Snow!

Yes, I’m excited. Yes, I know the novelty will wear off by March when we’ve had 5 months of snow. But, for a newbie it’s pretty darn exciting to be out walking and think to yourself “those raindrops look different…. oh wait…. it’s SNOWING!!”

I tried to take some photos but I don’t think you can really see the snow falling…

Anyhoo, sorry for the radio-silence here in blog world. I really haven’t had anything exciting happen in the last week! Our days are filled with Sylvie’s routine… up at 730, brekkie together (tried vegemite toast for the first time – yum!)

then a bit of a play with the toys and practice crawling time (still only a bum shuffle and worm dance, but she does seem quite talented at that :). Then nap-time from 930 till 1030 or so, in which time I have my shower, clean up the apartment a bit, check emails (write blogs), looks for places to live and other such web-browsing. After Sylvie gets up we have a couple of hours free to get out and about, so I usually bundle her into the stroller, and we go exploring/shopping/coffeeing/lunching. Sometimes I will let her nap in the pram so I get another hour of unrestricted time (shopping for winter woolies usually!) from about 130 till 230.

After then it gets a bit cold to be out as now we are on daylight savings so it’s been getting dark by about 5pm. So we wander home, usually via the grocery store and I’ll grab some food for dinner. And by the time we get home, Sylvie is ready for dinner, then bath and more play and bed! Phew. The days have been flying by.

I did go out to see some places to live yesterday which was fun. There was one place (out of the 5) that I liked, so we’re going back on Saturday with Crez to check it out again. I’m still a bit stressed trying to decide whether I want to live in a high-rise, or in a town-home type thing. Lots of pros and cons with both. I thought I wanted a town-home (a bit further out of the city) but the place we looked at yesterday was in a high-rise right in a lovely part of downtown (just around the corner from where Oprah lives – so we’d have nice neighbours!), so I’m a bit worried I’ll make a wrong decision and end up hating where we live!

Oh well… I probably just need to sit down an write up a list of pros and cons for both situations. So stay tuned – it might be here on blog-land before long.

 

So, some more photos from the last week….

We got a new toy which we love… lots of beads to play with, doors to open etc etc.

We keep getting stuck under the couch because we have only mastered “reverse” yet and not “drive”…

Our favourite sleeping position, with ducky completely across face…

It was simply a gorgeous weekend last weekend – so we went for a walk. The bean sculpture is magnificent.

Looks like a postcard, doesn’t it!

The handsome man…

People on a segway tour… I want to do one!!

And finally, Sears (sorry, now Willis) Tower in the background.Love to youse all! xxx

 

 

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The first rainy day

Alas, it does rain in this beautiful city. The view today not as sparkling.

But… for those who are interested my ripple blanket for Sylvie is coming along beautifully, and I’m really enjoying making it.

There is something so therapeutic about craft!

Anyhoo… just thought I’d start a list of things I love about being here…

1. Experiencing different food. Each Wednesday night we have a different restaurant come and set up takeaway tables in the foyer of our apartment block – which is awesome to try different restaurants we never even knew existed. Last week it was Jamaican/Cajun cooking, which was yum! And last night we had a ribs place! Soooo yum (sorry dad – yes they were as good as yours…). I had a pulled pork sandwich which was super yum.

2. Macaroni and cheese is on the menu at pretty much every restaurant. Yum!

3.  Candy – esp reeces cups, butterfingers and twinkies… oh dear. Seriously have to limit myself to what I buy so that I’m not the size of a house next month, and to demonstrate good eating habits to the offspring. Oh and we bought pumpkin flavoured ice-cream to try – it was really yummy.

4. Bagels!

5. hmmm better think of something that isn’t food related… the friendliness and politeness of the Chicagoans. Always holding doors open for me, and making eye contact, and saying “you’re welcome” when I thank them, rather than mumbling “no worries” like a good Aussie.

6. How I always have lots of change in my wallet to give to the homeless guys. So many here! They all seem to be middle aged black guys. Very sad. I have no idea how they cope in winter? But the good thing is that when I buy something, I can never work out how much it is really going to cost, as sometimes the shops include the tax on the board, and sometimes they add it on at the register. And I can’t work out what’s a quarter, nickel or dime, and they also have pennies by the gallon too. So by the time it’s my turn to pay I’m normally so frazzled that I just hand over a note, rather than trying to use up my change. So the conclusion of this point is that I love being able to have lots of change in my wallet.

7. Free wifi everywhere! yay!

Hmmm – that’s about all I’ve got at the moment. Will add more later.

We are having friends from Crez’s work over for dinner tonight, which should be fun (I haven’t met them before). But I’m not feeling very confident in my kitchen to cook (like 2 pots and one dodgy frypan), so I think I’ll just put together an antipasto platter and then call in food.

Am loving all the comments and emails – keep them coming!

 

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Beauti-Fall

So the day was just glorious today! Walked around town all day, doing all the important things (shopping for wool- only bought one ball – very restrained of me ;), going to Gap and Old Navy for some necessary clothing items, taking Sylvie to the park, doing the supermarketing etc) with the lovely Caz and her little one.

Just awestruck by the beauty and colour in the autumn leaves – had to take some photos during our walk today…

Oh and I have to share some more photos of things that tickled my fancy…

Best halloween jack o’ lantern carving:

Sylvie’s new North Face fleece (can’t believe she got one before me! ) Have been advised that North Face makes it’s money in Chicago, and i have to believe it now I notice that pretty much every second person is wearing one.

Her funny little face! Still no crawling – but she’s getting very good at being on all 4s. Thankfully she is sleeping a bit better. Still waking up a few times a night, but not staying awake for 4 hours in the middle of the night anymore. Phew!

An example of a “small” coffee- Sylvie is quite impressed with the size. Seriously! It’s larger than our larges. Yes, and that’s a slice of pumpkin pie. Yooooommmmm! My new favourite dessert. Have been researching how to make it, and one recipe I found: 1. Open tin of ready-made pumpkin pie filling, 2. Pour into ready-made pie pastry shell. Hmmmm – don’t think that really classifies as “home made”! Anyway will keep looking….

On the weekend Crez and I caught the “el” train up to a couple of suburbs we thought we might want to live in. Not really sure how I feel about them – need another look I think. But it was fun to explore another area of the city. Here is us on the train platform:

Sorry this has been a very disjointed and rather boring post! Will try to be more entertaining. Hope everything is going ok back home.

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Halloween FAIL

Ok, so I bumped into our neighbour in the elevator during the week (he’s the neighbour that has done this beautiful decorating of our hallway), and he invited us all to his halloween party that he was hosting tonight. Of course I asked him if people usually dress up for these events, and he replies something like, “yes you are welcome to dress up.”

Everyone we’ve spoken to advised us naive Australians that Americans love a good Halloween party, and that we’d look like right tools if we turn up not in costume. So, I dutifully spent 3 hours this afternoon pushing Sylvie downtown to look for an appropriate costume for all 3 of us. Finally found the Halloween store, and lo and behold found the cutest Koala costume for Sylvie, a Steve Irwin wig for Crez, and a passable Teri Irwin wig for me. Pretty happy with my purchases, I pushed Sylvie all the way back home.

So tonight we wander over, knock on the door of our neighbours, are greeted by the super nice couple, invited in, and introduced to all their family and friends…. only to see that NOBODY ELSE is in costume. Sigh…. massive halloween fail! So now pretty sure that they think that all Australians are really weird people who, when politely invited to a casual get-together, crash in crusty, cheap blonde wigs, for no good reason! Good thing Sylvie was so cute in her koala suit or I’m sure we’d be ostracized from the building.

Sigh, still shaking my head and laughing.

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A lovely day

Bad news: Sylvie still isn’t over jet lag – up nightly from about 10pm to 1am, so we are not getting much sleep.

 

Good news: Had a lovely day! Getting colder here, but mostly blue skies and not too windy (about 10degrees C). And met up with Cazz from Sydney and her little girl. So Sylvie and I both had friends to babble to and compare notes on being recent arrivals to the windy city.

So, to enjoy the beautiful sunshine we all went for a lovely afternoon out walking the streets of Chicago. And, almost as excitingly, we actually found good coffee! Intelligentsia coffee! Yum. Thank goodness – was almost about to give up and come home.  We also saw the bean sculpture finally…

And tried cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery (Sex and the city link) which were actually not as good as I expected.

Plan for tomorrow – try to find a halloween costume so that we can go to a halloween party our neighbours are throwing! Eeek. bit nervous about it really. Oh well. Maybe we can just buy a super-cute costume for Sylvie and that will overshadow the fact that we aren’t dressed up??

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Day 2 – getting better

Monday. Unfortunately last night was hard – Sylvie decided that she wasn’t going to bed from about 10pm to 1am, so poor Crez volunteered to play with her while I slept. So I guess we are all still a bit jetlagged.

Today was beautiful! Big blue skies really showed off the city, so we went for a lovely big walk to try and stay awake. We went through the huge park in the city – so beautiful and green, with lots of squirrels for Sylvie (and me!) to squeal at.

And…. dragged Crez around till we found my mecca! Debs, here is a bit of yarn p*rn for you!…. this shop (Loopy Yarns) was amazing – this is one of about 4 rooms that were just covered in floor to ceiling with amazing colours and textures. And so much cheaper than back home. I had to wipe my drool from the floor when I left.

And here are my purchases! yummmmmm! They wrap them in pink tissue paper…. so spoily! I’m going to make Sylvie a stripey zig-zag blanket like on attic 24 since I lost the other one I made while I was pregnant. Just have to decide whether to do it rainbow like you or just random stripes. What do you think?

The colours don’t really show up very well in that shot- it was dark by the time I took the photos so I’ll post some better ones tomorrow. Cant wait to get started- eeeeee! (hahahah they also have lots of classes – I was trying to encourage Crez to go to the “Mens knitting and crochet group”).

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Day 1 in Chicago!

Hi everyone! The short story: we made it, and it’s not as cold as I was expecting (yet!)

The details (warning – mundane, everyday news that not everyone will appreciate):

It took us 24 hours, business class was a-maz-ing, but being rudely transported in economy for the 2nd leg from San Francisco to Chicago was hard. Oh well – reality check! Sylvie was great on the plane, slept for a lot of the long leg (in short bursts though, so I only slept for 45 mins at a time too) but unfortunately somehow caught a cold so was very snotty, sniffly and snorty and hard to settle. I think she’s getting better now, but has been grizzly for the last day.

And so, after a bit of a scary taxi trip back from the airport (think the taxi driver was going at 70mph, which in my head translates to 140km?) we got here at our apartment at about 7pm last night.

Here is the view from our living room! This is looking east along the Chicago River, towards Lake Michigan. We are on the 20th floor, so it all feels very cosmopolitan. It’s huge, with 2 big bedrooms, so if anyone is keen to visit while we are in this apartment, feel free.

Here are a couple of photos of our living room/kitchen for mum… 🙂

Unfortunately last night was a bit tough – Sylvie was very upset which is unusual, so I think being overtired from the plane, the cold, and a new house was all a bit too much for her. So we gave up settling her in her own bed, and brought her to snuggle with us, and we all passed out for a while.

Today we went for a couple of exploratory walks – it was a beautiful day – blue skies, no wind and about 16 degrees but felt warmer. Every passer-by smiles and says hi to Sylvie – they love her here! Of course she just loves it back. We are located kind of in the financial district of downtown, which means it felt a bit dead today as it was sunday, but then we walked up to the big shopping area and it felt a bit more alive, which was reassuring.

And found some little friends….

And finally had a very american meal at the nearest eatery…

And now, thankfully, Sylvie went to sleep without a peep, and Crez and I are watching some baseball game on tv (Crez just told me it’s the world series… whatever that means).

So, that’s the news! I’m pretty tired, and still a bit apprehensive about having everything in order, but had a nice 1st day.  Crez has tomorrow off too (Monday) so I think we’ll try and get some things organised, like mobile phones and bank accounts. I’m also hoping to drag him downtown to go to a yarn store I’ve sniffed out to buy me some wool for my next crochet project. Debs, need you here to help me choose colours!

xxx

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