Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear Girls... 2009

Dear Girls,
Once again I find myself writing another year in review for my girls, in hopes that this blog still remains when you are old enough to read and digest it. Once again I will mention some events that probably will never be in the record/history books and others that I am sure will endure through time. I would say this was a year of rebuilding and growing. Last year we were blessed with you Charlotte, and this year our family grew with Uncle Tom and Aunt Mandi giving us a new cousin Lucy Lu. After a rough few months, the daycare in which you started announced that it was closing, (Bright Horizons – Morse and Cleveland Avenue) so we had to start you in a new daycare, one closer to home. Isabella you had your first ballet recital, which happened to fall on your birthday. Charlotte you have come so far, from crawling to walking and talking. This year we were blessed to be able to go to a few different places including Arizona to visit your great grandmother, Cabo San Lucas, to visit where we went on our honeymoon, Virginia, Washington DC, Michigan, Wisconsin. Your mother and I both ran our first half marathon and I was able to complete my first triathlon. We are hoping that 2010 has as many new and interesting things as 2009.

Our economy which is currently far from perfect, is rebuilding. The war in Iraq is probably far from over but they are rebuilding their culture and buildings. Government has gone through many changes with our nations first African American President took office.

Last year I mentioned Facebook coming to the forefront of social networking, I am comfortable to say that it had now dominating the market. “I saw you on Facebook” is a common saying now. However Twitter has taken hold as well. Windows 7 made it’s debut, it is much better than Windows Vista, but it is not as game changes as XP. In movies many series that I used to watch are rebuilding their empires and coming back on the scene, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Star Trek, Wolverine, and Terminator. On the small screen Hanna Montana had been dethroned in the ratings by a show that both of you watch, iCarly.

New words became very familiar to us this year: H1N1, Swine Flu, Tweet, Smart Phones, & Sexting

Sadly we lost arguably one of the most well known and respected entertainers of all time, Michael Jackson. Others that we last this year include Farrah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze, Billy Mays, Ted Kennedy.

Oscars –
Actor – Sean Penn - Milk
Actress – Kate Winslet – The Reader
Best Picture and Directing– Slumdog Millionaire
American Idol - Kris Allen (However this was the year of Adam Lambert)
NASCAR - Jimmie Johnson
Heisman trophy - Mark Ingram of the University of Alabama
Super Bowl – Pittsburgh Steelers
World Series – NY Yankees
NBA Champions - Los Angeles Lakers
NBA MVP – LeBron James

Top Movies at the Box Office:
Transformers 2
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood
The Hangover
Star Trek
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Monsters vs. Aliens
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

GOOGLE Searches (according to Google Zeitgeist):
Headline News
Swine flu
Rush Limbaugh
Rod Blagojevich
Henry Louis gates
California budget
Al Franken
Sonia Sotomayor
Mark Sanford

It's the Economy
Cash for clunkers
Unemployment rate
Great depression
Inflation - Fastest Rising
Michael Jackson
Paranormal Activity
Natasha Richardson
Farrah Fawcett
Lady gaga - Fastest Falling
John McCain
Heath ledger
Barack Obama
Sarah Palin
Circuit city
Ron Paul
Iron man
wii fit

Google News - Fastest Rising
Swine flu
Susan Boyle
Jon and Kate
Adam Lambert
Rihanna (Chris brown)
New moon
Michael Jackson
Nadya Suleman
Missing link found

Google Image Search - Fastest Rising
Lady gaga
New moon
Michael Jackson
Megan fox
Selena Gomez
Taylor Swift
Bella swan
Alice Cullen
Jacob black

I Thee Wed
Khloe Kardashian & Lamar Odom
Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner
Kendra Wilkinson & Hank Baskett
Fergie & Josh Duhamel
Ellen Degeneres & Portia de Rossi
Scarlett Johansson & Ryan Reynolds
Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen
Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan
Andy Roddick & Brooklyn Decker
Heidi Montag & Spencer Pratt

Rest in Peace
Michael Jackson
Billy Mays
Steve McNair
David Carradine
Farrah Fawcett
Patrick Swayze
Marilyn chambers
Walter Cronkite
Les Paul

Poker face (lady gaga)
Halo (beyonce)
Love story (Taylor swift)
The climb (Miley Cyrus)
Down (jay Sean)
Just dance (lady gaga)
Birthday sex (Jeremih)
Use somebody (kings of Leon)
Heartless (kanye west)
Fireflies (owl city)

TV Shows

Concert Tickets
Taylor swift
Jonas brothers
Blink 182
Bruce Springsteen
Kenny chesney
Britney spears
Rascal flats

South beach
Acai berry
Cabbage soup
Flat belly diet
low carb
Special k

Magic bullet
Slap chop
Hawaii chair
chalean extreme
ab circle pro

p90x exercise program
Hula hoop exercise
Exercise ball
wii games
pole dancing

Nearly 100 other new words and senses added to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary here are a few:
carbon footprint
fan fiction
flash mob
memory foam
sock puppet
zip line

Top TV Moments According to TV Guide:
Jan. 20 - Inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president
March 12 - George Clooney and Julianna Margulies return to ER in a clever episode in which the pair harvests organs that, unbeknownst to them, save their old friend Carter's life.
March 17 - Adam Lambert sings a risky, Middle Eastern-inflected cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" during American Idol.
March 20 - In the series finale of Battlestar Galactica.
April 6 - On House, Dr. Kutner (Kal Penn) commits suicide.
April 19 - It was the worst kept secret on Wisteria Lane. Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), one of the original quintet on Desperate Housewives, was electrocuted and died.
May 12 - In the season finale of J.J. Abrams' Fringe, Olivia (Anna Torv) travels to meet with Dr. William Bell (Leonard Nimoy).
May 13 - Lost sets up a conundrum in its finale
May 14 - Just as Izzie's cancer becomes critical, the interns of Seattle Grace discover that a John Doe bus crash victim is actually George. Would Grey's Anatomy kill two of its original cast members in one fell swoop of a finale?
May 19 - Glee's fun first episode lodges itself in our brains all summer long
June 1 - Conan O'Brien takes over The Tonight Show
June 8 - David Letterman makes a joke about New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez impregnating Sarah Palin's daughter. He ultimately apologizes, but not before Palin accuses him of joking about statutory rape, and suggests that he preys on younger women. In October, he acknowledges that he did have consensual affairs with much younger adult female staffers.
June 22 - Jon and Kate Gosselin make a joint announcement that they have begun legal proceedings to dissolve their 10-year marriage.
Sept. 1 - On Rescue Me's Season 3 finale, when Teddy's wife, Ellie, dies in a car accident,
Sept. 13 - Kanye West charges the stage to interrupt Taylor Swift's acceptance speech for Best Female Video at the MTV VMAs, grabs the microphone and announces that Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. Later in the show, when Beyonce accepts the award for Video of the Year, she graciously cedes her time to Swift.
Sept. 16 - Susan Boyle, who became an Internet sensation after her stunning performance of Les Miserables' "I Dreamed a Dream" on Britain's Got Talent, performs her signature song on the season finale of the talent competition's American version.
Sept. 20 - On Mad Men, Guy MacKendrick (guest star Jamie Thomas King) arrives from London to reorganize Sterling Cooper. At an office shindig, a drunken secretary accidentally runs over his foot with a John Deere riding mower, sending a spray of bone, blood and cashmere sock into the crowd.
Sept. 23 - Mackenzie Phillips appears on The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote her new memoir, High on Arrival. The book includes the shocking claim that she was raped by her father, musician John Phillips, and that she later had a consensual sexual relationship with him.
Sept. 23 - Among the delights of ABC's sitcom Modern Family is the revelation during the show's pilot episode
Oct. 8 - Jim's oafish brothers hijack the Office wedding with an actually charming YouTube tribute, in which each member of the wedding party takes turns dancing down the aisle. It wasn't Jim and Pam's dream wedding, but it was dream TV.
Oct. 15 - The world watches as a giant silver balloon floats over Colorado — purportedly with 6-year-old Falcon Heene trapped inside. An hour-and-a-half later, the balloon lands, empty. As the Heene family's story unravels, police determine that the whole event was a hoax designed to attract the attention of Hollywood, so the family could get its own reality show.
Nov. 20 - A teary Oprah Winfrey announces that the last episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show will be in 2011 — at the end of her 25th season.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sit back and enjoy.

While we are in the middle of all of the hustle of the season. Cooking, buying, opening, and visiting fill most of our time. However, remember to take some time to remember what the season is all about. Beyond religion, Christmas is a state of mind, a break from daily living, a time to reflect, a time to spend with family, a time to give thanks and make sure everyone knows how special they are to you and your family.
Enjoy this time, next year will be completely different.
Stop for five minutes, be mindful and enjoy this amazing season. It only comes once a year by date, but you can also make it any day.
Kids grow fast, Santa only exists for a few years, their eyes of wonderment on Christmas morning only comes in fleeting spurts of their lives.

Being mindful: A book I read recently talked about mindfully eating. A man was telling a story to his teacher while eating an orange. The teacher let him finish the story and the orange. The teacher asked after, what did the orange taste like? The man didn't know. For many of us this is a big lesson to be learned about eating, as well as life.

What did Christmas morning look like this morning to you?

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Wind Power

I always wonder what our future holds. One new thing to me is a site that I haven't seen before, is was somewhere in the middle of Indiana. A wind power farm. I know these have been around for a while and the concept of harnessing wind is very old, but seeing these huge wind mills, too many to count, was very impressive. What is next?

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Have a seat.

Recently while we were visiting family in Madison, WI. Charlotte found a chair that she loved. Too bad it had to be used for time-out's as well.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Happy Holidays!

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Santa was here!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Charlotte Knows...

Charlotte knows fasion!
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Fasion Show!

Today at school Isabella and her friends had a holiday fasion show. They had a blast!
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Octo-Dog & Sea-Pasta

So once again we were trying to get the kids in the kitchen helping out more as well as trying to make the food fun! You can see our result. Yes that is green-blue colored pasta as seaweed.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Zen and the art of pouting!

Charlotte has learned the art of the pout. Here she is captured fine tuning her craft!

Dear Parents & Grandparents... Beware! Don't fall for it!! They are cute, but its all a trick! Find your inner peace and ignore.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Fort Fun!

This morning we decided to set up a fort. Good times ensued!

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Book Reading with a quiet Audience

A few days after Isabella went to the book reading at our local library, it was after Isabella's bed time and I was doing some work around the house. I stopped becuase I heard some talking. I tracked them down to Isabella's room. Isabella was reading her books to all of her "friends" in her bed. This was a very cute site to see!
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tiny Tim Song

Lately Isabella has been asking me to sing the turtle song, originally I heard this song on the Wiggles. Try to learn it, it is fun to sing to your kids.

Tiny Tim

Song Lyrics & Words
I had a tiny turtle his name was tiny tim.
We Put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water. He ate up all the soap.
Now he's home sick in bed with a bubble in his throat.

Alternative Lyrics & Words: These are the ones I like

Isabella (insert any name) had a baby turtle, she named him tiny tim.
She put him in the bathtub to teach him how to swim.
He drank up all the water,
He ate up all the soap, he tried to eat the bathtub
But it wouldn't go down his throat.
Isabella called the doctor
Isabella called the nurse,
Isabella called the lady with the polka dotted purse.
Operation said the doctor,
Operation said the nurse,
Operation said the lady with the polka dotted purse.
Out came the water, out came the soap,
Out came the bathtub that wouldn't go down his throat.
Goodbye said the doctor,
Goodbye said the nurse,
Goodbye said the lady with the polka dotted purse.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Put your pants away!

My mom always yelled about putting my laundry away when I was done with it. I really do try to this day, however this one time I left a pair of pants on the foot of my bed. Isabella was watching some TV while I was putting Charlotte down, this is what I came back to. Isabella trying to put my pants on. 'Daddy, can you put my belt on?'

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Puffed Rice Treats!

Get your kids into cooking!

Well this really isn't cooking but it is fun and easy for the kids to help with! This time we added white chocolate chips... Yum!

Did you know? According to Wiki
Rice Krispie treats were invented in 1928 by Mildred Day and the staff at the Kellogg Company home economics department as a fund raiser for Camp Fire Girls

Rice Krispies (known as Rice Bubbles in Australia and New Zealand) is a breakfast cereal that was created by Eugene McKay for the Kellogg company, and later marketed by Kellogg's in 1927 and released to the public in 1928.

I am sure you didn't know this...

The cereal is marketed on the basis of the noises it produces when milk is added to the bowl. The onomatopoeic noises differ by language:
English: "Snap! Crackle! Pop!"
Canadian French: "Cric! Crac! Croc!"
Spanish: "Pim! Pum! Pam!"
German: "Knisper! Knasper! Knusper!"
Danish: "Piff! Paff! Puff!"
Finnish: "Riks! Raks! Poks!" <-- I like this one!
Dutch: "Pif! Paf! Pof!"
Afrikaans: "Knap! Knaetter! Knak!"

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Monday, November 30, 2009

Update: Charlotte

Most recently Charlotte has been setting her head down, mostly on the floor, however sometimes on other things. Here I caught her putting her head on the side of a chair.
Sometimes if you are lucky she will drop to the floor, vogue (strike a pose), then she will lay her head down.

Odd? Yes. Cute? Very much so.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē


Here is a picture of Isabella and a piece of paper that her teacher allowed her to free write on for a while.

Update: Today (11/30/09) we found out that Miss Tiffany, Isabella's teacher, had to leave the company. You will be missed.... Be Safe.
-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Saturday, November 28, 2009


This year was the first year that Isabella really watched the parade... She loved it!
Did you know? According to Wiki
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924, tying it for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade in the United States, tied with America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit, and four years younger than the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.

n the 1920s many of Macy's department store employees were first-generation immigrants. Proud of their new American heritage, they wanted to celebrate the United States holiday of Thanksgiving with the type of festival their parents had loved in Europe.

In 1924, the inaugural parade (originally known as the Macy's Christmas Parade and later the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Christmas Parade.) was staged by the store.

Large animal-shaped balloons, produced by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, replaced the live animals in 1927 when the Felix the Cat balloon made its debut. Felix was filled with air, but by the next year, helium was used to fill the expanding cast of balloons.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Story Time

Today we stumbled across stoey time at our local library. The girls loved it, who knew they do this every week!

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Friday, November 20, 2009

Its about time.

We have an issues with Isabella taking a lot of time eating. So recently we installed an analog clock into our dinning room. Before we start I tell her that is the long hang gets to this number she needs to stop eating and if she doesn't finish in that time frame no more food for the rest of the night. We give her more than enough time, and it is visual rather than numbers.
The results are amazing! Almost every night she has finished her food. Along with that she is learning length of time concepts and the ground work is being laid down for reading a clock.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Do you ahhh... Skyline?

Recently we found out that our local Skyline Chili Restaurant has free food for kids on Wednesdays. Along with the free food they have different activities planned as well for the kids. This week was paper watches. Two weeks ago they had the local fire department come and the kids were able to check out the fire trucks!
Any day this is a great place for the kids. What kid doesn't like mini hot dogs and cheddar topped spagetti? Watch out adults, a '5 way' will cost you over 800 calories! There are healthy options you just need to do your research. However for the kids we always try to get any type of non-sugar food into them so this is the place to be.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Tally 2009

During our last beggars night outing I started to take a list of all of the different costumes that I saw. This will be interesting to trend year in and year out. My over all assessment is that G.I. Joe has come back, super heroes are still going strong, with Iron Man here this year and not as many Power Rangers (Thankfully). This list is not in any order and does not represent the amount of each that I saw.

Indiana Jones
Star Wars
Hanna Montana
Power Rangers
Winnie the Poo Characters
Train Engineer
Army Man (Generic)
Alice and Mad Hatter
My Little Pony
Mario & Luigi
G.I. Joe Characters
Bat Girl
Wonder Woman
Strawberry Short Cake
Minnie Mouse
Cat in the Hat

2010 Predictions:
More Werewolves
More Alice and Mad Hatters
Arab Princess
A-Team Characters
More Ninjas

What are your thoughts? What did you see?

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Black Sugar

For the holiday Nicki decided to bake some sugar cookies for the daycare. She also decided she wanted to use her orange and black sugar crystals for a topping. A job in that I was placed in charge of.

As a note to all bakers, black sugar is messy! It colors your teeth and mouth when you eat it. As well as it makes things grey on the way out!

So unless you really wanted to go for a subtly scary treat, I would not but too much black sugar on your treats.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Store, Good People... Petit Green

This past rainy weekend we took the kids to the Polaris Fasion Place (a.k.a. The Polaris Mall) While there we found a new store for kids. It is a brilliant idea. Let me explain...

When we first had Isabella and when our friends started having babies, Nicki and I searched the internet to find that cool new baby gift. During that search we came along many cool and interesting items, but it was online. You couldn't touch or feel the quality. That what the founders of Petit Green were thinking as well.

While there Andrew, the owner, showed us around, talked about the concept and I was blown away. His care and pride is like a beacon for lost aunts, uncles and grandparents who are lost shopping for little ones.

Are you shopping for Christmas for a baby? Are you going to or have you just had a baby? If so go there stick your head in, you won't be disappointed.

Ask him about the new running stroller coming out... Wow it was amazing!!

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Monday, October 26, 2009

It is an Ooey Gooey Season, It's the best time of the year?

After you take your hands out of the pumkin when you are done carving, there is an excellent recepe that we tried yesterday that was a big hit with the kids and the adults, as well as a friends creation that was a huge hit also.

First my friend created octopus brownies. He made the brownie mix, then added some gummy worms for the legs and added a marshmallow on top, cover it in frosting, and made faces for them. A great gooey seasonal brownie! (If someone has a picture please send it to me I would love to post it.)

Second after reading about this recepe online I had to try it, Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes. Watch out, you could eat the entire sheet!

Both of these are easy to make and very seasonal. Go out and try it!

A smile like mine...

Tonight we were over at a very good friends house for the their 6th annual pumpkin carving day. This year we had many new people show. Good friends and good food normally result in a great time.

This year we did not use a template, I asked Isabella what she wanted and where, the result was a face, with rectangle eyes, square nose, and a "smile like mine, daddy".

According to a MSN article: The carved pumpkin is called "jack-o-lantern" because the candlelight inside resembles the flickering lights of that name that appear over peat bogs in Ireland. Of course this begs the question, "Then why aren't they called pete-o-lanterns?," to which we have no good answer other.

Jack Pumpkinhead was a character in several of L. Frank Baum's Oz book series, but unfortunately, never made it into the movie.

According to the University of Illinois, 90 percent of the pumpkins grown in the United States are raised within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Illinois.

In Ireland and Britain there was a long tradition of carving lanterns from vegetables, but the carved pumpkin lantern did not become associated specifically with Halloween until 1866. The Halloween we celebrate today is the result of many different traditions and influences: ancient harvest festivities, the Festival of Samhain's black cats, magic, evil spirits, death, ghosts, skeletons and skulls from All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yes or No?

Isabella: I am pretty confident at this point Isabella is going to become a lawyer. She is very straight forward when she asks a question and wants... Requests a direct answer.
"Daddy are you going to pick me up from school, yes or no?"

Charlotte: Charlotte has been trying out her vocabulary lately. She understands the difference between many names, however everyone she cares for is 'mommy'.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And now for something completely different... Apple Pie Alcohol?

I normally post things relevant to our kids, however I came across something recently that I would like to share with everyone. I have thought long and hard about how I could spin this off as something to do with kids in general, and the only thing I could think is... if you drank enough of this, you could have another kid nine months later.

Anyway, mead is my topic today. Many people, including myself think of mead as a beer type drink, however it isn't. It is actually closer to wine than beer, made from honey and water via fermentation with yeast.

Now, we all know that apples have always been a very important part of the fall season as well as Apple Pie! There is a meadery in Columbus that has an Apple Pie Mead. Brothers Drake Fine Mead, is a local meadery that has developed Apple Pie Mead, and recently began to sell it to the public. I am lucky to say that I was able to try this in the beginning stages of development probably over 8+ years ago. It is a tasty mead and well worth the trip. It is a perfect drink for your holiday feasts!

To everyone from Columbus, this is a treasure that you should at least try once since you live in the area, you cannot not get anything else like this.... anywhere!

I would encourage everyone to stop by for a tasting maybe even pick up a bottle or two... or three like I did! They have many other meads to taste.

Tell them you heard about it from me, I am sure they would appreciate hearing from an old friend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dorothy Gale

This is a side by side compare of Isabella and Judy Garland.

Isabella's dress was handmade by Nicki and her mom in one night! You two are rock stars! I was in charge of buying buttons. Let's just say that we have literally a small bag full of small buttons left over.

Did you know?

Judy Garland had to wear a painful corset-style device around her torso so that she would appear younger and flat-chested.

The horses in Emerald City palace were colored with Jell-O crystals. The relevant scenes had to be shot quickly, before the horses started to lick it off.

Picture for the ages

Here is a picture that Nicki captured while on our way to Cabo.

Did you know? The seat that are mostly commonly found in today's airplanes are 3-4 inches thinner than those of yesteryear? They are able to achieve this with a higher density seat back. Allowing more passengers to be on the plane and not taking away any leg room. More seats per plane means more luggage, correct? And you wonder why they are charging you now?

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Too darn cute.

While making Isabella's bed this morning I found some of her friends under the other pillow.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē