Archive for December, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Well it’s been a whirlwind of a few days around here.

We came home from Chicago on Saturday 12/23, Lauren and Zoe and I in the van, Ryan in his car… we went to play with Nonnie and Nonno and had dinner with them, and then came back to the house for the night. It’s like camping – we have just a few kitchen items, sleeping bags, mattresses, and a handfull of toys, and just basic groceries to get us through the week. Lauren crashed right to sleep for Ryan and we all slept in.

On Christmas Eve we had haircuts scheduled at the mall for noon. I don’t know what I was thinking, going to the mall on Christmas Eve, but we did. While we were there we waved at Santa and Lauren got her finger stuck in the giant revolving gifts that were near the Santa picture line, we did a little last minute shopping, and then went to play at the bookstore.

We had dinner at Nona’s house that night, with John, Nicole, Evie, and Nona. Nona gave Lauren a game similar to Memory with wooden animals and houses, and a pink keyboard that is tons of fun. Lauren gave Nona some purple candles for her bathroom and a new address book. When we got home, Lauren and Ryan tried to go to bed while the magic of Christmas happened in our living room. Santa had to make a special stop to assemble a gift for Lauren and mommy had to help wrap all the gifts.

On Christmas morning Lauren slept in – it’s great that she has no memory of Christmas yet. We really enjoyed the extra hour of sleep. I remember getting up obscenely early when I was a child to unwrap gifts and play with toys.

Santa brought Lauren a table and chairs that she has been playing with every time we go shopping. She was thrilled and sat right down. Mommy and Daddy gave Lauren some dishes, pots and pans, silverware, and a tiny tea set to use with the table. We all ate breakfast and bathed and headed off to Nonnie and Nonno’s house for some more fun. xmas morning

At Nonnie and Nonno’s we had a HUGE lunch and some more PAPER! She likes to rip paper and throw each little piece on the floor and help everyone else with their paper ripping too. Nonno and Nonnie gave Lauren a new tricycle, which she LOVES (thanks to Uncle John for putting it together) and some new books, Uncle John and Nicole gave Lauren a HUGE Mr. Potato Head, that has 4 pirate themed tater heads in it, and for us, a membership to the zoo for the next year.

And then Lauren took a LOOOONNNGGGGG nap. We were really late to the Thornton Christmas since we didn’t wake her up.

We saw Grandma and Grandpa and lots of aunts and uncles and cousins and more, and Lauren got to open more presents and cheer for everyone else as they opened theirs too. Wooden play food, a new shirt, a dress on the way, and a set of percussion instruments were all part of her haul. And Ryan and I got a family pass to the Children’s Museum, which is a pretty cool place.

Maybe Santa left a family pass to the aquarium for us in Chicago…

Lauren had a long and busy day, and was wiped out and slept easily when we got home. And then today, the day after Christmas, we celebrated with Evie and made turkey corn chili with the leftovers from Christmas lunch. We ripped lots of paper and threw paper balls to the dog to chase and it’s nearly bedtime again, she’s tired and will hopefully sleep well again.

Tomorrow.. that’s when the FUN begins. We’ll clean house and pack stuff and drive a van full of stuff to Goodwill, maybe a second van to the computer recycling place, and then 2 loads of stuff over to my mom’s house to store and/or return. We have some of their furniture here, and it needs to go back.

I think we’ll fill the van and car up to take back to Chicago, and whatever is left here in the house will just have to be burned.

More Tikka Me

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Lauren and I went to IKEA this morning to buy cinnamon rolls for the ones we love. On the way home we stopped for a garbage lunch at Wendy’s, Lauren loves fw-fies and hamgurls, especially when she gets “juice” from the pop machine. It was getting close to naptime, and in the spirit of fast food junkies everywhere we ate in the car.

We also had Zoe with us, who loves eating. Doesn’t matter what it is. Fast food and smelly stuff are particular favorites for her.

For the most part I kept Zoe lured in the front seat with a fry once in a while, but finally I ran out of food and Lauren was still eating (or making a mess) in her seat. She had dropped fries on the floor, in her lap, by her feet, down in the carseat, and had hamgurl on her hands and face. Zoe thought it was a dream come true, the toddler who usually tortures her was strapped in place and there was food to be had!

At first Lauren yelled at Zoe, “No Zoe, no food!” until Zoe started eating the food off of Lauren. Lauren was a little bothered at first, but then it tickled. And she had bare feet, and french fries all around her feet. And it REALLY tickled. She was laughing so hard she sounded like she might stop breathing, and she was yelling “No tikka no tikka!” and giggling and laughing and giggling some more. The dog found some new food on the floor, and let her take a breather, and Lauren got MAD. She yelled at Zoe, “NO! More tikka me! MORE TIKKA!” and SCREAMED “MORE TIKKA ME MORE TIKKA ME!” for at least a mile as we drove up the road.

Finally Zoe obliged, and found some more fw-fies and hamgurls somewhere deep in Lauren’s seat, and Lauren squealed with delight as we drove all the way home. “Tikka me Zoe! More tikka me!”

I don wan it!

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

That’s the sentence of the day. I’ve heard it at least 100 times.

“Lauren, do you need to go potty?”
“I don wan it!”

“Lauren, are you done eating?”
“I don wan it!”

“Lauren are you ready to go to bed with Daddy?”
“I don wan it!”

But it’s bedtime… so off she goes.

Flying Lessons

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Ryan has been driving back to Cleveland (at first I typed “home” but I guess this is our home now, and we just own that house..) so he can take a flying lesson each weekend to finish his multi certification. He’s almost there, but I swear, this airplane has anti-Ryan karma that is just out to get him. Every time he can go fly it’s either broken or someone else has booked the plane for the entire week – every waking hour – and he can’t get on the schedule.

So yesterday he drove 5 hrs (yes, he can get from our condo to the old house in 5 hours.. scary!) and then another 40 min. on to the airport only to find out the plane wasn’t safe to fly. And they don’t know if it will be fixed in time for him to go fly over the week we are home for Christmas. I fear January will be too cold or snowy or both for him to fly safely, and the baby is due in Feb. so will he ever finish?

If you pray, pray to the gods of airplanes and fix-it karma that he can get it done in time!

In other news, Lauren has her very own bedroom now. When she was an infant we all slept in one big bed together. As she got older and wigglier, I had a really hard time sleeping with her, Ryan, and the dog all snoring or wiggling or rolling around at night and waking me up. When I realized I was pregnant (and very tired) we encouraged her to stop nursing at night and I started sleeping in the second bedroom (which was decorated to be a nursery) while she continued to cosleep with Ryan in the big bed.

Since moving here we decided to put a queen size bed in the second bedroom and the king bed in the master bedroom. Lauren has been sleeping in both beds for naps and at night, depending on the week and who was putting her to bed. She’s quite comfy in both of them, heck I’m quite comfy in both of them! And they are both big enough to allow either Ryan or I to sleep with a baby at night. That’s the best part – he can sleep with her in one room while I sleep with the new baby in the other, or we can all fit in the king bed if we need, or one of us can sleep alone in the smaller bed too.

So over the weekend while Ryan was off trying to fly, Lauren and I assembled a new bed frame to put under the queen bed (it’s been on the floor so she can get in and out) and last night she slept in it all by herself. I put her to bed around 9, and went to sleep in the other room, and around 4 I heard her talking, “daddy daddy, banket daddy, mommy banket” which translates to “Hey my covers are off, can someone please help me?!” and by the time I got out of bed and to her, she was back to sleep. She slept until 7:30 this morning, and so did I. Aaaah!

I’m sure it’s not going to be a permanent change, but I do appreciate the nights of good sleep I get!

Unpacking is going slowly, and the condo is beginning to look like an IKEA showroom. As I sit here on the couch I can honestly say that of ALL the furniture in this room (living/dining), only the TV cabinet, lamps, and desk chair are not from IKEA. Lauren’s bedroom is all IKEA except for the changing table and toy shelf, and well, no IKEA has made it into the master bedroom yet… unless you count the bathroom rugs.

My goal is to get everything unpacked and put away (or put back in the van to store in Ohio) before we leave next weekend to come home for the holidays. It would be REALLY nice to come back from a week away to find everything cleaned and picked up and put away and no cardboard or packing paper anywhere. Right now we have towers of empty boxes in all the corners that need to go to the recycling depot, and shreds of paper and styrofoam on the floor thanks to a little girl who thinks that rolling in packing paper is actually more fun than jumping in leaves in the fall.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas …

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Is on the TV right now. Lauren is amazed.

We’re in Chicago, and it’s wet and windy here. Lauren has a cold, she’s actually a fountain of snot, which is pretty darn gross, particularly when she manages to rub her face on me or the couch or something else that needs cleaned. Most of the time she comes running and yelling “booooogers” with her nose up in the air to be wiped, which is preferable to her wiping it on me.

She discovered the wonderful world of marshmallows this week while I was unpacking. I think she would have eaten the entire bag if I hadn’t found her first. She still drags a stool to the counter and looks for the “mashmeeellooows” which aren’t there anymore.

Lauren is doing a lot better than I had expected in terms of adapting. She asks to call Nonnie and Nonno and the kitties every day, and we call them a lot, but she’s not doing anything crazy or having problems sleeping (beyond before we moved). I think some of it might be from a few trips out here we took for a day or three at a time to stay before moving. If only we could introduce her new baby that way!

Sometime soon (hopefully before Christmas!) we will have all our boxes unpacked and taken to the recycling place that is just a mile away. They gladly take anything we want to haul over there, which is nice since our trash can is only so big and gets picked up once a week by the city. There is SO much packing paper. We didn’t have leaves to jump in this fall, and we missed the big snowstorm, but packing paper is just as much fun as snow!
Lauren jumps in the paper!

We finally got internet access today, which beats using our cell phones for checking email. Lauren has an entire closet of toys (and baby storage) while we’ve managed to keep everything else in the master bedroom closet. I’m getting really good at fitting things into creative spaces, under beds and in little corners and more.

We need some plants. On the days that we have sun, the living room gets bright light all day, and if I can find a way to keep the dirt out of Lauren’s reach, a few green things will make it cheerful in here. We have curtains and blinds and most of our furniture now, though we still lack a table at which to eat dinner. Ryan promises he’ll take me back to IKEA this week or next week to get it, and then I should be done shopping.

More later…


Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

I’ve been really really really bad about updating things on here. I promise to try harder.

Here’s the newest news, and some not so new news too!

I’m pregnant. Very pregnant. Due in Feb. – around Valentine’s Day to be exact. Yes, it’s a baby. No, we don’t know if it’s a boy or girl, and we don’t intend to find out. Yes, we’ve found a new midife.

We’re also moving. Well, technically Ryan moved a week ago, Lauren and I are moving this Monday. We’ll be living in Chicago for the next few (or more?) years. Yes, it’s overwhelming. And it was pretty quick happening… Ryan will be continuing with his company, but instead of the NASA contract, he’ll be working on a contract with the City of Chicago. Specifically, he’ll be at OEMC, which is the emergency managment folks.

We found a condo to rent in a neat area… it was empty land – it still is empty land on google maps – the condo is part of the triangle of empty space that spreads SW from the arrow on the google page. Actually, we’re the last built unit, the next block is still empty.

It is in what was considered a blighted neighborhood, the condos sell for $300k, and there are intentional units of “affordable housing” between them. There is also an apartment building at the corner (the 1200 address) and a fire station nearby. Across the street is a parent participation preschool (parents are required to volunteer 2 days a month or take classes regarding nutrition, child development, etc in the evenings), and an elem. school as well.

The cost of living is crazy there… well, it’s very low in Cleveland, and very high in Chicago. So we’re downsizing to a little 2 bedroom place with no basement, no storage, no garage. We’re learning how to purge things quickly around here. It’s amazing what you can gather in your space in such a short amount of time.

Lauren is almsot 2, and with that comes the almost 2 behaviors. Her favorite things to do are throw blocks, bite small children, pull hair, and pinch.

I’m kidding. She’s actually a pretty great kid. She is throwing blocks right now, but not maliciously. I’d rather watch her throw blocks than see her climbing on the tables.

Her newest accomplishments – she plops belly down in the shower and says, “I’m swimming!” She can also count to 10, and knows some of the numbers to 20, but isn’t terribly accurate with those yet. She can say her alphabet as well, but doesn’t identify all the letters in print yet. She also likes to tell the dog that it’s time to go potty, sit, drop it, and NO!

She also still has some pretty bad food allergies, we keep hoping she’ll outgrow them in time, until then she eats what we make for her, and we make pretty good food!