Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Chicago, I love you!!!   At least what I’ve seen of you, which admittedly is only your bright and shiny parts.

chicago sign

I had the opportunity to spend the day in Chicago this week with many of the lovely people I work with every day.  We lit it up, baby! I blogged about this same trip last year too. Just in case anyone remembers that, I’ll try not to repeat myself.

No one in the group I was with in Chicago cared about stuff like Nieman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.  We cared about seeing new things, and having fun. So, that’s what we did.  My friend/co-worker/and former Chicago area resident had a full itinerary for us to follow. We were busy.

At one point, we did take a shortcut through one fine store.   A flashy silver and purple bracelet caught my eye there.  I think I told my friend, “Oh, I love this!” The bracelet was sitting right on the jewelry counter with a bunch of other pieces I assumed were costume jewelry (the only kind I wear). The bracelet wasn’t costume jewelry.  It was the kind of bracelet that costs one-thousand-dollars.  I apologized to the salesperson for even looking at it.   I need to get out more, and meet more people.  I really didn’t know people bought thousand dollar bracelets.

Here’s how we started our day.  We arrived in Chicago around lunch.  We ate at the “Signature Room” on the top of the John Hancock building.  Here’s the view:

signature room

I’d definitely recommend this experience.  The view was crazy, and lunch was only $20.  By Chicago standards that means it was free. Of course, if you were one of the unlucky suckers who ordered a glass of wine, the cost of your meal doubled.   I guess that’s just another rich person thing I don’t understand.

After the John Hancock building we plowed down Michigan Avenue.  We did have to stop in one store, because (you’re about to be shocked), I lost one of my mittens on the bus ride.  I had to buy another pair.  The sun was out, but it was cold.

I found a super cool hat at this store, and what I thought were awesome mittens too.  Here they are:

mittens

I know what you’re thinking.  These are the stupidest mittens ever invented (But, what about the manicure?  I’m fancy now.).  Your thumbs are meant to be exposed when you wear mittens, right?  I guess they think thumbs don’t get cold in Chicago.

I didn’t try these mittens on before I bought them, because why would I do something silly like that?  I came out of the store, and pulled the mittens out of the bag.  Right away, my friend said, “Are your thumbs covered in those mittens?”

I hadn’t noticed before that.  But see, my friend was a Valedictorian.  She’s highly intelligent, and can spot tiny flaws right away.  Average people couldn’t be expected to see this thing.  Really, I think I was swindled.

I put my thumb-less mittens on and we kept walking.  We visited Macy’s, and saw their giant Christmas Tree.  This year’s theme at Macy’s is “Believe”.  Macy’s always has a theme at Christmas.  The Christmas tree is in the middle of a famous restaurant called, “The Walnut Room”.  There was an insanely long line of people waiting to get into “The Walnut Room” to eat.  Maybe all those people were waiting, because the waitresses were dressed like princesses.  The princesses were waving magic wands over the guests’ heads.   Or, maybe all those people just really wanted to eat some of the delicious walnuts served at “The Walnut Room”.   I don’t know.  I’m new here, so quit asking.   I just know I was glad I wasn’t waiting in that line. I wouldn’t do it.  Not even for great walnuts.

After the Christmas Tree viewing we grabbed Latte’s and went to buy me more mittens.

Our group consisted of four women and one man.  The man in our group had to go into a store for something. It took him longer than we thought it would.  We made a joke about how maybe he was just trying to shake us.  Maybe he wanted to hang out by himself.

lattes

When he finally got out of the store, we headed down the street towards Millennial park.  One of my friends wanted to make a joke about our guy friend trying to shake us.  Only she mistakenly said (yelled) to him, “We won’t let you shag US, buddy.”  Which, of course, is true, but certainly goes without saying.  Turns out that even worldly Chicago people turn their heads when they hear a lady yell that on the street.  I sped up a little then, and tried to put some distance between my friend and me.

At Millennial Park we took our picture at the silver bean again.  Then, we went ice skating.  This was the part of the day that I was most looking forward to doing.  I tried keeping it on the down low, but what I was excited for my work friends to see is that I have skills.  When I was young, we were poor, but we did live across the street from a lake.  In the winter we skated a lot.  Had I decided to go on to the Olympics, let’s just say a gold wouldn’t have been out of the question.

The way I pictured this ice skating thing happening, is  that we’d all get out on the ice, and then I’d do my triple Salchow to a double toe loop, and everybody’s jaws would drop open.  They’d be like, “Miki, oh my Gosh!  You didn’t even tell us what an incredible skater you are.”

Then, I’d be kind of shy, and say, “Oh, I’m not.  It’s just that we were poor, but we had some old skates around, and I taught myself some tricks.”

Then, they’d all be like, who knew Miki has so many hidden talents?  She’s so awesome and great.  Plus, she’s so modest.

Then, I’d be all like, “Can I make more money?”

Only, that didn’t happen.  Because, guess what?  Defective equipment.  The ice skates were ridiculous.  I felt like the inside of my ankle was being rubbed raw, and that’s just a shame.  I was gonna have a big moment.   I shuffled around the rink a couple of times while my skinny boss showed off her respectable skills instead.  That really made me mad:

ice skating

When we were done skating we headed back towards the John Hancock Building.  We finished the day in a warm restaurant, eating delicious food.  That’s a fun day.

I loved this outing.  I liked being silly with my friends from work.  I thought about my family while I was in Chicago too.  When I got home from Chicago, my whole family was sleeping.

Before school the next morning, I noticed the package of beef stew I told Scott to have while I was gone was still in the refrigerator.  Before I left for Chicago, I had a really clear conversation with Scott about what to have for dinner.  I think I told him twice for sure, maybe three times.  I even said, “I feel like you’re not listening to me.”

I saw that unopened package of stew, and I asked Olivia what Dad made for supper.  Then she remembered she was disgusted and said, “Dad fed us Reggie’s food.”

He really did.

Of course, Reggie eats real people food, so it’s not the worst thing that ever happened, but still.  You wouldn’t eat it on purpose.  There was a crock pot full of Reggie’s weekly mix on the counter; I guess Scott thought that stuff looked too good to pass up.

The lesson for me here is: seriously, why bother?  Most of us moms have learned this lesson before, but a lot of us can’t stop ourselves from bothering any way.

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