stupid zoo lights

Summer’s new thing is that whenever someone does or says something that she doesn’t like, she says that the person isn’t allowed to go to her birthday party. I’m happy to report that I’ve officially been uninvited at least 10 times now because, well, there’s the whole no candy canes for breakfast thing for starters….

Anywho, my friend and I decided that this past weekend we would take our girls to the Lincoln Park Zoo for the annual zoo lights. They put up thousands of Christmas lights all over and with one of my mantras being there is no such thing as too many Christmas lights, I’m pretty sure the fact that I have never been to see these zoo lights is illegal.

This past Sunday was the perfect weather for it, so Summer, my friend Sharon and I put on our coats and headed out the door. Then I had to run back in to grab umbrellas in case it started drizzling later. Then I had to run back in to grab monkey and blankie. Then I had to run back in to grab gloves and a sippy cup. We were out the door for the 4th time and finally on our way.

Traffic was horrible driving into the city but we braved the bumper to bumper drive that took us almost an hour, picked up Sharon’s daughter at her dad’s, then headed towards the zoo. The exit off Lake Shore Drive was backed up for a good mile but we sat patiently, asking the girls what they were most excited to see. “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” came from the back seat a good 4,283 times on the exit ramp and I assured the girls that one more turn and we’d be there. We finally got off the exit ramp and we could see the stoplight where we would be turning into the parking lot. FINALLY.

I cut someone off to get over.

I got in the turn lane.

We were 3 cars away at the red light.

Come on green arrow.

And then….

oh hell no….

what is he DOING?

oh no, no nooooooooo…..

lot full

Can’t see it? Here, let me zoom in for you…..

no birthday party for you

The guy literally put those cones and the sign up while we were waiting the 45 seconds for the light to turn green! So to summarize my entire day from beginning to end in less than 2 seconds, it went something like this:

Want to go to the zoo lights?

yeah noooooooo

To make sure the night wasn’t a total loss, we took the girls out for dinner and ice cream which ended up being SO much more fun than seeing some stupid lights on some stupid trees at the stupid boring zoo. See?

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Zoo totally forgotten.

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Filed under Christmas, Kids, life, Parenting, ridiculousness

things a happenin’

Thanksgiving came and went in a blink and Christmas is officially peeking around the corner at me as I pretend that I’ve bought all of my presents while secretly hiding the sweat that’s pooling in the waistband of my underroos knowing damn well I haven’t bought a thing. So for now to get my mind off of it, here are a few photos of what’s been going on in these here parts lately… IMG_0401 babies Jumping on Auntie Jaime’s bed is the best! p.s.Owl City’s Good Time gets the highest jumps out of 3-year-olds… bed jumping sleeping beauty For the 5th year in a row I participated in the annual Weddingbee ornament exchange. This year I was given Mrs. Glasses and for weeks I worried about how I was going to make a handmade ornament that looked like a pair of glasses. And then it hit me…duh, a bee with glasses for a bee with glasses… bee adalyn My boss came into town and fed us lots of food while we dared him to ice skate on the rink behind this tree. He wasn’t having it. Note to self – feed boss man more wine before trying to get him to strap sharp blades to his feet and glide around like a delicate swan…. Bill birthday card Exact words spoken before snapping the greatest picture in the history of ever: “Mommy, there’s a booger on my finger and it’s freaking me out…” booger caleb A fun time was had by all at work playing the open-the-vending-machine-press-the-button-and-catch-the-flying-can-before-it-hits-you-in-the-crotch game…. catch the can shrek My car has officially sprouted its annual antlers from Dollar Tree… DSC03823 DSC03824 I wondered for days while the snow was melting why on earth the slush running off my patio table was a sick yellowish color. Then all of the snow melted to reveal a present from the squirrels with teeth marks in it. An hour later it was gone. We’re just all going to agree that it’s a piece of chocolate. Squirrel=3, Me=0. Asshole. chocolate dad Doggie torture…. doggie torture Brother-in-law torture (don’t let that face fool you, he always looks like that when I see him)… IMG_0367 I am officially 100% Hunger Games obsessed. I ended up going to see the third in the theater by myself because I was super impatient and couldn’t wait for my Hunger Games partner in crime to join me…and now I’m dying for the 4th…damn you Mockingjay 1 for ending where you did! hunger games IMG_0359 And for the best song to add to your Christmas kitchen dance party playlist (why yes we do have one of those that we danced to for 2 hours last night, we’ll surely be adding more songs to it nightly)…

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Filed under Christmas, Family, home, Kids, life, Love, Office Jaime, Parenting, Photography, ridiculousness, Thanksgiving

window number four

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My friend gave us an advent calendar last night. It’s nothing fancy, no hidden chocolates or anything exciting behind each window, just flaps numbered 1-24 counting down the days until Jesus’s birthday. We hung it on the closet near the front door so we would remember every morning to open a new window. And this morning we started the countdown. Except after we opened the window marked “1”, Summer wanted to open more. I gave her the option – either she can close #1 and open #24 making the countdown the same only backwards, or we could wait until tomorrow to open the next one. She chose to go for #24 simply because she wanted to open another window, because opening #1 and leaving it at that wasn’t enough. And after our countdown was officially reversed, she wanted to open #4. I told her we can’t open #4 yet, it’s only the first day.

You would have thought I shot her puppy, cancelled her birthday party, and peed in her apple juice all at the same time.

My girl cried. Hard. With tears rolling down her face, she curled up in a ball on the floor and bawled her eyes out almost to the point of me giving in and letting her open #4 because she is that good. But with the clock ticking and a 30 minute drive to daycare calling, I ended up putting my purse on one shoulder, a backpack on the other, keys and travel mug full of coffee in one arm, and a weeping 3 year old like a sack of potatoes in the other as we walked out the door and probably woke up every neighbor in the process with crying screams echoing down the hall. Window #4 stayed closed.

The whole way to daycare I thought about how I want her to know that there are rules. That there are certain things we do for a reason. That patience is a wonderful thing. But at the same time, she’s 3. She’s been in daycare since she was 16 months old. She has a pretty structured day with scheduled snack time, and naptime, and potty break time, and reading time, and plenty of important rules. Don’t hit your friends. Throw away your garbage. Don’t wipe your snot under the table (a lesson learned last week). And obviously she has rules at home that are worth enforcing. Brush your teeth. Put your toys away. Don’t hit the dogs. Bedtime at 8:30. Potty before bed. And with all these rules that we have to follow, in the grand scheme of things, does opening window #4 on day #1 on a silly paper advent calendar really matter? Is it hurting anyone? Will she even care about the calendar by day 8? Is it really a rule worthy of enforcing?

It’s really not.

So after I got home from dropping her off, I decided that while it was good that I didn’t give in while she was tantruming on the floor, maybe I should just open up window #4 for her… you know, to show her that if she wants to open the silly little paper flaps in whatever order she chooses, I’m completely fine with it.

And then I thought that maybe I should open one more since it is technically the second day of Advent and all.

And one more just to let her know that really, it’s her Advent calendar, her way.

Aaaaaaaaaand maybe just one more to really drive the message home.

I think you see where this is going…..

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Shit. Luckily the only one who saw me do it was Hazy and she’s not telling.

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Filed under Christmas, Funny, Kids, life, Parenting, ridiculousness

my love

I hadn’t made one of these for a while…

It’s been one hell of a year my sweet, this one’s for you Summer bear:

to view directly on YouTube, click here

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Filed under home, Kids, life, Love, Parenting, Summer

psycho critter (cont’d)

Taunted.

I’m being taunted.

By this guy.

Yesterday started out like any other day. Up at 5:40am, out the door by 6:40am. So far so good. We drove the half hour to preschool only to walk in and be greeted by Summer’s teacher telling us that the building was closed.

“For how long?” I asked.

“We’re not sure….,” she said.

10 minutes later I got the email.

Squirrel

eeeeeeesquirrel

Squirrel=2  Me=0

You little fucker.

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trapped in a snowglobe

It’s like a gigantic snow globe out there in slow motion right now. Weightless snowflakes floating around in the air. I’m not ready for winter.

I’ve never hated the Chicago winters. I have wonderful memories of being young, taking trips into the city, then a bit older and living in the city, the streets wet with melted snow, the Christmas lights strewn up on trees twinkling against the backdrop of night skies and Michigan Avenue window displays. The city during the holidays is magical; once in a while you can catch yourself driving under an overpass as the Christmas train goes by overhead. It’s a fun sight to see.

source:

source: click here

But yesterday as I walked out of my building hugging myself for warmth in my winter coat, fluffy white scarf and gloves, I passed 2 of my neighbors equally bundled up, all of us groaning and moaning about how winter was here, our breath leaving a cloud behind us in the freezing air as we talked. My car was cold, and it took half of my trip to daycare to finally blast hot air through the vents to thaw me. And I began thinking about something that I’ve never considered.

I’ve spent 37 winters in the Midwest. And out of all 37, this was the first time I thought, I really don’t like winter anymore.

I thought about what it would be like to live somewhere warmer in the winter. Not tropical per se, just warmer than chill-you-to-the-bone cold. But to get there, I’d have to go south or west. With my job, I could technically live anywhere in the world and keep my job. Not many people can say that. I could live somewhere where I could buy a decent house for $100k, the same house that would cost me well over $300k here. But I don’t know anyone south, and directly south I’d be looking at tornado alley or Texas. Nope. I could hike it to California where I know plenty of people including my sister, but the cost of living would be worse, pretty much defeating the purpose. North is just a no. Sorry, Wisconsin. And East could bring me closer to my sister Julie and closer to where I went to college, but the weather is exactly the same.

At the end of the day, all thoughts and daydreams about making a change, moving somewhere else for a change of scenery or climate… it couldn’t really happen anyway unless Summer turned 18 overnight or if Scott was willing to move. And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess what his answer to that would be. So I have to embrace it. I have to.

So to you Chicago winter, please don’t be too mean to us this year. I’ll be getting the shrink-wrap for the windows this weekend to keep you out of my home because I can already feel you creeping in. I’ll be putting up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving and covering my place with as many twinkling lights as I have outlets and tape for. And I will try to enjoy you as I always have. Promise. But seriously, if you pull that same -28° wind chill nonsense you pulled last year, I will die a little.

Don’t live with that guilt on your shoulders, fucker.

I mean friend.

No I don’t.

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mystery gifts

I’m starting to wonder if everyone in the apartment complex got a memo to bring the little blonde girl in Building 4 presents every once in a while. It all started over the summer when some sweet soul left 2 potted plants on my patio and I still have no idea who it was. I’m not good with plants unless they’re made of plastic, but I decided to embrace the sweet gesture and take really good care of my basil and tomatoes. I’d say I did a pretty good job.

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Next up, Rodd. Rodd totally looks like a Rodd. Rodd lives down the hall and when he moved in he asked me to walk his German Shepherd a dozen times to which I said no every time. So he got rid of the dog and adopted 3 cats. He asked me to walk his cats. Erm, no. About a month ago he spotted me getting out of my car, ran over to me across the lawn, and handed me a Tupperware full of homemade lasagna. A week later he knocked on my door and handed me a bag full of bread from the complimentary bread baskets they put on the table at the diner next door. And a week after that, he gave me a cookie.

Note to self: gain weight so he’ll stop trying to feed me.

My neighbor across the hall, Drunk John, once offered to give me his dog, Maxie. And now a few times a week I will walk out of my apartment to be greeted by Maxie waiting outside my door. It’s possible Maxie is just sneaking out when Drunk John opens his door; hell, a plane could crash right in front of Drunk John and he probably wouldn’t notice, but really you never know. Either way, dude, thank you but I don’t want your dog, I have enough mouths to feed.

The most recent gift came last week when I opened my front door to find that some random stranger left little ol’ me a lovely present hanging from my doorknob:

grease purse

She’s a grease-stained beauty, my friends. But the purse wasn’t all, it had a notecard inside with a sweet message written just for me

wedding toast1

wedding toast2

Yep, everyone would be so lucky to have generous neighbors like mine.

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