29 June 2011

*wordless-ish wednesday*

i can't stop taking pictures of sleeping-ruby. 
she's the absolute sweetest.
love my sunshine girl.

27 June 2011

hide yo burgers!

...because the hamburglars on the loose!! :)
best $5 ever spent on an outfit? yeah, i think so too.

26 June 2011

lyrics i love v. 3

i can't say enough about michael franti.   i admire the way he lives his life and the positive energy he sends out into the world.  we need more of that.  and his last album, "sound of sunshine" was a real support to me during the rough times of my pregnancy with ruby.  there were days that i felt nothing like the "me" that i remembered and was afraid i never would again.  during those times, i'd hear this song (or any other song on this album, for that matter) and it would help get me through to the next minute, the next hour, the next day.  and to me that's what great, worthy music is.  it acts as a comforting friend.  this isn't the usual, upbeat version of this song, but the acoustic version of it makes it easy to hear and understand the lyrics. here are my favorite parts...

from the tops of the buildings to the streets below
from the wall street banks to the empty homes
between the lines of the people standing all in a row
there’s a crack in the gutter where a flower grows
reminding me that everything is possible
yeah reminding me that nothing is impossible
you gotta live for the one that you love you know
you gotta love for the life that you live you know

singin’ hey, hey, hey no matter how life is today
there’s just one thing that i got to say
i won’t let another moment slip away
i say hey, hey, hey no matter how life is today
there’s just one thing that I got to say
i won’t let another moment slip away
don’t let nobody ever tell you that it couldn’t be done
don’t let nobody ever tell you that we couldn’t be one
don’t let nobody ever tell you that it shouldn’t be sung
don’t let nobody ever tell you you’re the only one

24 June 2011

flashback friday

this picture was taken almost exactly a year ago. and without going into any innapropriate details, it was also almost exactly a year ago that i became pregnant with ruby.  i didn't know until a couple weeks later, of course.  not until well after this day - which included numerous beers as we celebrated a friend's upcoming wedding.   not until after T & i moved the first of our stuff into the one bedroom apartment we recently signed the lease on.  and not until after i interviewed for a supervisory position, telling my bosses that i was "at a point in my life where i can make my career a priority."  oh, the irony. 

i am getting together with many of these lovely ladies tomorrow evening. and this time at the end of the night, i'll be coming home to T and ruby.  so there won't be numerous beers drank tomorrow.  and T & i are currently completing a rental application for a two bedroom townhouse in a quieter neighborhood.  and my career?  well, i enjoy my job and i do it well. but my top priority now? that would be these two... 

 ...and i wouldn't want it any other way.

20 June 2011

fun week{end}ly pics v. 3

last week flew by (hence the lack of posts) but last weekend was a really great time! here's a recap in iPhone pics...

ruby & i started saturday morning off with a photo shoot. after i gave her a faux-hawk. and surprsingly, she was lovin' it. lately when i whip out the camera, she drops the smile pronto and i end up stealing pictures of her when she least expects it. :)

we headed down to "summer solstice", a local block party each year on, yup, you guessed it - the summer solstice. my friend, lisa, came with us and it ended up being a really great day. here was ruby, chillin' out in the stroller. (notice the big-toe-thumbs-up. ha!)

the fascination with her fingers continues. it is ridiculous how cute it think it is. she doesn't have to do much to impress me. :)

lisa & i enjoying the block party, a blue moon, and fabulous company. :)

ruby showed her dad a little love on father's day

15 June 2011

wordless-ish wednesday

happy birthday to our sunshine girl

four-day-old ruby {3.19.11}

one-month-old ruby {4.15.11}

two-month-old ruby {5.15.11}

three-month-old ruby {6.15.11}

14 June 2011

fun weekly pics v. 2

i'm a bit behind on fun pics from last week, but here we go...
sunday (june 4th): we had breakfast at alterra & then
headed down to IL for baby eli's baby shower.

okay, so i staged this pic, but it's just too cute.
napping on the way down to IL.

monday: well, mondays are so much better
now that this beautiful face is a part of our lives.
tuesday: bathtime with dad (auntie rhonda says ruby looks
like a little boxer here. ha ha)

thursday: ruby has been loving her activity mat so much lately.
she is a happy camper when she's hanging out on it,
swatting at her toys, smiling, and talking to them.

she especially loves this elephant. :)

saturday: ruby & i headed to whole foods, where i bought groceries
to make greek shrimp pasta (delish!). our friends, albert & tara, were
in town from atlanta and brought their new-ish baby,  nate, to visit. nate
is adorable. which is good, given that he just may be ruby's future husband. :)
anyway, as you can see here, ruby was a huge help making dinner. yeah,
her new found love for her fingers pretty much trump everything else.
*sigh* she's getting so big and strong! she sat up like this
for most of her tummy time this week.


we made a pathetic attempt moving ruby to her own room on saturday night. that didn't go over so well. lol. ruby, who usually goes to sleep pretty quickly, woke up crying every 10 minutes or so until we caved and said "you win". :) so back to the basinnet in our room she went. in all fairness, we never really used her room for anything so she wasn't familiar with it at all. so, we're going to spend more time in it and try again in a few weeks. but this did give me an excuse to finally make her room an actual nursery, with her changing table, pictures, and toys. (see above) i love her room. but also am not one bit upset that she's still in our room. :)

sunday: when the brewer's are playing, sundays have become our day to represent for our team. :)
and ruby has gotten in on the action, too. love it.

and just because - sleeping ruby. is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby? no, i don't think so, either.

12 June 2011

lyrics i love v. 2

this song has been my theme song the last week or so. i cannot get it out of my head! (not that i mind.) i saw mr. dennen once in concert and he was great! a bundle of energy. but that's another post. anyway, almost every day for the last week, when i wake up, this song is in my head. and when i'm up in the middle of the night with rubinski (my most recent nickname for ruby), this song is in my head. his lyrics can often be difficult to understand (so i'm including some of my favorites below), but the chorus is pretty easy to make out. i, of course, love singing it to ruby when we're dancing around at home. :) so, check it out and i'm sure you'll be dancing, too!

sydeny whenever you feel unhappy
all you have to do is call me
i can make you laugh
sydney i know that you were wrongly accused
i hope you don't lose your sense of humor
allegations made in the school yard
soccer mom's gossip in the dog park
their bark is worse than their bite
they're only a couple of crazy cougars
they're bored, spreading those desperate rumors

you know that i was never that cool
but i won't be taken for a fool
if they wanna talk trash
they can talk, talk, talk
but they better come correct
if you ever need me, call me
i'll come running straight to you
straight from the airport
i'll come running
cut through the customs line
i'll come running
bust down the court house doors
i'll come running
i will testify
sydney I'll testify

10 June 2011

if no one else shows up, i will

i am a...
college-educated, state licensed, client advocating, social server, therapy providing, systems, testing, family preserving, minority supporting, social conscious raising, data collecting, disease preventing, child defending, staff developing, human assisting, strength focused, social rights championing, ego lending, crisis intervening, teacher, facilitator, listener, encourager, supporter, leader, with professionalism, integrity, concern, empathy, values, love, trust, honest, warmth, basic agent for change ...social worker.
*note: i am all of these things except state licensed - i got lazy when i got preggers and didn't take the test. :)

professionally, this week was a bit of a doozy for me. i got back to work full time since i left on maternity leave in march. but since i'd been back part time for the last month, switching to full time didn't make much of a difference to me (other than ruby & i actually having to get our butts out of bed before 9 am.)

no, what was difficult were a couple cases that i covered for some co-workers of mine. i work in a program that works with young adults that are involved in the court system due to severe mental illness and are at risk of being placed outside their homes (or already are). i've become fairly desensitized to the kind of work i do and rarely get rattled by the extreme behavior i see on a daily basis. but yesterday, i had to attend two different court hearings for two different young men. though their circumstances were different, they each were facing new delinquency charges and were being held in secure detention and brought up to the courtroom for their hearings.

nothing about this was new to me. i've seen many of the kids i work with handcuffed, sometimes in shackles, brought up to court. and it can be a sad sight, for sure, but witnessing this scene now - as a mom - it just feels different. both of these kids really had no idea what the judge was telling them - because i know them, i know they're not intellectually able to understand. as the judge was explaining to them the possible repercussions of their substantial battery charges (a felony for one of them), i couldn't stop watching each boy. it was clear they were nodding when they thought they should, saying "yes, ma'am" with the hope of getting out of there as quick as possible. and as i looked around the court room, neither of them had any family present. just the legal parties. and me. that's it. 

and that, boys and girls, is precisely why those boys were sitting in a courtroom, in the first place.

the realization of this suddenly broke my heart and i found myself blinking away tears. i know the parents that i work with are exhausted dealing with their kid who, from their perspective, is completely out of control. but i want to tell them - if you would just show up for your kid. show some support, regardless of whether they deserve it at the moment. remember how you felt about them when they were little babies and you could hold them in your arms; when you promised to protect them from anything that would hurt them. and now, set aside your pride, and accept the simple fact that YOU are the one that is hurting them.

i don't have all the answers. i know that i only have the tiniest bit of experience in parenting. i am terrified when i think of all the ways that ruby will test our patience and that she will one day make choices that might hurt her and me. but what my job working with these kids has taught me is that supporting ruby, even if i could not disagree more with a choice she makes, is the best i can give to her. she'll never understand how i would give anything to ensure her safety, success, and happiness, but i will do whatever it takes to make sure she knows that i will always show up for her.

08 June 2011

*wordless-ish wednesday*

i like the idea of wordless-ish wednesdays that i've seen on other blogs - posting a pic (or a few) with a caption. so...enjoy my first wordless-ish wednesday post!

i feel like i'm constantly saying "ruby is getting so big" these days. as you can see, on the left, she's not too in to lying on her back anymore. if you put her on her back, she'll start to lift her head up towards you, as if to say "help me out, would ya?" and she rolled over again today. when she's in tummy time now, she keeps her head up for most of the time and just looks around at the room, the mirror, and me, then rests it on one of her chubby cheeks for a bit before she does it all over again. she's starting to suck her fingers at night to get herself to fall asleep, too. it's amazing and wonderful to see her learning, but also a little sad as i put away her newborn clothes and get ready to move her into her own room in her own crib. wow. yeah, i'm a little freaked out about it, but mostly i'm just over-the-moon proud of our little girl.

07 June 2011

fun weekly pics!

on the road! we traveled to MN to stay with my sister, wendy, and her family for memorial day weekend. most of my siblings were there and so was my mom.

memorial day weekend bonfire with my siblings and good music = my personal heaven

my nieces nori & hannah dressed my niece maren up in what they called an "asian wizard princess". i couldn't have described it more accurately myself.

it was *fantastic* to see my brother dale and his family. i was psyched for them to all meet ruby. my sister-in-law, candi, was lovin' the baby time with ruby. dale's a great dad. they are a really fun family and we were grateful to get to spend time with them.

maren absolutely *loves* ruby. she is constantly around her, observing her and commenting on her behaviors. "she's crying, mommy. she's happy! it's baby ruby." i just love it. i am so looking forward to ruby getting a bit older so that they can play together. maren kept giving ruby very loving, excited hugs. in this picture she had just elbowed ruby in the face during one such hug. ruby didn't seem to mind at all. :) she loves cousin-love.

after a long drive home, ruby was spent. i had to snap this pic b/c she looked so angelic and heavy in thought, as well. really, this is just her i-just-slept-for-hours-in-the-car-and-don't-know-where-i-am face. either way, i love it. beautiful girl. and considering we kept her in the car seat (which she considers a torture device) for a good five hours, i think she did a fantastic job on the ride home.

ruby has really begun discovering that she's an actual person - beginning with her fingers. i, of course, think this it is the most adorable thing ever. as an added bonus, it's like having built-in toys. we were stuck in line at the store and she was more than happy to sit and chew on her fingers.

ruby usually wakes up around 5 or 6 am and if left alone in her crib, will slowly wake herself up. but, if i scoop her out and snuggle her in bed next to T & i, she will usually sleep another hour or so. it is the sweetest thing to wake up to this scrunched up, chubby-cheeked girl. definitely starts my morning out on a happy note. :)

we bought ruby her first pair of jeans last week and i have to say, she freakin' rocked them. even if she does look not the slightest bit entertained to have her picture taken - AGAIN. :)

more of ruby discovering that she exists. :) she cracks me up when she sees herself in the mirror and just stares at the reflection. or when her hand passes in front of her face and she stops and stares at it. it's almost like you can see by the look on her face exactly what she's thinking - "holy moly. i think that's mine!" she's getting bigger so quick. she's definitely leaving that newborn baby stage.

ruby has been seriously hamming it up! her smiles are much more frequent now, especially when she sees someone she knows. these were just a couple i caught on camera this week. (don't you just love the hoodie? and the little birdie? too cute.)

this is definitely my favorite picture of the week (definitely worth the double-post this week!) it just melts my heart. i love watching ruby's eyes light up when she sees that her dad is home or when he sits down to give her a bath. i have a feeling she will be a little 'daddy's girl'. and yeah, i'm ok with that.

ruby and i spent saturday morning with one of my besties, sarah. we spent some time down by the lakefront, then picked up a 6 pack of a new glarus brew, and chilled out at our place. sarah and i worked together at the UWM Children's Center so i can count on her to not mind screaming children at all. which was a good thing b/c ruby was in rare form (until sarah left, at which point she took a 2 1/2 hour nap. go figure.)

we've discovered ruby is pretty entertained by the tv. yup, i am a terrible mom. i let my 3 month old watch tv. it's pretty hilarious. she watches it like she totally knows what's going on. and notice the sitting up position. yeah, we're 3 months now so we don't like to lean back on mama's knees anymore or (gasp!) lay on our back. no, we sit up. and we watch tv. goofy girl.

05 June 2011

june showers bring ... july baby eli!

today, ruby & i made the trip down to buffalo grove, just outside chicago, for my friend hillary's baby shower. well, i should say that we made the trip b/c my wonderful hubs drove us down, made himself busy during the shower, then picked our butts back up! it was a big help, as i was a little nervous driving for over an hour without any help. ruby, of course, was great for the majority of the ride, but it's still always great to have time with T. anyway, i digress. 

hillary is expecting a baby boy, who will be named eli, in july. i am psyched that ruby will have a little buddy to play with right around her age. and even more psyched that it's going to be hillary's baby. :) hilla (as i call her) and i have been friends since second semester my freshman year at UWM. we were instant friends and grew very close over the years that followed. we lived together for several years and my greatest memories from college almost always include her. i never would have guessed that hilla and i would be pregnant at the same time and have babies so closely together, but i am absolutely thrilled about it. and beyond excited for her. knowing how fulfilling our life with ruby is now has made me all the more excited for hilla to experience it and for us to be able to become moms at the same time.

the shower was a great time! her mom, sister, and aunts hosted it for her, danielle, and jeff, and it was fantastic! there was a monkey theme that you could not miss -- it was monkey madness! welcoming people, great conversation, and most of all, just great to get to see hillary so beautifully preggers and happy. this kid is going to have wonderful parents.

04 June 2011


ruby adores her dad. and he pretty much thinks she's the best thing on earth. love these two. :)

03 June 2011

a good refrain (lyrics i love v. 1)

so once a week, i plan on discussing my love of lyrics on here by highlighting a song that i think has especially awesome lyrics and why. with this in mind, i was going to write my first post on a monday so that i could name it 'music mondays' or something slick like that so that i could start off with a tribute to the title of my blog "a good refrain." however, i couldn't wait for next monday to get started. and all i can think of that sounds good with thursday is 'thirsty thursday' and that just won't work. i'll let you know when i come up with a good topic title. so, anyway, for this week -

i got 'a good refrain' from the regina spektor song "on the radio". even though i had heard the song many times before, i never really "heard" it until the week i found out T & i were expecting Ruby, if that makes sense. here are the lines that i think kick some serious lyrical booty -

"this is how it works
you're young until you're not
you love until you don't
you try until you can't

you laugh until you cry
you cry until you laugh
and everyone must breathe
until their dying breath

now, this is how it works
you peer inside yourself
you take the things you like
and try to love the things you took

and then you take that love you made
and stick it into some,
someone else's heart
pumping someone else's blood

and walking arm in arm
you hope it don't get hard
but even if it does
you'll just do it all again

on the radio
you hear 'November Rain'
that solo's awful long
ut it's a good refrain"

i don't think i really need to explain why this is just full of awesome-ness. i'll just say that i found myself in tears listening to it when i first learned ruby was on her way and looking back on it now - seeing how hard the journey did get & how i always had T to walk "arm in arm" with -- of course, i would (and will) do it all again. because through all the crap and not-so-good days in life, i realize now more than ever, my new family is a good (and that's a serious understatement) refrain from it all.