Archive for January, 2016

Zev – 3 months

Zevin!  You are amazing at 3 months.  He is finally waking up to the world and becoming more alive.  He loves when you smile at him and loves to smile back. He loves tickles on his tummy, especially any skin on skin contact. He is constantly moving his arms and legs.  Hes starting to figure out if he kicks on his play mat – things will move!  And hes figuring out how to get his hands to his mouth which is good and bad – we are trying to avoid him becoming a thumb sucker, but that might be his path.  He loves when people talk to him and makes adorable little cooing noises back.


Its a miracle hes surviving his siblings though.  They love him a little too much and want to ‘help’ a bit more than needed.  If he is crying and wont take his ninny they just cover his mouth to ‘help him’ stop crying.  Yikes. I’m finding it hard to leave him in a room with the other two kids while trying to get something done in the kitchen because I’m nervous they will be all over him.  So now Zev has to be next to me at all times, so I can protect him. He loves watching everyone around him though. Especially Wil.  Wilek will sit and ‘talk’ to him in goo-goo’s and ga-ga’s or will ask that I set Zev up in his bouncer while he builds towers or plays other games and ‘teaches’ him how to do it along the way.  Its truly adorable.



We’re still working on sleeping for longer stretches.  He will sleep for 6+ hours – as long as someone is there to put his pacifier in every few hours when it falls out – so we’re still not getting good sleep – even if hes only eating 1 or 2 times a night.  But hes been good about handling nursing or a pumped bottle or formula – so I’m thankful hes not picky about eating and gives me a break from time to time.  Phil and I even left him over night with our parents for a night since we knew he could handle the bottle just fine for one night.  It was a much needed night off 🙂 (We also joke that it was over a year before Phil and I left Wil for a night, but by the 3rd kid, we weren’t so worried and got out of town at 11 weeks!)


One thing I am truly grateful for is — I am finally a baby person.  After 2 kids and preaching how terrible infants are —   I LOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooove Zevin at this stage and never want him to grow up…. ever.  I remember talking to my friend Laurel after her daughter was born, who she knew would be her last, and how she cataloged every milestone so much closer than her previous child since she knew this was her ‘baby’ and her last chance to experience it all, and I completely feel it now.  I love every little noise he makes and every little sneeze and every little leg roll.  Hes a perfect baby.  I’m not wishing it away this time.  I’m treasuring it.


He has never enjoyed being swaddled, but sleeps best when being cuddled or in extra layers so hes nice and warm.  He’s just starting a phase where he wants to be held all the time (perhaps for protection?!).  But I dont mind 🙂 Hes still in our room (as Evie is reluctant to give up the crib).  I can only fight so many battles at a time – so he might be in with us until we move to the new house and get the crib out of Evie’s room.


His stats at 2 months were 13.5 lbs (70%) and 24 inches (75%). Hes gaining weight like a champ and starting to look more baby-like instead of alien/newborn-like.  I cant tell who he looks like though.  Maybe somewhere in the middle of Wil and Evie? Maybe some long lost relative?  I guess we’ll see.  He looks exactly like I’d expect our child to look though. He looks very familiar to me.


Here are some growth pictures over the first 12 weeks:


Zev – 1 week


Zev – 10 days


Zev – 2 weeks


Zev – 3.5 weeks


Zev – 6 weeks


Zev – 8.5 weeks



Zev – 11.5 weeks

Here is the 8th week photo in the same outfit and Lion, compared to Wil and Evie (But Zev’s was closer to 9 weeks)


Zev 8.5 weeks



Evie 8 weeks


Wil 8 weeks

Of course Zev’s photo shoots are a bit more exciting than Wil’s ever were.  Many more people to get in on the action.  I love this crazy family!





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Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year!!  We are wrapping up the holidays around here and gearing up for 2016.  Lets take a look back at 2015..

Jan: The calm before the storm.  We were fresh off of a mexican vacation and just starting to talk more seriously about having baby #3 and moving back to the midwest.


Feb: Started to move forward on big life plans.  Had an awesome birthday / date night / last hoorah where I ominously said ‘I bet we wont do anything like again for a long time” Boy was I right!



March: Confirmed I was pregnant! And Phil was flying to Motorola for a second interview!


April: Phil got his job offer and we were putting in our notices at work and looking for rental houses.


May: Moved from Baltimore and lived in Btown for four weeks


June: Phil started the new job and came to btown on the weekends.  Finally moved into rental at end of the month.


July: Found out we were having a boy! Worked on finding doctors, schools, vet, etc.


August: School started and finally started to feel a bit more settled


September: ‘Babymoon’ to cleveland, starting to gear up for baby #3

2015-09-26 19.01.39

October: Mostly huge and miserable. Waiting for baby to arrive.


Until finally:


November: Postpartum craziness with lots of visitors.


December:  Holy shit we have 3 kids.



2015 was such a crazy and insane year – I cant believe how much our life has changed since last January, but we are working really hard on creating the life we want and we are so close I can taste it.  I am really excited for 2016.  The year where we buy a house.  The year where all our kids sleep through the night.  The year I have my body back to myself (and I run a sub-50 5-miler?).  They are not lofty goals, but they will take a lot of work.  I’m not expecting 2016 to be easy.  Phil and I actually prepared ourselves that it might be the worst hardest year of our lives with 3 kids so young – but I feel like we are headed in the right direction – and I’m strangely hopeful that things will be pretty great.

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Bloomington was so so so wonderful.  There are so many people around to help!! And boy did I take advantage.  I got a massage, went to a yoga class, ran, and went out with friends multiple times. But I finally feel a little bit human again.  I had been in ‘mom’ mode so much lately, that i kind of lost ‘amy’ for awhile — I was feeling like a shell of a person.  I had completely lost my sense of humor.  I lacked the ability to detect sarcasm —  seriously — i would just stare blankly at people not getting the joke.  But in bloomington, Char took the big kids for 3 nights, and my parents would watch Zevin, allowing me to stay out with adults and sleep-in in the morning, and I think i’ve found myself a little bit.  I just need to hang on to this version of amy for as long as i can.  Or, I just need to find a better balance  – find a version of myself that is a more attainable hybrid version of amy/mom so i dont feel like jekyll and hyde all the time. i think thats why i’ve been hanging on to work so much, since its a true version of myself that isnt tainted by kids/family/life.  So even in the craziness of life the last 8 weeks  – when works pops up – I prioritize it.  And even if the deadlines are stressful, it feels good to be ‘amy’ while I’m working.



sorry if this blog has been all about me, by the way, i think I am echoing a few of phil’s sentiments.  he at least is able to spend some time with adults each day, but it cant be easy to work 40 hours a week and then come home and be ‘on’ the second he walks in the door.  somehow he seems to be handling it wonderfully, and I appreciate his help, attitude, support, love and encouragement so much.



Anyway- back to bloomington – it was great. Celia came over and met Zev, we saw BJ and Macey at Lennies, Phil went to Camp with Loren, and we did trivia with Andrew and Jessie and friends, where Jimi made a surprise appearance (and Phil ended up playing with chainsaws and campfires until 4 in the morning!).  We also did plenty of fun family things.  We made it to ‘The Cabin” with the Wozniak friends. Phil and I took Wil and Evie to Wonderlab one afternoon.  We went to Christmas Eve mass followed by the wozniak polish ‘wigilia’ dinner, and then game night at the Watkins.  We had a great Christmas morning with my brothers’ families’ (and got to snuggle with baby Cole!)  It was truly wonderful. Everyone was happy and relaxed all week.  At the wozniak wigilia dinner, we go around the table and everyone wishes each other a specific thing for the upcoming year and wil wished for me to ‘not be so mad all the time’. It was sad but sweet.  But that is my goal!  I’m aiming to be a happier, more relaxed parent in the coming year. Christmas vacation was a big step in that direction.



So thanks to everyone again who went out of their way to help us, visit us, gives us gifts, etc.  We had a great week.  Ive been thanking a lot of people recently, just like thanksgiving — which is a great thing to do, obviously, but — lets just say – no one is thanking me these days, haha. [Except!! I did get a very nice gift basket from work for my efforts on the recent manuscripts we submitted.  That was very unexpected and appreciated.] I mean, our parents are wonderful in ‘thanking us’ for coming to bloomington for the holidays – but really – they did all the work and watched all our kids.  Someday I would truly like to do something for someone else again. Hoping by next year we can start giving back.



Here are some more pics of our awesome week:


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The holiday season was such a whirlwind! I cant believe I am writing this in January already.  We kicked things off on thanksgiving here in Chicago and kept things very low-key.  I think I am a decent home cook, but somehow ruined the turkey – so we had mostly sides.  I made my first batch of Christmas bark, which also didnt turn out that great, but I perfected my technique in the coming weeks (I have found the bark turns out better the soberer you are…. go figure…).




Em was here right after thanksgiving which was a huge help. (And we had an amazing surprise brunch with her and all the wozniaks aunt/uncles when she arrived!) We looooooved having her here. Everything is easier with another set of hands — Or I basically asked her to keep Evie the hell away from me, thus making life 1000x easier, so she was on Evie duty the entire time. She was the first guest to arrive since potty training Evie, too, so that was extra helpful!  Also, Em is such a good sister/friend, and we just like having her around 🙂 So it was a really really great week. I wish she lived with us always. She started the holidays off right with some Christmas cookies:





[Quick aside from holiday events: Evie is doing great with potty training!!  We used M&Ms to help reinforce the idea of going, as we did with Wil, but with Wil – as soon as things started becoming habit – he kind of forgot about the M&Ms.  But Evie hasnt forgotten!  we are like 6 weeks in and after every pee shes asking for ‘LOTS OF NEMNEMS!!’  i dont know how we will break it, but shes doing great, so thats what important to us right now.]


Life is still crazy around here but we tried to celebrate the holidays the best we could.   The hierarchy of needs in this house tends to be: bodily fluids, food, sleep, (but then you could also add in the complexity of whos need it is.  Evie trumps anyone these days, then Zev…anyway)  ….all the way down on the list was anything christmas related –   but I think we did ok! I mean — everything was kind of a disaster, but the kids were happy so thats all that matters.  The tree turned out alright:




Our outside decorations were kind of a mess. I bought minimal lights to meet the kids idea of ‘christmas lights’ outside, and thought we would just do a  simple frame around the garage, but Phil pulled an audible and used as much of the lights as possible – forgoing any symmetry or rationalization in my brain, which drove me crazy –  But the kids loved them.   c’est la vie. We also went to the big Arlington Heights lights display which the kids had a blast at.






When we went to see Santa — we dressed Wil up in a collared shirt and Evie in a new dress.  We clearly dont dress our kids up enough because Wil kept referring to himself as a ‘doctor’ and Evie as a ‘princess’ just because we put them in nice clothes for the first time in….a year?  We went to the ‘free’ santa up in barrington (dont have to pay for pictures or anything) and heard you get what you pay for, but he turned out to be a very decent looking santa! But we didnt get a clear pictures of the kids, go figure.






Wil and Evie both had christmas parties at school.  Wil’s class even did a whole Program with like 5 songs! (That seems like a lot for a bunch of 4 year olds?) His teachers asked that I come up and sit with them at the front of the church, in front of Wil so that I could help keep him focused during the show, so I had a great seat 😉 And it went great!!  We are really proud of him.





If you have an extra 3 minutes of your life you should watch this whole thing.  I love this guy:



Heres the rest of the pictures from December in Chicago.  We spent a lot of time at Barrington library – or at playgrounds in the 4-oclock twilight hour:


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Next – We’re off to bloomington!!


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