No, he’s not a sly fox. He’s at the bar trying to cut his own hair with a knife.

Poor decision making over the past 24 hours reaffirms that I am pretty much the biggest jerk in the history of jerks. And yes, I will elaborate to further embarrass myself.

1. Yesterday EK and I headed out to Oak Park to do Ardie Ho-Ho’s laundry. This is approximately a 12 hour affair which eventually leads to Ellis running wild around the place while I consume at least 12 diet cokes. I actually entrusted him with my mom (WHA????) and left him in her 500000000 degree apartment while I repeatedly ran up and down four flights of stairs to check on her laundry. I ended up hanging out with some caregivers and learned that while I am busy bemoaning how I have to drive out to my mom’s house on my days off (TWO/week!) to do her laundry and buy diet cokes willy nilly, these women are juggling three kids, two jobs with no help at home. On the west side of Chicago. One has a son in CPS’ special education system which is essentially nothing better than a holding pen. After she started crying I realized I needed to shut the Hell up. Then I went upstairs and found Ellis nearly naked wearing poop-sprayed pants (story for another time) on his head.

2. While we were at Oak Park Arms, we handed out Valentines to everyone in the lunchroom along with a Hershey’s Kiss. A normal parent would oversee such a process. I, however, absent-mindedly followed my kid around while he literally threw hard candy at sweet little old women so desperate to kiss him that they were willing to endure the abuse.

3. Today I dragged him to Patagonia for their annual mega-sale and can say with 99% confidence that I was the biggest asshole in the place. Not only because EK was utterly out of control, but also due to the fact that  I was feeding him treats from my pocket like a puppy in training.  I could feel those Lincoln Park judgy eyes burning into the back of my neck. To make things worse, I had to slap myself after thinking:

Look at all these moms with their kids. Everyone in Patagonia jackets and Uggs. Harumph. Yuppies.  Wait [I look at my jacket and shoes and then Ellis]. I am the worst person on the face of the planet.

But not after we waited in a long line to buy a fleece.I am going to Hell.

4. It took me two hours to figure out how to log-in to my blog. I am not sure if that should be included in this list, but I am going to do it anyway.

5. Apparently I let Mr. Swirley walk out of the house wearing one of my sweaters. I mean, that is f’ing hilarious, but I am still a craptastic friend. It was a really tight one too.

I wouldn’t go to this toilet with my big sister’s toe.

We still haven’t moved. I know. However, despite my best efforts, I think we landed renters. I told Mr. Swirley that I morph into another person when I show the place. I start to speak very quickly in a high- pitched and tend to bargain with myself. The most awkward showing was last Friday. Ready? Here we go.

Ellis refused to nap which clearly really pissed me off. I opened his door to find this.

If you can’t tell, EK dumped the contents of his bureau on the floor. This is better than the time I opened the door to find him naked from the waist down and stomping in his pee (two weeks ago),but worse than the time he was a total angel and slept for three hours. The latter never happened.

Anyway, I packed him up in a hurry and rushed out the door to neighbor Kosy’s house for fear I was going to yell at him so loudly the neighbors would worry. As we stepped outside, I saw four people standing on our corner just sort of looking around. They creeped me out by talking about Ellis to me in that weird stranger way and just loitered there as we snaked through their group. We walked/ran four houses down, called Kosy and told her we were coming over – like it or not. At precisely the same moment that the group walked up to me, my neighbor opened her door. It quickly became apparent that they were looking to rent our condo and instead of responding like a normal person (i.e., “Come back in an hour”), I threw Ellis at Kosy and showed them in while profusely apologizing for the state of my house.

Imagine your place messy, multiply that by five, throw it in a tornado and add a few dirty diapers. That is a clean day. They walked in to the first bedroom (our room) which is filled with boxes, and started to laugh. That made me feel really good about myself; cue high-pitched, fast-paced voice.  “Umm, we can take the bike holder things down or leave them up, uhhhh, it’s pretty quiet, uhhhhh.” [SHUT UP ANNIE! STOP TALKING! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHY ARE YOU SWEATING? WHY IS YOUR PIE HOLE SO DRY AND WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO SLAP YOUR TONGUE AROUND IN THAT GIANT BLACK HOLE IN A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION?] To make matters worse, after conversing with each other in Chinese (no doubt admiring our dust bunnies), the main dude asked if the boxes “were all ours” followed up with a big, fat wry grin. My response? Similar to the Qtip incident, I quickly said, “Pshhh, NO! That’s crazy!” I mean, why would all of these boxes in my own house from which I am moving be ours? Why did I feel the need to lie to these strangers? They continued to snicker at whatever they were snickering at (I don’t speak Mandarin) and never called me to follow up. I can’t really blame them as I have been cast in that incredibly sought after role of “crazy cat lady landlord”. Yessss!


Today Ellis and I visited the Farm in the Zoo (because I didn’t know his gymnastics class was cancelled…I never read anything they send me), the recycling plant, a play date with our man, Tate, a painless (!!?!) haircut and Clybourn Park (aka the El Park because its proximity to the El train is pretty much its only redeeming quality).

A man and his ladies.

I’m smelting.
He sort of reminds me of Braveheart in this little montage or whatever you call it.
All in all I am back to liking him. I can’t tell if he feels the same but I am sure a few more Halloween treats will do the trick. Pun wholeheartedly intended.

I need help reacting to something.

I just *accidentally locked Mr. Swirley in EK’s room (with EK). You gotta break a few eggs…

We are currently residing in four square feet of living space. You think I am kidding. I am not. NOT at all. To add twelve pounds of salt to the wound, our closing date was delayed from today to October 31st to November never .Well, not never, but the mortgage company threatened to pull the loan because they assumed that a credit for sealing the basement meant that we were buying sieve. Obviously. I got this news while waiting at the DMV for a duplicate ID, which, by the way doesn’t require a new pictures so I flat-ironed my hair for nothing. Honestly, that was the most irritating part of the day. That sh!t singes the crap out of what’s left of my brown hair.

This morning Ellis woke up at 5AM and did his best impression of a chicken with his head cut off. It was awesome except for the the fact that it wasn’t. Then I pushed a chair, a box and filing cabinet up against the door (taking up three out of our four square feet) and hunkered down for a terrible scream storm. Three hours later we woke up with 15 minutes to spare before a 9 AM meeting at our soon to be new house. We made it, bitches. Ellis might have been wearing raspberry-stained pajamas sans shoes, but we made it to our on time and for that I am very proud. However, I am not proud of our unbrushed teeth, greasy hair (again, both of us), the insane look in my eyes as a I barreled down I-90, and chaos created by EK’s incessant questioning while the perma-seal guy earnestly tried to explain the process of doing something or other to the basement.

I wish I could do a voice over for a cartoon. I am not saying I have a good voice for such a venture, but it would be fun to wear those headphones in a sound booth.

Who taught you therapy, Michael Jackson’s dad?

Nine truths and a lie.

1. Something in my fridge smells like death. I know what death smells like because there was a guy that lived in the entrance/vestibulewhathaveyou at St. Vitus cathedral (Czech Republic) who suffered from gangrene. That is as close to the smell of death as you want to get and now his little brother lives somewhere in the bowels of our fridge.

2.  I am back in my spending $200/day mode.

3. I am supposed to give a speech this weekend and am pretty sure I am going to soil myself. But at least I get to wear this dress with a big fat belt. 

3.a. I still have no dress for the actual wedding itself and I almost don’t care. Not that I don’t love the couple and am ambivalent about what I wear. I am just REALLY REALLY lazy.

4. I think I might hate my cats. And by think I mean I don’t even see them anymore.

5. We are in the process of purchasing a house. Like a house, house with big utility bills and peeling paint.

6. Mr. Swirley is leaving for yet another ten day work trip and I will be uncharacteristically  positive until the day he leaves. I will then take on a large project such as painting our entire house or driving my mom and son to Canada or something because I seem to make stellar decisions when I am on my own.

7. My stomach hangs over my keyboard a little less this week. I credit my strict watermelon diet for this tiny tiny coup. Or the fact that I am leaning back at a 110 degree angle. Either way, I’ll take it.

8. I love playing with Thomas the train.

9. I have spent the majority of the afternoon patting myself on the back for not getting into a fight with my mortal enemy at the post office – “Overbearing scarf lady”.

10. Today I sat on baby that is 7.5 months old and it was infinitely easier than hanging out with my own kid.

I’ve loved you since there was only one Soviet Union and one Damon Wayans.

2010 – Year 1 of Bucky at Will’s Northwoods Inn
2011 – In shock of Bucky’s awesomeness
2012 – Solo mission to see Bucky. EK told me, “Mama, I love Bucky.”

Since EK is an August baby, it seems obvious that the best way to document his annual growth is via Bucky’s late summer annual trip to Chicago. My hope, of course, is that one day he and Bucky will be one in the same…at least for one season.

This job’s getting bigger than my wife’s credit card bill at Marshall’s. I mean, they have great stuff, I know that.

Since EK can now climb over his crib railing we thought it a good time to transition his crib into a toddler bed. After 1.5 hours of him opening his bedroom door and waving goodnight to every appliance, animal and person in the house…

creepy spy camera

…he ended up in this position.

Cozy on the mattress.

Fast forward eight hours…

Happens to the best of us.

Happy Papi’s Day!

So what you call insanity, we call solidarity!

May movie madness

And a little conversation where Ellis reveals he is a Republican and I once again prove just how terrible my Midwestern accent truly is (focus on my pronunciation of the words “both” and “pony” – Hell, it all sounds ridiculous.)

…Fool me 40,000 times, shame on my parents for bringing me into this world.

Sit back and close your eyes. Relax. Imagine sitting outside with your dog, or your kid and drinking a nice cup of coffee in your pajamas – him in his diaper (not the dog. Though I have seen some dogs in diapers) playing with his empty water table. The front door closes and BAM, you are locked out, again. No, it can’t be. You aren’t that stupid. But yes! Yes you are. You continue to drink your coffee, sure that your neighbors’ door is open so you can retrieve your set of keys, or your other neighbors are home. Your kid is starting to get a little restless; he is, after all, clad only in a diaper, barefoot like little Jayden Spears. So you scale your six foot high wrought iron fence, leaving your child to fend for himself inside his little porch prison while a neighbor looks on. “Buzzzzzzzzzzzz” – but your neighbor doesn’t answer. OH RIGHT! They left for California at 4AM today. Well, your other neighbor’s door is likely open. You get in to the shared hallway, hopeful that this situation will be quickly remedied, but no. Fools! Locking their door while they are away? Absurd. And, on a side note, you aren’t wearing a bra, are so greasy your hair appears to be wet, and your baby soiled his one and only diaper. Lovely.

What next? Sit outside all day in the sun with a naked kid and no water? Although an option, perhaps not the best. How about scream another neighbor’s name as he gets into his car and ask him to call someone with a ladder. A few minutes later, our hero emerges with a 20 foot ladder and like the three bears, the third window was just right (open. Which is so safe since you live in a city). Soon, this wonderful man has jimmied the window open and all 1XX lbs of him are shimmying through a very narrow space into your bedroom. You still are not wearing a bra but on the upside, you have yet to impale yourself while repeatedly climbing over the fence and even managed (with the help of a stranger) to lift your child over said fence.

So now you are back in the house, ashamed of your incredible idiocy and grateful to have such good neighbors. Then your phone rings four times in a row (on your day off), each time your boss wants to discuss something in the sort of distant future (far enough away to wait until next week to chat) while your kid manages to pour peach yogurt all over himself, the floor and then front porch.

Time for music class! Your get the car with Scabby McScabberson and are on your way. After stalking someone in order to get a parking spot, you successfully make it to class on time. You then must tell everyone that your kid had hand foot and mouth, but is no longer contagious…he is just covered in scabs. They all  laugh uncomfortably and say “it’s ok” but you catch them staring at his legs the entire class as he sneezes and coughs on their children.

The day is only half over – next stop is an Oak Park psychiatrist’s office with Ho-Ho.

What is wrong with me?

I’ve never been very good at letting things go. I can’t tell you how many times a fun tug of a war with a dog over a chew toy turned contentious. One of always gets mad.

Last weekend, after Ellis decided to quit it with all of this hand, foot and mouth stuff, we got down to business. Although one of us was covered in scabs, we ventured out into the world which began with a trip to Winnetka. Have you ever been? It’s amazing! You can leave your stroller outside and it’s still there when you emerge from whatever store. People don’t let their dogs poop in the park and there are no parking meters! Is this heaven? Almost. According to the ever accurate Wikipedia, Winnetka is “one of the most exclusive and wealthy suburbs in the nation.” They totally want us to move there.

Because I could no longer sit inside our house for fear I would hurl myself out a window, we also decided to: 
– Hit up the Chicago Kite Fest (underwritten by a relatively unknown group that goes by the acronym NATO)
– Engage in a a stare down
– Take EK’s first dip into lake Michigan
– Play with a new outside toys – a gift from his amazing and generous mom.
– and, venture to the zoo to look at ducks and water fountains. What? Summer is officially here.

EK and Uncle Jeff at Kite Fest. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get our kite to fly. Where was dad? At an all day Frisbee tournament lamenting the aging process and making it all the way to the finals.

Game on, buddy – 30 second stare down.
First visit to Lake Michigan…Jeff and Olive lead the way.
OH MY GOD THIS WATER TABLE IS AMAZING! Papi may think it’s too big and misses his patio table…but mom doesn’t care. I think she is the best even if yesterday she held up traffic because she was too busy poking at her belly rolls.
We (and by we I mean Ellis) also spent a little time thinking about our bad decisions, picking thumbs and looking pretty pathetic. Moments before this photo was taken he was standing on a bench and ignoring his mom’s “tushy or knees” request. Next stop, no fun chair.
Like his uncle John, EK enjoys peeling his thumb like a banana.

Do you know what keywords keep bringing people to this blog”
“labyrinth trash lady”. I am actually pretty thrilled about this little fact. Not because I have anything interesting for them to read, but that people are seeking out pictures of our favorite Muppet. Other common keywords include:
– neck wattle
– goldie hawn, jamie wild, toffuti overboard. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (all separate searches)
– i recently invested in some shirts at a garage sale

Very strange people wandering around the Interwebs.

When I ask Ellis if he thinks I am fat, he responds, “yes.” There is no mistaking that response – he enunciates as if his life depends on it. When I ask him if I thinks I am pretty, I get silence.

Ho-Ho is sleeping over tomorrow night. I am sure I will have some nice updates. Last time she stayed overnight, she put her shoe-clad feet on my wall to push herself up onto our bed. I have a nice little scuff mark to remind me of this little incident and how I need to purchase espadrilles for her from now on. She also enjoys spraying my perfume all over the bathroom each time she goes in – which is 900 times/day. What else? Oh, Ellis will enjoy the TV blaring from midnight-6 AM in the room adjacent to his as that is the only way she can sleep, but then she tells me she can’t sleep. It’s all so confusing.

Then we have a psych appointment where we will experience a lot of circular logic and I will likely slam my face against a door or something. Recently she has reincarnated one of her old “stalkers” that Mr. Swirley and I laid to rest a few years ago with a fake obituary. Modern medicine! Given this fun twist with regards to her psyche,  “we” also might change her drugs which will likely cause major chaos in the short-term and general disappointment in the long. Wah wah. Upside is the G is in town this weekend for my cousin’s graduation and  family shenanigans which include yelling at the top of our lungs so he can hear us, him mocking our parenting style and probably some sort of missing tooth incident. I can’t wait.