Q & A with Becca

Becca’s Q&A! Becca happens to be the owner and instructor for Rebecca Wheeler Cooking Instruction based on the North Side of the city. A recent topic of conversation with Becca (her phone call kept me company on the way home from shooting a session in Lincoln Park, thanks Becca!) steered us towards food. Becca is currently offering food tours in the city of Chicago. If you’ve never heard of a food tour, essentially what it encompasses is a walking tour of ethnic areas within the city with stops along the way for food tastings. A great way to experience the ethnic mix of our great city. Her new site will be up very soon, I can’t wait to see what’s cooking there!

1) Cooking is a passion for some, but for you food has become a lifestyle of sorts. Being a true gourmand, what is your favorite ethnic food type? Also I’d love to know if you have a favorite restaurant within the city limits that you frequent?
I love all Southeast Asian cooking, especially Thai. We have many good Thai options in the city, right now I’d say my favorite is Opart Thai House on Western near Lawrence. The Argyle area has great Vietnamese noodle shops and we go there a lot-especially family packed, kid-friendly Tank Noodle.

2) Don’t get me wrong, I love our kitchen. However, your kitchen is *amazing*, when I did Miss J’s session awhile back I couldn’t help but admire the range and the beautiful cabinets. What, in your opinion, is the most vital part of your kitchen that makes your life easier or more pleasant?

Since I am in the kitchen a lot, I’d have to say what I value the most is the windows that look onto the garden and the abundance of natural light. I love having a window over the sink to look out! What makes life easier is the great space-especially having come from a galley condo kitchen. A small kitchen is efficient to cook in, but what family couldn’t use more counter and cabinet space? I love it.

3) Congratulations on the birth of your 2nd child, btw. What do you find the most challenging aspect of mothering two children thus far? Do you have any favorite tips on how to keep your older child (now a full blown toddler!) occupied while bonding with your baby? What product(s) has made your life easier?

In the beginning, just after Mack was born, I struggled with how to get Julia to bed and keep our precious reading time while simultaneously caring for a newborn. We had to cut back from 3 books to 2 and sometimes Mack was downstairs screaming! Now that she is in a big- girl bed I just lay Mack in her bed and read to her in her chair, or we all read together. When my husband is home we trade off who gets to put her to bed.

We got exceptionally lucky that Julia somehow doesn’t have, or at least display, any jealously toward the new baby. Just to make sure that I am including her on new baby “duties” I enlist her help wherever possible, like throwing away a diaper! She is in the phase where she wants to do everything herself (she’s 2 _ now), so I try to come up with ways to enlist her help and challenge her. Today we made her lunch sandwich together. Of course it takes longer, but usually it’s just a matter of shelving that adult compulsion to get things done fast and right than that we really need to be somewhere or do something quickly.

As far as products, I can’t say enough about my life-saving sling. It’s actually a pouch, and Mack is in it A LOT. It’s the baby tranquilizer, a sure bet to get him to sleep, or he can face out and watch the world go by. I find it to be a better fit than many other slings and carriers and it’s super easy to use. A t first you feel like you have to smoosh baby in it, but you get used to it and babies love it because it’s like the womb-warm, snuggly and close to the heart. If you want baby to sleep the key is to walk and move after you get them in-so I put it on, put him in and buzz around cleaning up and getting things done. As a matter of fact he is in it right now! They are adjustable so different size people can wear it. We use a fleece pouch in winter and a mesh one in summer that can get wet and breathes well-there’s a lot of body heat generated from the closeness, but the mesh is great. You can get them at www.kangarookorner.com. No, I don’t work for them, it’s just the best thing I have by far!

4) Thinking back to our session awhile back…what now, a full year later, do you remember most about your session with Marmalade Photography? What is the best part of having a session such as yours done?

I have many great memories of that day. I love that the images from our session capture Julia just doing what she naturally does-they are not staged, they’re just her playing and being Julia. I especially love the “playing in the garden” storyboard-Julia has one of my garden gloves on and is “planting” in one picture, running down the path in another, and sitting contemplating some bark in the third. They capture the essence of who she is, and what she was up to at 18 months. I cant tell you how impressed I was by your flexibility during our session-you were completely open to seeing where things went, even ending the session with Julia having a bubble bath! This openness really lends itself to the amazing and unexpected-angles and shots that are so creative and spontaneous. Our images from that day are priceless.

You Sit Here, Bunny



Bubble Trouble


A big thank you to Becca for participating in one of the Q&As for the month. Julia’s session was a favorite of mine from last summer, it felt like a relaxed afternoon with old friends. Thanks to their family for allowing me into their lives that lazy summer day in August.

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