30 January 2011
It was a busy day and busy evening. We dropped the boys off with their cousins, and Christie, Tim, Brian and I went into Milwaukee. We had a really nice dinner at Mimma's. Then Brian and I had to go to his Winter Holiday Soiree. It was in the Rouge Room at the Pfister Hotel, which is a really beautiful space. The dark photo doesn't do it any justice. We couldn't stay long, but I met a lot of the people he works with and we got to listen a bit to The Vitrolum Republic, who were playing at the event. Their music is described as "Gypsy Noir." Pretty cool.
After a bit, we went to Turner Hall where we met up with Tim and Christie, and a bunch of our friends, for the 2nd Pablove Benefit Concert. It was great seeing Jeff and meeting his really great wife, Joanne. We missed most of the earlier bands, but definitely enjoyed every bit of Fitz and the Tantrums and Brian and Nikki of Silversun Pickups unplugged. It's a fairly intimate venue, and it was awesome. A great evening, benefiting a great cause.
29 January 2011
Today was the opening event for Ray's Mountain Bike Park ... in Milwaukee! Our friend Eric runs it. And Ray was there too. Brian got some rides in, some pros who Brian knows from his last company were there for the event. The place was packed. Fun afternoon.
28 January 2011
26 January 2011
25 January 2011
100 Day at school is right around the corner. It's a pretty big deal. Especially for the kids in the early grades. And there are quite a few projects leading up to it. This is one of C's homework assignments. In case you can't read it:
My parents have told me 100 times not to play with my food.
My teacher has told me 100 times to sit down.
I am glad I don't have 100 TVs.
I wish I had 100 dogs.
By the way, the reasoning behind the TV answer is not because he doesn't like TV (quite the opposite). it's because we would lose all the remote controls.
Since I've known Brian, we've gone through periods where he was gone a lot. When we met, he was in a band. They eventually got signed by a record label and toured around the U.S. They'd be on the road quite a bit. I think the longest stint was six weeks. Fast forward several years to his most recent job. Everyone in his company traveled, and it seemed like he was gone all the time. I know it could have been a lot worse, but let's just say, it really throws a curve ball in the daily routines you try to establish. Especially with kids. And the strange thing was, because he would be gone about a week at a time, as excited we were to be reunited, there was always a couple day readjustment period for everyone. I'm speaking for myself, but it's not easy to run the show alone, then suddenly have someone else in the mix. Let's face it -- even though the goal is to be on the same page as much as possible, we don't always handle situations the same way.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining at all. Being the girlfriend of a band member was really fun. But I was also really glad when it was over too. Being able to travel on accumulated miles was great! And Brian had travel perks up the wazoo. But I'm happy he doesn't have to hop on an airplane as much. This new phase is kind of interesting. It's not easy being a single parent during the week. But I actually think it's easier on us then Brian. We've got each other and are in our familiar place. He's staying at my parents house. And they aren't even there. I think it must be kind of lonely. Yesterday Brian sent me this photo, and below it wrote: lost in translation .... Poor guy. Judging by the look of his groceries, I'm thinking he might be missing my cooking too. Let's just say, we all cannot wait to be back together.
24 January 2011
Our house went on the market today. I kind of have a pit in my stomach. I'm super excited about our new adventures, but kind of can't believe this chapter will be coming to an end. (Granted, it could take awhile, but just the fact that over 30 people were in our house without us there kind of feels like it's not just completely ours anymore). Over the course of the years, I've mentioned various house improvements we've done. But only a few people have seen the mess we purchased six and a half years ago. I actually gasp each time I look at these pictures. Here's the before (on the left) and after (on the right) images.
Dining Room to Front of House
Living Room to Back of House
Dining Room to Back of House
Master Bedroom (it used to be a back stair case and kitchette)
Bedroom 2 (was a sitting area)
Yes, it was crazy. Even crazier was that we started this project a month before C was born (we had to move into a temporary apartment the weekend before Brian started a new job, and three weeks before C was born -- we were there seven months). We tend to take on projects like this. Was it worth it? Despite the headaches and stress, I definitely think so. We really enjoy living here.
23 January 2011
We were invited over to the Elsmo's for the big hasn't-happened-in-70-years Packers/Bears playoff. Some of the people in attendance were die-hard Bears fans. Others were cheering for the Packers. Our family was divided. Brian was cheering for the Bears. Hudson and I were cheering for the Packers. I've got to admit, I'm totally wishy-washy. I was pretty happy it was these two teams in it until the end, and would have been happy with either outcome. (Although, come Super Bowl, it's Packers all the way!!!) Besides some amazing chicken wings, pulled-pork and fish tacos, Melissa pulled off the ultimate smack-down. Chicago vs. Wisconsin potato skins. Brilliant! The Wisconsin skins were homemade beer-cheese and brats. The Chicago skins were Chicago-style hotdogs. So wrong it was right. And again, although there were fans of both I was undecided by the outcome. We had such a great time. And they even ended up keeping our kids who are spending the night (no school tomorrow). Thanks guys!
We've been so busy. I mean, rediculously busy. By 7:00 this morning (Sunday), Brian was up waiting for a firewood delivery. They came at 7:05. I'm glad he was up because I completely forgot about it. That's what a good night of sleep does. I was in bed by 9:30 last night. But it was a gorgeous, sun-filled (albeit, cold) morning. By 8:30, we were back at work. But this was our house during that hour and a half. Heaven.
22 January 2011
The things we do for our kids. The boys were watching iCarly yesterday -- the episode when Galini's ran out of coconut cream pie because Mr. Galini died. Both of them were going on about how they really wanted a coconut cream pie. Lo and behold, what did I find myself doing today? Shopping for ingredients for coconut cream pie. I have a pie cookbook I love, appropriately called Pie, where I got the recipe. But I guess there is a recipe (with a TON of cream) on the iCarly site, which I discovered later. The boys loved it.
I have no idea why, but Storm is a stinky dog. He's got a very strong .... dog odor about him -- no matter what. Yesterday, he got a shower. He loves showers. It may be too much information, but seriously, if you open the door to the shower this dog just walks right in. It's kind of weird. Like him. Anyhow, after his shower, he was all nice and fluffy. The picture didn't really work to showcase his fluffiness, but he's still a pretty handsome guy. Even though he has a bald spot on his head. And this is just a funny picture of him yawning after I took a bunch of pictures. It's rough being beautiful.
20 January 2011
C. Here, this is for H.
Me. What is it?
C. A pocket (using a tone, like, duh, Mom...)
Me. That's very nice. I really love the hearts on the back. Who are those people on the front?
C. You, Dad and H. Because it's for H.
Me. And what's this (pulling out the green strip of paper)?
C. His teeth (again, using the duh, Mom tone ...)
Me. I see.
I think.... Honestly, I'm still not sure I quite get it.
19 January 2011
18 January 2011
17 January 2011
The boys had off of school today for Martin Luther King Day. No matter that they are 8 and 6 years old, they still have a blast playing with Duplo blocks. Seriously. It's not every day, but once in awhile those things still come out. Today they built this enormous track. It is basically an "L" track, complete with stations, for their Hexbugs. I think it's pretty neat.
15 January 2011
Meet Brad. Brad is my cousin. My very tall cousin (I'm 5' 9", if that gives you any idea how tall he really is). He's also very smart. (a Ph. D. in physics -- or something like that). He's currently a research scientist at University of Chicago. Our moms were twins. Clearly, he got the brains. At least I got the looks. (Um, I'm totally just kidding -- our moms were twins -- identical twins). Here's the other thing about Brad ... we never see each other. What can I say? He lives a whole 15 minutes away from us. I know, isn't that ridiculous? It took him 15 minutes to get to our house today. In all fairness, he only moved here a couple years ago. And we've never lived in the same city before. And he kind of has a pretty intense career. And he travels a lot. But seriously, it's too bad this is the first time we've had him over. That won't happen again. It was a really great morning.