Thursday, July 30, 2009

August Desktop :)

I'm excited to start using my monthly desktops again :) This time its another beautiful one from Shabby Princess using a kit called Giggle Box. You can find it ready to drop your photos in on the Shabby Princess Blog!


OK, maybe not. But I awoke this morning and left the house to go to playgroup only to find a bloody massacre in my driveway. Ew. Complete with bunny fluff, blood, and intestine strewn about. It was an awful scene. I might be exaggerating a little bit, but honestly, it was gross.

I did hear some rustling about outside near the garbage cans last night as I was making Pat's birthday cake...but I didn't dare look because A) I'm a giant wuss and B) I tend to make stuff up in my head when Pat's not around. In either case, I figured I couldn't do anything about it, so because it subsided quickly I just let it be.

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the mess this morning was Chupacabra...which literally translated means "Goat Sucker". Its a Mexican monster that eats goats (and little kids who wander from the campsite, according to our uncles)....although I'm pretty sure there were no goats involved last night, what else could it possibly have been?

Do any of you, cyber readers, know of any kind of suburban carnivore that would kill a small/medium size (bunny sized maybe?) animal, chomp it to smithereens in the middle of a driveway, and leave nothing but a bloody puddle, a foot of intestine and a couple of poofs of fluff? Judging by the color of the fuzz, I'm guessing it was a bunny (what would that be doing out in the middle of the night??) or maybe an opposum? Are there coyotes in the 'burbs? How about giant owls (aren't they kind of a fast food nocturnal killer?). I'm just curious.....and hoping I don't see the bloodbath again any time soon!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Learning how to fly

Liam and I were walking around the neighborhood this evening when we saw the coolest thing :) A new bird taking it's first flight. Well, I'm not sure if it was it's first flight EVER, but that's what I'm calling it in my head. We stopped for a good two minutes (which in Liam minutes is about an hour) and just watched him in the tree, flitting about, looking so very relieved that it landed safely in a tree. You could still see a bit of baby bird fluff on its head and neck, and even a bit of uncertainty in its eyes, not sure exactly what is coming next, but excited... I couldn't believe that Liam was so interested - like he knew it was something cool and special.

OK, maybe I'm reading a bit too much into it all, but it certainly was neat-o.

And fitting - especially since I'm embarking on a new adventure as of this evening. Pat went on a business trip, and Liam and I are flying solo for a couple of days - first time in the new house! Not a big deal to most people, but kind of a big deal to me. I'm a wuss. I don't do well in new places. I don't like being alone. Typically when Pat leaves I stay up way way LATE (like 2AM) until I can't possibly keep my eyes open anymore, and only then can I sleep. That's OK for one night. Not for multiple nights. Definitely not OK for a 5:30-6AM toddler wake up call that Daddy takes care of 90% of the time. Yeah, I really don't like doing all the work myself. Especially when I'm knocked up, vulnerable and whiney.

I thought I might go camping while Pat was gone, but that didn't work out because my body does not cooperate with the un-cushy-ness of camp chairs, not to mention the 6 hour drive. Then I thought I might enlist my cousin and kiddo to come stay with us...but then I realized that request is a little ridiculous. Its like asking someone to babysit yourself (thanks A, for not saying so at the time). Alas, I am an adult, it is my home and I think I've been here long enough where I can handle it on my own.

I think.

*le sigh*

The hardest part of this process is admiting my co-dependancy. Aformentioned cousin A says its OK to rely on each other when you're in a marriage. I suppose she's right. It just takes some getting used to admiting it all...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heartburn & the rest of my life

I'm instituting, effective immediately, a no eating policy after 8PM in efforts of minimizing my heartburn suffering. I'm already taking 2 Pepcid AC per day, sleeping on pillows and the like. The next step, if this doesn't work, will be changing my diet...but I really don't know how effective that will be given that anything and everything seems to make it flare up. I'd love to be able to sleep. 3 hours a night is NOT enough!

On the up side, my belly is getting bigger and cuter by the minute :) I haven't been good about snapping monthly shots like with Liam (hey, I've got a toddler to chase around!) but a friend did take this for me while we were at the Chicago Botanic Gardens this past weekend. I {heart} pretty flowers :)


:::::::::::: HOUSE UPDATE ::::::::::::

I feel like we are officially home. Liam and I have somewhat of a weekly routine, which feels nice! Most all boxes up here are unpacked, and those that are downstairs are probably going to be down there for good. The garage is nice and tidy, and can fit Liam's toys and both of our cars :) The parade of contractors has finally slowed down, as most major projects have either been completed or are damn near close and no longer interfere with daily life. I feel like we've moved from the unpacking & survival phase of moving on to the organization and optimization phase. After that is completed (hopefully by time Baby #2 makes his / her arrival) we shall move on to the decorating & beautifying phase, which will most likely continue through 2010. It feels good.

We've added bird feeders to the backyard. I've never been so excited for something so small! We've got a couple pairs of adorable goldfinches that visit (they make me happy because they eat upside down...and they are yellow!), and we added another feeder hoping to attract a beautiful cardinal that visits our trees quite regularly....but he hasn't gotten close yet. We have gotten some chickadees and brown finches with red heads, though. They're noisy and cute and I love them!

:::::::::::: LIAM UPDATE ::::::::::::

Liam seems to be settled in and liking his new digs as well. We play in the backyard all the time, and he loves pushing his car and lawnmower around in the driveway (usually while I'm drawing with sidewalk chalk). I think the cutest part is when he we go in for the evening, he pushes and parks his car in the garage and tells it "night night". He's also getting much better at putting his toys away before bedtime...which is very nice :)

Here's a lawnmowing shot :)

Oh, the new funny expression for him is "DOH!" whenever he drops something. Guess where he got that from (hint: not me). I also taught him to come running to me for a kiss whenever he gets an owie (hey, I needed more excuses to give him smootchies!). He's still loving books and reading, and trains and cars too. We're also taking a gymnastics class (have I mentioned that before? Not sure...). This class has been great not just as an energy expunger, but also at teaching him how to follow directions and wait his turn...two things he's not very good at yet, but is really starting to grasp the concept of simply because of the class. And he looks so cute running around in short shorts and swinging on the bars :)


I hope we can continue some form of this type of class after this one ends...but it won't be with Chicago Park District (since we're no longer residents....bastards!).

His vocabulary and sentence building skills are EXPLODING too! Tonight even, he said "Nigh nigh mom-meee"(Night Night Mommy) as I left his room (and also nigh nigh da-dee - as Pat just told me). Other new expressions are "Ah no hon-kneee" (I know Honey) and "*insert color here* car" - oh yeah, his colors are rockin' the house. Buu, Wred, yeh-yow, oornge, reen, white, blak, pur-poh, pink. Pat says he's a little Minah Bird....basically repeating everything we say (usually when we don't expect it!).

With the good comes the bad...tantrums are starting as well. We've tried a couple different methods of discipline, but alas, it seems that time-outs are most effective. Why is it that the things you say are dumb and that you're never going to do always end up in your life anyway?? I didn't think we were time out people...but it seems to work.

Aside from the tantrums and general pain in the ass-yness, I'm totally loving this stage of his development!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Critter update

We're not worried at the moment about the raccoons or the chipmunks.....but we did need to take care of the skunk. So we called a couple wildlife control services and decided to go with Smithereen - and not just because they had the coolest name. They weren't the least expensive (although all the quotes were in the same general ball park), but the guy (Dave) was prompt in his return phone calls, very informative and patient with all my questions...and just seemed plain nice.

He arrived this morning and set the traps next to our perpatrator's lair, baited them with marshmallows (heh. Who knew skunks like marshmallows???) and left us with instructions on what to expect and to call if we see the skunk in the trap in the next day or two. The traps are set in a way to only capture the skunk that is living under your stoop, not any random neighborhood skunk.

I heard a little bit of rustling shortly after dark (as did Thalia...she crept to the front door to investigate...which I promptly closed before she could get too close, even though the traps and stoop are way below kitty viewing from the front door). Pat just checked and shined the flashlight through the front windows, and sure enough, there's a cute little black and white dude trying to get out of his steel coffin.


I'm happy he won't be a nuisance to us anymore, but I'm pretty sad they will have to kill him. State law I think. I realize there are no shortage of skunks...He just looks so little, like he's still just a baby :( Pat thinks its an adult though. Even Dave the Smithereen Guy said they're harmless little buggers, especially once they get un-stinky. I'd kind of like to snuggle him. The skunk...not Dave. Is that weird?

Smithereen will come to collect him tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure they keep the traps for a few additional days to make sure there aren't any more taking residence in the same lair. I've got my fingers crossed that its just one, and not a family. I'd really be sad about killing baby animals. Last year a co-worker had to deal with a mama skunk and 5 babies, and it wasn't fun....then they give us tips on how to Skunk proof the porch, so no one else moves in.

One more thing crossed off the list!!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Frustration and crazy emotions

I'm not adjusting to life in the suburbs well - and I'm not exactly sure why. The reason changes on a regular it was because it is too damn quiet here. And I'm pretty sure Liam is totally mad at us for moving. Pat thinks he's been out of sorts and crabby because he's finishing cutting those 2nd molars, but I know better than that.

Liam is sleeping pretty regularly at night and naptime, which is fantastic, but throughout the day he's just cranky, sometimes wanders around like he's lost, and has been THE brattiest boy - pushing limits and testing us like mad. OK, I suppose these all could be just normal developmental terrible two stuffs, but I'm convinced he hates our home.

Back to me though....I'm just feeling a little lonesome and sad and just in general having trouble. Our condo was such a social place - even just taking a breather outside you got to talk to people on a regular basis. Here....not so much. Our neighbors on both sides seem pretty nice, but they don't hang outside....and even if you say hello its not the same going through a 6 foot wood fence.

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving our home. I love the space, I love having room for visitors, I love the convenience of having a driveway and a grill and no rules but our own.....but the projects are starting to wear on me (the electrical work is not done yet due to some inspection issues from the village), and it feels like we're bleeding cash (hey, at least we're doing our best to stimulate the economy), and everything isn't it its place. Oh yeah, and I perpetually have dirty feet. Its kind of gross. We just can't seem to clean enough. I think until we can scrub the basement free of the 50 year dust that is harboring there, I don't think our feet will be clean.

I know everything will work itself out eventually....but eventually can't come soon enough.

Settling in....

We've cleared through most of the boxes on our main living area....I'm still avoiding the basement and garage as much as possible because of the chaos that is still residing there....but it feels good to have a semi normal living space. We're working through it. Pat is / has been a major trooper working his butt off nearly every day tackling small and large projects. I feel so lucky to have him, yet so helpless while he's doing them.

We're also discovering the joys of living in a home that has a rather neglected yard. Not sure how long its been overgrowing (one year? two years? More??), but it has certainly attracted some attention of the pesky variety. We have a cute little bunny, or maybe more than one, that hangs out in the mornings in our backyard. He's kind of precious. There's actually quite a plethora of bunnies in the neighborhood. And they are all named Mr. Bun Bun.

There may or may not be some kind of chipmunk type thing living in the garage.....

Then there's the skunk. We discovered him a couple of days ago...and not by sight. Thankfully I couldn't smell much, but Pat was pretty sure he sprayed near the A/C which distributed the smell evenly throughout our abode. Yesterday I came home from Target to a husband sitting on the couch, swearing he was going to bring the American Flag inside, but decided against it when he saw a certain white striped critter scurry across our front porch path and beneath the bonzai bushes. Later he noted a nice hole under the concrete, and we've come to the conclusion that our stinky friend most likely resides there.

Last but not least, tonight a family of raccoons made their appearance in our backyard, shortly after we had come in for the night. It was a mama and two kiddos - so cute (until they claw your face off and give you rabies - as Pat noted). They traipsed from the overgrown bushes on the side of the garage, over to the tree in the middle of the yard, and then sashayed to the rear of the yard.... Not sure if they are visitors or permanent.

I've contacted a couple of pest control places (one of which is Smithereen - quite possibly the coolest named pest control business of all time) to get an inspection to see who else is living in our lot besides the O'Brien family, and what is the best way to take care of them. I told Pat I don't want to know about any killing of anything, because my little heart just can't handle that. I know that there are humane trapping type programs, but I'm not sure how effective or expensive that is. We shall see. I'd much rather think they'll be caught and removed from our place and find new homes in the forest.