2 wheels, 28 weeks, and 1 year

I’ve been slacking and so much has happened!

A couple of weeks ago, May 23rd to be precise, we had a bunch of friends and their kids over on Memorial Day weekend. Toward the end of the afternoon, Sophia spontaneously decided to conquer her fear of being up on 2 wheels and within a couple of minutes was cruising through the park like she’d been doing it for years. We were so excited! She’s been dreading learning to ride her bike, putting it off each summer for the past couple of years, fighting lessons and crying about how scared she was of falling even though we’d try to teach her on the grass and in full body armor. So kudos to Sophia for overcoming that hurdle. That’s a big flippin’ deal, breaking through your fear.

Then over the past 3-4 weeks, Dave and I have been working in her room. It’s mostly Dave’s efforts since a lot of it was new paint. Sophia got a new closet organizer, new pale green walls, new curtain rods, her room sorted, new bed and new linens. We figured it was time to step her up to an early tween room and make sure she got an upgrade on her space before we started working on stuff for the baby. I can’t have my star helper feeling left out, you know.

This past weekend we scored a lovely hotel room at the Merchandise Mart Holiday Inn through Priceline ($60/night!) and spent Friday through Sunday playing tourist in our own town. After we checked in, Sophia was chomping at the bit to hit the pool, so we tried to make an early night of it after a few laps. Then Saturday we wandered the Mart, ogling the gorgeous displays of home goodies. I’m so in love with a beautiful carved white marble double basin bathroom vanity from the Kohler showroom. Le sigh…

Dave was such a team player, chaperoning 2 girls down North Michigan Avenue. Sophia begged to go into Forever 21 and you could see her eyes glaze over as she took in all the accessories. An ominous look into our future that indicates many dollars spent on skirts, glittery bangles, heels, and makeup. Lordy, lordy, she is a girly girl. We headed on down to H&M where she stocked up on bracelets, hair clips, and t-shirts before wandering back to the hotel for a rest. I can’t go long these days without puffy ankles and a nap. Later in the evening we cabbed it over to Navy Pier where she and Dave rode the Ferris Wheel. I’m not such a fan of the heights, so I just waited on the ground before we went inside to take in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian at the IMAX (highly recommend it). Sunday, our 1 year wedding anniversary, Dave and Sophia went and gathered up breakfast in bed for me (sweet!) before we all went down for a morning swim. After check out, we took a cruise on the Chicago Water Taxi and wandered over to Gospel Fest where Sophia terrorized some seagulls, went on a cartwheel bender, then crashed for the entire first performance. That must be the best part of being a kid, the ability to go-go-go-go-go, then just shut it down wherever you are.

So much of Chicago is available for free or very little dough. It costs nothing to wander around, taking it all in, the concerts at the park are free to the public, the Water Taxi is $2 a person…I know times are tight, especially tight for us right now, but there is so much fun family time to be had if you take advantage of all that Chicago has out there. I love our town.

The evening’s finale was a quick stop for takeout at Wishbone to pick up our wedding night meal. When they catered the reception, we had Texas-style beef brisket, sweet potatoes, red beans & rice, and green beans. Dave and I thought it might be a nice tradition to have that meal every year, so Wishbone folks, you can’t ever take it off the menu! For desert we had the cake topper, which everyone pretty much agreed was gross. Rolled fondant does not hold up after a year in the freezer and was pretty much the consistency of snot. Eww.

It’s been a crazy year. Many welcome adventures and a few turns of heartbreak we would have done anything possible to avoid. Most of all we miss Melissa. I think about her every day as I feel her grandson getting bigger and bigger. We feel ripped off that she’s not here for this and I alternate between anger and sadness over her death and all of the fallout surrounding it.

I still have half a stack of thank you notes to process and as of yesterday have officially crossed the line into “Acutely Tacky”. How horribly ungrateful it must seem to not have gotten them in the mail in time. That’s not like me to have put them off this long. It just seems that the past year has been as series of events and recovery. Excuses, excuses.

Please don’t think less of me.

I’m now 28 weeks along and our son has settled in on my sciatic nerve. He pings around off an on all day, which is fun, occasionally hitting just the right spot to send a lightning bolt down my legs. It’s painful, but in weird way OK because of the origin. All the 2am trips to the bathroom, the shortness of breath, the leg pains and back cramps…they’re tempered by the fact that they happen because I’m having a baby. A sweet, handsome little baby boy who will look like his daddy and who I get to raise with the best guy in the world. He’ll have thick black hair, dimples, big brown eyes, and be tall just like his dad. He’s also going to be a track star and a great student, philanthropist and an aware citizen of the planet. I’m thinking Doctors Without Borders… Love it.