Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Our celebration is getting underway! We just walked home from our neighborhood sushi place where we had dinner. I love that our kids aren't afraid to try new foods. Clara's not much for sushi so she just had chicken teriyaki. Alex on the other hand had a bowl of miso soup, some California roll, Furaibo roll and Tempura Shrimp roll... plus part of Clara's chicken. At the end they brought us a bowl of green tea ice cream to share. Clara liked it and had quite a bit... but the boy loved it, even drinking the melted ice cream out of the bowl when he was done! :-)

They're getting clean now and soon we'll start a rousing game of Disney Scene It and whatever other game they might pick out. We'll mix up some mean Shirley Temples and have some chips and queso. Then, when they start getting tired we'll have our countdown, regardless of the actual time.... we count down from 10 even if it's only 8:30... shout "happy new year" and do our confetti poppers. Does life get any better than that? I honestly really enjoy it.

Okay... they're almost clean so I've got to go!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tying Flies and Other Stuff

Thank you so much everyone for the birthday wishes! I had an okay birthday. I started out my day nearly ill after my camera quit on me after one pic at the aquarium... seriously, I nearly threw up right there. I thought it was dead. Turns out it was just my battery that was dead... apparently I didn't have it in the charger right when I charged it before we left (or it possibly was unplugged at some point). After some time in the charger we were back in business. For my birthday dinner we went to one of my favorite places... Cafe BaBaReeba. Yum!

Oh.... I need to send you a note but Jen Caputo... send me a note when you get the chance, I would love to have a photo playdate sometime when you plan on being in the city. Anyone else out there... let me know if you live in the area.... I need new photo buddies (not that they'll ever be able to replace you... Anne, Brenda and Amy :-).

Today was pretty good... we are houseguest free which is a wonderful feeling. I'm really itching to establish some sort of normal routine so now we can start. I placed my first Peapod grocery order and we'll be restocked sometime tomorrow morning. We took a walk to a furniture store to try to find bar stools for our kitchen. Apparently our counter is a "non-standard height. sigh.

I started going through my hundreds of photos tonight. So I'll leave you with a few. These are from the weekend between leaving Texas and driving on to Chicago to meet the movers. My dad likes to tie fishing flies.... he always has. As I kid, I used to like to watch him and sometimes even "help". Well... now it is Clara's turn. She wanted to see what he did with that table full of stuff... so together they tied a fly :-)


Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

Yep.... today is my birthday... wooo hooo. Hopefully I'll snap out of my funk soon... my in-laws are about to drive me batty at the moment. I think my main problem is that I am soooo worn out from our crazy month that I have zero patience left... and I just don't have the energy to generate any more.

Our night at the zoo was really nice last night. The kids had a great time seeing the animals and the lights and riding the carousel (that is until my fil made my son cry -again.... but that's a whole other story). As soon as everyone is clean and dressed we're heading to the Shedd Aquarium for the morning. My grandmother gave Jeff and I money for Christmas to be used on purchasing a family membership somewhere.... so I think we'll use it on an aquarium membership today. After that we come back here and me, Jeff and my bil leave the kids with my in-laws and head out. Not sure where we're going or what we're doing... but just being out will be nice.

I took a bunch of pictures last night and I can't wait to see if any of them turned out. Hopefully we'll dig out the rest of my computer's parts tomorrow after my in-laws leave.

Okay... I'm going to go and think happy thoughts!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

sweet home chicago!

We're here... we're finally all here as a family!!! We got here two days ago and the kids are thrilled with our new home. Yesterday Jeff's family showed up so we have a house full of guests. All is going well... even after I filled our place with smoke when I first turned on our oven yesterday to bake a cake for my MIL's birthday. The weather is absolutely gorgeous! We spent part of this morning at the park and barely needed jackets! Alex made a new friend at the park today which thrilled me.... now we've just got to find Clara some friends too.

I have so many pictures to go through... its just killing me that my computer isn't hooked up yet! Jeff found most of it yesterday but my external hard drive and tablet are still MIA. We had a great day at Silver Dollar City last Saturday. We got there right as it openned and there were hardly any people there. We got to ride a bunch of stuff without having to wait in line and the weather was beautiful. I have a ton of pics from that day. I took several on Christmas morning but my speedlite and I weren't getting along that morning.... mostly it seemed right on then all of a sudden it would way overexpose a bunch... ugh. Perhaps learning how to properly use my speedlite should be one of my new year's resolutions (honestly, i think that was on the list last year too). I've taken a few today but not many.... later this afternoon we're heading to the Lincoln Park Zoo to see the animals and stay for the zoo lights display. So.. there's still a chance for more photos today! LOL!

Well... I'm fading fast... I think I need a little afternoon nap myself! Only one more full day of houseguests left and then hopefully we can start trying to establish some sort of normalcy in our lives here in Chicago.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


That's what I feel like I could do for days now. We closed on our house first thing Tuesday morning and ever since then we've been in non-stop motion trying to get unpacked. Over dinner tonight we decided that we've completely run out of steam and it was time to just stack boxes against the walls and focus on getting ready for house guests two days after Christmas. We really want to get back and see the kids who are with my parents in Missouri.... so we just unpacked as much as we could then uncovered the beds and cleared walkways. We're going to head out to MO first thing tomorrow morning (about 8-8.5 hour drive)... I can't wait to see the kids. Saturday we have a whole big day of Christmas fun planned (hopefully, I'll take lots of pics)... we start out with breakfast with Santa at Bass Pro Shops, then we make a second attempt at going to the Christmas Festival thing at Silver Dollar City. We tried to go last Saturday but it was INSANE!!! There was so much traffic, we had to park at this lot a couple of miles from the park AND the line for bus to take you to SDC wrapped around the parking lot... needless to say, we just drove on. Alex was crushed though, so we promised him we would take him when we got back from Chicago.

Well... I'm exhausted.... seriously... I don't think I've been this tired in a long time.... my whole body aches.... Anyway... I'm heading to bed. We do have internet now (although we're heading to the land of dial-up tomorrow)... but my computer still hasn't seen the light of day yet. Its still in boxes downstairs. With Jeff's family coming the day after we get back from MO, it probably won't get set back up until after the first of the year. Then I can get back to my photos and scrapping!! YIPPEE!!!

Merry Christmas everyone! See you in a couple of days!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Here I am! We're in Chicago.... well... Jeff and I are at least. We got here last night, today we have our final walk-through and tomorrow we close and the movers unload. Can you believe it? I'm not sure that I do yet.

Last night Jeff and I went out and bought new coats. After 4 1/2 years in Texas, we were both lacking in the coat department. I LOVE my new coat!!! Its a black quilted Burberry coat and it's just perfect! I also got a hat, scarf and gloves.

Yesterday the kids went to church with my parents (keep in mind its the same small country church that I grew up in). Last night was their children's Christmas program so they asked Clara (and Alex) if they wanted to be in the program. As as expected, Alex said "no thank you" but Clara was all over it. They had three rehersals yesterday so she did have some clue what was going on. Mom said that she did fabulously... she got up there played her bells and maracas and sang. The surreal part of the evening was that she was up there standing between the daughter of one of my best friends growing up and the son of my first "boyfriend" (we went to the junior high dances together). Oh, the fun of small town living!

Okay... I need to get going so we can get everything done today.... its our last day of being homeless LOL!

I hope everyone is doing well and having a wonderful holiday season.... hopefully I'll be back on line soon!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

bye for now..

... in less than two hours I leave with the kids to meet my parents. While I'm gone, the packers will be here so my computer may be boxed up when I get back home (close to 8 hours later). I'm hoping to check in occassionally on Jeff's computer. But if I don't get to...

... see you in Chicago!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

wish me luck...

... today is my big day of "good-byes". First we start the day with taking Clara to her last day of preschool... between her and Alex, this is our fourth year at the preschool so we've gotten to know a lot of people there (plus since it's at our church, we know a lot of the people from church as well). Then Alex and I go straight to our last homeschool recess group. Then for lunch I'm meeting Anne (painted moon) from our 2peas Photo Playgroup. Then at 4:00 a friend of mine is picking me and my kids up for our last IKEA outing together. I will either be a total wreck or totally emotionally numb by the end of the day.

Monday, December 11, 2006


Its the week of the final countdown. It really started for me yesterday. Yesterday our cleaning lady came by and picked up all of the furniture we were getting rid of. It was tough.... one of the items was our kitchen table... I loved that kitchen table. But we only have room for one table in the new place and the dining room table won out. Today our car went away. Yes, as of today we are a one car (umm... minivan) family. We don't need two cars in the city. Jeff will take the el to work and the kids and I will use public transportation (I don't drive in the city)... plus we've only got a one car garage.

I feel like I'm permanently nauseous and I can be on the brink of tears without any notice. Yesterday was a rough day at church... I nearly lost it several times. Why do we have to move at Christmas?? For some reason Christmas carols make me tear up even at the best of times.... I'm just a wreck now. Oh... and we've also been watching all of the Christmas movies that have been on ABC Family each night. There really hasn't be a one that hasn't had me choking back sobs. For crying out loud... I was a mess Saturday when we watched Elf!!! I really need to pull myself together.

Thank you all for all of the kind wishes and encouragement lately... it really means a lot to me. Hopefully soon I'll be back to posting pics and layouts soon and no more talk about how much of a pathetic wreck I am! LOL!

Okay... off to get my hair cut.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Yesterday was one of those days that nearly sent me over the emotional edge. Yesterday was Clara's Christmas program at preschool. However, Clara woke up saying that her tummy hurt... just to make sure she wasn't just hungry and being dramatic, I reminded her that her program was that day and if she was truly sick, she wouldn't be able to go. Well... that's when she started sobbing that she really really wanted to be a sheep but her tummy hurt. So, we missed her last ever preschool program. It was hard on me that she was sick, but emotionally, with the move, I just wasn't ready for things to end... especially without the big "fun" ending I had hoped for. I teetered on the brink of a crying binge for a while. But I had to get over it because I had my next emotional hurdle of the day to get through...

Alex has a girlfriend... they've been together for over 3 years! Can you believe that those two latched onto each other in three year old preschool class and now they're 6? I seriously thought they would move on the next year when they were in the 4 year old class since they went on different days. But they still saw each other at church each Sunday and the previous two years they were in the same choir at church as well. Anyway... yesterday Alyssa's mom came and picked up Alex so he could have a lunch "date" with Alyssa at her school. They picked up Happy Meals and had lunch with her in the cafeteria. Alex had picked out a present for her... a Webkinz, so, if Santa brings him one, they could keep in touch via Webkinz World. After lunch, they got to play on the playground together at recess. He had a great time. It makes me sad to move the two of them so far apart from each other... but honestly... how long could young love like that last?

Clara threw up during lunch (nope... not before OR after... but DURING) so we went off to the doctor that afternoon. The PA we saw was sure Clara had strep but the test came back negative. She seems fine now... so who knows.

Well... I need to shower and get on with my day.... the crunch time for the move is just about here. The next few weeks are going to be insane... here's a brief run-down...

12/13 - I drive halfway to my mom and dad's house in MO to transfer the kids to them. This is also the day the packers start packing our stuff. We're going out to dinner with friends that night.
12/14 - The movers start loading the truck. We're staying in a hotel that night so that afternoon, as part of my Christmas present, Jeff has a arranged for me to have a massage.
12/15 - We close on our house here first thing in the morning and drive to Missouri.
12/17 - Jeff and I head out to Chicago - we'll be driving since we couldn't get flights with Jeff's miles due to the holiday.
12/18 - Inspection on our place in Chicago.
12/19 - We close on our place early in the morning and the movers arrive with our stuff as soon as its over.
12/20-12/22 - (dates may vary) Jeff and I unpack and set-up our place. Then, when done, we'll drive back to Missouri for Christmas.
12/26 - Drive back to Chicago, this time with the kids and the dog.
12/27 - Jeff's family (his mom, dad, brother and 20 month old niece) arrive for Christmas. I think they're staying until the 30th.

Pure craziness.

Okay.... now I really need to get moving (either that, or I'm going to go crawl into a hole and hide until this is all over).

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


We forgot the tooth fairy! Alex lost his 4th tooth yesterday and put it out for the tooth fairy before he went to bed. I completely forgot about it until I was in the shower this morning. He was already up when I got out but Jeff said that he hadn't mentioned anything yet... so maybe he forgot to check. So, Jeff had him and Clara *help* him change the lightbulb in Clara's room so I could sneak in and make the exchange. So far, so good.

Monday, December 04, 2006

what is wrong with my children?!?!?

Clara's quote from last night:

"Mom... when I looked at my pee, it was yellow like lemonade... but I didn’t drink it or anything... I just recognized it.

And now Alex is singing a song he made up about pigs eating ham.... sigh.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

got dry, fly-away hair???

Clara does...

We cleaned out the attic yesterday so she was out there with us, sitting in a lawnchair in the garage. She had been rubbing her head around on the back of the chair and this was the result! LOL! I thought it was the perfect opportunity to practice my backlighting! :-)

Oh... and it appears that my email is finally working again so if I owe you a note, you should hear from me soon!

Friday, December 01, 2006

good clean fun

Apparently the kids didn't get enough fluffy white stuff while playing outside all afternoon in the "snow" so they opted for a bubble bath in the big tub last night....