In No Particular Order

Things that make me happy:

1. Long, all day recipes that you make on a Sunday and that fill your house with amazing smells.

2. Wine nights with good friends.

3. Reading nights with B, particularly when I’m reading a book in paper form.

4. Gracie’s demand for “hugs” throughout the day.

5. When the dog curls up next to me and then sighs a big content sigh.

6. That first cup of hot coffee.

7. Email chains and group texts with my best girls.

8. When Gracie’s daycare teachers tell me she is the class member that always tries to make anyone who is sad feel bettter.

9. Argyle socks.

10. A full tank of gas.

11. FaceTime/Google Chats and the ability to see loved ones on a regular basis, no matter how far they are.

12. Vacation planning.

13. Cooking with a glass of wine, B, and good conversation while we chop and stir.

14. Perusing real estate listings.

15. Football food.

Water Weekend

On Mondays I often begin writing a post discussing our weekend shenanigans before second guessing myself, thinking “nobody wants to read about *someone else’s* weekend” and then I go around and around wondering if I should even type out the itinerary, ever-dutiful.

And then I remember, I blog for me, and so, yeah I’d like to remember how I spent my days, as unexciting to others as they might be.

So! The weekend! Saturday had the makings of total craziness when you glanced at the shared Google calendar…but then a few things shook out differently than anticipated and it ended up quite nicely. Notably we cancelled our plans to drive to Ann Arbor for the Michigan game (ugh…thank goodness, what a terrible game) because it was Gracie’s first swim lesson and there were 30 people on the wait list, so I was convinced if we didn’t show up, we’d lose our slot. I have no idea if this is/was true or not, but we went and it was a good time. That said class is an hour long which showed itself on the 10 minute drive home when Gracie conked out 2 hours before nap time, sobbed into her lunch and was eventually put in her crib without eating where she fell into a really, really deep sleep. Poor pie. Once she was up we went over to visit with our old nanny share family- the kiddos ran around, the adults watched the aforementioned terrible football game and we caught up on life happenings over some hot corn dip and cheese and fruit.

Sunday we decided to take advantage of some aquarium passes we had been given and we took Gracie to check out where the fish live. She had a great time, but it did highlight the fact that children do not have the attention span of adults, and are often easily entertained by the basics, such as stroller buckles and pushing the stroller, rather than, say, A SHARK TANK.

Also the shark tank is the place to ditch one’s hair bow.

We had a really good time despite the fast pace through the exhibits, and Gracie debuted a new skill of backwards walking on the trip, something she was bound and determined to master with pizzazz before we headed back to the car. This would have been a lot more fun of she had eyes in the back of her head, but since she doesn’t we spent some time steering her around obstacles and trying to convince her that forward walking was the way to go.

It was all in all, a really nice weekend. Despite more mediocre football outcomes (come *on* Tulane and Michigan….) I’d repeat if given the chance. The week ahead looks busy and I’m already looking forward to next Friday.

The Boots Are Made….

Since I’ve pestered y’all with enough “I’m getting new boots!” and “Do you have any boots recommendations?” and “I’m going to also get new snow boots!” I thought I’d fill you in on the progress. No affiliate links, it all goes back to Zappos.

First, these bad boys are currently “out for delivery”. Bless Zappos and their speedy service.



They are by Reiker a European company. I like the shape/color and that the sole isn’t particularly high/tall but looks like it has nice traction to keep me upright on slippery sidewalks. I plan on treating the leather,  so if anyone has a leather waterproofing product they love, let me know. If not….Target it is.

In the near future I plan on ordering these bad boys by Sorel. I really thought I was going to go for L.L. Bean duck boots, but these just kept getting rave reviews everywhere I turned from both the internet and a surprising amount of real life friends. I had no idea they were *the* winter boot for city snow commuting, sledding, dog walking, playground playing and more…but not one person hasn’t liked them. These are the “Joan of Arctic” and while they have a slightly cuter Tofino Cate style (better color combos) they don’t have as strong a warmth rating. Joan of Arctic it is. Oh, and I’ve heard that they sell out by mid to late October so I’ll be ordering them soon.

JofArcticLast weekend I realized that Gracie’s only closed toed shoes that fit are a pair of Toms and a pair of Sperry boat shoes, and neither have a lot of life left in them thanks to her quickly growing foot. So when I ordered my boots I tossed these in, sizing down per the review’s recommendations:

GBootsI’m hoping they are a good shoe for everyday wear and they are roomy enough to add a pair of socks. Fingers crossed!

Speaking of winter wear for Gracie I’ve done a lot of back and forth on what to buy her. Last year she wasn’t really walking in the winter and she was still in her infant bucket seat, so we got by with a fleece jacket, hats and mittens and blankets in her car seat when we were outside. This year I have a warmer fleece jacket (with a hood) since I feel strongly about the safety recommendation that kids not wear thick coats in cars. I might put a blanket in the backseats of our cars if I think Gracie would benefit from one on the drive to and from daycare. I also have a set of Helly Hanson snow bibs and jacket, unlined and made to be worn over warm clothing. I have hats, I need to order mittens on a string and I’m debating snow boots. She still rides in her stroller a good bit, but perhaps they would be useful? Currently unsure.



Moms, Pops, and Tots

Last night we had our first ever Moms, Pops, and Tots gymnastics class. It is a class put on by the Chicago Park District so for a very, very, very low price we have a Wednesday night activity between now and December. I thought this would be a good way for Gracie to get to stretch her legs, particularly as the cooler weather settles in. I was right: leg stretching abounds. However, as I noted on social media last night: toddler gymnastics is akin to teaching rabid cats to swim. In sycnhronized fashion. At least one toddler is running away from the class at all time (and at least 90 percent of the time, it is my toddler) because a huge expansive gym is sort of mind blowing.

The class started off on the wrong foot. I pulled into the field house parking lot only to discover you don’t have to pay for parking until 6 pm….but class starts at 5:45, ends at 6:15 and no, you can’t buy your paid parking slip early. Poor planning park district! (In my view…don’t schedule parent involved classes that start before and run over the 6:00 hour, or give all the people in that class a parking plackard so they don’t get ticketed). Sigh. But after figuring that out (apparently all the parents just slip out a side door to buy 15 minutes of parking….) we settled in for some stretches. Gracie was not impressed with stretching, it was boring and the teacher told them to reach up high “like they were picking apples” so she thought it was snack time. Sorry to disappoint my little bebe, back to the calisthenics! No apples for you.

After stretching the kids went around to different stations to work on different skills. Given their age the skills involve bear crawling, crab walkings, log rolling and frog hopping. Do you know what this means in parent involved classes? I was busy bear crawling, crab walking, log rolling and frog hopping. Gracie humored me and played along (not the crab walk she stared at me like I was crazy) and was quite adorable at the log roll. Particularly because her log roll looked a lot like bacon frying ala Dazed and Confused, but adorable nonetheless. The second half of class was dedicated to teaching the young ‘uns how to do a somersault.

Haaaaa. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

It was cute and Gracie had a blast but to recap: two kids refused to try, one was clearly terrified but going along with it, Gracie was gung ho but only wanted to bend at the knees not her waist, and a few kids nailed it pretty good.

Also, Gracie learned her voice echoes in a gymnasium and wanted to really spend some time testing that scientific theory out. Does it echo here? HERE? WHAT ABOUT OVER HERE?

Anyway, the class was just what I expected in terms of an opportunity to get the wiggles out but 1000% more exhausting than anticipated. Until next week!




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