Monday, July 21, 2014


This photo is from my very first day of a real job in the city when Chris surprised me with Indian food and flowers upon my return home. We had been married a little less than four months. 
We saw one of the lovely newlywed couples in our life two weekends ago, and I'm still laughing over something we discussed about the quirks that come up when learning how to live with your new spouse.

I just can never seem to drink the last few sips of water in my glass. Ever! I may be really thirsty and just dreaming of a glass of water, but when I fill my glass up and drink ... that last bit just seems like too much. And it isn't a "I don't drink the last sip, it's all saliva," thing that high schoolers say. It's just a habit.

Anyway, I thought it was pretty cute the other night when Chris was teasing me about the cups of unfinished water I had scattered about the kitchen because him teasing me about that means that he is my husband - the one who gets to tease me about minute things like water in a glass for the rest of my life, and I really like having him as my husband. But, the movie Signs was on TV the other day, and Chris was confused as to why I liked the movie. He seems to have forgotten a key lesson that we learned (he, begrudgingly and I, gleefully) during the first summer of our marriage when he was being bombarded by unfinished glasses, and I somehow got roped into watching a semi-scary movie (I don't do scary).

So here you go, Chris. I like Signs because it proves that water in the bottom of a glass is not the worst thing ever. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Line 'em up.

Whenever I hear stories of toddlers obsessively putting things in order, I always furrow my brow and think, "Yeah, I just have no experience with that," because it is kind of obvious Ryan spends most of his time with me, the one who seems to chant, "This looks lived-in. Homes should be lived-in," when surveying the house that has no semblance of order. Despite that, I have been seeing little peeks into a life with an orderly toddler lately.

Here he told me, "Dey getting a bwessing, Mom." (So he does pay attention during Mass!).

After telling him that Dad's baseball game was on Sunday, I found him telling his dinosaurs and animals, "Evewyone cheer for Daddy!" The practice cheering seemed to pay off because at the baseball game today, he lined them up with Chris was catching. "Dat's my dad!" Ryan cheered over and over. Chris' team got their first win. Good job, dinosaurs.

 Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

For easiness and peace, peaceful easiness at least!

This is one of my favorite photos of Laura and me from finals week during freshman year. 

I've kind of over committed myself as I normally do, but thankfully I have a husband who suggests leftovers when he knows I am pressed for time, I weirdly feel guilty when we order out and that I don't want either of us to clean up the inevitable mountain of dishes that comes as a side with all my home-cooked meals. And thankfully, I have a best friend who writes poems for me on the fly when she knows that I'm treading in a sea of wrinkly shirts and much more pressing matters. 

She's the best, and so is this little poem that helps bring me peace with each piece of clothing. I hope it does the same for you (insert your little ones' names for Ryan and Conor, of course):

For easiness and peace, peaceful easiness at least,
For easy peaceful easing peace...

Sing your songs as the day is long, sing your songs the while,
Sing your songs to clear the fog and poof! the laundry pile :)

Hum a bit as Ryan sits and Conor naps and lays,
Hum a bit and tap around and shoe () the stress away.

Make the kitchen a room to dance, a space to let life flow,
And flow along from room to room and peacefulness you'll know.

When time is short and ughhhhs are long just start to sing once more
Sing again make dance your friend and easy peace bring in the door!

More of Laura's excellent poetry can be found here. She's great. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Road Trips + Babies

Happy Monday! As a little prelude, I want to be forthcoming and let you know that this is a sponsored post. However, all road trip tales and opinions are true and my own ... except I'll keep the amount of time since my last shower up to your interpretation. Thank you for your support

Two weekends ago, Conor and I roadtripped up to Duluth, Minnesota, the beautiful land of temperamental weather, to see one of my closest friends get married. It was a gorgeous day, and I hope Aubry shares the professional photos with me when she gets her hands on them. 

The road trip was not as long as my last solo trip with a child of mine, but with a stop in Chicago to drop Chris and Ryan off for some boys time with our college friends, horrible Chicago traffic, missing a key exit and not realizing it and having to stop to nurse Conor a few times, I was on the road for about 14 hours. Despite that, I think eight months old is the perfect age to road trip alone with a baby. He can go longer between nursing so I didn't have to stop as often as if he were younger. He can feed himself things such as mum-mums or puffs (I wish those had better names!) that disintegrate in his mouth so I don't have to worry about choking, and it stretches the time between nursing even more. He can play with toys and hold them himself so all I have to do is chuck a toy from my front seat arsenal, and when he throws it away after a few minutes, I just throw him another. Most helpful of all - he isn't mobile yet so he doesn't know what he is missing! Eight months is a golden window for road trips. 

So that + some music for our rap-loving baby helped a lot with our voyage, but what about the problem that I'm a messy road tripper? I mean, don't we need those Chipotle napkins for later? We do, right? It drives Chris crazy! So away he throws them even though later it will be become apparent that we do in fact need them when whatever mess or tear fest from emotional me comes up. Anyone else hoard napkins? 

We also have the problem of spotty a/c in the car + the hot, humid month of June in the Midwest + longer than I'd like since my last shower when combining the previous two. I was happy that I had these Huggies Clutch 'n' Clean wipes in the car with me. I had them dangling from the headrest within arms reach so when I finished my cheese curds from Culver's (when in Wisconsin ...), I didn't have to go in search through the depths of the toy pile and other hoarded goodies (that did not include Chipotle napkins because I had the wipes!) to find something to adequately clean the grease off my hands. Convenient and excellently did the job. As for the sweaty state that I was in, I just took the clutch, placed it next to my ice-cold cup from Culver's, let it cool for a bit, and voila - cool cleansing wipes giving me a road trip version of a shower. When Conor had a blow-out as he tends to when I'm without Chris and traveling like here, here and here, the Huggies Clutch 'n' Clean wipes excellently did the job that they were meant to do. 
What have we here? 

Now that we are home, they have been a great addition to my camel of a stroller during our daily caravans to the park or campus or anywhere outside. The wipes easily dangle from the stroller handle so Ryan doesn't have to make a mess of my diaper bag while searching for something wipe his hands with after getting 50% of his PB&J on his hands and 50% on his hands. For when it is in my diaper bag, I love that it doesn't take up valuable space. You can unzip the clutch and refill it to your liking. 

Would like to learn more about the Huggies Clutch 'n' Clean wipes? Just click here. And do you have any road trip recommendations for really long road trips with a baby and a toddler? Like South Bend to San Diego road trips? We are doing it later in the summer for David and Becca's wedding so any tips would be appreciated. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Rain, Rain (don't) go away

These photos are a couple of weeks old from a morning we drove Chris to school since it was pouring so hard, and I had forgotten about them until just now when attempting to clear my full memory card. I'm so bad at having no space on my camera. Anyway, everyday lately Ryan for some reason has been requesting that I sing "Rain, Rain, Go Away." I find this confusing for three reasons. 1) I'm a horrible singer. 2). I think I sang it just once in passing. 3). He seems to have no problem playing in the rain. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Palm to Forehead

Mom, where is your brain? Up there? 

There was a huge storm in the area Monday night that we somehow completely slept through. We had no idea anything had happened until Chris checked his phone and saw missed alerts from school to take cover. When the boys and I went on our daily walk, we saw exactly how crazy it was that we didn't stir one bit. Trees are completely uprooted on our street and in the neighborhood and on top of power lines or houses, gravestones broken from fallen trees, trees blocking roads and just so much damage everywhere, not just our neighborhood. 

I hope this story doesn't seem insensitive when others in the area are wading their way through repairs, but I'm just intending to let you know how silly I can be. We were fortunate enough to not lose power. Only our cable and internet fell victim to the wind. Tuesday I didn't call to check when it would be fixed because the storm had just happened, and not having internet is not a big deal when people all around you are without power.  Come Wednesday, I started calling because I work from home a few hours a week, and I kind of wanted a loose timeline to be able to give my boss. I kept calling Comcast only to hear, "Service to your area will be restored at 11:17am." The next time 11:17pm. Cool. That night when we were going to bed, I heard the tv come on downstairs, which would have been very creepy had I not been expecting it. So the cable worked, but still not internet. I tried to reset the modem and router with my clumsy fingers. I called in the morning, and whatever person told me that our internet should be coming that morning. Yay! But, nothing. I called again, and the guy said that internet had been restored in the area. He ran diagnostics on our equipment and nada. No working wireless. The rest of the day involved waiting on callbacks from Comcast, not getting calls, and calling back multiple times and pre-emptively dialing all the correct numbers to each prompt and weaseling my way into an appointment this afternoon. 

This afternoon the nice Comcast man came to see us. Right away he saw that the internet was working, but the things that weren't working weren't covered by them. He mentioned that the router, the expensive, high quality router that my brother-in-law got, was probably fried. I tried not to freak out, especially because a broken router when people are dealing with literally broken homes is not that big of a deal. Mr. Comcast was nice enough to try to unplug and plug the router. I kept giving Chris annoyed, wide-eyed looks anticipating the router's dreaded diagnosis. 

"Oh. The router is turned off."


Palm to forehead. Palm to forehead, indeed. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

On the Hair Cutting Room Floor

Photos from the night after that first time Chris was brave enough to encourage my developing hair-clipping skill. Four months old and out on the town in Chicago. Some things never change.

I realized recently that I really am starting to feel married, and it's all because of the hair adorning my husband's head. 

I've been cutting Chris' hair for a little over two years now. I read Amazon reviews for weeks as I normally obsessively do. It was a hairsplitting decision, but one day I finally bought this setI turned to my trusty teacher who knows all (YouTube) and watched this cheesy video (if you want evidence on how naive I can be, I just re-watched the video and picked up on all the innuendos for the first time. I know). 

I think it took me two hours to cut Chris' hair the very first time. 

It's one of my most favorite moments that have made their way into our life since April 2, 2011. We somehow found ourselves in our tiny kitchen apartment at one in the morning. Ryan had woken from his never-ever deep slumber and was showing us what finicky meant so Chris was given the task of trying to keep his head perfectly still while lifting Ryan up and down, up and down, up and down and praying that I don't shave off an eyebrow of his. It was hilarious, and I loved every part about that moment. A fussy and finicky baby dangling from my husband's arms in the late night/early morning meant that the life I had dreamed was real as itchy and loud and silly as it was. 

The hair cuts continued, but it became apparent that the hair honeymoon was over. 

Don't tell Chris, but I fully admit that whenever I snipped away at his hair, I also picked away at him for something so incredibly serious and offensive like wanting to watch a theological debate instead of Runaway Bride or calling me "pretty" instead of "beautiful" or complimenting the green beans when I was really proud of the overcooked chicken. Yeah, I don't know why there isn't a line out the door for Katrina's Klassy Kuts either. 

(Okay I just reread that confusing paragraph. I was trying to say that all of my fight-picking was senseless. I guess a senseless sentence fits there if it fits anywhere). 

We may have been saving money by putting the shears in my hands, but when you include the time and overall pleasantness in our days lost because of the fights this Nervous Nellie would pick, it was a pretty expensive trim. I dreaded cutting his hair. It was so (not really) stressful, and I would get so pent up with nerves that an irrational fight was an automatic given. 

So it was with happy heart when I was putting the cutting shears and clippers away just a bit ago that I realized that I had just cut Chris' hair with nary a fight and nary a minute wasted. We're getting somewhere, even if it as mundane as giving Chris a peaceful trim.

Just-because-flowers and wine and the like show wedded bliss, right? Sure, they're nice. Those are very appreciated. I love them. But really, I'm seeing it in the haircuts.