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Am I who I thought I was?

August 14th, 2012 · No Comments

I jokingly posted to FB today that I’m starting to wonder if I really am an introvert.  It was tongue-in-cheek – of course an introvert does not get lonely after 3 days of solitude.  But yet, it did give me a minute of pause.  I do think I have outgrown some of my introversion…is that even possible?  Perhaps I was just a socially awkward extrovert and now I am less awkward?

Hard to say. Either way – almost midnight on a night when you know you will have to be up early finishing up people’s stupid presentations and making them look much nicer than they deserve to look for trying to cram a 14″ picture and 5 full paragraphs of text onto one slide.  Not a good idea at all.



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Soupathon 2012.

August 13th, 2012 · No Comments

Started soupathon 2012 tonight.  I have all the ingredients purchased and tonight’s plan is prep.  I have so far peeled and separated garlic cloves for the 44-clove garlic soup.  I admit, I have been intrigued but intimidated about trying this recipe.  It’s a smittenkitchen.com recipe, so bound to be delicious…but really…garlic soup?  I mean, I like garlic, don’t get me wrong.  Anyway.  I guess we’ll see.

I worked late tonight to try and get ahead of the curve.  Aaron mentioned that he felt like I’d been saying I was behind for a while, and he’s right.  I feel like I’ve been behind ever since I came back from maternity leave.  So many projects, so little time. So it was nice to do that guilt-free.  Although I don’t particularly enjoy coming home and it’s already 6:30.  But whatever.  I want my job/career to go somewhere, and here in America, there’s only one way to do that – work a lot of hours…

I caught up with Shanna today some, which was really nice.  I miss her still, and I feel like I’m constantly behind the curve there, too.  Bad Hannah-friend!  But she is doing well and that makes my heart happy.  She celebrates her 30th bday in 2 days time….weird!  All my friends are 30+ these days!

Okay – back to souping.



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In which I temporarily become single again.

August 12th, 2012 · No Comments

Aaron is staying in CO with the kids, so I’m home this week alone.  How can you tell?  Why, I’ve just accomplished things, and am now sitting down to blog about them…

I got home around 11, immediately swept the floors, took out the trash, and ran a load of dishes.  This had to happen before I could do anything else noteworthy, because ew. Two cats alone in a house by themselves for a week makes for an incredible amount of cat hair just sitting around.

Then, I went for a drive, picked up a pack of cigarettes, and cruised (sort of) to the grocery store, blaring Pendulum and generally feeling very young and hip again…which is how you can tell that I’m probably not…

I went to Mariano’s to pick up supplies for my week of Hannah time.  I aim to make a ton (possibly literally) of soup, so that’s mostly what the run consisted of, but there were a few things that could be filed under either “can’t buy because Aaron can’t eat” or “can’t buy because they go too quickly” or, more generally, “only Hannah likes this.”  I figured I’d get it in while I can.

I was glad to be there alone.  I got the short shopping cart – highly maneuverable but no children can go in it.  It was a positive mad house – as if the whole northside of Chicago had turned out to get their weekly grocery run in.  So busy.  I also spent less money and got more items than the average trip.  Although, now I’m committed to all these soups or it will be a waste…

I am now sitting down trying to restore myself – I didn’t get breakfast.  I left for the airport at 4:30 am, and just now sat down (at almost 3:30) to eat something. Also, I might nap.




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July 28th, 2012 · No Comments

I let Ari stay up late to walk the Olympics.  I have such great memories of doing the same as a kid, and she’d earned it. She’s been a real gem today. Knox has been teething – I think he’s cutting the top teeth, soon.  But, basically, he wants to be held/fed 24/7, poor dude.  It’s been really wearing on both Aaron and I. But, several times today Ari has – unbidden – gone to fetch him a toy, or help out.  In addition, she’s been helpful in other ways, from vacuuming my sweeping piles, to making me laugh.  It’s been hard, lately, to not get irritated at her for the slightest infraction.  Knox is wearing through my mental shields so fast and I forget that’s not her fault.

She wanted me to play “Mommy Bear” and “Ari Bear” tonight and my first impulse was to tell her no…but then I thought…why not?  So easy, such a cheap win.  I don’t even have to be enthusiastic, I just have to respond to “Mommy Bear” and call her “Ari Bear.”  Why NOT do something like that?  Hard to remember sometimes, that’s why.

We went on a bike ride with the trailer Anne loaned us as our “adventure” today.  She had a great time, as did I.  We went to Humboldt, which is a really pretty park.  I had no idea there were so many features there – a pond, a river, a formal garden.  And, great bike paths.

Made gluten-free pizza for dinner.  Crust was a mix but – despite my hesitation – actually delicious. Mmm..hungry.

Anyway.  Knox is going to break a tooth any minute now.  Seriously.  Cannot come soon enough.  Poor dude.  I get irritated at him, but then I remember that he’s hurting too, and doesn’t know why. Poor little guy.

Time to go sleep on the couch!  It’s where I get my best sleep! Sometimes Aaron ends up there all night.  This is what happens when you try to co-sleep in a queen bed.



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Getting something accomplished.

June 10th, 2012 · No Comments

Today I found myself frustrated, at the zoo, where we’d gone to attend a special Kratt Brothers show (Wild Kratts, Ari’s favorite TV show of late). I felt like we hadn’t accomplished enough, gotten our money’s worth.

And then Aaron said he felt like he was having a nice time because he was getting to walk around with his family, and that was all he needed. It was just the reminder I needed. Yet again!  I feel like I need to tattoo certain reminders on my fingers:

Breathe – You’re enough – This activity has no agenda – Enjoy your children – Enjoy your husband.

Reminders that I seem to frequently need despite their extreme importance.  Anyway.  I really had a good time myself, after that. I relaxed and took a nice walk around a place that happened to be the zoo.  I didn’t have my “animal checklist” out, trying to determine if we’d seen enough to make it worth the trip.

Ari loved seeing the Kratt brothers.  She told me that she had a great day with me at the zoo as she was going to bed tonight. Knox was great all day – very patient and calm despite the heat. A great day!!



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Morning Glories

June 3rd, 2012 · No Comments

Knox has been getting up at 6 am lately – ready to start his day.  So, accordingly, have I.  I don’t mind the early hour, as I’m somewhat of a morning person.  More, I mind the fact that my “Hannah” time has been obliterated by this practice.  Aaron gets his time at night, and I get mine in the morning, except when I’m bouncing a 5 month old the whole time…:)  He’s quite sweet, though.  We ended up just spending the hour bonding and oogling each other.

I am trying to be a good sport about it.  Really, yesterday it was quite wonderful – as soon as I abandoned the idea that I was going to get any work done.  That moment came sooner this morning.  :)

I have set Ari up with a corner of my desk all her own. It’s been really lovely! She sits there, colors, talks to me, makes lego houses, and chatters, chatters.  Friday night she started showing me her own version of beatboxing.  Today she was telling me about how she’d built a “flower stair” with her legos – to reach the lego kitty. We built some lego housese for a while, she colored for a while.  Currently, Knox is hanging out on his blanket, Ari suggested that we could do something quiet together…like a show??  Or coloring, or legos or all kinds of stuff…of maybe a show? You know…if it was quiet.

Last night Aaron and I had a “Date Night” in.  We went to the grocery store (as a family activity…always a fun time, actually!) and then came home with the intent to make Honey Ice cream for our new neighbors. Unfortunately, we curdled the ice cream custard base…so now it will be the base for honey-buttermilk biscuits. We watched Breaking Bad, and hung out and chatted.  Aaron read me some poetry…We even slow-danced in the living room.  A lovely evening.

Okay…one child is squealing (something I’m sure the new neighbors just love at 7:30 am in the morning…) and the other is demanding a banana, a bowl of Chex, and another TV episode…

Motherhood is awesome.

Oh!  Before I forget.  A “parenthood” moment from yesterday:

Aaron and I were having a romantic moment – he was hitting on me…and in the middle of it, Ari yells:  “Hey!  My poop looks like syrup!  Like POOP SYRUP!”




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Death and Dolphins.

May 17th, 2012 · No Comments

My aunt passed away on Monday. We weren’t particularly close, so I feel more relieved (for her – she passed due to a long wasting disease) than bereft. But, the past month or so, I have been sending a string of condolences to my uncle and grandmother (mom’s mom). I always feel a little awkward, since most of my family is very religious. I’m the only one who doesn’t say “I’m praying for you,” or offer sweet thoughts about how they’ll meet again some day in heaven.

Ari’s betta fish, Dolphin, just died. She was pretty upset about it. He was pretty special to her, she always talked about him and helped feed him in the morning, which probably hastened his demise, actually, since she was in the habit of dumping 10-15 pieces in… I can’t believe how sad she was. She told me “Dolphin has stopped. He’s dead forever!” Then she said, “Can you please, um, remove him?” And so we did. We asked if she wanted to say goodbye, and explained that we were going to flush him because that is what happens to dead fishes. Then we did and she freaked out at Aaron like he had just killed her fish.

In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have let her watch the flushing. Then she wanted to know if he was going to come back up out of the drain.  Oh, little girl, no.  No, baby.  He’s gone now.  He was already dead.

Really, the whole experience caught me off guard. But, I spent the next 10 min explaining to her that Dolphin was already dead, that it was his time to go. I told her that he had a good fish life, and that she had been good to him and that it was okay to be sad. I told her that she might want to hug her alien (yes, stuffed alien – a plush toy from Aaron’s former life – is her current lovey of choice) to feel better.

Anyway. It did rather make me wish that I could say something nicer to her like “He’s gone to fish heaven” or something. Maybe I should just say it? I just feel like, I only want to say genuine things, and that feels fake to me. Clearly I need to work on my dealing with death strategy. I don’t feel like it makes me uncomfortable, but I am about as warm and fuzzy with my consolation as Dolphin himself. :-(

We were all pretty distraught. What was so strange to me is that she knew what had happened.  She understood that death meant that he was gone forever and that he had somehow “stopped.” I just held her and let her be sad. I was sad, too.  Less for Dolphin and more for the pain she was feeling, and how, at just shy of 4, she was having her first real brush with death. Aaron was also upset – having been the deliverer of Dolphin to his toilet grave, I think made him feel like his daughter viewed him as the bringer of death.

Well, Dolphin, RIP.  You were loved very much by a little girl, and she will miss you. She’s already told me that she wishes she could have Dolphin here. Thank you for helping teach her about love and loss.



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Beautiful weekend

April 1st, 2012 · No Comments

It has been a busy but great weekend so far. Yesterday, Ari and I went to the farmer’s market in Evanston for our weekly adventure. She wanted to know where all the farm animals were…Looking around at the coolers of meat for sale, I ummmed a bit and explained that they don’t bring live animals to the farmer’s market. :-S

We then went to the groc store, followed by a charity rummage sale benefiting a dog’s surgery. I walked out with a cute lamp, a 5 pc canning tools set, a cute, tin sign that said Hot, Fresh, Best coffee. For $7 and a mild guilt trip for not donating more to Buddy’s cause.

The afternoon was spent making yummy foods:

– Ginger/rhubarb compote
Scallion meatballs with soy ginger sauce, from my favorite food blog, Smitten Kitchen
– Gluten free white choc chip and cranberry cookies

Then dinner, exercising, and night of cards at a friend’s house! We will find out soon if it was a good idea to “bring it” with p90x, followed by drunken rounds of hearts till 1AM, followed by getting up at 7AM, followed by 5 mile run.

I do feel lucky that I have the kind of daughter to whom I can say: “Go play quietly with toys, Mommy is still sleeping.”  Unfortunately for me, that statement doesn’t hold true…Once I’m awake, that’s it.  Ari did want to cuddle a bunch, though, so that was a nice perk.  :)  She’s cozy!

For all this girl alternately causes me crazy and happy, I do love her personality.  Some examples:

– This morning, upon rediscovering her sunglasses with frogs on the eyes, she puts them on, looks at me with a perfectly straight face and says: “Ribbit.”
– Yesterday she was describing her perfect plan for the evening:  “I want to play Zelda with a COOKIE in my hand!”  Pronounced “koo-kie”
– I asked her a few days ago if she wanted a second slice of pizza, and she declined: “No.  I will eat this piece and then I will have dessert.”  And then she gave me a neat little smile as if to say “Well that’s settled.”  She’s so confident in her correctness…:)

Alright, time for that run.  Gotta go get ready to BRING IT again.



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March 8th, 2012 · No Comments

So, meeting with Ari’s teacher tomorrow morning. I don’t know what to expect. I want it to go well, and there has been so much negative at this point that I am concerned that any of us might let loose.

I do not believe that Ari is the class hellion. That is inconsistent with the girl I know.

Here’s hoping that it goes well.

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Flight of the Bumblebee

March 1st, 2012 · No Comments

So.  If I take just the bare minimum to work – running pack, credit card and ID, some cash, badges, lunch.  Also my breastpump supplies. Maybe I’ll leave those at work overnight and just take a bottle brush instead.  Oh and change of clothes, running clothes.  Yes.  Then I could change into those running clothes after work. I could leave my work clothes at work, and work shoes. Hm, well I only have one pair of those I really like but whatever.  Maybe say I wear my tennis shoes in to work the next day and swap them.

Okay, so.  I could change into my work clothes, no wait, running clothes, and then run directly from work.  It’s exactly 3 mi to the clybourn metra station.  Maybe not the most visually interesting route, but honestly neither is the gym treadmill, or my neighborhood.  Crap!  What am I going to do with the breastmilk I pump?? Maybe I should put the breastmilk in a bottle that I can carry in my running pouch.  Advance note to self: do NOT reach for the water bottle in your waist pack.  Not for you!

Yep.  This is my internal dialogue.  How do I make it all happen?  How do I work well, and do my job well, despite being away from it an extra hour for pumping, and 15 min for never making that damn 8:03 train anymore, and shaving off time at the end to try and squeeze a run in so I can make it home before Knox is intolerably hungry.

How do I mother a child who barely even knows who I am yet and I already have to leave him 40+ hours a week.  How do I mother the other child?  She’s having problems in school, attention, attention, she needs attention badly. She’s having problems at home.  I love her so much, and she just needs time.  Today in the bath, she says: “Can you come here for a minute?  Mommy, I need you. I really need you.”

How do I love a partner who is doing his very best to try and hold the needs of a baby against the needs of a fledgling business? He needs me, too, and I need him.  Just because I have 2,384 other things demanding my attention, doesn’t mean that I want my relationship to wilt like a neglected garden.

How do I love myself? Make time for runs, for me-time, for time out with friends, for reading.  Forget hobbies, seriously.  Almost-done knitted scarf – I am SO sorry, but you are going to wait another winter.  I swear, I will finish you eventually.

Be present in every moment.  That’s the only defense. Don’t just seize the day, seize the nanosecond, and hold onto it for dear life.  Because, this is your dear life, Hannah.  This is your dear life and don’t you dare waste it tuned out.

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