Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Aaron!

With the craziness of my brother and Matthew's visit, I did not get an opportunity to wish my husband, Aaron a proper happy birthday on our blog. His birthday fell smack dab in the middle of their visit. I took Aaron out to dinner at PF Changs on the Saturday evening prior to their visit (thanks again to Amy and Jim for watching the kids). We also enjoyed coffee and cheesecake at Barnes and Noble after dinner. It was so nice to have some quiet time as a couple! On his birthday, my brother treated everyone to Quaker Steak and Lube. The boys were tempted to try the hottest wings on the menu--the Atomic chicken wings--but wimped out and went with a more milder flavored wing. I will never understand a man's desire to eat chicken wing that is so hot that makes you sweat and your eyes water. We finished the evening with a decorated chocolate chip cookie from Giant Eagle. Happy 36th Birthday Aaron--cheers!

Matthew and his shadow

My brother and his son, Matthew recently visited us from California. It was good to see them and we were grateful that they made the trip out to Columbus. Drew was extremely happy to see his older cousin and to spend hours playing with him. Claire tried her best to fit in. It was a short visit, but we tried to fit in as much as possible in the few days that they were here. Whatever Matthew wanted to do, Drew wanted to do as well. Being from California, Matthew loved the snow and playing in it. Aaron, Drew and he built a snow fort (well, it looked more like an igloo). Aaron treated the boys to video games at Magic Mountain and we all spent the afternoon at COSI. They boys seemed to really enjoy the Ocean and Gadgets exhibits at the museum. Matthew also participated in one of the live science shows as well. With all the fun he had, he told my brother that he didn't want to leave. As you can see in the pictures, Drew was literally Matthew's little shadow. They thought it would be funny to have a picture of their backsides (don't ask) and of course, their funny faces.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy belated Anniversary

I just realized yesterday that I completely forgot my parents 41st wedding anniversary. With my mom's health and everything else, I just forgot. I used to be very good at remembering special dates--but my memory has really gone downhill since having two kids. Ugh.

Anyway, this picture was taken in my grandparents living room after my parents got married at the Minneapolis City Hall on January 13, 1968. They were both so young--my mom was 21 and my dad was 23. Both of them look a little unsure about what lied ahead of them. But, I must say that my mom looked beautiful in her very simple, but elegant dress. With them in this photo are my aunt, Joyce (sitting next to my dad) and my mom's friend--I have no idea what her name is, but I dig the glasses!
Happy belated anniversary to my parents!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The magic of Calliou

Who would have ever guessed a bald four year old boy would be the cure all when Claire wakes up in the middle of the night? Calliou is a cartoon on PBS--it is about a little boy, his family and all of their adventures. The kid sometimes gets on my nerves, as he can be a little on the whiny side. But, hey, if it pacifies Claire when nothing else will--then we are happy to watch it--even at 3 a.m. in the morning. Luckily, we haven't had one of those nights in a couple of weeks. We not sure what Claire finds so calming--it may be the gentle voice of the narrator or the bright white background. We are still a little puzzled why they don't give the poor kid any hair. Oh yes, Claire also likes to dance to the music at the beginning and end of the show!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Olga and Vladamir

A couple days ago, the kids thought it would be fun to put on one of my winter hats. When Aaron saw the pictures, he said the kids looked like Russian orphans. So, I have officially re-named them Olga and Vladamir (when they have the hat on that is!)

A Filmmaker in the making?

I could not resist sharing one of Drew's works. He has a great sense of creativity and since he was very small, he has made many interesting pieces. This morning, after I came down from taking a shower, I found this little masterpiece. Drew says it is a movie theater, complete with a film projector and movie screen. He also says the movie is about Playhouse Disney (Handy Mandy, what is really showing on the actual television) and that it magical. "Movie theaters are also fun and I like Wall-E and Bolt, the Superdog" -- this a direct quote from Drew.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Let's do the time warp again!

Last night, I was reminded just how old I am starting to feel. I met my friend, Cheryl, her friend, Lynn and her son, Kevin and his new girlfriend at Average Joe's for a couple of drinks. I had not seen Kevin in probably eight years and holy cow, he looked completely different! He is a full grown person--not the young teenager that I remembered him to be. The funny thing is that I don't feel any different, but the kids that I knew in my teens and twenties have completely grown up. The same also applies to the kids I used to babysit who lived across the street from us when I was a teenager. They are now in their twenties! Corey recently became a father. Where does the time go? I probably will say the same thing in ten years when Drew is 14 years old and Claire is 11 years old. We will have a moody teenager and preteen on our hands who will want nothing to do with their annoying parents.

Speaking of going back in time, every now and then I will look at the people on Facebook who went to my high school. I admit I was pretty much a nobody in high school and I could not wait to move on to bigger and better things in college. Yesterday, as I was looking at the people, I found the guy who I had the biggest crush (there were several boys that I had crushes on, but this crush lasted the longest) on in high school. I stalked this kid, but never said a word to him. He looked nothing like what he did in high school--he had grey hair and horned rimmed glasses on! It was a shock and needless to say, he is no longer very cute. I have found a lot of the guys on Facebook from high school who were once skinny and had a head full of hair are now bald and quite chubby. Don't worry, I shared this entire story with Aaron--who didn't seem to think it was all that interesting. I guess it just goes to show that there is justice in the world for all of those guys who ignored me in high school! :)

Finally, an update on my mom. She has gained some weight and is now up to 100 lbs (give or take a pound). While she is not completely out of the woods--everyone with hospice and the nursing home are very encouraged by her progress. A month ago, we were told to prepare for the worst. So, once again, we remain on the roller coaster--but at least we are going up the hill. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers--I believe they really helped us and my mom. My brother and his two sons are flying out here for a visit in a week and a half. My brother had thought it would be a visit to say goodbye to my mom--but she proved him wrong. I think she really wanted to stick around to see him again and she is getting her wish. I am glad that they are visiting and Drew is thrilled that both boys will be visiting. They visited us just before Claire was born and Drew absolutely loved seeing and playing with them. It will be interesting to see how little Miss Claire interacts with them. She will probably want to be in the middle of their fun too.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Cheryl!

Happy Birthday to my friend, Cheryl! She and I go all the way back to Ashland Chemical Company. We both started in January 1996 (I started as a temp in June 1995) and oddly enough, we share the same birthday! Neither one of us are still at Ashland, but I am glad to still be friends with her after all of these years. The photo below was taken at DisneyWorld in October 1996. During the company's very good years, the division we worked in treated us to a trip to the Tampa/Orlando area. We got to visit the Magic Kingdom for an afternoon and evening on one of days there--I thought it was one of the most magical and colorful places that I have ever been to (I thought that about Orlando in general). In the photo is my friend Cheryl, our fellow co-worker and crazy mama, Amy (this woman can swear like no one else I know!) and me. It is a great memory.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


For some reason, I am always a little sad to let the year leave us--it is the same emotion that I have every year as Aaron and I watch the crystal ball drop in Times Square. I guess it is because I never felt like I accomplished as much as I would have liked or just sad to know that we will never get this time back again. But, it is time to start 2009!

Claire is now 17 months old. She is a little girl that is constantly on the go--she loves to run around the house (well, a quick step). She is learning new words every day and she is beginning to know the different sounds animals make (thanks to the book, "Moo, Baa, La, La, La!") Speaking of which, she loves for us to read her books--she will walk over with her book of choice, throw it in our lap and say, "reeed!" And, she will sit still for the entire book--something that we were not able to get Drew to do until he was at least two years old. And of course, she loves to dance to the theme song of "Calliou" and I found her bopping her head to Beyone's "Single Girls (Put a ring on it)" when we were in the car today.

Drew, our crazy 4 1/2 year old. He just returned to preschool today after the long two week Winter Break. I almost understand that Staples commercial that they play at the beginning of the school year with parents dancing in the aisles to "It's the most wonderful time of the year" song. Of course, his preschool only lasts for two and half hours each day-but I will take what I can get! He loves going to school--so I don't feel too bad about being excited about him going back. He is showing signs that he might actually like having a little sister--I find them playing together every once in a while and it is the best thing to see. I hope that they become good buddies, because they will need each other as they go through life together.

My mom continues to take us on a continuous roller coaster ride. She came to visit on New Years Day and again last Sunday. She is talking quite a bit--which is so weird and nice to hear because for a very long time, she hardly said a word. She asked if we planned on having more kids (the answer to that is no), if she could drive my car (once again, the answer was no) and if my stomach was flabby after having the kids (the answer to that is yes, but then again, my stomach has always been flabby!). It has been like that moment on Grey's Anatomy a few years ago when Meredith Grey's mother came out of her Alzheimer's state and she was normal for a few hours. I am not sure what her official weight is this week--I will know tomorrow. But, when she visited our house, she ate three Dunkin Donuts, marshmellows, chips and drank Coca-Cola.

Aaron, myself and the kids had lunch with Amy, Jim, Lisa, Bill, William, Stephanie and Brad last Saturday at the Gahanna Creekside Grill. It was so nice to see everyone. It is an annual tradition for the four of us to get together for the holidays--this year we mixed it up by inviting our respective husbands, fiance and children. It is hard to believe that we have known each other for 15 years. I think we have collectively experienced every life experience that you can have at our age. And the stories that we could tell! Most of them involve a good laugh--I am always exhausted from laughing so much.

Finally, I went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" last Friday night. I went by myself as I am been so anxious to see a movie (which I love to do) and there wasn't time to find someone to watch the kids--so Aaron stayed home and watched football. I thought I would enjoy going solo-but it was kind of lonely. Anyway, the movie was terrific. I thought Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were a great team. It has shades of "Forrest Gump" in it. The movie was long--but I completely lost track of time while watching it. I am anxious to see "Revolutionary Road" with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. I was obsessed with Titanic ten years ago (yes, I have seen more times than I would like to reveal) and I am happy to see them team up again for this movie.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hooray for Amy and Jim!

One of my best friends, Amy announced today that she and her boyfriend, Jim got engaged on New Years Eve. We are very happy for her and Jim! Amy and I go back all the way to OU and ever since we became friends, she has been the one person I can count on (and Aaron too). She loves our children and treats them as if they were her own nephew and niece. We knew Jim was a good one when he come to help Amy babysit Claire and Drew last Spring. He had to deal with some interesting situations while they were here! :) The kids instantly took to him and he is now known in our house as "Mr. Jim." So, congratulations and best wishes to Auntie Amy and Mr. Jim!