Monday, August 24, 2009

Adventures in Eating

Feeding a baby is messy and tedious, but there are some upshots...

I love sweet potatoes!

What are you looking at?

You mean there are more kinds of food?

More applesauce please.

What do you mean there's no more?

So far he likes graham crackers, sweet potatoes, applesauce, and green peas. He cringes at pears and green beans. I can't wait until he can actually eat "real" food. It's a slow process, but we're getting there.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Swing Time

We pass by two parks on our evening walks, and we sometimes stop at one or the other for some swinging. Here are some pics of the boyo enjoying the ride. BTW, these pictures look like we took him out in the middle of the night to swing, but in fact it was dusk and still fairly light out.

Note the awesome outfit Grandpa A brought Wiggle back from South America. He is also wearing slippers that Grandmother J gave him. We have been having unseasonably cool weather (it was in the 50's last night), so the fleece penguin slippers were perfect for being out in the evening. When I received the slippers earlier this summer, they looked huge, and I thought they would be perfect for him come November or December. Well, bigfoot's toes are right where they should be now. The kid's got monster feet.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Evening Constitutional

Lately, we have been taking long walks in the evening before we put Wiggle to bed. I started doing it because I could use the exercise, and all of my parenting books say I should get Wiggle outside more, and well, because I want to be the kind of parent who takes my kid on long walks in the evening. But I didn't know what a difference they would make in my life in general.

Truthfully, I had been feeling kind of down lately. Not depressed really, but a little harried. The library of parenting books on our shelves kept telling me how this (6 months) is the best time, and that I should have things under control now. Not only that, but the sense of calm that I am supposedly feeling would disappear slowly, but surely as Wiggle becomes even more mobile, willful, and articulate, only to return around the age of three (not so coincidentally, this is also the age at which most kids enter pre-school). Needless to say, I had not been overcome as of late with either a sense of inner peace or an outwardly tidy home.

To top it off, Wiggle had started to develop sleep issues - most notably, he had stopped sleeping on his own easily. So I started the walks in order to give myself time when Wiggle was engaged in an activity other than using me as a jungle gym or trying to take my shirt off, but they quickly became more than that. They gave some structure to my day and to Wiggle's day, and from that a daily schedule seemed to fall seamlessly into place. They have also given C and me some time each day to talk without trying to get some dishes done, check email, or sort laundry at the same time. The walks, plus the daily schedule, have also given us a normal sleep schedule for Wiggle. Some sound advice on sleep issues (Thanks, Aunt K and Uncle B for the books!) seems to have nipped the latest sleep problems in the bud, and I can proudly say that last night Wiggle slept from 8:30 pm until 8:00 am, and he took two decent naps yesterday. C and I have had dinner by ourselves three nights in a row and even managed to watch a couple of our long forgotten Netflix.

I feel like a new person. I remember that I have a husband, not just a baby-daddy, and more than that I love him. We had become "Mom" and "Dad." No, worse than that, we had become "mom" and "dad." And while I love, repeat, love, being a mom, in order to continue being a good mom, I needed to remember that I am more than that too, that C's and my relationship is more than just being parents to Wiggle. Not bad for such a mundane activity.

Some pictures from the 'hood.

His future's so bright, he's gotta wear shades.

Two views down the Midway Plaisance, one block from our apartment.
The flora is beautiful, but the fauna is awfully cute.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hog Heaven

Last Friday a friend of ours invited us to his co-op for a pig roast, Yucatan-style. We were very excited to say the least. A story in photos follows.

The hungry masses waiting for the pig to be unearthed.

The strong young men digging up the pig. Note the steam coming up.
The careful sweeping off of the metal sheet that covers the pots 'o' pig.
While Wiggle is not eating pork yet, he seemed to like the excitement surrounding the evening.
They're doing it! They're uncovering the pig. Will it be done? Will it be good?
So far, so good. It looks awesome.
While the pork is being pulled, we sit by a cozy fire (Friday was unseasonably cool). Sitting by an open fire is one of my favorite pleasures.
I like how Wiggle is holding both the bottles too. In case you were thinking C was two-fisting it, one of those beers was mine.
The hungry throngs descending upon the food.
The result - the best frigging pork ever! E-V-E-R. So moist and flavorful. Plus the other food was fantastic too.
There are rumors of a goat roast soon. Hyde Park can be wonderful sometimes.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Our Little Boy

People constantly ask me how the cats are getting along with Wiggle. My response? Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. So...

Here's the reaction I got when Wiggle caught me taking pictures of the overt snuggling.
In other news, our little boy is growing up so fast. Here is a picture of him all dressed up to go out shopping. Do you see the super cute Vans that his Aunt K and Uncle B got him? He got the shoes three weeks ago and they were way too big - now, they fit perfectly.
He walks around holding our fingers, but he is already starting to try to let go and stand/walk on his own. I don't know if I'm ready for all this big boy stuff, but he certainly seems to be.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Trip Downtown

Last night we went up to Millennium Park to hear a free concert which was part of the Grant Park Music Festival. The program consisted of two or three chorale pieces, but to tell the truth, I didn't really notice the music much. We had a picnic outside and played with Wiggle, and just enjoyed being out among people on a Friday night. The night was beautiful, the food was delicious, and we had a wonderful time.

After the concert, we decided to walk around for a few minutes to kill time before we got back on the bus. There were tons of people out enjoying the uncharacteristically cool weather. Kids seemed to be having the most fun - running, screaming, laughing. Sounds permanently associated with summer, but ones that I don't get to hear very often living in a dicey neighborhood in the city.

Fun in the new Burnham Pavilion

Splashing in Crown Fountain.

Chicago in the summertime is truly awesome.