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July, 2009:

Picture Time

We last took them in April for C’s 3 month and we’ve been doing it on a regular basis ever since E was born.  There’s no way I’m going to stop now.  We (Cari) also was very good at doing scrap books for the kids.  It was never the easiest task but we probably have 20+ of them (books for kids and books of our lives) and they’re just absolutely priceless.  Costco had 9 cent prints recently so I printed up 600+ pictures of C from his 1st 6 months.  I think I’m going to have a scrap book party with fam and some friends to get those things done in a timely manner.  If I don’t do it now, it’s going to be 12 months before I know it and then I’ll have a whole year of scrap booking to do.

Yesterday we got some new pix of the kids and they’re super cute.




A good friend I never knew I had

She was around before everything happened.  She and Cari worked together; that’s how they (we) met.  They had a blast together, especially at Bear’s games…we have plenty of pictures to prove it.   And she’s been a huge help since all this happened.  She’s probably been around more than anyone else besides family and she doesn’t seem to mind it one bit.  I totally appreciate it.  There’s no expectations, no demands, no uncomfortable situations…we’re fortunate to have her in our life…thank you!

Work in progress

I’m at camp today and it’s always a cluster the day camp opens.  Things don’t work, people forgot something at the office…you name it.  It turns out I was working on some code the day my life got turned upside down.  If you would have asked me this morning what I was working on that day, I would have never remembered.  The things I remember are the things I wish I could forget.  Nevertheless, that thing I was working on didn’t work today because it was basically a work in progress.  I didn’t realize what I was working on until I checked the file dates and source control check out dates this morning…May, 19 2009…my hell.  It’s been a little over 2 months.  I still can’t believe it happened.  I know now that I’m not going to wake up from this nightmare, it’s completely  100% real.  I hate when I’m reminded of it.   I didn’t expect today that I would be sitting at work and have to follow up on something I was working on that morning.  Maybe if I did exactly 1 thing different we wouldn’t be in this situation today…maybe.  But I’d go insane thinking about that because there’s no way I would know for sure.  🙁

A very busy weekend

Saturday was jam packed with Lil Kickers, the Cubs v Reds game, and Venetian Night.  Sunday was Dana’s BBQ and the Taste of Lincoln.  We had to skip Jen’s b-day party because it would have been way too much.

P7251178It was little C’s first Cubs game.  They always seem to be scheduled during somebodies nap time but we made the trip anyways.  E has been to probably a dozen games so far so we definitely had to get him to his first. 

He spent most of the game staring at some guy two rows behind us.  But we still got plenty of smiles and pictures of him.  Because of lil kickers we arrived in the middle of the 2nd but that sorta helped because that meant the kids would hopefully make it to the 9th.  About 4 months ago we taught E to sing Go Cubs Go and were actually lucky enough one day to record it (  It’s just one of the songs that I would sing to her.  Just at random times but she quickly picked up on it.  Saturday was the first time she got to hear it in person.  Go Cubs!

P7251214It’s been a few weeks since we last went out on Mike’s boat.  It wasn’t really by choice, per se, but rather because the Chicago weather has been bordering on cold.  It’s barely averaged above 80 and it’s mid-July.  Saturday was also Venetian night and he really wanted to take the boat to the city.  Earlier in the day the water was completely calm but by the time we got out there the winds had picked up and a few showers passed by.  We saw yet another rainbow…like the 10th rainbow this month.  P7251234Once we got down there, despite the wind and waves on the way, the skyline was beautiful and there were a ton of boats down there.  We parked by Monroe harbor.  There were these three boats that were tied together and had a disco ball and dance lights flashing…looked like fun.  Venetian night isn’t anything too crazy; just some jazzed up boats and fireworks but the fireworks were very impressive.  We were parked a little too far away to see the boat parade but we had music and drinks so we weren’t complaining.  And the fireworks were almost on top of us.

P7261274Sunday was another busy one.  Originally we were just going to go to Dana’s BBQ at her Condo near the gold coast but then we found out about Taste of Lincoln and then there was also J’s b-day at Arlington Race Course.  Unfortunately we had to pass on the latter but I wish we could have done all of them.

Dana’s place was nice.  She has a pool on the rooftop and of course Ellie wanted to go swimming.  Did I mention that it’s been a cold summer.  And we were already swimming earlier in Grandma’s pool.  I’m not sure which one was colder.  She seems oblivious to it though.  She just has so much fun in there.  I can never say no.  I guess they had Jorie in there b4 we got there and she was loving it too and wanted no part in getting out.

I was told that our little E has an amazing vocabulary.  Does she really?  I mean there’s not a whole lot she can’t say.  I can’t even keep track of all her works and her sentences are getting complex.  I think she’s smart but it’s awesome to hear that come from someone else, especially someone who works with kids and speech issues.

By 5 or so we got ready to head to the Taste of Lincoln.  We’ve had plenty of crazy years there in the past (I’ll have to add some of those pictures later).  I missed one recent year because of training camp but the last few years have been a little tamer with the kids and this year was about the same.

I was having a bit of a difficult weekend up to this point.  After venetian night we went to the horseshoe casino; the last, and I think only time, I was there was with Cari.  I went to the bathroom on Saturday by myself.  It’s kind of in a remote location by the concert venue (the place we went to see the Smashing Pumpkins).  As I walked to the bathroom I vividly remembers waiting there for Cari to come out of the bathroom.  I’m pretty sure she was wearing a jean jacket.  The night of the concert we brought a camera with and for some reason they wouldn’t let camera’s into the venue so (with Cari pregnant) I had to run back to the car (like 2 miles away) and make it back in time for the show.  Anyways, I couldn’t believe how such a simple event had such a significant impact on me.

P7261308So that was Saturday and now it’s Sunday.  Even though the sisters are with me, I am pretty much 100% responsible for the two kiddies that I have with me.  The Taste of Lincoln isn’t really that kid-friendly of an event either.  It’s already packed and by the last two bands of the night most people are rather intoxicated (our group included).  Plus there was a day cubs game so you have some people from that place there as well.  And did I say it’s PACKED?  It’s not easy trying to maneuver a double stroller through 1000 people…slightly intoxicated people at that.  Plus even though it wasn’t extremely warm, it became humid and the breeze totally died.  So that, plus the kids, and me feeling overwhelmed didn’t add up to an ideal situation.  Then, of all things, and I guess somewhat expected, I ran into some people I knew. 

P7261298I knew it would happen.  We frequented the local band scene for years so even though having the kids and moving to the burbs meant less nights out, it was only a matter of time before I saw familiar faces.  So they say to me, how ‘ya doing?  And I have to immediately ask if they ‘know’.  And they knew.  But then I found out that one of my even closer friends from the past was in the crowd and wanted to see me.  But the kids were crying, I was a mess, and I needed to feed the damn meter…meter’s on a Sunday at 8pm (WTF Chicago).  Anyways, I told them I’d wait to see here but I couldn’t stay because I had to feed the meter. 

P7261300On the way back from feeding the meter I had to piss so bad.  So all this crap is going on, both kids are crying, and I have to find somewhere to go.  I said screw it and headed for the nearest alley.  Of course it’s still light out though so I had to search out a somewhat hidden spot and told myself if the cops came that I’d probably have one solid excuse.  At least that’s what I told myself.  Fortunately they didn’t come. 

When I got back to the fest they let us in back stage.  It probably seemed unusual to have little kids back there but maybe that’s expected seeing that most of us long-time fans are all getting to that stage in life.  But back stage meant more people that I hadn’t seen.  One of the girls didn’t say anything too meaningful but kept saying how beautiful the kids were.  I turned into a mess, but whatever, right??? Ellie had a blast with all the people…dancing all over the place.  And a bunch of people held Carson.  He’s a ham. He just smiles at anyone.  He rocks and all the people that were there rocked!  While it wasn’t the easiest time, it certainly was nice to see a bunch of friends.

We finally got back to the car.  It was late and she was tired.  We should have left earlier.  I needed my driving partner with me but she was more concerned about hanging out with people and drinking than helping me get home…thanks, btw!  And then I found out that I didn’t have E’s nukie with me.  Oh man, that’s like the end of the world of course.  I had an extra but it was C’s.  For some crazy reason she wouldn’t use it.  It looks a little different so our little brainiac knew the difference and wanted nothing to do with it.  We had about a 45 minute drive home and it took her about 30 of those minutes to finally calm down.  Oh well, we made it and have plenty of fun pictures to look back on.  We all survived.

Stuck in the rain

I’m sure it’s happened before when I was alone with the kids, but it’s not the same anymore.  Thankfully it wasn’t an all out downpour; a little more than a drizzle (some decent sized rain drops) with some thunder and lightning.

The service at the restaurant tonight was garbage.  Got there at 7 and I think the food finally arrived at 9:15 (don’t they see that we have two little ones with us?).  It took forever just to order in the first place too and the time between ordering and the food finally arriving was really unacceptable.  Nevertheless, we ate, had some drinks, and besides the service it was a nice time.  E had a good time and everyone had a good time with her.  We played hot potato with C and even though I mistakenly used a #4 nipple he had a good time too.  When we left the restaurant there was the smell of rain in the air and some intense lighting off to the west.

The thunder has raddled the house a few time since we got home.  I brought C in first, left him in his carrier in the crib, and then went to get E.  She woke up for a second, put her head on my shoulder (which is such an amazing feeling) and said a few words to me.  We went right up to her room.  I laid her down and took off her shoes.  She asked me to take out her piggy, to turn on her music, and to shut her door most of the way (likes it cracked open a bit).  She wanted to turn on her music herself but I said not tonight and that response seemed acceptable.  They’re still down so let’s hope it stays that way.

So I’m sitting here thankful that getting home late, in the rain, was a relatively simple task when I get an message on my phone.  I figured it might be something along the lines of, ‘did you make it home okay?’  But instead it bordered on accusing me for being the reason why E seems to be ignoring Grandma.  AS IF I HAVE TIME FOR PETTY B.S.!  The message didn’t deserve a response and texting something like that is really rather inapporpriate (in my opinion) … how about a phone call???  Anyways, I’m rather perturbed at this moment.

Oh and I forgot to mention how the ‘accident’ was discussed with some people at dinner who were unaware of the situation.  Nevermind my feelings in the matter.  Would Matt be okay with us talking about this here at the table?  It was not a good day for me to begin with so having to listen to people talk about the accident didn’t sit well.  I didn’t speak up because it was a short conversation and I doubt I would have been able to say anything without breaking down. 

A friend came over today; he came out of his way to dedicate his day to anything I needed.  I didn’t have to ask him, he just asked if it was okay if he came over today and said if there’s anything I needed to do, he’d do whatever it was.  So we spent the day in the garage.  It wasn’t a high priority item but something that needed to be done — it required organization.  I didn’t even hesitate to bring in the garbage can with because I knew there’d be plenty to toss.  And sure enough that thing was filled up immediately.  According to Cari I was somewhat of a pack rat…and I certainly might be but usually I only keep things I think we might end up using again.  However, I did find some papers from back in college and if I haven’t looked at ’em by now I’m probably not going to look at them any time soon.  And that cassette player probably won’t be used any time soon either.  There’s not a whole lot of her stuff out there, thankfully, but nearly every minute I was thinking about her.  It was our stuff.  It was placed there by us.  Like that weed and grass killer…the weed and grass killer Cari used to try and rid the yard of some weeds but instead killed the grass and left brown spots all over the place.  So sure, maybe it should have been organized a little better before, but a little disorganization never hurt, right?  Besides, we were busy with the kids and work so order in the garage was far from a priority.  Thankfully though, it’s clean, somewhat organized, and it’s one thing off my CRAPPY to-do list.  Thanks B.