Monthly Archives: June 2007


Help me through my misery, folks.

Matt and I joked all week about the iPhone, mainly due to his TOTAL OBSESSION with it. It was a constant topic of conversation and every time I walked into the home office I found him IM’ing with friends around the country about it.

Mid-week it occurred to me that I really need to invest in something for my business because I really didn’t do so last quarter and had to shell out a lot for taxes, which was painful. I’d been considering a new color copier/printer and some expensive software I could use. Not that I really needed these things right this minute, but they’d be helpful and would offset some income.

Well, hmmm. Doesn’t the iPhone fall under that category, too?

So I started to listen to his blather about it.

I had no idea!

This evening I watched the video and read the reviews on this amazing little device, and fell head over heels. There was no doubt I wanted one. If you are rolling your eyes right now, you really ought to see this phone/iPod/browser/organizer/camera (here’s the video) because even if it’s not your thing, you need to see what it’s like. As Matt said, the future is here.

I was eventually ready to purchase one for my business this weekend, and was trying not to lose my shit over it as I tried to lie quietly while the boys went to sleep. (Did I mention that when I make up my mind, there’s no waiting allowed?)

When I came upstairs, I called my current carrier, T-Mobile, which of course doesn’t carry service for the iPhone (only AT&T does, which is unfortunate for so many reasons). Turns out I didn’t switch plans when we moved here – I sort of hoped I’d started a new plan last July when we moved here. No dice. My plan doesn’t end until June 10, 2008. The already pricey iPhone just became $200 more expensive for me.

(If anyone out there owes me $200, this would really be the perfect time to ante up.)

Matt is convinced we can think of a way to either unload (for profit) my cell phone plan or think of a legitimate reason my business needs it as a cheaper 2nd line. Personally, I doubt it, but if you have any ideas, feel free to pass them along.

But if my cell phone fell into the lake tomorrow, that would really be a shame.

Wouldn’t it?


Pit Stop

It was 5:30 pm on a rainy Wednesday night when I entered the bar with my 6-year old. Yes, you heard me right: bar. Okay, so we didn’t share a beer over the Cubs game, although I hope we will someday. The truth was, the minute we walked in and my worried eyes met the bartenders’, she said quickly, “Around this corner, second door on the right!” and my son and I both laughed. And then ran in the direction she was pointing.

To continue reading this post, click here

Mawy Pappas

We are watching a portion of Mary Poppins (or “Mawy Pappas”, as Lyle calls her) each evening and let me tell you: more old fashioned, wholesome, hilarious, musical family fun cannot be found anywhere. Even Matt, who somehow made it through childhood without this movie and was a doubting Thomas when I first put it on last night (granted, the beginning is wretchedly dumb and boring), is loving it.

The four of us could watch the “Spoonful of Sugar” scene over and over without tiring of it.

You’d have to see the expressions on my kids’ faces to believe them.

It. totally. rules.

The Classics

I am all about kids’ classic movies this summer. I suppose it’s because I feel that Baxter is finally ready to handle them. Plus, sometimes he’s around now when Lyle’s napping and – although he is supposed to do homework every day all summer (but that’s another post entirely) – we can watch something fun together as a summer treat.

So far, we’ve seen Finding Nemo (one of my favorite movies) and A Bug’s Life – okay, these aren’t old enough to be classics, I know, but they are feature films! – and this week I introduced him to Peter Pan. He was really nervous about seeing it, claiming it would be too scary, but after a Backyardigans break to consider it, decided he was willing to try. (Only at my house…) He adored it, and the sharp, genuine intake of breath when Wendy, John, and Michael flew for the first time was incredible, and brought me right back to my childhood. Lyle saw part of it too, and, being a less fearful dude, loved it. I’ve heard a few people refer to Mary Poppins in the past couple weeks, so I picked that one up today. I’m really looking forward to seeing it, myself!

Previously, he’s seen Charlotte’s Web (old cartoon version), Lassie (new version in theater), parts of The Wizard of Oz, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He’s seen Snow White and The Lion King from the Disney aisle.

What do you suggest? What were your favorites that you’re looking forward to sharing with your children? I’m looking for more good ideas!

Potty Boot Camp

Matt and I had two choices about when to give Lyle the final push into potty training: a) next week; or b) the last two weeks in August.

These are my two summer vacations from work, and therefore, the only real options for Lyle to be running around the house bare-bottomed with an adult chasing behind with the paper towels and vinegar. Part of me wanted to do it at the end of August because I’ll be around for two full weeks and I just hate that we have to push him into it at all, so I’d love to give him as much time for readiness as possible. But, practically speaking, we felt it would be better to do it next week so that he’ll be as well-practiced as possible when he heads off to nursery school in his little Lightning McQueen undies in mid-September. So we decided last night: next week it is.

Today I found myself at home with Lyle all morning, waiting for a service guy to come work on the car windshield. A rare long stretch at home on our own. I’m not sure how it started, now that I think about it – maybe he said the word “underwear”? – but by 9 AM he was running around bare bottomed with me chasing after him with the paper towels and vinegar. I hauled the portable potty from room to room with us, a constant reminder that – should the need arise – success was just a few steps away. I got an M & M every time I successfully used the toilet (which, I might add proudly, was every time, folks!) and he managed to get a couple as well, with only one accident just after lunch. He was so sad about the wet undies that he cried. I matter-of-factly washed him and the white rug in the sun room and said nothing about it.

Matt pointed out at lunch that this was so ME, to decide to do it next week and then start this morning instead. This is true. When I get inspired, I’m not so big on waiting. I remember the day I was at home with Baxter, age 22 months, and decided that soon he should switch to the bed from the crib. I was excited! Nap time that day found him snoozing happily on the futon I had lugged into his room and there he remained. I have had multiple experiences in my life when I decided to get a drastically different hair cut and there was not going to be any waiting – if my stylist wasn’t free to do it within 24 hours I went to someone else. I really hate the hemming and hawing of big decisions and prefer to get beyond them quickly. Luckily, Matt’s the same way: you should see how fast we pick out furniture. (And houses, come to think of it…)

So, yes, this type of compulsive decision-making is “me”. But it hasn’t failed me yet.

Chicago Tribune

There’s an article in the Chicago Tribune today about the Chicago Mom’s Blog, a collective group that I am a part of. Check it out!


I was startled to realize that today may have been the anniversary of our move from San Francisco. I had to go back to Show Me Another City to verify this, and sure enough, it is. Wow.

A year ago, I was down at my parents’ house with the boys after an exhausting day, and Matt was still at the old apartment on 16th Avenue, helping the movers get that crap out of there. They still had a couple hours to go, since they didn’t wrap up until after midnight.

We weren’t meant to move that day, they were just scheduled to pack the fragile items on June 24th and we thought we had a couple more days to organize our things. But that woman was in a hurry, and before we knew it we were racing to clean out the fridge and pack our suitcases for the flight to Chicago before they loaded our very dressers onto the truck.

No chance to say good-bye to neighbors, no chance to do anything gradually. But we allowed it to happen that way in part because she gave us a big discount on the cost if we let them do it early but also, I think, because the leaving was so painful that we just wanted it done. Time to go.

Like so many things in the past year, things didn’t happen the way they were supposed to that day. But I’ve learned that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and that if I can just go with it, things turn out surprisingly well.

The year has been an incredible one. I can’t quite believe it has only been a year, actually, because Chicago feels like home.

But I bet I’ll always think of San Francisco – with a pang of nostalgia akin to a break-up – right around this time of year.

Something to Think About

A blogger who goes by the pseudonym Mrs. Chicken has written an excellent, thought-provoking piece here. It has to do with her choice of anonymity as a blog writer and touches on many thoughts I’ve had in the past year about the blogging phenomenon…without a doubt, reading strangers’ blogs and commenting on them creates a certain online community in our society of isolation, but I think a lot about the incomplete picture it gives us. I feel firmly grounded in other, real-life communities, and am therefore comfortable with this, but if that were not the case, I know I’d be left feeling very dissatisfied.

I know that I, for one, am limited in what I share here because I did not start out anonymously and over time have readers among my personal friends, family, and even clients and colleagues. This is fine with me, I have invited my readers, but it’s true that it shapes what I say. And yet, even the anonymous Mrs. Chicken, who shares some pretty intense and personal highs and lows, feels that we don’t know her, and that many of us wouldn’t like her if we were to meet her in person. (Which I seriously doubt, but that’s not the point…)

What does the surge in use of this technology – especially among parents – say about our culture? What do you think our society will be saying about this blogging phenomenon in 10 years? 20 years?

Summer Solstice

More here.

On Naming Babies

Okay, so the Internets may be a brain drain, but sometimes they’re a damn funny brain drain. Check out this post on Chicago Moms Blog, will ya? A couple in New Zealand tried to name their newborn “4real” (swear to God) and were blocked by authorities who say they don’t allow names with numerals. Oookay, that’s weird, but not as weird as trying to name your child 4real. And I’m not going to tell you their reason, but it’s a good one, so read here.

Cripes, if that were how we chose our firstborn’s name, he’d be Holyshit! Gordon.

I just can’t stop laughing. The Internets are back in my good graces tonight.