Meet Nick

IMG_0382IMG_0395IMG_0412IMG_0442IMG_0446IMG_0457IMG_0465IMG_0472IMG_0483IMG_0462He’s here!

Nicholas David Irwin was born on October 9 at 5:43 pm, weighing in at 7 lbs, 10 oz of pure cuteness!

I’ll post more about the whole experience and how parenthood is going later (spoiler: I’ve been pleasantly surprised), but right now the dairy farm (me) is working overtime trying to get this little guy to bulk up! It’s all boobs, bottles and babies over here…

The baby’s room

Well, eight days before my due date, we finally have the baby’s room ready! I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. It’s cozy and colorful and full of adorable animals (including Gatsby).

Check it out!

IMG_0357Processed with VSCOcamProcessed with VSCOcamProcessed with VSCOcamProcessed with VSCOcamIMG_0354IMG_0348IMG_0349Processed with VSCOcamIMG_0358Now all it needs is a baby!

And speaking of babies (which I’ve been doing a lot of lately), my sister had hers! Little Weston was born a little over a week ago, and was kind of enough to let me practice my newborn holding skills on him.

photo-2His unborn cousin served as a nice little ledge for extra support.

So I guess it’s my turn next… (eek)

Here’s what you’ve missed

IMG_0312 SONY DSC SONY DSC IMG_0298 -1 -3 IMG_0300 IMG_0331 IMG_0305Wow. Hey blog! I kind of forgot about you. It’s been awhile since we last caught up. Not much has been going on with me, except that EVERYTHING HAS BEEN GOING ON WITH ME.

Here’s a nice little rundown of things that have happened in my life over the past month and a half:
  1. Did I mention that my sister is also pregnant and due a week and a half before me? I’m going to assume no since a whole lot of nothing has been mentioned on this blog in the past few months. We’ve had fun comparing pregnancy notes, and it looks like her little guy (she’s having a boy too!) might be on his way sooner rather than later…!
  2. It’s safe to say that I am now two people in one. Not necessarily double the pleasure. But double the surface area? For sure.
  3. No, we haven’t completely finished settling into our new place. Don’t ask. Just know that there are framed pictures that are still not on the walls, and boxes where I still don’t want them. But progress has been made. Plus, I’m over it.
  4. I’ve been to five baby showers, four of which were in honor of me and my abdominal resident. We are currently digging out from the avalanche of baby gear that has been so generously thrust upon us.
  5. I’ve eaten my weight in peanut butter M&Ms and ice cream. And I weigh a lot now.
  6. I’ve finished a couple of freelance projects because it would be nice to have money again someday.
  7. Will and I spent a relaxing weekend in South Haven, Michigan. I love Michigan. Even when it’s 50 degrees at the end of July. Not sure what that was about. I can only speculate that Mother Nature somehow knows that I’m way more comfortable in a sweatshirt than a bathing suit these days. Thanks, lady!
  8. I’ve been shoved, beaten, bruised, poked, prodded, smacked and head-butted. From the inside. My organs are going to need therapy for post traumatic stress disorder.
  9. We had a housewarming/anniversary/pre-baby party, and people came! And possibly even had fun!
  10. We’ve taken some classes at the hospital where we learned that all you have to do to breastfeed is shove a boob in your baby’s face and that most of the post-delivery recovery rooms have lake views. I don’t know what I was so afraid of!
  11. OH YEAH–we also learned that labor for first-time moms is usually a never-ending hell. And there will be blood.

I’m 37 and a half weeks pregnant now, which I’m told means that the baby could technically come any day. So I’ve been sitting with my legs crossed very tightly and hoping that I have the Four Seasons of uteruses so that this kid will want to stay in there awhile longer. I’m not ready!!

Stay tuned for some baby pictures, it won’t be long now…

We moved!

So in my last post (let’s not talk about how long ago that was…), I mentioned that things were a little crazy. Part of that was because we bought a condo and moved in at the beginning of July!

Our old apartment was in Old Town, and while we loved the neighborhood (LOVED!), we decided we needed more space and a place that would work better for us a little further down the road.

So now we’re in Lakeview, just a little north of where we lived before. We’ve been exploring the neighborhood, and really like it so far. It’s weird, but it’s exactly the kind of area I always imagined having a family–cute row houses and shaded sidewalks peppered with neighborhood restaurants and watering holes. Plus, there are dogs, pregnant women and people with strollers everywhere, so I have a feeling we’re going to fit in.

The condo itself is also pretty fantastic, at least compared to our old place. We have an in-unit washer and dryer! And it doesn’t require quarters! It’s amazing. Also (and this is the best part), we have THREE outdoor spaces–a big deck and two smaller balconies off the bedrooms. For someone like me who craves fresh air, it’s heaven.

The only thing is, we’re unpacking–still. So the place is kind of a mess right now. But, I took a few photos to give you a sneak peek…

IMG_0249 IMG_0279 IMG_0280  IMG_0276 IMG_0275 IMG_0271  photo(2) photo(4) photo photo(1) photo(3)I’ll post more when we get the place together. But honestly, I’d rather relax on my new deck than unpack boxes. So don’t expect that to happen for awhile…

Some thoughts

So my blogging slump continues.

I can’t really explain it, but I haven’t felt inclined to write in a long time. I thought being pregnant might spark some inspiration, but if anything, it’s making me feel even more guarded and private than usual. I write 40 hours a week at my day job, so maybe that’s what’s sapping all of my mental energy?

I don’t know what the deal is, but I do know that I want to continue this blog. So don’t give up on me yet!

When you last heard from me (an entire MONTH ago), I announced that we’re having a baby boy in October. And we still are. 🙂 So, while I don’t want this to turn into a mommy blog by any means, I thought I might share some of my thoughts on early pregnancy because, well, I have a few.

1. Getting bigger and gaining weight is a little scary. This is coming from someone whose weight has not fluctuated a single pound since about 8th grade. I like my body, and I don’t want it to change. And I guess that’s just too bad because it’s definitely changing. I’m not wearing maternity clothes yet, and I don’t look outwardly pregnant, but this potbelly I’ve developed is only going to get bigger. I’m trying to embrace it because obviously I want the baby to grow and be healthy. And if embracing it means ordering dessert or drinking a milkshake every now and then, so be it. (Helllooo silver lining!)

2. I don’t feel any different. Granted, I’ve had a very easy pregnancy thus far, and after hearing some of the horror stories from friends and family, I’m raising my hands to the sky and yelling, “Thank you, Jesus!” for that. I’m not sure Jesus is necessarily responsible, but I like to cover my bases. But really, the only physical changes I’ve experienced are the aforementioned potbelly, slight fatigue and… that’s about it. I’m glad I’m not uncomfortable, but I also sometimes forget that I’m pregnant. I can’t feel the baby yet and I don’t look much different to the naked eye. I’m told there’s a fetus in there somewhere, but sometimes I wonder…

3. A lot of people get glowing skin and thicker hair when they get pregnant. I got bags under my eyes and some major frizz issues. Go figure.

4. Surprisingly, I haven’t missed drinking all that much. That is until last week, when the weather in Chicago finally decided to acknowledge that it is, in fact, spring. Passing by all the people on sidewalk patios sipping champagne cocktails and white wine was almost enough to tempt me into making my very first questionable parenting decision. A delicious Sauvignon Blanc vs. the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome… ugghhh being unselfish is hard.

5. So far, I’ve been managing my fear of labor, sleepless nights and keeping a human alive by just not thinking about it. Any of it. I know I’m going to have to face these things eventually, but right now this whole denial thing is really working for me.

So there you go. A select few nuggets from my brain for your Monday. And just to prove that this blog will not be all pregnancy, all the time, here are some fun photos from our trip to Phoenix/Scottsdale a few weeks ago. We were there for the beautiful wedding of Mo and Kelly and got to spend a fun few days with Will’s high school crowd. It was a great time, and a much-needed vacation!

IMG_0070 IMG_0067 IMG_0065 IMG_0073 IMG_0074 IMG_0068 IMG_0071IMG_0076IMG_0077

That’s it for now! I’ll try not to be gone too long this time…

Making a human until October 2013

Yes, the rumors are true.

Ok, well I’m pretty sure no one is actually talking about this, but the fact remains that I am currently in the process of growing a spawn.

Yay! A baby! Let’s celebrate and prematurely buy onesies and stuffed animals because they’re too cute to resist! Let’s get all sentimental and philosophical and hormonal about love and parenting and raising a child!

And then let’s get real. I feel weird.

I have a person living inside of me, and I know because I saw it. I’m currently 14 weeks pregnant, and at our 12 week ultrasound I saw it all curled up, its little hands scrunched up around its little alien face. I saw it launch itself off the sides of my uterus with fragile little apendages resembling legs, and I think I screamed a little. Because that is just weird to see. It was moving around so much, but I couldn’t feel a thing. I just hope it gets more attractive before we’re properly introduced.

If you’ve been reading this blog from the very beginning, you may recall that I started it to chronicle my journey from a carefree, anti-babies twenty-something to someone who is suddenly mature enough and ready to have kids.

Well that transformation never happened. What did happen was that I turned 30. And then I found myself inching uncomfortably close to 31. And Will and I just knew it was time.

So here we are: me, fondly remembering that last glass of wine I had the evening of January 20, 2013 (I will never forget!); and Will, analyzing and re-analyzing our finances while suspiciously eyeing my bloated midsection. No turning back.

Not that we’d want to. We’re happy and excited. And it will be nice to give Gatsby a sibling. He’s looking forward to licking and sniffing the baby in inappropriate places. Of course his first question was, “Do I have to share my toys?”

Ew. No. Please.

So that’s the news! Oh wait–I forgot one detail…


Medieval Times

At the end of February 20 years ago, I turned 11 and my friend Kate turned 10. And how did we decide to celebrate? A birthday feast at Medieval Times! (Festivities also included playing Dr. Mario for several hours.)

In the spirit of nostalgia, we decided to celebrate our 31st and 30th birthdays this year by convincing our families to head back to that very same majestic concrete castle to don paper crowns, check out some jousting, and eat mini chickens using only our hands.

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCWe were cheering for the Black & White Knight. Sadly, he met his untimely end at the hand of the Red Knight, who seemed like kind of a jerk. But whatever.

Even though our knight lost and we were perhaps the only group in attendance who was not accompanied by at least one child under the age of 12, it was a great way to celebrate. And now that I’ve got both feet planted firmly in the 4th decade of my life, it’s kind of fun to revisit a childhood memory. Because what they say is true–“some things never change.”

They also say “31 is the new 21.” Or did I make that up? Either way, it’s true.

Everything’s broken and I hate everyone

I would have posted a lot more lately, but our Internet connection decided to suck for some unknown reason.

Don’t roll your eyes at me! It’s not an excuse. It’s the truth.

Let’s talk about everything in my life that has malfunctioned this past week, shall we?

Get comfortable.

1. Our hot water heater. Last Wednesday I took an ice cold shower. No, it was colder than ice. I swear. It was painful and completely ineffective. Walking around all day with leftover conditioner matting your hair against your scalp is not pleasant or attractive. On Thursday, I brought 10 cups of warm water into the bathroom with me that I heated up on the stove and poured each of them over my head between washing, shampooing and conditioning. Sadly, 10 cups was not enough. I had to once again rinse out the conditioner in a frigid fury. At least this time I was prepared for the shock. Pounding my chest with my fists a few times, steeling my glare and uttering “LET’S DO THIS” between gritted teeth before stepping into the stream actually seemed to help. On Friday, I took a nice, hot shower thanks to a brand new water heater and I was happy enough to cry. In fact, I’m not completely sure that I didn’t.

2. The CTA. That same Wednesday morning, we encountered utter chaos as we approached the Brown line stop near our apartment. Disaster had struck. There was some sort of issue and the train wasn’t running. Armageddon was upon us (in Chicago commuter terms), and it was every man for himself. We walked by bus stop after bus stop flooded with mobs of angry yuppies tapping away at their iPhones and anxiously shifting in their Uggs. We tried hailing a cab. HA! That was a joke. Finally, 5 blocks later, we got on a bus that would take us within relative walking distance to our office buildings. I was a half hour late for work.

3. My phone. That same day (same day!), my phone battery completely died by 10:30 am. And since then, it’s been pretty much crapping out on me whenever it feels like it. Which is a lot.

4. The Internet. I’m typing this out in Word right now, and before I started writing, I entered in my browser. It’s. still. loading.

5. Hulu. We decided to subscribe to a free weeklong trial of Hulu so we can watch the last few episodes of the 2nd season of Downton Abbey before starting the 3rd season. Good idea, right? It would be if the damn thing actually worked. But with my track record lately, why on earth would I ever assume that? Also, this issue is not related to the Internet because it doesn’t work even when our connection is running smoothly. So in case you’re keeping track, that counts as two separate things that are broken and conspiring against me and I hate them.

6. Our car. Surprisingly, our ’97 Honda Accord is actually still running. But it got towed on Saturday while parked in the Loop, so I thought I’d just tack that on the end of this rant. We had to trek down to the underbelly of the city to pay a fortune to pick it up, and Will thought this would be a nice opportunity for an evening stroll. 15 minutes of dodging pigeons and their excrement beneath Wacker Drive and a somewhat nerve-wracking encounter with a growing group of unsavory-looking individuals proved otherwise. Luckily, it was relatively warm that day, so frostbite was not a concern. Unluckily, I had not checked the forecast and was walking for miles in my big puffy coat in 50-degree weather. I was actually sweating in January, which is gross. And unexpected.

But I have to say that everything else in my life is great, just so I don’t feel like a negative, spoiled, ungrateful person.

Also, here’s one thing that’s not broken (yet):


My new computer! Now I can actually upload photos again – it’s nuts! So look forward to some lost pictures from the past few months. That is, if I can ever get WordPress to load.

Christmas creep

Today while strolling through the Gold Coast, I used my phone to take a photo of a Christmas tree through the window of a complete stranger’s home. Surprisingly, I was not arrested.

My excuse? It’s Christmas! And it’s getting to me. It’s the time of year when I just can’t resist anything sparkling, the smell of pine, and the crooning of Bing Crosby. The air is refreshingly crisp, Starbucks drinks taste of gingerbread and peppermint, and all of the tiny dogs I pass are wearing plaid sweaters with mini matching booties. It makes me happy.

Because of this, my Instagram photos of late have been overwhelmingly Christmas-themed. (This is of course in addition to the year-round themes of “Gatsby” and “alcoholic drinks I drink.”)

Pretty paper

Pretty paper

"But officer, look at that tree!"

“But officer, look at that tree!”

All Bing, all the time

All Bing, all the time

Tongue paper cuts from stamp-licking are a very real thing

Tongue paper cuts from stamp-licking are a very real thing

The little hipster

The little hipster

Still sleeps with his teddy bear

Still sleeps with his teddy bear

Treat yo' self

Treat yo’ self

Indoor 'smores ('smore what?)

Indoor ‘smores (‘smore what?)

Beer flight

Beer flight

Night lights

Night lights

"Good news! I saw a dog today."

“Good news! I saw a dog today.”

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Not looking forward to January. Christmas detox can be quite painful.