I am sad to say goodbye to my Sony Blog. I've enjoyed writing it very much. The last few weeks I've been defending my job out on the streets of Cook County so I've been a bit scarce on the internet (well, except to read horrible things posted by both campaigns).
I figured I would post some of the leftover pictures I had that I didn't get a chance to post.
We went to Navy Pier for the Winter Wonderfest and Syd loved it. She was a little small for a lot of the rides and the carousel animals freaked her out, but we had to physically drag her kicking and screaming from the slide. !sydslide1.jpg!
HA! MAN IN THE MIRROR (Navy Pier funhouse)!! !mirror.jpg!
We took a trip on a Sunday to the Lego Store on Michigan Avenue. I mean, what else can you do in the City of Chicago with a 19 month old on a horrible winter day other than shop and eat?
Syd left the Lego Store with a (very expensive) farm set that she likes to dump on the floor every night and then ignore.
Finally, we did a trek out to the Kohl's Children's museum and Syd got into tight places.
Only 7 more days until election day. Thank goodness. Besides training for the marathon, this is absolutely the hardest I've ever worked in my existence. It's horrible. Every day something negative comes out or the newspapers say more rotten things and we ride the emotional rollercoaster. It's very difficult to read things about a man I've known for close to 10 years all because a spotlight-grabber wants to be an elected official.
We've been walking precincts on the weekends and standing on EL platforms during the week. Of course, we missed a few days due to sub freezing temperatures. I actually got frostbite 2 weeks ago. JOY!
Our huge, empty sign storage area (campaign office).
Every year, no matter how hung over Mike and I are, we trudge over to his parent's house to celebrate what is, to them, the most important holiday of the year. The first year I was supposed to go, I whined and stomped, but went anyway. I mean, come on! Who gets out of bed earlier than noon on New Year's Day. Every year since then it's gotten easier, with this year even being really enjoyable. How much can you really drink when you know your 18 month old doesn't really care how hung over you are, she's up at 6, desperate to see Big Bird anyway?
This was the first year we all donned our traditional Korean dress to celebrate. The kids had theirs, so why not make the adults get into really uncomfortable, non-breathable fabric, too? I actually got to pick mine out myself when Mike and I got married and I really like the colors a lot. I still sweat buckets in it though.
So here we are. . .
The gear is very colorful. Mike said he feels a bit like MC Hammer in the era of "Can't Touch This".
So there really isn't a day that goes by where I'm not shooting pictures with my Sony W80. I have subjects who are pretty big hams for the camera. Here I'm speaking of my dog and my daughter, of course.
This picture was taken on a typical night and I post this picture not because Syd looks particularly cute or welcoming. HA! In fact, if you saw this picture you would probably never ever want to visit our house for even 10 minutes. But I'm posting it because in the background you can see what is on our television 365 days a year, rain or sleet or sunshine at the same time every day. I'm frankly so sick of it I would rather pluck my eyes from my head with a spoon than watch another episode or hear another "giddy-yup" coming from some guy (friend of my husband's of course) who thinks he's Kramer.
Well, the fervor has died and we go back to work tomorrow. Some toys have already been relegated to the "Do-Not-Play" pile. (in other words, the pile that we take to a shelter or goodwill) We had a wonderful Christmas, though, since Syd was so enthusiastic about opening all her presents. She especially loved her little table and her bristle blocks. The ones that will be leaving in the back of the car in a big black bag: the fake Sit and Spin, the Cranium sports station that won't stay up and the original Tickle me Elmo. (well, I might keep that one.) !mom-syd.jpg!
No camera is ever safe when Syd is around. We tried in vain to film her opening presents, but great toys and colorful wrappings can only deter her for so long.
The offending basketball net which looks really cool when you first set it up. It started to droop after Syd started making baskets by pulling the rim to her.
Every year my friend Haleema and I gaze longingly from our window in City Hall at the gluhwein guzzling patrons of the Christkindlmarket. It's a wonderful event that consumes Daley Plaza with potato pancakes, marzipan and other German Christmas traditions.
The first night we got to San Francisco it was really beautiful. I think even when the sun went down it was 45 degrees. Earlier in the day the temperature had been near 60. While everyone around us was complaining about the chill, we were shedding our coats and putting on short sleeves. Mike even turned on the air conditioning in our room. (This is of particular note since we spend a lot of time at home wrestling the thermostat up and down. I turn it to 66 and he turns it to 72.) I tried to explain to someone that when you spend winter in Chicago, 45 degrees in December is an absolute heat wave.
It was just so strange and unnatural to see Christmas trees everywhere when its warm outside. I just couldnt get used to it. I thought it was some kind of Christmas in July marketing ploy.
We walked to the wharf a lot since we were staying right there, as you can see from Syd standing in the middle of the hotel lobby. !sydhotel.jpg!
. . .and from the glorious picture of Mike and his cousins in front of what I still believe to be some insincere attempt to create Christmas in a place where Christmas cannot possibly happen. I mean, where is the frozen rain? (As I sit close enough to my kitchen window to hear and see it pelting the glass.) Where are the sodden mittens and frostbitten ears? (As a kid, I played outside so long past the time I was supposed to come in that I ended up with frostbitten ears a lot.) Where for Santa Claus' sake is the SNOW?! Forget it. I could never move to California for that reason alone. Well, that and the property taxes, the high cost of living, the inflated property values and the natural disasters. Actually, the tree is quite beautiful even though the photographer didn't quite center the shot. If I titled this one, I would call it, "The Cones of San Francisco".
Our first trip with our 1.5 year old Sydney was a lot like SNAKES ON A PLANE! only noisier. How exactly do you confine a very active toddler to a space the size of a phone booth for 5 hours? You don't. You let said toddler terrorize all the passengers on the plane by popping in to visit at the end of their row and shouting "BAH!" or "DA-DAH!" at the top of her lungs. Or, you let her carry your cell phone (off, of course) up the aisle of the plane pretending she's doing business with a very important client. Actually, she didn't really terrorize anyone but us. Everyone else thought she was the cutest thing ever. Well, at least until the last ½ hour of the flight when she began screaming because she hadn't slept since 6 am.
She did spend quite a bit of time in the row with us. Thank heavens there were 30 open seats on the plane. We played quite a few different games in those five hours, none of which involved sleeping or reading. We played a rousing game of "Put the Tray Table Up and Down". Then we managed to play the "Shut and Open the Window Shades". I recommend that one highly. My favorite, though, was "Play Supermodel with the Air Vents". (Daddy invented that one.) There were a few others like "Shove the Snacks in Quick, Daddy" and "Mommy, Pick Up What I Threw," but those were short lived. We made it (by we, I of course, mean daddy and me) in tact to San Francisco.
We can definitely relate in our household. Sydney is going to know every hand signal in a NFL referee's repertoire if I have my say about it. There is nothing funnier than a toddler signaling a personal foul. HAAHAAA.
1. I don't like turkey. I haven't really ever LOVED turkey, but I used to tolerate it. Now that I realized I'm an adult and I can eat things that I actually LIKE eating--big, dried-out, baked-‘til-they're-petrified turkeys have completely lost whatever very small appeal they had at one time. (I think even then the small appeal was the skin.)
2. I was looking forward to Korean food and there really wasn't any. There was some sushi, which I love, but it seemed to be sequestered in a corner with a massive group of grunting men surrounding it and it was just too intimidating to approach.
3. Holidays just aren't the same since I lost my brothers about 7 years ago. I mean, our family was never huge, but I always enjoyed big, raucous holidays with as many holiday orphan-friends as we could muster. We ate, drank and played games until the wee hours. This time of year just inspires me to miss my brothers.
One of my new goals is to try very hard to make our own little family traditions.
This is my husband's sister who is a wiz with the kids. Well, except that no one noticed until it was too late that Syd ate half the fruit from the top of the fruit tart.
It was my first Turkey Trot and Syd's first outing in the snow. It was blustery, cold and slippery, but we had an amazing time! The snow made everything in Lincoln Park, even the empty beer bottles in the street, look pretty. It was an 8K that wound around Lincoln Park Zoo and since I haven't been very disciplined about my training, I was really proud to have run the entire thing. I was slow, but I was still running. Plus, I was only sore until Sunday. (ugh! Try carrying a 32 pound, squirming toddler down 5 flights of 16 stairs each, while your hammies and quads are screaming for you to just sit on the couch, already! )
I walk through Daley Plaza nearly every day and I've never noticed the throngs of homeless pigeons huddled around the eternal flame to keep warm. I'm sure every Chicagoan would rather have a more noble animal guarding the flame that has reminded us since 1972, of all of the veterans who served or lost their lives in the armed forces of the United States. I'm not sure what it is about pigeons. . .
In other pigeon related news. . .I've been in (photo) pursuit of the man I call "Pigeon Guy" since I got my Sony equipment. He's fascinating. Every morning for weeks I would see him, dressed in a business suit, carrying an expensive briefcase and a HUGE bag of bread crumbs. He stands near the flower garden in front the Thompson center. He puts the plastic bag down and sort of cascades the crumbs over his arms so the pigeons are forced to eat off of his arms and rest in his hands. All I can say is YUCK! Pigeon Guy has eluded me since I became a Sony Ambassador. HRRUMPH. Probably a good thing.
This is the story of one woman and her quest to be as active as her wonderfully crazy toddler. The story will be told over the months with photos taken with Sony equipment and tracked with their new GPS system.