eee1313: (SV - smells like hand)
So a while back, [livejournal.com profile] sunbrae was poking at people to come back to LJ, and this morning I have a little bit of free time, so here I am. Hi, sunny! Hi, [livejournal.com profile] missrachael! Hi, anyone else who may still be here!

There's been a lot going on in my life since I last posted. Both of the kids had birthdays, which went well. MDR came first -- he's now two -- and we had a Kung Fu Panda themed party for him. He didn't really seem to grasp what was happening, but he knew to try to blow out the candles on his cake. Then VEE turned five and we had a DC Superhero Girls party for her. She got so many gifts. Holy Pete. Being the only granddaughter/niece on both sides of the family makes for a very spoiled little girl.

She's doing great in preschool. She's READING. Like, legitimately reading. Now every night at bedtime she insists on reading a book herself (which makes the bedtime routine last much longer than it should, but she's reading, so I shouldn't complain). I'm really so proud of her. And MDR is starting to talk a little more than he was a few weeks ago. He's very tight-lipped, but he likes to try to recite the alphabet along with us. He's also lately obsessed with Super Why on PBS, which is fine by me. I'm convinced to this day that VEE's obsession with that show is why she knew her alphabet at such a young age.

So the big event that happened in my life recently is that I had THE BEST WEEKEND EVER last weekend when my sister came to town. Many, many months ago, I got an e-mail from [livejournal.com profile] deeablo saying that a friend of our mutual friend was trying to get a group together to go in on early group sales for Hamilton in Chicago. So I called my sister, who said if it was a Friday or Saturday she'd fly in from RI to see the show with me (considering she can't get tickets in NYC). It turns out our group got tickets for last Friday, so on Thursday night she flew in after work. We spent Thursday night at home playing with VEE's Fashion Plates together. Friday morning we took her to preschool and then afterwards the four of us, MDR included, went to Portillo's for lunch so [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl could get a Chicago-style hot dog. Then we came home and played Wii bowling with VEE and got ready for the show. We dropped the kids off, then headed downtown.

It was pretty awesome to see how genuinely excited [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl was to be back home in Chicago. She's lived in RI for so long, but Chicago's still home. She kept snapping photos of the skyline (which is the most impressive skyline in all of the US -- sorry not sorry, NYC) and she got pictures of all the congratulatory Cubs World Series signs. We found parking right near the theater and then walked over to the Palmer House Hotel so she could use the bathroom in the lobby. Dear God, that hotel is swanky! I've always heard of the Palmer House but never went in. It's all mosaic ceilings and gilded statues holding lanterns and wow. The hotel was a block across and over from the hotel where we were seeing Hamilton, so she got a bunch of photos of that to show people at home. Then we walked over to Daley Plaza to go to the Christkindlmarket, which she'd never done before. We looked at all the little shops, bought mugs of mulled wine, and then she got some candied nuts (amaretto and rum flavored). THEN we found a vendor selling baked apples filled with marizpan, nuts, and raisins and glazed in cinnamon sugar. OMGGGGGGGG yum.

After that, we headed over to Italian Village, a mainstay restaurant downtown, for dinner. She hadn't been there since her senior year in high school, 1992. It's where she and her BFF went for dinner before prom. We kept laughing that he tried to ask for the wine list and the waiter just snapped back "NO!" and walked off. She was all "Do you think we could get wine tonight?" and that made us giggle. Maybe you had to be there... So we had dinner there and then headed over to the theater to meet our group at 7 for the 7:30 show. It was me and [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl, [livejournal.com profile] deeablo, [livejournal.com profile] xica_s, [livejournal.com profile] mei_x, and a last-minute [livejournal.com profile] fishdoctorpost. And of course deeablo's and my friend who set it up, along with her son and then two more acquaintances. We were all geeking out the whole way inside, and then there was the requisite buying of merchandise. (I got a t-shirt with the Chicago flag on it, except all the stars are replace with Hamilton stars.) Our seats were way high up, but it was actually not bad at all, as the higher seats gave us a chance to really watch all the choreography (which was non-stop -- get it?) as well as watch how the turntables worked. The show was A.MAY.ZING. I can't even tell you how great it was. And the cast in Chicago is TIGHT. Migeul Cervantes, the Chicago Hamilton, is really good. The man can rap AND sing, which is great. Both of the Schyler Sisters were phenomenal (and Peggy). Laurens, Mulligan, and Lafayette were good, though the guy who played Lafayette was better as Jefferson. Washington had a great voice (though he's no Chris Jackson, but NO ONE can sing like that guy), and Burr... Wow. The guy playing Burr had a different take on it that I expected. He played the role more angry. You could physically see him start to rage out and then he'd just pull it back in, and dear God his voice. Wow. When he finished "The Room Where It Happens," I honestly thought he was going to get a standing ovation right then and there. It's just SO GOOD. If any of you get a chance to come to Chicago to see the show, DO IT. Afterwards [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl and I hung out by the stage door for autographs. We met Hamilton, Washington, and Jefferson. It was a really great day all around.

So that's what's been keeping me up and running this week. Which, considering my children's sleeping habits, is good. As for today, I have to finish cleaning the house, straightening the kids' room and the playroom, and then start getting ready for our Christmas party tonight. It's supposed to start snowing this afternoon, so I wouldn't be surprised if people start dropping out because they don't want to drive in the snow. We'll see. We have the house all decorated and it looks very nice. Hopefully we'll be able to get everything ready for tonight in time. Which means I really should get off the computer and start cleaning up.

I hope you're all well. If I don't post again before the holidays, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas or Hannukah this year. And best wishes for a wonderful New Year. 2016 has been a shitshow, and 2017 doesn't hold much promise, but fingers crossed! Take care, y'all.
eee1313: (Rejected spoon)
Hey. It's 1:20 in the morning and I'm wide awake. This is not good. :\

We're still having trouble getting MDR to sleep through the night. He insists on snuggling with me in order to fall asleep, which means if he wakes in the middle of the night he wants to climb into bed next to me. This means he inevitably kicks the Scientist at some point and then HE wakes up and it's just a big old mess of no one sleeping except (eventually) MDR. This evening the kid passed out *really* early for him, which meant that a little before midnight he woke up and came to me. I changed his diaper, gave him some milk, and then a dose of Zyrtec. (He's always itchy, which we don't know if it's allergies or something else, but the Zyrtec before bed seems to help. He just didn't get his pre-bed dose because he fell asleep so much earlier than normal.) Anyway, the Scientist woke up and took a blanket downstairs to sleep in the recliner, and I've been awake ever since. Boo.

I don't know how to fix this. I'd like to get him in a separate room from his sister, so that we can put him in his toddler bed and let him cry it out until he gets used to sleeping in his bed. But I also wonder if he's just not comfortable in his toddler bed. It's the same mattress that VEE used throughout her infancy/toddler years and then was passed on to him when he was born. Both our bed and her twin are really good mattresses (Verlo, an American brand that makes your mattress and box spring by hand when you order), so perhaps his crib mattress just doesn't feel as good. But he's not even two yet, so moving him to a twin now just seems like overkill. And what if it doesn't work? I guess if it doesn't work, at least there will be a nice twin bed for one of us to sleep in when he kicks us out of our bed? Ha ha ha... Ugh.

Anyway, the lack of sleep -- at least consecutive hours of it -- is slowly killing us, I think. Good times, good times.

In other news, VEE is officially back in preschool. Year 2 started last Friday. She's now going three days a week instead of two. While I think that she's actually probably ready for kindergarten on an academic level, she REALLY needs more socialization in preschool. The kid has surprisingly decent penmanship for a child not even 5, she's starting to spell out words and recognize some sight words, she can count to 100 without help, and she can do some simple addition and subtraction. But holy hell, the socialization. She's a constant chatterbox. Earlier today she was watching Shrek and she asked us why Donkey talks nonstop, and what if people don't want to listen to him all the time? The Scientist and I could barely keep from laughing, because she is Donkey. She also needs to learn to be more independent. Any time she's confronted with something new she whines that she "can't do it." Suck it up and at least TRY, kid. Sheesh. So yes, another year of preschool will be good for her, I think.

Oh, when I took her to the preschool open house last Friday, she was at least a head taller than every other child in the class. I know she's one of the oldest kids in class, but by God, she's so tall! Some of the kids looked to be the height of MDR, so she just towers over them. I know I'm tall, but as an adult I tend to forget how tall I am because I'm surrounded by other adults who range in all sorts of sizes, petite to super-tall. (There's one guy at work who's 6'6", so in comparison I feel short.) I just hope that both of my kids will embrace their height and view it as an asset, not some kind of burden. I'm definitely going to teach them that being tall is AWESOME. (We can reach EVERYTHING.)

Today I realized that this past Saturday marked the ten-year anniversary of meeting the Scientist. Yup, we met ten years ago. It was my grandma's birthday, that's how I remember. We met at a local bar for drinks, and I believe we both came away from the date thinking the other person was "nice," but not really being impressed. I'm so glad neither of us trusted our gut instinct. ;)

Well, I guess it's been enough time that my son should be wholly and completely asleep, so I should be able to move him without his waking up. Famous last words, right? Sorry this whole post has been mostly me talking about my kids. Let's wrap up some other stuff...

Work: fine, but in the middle of a dead zone. New work is slowly coming back in.
Me: okay, just not sleeping a lot
Music: the Hamilton soundtrack
Podcasts: How Did This Get Made, Doug Loves Movies, The Room Where It's Happening
Movies: The Jungle Book on Blu-ray, various other kids' movies, nothing much in theaters
TV: absolutely none, but hopefully someday we'll watch Stranger Things, because everyone tells me it's great
Reading: Patricia Briggs short stories collection, then on to Daniel Jose Older's Bone Street Rhumba books or the Hamiltome
eee1313: (Strictly Ballroom - Doug's breakdown)
I haven't posted in FOREVER. I'm sorry. What I should do is figure out how to get my Twitter feed to show up here every day. I know others of you do this, but I don't know how. I suck.

So let's see, what's been going on? Well, first off, I've become completely addicted to playing Neko Astume. Worse yet, I told another girl at work about it, and she told about ten people, and now there's a whole bunch of us at work who are addicted and try to share tips on how to get the rare cats to show up and how to get more fish. I think we're all just soooooo exhausted with our company that we need something fun and happy to get us through the workday. Because honestly, morale is just SHIT right now. And I miss my old boss. I hate walking past his office and seeing it all empty. We've e-mailed a few times. I hope he's doing okay.

Wow, that got sad quickly.

Okay, what else? The February holidays are coming up, which is fun. This weekend the zoo is doing a Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year) celebration, which should be fun for the kids. Then there's a Superbowl party on Sunday. The next weekend is Valentine's Day, so the Scientist and I will be celebrating by attending the Winter Wine Walk that afternoon. In the evening we'll do something fun with the kids, and the next morning I've promised to take VEE out for breakfast. Of course, the Scientist and MDR will come, too. Then later in the month is the Academy Awards, so of course I'll be having local people over for that. Though this year I'm really not giving a crap about any of it other than Mad Max: Fury Road. How I would LOVE IT if that movie somehow won a bunch of awards, just because.

I am absolutely exhausted today. Last night the kids both kept me up for hours and it was terrible. I ended up sleeping on the couch for a bit, because my daughter's coughing was keeping my son awake. I spent an hour getting him back asleep and then he woke up 15 minutes later and I just could not deal with it. So I put him in bed with the Scientist and went downstairs to cool down. Once I fell asleep on the couch I ended up having this terrible nightmare about spiders everywhere (including going down my throat) and it was just terrible. Needless to say, I didn't get much sleep at all and I woke up with a splitting headache. So I called in today. The kids are with their grandma as usual, and VEE has preschool right now. I asked the Scientist if I should feel guilty dropping the kids with his mom and not telling her I'm staying home to sleep, and he was like "Nope!" So there we are.

Otherwise the kids are okay. My daughter's been pretty whiny lately, which is getting old fast. She seems to run in cycles. One week she's great, then the next week she's a bratty monster. I don't get it. She's going to make one hell of a teenager. As for MDR, he's fine. He's starting to talk a bit more, which is great. He'll say "bye" and wave when someone leaves, he'll say some phrases along with his favorite books (mostly "oh no!" when we read Going on a Bear Hunt), and he's cute as a button. He still likes to throw things, though, which is no good when it's food (messy) or board books (painful).

I'm not doing much in the way of entertainment. Despite all the Oscar-bait in theaters, I have no interest in seeing most of the movies that are out right now. I did see a sneak preview of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies a few weeks ago. As someone who hates zombies, I thought it was fun. I'm looking forward to Deadpool. Otherwise I can't really even remember what I've gone to see in the past few months, which is pretty sad. Of course there was The Force Awakens, which I'd like to see again sometime. The nerds at work are constantly coming up with new theories on the characters' backstories. Heh. As for TV, we're lucky to watch anything that's not on PBS Kids or Disney Junior. We've watched some Supergirl, which I like okay. It's got some issues, but it's fun. I've missed too much of The Flash to watch without a major binge/catch-up. I think Castle comes back on next week; I hope they fix what they messed up in the first half of this season. People don't want to watch for Castle/Beckett angst. We had seven seasons of that. Can we just have them solving crimes and being fun for this (probably final) season? Man, losing their showrunner really put a dent in that one... What other TV is good? Obviously we still watch Lip Sync Battle ever week. That's probably the only show we get to watch with regularity. Some day I'll watch Jessica Jones on Netflix and a bunch of other stuff people have recommended, but for now, it's more Wild Kratts and Curious George.

Okay, I'm really exhausted now. I'm going to sleep for a bit. Y'all take care. Hopefully I won't be a stranger as much as I have been.
eee1313: (Rejected spoon)
About two hours ago we got back from a quick trip to see my parents. We figured if we didn't go to visit them soon, we may not have a chance to go until the baby arrives. Due to major traffic issues, we didn't leave until after 8 on Friday night, and we left late this morning to beat the traffic/construction issues back home. It was a really nice visit with my parents and VEE seemed to have a good time. So now we're home and I'm trying to figure out what needs to be done around the house.

VEE's "big girl bed" has been ordered and will be ready for pickup on Tuesday. That means I have to move more stuff from her bedroom to the playroom. In the meantime, there's a bunch of stuff in the playroom that needs to go... somewhere. The front side of the crib is here and will need to go back on (we converted it down to a toddler bed for VEE), there's a fold-down table that we're going to try to sell on Craigslist, and two chairs (one wooden, one a plush desk chair) that also need to go. Where is this stuff going to fit? Oy vey. We have too much stuff.

And then there's all my music. I need to get rid of my CD collection. Perhaps I'll try ripping a lot of the music to the computer and then see if Disc Replay will buy any of this stuff. Hey, any money is good money, right? Well, not blood money, but you know what I mean.

I need to get back to work. And we need to go shopping. And I need to get gas. Man, there's just not enough time in the day. Or not enough time in the days off.

Oh, in other news, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy on Wednesday night and totally loved it. Just too much fun. And Chris Pratt really is like a human version of a golden retriever. You just want to ruffle his hair and feed him treats and rub his belly. And Groot! OMG, Groot is the best. ::draws hearts:: Who knew a sentient tree-being with a three-word vocabulary would steal the show? Fabulous.
eee1313: (Hunca Munca)
I figured it's about time for a real update, so here I am.

I am officially in my third trimester of pregnancy. It feels very strange to have physical limitations due to my belly. It's getting hard to bend certain ways, I lose my balance putting on pants while standing up, and picking things up off the floor is a pain. Lord help me if I actually sit on the floor. Getting up from that low is not graceful at all (as if I ever were graceful?). But my nesting instincts are starting to kick in. I want to get the house prepared. Next week [livejournal.com profile] aj's parents are coming to take the bed from our guest room, and then I'll be able to turn it into the playroom. All of the toys and books from VEE's bedroom will move in there and then we'll have to get her a bed of her own and put the crib back together before the baby arrives. Last weekend we went to IKEA and we got VEE this duvet for when she gets her big-girl bed. I think the Scientist thinks I'm nuts for buying bedding for a bed that doesn't exist yet, but it's one more thing I can mentally check off my list of stuff to do before the baby comes.

My sister will be in town next weekend with her family, which will be great. I can't remember the last time I saw all of them. We Skype occasionally, but not enough. VEE is so excited to see her cousins in person. [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl will be bringing us boxes of baby clothes from when her boys were little, so with the bed gone from the guest room I'll have a place to store them temporarily. The Scientist is going to repaint/refurbish a dresser that we got off Craigslist which will go into the kids' room and will hold all of VEE's stuff. Then the baby's clothes will go in the big dresser that we're currently using. I have three boxes of baby clothes that I'll be giving to [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean for her daughter, so that's more stuff that will be gone from our house. Phew!

Otherwise things are going well. This summer has been really nice, outside of the PLAGUE OF MOSQUITOES we have near my house. Honestly, I don't remember when they've been this numerous. I got bit on my face, right by my eyes. Not good, mosquitoes, not good! But otherwise it's been a nice summer. Uncommonly mild lately, which means no trips to the pool. Ah well. This weekend is another pool party, so we'll see if we can win another prize. Heh. There haven't been many zoo trips lately, but we'll be going with [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl and her clan in a few weeks, as well as again in August for a member breakfast.

One thing that's stunk about this summer is a distinct lack of movies I'm interested in seeing. We saw How to Train Your Dragon 2 a few weeks ago, and that's been about it. I have zero interest in Transformers 4, Dinobots or not. Though I feel badly for the Scientist, as he wanted to go. I thought he'd go see it with his brother, but they weren't able to find a time to go together. I've heard good things about the new Planet of the Apes movie (directed by the Felicity guy who's not JJ Abrams!), but I never saw the first so there you are. Right now Guardians of the Galaxy is the movie I'm most looking forward to seeing, specifically because I have no freaking clue what to expect and it looks totally whacked out and cracktastic. And I'm all for Hollywood making movies that aren't the usual cookie-cutter, by-the-books films that we've been seeing so much of lately. So yes, please give me a movie with a talking raccoon and a walking tree and green Zoe Saldana and Bright Abbott from Everwood looking like a DGAF antihero in space. YES. I am all over that, because it's NUTS.

Man, I'm rambling.

That's really all I've got. I hope you're all doing well.

Better

Apr. 14th, 2012 04:51 pm
eee1313: (Serenity - Fruity Oaty Octopus)
Yesterday was AWFUL, but now it's over and today is quite good. The baby slept through the night for the first time in weeks, our tax return check came, and today for the first time ever, the baby rolled over. Hooray! I'm so pleased; I was starting to worry about how much she hates being on her tummy and then today - hooray!

That is all.
eee1313: (Cheeky monkey!)
I don't have to go to work tomorrow! Well, normally I would, but tomorrow my mother-in-law can't watch the baby, so I'm taking the day off to watch her myself. Yay! So looking forward to hanging with my girl all day. :D

As for the baby, she's doing well. 25" long, 15.5 lbs. At for months she's outgrown most of her 3-6 month clothes. She's going to be tall like me and her dad. She's hitting all her milestones, save for the ones you learn from tummy time. But she is rolling on her side, so she's getting there.

I currently have hummus, tortilla chips, and wine. Life is good.

The Scientist and I just finished the second season of Fringe. So good! Poor Olivia! Poor Walter! Poor Peter!

It's stupid-hot in Chicagoland as of late. Last night it was 81° in our house. NO GOOD. Where's our cool/cold March? I don't want this. Summer is for heat, not March. Ugh.

Oh, I saw John Carter and quite enjoyed it, critics be damned. Frankly, I think their talk of it being a flop before it even opened helped to sink the movie. It's being praised for inspiring the great sci-fi movies of our time and than gets paned for not being "original." HELLO?! It's better than it's given credit for; I'd recommend it.

That's all I've got for now. Love to you all - Castle is coming on!
eee1313: (Hellboy & Liz)
Daylight savings woke me up early today. Well, normal time, but it felt early. So it's been a surprisingly full and busy day. Had tea and toast with honey for breakfast ([livejournal.com profile] aj, tell The Bill his honey is good!), then watched part of Hellboy II while doing some sewing repairs. First my sock monkey doll, then the Scientist's jeans. Then I did some straightening up in the nursery while my only pair of maternity jeans did a run through the wash. I finally got showered and dressed and then the Scientist and I went shopping.

First to Babies R Us to return some stuff, then to Aldi for groceries. Hot damn, do I love Aldi. You just never know what you're going to find there, and it's always at a good price. Aldi is awesome. Then we went over to Meijer for more grocery shopping. THEN we went to Bed Bath & Beyond to get some curtain rod hardware for the baby's room. (My mom has made Beatrix Potter curtains for the nursery, but I needed to get stuff for her or Dad to hang it once they arrive.) We finally got home, unpacked all the food, and then the Scientist made grilled cheese for lunch. We had that and his homemade applesauce, and it was quite possibly the most perfect lunch I could have wished for. Either that, or I just really needed calcium. Then we watched the old animated version of The Hobbit, which he grew up on but I'd never seen before. It was ... Well, my mom read me the book when I was a kid, and even though I don't remember much I remember there was a lot more to the story than there was in that movie. But I know I probably would have loved that movie as a kid.

Anyway, it's been a good day, but I'm already zonked. It's not even 6 pm yet, either! Oy vey...

Oh, and last night we went to see Real Steel (aka Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots meets Rocky), and it was better than I expected. I actually enjoyed it much more than I expected to. It's the first time we've been out to see a movie in forever, and it was nice. Except that movie theater seats aren't quite as comfy as they once were. I blame that on being 41 weeks pregnant... Heh.

Update!

Aug. 7th, 2011 10:43 pm
eee1313: (Hunca Munca's crib)
Hello, people! It's been FOREVER since I posted a real post, it seems. I do check LJ throughout the week, but it's usually while on breaks at work. (What I wouldn't give to get LJ off the stupid filter...) Anyway, I promise you that I am reading your posts, but it's very hard to comment using the stupid tiny telephone swipe pad.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] sunbrae, thank you so much for the card you sent. That was SO thoughtful and sweet of you! Thank you.

Things that are going on around here... This weekend I made a VERY brief trip up to my parents' house with the Scientist. My uncle was in Michigan from California for his 50th high school reunion, and he stopped at my parents' house for a few days. So we drove up on Friday night after work to see him (and them), and then came back home yesterday afternoon. But it's the second time in two weeks I've gotten to see my parents, so that was nice. Hopefully once the baby comes we'll see more of them. Perhaps they'll -- gasp! -- even spend the night eventually. That would be a shocker.

Work is going okay. The Scientist has an interview tomorrow for a contract job. That's about all I have on that front.

Right now it just seems like a lot of my life is anticipation about the baby coming. I'm definitely in my third trimester now, and I'm finally beginning to show. The baby kicks quite a bit, which is fun. I mean, if she's kicking, she's doing okay in there, right? Right. The Scientist can talk to my belly and it makes her jerk around, which just about melts my heart that his voice gets her going. We're still trying to put the nursery in order. Right now there's just too much stuff and not enough space, which is funny considering we don't have a whole lot. I think there just needs to be some major rearranging. Today we put together the baby swing -- it's freaking huge.

I'm simultaneously really excited about the baby and also scared out of my gourd. I have no idea if I'll be able to handle it. What if I lose it completely and just sit on the floor and cry? What if the kids from Sixteen and Pregnant do a better job of parenting than I do? And then I think to myself that I'll be just fine, because this baby is something we wanted and not a surprise. That makes a difference from the start, just the mindset. But being a mom is something I've always wanted, and I'm going to do my best to make sure my kid gets all the love and support she needs to grow up healthy and smart and confident. And a geek. I'd rather have a geek daughter than a bitchy little princess, you know? Heh.

Anyway, that's about the state of things here. Just everything's kind of in limbo for the time being. But right now I need to go to bed so that I'm not all exhausted at work tomorrow. I hope you're all doing well, and that you've had a nice weekend and will have a good week at work. I'll catch up with you all later!
eee1313: (The Mummy)
First off, a hearty congratulations are in order for [livejournal.com profile] abby20! Hooray for you! I am really happy for you! Also, congrats to [livejournal.com profile] nutmeg3 for doing the upcoming 5K! And for those of you for whom things aren't going so well, I'd like to offer you my love and support. You know who you are, and you know if you need it. Big love to all of you.

Now, let's see, what to tell you? This past weekend I went up to the Wisconsin Dells with the Scientist and his family. His dad wanted to do another family trip, and so a week on a lake was the best we could arrange what with work schedules and pets and whatnot. His dad rented a "cabin," though it was more of a lake house as it sleeps 12 people. We went paddleboating, did a ride on the Duck boats, window shopped downtown, made a lakeside campfire and made s'mores (a first for his nephews), and generally just relaxed. Yesterday was the Scientist's birthday, so I made him cake and he went go-karting with his brothers. Overall it was just a nice time. That said, the Dells are RIDICULOUSLY TOURISTY. If you've ever been to Niagra Falls and seen how crazy-touristy it is there, the Dells are pretty much the same.

What else is going on? My BFF [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean is in town, so we'll be getting together tomorrow night. Yay! It's been too long since I've seen her.

There's still a TON to do around our house in regards to trying to get the nursery together. However, the poor Scientist has been working nonstop for the month of June, so there have been limitations to what I can do by myself. (No heavy lifting, etc. Oh, the joys of pregnancy.) I'm looking forward to having things in order eventually.

Ho-hum, what else? I'm sure there's more, but I just honestly can't think of stuff right now. I have all these thoughts at work when I can't access LJ, but then when I get home they're all gone from my head.

Oh! Hey, what's up with Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig getting hitched? Who saw that coming? Evy and James Bond, who knew? I think they're now my favorite Hollywood couple.
eee1313: (Daria - Jane)
First off, HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone reading this. May you all have a happy, fun, and safe New Year tonight.

Okay, so it's rainy and pooptacular outside (as always, Chicago weather is a big WTF), which means I've been inside all day. I started a new cross stitch project last night, one which will surely take me several months. So far today I've done about 3 square inches. Maybe less, I'm not sure. But I feel accomplished nonetheless.

Last night we went down to Oak Park to visit with my friend Natalie. She's pretty much the only friend I made at U of I in classes. (Everyone else I either met at the dorm, apartment, or via [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean.) Anyway, Nat and I took poetry together, and then a horribly boring English class, and we just kept taking classes together because we got along so well. Now she lives out in LA, but she came back to Illinois to visit family and had a few nights up here in the burbs with friends, so we all met up in my old neighborhood. Literally, we were next door to my old apartment. So it was nice to see her, even if it was just for a few hours and there were a lot of other people there wanting her attention as well. Still, nice to see her.

What else is going on? I guess because it's New Year's Eve, I should make at least one resolution. I'm being realistic and giving myself a resolution I can actually achieve: READ MORE BOOKS. [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl gave me The Hunger Games and I need to continue with that. (I'm at a good stopping point right now -- I know once I pick it up again I won't be able to put it down. And there are two more books after that.) There are new Patricia Briggs books coming this year, and in March she'll be doing a signing in nearby Oakbrook for the next Mercy Thompson book. Garth Nix has a new novella in June (and a new Old Kingdom book due in 2012, yay!). And now that the first half of the last movie is out, I think I can finally, safely begin working my way through the Harry Potter books.

And in regards to a resolution that isn't a resolution but instead a Change In Lifestyle, I'm going to force myself to do at least 1/2 hour of exercise per day. I am not a person who enjoys physical exertion, especially if it occurs in front of others. Yes, that includes my husband. But I figure if I force myself to do even 1/2 hour of SOMETHING every morning, over time it will become a habit and something I'll like, and I'll stick with it. I read that you have to do something daily for 90 days in order for it to become an actual habit, and something you miss if you don't get it. So rather than say I'm going to do this every day, I'm going to say that my resolution is to do it for 90 days, and hopefully by then it will become a Change In Lifestyle on its own. That's the plan.
eee1313: (Garth Nix - Sabriel)
Friday night I picked up my car from the dealership. It took quite a while, what with having to sit down with the finance guy and go over the warranty packages and everything. They have five tiers of warranty packages, from "platinum" (aka "everything under the sun is covered for a small fortune") to the "economy" package which covers the stuff you'd expect plus three years of free oil changes and routine maintenance. He wanted to sell me the lifetime tire warranty, which meant that at any time I can get new tires and/or rims should I have a blowout. He was sort of giving me the hard sell, but I wouldn't buy in. What's the point in getting that when I already have an extra set of tires and rims in my garage? Dumb. Anyway, an hour or two after arriving, I walked out with my new car. I call it "Shiny." It has a lot of chrome. A LOT of chrome. Even the cupholders on the inside have chrome rims. Thus far I've put about 50 miles on it, and I've managed to program radio stations. (Any Chicago people have recommendations for good radio stations? I've been without for so long that I only have 5 of my 12 programmable buttons filled up.)

So that was exciting. On Saturday I completely forgot that Movie Dictator was happening, and I missed it entirely. Sorry, K and [livejournal.com profile] fizzball! I suck. The stupid thing was that I spent Saturday at home, chilling out and finishing up a crafty Christmas project for my boss. D'oh!

Yesterday the Scientist and I did housework. First, we organized and cataloged our wine collection. 124 bottles later, we're all in order. Yeeek. Then we went outside to do yard work, with him mowing and raking and me hacking down the last of the morning glory vines from the trellis. The weather was good (only a sweatshirt was required), so as it was probably the last moderately warm-ish days left this year, we decided to put up our Christmas lights early. No, we're not lighting them, we just strung them up. Then we went out shopping to Sam's Club and Home Depot. I was hoping to buy another strand of lights so that we could string them up on the trellis. Due to the odd placement of our only outdoor electrical outlet being located in the garage, trying to figure out how the lights would connect was nearly impossible. Just as we were ready to give up on the whole idea, the Scientist spotted a set of solar-powered LED lights. Woo-hoo! So we grabbed on and headed home to set it up, only to realize that while I wanted to hang them on the trellis, he wanted to hang them over the doorway. Considering that one set was half the price of the LED plug-in lights, I think we'll be going back for a second set later on.

I also watched WAAAAAAAY too much Harry Potter this weekend. What with the new movie coming out this weekend, ABC Family was doing a marathon of the films. And then I watched the first third of Half-Blood Prince at my in-laws' house last night. I'm wondering if I should actually FINALLY start reading the books. I've said for years that I wasn't going to start reading them until all the movies were done, so that I didn't have to put up with "But it wasn't like the booooooooooook!" whiny conversations with people. I like to enjoy the movies for what they are, not sit there and nitpick my way through the films. I'd read the books after to get more out of the story, thank you very much. But now that there's just Deathly Hallows Part 2 left to go, I might actually start reading them.

Oh, and speaking of books, [livejournal.com profile] fava_bean sent me a text this weekend to say that Garth Nix has another Abhorsen book due out next year. She says it's a prequel to Sabriel and will be all about Clariel, the Chlorr of the Mask. Yay! I cannot wait. This is one of my favorite series, and I'm really glad that Nix is going to expand it some more. Hooray!

So that's the extent of the excitement in my world. New car, forgetting to see friends, and early Christmas decorating.
eee1313: (Burn Notice)
First off, last night marked the return of Burn Notice. My opinion: not enough Bruce Campbell! The entire show should be subtitled "Needs more Sam Axe." Jesse didn't annoy me, as he had at the beginning of last season (this season? I don't know, the half-season schedule confuses me). I like how he's not ready to roll over and play nice with Mike and his team, you know? As for Michael Westen himself, I enjoyed that he wasn't willing to wait to get better if it meant innocent people would die. Despite his being so dedicated to being un-burned, his dedication to helping others even at his own physical expense is his best quality. I also enjoyed watching Jeffrey Donovan act in this episode. Normally when he takes on an "undercover persona," it's as if he's playing Michael with an accent. But yesterday his entire demeanor changed, which isn't as common to see on the show. Jeffrey Donovan did a good job with that.

And in other news... I'm getting a new car after work today. Yup. It all happened rather quickly, and so I haven't wanted to talk about it until it was a done deal. My father was at his friend's dealership and saw a PT Cruiser on the lot. He did some asking around about the cost, and with his employee discount, he was able to secure a good price for me. I signed the paperwork on Wednesday night, and tonight I'm driving to Joliet after work to trade in my 2001 Cruiser for a 2010 model. (It's funny that I got one of the first Cruisers around, and now I'm getting one of the last ones -- the model is being discontinued this year.) Originally, the Scientist and I weren't going to consider another Cruiser for when my car eventually crapped out. We were hoping for something more fuel-efficient. But the final price was too good to pass up, and what we're saving on cost will even out with gasoline prices. I honestly don't know if my 2001 Cruiser was going to make it through the winter, and I know there's at least $2000 worth of repairs waiting on it (much more than the $500 trade-in value on the car itself). So we're getting the new car, even if we weren't really expecting it.

I'm kind of sad about turning in my 2001 Cruiser. It's the first new car I've ever owned and the first car I ever purchased for myself. And that car is kind of my calling card. Heck, just the other day [livejournal.com profile] aj texted me to say she saw a purple Cruiser and thought of me. But the purple color is no longer offered, so I'm getting a black one. Still, I'm kind of sad about giving it up. I know the car's just going to be stripped for parts, which means that no one else will buy it and drive it and love it like I did, which makes me depressed a bit. But I'm trying to think of it more that it's like an organ donor for other cars, and it will help other people's well-loved cars live longer lives. Or something.

Anyway, new car tonight. AND I get to keep my Buffy-themed personalize license plates, so that's a bonus. I'm such a geek.
eee1313: (Wedding ducks)
This weekend marked our one-year wedding anniversary. The Scientist had to work Friday night and Saturday during the day, but Saturday night when he got home we took off for Chicago. One of our first dates was going to Greek Islands restaurant in Greektown, so we decided to hit up Greektown again. We went to Parthenon this time, and the food was wonderful. After that we came home, cracked open at 20-something-year-old bottle of wine and watched a romcom together.

Sunday morning we got up and went to Sweet Tomatoes for breakfast (we had a coupon). We filled up on biscuits & gravy and breakfast burritos, and all was well. Then we hopped in the car to road trip out to the country. We headed towards DeKalb and went to a town called Genoa, which is tiny and absolutely charming. The Prairie State Winery is there, and the guy working was really helpful and nice. We got a few bottles, including their Recession Noir, which not only tastes good, but has a great label and money from the sale of each bottle goes to the local Salvation Army. From there we headed south towards DeKalb, stopping in Sycamore to visit the Sycamore Winery. Unfortunately their wines weren't very good. Both the Scientist and I think that some of their wines had gone bad. We had heard (both on the website and from the guy at Prairie State) that the family that runs this winery was having health problems, and they were looking to get out of the business. I think because of that we felt obligated to buy, kind of out of pity. Luckily their pink grapefruit and pomegranate wines were good, so we got those. THEN we headed way south of DeKalb to a winery in the middle of nowhere. Waterman Winery is the only winery in northern Illinois to actually grow all their own grapes and fruits. Their winery is in their barn, next to all the giant John Deere tractors. The couple working were extremely nice, and talked with us for at least a half hour. Then the husband took us out to the other barn where they do all their winemaking to show us around. He even pointed out the different vines in the fields to tell us which ones make which wines. It was really interesting. When he found out it was our anniverary, he gave us complementary glasses of their watermelon wine. Very nice. THEN we drove to Geneva, which is one of the farthest western suburbs of Chicago. There was another winery there (a satellite location for a big winery close to Iowa), so we tried some more wine there and bought a few more bottles.

Needless to say, we are fully stocked when it comes to wine now.

We got home, and the Scientist took a nap while I watched TV. Then we went to Clara's for dinner. Clara's is this tiny Italian place near our house. They make all their own pasta, and it's WONDERFUL. The Scientist took me there for our first official date, and we haven't been back since. So I figured this was a good reason to return. The food was absolutely awesome. I couldn't finish it all, so guess what I'm having for dinner?

Today I am staying home from work to hang out with the Scientist. I had pre-approved this absence with my boss, so it's all good. I have no idea what we're going to do today, though. Originally we were hoping to go to the Oriental Institute, but they're closed Mondays. Then we were thinking of going to the Lincoln Park Zoo, but it's rainy and chilly. So I don't know what we'll be doing. We'll think of something. Right now he's downstairs making biscuits and gravy for breakfast. Mmmmm.

Anyway, it's been a great weekend. And it's been a great Year One. Despite having a whole bunch of bad shit thrown our way, this has been an absolutely wonderful year, and I've never been happier. :D

ETA: The Scientist is now putting our anniversary gift to use: a new Dyson vacuum. My parents and [livejournal.com profile] yakgirl went in to give us money for it, and combine that with the 20% off coupon that yakgirl sent, we only spent $140 on it! Nice. So the Scientist has been having fun sucking up cat hair and trying to attack me with the vacuum hose. Heh.
eee1313: (Devil duck)
Blog update.

Work, tooth, life update. In that order.

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eee1313: (Default)
eee1313

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