Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Nana and Gunnar
Mom and I in Giverny, France in 2007
 So today is my mom's 61st birthday (sorry mom...I did just announce that to the universe)!
Sadly I haven't been able to get a hold of her all day (she's out of town for a wedding, I guess) and since I know she's my #1 fan of this blog...I figure this is one way to reach her.

But while I'm wishing her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY...I would love to share with the universe what a fantastic mom I have.

I know I've already mentioned how she used to hide medicine in a mixture of applesauce and yogurt when I was little, and how she spent hours preparing the best Easter hunt Ever...but what I haven't mentioned is that she is the best friend an adult woman could have.  If you know anything about me...you'll know that I'm not very fond of talking on the phone. I don't have the greatest hearing and frankly I'd much rather be face to face, which is why I don't have lengthy phone calls with hardly anyone. But for some reason I can talk for HOURS on end with my mom on the phone. I can tell her every little stupid detail of my day and she will actually find it interesting (or at least pretend to)...and I love that.

She can be hard on me at times, but that's because she sees my potential and wants me to be the best Kirstin I can be. She is an excellent writer and editor. She even edits this blog. So if you ever saw a glaring grammatical error in one of my posts...just check for it again in 24 hours and it will probably have been corrected...she's that good!

But what I don't tell my mom enough is how PROUD I am to be her daughter.  I am the daughter of one of the finest elementary school teachers our nation ever had.   My mother was so good at what she did that she had other teachers come to observe her teaching skills from around the country.  My mother has more patience than any teacher I ever had and I am certain she would be my favorite teacher of all time if I had been lucky enough to have her.  She may be retired now but her expertise is still sought after. 

And on top of all that...she is such an amazing Grandmother (NANA).  You can tell this is her favorite role of all...there is nothing she wouldn't do for her grand-babies...William and Gunnar don't know how lucky they are to be loved that much!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM (NANA)!
We wish we could have told you so in person...

We spent the day at the Lincoln Park Zoo with Gunnar's Great Aunt and Uncle Julie and Dave and 2nd Cousin's Ian and Ela.

HOORAY!!! Gunnar's 1st TOOTH finally started peeking through today!!!!

So Happy to be with DADDY!

Gunnar got to see a REAL owl for the first time today!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Indeed...

I was delighted to hear Gunnar's cry this morning at precisely 3:45am!
I sprung out of bed with excitement! It was as if Gunnar had read my mind and knew that I was hoping he'd wake a little earlier this morning for his morning feeding.  I told John last night "IF Gunnar wakes up for a feeding around 4am...you bet your butt I'll be turning on the "telly" to tune into the Royal Wedding LIVE!!" So as soon as I finished feeding G, I plopped him back in his crib and raced into the kitchen made my self a spot of English Breakfast tea (with milk of course), and got cozy on the couch with much anticipation to see Kate's dress.

Nine years ago I was in London for a more somber Royal procession...as I was studying there when the Queen Mum died in April of 2002. I took to the streets, like so many did today, and watched the princes follow their great grandmother's casket as they marched down the streets in their military regalia. But I can't imagine how exciting it must have been to be in London today to witness such a day for rejoicing and celebration.

I really thought I'd only stay up to catch a glimpse of Kate's gown...but once it started I was hooked... I LOVED EVERY MINUTE!  I particularly enjoyed the sermon given by Rt. Rev. Richard Chartres, Bishop of London. Especially when he ended with:

"every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future."

How true.
I couldn't help but remember details from my own wedding as I watched Kate and Will this morning. There were some similarities there...SURE...um let's see:

1. She wore a white dress.....SO DID I!!!
2. Kate's dress had pleats....SO DID MINE!!!
3. Kate had a cathedral length train....ooooh oooh...me too!!!!
4. Her sister was her maid of honor....This is UnCANNY!!
5. Kate's hair is brown....MY HAIR IS BROWN (although her's might be natural...I dye mine...I won't lie)
6. The Choir sang a beautiful John Rutter piece....My mom and her sisters sang a beautiful John Rutter piece at my wedding...that similarity just sends shivers down my spine...see? Similar tasted in MUSIC!!!
7. Kate's father walked her down the aisle....MY DAD WALKED ME DOWN THE AISLE!!! (Shut the front door!!!)
8. Kate didn't wear a necklace....NEITHER DID I!!!! (Ooooh that's a good one!)
9. They sang hymn: "Love Divine, All Loves excelling"...okay this is getting creepy...so did WE!!!!
10. Kate married a true gentleman and prince...and so did I!!


 In other news...Step one of Mommy Makeover is complete. Hair Dyed. And look...I even took the time to brush and straighten it today! WOW! But yeah...still no makeup...one step at a time.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

mommy makeover time...

Uffda. (For all you non-scandanavian's out there who don't know what that means...look it up, and use it...it's a fun word, and can never be over used.)

Today I had a lovely afternoon lunch with my dear friend Emily who brought over a lot of sweets and goodies to my dirty house for my belated birthday (smart girl read my blog and knew she couldn't miss with baked goods and a beautiful pair of earrings!).  I tried to get over the fact that my house was in shambles...due to numerous etsy projects and lack of time to devote to my cleaning schedule...but I found myself quite embarrassed whenever my eye shifted to bits of felt and thread all over the couch and floors. I mean this place needs a serious scrub down. But Emily seemed to not mind a bit, thank god (but she is an actress and I imagine quite good at hiding her disgust...And Emily is so sweet with Gunnar, always wanting to hold him and never intimidated if he fusses a little. She's one of those pro-active baby lovers who is determined to get them smiling and having a good time...which I love! Less work for me, right? but I digress...)

It wasn't until Emily left that I realized where the real mess was...right there sitting right on top of my own shoulders. Imagine that...a complete disaster of epic proportions right there on my on head. No really? You need proof? See for yourself.


It looks like the Alabama tornadoes took a detour through my hair!! I mean seriously? I went out today looking like this? WHAT? Here I had been having a lovely lunch date with GORGEOUS Emily looking like this?? What a wreck! I've let myself go! I mean I used to spend hours perfecting my coif and I would never show my face if I didn't at least have a heap of mascara on...
MAKEUP? HA!
I haven't touched the stuff since (well I did put some on for Easter...but besides then...)...I don't know February! ANd YES that is a pimple on my cheek and yes I think Gunnar indeed gave me a hickie on my chin...but who needs makeup when you look this glamorous?? Ha!
I'm going to need to do some major renovations on my head before I head to this audition Monday. I need to look like this:

I know...I've got my work cut out for me.

So I will be making a hair appointment this weekend and relearn the art of hairstyling and makeup wearing. Wish me luck!

Meanwhile my kid looks handsome...you can see where I focus my energy these days.

Gunnar was feeling quite a bit better today. The pediatrician prescribed some creme for his "area" and other than a mini melt down this evening...it was a much better day.

Tonight when I was nursing him to sleep I sang him some spirituals for the first time...I love singing spirituals. I think God made my voice to sing spirituals...if I could only sing one genre for the rest of my life that's what I would choose. I think Gunnar liked it too because for the first time he stopped nursing looked right in my eyes, smiled and closed his eyes...and fell asleep to "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" with that cute little smile glued on his face.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sad sad day...

It all started out fine.
We went to the gym early and came home early afternoon after a quick trip to return some things at Target.  That's when it started.  The sad afternoon filled with crocodile tears.
I can't be entirely certain what was causing the tears...but I'm sure it was a combination of several things:
1. Teething...drooling persisted all afternoon.
2. A certain area (that mommy doesn't know much about) seems to be infected (I called the nurse and we're going into the clinic tomorrow morning)
3. Tired...poor little guy wouldn't take a nap. Every time I thought I had him asleep he'd wake up screaming in pain. He actually wouldn't let me put him down all afternoon.

These are the days where nothing else matters...

Happy moments were very short lived today...showing daddy his new trick standing up holding onto the crib...


...proved to be too much

poor baby.
Who cares that I didn't get anything done...my baby was in pain and all that mattered was comforting him and helping him deal with the pain. I spent the afternoon nursing, rocking, singing lullabyes, interchanging teething toys, frozen washcloths and cold spoons, and wiping away every tear.  Sadly even baby tylenol wasn't any help today...
There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your baby in pain and not being able to do anything to help. It's just so hard to watch my usually happy baby so bent out of shape. I haven't seen many tears from G...but today he shed far too many.

Luckily he went to bed easily...and I'm just praying the Tylenol I gave him before bed helps keep him asleep and not feeling the pain.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

STARVING...

Artist? Usually...
But that's not the kind I'm talking about...I'm talking about the Starving Hunger that comes along with nursing. I didn't always feel this hungry. In fact the first few months I am sure I wasn't eating enough because my body wasn't giving me the signal that it was hungry (which I believe had something to do with the neurological and physical shifts in my body after giving birth...a bunch of nerves got messed up...but that's a topic for another day).  But suddenly...I can't seem to eat enough. I am CONSTANTLY starving. And if I haven't eaten something in a couple hours I start to feel dizzy and light headed...and I start acting kind of crazy!
I've started stuffing 2-3 protein bars in the diaper bag anytime I go somewhere just in case I get stuck somewhere without food...and sadly I have to replenish nearly everyday. 
Constantly snacking, constantly fueling, an eating machine!!!
This morning after putting Gunnar down for his morning nap I had to get out of bed for a 2nd breakfast before I could nap because my stomach was grumbling so much. In fact...I find myself eating so often these days that it is actually taking up a lot of my day...and another reason why it is hard to get anything done these days.
I feel like a teenage boy. Food is disappearing from our house faster than we can restock. I wonder if this hunger will subside once Gunnar starts nursing less and eating solids next month?

In other news...I got an audition! Remember when I submitted myself for an audition?? Well they called and want to see me next week! Crazy! First Chicago audition here I come!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My morning addiction

So I might have taken the advice "sleep when your baby sleeps" a little too seriously. 
Because I'm sure this advice must have been for the first few months only (when baby doesn't sleep through the night)...but I have continued to follow this advice to a point of well...addiction.
I am addicted to my morning nap.
After Gunnar gets his morning feeding around 6-7am...he generally falls back asleep for another 3-4 hours. And so do I. It is a glorious time. But it certainly doesn't help me get anything accomplished.
Sometimes I think I enjoy this nap so much that I somehow sleep longer than Gunnar does...I jerk myself awake to find that the morning has slipped away from me and I can hear Gunnar awake and playing in his crib. Whoops! Luckily Gunnar seems to enjoy alone time in his crib.
I might need to start thinking about weaning myself from this addiction. Because there is going to come a time when Gunnar won't sleep that long...or I might take a job...and I'm sure it will be easier for me to break this habit if I do it gradually rather than cold turkey.
BUT...maybe I'll wait a few more weeks...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter past, present and future...

I love Easter. When I was a kid I think it was my favorite holiday of all...
Not because we got to sing my favorite hymns in church (though that is a good reason), but because of the Annual Easter Hunt. I'm not talking about hunting for dyed or plastic filled eggs. I'm talking about the Easter hunt my mother set up for my sister and I every year which led us on an investigative exploration around our house in search of our Easter gifts. This tradition, which was started by my mother's mother's mother has left many a child in the Hansen family sleepless the night before Easter (like my cousin Kira...who apparently couldn't sleep the other night for this very reason!). It was Sooooooo Exciting!! I think there was some early pretense about the Easter bunny hiding everything in the early years... I specifically remember imagining this large human size bunny coming in my room and slipping a clue underneath my pillow while I was sleeping.  I think this creeped me out a little bit which must have been why it was known early on that mom was really the one laying the clues.  But that's how it all would begin. We'd wake up in the morning to find a clue under our pillow or at the end of our bed...and our empty basket would be there waiting to be filled.  Before I could read I remember the clues were carefully drawn pictures of the dishwasher or a sink...and as I got older they turned into clever poetic rhyming hints. Each clue lead to a present and another clue until we found the biggest present of all. I'll never forget the Easter when my final clue lead me to this gorgeous hand-made bunny wearing a beautiful pink dress...I was so excited I had to bring her to church with me and she sat proudly displayed on my bed until I left for college. 

It's been a good 12 years since my last Easter Hunt...but you better believe I'm going to carry on this tradition with my children. Gunnar might be too young this year...but I might give it a try next Easter.  Thanks to my great grandmother's  clever idea her great grandchildren and  great-great grandchildren (and hopefully great-great-great grandchildren-someday) alike will most likely be sleepless on Easter Eve just like I was for years and generations to come! Thanks Great Grandma, Grandma and thanks mom...for all the special Easters of my past and for my children's future!

John's parents!

I love that we couldn't get a good pic of my family...this says it all!




Saturday, April 23, 2011

A mother's dilemna

What should a mother do?
Imagine this...your sweet little baby has been fighting sleep all morning and just when you finally get him down peacefully sleeping like an angel...you realize...he has a poopy diaper.
I hate these moments...and I've had many just like this. Like this morning. Should you risk waking him to avoid the diaper rash and for the sake of his poor bum? Or do you let him sleep because he needs to sleep so desperately?
This morning I chose the latter but it's always such a dilemna for me. I hate the thought of making my child sleep in a poopy diaper...it makes me want to cry when ever I think too much about it. No one should ever have to do that...how uncomfortable! But I am of that mind that waking a sleeping baby is a cardinal sin...especially when your baby's schedule has been so thrown off like G's has this weekend. 
But situations like this are alway a gamble and sometimes I will wake him...and sometimes not. I wish G was the kind of baby that could sleep through a diaper change. But he's not...so I am afraid i will continue to wonder which is the lesser evil until G is potty trained.


Friday, April 22, 2011

30 thoughts about turning 30

 The NOT so deep thoughts from a mom indifferent about turning 30...

1.  I do not look nearly as old as I always thought I'd look at 30.
2.  30 is the new 20 right? I think so.
3.  Gone are the days of throwing myself a big birthday bash...(although my family is throwing me a nice dinner party tonight)...on to throwing my babies big parties instead!
4.  I love sharing a birthday with Earth day...I wish I had thought of 30 things I could do for the earth today to celebrate my 30th with the Earth...but I always think of things like that as an after thought these days...I blame motherhood.
5.  I might be 30, which sounds old...but Justin Timberlake is 30 and he's still cool...right?
6.  I have a funny feeling this decade is going to go faster than the last.
7.  I just keep thinking about that episode from "Full House" where Danny Tanner turns "30!" (where he can't say the words and everyone else has to say it for him...remember?) And I keep thinking gosh...Danny Tanner had 3 kids AND his own morning talk show "Wake Up San Francisco". I'm so behind...what have I been doing?
8.  30 is half way to 60...
9.  This is the only year when my cats and I are the same age in "Human Years"....poor kitties are going to be senior citizens starting next year.
10.  Now that I'm 30...I think I'm officially too old to play the role of  "Annie"...*sigh*
11.  When I was a kid I always thought I'd have a "real" job by now...HA!
12.  I'm 30? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
13.  I might be 30 but I still can play a teenager on stage...(I hope...at least I did last year)
14.  If I'm 30 how old is Zack Morris?
15.  15 years ago I was 15...
16.  15 years from now I'll be 45...
17.  I'm one year closer to getting that senior discount at museums and restaurants.
18.  I have a decade to get used to being called "mam". 
19.  I might be 30 but my husband is going to be 32...that makes me feel better.
20.  If I get carded these days I thank the server...(I used to be offended)
21.  If I don't get carded I cry a little inside.
22.  Just a few years ago I got carded for an R rated movie...if that happened again...boy would they have a chuckle when they see how old I really am.
23.  If I'm 30 how old does that make Punky Brewster?
24.  Officially I can no longer use the excuse "I'm late for school" if I get pulled over by the cops.
25.  In only five years I can run for president, I can't wait!
26.  People are bound to take me more seriously now that I'm in my 30's. I mean that's a serious age...right?
27.  There is only one option to not turning 30, that is death. I say, “Welcome 30!”
28.  I may be turning 30 but I will still always be the youngest in my family.
29.  Because I'm 30 I can write a distinguished blog, all those youngsters know how to do is Tweet. (now is the part where I admit that I don't know how to Tweet...yup I'm that stubborn old facebooker...I would have held on to Myspace longer if everyone else hadn't jumped ship for facebook.)
30. The only difference between 30 and 29 is one day. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Whose body is this anyways??

It's been over 22 weeks since I gave birth.  And I'm amazed to tell you that in those 22 weeks I have indeed lost all of the 51 lbs. that I gained in my pregnancy.  I've been told by many many mothers that it takes a good six months to lose the pregnancy weight, so I feel quite lucky to have shed those pounds one month early. But what really is amazing is that most mothers I've talked to said it took 6 months to lose "normal pregnancy weight gain" which is anywhere from 20-35 lbs...any mother I've talked to who gained as much weight as I did said it could take anywhere from 1 year to 2 years to get back to normal weight and size.

So I'm incredibly lucky or maybe I worked harder than most...I don't know, but right now I'm sitting one pound below my pre-pregnancy weight. (Which still isn't my ideal weight, I could still lose a few, but I'm comfortable at this weight). But if I didn't own a scale, I wouldn't guess that I had returned to this weight. In fact...I'd have no idea whose body stood before me if I didn't know I was looking in a mirror.  Everything has changed.

All of my life I've struggled with bulky arms and legs. This is where I have always stored the majority of my weight...until now.

All of my life I've had a smooth and flat tummy even when I was my heaviest...my tummy was always flat...until now.

Now I am simply amazed to find these skinny (for me...we're not talking chicken limbs, in fact they're still bigger than most women's arms...but they are sooo slim for me) arms and legs growing out of a misshaped lumpy torso. I have no idea what to do with this body. No idea how to dress for this body.

I've always bought clothing that hugged my trunk and flared away from my limbs to de-emphasize the bulk in my legs especially.  But now what?

I was hoping that with the weight gone the tummy would go with it...but it has lingered. Maybe I should turn my fitness routine to focus on core strengthening and ab crunches.  I do think carrying around an infant for the last 5 months is the magic behind the slimming of my arms and legs. So maybe I could work in some routine with Gunnar everyday that could work the same miracle on my belly.  Who knows. I'm so grateful that the weight is gone...now I just need a stylist to help me understand my new (but not improved) body.


3 weeks before giving birth...
2 days after giving birth

Ugh the body...2 days after (I hurt just looking at myself)
51 lbs later...today...


In other news...I have one day left of my 20's...*sigh*.
And though Gunnar doesn't have any teeth yet...he doesn't seem to be in as much pain today, thank God!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Too smart for mommy's tricks...

My baby really HATES: finger clipping, nose cleaning and removal of eye crusties.

I try to be slick and quick but he fusses and moves my hands away in protest faster than I can complete the task. I hate messing with him, I really do...I don't want to do it but I have some kind of complex about it. I don't want to have the kid with boogers hanging out everywhere and scratches all over his face because his fingernails are an inch long.

What is a mommy to do? It drives me nuts!
So I made the mistake of trying to do it while he's sleeping. Won't try that again...
Poor kid is beginning to look like a war victim with scratches all over his face because he won't let mommy cut his nails. And I just know it's only going to get worse. The only trick I haven't tried is doing it in the bath...he's always happy in the bath. Maybe the fun of the water might distract him...but I don't know...he's quite the splasher.

He's also beginning to protest the medicine dropper. Getting him to take Tylenol or his daily Vitamin D is a real challenge...and in the end after all that he spits out and what gets smeared on his face from his head shaking, I think he only takes in half of what I give him (if that).

No teeth yet. Last night was the worst. He woke up SCREAMING 3 times (which is so unlike him...he's been sleeping 10 hours straight for over a month now) with his eyes closed and his hands in his mouth. It was heartbreaking.  He's such a sad little boy these days...but he still manages to laugh and smile and forget his pain during the day when mommy is giving him her undivided attention.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

a slight resemblance...

Lately I've been hearing this a lot: "Wow! He looks exactly like you!"
Well I don't know about that. But I do know that sometimes when I look at G I feel like I'm looking at a live version of my baby pictures...when he smiles though all I see is John and the Hammergren side of the family.  I did find some scanned baby pictures from my graduation slide show last year to compare. What do you think?

Baby G
Baby K



Baby K
Baby G

Baby G
Baby K

As I mentioned before...my Etsy shop is really taking off, which is unexpected and exciting and exhausting. Today one of my products was reviewed by a fellow mommy blogger and she is doing a giveaway for the same item from my shop! Check it out here: Free & Frugal Mommy of One

I'd also like to offer my readers a special discount from my shop. Use code: GMREADER at checkout for 15% off your entire purchase at the Happy Hoot from now until April 30th!

A hema...what?

If you haven't met Gunnar in person then you probably wouldn't know that he has a rather large birthmark on the back of his head.  Funny that they call it a birthmark because it wasn't there when he was born. I first noticed it about a week after he was born and I actually thought he was bleeding. But after a week or so it hadn't gone away, and it was clearly getting bigger. So I mentioned it at his one month check up and our pediatrician recognized it right away.

"It's a Hemangioma."

 "A hema...what?" I said (it actually took me a month to remember what she called it after this appointment)

"A hemangioma birthmark. Some people call it the strawberry birthmark because it will raise up off the skin and look like a strawberry." 

Well that's not exactly the best news I ever heard about my 4 week old baby who up until now seemed to have the perfect head. At this point the mark was small, miniscule even...thoughts of a large strawberry sized lump on my tiny baby's head were invading my mind...a movie of my son's future educational career was flashing through my brain. Scenes of kids taunting and teasing Gunnar for the massive red lump.  My pediatrician must have noticed the horror on my face because she then said:

"But there's no need to worry. It's actually not permanent. It will raise up off the skin and grow for the first year or so but then should begin to shrink and flatten and eventually disappear within a few years at most."

Relief.

"He's actually quite lucky" she continued "his looks like it will be pretty small and it's in an ideal location. His hair should cover it up nicely. Some babies have them on their nose, mouth or eyes which can impair with other things." 

And it was then that a wave of thankfulness swept through me.  Imagining all the sweet little babies being burdened with an intrusive red, raised birthmarks on their little eyelids or noses...and I felt guilty for wishing he didn't have one at all...I was lucky it wasn't on his eye.

Since Gunnar's diagnosis, his birthmark has grown to about the size of a large pea. It is bright red and raised and does resemble a small strawberry. From straight on you'd never notice it...it's just on the back side of his head. But I do get comments about it: "What happened to your baby's head?" "How did your baby get that scar?" "Boy you're lucky that's on his head!" 
 
I've actually grown to love it, after all it's a part of my baby...and I actually think I'll miss it when it disappears.

If you're interested in knowing more information about hemangioma's check out this site: hemangioma

The rarely seen "hemangioma"



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Funday Sunday

With the exception of poor little Gunnar and his teething tears...today (or rather tonight) was such a treat. John's sister Kerry and her husband Zach came over with their cute dog Scooter and brought dinner, a birthday cake, an awesome present and we watched Black Swan together (none of us had seen it!).  It was soooo nice!!!

Okay... I am so excited about my Etsy shop! Things are really taking off! I just sold my second mobile and almost instantly received a note from another buyer asking if I had another one available. So I'm making a third one which is basically sold already! I LOVE making the mobiles! I don't know why but I get so much joy out of stitching these adorable little owls and creating these cute mobiles.  If the babies who are receiving these mobiles like them half as much as Gunnar does...than I am making some babies VERY HAPPY!

"Maybe mommy's cell phone will help my teeth come in..."

"Nope. Nothing works..."

Cute Cake from Kerry & Zach!!
 I'm really hoping Gunnar wakes up with some teeth because i don't think I can take another day of having such a sad boy. It's so unlike him.

My night off...Remy Bumppo style

Ugh...if there was ever a play that could trigger that drive to get back to the theater it is Remy Bumppo's "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?" by Edward Albee.

I left John at home with the baby for the evening (tough job...I put him to bed before I left...ha!) so I could go see my dearest friend Michael Joseph Mitchell in his first show at Chicago's fabulous Remy Bumppo Theatre.  What a fantastic night!

As an actress I am slightly ashamed to admit this was my first time seeing an Albee play. Sure, I've read "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf", "Seascape" and a couple other plays...but have never seen one performed.  And as a newbie to the Chicago area, I was a Remy Bumppo virgin as well.  Well now I'm hooked. On Albee, on Remy Bumppo, on the Chicago Theatre scene, WOW! What a play, what a cast, what a fantastic production. This show has everything I could ever want out of a night out at the theater. I am still shaking with excitement and the curtain call was nearly 4 hours ago.  Four heartfelt characters all with incredibly rich emotional journeys. I found myself laughing and nearly weeping with each character at different moments in the tragedy of their situation. Annabel Armour is a vivacious, hilarious and tortured Stevie. Nick Sandys, who plays Martin, has the incredibly challenging job of trying to explain himself over and over through countless interruptions but remains honest and bewildered throughout. Sandys' careful and loving moment with his son in the final scene sent chills down my spine and brought me to peace with any prior reservations I had about the character. Will Alan, as Billy, brings moments of comic relief in the second scene but made my heart break for him in the final scene. And my dear friend Michael Joseph Mitchell, as Ross, has a killer first scene and really sets the tone for all that is to come in this roller coaster of a play (so proud to know him...such a talent!).

I can honestly say it's been a long time since a play has made me feel so alive. I was on the edge of my seat, excited and nervous for every character...the perfect evening at the theater.  If you live in Chicago...DON'T MISS THIS SHOW!! SEE IT!!!

And now...I'm inspired. It's been one year and one week since I closed my last production. One year, new city and a baby later it's time to introduce myself to the Chicago theater scene.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tragic Victories...

Gunnar is 5 months old today. I can't believe it. I can't believe he is sitting up on his own, giggling with delight in the mornings and evenings, holding things and transferring objects from one hand to the other...it just amazes me. Every day he is one day older and one day closer to being a toddler...I can't help but be a little sad every night when I put him to bed. I think of that little old lady who said to me when G was just a few weeks old "Don't you just wish you could spray him with hairspray or something and freeze him at that size forever?"
 YES...part of me really does wish I could do that.
But at the same time...every little new thing he does just amazes me and brings me so much joy. I don't think I've ever felt so proud of someone else...and it's not like he's won the nobel peace prize or anything...he's just doing thing every baby does, but I AM soooo proud!!

















Every milestone is sort of a tragic victory. Tragic because it will never happen for the first time again...and it's the ending of one era of his babyhood. But... a victory just the same...exciting that he's learning so much so fast.

I wish we would have video taped his adorable giggles tonight for his mommy and daddy.  He's just so genuinely happy to be alive! And we are so happy he's here.

Happy 5 month Birthday Gunnar Miles! Mommy loves you more than all the earth and all the universe and all stars!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Obsessed with the Silly

I'm obsessed.
I can't get enough.
I'm in LOVE with Sandra Boynton's board books. Serious silliness for all ages!
They are fun to read. They have adorable illustrations. Gunnar loves them. They're funny, fun and I can read them over and over again without getting tired of them. There are TONS of them...Every time we go to the library I look for them. But I think I've decided that I want to collect them all!

Here's what we have so far:
Horns to Toes    
Doggies
Snuggle Puppy!
But Not the Hippopotamus
Moo Ba La La La
The Going to Bed Book
Blue Hat, Green Hat
Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!









We've also read and loved:
Hey! Wake Up!
Barnyard Dance!
Pajama Time!Pajama Time!
Hippos Go Berserk!
Your Personal Penguin

In other news...Gunnar is definitely teething for sure. How do I know? If he doesn't have something to chew on he's crying. And he quite literally points at his gums as if to say..."Owie, this is what hurts mommy!" Poor guy.  What are/were your teething tricks? I've heard frozen bagels and waffles (but I can't help but think...isn't this a choking hazard?)
Gunnar sitting in his first public high chair. I was delighted he didn't really touch it...it was sticky. Now I see why mom's buy those shopping cart/high chair inserts. I'm all about exposing Gunnar to germs...but this chair was icky sticky!