Dustbunny Ranch

If you ever visit, you will likely receive an email similar to the one below. Basic take away is that I am the world’s worst hostess.
Dear Thornleys –

What up? So I just checked your arrival times (I like to wait until the last possible moment to know any details about people’s visit) and I see you get in at 4:25 PM Thursday. So I should expect to see you Saturday sometime in the late afternoon.

A few things you should know:
       –   Although I have known about your visit for the past however long, I will wait to clean until you are wheels down. Thus, fingers crossed Libby won’t have to wade through dustbunnies to get to her bed but I cant promise much more than that. 

        – Our walls are covered in marks. It may look filthy, but many of the marks are from me trying to clean smaller marks off. Note to shitty developers – don’t use flat paint. Note to stupid buyers – don’t buy from scumbag developers. Moreover, don’t be so stupid.

         – We have 12 gallons of milk in our fridge. Don’t ask why.

 … Santa sightings blah blah.

 John Hancock – we can go up to the top and have an 8.00 beer and take in the views.
 …. more tourism ideas.

Or we can just sit around and stare at each other.

Hugs and kisses,

Things I neglected to do prior to/during the visit:
– grocery shopping. Yes, not like it’s crucial for a hostess to feed her guests. Ellis pitched a fit in the produce aisle so that is far as we got.
– make dinner. I diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and fried up some taco meet…only to have it taste like garbage. Failure. 
– put the duvet cover on the comforter. I count this as a half-failure because I:
1. washed the duvet.
2. put clean sheets on the bed.
– use my turn signals. I am a real jerk driver.  I decided my guests should know about this as I repeatedly signaled one millisecond before it was time for us to turn. I am pretty sure they hated me for that.

I am sure they can point out more of my mistakes, but those are the one that really stand out to me. 

I did arrange for a sitter for Friday night and proudly announced that to our waiter during dinner. So that was a minor success. But in general, if you come to visit in Chicago, keep your expectations low and everyone wins.

I just gave Ellis an early Christmas present (his own pots to bang together) because he is being so annoying. Maybe he is just trying to get my attention as I am sitting at the computer.

USA Today has come out with a new survey – apparently, three out of every four people make up 75% of the population.

Here are some statistics for you:

1. Yesterday I tried on 12 pairs of my dress pants. Two fit.
1.a. As a result, I went shopping for four hours. FOUR HOURS to find professional clothing appropriate and affordable.
1.b. Shopping for four hours now seems insane to me. Any errand should take 15 minutes or less.
2. We currently have open in our fridge: three jars of pickles and five jars each of mustard, marinade, salad dressing and spaghetti sauce.
3. Ellis has gotten up three times a night for the past six nights.
4. I have one layover tomorrow on the way to DC. Does the fact that I am annoyed by this make me terrible person?

Ew gross.

That is what everyone is going to think when they see Ellis from now until May.The poor little guy is just coughing in his sleep and as a result I am lamenting the fact that no one will volunteer to hold him for the next 12 years because he is a huge, walking germ. Oh well. He is my baby and I have to love him.

Point of clarification on my last entry. We in no way can afford a nearly $300 particle board storage cube thing. I don’t know if I was high off the of freedom of shopping sans family (“I’ll take that and that and that” while wildly pointing) or panicking because I realized my phone clock was 15 minutes off and Ellis was about to be the last kid at daycare, but the moment I got home I realized what a terrible idea these cubes were. Oh, I still made Mr. Swirley assemble three of the six – returning them in flat, sealed boxes would be too obvious a case of buyer’s remorse. Plus I was still pretending I could buy whatever I wanted. Once I trade in my avocado and God knows what else-covered receipt for a credit to my MasterCard it will be like I made money! Really Mr. Swirley should be thanking me for this entire time-wasting effort.

In other savings news, we collected all the scrap metal from this little gutter project and cashed it in for a whopping $50.00 ($25.00 of which went to the guy who loaded it into his truck and took it to the scrap yard). And I reviewed my Dominick’s grocery receipt and found that they didn’t give me all of my discounts and got my $6.00 back. Boo-ya! I refuse to leave that place without seeing a 30% savings on my receipt (note the spelling Ms. Davis – you second grade teacher, you). I know they could just lower all of the prices instead of  making me hunt around the store for card prices and “personalized deals”, but they know me too well. If it’s not on sale I am not getting a deal. What is wrong with me?

It’s 3:30 AM my neighbors in the unit directly and two units above are awake. I guess I should ask what is wrong with all of us?

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday. Today i-is Friday, Friday .

What do you normally do on Friday? Go out to dinner? Maybe drinks? Club it up? Watch Dateline? That Chris Hansen is some sweet eye candy. Well, I dig through garbage. Yes, I literally roll up my sleeves, put on some plastic gloves and dig through coffee grinds, dirty diapers and mango peels (already in a dumpster)..all to find a receipt for a $287.00 purchase from the Container Store. It’s like I want to give my in laws ammunition. When I have a store credit I usually think of it as “free money”, but this time I couldn’t even trick myself let alone Mr. Swirley into thinking we have a gift card to the CS courtesy of our past-selves.  This will not stand, you know, this self-induced aggression will not stand, man.

Earlier today I returned the shunned storage cubes and  lost our car keys (if you are keeping track that is $600 out the door in less than 15 minutes). But I found the keys (take that NVS!) and then came home to dig through the dumpster all to find my fancy receipt. Did you know “receipt” is the word that got me disqualified from my second grade spelling bee? And receipts (or the lack there of) have haunted me ever since. Literally. EVER SINCE.

In non-idiot news, Ellis left a message for Mr. Swirley that said: “Hi dada.” HI DADA! A trained monkey couldn’t do that  – Sweet Baby J, I think we have reached a new milestone here.  I am going to show off his skills (and our new gutters)to the neighbors during our little Saturday clean-up.

“Last week the candle factory burned down. Everyone just stood around and sang Happy Birthday.”

Today we received Ellis’ FIRST EVER birthday card. Exciting, no? No. It is from Geoffrey the Giraffe. However, it does contain a coupon to Toys ‘R Us which is pretty nice ($5 off of $25). We also received his first ever birthday gift from his CA friend, Nils. We were very excited to open it. He, in proper baby fashion, was more interested in the paper. Oh well. I hope you enjoy this little video while I enjoy my lunch…the end of the carton of chocolate ice cream. I need to live up the last of these breastfeeding calorie burning days while I stilll have ’em.


LMK has a cat that goes crazy when you sing happy birthday. She might be my most favorite cat ever. Don’t tell Homenuts.

About one year ago today I was yelling at a clerk at Oberweis Dairy because their chocolate frozen yogurt machine was broken. I settled for chocolate ice cream, then changed my mind and demanded my money back. The vanilla machine was working – who orders vanilla frozen yogurt? Seriously. The manager (Ian) gave me his card so that I could call in advance since this was the third day I waddled down to the store only to find the machine out of service. I still have the card. Sweet sweet Ian. Almost as sweet as vanilla frozen yogurt.