aidan

Aidan Meets an Idol (Picture)

For Christmas, Adam got Aidan an mp3 player, and he loaded it with all sorts of songs he thought Aidan would like. This gift has been a HIT. Aidan needs music when he’s going to sleep, and the mp3 player is perfect.

Adam loaded up a LOT of music, and Aidan took to it right away. Especially the songs by “Weird Al” Yankovic. He goes around singing the songs, and he listens to them over and over.

This morning, we woke up very early and headed out to Naperville for Anderson’s Bookshop’s 9th Annual Children’s Literature Breakfast. One of the keynote speakers was none other than “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Aidan and "Weird Al" Yankovic

Aidan got all shy and cute around him. He was speechless, but he had the biggest grin on his face. It was awesome. :)

It’s things like this that make living in Chicago pretty darn cool.

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General Life Update

You know what makes me sad? How QUICKLY weekends fly by. At least I got the full two days this time around, though. Last weekend, I worked on Saturday from 10am-5pm. It’s hard enough to work on a Saturday, but to do it for seven hours made it even harder. I’m really glad I get overtime, and it was kind of nice to be in the proofreader’s area by myself. I could sing all I wanted without worrying about anyone hearing me and subsequently running from the building with bleeding ears. Friday, I worked from 9am-930pm. My brain was officially fried by the time I got home that night.

I won the book Slice of Cherry (and other cool stuff) from Dia Reeves. And I held off on reading it forever, partially because I knew it would be out there and I wanted to be in the right frame of mind to read it. Partially because I knew I’d enjoy it and sometimes I like to make myself really wait until I dive into something I know I’ll like. Cause the anticipation can be as much fun as the actual activity, right?

I started reading it today, and I’m almost done. Folks, this is not a small book. It’s 500 pages. And I have 52 pages left. I will finish it tonight. I am enjoying it highly. HIGHLY. Dia is an ace author, and I love her snarkiness. She is seriously talented. And kinda twisted. In a good way. Add her to my list of authors who inspire me muchly.

I am so eager for spring, especially the part of spring where the rain and grey and 50F days stop and the sun shines and the trees are blossoming and flowers are everywhere. I am so eager for that. In Chicago, I’m typically wearing my pea coat all through April and most of May. The weather usually doesn’t get warm enough for short sleeves (at least for me–I run cold) until early or mid June.

The temperature when I left work Thursday morning was -5F. Right now? It’s 43F. Hard to believe that what I thought was so cold just a couple months ago seems like a HEATWAVE now. The sun’s been out, and the snow’s been melting like crazy. The Bobcats have been everywhere cleaning up the slushy stuff from the streets. Maybe I’ll be able to actually cross the bridge without walking in the street tomorrow morning!

For some reason, ever since I updated WordPress, some of my Flickr pictures are not showing up on my posts. I don’t know if this is a Flickr thing or a WP thing, but I do know that it is annoying me. (update: Someone else posted the same thing on the Flickr Help forums. It’s a Flickr thing.)

In other random news, I’ve been relaxer-free for almost two years now. That’s the longest I’ve gone without a relaxer since I was 12 years old. I’ve straightened my hair a couple times since then (blow out and flat iron), mostly to see the length, but also to make it so I can smash it under a hat in this cold weather. Funnily enough, I’ll see a picture of me with the straight, long hair and feel prettier, although there are times I’ll look at a picture with my curls and think HOLY CRAP, MY HAIR IS COOL! I guess I’m still not done transitioning.

Still adjusting to life as a (often more than) full-time office worker again. I miss midday yoga so badly. A couple weeks ago, I tried a restorative candlelight class and absolutely loved it. I haven’t been back though because it’s Sunday nights from 7:30-9pm. Usually around that time, I’m bathing and reading and winding down for the night. Seems like a good time to do the yoga right? Except it would be better if I didn’t have to go out to do it. We’ll see how it is in the summer, though. I think it’ll be much easier for me to deal with the late evening classes. My body misses yoga. Very much. I feel like I need to take a vigorous class just to get my chakras all back in balance. Then a restorative class to recover!

One thing I need for sure (in addition to yoga) is a massage. I have vouchers for THREE of them. I think I will schedule one for this week. 6:30p.m. Wednesday. The place is a hop, skip, and jump away from my office. I can leave work and go straight to an hour of bliss.

And then Thursday, I am taking 1/2 day off work because Aidan’s flying in! :D Did I mention that he texts now? Today, he got ahold of his dad’s phone and we texted back and forth. It was so cute. Can you imagine any of us texting at age 8? Technology is crazy. Aidan’s never known a world without cell phones. Or iPods. Or CDs. Or computers, DVD Players, cable TV.

Gah, I cannot wait to see him!!!

I’m seriously considering buying a new DSLR. I am looking at the Canon Rebel XS. I don’t need any of the super, duper fancy $2000 ones. It’s just that my current one was acting buggy when we were at Disney, and there are some dust particles in it that I have to Photoshop out of every picture that has blue sky in the background. I don’t want to go out on me when I am taking pictures of something important. Also, the difference between my Canon pix and the point and shoot pix are off the charts. I would miss not having a DSLR. I’ve had my XT for nearly four years now. It’s gone with me on many, many trips. It has served me well.

My book to buy list is a mile long. And I was toying with the idea of buying a The North Face coat. Maybe next winter, though. I have also had it in the back of my mind to get Amazon Prime again, but I can’t bring myself to spend the money just yet. I haven’t shopped much at all since Disney World, to be honest. Groceries is where the bulk of my expenditure has been going, and even that’s notout of control. Oh yea, I did need a new tire right before that big blizzard hit. But as far as leisure spending? Not so much lately. I feel awfully disciplined. And also goal-minded. That camera isn’t going to buy itself, you know?

I should get to bed. As usual, those last precious hours every Sunday night speed by. Time for a long work week ahead–but I possibly have a massage to look forward to Wednesday evening, and I DEFINITELY have Aidan to look forward to this weekend. Not to mention temperatures that are not sucktastically cold!

So, with that said… good night all! :)

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Adjusting (Pictures)

Aidan

Aidan’s finally here!!!

Thank goodness. It seemed to take forever for June 8 to get here! Even he said, when he got off the plane “I can finally see you!” I really hate living so far away from him. I know it’s not even that far, but that doesn’t make it suck any less. :(

I am trying to figure out how to readjust my schedule to keep fitting yoga and writing in, plus taking care of him, and getting enough rest. Not to mention staying on top of eating reasonably well. It’s been a challenge this week because Adam’s brother and sister-in-law are visiting, and we’ve been spending time with them. I kinda put all that life stuff on hold because how often do I get to see Eli & Melissa, you know? So I’ve been eating not as well as normal, and I haven’t been to yoga since last Thursday. Let’s not even talk about writing, shall we?

I need to just QUIT those games on Facebook. Or at least limit myself to a few. It’s out of hand again, how much time I spend playing. I know it’s an avoidance technique. If I’m playing, I don’t have to think about the “sagging middle” in my WIP. And maybe, just maybe a breakthrough will happen while I am virtually farming!

Right, even I don’t believe that anymore.

Anyway, even though I haven’t been doing yoga and writing, I have been doing other cool things. Tuesday, I got Aidan from the airport, and I learned that if someone is mean to a member of my family, the claws come out! No one was mean to Aidan, but someone was to Adam and I reacted in a way that I never expected. It was weird and a little bit unsettling. But nice to know that I won’t take any crap from people when it comes to members of my family.

Wednesday, Eli & Melissa arrived and we had dinner with them. Thursday, we went to the Art Institute of Chicago. I’d never been to an art museum ever. Well, the National Vietnam Vets Museum may count, but that’s such a specialized part of art that I can only think of it as the NVVM. AIC was completely different and amazing and overwhelming. You know how you see prints of paintings? Most of them never did much for me. We have a bunch of them in the apartment and to me, they’re just pretty or neat pictures hanging around. But seeing a painting in real life is so much better! There was some Van Gogh and a lot of Monet, but the one that blew me away was Saint Francis by Peter Paul Rubens. The way he painted it… the flesh tones looked so real and lifelike and vibrant, like Saint Francis was going to just walk off the panel and come stand next to me. In addition to that, the Thorne Miniature Rooms were incredible, as was all the South Asian art, which I didn’t feel I got to spend nearly enough time looking at. We even checked out the Matisse exhibit, and got to see some pretty famous paintings, like American Gothic. I can’t wait to go back to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is so much I am eager to explore there. The cool thing is that we can take out museum passes from the library (that are good for a week!), and the museum is open free Thursday nights. I get the feeling I’ll be there a lot.

Lion

Aidan LOVED the museum. As he’s very artistic, Adam and I thought he’d get a lot out of it–well, as much as a seven-year-old can get, I suppose. He loved seeing the Van Gogh, and he was totally fascinated by the Picture of Dorian Gray, but he really enjoyed giggling at all the naked baby Jesus paintings and sculptures. He did love the Thorne Miniature Rooms, though.

After that fun, we ate some lunch and then headed over to Millennium Park. Aidan enjoyed playing at Cloud Gate, as usual:

Aidan and Cloud Gate

On Monday, before Aidan got here, I hung out with Shannon, a former co-worker, and her family. They took me to the top of Sears Willis Tower, and I went out on the glass ledge. Oh yes. Check me out:

Me on the Glass Ledge

High In The Sky

In between all this, I am reading a book called THE BLUE GIRL by Charles de Lint, and I adore the main character. She’s just such a cool girl. This is the first Charles de Lint book I’ve ever read, but apparently, he’s written a lot set in the particular world of this book. I love when authors do that. When they have a world they work in for all of their books. Cause when you read the new ones, you see old characters and friends. Sarah Dessen does it, and so does Deb Caletti, and even Adam does. I tend to write in the same worlds too, or I try to, anyway.

Anyway, it’s already almost 2am. I don’t have to be up very early tomorrow (but someone little with curly hair might wake me up early. If not him, then the neighbor’s hot water heater [which bangs every time he takes a shower and happens to be located right above our bed–another thing the landlord won’t fix] will). We’re hitting Navy Pier, which should be fun on a Saturday in June. :O All I know is this: I AM GETTING A CHURRO. Oh yes.

So, with that, I am off. ‘Til next time!

I love summer!

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:)

Every night before I go to bed, I check on Aidan. I give him a kiss, put the covers over him, and then I kiss him again. He usually doesn’t wake up.

Tonight, he woke up. He looked at me and smiled, then he put his hand on my cheek, gave ME a kiss, then he fell back to sleep. I doubt he’ll remember this tomorrow/today. But I will. And I’ll smile.

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