Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Flu taking it's toll

As I've mentioned, I've been sick since before Thanksgiving (post-Vegas) but started a round of antibiotics that has seemed to give me the upper hand for the moment. Unfortunately, my father, for his 77th birthday, got a nasty stomach flu and has been laid up for the last few days. He seems to be feeling better now, but still not 100%.  LL's mother also came down with the flu over the weekend, exact same thing. Ugh. She's not 100% either, but is getting better, just in time to take care of her husband who has the same thing in a bad way.

As a result, we've pushed back our Christmas Eve celebration until after Christmas.  Hopefully the virus has been contained, otherwise tomorrow's celebration could be in danger as well. Being healthy is really important and it would be irresponsible parenting to put Marissa in harms way unnecessarily. That said, Marissa could be patient zero. She was sick with a stomach virus that caused her to vomit and gave her diarrhea, the main symptoms people have now. Though I thought I got her sick, my sickness had a fever, no vomiting and lasted 24 hours, while she was sick with vomiting and diarrhea for about a week.

Regardless, this will be a Christmas for the books!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

No Christmas Tree

Lots of things going on, so let's get to it!

First, everyone is sick. I'm sick, but now on antibiotics to help clear up a lingering cough that I've had for a month. After getting some sort of stomach virus on Monday afternoon and getting a 101 fever, I figured that if the fever didn't kill the cough causing agent then I needed to see a doctor. Finally on Saturday morning, with LL and Marissa down in Joliet, I went to a nearby quickcare facility to get evaluated. Being the smart guy that I am, I brought a bunch of Christmas cards to label and complete before mailing while I waited. Two birds one stone! The doc said it's probably some bug that's stuck in my sinuses as my lungs sounded good. Day two of the antibiotics and I'm already sounding better at least.

LL didn't get the 24 hour stomach bug that I got with the fever and all, but she's still fighting some lingering effects of the cold that she picked up from me after our Vegas trip.

Marissa has had some nasty (and I mean NASTY) diarrhea, though she seems generally okay.  Our biggest issue with her currently, except for her crawling and getting into EVERYTHING, is that she's not sleeping through the night. We've decided once the holidays are over and everyone is feeling better that we'll start some sleep training to make sure she sleeps through the night. That means a few nights of a LOT of crying, but she gets up twice a night now and that's just not acceptable for a healthy LL (who gets up usually).

So with everyone being sick, yet still having lots of events on a daily basis since Thanksgiving, we haven't had a chance to get a tree. No worries, Marissa will see plenty on Christmas day.

Despite the illneses, we all sucked it up and went out to the burbs to Bass Pro Shop for Marissa's first Santa visit. LL's parents and my parents met us out there for the excursion which involved lunch at Gordon Biersch afterwards. LL's mom was johnny on the spot with the photographs and did a great job. We chose this spot because they take a free picture for you and you can buy more if you want, but they also let you take your own pictures. Here are the results!

Marissa wasn't sure what to make of Santa, but didn't cry. 

She's thinking about what to ask for from Santa for the future. 

A great picture of my mom and Marissa checking each other out.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A decision has been made!

As I previously wrote about in this entry, I wanted to enter the real estate brokerage world. Last week, after many interviews with firms of different sizes, I decided to join Be Realty, a smaller brokerage firm with three partners and seven total agents. They seem like great guys and we share many of the same values, as evidenced by their 5-star Yelp reviews and several customer service awards. It also seemed like a great fit because they are looking to grow and would like me to help with the internal functions to help facilitate that growth. While I'm new to the real estate world, I know the business side of things pretty well so there's some real value added that I can bring to the company. It's another chapter of my working life getting underway!!

The stretch of holiday parties and sporting events that started the night before Thanksgiving has finally come to a close....sort of. Actually, it started with our trip to Vegas the weekend before Thanksgiving and runs through Thursday of this week. But, since discretion is the better part of valor, I'm backing out of a bank holiday party on Tuesday. It's just too much!!

Friday we had one of my clients' Christmas party. It was at a super chic, super hipster-dufus type of place in a super hipster part of town (Wicker Park). The place is called Violet Hour and it's one of those places that doesn't have a marked entrance (we literally walked and drove by it three times) and the bathrooms are also not labeled. A waiter pointed me in the right direction and as I turned down a hallway, I was face with four, unmarked, white painted doors. I said to myself, I'm opening a door and going to the bathroom. If it's a coat closet, it's not my problem! Fortunately for the other guests, it was indeed a bathroom. Normally at these places, the wait staff are very pretentious and just awful, but we they were actually quite attentive. The formally normally is pretty bad and overpriced. Now, I don't know about the prices, but the food was very good actually.

While Marissa was sick on Saturday and Laura stayed home to take care of her, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Harris Club for the Bulls game at the United Center by my good buddy Doug. At the Harris Club you get free drinks and food (very good food!). We had a great time and didn't see a minute of the basketball game from our seats. The Blackhawks were on TV, so we were watching them in the bar area. Ha! Great fun. Plus we played some pool. Here's a picture of the Saturday night crew:

Doug is on the right, his son Jonathon on the left and our football neighbor at the Bears games, Gar, in the back.

Speaking of Bears games, if you saw the Monday night game against Dallas, you know it was bitter cold. The game time temp was 9 degrees with an 11 below windchill, but I really didn't know it was that cold. It seemed cold, but not THAT cold. In the 10 years that I've been going to games, I've acquired warm clothing, layers and boots that really do the trick. I didn't even need hand warmers until the second half! Mike Ditka's number, 89, was retired by the Bears in a ceremony at half time and boy did he look cold. His speech was pretty quick, as you might expect. 

Last week our little girl turned 9 months! I feel so bad for getting her sick over the last week. This weekend she actually threw up several times for the first time ever. She was such a trooper though. Despite being so sick, she didn't cry at all while throwing up. We're hoping that she gets back to normal tomorrow. 

And here she is in her latest Bears outfit. Very cute! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

One small crawl for baby, one giant leap for baby kind

Things have been really crazy since the night before Thanksgiving. We've had two days since then when we haven't had something scheduled at night. Our babysitter is VERY happy! Most of that is over now though, just a few more parties to attend. Not that I'm asking for any sympathy! We've been having a LOT of fun, except for the cold and hacking cough we've had since Vegas. Ugh.

Being first time parents, we tend to worry a bit unnecessarily, but I'm sure it's just normal. When Marissa wasn't eating solid foods, we worried. Were we going to have the only 10 year old still on breast milk? Well, no. In her own time, she has started eating everything from broccoli to turkey to oatmeal. So now that she's almost 9 months old (tomorrow!), we were concerned about her not crawling. She's been pulling herself up on stuff and rolling around, but no crawling. She'd get to her knees or we'd put her on her knees and then she'd just collapse to her tummy. We thought maybe she'd just go straight to walking. One trip down to LL's parents fixed that though. The first video was shot on Monday morning and the second on Tuesday morning.

And yes, I was indeed at the Bears game on Monday night against Dallas. It was very cold, 9 degrees at game time I think with a -11 wind chill, but I was prepared with proper attire. Over the last 10 years of going to games I think, I've had enough cold weather games that I prepare well. The only problem was that my snow pants from last year are now too big and kept falling down! I don't know how the youth of today walk around like that.....I just don't. 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Being sick sucks

It was a tough week in the Sutton household as I caught a cold which started showing up on Tuesday night. Unfortunately for LL, when I'm sick, it's tough for me to sleep which means it's tough for her to sleep. She'd rather have me in bed and keeping her up than for her to sleep alone, but actually sleep. Not helping matters was a night before Thanksgiving outing with Ricardo, Bill the Bear, Smitty and their spouses. I was pretty tame, but it didn't help. Then, in the morning, I got up early to go play our annual Turkey Bowl game about 90 minutes away in Matteson.

Despite the cold weather and how I was feeling, my team prevailed taking my record to 6-1 in Turkey Bowls. We played 7 on 7, with flags, and it was a hoot. The final score was something like 36-24, but I'm not exactly sure. I threw for 3 touchdowns, led a fourth touchdown drive that was run in and we kept possession to run out the clock on the last drive. I did throw two picks, though one was a bad play by my receiver. For next year I need to remember the players to draft: James (Colston), Tony, Jonathan and then Doug. That was just some inside info!

Thanksgiving was at my parents' house in Naperville as usual and it was a great meal and good fun as always. Marissa was the highlight of course, as she should be. Everyone wanted to spend time holding her and playing with her. Who doesn't love a baby?

Her first piece of turkey.

LL took her out to the newly refurbished playground across the street the other day. She loves the swings and the other kids. 

Finally, last night my cold broke and I got about 9 hours of sleep.  LL has some sniffling this morning unfortunately, so we're trying to head it off. Maybe with me being able to sleep, she'll sleep and be able to fight it off. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gobble Gobble!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Last week was very busy with our anniversary trip to Las Vegas! It was the three year anniversary of our engagement and we tried our best to relive the moments that made it special the first time around, sans the engagement ring of course.

The weather didn't cooperate, but it didn't keep us down. For probably the first time ever, it rained three days straight in Vegas and we like to walk around. That proved challenging unfortunately, but we made the best of it and caught some breaks where the rain actually stopped.

Here's the view from our bed on the top floor of the Stratosphere. The vaulted ceilings up there make the room even nicer. 

LL is NOT drunk! The flash was just too bright for her and she couldn't keep her eyes fully open. We ate on Thursday night, the actually anniversary day, at the Eiffel Tower restaurant in the Paris hotel, which is where I proposed. We had a seat along the glass, much like we did in the picture above. The Bellagio fountains are in the background.

NOT drunk. Really!

My veal....yummy! 

An awesome pasta side dish with butternut squash, cranberries and some other little goodies. 

An anniversary mousse. Very good. It's not cheap up there by the way, $100 per person roughly.

Our view of the fountains.

Such a pretty sight!

The next night, we went to the seafood buffet at the Rio. They upped their prices so that it's $100 a couple, but still very good. 

We ate a LOT of crab legs. A LOT. But they also added duck (think Sun-wah for those who have been there) and lobster tails. Very good eating! Do you notice a theme?

LL made sure she kept her eyes open at The Hofbrauhaus, where we had a fine German meal and met a friend of LL's who happened to be in town with her boys! Good fun. This place is a huge German beer hall essentially complete with the band, lederhosen, busty waitresses, the whole nine yards. It really is a good time and not far from the MGM Grand. 

What do we have here? This is in a room at The Stratosphere, not the sports book, but another room, where on Sunday's they have all the NFL games on these huge TVs. You can bet, eat, drink and even play blackjack if you want. As it turns out, I won "the best seats in the house" drawing and we got to sit in these huge comfy chairs in the middle of the room with views of all the TVs as well as winning a free pizza and bucket of beers, which I parlayed into a pitcher of margaritas.  We watched the Bears game and the first half of the next game. It was pretty cool. 

On to the baby pictures! Yes, it was our first time away from Marissa (together) and LL's first time ever over night away from her. We held up pretty well and think Puerto Rico in March is definitely doable. Fortunately LL's parents were kind enough to watch her and send pictures, usually three times a day. Here's a sampling: 

 Now for some video. The first is in the glass elevator at the Rio and the second is in the huge sports room at the Stratosphere. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Crazy Weather, Crazy Week

Another crazy week goes by without a post. Sigh. Well, here we go! 

Last weekend was the Bears/Lions game and this week it was the Bears/Ravens. If you look at the last entry, you'll notice a distinctly different weather outlook. The weather was nuts on Sunday, but it was fine for tailgating, 60 degrees+ though blustery. While I knew there was the possibility of rain and wind, little did I know that what was coming was much worse. 

When friends and family starting texting and calling me to "be safe", I should have become slightly worried. I wasn't though and there wasn't any rain until just about kick-off. 

And boy did it rain. For the first time ever for me, we were evacuated from our seats to the concourse. It certainly looked ominous at the start of the game, but again, what's a little rain?

Well, it was a LOT of rain. And lighting. And wind. Yeah, it was a typhoon.

This isn't our crew, but it gives you an idea of what the two hour delay was like. Fortunately, I was with friends and the beer was flowing. Seemed only like 45 minutes or so. Ha!

And this was what it looked like afterwards. Unfortunately it was even windier and about 30 degrees colder.

And this is part of the devastation down south of us about 90 minutes.

Look at this tornado swath!!

Sandwiched in between the Bears' games was a Blackhawks' game! We were back in our seats in the second row in 303 on the aisle. Great seats. It was replica ring night and while we didn't know, we got in before they ran out. After being inside for only about 5 minutes, we had two people come up to offer us money for our rings. One guy offered $40, but we turned him down. They are going for $60-$125 on Ebay!!

No post would be complete without a picture or two of our little 8 month old angel. 

Oh, and we had to do some baby proofing for when Marissa starts crawling. This week we got radiator covers and fenced off the spiral staircase. Next up: cabinet door latches.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Finally, another update!

Okay, I have no time for a post, but just can't be going for weeks on end without creating one, so I'm making time.

ESDNM was in town the latter half of last week and upon his departure, I started prepping for the Bears game on Sunday.  ESDNM's visit went well, though again, I ate too much food. I think the problem isn't dinner, but lunch. Normally I have a fairly healthy and small lunch (as does ESDNM), but when we get together, bad things happen (like The Bagel and Penny's Noodles). Oh well, it's still worth it.

Then came Sunday. Oh man, what a day. The Bears lost on the last play of the game, essentially, but other than that it was outstanding. The weather was in the upper 40's and we had 25 people at our tailgate. Yes, 25. That's an insane number. It was great though and I can only begin to tell you the food we had, which I'm only going to mention the chili. First chili of the year at the game and I added something new this year: chipotle peppers! Deliciously spicy. Not a ton of them mind you, just a few. Next time it will be a few more. Last year I added the brown sugar and this year chipotle peppers. Nice!

Here are two pics. Look at that sky! It rained and then turned to snow on Monday. Whew, missed it by a day. And yes, that's my brother-in-law wearing a Lions jersey. My sister is next to him. 

Monday I had my doctors appointment, finally, for my potential hernia. Turns out they are pretty sure it's NOT a hernia, but instead just a strained muscle or strained group of muscles in my core. So he's recommending ibuprofen therapy, rest or aerobic activity but no weight lifting. That's going to be tough! Oh, and they weighed me at the office and said I was 198!! Holy crap! This morning though I was 188, so I'm okay again. Whew.

Little Marissa is 8 months old now!! Still adorable! She's not quite crawling yet, but is close. She's also starting to chew on some solid foods now. It's fun having her at the dinner table with us.

In this last one she has a carrot in her hand/mouth.