So the other day at Target...

First and foremost, nothing against Target. In fact, I really love that place. 

I mean, I'm a Target RedCard holder. I bleed Target red.
The other day, I had a very odd experience there. 

My baby had her vaccines on Thursday, so on Friday things were still just a little off with her. She had been great all through my errands, and we were buzzing around Target looking for some jeans (sigh) because my chubby jeans are getting a little baggy (yay!). The woman working in the fitting room was very nice and let me take in six items instead of the usual five "because of the baby!" so she and I become pals right away. I maneuver the stroller into the big handicap fitting room. None of the jeans fit. Leave fitting room, head toward grocery area. Baby starts crying. I tell her (and myself) that she will make it for another ten minutes while I grab bread and milk and check out, and then we will happily be in the car where she will sleep. Even though I knew she was hungry and this plan likely would not happen. I sprint through the store grabbing diapers and bottles and by now baby girl has lost it. I decide, poor kid, I'll just feed her in a fitting room. 

I feel the need to briefly insert my stance on breastfeeding here:
I'm all for breastfeeding in public. If covering up is your thing, great. If not, great. Sometimes I cover up, sometimes I don't. It 10000% depends on my kid and what seems like it will work best for her. Nursing is something I really enjoy (now that it doesn't hurt anymore--I'll openly confirm that it hurt like the dickens the first two weeks, and I cried almost every time she ate because it was seriously like going to battle for my boobs). Sometimes, I like that it's a thing that's just mine and hers. And sometimes I want to do my part as a mom who does not live in the privacy of a cabin in the woods, and nurse my baby out in the world. And frankly, I think people who get offended by it (guess what, everyone, it's 2014 and people having been using their boobs to feed babies for a while now) can put a blanket over THEIR head. I'm not the girl who goes boob out in front of her husband's friends or in the middle of a church service, but I'm not squeamish about feeding my child when she's hungry. Anyway.

So there we are, baby howling, mother ready to feed child in dressing room. 

Because there are seats in there!

And also because I was wearing a bra less conducive to nursing, which meant that I had to take my shirt off and really make a production of it. Which I would just rather not do in the furniture section of the store, even though they have seats there also.

So in we go, baby and me, and my fitting room lady sees my screaming child and offers to hold my basket of groceries. I like her.

There is a very very big woman in front of me in line, and she heads into one of the three handicap fitting rooms. The other one is occupied by a person in a wheelchair, which I can see through the three-inch crack between the door and the ground. A man who appears to be the manager of the store looks at me and my howling daughter and asks me loudly, as he could see I didn't have any clothes I wanted to try on, if I was there to nurse her. I said "Yep! If that's okay!" He says of course. I look past him and notice the last big fitting room, which my stroller and I had occupied twenty minutes prior, is now full of three people: a grandmother-looking person, a child, and a young woman with no shirt on. I can see this because the door is wide open. They are snapping at each other and sitting on the fitting room benches eating some candy. They look over at me to see where all the noise was coming from (Eleanor has got some serious pipes). I kind of make eye contact with them, one hand on my stroller, the other grasping my noise-maker, thinking that perhaps they might realize that I want their fitting room so I can feed my kid. The grandma looks me up and down and glares, but leaves her door open. I quickly realize that I needed to choose another option so I back up my stroller, park it next to my friend the fitting room lady, grab my diaper bag, and head toward a small fitting room. The manager guy asks me if I wanted a big fitting room, but I point out that all three are occupied, and he looks at the two closed doors and frowns. Then he walks over to the open one and mentions that I need to feed my baby and are they almost done so that I could use their room. The grandma glares at him, looks at me again, and loudly says, "UM, NO." Manager awkwardly turns around, shrugs at me, stands there speechless. I shrug, step into my small room, and smile ironically as I realize there is no bench, stool or chair, and not even a hook on which to hang my bag. I wrangle Starving with one arm, whip my shirt off with the other, and proceed to nurse her standing up.

As I left Target, fifteen minutes and one killer arm/ab workout later, I wondered to myself how it could have gone differently. The manager did what he could. The fitting room lady did what she could. Maybe I should have just gotten in those other people's faces and demanded that they put their shirts on and give me that fitting room. Maybe not. Either way, my baby was fed and it all ended fine. But I realized how selfish it is of me to use a handicap fitting room or restroom just because I feel like it. Rooms like that are meant for people who truly don't have any other option! I would never compare myself to a person in a wheelchair, but now that I push a stroller around with me everywhere, I understand what it's like to have to choose a different route than the average pedestrian. And I have so much more respect for people who have to put up with rude grandmas on a daily basis.

Am I being ridiculous? Feel free to comment anonymously and put me in my place. I would also love to hear other nursing-standing-up stories because I kiiiiind of feel like I just joined some club and I'm a little bit proud of it. But I never want to do it again because feeding an eleven pound baby leaning against the wall would probably make even Jillian Michaels tired, I'm pretty sure.

And now, for a little dose of positivity, because the internet needs that just as much as the rest of us, here is a photo of the beach.
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Growing up and getting shots

Our girl is two months old!

In some ways it feels like it's flown by (how is she so not teeny anymore??) and in others it feels like she's always been here. 
Right now her specialties are:
- giant smiles
- figuring out what to do with her voice
- watching baseball with Dad
- sleeping nights like a champ (mostly)

We're pretty into the whole "being parents" thing. Although, sometimes we just stare at each other and say, "I don't know what to do." "I don't know either." And that's hard. But we usually figure it out. And our baby doesn't seem to mind us too much!

I'm adjusting to my mom bod. Slowly I'm starting to feel like I look normal again; people have, for the most part, stopped asking me when I'm due/staring at my belly/etc. I have been really down on myself for not looking like Karlie Kloss yet (because that's realistic) (HAHA) but Nate has been very kind and patient with me as I come to realize that I'm different now. And that's not bad. My muscles and bones and skin went through a dramatic process of changing, and growing a second human within me, and it's okay to look kind of stretched out and, well, weird, in some ways. I'm eating less sugar and fat than I did during my pregnancy and drinking less soda (Coca-Cola classic, though. I'll never stop 100% because that stuff is amazing) and that's helping me not be so chubby. But I've decided my weirdness is interesting because it's mine. But it's not just mine. It's Eleanor's. It's my future babies'. It's all postpartum women's. It's part of me, and I like that I still have a physical reminder of the amazing thing that my body did. It's no cakewalk to grow a person, it turns out!

Today she got her first round of vaccines. It was especially tough because she was in such a good mood all morning while I was getting her ready -- grinning at me, wiggling around, just being so happy to simply be awake. It was torture knowing what a hard day she was about to have! And the doctor said she looked wonderful, which made my heart happy. (She's tall, apparently!) She was a champ until the nurse administered the shots, at which point she burst into tears, of course (I was already crying, oops). I know that not vaccinating is very popular right now, and after doing some research, I decided it would be best for my sweet girl to give her these shots. I truly believe that, especially because we live downtown in a city of 3 million people, she will be healthiest this way. It was so hard today, seeing her struggle with the pain, but I know it will ultimately be for her benefit. While I was trying to calm her down (before Dad got home with the tylenol -- it was only a few hours but felt like days), I sang her some of my favorite songs from the LDS Hymnbook, and I realized how truly divine it is to be a mom. More on that another day.

I just love you to pieces, sweet girl.

(From our Sunday evening outing to the lakeshore this week. My sweet baby.)

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Lizzy our visitor!

August got here way too fast for my liking.

LAST LONGER, SUMMER. I need to move to Hawaii or something.

We've been enjoying our pretty city even more now that Norah is getting a little bit bigger and is cool with riding the bus with me and running around downtown where it's noisy. She's a city girl, that's for sure! This week we've walked down to the river front a couple of times and she's been a champ. Nate just said to me, "The thing about Eleanor is, I love her."

My little sister came to visit and took this photo of us (seen on my insta)

We had so much fun with Lizzy in town. Sisters are da bomb. That's one hard part of living in Chicago; none of our family lives close by. In some ways it makes me feel cozy to live here with my people, but mainly I just miss my sisters and brothers and in-laws. Sigh.

(First stop after the airport: Floriole. Best bakery in America. 
Yes, that's our lunch, and yes, those are little edible violets on my passionfruit tart. Bingo.)


Took lots of selfies with Liz because it's 2014 and well. We shopped a little, ate a lot, and ran around Chicago seeing things that Lizzy didn't get to see when she was here a couple years ago. The photo of us with the giraffe is not exaggerated... we were super into them and those were our genuine expressions. It was pouring rain--POURING--the day we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo (hence the awesome hair on me) but it was a bit of an adventure. Norah slept through the whole thing. Poor kid. She's just so tiny.
It's so hard not to love summer here--eating al fresco, walks at night in t-shirts, hearing the Navy Pier fireworks from our apartment (and sometimes venturing out to watch them even!).

Dinner date at Xoco the other night. My people are cute. And this food. Oh, this food.


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