The Weisz family welcomed their newest member, Zella Ruth Weisz, at Swedish Covenant Hospital this morning, February 11. Congratulations Sandy, Sarah and big brother Ezra!
Sarah and Sandy Weisz, of Lincoln Square, both come from families with strong storytelling traditions, so it only made sense that they would record the many stages in their life together — and the blogosphere was the logical venue.
When they first moved in together in 2004, they decided to document the experience, and started a blog called Making of a Home. Then for a summer in 2008, the blog became the Wandering Weiszes as they road tripped through the Great Lakes. When they finally got pregnant after some fertility challenges later that year, they changed their blog to its current state: Making of a Family. They use their blog to share personal reflections, amazing photos and helpful tips on everything from pregnancy and parenting to camping and clothes-making. But mostly, it is a place where the Weiszes record, remember and share the stories of their lives, including how they met, their engagement, the birth of their son Ezra at Swedish Covenant Hospital, and most recently the joyful plans for his new brother or sister on the way.
Well Community cannot get enough of this family’s blog — and we think our readers will agree — So we asked Sarah all about it:
In 2007 and 2008, we were so excited to start a family, we never considered the possibility that it would be difficult for us. We just thought we'd keep writing about our family the way we'd written about buying our condo or planning our wedding. As we began to struggle with infertility, I kept a private journal, and then after I became pregnant, I turned my notes into a series of posts for a blog that told the story.
Infertility is really isolating and difficult to talk about, so it felt really important to me to share my experiences. We had always intended to try for a natural birth, but it became even more important to me after having such a medicalized conception. When we got pregnant and Ezra, now 13 months, was born, we had an incredibly positive experience with the midwife practice at Swedish Covenant Hospital, and I hope that women who are on the fence about using midwives might be inspired by our birth story and our experiences since his birth.
What is your readership like?
We write mostly for friends and family. But over the years we've gained new readers. A number of people have found the blog recently because they were looking for resources on infertility.
Do you think you will chronicle the new baby's birth and childhood the way you have Ezra's? Is it hard to find time to update?
It is definitely harder to find time these days! But it's important to us that the new baby's experiences and milestones are also chronicled. While I'm probably not going to blog about this pregnancy nearly as much as I did with Ezra's, once he or she joins us in February, I think there will be lots of posts.
Why did you choose to go back to the Midwives at SCH?
I had been seeing the midwives even before we got pregnant, choosing them as my WPCP group. I was impressed from the outset with how attentive they were. I thought our prenatal care was excellent and our birth experience with Amy was amazing.
What can women in the community learn from your blog?
It is possible to get pregnant on your very first IVF cycle. It is possible to deliver a 9.5 lb. baby in three hours without an epidural or tearing. An amazing midwife can help! Your baby is NOT the only baby who isn't sleeping through the night.
Sandy and I have a very cute story about how we met. Basically, we met at a party in 2002 through mutual friends, and quickly discovered that my father, a professional storyteller, performed at Sandy's Bar Mitzvah in 1989. The long version is on our blog if you are curious. Anyway, we kind of knew we were going to end up together.
Another fun fact is that a few years ago, our Wandering Weiszes blog was featured on Gaper's Block, a website about Chicago events and culture. A producer for Chicago Tonight saw it, and we ended up getting interviewed on TV by Phil Ponce about our road trip.
Any other memorable reactions to your blog?
Several months ago, a total stranger stopped Sandy, pushing Ezra in a stroller, on the street to say that she was a reader of the blog and recognized him from the photos and wanted to congratulate him on Ezra's birth.
What do you do besides blog?
Sandy runs a web design and development firm, Methodtree, Inc., and also writes a popular ChicagoNow blog that he writes on the side (See “Sandy Weisz the Puzzler” below). I am a stay-at-home mom and part-time grant writer.
What are the best kid-friendly spots in the neighborhood?
We love all the parks in the area, especially River Park, Gross Park, Welles Park, Waters School, and Jacobs Playlot. They're great places to meet other parents, too.
Paciugo, the new gelato place in Lincoln Square, has a fun train set for kids to play with and amazing gelato, and the lunchtime music at Costello's is always fun.
What are your favorite local businesses?
The Grind is our go-to spot for working when we want to be out of the home or office. HarvesTime is amazing -- we have rarely gone to a chain grocery store since we moved to the neighborhood. The #10 vegetarian sandwich from Nhu Lan is a staple. We're very excited Gene's Sausage Shop. And our friend Jill runs the awesome Jookie Photo Boutique.
Your blog has changed a few times. Any plans for the future?
We're looking forward to seeing how the blog changes as Ezra grows and begins telling stories of his own.
Sandy Weisz the Puzzler
Each week, Sandy posts an array of puzzles for his readers to solve, reviews of puzzles and games, and links to interesting puzzle-related websites. We thought this was really fun, so we stuck around and asked Sandy about this blog too:
I love puzzles, I love designing puzzles, so this felt like a good challenge. I started designing puzzle hunts for my friends a number of years ago. Every since then, I always have my mind tuned to recognize puzzle potential in anything I hear.
What is the hardest puzzle ever?
The boxes puzzle on my blog. I was really proud of it, but it was just too hard for most people. And that's the thing about puzzles — if it's too hard, or appears too hard, it's no longer fun and you're not even going to try.
Do you have a favorite board/mind game?
For mind games I'm going to go with Werewolf. It's a variation of the party game Mafia. As for board games, the top of my list includes Tigris & Euphrates and Agricola. They're hard core German strategy-type games. I also love Bughouse.
Has Ezra started to play with any games/puzzles yet?
He's not quite at the puzzle stage yet, though he's starting to show more interest in putting things back into other things, not just taking them out! Seems like shape matching and puzzles are just on the horizon. Right now his favorite games all involve mimicking us, like taking a tissue and pretending to blow his nose.
Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series featuring North side residents who share their passions — from antiquing to puzzles to the news of the neighborhood — with the world via their blogs. In the sea of more than 100 million U.S. blogs and a true “world wide web” environment, we’ve discovered that we don’t have to go far to find interesting people and topics — they are right here. We’ll profile a new local blogger each month, so be sure to check back!