Leave My Monkey Alone

Fairly self-explanatory. This sock monkey was an early birthday gift from Cupcake's former foster family. It came at just the right time, too, as the previous original vintage sock monkey from my mother-in-law is slowly losing all of its filling due to being "hurt" -- and of course part of the injury involves toddler fingers reaching into holes on the seams and pulling out polyester fiberfill. Same problem with the sock zombie, too. Huh. Funny how those mysterious illnesses are contagious.

Look like Mommy's going to learn how to darn.


Drive My Car

I finally got around to asking Cupcake what this toy is called, and she told me it's a "car" -- which probably explains all the strange looks I have been getting when I told her to go ride her "scooter" so Mommy can gank some noobs.

What? Why wouldn't I call it a scooter? What would you call it? We haven't let her watch "Return of the Jedi" yet, so it's not like I could reasonably expect her to know what a "speeder bike" is, and that's what this car really reminds me of.

No, I don't know why. But you people already know I'm crazy. (Oh, and for the record? I totally prefer the blue-and-red version over this pink-and-baby-blue monstrosity, but it was free from the neighbor lady, and Cupcake loves it, so we're stuck.)


"Yaaaaay Shopping! Shopping Shopping Shopping!"

We needed to go to the store today, because we're right out of food, and when G said to Cupcake, "Let's go to the store," she let out this excited little shriek and yelled, "Yaaaaay shopping!" and then the whole way in the car she sang what we now call "The Shopping Song" which was basically her saying "shopping shopping shopping" over and over in various pitches of happiness.

Was very very cute, yes, but I think maybe it is time to start putting time limits on her unsupervised visits with My Anonymous Mother, the retail commando.

Not sure entirely how I feel about Cupcake liking the Wal-Mart, but at the very least we never lack for entertainment. For example, she was really amused by the Very Big Sandwich:

And then she tried to eat it, plastic wrapper and gross bland lettuce and all:

And of course we were so good that we took a "ride" on the nonfunctioning Mickey Mouse Firetruck:

Of course, this does NOT show the complete nuclear meltdown that happened when had to get OFF the firetruck and get back in the car, but we're going to pretend that never happened, OK?


Happy Birthday Phil!

From the "OMFG-I-Am-Getting-Ooooooooold" files: My cousin Phil is 30 years old today. Which makes me ... older than 30, and one day actually closer to the "almost 40" I have been telling people I am for three years. Anyway, some of Phil's greatest hits:

Of course, these are all from the days Pre-K, or "before Kim," his lovely wife. I hope their next thirty years together -- more than that, even -- are at least twice as happy as his first 30 have been.



Of all the clothes Cupcake owns, this shirt is maybe my favorite. I got it for her here about eleventy hundred years ago, so you won't be able to find it now, but you might still see something you like. I like it for two reasons: dinosaurs, and cupcakes. And since this shirt has both, it's a win-win for everyone.

Today is "Dinosaur Day!" at school, so of course we dressed for the occasion. I'm not entirely sure what "Dinosaur Day!" entails, but I like to think it involves a lot of stomping around like so many T. Rexes or Gorgasaurs and listening to "Godzilla" on repeat and then curling up at naptime like cute little baby diplodocuses (diplodoci?).

And of course there are cupcakes. What "Dinosaur Day!" is complete without cupcakes?


All By Myself

Oh my God you guys, I can't hardly handle it any more -- Cupcake is growing so fast now, and doing so much on her own, that as soon as she gets a job and learns to work the microwave, I'm going to be totally obsolete. Seriously. Don't laugh. She can already almost reach the freezer door, and it's not like heating up chicken nuggets and easy-mac and a single-serving pack of frozen vegetables is hard or anything. If I can manage it, I know she can:

This week we started doing two things that are either awesome or terrifying, I'm not sure which. Or maybe they are both at once -- as you might have noticed, I am having trouble keeping up these days. I'm like the Betamax of parents or something. First, she started climbing onto and off of her rocking horse all by herself*. I mean, completely unassisted. She just throws her leg on over and then gets all excited and starts making noise and getting our attention and being all, "Look, Ma! No hands!"

And a die a little bit more inside because my baby isn't a baby any more, and can I please have a puppy? No? Okay, then, pass the Ben & Jerry's.

The other thing is, all of the sudden she is all "Look at me! Look at me! Look, mommy! Daddy, look! Look at me!" and then repeating it forever and ever, ad infinitum, if we don't drop everything right then and there and tell her how super fabulous she is. I don't know where kids learn this behavior. Which, she totally is, of course, but if we keep reminding her she's going to get a big head or something:

This part definitely scares the ever-loving crap out of me, because already she reminds me so much of my cousin Jason, he of the famous last words "Hey guys! Watch this!" Part merperson. Fearless. Thrill-seeking. Unbelievably cute. Smart and funny and everybody loves her. The complete opposite of needy, nerdy, neurotic me.

* On further review, it appears I claimed she got on the rocking horse by herself before. I forgot about that. But I maintain that this is still news because this is a new picture. Plus the whole "look mommy" thing is new. So suck it.


Revenge of the Nerds

Fair warning: this entire blog post, except for the picture that will appear at the end of this paragraph, is going to be interesting to exactly ONE of my regular readers, and even then, it's only of interest tangentially, because it's about World of Warcraft, which her husband also plays -- hi, Uelander! (Incidentally, I just felt all your eyes roll back in your heads.) Today's WAB-fest is about how I spent the entire weekend dying repeatedly on a 25-man Naxxramas run, and how this has caused a nervous breakdown / midlife crisis. Again. So feel free to skip this mess, after you check out the photo of the Cupcake below, which I managed to work into this entry because she is wearing my new gaming headset.

Minimage the Pwnstar - "Less QQ, more pewpew!"

Meanwhile, back in Azeroth: recently I have been bored just questing and farming and working on achievements, so unless I knew I had something going on, I haven't been spending a whole lot of time in-game. I hit level 80 back at the beginning of February, and my guild was pretty casual, so we weren't really going anywhere, and there wasn't a whole lot for me to do. I worked on getting some vanity pets, and made some gold, and grinded some reputation, but mostly I loitered.

And then a week ago, one of my guildmates (who was also something of a mentor to me) left to join another guild, one that was more active in running heroic dungeons and raids, and which had actual healers and stuff. When he went, two other of our active high-level players went on to other guilds too. In all of my life -- or at least in the game, anyway -- I had never felt so alone.

The thing about MMORPG's is, they're very social, even when they're also very competitive. Which is pretty much me: friendly, yet competitive. (Ask anyone who's ever played Trivial Pursuit with me.) And as much as I love the people in the guild, I also needed a challenge. Sitting around in front of my monitor for hours at a time, virtually shooting the shit, was not worth the however many dollars a month I am paying to play the game.

I needed to see new things, do new things, blow up new things with my (relatively) new talents. So with the gentle prompting of my mentor (and "game husband"), as well as a fellow guildmate of his who is so many kinds of awesome, I left one guild and joined another.

And suddenly found myself completely over my head.

For the last three nights, I was part of a 25-man Naxxramas ("Naxx") run, which means that 24 other people, most of them complete strangers to me, spent approximately 12-15 hours killing big bosses and getting "phat lewts" and gaining honor and tokens and prestige, and I spent that time trying not to look like a complete asshole and occasionally setting out a Fish Feast.

Great success on the food front; not so much with the "not looking like an asshole."

Which -- as World of Warcraft so often is -- is a total metaphor for my so-called life. I jump headfirst into things without being completely prepared. I fail at first, or come close to it, and feel like a yutz. I wallow for a day or two, cry and scream and gnash my teeth and rend my garments, and then ... I pick myself up, dust myself off, start all over again. That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Except Patchwerk. He's a badass.

And why are you still reading this? Are you waiting for another picture? Okay, fine:

Cupcake Jenkins - "GTFO n00b! WTF? BBQ!"


My Bologna

You might have noticed that I am not always the world's most traditional or most appropriate parent -- my plan for raising the Cupcake to adulthood is to encourage silliness and subversion at every turn. As Diamond Dave once said, "Might as well jump." Basically, if we can make it to kindergarten or so without being on a first-name basis with the local E.R. staff, I will consider it a job well done.

So -- with G still out of town and the prospect of another unassisted bath night looming, I did what any other parent who is half out of her gourd would do: I went for the diversionary tactic. After school yesterday, to distract her from the fact that yet again we would not be watching "Dora the Explorer" after school, I took her to McDonald's for dinner. (Oh, yeah, I also didn't feel like cooking.)

Despite any suggestions I might make to the contrary, we don't really eat nothing but junk food at my house. Not any more, anyway, and definitely not where Cupcake is concerned. She has at least one serving of fruits or veggies at every meal. And it's not all the same things all the time, either -- this week I've given her fresh cantaloupe chunks for breakfast, and at dinner on Tuesday she tried Brussels sprouts for the first time. (She finished them, at least.)

But you know what? I've seen some of her friends at school "eat," if you could call it that, and I'll take what I can get. There are kids her age who'll eat nothing but hot dogs. Some eat only waffles and string cheese. At least one of the kids is on an all-organic diet, and he gets lunches of brown rice and soy milk and carob candies. Eww. I try to give Cupcake healthy food, but I throw fruit snacks in her lunch box. I'm not a monster.

And anyway, you can get Happy Meals with apples now, so there is nothing to feel bad about. Except maybe not sharing your milkshake with your two-year-old, but ... uh, I don't know anyone who would do that. Do you?


Chopping Broccoli

I've been having a really hard week with G out of town -- I don't give him enough credit for all the stuff he does around here, and how well we have our routine ironed out at this point. I mean, I'm definitely not saying we're the Gold Standard of parenting, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it has become evident while he's away that we have figured out a system that works for us, and we may not be a finely-tuned machine, but we are certainly adequately oiled. Or something.

Anyway, since I take Cupcake to school in the mornings, I am usually not getting home from work until after dinner, and it looks like I am seriously missing out on the fun. I fully encourage playing with your food if you're going to actually eat it:

Oh, and I swear to God, she said "cauliflower" right before I started rolling. And I think that mystery word in there is supposed to be "vegetable," but I am not yet fluent in Toddler, I am sorry to report.

Also, because it just wouldn't be fair to leave this out:

RIP Phil Hartman. We still miss you.


Éirinn go Brách

In honor of the holiday, we are celebrating with a customary Irish breakfast of milk in a sippy cup, apple cinnamon fruit-and-cereal bar, and canned tropical fruit salad in 100% juice. At the school St. Patrick's Day party, they're serving even more traditional fare: hot dogs, mac 'n' cheese, yogurt, pudding, and fruit snacks.

Have fun today, but be careful out there! The world is full of crazies, and many of them seem to be Irish at this time of year. Or on Spring Break.

Go n-eírí an bóthar leat.
May the road rise with you.


Take Me To The River

... or the ocean, whatever.

(We're feeling much better today, but Mommy is a little out of sorts, and hopes that you will accept this peace offering until she finds her shit and gets it back together. Kthxbai!)


Barely Breathing

This is a picture of the saddest little girl in the world:

I mean, seriously. Look at her. That? Is the face of a kid who is so miserable that there aren't even words in the English language for it.

You see, we're teething, and that means the unholy chain of plague has been unleashed in our house again: teething makes her nose run, and that makes her have a post-nasal drip, which makes her cough. Plus, there is the teething pain, which also causes earaches. So, basically, everything from the tonsils up hurts this poor girl, which means just forget about combing her hair.

On top of it, she spent the night in a "strange" place yesterday -- G and I went to Atlantic City to see a Lewis Black concert with an added side parade of random underage whores or something, oh my god the lobby of the Borgata was like a bordello. So Cupcake stayed at my parents' house, where she refuses to sleep. Fun! Plus she doesn't feel all that hot to begin with, so hooray! It's total gretz and gloom.

And now G is out of town for a week on business, which means I am "single-parenting," so really, I am in an unenviable position. I could literally ride into the living room on a unicorn that poops rainbows and jellybeans, and I could let Cupcake poke the cat in the eye and operate an acetylene torch during "Dora the Explorer," and I'm still going to be the Wicked Witch of the West this week, because I am not Daddy.

So you better believe that (1) we are going to bed early all week, and (2) she's eating corned beef and cabbage on Tuesday.



Because most of us need to be reminded now and again:

song chart memes
Unless your particular zombie is of the sock variety, in which case, they'll totally snuggle before they try to eat your braaaaaaaaaaaains!


Cupcake Calendar: March

Well, looky here, the March calendar page is up, and it isn't even the 15th yet, or anything! Could that be because everything and nothing are going on at once, and I wanted to distraaaaaaaaaaact you? Hmmmmmmm?


Wacky Wednesday

The thing I fear most in the world this week is dying in a horrendous car crash, the kind with sparks and fires and explosions, where they need to send in the Jaws of Life to extract my mangled corpse from underneath the chassis of a giant 18-wheeler, and when the EMT's examine me they make The Face, all sad and pitiful, because they discover that I have been cursed to spend all of my afterlife in an outfit where all the components don't match because I neglected that morning to coordinate my ponytail holder with my top with my bra with my pants with my underwear with my socks with my shoes.

Because, listen: I'm going to Hell anyway, and I can handle the gamblers and the drunks and the fornicators -- who knows, that might even be kind of fun -- but I don't want to spend eternity with the Fashion Victims, the inappropriately accessorized, the godless hussies who left the house with VPL and their bra straps showing and who wore white shoes after Labor Day.

It's a running gag at work and at home, but I am a human Garanimal. As much as possible, I try to arrange my outfit for the next day before I go to bed, so I have time to do a quick load of socks or underwear if necessary. You know, so I have just the right match. And even if I ever go mysteriously colorblind, I'd still be able to match stuff, because I coordinate down to the pattern on my hosiery. It's a sickness, no doubt.

Which is why it pains me to my core when we have "Wacky Wednesdays" at school, and I have to send Cupcake out into public wearing something like this:

... it makes me want to crawl in a hole and die. Who does that to a child? That is so wrong. Do day cares not believe in the Constitution? Because that is definitely cruel and unusual punishment. Inflicted upon her by her very own mother.

I mean, she totally rocks that shirt from the Nashville Zoo (hello to Johnny Bacon and Co., in lovely Union City, TN!). And those Winnie-the-Pooh Croc loaferlets? Adorable. The leggings were bought special just for Wacky Wednesday, AND they were only $3.50, so I can't even complain about them, but ... isn't it a little much? The green barette just about gave me a stroke, even though I put it there.

On the other hand: individually, each of those pieces is awesome. And she? Totally does not care. Perhaps Mommy needs a drink.


Three Little Words

A word of warning: this may be (almost definitely is) one of my gooshier posts. I tried writing this already with snark, but I just can't make it happen. It is what it is, the heart wants what it wants, etc.

To be honest, just thinking about everything that happened yesterday makes me well up. Not a super-big deal: we went to the County Government Center to sign paperwork to proceed with the adoption. Every family who adopts out of foster care must do something similar at some point.

It is routine paperwork. A lot of "acknowledge"s and "recognize"s and "agree"s and "certify"s and "we the undersigned"s blah-blah-blah-biddy-blah. Sign your name here and here and down there, date, initial, space for notary stamps, in triplicate. Legalese and esquirespeak.

And in the middle of the first paragraph on the second page, this ...

... made me lose my flippin' mind. I tried very hard to hold it together, but I'm not sure that I did. Maybe. I don't think I cried out loud in that conference room, but I sure got some looks.

Seeing our daughter's name, or rather her name-to-be, right there in black and white? Unbelievably overwhelming. Throughout this process, she has been referred to by names given by other people -- her birth mother, her previous foster family.

But this name? This one came from us, and on that document, it was the first time I had ever seen it in print, officially, on a piece of paper that mattered. Our Cupcake, our boo-boo kitty, will soon have a new name, and it is ours.

Even when I look at it now, I feel a lot of things, so many things, so quickly and suddenly that my breath catches. I picture the new birth certificate, and adoption notices, and graduation announcements, and wedding invitations and then the room starts spinning.

It's a simple thing, I guess, to see your kid's name in print, but when you've tried so hard and waited so long and you know the end is near ... well, those seventeen letters up there? They make up the most beautiful three little words that I have ever seen.


Younger Than Springtime

The Great Hard Drive Reformatting Disaster of 2009 has taken its toll on my craft: some of my programs and applications have not yet been reinstalled, so I can't fiddle around with my pictures the way I normally do. Probably this means that I will have to learn to work Photoshop, which I tried to do once before and my brains nearly leaked out my ears. (Mostly I use the generic photo editor that comes with MS Office, although sometimes I also use the Picnik features that come with Flickr -- but even then the really fancy stuff costs extra money, and I already paid $25 so that I could have more than 200 pictures in my photostream, which G thinks is insane, but I do this for you people.)

Anyway, the point of all of this is that for a few days, anyway, some of the pictures might not look quite the same as always, because I am trying to make do with Paint and Notepad until I get around to putting Office* back on my machine. So why don't we just pretend that this picture of Cupcake checking out My Anonymous Mother's pussywillows** for the first time is just as cute as we normally pretend my pictures are, OK?***

* = Before you say anything, I tried OpenOffice before. I didn't hate it, but it made my computer do really strange things. Like, Linda-Blair's-head-spinning-around weird. We may try it again, now that we have done a complete wipe of the system, but negotiations are still ongoing. Not sure what we are going to do, as I really like MS Publisher and can't find an open-source equivalent. Accepting suggestions. Please be kind, and remember that I am a Luddite who already knows that she should just get a Mac already.

** = THAT'S WHAT THE PLANT IS CALLED. Don't be pervy. Perv.

*** = Yes, I know I am a terrible photographer. SHUT UP. These pics were taken with my iPhone, though, and I think for camera phone pictures they are pretty OK.


Holding Pattern

Yesterday was an anniversary for us -- one year ago, Cupcake came to live with us. We treated it like any other lazy Saturday, but I think that G and I were both thinking about what a big damn deal it was, and whether we should do something, or what.

Turns out we didn't do anything special, unless you count reformatting my hard drive for eight hours and then spending half the night trying to get my digital life back together as "something special," which I don't. Especially because I am still trying to find stuff.

We also kind of didn't know what to do, mostly because we didn't know what to do. We don't know any other foster parents, so it's not like we could call anybody up and say, "Hey, how do you commemorate the day that your kid sorta-kinda became your kid, but not really, exactly?"

Also: I tried to make a movie, a look back on the past year in pictures, and that sort of crashed my entire computer, which is part of what caused the eternal reformat from hell, and by the time everything was restored I didn't feel like it any more.

But I wanted to mention it, because yesterday was kind of meaningful, even if it only made us both more aware of all the ridiculous demands we need to meet and flaming hoops we need to jump through before our "daughter" officially becomes our Daughter.

PS -- Pictures are safe. So, yay for that!


Indentical Cousins

Maybe it's just me, but I kind of think that Joey & Cupcake have the same nose, especially in this picture (which was hand-picked by G, by the way, so don't blame me, even though it is sort of not-so-secretly awesome that my kid is a total honest-to-goodness Mini-Me):

Also ... Joey makes the same faces as my sister. Just sayin'.


Pennies from Heaven

There are two mugs full of pennies on my desk at work. Last March, when we found out that Cupcake was going to be coming to live with us, I started putting all the pennies from my wallet in a paper cup. When that got too heavy, I switched them over to a mug. When the first mug got full, I started another one. The second mug is now almost full. I figure I have at least $5.00 in change in those mugs, maybe more.

It's kind of ridiculous to be a 30-something professional type with cups full of loose change on her desk, but I did it for Cupcake -- it has always been my plan to eventually convert these coins into dollars, and open a savings account for her when the adoption was completed. I jokingly refer to this as "the college fund," but it's kind of what it is. It's also a reminder of how long we've waited, how much we've done, and how much we've still yet to do, before the process is over.

Fill one mug, start filling another. Hit one target, aim for the next. Live in the now, plan for the future. Well, the future is soon: on April 15th, if all goes according to plan, G and I will be able to open a savings account for our new dependent. And, ironically, Tax Day will become my new favoritest day of the year.

You Say Yes, I Say No

Got tagged for another meme on Facebook, and I am feeling frisky, so I'm going to do it -- with a twist. But first, "the rules":
The rules are simple:
1. You can ONLY answer YES or NO
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages or comments you and Asks!
Of course you all already know that I have issues with authority, so I am not going to let "them" tell me how to do a damn survey. Not exactly, anyway. I am going to answer these questions, but for three of these items, my answer will be a LIE. You need to figure out which ones are fibs. I will reveal the answers in comments on Friday.

(Also: numbering added for ease of commenting -- these numbers did not appear in the original survey. Doesn't technically matter, but full disclosure and all. Just in case you were tagged too.)
  1. Kissed any one of your facebook friends? Yes
  2. Been arrested? Yes
  3. Fallen asleep at work/school? Yes
  4. Kissed someone you didn't like? No
  5. Slept in until 5 PM? No
  6. Held a snake? Yes
  7. Run a red light? Yes
  8. Been suspended from school? No
  9. Totaled your car/motorbike in an accident? Yes
  10. Been fired from a job? No
  11. Sang karaoke? Yes
  12. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? Yes
  13. Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Yes
  14. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes
  15. Kissed in the rain? Yes
  16. Sung in the shower? Yes
  17. Sat on a rooftop? No
  18. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes? Yes
  19. Broken a bone? No
  20. Shaved your head? No
  21. Blacked out from drinking? No
  22. Played a prank on someone? Yes
  23. Felt like killing someone? Yes
  24. Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? Yes
  25. Been in a band? Yes
  26. Shot a gun? No
  27. Tripped on mushrooms? No
  28. Donated blood? Yes
  29. Eaten alligator meat? No
  30. Eaten cheesecake? Yes
  31. Still love someone you shouldn't? No
  32. Think about the future? Yes
  33. Believe in love? Yes
  34. Sleep on a certain side of the bed? Yes
I will answer questions about these responses, except "Is #XX a lie?" That one you need to figure out on your own. (And I can't promise I won't obfuscate.)


Into White

Look, I'm not going to lie to you -- I hate winter. Hate. Sure, I spent four horrible miserable freezing winters in Syracuse back in the day and developed a +25 frost resistance and a bizarre appreciation for the smell of snow in the air, but that doesn't mean I ever liked the cold. Or the perpetual lake-effect precipitation. Or the landscape that was all done up in shades of beige and gray.

I'm tired of this weather, and yesterday's white-out right about killed me dead, honestly. Maybe it's because we just got back from one of the loveliest places on Earth, or maybe it's because I've been thinking about starting some seeds, or maybe it's because I can't find my Timberlands and I no longer fit into all that grunge-era flannel, or maybe it's because there are only two weeks left until spring, dammit, and I want to be done with winter already!

So, yes, perhaps we are having some seasonal affective issues again. Perhaps we are having trouble remembering that when "Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" Perhaps this is because it's hard to find any four-leaf clovers when the entire yard is buried under 6 inches of bright white misery.

Or perhaps, perhaps, we just need a little change in perspective.

And maybe a snowsuit.


Vacation Recap: Day 4 (Saturday)

Urgh. As I am writing this recap of our final day of our vacation, I'm sitting at home with the Cupcake having a snow day, and I'm reminded all over again about why Day 4 of our vacation sucked eleventy kinds of ass: bad weather. Not in Florida, of course -- there is no such thing as bad weather in Florida at this time of year, as I understand it. But everywhere else, apparently, there was horrible weather of biblical proportions, according to the airline people.

That marvelous misadventure will come in due time, though. First, we'll spend our last few hours in Key West at the beach:

This is what I imagined our entire vacation was going to look like -- sun, sand, surf, seagulls, against a background of palm trees and pastel hotels. I'm actually glad it wasn't all like this, because while that is fun in its way, now that we have a toddler, we need something to keep her entertained. And she found these birdies highly amusing, if a bit frustrating. I think she's still mad because she couldn't bring one of these home with her. (She doesn't yet understand that these are the same birds that hang out in the local Wal-Mart parking lot.)

The last time I was on the gulf coast of Florida, I was in 10th grade. My parents and my sisters and I drove down to Florida with my "aunt" Kim and her husband and their two kids (this was before their daughter was born, and she's a senior in high school now, so I am suddenly feeling very very old). Between 3-day stints at Disney World, we stayed at a condo on Marco Island. I don't remember very much about the trip except that one of my sisters had a broken ankle and we saw dolphins.

I know for sure that I don't think the Gulf of Mexico was ever as lovely as it was on this particular occasion:

The we drove 4 hours back to the Fort Lauderdale airport, where we waited for a hundred thousand years to get on the plane back home. Our return flight was supposed to leave at 6:45pm, but it was delayed due to bad weather in Chicago. (Yeah, I don't entirely get it either.) But suffice it to say that we didn't get on the plane to come home until after 11pm. We got in very early the following morning, and then we saw my sister and Joey and Cupcake tried to eat my nephew because he is delicious, the end.