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I Love My Walks

I love winter walks. Less people in the park, no softball games, no soccer or football practice, no little league boys peeing everywhere.

I love winter.


Canyon’s First Trip To The Art Institute

Over dinner on Friday night Lisa, Melissa, Canyon and I made plans to check out the The Art Institute of Chicago today. The museum has free admission during the month of February and we wanted to make sure to take advantage of it.

Canyon and some Jackson Pollack…

Canyon was quite a hit with the security guards. One of the ladies said she would rather look at Canyon all day than the art!

Canyon and Edward Hopper…

Me and Canyon with Grant Wood…

Lisa and Melissa eventually had to go back to work but Canyon and were hanging out until John was finished with his appointments and could come pick us up.

The Art Institute is a huge maze and it’s even more challenging when you have a stroller and can’t take the stairs. We are now familiar with every elevator in the darn building. To see the Folk Art section we had to have a security guard walk over, let us in the wheel chair lift, lower us down just so we could spend 2 minutes looking at the tiny display before making her come back and do it all over again. If I knew the room was so small I never would have made her go through all that work!

Me and Canyon in one of the many elevators we travelled in today…

Congrats to Canyon for being his amazing, delightful self for the four hours we wondered around the museum. We had a lunch break in the cafeteria but mainly we just wheeled around. At the end of our visit we found the really cool family room which I wish I had known about a few hours earlier. It has books and crawling space and pillows, etc. That would have been a fun break. Next time!


Canyon’s First Birthday!

Canyon woke us up at 3:50am-which was kind of cool since that gave us the opportunity to ring in his actual birthday at 4:06am. I gave him kisses and sang happy birthday. Then I handed him off to John and went back to sleep!

His birthday party is next Sunday so today was just a mellow birthday with the family. We started off with his first gift-the dragon ball pit.

Crazy fun and crazy clean up chasing the balls down to zip them back up!

After his nap he got his next present the Bounce and Spin Zebra (thanks Sue!)

When he went down for another nap we watched his birth video for the first time. I was always too nervous to watch it because it was so stressful-him being just over 28 weeks. Now that we hit the first year and all is well I felt good about seeing it. My favorite quote was, “Go into the light Canyon, Mommy’s in the light!” I also say the f-word a lot. It was kind of scary because you can see that while I am being funny I am totally freaked out.

I was disappointed that you couldn’t see my piece of Lake Superior drift wood that I was clutching in my left hand. They tried to take it away from me but the nurse knew me and explained that it meant a lot so they let me keep it. John had my right hand and Lake Superior my left. I was well supported.

The last shot on the video is a quick one of Canyon. He is so small and so medically supported that it still made me sob uncontrollably. 2lbs 12.8oz. Here is the link to my post announcing his birth.

And after his next nap it was time for cake!

Here’s the Johnny Depp quote I used on his birthday party invite-

“‘When kids hit 1 year old, it’s like hanging out with a miniature drunk. You have to hold onto them. They bump into things. They laugh and cry. They urinate. They vomit.’


My Winter Olympics

Lilo, Canyon and I went for a long walk on Friday. Thanks to Erin for the kickass stroller that can handle all kinds of terrain. Too bad I didn’t think to check the tires before I got out in the middle of a no turning back zone. If this was the olympics I would have medaled in “Pushing a baby through mud, snow and sand with a flat tire”. It was quite a work out!

I thought this art display was a little weird until I read about it…


Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat

Such a perfect day to be outside in Chicago. Sunshine sunshine sunshine. Did I mention the sunshine?

Normally my walks are leisurely strolls spent taking pictures and throwing the ball for Lilo but I have been upping my exercise game lately and putting a bit more speed and distance on my walks. Today we headed down our normal Recreation Drive path and then veered off down the trail along Lake Shore Drive. Our added mileage was rewarded with a cute little park set up near Belmont.

The whole time he played on these boat things I kept singing, “You’re on a boat, a boat, a mutherf*ckin boat!”


Lessons from Geese

Today we saw a lot of geese hanging out down by the lake and I was reminded of this piece-

“Lessons From Geese” by Milton Olson adapted by Angeles Arrien

Fact 1

As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.


People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Fact 2

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.


If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

Fact 3

When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.


It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.

Fact 4

The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.


We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5

When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.


If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

Here’s the video version that I saw at a work team building event a few years ago. The music is awful!


Today I Left The House!

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I haven’t left the house since Wednesday’s walk around the block.

Today I felt well enough to escape with Lilo for a walk in the park. It was good.

It started to snow and I felt refreshed. A little elemental healing was just what I needed.


February 10 Brought Snow…and Flu

We woke up last Wednesday and went outside to play in the snow before the neighbors ruined it by shoveling and tossing down salt.


Canyon’s first snow angel…

Notice how healthy we all look…

That was around 11:30am. By 4pm the rotavirus, stomach flu, whatever it was/is totally moved in and attempted to kill us all, even Lilo. It was horrible. I want to give details because they are funny. But they are also disgusting. So disgusting.

It’s still hanging on with Canyon and keeps reinfecting the rest of us. It’s gross around here. And it just won’t go away.

Demonic Devil Plague I Rebuke You! You Are Not Welcome Here! Be Gone!