Wow. I have been bad about updated this blog in the past week. In my defense, #1, we haven't been doing anything out of the ordinary around our house - swimming, music class, crashing at Gig and Grizz's house, sweating our brains out in the insane October heat. #2, since Wednesday night, I've been in Chicago.
Ever since the first time Becca came out to visit, I've been promising her that I would eventually come out her way. Not in the first year of Ellie's life, when I spent a lot of time glued to my own couch, but eventually. When we were all together in Door County this summer, I promised that I'd come in the fall for a girls weekend. And her boyfriend Brian said "I can't wait until you guys come," and I was like, "surely, you understand that girls weekend means no Tim. It means just Becca and I, twin-talking and being obnoxious jerks together for several days straight while you fend for yourself. Tim doesn't usually get another dude around to help moderate the insanity." But then again I thought, it might be nice for Tim to get a little vacation too. So here we are - I flew out on a late flight on Wednesday (which arrived at midnight - wondering how many people take that flight on the regular, because it's not like you can then hop another flight to a different destination, and Orange County to Chicago is not necessarily everyone's final destination) and Tim joined us after Brian's workday tonight (well, I am writing this at 4am because I can't sleep - Tim's been here almost a whole 12 hours now.)
Ellie is doing well in the care of her grandparents, and I am unbelievably grateful that they are all so close, and so helpful. She stayed with Gigi Thursday and Friday (and Wednesday night, when Tim went to go see a movie to start my vacation!) and then this morning, they'll hand off to Mimi and Pa, who will meet us at the airport on Sunday night. It's nice that it works out that each grandparent only has to take her for one over night - especially as I suspect she's finally cutting her two year molars. I am grateful not to be there, while simultaneously feeling guilty that our parents have to deal with it.
In the meanwhile, Becca and I have been having a great time. Going for brisk exercise walks, and then spending a lot of time just laying around thinking about eating, cooking, or eating. Yesterday we walked downtown, stopping in tons of thrift stores on the way, and then had second lunch at the Grand Luxe Cafe (Eileen's treat!) and then went into all the fancy stores and decided what luxury jewelry we would let our boyfriends purchase for us. We met the boys on the way home - Brian had just gotten home from work and picked Tim up at the train station, and we walked down the main drag and went out to dinner. Last night I laughed harder than I have in months, and was vaguely embarrassed at how loud I was laughing in public (but only vaguely.) When we got home, then all of us were in bed by 11 - Brian tired from his work week, Becca and I tired from almost 20 miles of walking in 2 days, and Tim tired from being up with the baby (tired enough to go to bed at 9pm California time.) It's just nice to have a break, and to feel like a regular person on vacation again, instead of a harried mom. I do keep bugging my dad and sister for pictures of Ellie though.
Tomorrow (or rather, at a decent hour today) we're headed down town to see the Sears Tower - Becca has lived in Chicago more than 10 years and never been, so that will be exciting.
The only sad news is I'm not coming home to a world with Chuckie in it. After 18 and a half years of being the worst pet ever (though one of the most beautiful cats I've ever known, and very sweet if he was able to overcome his stupidity and let you love him) and a month or so of rapidly declining health, Chuckie Ruckles had his last day on Thursday, when he woke up and couldn't really walk. I'm sad that my last childhood pet is gone, but as I told Tim, I'm not as sad as I thought I'd be, probably because after I went to grad school, Chuckie stopped letting me near him, unless mom caught him and gave him to me. It's been nice, these past few weeks of senility, because I finally got to snuggle him again. He even let Ellie hug him once. We we miss the old boy. I guess if the new baby really is a boy, I will name him Chuckhead Bobo Jr. It only seems appropriate.