Showing posts from April, 2013

Weekend in the Woods

Some friends invited us to their cabin for the weekend. We were happy to get out of town, so we readily agreed to go. They warned us that it gets muddy up there (the snow is just melting and they have 40 acres of wooded land). What I didn't realize is that my daughter, Miss-I-Only-Want-to-Wear-Dresses-and-High-Heeled-Shoes would be so willing to get filthy. She even drove a four-wheeler! We took Giddy with us. We had eight people and four dogs up there. Oh, and some alcohol. And fire. Lots of fire.

Where the hipsters go, where the tourists go

This is my last Chicago post, I promise. Just humor me - I don't get out much. Our last full day in Chicago was Sunday. We had made some loose plans as far as what we wanted to do that day. We knew that much of the flavor of Chicago comes from its many diverse neighborhoods. We also knew it was best to avoid the ones where people are frequently, you know, shot.  So, we decided to head to Wicker Park. We had several guide books (Rachel is better at planning than I am) and had some ideas of places we wanted to see. Rachel had the cab driver drop us off at a coffee joint called The Wormhole . I am not a coffee drinker so I sipped some apple juice while she worked on her caffeinated beverage. After that, we walked along a few of the main streets in Wicker Park. We stopped in a toy store, a hipster joint called Reckless Records , and a book store called Myopic Books . I bought a book for my husband but nothing for myself, mostly because the book I bought him was a thick hardcover book a

Chicago - Touristy Stuff and Weird Stuff

For our first full day in Chicago (Saturday), Rachel and I decided to start out with a tour of the city. My friend Carl was kind enough to pick us up and then drive us around for about an hour and a half. Let me just say that the dude knows the city. We got a feel for a few of the neighborhoods, such as Bronzeville and Lincoln Park. He showed us some Chicago landmarks and included a lot of history and architecture, too. I have a terrible memory, but the Monadnock Building is one that stands out from the tour. Towards the end of the tour, we stopped along the lakeshore and took some photos of the Chicago skyline. It was very chilly and windy on Saturday, so I probably would have been fine with letting Carl drive us around all day in his heated Volkswagen. However, eventually it was time to move on. He dropped us off at Millenium Park, home of the gigantic reflective bean. The bean doesn't seem like it would be that exciting, but it's oddly compelling as you get closer to it.

Since I had nothing better to do on a Tuesday

I'll get back to over-sharing about my trip to Chicago but first I thought I'd over-share about my trip to the emergency room yesterday.  I went to work in the morning, as usual. I ate a couple of mid-morning snacks, as usual. By around 11:30, I was in a lot of pain. It hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. The pain was emanating from the right side of my abdomen, but it was hard to pinpoint beyond that. Barb at the front desk was kind enough to give me a couple of ibuprofen. I sat at my desk, sweating and shivering and wondering what the hell I should do. I was due to train a client at 2:00.  Nausea started to hit, so I hung out in the bathroom for a few minutes in case my mid-morning snacks might need to exit my mouth at high velocity. Normally I am perpetually freezing at work, but suddenly it seemed like an inferno in my cubicle. It was cold outside, so I decided to go out to my mom-mobile and lie down on the third-row bench seats for a moment or two. I looked up at t

You know who you look like?

I just got back from a long weekend in Chicago, so now I must regale you with tales aplenty. I left work early on Friday so that I could get on the road for the lengthy drive to the Windy City. I left my husband with a detailed document explaining how to care for his child while I was gone.  For whatever reason (my theory is that I have been appointed certain duties solely based on the fact that I have a uterus), I do all of the lunch-packing, homework-signing, backpack-packing, outfit-picking, etc. for our child. So, I trusted that he could handle everything (since he had written instructions) and hit the road with a clear conscience. Since it's late April, naturally I hit a bunch of snow on my drive. I stopped at a Trader Joe's along the way to pick up some snacks for me and Rachel to share. She was already in Chicago - she got there a day ahead of me. In addition to bringing fruit and snacks, she also asked me to bring her a stamped envelope so that she could pay the speed

After 1 month of hard-core tracking . . .

For a period of one month (March 18 - April 17), I tracked everything I ate using an app from SparkPeople. The result? I've lost 9.5 pounds and a couple inches off my various parts and pieces. I've made some changes in my diet by shifting more focus on protein. Other than that, not much has changed.  I can't lie - it still sucks every single day . . . the tracking, the fretting, the deprivation. I went to a potluck last week and brought my lunch along so as not to be tempted by the desserts and whatnot. I watched my daughter eat an M&M-encrusted brownie and nearly wept. I ate a Weight Watchers cookie but you and I both know it wasn't the same. Not even close. I plan to keep tracking for another month and see how it goes. I'll bore you with another update in May. I'm a little bit nervous because I'm headed to Chicago and I can hear deep-dish pizza calling my name. Why can't I just be like my skinny sister, dammit? I demand a recount of how the DNA

Close Call

My daughter (DJ Snaggletooth) lost another tooth Friday night. She has another loose one that should fly out of her head any day now. She is always hesitant to pull them out herself, though. I took her to the dentist on Wednesday and I was hoping that the dental hygienist would accidentally-on-purpose pull out the two loose teeth while flossing them, But, no such luck. Fortunately, an apple did the trick on Friday night with the looser of the two. Now, I told my daughter that even though she knows the scoop on the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Santa Claus . . . nothing would change.  So, the tooth fairy needed to pay up on Friday night. We had one little problem, though. My daughter had a friend sleeping over. I assumed that her friend is a believer so I didn't want to jeopardize that. Plus, this friend's parents are going through a divorce and I'm sure she has enough to worry about at the moment. The last thing I wanted to do was to be the jackass who spoiled her

April's popularity is waning

I've always found plenty of reasons to hate March.  The main one: March Madness. I mean, really, who gives a poop? People who don't give a second thought about college sports for 11 months out of the year inexplicably become obsessed with basketball all of a sudden. And why is it that the women's teams scarcely get a mention? The other reason to hate March?  The weather. In these parts, spring doesn't arrive until April or May. So in March, we have the calendar telling us it's spring but looking at the piles of snirt outside . . . we know it's a filthy lie. April, however, has never really done me wrong, generally speaking. The weather gets warmer, one starts to think of planting stuff and eating kettle corn at the farmers' market (maybe that last part is just me), and summer plans start to seem . . . not so far away.  April and I have always had a good relationship.  However, I woke up to a snowstorm this morning and now I'm not sure I'm such a

Too old for this, too young for that

Yesterday I took my daughter to a kids' festival.  It is geared towards younger kids, but she really wanted to go. A local herp club is always there, so of course that is the highlight for her. She loves snakes like I don't know what. We've gone to this event every April since she was 11 months old. Here is a photo of her at the festival when she was just a month shy of her second birthday.   And here is a photo of her at this year's event: I told her that I thought this might be the last year she'll want to go. She told me that no, she'll always want to go. I don't mind taking her, but part of me wonders if my daughter is not maturing as the rate one might expect. Several times yesterday I had to haul her out of exhibits intended for toddlers. This morning at church, after the service ended, I could not find her anywhere in the building. I finally found her hanging out with the musicians.  She had been telling them how anxious she is to learn an

Cure for the common cold

Do you feel a mite poorly like you might die? Does your head feel like a cinder block? Has your face opened up an ISO-certified snot factory? Give this a try. Take your kid's Slushy Magic and add the magic ice cubes.  Then add two generous shots of amaretto. (What do you mean, "That seems like a bit much?" Mind your own beeswax!) Add orange juice to the fill line inside the cup. Put the lid on and then shake the bejeebers out of the cup. Voila! You're still sick as all get out  . . . but you mind it slightly less.  Cheers!


I need a vacation.  I don't really have one on the horizon - or at least not a long one.  My friend Rachel and I are going to Chicago for a three-day weekend in a couple weeks.  She is driving out from New Joisey. We thought we were going to have to prostitute ourselves just to afford a hotel in the Windy City - and don't even get me started on the parking costs. Holy cow. We are excited about the trip, though. If you have any recommendations for stuff to do in Chicago (or maybe even stuff we should avoid), feel free to leave a comment.  Our hotel has a pool and a whirlpool so maybe we'll just hang out there, adult beverage in hand. I have a firm policy that in order to see me in a swim suit, you have to be acquainted with me for a minimum of five years first.  She's got almost 32 years of knowing me on the books, so I guess she's in. I gave this blog post the title "Irritable" because it reflects my mood recently. Any little thing seems to send me into