Friday, June 14, 2013

Caroline Lou is 4 months old

My sweet little, miss Caroline Lou, is four months old today. Boy, has that flown by! Every day we love her more than the last. She is absolutely the best thing. These days she: is very talkative, smiley, and increasingly independent; is rolling like a pro; reaches out and grasps things that she wants; enjoys reading books with mom and dad; is a little social butterfly and enjoys the company of friends; drools ALL the time; is a little snuggle monster who just laughs and laughs when you blubber her belly. She loves "standing" and giving her little legs a workout. I have visions of our life in the not too distant future when we have a walker. Watch out!

Life these days just gets busier and busier. At night, Bob and I fall into bed exhausted, but deliriously happy.

I suspect this blog will be taking a back seat for awhile. I'll try to do these monthly updates, but otherwise we'll be truckin' along enjoying our little family. Cheers to fun filled times for all of you, too!

Months one, two, and three.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy birthday, Brooklyn Bridge

Happy 130th birthday to the Brooklyn Bridge! What a spectacular site.

I have the fondest memory of riding in a cab across the bridge to my first NYC apartment in Lower Manhattan eleven years ago. The apartment was on the 25th floor and had a living room made of windows with a stunning view of the bridge. A bit of true real estate luck. That was such an exciting time in my life when I was embarking on great adventure.

I also have a less fond memory of walking home to my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn from my friend Sarah's apartment in the East Village during the 2003 Blackout. It was ridiculously hot and I had the most uncomfortable shoes on. Not to mention that we had a romping good time the night before from which I was still feeling the effects. Fortunately, the power came back on by nightfall and we could all blast our A/Cs for relief.

Love that city!

photo from here

p.s. I used to be obsessed with the show Felicity and was sure that's what life in NYC would be like. Thankfully, it wasn't.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rolling update

UPDATE: Caroline rolling has been captured on video. Love it!

Date night

Bob and I treated ourselves to a date night this past weekend. The weather was beautiful so we decided on dinner al fresco at one of our favorite restaurants, Radio Maria. Fitting for a cheese head like me, we started and ended our meal with cheese. We started with Queso de Cabra Frito...

...and ended with a delicious chevre and berry compote, and Maytag blue with honeycomb and candied walnuts. Oh my, was it good!

Bob, a lefty, pointed out during dessert that cheese knives are made for right-handed people. Poor lefties.

After dinner we popped into our favorite neighborhood record store.

I found this awesome oldie. It reminded me of the time I went to a Peter Noone concert with my parents when I was about 8 years old. My mom loved him.

It was a beautiful night in our little town.

Monday, May 20, 2013

We have a roller!

Big news today... We have a roller! Little miss Caroline can roll over all by herself. And she loves it. She's been nearly there for a little while, managing to roll half way onto her side from her back and tummy. Yesterday, though, she started rolling over all the way from her tummy to her back (several times).

Bob and I shrieked with joy, we were so excited! Prouder parents you couldn't find...

The cool thing (for me) was that yesterday would have been my mom's 60th birthday. I thought that made it an extra special milestone.

p.s. Caroline's other milestone? Pooing in the bathtub. That was fun! ;)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pretty PJs

I love these Three J NYC pajamas. There's nothing like snuggling in between the sheets in a cute pair of PJs. This white polka dot set would be perfect for a crisp fall night. I also like this bicycle print, this sleep shirt, and these for summer.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Caroline Lou is three months old

It's hard to believe our little sweetie turned 3 months old yesterday. Each month brings new developments and new fun.

Caroline is now enjoying her bath time, which is a relief. She even smiles while we're washing her hair. I honestly thought that would never happen. She is also loving tummy time and can hold her head up so well now. Her legs are strong and she loves pushing her entire body weight up, and bouncing up and down.

When we take our evening walks she gazes up at the trees and loves looking all around taking in her ever expanding world.

Best of all, those sweet smiles of hers just keep coming. She laughs out loud and my heart melts.

Month one and month two.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

I am so looking forward to my first Mother's Day this Sunday. Caroline Lou is my greatest gift and my biggest joy. I love her so much and am so thankful that I get to be her mommy. I'm looking forward to spending the day with my little family just lazing around in our jammies, eating pancakes, snuggling, grilling out, playing, planting flowers, and sneaking in a facial (just an hour or so of "me time":).

I miss my mom everyday. I always think about her a lot on Mother's Day. She was the kindest, warmest, most compassionate, and loving person I have ever known. She had a way about her that made everyone love her and feel at ease. She always spoke well of other people and she truly led by example.

My mom told me every single day how much she loved me and that I was the best thing that she ever did. I now understand that kind of love and am so happy to share that special bond with my sweet baby girl. It's unlike anything else. My mom would have loved Caroline so, so much. I am certain that they would have been the best of friends. I can't wait to share all of my memories of my wonderful mom with Caroline. If Caroline loves me even half as much as I loved my mom, I'll be one lucky lady.

The photos above are of my mom and me sitting in the same wooden rocking chair, each pregnant with our baby girl. Pretty awesome, right?

And, a few more photos to share after the jump...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I could eat croutons by the bagful. They're just so good. When I eat salad I usually end up with more croutons than lettuce.

Today I made my new favorite dressing: avocado vinaigrette. It's so tasty and easy to make. I like to make a mason jar full and then use it all week. Yumm-o!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Curtain conundrom

A room full of windows is a wonderful thing. Figuring out window treatments for said room is not.

Our family room is a beautiful room with windows spanning 40 feet all the way around. It's gorgeous. The light pours in everyday and it feels so warm in there. Only in the last few months, when Bob replaced all of the windows (by himself!) have I taken down the lace curtains (eek!) left from the previous owner. We've been there for a year and half...

The problem, now, is that there is a terrible glare on the TV. I've been searching high and low for window treatments that will let enough light in while helping with the glare -- and that won't break the bank. I'm leaning more and more towards drop shade curtains. They are a little more economical than buying nearly 30 panels, and I like how they feel relaxed and homey.

Even more economical? DIY drop shade curtains. I'm thinking about trying this project this weekend.

Bob, stop rolling your eyes.

photo from here

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Vanilla bean olive oil ice cream

This recipe for vanilla bean olive oil ice cream makes me want to get an ice cream maker. Doesn't it sound like the perfect summer treat? Mmmm.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Week one, we survived

It's Friday and that means I have survived my first week back in the office and away from my sweet Baby Lou.
Since we had a couple of trial runs with the daycare last week, leaving Caroline on Monday morning was not as tough as I thought it was going to be. I made a point not to linger too long. After a quick chat with her daycare provider, I gave C a quick squeeze, a little smooch, and headed on my way. I figured a short and sweet goodbye was less likely to produce tears than a long drawn out one.

The most challenging part of this week has been getting the pumping at work thing down. Fortunately, I have a private office so I can close my door and get the job done. With one quick spin, I've mastered the transition from fully clothed upper body to hands-free pumping at my keyboard. It really should be considered an art form.

The kitchen, though, is on the other side of the office suite.

I've felt mildly embarrassed carrying my pumping supplies to the kitchen to wash them each time. And then a little more embarrassed when a coworker comes in while I'm in the middle of washing all of my parts. These? Oh, yes, these are the flanges that go on my boobs to I can express milk. I can't help but think that the minute someone sees these parts they immediately think of my boobs. That weirds me out.

Breastfeeding is such a natural and wonderful, thing, though, and I don't want to feel weird about pumping at work and what my coworkers may think. This article gave me a little boost today (along with support from my good friend, Ellie). Next week I'm going into this whole pumping thing fearless (or at least a little less fearful).

The Milk Truck, what an idea.

Happy Friday!

photo by my sweet and talented friend, Justine

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Babies laughing

This laughing babies video never gets old. It's the perfect pick-me-up.

Caroline has laughed out loud a handful of times already. It's the sweetest sound.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baby sandals

Oh. My. Goodness. Don't you just love these Salt-Water sandals for baby? I can't wait until Caroline is walking and can wear these next summer.

And, obviously I would never spend this much on a baby dress, but how cute is this!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Back to work

Today is my first day back to work in the office after maternity leave with Caroline. I'm happy to report that I'm surviving and am doing OK.

Last week I worked from home on Thursday and Friday and did trial runs with her daycare. I think that helped with my transition. I got most of my tears out on Thursday and managed to keep dry eyes today. This is the longest I have been away from my sweet Baby Lou, though, and as the afternoon creeps along I find myself ready for some time with my sweet little one.

I was just reading this quoted passage from Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions (via cup of jo):
"I have a friend named Anne, this woman I've known my entire life, who took her two-year-old up to Tahoe during the summer. They were staying in a rented condominium by the lake. And of course, it's such a hotbed of gambling that all the rooms are equipped with these curtains and shades that block out every speck of light so you can stay up all night in the casinos and then sleep all morning. One afternoon she put the baby to bed in his playpen in one of these rooms, in the pitch-dark, and went to do some work. A few minutes later, she heard her baby knocking on the door from inside the room, and she got up, knowing he'd crawled out of his playpen. She went to put him down again, but when she got to the door, she found he'd locked it. He had somehow managed to push in the little button on the doorknob. So he was calling to her, "Mommy, Mommy," and she was saying to him, "Jiggle the doorknob, darling," and of course he didn't speak much English—mostly he seemed to speak Urdu. After a moment, it became clear to him that his mouther couldn't open the door, and the panic set in. He began sobbing. So my friend ran around like crazy trying everything possible, like trying to get the front door key to work, calling the rental agency where she left a message on the machine, calling the manager of the condominium where she left another message, and running back to check in with her son every minute or so. And there he was in the dark, this terrified little child. Finally she did the only thing she could,, which was to slide her fingers underneath the door, where there was a one-inch space. She kept telling him over and over to bend down and find her fingers. Finally somehow he did. So they stayed like that for a really long time, on the floor, him holding onto her fingers in the dark. He stopped crying. She kept wanting to go call the fire department or something,but she felt that contact was the most important thing. She started saying, "Why don't you lie down, darling, and take a little nap on the floor?" and he was obviously like, "Yeah, right, Mom, that's a great idea, I'm feeling so nice and relaxed." So she kept saying, "Open the door now," and every so often he'd jiggle the knob, and eventually, after maybe half an hour, it popped open."
It brought tears to my eyes. I truly never knew how much my heart could possibly love before my sweet Baby Lou.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Baby Lou is two months old

My sweet Baby Lou turned two months old on Sunday. She's grown so much in the last month! She can already hold her head up on her own and she even supports her entire body weight on her little legs. She's so strong. She follows me and Bob all around the room with her eyes and a big grin. And, best of all, she is all smiles. Her little "aahh's" and "coo's" melt my heart and her smile just sends me soaring.

We are truly smitten with our baby girl. Caroline Lou, you are more than we could have ever dreamed.

Month one.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pee in the face

Already I'm learning a lot about parenthood, the art of flexibility, and finding humor in it all. There are so many things that you really can't prepare yourself for. Your capacity to love, the intense changes your body will go through, getting baby pee in your eye...

The other day Bob and I were changing Caroline's diaper before bedtime. The dirty diaper was undone and Bob was cleaning her up before putting on the new one. I reached down to pull off her socks and at the exact moment that her sock sprung off her little foot she started to pee. The sock somehow hit the pee mid-stream and flung it directly into my eyes and my mouth. Stunned, I stood there for a moment, mouth agape, eyes blinking fast, baby pee all over my face.

Bob looked over at me not knowing what had happened. "Baby pee! My eyes, my mouth!" is what I think I said. We both laughed so hard it hurt. Caroline laid contentedly on her changing pad just watching, her expression something like "what are you two weirdos doing."

Baby pee in the face. There's no preparing for that.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Caroline Lou one month

We welcomed our sweet daughter, Caroline Lou, into the world on Valentine's Day. She turned one month old last week, which seemed impossibly fast.

Caroline is the sweetest thing I've ever known. It's not possible to comprehend how much love your heart has for your child. She is absolute perfection and I love her more than I could ever say. Bob and I are so blessed to be her parents. We're having so much fun getting to know her and making her smile (which she does ALL the time).

What an exciting adventure that has begun!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The waiting game

We're still waiting on Baby Mango to arrive. Even Winston is getting anxious.

Tomorrow will be one week past our estimated due date. I know they call it an estimate for a reason, but it's funny how this one date shapes your thoughts and expectations for nine months (and then some). Now that it's come and gone, you really start counting the minutes.

They should just give you an approximate time frame. Maybe that would make the waiting easier. C'mon Mango!

photo: Winston curled up in Baby's room... just waiting...

Friday, February 1, 2013


Paperman, an Oscar-nominated Disney short, is just as sweet as can be. Goose-bump inducing and perfectly timed for Valentine's Day.

via Hither and Thither

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baby Mango, born Cubs fan

There's a lot of mystery surrounding our little baby Mango. Is Mango a him or a her? What will Mango's name be? When will Mango arrive? So much left to be discovered. One thing we don't have to wait to find out? Baby Mango will be born a Cubs fan.

Like it or not, this baby will be introduced to the misery of rooting for the Cubbies from a very early age. Bob just purchased a 6-pack of tickets for this upcoming season and plan to take Mango to at least a game or two. Which begs the obvious question... what will baby wear to the game?

If Mango is a she, I'm thinking something in the way of this cute little number.

Or this if Mango is a he. Sigh... the pinstripes.

Remember this guy?  And, how to make your status as a lifelong fan official.

Who knows, maybe baby Mango will be the good luck charm the Cubbies have been waiting for.

above photo from when we told Matt, my brother-in-law that he was going to be an uncle.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ombre heart cake

This would make such a beautiful wedding cake. Or birthday cake. Or any day cake. Love it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sweet treats

This weekend, husband and I threw a diaper/baby shower for Emily, my sister-in-law. She's expecting a son, Myles, March 19th. I had fun making these necktie cookies and cute cupcakes. I made little cupcake toppers that said "Little Man," "Oh Boy!," "M is for Myles," and some with neckties. And, I loved the green and blue color combo. All quite tasty, too.

Here's a group shot from the day. Me and husband: count down = 10 days 'til due date. Yay for babies!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Shoe love

Hello, lover. Oh what a fun time we would have together.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. May we never forget this incredible man's message and forever perpetuate the love he shared with the world.
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
That old law about 'an eye for an eye' leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing. 
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' 
I just love these images of MLK and his family.

 More after the jump...

Friday, January 18, 2013


Here's me with baby at 7 weeks, when baby was just the size of a blueberry. And, now here's me with baby at 37 weeks. Who looks like the blueberry now? Hehe. :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Full term and now we wait

Well, folks. It's nearly here. Mango that is. (Since we're going to be surprised with the sex, "it" still gets used from time to time.)

Today I am considered full-term. That means that baby's organs should be fully developed and prepared for the outside world. My due date is three weeks from today, but the doctor is OK with delivering anytime from this point forward. Now we're officially playing the waiting game. It could be any time. Yahoo!

Any guesses when baby Mango will arrive? So far we've got votes for Feb. 1, 2 and 5, and Jan. 28 (that one's still a little early, I think). I have no idea and no guess. I'll just be happy when it's here.

The top 5 things I'm looking forward to after the baby is born:
  1. Being that much closer to wearing my regular clothes again (brand new J. Crew jeans and comfy t-shirts, I'm looking at you).
  2. A medium/medium rare steak with a giant glass of red wine.
  3. Sushi, the real stuff. Raw. White tuna, salmon, red snapper... mmmm. With a bottle of Sapporo.
  4. Being able to tie my own shoes. In regular knots. Without help. Without groaning from bending over.
  5. MEETING THIS NEW LITTLE PERSON!!!!!!!! Ah, I can't wait!!!! (this is really number one:)

photo of baby Mango waving to us for the first time at 12 weeks. Man that seems like a long time ago.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mini coffee maker

I love starting my workday with a cup of Columbia Street Roastery coffee in my L mug. Today's flavor: Rainforest Crunch. Yumm-o!

I hit the jackpot for Christmas with this Cuisinart mini coffee maker from husband. Now I get to make my own personal cup of coffee every morning right in my office. And, Craig gave me the L mug, which is perfect. It's all about the little things, right? :)

And, in regard to big things, I finally submitted my application for grad school yesterday. It felt so good to hit that "submit" button! I've applied for the Masters of Advertising program in the College of Media at the U of I. I should hear sometime in April whether I'll be a student again this fall.

As my friend Sara pointed out, this will likely be the least excruciating wait possible. Y'know, 'cause there's going to be a new baby and all in a few weeks. That will be probably take my mind off this for awhile. :) Anyway, fingers crossed!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New parent food planning

This past week Bob and I have been doing a little prep work for our return home after the baby is born. One of the main things you always hear is that, during that initial time after the baby is home, food is one of the last things you want to think about as a new parent.

So, we've made a couple of meals with that in mind. So far we've made this quinoa broccoli casserole and this stuffed manicotti - both Pinterest finds. Both were yumm-o. The quinoa casserole works as a main dish with a bag o' salad, or as a side. The manicotti was awesome. We added turkey sausage to the sauce, which was a good choice.

I purchased some foil baking pans and we made sure to fill one of those with half of the recipe each time. We wrap each one up and label it with cooking instructions and stick it in the freezer. It's worked out perfectly leaving us with fewer leftovers to feel bad about not eating by the end of the week and easy meals for the (not so distant) future.

Any suggestions for other meals to freeze for future eating? 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Green monster

This morning I made one of these green monster smoothies. And the verdict... it was pretty yumm-o.

Husband has made his own versions in the past, but they were just too bitter for my taste. I've been trying to incorporate kale into my diet and and I think this is going to be the ticket. Instead of coconut oil I added coconut almond milk and some orange juice, which helped sweeten it up. I need to play around with the mix a little bit more, but it's pretty close. I may try adding some pineapple juice next time.

I'm thinking about trying to guzzle one of these every other morning for breakfast. Apparently you can really feel a difference if you make it a regular part of your routine. Light, fresh, and healthy - yeah, baby!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Morning jump start

I started my day with this delicious iced blue kitty cat sugar cookie. Yeah, that's right.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Year of Baby

Happy New Year! Can you believe that it's 2013? Every year I think back to the late `90s and find myself amused that thirteen years ago we thought this future would be so different. The Y2K fears, flying cars, etc. Now it's 2013, and things look pretty much the same. To me at least.

And that will only last for about another month because this is... the Year of Baby! Little Baby Mango is due in a month and then our lives are certain to change forever. In the most delightful way. As one might imagine, my thoughts are consumed with Baby and our changing family. I truly can't wait for this new adventure to begin.

I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start and that you are filled with hope and excitement for all that is to come.

And, if you're looking for a good movie to rent, I recommend Looper. It's great.

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