Friday, November 25, 2011

Random updates

  • I LOVE my new job. The company is great, the people I work with are SMART, so very smart, and good at what they do. I think I can learn a lot from all of them, and in my book that is a great situation - to be able to learn from your boss and his boss. I am super excited about the new job and feel so blessed!
  • The condo is still on the market. If there are no bites by December 9th, the relocation company will buy it from us. This is one of the greatest benefits of the relocation package - which is the best relo package I've ever heard of and one of the major reasons for our move. So as of December 13th we will be out of the condo regardless. We've had close to 25 showings and no takers. At this point, we pretty much think we will be taking the buyout offer.
  • We close on a new house on December 20th! We were going to wait until the spring, but found a house we love and couldn't wait! The place is 5200 square feet, with 2200 of it being unfinished basement. We love it because it has plenty of finished-off room for now and with the basement we also have room to grow into and stay and raise our family. Mike is overly excited about the man-cave possibilities! I have to say I am as well, as I'm currently planning a very girly office for the basement. :) Oh and the price of this house? 65% of what we purchased our condo for. Ridiculous!
  • Hubs and I are headed to the Purdue/IU game in Bloomington on Saturday while the small creatures stay behind with Grandma and Grandpa. I am so excited to hang out in my happy place of Bloomington while Sir and Dog are safely ensconced with grandparents. Perfect!
  • Life in Indiana is going so well that sometimes I have to pinch myself. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I think that whatever happens we are super excited to be closer to family! Speaking of that, my parents move to Indy on Jan 1st. My Dad is a pastor and got a church on the south side and my Mom got a promotion to manage a data center on the south side. So excited to have them nearby!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

10 months

DSC_7512 by agstratt
DSC_7512, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

Hard to believe Sir is so big!

-He loves to stand up, and needs some propping up.
-Can crawl... but only backwards or side to side.
-Loves to yell DADADADADADA!!!
-Eats ANYTHING. Pizza, burrito fixin's, sweet potato fries, short ribs and mashed potatoes, anything you put in front of him. Not a fan of rice, but other than that loves pretty much anything.
-Is currently giving the daycare ladies crap by not drinking bottles well during the day. But he's eating so much real food that we're not overly worried.
-Is on the go... no more snuggling with Mama!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I love to....

DSC_6891 by agstratt
DSC_6891, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

clap and yell. You wouldn't know it by how sweet I look here!

So big!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Big news!

WTH Mom? What do you think you're doing?

Wow, over a month has gone by with little to no word on the front here. Major big news....

We're moving! I'm no longer going to be Monkeying around in Chicago... I'll be Monkeying around in Indy! Hubs is from northern Indiana and I'm from southern Indiana. That means that Indianapolis is WAY closer to all of our family. And we have a ton of family and friends IN Indy. So when I was approached about a position that sounded like my dream job, we decided that I should interview for it.

And when I got an offer that we couldn't refuse... well, we didn't refuse it!

For now we have a rental house in Indy starting October 1st, our place is on the market, and I'm heading down for a week of orientation starting Monday. Emmett starts his new daycare on October 3.

It's going to be a tough couple of months with Mike traveling back up here for work alot, but I think it'll be worth it. Fenced in back yard for the Dog, more room for all of us. And the option to save more. I love Chicago but darn it is expensive. I just couldn't take it anymore - we weren't taking full advantage of the city having a kiddo and I was over paying for it.

So anyways, that is what is going on around these parts!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Smiley Booboo

DSC_6605 by agstratt
DSC_6605, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

Sometimes when I am having a rough day, I look at pictures of the booboohead alot :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The sitting...

DSC_6651 by agstratt
DSC_6651, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

gets better and better every day. It's wild!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

That's right, Emmett...

DSC_6584 by agstratt
DSC_6584, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

Mommy DOES rock. :)

As an aside, I will never get over plaid pants/shorts on E. They are the awesome.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

7 months!

Another month has gone by and our tiny Sir is 7 months old!

At seven months, Emmett:
  • Has been to TWO Cubs games. Luckily the Cubs won the second one. Emmett slept almost the whole time and I managed to eat chili cheese fries AND a chili cheese dog without any of it falling on E's head (he was in the baby carrier)
  • He is sitting up largely on his own. He still tumps over a decent amount, but he is doing pretty well overall.
  • Loves jaunts around town in his stroller
  • Has started (kind of) eating solids. I started him on purees and just recently ditched the purees and started the Baby-led weaning methods. He can pick up a piece of cheese, get it to his mouth, and bite off a chunk. The chewing and swallowing could be better but I think he's doing great for only doing the method for a few days.
  • He is OVER swings. Swings are for babies, Mom.
  • Loves his activity table, and just recently figured out how to walk himself around it.
  • Is loving not having to wear his helmet. He is so much more comfortable without it.
  • Has discovered his feet and spends alot of time trying to get them in his mouth. Unfortunately, his belly gets in the way of this objective.
While taking his 7 month pictures, I got an action shot of Emmett spitting up. This is how we see him much of the time! While gross, this picture TOTALLY cracks me up.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Michigan Vacation 2011

I went to my grandparents' lake house every year as a tiny tot, and visiting that area (and Lark's Lake specifically) is one thing I would really like to make sure Emmett gets to do. I don't know that we'll go every year, but it would be nice to go at least every other year or every couple of years.

This year my parents rented a cottage about 15 minutes away from my grandparents' cottage. I love my grandparents' place but it's super small and definitely does not have room for all the family expansion that has happened recently with the addition of husbands (and a wife for my brother next month, woohoo!!) and Grace and Emmett.

So without further adieu, here is our vacation in pictures. First up, let's get some shots of the cousins together.
Emmett is very against looking at/smiling at the camera when there is anyone else in the shot. Diva baby.

OK, scratch that. Maybe he just won't do it when the other subjects are smiling/looking at the camera as well. "Let's take turns smiling, Gracie. That way they never get a really good one."
Emmett's Great Grandma and Grandpa Kovacs bought him this shirt in Hawaii and Gracie helped me pick out his outfit that day. I do think he totally rocked it.
Those crazy tufts of hair on the sides of his head are totally the reason why he got a haircut later that week.

On Tuesday of that week we headed over to my grandparents' lake to get in some water time. Here, my Mom (aka "Neemaw") is helping Gracie play in the sand.
My sister Katie poses with Emmett on the dock. He is more interested in her glasses than the camera.
Ok, now, this is probably one of the favorite pictures I've ever shot of the little man. Had to order one for my desk.
That night we headed to the Legg's Inn for a polish feast. Katie got pierogis and I got a pork kotlet and we split both of them. We also got some potato pancakes and a polish sampler that were amazing. Oh and the mozzarella sticks that Mike ordered were pretty fantastic too. Here Emmett is with Great-Grandpa Curley. Grandpa Curley makes all kinds of fun sounds that babies love. :)
Posing for a picture with my Dad and Gracie. Of course the other two are smiling so Emmett had to make a weird face.
Emmett wanted a bottle once we sat down so Mike volunteered for the job. Had to grab a shot of them both with their sunglasses on.
The next day Mike and I headed into Petoskey for a date night. We stayed at the Perry Hotel and ate at Chandler's. I would highly recommend both! Loved that the Perry was historic and close to downtown and we had a balcony with an amazing view of the bay. And Chandler's had a great selection of food and wine. Loved walking over there and the downtown area of Petoskey is so cute!

The next day we had brunch and came back to the cottage. My parents had some friends around who were visiting from Midland, Michigan. They headed off to see my grandparents' cottage and I gave Emmett a haircut.
Let's put the #2 guard on and buzz the sides here, son. You hold the mirror so you can see what you look like.

Then we headed into Mackinaw for dinner at Mama Mia's, a Stratton family tradition. Afterward, Katie picked up some fudge for her husband while we took pics of Emmett outside. Sadly, he is too little for ice cream!
Then we headed over to the bridge to get some shots.
After a drive and getting lost a few times, we ended up at the sand dunes over by Sturgeon Bay. Love this shot of Emmett and Mike both looking down the beach at my Dad and Gracie.
My Pops and Emmett!
And Mike pulled a total Dad Move and put Emmett down in the sand. As a Mom who hates messes, I would never have done this and cringed when it happened. But Emmett loved it so much that I was so glad Mike did it. Dads are so much fun aren't they? I'm glad Emmett has a Dad that sometimes doesn't think about messes and just thinks about how great of a time he'll have doing something.
(This doesn't mean you never have to worry about messes, Hubs! You hear me??) Mike buried Emmett's legs in the sand and Emmett was digging through and found his foot. The look of wonder on his face was so ridiculously awesome - he was like "HOLY COW that THING on the end of my LEG was UNDER HERE THE WHOLE TIME!?!?!" He looked up at Mike with this incredulous face I wish I'd gotten on video.

On Friday it was time to go home. But first we headed over to the cottage to get a little more lake time. Milly LOVED it there. Check out a beagle action shot....
Can you just leave me here with Grandma and Grandpa? I swear I won't howl anymore.
There is a tree in front of my Grandparents' cottage that used to grow out over the lake, but actually fell into the lake this winter. The root bulb the resulted was our playhouse in the summer. Here, Gracie and my Dad play on the roots.
Emmett got some more Aunt Katie snuggles and hung out on the shore.
Here is a pic of Gracie with that tree that goes over the water. Love this shot. I am totally submitting this in the photo contest at work!
So that's our vacation in pictures. It was so great. Maybe a tad too short and not enough time at the grandparents' lake but I loved seeing the family. Emmett was very sad to see us all part ways, he misses his fan club.

For more photos from the week click here

Reality check

As Emmett gets older and my body peters out on the nursing efforts, I am forced to face a harsh reality that I haven't had to deal with in over a year:

My horrible eating habits.

I'm not one that particularly enjoyed being pregnant, but there was one thing I enjoyed - for seven and a half months I didn't have to worry about sucking in my stomach once. It was AMAZING.

During pregnancy, it was whatever would go down my food-hole and stay there. One week I ate only poptarts. The next week it was spaghetti-o's and macaroni and cheese. For the duration of my pregnancy anything with complex flavors would turn my stomach. Mike and I joked that I had a limitation of 5 ingredients per dish. It would have been funnier if it hadn't been so true. As a result, I only gained ten pounds during my pregnancy - and that was when they weighed me at my check-in at the Women's Hospital triage with my coat and boots on.

The minute I was told I could eat after I gave birth, I asked someone to get me a sandwich. I was starving.

The next morning, I woke up and ordered what Mike refers to as "the left side of the menu." My appetite was back with force. I got a southwestern omelet, chocolate milk, regular milk, grapes, and a blueberry muffin. That was my breakfast each day I was in the hospital.

Once we got home I ate like a horse. I ate ten packs of fruit snacks a day. A lean cuisine was no longer a meal, but a paltry crappy snack. Emmett ate every three hours and so did I. I think the Eating through Evansville illustrates my maternity leave eating habits nicely.

When I went back to work it got a little better, at least with snacking all day long. Although lunches have been bad. We go to lunch together every day. About once a week it's to a bar with phenomenal burgers. I order a cheeseburger with a side of mayo, the fries with asiago cheese on them and a side of ranch to dip them in. Oh and once I ordered the queso dip to start it all off.

Luckily with all of this, my metabolism has been extra high with nursing and taking care of the bambino. Clothes that I haven't worn since before my wedding fit. I have a whole section of "fat clothes" I put away altogether. Some of the jeans that I couldn't fit into before I got pregnant have had to be washed and dried to even stay up, whereas I didn't dry my jeans EVER before I got pregnant. I had to start using some of my inventory of belts.

Alas, I believe those days are about over. The pants are getting tighter. Last night after a ridiculously meaty pizza I sat on the couch feeling extra fat. Seems that a few adjustments are in order.

Next week I start a few adjustments. I am no fool. I know with a baby and not much time to myself I need a FEW indulgences. So here are my simple cutbacks:
  • Breakfast - Do something reasonable. No more McDonald's sausage biscuits (only $1! McD's just TRIES to mess up my diet!) and no more Anaheim panini's from Corner Bakery (zomg these are so good).
  • Drinks - Nix the caloric drinks. I've gotten lax. I drink a vitamin water with 150 calories or fruit juice or the like. Drink lots of water and no-calorie tea
  • Sweets - Cut. It. Out. Eat more fruit and drop all the cookies. I eat a lot of cookies.
  • Snacks - Try to have healthier snacks. BBQ cheetos from the vending machine, while good, are not very healthy.
  • Consider nixing the fries with that. So sad. But I need to cut out having fries with every meal we eat out.
Basically I need to stop being ridiculous and eating as many calories a day as Michael Phelps. I am going to allow myself to go to lunch with the coworkers and have whatever I want. But I need to be reasonable for breakfast and MOST dinners.

I'm at a weight I like. My clothes fit and I feel OK. I could be WAY more toned and fit but for now with Emmett sleeping from 8PM to 5AM or so this is what it's going to be. Maybe if he starts sleeping a little later I could feel rested enough to work out. But that's not going to happen right now. So for now I just need to make sure I don't add on a ton of weight!! Cut it off at the pass, so to speak.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Six month stats

DSC_6282 by agstratt
DSC_6282, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

It's hard to believe it's been six months. Six months? Really? Have I not slept for that long?

I kid, I kid.

Sir had his six month appointment last week.. here are the stats:
-27 inches long - 75 percentile
-17.5 lbs - 50th percentile
-whatever the head circumference was, it was 25%

As of Friday we are done with the helmet! There are some pretty amazing before and after pics, email me if you would like to see them. I have it in a pdf and am not sure how, if I even can post them here. But it's pretty awesome. We are so glad he doesn't have to have it anymore - he seems so much happier without it and I know I won't miss the weekly trips to Skokie where I have to leave at 6:45 AM. Holy crap, those were some rough days. My favorite was the one last week where he decided to wake up at 4:15, then I had to get up at 5:15 to get ready to head out the helmet doc. I felt hungover all day just out of lack of sleep!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

6 months!

DSC_6234 by agstratt
DSC_6234, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

Look how big....

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Baby fight!

DSC_6059 by agstratt
DSC_6059, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

We thought it was funny to put the babies facing each other over the lake weekend for the fourth. Mike and our friend Danny started narrating for them as if they were fighting. "I will stun you with my ninja moves!" We were having a good laugh over it.

The little one on the right is my friend Amy (she is right between Mike and Danny) and Tom's baby. His name is Everett. Isn't he such a cutie too??

Amy and I were due just a month apart with the boys, so we had a lot of fun being preggo together and now it's awesome to bounce ideas (and complaints about sleeplessness!!) off each other! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

State of the Apes

So many updates are all about Emmett, solely because that is my life these days. I love Sir Cheeks, but he is a time-consuming little man. Babies! They cry for a bottle and then barf it all over you! This is my life. Feed the bean, wipe spit-up off of him and me.... lather, rinse, repeat.

Here is my day:
6:00 - Up for the first time, if I'm lucky. Lately Sir has been waking himself up with coughing fits, and then crying for a bottle. Makes sense, what do I want after a coughing fit? Some liquids to ease my sore throat! Today was 5:15AM. I retire to the couch while I feed the bean. If it's after 4 we catch more z's on the couch. Before 4 I try to return him to his crib and crawl back into my own bed.
6:30 - Get myself and Sir ready
8:00 - Out the door. Drop bean at daycare, head to work.
8:45-5:20 - At work
5:15 or 5:25 train
5:30-5:40 - Pick up Sir from daycare, drive home while he screams in the back seat. How a content baby goes from being happy at daycare to wanting a bottle ASAP in the car I have no idea. It's obviously the evil car seat that bites him.
6:00 - Bottle Sir
6:30 - Feed myself
7:00 - Make bottles for daycare, do errands/chores like laundry or picking up the condo that constantly looks like a tornado hit it.
7:30 - Start Sir's bedtime routine. One person bathes and lotions the bean while the other cleans his helmet and preps a bottle. Then we play chicken to figure out who will bottle the little man. Each of us offers and then someone gives in and says "OK, you can do it." Haha.
8:00-8:30 - Sir drops off to sleep
8:30-9:30 - I get ready for bed, do other things I need to around the house, and get to sleep around 10.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

A couple weekends ago, I headed to my friend Tracy's to see her and her week-old twin boys! I was so excited to see them and oh my goodness they were so tiny! Just wee little men! One was about 5 lbs and the other was closer to 6. It blew my mind that at one point, Emmett was that small. My how things change. Sir turns six months old next week and is between 16 and 17 lbs! Carrying him is becoming quite the workout. And he's even bigger now after a growth spurt last weekend. Thank god that the spurt came on a weekend so that we weren't dying - he was up every two hours for a bottle. Geez. But the growing earned him one less week in his helmet! So that is positive :) The hope is that he will be done in two weeks!
DSC_6037 by agstratt

Monday, June 20, 2011

Today is one of those days...

DSC_5917 by agstratt
DSC_5917, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

... that I just wish I could be a stay at home Mom.

I think I'd be a pretty crappy one though, truth be told.

The bean has a cough and so do I. I know my throat hurts and I can have hot tea, medicine, and cough drops. The bean just has to suffer. That thought makes me want to go steal him from daycare and cuddle him on the couch!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

5 months old!!

DSC_5810 by agstratt

I can hardly believe that our little man is 5 months old already! I think I will say that every month as he gets older.

At five months, Emmett:
  • Can easily roll to his side from either the belly or back, and has completed the full rollover a few times
  • Likes to sit in his bumbo, finally. He used to hate the thing but now it gives him a new vantage point with little effort, so it's on the 'like' list
  • Scootches around on his playmat.... gone are the days where he stays in the place where you put him. He can scootch around in circles or off the mat altogether. He generally does this via flapping his legs around and rolling from side to side
  • Is getting really good at playing with/grabbing toys and can maneuver some of them to his mouth
  • Throws arm around you when you pick him up and hold him. It's such a simple thing, but so cute.
  • Loves to baby talk and hear his own voice. Loves to yell AHHH AHHH AHHHHH
  • He is still all smiles on changing table
  • Swings legs out when you pick him up - they don't just hang limply down when you grab him!
  • Is a charmer and loves to smile and make new friends
  • Has had his first couple of colds - the first one was Memorial Day weekend where he cried constantly and didn't want to be put down. He has another cold now that makes him stuffy and makes his eyes gunky, but his sweet and smiley personality is still there! Thank goodness. Both colds have him waking up for an additional bottle in the middle of the night, which we could do without.
  • Attended his first Cubs game on Memorial Day weekend!
I have to admit, when the doctor recommended the helmet, I cried a little bit. But now I'm glad that we worked swiftly to get the bean's noggin fixed. I was worried people would be weird about the helmet but pretty much everyone is super nice about it. It helps that Emmett is super cute with (or without!) it! :)

Sir swimming!

DSC_5900 by agstratt
DSC_5900, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

Emmett went swimming for the first time this weekend! He wasn't a big fan when we first got in but once he got situated in his little floaty he was all smiles.

This thing has legholes below where he is sitting and he's supposed to sit up in it. But he was just too little. This will work for now!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Happy Sir likes his Bumbo

  by agstratt
, a photo by agstratt on Flickr.

Emmett used to hate the bumbo with a white-hot fiery passion. Now that he can hold his head up much better, it's more fun!

And check our Sir's helmet. He has a wonky spot in the back where it's a bit pointy. 6 weeks and some moolah later and Sir will have a perfectly round head again. Oh, babies!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Summer gear

DSC_5759, originally uploaded by agstratt.

I love buying Emmett tiny versions of things Mike has...

Knockoff birkenstocks? Check.
Plaid shorts? Check.

The I love Daddy shirt was a post-poker, post-cocktail purchase in Vegas. My how times have changed, now when I have a few cocktails I peruse tiny baby onesies instead of cute dresses for myself!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

This weekend was my first Mother's Day as a mother, and it was one of the best weekends ever! My Mom flew into town on Friday night and my brother Jay went to get her. I wasn't feeling too good on Friday so Mike let me get some sleep in after work. Jay, Kim, and Mom got there around nine and we hung out a bit before heading off to bed.

Saturday I got my hair cut and attended a baby shower, then Mike and I headed off to date night. Fondue by ourselves and then drinks with some friends. I had SUCH a good time. It's was SO good to have some time with just Mike and I and not worry about the little man at all. My Mom is such a sweetie for letting us get out a bit while she watched him! She was such a big help with him that this weekend was really relaxing.

On Sunday we headed to brunch at Bakin' and Eggs, and then walked up to see Jay and Kim's new place. After walking home we grabbed a nap and just hung out. I took Emmett's 4 month old pictures and I think they turned out really well!

His eyes are still really really blue. I am beginning to start to think they may actually stay blue. I guess I won't know for a long time still, because they can still change, even up to when he's like 3 years old I think? But I feel like it would be hard to imagine them changing so much from being so blue now. But it could happen. I have to admit, I never ever thought I would have a blue-eyed baby!

He's such a happy baby... loves to laugh.
Emmett's new trick is being able to maneuver his fist into his mouth to suck on it. He's constantly checking to see if someone has stashed milk there. He cracks me up sucking on the fist, he is all loud smacks and gusto.
I got a few in the Bumbo too, although it quickly killed the jovial mood. He hates this freaking thing!
Mom and Emmett took lots of time looking through his black and white picture book. He loves that book, I'm so glad I sought it out on Amazon.
Emmett's other fun/new trick is using his voice. He's constantly "talking" to us now. Mom thinks he'll be super vocal and be talking early. I guess he gets that honestly, I'm kind of a chatterbox. But it's super cute. He sometimes uses it as a pre-cry, so it's nice to be able to get to him and get him what he needs without escalating to crying. :)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

4 Months!

DSC_5725, originally uploaded by agstratt.

I took Emmett's 4 month old pictures today. He is such a big boy and such a happy baby!!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Sir's name

One of the nurses in the NICU asked us if we named Emmett after "the vampire in Twilight." She seemed so excited by the prospect that I felt kind of bad saying no. But seriously, the Twilight connection almost made us NOT use the name.

When we started trying to have a little one I bought a copy of The Baby Name Wizard. Swistle runs a baby name website, and loves this book. I read the baby name blog and had to get myself a copy. It's really a fun book - I would highly recommend it for anyone, even anyone not looking for a baby name. The book shows the meaning behind the name, the origin, a small graph of the name's popularity, the categories a name belongs to, and possible brother/sister names for that name. Each category is in the back and has a listing of names. So if you see that the name you like is in the "Antique Charm" section, like many of the ones I like, you can look in the back and see what other names fall into that category. It's super fun to look up all this information on names - one night we pulled it out while we had friends over and read the meaning for each person's name. Fun times!

So, I looked through the baby name book, writing down on a list any names that appealed to me at all. Once I did that, I looked at the categories each were in, and looked through those categories too. Once I did that I had a list of 7-10 girl names and about 5-6 boy names. I ran those by Mike and got some pretty solid vetoes. I suggested Mike do the same and he made up a listing of names. Then I got some vetoes (Herschel? Really?). We settled on a list of 3-4 boy names and about 5-6 girl names. Then we just let the lists marinate for awhile.

In the middle of all of this, my mom gave me a book my Grandma Stratton had filled out about her life. In it, there was a family tree. I noticed that one of the names I really liked, that was on our front runner list, was a family name. Although my Uncle Clyde goes by his middle name, his first name is Emmett. And his father, my great-grandfather, was named Dillard Emmett. To the family he was known as Nandad, but he went by the name Emmett. I knew Emmett was Clyde's given name, but hadn't known about Nandad using the name. I was thrilled to find out the extent of its use as a family name, because I really loved the name. And the family connection was such a great bonus that it overruled the fact that it was used in the Twilight movies.

In the meantime, Mike's favorite on the boy side was Wyatt. So over the pregnancy, our list really boiled down to Emmett and Wyatt on the boy side of things. We had a name picked out for a girl, but I'll keep that a secret in case we want to use that in the future :)

Emmett's middle name was much easier. I feel pretty strongly that middle names should be used to honor someone in the family (at least for us - of course not everyone has to do this!). You hardly ever use a middle name, and it means so much to have a child namesake. Why not use this as a time to show our family how much we love them? We tossed around the idea of using "Michael" but Mike felt that it was a bit narcissistic, and felt pretty strongly about using my Dad's first name, Jeffrey, as a middle name for a boy. One day he was like "Your Dad is a really good man. He loves his family and would do anything for any one of us. I really think we should use his name for a middle name." Once I knew how strongly Mike felt, that pretty much sealed the deal on the boy middle name.

With a girl name picked out and two boy names in competition, I had a strong hunch that the baby would be a boy. I would sit on the couch and point to my belly and say to Mike "You think there is an Emmett in here?" and smile. Mike was always unwilling to commit, and would just smile back and say "Maybe!" One day he admitted to me that he was waiting for a sign regarding what boy name to use. I laughed a little bit but thought we'd wait and see what happened.

Then, in December, the clouds parted and a sign was given. My brother's fiance, Kim, has a sister who was due two months before me. She had her little boy and the e-mail was sent out "We are calling him Wyatt." I did a little victory dance, knowing that the likelihood of using the name Wyatt was far less now. We talked about it a bit - not totally ruling Wyatt out but leaning FAR more towards Emmett.

We never did fully come to a formal decision... Mike just started saying "It's a good name" when I mentioned the name. And then when he was born and the doc asked me his name, I just kind of blurted out "Emmett Jeffrey." Thank goodness it was OK with Mike, because I love that little man's name!

Friday, April 29, 2011


Yesterday I sent Mike to the Paulina Meat Market to get steaks for dinner with my friend and her husband tonight. I hadn't realized he'd never been there, but he loved it! Of course, the place is major Old School.

One of the butchers, Tim, calls Mike's number, and he steps up. Mike described him as "Big guy. Mustache like a walrus. Hands like hams!"

Mike requests two 8ish ounce fillets for myself and my friend Dora, then decides on New York strips for himself and Dora's husband. He asked Mike what steaks he wanted from the selection out under the counter.

Mike says "Tim, you ever had a steak before?"
Tim "One or two."
Mike "Why don't you pick a couple out for me"
Tim "Smartest thing you've said all day!"

So Tim picked out a couple strips... we'll see how they are tonight.

I'm still laughing about the "Hands as big as hams!!!" though.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I remember touring a daycare about a week after Emmett was discharged from NICU, and thinking that the babies all looked impossibly round and big. Holy cow, giant Godzilla babies. My baby would never be that big!

To be fair.... look at what I was working with. This is Emmett on discharge day, at 5 lbs 10 ounces. He was swimming in his newborn onesie, just a tiny little speck of a man.
Look at those little spindly legs!

And now he is impossibly round and lovely. How time does fly.
The cheeks, they are kissable. He's getting to be such a big boy!

Baby laughs

MVI_0174 a video by agstratt on Flickr.

I got a great video of Emmett laughing at Mike's grandma.... she was just cracking Emmett up!

I'm so glad that so many family members got to meet Emmett last weekend. I love showing our little man off!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I think we need to get this kid some shades....

DSC_5597, originally uploaded by agstratt.

or a hat!

Oh Emmett... this would have been such a good picture if you would have opened your eyes. Oh well.

Monday, April 25, 2011


I've got a case of the Mondays, so it's internet meme time!

A. Age: 31

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you hate: Cleaning bathrooms. Which is why we have a cleaning lady now.

D. Dogs: Millicent Underfoot Knowles, Beagle!

E. Essential start to your day: Emmett snuggles

F. Favorite color: Pink

G. Gold or silver: Silver

H. Height: 5'5"

I. Instruments: I used to play the flute, piccolo, and piano, but don't do any of that anymore. I just donated my flute to Chicago Public Schools actually!

J. Job title: Senior Auditor

K. Kids: Emmett Jeffrey, born 1/8/2011

L. Live: What does this mean? Where I live? In Chicago! At the top of three flights of stairs that kill my will to live in the city.

M. Mom’s name: Gayle

N. Nicknames: Apes!

O. Overnight hospital stays: Two times for acid reflux that closed up my airways, and when I had Emmett. I think I might have stayed when I hit myself with a car when I was 4, but I don't remember.

P. Pet peeve: Cabbies who honk to see if you want a cab. Is my hand in the air? NO! Go away. Cabbies that don't pay attention when you DO need a cab. Cabbies that drive super slow down sidestreets and don't allow room to pass. Pretty much just cabbies in general.

Q. Quote from a movie: Pretty much anything from Office Space, Anchorman, 40 year old virgin, or the Hangover. I even made a baby version of the Tiger Song from Hangover for little Emmett. It goes like this:

What do babies dream of, when they take a little baby snooze? Do they dream of drinking bottles or hanging out in their birthday suit? Don't you worry your pretty baby head we're gonna get you back to Lincoln in your pretty baby bed. And then we're gonna find our best bear Doug and then we're gonna give him a best bear hug. Doug, Doug, Doug, Doug Dougie Dougie Doug Doug! Unless we caught out without any Pampers... then there'll be poop on your butt!

Yeah, I had a little extra time on Maternity leave. Also, I named Emmett's bear Doug b.c I couldn't figure out any other way to make the song make sense. And Lincoln is a nod to the street we live on.

R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: Jay, 29 and Katie, 26

T. Time you wake up: All the time these days, with baby around. My ideal time for work would be 6-6:30AM although before he came along I got up at 7:30.

U. Underwear: They are awesome. haha.

V. Vegetables you dislike: Beets are so gross.

W. What makes you run late: Chores. I'm always trying to get too much done while I get ready.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth!

Y. Yummy food you make: Prosciutto-wrapped pork chops, goat-cheese stuffed chicken

Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Lions... love the Lion House at the Lincoln Park Zoo, esp when they roar at each other.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Funny post

My friend Tracy is pregnant with twins and due in June. She wrote this post about some of the ridiculous comments she gets. I had to share because I thought it was hilarious!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Everybody was kung-fu fighting!

10 weeks, originally uploaded by agstratt.

Looks like the bean is making some ninja moves in this one!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Working on my fitness

If I lift him up like this a bunch of times each day, I'll be able to do it when he's a grown man, right?
Right? Kind of like this guy who lifted the cow at the Olympics?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wedding pics

My brother and his fiance are going to display pictures of their parents' and grandparents' weddings at their wedding in September. Since I've recently obtained and scanned a few, I thought I would share.

This is my Mom's parents. Look how young they are! My Great-Grandma Bastian (who immigrated from Germany) made this dress for my Grandma.

Here are my parents on their wedding day. My Mom wore my Grandma's dress for her wedding. I always knew that my Mom and aunt wore the same dress but it wasn't until I talked to my Grandma a few weeks ago that I realized that it originated with Grandma. I love it, and especially love the lace and the tulle overlay. Very classic. Look at my parents, they are babies they are so young. My mom was 19. Holy cow! Also, isn't my Dad's tux AWESOME?!

I marvel at how tiny they were when they got married... there is no way I would have fit into this wedding dress. Maybe if I had gotten married at 19 I would have been able to! But there would have been no way with me getting married at 27!