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I half assed BlogHer 2013

bfing-at-blogher

When they announced that BlogHer 2013 was going to be in Chicago I knew I had to go. I’d managed to talk myself out of it every other year but the fact that all I had to pay for was the (early bird priced) pass, not even the hotel, took away all my excuses. At the last minute Joel decided to get an expo only pass so he could join me, check out some of the brands, and help me with Wesley. I’m so glad he did.

I prepared for BlogHer by… oh wait, nope, no I didn’t prepare at all. I’ve read about people buying all new wardrobes and meticulously planning every outfit and accessory. Uh… yeah… I not only don’t have the money or time (hello, new mom here) but I’ve never been very good at fashion trends. So I just wore stuff I already had in my closet and meant to repaint my toenails buuuut didn’t even get to that. Did I mention I’m a new mom?

Oh wait, I lied. I did order business cards. A week in advance and had to pay for rush shipping because I totally spaced, but they got ordered and arrived before the conference. Winning.

Joel and I both went to the opening of the expo hall and had a chill evening there wandering around and checking out the booths.

blogher-mommy-love

transformers

The next day was decidedly not chill. Our first mistake was sticking around the expo hall way too late. Wesley did sleep a good amount of the time but Joel and I only got about 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Then we had to wake our sleeping baby.

Never do that.

unhappyboy

We managed to get out the door on time and actually got to the conference early!

Only to find that Wesley had had a massive blow out poop all over the adorable outfit I dressed him in.

Don’t worry, there’s no picture to go with this part of the story. You’re welcome.

Anyway, that ate up all the “early” we had and then some so I showed up to the newbie breakfast late and even then only got to shove food in my mouth really quickly before Wesley needed me to walk him around. He was okay-ish for most of the morning but only if I was pacing with him. Thankfully I have my Maya Wrap so it was hands free feeding.

hands-free-bfing

Unfortunately Wesley’s restlessness and fighting sleep made it pretty impossible for me to network and left me feeling kind of frazzled.

Must. not. let. him. cry.

Anyway, he finally gave in and napped and I got to have some much needed caffeine and sitting down time.

sittingdown

Throughout the whole day Joel’s help was invaluable.

joel-wesley-computer-starbucks

He held Wesley as much as Wesley would let him so I got to eat a little and listen to at least part of some sessions without bouncing and pacing.

It was a long day and then, as I was on my way to hear the Voices of the Year keynote, I realized my wallet was missing. We dug the car apart and nothing. So we drove all the way home and dug through the swag bags and found it. Stupid swag.

Wesley was not impressed by our early morning and late night and our night ended looking like this.

saddest-baby

Saddest. baby. ever.

We fell into bed as fast as possible and decided not to force ourselves out of bed the next morning. When you wake a sleeping baby once you don’t make that mistake again if you can help it.

The last day was much, much better. I finally got to meet a few of my favorite online people and sat at the silliest lunch table ever.

lunch

There was a for real spit take, complete with Diet Pepsi out the nose from one person at the table. It was that good.

We also ended the night a lot earlier and things didn’t end in complete meltdown like the previous night.

Overall I’d say I’m glad I went, if only because I would have regretted not going. I do kind of feel like I did BlogHer “wrong.” The sessions were okay but I was distracted during them and only got to sit down through one full one. I also didn’t get nearly the full conference experience by not staying at the hotel and not being able to attend any of the official parties. Plus the fact that I was constantly on edge trying to make sure my baby wasn’t fussing and bothering everyone made it so I wasn’t able to fully engage or have many real conversations with new friends.

I will say that my being on edge was my own thing. Everyone was so friendly about Wesley and I never for a second felt uncomfortable breastfeeding him. I even got a few “you go girls” about it. I really appreciated the encouragement for sure. Still, I wanted to make sure he stayed quiet and didn’t disrupt anyone’s experience.

Next year Wesley will be old enough to be left home with Joel. If I decide to go again that’s the only way I’ll do it. I got a little taste of BlogHer this year but if I ever go again I won’t half ass it. Except for the planning out my entire new wardrobe part because seriously? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Chicago Auto Show: Pregnant Style

If you are like me before I’d gone to the auto show you probably can’t understand how miles of cars for hours could be interesting. I mean, that’s basically rush hour, right?

Except it’s so much fun. I’ll let the pictures convince you.

hyundaiautoshow

We’re the nerdiest rockers. Or the rockingest nerds…

statefarmautoshowcrop

Photobooth!

toyotaautoshow

Joel’s shirt seems extra appropriate in this picture.

superman

Trek meets DC. (p.s. I wish I would have gotten a picture of the actual Superman car because it was ridiculously awesome. I was too distracted with making Joel do cheesy poses. Oops.)

all the cars

I have no idea why sitting in cars is so much fun. But it is!

assgrab

Joel being super classy. Ahem.

Remember my dilemma about whether or not I should rent a wheelchair? Yeah, I didn’t get one. It just felt too silly, especially with a bunch of 80 something year olds walking around just fine (mostly in the Cadillac and Lexus areas. What?). We just went at an easy pace, I wore ugly gym shoes and I sat down. A lot.

lounging

Loungin’ like a boss.

tired

A lot of my sitting was in cars. Although the getting in and out with my giant belly wasn’t always the easiest.

My only complaint was I couldn’t do my favorite event at the auto show, the Jeep off road simulation track.

jeep pout

“Not recommended for women who are pregnant.” Annoying.

It was such a great time, as it is every year, even if I couldn’t ride in a Jeep going over a couple bumps at five miles an hour. Not bitter. Nope.

Seriously though, I’m not a car type of girl necessarily but the auto show is always a blast. I can’t wait to take our 11 month old little guy next year.

Always on my mind

I’ve gotten so many lovely comments of congratulations since we announced things Saturday. Joel and I both feel so loved and grateful to have so many wonderful people in our lives.

Even with all the excitement and well wishes things have yet to really sink in for me. I still don’t feel much different although my appetite is all but gone and I had my first faint hint of nausea yesterday. Food sounding gross to me hasn’t stopped me from eating though, probably too much. We’ve been out a lot and that equals eating out which equals tons of junk food which equals me feeling like I’m getting a tummy already.

Fabulous.

I also have the nagging thought in the back of my head that anything I put in my mouth is potential poison. I find myself second guessing everything I eat. I know it’s silly and I’m not stressing out about it, but the thought does cross my mind every time I sit down to a meal or reach for a snack.

Yesterday we went to the Chicago auto show which was a blast as usual.

For the first time we weren’t alone, we went with Joel’s sister Beth and her boyfriend Jim.

It was so much fun having more than just us there, although I have to admit I have tons of fun doing anything with them so I wasn’t a bit surprised. Acting like a crazy garage band was definitely a highlight. We look good right?

We did make jokes about it being the baby’s first auto show and every time we’d lose Joel (he always managed to be the one separated from the group) Jim would call out “Preggers!” which gave me the giggles every time. To be clear, Preggers was never my nickname, always Joel’s.

It’s so funny how the baby is never out of my mind for a second. I checked that the test drives didn’t warn that pregnant women shouldn’t do them. I mean really? Driving slowly in a circle? I get more jolts from the pothole filled streets of Chicago. Still, I thought about it. I was insanely tired so I got a chai latte from Starbucks, but not before checking that there was less caffeine in it than the max recommended amount.

I posed for a picture on a motorcycle,

and as I was stepping off to give someone else a turn an old guy standing near said to me “That sure looks good on you.” and chuckled in a way that only pervy old guys can. My first thought was are you kidding me? I’m pregnant! Obviously (thankfully?) there’s no way he could have guessed that just by looking at me but because it was on my mind it made it so much more gross to me.

I catch myself grinning all the time. I want to shout it out to perfect strangers. I feel like I’m carrying around a secret and yet I feel like everyone should know.

At the same time I’m still a bit afraid that it’s not real. Like I said, I don’t feel much different. Just the occasion whiff of something that seems extra strong or extra gross. But then how do I know it wouldn’t have seemed strong/gross anyway? I feel the occasional turning of my stomach but how do I know it wasn’t because of the last thing I ate? Joel says my boobs are bigger (and likes to recheck just to be sure very regularly) but I’m not entirely sure that’s not because I’ve been eating too much junk food and may have put on a few pounds. Of course the biggest symptom is still a lack of AF and an even stronger second line when I took a second pregnancy test (see above doubt for reasons why I retested).

I have my first OB appointment on Friday so I suppose I’ll know for sure then. I’m very excited about the practice I chose but that’s a whole other stressful tale that I will tell at another time.

For now I just wait and grin secretly to myself every few minutes. It’s a lovely little secret I have, isn’t it?

I can’t wait for snow but then again I might just be delirious

Yesterday morning (or maybe it was this morning, today was so long I’m not really sure.) I walked out my door and smelled snow. It hasn’t snowed here yet though. Actually, it’s been quite warm for the time of year. Up until a week or so ago it was all the way in the 70’s. This is Chicago! That is pretty unheard of for November.

Anyway, the smell of snow was delicious to me. This isn’t my normal reaction to colder weather. Generally I dread it. Maybe it’s because of the fantastically mild weather we had this fall. Or maybe I’m finally coming to terms with the climate here instead of wishing it was much more tropical. Part of it is probably the lovely new winter clothes I just bought. And the fact that we have a garage now which means no more scraping ice and snow off the car (not that I ever really do it. That’s what my husband’s for. But I’m happy for him). Whatever it is exactly I’m actually looking forward to snow.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Our Christmas tree is up (don’t judge, Joel likes to decorate the tree for his birthday). Stores and cities have lit the Christmas lights. My work just bought enough Christmas decorations from hobby lobby that the receipt was as long as I am tall (no lie). I’m just excited.

I know I may eat my words in a couple of months. Right now however I’m expecting this winter to be just lovely.

P.S. I may or may not be delirious at this point. I worked almost 12 hours today and have been up for about 19 hours. As proof of this Joel and I just laughed one of those can’t-breath-tears-run-down-your-face-almost-puke kind of laughs at a voice changer iPhone app. The filter that reverses your voice? Oh. my. god. We both almost died of laughing so hard. In case you were wondering, “Phoebe come” backwards sounds like “maki beef.”

Aaaaand I believe that’s my cue to go to bed.

Brain spillage

Today was a good day. Overall anyway.

Actually, for a good portion Joel and I fought. A lot.

We’re alike in many ways but sometimes the ways that we are different irritate the crap out of both of us. I guess that’s called marriage, huh?

The thing is, I am not always ready on time. I’m very rarely late to things but that’s because I have getting-ready-at-the-last-second-because-how-did-it-get-to-be-that-time-already-ohmygaaah-I’m-going-to-be-late down to an art form. And then I’m not late. But I cut it very close.

Joel, on the other hand, would just as soon be somewhere an hour early. For no reason whatsoever. I mean, why would you get somewhere an hour early when you could have spent that hour sleeping? Why?!

As you can imagine this causes quite a few fights. Because he’s all huffy and tense that I’m not ready on time an hour and a half early. Then I get annoyed at the sighs and the “casual” mentions of the time and the standing at the door with coat and shoes on while I’m still in the bathroom drying my hair.

::sigh::

It’s the way we were raised. His family was always painfully early to things. Mine was always embarrassingly late. Neither is the ideal obviously. But we’re both pretty stuck in our ways. Me because I enjoy sleep way more than is probably healthy and Joel because he likes to eliminate even the possibility of the possibility of stress.

So, I was ready about 45 minutes after we agreed on. We weren’t in any danger of missing our appointment but it caused some tense words. For a decent amount of time.

Then? We both took deep breaths, apologized for being ridiculous (because we both so were) told each other how much we loved each other and moved on.

I believe the best quality we both posses is the ability to forgive quickly and easily. I’m positive we wouldn’t be together still otherwise. We’re both too dramatic for it to work out any other way.

Thankfully, by the time we parked downtown we had kissed and made up and were back to being ridiculously in love again. We grabbed some Intelligentsia (which, not even going to lie, those baristas make waaaay better coffee than me. I have a lot of practicing to do) and were still 30 minutes early for our appointment.

(Not going to say I told you so. Not. going. to. say. it.)

Oh right, the appointment. We turned in our applications for our Indian visas. Which makes this whole trip start to seem very real. I’m not going to get truly excited until we actually have the visas issued though. And plane tickets purchased. Although a very exciting offer was made that if it works out would mean we won’t have to mess with flying standby. Which would be AHmazing. We’ll see. I’ll definitely keep you all updated.

At the application office there was a lady who tried to apply but wasn’t able to because she didn’t have a birth certificate. Her and another women we were waiting in line with us and were talking about how excited they were about the trip. The look on her face when the lady told her her naturalization papers weren’t acceptable was heartbreaking. She was born out of the country. She had no way to get any kind of other paperwork. What she had the Indian consulate would not accept. It’s unclear if there’s any way around the issue. Her friend applied for her own visa while she just sat in a chair wide eyed and sad. I wanted to hug her. I hope she finds a way to fix the problem. I hope this doesn’t mean she can never travel to India. I guess I’ll never know.

So, my nervous excitement was dampened just a little by that poor woman’s problem. Just a little though.

Because oh my goodness I just applied for an Indian visa.

Since we were already downtown we decided to use our Living Social deal that we got to see Avatar at Navy Pier’s IMAX theater. The movie was fine (we’d both already seen it) but the best part was just being downtown. It was so unbelievably gorgeous today. Just perfect weather and bright blue skies and…. ah I love Chicago. As soon as we get a decent camera I plan on spending a day downtown trying to capture my city’s essence. It won’t be possible of course but I’m going to try as hard as I can.

Chicago is just amazing.

I wish we could have spent the whole day downtown wandering around and enjoying the perfect day but since I have to wake up at 4am we headed back home after the movie. Why don’t I live downtown again? Oh right. Stupid money. Bah.

Aaaand, that was my day. I’d say the title was pretty accurate. This post was just my thoughts pouring out of my head filterless. And now that my brain has emptied itself onto this page I’m feeling very sleepy.

Which is perfect because now that I work so early in the mornings I have the bed time of a three year old.

Date night at Wrigley

One of our friends had tickets to a Cubs game that they weren’t going to be able to use. Of course Joel and I jumped at the opportunity when they offered to give us the seats. A free Cubs game? Always yes!

The weather turned out to be perfect. It was the kind of evening that you didn’t even notice the temperature because it wasn’t too hot or too cold. Just a perfect, cool summer evening. Lovely.

If you know me, you know I think baseball is just about the most boring sport on the entire planet. However, I genuinely love going to the games. The atmosphere can’t be beat. Joel and I have only been to one other Cubs game together so this was a real treat to get to go, just the two of us.

We had pretty good seats.

Although everything seems far away to me after the last seats I had. I’m spoiled I guess. Not too spoiled to have a blast in any old seats though.

Taken by a nice usher. Once the sun got low enough that it wasn’t blinding us, the sunset was really beautiful. Have I mentioned how in love I am with Chicago? Why don’t I live there again? Oh right. Money. ::le sigh::

This is the picture we were taking that prompted the usher to ask us if we needed help. I like the one she took but I think we were doing a pretty good job on our own. Traveling alone constantly? Makes you an excellent self picture taker. Fact.

In true form the Cubs were sucking it up. Since the game was just downright depressing to watch Joel and I used the time to talk and reconnect. Me working all of the sudden has made us miss each other. It was great to have some bonding time to just talk and laugh without being distracted by computers in our faces.

We stayed until the 7th inning stretch. Because seriously, it’s my favorite part of any ballgame. Who couldn’t love this?

Even with half the crowd singing completely out of sync was still the best part of the game.

After the song we decided to take off. If you’ve ever had to drive home from Wrigleyville after a Cubs game you’ll understand why. Not to mention the game wasn’t even close. When we left the Cubs were down 5-0. Some exciting things must have happened because the final score was 9-5. So at least they scored?

I have a feeling it would have just gotten my hopes up. Something I’m admittedly used to with the Cubs. I’m not sad we missed the last two innings.

It was so great to get out, eat some overpriced junk food and enjoy some quality time with the love of my life. No matter what we do, I always have a fun time when I’m with Joel. Being at Wrigley was just the cherry on top.

Tugging at my heart strings

I have a soft spot for all things small and furry.* Things like puppies and kittens make me act and talk like an idiot actually.

I mean, look at their widdle cutie faces

See? Baby talk. Ridiculous. However, I seriously can’t help it.

I bet you can’t either.

Anyway, these darling widdle kitties were found in a friend of mine’s garage the other day. Unfortunately the owner of the home told her she has to get rid of them. Soon. In fact, they may be in danger of getting dumped altogether. That kills me.

I would take them but because of the way our lease works it just isn’t possible. They need a home fast. I don’t want these sweet little kittens to end up on the street or worse. I’ve emailed several local shelters but so far have had no responses. I’m at a loss so I thought I’d turn to the internet. They’re kittens. It can’t be that hard to find a good home for a sweet little kitten, can it?

If you have any ideas or live in the Chicago land area and would like to make one of these sweethearts a part of your family please contact me ASAP.

Please email me for more information: abigail (at) skywaitress (dot) com.

*(thatswhatshesaid)

Mmmm falafel

We went to the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival in Cook County Forest Preserve today. There was music, art and the best falafel I’ve ever had. I mean, seriously so good…. ::daydreams about the delicious falafel:: It was Joel’s first time trying falafel and now he is completely spoiled. That falafel is not fair to all the other fried balls of chickpea. Nom.

Anyway, we made a little video. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Yay Chicago!

The Blackhawks did it! They won the Stanley Cup. I’m so proud to be from Chicago right now. I may not be a huge sports person of any kind. I don’t know team players or coaches names. I have a very basic understanding of the rules. However, when my city has a team that’s doing well I am all about sports. This year it was hockey which happens to be my favorite sport.

The energy after they won the game was amazing. Walking down the street you could hear people yelling and cheering. People were honking their horns and waving out their car windows. It was an incredibly exciting thing to be a part of.

So happy, so proud. Yay Blackhawks!!!!

Totally Spoiled

A friend of Joel’s is getting married and as a wedding gift was given use of a skybox for the White Sox game tonight. We were part of the lucky bunch invited along. I’m not really a Sox fan (go Cubs!) but when you’re VIP who cares! I’m now completely spoiled because a skybox? Is the only way to watch a baseball game. For reals.

We like each other, we really do. We were standing far apart to get the US Cellular Field board in the background. Didn’t end up showing up very well (stupid old camera) but oh well.

Here’s the happy couple watching the game. Thanks again for inviting us guys!

Anyway, the game was fine. Around the second inning we saw a little boy get nailed right in the head with a foul ball. And I mean hit hard. He was in the second row, just to the left of home plate and we could actually hear it hit his little head. Poor kid couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6. He went down and his dad was holding him. Last I saw the medics were looking at him. I couldn’t tell if it knocked him out but I wouldn’t have been surprised. It makes me cringe just thinking about it. I looked a couple times but didn’t see them again so I assume they left to get him looked at. As long as he’s ok he is going to be so proud of the awesome black eye he’s sure to have in a day or two.

As far as I know no other children or adults were injured during the game.

The Sox managed to hit a couple home runs which meant fireworks!

But they couldn’t pull it together for a win. ::shrug::

By far the most entertaining thing that happened the entire game? One of the guys in our box spotted a girl two boxes over (red arrow) and wrote her a note which he held up to the window until it finally got her attention.

The note said:

Cute right?

The girl thought so and they texted back and forth for most of the rest of the game. Obviously they’re not picking out china patterns just yet but what an adorable how-did-you-meet story if they do end up together. I’m all oohs and aws over here.

It was great company and fun watching the game with free food, free drinks and a roof so when there was a downpour in the middle of the game we stayed warm and dry and watched the common folk run for cover. ::evil laugh:: We also had the Blackhawks game on in the box so we were able to watch them lose too. So not an awesome sports day for Chicago.

What was great was all the extremely nice people I met. I mentioned before I am now completely spoiled and will only be able to attend baseball games if it is in a skybox*. So, who wants to give me a skybox at Wrigley? Be your best friend. ::wink::

*lies

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