Lizzard Loves Blue Sky Snow Covered Vail

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Friday Recap 4/20/18 - Lulu's Party Tricks & a Throwback

 In honor of the Bug turning one this coming
 week, this recap highlights some of her new party tricks!
 Also a throwback to this week last year
 because its funny to see how big my belly
 got when I was over pregnant with Lulu :)

And yes- its Sunday night........not Friday. I'm late to post.....again! Living my new normal of "don't let perfect be the enemy of good" Blogging is good. Writing my Friday recap on Friday is perfect. Meh!

1. The Toilet

It calls to Lulu with its irresistible siren song. A water table just for her, in 3 rooms of our house. Bonus? It keeps her occupied......#parentingwin???

2. Climbing her slide

All of the sudden she can climb up the 3 step ladder of her toy slide.  Yikes & yippee at the same time!

3. Standing up in her carseat

This one is just straight sketchy. Thankfully she can't pull these high jinks
while the car is moving. She still needs us to unbuckle the straps.....for now.

4.  Proof that dreams do come true
See below re: running interference as an explanation for why this is the best (ie only) photo I have!
We bought a used "learning tower" which is sort of like a cage for the bug to stand in at the kitchen counter. We baked 2 cakes together this week for my Mother Daughter Book Club (with my mom - not with Lulu ;) And by baked I mean I ran constant interference so Lulu didn't spill my 1 pound bag of cocoa powder or smear butter all over herself, etc etc. But still. We stood together in the kitchen & made something delicious and that is enough to make my dreams come true!

Final product yum!
We baked Smitten Kitchen's Everyday Chocolate Cake and frosted it with vanilla bean whipped cream. It was really really good!

5. This laughable weather

Honestly, I have to laugh at this bat shit crazy winter weather so deep into April. 

Lulu doesn't know about laughing at things to prevent crying. She's just straight pissed. Look at her face. PISSED. She's shaking her baby fist at Old Man Winter & telling him to scram already.

6. Oat Milk Mochas from the delightful Backlot Coffee

See #5 for an explanation as to why I would need such a delicious warm treat in APRIL.

7. Lulu having an (almost) birthday twin as a neighbor

These 2 kill me, as does our neighbor's little girls amazing hair. 

8. This memory from this time last year (thanks Facebook memory feature for reminding me ;)

This is what 40+ weeks preggers looks like....

Lulu was 8 days overdue when she arrived last year. So when her due date passed & I wasn't showing any signs of going into labor.......Chris & I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo's Wine & Wildlife event on the topic of Puerto Rican Parrots. My best friend planned the event, we got dinner afterward, we interacted with the presenter dressed as a parrot, all the things!!
Bruce & Ace basking in the glow of yet another event well done!!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Friday Round Up 4.13.18 - San Diego Vacay

Lizzard Loves vacation. I mean, who doesn't though?!? So this week (2 days late I'm afraid) is all about our trip to sunny California!
This is the view from Cody & Matty's front porch. I could get used to it!!

1.Trip Planning
My best friend & her husband moved to San Diego from the Midwest in February (smartest people I know.......) so naturally I started planning the trip in January when they told us they were moving. I mean, I love the winter in the Chicago area- but dear Lord- it has the ability to drag into spring and make me desperate to get out of dodge.

Organizing is one of my jams. I love thinking and planning the best ways to make a room or a closet work - so it is not too much of a stretch that I love to make lists & plot out the best way to pack for a trip. Since Lulu was born I have started using the packing cube method - not with the pricey actual cubes that are for sale a million places- but with my reusable tote bags! I have a major excess of these bags and they work so well for organizing our clothing! Each family member gets 1 for clothes & 1 for pjs, underwear, swimsuits, etc. It helps prevent our giant rolling duffle from becoming a giant rolling mess on day one of vacation!

This was the first flight where I was concerned Lulu might be so wiggly as to warrant some special entertainment, she was 11+ months when we embarked on the 4 hour flight from Chicago-San Diego and it seemed unwise to go into this trip unprepared! Thankfully, my genius sister had gifted us a busy bag for our baby shower. It had finger puppets, small sorting games, a magnet game, and more. I read a blog post about traveling with a 1 year old & took the following ideas from it: post it notes for Lulu to pull off/re stick on the tray table, downloadable library books for my phone (Lulu doesn't get any of her own screen time yet - but books on the go seemed like a great idea), and the pouch to hold it all (though I bought my pouch from an acquaintance's Etsy shop - she makes the CUTEST bags!! I can't regress to the 6th grade & start rocking a FiveStar pencil case again. Just can't do it). See number 2 for how it all worked out!

2. Lulu's flexibility with sleep
Holy cow I gave a lot of energy to my worry over Lulu not sleeping on our flight to CA (when we traveled with Chris) and the flight home (when we traveled just me & Lulu). I thought through the worst case scenarios, I hoped, and I planned some activities that would (hopefully) keep the interest of my potentially overtired little one. Man. I didn't need to plan. We were incredibly lucky that neither of our flights was fully booked. We fly Southwest as often as is possible and they invite parents to carry on a car seat for a lap child as long as the flight has empty seats. When Lulu was 4 weeks old and taking her first flight, the ticketing agent at Southwest told us about this policy. It blew my mind, in a good way. 

Our flight out took off right at Lulu's bedtime - so I was incredibly hopeful that she would sleep - whether or not we had a seat for her & her car seat. She knocked my socks off. It took her about 30 minutes to settle down, but she slept for the rest of the flight! I didn't need my activity bag at all! Yipeeeeeee. 

Once we made it to my best friend's house Lulu played & visited with Cody & her puppy, Briar for awhile before we put her down to sleep. She fell immediately asleep in a pack n play she'd never seen in an unfamiliar house. I wanted to give her a gold medal for sleep!

A well slept Lulu makes for well slept parents & sets us all up for a good trip indeed :)


4. Seals
Sleepy seals (not dead seals)

Admittedly hard to tell from the photo- but the dark spots are snoozing seals! Some are babies! 

5. A burrito with french fries inside

Because vacation eating. I have nothing additional to add.

6. Lulu learning to point
She watched the airplanes taking off from San Diego airport from Cody & Matty's backyard and for the first time in her 11 months, started pointing at them when we'd ask "where's the airplane?" It made me unreasonably happy.

7. Lulu's 1st dip in the ocean
Despite Chris & I both having family who live within easy driving distance of the Atlantic Ocean, Lulu's first ocean experience was the Pacific! Even before her little toes had dipped into Lake Michigan - she was splashing around on the west coast. 

8. Last but not least (the opposite of least really) 
Friday-Wednesday with my best friend
We spent our first 18ish years living down the street from each other, then a decade or so living reasonably close to each other in Chicago until 2015 when she & Matty moved to Bermuda and we with my parents in the suburbs :) (it was for the house renovation, but still). It is conceivable that we will never again share a zip code which makes my heart hurt though I am comforted with the fact that our friendship has lasted 35+ years and a few states/countries/oceans between us won't change it! 

It was a delightful treat not to just "catch up" with Cody, but to relax and just hang out. We didn't need to rush, we had very few plans for the time, just took the days pretty slowly. It was a true vacation with some of my absolute favorite people in the world. 

Plus a puppy. Did I mention sweet Briar boy?!?

Friday, April 6, 2018

TGIFriday Review 4.6.18

Hip hip hooray! We fly to see my best friend today! Lizzard Loves the prospect of a long weekend away with her fam + best friend. There is also a puppy. Oh dear its going to be awesome.

Here we go for a week in review:
1. Lulu's First Easter
Lulu's 1st egg hunt!
 Oh man what a fun first Easter weekend we had with the bug!! The Easter Egg-Stravaganza at the Lincoln Park Zoo was simply wonderful!
Cheers to my bestie on an event well done!

 Pride was oozing out of me for my best friend who planned the whole event! Easter for 2,000 guests is no small feat. My hat is off to you Ace on a job SO well done! 
Hoppy Easter ;)

I swear Lulu had fun.....

Such a great time including Lulu's first egg hunt, brunch, a ride on the carousel, Lulu's first time meeting the Easter bunny and visiting some of our favorite zoo animals. #wonderfulday

Epic Easter Lunch buffet

On actual Easter we had a delicious lunch at my parents house with family & our closest friends. Always a lot of laughs, way too much food, and a great time. Lulu got her first Easter basket from her BoBo & Bump.

Lulu's 1st Easter basket

Annual jelly bean counting contest

2. Bagged Lunches for Inspiration Corporation
I hosted a bag lunch making party on Tuesday night for some of my moms group friends. There were 10 of us total and we assembled 60 lunches for the guests of Inspiration Cafe, the place I volunteer to serve breakfast a couple times per month. It was so fun to get together with awesome moms to do something good for other people. 
Ready to rock & roll on the lunches!

60 lunches made! Hooray!

Contents of the lunches, sandwiches are in the fridge.

I was full of gratitude for the 12 moms who donated money to purchase the supplies for the lunches. The Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs that I got on sale were probably the most popular item with the lunch recipients :) Pizza+salad+beer+wine+rice krispies treats = recipe for a fun evening with mom friends! I forgot to take any photos of the process, but I have a before & after! 

3. These 2

4. Volunteer Appreciation

Because sometimes a tiny gesture goes a long way! This basket was in the office where volunteers hang their coats at Inspiration Corporation. Candy, hot tea, little treats to say thanks. Its the little things.

5. Beautiful tiny flowers in our weed patch front yard

See above re: the little things!