Babies by the Litter
going from nothing to everything in less than sixty seconds
For those who are reading the black & white paperback or using a Kindle without color, here are all the photos in full color. Plus I'm throwing in a few extras just because it's fun to share.
Page 98 Though this photo shows the night skyline of Chicago as if from a boat, I actually shot it from Northerly Island, which juts out in the bay past Soldier Field and Shedd Aquarium. My zoom lens takes us out on the water.
Page 132 Our wedding at Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue, October 2, 1987.
Page 138 The recessional to Mouret's Rondeau, played by a brilliant, bright trumpet and booming pipe organ.
Page 143 Photos from the English photographer who wasn't a con artist.
Page 152 When Jason's best man came to visit, we went to Comisky Park to watch the Twins beat the White Sox 2-1. June 2, 1990 was a little over a year before old Comisky was demolished and turned into a parking lot.
Page 170 Yep, it's stuck. And oh so very heavy. See the expression on Mary's face? I think she saw the humor in this before we did. Well, maybe we did too. Jason is smiling a little, and I did get my camera out to capture the moment.
Page 166 We wanted to reflect living on a farm when we wrote home to everyone in Chicago to say Merry Christmas. We scouted around town for a house that looked like what Grant Wood used in his American Gothic. We found the pitchfork in the barn, borrowed the cameo brooch from Jason's stepmom, cut an old pair of jeans to look like Jason's overalls, and patched together the rest from our suitcases. The pose with sunglasses made the Christmas card.
Page 184 In one of the rooms we finished enough to move in. Meals were simple.
Page 186 Sleeping by day on the couch in "The Office," a small frame building built a few yards from the barn on a concrete slab for a small family business in the '80s. Jason's parents lived there while the house was under construction.
Page 196 I'm 23 weeks. (That's only a little over five months, folks. That's some baby bump!) Got up long enough for a photo from our tripod. I'm holding my medication pump and you can see the tubing that feeds into my thigh.
Page 200 Our crowded apartment living room. Pierce is awake on the floor looking at his siblings all sleeping, which is ironic because Pierce was the one who seemed to always sleep. From left to right it's Spencer leaning on the teddy bear, Molly in the middle, and Charlie next to the playpen.
Page 210 April 1993 They'd been home a month. They're dressed up for Easter. We didn't go anywhere, but we got our first family "portrait" since we'd expanded to a family of six.
Page 222 Christmas Day 1992 Jason is modeling the roll of toilet paper Suzy gave us from her law office diaper fund.
Page 224 A couple weeks after we moved into the new house, it was sunny and warm. We saddled up the strollers and went for a walk around our new neighborhood. Pierce is already asleep in the front of the second buggy. Charlie is behind him. Molly and Spencer are in the front stroller.
Page 226 In the car seats in our back hallway, ready for the chicken-fox-grain maneuver to get the kids into the car.
Page 238 Standing in front of our Bulletin Board of Achievement. Thirty-one weeks and two days.
Page 242 Potty training gave an extra opportunity for quiet, uninterrupted reading, something this particular little one craved.
Page 245 We often made a party of it when it was time for a pit stop. And as long as they were staying put in one place for at least a few minutes, I could get a meal served and eaten in the meantime. Four birds, one stop.
Page 260 The night at the train station before they told us to go home and wait it out. When we still had goldfish and diapers and juice boxes left.
Page 265 The gawkers had stopped trooping through our car to gape at us and the train was halfway across Nebraska. The kids could finally settle down for a much needed nap.
Waiting with PaJack in the Oceola, Iowa, train station to head back to Denver after a week at the farm. I was so tired.
January 21, 1993 Jason and I are meeting the babies face-to-face for the first time together. I've just come from the recovery room and the nurses wheeled my stretcher up next to the babies' beds.
Page 278 After most of the snow had melted but we still had most of our hockey puck snowman to slide around.
Page 290 Sesame Street pals were our best friends. Christmas of 1995 they each got one of their favorite characters.
Page 304 All packed and ready to hit the road to Minnesota. Standing with our new van, which we got just in time for me to start taking them to kindergarten, once we returned from our summer vacation.
Page 318 PaJack never hesitated to get down on the floor with the kids, either to build Lincoln Log houses or read or create Lego marvels. If they weren't doing that, he'd be entertaining them with his Magic Pocket that always had surprises in store for them.
Page 321 On the 95th floor of the Hancock Building, we're celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary at the Signature Room with good friend Jeannie Mac who lunched with us and took pictures for us.
The view from the 95th floor of Lake Shore Drive, plus photos from the cage staircase featured prominently in "The Time Traveler's Wife," one of my most favorite books ever.
Page 328 Charlie put his hand on Molly's cheek, and she in turn put her hands next to his lips. They slept much better close.
Page 329 Finally together again once all were discharged and returned to my care, life was much better for us all.
Page 330 On their way to start their college junior year, we posed for a group shot before they drove out of the driveway. In order to have a semester abroad in London, Molly had transferred from University of Colorado Boulder to an exchange program available with University of Wyoming, where Pierce was attending, majoring first in nursing then switching to teaching; Spencer left University of Colorado Boulder when they closed their journalism school, and he transferred to Colorado State, where Charlie was already studying mechanical engineering and Spanish language, literature and culture. It was nice for Mom to have them going off in pairs this time. I knew they'd look out for each other and make my job of launching my litter a little bit easier.