Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello 2014 - shoveling and a resolution

Last year, I created an ambitious set of 13 goals for myself.  Some I conquered (baking from scratch!), some I completely failed (I am sure you can guess...nail biting...), and some are still a work in progress (um, nearly everything else?).  What I think I have learned is that setting too many goals allows far too many of them to fall by the wayside.  Being specific can be effective, but can make you feel like far more of a failure than necessary when you fall short.

This year, I am going simple: take better care of myself. Of course, this is multi-faceted.  Being the best "me" I can be means taking care of my health, my happiness, my marriage, my happiness in my work - aka being the best caretaker and mom I can be, and more.

This year, there will be no book quota, no workout minimums, no tally of ounces of water consumed, meals cooked, or date nights scheduled. Don't get me wrong - I hope to do all these things. I may not run a speedy 5K, but I will run - or at least get my butt to the gym. I plan to continue our new tradition of fabulous gourmet date nights in, but whether they are weekly or monthly, I just don't care.  As long as we are dating, at home or out of the town, I will be happy.  I may or may not quit biting my nails, but I will try!

I want to continue to cultivate my hobbies.  I will read, and I'm sure I'll be crafty, whether with my scrapbooking or other fun projects (with Colin, even!).  This year, I will complete my certificate in photograph and practice A LOT; I've toyed with wanting to do a Project 365 (shooting every day), but again, I don't want to set myself up to fail.  As many days as I can, I will.  And perhaps (perhaps!), I will dabble in photographing people who don't live under my own roof - maybe even for a fee!  But if that doesn't happen this year, that is okay. Honestly, living with a ever-changing toddler has made me realize that childhood flies by in a blink, and being present and living in the moment is okay, even if it means that my business ambitions move at a turtle's pace.

As a mom, I hope to cultivate my patience, something that I once confidently claimed to have a ton of, only to find that Colin is slowly becoming a master in depleting my patience reserves with his toddler tantrums. This year will be a year of picking battles in the parenting department, and my battle with myself with be patience - the battles I will pick with Colin, well, time will tell (toddler are HARD).

There you have it.  My 2014 goal: taking better care of myself.  Oh, that and posting more often on this blog!

And with that, I leave you with a couple of very cute photos of Colin "shoveling" the snow this morning.  He loves being daddy's helper, and since it snowed about a zillion inches today, he had a lot to help with!

PS.  Colin's gloves are pink with hearts.  David HATES them, but alas, I could not find one single pair of toddler snow mittens for boys anywhere in this friggin city.  Nowhere.  So when I stumbled upon the very last pair of mittens at Kohl's, I got them.  Sorry Friedman, warm hands trump macho manliness.


Monday, October 28, 2013

iPhone photo dump (aka, the cuteness I've promised...)

Now that I have a new iPhone, I was forced to extract all of my photos from the old phone, which means I get to finally share them with you.  Many of them have been posted on Instagram, but others are fresh, saved just for the blog :)

Running errands with a toddler is not fun.  Bath time, on the other hand, has become more interactive and interested.  

We are deep in picky eating territory these days.  Colin is far from predictable, as he will eat some things one day and outright refuse them the next.  I just keep putting things on his tray and hoping for the best.

We went to the Nature Museum, which was definitely a hit.  He have since become members ($60 for the YEAR - unlimited visits for the whole family.  And go figure, in the 6 weeks since, we have gone zero times.  Putting that on the list of things to do...)

Colin decided one week during his transition to one nap that he was going to forgo quality naps entirely.  After a horrible 40 minute nap, we decided to take a field trip to IKEA to get a kid's mini table and chairs, and Colin enjoyed playing on the toddler beds.  He won't have one for a looooooooooong time - we treasure the crib - but it was cute to see him looking like such a big boy.

I am relieved to be done with the transition to one nap.  Colin has mostly figured out how to transition between sleep cycles to extend his one nap to a long 2-3 hour snooze, thank goodness.  He is so so cute when he is snuggled up in his crib. 

We have become regulars at the gym, which is awesome.  After a week or two of agony breaking Colin of his separation hysteria, he now loves to play at the gym and hates it when I come to take him home.  Evan the trainer is his favorite (of course, Colin loves guys), but he is really happy to play with all of the Kid Care staff.  It has been great for me to get back in the swing of working out as well :)

Colin has been so playful as he gets older - he is just so funny.  He has finally found his stride walking, and loves exploring his surroundings.  He runs around the room in music class, which is absolutely entertaining and adorable.  At the playground, he loves the swings still, and will run circuits going up the steps and down the slide.  And of course, here is another water fountain shot...goofball.

We babysat for Colin's pal Evie last week, and it was so stinkin cute watching them interact together.  Colin was a bit threatened by the attention being shared with Evie.  I was holding her hand as we walked to the playground, and Colin got jealous, so we all held hands walking over there...David, Colin, Evie then so so cute.  The two of them have become good pals at Kid Care, and he is now always chasing her to hand her hand.

We had an awesome week in Cleveland while David was traveling for work.  We hung out with family and relaxed.  We visited the beautiful Preston's Hope playground and celebrated Halloween early with the Royer family.  The road trips basically sucked, between a speeding ticket on the way there and a dog-vomit-incident on the way home, but the schlepping was well worth it!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Photos and Fun, Part One

We are really enjoying this new season, despite the cooler weather.  During the last few days of short-sleeved weather, we had a great time park-hopping, and Colin decided that he was obsessed with water fountains.  Thankfully, the temperature wasn't hovering in the upper 40's, like it is now, because we spent a lot of time getting drenched with Colin turning the water fountain into a special "water feature" at the park.  Seriously soggy child.  I'm hoping that a temporary hiatus from the park will let Colin forget about the beloved h2o....we shall see.


David's uncle Howard and aunt Jacqueline came to Chicago, and we met them at the Shedd Aquarium for the morning, and had a great time.  Of course, I tortured David with some family photo time before we entered the facility, because the city views at the Shedd are just amazing.

I snapped a few great detail shots of Colin observing the exhibits at the Shedd.  The lighting in there is so weird, so every photo of him is so dark that they aren't worth sharing, but the shots of him just taking it all in...the best.

We took our first family trip to the apple farm a couple weeks ago, and David and Colin shared their first experiences picking apples straight from the tree.  Colin was in apple heaven.  The boy ate so many apples that it was shocking that he didn't turn into an apple.  He spent the morning double-fisting apples and toddling between the trees.  We had the most amazing donuts ever (County Line Orchard - pumpkin donuts - heaven), rode on a tractor trailer and picked out a pumpkin to take home.

We never got around to carving our pumpkin at home, so when we visited my family in Cleveland this past week, my dad and I schlepped back out to the apple orchard, and bought a pumpkin, along with about a zillion apples.  Dad and Colin tackled the carving, and had lots of fun gutting the pumpkin.  We tabled the face carving part til after nap time, and funny enough, it just never happened, which was totally fine.  Colin liked reaching into the "pum-o" and pulling out the goop, and he had fun helping my dad separate the seeds from the stringy stuff.

In a separate post to come later (because Colin is waking up in his crib as we speak), I have a TON of additional photos to share from our trip to Cleveland, and other gems from the iPhone.  

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