Sunday, November 16, 2008

the big update

Hello! We've had a lot of stuff going on here, and now we actually have some things nailed down that we can go on the record about.

1. We're moving back up north next month. Yes, that's soon. No, we aren't nearly packed enough yet. Yes, we're working on it (actually, Mark is doing some work on the library as I type). We are gratefully accepting the help of a number of locals, and if anyone wants to send piles of money our way, we wouldn't say no. ;) The new apartment is right by the Chicago River (picturesque!) and there are not one but two parks less than a block away (convenient!). We'll also be just a short bus ride away from Auntie Aiieeee, which is another good and useful thing. The rent is also cheaper, which is a big motivator.

2. Proton, our beloved/reviled feline companion of more than nine years is currently on his way to his new home in Kentucky. My mom came to fetch him, and is taking him to a lovely new home that's way bigger than anything we are likely to own any time soon, with fewer scampering, tail-pulling three-year-olds. He's been progressively more irritable the past year or so, and while this change of venue is definitely increasing his stress in the short term, I hope that he can now live the rest of his kitty life in more comfortable surroundings. The rest of us here are, of course, very sad at his moving (thought I'm not sure why, since he did his level best to destroy everything we own in recent weeks) but it's for his good and ours. Most notably because our new apartment doesn't allow pets. We will still be able to visit him, since we have a built-in excuse to be in Owensboro as long as Uncle Sean and Aunt Hillary reside there. We're hoping to see him again (hopefully settled) when we are in the neighborhood around Christmastime.

Why all this change and why now? Money. Until we can manage to increase our income, we need to trim our spending. After the first of the year I'll be looking for work (freelance and otherwise), which will bring even more change if I end up employed once again out of the home. I'm not looking for work now because 1) we're moving and 2) this might be the last chance we have for a good long while to visit grandparents without screwing up anyone's work schedule and 3) I'd rather look when the seasonal-hiring thing is over for the season. Once we're settled in our new place I'll be in a much better position to find employment that we can all tolerate as well as possible.

There are a lot of issues involved in all this, which I'm not going to get into here, but I hope everyone knows that we are factoring everything into our decisions and doing what is best for our family.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Pictures are up on Flickr. Not sorted or titled or captioned, but they are up.

Must go do things. Update later.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

and now for something completely Gaz

"Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Please! Bake me a cake!"

Shouted through an improvised megaphone today while we sat in her room, wrapped in blankets, having "cold time."

Festivities and Frustrations

Sorry there are no pictures up yet. There are technical difficulties. Rest assured that pictures exist, and I'll get them uploaded as soon as I can.

So Halloween has now passed us by, and this is the source of my biggest frustrations. First off, the costume itself did not go well. I had a lot of errors to correct, because I have been extra exhausted lately, which translated into inattention and clumsiness. Another issue is that Gaz has a huge growth spurt to the tune of an inch or so immediately after her birthday, so she ended up a bit too big for the biggest size of the pattern I had from last time. There were problems with the plan I had, too, which is annoying because the whole plan was for this to be easier and less hand-intensive than last time. The long and the short of it is that I spent a whole month and no small amount of frustration and blood and banjo time to make this thing.

After all this, she wore the Mothra costume she insisted on for all of ten minutes on Friday before complaining that it was itchy and made her "a little pink" (which I think means it was hot), so she frantically demanded that I get her out of it. I did get some pictures of the finished costume. I took it with us to the Halloween event we went to up at our old favorite park, but she refused to wear it, even after seeing all the other kids dressed up. She got her bag of treats there, courtesy of Ald. Gene Schulter, and then was totally done with Halloween. She already had a bag of candy, so why would she need to dress up in that itchy old costume and go out in search of more?

I have resolved to not make Halloween costumes anymore. I'll make play clothes and assemble play costumes, and she can just pick from those next year.

Complicating Halloween this year is the passing of Mark's grandpa, whom we call Grandpa Great now that there are a bunch of great-grandchildren in the family. He lived a good, long life (he just turned 95 earlier in October) and died peacefully and without pain. It's not a surprise and he's definitely in a better place now, but it's never fun to say goodbye. I'm going to miss his thrilling tales of working at NASA.