B's birthday is in a little more than a month. She asks sever times a day, to talk about her birthday wish list. (She is from a long line of present list makers. Me, Aunt Lee, Jordan, Jessica, Jeana, Joe and now B - we love our presents.) So presently, her list stands at (her words, not mine)(Oh, and try to remember she is a girl who won't wear dresses but picked out very glittery silver shoes.):
I have been struggling with clothes. Not entirely big enough for the maternity things I bought, too big for my regular clothes (read pants). Since I am really NEVER having another baby, I hate to spend any money on maternity clothes. But, I don't want to wear workout clothes all the time (the only clothes I have with elastic waists), so I have to buy something. I bought a couple of skirts in a larger size and I ordered some things from Old Navy as well as the Gap (both have maternity) and looked at Target. Well, I found tank tops at Target. That is it. The other stuff has weird prints/colors. And leggings. I don't wear leggings. I wore that legging look ala The Limited in the eighties. At least Target doesn't have giant v-neck sweaters to go with the leggings.
I usually don't shop at Old Navy, no reason why, I just try to one stop shop at Anthropologie. And truth be told, I am still wearing tops from Anthropologie. Good thing big and blousy is "in." I bought jeans form the Gap. I want to buy my usual jeans, but in maternity, but they are so expensive. About $100 more than than usual. And I need more than one pair of jeans, since that is all I wear in the winter. The jeans from the Gap worked out pretty well. I had some length issues, but other than that. Oh, I know the frustration I felt with buying from Old Navy and Gap maternity, the return policy.
You can order from both websites, and the stuff ships together, that is nice. However, you can only return by mail. OK, I understand they don't want maternity stuff at the regular stores. However, I tried to exchange the jeans (not return) at a Gap maternity store and they said NO. Wild huh? Get this. I bought some jeans at the maternity store, one pair wasn't right, and I was able to return them at the regular Gap store. Now how does that make sense?
I am currently waiting for an order from Old Navy. They may only charge $7.00 for shipping, but it takes forever to get it. I ordered shorts (of course, it is now cold and raining) and a couple of t-shirts. Mine are getting snug around the chest and short on my belly. I want my stuff snug around my belly. I hate wearing a t-shirt, if they are not tight, they look boxy and I look fat. Bad. Bad. Bad.
Have I looked anywhere else? I online shopped at Destination Maternity. They have Pea in the Pod, Motherhood Maternity, and maybe some other lines. But I didn't like anything I saw. They all looked like maternity clothes. YUCK. I have also looked at A Pea in the Pod website. Again, nothing that floated my boat. I can go actually look in the stores, and I suppose I will have to, if I don't want to be naked in November.
I also shopped Anthropologie this week. I am still wearing their tops, so I thought they might have others I like. I found one, long sleeveless tunic. It will be cute with skinny jeans. And I liked another top, but a large was too large and the medium might only last another month or two.
I am sure there are other treasures at Anthropolgie, but someone isn't napping and gets cranky in the afternoon, and that makes my shopping partner, Mike, cranky too. What else do I need? A new diaper bag. I already have a couple traditional bags, which I just don't like to carry. OK, my Skip Hop stroller bag is great for the zoo (thanks Marci and Joann! Joann, Marci's m-i-l won it at a luncheon) but I feel like mom with a diaper bag. When B was in diapers, I used a large Matt and Nat bucket bag. So, I will probably pick out another cool purse. I briefly saw this one at Anthropologie, and need to go back and check it out.
I just need to make sure it has enough room inside. And pockets.
Other clothes woes? The seasons. I need to make sure I have enough warm weather clothes. Who know how long I'll need shorts. I certainly didn't buy enough shorts. I only have three maternity pairs - and only like one. And then winter stuff. Do I need a coat? Can I just let my belly (which will be how big again?) hang out my shearling? Anf workout clothes. I bought larger tanks at Target - I love the C9 stuff -but they are getting short on my belly. Most of my shorts are OK for now. I do sweat, so I don't want to wear cotton, and believe me I don't want my belly to hang out and gross anyone out.
Any other pregnancy woes - yes I know clothes are low on the woes list. Let's see. Mike and I are the oldest in our Bradley class by maybe ten years. And the only ones who already have a kid. I ache everywhere. My hips, carpal tunnel in my left arm (always feels tingly, like it was asleep and is waking up), sinusitis, you name it, mine probably hurts. I didn't have all this pain (except the carpal tunnel-but I was knitting , so I thought that is what started it) when I was pregnant with B. I even am more active this time around. I would think excercising would make everything better. What do I know? I am down all the time and quite anti-social (OK, not so our of my normal character). The endocrinologist changed my thyroid medicine, that could me some of the problem. Again, what go I know? You would think since I have been pregnant before, I would know what to expect. Be on my way to an expert. HAH! I don't remember half of B's pregnancy, and it's all different this time (I think). From needing maternity two and a half months earlier, to exhaustion. I only have, what 4 moths plus. Just the blink of an eye right? HAH!
What's happening on James Street you ask? There haven't been a lot of posts lately. B doesn't want her photo taken, we haven't been doing too much, and I am feeling fat, pregnant and lazy. And this puts me in a funk. Add in B is on break from school, (so no gym) and well, if after I take a shower, I still have the energy to breathe, well, something might happen.
Below are pictures from Saturday. In the morning, we walked to our croissant and coffee place, then to the park, where B swung on the swing forever. Since it had rained the night before, everything was wet. So, I only had to use my sleeve to dry off the swing. That was good.
After, MIke helped his friend Tony move into a new home while B and I hit Borders and Whole Foods. We needed groceries BADLY. Green Market is good for fruit and veggies, bad for cereal and olive oil. The weather shaped up, so we sat on the front porch. B and Mike blew bubbles, I read a new sewing book. B also ran around the yard with the camera. SHe took about a hundred photos. Here are two:
Our pup Jake.
And bossy, barky, Shadow.
B and Mike blowing bubbles. Funny, my
picture isn't any better than B's.
Let's see, Sunday we went to the Geneva Concours. This is a show of many cars. Old and fancy like Rolls Royce and Hudsons. Some new and not so impressive - like I need to see a 2005 Corvette or Porsche. It was the vintage cars that make the event special.
After, we did some shopping at Joann's. Even Mike went inside. Of course, it aged him a year for every minute he spent there. I bought stuff to make B and applique -shirt. This one had fruit stains I couldn't remove. I got the idea from the blog, Crap I've Made, as well as Funny Days with Mommy and Maddie. I used one of Mike's old shirts and found a stencil to use online. I even stitched around it! It turned out so well, I almost didn't believe I made it. Next up is an octopus applique. I have another old shirt to use. This time a cool orange print.
B wore it to the zoo the next day.
You think I would have gotten a photo
of her in the shirt.
So, not so busy of a weekend, but that is OK. I am still hoping some Saturday or Sunday will be right for the beach. With the weather we are having, I need vitamin D, and a tan.
Since the actual weekend was quiet, I didn't take any pictures. So, these are from last Thursday and Friday.
Thursday, we were sitting on the back patio when, I notice this bug on Mike's chair. We both freaked for a second, then noticed it was just a bug shell. B didn't shy away from it at all. I have no idea what bug shed this skin, but - ewe. It was big.
Friday, was Camp Lee. I only took two pictures. Mike and B jumping on the trampoline and B playing lawn golf. A game her cousin Joe made up.
We planned to go to the beach yesterday, but were to pooped from a great time up at Camp Lee's. Then we planned to go to the beach today. It was going to be rainy. So, next best thing? A movie.
I have talked about taking B to the movie for awhile now. The plan was to go to to a special showing for kids - you know the kind theatres have once a week or once a month. It just hasn't worked out, so we decided to try Disney's new movie Ponyo.
I pulled the trailer up on the internet, and B approved. Many times. Mike and I were still a bit worried, would it be too loud? Too long? Too dark? Too scary? Would B be able to sit still?
Ponyo is a movie about a magical goldfish who escapes from her controlling wizard of a Dad and ends up washed up near the shore where Sosuke finds her. They become fast friends and even though Ponyo's father "rescues" her, she escapes again, this time as a human. It is a very charming story, one that is easily watchable again and again.
We bought our tickets, popcorn and lemonade and found a seat. OK, that wasn't hard, we were the first people there. B started in right away while we watched the ads on screen. She first said, "I need a flash light." I worried a bit more. But then the previews started, and she got into it. Then the movie came on, and she was talking to us like she does at home. "There's Ponyo!" I quickly explained inside voice, again. B was a movie champ. Sat still, engrossed, watching and eating her popcorn. When the credits rolled, she asked if they would play it again.
We were very busy last week, while Mike was on holiday. And it only let up a little on the weekend.
We didn't have plans on Friday, so I decided to re-organize our craft room. I want to sew a bit more, and B is always in there doing something, so I needed to clean it up. I got a little overwhelmed, so Mike lent a hand and helped me organize books, and carried stuff out to the recycling. I am happy with the way it turned out. I still have one more closet to go through, but it contains lots of files and papers with which I don't know what to do. But it is now easier to maneuver in, and that makes me happy.
This is B's and my craft room. See the new serger my
cousin Barb gave me. Isn't it incredible. Thank you so
much, Barb. And thank you Mike and B for helping
me get the room in better shape.
It looks so good in person, but still a bit of a mess in the
picture. I want to run a rail of cork around the room to
hang B's work. It looks a bit messy just taped up.
Before B was born, we cleaned everything out of this "bedroom," and Mike and his Dad put up cabinets from Ikea around part of the perimeter of the room. Mike added some shelves for books and such. There are two closets in the room - barely. But they are both low. One, as a door at one side, then runs the length of the room, making it hard to use the whole storage - and you basically have to crawl through the door. It should be a dormered room. But it works well for B and me. I have to organize the cabinets a bit more. One big one is filled with toys. Storage in B's room is next. With Charlie coming, we'll need more places to put more stuff.
Saturday was a day of rest. We ran a couple of errands, but mostly B took a long nap and Mike and I chilled. I did get a package in the mail.
I got this great fabric on Saturday. I am going to make
a tree skirt for B's Christmas tree. I bought the fabric
Sunday, my sister, fresh home from Maine, decided to through a lobster party. I thought she was a little nuts, but we had a good time. It was nice to see her whole family as well as Ed and Cathie who brought their dog Cosmo. The weather was perfect for floating around in her pool, and B had a blast with her cousins. Lee made great artichoke dip and my niece Jordan made guacamole. Those were our snacks! For dinner, there were lobsters, potatoes, sausage, corn, squash, fruit and I made cupcakes.
B found this giant dragon fly as we were getting ready to go.
She had to chase our cat off of it. Mike moved it safely to a bush.
Cathie made this great little gown for Charlie!
It is perfect. It even has little foldovers for
the baby's hands. Thanks Cathie!
Setting a great table.
All that was missing were lobster bibs.
Dick, Jeaner and the lobster table.
Maybe I should have done before and after.
I didn't look at them alive, then I definitely
couldn't have eaten one.
Poor lobsters. I only had part of one. Yes, I know I am still
guilty, but it was good. I felt even worse when
B played with their claws.
Our big happy family.
Front row (l-r): Ed, Cosmo (in Ed's lap) and Jeana
Back row (l-r): Jordan, Dick, Joe, Cathie, B, Mike and Jess
The big news is B spent the night with her cousins. THey asked if she wanted to sleep over and she said yes. I tried to explain to her what that meant, but she waved goodbye as Mike and I drove away. She watched movies, ate popcorn, played with her cousins, cried and fell asleep. Mike and I stayed up waiting for the call that didn't come. Nice way to spend our free evening, but we really missed the little sprite! In the morning, my sister treated her like royalty and gave her a donut. B was definitely ready to see me when I pulled up. I know she had fun with her cousins, but she might be a bit young yet. We'll try again, now that she knows what to expect. The consequence is that she has been a bit clingy. But she now says to me, "you and me like to be together." That's even better then when she says to my belly, "Charlie, you'll come some time soon."
We took a rest on Tuesday to gear up for Wednesday and Thursday. The Brookfield Zoo was next on the list. B was very excited about that. She loves the zoo, even though it exhausts me. Brookfield is big. Unless you follow the path around, well even then, it is a lot of walking back and forth. But it is great habitat zoo, though, sometimes, this make sit hard to see the animals. I planned on packing a lunch to take, but well, we never went to the grocery store (Tuesday was a day of rest, you know). So, a mediocre and expensive bison burger was ours to eat. Hey, at least the restaurant wasn't close to the buffalo, at the Shedd, they were serving up fish dinners right next to a tank!
We were all tired, but had a good time. We saw more fish, birds, an alligator, frogs, lizards, turtles and tortoises (B loves her cold blooded friends) penguins, meercats, bison, giraffes, elephants, rhinos. We saw a lot.
B in the car. She studied the map about half
the trip there. She had to Plan out what she
wanted to see.
B wanted to see the dinosaurs. Problem. She is
afraid of the dinosaurs. Definitely a love/hate thing.
This frog statue was in the Feathers and Scales building.
After I took the photo, I look down to see the message
"don't climb in the frog".
B, off the frog. She wasn't happy about it.
especially since other kids kept climbing on Mr. Frog.
Giant turtle alert. Obviously, B likes any animal
she can climb.
Since I didn't get good penguin pictures at the Shedd,
here are a couple from Brookfield.
He dove in right after this shot. I stink
at taking pictures.
This is from the play zoo. Doesn't want to pet the
hamster, wants to play with baby toys. Maybe she will
be a good playmate for Charlie.
These statues are everywhere!
Thursday we hit the beach again. We wanted to go Friday, but the forecast was dim. And it did rain yesterday. ALL DAY. So, Thursday was a good choice. We didn't get as early as a start as we would have liked, but that's OK. It worked out well. I mean, who wants to spend all day at the beach? OK, B does.
Even though B rarely wears sunscreen and has never burned, we
put a bit on her shoulders and face.
The water was cold, but not as cold as Sunday.
I dug a hole for her bucket and made
a pool for her "guys".
B is buried up to her knees in sand.
B is learning to body surf.
Every time Mike and B went into the water, the
waves disappeared. They would walk out, and back
the waves came. Here, they get a good one.
Yesterday was rainy. We hit the gym, then I tried, with Mike's help, to organize B's and my craft room. I got rid of lots of magazines and books. Then last night, we went over to our neighbor's for Markus's 39th birthday. B had a blast. Today, just some errands and cleaning. Tomorrow, my sister's. It is going to be HOT and she is bringing lobsters back from Maine. I need to make a salad and dessert. Absolutely no idea what to make.
All in all, I have enjoyed our vacation. We did so many fun things. Next summer, we are definitely buying a beach pass, we just had so much fun (and road construction might be over by then) and B loved it.
Now that Mike is going to work on Monday and B is out of school until the 26th, what am I going to do with B?
Yes, I used the buzzword "staycation." We planned to go to Hayward, Wisconsin (Mike's family house) this week for a summer break. But, alas, the weather forecast looked cool. And, when the lake water is cool and the air is cool, well, one ends up cold. And there isn't too much to do in Hayward otherwise, so we stayed home to do fun things around us.
Sunday, we went to a beach on Lake Michigan in Evanston. It took us awhile to get there, but we had a blast. Specifically, B loved the beach. This is a big difference from when we went to Mexico when she was one. Then, she hated the waves and the sand was just OK. Sunday, she dug in the sand for rocks, splashed in the very cold water, ran after sea gulls, and laid in the sun on a towel. Afterward, we went to dinner at a cute little restaurant in downtown Evanston, and then a little Italian cafe for gelato and cappuccino.
Believe it or not, we were not
the pastiest people at the beach.
Notice, no one in our family got their hair wet.
The water was icy.
Having a apricot snack.
B loves her towel.
Chasing after the poor sea gulls.
Needless to say, she didn't catch one.
I am getting cold.
Yesterday, we hit the Shedd Aquarium. We took the train downtown. We wanted to leave around 9:30, but we just couldn't get it together quick enough. So the 10:30 it was. The problem was, it was a half hour late getting to Chicago. There is a bus that runs from the station the the Shedd, but we missed it by this much. So we decided to walk. We were hungry and really didn't want to eat at the aquarium. Our walk led us by Lou Mitchell's, so we stopped there for brunch. This helped cross a "to do" off my list. I wanted to go out to breakfast. (This is something we used to do, but I always feel crappy after eating a huge breakfast.)
We continued walked the 2 miles to the aquarium. I am not sure when we arrived there, but t was after 12. I was surprised there was still a bunch of people buying tickets. The place was pretty crowded. Still, B had a good time. She was tired, but a trooper. I don't have a lot of photos from inside, because they don't allow flash photography. But we saw a lot. Sharks, jellyfish, huge catfish, sea horses, sting rays, an octopus, beluga whales, dolphins, otters, penguins and B and I got to touch a starfish. It was pretty cool. We walked back to the train, so B could get in a little nap. Got there for the 5 o'clock train, which only made a couple stops. YEAH!
Enjoying bacon at Lou Mitchell's.
Bad picture, but one of the best with
The jellyfish were probably B's favorite. Along with the
sharks and the rays.
Man with a fish statue.
Yes, that is the official name.
It's on the map and everything.
We are taking a rest today. Next we are heading to the Brookfield Zoo, so Mike can check out the dinosaurs. Then back to the beach. We will probably stay close to home this weekend because it is suppose to be HOT.