Thursday, October 30, 2008

Paging Urban Mom...

Ok, wow. Where have I been? Busy busy busy with the usual life stuff, I guess. Just like you, no doubt.

The overlapping visits of Pink Power Ranger and Best Namma Ever! were fantastic. That said, I had to go get a bit of dental work while just PPR was here. I left her to get the Urban Kids started with their day and even left a few bits of school work for U-Kid 1 to do, assuring PPR that I would likely be about two hours.

But did you know that most people only require one shot of novacaine? And would you like to guess how many it took little me? FOUR. And that takes TIME. Although, once it all finally kicked in, I was convinced that the corner of my mouth was melting into my ear, leaving me looking like Two-Face from the Batman movie.

And U-Kid 1 gave PPR a hard time. Thank God PPR is a cop who deals with maniacal lunatics on a regular basis, so this seemed like nothing to her. But still, she was doing me a huge favor! So U-Kid 1 got a gigantic, endless earful about that. Then U-Dad came home, and she heard about it from him. That's the part that always gets her, of course.

BNE! arrived on Wednesday evening, thus allowing her and her two daughters to drink a bottle of wine and play Death Uno. I've described Death Uno before.... feel free to catch up, if you like. And U-Kid 1 is getting into Uno now, too. And is just as deadly! Sweet little grasshopper...... I sense that someday the student shall become the master.....

Having two babysitters allowed me to slip out for a blowout at the Aveda Institute, where a student did my hair for half of the price of a pro.

Then U-Dad & I attended a wedding. It was the first time that we'd attended a cocktail party with a wedding in the middle of it, and it was fantastic! They rented out a place called A New Leaf. And the bar was open before the ceremony. When everyone was called to the wedding, folks brought their drinks (would it be relevant now to mention that many of the guests were from Vegas? i don't know if that's relevant.....). The ceremony was heartfelt and beautiful, but light too because the bride & groom were having so much fun. And it was the first wedding I'd attended where I could hear ice clinking in glasses during the ceremony!

Also, this friend has a daughter from her previous marriage. Can I divert here for a minute? This marriage didn't last until the end of the pregnancy. My friend.... living in Texas.... pretty much figured out that her husband had a girlfriend. And they had plans to move to Atlanta. And the girlfriend did too. So my friend -- five months pregnant -- ordered her own moving truck and went back to Chicago. And the pregnancy was a hard one. Imagine having kidney stones, but not being able to do the treatment to break them up because you could lose the baby. And then early labor. While on a business trip. It was one thing after another, and this friend was unimaginably strong.

And I love that it paid off. She met a fantastic man... who happens to live in Vegas. She and her daughter moved out there. And during the ring exchange of the ceremony, they brought the daughter up to the front and gave her a necklace with three rings on it, designed especially for her, to symbolize the new family that they'd created.

I went over the edge and started crying. The whole thing just had me so pulled in!

Then it was off to the bar area again, where waiters brought around wine and munchies.

To be honest, U-Dad and I talked to each other more than anyone else. Maybe that's bad, but we don't get a lot of time alone to just talk. And catch up. And kick around ideas.

On Saturday night, we still had BNE! as a sitter, so we went to Les Nomades for our anniversary dinner. Every year we go here. And I love it. And if you have followed this blog for very long, you know that any opportunity to not eat my cooking is to be jumped upon with enthusiasm.

Since then, it's been running around, running around and running around. I have a list of things to dish about, but have had a bit of trouble getting three thoughts together and sitting down to do it. I'll try to get it together soon!

In the meantime, have a great weekend! And Happy Halloween!
U-Kid 1 is going the fairy route. U-Kid 2 will be a black cat. Unless she contines to refuse to wear the ears. Then she'll be a cat burglar.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dear Urban Kid 2

To my dearest Urban Kid 2,

You are much cuter at 7:30am than at 5:30 am.

All my love,

Monday, October 20, 2008

All Quiet on the BlogFront

Just a quick note to let you know that I may be out of commission for about a week. The Pink Power Ranger arrives this morning until Thursday morning, and Best Namma Ever! arrives on Wednesday and stays until Sunday. And neither knows about this blog. And the computer is in the same room as where they will be staying. So unless I get a quick moment, I'll be blog-less for a while. Hopefully, withdrawl won't be too bad. Don't forget me!It'll be good to have my sister and mom around. Say a prayer for Urban Dad -- a house full of in-laws... all women! (hee hee hee)

If you need a smile while I'm gone......

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Want..... spend the weekend in a swanky hotel room. With a swanky bathroom with a deep and long whirlpool tub. And a fluffy white robe. And toe separators and a bottle of Essie's "East Hampton Cottage." And room service. And a bottle of champagne. And a DVD player, plus a stack of James McAvoy DVD's. And a laptop computer with internet access. And if I'm feeling ambitious, maybe, just maybe, a long, meandering walk around the city.

Oh, did I mention that I want all of this alone?

Feeling a bit Greta Garbo tonight. Momma needs to get away from the "office." No matter how much someone loves her job -- and truly, I wouldn't trade mine -- we all need to leave the office now and then.

And I think I'm thinking this way tonight because long ago in a galaxy far, far away, I went on a shoot to L.A. and stayed at the Four Seasons. And after a long, sweaty day of shooting outside during a heat wave, everyone else came back all excited to celebrity watch in the bar (James Woods gave me a once-over... whoopee). I took a different route. I had already spent all day with this group of people. So I put on my suit and went to the pool. Which late in the evening is completely empty. I had the entire pool to myself and just floated on my back staring up at the night sky. The others likely thought that I was stand-off-ish. But I thought it was a perfect way to get out of the "office" that I'd been in all day. And besides, I hadn't heard of James McAvoy yet.

So I guess that's where this post is coming from. Getting out of the office. Coming up for air. A little sensory deprivation, maybe. But when your "office" is your home and your kids, feelings of guilt come with that desire.

But things are looking up. A friend's wedding is next week, so that's an excuse to get out of the office. And next weekend, Urban Dad & I will go out for our anniversary to a favorite restaurant for a leisurely dinner (future post right there, huh?). So again, an excuse to get out of here a quick two nights later. And thank God for Best Namma Ever! coming to visit, 'cause that saves us having to just hand over a cable tv payment to a babysitter (mr. mcavoy has three movies going on HBO just now...).

These are the things that excite me right now. Anyone else go through this? Anyone else feel all "bad mom"-ish when you do?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon was this past Sunday. It's the only Sunday morning each year that I actually hop out of bed bright and early and scurry down to the end of my block. You see, we're at about the 8-mile mark, and 45,000 people run by at the end of the street. It's a sight to behold.

I imagine it is for the runners, too. You see, the runners get a taste of each of the neighborhoods that the race take them through, as locals proudly show off their cultures. For example, in Chinatown, they get something like this:

In Pilsen, they'll see something like this:

Of course, when downtown, they might see this:

At the end of my block in my neck of the woods known as "Boys' Town?" Ummm. Well, this guy:

And this guy:

As well as........

And let's not forget....

(bless their hearts for actually posing for me!)

And these guys are R.O.T.C. -- Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps. They entertain the runners by dressing in semi-military garb and twirling their rifles to disco music. I think this one was taken to "It's Raining Men."
Here are a few shots of the street before the runners came through. It's bizarre to see it so empty!

There were tons of lead vehicles, but I only managed to pop off a shot of one. (U-Kid 1 has been charged with informing U-Dad that I need a new camera for Christmas.....)

These guys were next, and they are a truly amazing and inspiring sight!

And then came all of the people! Any shots that I tried to get of the lead runners were too blurry. They're pretty speedy, those guys. And did I mention what I want for Christmas?
But the droves and droves of runners came next. And that's always such a fun scene!

This pooch always has the coolest view of these kinds of events, don't cha think? On warm nights, he hangs out there and "chats" with passers-by.

So every year in mid-October, I head out and do some serious people-watching for an hour or so. It never fails to both entertain and inspire!

Now ask me when was the last time I went to the gym (ahem, guilty look, ahem)...........

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bad News & Good News

The Bad News:

Urban Kid 1 has been sick with viral croup. The fever came and went a few days ago, but her energy level is down. And she can barely speak above a whisper. We went to see a Children's theater thing today, but she wasn't much into it. She was so tired. We came home, she crabbed for a bit, then she went down for a two-hour nap. But her breathing isn't nearly as raspy as it was a few days ago, and I think she's on the upswing.

We barely have a grocery in the house. Guess how I might be planning another glamorous Saturday night?

The Good News:

Urban Kid 1 is going to get her first manicure tomorrow (such my little fashionista.....).

The Chicago Marathon is tomorrow and comes through our neighborhood. This is always a hugely festive thing in every neighborhood the marathon comes through as each one gets to show off its own personality to tens of thousands of folks.

While Urban Kid 1 sacked out this afternoon, Urban Kid 2 got some one-on-one time with U-Dad. They went to the park, to Jamba Juice, all around the neighborhood. Good fun!

It's absolutely beautiful here in Chicago! It's in the 70s and wonderful! And we need to enjoy it because this is likely it until Spring! Posts after this weekend will often include "someone get me out of this frozen hell!"

For reasons of our own, starting several months ago, we mostly started liquidating a lot of our stocks. So we've mainly stuffed our mattresses (aka: money markets) with cash and are sitting tight. Our next decision is when to go shopping for cheap stocks.

So there ya go. Another day of wall-to-wall excitement!!

Hope all is well in your worlds. ;-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What's better than Shopping, Caffeine & Chocolate?

Aaaahhhhhh, I'm feeling much better now (eye twitch, eye twitch, dab at drool at corner of mouth).

No really, that crabby day was kind of the peak of a few days of feeling out of sorts. But it's run it course. Emotionally, I feel like a wet dog who just had a very thorough shake. Ok, it made sense in my head. It looks a little weirder in print. But I feel bad that while my mood has improved dramatically, I had this bad-mood-cyber-mojo still floating around out there. So here I am to blow some fresh air into my little cyber-corner of the world here!

Hey, remember my friend who ended up with a Really Famous Political Candidate's eldest child in her kitchen out of the blue one day? She's also the Urban Kids' Godmother. And despite my crabbiness a few days ago, I really do dig her!

And now that Urban Kid 1 is old enough to take places and do things with people who are not her parents, she's started going on "playdates" with her Godmother. But they're the kind of "playdates" that her Godmother can afford. And being the mom of only boys, she thinks going out on the town with a little girl is the neatest possible way to spend an afternoon. (she might be right, actually.....)

For example, at Christmas, she took U-Kid 1 to lunch at The Peninsula Hotel downtown.
And then shopping here (which is more than I was going to do -- the whole Disney Princess thing kinda chaps my ass -- but that's a different post):

Ok, I haven't had lunch at The Peninsula Hotel!

As a belated birthday present, a few days ago the Urban Kids' Godmother took Urban Kid 1 here

for a quick bite of this

and some shopping. U-Kid 1 scored this:Plus a pair of glamorous and very bright pink sunglasses that are so large that Bono himself would say, "Wow, those are big sunglasses." And I'll give U-Kid 1 credit -- she carries them off!

And bless her heart if The Godmother didn't pick up U-Kid 1 just as U-Kid 2 was due to have this:

Which meant that I became so incredibly productive with my newly found free time! Oh, who am I kidding? I did this:
(you know you're jealous....)

Of course, U-Kid 1's handwriting lesson today was a thank-you note to The Godmother. 'Cause, y'know, it's all about the teachable moments, right?
And speaking of stuff that you can do with your kids as they get older, U-Kid 1 and I are going to see this on Saturday. It's very reasonably priced and put on by the only theater company in Chicago totally devoted to kids' productions. If we like their stuff, maybe we'll get crazy and subscribe!

Oh, and Momma found some new medicine!

If you can't read the banner on the left, it says -- and with a sigh of true, deep love, I'm sure -- "as much caffeine as a cup of coffee." Care to guess how fast this beautiful gift from heaven ended up in the cart the moment I laid my eyes on it? I can't tell you how I just ZZZZZZZZIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPPPP through the afternoons now!!!! And in the cheeriest of moods!!!! Honestly, it's the simplest things that are just genius, isn't it? Thank you, Swiss Miss Product Development! Thank you!!!!!
So there ya go... shopping, caffeine and chocolate. What could be better?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Feelin' Funky.....

Ok, I haven't posted in a bit. Y'know why? First, Best Namma Ever! returned with Urban Kid 1 and stayed a few wonderful days. And she doesn't know about this blog. And the computer is in the same room as where she stays. So that explains the first few days.

Then lately, I've been in a funk. And who wants to hear about that? Seriously, why are you still reading?

Because who wants to hear me whine about nothing? And so I haven't posted.

Maybe it's the cooler weather.

Or the shorter days.

Or that I'm so premenstrual that I want to scream.

Oh wait. I have.

Or that I'm currently reading "The Kindergarten Wars." Good Gawd, are these people tedious.Or that I had a boatload of things reserved at the library, only to finally wonder why I hadn't heard anything. And then I found that half of the boatload had arrived, sat there and then was scattered back across the city to the far-flung various branches from which they came because I never received any notice that they had arrived!

Or there was the friend of mine whose children attend the same school as a great, big, famous political candidate. And one day GBFPC's eldest child unexpectedly ended up in our friend's kitchen. And the breathlessness with which she told the story made me want to reach over and shake her and say, "get over this celebrity worship bullsh*t already!" Instead, I widened my eyes and asked what the Secret Service guys were wearing.

Jeans, by the way.

Or attending a dinner at this same friend's house and sitting next to someone who has an otherwise lovely South Carolina accent, but who is completely bombed. And who says to the group in a strange mixture of drawl and slur: "So is anyone here a fan of (political candidate who U-Dad & I happen to like)? 'Cause I think I should ask before I go on!" And U-Dad & I sat quietly because 1.) it's not our house, 2.) we're outnumbered and 3.) we're polite enough to not get drunk and talk politics with people we've only just met.

{Clearly, this particular friend also does not know of this blog. =-) }

Geez, I am in a mood!

So today, I indulged myself. I haven't left the house all day, thus taking an Initiative Vacation Day. The Urban Kids and I hung out and played a bit while I got some laundry accomplished. Then U-Dad took U-Kid 1 for a bike ride and ice cream and miniature golf while U-Kid 2 napped. Then he collected U-Kid 2 and dropped off U-Kid 1. And U-Kid 1 watched Dora while I took a refreshing shower.

I think it's running its course here. And some of it is just that being this cranky is flat out boring!

'Cause you know what? I have nothing to complain about. Absolutely freakin' nothing. And instead of being a self-involved mope here, I need to get my arms and brain complely around that fact and thank God every flippin' day for it.

I'm starting to annoy myself here. Which means things will be on the upswing once again very soon.

Oh, and it looks like O.J. will get at least 15 years, so that brightened my day a bit too.

Are you still here? My, you are a generous soul. Tell you what... go give some love to a dear friend who actually deserves it!

I'll be back soon and back to my old self! In the meantime, I'm having a lovely time catching up on all of your blogs! Frankly, dishing to all of you has been strangely therapeutic..... thanks for listening!