Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Blog-o-versary, Urban Mom!

Happy Blogoversary to meeeeeeeee,
Happy Blogoversary to meeeeeeeee,
Happy Blogoversary
Happy Blogoversary
Happy Blogoversary to meeeeeeeee!

Yep, it's been one trip around the blog-o-sun for yours truly. And what fun it's been! Obviously, this has a lot to do with you, the reader. 'Cause if I sit here typing and figure that nobody is ever going to see it.... well, it's just not nearly as much fun, now is it? So thanks for coming by now and then and for letting me come see you too.

Being the mom of small kids and living in a town that is currently in the Deep Freeze, cyber-space is sometimes a surprisingly valuable source of social contact.

Now.... a quick summary...

Who encouraged me to start a blog? Anne

Who was my first comment? Tonia

Which post got the most comments? Michael Phelps in his waaaaay low swim-mmmmm-suit
(perhaps I should re-name this blog "Cougars Unite"?????)

So thanks for coming by, thanks for letting me brag about my husband & kids, for letting me vent my goofy complaints and for letting me give voice to the far goofier trains of thought bouncing around my head.

Here's to another great year!

Wanna leave a Blogoversary gift? Leave a comment! Even a simple "hi" will do. You know bloggers...they love the comments. (and besides, i have statcounter, i know you've stopped in for a visit)

In the meantime, Happy Monday to ya!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bad Mojo...

First, the backstory... A Dear Friend in St. Louis moved to LA in her 20's for a California adventure. While out there, she met a guy. They got married & had two kids. The guy turned out to be a Psycho RatBastard who was a raging alcoholic nutjob. Dear Friend underwent a long, ugly divorce and custody proceeding to get the little Dear Friend-ettes back to the ever-loving arms of family and friends in St. Louis. Once DF and the DF-ettes were finally back, PRB continued to be a problem. DF has been legally bound to ship DF-ettes to see him. He's British, so sometimes he would take them overseas. Where ever they might be, hell followed. The youngest DF-ette would often call her helpless mom from the back of some closet and sobbing in tears because PRB was drunk, in a rage and verbally eviscerating everyone around him. You get the picture.

Gee Val, thanks for brightening my day... so what's your point?

Stay with me....

The youngest DF-ette is a 12 (or is it 13?) year old girl who is crazy-obsessed with the Twilight series. I see DF on Facebook now and then, where I mentioned the CliffNotes on my feelings about my own recent introduction (few people IRL know of this corner of cyber-space). DF sent me a note telling me how into Edward little DF-ette was and how she just couldn't bring herself to tell her that there would never be any such thing as a real Edward.

So I was thinking about DF-ette. And how with her father being such a PRB, that she was likely already set up for some weird Daddy Issues in her dating future. And since she was moving headlong into adolescence, that I would happily give her a humorous earful about the realities of Edward at our next gathering (our families tend to hang out at July 4th and Thanksgiving, plus a few times in-between).

And then I was thinking more about PRB and all the hell that he causes people. And I contemplated how it would be such a load off so many people if he just died. I thought a lot about DF, little DF-ette and this idea.

Well, guess what?

Yesterday, he did! (details of what happened remain sketchy)

I'm not kidding.......

I got the news this morning from Best Namma Ever!. A few hours later, I called the Pink Power Ranger and asked what she thought. She said that this would be difficult for the kids now, but that as they grow up and see the bigger picture through a more mature lens, that they may someday understand that this is ... not such a bad thing. So she agreed with me. And leave it PPR, who has spent about 11 years now as a police officer, to be both diplomatic and pragmatic. BNE!, who has more decency in her pinky than I hope to have in my entire body, would not come out and say that. But we all agree that this will be a tremendous load off of DF, to not have to ship her undefended DF-ettes off to LA or London to deal with the wrath of PRB.

When I shared my recent thoughts with PPR, she just said, "wow, I hope you never contemplate that for me."

As if.

But weird, huh??

I'm thinking of directing my next round of Bad Mojo at this guy:

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Devil Made Me Do It!

Ok, ladies and germs, I have a confession to make. After wondering what all the hype was about, especially after being lured in by my cyber-friend June Cleaver After A Six-Pack, I picked this up from the library on Friday, sometime around 3:30pm.
I had just finished What Is The What?, an excruciatingly intense story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and needed to do a 180-degree turn.

Careful what you wish for.

Can I just say that the most damning thing that can be told to a girl seems to be, "Edward Cullen is staring at you."
And before I go any further, June Cleaver, stay with me through this whole post and hear me out, sistah!

Now... let's get started.

First, Edward, darling. You are just over 100 years old. Quit hanging around the high school trying to pick up a 17-year-old girl from a broken home who's new in town, you dirty old man. And for that matter, lurking outside of said girl's bedroom window all night is grounds for getting shot by her police chief Dad. Stalking is creepy at any age. No wonder you're lurking around this girl's place. Any grown woman would have you slapped with a restraining order and would sleep with a Taser under her pillow.

That said, how about someone closer to your own age? You might be interested to know that a girl learns a few things over oh, say, twenty years that a dirty old man like you might enjoy.

But I digress.

Second, Bella. Listen, sweetie. Most importantly, if a guy tells you that he fell for you because of your smell.... uhhhh, yeah, can we really look at that one in the Bright Light of Normal? Also, we all like to think we can tame the Bad Boy, that that makes us special somehow.

But let me tell ya something, honey. You either won't or will get the job done. Neither works out well. And either way, you have to figure out how to lose the superhuman bloodthirsty guy outside of your bedroom window. And don't get me wrong. I get the whole thrill-of-dating-someone-I'm-not-supposed-to thing. Every gal does. But then something happens -- we grow up.

Now, Edward, if you would like to see what I keep under my pillow, well... no wait, go away, you creepy old man.....

Shame on me you.

Hey, I said stop doing that. You're distracting me. You bad, bad man.

Finally, Stephenie Meyer. Holy cow, dear. You struck paydirt. But how? You're no J.K. Rowling and you're certainly no Joss Whedon (oh Buffy, didn't we have fun?). Every character was a well-worn archtype. The plot was painfully predictable. You go pages and pages and pages of nothing happening, just talking. For God's sake, I get it! -- he's moody and broody and seething with sex and death -- get on with it already! And then when something does (finally!) happen, it's overwhelmingly obvious what exactly it will be. Cash those checks, my friend. Good on ya for sitting down at a typewriter in the first place and getting hit by this kind of publishing lightening. Just promise me one thing? When you finish this series, promise me that you will never again touch a keyboard of any kind. Don't even text-message.

That sweater looks itchy... want some help with that?

Oh, and one more thing Edward. If you so painfully want this girl, yet still manage to go through three more books without laying one single unchaste hand on her, you are not a vampire. You are gay. (notthatthere'sanythingwrongwiththat!)


Ok, then. A few more confessions. What the hell -- it's a fairly anonymous blog.

I got the book on Friday afternoon. I finished it on Sunday afternoon. 500 pages in 48 hours.

(and for the record, Bella, you might have a barely-bridled demon for a boyfriend, but I have a fully-unleashed saint for a husband)

I have the second book on my request list at the library. (none of these books on are on any shelves in the city -- they are all in circulation) I will shamelessly put the other two on there, as well.

I have the movie on my Netflix reserve queue. And I know that whenever it comes out, that I'll pop it up to the front of the line. Cursing myself the whole time.

I don't understand it. I don't want to understand it. I just want to enjoy it, scolding myself the whole time.

So until we meet again, Edward, there is something I just have to finally reconcile with myself:

I am such a chick.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Using The Kelvin Scale Here

Wahoooo! I have a new modem! And I can actually GET to ALL of my favorite websites! And not only GET to them, I can even see all of the graphics. And I'm reasonably sure that this will now be a consistent, regular thing, and not just happen when I cross my fingers and say the right prayer every third try of every second day.

Whew, it moves fast, this internet thing. I no sooner hit Enter, and whoosh! up comes the website. This is how it's *supposed* to be, huh?

So here's the latest. It's cold. Way cold. As in, -17 F actual temperature. Again.

Urban Dad called in yesterday. He's pretty tough when it comes to cold, but he bailed out yesterday. He just didn't have it in him to strap on the knee brace and hobble out there for find a bus or cab (he's been using the latter rather often lately). So he stayed home and got lots of work done. Today, he called Great Big Urban High School at 5:45am and talked to an engineer -- school had not been called off. C'mon! Are you kidding? Every single school in the Chicagoland area seems to be closed because sending children out to wait for the bus in -30 F windchills just seems, oh I don't know, INSANE! But not CPS. Personally, I wonder if the schools are glorified warming shelters for a good chunk of the population. *sigh* So off he went. Ya gotta wonder what attendance will be like on a day like this before a 3-day weekend.

Anywhoooo, we haven't moved the (nicely shoveled out, thanks to your truly) car in about six days because of the snow and the INSANE cold. We may have to buckle today. Urban Kid 1 has a piano class. I called, and they plan to be there. Ffffftt. Darnit. And U-Dad has physical therapy and could use a ride. Luckily, the car is on our block. I should be able to hustle the two kids down there before anyone turns to glass. Also, there's a library just a block down from piano class. And Twilight has finally come in and is waiting for me. But it won't be there for much longer. So one more nudge out the door.

So while it's really too cold to function, it's been almost a week of not functioning fully due to 1.) either one or the other U-Kid doing some hurling and 2.) the brain-piercing cold. It's time to make our way back out into the world.

It's expected to get up to a whopping 33 F next week. Break out the flip-flops and tank tops!

But hey, did I mention that I have full-on internet now?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hellooooo? Helloooooo? Am I here?????

Our internet connection has been inconsistent lately. At best.

I cannot bring up my Yahoo! account! Crackbook has also fizzled. I get some of the graphics of Netflix, but not everything. And I had just enough internet to get a grocery order submitted, because Chicago has become the ninth ring of hell lately, and I'm not dragging two kids out into 35 feet of snow and sub-zero weather to get Honeycomb. (really, I just don't want to give up the parking space that I keep digging out around the car, which hasn't moved in six days because I don't want to give up the parking space. )

And as you can see, what I do on the internet is oh-so-important! But guess what? It IS! Because a few days ago, Urban Kid 2 was sick and hurling. And yesterday, Urban Kid 1 started our day by hurling on the bathroom floor (just two more seconds, she woulda made it...) So between the weather and the hurling, I'm stuck inside. Crackbook, Yahoo!, the blogs -- they're my connection to the outside world. I miss the outside world. I miss my Cyber-Friends!

After spending more than an hour on the phone with AT&T tech support, they finally asked about my modem. You see, our modem is the one that they sent us when we first signed on with them when Urban Dad & I first moved in together. Seven years ago. Who knew that a modem is really only meant to last 4-5 years? So they are sending a new one. And I'm waiting.

In the meantime, I am barely resisting the urge to start liquidating all of our assets and meeting Urban Dad at the door when he arrives home (finally!) from physical therapy with four one-way tickets to Tahiti.


(on the upside? it's just about 5pm and there is still light in the sky....)

And... who knew??????

I hope you had a good one.
Check out the details here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dresses, Jumping Pits, Shots and a (stupid) Knee update

Ok, being a bad blogger has become more of the rule than the exception lately, but here I am, trying to right my blogging ship!

Best Namma Ever! (who does not know of this corner of cyber-space) was here for a few days. I Know! It had been a whole week since leaving her place at Christmas! But a Dear Friend of ours drove up to see some family, so BNE! tagged along. And we were delighted to have her.

So here's what we did:

We took the kids to Pump It Up and let them run their brains out all over the inflatable slides and jumping pits. Oh yeah. I see Pump It Up becoming a New Best Friend this winter.

Urban Kid 1 and BNE! also went to the Chicago History Museum to see the Chic Chicago exhibit. Urban Kid 2 and I were planning to go too, but I remembered the night before that U-Kid 2 had a doctor's appointment. So while U-Kid 1 was deciding that her favorite dress was a classic black number from 1952, U-Kid 2 got a finger prick and two shots. Life is so not fair sometimes.

On the up side, she was declared the picture of health and beauty by Dr. Deanna. And when I mentioned that we were homeschooling U-Kid 1 and how well she was doing and how helpful the book The Well-Trained Mind was, I saw out of my peripheral vision that she wrote something down and put it into her pocket. Perhaps the book title? Urbad Dad later told me that she perked up at the mention of homeschooling the last time he was there, too.

Speaking of, U-Kid 2's next appointment is schedule for the day after Chicago Public Schools lets out. I'm letting Urban Dad get some of the fun of taking a two-year-old for shots. Yep, that's me -- sharing the love!

And speaking of Urban Dad, his (stupid) knee is getting better. On the first day of physical therapy, he couldn't get the bicycle pedals to go around once. This is a guy who has bicycled from Chicago to Seattle, from Glacier National Park to Aspen and from Prague to Athens (a trip that had a slight detour involving a loaded gun being put to his head and then hiding for the night in the woods of Serbia in nothing but boxer shorts and a t-shirt not knowing if the people looking for him were good guys or bad guys...but that's another post). Lucky for him, I think a cyclist's tan is kinda sexy. Especially when paired with a cyclist's body. Hubba hubba.

Anywhoooo, he recently went a whopping 7/10 of a mile on the bike at PT. And he was so proud that it was really kind of cute.

Which almost makes up for him not being able to do his usual amount of heavy lifting around here. (Stupid) Knee.

Oh, and my sister gave me six months of Netflix for Christmas. Because I don't have enough things to waste time on! I already have a queue about two years long. And I've "friended" her on the site, so I get to send her lots of helpful suggestions that I'm sure that she endlessly appreciates. Ya gotta love the Pink Power Ranger. She's very patient with her sister who doesn't get out much.

Urban Dad enters Finals Time at Great Big Urban High School pretty soon... which somehow involves me spending lots of time on the computer helping out.... but I'll try to get back into my regular blogging schedule. Well, soon anyway.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Promises, Promises

My New Year's resolution is to throw away one item per day. And if I'm throwing something away, there's likely an item right next to it that can go too. So, you see, I don't have to purge an entire drawer or closet. I can easily procrastinate on a project like that. But one or two items? There's always a moment for that! And after a year...that could be upwards of 400 items!

We're not a pack-rat sort of bunch here, and we're much more about doing stuff than having stuff. But things accumulate. And living in an apartment rather than a house, space is always on our minds. So perhaps this will keep out the "riff-raff?"

So what's your resolution?

PS: Best Namma Ever! tagged along with a Dear Friend who made the drive up here from St. Louis, so we have company for a few days. Urban Kid 1 already has her busy playing in her room. Urban Kid 2 is about to wake up and will be over the moon!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Groceries & Martinis, all in one post

Oooooo boy! Where have I been? Out. With Friends. I'll be back later.

Ok, it's way later. And as I type, it's getting way late in general. And I need to get my rump out of bed early tomorrow in order to knock out the grocery shopping so that I can have a leisurely chat with a girlfriend at the gym (she's a teacher, so I may not see her again until June). Because after that, it's coming home to a husband who will likely be figuring out all of the things that he didn't get done over the last two weeks and is realizing that school starts on Monday.

Darn that grocery shopping. The other three people in this house seem to think that they should get to eat. Every day. Ffffttt.

So let's do a quick catch-up, shall we?

First, I'm way behind on reading other blogs. Well, ok, except June Cleaver After A Six-Pack's. 'Cause she's posting super-hot-beefcake pictures on a regular basis lately, and who can't take a moment for a bit of eye candy? I figure that Urban Dad is the ultimate beneficiary, so why not? Yep, that's the logic.... I do it for him....... Anywhooooo, I hope to catch up to what's happening in your lives ASAP. Ok, as in tomorrow because I have to go to bed soon... darn hungry children and gimpy husband.

Which leads me to an I Knee'd You Update -- Urban Dad is coming along nicely. He hobbles around in his brace and tries to help out. Bless his heart if he didn't vacuum today! (there's some eye-candy right there, let me tell ya) He's started physical therapy and will continue with it three days a week for the next month. I figure that carting him from Great Big Urban High School over to PT three days a week will give me practice for when I start carting the U-Kids all over town for activities. No wait, we already cart around to Spanish, Piano & Art. Hmmmmmm. Oh well. At least he can get both of his gloves on by himself and doesn't whine for snacks. And he vacuums.

Christmas was good. The Urban Kids scored a dollhouse from Best Namma Ever!, and it was a complete and total hit. It was also too big for us to bring home. But as fate would have it, a Dear Friend of our family's is driving to Chicago on Monday, thus allowing BNE! to escort the dollhouse to our place.

Ditto a baby bed for Urban Kid 2's doll. Poor kid keeps putting her doll on a shelf, putting a blanket on it and saying, "baby night-night." It's gotten a bit pitiful. So BNE! is also bringing the baby bed.

And the rest of the gifts were pretty right-on. People know us well, and we ended up with a nice balance of stuff that we'll keep for a year or two, stuff we'll keep for much longer, plus the stuff that we'll use for a while and then toss (coloring books, colorful bath soaps, etc). Given our urban apartment space restraints, U-Dad & I are usually all about the last category. But I'm thinking that the dollhouse will be around for a looooong time, and it'll be pretty darn cool. And I'm wondering what happened to the promises of cutting back this year..... BNE! has a hard time with that when it comes to the Urban Kids.

Even better? Urban Kid 1 got to go to church two Sundays in a row. I like that she gets why we celebrate Christmas. And it gives me a charge to know that the folks at this church know her when she comes in, and that they're as excited to see her as she is to be there. Good vibes.

The Big Gift this year??? My sister, the Pink Power Ranger, has a knack for putting together extraordinary gift baskets. You're always honored to merit receiving one from her. This year, it was my mom that scored a basket. And ultimately, we all scored, because it was a martini basket! PPR got three martini classes and decorated one for herself, me and BNE!. Then she added a bottle of Godiva chocolate liqueur and a bottle of Skyy vodka. (the U-Kids have their treats at Grandma's; PPR & I have ours). Later that night, BNE! broke out her Irish Cream, and we had chocolate martinis. Mmmmmmmmm......Merry Christmas, indeed. Maireee Krishmash, ennndeee.

As we settle into the new year, I hope to get back into the blogging routine. And I hope that all of you had wonderful holidays surrounded by the people you love most!!!