Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Pictures

Auntie Susan has been in town to visit. We took the Z man on his first adventure on the "L" downtown. We went to the American Girl Store (Susan, not Z wanted to go there, Frank was happy not to be there and would have muttered under his breath the whole time "I'm so glad we have a boy, I'm so glad we have a boy.") How interesting that some of the things you can buy for your American girl are MORE expensive than the stuff you might buy for your real live child!

We also went to Frank's new office and had lunch with Daddy downtown, underground that it, we ate at a restaurant in the aforementioned Pedway. (we too got lost in said Pedway before finding Frank's office--the signage is not great and since it's underground you can't use the lake as a reference point)

Here he is all bundled up on the brown line train:

And playing w/ Susan's sunglasses. (This was on the way back, notice the happier expression, we let him take his hat off!)

The next day, we took the Z man to have professional year one pictures made.
To do so we had to get in the car and drive to the northern burb's of "Chicagoland".

Aside: "Chicagoland" is a term that I find intriguing and annoying at the same time--they don't call Atlanta "Atlantaland".

Our destination was Portrait Innovations found in the land of planned communities that look a lot like the movie set of Pleasantville, were it to be filmed today. I've had great previous experiences with PI in Atlantaland (nope, it just doesn't work). Needless to say that while the photographer was a bit odd, he did get some good shots.

Here's my boy, ok, OUR boy, at one year old:

Notice the toothy grin? Finally has a total of 6 teeth. Three of which have come in during the last two weeks.

Thanks for ooggling!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The real point of no return

Here is proof positive that we must be serious about this city living thing:

As of 1:30 PM today, we are officially a one-car family.

After 5 years of great service, my other baby (Prizilla, the gentle green monster) is off to a new life in a far-off land and I am fully embracing life as a public transit consumer. (The Rev. will point out that I slept very poorly last night, mainly due to anxiety over selling "my" car.)

It was yet another testament to the power of craigslist. I placed my ad (at no cost) on two separate occasions -- classified postings are limited to 7 days in big metro areas -- and fielded a couple dozen inquiries. After enduring one extended test driver who never followed up to arrange an inspection, one no-show, one interested person who had to suddenly leave town to rescue his daughter (a likely story) and numerous virtual tire-kickers, I received a terse email asking for the car's VIN to run a check. I responded with the information and my phone number (I had received other similar requests) and figured that would be it.

The next day I got a phone call from a pleasant young woman asking me to meet her and her twin sister (they are both grad students, one in town and the other at a school in another state) at a local Toyota dealership to have the car inspected. One inspection and some brief haggling later, I signed over the title, handed over the keys, and left with a bag containing miscellaneous personal belongings. We closed the deal at a local bank where she arranged (at my request) for the funds to be wired directly to my bank account. It all went off without a hitch, and both parties should hopefully live happily ever after.

All hail the Internet. This young woman was on spring break, was planning to visit her sister in Chicago, and did an extended craigslist search looking for a new car (her previous vehicle was totaled in a winter driving accident) and found one that fit her needs. Even five years ago, this would never have happened. It's a great free market experiment.

Monday, March 10, 2008


So, Z is walking. Not just taking a few tentative steps between parents, but the "shaking off Mommy's hand, I don't need you thank you very much" walking. Our new living room is huge (kitchen/dining/living room all together) and he loves doing what we call the "circuit", walking all around the room. About 30ft when all is said and done. Hands in the air.
There is nothing funnier than to get him giggling, (which makes him hickup) and then watch him walk--cause he is stumbling and falling down a lot too. (He's walking, but he doesn't have it down quite yet)
I have a sick sense of humor I know, but the only thing that would complete the picture would be a bottle of 1/2 empty JD.
He's also practicing for his trumpet lessons too.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Indian Names

If there was one thing that I wish I'd left behind in the move it's my natural inclination to "slip" every so often.

It's no secret: I fall down.

A lot.

It sometimes feels that I fall down just as much as a kid who is learning to walk, except they don't have as far to fall and they've got a little padding called a diaper that helps to break some falls.

In seminary a Kroger was re-named "Slippery Kroger" because of the number of times I found slick spots in their isles. They were so afraid (the first time) that I was going to sue, I even got a call at home checking to make sure I was ok. The building is now an antique mall, but when we are back in Decatur, Frank (who wasn't even in my life at the time of the incidents) points it out and says, "Hey, look, the Slippery Kroger!"

Ha ha.

A few years ago I fell in such a weird way that I was able to blame a broken ankle and leg on my 100lb.+ dog. (spiral fractures are fun! so are the metal pins they leave in your leg!) It happened early August. It was November before I was off the crutches. I even managed to wipe out on the crutches, it was pretty.

It's not like I don't come by this naturally. None of the women in my family are what you'd call "steady" in the keeping both feet on the ground department. Come on Mom, fess up, how many times have you fallen? Can you say "Happy Texas"? My maternal grandma also had her "flights of fancy".

So yes, my Indian Name is "She Who Falls Down"; I did not leave it behind as I'd hoped...Now SWFD lives in Chicago. A city that has had 20+ more inches of snow this year than normal. Before yesterday I was please to report that while there has been some slip sliding close calls due to the ice/snow, I had not, until yesterday afternoon, fallen.

Yesterday afternoon didn't involve my carrying Zane (THANK GOD!) or stairs (of course stairs are rarely my issue. However, I did bounce and skid on a non-icy concrete surface.

I had put the boy down for his nap, went outside to put the trash in the dumpster, then walked around the building to get the mail...a new way for me to go. Got mail was walking back AROUND the building and a 1.5 inch side walk step jumped up and bit me. I stumbled, my birks FLEW off my feet and I landed and skidded on my right side. I kept the mail in my hand though! Bloody knuckles on my left hand (my engagement ring was torn up), edge of my thumb to my wrist on my right has some degree of bloody scrape-attude.

These are going to be annoying wounds to heal. I had to hold right hand up to keep it from dropping blood everywhere. Luckily just that morning I had just found the MAJOR first aid supplies (like tape, although I guess packing tape would have worked) and spent 30 minutes cleaning and bandaging my wounds. It was just enough time for the adrenaline to wear off and for my right arm to start noticeably throbbing. Last night I discovered a scrape and bruise on my knee and leg. Poor me.

I waited to tell Frank until he was on his way home (no need to worry him with something he could do nothing about). Even so he thought I was being a bit melodramatic (I'm not preaching these days, so my drama has to go somewhere). I was honestly a bit scared as I was picking myself up off the sidewalk. I went through the mental list of who could I call if I've broken something, it was very short, and would they arrive before Z wakes up?

Today I'm sore and noticing new bruises popping up. But Z and I are doing just fine. We even picked Daddy up after work yesterday and went to a pot luck at a church we've been going to up here.

Z will be going down for an afternoon nap soon, do I DARE go get the mail? She Who Falls Down needs to stay on the couch and rest. *I* need to go get the mail.

Having just gone out and gotten today's mail I must report that said step was about 3 -4 inches tall. I will admit that it was not the step's fault that I fell. I don't pay close enough attention to small details like that. Something about seeing a forest but not the trees.

Monday, March 03, 2008

cute kid fix of the day

This would be how Z and I celebrated the Polish Guy's Day.
Smiling and enjoying each other's company.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Happy Casimir Pulaski Day!

It's not often those of us with Polish heritage (1/4 in my case) have cause to celebrate in the U.S. Usually the name "Polish" is in reference to sausage or any number of jokes calling into question the intelligence of my people.

But tomorrow, in the state of Illinois, is Casimir Pulaski Day. All public schools are closed, as are city and county government offices in Chicago.

Who was Casimir Pulaski? He was a Polish general of high birth who was recruited by the Marquis de LaFayette to fight with the Continental Army against the British in the American Revolution. Pulaski trained American soldiers in cavalry tactics and led several divisions in battle, gaining the title "Father of American Cavalry." He was wounded at the Battle of Savannah and died there from his wounds. The nearest major street to us is named in his honor. There is also a national Pulaski Day holiday celebrated in October and an annual parade in New York to commemorate the occasion.

Unfortunately for me, public accounting firms do not celebrate Pulaski Day, but I can at least eat a pierogi or something. Maybe I need some White Eagle underwear to show my support...