Thursday, January 25, 2007


This is part 1 and 2 of the video manifestation of our journey to England.

Half a World Away - Part 1

Formula Lily - Part 2

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hey, we went skiing and snowboarding (with sound)

Yeah. That's what we did over the weekend...with Janice.

We went to Devil's Head in Wisconsin. It was fun, there was decent snow and it was a sunny not-too-cold day on Saturday. There was night skiing, which we partook of. Plus, the best band of men over 40 played at the lodge in the evening. They opened with Margaritaville, and went unabashedly through a lineup that included Play That Funky Music White Boy and a new hip version of Brown-Eyed Girl. Wow.

On Sunday, we awoke to a blizzard of powder. Unfortunately, we had to get back to Chicago, so instead of skiing and snowboarding in it, we had to drive in it. I skidded for a ridiculously long time down a side street and finally over the curb onto someone's lawn. No one was around so Janice and Oli just laughed at me and I just got grumpy. Later I laughed, too. It was funny.

Footage and photos to come, I'm sure.

PS - Lily is being the most hilarious and loveable kid lately. She's gives hugs and tells nonsense stories. Next Friday she'll be one!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

By the way...*updated*

Lily now walks freely around our apartment and says "daddy," "uh-oh," and "light."

She understands what light is rather well but she calls both Oli and me "daddy," which I will most happily accept for the time being. I feel pretty honored every time she points at me and says "daddy" because it means I stick out as something worth naming among the menagerie of things she encounters every day :)

Oli, I encourage you to post some walking footage. *I posted 2 vids*

Come by and see her some time if you can.

Friday, January 12, 2007


Thank you again Janice for yet another lovely lily gift; these are the photos you've been dying for.

Lily's 3 weeks in the UK heralded in a new phase of being and these shots examine her new more capable and powerful self. The images confront the viewer with a strange juxtaposition; near-identical shots, each a unique portrait of child in constant flux, presented in an order that opposes the conventional chronology found in similar works. This is Lily at her most beautiful, and contrastly, her most monstrous.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Time warp

Well, Oli and Lily come home tonight. According to the BA website, their flight is running late and will arrive at 18:51 instead of 18:10. Three hours until I’m a wife and mother again.

The last week has been strange and telltale.

What have I done?

Everything I used to do in college.

I remember once in the first weeks we were in Barcelona, a few days after our course had finished, Oli and I went to Dunkin Donuts on the Ramblas, got a half dozen and coffee, walked down the street smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee, and went to an English pub to watch England vs. Wales and share our doughnuts. On that walk we discussed how incredible it is that no matter where you are in the world, you always end up doing the same things and you find out what you’re really made of. Evidently, we’re made of D&D, coffee, smoke and football.

Now that Brian, Colin and Jay have moved from college-town Little Italy to cool-but-not-quite-Wicker-Park-cool Logan Square, it’s all fun and games again. Just as in the old days, I spent Thursday evening after work with Colin, Brian, Jay and Kevin. Unlike old times, we went grocery shopping for healthy food, I made starters consisting of prosciutto and brie and Brian made a healthy dinner, including a delicious salad involving nuts. I passed out at like 10 o’clock due to time-change-confusion, but really, that just made it even more like the old days.

Friday night Brian and I went out for coffee. Brian was a little tipsy (he’s on his month-long furlough from the Force) and we talked about family and life...same old same old, in the best possible way. The only differences from three years ago were that I don’t chain smoke anymore and he’s dating a 36-year-old….

Monday I decided not to go to work as I had a relapse of the “lurgy” or stomach virus on Sunday night and I figured a) I shouldn’t infect my coworkers with what has proven to be a potent communicable virus and b) I should cook several dishes for Lily and Oli to have upon their arrival in the US…hopefully I didn’t get germs in the batter. I finished cooking by noon and then I took advantage of the fact that Kevin doesn’t work to hang out with him. We looked through my CD collection since I’m going to be selling most of it, considered watching Curb Your Enthusiasm season 5, and went to Starbucks…..anything seem familiar here?

And finally, Tuesday night was spent out with Janice and her roommate Melissa at Innertown Pub. As per usual, Janice bought me an extra round beyond what I had expected to drink and we discussed a certain individual that you all know the name of but that I cannot mention here just in case s/he somehow reads this blog. I find her love-life escapades thrilling now since I no longer have stories that involve wondering if someone likes me or not.

Interestingly a guy I used to see named Tom was there and it was fun to answer his question, “What’s going on?” with “Well, I had a baby and got married.” Actually, I believe I said, “I got married and had a baby,” but who’s keeping track? He actually asked me “Really?” to check that I wasn’t joking and then was very sweet about it all and even asked if I was happy.

So, it’s been a wander down old-habit lane and an interesting opportunity to compare Me now to Me three years ago. When I hear about how my friends hit on people or get hit on, I have this sense now that I would be really confident and have a lot of fun if I were to be back on the dating market. Of course that is because I am secure and confident in having a husband who is my best friend. But clearly certain insecurities that I thought I had vanquished are still kicking around; they just aren’t tested as often. I was seriously nervous to talk to Tom, which after contemplation, I realize was not due to the “does he like me” nerves, but rather, due to the fact that I was embarrassed about how I had acted when we were seeing each other. I was going through a psycho drunk rebound phase then and our relationship ended with me getting angry on the phone because he was brushing me off saying he wouldn’t have time to hang out for a few weeks. I ended the conversation with, “Great. I’ll put that in my planner.” He giggled thinking I was joking and then my silence told him otherwise. He said, “Ok, talk to you later,” and that was that. We did talk a couple months later right before I went to Spain, and that was pretty civilized. Anyway, it was interesting to get butterflies in my stomach.

With friends, we still all love nothing more than to talk about one another, whether the person in question is in the room or not, but that’s been ongoing even when I am living the mommy life. Otherwise, I think I and most of our friends are much nicer people now, greatly due to some increased confidence. I went through a long phase of thinking most of my friends had everything way more together than I did, so I would toss out hurtful comments as jokes, thinking that they would only be taken as jokes by my superhuman friends. Alas, I think we all recognize that we love and need each other and are needed and I appreciate the level of intimacy without rancor that we’ve cultivated. Well done, friends.

So, I’ve enjoyed this little lapse into college life but to be honest, I miss my family and want to snuggle them very badly. I look forward to the little flutter I’ll get in my belly as I wait to see Oli and the dorky noises I’ll make at Lily.

On top of it all, my inkling that family life has changed me for the better has been confirmed. I feel like Lily makes me get my priorities straight. My time and my life are more valuable with her around. As I consider the food she eats, how to get her exercise, how to stimulate her mind, what is safe, what isn’t but is a good experience, and what is neither safe nor a good experience, I consider how these things relate to me as well. Oli and I often say that if Lily hadn’t happened we’d have continued traveling, working and partying. A nice combo, but not probably the best for getting all one could out of the travel experience. With her, I feel that we’re not giving up any part of our dreams, but rather, that we’ve been made to evaluate how to make our dreams viable worthwhile realities.

All in all, an excellent week for the soul.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Lily in print

Lily was featured in the January/February 2007 issue of the UIC Alumni Magazine.

Here she is in a photo Oli took of her wearing a "future UIC alumnus" bib. Click on the image to see it close up.

If having her picture in a magazine makes me this proud, how will I feel when she actually does something?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Child therapy

When Jacob gets really upset and yells at my sister and brother-in-law, they get down on their knees and tell him to calm down and breathe in good thoughts and breathe out bad thoughts.

The other day Jacob got angry at some of his toys and tried this on his own. He came in to my sister’s room thereafter and said, “Mom, I think there’s something wrong with my body. I’m trying to breathe in good thoughts and breathe out bad thoughts, but I can only breathe in bad thoughts and breathe out bad thoughts. Is there something wrong with my body?”

As if this weren’t funny enough, the next day when my sister said it was 8:30pm and time for bed, Jacob started yelling, “You’re making bad thoughts! You’re lying about the time.”

When my mom pointed out that her phone also said 8:30, Jacob just laughed and said, “You’re just a maker-upper, too, Ya-ya.”


I'm back

Hiya. I'm back from the Old World. Oli and Lily are still there until next Wednesday, so until then I'll be partying.....

Actually, I'll be doing some organizing 'round the house and starting on some New Year's Resolutions:
Continuing to learn to knit
Learning to sew
Writing a book (like everyone else our age)

We spent three days in Barcelona and had a great relaxing time. Lily stayed with Oli's parents those days. We had a lot we wanted to do but each day something kind of came up and was so nice that we shed our plans and just went with the flow. On the first night we thought we'd go out partying but were so tired and not into it that we went out for tapas at 9, made a meal of it, then took a looong walk round the dark city, stopping for a coffee in our infamous Glaciar bar in Plaza Real. No one was around at all because everyone was busy with the holiday...and because no one goes out until midnight normally. We went back to our friend's place, played some play station 2 football, and called it a night.

On day 2 we met up with my friend Noelia and spent most of the afternoon snacking, walking, eating and talking. She had some great advice about living in and around Barcelona and also had some fun toys for Lily. We also learned that Spanish people use the term Murphy's Law....El Ley del Murfi. Day 3 we finally checked out the sun roof on our friend Timo's place and realized it was amazing....overlooking the city, warm morning sun with a cool "winter" breeze. We spent several hours eating breakfast and chilling up there before making our way out to Castelldefells (the city, not the beach), which we realized is a hell hole we do not want to live in.

Beyond that, Megan and Marty made it out to Buckleigh House (the Seeley home) for Christmas Day and stayed over for a couple nights, so they got to take part in the Boxing Day tradition of getting pissed. It was really great to see them and it's a shame we didn't get to meet up for New Year's.

On the 31st Oli went and played a football match in the rain with his bros and some other people. Lily and I went to watch and Lily had fun kicking an orange around an adjacent pitch. She made 5 goals. That night we stayed in Oli's hometown Godalming, avoiding the trek to London, and had a great night out with the Milford Kru. By the bye, Godalming is where The Holiday was filmed, and we rang in the New Year on the very street where Cameron Diaz and Jack Black's drama unfolds in the film.....impressive, no?

Otherwise, it was wonderful to see Lily and her cousin Hannah Kim together. They were very wiley pals, working out ways to mess with the washing machine and to get into the boos cupboard. Naughty babies.

And finally, thanks to Lisa and Ray for taking care of us :) We ate like kings and queens as usual. We do, however, need a Balderdash rematch so I can defend my title.

Oli has the camera in the UK still, so if he reads this and has the time, maybe he can post photos.....