Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday, Urban Kid 2!

One Day Old, still tired from all the commotion. You just know she's thinking, "Woah! I had the weirdest dream!"
Sigh.... even when nursing, your mother has no chest... Hey, maybe that dessert cart will come around one more time before we leave the hospital!
One week old and in the arms of Best Namma Ever!. Yep, you're a smart baby -- you know what side your bread is buttered on.
Now you have a head full of blonde curls, are working on your alphabet, love the words "no!" and "mine!", hide behind the Christmas tree when you need to poop, love to brush your teeth, love-love-looooove to go "buh-BYE!" and can kick off your shoes and socks in the car on a sub-zero day.
I love you forever!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm Here! Really!

It's been a while. But I haven't had too much time to myself lately. Just enough to bang out a comment here and there on Crackbook, but not enough to collect my thoughts and put together a real blog post. Which I want to do!

But here are the highlights:

Urban Dad had his knee surgery last Thursday. He's been nothing but sunshine and love ever since (that's a big dripping heap of sarcasm right there...). But he's off of the oxycontin and took the last antibiotic and Celebrex today. Maybe he'll lighten the hell up soon. But really, he's hanging in there. I wouldn't trade places with him. Then again, he hasn't been able to change a diaper since his surgery........

We made the drive to the Mothership of Best Namma Ever!'s house last night. Our 5-6 hour drive turned into seven as we went through snow and ice until Bloomington-Normal, which is about the halfway point. After that, things cleared. But we didn't get in until almost midnight. Urban Kid 1 saw her first midnight ever and was over the moon about it. Urban Kid 2 was excited too, but I'm not sure that she really knew why. Urban Dad was nothing but sunshine and love for the entire trip. (see above)

But we're here and did it before temps dropped into the sub-zero range across Illinois. And we're in Best Namma Ever!'s ever-lovin' arms. And if the Pink Power Ranger ever gets her tookus over here, we'll make a gingerbread house. She's en route, and it's not like anyone is going to give her a speeding ticket, so she should be here soon.

In case I don't get another moment alone, Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Babysitter!!! A REAL Babysitter!

Ok, I am waaaayyyy too excited about this. It's just dinner with another couple this evening. And I'll explain later why we're having dinner with these good friends tonight, a school night.

But here's the important thing: we're getting a babysitter! Oh no, not Best Namma Ever!, although she is the Best Babysitter Ever! as well. But no working around her schedule and waiting for her to arrive in town. We are paying for one. Paying for a college kid to come to our house. So that we can have a dinner with two adults. Think of it -- dinner companions that don't whine or pout or chew with their mouths open or drop their food on the floor or announce a need for personal biological functions. Oh no. Those dinner companions will be at home. With a babysitter!

Can you tell that we rarely do this?

It's snowing like gangbusters, but that's ok. The babysitter (!!!!!) is taking the el. And Urban Dad & I are meeting our friends at a favorite neighborhood restaurant. Which means that it's within walking distance.

Ok, I have to scoot. I want to wipe down the kitchen again and clean the bathroom for the babysitter. I want her to like it here. I want her to want to come back again someday. Someday soon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Now THAT'S A Playdate!

A while back, I shared with you how the Urban Kids' Godmother takes U-Kid 1 out on the town for a "playdate." Today, U-Kid 1 and The Godmother went out for their Christmas playdate (last year at Christmas was when they started this new tradition... oxymoron though that is).

So here's how today went:

The Godmother arrived at about 9:45am, bearing gifts for Urban Kid 2. She had picked up this little number, which looks just adorable on her. The less adorable part was her running around screaming and trying to tear it off, but, um, I chalked that up to her needing a nap. (yeah, i know that it was only 9:45)

Then she and U-Kid 1 took off to the theater, where they went to see Hansel & Gretel, put on by a company that exclusively puts on children's programming. Seems that they softened the "child abandonment" part of the story, going instead with the idea that H&G broke the "don't go into the woods alone" rule instead. But the rest was pretty true to the story -- a creepy witch, a kid in a cage, the witch kicked into the oven. The Godmother said that U-Kid 1 wanted to leave at on point, but that she decided to muster up her courage and stay. And after the show, she raved about what a great time that she had. Oh, and did I mention that they were in the first row right in the center?
After the show, the ladies went shopping at a fun children's boutique nearby called LMNOP.

And U-Kid 1 scored this deliriously fun hat:

Get it? It's a tea pot! The Godmother said it best: "She looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book!"

After the show, they went to the Salt & Pepper diner for lunch. Where U-Kid 1 got crazy -- just ask her -- and ordered breakfast for lunch. (It was crazy, Mom!) The Godmother must think that these kids don't get fed at home. U-Kid 1 snarfed down pancakes, bacon, bananas -- everything that was put in front of her.
Then they went for manicures. U-Kid 1's current favorite color is Essie's Bermuda Shorts. (yes, my 5-year-old fashionista has a favorite nail polish color...)
And the manicurits even added little bits of silver glitter on some nails and little white flowers on others.

Okay, Godmother, when do I get to have a playdate with you?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Grass Is Always Greener......

Stolen from "The Soup Blog" post of December 5th.

In a move that has shocked and saddened film fans worldwide, actress Gwyneth Paltrow has removed herself from movie star status. The Shakespeare in Love star will be devoting her time to motherhood and the attention of her two children and musician husband Chris Martin. “I haven't starred in a film since my kids were born, and I don't think I will,” stated Paltrow. “I'll never get these days back. They're so delicious and precious, and hilarious, I don't want to miss them.”

Paltrow’s exit from stardom has opened up a vacancy in the ranks of Hollywood, a slot that Rochester, New York, housewife and mother of three Shirley Gibbons is determined to fill.
“I’ll never get these days back,” said a weary, bedraggled Gibbons to Soup Blog reporters as she clutched screaming infant son Rory in one hand and a Doral Light in the other. “My kids have pretty much stolen the last eight years of my life. The crying, the yelling, the nagging…it’s a 24-hour-a-day living hell. I’m totally ready to be a movie star. The huge paychecks, the glamorous lifestyle, the public adoration. These things are so delicious and precious, and hilarious, I don't want to miss them.”

I admire her for this decision. No, I think she's nuts. No, I admire her. No I think she's NUTS. No, I ADMIRE her. No, I..... ok, it depends on the day I'm having.

But seriously, nice options, huh? Home with my adorable babies, or starring with Robert Downey, Jr. in IronMan 2.
Decisions, decisions......

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Say Cheeeeese? Ok, say whatever you want. You will anyway.

Gimp-O-Rama Urban Dad is so upset. He got the MRI results, and they show an ACL tear. So it's off to the orthopedic surgeon on Monday afternoon to find out if some sort of surgery is required. And when. Poor thing.

But Now, The Real Post

Can I brag now? Really? 'Cause you can't always want to come here to hear me whine about how much I can't stand winter and how crazy my MIL is (oooo boy, that story is developing lately too!). So since it's my little corner of the blogoverse, I'm gonna brag today.

Our Christmas cards are totally bitchin'.

We took the U-Kids to The Picture People at Old Orchard Mall last night (any locals here? call them and ask for Trinity...she's wonderful!). U-Kid 1 knows this drill. Sit, smile, say something cute, smile some more, allow everyone to oooo and ahhhh, soak in U-Dad's dopey adoring smiles from behind the camera.....

U-Kid 2 is a different story. She's wonderful and affectionate, don't get me wrong. But wow, can she muster up an attitude! She can look you straight in the eye and, without blinking, pitch a wad of food across the room. She knows she's going to get in trouble. She doesn't care. She wants you to go in a particular direction? She will grab you at the thighs, turn you around and push you along -- the only way you can avoid tripping is to go along. You don't want her to stand on the kitchen chair? She'll climb up there, stand as tall as she can muster and call out in a sing-song voice her own little version of "nah nah!" U-Kid 1 is annoying her? U-Kid 2 has a hell of a wind-up before putting the smack-down on her.

(On the up-side, when U-Kid 1 is upset and crying about something, U-Kid 2 promptly and directly brings her a blanket. 'Cause that's what makes you feel better when you cry, right?)

And so while I don't condone her behavior, as I'm scolding her, I secretly kind of like it. I like that she has a certain amount of independence from authority, that she has her own mind, and that -- with a little honing -- she'll learn when to apologize later rather than ask permission first. My biggest prayer is that she will be like the Pink Power Ranger (all of these personality traits are bizarrely similar to her anyway) and use her powers for The Forces of Good.

Even U-Kid 2 came around and posed for some excellent shots.

Yes, she did it on her own terms. She didn't sit nicely on the stool. She grabbed it, put it where she wanted it, turned it upside-down and sat in it. But it worked out beautifully. She looks exactly and perfectly natural. And beautiful.

We opted for a version that has three pictures on the card. One of U-Kid 1 looking all cute and adorable. One of U-Kid 2 sitting in her upside-down stool. And one in the middle of the two of them together. It's a perfect, sweet embrace with them both smiling. And U-Kid 2 has stuck out her tongue.

I'm actually looking forward to addressing them all!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hum-Drum Updates

I Knee'd You, Part Two

Sir Gimps-a Lot Urban Dad is icing faithfully. And sleeping with a heating pad around his knee. You know you've been married a while when you find your husband asleep on the bed in sweats wearing half-eyes and with a heating pad around his sprained knee and you think he's the cutest thing ever.

The Gimpinator Urban Dad went for an MRI yesterday, limping out to the bus in the snow/rain combo that we had last night. He came back with a stack of films and an appointment to chat about them on Monday.

Win One For The Gimper Urban Dad then heroically handled getting Urban Kid 1's bath wrapped up. She'd been waiting patiently for him to return, turning ridiculously prunish in the meantime.

And he still insists on taking out the trash. God love 'im. You can imagine my protests.... ("you sure? ok, have fun!")

She's out of the hospital. She's now home, and BIL #1 is staying with her in order to help care for her. They can now drive each other batsh*t-crazy without taking the medical staff with them.

While BIL #2 was up there, they discovered a few things:

MIL can't figure out her remote on her TV... which she watches all day... so she calls someone to help her with it. At something like $160 a pop.

She can't figure out how to open her chimney for her fireplace, so she calls someone. Another $150 a pop.

She lives across the street from a ritzy hotel and has recruited a couple of the kids there to walk her dog and do some shopping for her. While BIL #2 was there, one of these kids came in with the dog at 3am, drunk. And boy was he surprised to find BIL #2 standing there!

BIL#1 went across the street to find out which kids were helping her out.... and to collect her credit card that she had given them.

The list goes on, but you get the idea. It's time to get MIL some assistance. But God help the poor soul actually hired to do it. She's already alienated BIL #1's wife, who does this kind of thing and went up there a few weeks ago to give it a crack.

City Living
Urban Dad & I have actually breathed the words....... said them out loud....... and it's entirely possible that we meant them. We have floated the idea of leaving Chicago someday. Nothing urgent yet -- maybe five years from now? But it's getting easier to consider the idea. We're just getting nickel-and-dime'd like crazy. We're getting our brains taxed out, but the city remains at least $200 million in the red. So bit by little bit, we start to wonder about diminishing returns and wonder what our next step might be someday down the road. I love Chicago. It's a great place for kids, even! But like any love, you have to separate the emotions from the facts and weigh your options.

That's it in our world! How's yours?