Tuesday, September 25, 2007

little furry fellow

Seeing a lot of spider webs around your house these days? We sure are. The first picture is one of those 'click to enlarge' instances, but the second picture speaks for itself.

This little - no, BIG! - guy worked like crazy over the last couple of days, because we don't remember seeing a web this big over the weekend and now it is here.

I don't mind that he's set up shop down the side of my awning. As long as it helps to keep the ladybug population from sneaking inside my house, I'm all for it. But if he (or any of his brothers) decides to take his operation inside, I'll have to kindly escort him back out.

Monday, September 24, 2007

sunday night sleep syndrome

As I type I'm listening to son #1 toss and turn in his bed. We had a great weekend for sleeping, with both boys sleeping later than usual on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Then, don't you know, here it is a school night and there's trouble again.

This is a common problem around here, as I'm sure you're starting to understand. Sometimes I think it's getting better. Last summer - a year ago - we went through a phase where, when my son would wake up in the middle of the night, his first instinct was to get out of bed and run down the hall to see what we were doing. I'd escort him back to bed, cover him back up, whisper a few words of encouragement, try to get him back to sleep. He'd be back in about 15 minutes later and the cycle would repeat itself for the entire length of time that he was awake, usually about 2 hours. Eventually I'd stop talking to him and just silently take him back to bed each time. After the second visit or so I'd be pretty much wide awake, unable to go back to sleep for the rest of the night. This would happen repeatedly throughout the week.

Now he doesn't wake up as often, and when he does he stays in bed and talks to himself. But even though he doesn't come in anymore, I wake up because I hear him. I try not to go in unless his talking gets too loud and there is danger that he'll wake up his little brother. It drives me CRAZY with worry that he is up, usually for hours, in the middle of the night. Right now he has about 1.5 hours before he needs to get up, have breakfast, catch the bus to school, and function for an entire day. Later tonight after dinner he has speech therapy. But he's been awake since about 3:30. Sigh. You know as well as I that nothing works quite right when you're feeling tired. And if you're a little person with a sensory system that makes the world sometimes seem like it's not a very friendly place, I'm sure the challenge to get through a day with a poor night's rest is ten times harder.

We've been working on different strategies to combat this problem with our pediatrician and the other professionals in my son's life for the past year and a half. My son went from being a champion! sleeper to troubled sleeper, all in the in the blink of an eye. According to one doctor, he should be growing out of this problem soon. Let's hope so.

But anyway, the thing about sleeping well on the weekends and then not so great on a week night. That problem's been following me around for years, long before kids. In college my friends and I called it Sunday Night Sleep Syndrome. As in, you have all these things swimming around in your head as you crawl into bed, preventing you from getting to sleep. Instead of shutting down you think about who to call, where to go, what to do - a general review of the entire week coming up.

I don't think it's a coincidence that my son is awake tonight and that his wakeful fits don't happen on the weekends. As I was turning out his light last night he said something about going back to kindergarten tomorrow (today), very softly into his pillow. So clearly he's thinking about his week, too. Even a little 5 year-old boy is thinking about the week ahead.

Friday, September 21, 2007

snoopy visits the LC

Meet Snoopy.

(You already know him, I know, but meet this Snoopy.)

Snoopy lives at kindergarten and visits a different boy or girl from class every day. Last week was our first Snoopy visit. When Snoopy comes to your house, you are supposed to entertain him for the day and write about what you did with him in Snoopy's accompanying journal.

We played, we ate, we read books with Snoopy. He helped us feed our beta fish, Dorothy.

And enjoyed a late afternoon session on the trampoline with the little chickens (chicken #1 is in the shorts, chicken #2 is wearing pants).

I think he had a good time. We'll have to be creative and think of something new to do the next time he visits. Maybe by then a pumpkin carving contest?
Have a great weekend, every body!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

middle name meme

Thank you to Laurie Anne over at Tinker's Piggies for bringing me out of blog drought. Ladies, this working thing is nice and all, but I feel as if my blog is suffering. Look, no fun picture to add up top. I should bring my camera to the office.

Without further ado, let's get going with some interesting tidbits about moi, spelled out through my middle name, Patricia.

P. Pretzels. I used to love 'em. Always the perfect accompaniment to a packed sandwich from home. But lately I've been on a pretzel hiatus, a little burned out. One day I'll go back to them, I'm sure.

A. Anniversary party. Coming up at the end of the month to celebrate my parents' 40th. Looking forward to seeing all the uncles, aunts, and cousins. And of course the couple of the hour, too.

T. Train. Turns out the best part of my work day is getting uninterrupted reading time on the train. What a luxury! I've finished 3 books so far, all from a pile I've been meaning to get to for ages. But you know, now I think my blog reading is suffering...

R. Robert Edward II. That's his full name, but I call him Rob. The love of my life.

I. Good question. The Ice Storm, perhaps? That was a movie we were just talking about the other night with our friends.

C. Chicago. I don't live here, I live in the suburbs. This fact made all too clear by my working down here lately. It's like being in another world. I'm just minutes away by train, but for how different it feels, I may as well be living in another state.

I. There's that pesky letter again. Hmmm...how about iceberg lettuce. I don't get the point of it, what with the almost-all-water-no-nutritional-value thing. You can see I don't go much for salads.

A. Annie. Little Orphan Annie, that is. I was obsessed with her and the musical when I was a kid. Still have a fondness in my heart for both, actually. Do you?

Not sure if you've been tagged already, but tagging Violet lady, Tommiea, Belle-ah, and new blog friends H & H and Tres Poshe.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


As I sit here at work today (39th floor) in my capri jeans* (Lucky's), I wonder...

How long will the low-rise waist thing continue? And, is it really all that flattering?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the sky that day

was a brilliant, crisp, blue, like it often is in early September. I remember it.There wasn't a cloud to be seen. The air was sweet and soft, like it is in late summer.It was the kind of day you took notice of as you stepped outside and walked down the street towards the train. You took notice of it then, and you are happy that you did. Happy now that you took the time to appreciate how beautiful it was, instead of letting your mind wander towards unimportant details. Happy now that you remember it so clearly, because you will always remember what happened that day. You will always remember the events of the day, and how you felt then, and how you feel now, and how you've changed from then to now. Because of that, you may not have remembered the day itself. What it looked like at the beginning. How it felt to be striding up the sidewalk. That beautiful sky.

Had it not been so lovely.

Monday, September 10, 2007

out of step

So, I know you know that my month-long job started on Friday (and, by the way, isn't a Friday a very good day for a first day? You go through all that paper work and figuring out where you'll sit and who's who and what your password is, and then before you know it, it's time to go home and you can think about it all later), and I am the "one of these things doesn't belong here" person. And it's not because I have been hired to fill in for a new mom who is on maternity leave (so really, I don't belong...permanently, that is). Rather, it's because it's my old company and we've both had some major changes happen to us since I last left the building. My company and me. Major changes since I left it and it said goodbye to me. That was a few years ago, and yet a lifetime ago.

It is strange to come back to a place where your memories of it are all the people inside, and now those people are gone. And you are gone, sort of. The person you used to be is gone, anyway. Your friends have moved on, the business has changed, you've gotten a little older, hopefully wiser. I see ghosts as I move about the hallways. A ghost of me from that not so distant past: wearing stylish clothes, talking to her boyfriend on the phone, making plans for the weekend (new restaurant? cubs game? movie? see friends? it was all possible, especially sleeping in on weekends.) Ghosts of my former colleagues and friends, people I loved who have moved, or moved on, and who I only keep up with in distant e-mails or by way of a not so up to date grapevine. Ghosts of the clients we used to keep, the businesses I worked on that have now changed so much.

Around me I see younger girls, gentle reminders of what I must have been, must have looked like, must have appeared to be. They are young and hip, talking about their weekend plans at places I don't know, neighborhoods I haven't been to in ages. They are bright and ready to take on the world. I look at them and wonder, what will your story be? How will it unfold for you?

As I walk to and from the train station now I think about my commute during my city days. Light steps on the sidewalk, upturned collar and chin down to face the Chicago winter wind, hurrying up the stairs to the L platform, changing out of my snow boots once I arrived at the office. Or catching the bus at Dearborn/Lake with the other Lincoln Park twenty somethings, each of us clutching our Tribune as we wove our way up through rush hour traffic.

My life has changed in many ways since my days as young girl in the city. But don't misunderstand, I'm not sad about it. Instead, I'm enjoying the walk down memory lane, the chance to reflect on a past tense "me" that I don't think about very often. Once in awhile it's a good thing to open the memory book up, dust off the pages, and immerse yourself in what used to be. How it all used to feel back then.

Some day I'll think about my life in the Little Cottage and what it felt like on a night like tonight. And I know those memories will be just as sweet, if not sweeter.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

anniversary wishes

a public Happy 40th Anniversary today to my dear parents. Congrats congrats congrats to my favorite couple!


It's the end of the weekend and somehow I didn't get around to spiffying up my blog any more. But I have intentions to. Libby has been kind enough to offer some advice, and my husband says he can help me, too. But, where does the time go? During busy days, blogging always takes a back seat to more important things in life. Which is pretty much everything else.

We did have such a nice weekend here. It was one of those picture perfect weekends - bright sun, clear air, gentle breeze, perfect temps. Couldn't be topped. This is how I always think of September, it's the prettiest month. And so we spent a lot of time outside, in our shorts, letting the open windows freshen up the house a bit while we went about our business.

So....no, I didn't work on my blog look (and thanks for your nice comments about it, btw...what you're seeing is somewhere around version #4 from the other night, I played with the templates for about an hour before going to bed), but I was so practical and efficient over the last two days (being the Virgo that I am) - cleaning, cooking, organizing, changing sheets. I think we're all set for a busy but good week. Hopefully I'll seize another moment to catch up with you before too long.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


7:45 p.m. Two little boys go to bed

10:00 p.m. Mommy goes to bed

1:00 a.m. Daddy goes to bed

1:15 a.m. Son (oldest) comes into Mommy and Daddy's room (has to go to the bathroom)

1:16 a.m. Son goes back to bed

1:20 a.m. Son starts talking to himself in bed

1:35 a.m. Talking continues. Mommy (light sleeper) goes in to see Son, says "time to go back to sleep"

1:47 a.m. Talking continues, and now a little giggling too coming from Son's room

1:55 a.m. Mommy goes back in, "no more talking, buddy". "Ok" says Son.

2:03 a.m. Chatter continues

2:10 a.m. Mommy hears a shout, "ah-la Peanut Butter Sandwiches!!!!" followed by giggling! laughter!

2:15 a.m. Mommy, back down the hallway to Son's room, pleads for him to be quiet

2:23 a.m. More chatter from Son's room (he can't help it, he's not tired)

2:30 a.m. Any possibility of salvaging the night and getting (at the very least) a good night's rest is now officially out of the question, as Mommy tosses from side to side and tries to not think about her son being wide awake and the demands of his busy day tomorrow (he needs his rest!!)

2:45 a.m. chatter chatter chatter

2:50 a.m. Mommy gets up and heads down to the computer.

2:55 a.m. Son gets up and starts heading down, too.

2:55 a.m. Mommy intercepts Son on stairs, scaring him unintentionally

2:56 a.m. Son flies back into bed, terrified about stairway meeting with Mommy

2:57 a.m. Mommy and Son cuddle a little on his bed. He's Ok now and maybe getting a little tired, too.

3:00 a.m. Mommy goes back downstairs to read about Luciano Pavarotti

3:07 a.m. Mommy clicks on http://www.blogger.com/

3:16 a.m. Clicking through her favorite blogs

3:20 a.m. Mommy decides to post a new entry

3:29 a.m. Finished writing, she's now thinking this might be a good time to play around with a new look to her homepage.

Good night!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

week 15

So, here we are, almost 4 months into the project on the construction of the house across the street. Since my last entry you will see that the siding has gone up, and that there has been some stonework done at the front entryway. And that's just the outside! And, that's just what a nosey neighbor can spy from across the street. Imagine if I could give you an actual play-by-play of what's happening inside.

How are you today? I am fine. My boys are away this morning and I am on a mission to clean my house, top to bottom. Which is why I've chosen to procrastinate by blogging instead. I also have dinner going in the slow cooker. I just got a slow cooker last spring. Do you use yours? Any good recipes to pass on? I found a website, www.tastycrockpotrecipes.net. They have thousands of meal ideas. Good for me, as my meal ideas are nonexistent these days. Today we are trying the ultimate easy 'chicken-n-dumplings'. Doesn't necessarily sound like something you'd crave on a day when the mercury will hit 90, but then again, why not?

There is news to share. Beginning Friday I am heading into a 4-week freelance project. It will go from 9-5, M-F. Back to the advertising business, however briefly! I am not sure how this will affect my blog. I have visions of me blogging away during off hours, but maybe that is being optimistic. So perhaps my entrys will be a little spotty in the coming weeks. Don't worry, I'll still be here, and I'll for sure be reading what you have to say.

Have a wonderful day, and Happy Birthday to two special little boys....one in Ohio, one in North Carolina. Enjoy!

Monday, September 03, 2007

soon to be famous blogging mama

There was an email going around recently, maybe you saw it. It was a link to an auction on ebay, written by a very funny mom. That mom is a soon-to-be (more!) famous author, Dawn Meehan. She is a fellow Chicagoan, and a fellow blogger.

Here is her story:

Here is her blog:

Check it out!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

thank you

I love my birthday comments, cards, e-cards, e-mails, and well wishes.