Sunday, August 31, 2008

12 years, baseball & apple pie

Here we are after 12 years of marriage...together for 15. Woot! GG stayed with Devin and we went to Z's Oyster Bar & Steakhouse. We've been going to Z's for 10+ years, with lots of fun memories. Last night's dinner was delicious & the perfect setting for our dinner out. (Private, but not stuffy & quiet) I had the Trout Stuffed with Crab & Matt had the Filet. (of course)


At the St. Matthew's market I spotted some Jonathon apples from a local farm. This made me think of Ann's apple pie, so I embarked on an Apple Pie journey. Her apple pie is perfection.

So, what does it take?

Yep. Lard in the crust is un-freakin believable. It's rich tasting, but light and flaky. The pie itself is so simple and wonderful...this is going to be my new killer recipe.

You know, the one you bring to things where everyone else brought Kroger cupcakes. This will blow them away. My pie pan is a biggie, so the crust was a perfect fit. I used my pie-crust edge protector thing, so the whole thing cooked to perfection.

Dinner was nice....with flowers from the market.

I don't know why we think this is so funny...

Matt & I found this on the internet the other night. Maybe it was the champagne talking, but we couldn't stop cracking up.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Preschool. Day 2

Dev usually talks to herself about the day, just before she falls asleep. We like to listen, for entertainment value...

Tonight, I was listening closely as she started to talk about preschool.

(From an email to my Mom. I typed what she was saying, as she said it.)

"That's Jodi!"
"Hi Jodi!"
"Goodbye Jodi."
"That's fun with Jodi."
"I'm going to preschool."
"That's Miss Noel saying Good Morning."
"Mama's coming in the red car...."
"Miss Norene, I have that froggy. It's mine."

On Day 2, she was far more aware of what was to come. Thus, the crying started the moment we hit the parking lot.

Thankfully, it was a mild whimper until we got to the room. I bent down to hug and kiss her goodbye...she was crying with huge tears falling. I could feel her heart pounding through her tiny chest.

I'm not sure who cried more during Day 2. Probably me. Walking away from her when she's upset sucks. Other than seeing her in true physical pain, this is my least favorite part of parenting so far.

I've spent 2.4 years, plus 10 months before that making sure her every need is met. I'm really hoping that our instinct is right on this. That she
needs this separation, in order to grow & flourish. In my eyes and mind she's still a baby. But, my heart knows she's getting too attached. And too dependent on me to do everything the way she's used to.

The great news: I'm 110% sure this is a wonderful preschool and a place Devin will grow to love. Her teacher called at 8:45 tonight to ask how Devin was doing. And discuss our plan for her to be happy.

-We're keeping the shorter time next week, since we already saw some small improvements from Day 1
-We created a picture book, with lots of familiar sights for Dev. (Mama, Baxter, Pa-Pa, GG etc...)
-We're going to bend the rules and give Devin her favorite snack (Cheese/Crackers) during snack time.

Ms. Noel reported that Devin was able to communicate some things today without crying.

She told them, "I'm proud of Devin." "I'm doing a good job."

I'm proud of Devin, too.

It's not a real party until the costumes come out...

Had a blast in Peoria. It was nice to spend the extra day and settle in a bit. Each trip is a little different with Dev. When her beloved routine is disturbed, the outcome can

We didn't have too many tantrums, but lots (and I mean lots) of "Mama Do It." My least favorite 3 words right now.


Carl & Elaine are amazing! They got to meet Devin, play pool and ping pong!

One thing that holds true with every trip, is Dev's love of the piano. My two favorite piano moments:
-I was trying to play Pop Goes the Weasel. Like, with one note at a time. Devin announced I wasn't doing the pedals right. Like Gramma. Then she leans over and yells to Ann in the kitchen, "Gramma, Mama can't do it."

-After her bath on the last night, Ann was playing something as we came down the stairs. Dev climbed up to the bench in her silky Panda pj's. The sat perfectly still, clutching froggy, listening to the music. No singing, talking, banging on the keys. Such a sweet scene.

Until she turns around to me and says (very seriously), "Mama can't do the pedals."

Lots of requests for Humpty. And "The Spinning Song."

Never figured out what she meant by that.

Awesome to see C&C.

Time for some Frolf.

Lily. Nuff' said.

Spanakopita. No matter how your pronounce it, YUM! When Ann gets a hankering, she goes all out. Home made, from scratch Spanakopita. We watched the Phyllo dough process, which I remember watching my Dad do for various recipes. (Baklava, Beef Wellington)

So, so good. I need the recipe.


They got rain. Dev slipped during a puddle stomping excursion.

She's ok. Tough girl.

Pa-Pa. There's nothing like the relationship between a granddaughter and Grandpa. Some of my best memories are various things about my 2 grandpas.

I remember thinking how much they slept!

I remember going places with them in the car...getting spoiled rotten. I still have a stuffed (very pathetic looking) white cat, bought for me by Grandpa at the pharmacy. I can picture the drug store, the toys, ice cream.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of Preschool

I will go back and post about our trip to Peoria this weekend. We really had a nice time...

Also, we're wishing Ray the best for his foot surgery. It's hard to watch someone you care about in pain. we made it through the 1st day of preschool. Barely.

We arrived to a room full of screaming 2 year olds. I think Dev was so overwhelmed, she did not understand I was leaving. (Since I walked away with no tears) Apparently, she cried a majority of the 2 hours. Only pausing for music, circle time, and clean up. The teacher reported she sang the "Clean Up-Clean Up" song and was a great helper. (This is something she's familiar with from Gymboree)

They called us at 10:56 to let us know Dev was ready to go...

She only needs to make it to 11:15 for a "full" day. When I arrived, she was actually playing with the play kitchen and not crying.

Our plan is to shorten the next few trips, before she gets really upset. It seems like once she's in a really upset "zone," combined with getting tired/hungry, she just can't pull it back together. Usually, once Dev is familiar with a routine and the people...she participates 110%. I remember Gymboree was challenging at first.

I spoke with the teacher again on the phone this afternoon. We both feel Devin will adjust over time. I already know she's slow to adjust to new situations, but Miss Noelle feels it will just take time. Also, she only goes 2x per week, which means it can take a while to get the swing of things.

We took her for Sushi and she seemed perfectly happy.

Several times today she's told me, "Preschool is fun." Um, ok. Then, maybe next time we can try crying just a bit less. Those teachers earned every penny today.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kentucky State Fair

Mom & I went to the Fairgrounds to check out the Kentucky State Fair Horseshow

Louisville hosts the National Championship for Saddlebred Horses. It's something I'm glad I got to see once & strolling the Midway of the KY State Fair is always interesting.

Where else can you have unlimited pork products, deep-fried Twinkies or Snickers, and Elephant Ears.

I enjoyed the show. For people into that scene...this was like Oscar Night. We were surrounded by folks who cared quite a bit about the results of each class. The program was about 6" thick...we noticed people taking notes, scoring and cheering for their favorite.

When you think about it, can you ever have too much Pork?

The American Saddlebred.

Oh, how I long for a telephoto lens. (Ahem...Birthday/Xmas)

The announcer calls for various gaits and directions, while the live organist plays appropriate tempos and songs.

1st Place!

On a Devin-related note...while GG and I were at the Fair, Matt was trying to orchestrate Devin's bedtime routine. Since I take care of that 99% of the time, apparently it was a challenge.

We're off to Pa-pa and Gramma's house tomorrow morning. Devin talked about it non-stop, all afternoon. I had to talk her off a ledge, when she realized we weren't leaving until tomorrow. After her nap, she woke up and screamed, "PAPA'S HOUSE!" I used every trick in the book to distract and redirect her excitement.

We ended up at the Teddy Bear Store & Target. She found this:

Much to my chagrin a pink, fluffy tutu kept her happy for 2 hours. I was able to clean, pack, cook dinner and email.

Not bad...for a $12.00 tutu.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Getting Ready For the Big Day

This is Orientation Week at preschool. We had a good time on the playground for a few minutes.


This is Devin's room. She seemed happy with her surroundings.

Here's the "Circle Time" carpet. Miss Noelle says they don't expect too much from circle time with 2 year olds!

I wish we could attend the Thursday play date, but we're leaving for Peoria. I would expect her first few trips to be a bit rough no matter how much preparation we give her.

I know it will be rough on me. I'm not sure who's more attached...her to me or me to her.

Unrelated to Devin

In preparation for the Ryder Cup, I've been working on a PR project for Yellow Cab. We painted 8 of our Yellow Cabs red, white & blue. I sold some cab tops for these cars to Incredible Dave's, down the street. It's one of Devin's favorite places to go! (It's kind of like a very upscale Chucky Cheese)




This is a pink cab (Susan G. Komen) for breast cancer prevention. My largest cab top sale to date is's a Women's & Children's shelter, which is a good match for our pink cabs.

Friday, August 15, 2008



I noticed you can sort iPod Songs by # of times played. So, your favorite/most played songs are at the top.

Care to guess what's topping the charts on mama's ipod nano?

Coming in at #1, "Bubbles" by Parachute Express. It's been played 468 times since I downloaded it.

A distant second was "Dance Gymbo Dance" at 147 times.

(This is the song they play at her Gymboree Class during bubble blowing time)

Combine these songs, plus her constant repetition of phrases....some days feel like an afternoon on the 9th Floor of Norton. (aka psych unit)

Monday, August 11, 2008


The last time Devin was at Huber's, she was about 6 weeks old. (That's gestational age, I had just found out I was pregnant) Meghan & Nicholas, Ray & Ann...we all piled in the minivan just about 3 years ago to the day.

Ahhhh...we can already smell the fried chicken.

First...we feed goats.


We slide in tunnel slides!


Fried biscuits. Sprinkled with powdered sugar. And butter...lots of butter.

More tractors.

It was a beautiful day. I can't remember an August like this in a long time. The humidity is low, which keeps that icky pollution from getting trapped in our Ohio Valley.

Our preschool adventure starts this week with a school picnic. We will get to meet Devin's teacher and some of the kids in her class. We have a new parents night and another initial school visit next week.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lazy Summer Days

I figured out the fever & rash was a reaction the measles vaccine. It happens in about 10% of kids. Symptoms occur 7-10 days after the vax, 101-103 fever, slight measles-looking rash on stomach and back. It's gone now...just for the record!

We're going to the give the St. Francis Preschool a try. She'll start in a few weeks on a Tues & Thursday schedule. (8:45-11:45) My friend has a 4 & 7 year old, who have gone there full-time for years. Her girls love it...she claims my only regret will be not doing it 3 days a week.

We shall see.

I've gotta get some pictures of Matt's Peach tree. The branches were nearly breaking from the weight of the peaches. So, he picked 100+ and now we're having peach cobbler!!

Today's weather, makes me happy to be alive. 79 degrees and low humidity in August? This morning was actually cool.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Cab

I don't want to jinx it, but so far Dev seems fine. NO fever last night or today.

Have you heard about the Happy Cab?

It's some great free press for us! This driver escaped warn-torn Bosnia to start life in the US.




Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Family That Plays Together....

Matt & I won a very close USTA Mixed Doubles Match Friday night.

See the scores here.

It was a great win, against tough opponents who don't like to lose. We blew leads in both sets and in the tie-breaker...which led to some bickering discussion about what we should be doing. Our team lost as we had to default court #3 and court #1 was a blowout.

Did I mention it was hot?

We realized yesterday Dev's got a fever. The only symptom I noticed was she sat still and watched TV for about 10 minutes. Oh, and she wasn't eating much. Just picking and asking for different things, but not really eating.

In the past 3-6 months she's lost interest in the TV, asking only to watch Sesame Street...

By the afternoon, we had logged several hours of Wiggles, Barney and Elmo. Temps around 101-103, lowering easily with the Tylenol/Motrin alternating. (Why didn't we know about that sooner?)

When the fever's down she seems to feel great, starts running around like a maniac and better eating.

Hopefully, it's a tiny bug.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Remnants of Hurricane Dolly gave us almost 2" of rain yesterday. Hooray!

It's supposed to be 95+ for the next 5-7 days, no rain. Today was day #1. This picture was a few days ago...the high humidity does a number on Devin's hair. I can see why people with curly hair hate rain. It does get more frizzy.

William got an Iphone. It will damn near cook your dinner for you...but it doesn't have a video camera? It's so cool though, the GPS locates the phone and gives exact directions to the address you enter. (Which you can look up on the Internet)

We were, literally, the first to walk into the zoo this morning. I knew by the parking lot it was REALLY not crowded. So we got first look at all the animals this morning. It was amazing. It seems they pay more attention when you walk up, since you're not the 400th person who's tapped on the glass that morning.

Which led to this really cool moment...

It's hard to see with the glare from the window...but he/she was looking right at Devin. Also, gave me the once over.

I'm impressed with the Louisville Zoo. This particular exhibit is about as good as it gets for captive primates. (Most would not survive in the wild & have been rescued from bad zoos/circuses/idiots who wanted monkeys for pets) The zoo just got a new monkey from some NASCAR driver who realized a full grown monkey just didn't go with his decor.

The Gorillas can choose (at times) not to be on display. Their environment rotates, is unpredictable and mimics their natural habitat. You don't see the typical pacing behavior, signs of stress/depression that you do in some zoos.