In my spare time, I like writing obituaries.

It’s three AM. Three. Do you want to know what caused me to sit up in bed? Monday’s catered working lunch might damage the finish on our conference table as we have yet to purchase a 1000 foot long piece of glass.

What else is preventing me from nodding off?

– Painting. We need to paint everything everywhere. Mr. Swirley finished Ellis’ room last night. God bless him.
– How do we properly hang pictures in plaster. My current method of accurately pin pointing a spot and slamming a tiny nail into the wall to hold a very heavy object will likely no longer work.
– I have no pants on and am very cold. This will not motivate me to find pants, only to complain.
– As a follow up, will I actually live up to my commitment to writing a post for the awesome Families in the Loop blog if I can’t even put pants on? I certainly hope I can pull my $h!t together once we are through this move.
– The usual “Ho-Ho” questions. We finally got her into a new counseling center and I am very hopeful that this will lead to some progress/quality of life improvements for everyone. That said, she told her friend that the mafia is threatening her doctor so she won’t prescribe a ridiculous dose of prednisone. Mom also doesn’t have enough pants.
– Organic food. I am back on this kick. I try to not be insane, but wanting organic food combined with my, um frugality, is not very effective when it comes to grocery shopping. Basically we have four things in our fridge and Mr. Swirley, again, bless his soul, has said nothing. I think he knows I am tottering on the precipice of insanity and a simple, “can we get some cereal?” might send me in a downward spiral filled with tears and hiccup-crying (the WORST!)
– Ellis. Recently he has been suffering from night terrors and it makes me very sad. We are on night three (knock on wood) where he has slept through the night…which is great. Otherwise he acts like Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil and just spins round and round screaming his semi-round little head off.
– Auntie FaFa – She just had a baby (Anna Louise) and I am sending good juju to their little family and Fafa’s tatas. I hope they are well (this isn’t a passive aggressive comment to elicit a phone call…just a general thought since Sweet Annie Lou entered the world.)
– Moving. Will Comcast show up today? My guess is those bitches will string me along like the desperate consumer that I am. Will the neighbors judge us based on the number of booze boxes we have used for packing? Will they follow through on the promised jello mold? (I kid you not).
– My haircut. Every year I cut my hair and every year I hate it. I tell Mr. Swirley to stop me before it’s too late, but he is right in saying I get the idea in my head and sneak off to do it without even telling him. Still, he should stop me.
– Our new neighborhood. It’s pretty awesome. Especially because of this:

Nothing reported within a half mile radius. Granted, this is is only for a two week period of time, but I checked a few and it’s so nice to not worry as much.

In my current neighborhood’s defense, I just ran the same search for our address and nothing popped up. Really I am just stoked about having a garage and not cursing the guy who scraped my bumper every morning.
– In addition to the garage, I like the sound people’s feet make on the steps. I know it sounds strange, but it reminds me of my childhood home on Madison street. Even the feeling of the wood stairs beneath my own feet is incredibly comforting.
– Saying goodbye to the neighborhood kids. I love them. Lately they have been playing games of tag at dusk…such a nice sound. I also don’t know how to explain to EK that we won’t be seeing them as often. Same for our freighbors. It’s going to cause mass confusion and heartache for all three of us.
– Weight. Specifically, will I gain a whole other person if I continue eating out using the excuse that we are moving. I realize that this is the opposite of what I said about re: organic food, but trust me, these situations are occurring simultaneously.

It is now 4AM. What an exceptionally good use of my time since I have nothing but everything to do today to prepare for Saturday’s move. Oh well.

I love this song.

Touche interwebs, touche.

Over the past 24 hours, I have spent more time than I would like to admit searching for a precious video montage that aired during the 2012 Academy Awards*. Apparently, Ms. (Mrs.?) Reese Witherspoon stated that Overboard is her favorite movie and that it “speaks to her soul”. I know!  I too can’t believe that this video is unavailable (it’s the first thing I would post online if I were any serious media outlet). After a little research, I found out that Elle Woods has been quoted as saying, “ I love Overboard. it’s like my favorite movie of all time.” So there you go all you naysayers, an Academy Award winner finally speaks the truth about the pure genius that is Tofutti.  Although I am not a proponent of an “Overboard” remake, should it ever be produced, I stand 100% behind Witherspoon stepping in as Annie Goulahie in all of her oversized dress, strawberry birthmark, navy loving glory.


My aunt’s pantry reminded me of one of my favorite scenes in the movie and yes, you should be ashamed of yourself if you don’t understand the reference. Seriously, just give up now. And just an FYI, Ellis was likely attempting to mame himself during the filming of this video – hence Mr. Swirley’s stern tone.

Today I told a man purchasing over $150 of bottled water that there exist “these crazy things called faucets.” It’s  like I am asking to get punched in the face. During the same shopping trip I bought frozen veggies for .43/bag. Amazeaballs.

Yesterday EK had a play date that turned into an “I’d rather die than share that toy I am not playing with”date – so that was awesome. Twenty minutes after Lilly arrived, Ellis was sent to bed and there he stayed for over two hours. I am hoping that his naughty behavior was due to him not sleeping well the previous night (I may or may not have climbed into his crib with him) – but I honestly have no idea. 

In other Ellis news, I diagnosed the child with a dust allergy last week. He has been coughing during the night for the last, I don’t know, forever. Since he is sick all of the time, I attributed his dry cough to post-nasal drip or whatever trendy disease is floating around preschool. However, guilt got the best of me and I spent a good chunk of last Monday cleaning his tiny room. My cleaning rampage included pulling his crib and arm chair into the middle of the room and dusting every possible nook and cranny. This was followed up by a thorough vacuuming and mopping  session and pillow replacement (some anti-allergy pillowmajig) and…voila! The cough is gone. Don’t I feel like a great mom for identifying the problem? Nope. I feel like a terrible mom for allowing my child to live in a pigpen. I also bought an air purifier for the proper level of overkill. Well, at the least the coughing stopped and now I know to dust in between each of the little slats in his crib. Poor kid.

* High-five to  Ms. Kaiksow for the late night (9?) call letting me know what I was missing.

I’m Obsessed With the Mess That’s America

Happy Fourth of July! We are back in Chicago after a wonderful wedding weekend in Madison. We are scheduled to leave for MO in just a few minutes, so I will have to summarize the weekend with a few photos and write more later. 
Mickey’s Dairy Bar. Ms. Boschulte used to take us brown-nosers here.

Love.
Grandpaw.
Sunbursts and beers at the Union
Ellis gets a sneak peek
Make-up a go.
Ms. Kaiksow and Dan-O sharing their vows
Pretty ladies.
Married!
West Hi.
Witchy woman
Winners’ table
Happy Husband
Thanking sweet Hannah

Von Trapp table. Suckers.
First dance.
Johnny Mic and the GM
The Jeff.
Sociopaths next door.
Dancefloor. Bam!
Hair up dance time.
Last dance of the night.

тойдың мезгілі

For a second time in five weeks, I decided to ditch my family for some fun times on the east coast. After only a few days at home following our Memorial Day weekend adventure, the Swingens rolled into the Second City and I rolled out to our nation’s capital. Of course, while I was gone, baby Swirley decided to hit another milestone and started to climb stairs (with a lot of encouragement and can only go up.) Still, what? It’s absurd. He also now (indiscriminately) waves. I missed both of these first, but did get to sleep in until 7 AM three days in a row. Jealous much?  Yea, me too. Of Mr. Swirley. However, I would like to state for the record that I left Capitol Hill. Can you believe it? I am maturing before your eyeballs.

Anywhoo, did I tell you our new office building is amazing? I did? Well I am telling you again. It is just that unbelievable. I almost want to stop working at home and set up shop in a second floor office with a private balcony. Almost. I do like eating cereal out of a box in my pajamajams a little too much to give it up (I will give you one guess as to what I am doing right now).

Blogger still sucks so I can only post vertical pictures.

Third floor walkway and rear offices

Atrium – looking up from the second floor
Atrium – looking down from the third floor
What could have been my 9-5 home.

I also visited with my friends Tim and Karin who reside just across from Barrack’s Row. Tim is a marine and slightly bonkers, but in a good way. He told me that although you can legally purchase a gun in DC, there is no longer anyone that can register it for you. Luckily Artem snuck in before the gun guy quit and purchased himself a fancy firearm to set next to him while he watches PTI. For reals. On a side note, he and his wife are heading to Kazakhstan later this summer and I could not be any more jealous.

Psycho.

On to Friday where I hit up Olney, MD to live the dream. I went to a green belt ceremony; hung out at Baskin-Robbins with a bunch of hooligan kids who refused to purchase anything from BR and were subsequently harassed by a rent-a-cop; and, got my ass kicked in a Cage Fitness class. I loved every damn second spent in the People’s Republic of Maryland except for that part where I couldn’t walk for TWO days after the fitness class. Holy hell people. Have you danced your ass off after a particularly arduous work-out? I mean, I know I am (severely) out of shape, but I imagine I felt like Barbie does when you twist her legs round and round 360 degrees at a time.

I love my co-worker’s kids. A lot. Like I would totally call them up to hang out on any given weekday. I hope EK is that cool or else we might have to start all over.

Baller Berman.

Saturday also marked an important day for my colleague and friend, big Rick (aka Richard M. H.) Dude got married to the Cat in lovely church ceremony and now they can have Jamerican babies who will likely be giant engineers with a passion for the Big Ten. Wedding summary – they went through with it and crab cakes were served at the reception. They also misspelled Rick’s name at the reception site which, combined with the crab cakes, helped me enjoy the event from soup to nuts. I can’t decide if I will continue to call Rich – Rick or Richy – I love both names so very much. I also love the couple.People shouldn’t be this nice.

Bliss. If this were a video you would see them posing for the photo, then Rick hugging me and accidentally pulling my already too short dress up a little higher…in front of Sherman (bossman). Yikes.

Richy.

The years of working with our Russian friends has rubbed off on one of the three guys pictured below. Hint, it’s not the actual Russian.

Berman, Ortiz and Sherman Flirchner

And to document the event for our newsletter – Voila! P.S. That is indeed a dress I am sporting. I wanted to clarify that fact for you, since at first glance you may think it’s a handkerchief. On a scale of zero to tramp I think it’s about a four. Fine, six. 

Apparently I cannot get enough canapes…wedding #2 was scheduled for Sunday. After the crabcake wedding, I took an hour-long metro ride back to DC and had the honor of sitting next to a girl who was telling her friends that she relies on Facebook for all of her news because the regular news is “too depressing.” Although I didn’t drink much at the wedding, I found myself wanting to vomit all over her. I didn’t because, as you might know, that would be grounds for arrest by the Metro police. Fascists. Though I have to say it is an exceptionally clean public transit system. I then took a cab ride with a driver who was texting while driving and I gave him the old one-two. Oh yea, I dropped the “I have a baby at home and don’t want to die line.” Five hours later I was high-fiving team Turner for my DCA drop-off and head to ‘sconsin for some FWC nuptials.

The wedding was perfect. Everyone says that, but it really was. WI countryside + beautiful weather + wonderful friends + super cover band = best night in ages. Plus the Hometown Sweethearts promised to learn “Pony” for the next FWC event. I love me some Ginuwine.

Could she be any lovelier?
some of the Family We Choose
Yes, we match. How ’bout it?
The Andersons roll with their handmade quilts.
What’s on tap for our anniversary weekend? Car repairs and cleaning. Oh yea, we are gabballers. Look it up.

Dad, are you and Uncle Billy really gonna open a miniature golf course?

The Lollapalooza line-up was released today and let me tell you, I am a little disappointed. Well, for $90 per ticket I am a lot disappointed. What does that have to do with my day? Absolutely nothing. Another non-sequitur? Mr. Swirley just pulled a totally frozen bottle of milk out of the freezer. Not in a bag. In a bottle. Excellent.

The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. We spent Memorial Day weekend in Madison where Mr. Swirley, Pughbert and Susie Q ran a half-marathon in record time, spicy cheese bread was consumed on the square, we picnicked on Kathy’s back porch, celebrated the last few days of Ms. Kaiksow’s bachelorhood and I ruined our new car. Let’s just say the early bit of the weekend involved a trip on the Beltline, an adult entertainment store, an exchange of cash (including two $1 coins), a conversation in broken Spanish and a disbelieving husband. Then we went to the Plaza.

New Union South and some fancy leg work.
Ahh. Home sweet home. Er, I mean the Plaza.

Kids’ table at Kathy’s. Clearly the place to be.
Hippies in Madison? On the Capitol Square?  Weird.

After the race EK hung out with his gramps and Mr. Swirley and I rested. I know Mr. Swirley ran a race and all, but I had to run just to make sure I met up with him to take a few pictures. Can you imagine? And I didn’t even train. I would post said pictures but blogger sucks. Here are some pictures from Tommy D.

EK seemed to enjoy his time at the Children’s Museum with gramps which is a good thing since we spent the rest of the afternoon trying to convince him to nap so we could go to bed. Aren’t we good parents? You know you would do the same.

I recently found the script for Overboard online. Call me if you want in.

http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/o/overboard-script-transcript-goldie-hawn.html

Rock star Baby

We are back from a whirlwind Xmas tour of ‘sconsin. I have nine million pictures of Ellis. Deal.

If EK was overwhelmed by people squeezing him in November, I can only imagine what he is feeling after this holiday season. Wait, I think this says it best.

or maybe this since it’s so cold out

My old high school friend Becca Dilley is an amazing photographer up in the Twin Cities. Luckily, she was down in Madison for the holidays and agreed to take some shots of Ellis at the Kaiksows’ house. During the holidays Becca asks that folks donate to a non-profit instead of paying her a fee. Baby Jesus thanks her. So does the Foggy Bottom Food Pantry (our non-profit of choice). It proved to be a pretty fun morning with the Kaiksow women fawning over Ellis and Ellis spitting up all over me and getting fairly pissed off by the end of the hour. Becca was incredibly patient so I think we got some great shots.

Is it wrong that I like the crying photos the best? Yes, I think it is.

My nails are so long they make clicking noises when I type.

So the rest of Christmas was a success. We went to a holiday party, hung out with Lady Jayne, NVS, G.U.S. and Sweet Lou and raked in some seriously awesome stuff for Mr. EK. Like what? Oh, I don’t know…how about some cereal and spoons from Santa, musical toys and books galore! Ellis was incredibly enthusiastic about all of his loot.

G.U.S. is particularly fond of Ellis. My favorite xmas weekend quote from G.U.S….
“He looks like a rock star. (Pause) A rock star baby.”

I hope this adoration continues when Ellis is older and has thick glasses and corrective shoes like yours truly (fingers crossed he doesn’t get stuck with both.) In the meantime, I am guessing G.U.S. will continue to squish Ellis like that little girl squishes Penelope the cat in Looney Toons cartoons. And sweet Lou will continue to be sweet. It’s pretty great.

Cousins gotta hug

After the traditional Christmas Eve fondue and wine session, Lady Jayne and I went downstairs and wrapped presents while we drank. That, my friends, is what Christmas is about.

On Christmas morning, Santa delivered with a flourish. He even left a note for G.U.S. The presents of the day mostly centered around dinosaurs and dragons – many of which were loud and required approximately 42 batteries each.  Then Grandpa Tom came over with Sue and Mr. Swirley’s aunt Joann arrived for dinner. It was delicious and I blame the dessert table for the muffin top I am currently sporting.

Mr. Swirley made two pies. Check them out.

Then it was time to head out to La Crosse, Wisco for some Swingen fun. I seriously love La Crosse. It’s peaceful, there is lots of food and wine, and it’s peaceful. I mean really really peaceful. I kind of wish Ellis would stay four-months-old because I am thinking the next time we visit he will be tearing the place up and I will be tearing my hair out. Oh well…we took advantage of it this year and slept in, ate too much and put our feet up.

Another reason to love La Crosse? How about Margaret’s Hip Hop Shop. Holla!

We also had the chance to meet up with members of the Deer and the plus ones.We swam in the kiddie pool and drank beer with olives (gross). I also left Ellis’ hat and my wallet at the hotel because I am responsible like that.

The next day we saw the Hausers – my all time favorite family. No offense to everyone else, but they are the nicest people on earth. Reason 128 why I love La Crosse. Ellis had to go and ruin the visit by getting all tired (babies….), but we had a nice time catching up.

Then it was already time to go drive home. Five hours in the car with a baby is pretty fun. Or not. But Ellis did his baby best, which is appreciated.

Mr. Swirley has the rest of the week off and has decided to spend it sick in bed. Poor bastard.

Happy New Year!

“Elvis King? They must be big fans”

Holy three week hiatus. We are on day 21 and it feels like young Ellis (aka Mr. Amazing) just arrived. He is currently napping in his vibrating chair and I just washed a night of spit up out of my hair. Glamorous, I know.

The quick story of his arrival: Mr. Swirley and I spent Saturday at the Chicago Art Institute, Millennium Park, Bucktown Art Festival, movie theater and out to dinner with friends.

I guess that was enough to get young Ellis on the move. I woke up Sunday morning around 4 AM, took a shower and decided to hit up the hospital. A few contractions later I was ready for an epidural and after the nurse who typed with one finger entered me into the system (it felt like it took a zillion years) we were ready to go. Fast forward to 12:34 PM on 8/29/10 and Mr. EK Swingen joined us on the outside world. I have to say our experience at Swedish Covenant Hospital was spectacular and we are so grateful to have such a healthy baby and relatively easy labor. I also would like to announce that after the baby was born, I also lost all common sense and am anxiously awaiting its return.
Grandpa Tom visited along with the Ds just a few hours after he was born. It was a big day.

Two days later (after Mr. Swirley changed all the diapers and I continuously called the nurses in to make sure I wasn’t somehow killing our baby), we were kicked out of the hospital and were astounded by the realizationn that we were actually allowed to take this little man with us. Within minutes of arriving at home, I passed out and Mr. Swirley was simultaneously spit-up, pooped and peed on. It was enough to send him in to a mini-panic attack but he has since gotten used to it. He really is a great dad and is enjoying (for the most part) this entire experience. He has even outsmarted the baby a few times.

The next day (Wed.)  Mr. Swirley’s mama arrived (much to our relief) and stayed until Sunday. It was so wonderful to have extra help – especially during my regular freak outs when the baby decided he didn’t want to nurse and I thought he was starving. Of course he wasn’t and after I slept for what felt like the first time in a few days, we came up with a plan. As a side note, he also continues to breathe normally though I am often sure he has stopped and have to put my giant face next to his tiny head (luckily he was blessed with a Swingen head) to confirm he is indeed alive.

Ellis’ namesake and great grandpa also visited three times this week, along with grandma arden, grandpa bob, lady jayne, NVS, sweet Lou, G.U.S., the GM, Johnny Mic and J&J. The kid has more friends than Mr. Swirley and I combined..

During week one, we took our first trip out of the house to the corner diner and we all survived. The great G seemed pretty pleased with young Ellis and got more and more comfortable holding him with each visit. Now I just need to be a good granddaughter and send updated pics to the old man in my spare time. Easy peasy.

Week two rolled around and our next house guest was my aunt, Mrs. D. who stayed with us for a week. Again, we were so grateful for all of her help and reassurance that the baby was not going to explode from gas at 3AM. You may laugh, but I was pretty sure this was going to happen and even went as far as calling the hospital to ask.

Mr. Swirley and I had the weekend alone and even ventured out a bit to visit the GM and Johnny Mic for brunch. Ms. Kaiksow and Uncle Austin stopped by and taught us some baby yoga positions to help Ellis avoid exploding.

Then our good friend Ms. Meghan and her sweet little man, Kaden, visited us last week and once again helped out so much.

Here are Ms. Meghan and Mr. Swirley are looking all domestic after a trip to the park.

As an added bonus to week three, Mr. Amazing decided to start nursing. This has cut my work in half since I spent approximately one bazillion hours pumping (nice image, I know) and harassing him to try to jump on the boob. It’s pretty awesome. And Mr. Swirley is a fan since he doesn’t have to get up 3x/night to make a bottle for our guy while he screams until his head just might fall off.

We visited the pediatrician on Friday (end of week three) and found out he has gained 1 lb 3 oz and 1 inch since his birthday. He is in the 50th percentile for weight and height and 25th for head size. Soon enough baby and dad will be able to share hats. Mr. Swirley may even be able to wear this little one sported by EK.

I am still amazed at all of the love and gifts that have poured in before and after Ellis was born. It it is wonderful to know how many people care so much for him and spent so much time making gifts, providing encouragement and advice and sending love.

Below is EK with his biggest fan on this three week birthday. And his dad.

Please pray for my sanity and waistline to return in good order. The snorter is awake.

"Elvis King? They must be big fans"

Holy three week hiatus. We are on day 21 and it feels like young Ellis (aka Mr. Amazing) just arrived. He is currently napping in his vibrating chair and I just washed a night of spit up out of my hair. Glamorous, I know.

The quick story of his arrival: Mr. Swirley and I spent Saturday at the Chicago Art Institute, Millennium Park, Bucktown Art Festival, movie theater and out to dinner with friends.

I guess that was enough to get young Ellis on the move. I woke up Sunday morning around 4 AM, took a shower and decided to hit up the hospital. A few contractions later I was ready for an epidural and after the nurse who typed with one finger entered me into the system (it felt like it took a zillion years) we were ready to go. Fast forward to 12:34 PM on 8/29/10 and Mr. EK Swingen joined us on the outside world. I have to say our experience at Swedish Covenant Hospital was spectacular and we are so grateful to have such a healthy baby and relatively easy labor. I also would like to announce that after the baby was born, I also lost all common sense and am anxiously awaiting its return.
Grandpa Tom visited along with the Ds just a few hours after he was born. It was a big day.

Two days later (after Mr. Swirley changed all the diapers and I continuously called the nurses in to make sure I wasn’t somehow killing our baby), we were kicked out of the hospital and were astounded by the realizationn that we were actually allowed to take this little man with us. Within minutes of arriving at home, I passed out and Mr. Swirley was simultaneously spit-up, pooped and peed on. It was enough to send him in to a mini-panic attack but he has since gotten used to it. He really is a great dad and is enjoying (for the most part) this entire experience. He has even outsmarted the baby a few times.

The next day (Wed.)  Mr. Swirley’s mama arrived (much to our relief) and stayed until Sunday. It was so wonderful to have extra help – especially during my regular freak outs when the baby decided he didn’t want to nurse and I thought he was starving. Of course he wasn’t and after I slept for what felt like the first time in a few days, we came up with a plan. As a side note, he also continues to breathe normally though I am often sure he has stopped and have to put my giant face next to his tiny head (luckily he was blessed with a Swingen head) to confirm he is indeed alive.

Ellis’ namesake and great grandpa also visited three times this week, along with grandma arden, grandpa bob, lady jayne, NVS, sweet Lou, G.U.S., the GM, Johnny Mic and J&J. The kid has more friends than Mr. Swirley and I combined..

During week one, we took our first trip out of the house to the corner diner and we all survived. The great G seemed pretty pleased with young Ellis and got more and more comfortable holding him with each visit. Now I just need to be a good granddaughter and send updated pics to the old man in my spare time. Easy peasy.

Week two rolled around and our next house guest was my aunt, Mrs. D. who stayed with us for a week. Again, we were so grateful for all of her help and reassurance that the baby was not going to explode from gas at 3AM. You may laugh, but I was pretty sure this was going to happen and even went as far as calling the hospital to ask.

Mr. Swirley and I had the weekend alone and even ventured out a bit to visit the GM and Johnny Mic for brunch. Ms. Kaiksow and Uncle Austin stopped by and taught us some baby yoga positions to help Ellis avoid exploding.

Then our good friend Ms. Meghan and her sweet little man, Kaden, visited us last week and once again helped out so much.

Here are Ms. Meghan and Mr. Swirley are looking all domestic after a trip to the park.

As an added bonus to week three, Mr. Amazing decided to start nursing. This has cut my work in half since I spent approximately one bazillion hours pumping (nice image, I know) and harassing him to try to jump on the boob. It’s pretty awesome. And Mr. Swirley is a fan since he doesn’t have to get up 3x/night to make a bottle for our guy while he screams until his head just might fall off.

We visited the pediatrician on Friday (end of week three) and found out he has gained 1 lb 3 oz and 1 inch since his birthday. He is in the 50th percentile for weight and height and 25th for head size. Soon enough baby and dad will be able to share hats. Mr. Swirley may even be able to wear this little one sported by EK.

I am still amazed at all of the love and gifts that have poured in before and after Ellis was born. It it is wonderful to know how many people care so much for him and spent so much time making gifts, providing encouragement and advice and sending love.

Below is EK with his biggest fan on this three week birthday. And his dad.

Please pray for my sanity and waistline to return in good order. The snorter is awake.

Whoever says “Don’t cry over spilled milk” has never nursed.

I should be napping right now but instead am on the Internets. Big news around here is Ellis King has arrived. Born on August 29, 2010 – he weighed in at 6 lbs 13 oz and just about 20 inches long. His first few days were quiet ones, but the kid now has a yell that can make your heart fall out. He is also very cute. 

I have a lot more to say but my eyes are crossing from lack of sleep so it will have to wait.

Ice Ice & Babies

This weekend marked our second Memorial Day weekend back in the Midwest and was a excellent reminder of precisely why we chose to return to the promise land. We departed Chicago early Friday morning to make it to Madison before an 8 AM conference call with work. After working for a bit, we visited the usual State Street haunts and headed to the Memorial Union or some delicious Babcock ice cream and sitting. After a very energy consuming afternoon, we decided to head back to Ms. Kaiksow’s so I could take a nap while Mr. Swirley relaxed and watched an episode of Magnum P.I. Also of note, Friday marked “take your brat to work day” – more on that later.

Saturday we met up with Tbone for a walk around the Capitol’s Farmer’s Market – then with Katie Marie and One T for a little more of the same. Mr. Swirley took off to watch some ultimate and visit with old friends and we just spent time ogling pretty plants and bitching about the crowd. Later on, we all convened and headed out to Elliot and Brooke’s potluck on Lake Mendota. Given that a number of folks were running in the Madison half-marathon/10K early Sun. AM, it seemed like a great opportunity to load up on carbs, celebrate Elliot and Brooke’s engagement and harass each other in general. As was expected, it was a superb evening. Why? Because pretty much everyone we wanted to see was in one spot with lawn games, grills, a ridiculous number of potato salad options and a pontoon boat to boot. If we could only retire now life would be perfect.

Alas, Friday night had to come to an end and everyone prepared for race day. Early Saturday, Mr. Swirley, the GM, KML, the Jeff, one T, JohnnyMic and I met up and headed to the starting line with our crafty signs. I can tell you how to make one if you want to be amazing friends like us.

7:30 AM signaled the start of the race for runners and breakfast time for us spectators. We then ran to catch sight of our very fit friends at the four mile marker. We found ’em and yes, and they were still going strong (as evidenced below by Mr. Swirley’s mid-stride ultra hip thumbs up)

We then headed to the finish line to await their arrival and I am pleased (and proud to report) that not only did all four runners successfully finish, but met (if not exceeded) their respective targeted pace. They also obliged me in sporting their Madison Marathon medal (which apparently weighed about a zillion lbs) for a few pics in the thousand degree weather.

We all decided that we hadn’t sweat enough during the day and headed to the World’s Largest (only?) Bratfest. It is everything you would dream a Bratfest to be and more. It first started as a fundraiser in the Sentry Foods parking lot -$1.00 brats/hot dogs incl. soda. Pretty sweet. It has now blossomed into a full-fledged carnival with multiple music stages and record setting brat sales (world record set in 2009 with 208,752 brats sold in three days). Don’t lie, you now heart WI as much as I do. Although it was hot, my cankles were totally worth it if only to see our friends’ babies – Fi and Mr. D-K. I want to eat both of their little faces.

Once my own face melted off we decided to rest for a bit out in Sun Prarie. After another round of naps, Mr. Swirley and I headed back down to the terrace for a six hour epic sitting venture with the FWC. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Terrace, it is quite possibly one of the best places on earth. It faces the lake, offers beer, brats, ice cream and other treats and above all, an incredibly relaxed and social environment. My only complaint, and it’s a big one, is that until just recently the Rathskellar (adjacent to the Terrace) boasted the best ice on the face of the earth. I don’t even think there exists an adjective to property describe the awesomeness of the ice there. It was my gold standard to which all other ice cubes were/are compared. And last night, I found out that the machine was replaced. I know, tragic. Shook my world for about 15 minutes. I even talked to the cashier about it but he had no idea what in God’s name my problem was. So, I guess I should let it go…and I will, after I show you a picture of the new ice. I hate it.

All in all it was an excellent weekend – a recharge that was sorely needed and a chance to see friends at their best. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again for our baby shower – a Bastille day themed party to celebrate baby Swirley’s liberation from the womb.