30 August 2009

C's 5th Birthday

I think it's fair to say, C had a great 5th birthday. We had a Spongebob Squarepants themed party with friends and family. C had a pinata (which Brian bravely held in his hands after it broke after one whack), Krabby Patties for dinner, a Spongebob birthday cake, and an evening showing of Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie in our backyard. It was an adorable sight watching the children snuggling under blankets, and a perfect day for C. Thank you everyone!

29 August 2009

Happy 5th Birthday C!

I tried to get a quick photo of C this morning -- his 5th birthday. And here's a few that I got. I cannot believe my little boy turns 5 today. As you can see, he's in constant motion. And I cannot image our house any other way. C's independent spirit and contagious laugh is so wonderful. We are proud to be his parents. Happy 5th birthday, Peanut Head.

27 August 2009

Pretty & Bright

I can't believe how rainy and gloomy the past couple days have been. We only have one more week to use the pool -- which we've barely used anyhow. Doesn't Mother Nature know that?

26 August 2009

Our Personal Meteorologist

Yesterday, H had a questionnaire to fill out for school with some of his favorite things. One of the questions was "What is your favorite television show?" He looked at me and said it really was The Weather Channel, but since it's kind of an adult show, so would write iCarly instead. Because he likes that too. He's been pretty weather-crazy for almost two years now. He can seriously watch it for hours and hours. I've even heard C ask him what the weather forecast was going to be for the day. And usually he knows. We went to Buona Beef last week before the Chicago Fire game. The kids meal comes with a map -- they are supposed to color in the states they have visited. Not H. He drew the weather radar map instead.

25 August 2009

H's First Day of School 2009

It was 7:15 a.m., and already H was sitting in the kitchen with his backpack on. Thank goodness -- it was a very different story from last night when he was kicking and screaming before meeting his new teacher. It certainly helped that his cousins thought his school was super cool. He even has a locker! H was the first student in line. And wouldn't leave his spot for anything. He kept asking when the 8:00 bell was going to ring. I'm so excited for him. I think second grade is going to be great.

24 August 2009

Visitors from Wisconsin

Nina brought the cousins down for an overnight visit. We were all looking so forward to it, and had a great time. We played soccer. Ate a yummy dinner. Walked to get ice-cream. And camped out in a tent in the living room. Well, the youngest three did. The teenager (ugh, he really is ...) slept on the sofa. Today they went to the bead store. Ate hot dogs and gyros. Went swimming. And as a finale, H's new teacher opened up the classroom tonight to let the children drop off their supplies, meet her, and in the case of a shy H, just open up a bit. So we all went. Now, they are on their way home. And we already can't wait for the next visit.

21 August 2009

A Good Day

At lunch, I met my friend Irma for lunch. She was in town for a conference/meeting. It was just us. On a park bench with sandwiches. It's been years since that has happened, and it was nice.

It was our summer babysitter's last day. The new school year is almost here, and I think it will be a great year. The boys set up a stage, played instruments, and sang.

It was our first family pizza/movie night in weeks. Time to go and snuggle on the sofa. I'm looking forward to a great weekend.

20 August 2009

Neckace from Germany

Back in 1987-1988, I was an exchange student in Henstedt-Ulzburg, Germany (right outside of Hamburg). It was an absolutely amazing year. When I was about to leave, the family I lived with gave me this beautiful necklace. I still wear it all the time -- and think of them whenever I do. Fortunately, we still stay in contact. Brian and I visited a few years ago with H. And I'm getting excited to talk to my host-sister this weekend (yeah, Skype). But this necklace -- it's definitely one of my favorite things. (Front says "Angie"; Back says "Deine deutsche Famile (Your German Family)").

19 August 2009

Chicago Fire

Back in the day, Brian and I used to go to almost every single home Chicago Fire game. We would hang out in the Barn Burner section and cheer our good friend Jesse and the rest of the team on. Now, Jesse plays for another team -- and for some reason, we just don't go to many games. In fact, this was the first we went to this year. Our brother-in-law got tickets, so Matt, Pam, Ian and Mackenzie came down. Only an hour before the game started, there was a torrential downpour. But there wasn't a drop of rain in the sky as we got there. Unfortunately, the Fire lost to the LA Galaxy. There wasn't even a Beckham spotting. Nonetheless, the boys had a blast. We all did.

18 August 2009


With Brian home, Storm and I got to go on a walk. It's been awhile -- he's a happy guy.

He's Back

A week after our amazing vacation, Brian had to leave to go to Whistler, Canada for Crankworx. It sucked! Honestly, I think we have pretty immune to his travel schedule. But after spending such a great time together in Italy, I really, really missed him. Anyhow, he was gone a week, and he's back. And we are happy about that.

15 August 2009

Happy Birthday Julia

To celebrate Julia Child's birthday, our friends The Elsmo's hosted a "Dinner with JC" night. We all brought recipes based on her recipes. It was great! C had a hard time keeping Lucy away from the vichyssoice -- which he ate two bowls of. What a wonderful night -- beautiful weather, good food, great friends. It doesn't get better than that.

Lego® Architects

This morning, the boys and I headed to Hyde Park to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House. Not a place I'd normally take them, but the Preservation Trust (we are members, thanks to my boss who's on the board) sponsored a LEGO® Architects workshop. I knew C's attention span wouldn't be long. He was about a year or two young for it, I thought. Thankfully, we were sitting right by the brownies. But H had a great time learning about floor plans and designing a house. They even got hard hats to take home -- it made their day.

13 August 2009

Italy - Day 7

Trevi Fountain during the day

The Spanish Steps - The busy streets of Rome

Arch of Constantine

The Roman Forum

The Pantheon

The Colosseum

View from our room -- Inside the room

Trevi Fountain during the night

We've made it to the last day. *sigh* Since we'd be flying out the next day, we decided to spend our final night in Rome. I know this may seem strange, but both Brian and I were not necessarily looking forward to it. Last time I was there (backpacking), we couldn't find a place to stay and ended up at a campground in a trailer just outside the city. That, and I found it simply overwhelming. I was still a few years off from moving to Chicago -- maybe I just wasn't used to the big city (I did live in Milwaukee and near Hamburg by this point though). I don't know.

Anyhow, we started our morning in Capri -- caught the bus to the funicular, and then to the ferry. We took the ferry jet to Naples (where while drinking coffee, we had a German couple sit by us and rattle off in German -- and when I answered back in their mother tongue, they didn't even flinch -- which I thought was a strange presumption being that we were in Naples. But at least I did get to use my German.) and a cab to the train. Once we were in Rome, we took the subway to our hotel (Hotel Panda -- again, recommended by The Frigs, and perfect -- we had a 2-story room with private bath). We were tired, but there was so much I wanted to see. Our hotel was right near the Spanish Steps so was an easy walk to the Trevi Fountain. We also saw the Roman Forum, Colosseum, Arch of Constantine and the Pantheon. People -- I'm totally and completely in love with this city. It was amazing. The evening was just as gorgeous -- we tossed a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure our return, and lingered on the Spanish Steps until it was time to sleep. It was the perfect end to our Italian vacation.

The End.

12 August 2009

Italy - Water Shots

Kayaking off of our beach

Brian on kayak - Positano in background

Underwater in the Tyrrhenian Sea

My feet -- floating by Da Adolfo

I know, you must be tired of reading about Italy. I can't help myself -- tomorrow is the last day. Promise. But anyway, I bought a disposable underwater camera for the trip. I know, the quality of those cameras kind of stinks. And honestly, not many of the photos turned out. But the ones that did -- well, I kind of like.