyond appreciated. Every morning as I climb into my not-that-warm-but-also-not-frigid car, I thank him and his thoughtfulness. It really is the little things.

– Gracie has two new adjectives, “beautiful” and “delicious” which she uses liberally in conversation. It is as amazing as you’d imagine, especially when she thanks me for her delicious yogurt. I mean, sure thing kiddo, any time!

– Gracie moved from her crib to a “big girl bed” (her crib with the side rail removed) as we work on her actual big-girl-room but before she cracked her noggin climbing out of the crib, which was her new trick of the month. The transition to the bed wasn’t even a blip on the radar for her, once again reminding her parents that we can plan for nothing.

– Chicago continues its downward spiral into the never ending freeze, and I’m beyond over it, just as I was last year. The lining in my favorite pea coat has begun to deteriorate, I’m down to one pair of good gloves and I have salt smudges on every jacket I own. UNCLE.

– Rhett Butler continues to be awesome and I just figured he deserved a mention. He turned 10 in January but you’d only know if you were carefully watching his ratio of white to tan hair- his personality remains solidly at 8 months.

– This past weekend we got a babysitter (my cousin! the best kind of babysitter because Gracie is OBSESSED with her and I’m pretty fond of her myself) and met some out of town friends for drinks and catching up. Nights like that always serve to remind me that getting out as a couple is so important and enjoyable. We had a great time, we relaxed, we focused on things outside of work/our household/the usual. We got to try this amazing imperial stout. It was so good that we have 2 more date nights planned in the next month!

 

 

 

Thankful

I spent Thanksgiving being thankful. For family and good friends and a full house and overflowing fridge. For our ability to provide for our family and use a little something extra for those in need. For a husband who makes the lows bearable and who I want to share all the highs with. For a daughter who delights us daily, who amuses us and confuses us and makes us so glad we are her parents. For a dog that snuggles up every night and settles in for a good chin rub, for a house with room to host guests and a table that always seems to fit just one more chair around it.

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I am merely thankful. Life is pretty good when you take a moment to soak it all in (and use your potatoes to soak up some gravy).

Photo of Gracie and me, after the plastic surgery team at Lurie Children’s Hospital said her eye looked great and discharged us from their care. Just gotta get the thumbs up from opthalmology and we can consider that disaster done and done.

Days Like This

This week has been a disaster from day one on, nothing went as planned. It is hilarious in its totality. No one terrible thing, but all together each day started off and spiraled quickly out of control. I’ve never cleaned so many bodily function messes in one week (thanks dog/thunderstorms/baby messes/seriously guys?) I have a tire with a not-so-slow-leak, at numerous points B was fixing a disaster on one end of the house while I fixed one on another, we’d meet in the middle, carrying towels or cleaning spray or laundry and just laugh. I mean, what else was there to do?

Mama said there would be days like this.

Also it rained all week long which does nothing for one’s outlook on life or general enthusiasim to leave the house. Gracie now wants some rain boots like Mama’s.

Gracie’s infatuation with Piggie and Baby have reached new heights. They sit in her spare high chair at meal times, go to bed her her with their own blankie, try on clothes (she won’t wear any light pink pants now because Piggie is pink so Piggie should wear them). I’ve already dropped Baby out of the diaper bag once, and had that kind stranger yell “Ma’am you dropped your baby doll” after me.

She’s also infatuated with clips and hair bows, but mostly Mommy wearing them, so I’ve left the house twice with a nice bow in my hair, remembering half way to do something that hey, BOW IN MY HAIR. CHILD’S BOW. Sigh.

When I was growing up I teased my Mom that I could find her in any store because she had a habit of carrying her keys in her hand. I could always hear them jingling, and thus, find her in the shampoo or rice aisle. At Gracie’s daycare, after I take my shoes off in the entry, I walk through an older age classroom to get through to her classroom, but the walls are loft style and thus open between rooms near the ceiling. Every afternoon this week, as I’ve entered the first room I hear Gracie yell at her teacher “MOMMY MOMMY” and right as the teacher is saying “No sweetie, she will be here….” I stick my head around the dividing wall and we wonder how she knew I was in the building. Then I realized: I carry my keys. She can hear me jingle jingle, just like I heard my Mom.

Tonight B and I have dinner reservations to celebrate our anniversary, Gracie is staying at daycare late for their quarterly “babysitting” night and I’m really looking forward to just the two of us and some French food (my weakness). Where we won’t have to clean up messes or walk the dog or fill sippy cups. If just for a few hours we can be just us, and then, rejuvenated, race back to pick up Gracie, talking about how much we missed her the whole way there.

Life is good, even when it isn’t.

But I could do without all the laundry.

 

Bits & Bobs

I don’t like olives. In fact, I detest olives. I want to like olives because every word ever used to describe them is typically right up my alley (salty, briney, pungent) food-wise, but alas. I can tell when an errant olive made it into my slice of pizza, once I remove the offesnive bit I can still taste its essence in the bite and I am struck by how thoroughly vile they are. It makes me sad because I’d love to order a martini with blue cheese olives, the drink seems so very me, and yet, I don’t like martinis and I don’t like olives. It is a complicated disappointment to be sure.

* * *

Gracie is really into “helping” these days and it is a little bit astounding what she is capable of. She helps me unload the dishwasher (I take the sharp stuff out before she meanders in, and I work on the breakables) by carrying silverware over to the general vicinity of the silverware drawer before carefully pushing each piece onto the counter while standing on her tip toes, she carries the cutting boards to the cupboard they go in and sets them on the floor. She helps me unload groceries, and if you turn your head away for just a moment you’ll find her carefully carrying a 28 oz can of tomato sauce over to where the food cupboard is (pantries are a pipe dream in the city) and you’ll worry she’ll drop it and crush her toes, but she doesn’t. She found a jar of applesauce in the bag on Sunday and carried it to the open fridge and placed it in the door, right where it goes. She helps vaccuum and dust and generally wants to “hap” at all turns. I realize she needs some actual chores so for now I think I’m going to ask her to put her dirty laundry in the basket and carry her empty milk cup to the kitchen sink. And for Christmas? She is totally getting a kids Dyson.

* * *

For years I was terrible about folding and putting away clean clothes. We perpetually had a pile of clean laundry at the foot of our bed and then it would build up into this monster that took us 40 minutes to put away. For no real reason I suddenly became tired of the huge clean laundry pile and have put considerable effort into putting clean clothes away by the end of the day. I can’t tell you how much happier it makes me- the clean foot of the bed, the refilled closet. I’m hoping this new habit sticks around. I’m also working on moving empty clothing hangers to the front of my closet so when I need an empty one I don’t have to start out with the five minute search for the empties squished among my clothes.

* * *

Dinner with Gracie has become a bit of a battle. I try not to worry too much, she eats well at daycare (organic food! hot lunch! lots of fruits and veggies!) and I had some old standbys (soup, all the soup) I could lean on when I felt like she just wanted to subsist on crackers. Lately though my standbys have been fails and I’m at a loss as to what to feed her that she will actually eat. Applesauce, coconut chips and crackers are the only sure choices, past favorites like bananas, berries and soup are now met with a “no” and a clenched jaw. Sometimes she’ll eat macaroni and cheese, sometimes she’ll eat grapes, sometimes she’ll eat smoked salmon or yogurt. Peanut butter sandwiches are now for playing, meat is generally rejected unless it is sausage and even then it is 50-50. Veggies at home are a total joke. I thought she liked yogurt covered raisins until I realized she was just chewing off the yogurt coating before spitting them back out. Food battles: ugh.

* * *

I went to my first Pure Barre class last night (thanks ClassPass!) and I think I liked it? Some parts were so absurdly difficult I wanted to laugh and I can feel it in every muscle today. Interestingly, my typically stiff lower back was a lot more loose after class and today I feel like I have a little better range of motion. I also can’t sneeze without it hurting, so you win some you lose some. Later this week I’m taking an early morning yoga class and on Sunday I have a spin class. So far so good….

* * *

Rhett Butler had been worrying us a little bit lately, he’d gotten stiff and sore and seemed to be moving more slowly. After last weekend (we visited friends in Michigan) playing with another dog for two days he seems to have returned to Chicago with his usual level of energy and range of motion. I can’t tell you how happy this makes us, although we plan on chatting with our vet about his senior status at his next yearly check up.

* * *

Gracie starts swim lessons and gymanstics classes soon and I’m really excited. Both are once a week and are “Mommy and Me” type classes. The gymanstics class is a bit of a whim but I’m hoping as the weather turns cooler it is a nice outlet for energy in a big indoor space. I don’t anticipate Gracie being a future Olympian but I think she is going to have a blast playing with ribbons and walking on a mini-balance bean. I might even get in an arm workout or two as I help her. The class is titled “Moms, Pops, and Tots” so I keep telling B his leotard is in the mail. He seems unenthusiastic. (Most likely he won’t be able to attend most of the classes due to work obligations, but we knew that from the get-go)

 

 

 

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