Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sweet Dreams

I've been eyeballing this duvet forever, but at $320 it's waaaaay out of my price range. But holy high quality cotton, Batman! Dwell is having a sale!

At $112 for the king set, you can't go wrong. Mine showed up yesterday and it's drop dead gorgeous and softer than a hundred kittens. I'm in love!


This playlist sums up what's going on in our house from 9PM - 7AM:

"Who Needs Sleep" Barenaked Ladies
"No Sleep Til Brooklyn" Beasties
"Sleeping Lessons" The Shins
"We'll Never Sleep (God Knows We'll Try)" Rilo Kiley
"Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night" The Hold Steady
"She's Losing It" Belle & Sebastian


This weekend, Elliot discovered his voice. Specifically, he figured out how to screech. Long, loud high-pitched screeches. It's really cute for the first five seconds.

The dogs are less than thrilled with this development. When the screeching starts, they immediately get up and leave the room. I think they're starting to figure out that he's here to stay.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Copy That

I have a no-word-art rule in my house, but I might make an exception for this print:

Every time I see it, it makes me laugh.

Maybe I'd hang this one in my office.

If I had an office. Or walls. Or wanted to work hard. Or was nice to people.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Brrrrly Hanging On

This is the time of year when many Chicagoans – heck, many Midwesterners – start to seriously question our choice of residence. Except for a few scattered days here and there, it hasn’t been warm since NOVEMBER, and the thought of more snow falling makes me want to puke on my ugly shoes. Sadly, I think we might not have seen the last of it, and if the weatherman can be believed (ha) we’re not looking at decent temps for at least another week. I want to wear skirts! And shoes without socks! And a coat that doesn’t weigh twelve pounds! I want to walk the baby around our new neighborhood in his fancy new stroller and not worry that he’s getting frostbite on his cute little face. I want flowers, and grass, and birds chirping outside my window. I want to plant stuff in my new yard. I want SPRING and I want it right freaking now.

Dear Wendi,

You should still move back to Chicago. Winter isn’t that bad, I swear.


Your sister

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Off the Table

Do we need a new dining room table? No.

Do we have $600 just laying around? No.

Do I want this like a fat kid wants creamsicle cupcakes? Oh yes.

Come to mama.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh Hi! I Remember You, Blog.

It's been a week since I went back to work, and after a week's practice I'm still pretty much a lost cause in the morning. Getting myself ready and a baby ready and lunch packed for the kids takes better organizational skills than I possess. Suddenly it's 8:15 and my hair is still in a scrunchie (don't judge) and I'm throwing bibs and yogurts into bags willy-nilly. It doesn't help that I'm SO. FREAKING. TIRED. Every time someone asks "Is Elliot sleeping through the night yet?" I want to laugh and laugh, and then cry and cry, because no, he doesn't sleep through the night, he doesn't even sleep for 3 hours in a row. He thinks that 3AM is prime Baby Playtime, and you can't even be mad because he's so dang happy about it. He just smiles and eats his feet like it's the most natural thing in the world to be hanging out with me in the dark in the middle of the night. Go to sleep, you cute jerkbaby!

At least E sleeps in his crib now. He wouldn't if he had anything to say about it, but he is a tiny baby and his verbal skills are still quite limited. He could cry about it I suppose, but fortunately that thought hasn't yet occurred to him. So we just pop him in there every night with his paci and act as if this is what he wants. Babies are very suggestible.

We've learned that one of the drawbacks of having a nursery so close to the master bedroom/bathroom means you have to learn to do your nightime routine (not that) in the dark, which means accidentally using someone else's toothbrush, and also, peeing VERY QUIETLY. This is harder than you think, but it is worth it if it means going to bed without a wailing baby attached to one's torso. 

So we're not sleeping enough, and we're not getting up early enough, and honestly we've looked a little better. Okay, no one has ever hated clothes as much as I do right now. I lost all the damn baby weight but STILL nothing fits right and it's all ugly as sin. What was I thinking when I bought 10 pairs of gray dress pants? Why don't I own a floral blouse? When did all my t-shirts get so short? Why don't any of my stupid shoes look like this?

Oh right, it's because I have no money, because I spend it all on baby crap like this crazy expensive stroller (which, I must admit, is AWESOME.)

But other than the major wardrobe fatigue, and the general all-around fatigue, going back to work hasn't been so bad. I love the babysitter the way Ozzy loves poundcake. She is so nice and thoughtful and I never, ever worry whether Elliot's doing okay. Which makes it a tiny bit easier to hand him over every morning and go to work where I have to stare at pictures of other people's babies all day. It is kind of nice to have real conversations with adult-size people. Still: come on Lottery!

READ THIS will make you laugh out loud like a lunatic at work. Thanks, Geo! [Edited to add: probably not safe for work, unless you work in advertising]

Orange creamsicle cupcakes are as delicious as they look.

Cupcakes for Graham-bo's first birthday party

Start with 1 white cake mix. (What? Cake mixes are fine, as long as you are adding stuff. Trust.) Replace 1/2 the water with orange juice. You can also just use orange cake mix if you can find it, which I could not. Add 1/2 tsp of orange extract. If you have oranges laying around, throw in a tsp of orange zest. Bake the cupcake according to the box.

Make a basic buttercream as directed, but don't add the vanilla. This recipe by Martha is easy but really sweet. This Martha recipe takes more work but tastes AMAZING. Seriously, Martha frostings rule. You have a stand mixer, right? I'm sure you can make these with beaters but a stand mixer makes it soooo much easier. Anyway, whip up some buttercream and divide it half. Add 1 tsp vanilla to half; mix it well with a soft spatula. To the other half, add 1 tsp orange extract and a smidge of orange food color; mix well. Go easy on the food coloring, you can always add more if you need to. Get a big frosting spatula and fill your biggest piping bag with the white frosting on one side and the orange on the other. Use a 1M star tip and swirl the two-tone icing onto the cupcakes like you're on the Food Network. Add sprinkles if you must. Yum, creamsicles!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In the Works

Living Room:
  • DIY art for above the sofa
  • shelf above TV
  • framed art/photos to go on said shelf
  • new curtains
  • hang new lights
  • DIY art for above stairwell
  • pretty much everything
  • starting with painting walls and cabinets
  • No, I haven't picked colors yet

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sweet Potato

Last week, we started Elliot on solid foods. At first he wasn't into it.

But after a few more tries, he started to get into it.

Know who else likes it?

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Spoke Too Soon

My little baby friend has decided that sleeping at night is for wussies. Real babies stay up and play!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Making the Bed

Here's quick little before and after for you. Olivia wanted to redo her room at her dad's house, so I picked up this cute little vintage bed on Craigslist for $40.

Personally I liked it as-is, but she was thinking white. So I did a little sanding, priming, and painting until it looked like this:

She bought new Dwell bedding from Target, and now it looks like this:

Not bad for $40 and some paint we had laying around the house. Dylan gives this makeover two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

31 Winks

Sweet, sweet sleep! Oh how I've missed you. But HALLELUJAH praise the gods, our little man finally figured out how to sleep through the night. Mostly. And his timing couldn't be better - it's back to the grind for this working mama next week. I was wondering how I'd be able to haul my carcass into work every day on only 4 broken hours of shut eye. But for the last three nights SuperElliot has slept for 5 hours. IN A ROW. If you told me a year ago that I would feel fantastic after falling asleep at 12:30 and waking up at 6AM I would have laughed in your face and kicked you in the shins. But let me tell you, I feel like I just had a weeklong vacation.

On the downside, I have to go back to work next week. This means getting dressed every morning. In real clothes! And putting on makeup! And brushing my teeth before lunch! That sounds like a lot of work, frankly. I think I'll go take a nap.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Second Time's the Charm

I'm not a big believer in fate, but it does seem that things happen for a reason. If we'd already hired a nanny, I never would have found Elliot's new babysitter - a fabulous mommy who lives right around the corner from us. She was thinking about my ad for a nanny share, but then decided that she would rather stay home with her 3 month old daughter instead. So she emailed to see if I wanted her to watch Elliot. We met yesterday and I'm nuts about her. She's definitely someone I'd be friends with anyway, and we have strikingly similar philosophies on parenting and just about everything else. Plus, when her other daughter was a baby, she did the same thing - stayed home and cared for another infant the same age - so she's well experienced with 2 babies. Elliot will have kids to play with including a little girlfriend his same age, the cost is actually a little less than the nanny share or even daycare, and did I mention that she's right around the corner? Literally, a 1 minute walk. It's absolutely the best possible scenario, and it never would have happened if I'd hired a nanny earlier.

It's funny, because we didn't get the first house we wanted, and look how that turned out. We also didn't get the first dog we tried to adopt, and that's how we got our Ozzy Bear. The apartment we used to live in was rad, and $600 less/month than the apartment we tried to rent first. I'm on my second marriage...

Looks like the second time really is the charm.