Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Highline Elevated Park & Waveny Park

Last night my sister Carrie arrived for a "quick" long weekend. We have lots of fun things to do. Today we drove into Manhattan, bought Evita tickets for Saturday, and then walked along the Highline. We grabbed a delicious lunch at the taco truck (a food stand along the highline). Then we raced home so we could make it to all the kids practices and games at Waveny Park. It was a beautiful day!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beautiful night for softball

We have had a pretty wet spring here. Nearly everday it rains and nearly every day something gets rained out. So it was pretty awesome to have a beautiful sunshine filled evening for two softball games. Unfortunately they were on fields 20 minutes apart -- so Trent went to Catherine's and I went to Julianne's. Both girls are really getting good at softball and really enjoying playing it too!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Passport Photo

I have never had a passport. You need to go somewhere to need one. I have been to Canada several times but all before 9/11 -- so I didn't need a passport. I have never been to Mexico. But now I am going somewhere. Not just sure where yet, but rumor has it that this year's partner retreat is in Beijing, China. So -- China-- I'll be ready!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Madelyn's softball team walked in our town parade. The little boys wanted to tag along. They were so cute. Adam LOVED every minute of it.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Then we went to some friends house for bar-b-q.

They had a fun zip line that even I rode!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Remembering . . .

Memorial Day is such a nice holiday for remembering.

Last year-- on this Sunday we were just about to get the bad news. My mom was having surgery on Tuesday after Memorial day. The surgery showed that they couldn't do anything more to help her.

This is the video I made that night just for my mom. I sure hope she is watching down. I can't believe how much the kids have grown in a year!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Partner Celebration

We had 88 people here. It was a little busy. I took NO photos. At the very end as we were walking the last guest out, I grabbed my camera to capture the one UNINVITED guest.

This snapping turtle was right on the lawn by the front door.


Then our friend took our family picture.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Vacuum Cleaner Shopping

I don't suppose that anything out there is funnier to shop for than a vacuum cleaner. I think there ought to be an entire psychology branch devoted to studying how consumers determine what to buy. First, there is no really great place that compares them all online for free. Consumer reports compares vacuums but you have to subscribe. There are many sites which "compare" but as you read them you discover that they are pushing one brand of vacuum specifically. And there are lots of places that compare a few but maybe not the ones you want. Also the prices very so dramatically from $100 - $2000. That also messes with your brain. Most of us naturally assume that more money means better quality -- but in the vacuum world that is not necessarily the case.

And then there is the anecdotal evidence. For every dyson lover there is a dyson hater. For every upright person there is a canister person.

So . . . how did I decide?

1. I prefer uprights. According to most things I read uprights do better on carpet than canisters. Canisters excel at also doing wood floors and stairs - 2. I was really tempted by the Dyson -- but $500 seemed like a lot. 3. There was a Eureka that claimed, "Works as well as Dyson for 1/4 the price" and there was an article testing that claim at Popular Mechanics. 4. The Eureka was on sale at for $109 -- I tried it out at Kohls and it felt sturdy and seemed very much like my old Hoover Windtunnel (which we have had for 10 years). As it is made out of mostly plastic I realize that it will probably break after a decade of use. 5. I decided for a savings of $400 it was worth it to try the Eureka out. If after a while I am not happy with it I am only out $100 bucks.

So far . . . I have loved it. My only complaint is that as you push the lever in the back to lower the handle from the upright position to the pushing position there is no "middle" catch. It is either upright (not in use) or it can be seamlessly lowere all the way to the ground. That means when vacuuming area rugs I would normally push down on the vacuum handle to raise the suction part of the ground so as not to suck up the rug. On this one you can't do that. But if you were wall to wall carpet -- this would be an awesome feature.

I'll let you know in a year if I still like it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trent made partner!

It was announced today. We are excited for him! He has worked hard to earn this!

I invited some friends to celebrate. Here was my "clever" invite!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let the tantrum's begin

Owen has suddenly arrived at the age where he has an opinion that can no longer be swayed easily. Before today if he pointed to the chips in the pantry and indicated he wanted them for breakfast I would get out a bowl and pour cereal in it and serve it to him and he would not complain.

Well, he'll have none of that anymore. Here he is with his cereal (not chips).


Tragic little face, isn't it?

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Quarantine

We are hanging out here at home. Owen still has the blisters (which supposedly means he is still contagious) and Adam is still running a fever. And to make things worse? It is cold and rainy.

Thank goodness for the xbox 360 kinect. I cannot say enough how much I love that gaming system. Owen (yes, 20 month old Owen) played Kinectimals for over an hour today. He interacts with a virtual cheetah cub and it is the cutest thing in the world!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Romney Rally, Piano Recital

For the past week I have been helping a good friend raise money for Mitt Romney (and so that I could attend a fundraising reception here in my town).  Today was the day.  The weather was absolutely beautiful for an outdoor garden reception.

It was held at the home of some of our other friends.  They had set up a tent in the back with a podium.  At 3:00, the high volume donors had an indoor private reception with Mitt Romney.  The general reception began at 3:45.  I took Julianne with me (since Trent was at home with Owen) and some of our friends took the other 3 kids home from church.

I was excited to be there for one reason in particular.  I have a photo of my Dad with Mitt and Ann Romney taken in my Dad's apartment in 1973.  I figured this was my best chance to get that photo signed for my dad.  I brought with me 3 copies of it-- one for me, one for my dad, and one for the Romney's to keep.  I brought a large self addressed stamped envelope and a brief note and was just hoping to find someone who could put it into their hands sometime.  It didn't have to be today.  I just hoped that someone would help me so that eventually I might get them back signed.

Julianne waited with some of our neighbors right in the front row by the podium while I went to see  about finding the right person to help me.  EVERYONE was so helpful.  As soon as they saw the old photo they wanted to make sure Mitt got to see it.

Eventually I handed the envelope to the son of the person hosting this and he had me wait in the house at the bottom of the steps while he handed it to someone else who took it upstairs to Mitt.  A few minutes later I got back both photos signed!  Success!

Here is the photo for me all signed!!!  Thanks Mitt Romney!!!!


Here are some other photos I took of him at the Event.  He was introduced by Dave Neeleman and then spoke for about 20 minutes.  It was a really inspiring speech.  He spoke off the cuff, with no teleprompter and no notes.  He was funny and witty.  I really wish more people would take a moment to consider him.  I truly don't believe that there is any candidate out there who you will agree with 100%.  What I like about Mitt Romney is that he gets the job done.  He knows when to compromise and work with both sides of the table (which he did so well in Massachusetts and with the Olympics) and he is willing to change his mind (a criticism of him I cannot understand).  He does what it takes to accomplish the greater good.  He values the ideas of the American dream that I value -- hard work and education provides limitless opportunity.  He does not value an entitlement system.  I DON'T VALUE an entitlement system.






And just how close were we? We got to shake his hand and say a brief hello. Here is Julianne right before she shook his hand and said Hi!


And then it was over. We were whisked back to our car in a cute golf cart and then we picked up the other 3 kids and headed to the piano recital. Adam immediately sat down on a plush chair, curled up in a ball, and fell asleep. I thought, "Oh he's so tired."



The girls played the piano excellently and we headed back home. I grabbed our sleeper and only then realized that he was burning up with a fever. I'm hoping he is not getting what Owen has.

Meanwhile back at the ranch . . . Owen still has blisters everywhere, but he doesn't seem to mind them at all anymore. His appetite is back, his busy-ness is back and his happy all the time ways have returned. We came home to find Daddy making cookies and Owen waiting with a spoon for a snitch!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Hand Foot Mouth -- aka Coxsackievirus A6

On Thursday Owen ran a fever. He had it for a little less than 24 hours. He didn't seem that uncomfortable and as he is cutting 6 (yes 6) teeth I figured maybe it was from teething. I'm not the quick rush your kid to the doctor type so the fever didn't really bother me. Plus, Owen is just a happy easy baby and a fever is not enough to stop him from being sweet and easy. On Friday he was a little bit out of sorts but the fever was gone. He seemed fine (he played and went frogging and was happy). And then today we had all our regular assortment of games (4 soccer, 3 softball). Most of these are occuring in some sort of crazy concurrent schedule between 1 and 5 right during Owen's naptime. So he didn't get a nap, but he was happy and smiley for all of them. We got home and I looked forward to putting him to bed early and then Trent and I were going to grab a bite to eat (at shake shack :) yummy!)

I laid him down at 7 and he fell right asleep, but at 7:05 he was screaming. I rocked him and laid him down at 7:10 and he was asleep but by 7:15 he was screaming again. This time he was screaming "owie, owie!". I couldn't see anything that was hurting him, so I rocked him asleep and laid him in his crib again at 7:25. Then I ran to pick up Madelyn from a birthday party. When I pulled into the garage, Trent was holding Owen and said that he woke up right away and yelling Owie.

Knowing Owen was tired, I again rocked him to sleep, this time for 20 minutes to make sure he was really asleep. I laid him in the crib and kept rubbing his back. It was then that I noticed him in his sleep trying to scratch at his feet. His room was dark though and I couldn't see anything. But sure enough he didn't stay asleep. This time I took him into our room, turned on all the lights and looked closely at his feet.

I was so surprised to see the bottom of the soles of his feet covered in little blisters all over. Not only little blisters but little red spots in all the spots without blisters. Quickly I looked at his mouth, he had a few around his lips and finally inside his mouth he had lots of little sores. I knew we had a case of hand foot mouth. The girls had had it 5 or 6 years ago, but I was surprised by how bad this version seemed. My sister (a nurse) sent me a link to this USA today article on a new particularly tough version of HFM.

So we are under a bit of a quarantine here.



Friday, May 18, 2012


Today happened to be a beautiful day. We all headed to Waveny Park to play and enjoy the weather while Julianne had soccer practice. We ran into some friends and as we were leaving they said they were headed to the cemetary pond to go frogging. I was intrigued at this and so we tagged along.

Our friends were prepared with boots, nets, and guts!  We were a little less prepared on all accounts.  Adam did warm up to holding the frogs after a while.  We will definitely do this again -- These frogs were all released (there was NO chance they were coming home with me!!!)

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Also here are some other pictures from this week that were on my iphone.

Guess who ate his strawberries in the car after smushing them in the bag?

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Tired boys on the way home from church.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brothers Rock

Shopped at Costco and found these pj's. How could I not buy them????