Friday, December 29, 2006

Musings of a momma

I'm not sure how to put into words all the emotions I am going through, but I think it would be good for me to try. Motherhood...what a ride it has already been. All of my life, I have wanted to be a mother and here I am. It's hard to believe that I am somebody's mother: this is the thought my mom said she had when she gave birth to me; this statement is a sobering one. I don't really feel like a mother yet. Maybe that seems like a strange thing to say. Maggie will be 3 weeks old on Monday and while not much time has passed, the concept of time escapes me. My days and nights feel much longer than the 24 hours they possess. Why is that? I'm sure it's because our lifestyle has changed. I no longer can get out of the house quickly if I am craving a Starbucks Chai, I can not nap whenver I want, nor can I pick up a book and read when I get the urge. I have to work around Maggie's routine, which is fine and natural, but an adjustment to say the least. After she is changed and fed, has had some wake time where we talk/sing/read/play with her, and she goes back down for a nap, I realize that I have a 2 hour window in front of me and I wonder how best to use it. Do I shower now? Do I make breakfast? Do I clean the bathroom? Do I read my Bible? Do I make a phone call? I'm not sure how best to use my time; I'm trying to take it in stride, but it's challenging. I also realize that right now I am adjusting to this new lifesytle with Aron's help and yet, he returns to work on Tuesday. Will I be able to make it alone? Yes, I know I will, but right now each day without him here seems extremely daunting. When my parents left last week, I realized how alone we are here. When it was just us in Chicago, I didn't care so much; I knew we'd make friends and feel at home eventually. The same is still true, but seems like a greater challenge now that we have a baby. I realize how much I miss family, how strange it is not to be able to walk next door and spend some time with my sister. I miss our friends. Part of me wishes we had moved back to Orange County so we could be near some of our closest friends. Shannon and Steve would also visit more frequently, as his family still lives there, so we'd see them more often. Aron's parents are there too and his sister is up north. Yet looking back at our decision, we felt it best to make the move to Chicago. I may be questioning that some now. Deep down I know that we'll be fine, we'll get to know more people, get plugged into our church, I'll meet other mothers, and I'll learn to do the daily routine alone while Aron is at work, but right now I feel overwhelmed with the next few months. I've been in prayer throughout each day and talk with Aron openly about how I'm feeling so I guess I'm on the right track. I also have several really great friends who call me regularly to check in (thanks, sista, La, Linds, and Shel for pursuing me!). To sum up, motherhood is a huge adjustment for me, harder than I anticipated; yet, I have to have hope for what is to come--that I will adjust, that Maggie will fall into more and more of a routine, and that my new lifestyle will just become part of who I am.

Sweet girl

Here are a few shots of our sweet Mags. Aron is so good with her; it's fun to watch them together. One thing I really love is to watch her sleep. I love how her mouth opens, her head rests on your shoulder, and her little hand grasps tightly to your arm. Case in point, picture 3.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The wonder of technology

I know Maggie's 3D sonograms are old, but I wanted to put one next to a picture of her "in the flesh," so to speak. It's amazing to me how much she really does look like the 3D picture; of course, she's much cuter in person.

All smiles

We picked up dad (aka grandpa) from the airport last night, so the grandparents have both finally arrived. Dad met Maggie for the first time and was immediately smitten (how can one not be?!). :) My parents are being gracious in that they know that most of their trip will be spent indoors with us. Activities revolve around Maggie's eating and sleeping routine, which I might add, she seems to be a doing like a pro (of course, babies are anything but predicable, so we are flexible!). We seem to have it down to feedings every 3 hours, with a 4 hour stretch in the night and what's more, my body seems to be adjusting to its strange new sleep habits of two or three hour intervals (with a nap thrown in in the afternoon). Maggie is a happy baby most days. We had her first pediatrican appointment on Tuesday and she is thriving, having gained 10 ounces in one week! We are loving our little girl and enjoying watching her develop.

I think tomorrow night we'll head out to a neighboring town and see the Christmas lights. At least this way, grandma and grandpa can say they got to see some of Chicagoland.

Friday, December 22, 2006

New friends!

Our friends Shelley and Randall met Maggie on Wednesday night; it was much fun to introduce her to them. We really enjoy their company and we look forward to growing our friendship for years to come.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Maggie Grace McKay

Happy Wednesday and good tidings to all! Maggie Grace McKay says hello from Chicago. We apologize in advance for the brevity of the post but daddy duty calls. Here's the downlow:

Scheduled induction began @ 11:30 pm December 10th
Suzanne labored for 21 1/2 h0urs, but had failure to progress
A cesarean section brought our little one into this world @ 9:16 pm on December 11th

7 lbs 8 oz
19 1/2"
3 girth units (young Steve will understand)


Sunday, December 10, 2006


It's 9:30pm Sunday night--we are off to the hospital in an hour to start induction. Here is a parting posting, we'll have a new member in our family! Keep us in your prayers; thanks to all those who have already been praying and sending encouragement our way.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Aron. He's 29 today and getting the best gift of all tomorrow.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Bebe M's room

It's up and running and I wanted to post a few pics. Our CA shipment of baby goods finally arrived yesterday--what great timing. We can't paint the walls in our place; too bad. But, I do have plans for some fun and artsy wall decor with family pictures which I'll have to post once finished. The room is *very* small (like 10x10), but functional.
The framed picture of me in the crib will hang on the wall; Aron hasn't hung it yet. This is a shot my good friend Elicia (photographer extraordinaire) took of me this summer by the lake in Dallas. My grandpa made the small wooden crib in bebe's crib (not where it will permanently be); we'll use it for books or stuffed animals. My aunt used to play with it when she was little.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

I MUST dote on my husband...

...and tell you all about the most amazing gift Aron has ever surprised me with (minus the engagement ring). He told me yesterday that he is flying Shannon out to Chicago on Saturday!!! She’ll be here for the birth of the baby, or at least very close to it (but the way I’m feeling, I think Shan will be here for her actual birth; this kid is just liking it in my belly and will most likely need some prompting to come out). When he told me, I totally starting bawling and cried for like 2 minutes straight. I so didn’t expect this at all; it floored me. She’ll be here until the following Sunday, the 17th. And, another great bonus is that her visit will overlap a couple of days of mom’s! Wow, wow, wow. I’m just giddy with anticipation.

Thanks, Mel!

One of my closest friends, Melisa, made our little girl the most *gorgeous* baby quilty I have ever seen. She picked out colors and patterns that are totally "us" and the brown corduroy border finishes it off perfectly. I had to post some pics of her handiwork!

Waiting game

As I'm sure you might have guessed, bebe M has yet to make her appearance. Aron is working from home all week in case we have to head to the hospital. What a nice treat! I've been doing laundry, getting final things sorted and organized, reading, working on Christmas gifts (which I have finished and mailed on Monday), and doing some cooking. I made these yummy gingersnaps from Rachel yesterday. They pair well with a warm drink. Last night, Aron and I hit up the Abbey Pub, not far from our house, so that he could play some live music at their open mic night. He's wanted to do this since we arrived, so we took the opportunity last night after our dinner at Piece, a famous pizza joint. It was fun to see him performing 3 songs he's written in front of a crowd of about 20-30 people.

I wake up each morning and watch the Today show, so I've been following political happenings more than ever and am more up on the news than I have been in ages. It's been interesting to discuss with Aron what is going on in Iraq and to muse on what politicians and study groups are postulating as the solution to "fixing" the situation there. But, the story that is most on my heart and mind this past week is that of the Kim family. I'm sure you all know they are the family from San Franciso that disappeared in Oregon last week. The mom and two daughters were found on Monday, but the husband, James, was not with them. He had set off on foot on Saturday to find help. It's Wednesday and they still have not found him. What a gut-wrenching waiting game what would be! I cannot even imagine what the Kim's family and friends are going through at the moment. I hope this story has a happy ending.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Flat...before & after unpacking (and some decorating!)

We have finally cleaned up and organized most of our place, so I wanted to put some pics up. The bebe's room still needs a bit of organization (though it is functional), but we don't have the crib yet (should arrive from CA next week), so I'll wait to post. I so love decorating for Christmas! The holidays are so warm, inviting, and bring back memories from my childhood. It'll be fun to create new ones with our little one.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Old Man Winter...

...arrived last night, dumping about 6 inches of snow, and it's continuing to fall; I love it! Cheers to our first snow in Chicago.

The first shot is a view of across the street and the second is a backyard view from our balcony .

Feeling ready!!

I had to post another shot of my belly because well, I'm huge--to me, my stomach is enormous in comparision to the shot I posted two weeks ago (week 37, see below). And although I may be smiling in this new picture, these last two weeks I have been the most uncomfortable yet and not really smiling a whole lot. Pregnancy overall has been so much fun and so easy; I feel truly blessed. So, please don't think I am complaining; I'm just at that stage where I cannot imagine being pregnant any longer, yet I continue to expand, my feet are starting to swell, as are my fingers...sigh. I'm just feeling like a big blob and ready to meet my daughter! Alas, there have been no signs that she is coming anytime soon. If she doesn't arrive by December 11, they'll induce that morning. At least the end is in sight, but still, I can't imagine being pregnant for 11 more days.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Almost parents

Aron and I in Oz Park after breakfast this morning--we are counting down the days to bebe M's due date now--Dec. 2 is fast approaching. However, given that only 5% of babies arrive on their due date, we aren't holding our breath for the 2nd (though it would be nice!)

Great shots by Matt

Matt and Rachel walked around downtown for several hours on Saturday while Aron and I attended a class at the hospital. These are some of the creative shots Matt took of downtown and I just had to post some.

Throngs of people shopping on Michigan Ave (would you want to shop in this crowd?!).

Happy Thanksgiving

For the holiday weekend, we have company here from Dallas, our good friends Matt and Rachel. They flew in on Friday morning and we headed for Whole Foods where we bought food for our planned Thanksgiving meal that night. We spent the better part of the day cooking. Shel and Randall (on the right) joined us (and brought a bounty of food themselves) and here we all are (minus my hubby who is taking the picture), albeit candidly, enjoying our feast.
Our menu consisted of:

Ramaki (water chestnuts wrapped in bacon)
Spiced pecans
Holiday salad
Turkey and gravy
Cornbread dressing
Homemade cranberry sauce
Angel biscuits (Shel's famous recipe--delish!)
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potato casserole
Green beans with gouda and bacon
Chocolate pecan pie
Pumpkin chiffon pie
Christmas chex
Homemade ginger snaps

We stuffed ourselves silly and have continued to eat leftovers for the days following. It was much fun to host our first guests over a spectacular spread. Good times had by all.

The rest of this weekend has been filled with just hanging out with Matt and Rachel. We went and saw a movie last night, today we went to eat at a fantastic breakfast spot called Toast (if you come and visit, we'll be going there), and later went to Grace Chicago Church (Shel & Randall's church). The afternoon has been filled with hours of playing Rook (a fun and addictive card game) and a trip to Oberwiess for the best ice cream around. We are now settled in for the night and watching the Bears vs. Patriots game.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New belly shot

Taken tonight, a few days into week 37...less than

3 weeks until bebe M's due date! Of course, she could come any time, but we are hoping she'll arrive sooner than later. A few reflections at this point:

*My appetite has increased more in the last 3 weeks than in the entire pregnancy. I have especially been craving baked goods. Yum!

*Tops are not fitting as well, so note the layering tank. Hands down, it is the single best investment in maternity clothes I have made. It's from Gap Maternity, oh-so-soft-and-comfy, and I recommend all pregnant mothers invest in one (I have worn it every day for 3 weeks; I feel no shame in admitting that; I do laundry). I refuse to buy new clothes at this point.

*Sleep is growing more and more uncomfortable; I wake up at least 5 times each night.

*We had an ultrasound with our new OB last Tuesday and the bebe still looks fantastic. The technician even pointed out several dots on her head and said, "She has some hair!" How cool is that?!

*My urge to nest had grown exponentially; I like the smell of cleaning products. Aron cleared out the baby room and while we wait for the furniture to arrive from California (hopefully, Thanksgiving week), we have the Pack N Play set up, so if she arrives early, she'll have a bed. We are ordering a dresser this week.

*Lastly, Aron says I am more "gooey." This is our word for when one of us is happy, giddy, sappy, cuddley, you name it.

Monday, November 6, 2006

View from our downtown apartment

This is our view when we were residing in downtown. It was lovely!! Now, I just need to get some new pics of our flat, all organized and such, which it isn't...yet. We hope to have it all done by this coming weekend. We are adjusting to life in Chi-town. The most important aspect will be finding a new church and close knit community of friends. We are still on the search, but hope to chose a home church in the coming weeks.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Weekend update

The movers arrived before noon on Friday and had finished unpacking the truck by 6pm. We have a TON of stuff, I can’t even tell you. Aron walked in yesterday as we were unpacking and said in a rather irritated voice, “You have 12 childhood boxes, and I have 1.” I began to feverishly clean out and throw away, but it was very good overall. I really do clean out a lot, I so love it, but at this point, with our storage so limited, I cleaned out even more thoroughly. Aron set up our bed, I cleaned and semi-organized the bathroom, we unpacked and began putting kitchen stuff away, Aron moved and unpacked tons of other items; he’s an animal, seriously. I feel so blessed. He even helped the movers move our stuff; one guy was like, "You are the first customer to ever help us unload.” The flat is coming along nicely; we hope to move in tomorrow night or by Tuesday for sure.

We closed on the house on Friday. It’s done and no longer ours. VERY huge relief. It was an incredibly easy selling process; we feel so fortunate, truly.

Today, we took an all-day birthing class at Northwestern, the hospital we will deliver at. It’s about ½ a mile from our apartment downtown, so we just walked there and back. It was lovely today, in the mid-50s. We learned some helpful and insightful details, got to tour the hospital, etc. It was well worth the time and money and I feel better about the impending labor.

I had my first OB appointment on Friday with Shelley’s OB. She is a great lady, I really liked her. I start to see her every week now and she says everything looks great.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Week 1

I have adventured out the past two days and I am slowly learning my way around. I went to Trader Joe's and got a few items, then to the local grocerry store for the rest of my list. I found some fun streets with some great shopping, of which I hope to return to this weekend with Aron and get a few things for bebe M. After 3 trips from the garage, up the elevator, and into our apartment to unload grocerries, I decided that I will wait for Aron's help in the future.

Today, I drove Aron to work, then walked from the apartment to Michigan Ave. I spent some time in Borders, bought a few books to read (though it pains me to pay full price; I'm a lover of the discount book stores!), and popped in a few other shops. I found a cute beanie for the baby from Baby Gap. It'll be so fun to dress her in warm clothes!

Aron called me later this afternoon to say there is a VERY good chance we may get all our furniture this weekend; how cool is that!!? I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mindless fun

Or, with all my spare time, I could play this game for hours...

What is YOUR high score?


How long to you have to be a resident to call a city by its nickname? I don't want to seem like a poser, but we have been calling Chicago this for several weeks now. Any insight?

After Patti graciously drove us to the airport on Friday night, we checked our bags and boarded our plane. Aron attempted to carry-on his Taylor guitar, but because it was a full flight, the flight attendant made him check it, much to his dismay. Fortunately, the guitar seems unharmed by its 2 hour flight in the cargo hold. We picked up our rental car and headed to our furnished apartment in downtown (all thanks to James Hardie). Aron's company is so amazing. Because our household items may not arrive until the second week of November, they have put us up in this apartment until we can comfortably live in our flat. Aron flies back to Dallas on Wednesday to oversee the movers packing up our stuff and will return Thursday morning.

We have sold most of the furniture we hoped to sell which is a huge blessing. And another blessing is that Hardie is going to pay for the shipment of all the baby items (crib, glider, car seat, tons of clothes, toys, etc) Aron's mother has been saving for our orginal arrival to OC. We couldn't be more pleased.

Today, Sunday, was the famous Chicago marathon; we actually got to see part of the race in person on our walk to church. The weather is about 40 degrees, so we bundled up and walked the mile to Grace Chicago (a Presbyterian congregation), Shel and Randall's church. We enjoyed the casual atmosphere, liturgy, music, and message of the morning. This church community is fairly small, but has many young people and several young families (with 3 expecting babies in the next 4 months). This excites us. We have a few other places we want to check out, but overall, we dug our experience at GC.

Aron begins his work week tomorrow and I, well, I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with my time over the next 2-3 weeks. It's a bit frustrating to think about the impending birth of bebe M (less than 6 weeks to go) and not being able to get into our place and get it organized and ready. I have books to read, knitting to do, and places to explore, but that's about it. I think it's all going to get pretty old, pretty fast. But, I'm trying to be optimistic and just be patient with what God wants to teach me at this time.

Pictures: This is the view of the city from our 5th story apartment (ok, well, the pics aren't uploading for some reason, so I'll have to try again later...)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bugs I will not miss

In Texas, we have our fair share of awful insects: fire ants and spiders, big and small (especially the barn spider, 3 inches in diameter, though not pictured here). I will not miss these creatures once we move to Chicago, though, yes there will be new ones. Here is a spider in a more peaceful moment outside our home.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Shopping for Bebe M

Here is one of the pairs of Baby Legs we bought bebe M; the other pair is pink and brown stripped (Patti, aren't you so excited!?). And, here are the shoes that Aron had to have for her. It was all his idea to put them on this large Annie doll I have...I about died laughing when he brought it in!