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Do All The Things (Daddy Vacation + Bday Party Catch Up 2/17)

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While Daddy is off work, we do all the things! We have had a very busy week and very exciting weekend!

Last time we chatted, Emmie was a newly minted birthday girl! I feel like that was forever ago…

Catch Up 2/17

We’ve had a busy run of it in the time since we last chatted, and that is largely due to Alex being off of work this past week, meaning that we can #doallthethings and I can foist off many of my daily duties on him (to the approval of all, including Emmie).

Don’t worry, I still Mom-ed

1). Cultural Exploration

During the week itself, we hit the museums pretty hard–I think that Emmie is going to be might bored from here on out with little old me.

We took Em to the Field Museum on Tuesday to see the dinosaurs, among other things, and we were probably the 10th people in the door!

That meant that Emmie could pretty much do and see whatever she wanted! Emmie loved the taxidermy cases (although, I have to say, they were pretty dusty and looked kind of like an afterthought? Museum of Natural History in NYC is way better and airier. I was kind of disappointed in that) because she loves animals, and this way they can’t move away from her or not be out, like at the zoo.

She had fun in the dino area, mostly pressing buttons throughout the exhibit, which goes through the span of life on Earth, and going around corners and saying “oooOOOOOOHHHH!” like she was #soimpressed. She liked the actual dinosaurs as well, and it was the first time I’ve really seen her take stock of her size next to something else and compare. She knew that they were “dinosers” as she says, and she has dino stickers and a stuffed dino, but I still don’t think she put that part together, but she really did understand that those were HUGE animals.

We also took her into the kid PlayLab, which is a super cool area of discovery for kids. She really like the percussion room, even though there was a little boy in there trying to take the drums over from her.

We ate lunch there, and even with lunch being a little overpriced, the fact that the museum is free for Illinois residents this month and that we got a street parking spot not too far away mean that the entire trip totaled $40 instead of well over $100. And it was pretty empty until the end of our time there!

Alex took Emmie back to the Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview on Thursday while I had some me time (I will come back to my activities in a mo), and according to him, she carried on in Emmie fashion and basically shopped at the mini Whole Foods the entire time.

Friday, my family was in town (they got in Thursday night from various places), and we went to the Art Institute to see the Impressionists while Mom, Emmie and I played in the kid’s art studio (ps this is free to the public without a museum pass).

Emmie mostly read books and we colored until she seemed pretty over it. We walked back over and met the boys and then came back home for lunch.

Saturday morning, she went to the Nature Museum with Alex before we had brunch! So girl got around!

2). Fitness Exploration

I took Emmie to Strides x2 this week because I wanted my workout as well as it is good for her and me to see friends. Also Alex needed to get a few things done because apparently he also works. Loser.

But the reeeeaallly fun bits for me came Thursday morning and Sunday when I got to take spin classes at Studio Three! I originally had planned to go with Alex to Kohl’s museum, but then all of a sudden, I thought about the fact that this would be my one chance to take a fitness class, and I seized the opportunity!

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Thank you, @studiothreechi for reminding this former marathon-running, personal training mama that she can do hard things. . . Real talk moment: since my (last) stress fracture and in combination with the weight that I gained thanks to forced complete rest and steroids, I have felt a bit washed up. I've been trying to accept and love my body because it has been through so much and, yes, a little weight on it wouldn't hurt. But the inability to run, do high impact activities, or really PUSH myself has been hard on me, particularly mentally. I was so strong and fit for so long that feeling "soft" and incapable has been a real mindf***. . . Alex took Emmie on an adventure yesterday, and I took the chance to go do something that former me used to love and current me has been yearning for: a spin class. Spin is lower impact so I am cleared for it. I was definitely a little nervous that I couldn't keep up–daily walks are great but not the same! But I surprised myself and hung in there, and I felt exhilarated after and loved the work during. I would love to keep doing it, but IVF and Emmie not being a fan of daycare means that I will be waiting. And that is ok! All things in good time. . . BTW @Fit4Mom has been and is a great gift to me. I push myself when I can and listen to my body to protect it. And yes, there is a fantastic Body Back program that I would LOVE to do, but the higher impact moves as well as scheduling preclude me from doing it. I couldn't function without my Stroller Strides workouts and my social time there! . . My forever Valentines are my family, but today I am sending love to everyone who is in a "new phase" of their life and having a little (or large) struggle with it. As in all things love, be patient and kind, forgiving but ask for want you need. #valentinesday #loveyourshape #loveyourself #strongerthanyouthink

A post shared by Susie @ Suzlyfe (@the_suzlyfe) on

GURL. It was amazing. The caption says it all, if you are interested, and if you aren’t, well that is cool, I guess.

But after spending the past 6-9+ months feeling majorly washed up, I finally felt like a fighter again. So much so that when we moved our schedule around on Sunday, I took advantage again.

I have to say that I was proud of myself for going and pushing the right amount for my body but also pushing hard enough to show myself that I am not useless and still have some of “it.” I LOVE Fit4Mom, but sometimes you need to shake it up and test yourself. It will be my last real taste of legit hard work for a while (we start IVF in a week!), and I am so appreciative that Alex was there to support me and give me that opportunity.

In other self care news, I went to the dentist for a cleaning and got a clear bill of health! This is honestly exciting, because I was expecting to need a filling for a cavity that we have been watching for years now. Funny story, I remembered about the appointment every day until the day of, and then Alex reminded me 5 minutes before I was due to be there… oops. Luckily, dentists generally run late, so I was ok.

I also went to see my psychiatrist this week. I haven’t seen her herself since last May, right before my MRI (she was on maternity leave when I went in late last summer). I am going back in May, if not before. I’ll just say that I am really glad I went. I had planned to talk about some other things, but of course we went in a different direction, and it reminded me why therapy and having an objective sounding board is so important.

3). Social and Culinary Exploration

We were pretty socialable this week!

Eating fairly hot salsa!

We had a Tarascas and baby date with friends on Saturday, Valentines + Swim + Dinner with Ali, Ryan and Justin on Sunday.

Last weekend, we were part of a Valentine’s party that was awesome and also insanely chaotic, so much so that Emmie pulled an #Emmie and just decided that the safest course of action was to locate herself inside a toy bin and play by herself.

She is 100% my child. I totally would have and would still do this.

Then I cooked for us Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday and my broth got into Chicago in perfect time for dinner on Thursday! We had Del Seoul, which I was long overdue for, and Emmie actually did pretty well with him!

Emmie with her new purse!

So really quickly, remember how Emmie decided that she was terrified of my brother at Thanksgiving? And then she did a little better while we were in Atlanta? She was still relatively quiet around him, but I picked out a little purse with credit cards etc for him to give her as a birthday present, and she ADORED it and is so happy with it. By the end of the weekend, she would even sit next to him on the couch and interact (shyly) with him, but progress!

Friday we ate really well–we had Frances for lunch (I’m sorry, but I miss the old version of Frances. The food was just better. Still, we had a great time). Friday night (Valentine’s Day), we celebrated my brother’s birthday, which was actually Saturday, but with the girls’ party on Saturday, I wanted to make sure that he had his own personal party time. We went to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba for amazing tapas and sangria, but we saved room for dessert in the form of champagne and chocolate cake. Happy 35th Birthday, Chris!

Saturday was another yummy day for most of us, but Emmie’s tummy got upset Friday night from all the rich food (we will come back to this). We met up at Yolk for brunch and then I made beans + picked up Tarascas catering for Emmie and Ryan’s joint birthday party. We ended up over ordering, so we had leftovers for Sunday funday, plenty of chicken for Alex’s entire week of lunches, and still enough chicken for a FULL massive slow cooker’s worth of Mexican chicken soup for the freezer! We had cookie cake at the party and a final serving of chocolate cake alongside some really superb red wine when we got home.

4). Celebration Exploration

With Emmie and Ryan being separated by 5 weeks + besties + us having all the same friends, we decided last fall that we would do a joint birthday party so that we didn’t have to cut corners or have the same party twice. Plus, they are the Wonder Twins and we often do Taco Tuesday, so why not a Taco Two-sday? We had about 20 kids and their appropriate adults plus family members, and a true taco fiesta (well, as much as gringos can manage). Sadly, we did not also have margs, but what can you. Next time.

Emmie was still feeling a bit puny (as we later realized) and also a bit overwhelmed by everything, but by the end she had warmed up and was having a grand time. Ryan was, of course, having a ball. They are true yin and yang. It was a fabulous party (if I do say so) and it FLEW by. I can’t believe it is over! Major props to my partner in crime for everything she did to bring the party to life!

But not every party is perfect, right? At the party, the only issues we actually had was running out of plates and probably needing more seating. And having too much food, but rather that than the opposite.

BODILY FLUIDS TRIGGER WARNING We had some liquid issues after the party in the form of chicken juices going all over my car (thank goodness for the cargo liner mats) and my poor child vomiting when she came inside. She wanted to play on the steps downstairs, so I sent Alex up with the stuff. All of the sudden, she looked at me with a weird look on her face and mint green (thank you, green cookie cake icing) came out of her mouth! She looked so confused, and then it happened again! (luckily, not much came out). I went up to her, and she puked AGAIN! It got on her coat and a bit on her shoes and my hands, and all I could think was… what do I do? Alex’s phone wouldn’t connect even though he was upstairs, so I finally called my mom, who happened to be walking into the building at that every moment! So I left her with the puke, got my brother and dad to help me carry what I had upstairs while I took the child. She obviously got whatever it was that didn’t agree with her out–she instantly looked better and played like a weight had been lifted! After a hard sleep, she woke up Sunday morning ready to eat. But that plus all the chicken juice mean a lot of clean up….

Ooooooohhhh Lemmer Zoo.

We skipped swim Sunday morning just in case and also because Alex needed a lazier start to the day. It worked out because Emmie just wanted to play at home and I got my spin class!

This week, Alex is back to work but on a much different schedule. I have Remicade, and then next week sh** gets REAL and I start IVF!

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