Monday, July 30, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
The Rest Of The Chicago Story - With Pictures
The conference ended as well as it began, and I just wish it could have been a bit longer. The last morning of the conference, Kieran and I caught a cab to the Hilton. The cabbie turned out to be a recent immigrant from Somalia. He saw Kieran's Maya Wrap, and then he asked me if all the mothers at the Hilton this week were American. I told him not everyone was, but the majority were. He thought that was interesting, as apparently he'd never seen so many babies in slings outside of Africa, and he asked what the conference was about. I told him it was about breastfeeding and other aspects of raising babies and young children. He got me with this comment...
"Why do you need a conference about nursing and carrying babies? Isn't that just what you're supposed to do with them?"
Yes, sir, it is, but not everyone has that idea yet. We're working on it.
(And then I realized some parenting frustrations are universal. Our cabbie went on to ask, only half in jest, if I knew of any conferences discussing how to get five-year-olds to brush their teeth and go to bed at a reasonable hour.)
We had one extra day in Chicago, and we had the distinct pleasure of a playdate in the park with Amy, Kevin, Carter, and Archie. Amy and I have known each other on-line for almost four years, and I have always admired her parenting style, so it was exciting to finally meet in real life. The boys got to burn off some steam playing ball, the adults got to visit, and a fun time was had by all. Thanks for the meetup, you guys. I hope we can do it again next year!
We then played around at the Navy Pier a bit more, and then that night we walked up to Watertower Place and had dinner at a 50's-style diner that had the best mushroom burgers I've ever eaten.
The next morning we came home, fortunately without major problems. There was my ID issue. My wallet was never found, and my passport was safely tucked away in the safety deposit box at our bank (no, they wouldn't let anyone else in to get it, even with our permission), so I had no picture ID. When we checked in at the airport, no one even blinked an eye. It turns out you can fly without ID. You just have to be willing to go through the extensive hand search (Kevin and Amy, you two were right!) That was all kind of a relief, but Liam wasn't prepared for me to disappear for as long as that took. Kevin ended up trying to convince a crying 3-year-old to go through a separate line with him and Kieran. No one was happy until the four of us were back together again, and then all was well.
Today we've been doing the laundry and opening all our mail that accumulated during our trip. And lookee what came:
This bracelet was made by the lovely Kate as my prize for guessing how many odd socks her boys had squirreled away in their room (28). It is gorgeous - I love the color of blue, and the heart clasp - the picture does not do it justice, trust me. Thank you, Kate! It's is so pretty, and it fits perfectly.
And that is the tale of Chicago '07. I hope we get to go to Chicago again, whether it's for a conference or not, and I hope there is another La Leche League International Conference in the next few years, whether it's in Chicago or not. And next time I won't lose my wallet!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I also love Chicago, and with the cool days that the Chamber of Commerce clearly ordered up for this anniversary conference, it's been fun being outside. Kieran and I sat outside at a coffee shop on Michigan Avenue yesterday. I looked down at the Congress Hotel. It used to be the Pick Congress, and my parents and I attended a fancy dinner there one night back in middle school when my dad passed his CPA exam and all the new CPA's were honored. I felt like such a grown-up that night. Then I remembered how I played in a concert with my high school band for a music educators' conference at the Hilton. And here I am again, at the Hilton, this time as a grown-up, attending my very own conference with my very own baby by my side.
Liam and Kevin have been having a great time doing the tourist thing. We were here last summer for a conference for Kevin, and Liam's now playing the old pro and showing his dad how cool the Navy Pier, the Museum of Science and Industry, and other spots are. As opposed to last year when it was really, really hot and humid, it's been dry and cool here, so no one has collapsed with the heat, and we've been eating outside whenever we have the chance. Kieran and I met the guys for lunch at the Navy Pier today. We sat outside and tried to explain the difference between the ocean and Lake Michigan to Liam - "But, Mommy, there's a lighthouse! That means it's an ocean!" I got some great photos of the boys, but I may have to wait until I get home to post them as Blogger isn't being photo-friendly tonight. (What's up with Blogger?? The other night it wouldn't let me post paragraphs. Anyway.) Trust me, though, everyone's having a fantastic time.
No one found my wallet, so that's the one thorn in all of this. We're going to see if we can get a photocopy of my birth certificate and/or a photocopy of my driver's license to help at the airport on Wednesday. However, since this is a post-9/11 world, we may not be able to, so things could get interesting trying to get home. If all else fails, the back-up plan is to run out and buy two car seats and then rent a car. It's about 15 hours home....hhhhmmmm, how many times can a 3-year-old ask, "Are we there yet?" in that time frame????
Wish us luck, and pray we never find the answer to that question!
Friday, July 20, 2007
...and in fact he collapsed shortly after take-off. He didn't even wake up for the snack service, so I know he was tired.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Last Minute Scramble
After a mad last-minute scramble involving a) several loads of laundry that we needed for the trip, b) a dryer that was finally repaired at 4:30 this afternoon ( a whole 'nother post there, for now just say don't buy these dryers unless you want the repair guy as a frequent guest), and c) a realization by
See y'all in a few days, and Amy? See you Tuesday night!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
16 Weeks Of Brotherhood
Here's the current round-up, abbreviated since I'm still trying to get some extra rest...
No, I have no idea where this name came from.
And the classic brotherhood picture - look how big Kieran's getting next to his brother.
And that is it for now. I'm going back to bed. More posts to come as health and circumstances dictate.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
M Is For Miserable
Kevin had the boys for the day while I was there, and Kieran was getting milk from my freezer stash. It turned out that eight hours is too long for me to go without nursing. So now I have mastitis. Lovely.
As soon as the antibiotics kick in and I no longer feel like I've been hit by a truck, I'll be back. Until then, blogging will be sparse...
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Liam: "When I get to be as big as Elmo, I mean when I get to be his age, I'm going to buy myself a big motorcycle."
Me: "Oh? And What are you going to do with this motorcycle?"
Liam; "Um, well, mostly wear a black jacket and drive across the neighbors' grass. 'Cause that's what Elmo's doing."
Elmo, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a positive role model for the youngsters of America..
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The Great Maple Tree Takedown
Monday, July 09, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
14 Weeks Of Brotherhood
Last weekend we went to the 1st birthday party of Violet, the little sister of one of Liam's best friends. Her mom, Lisa, is one amazing cake maker. The theme of the party was "drums", and look at the drum cake!
I'd show you a picture of the birthday girl, but I have a self-imposed rule against posting pictures of other folks' kids. Trust me, though, Violet was as cute as a button and had a great time.
The white ferret in the picture is Stormy. She's doing much better since we started her on theophylline for her heart block. She's got a lot of energy now that her heart's pumping in a more normal fashion. Here she is with Pippi, spending some time grooming.
And here is Houdini. Note two things about her - her hair is back! And I am able to hold her without being bitten. Clearly she's doing better as well.
More of the bad humor...say "Cheese", guys! (Kevin asked me to crop him out of this picture because he didn't like the expression on his face. But if I did, his mom might get mad at me, and I don't want that!
(Just kidding, Mom!)
Kieran is all into holding things these days. Here he is with his favorite toy, a wooden spoon. It's clearly The Best Thing Ever, and woe befall the person who separates boy and spoon.
We spied this mommy duck and her babies as we were crossing over a bridge on our way home from the park. I took this picture from up on the bridge with the zoom lens, but without the zoom, those babies just disappear into the bank of the stream.
And that's it from around here. Coming soon - exclusive coverage of the Maple Tree Take-Down!
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Ah, The Joys Of Home Ownership - Updated!
Kevin found it yesterday, bark blasted off the tree in ginormous pieces and thrown several yards away from the tree.
And, worse still, the tree is splitting in two right down the middle of the trunk. We've already sent out an SOS to our arborist. I hope we can save the tree. It provides so much shade in our yard, and lots of birds and squirrels live there.
Also? Our dryer and dishwasher are both on the fritz, so I'll be calling about those tomorrow as well. And there goes the July budget just.like.that.
On the other hand, it's still better than renting and waiting for a landlord to take action. I think.
Evening update - The arborist was fairly alarmed at the sight of the tree, saying it could come down at any moment, even in the light breeze we had today. The tree unfortunately has to go for safety reasons. Since more severe weather is predicted here for Thursday, and Wednesday is a holiday, the crew will be here tomorrow bright and early to take it down. On the plus side, all the equipment will keep Liam entertained. On the down side, the estimate is $2200. Ouch.