Saturday, September 24, 2011

Now It's Time To Say Goodbye

We are leaving on Saturday morning. We've booked our moving truck, set up installation for cable and internet and turned on the gas and electricity. I am looking forward to being near my family but there's definitely things about northern Michigan that I'll miss.

  • The quietness. The sounds of trains blowing their horns, car alarms going off in the middle of the night, ambulances, fire trucks, police sirens...we don't hear those kinds of things here.

  • The safety. This is a doors-left-unlocked kind of place. We don't generally have to worry about crime. And it's very unlikely that a serial killer would accidentally stumble upon our house at night because it's so dark around here you can't even see our house at night! P.S. Serial killers do accidentally stumble upon their victims. If you don't believe me watch this episode of Dateline. P.P.S. I should probably refill my Lexapro...and stop watching Dateline.

  • The stars. There are so many! Downstate we have like 5 on a clear night.

  • The fall colors. The pic in the background of this blog hasn't happened yet and we won't be here when it does. Leaves change color down there, too, except there aren't very many trees.

  • The sun setting in my backyard.

  • Being surrounded by Great Lakes.

  • Pizza from Nonna Lisa's. I can't figure out why, but it really is the best pizza ever.

  • Bloody Marys from Audie's. Olive-infused vodka, salt and pepper rim, pickle in the glass and a beer chaser! YUM!

  • Drying my clothes on a clothesline. That's such a country thing.

  • Our secret beach on Rte 2

  • The perennials that grow all over the yard.

  • The swing.

  • Ian's bright Peanuts-themed nursery. I wish there was a way to take it with us.

  • The Superman ice cream at Kilwin's. Even if it is ridiculously expensive, it's also ridiculously good! And their toasted coconut fudge is to-die!

  • My job and my coworkers, most of whom are pretty laid-back and likable, some are even lovable. I have worked with several mortal versions of satan in the past. Nobody here comes close to that.

  • My aunt's pool

  • My pediatrician and OBGYNs.

  • Seeing the hospital where Ian was born. Every time I drive by it I get a huge rush. I had the best experience there and I can't help but wonder if the "big city" hospitals are as good to their patients. I really doubt it.

  • The small population. Less people equals less traffic, less stoplights, less douchebags hogging the whole aisle at Walmart. Yes, I am definitely a fan of the small population!

  • And last but not least, I know all three of us will miss my aunt and cousins. I'm glad we got to spend the last year and half with them.
I know I complained about it endlessly last winter because it really does suck being bored, lonely and cold for 6 loooooooong months but this place has its charms and I've learned to appreciate them. And who knows, if neither of us end up finding a fantastic this-could-actually-be-a-career kind of job, we might be back up in May. Just as long as I'm far away before winter...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Traveling With Baby 101: A+

So the funniest thing happened. Brian and I both accidentally ended up with last Friday and Saturday off. Being the weekend before our anniversary and the first time since April that Brian had two days off in one week (except when Ian was born), Brian said the last thing he wanted to do was hang out at home. Then he mentioned that he'd never been to Chicago. In fact, he'd never been to a big city at all. Ever! And that's just unacceptable!

It all happened so fast. One minute it was just an idea and an hour later we were using my employee discount to book a room at Comfort Suites. Only $35 including a hot breakfast and a free shuttle service. I mean, with a deal like that how could we not go?

We left at 7am Friday and returned at 1am Sunday and in between was honestly some of the best hours of my whole life. I remember when I found out I was going to have a baby I thought my days of taking off on a moment's notice and flying by the seat of my pants would have to end. But I proved that to be false. We can fly together =)

Traveling with a baby isn't as hard as people think, especially since there's two of us. When he was hungry we found a place to sit down and feed him. When he needed a diaper change we found a bathroom. We had everything he could possibly need or want in the diaper bag. It was a piece of cake! Of course it helps a LOT that Ian is such a happy-go-lucky kind of guy!

The only minor inconvenience was the stroller. He isn't sitting up on his own yet and is still in the carseat/stroller contraption called a travel system which is like one size smaller than an average minivan. It doesn't go up stairs or escalators and Brian said he'd be damned if he was going to squeeze it through the doors of a bus or trolley. So we were a little limited on transportation options but still managed to get a lot accomplished on foot! On Saturday alone we walked from Willis Tower to the Hancock building and back, including stops at Millenium Park, Navy Pier and the Water Tower mall. It was like 6 miles of walking. And Ian was smiling the whole time! People were even stopping us on the street to tell us what a happy baby he is! He makes us so proud.

Not that the trip was without its disappointments. I told Brian before we got there that I had a tradition of buying a pair of jeans from Gap every time I was in Chicago. I don't spend $60 or $70 on jeans anymore but I thought maybe...if there was a clearance rack...and then we got there and *gulp* they don't carry my size anymore. Correction: They still carry the size, I just don't fit into it. I am totally going on a diet as soon as I'm laid off, I swear it!

Brian decided to carry on the tradition by buying Ian something from Gap instead. He found these pajamas without feet attached for 40% off. I told him not to. Even at 40% they were still like $14. But Brian insisted. And now I'm so glad he did because they are the softest pajamas EVER! Once we move and get settled in with a reliable income I am so ordering him a few more pairs! Pajamas are important, you know.

Another disappointment was the pee. Because we booked last minute the only room we could find in a Choice hotel was 12 miles away from downtown Chicago. On Friday night we took the subway into the city. We could only use subway stops that had elevators because of the stroller. Every elevator we got into smelled like urine. One actually had a puddle of pee on the ground. ICK!

As if that isn't bad enough, we went to Macy's Marketplace to feed and change Ian. I went into the bathroom, peeked into a stall, no good. Went to the next one, even worse. Peeked in another one, almost vomited. It was like someone had taken a hose filled with pee and put out a fire in the bathroom! This is Macy's, not Roses! Geez! I told Brian I'm going to call it Pee-cago from now on.

I know that as Ian gets older he'll become more and more of a handful and we probably won't be able to take last-minute trips like this with him. So I'm glad we had the chance to do it this once. I swear, it seems like the best trips are the ones that aren't planned. Here's some of my favorite pics from the weekend. FYI: no, we did not match our shirts on purpose! I didn't even notice until I uploaded the pics. We might call each other by pet names but we do NOT wear matching outfits.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Real World - Mackinaw City

Since there aren't any day care centers in MC and my mom was so excited to have her first grandchild she offered to stay with us, 300 miles from her home and her husband, to take care of Ian while we were at work.

What a little gem she was! She did more than babysit. She did Ian's laundry and washed his bottles everyday. She baked cakes, cookies and muffins which explains why I still have almost almost 30lbs of baby fat to lose. She cooked dinner. She did dishes. She woke up with Ian at 9am everyday so I could sleep in. She basically spoiled the crap out of both of us and, while it was nice, it's not real life. I'm not a celebrity. I'm not supposed to have a nanny! I'm supposed to be exhausted and emotionally drained. Instead I'm well-rested and deliriously happy 24 hours a day. Well, except for last night when I told a coworkers to Eff Off. Not even the strongest SSRI can help me tolerate a total dickwad but I can save up all that good stuff for another blog.

Even though having my mom here was a huge help to Ian, Brian and I, she couldn't stay forever and we had to take her back to her normal life on Monday. The drive downstate was our first overnight trip with Ian. I wasn't sure how many diapers he would need so I packed a whole separate bag with just diapers. Everything else was in his diaper bag. So here we are, having dinner at Olga's, everyone is just loving Ian as he dances on the table. Then we notice the back of his pants....he leaked...and it wasn't pee. No biggie though, I've got a change of clothes in the diaper bag. Except I don't have any DIAPERS because they're all in the other bag that I left at my dad's! OMG! So Brian leaves the restaurant to go to Walmart while I sit there trying not to touch his butt and make it worse. How embarrassing! My excuse: We're still learning. You can bet we won't be caught in public without a diaper ever again! But otherwise the trip went well. My dad bought a playpen to keep at his house and Ian went right to sleep in it and slept all night without so much as a stir.

Ian started sleeping through the night at 11 weeks. I don't know why or how, I guess it was just time. There are all kinds of tricks and methods of getting a baby to sleep through the night but I never paid any attention. I never had a problem getting up with him in the middle of the night. It was the only time I had to be alone with him and he usually went back to sleep as soon as he was done eating so it was no big deal. He's always been a good sleeper and now he's gotten even better at it! He must take after his mommy.

Another update: He cries real tears now! It's kind of bittersweet. It means he's developing as he should and that's a good thing. But a sad face is sad enough. Add tears and it's just heart-breaking. It's a good thing he smiles and laughs at lot more than he cries!

Sorry I have to cut this short but I have a house to pack up. I'll try to keep my few readers up to date on all things Ian when I can!