I promise we are all alive and well over at Casa de Daisy & B. Work has been busy for the both of us, throw in a monster Daycare Virus (nothing serious, but in the spirit of sharing it has felled the household) and a visit from my family, brother included, Busy is the word of the day. Which isn’t special or new or anything- everyone is busy, full stop. But! When I reach High Levels of Busy I stop doing things like blogging or jumping on Ye Old Facebook/Twitter. So! Here I am! Alive and well-ish, minus the sinus pressure.
My parents and brother came into town on Friday afternoon (parents took a daytrip on Saturday leaving the brother to hang in Chicago with us) bringing the last Christmas gift stragglers that didn’t fit into luggage in December, which means I was reunited with my cappuccino maker and Gracie was reunited with her doll high chair. Love at second sight for us both!
My cappuccino maker rounds out the Beverage Station filled with popular items of the moment. I make no apologies, I love them all. Stop by for some coffee, a latte, or a smoothie. Whatever tickles your fancy.
And Gracie feeding Piggie in the aforementioned high chair:
My parents in town for two nights with my brother meant two dinner outings. On Friday we opted for a babysitter and we all went to Petterino’s in the Loop, which we always enjoy and my brother hadn’t had a chance to try. Saturday night we drove a bit west and tried Ponce, which is described by various websites/articles as either Latin American, Caribbean, or Puerto Rican. Bottom line: awesome food in a small, nondescript establishment. You order at the counter and fight for a table and it is worth it. Everything we had was awesome, even Gracie dug into some rice (in her words “I yuv wice Mommy”) and enjoyed herself. If you don’t speak Spanish you’ll want to pull the menu up on your phone with the English translation.
Saturday morning also found us at Gracie’s first dentist appointment where they counted her teeth and showed us some brushing techniques, and her the tools and chair. She seemed cool with it all, we return this summer for a full cleaning….. and my brother was a good sport and tagged along.
Sunday we spent nursing our ailments and whipping the house into shape – the snow and temperatures mean we have constant salty slush drips near our entry ways and the dog has taken to digging into the trash to find Kleenex to artfully shred into little tissue-piles that you stumble upon at the worst time. I can neither confirm nor deny we resorted to Frozen and Olaf snuggles to make the kiddo happy on Sunday morning, but hey, we all made it to Monday in one piece.
Despite not posting for over a week I am in fact alive and well. I was tagged in a survey post by my friend Sarah so here we go- some nice writing prompts to get me back in the swing of things.
1) What is my current health-related goal?
I’m getting a Fitbit (Charge HR) as soon as the model I want is released beyond the special snowflake pre-orders and I’m hoping it spurs me to do a little more, walk a little more, move a little more. I’m hoping that in 2015 I treat myself well with good food choices (more plants less animals) and more motion in my day to day.
2) What is my biggest irrational fear?
Serial killers watching me through windows at night. I’m not kidding. One too many Nancy Drew novels as a kid followed by a few too many episodes of Criminal Minds. I don’t like being indoors at night when the curtains or blinds are not drawn, because, well, serial killers. It is how they get you.
3) Do I enjoy wrapping presents?
Present, singular, yes. Presents, plural, no. I start to get bored, then sloppy, and by the end I’m giving someone a stationery set covered in scotch tape and paper scraps.
4) What is my favorite cross-training activity?
Hot yoga? Does that count since my main/favorite exercise is cycling?
5) If you came to visit me, what would we do?
Architecture boat tour in Chicago, lunch at Xoco (a Rick Bayless joint), shopping on Michigan Avenue and dinner somewhere fantastic, perhaps Hugo’s Frog Bar or the Cape Cod Room or Publican.
6) I have two weeks off work and two round trip plane tickets to anywhere. Where would I go and who would I take?
I’d really like to go see Africa, although I doubt 2 weeks is long enough to see its vast ecosystems and sights, so I’d probably pick one of the National Geographic trips and just stick to one area and really do it right. And I’d bring B, obviously. (A National Geographic trip is on my life bucket list)
7) What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to me during a run or a race?
I’ve only run in one race, back in law school, and I was outrun (by a good margin) by someone clearly undergoing serious medical treatment. A nice little reminder of just how slow I am.
8) Three best days of my life? Or at least the top three that come to mind.
The day I was married, the day Gracie was born, the day I moved to Chicago. Moving day was kind of frustrating and annoying and nothing particularly momentous stuck out (I mean, I moved, boxes, movers, yay) but it was the start of something awesome. I can’t believe I’ve been in Chicago for 10 years this May!
9) Okay, so I HAVE to eat a fast food meal. Which restaurant would I choose and what do I order?
If I’m out West, In-N-Out (double double Animal style, regular fries, no shake unless I’m feeling crazy), and if I’m in Chicago, M Burger, where I get the M Burger and fries.
10) Have I ever met a celebrity?
For someone not in California or New York I think I’m doing pretty well. I’ve met/talked/had coffee or cocktails with President Obama and Vice President Biden (fundraisers for their respective presidential campaigns in the early days), I once ran into the part of the cast of Alias in a tiny Savannah book store (Jennifer Garner with her husband Ben Affleck, Victor Garber, Bradley Cooper) which was just kind of surreal as we all bumped around this tiny shop. Ben and Bradley Cooper were pretending to be supermodels and were taking turns strutting up and down a walkway while cheering each other on, and Jennifer and I browsed the kids books. She was super pregnant with Violet and the whole thing was bananas. And I have set next to Jack Lemmon and Robert Redford on planes. Jack Lemmon played peekaboo and a some other games with me as I was just a toddler. The end.
11) Share a pic of myself in non-workout clothes.
12) If I could choose to have a “do over” and switch careers, what would I choose and why?
Yup, medical school/be a physician. I still sometimes kick myself for not just hiring a chemistry tutor and powering through.
13) If I won an Olympic Gold Medal, how do I think I would react?
Like Anne Hathaway or Taylor Swift winning something, and then everyone would hate me for reasons they can’t really put their finger on. I’m just certain I’d somehow come across in a terribly annoying manner.
14) What do I want for Christmas?
Well I really wanted a food slicing mandoline and I got one and I love it. Food slicing ahoy.
15) What skill do I lack?
I’m TERRIBLE at listening to voicemail. Seriously, don’t leave me voicemail. If I see you called me, I will call you back, but I won’t listen to your message. Oh, and I can’t make a pie crust to save my life.
On the first Sunday of the new year I did what I always do and figured out what we were eating for dinner for the week followed by going to the grocery store. I was excited- two vegetarian meals this week- and like half of America I had kale on my shopping list (only to make kale chips, it is foul in all other forms). We were going to have spinach and corn enchiladas so please imagine my face upon the discovery when the grocery store was out of both fresh spinach and cilantro. Two days before they were completely out of arugula (necessitating a 2nd trip to a 2nd location of the same store, also out of arugula) so my feelings about this were less than pleasant. I reversed course and bought the fixings to make chicken pot pie, only to get home, make the chicken and begin veggie chopping to realize, nope, I forgot potatoes. And chicken pot pie without potatoes is pretty much chicken soup in a crust. We ordered Chinese.
Is that how it is going to be 2015? Last minute delivery, nary a vegetarian entrée in sight? I will say the Chinese was awesome, we tried out Lao Sze Chuan for the first time and we are now sad we did not find them sooner. I opted for their famous crispy lemon shrimp, it was both lemony, crispy, and famously delicious. So maybe 2015 will be the year of new discoveries and not forgotten potatoes and absent spinach?
Regardless, I have reservations about the coming months. That and as you might have guessed, I forgot the kale.
Parenthood (for me) has been a lot of little moments that add up to the smacking realization that life has changed. A few years ago we spent a lot of time contemplating our New Year’s Eve plans (my favorites always being a smaller dinner party with good friends) and this year we both kind of shrugged off the idea of doing anything. The biggest reason being the competitive blood sport known as “Acquiring a New Year’s Eve Babysitter” which if you are unfamiliar with, please count yourself lucky. Even if you manage to finagle the perfect person to come watch your special snowflake you will then use their college savings to pay for the honor….and yeah. No. Too many years of spending over an hour getting a cab, traversing on the train with all the other too-sweet-sparking-wine-imbibing-drunks…. nope.
This year we will miss seeing our friends (having the small party but see babysitter situation above) but we have grand plans of grilling steak, drinking a nice bottle of something, and seeing out the year much in the way we lived it- as a little family, full of quirks and good memories and casual moments. We often eat dinner in our pjs (with cloth napkins though, and real plates, some habits never die) and retire to the living room to watch television or read together, and if I had to guess, I’d say our New Year’s Eve will contain many of those elements.
I know that in just a few years we will be back on the NYE circuit so for now I’m happy to be where we are in life. I’m looking forward to the fresh new year, full of possibility and milestones. As far as my resolutions….here we go:
Nothing too earth shattering, a little of the same old same old. 2014 was a pretty good year and I’m hopeful hat 2015 has more good things on the horizon. But before we say adios, a quick look back at 2014…….
As far as the blog goes, my top read posts were as follows:
As for the year in photos, here goes.
We celebrated Gracie’s first birthday with a Winter Onederland party…..
We celebrated Easter in Michigan….
We enjoyed Chicago…..
We spent a week in Harbor Springs, Michigan, which is a little slice of heaven on earth….
Gracie dressed up as an owl for Halloween….
Gracie had an accident in November, resulting in her first ER trip and lots of follow up visits (so far = all good/all clear/whew)….
We had family photos taken….
We struck out meeting Santa….
And we had a wonderful Christmas in Utah….
Not pictured….countless dinners with friends, visits from Grandparents, date nights, numerous trips to the park and the zoo, grilling out, sailing, outdoor festivals, so much snow, a Polar Vortex or five, sugar cookie decorating, Frozen viewing, book reading and dog wrestling.
Cheers to a good year!