Friday, April 27, 2012

Photo diary of the little love

Working is hard.  Being a new mom and a teacher is ridiculously difficult.  It feels like I am just barely getting by on all fronts.  Nolan, on the other hand, is thriving.  I am ready for a retreat where I can just  sit down write and write, for now, it's easier to upload pictures and give you a photo diary of the past few weeks. 

We caught Nolan looking at books again, dappled by the sunset light. 

All the boys like to lounge.

Weirdo floating space things are neat.

But not as neat as Daddy's face.... Nolan displayed great aptitude for laughing, we managed to get some on camera (until Arnie weasled under my arm holding the camera)

Bath time continues to be a hit! especially eating the washcloth!

Happy baby!

And here is a barrage of 4 month photos- taken a day after his 4 month birthday, April 19.

And here my little love demonstrates how to fall gracefully.

Noly has also been really into text...

Specifically, "warning" text on the side of his co-sleeper...

Beautiful baby, we love him more everyday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Catching up and writing it down

April 6, 2012

Well the call of the open road is still there.  Every so often I get an urge to be somewhere out West, with our tent as temporary home, and the backdrop is a mountain at sunrise.  The time we spent traveling as a twosome was special and singular.  It will happen again, maybe when Nolan’s away at college. 
We’ve spent the past few days traveling and visiting in Cincinnati and Dubuque.  We left for Cincinnati on Saturday, enjoyed the weekend and Monday, Tuesday morning we headed back to Chicago and had a layover night at home for recharging and refueling and Wednesday we left for Dubuque.  It’s Friday and we are on the way back to Chicago for one night as just us, and then my sister moves in on Saturday.  It’s been a whirlwind time.  Nolan will have an Auntie Nanny, and Nick and I will be at work on Monday.  All of this is a lesson in flexibility.  
We had a stark return to an undesired reality as we were driving up to our apartment in Chicago.  Nick accidentally cut someone off, as there are a slew of stop signs on Roscoe Street, some 3 way stops, some 4 way stops.  He puts his hands up in the generally accepted “I’m sorry” gesture, and says it audibly as well.  On the narrow one way street, the other driver pulls up next to our car and yells repeatedly, “Watch your mouth, bitch!”  All signs point to gangbanger (stereotyping directly from his appearance and behavior); he has the tattoo tears on his face where real tears might go, and tattoos up the arms as well.  There are two or more people in the car, but I can’t say for sure.   Nick keeps saying, “I’m sorry,” and the guy and his cronies speeds off, ironically blowing through the next stop sign.  
Nolan and I were sitting in the back seat and I could feel my mother bear gearing up to protect him if I had too.  Mother bear is fierce when she’s called on.  Mothering is something that feels so natural most of the time, this instinct is amazing.  It makes me really wonder about all the tragedy that happens and how much of the behaviors around the shootings and crime essentially go against what I like to believe is the human instinct to be good and kind.  The worlds of depravity and have nots that surround crime and tragedy must be strong and magnetic enough to make null the good and kind override. 
It’s sad that there are so many neighborhoods in Chicago were this could have happened.  We are talking about a move (again) in July, apparently living across from a church and on the same street as two schools isn’t enough to avoid gang shootings and run ins with unsavory characters, and it’s feeling like the choices are so few when looking at affordability and safety.  And yet again, being away from Chicago makes us revisit thoughts of living elsewhere.  Big city living is on a continuum of extremes: the goods are great and the bads are terrible.  The in between, what makes life livable are just that, mediocre.  This is a familiar feeling, wondering if there is another city that is better for us, better for our baby.  Being a mom makes me want to give him everything that is best for him: green grass to feel under his feet, public school that I can believe in, parks without remote chances of crossfire, sidewalks safe for bicycles, and air that is good to breathe.  It was so refreshing to see a clear full moon last night, and to wake up to birdsongs and crisp, quiet air.  We go through this futile debate regularly.  Chicago has certain things that we hold incredibly dear: good friends, dance community, culture, possibility, current jobs that are needed, the lake, summers, city living, and our midwives, who I am dedicated to delivering our next baby, whenever that is.  And it has aspects that I am so tired of.  We know what they are, no need to list them.  Then there’s that alternative, elusive city.  We don’t know where we’d go if we weren’t in Chicago.  We’ve pretty much talked ourselves out of living in Dubuque or Cincinnati proper but don’t have any idea where it is that we want to be.  We’ve romanticized the unknown, but we don’t know where it is or how to bridge the polar opposites that Chicago offers.
This much is true, I want it all: barefoot children running in grass, good friends that meet me where I am, birdsongs in the morning, a home that feels safe, and dancing that feeds me artistically, physically, and intellectually.  The conversation continues, as does the present moment.  I can see Chicago in the distance, where we make our lives for now. 

April 9, 2012

And now for a dump of cuteness...

A few weeks ago Nolan had time with his baby friends.  And the Mommys got to hang out too.  I am so incredibly grateful to have friends going through the same things with me. 

Here is a sweet moment with Daddy from when we were in Cincinnati. 

Sleeping baby in Cinci!

Gearing up for a walk in the Cincinnati sun with Mom. 


Smiles on the porch. 

Gramma time. 

Doing the airplane with Granpa. 

View from below. Check out the bubbles!


Slightly awake...

Just pretending, definitely asleep. 

Who's a cool dude?

It was Easter Sunday, and Nolan got his toes in his mouth.  A number of times. Who needs the Easter Bunny when you've got toes?


Aunt Julia has arrived. 

They are beautiful together. 

And smitten!