31 March 2008


Over the weekend, Brian put up our new Blik wall graphics in C's room. Here they are:

We had gotten some for H too, but are returning them -- they just didn't work out as planned. Instead, we are getting these.

Wall decals are so awesome, I can't even tell you. They are a great way to add a little fun to a room without a huge financial investment (they tend to be pretty inexpensive) or commitment (they just peel off when you get tired of them or want to change things around again). Plus, there are so many different options out there, it's hard to choose. Pinch me now.

30 March 2008

Last Weekend in March 2008

This was a pretty lazy weekend. Nice. H & C had a birthday party at The Brown Cow on Saturday. Brian and I had a one and a half hour date and strolled the street. I can't believe how fast the time flew by. Sunday was spent in pajamas until 3:00, then we went to our friend's for ZK's 3rd birthday party. What a blast. The kids came home with three pounds of candy. They are in heaven.

28 March 2008

Last Day of Spring Break

I get to pretend I'm a stay-at-home-mom, since H & C's school does not offer childcare today (Brian had Monday duty). Only, I'm glued to my computer, and it's 2:01 p.m. and the kids are still in their pajamas. They were too busy watching TV all morning and playing video games while I worked. I had to make the "hey-I-know-you-have-off-but-I-don't-so-let's-stay-at-home-
and-do-nothing" day sound fun. So I promised they could stay in PJs all day, and I even gave them peanut butter (they go to a no nut school) and marshmallow fluff (had some left over from Easter treats we made) sandwich for lunch. Yes, I could have taken off. But everyone needs a lazy day like this once in awhile.

26 March 2008

A Typical Day Running Errands

While running errands this past weekend, we had to park in the parking structure ... by the trains. Trains were moving ... had to watch it ... the whole thing. But H & C were just so happy and gosh darn cute, I really didn't mind!

25 March 2008

Within 12 Hours

It's amazing what can happen in 12 hours.  From 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., here's a glimpse into my world.
  • C decides to walk in on my niece -- who's spending the night and changing into PJs in our bathroom -- walk into our shower, and pee.
  • Kids are in bed, I'm straightening up, my sister says "Don't freak out, but have you checked your bathroom garbage can?" -- it appears C decided to pee in that too.
  • In the morning, C blames the "woo-woo" (dog) on the pee in the garbage can, then proceeds to blame everyone else, including me.  You're busted kid.  BUSTED!
  • While it's Spring Break for many, our kids get to go to child care at their school (I'm thankful they offer it).  I get there and fortunately, think enough to ask "is there hot lunch today?" Answer: No.
  • I run to the bakery which is 1/4 mile or so away (seems longer when you should be catching a train).  Closed.
  • I run to the grocery store which is 3 blocks away.  Closed until 8:00 a.m.
  • Run to the cafe on the corner.  Open.
  • Buy egg & cheese croissant, fruit cup and apple juice for kids.
  • Run back to school (now 1/2 mile away from where I am), apologize for the assembly required for their lunch today, run to train.
  • Ah ... finally get to sit down at my desk (after telling the story of my morning).
I'll be better prepared tomorrow.  I sure love Spring Break.

23 March 2008

Easter 2008

We had a great Easter today -- H said it was the best in the whole world. We decorated eggs yesterday and this morning was spent at home, where the Easter bunny came. The kids had a blast hiding the eggs over and over again. (I sure hope they found all of them.) We had lunch in Racine with Grandma P, Pam (Brian's sister) and her family. C had a good time showing off his newly discovered bodily sounds and eating candy all day. H had a blast goofy around with his cousins. There was snow on the ground, so we couldn't do an Easter egg hunt. But it was a really nice day.

21 March 2008

Wonderful Chicago Weather and a Better Place

It's snowing ... again.  We all knew it would happen, even after a few sunny days in the 50s.  It's Chicago after all.  But it just doesn't make it easier.  So, let's go to a better place.  A place with sunshine and happy days.  Like Peter Island in the BVIs, where Brian and I went for our honeymoon forty years ago (ok, it's only been 8.5).  Check it out!

Yes, really, we were there! See, I feel brighter already.  Now, if only I had a tropical drink in my hand...

(Photo courtesy of Peter Island)

18 March 2008

I Hope the Easter Bunny Stops by for Me!

Vosges Haute Chocolate has a fantastic line of chocolate bunnies right now -- including the Amalfi Bunny [white chocolate with pink peppercorns and lemon zest] + Barcelona Bunny [hickory smoked almonds and grey sea salt] + Gianduja Easter Bunny [almond and caramelized hazelnut paste] + Red Fire Bunny [Mexican ancho, chipotle chili and cinnamon]. We've been fans of Vosges for a long time -- they are a Chicago company that has boutiques in Las Vegas and New York City. They have such great style and flavors. I love most everything about it.

One bar that is very interesting to me is the Mo's Bacon Bar [applewood smoked bacon, alder wood smoked salt]. I tried it once, and think I need to go there again. I didn't love it, and think I need to give it one more shot. Still, they are offering a product that I think is the funniest and cutest thing -- the Flying Chocolate Pig -- which is the Mo's Bacon Bar, but pig shaped.

By the way, Vosges ships, so visit their site if there isn't a boutique near you. The mini bar boxes are a great way to try many favorites.

(Photos courtesy of Vosges Haut Chocolate)

16 March 2008

Happy He's Home

Brian's back. This time he was in Taipei for the Taipei International Cycle Show. A weeks a long amount of time anyhow, but C being sick and H being almost six and testing the waters of annoying-ness, made it especially long. (I did, however, remain remarkably calm most of the time, if I do say so myself.) Honestly, things are much, much, MUCH easier than they were even a year ago. We even ventured out to the grocery store this morning -- the three of us together -- which is usually something I try to do completely by myself.

Besides the show, he took the high-speed train to Taichung for a day -- that's what the boys are most interested in hearing about. I always ask what he ate, which was a ton of yummy sushi and teppanyaki. The weather was beautiful too -- mid-70s and sunny. It was sunny here too -- just not in the 70s. He's happy to be home, but I think experiencing a bit of culture shock coming into our crazy house again. Just needs a good night's sleep. We are very happy he's home though.

13 March 2008

Sick Boy

C has been sick the last two days. We've had such a great track record with that stuff too. He's got the "mystery fever" that's going around the boys school. This is all he wants to do ||

I'm crossing my fingers he's better tomorrow (and H doesn't get it). But we're on the right track. At dinner, he had hysterical laughing fits every time he farted or burped ... nice. Plus, he's back to calling everyone "poo-poo head." The road back to health must be right around the corner.

From the Streets of New York

Continuing on my theme of some of the art in our house, here's a couple pieces we've picked up from vendors on the street during visits to New York City.

"Circus Tent"

(This is a particularly useful piece. When a crying child walks by, all we need to do is hold them up to the picture so they look like they have rabbit ears. It works every time.)

12 March 2008

Save Polaroid

Maybe it's because we created a Polaroid guest book at our wedding and still think it's the coolest thing. Maybe it's because it feels like magic when you press a button and an instant photograph comes out. Maybe it's because it's just a fun way to take pictures.

But it makes me sad to think that Polaroids - at least as we know it - will no longer be around.

Earlier this year, Polaroid Corporation announced they were going to discontinue production of the Polaroid. And, some people who feel very passionately about it, have created a website telling us what we can do to Save Polaroid. Some of it is as easy as signing a petition. Come on. Doesn't everyone have a soft spot for the Polaroid?

09 March 2008

Dinner with Papa

My dad came to Chicago for a business meeting this weekend, and treated us to a nice dinner downtown. We rarely come into the city for pleasure -- just work and an occasional trip here and there (ok, and this past Friday night after I realized I left my cell phone at the office). Sad, considering we are only a few minutes away. Anyhow, we met him for drinks at his hotel. The boys were in heaven, since the view overlooked the river and an el train.

Then we went to Smith & Wollensky for dinner. I made the reservation for five, but didn't specify two of us were under 5 years old. They politely said "we saved you a table in the private room." We called it the cage. Actually, it was small room with a door that closed, but turned out to be perfect. We could relax and not worry so much, and the boys sure didn't mind.

It was a great night, that finished with H ordering (and eating all, with my help) a trio of chocolate Crème brûlées. Thanks Dad!

06 March 2008

She Bangs

Yes, I got bangs. (And for some reason that awful Ricky Martin song "She Bangs" keeps going through my head.) But really, I love the bangs. My friend who cut it, is really the best stylist ever.

Favorite Artwork

I was talking with some of my co-workers about some of the cherished possessions we have in our house. The conversation mostly included several pieces of artwork we have, and me always saying "I really wish you could see it." We really are so lucky to be surrounded by amazing and talented friends. Here are some pieces we got as wedding presents (8-1/2 years ago). Sorry for the angled photos. My technique needs some improving.

artist || Gregory Klassen

artist || Scott Saunders

artist || Jason Rohlf

This final one is actually the piece I bought Brian as a wedding present. Jason's formerly from Milwaukee, but now lives in New York.

05 March 2008

Watch out Ladies

Me ... "So, Brian, ask you son what he did to get into trouble today at school."
Brian ... "Oh, oh. H, what did you do?"
H ... (muffled) "Nothing."
Brian ... "You had to do something."
Me ... "The teacher said this is the maddest she's ever been at him."
Brian ... "H, what did you do?"
H ... (muffled, and giving us puppy dog eyes) "I licked (a little girl's) tongue."

We, of course, had to proceed to explain why it's wrong to lick a little girl's tongue. Germs and all, you know. I then gave H a big hug. He felt terrible after all. And while this was going on, what was Brian doing? Silent laughing and pointing back and forth to him and me. As in, "You, me, later, tongue licking." Gross. Do they really ever change?

Big Loser

Who's a big loser?  Me!  That's right ... me!  My company sponsors a biggest loser contest.  Anyone interested can register, then for eight weeks, we have a weekly weigh in.  Whoever loses the largest percentage, wins.  And that was me.  Granted, I am a glutton for all things sweet and savory, and the holidays put me a bit over the top.  But, still, I'm on my way.  If I keep going, maybe I'll even be comfortable in a swimsuit this summer.  I can't wait to send our registration in for the local pool.  (By the way, I lost over 8%.  The next closest was 2%.)  

04 March 2008


This past summer, we took H & C to see Ratatouille at the theater (it was C's first movie in a theater ever).  C got the DVD for Christmas, and since then, H has been obsessed with making ratatouille.  Like, he's been asking for it every day.  I'm not a big fan of traditional ratatouille, so wasn't jumping on the idea.  But then I was thinking, if a kid is so excited about cooking, maybe I should.  He even (thinks he) has the recipe memorized.  And it's pretty cute the way he describes it, if I do say so myself.  But, I searched, and I found ... a recipe for ratatouille that was inspired by the movie.  I think we'll have to be trying it soon.

(Image courtesy of Smitten Kitchen)

03 March 2008

New Header

Don't you love my new blog header? I do! Thanks, to my amazing (and talented) husband.

02 March 2008

H & C love ....


Strawberry Raspberry Mint

I made my first pie ... Strawberry Raspberry Mint with a Cream Cheese Crust. It turned out pretty good, actually.