Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Time in NYC

I am in the Big Apple for work this week. A last minute trip, but welcomed. Besides having my flight cancelled at 6am, so far so good. I was never a big fan of NYC, but have learned to appreciate the city over time.

Walking from the office to my hotel, I pass by Rockefeller Plaza and Radio City Music Hall. The area was abuzz with people taking pictures, shopping and sightseeing. The swarm of people is so huge, the police are in riot patrol the entire day.

Demonstrating my ignorance, I was cut off from crossing the street by a cop as he roped off the walkway. Noticing the street was completely lined with barricades (as if a parade was coming through), I ask what the special occasion was. He looked at me with incredulity. Asked where I was from and said, "Hello, look up. This is Radio City Music Hall. It gets 3-4 thousand people a day." I was flabbergasted. He then added, "The ropes and barricades are to keep the sheep (us people) organized." I recovered from the insult and said, "Must be New Yorkers. Chicagoans are more orderly!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chicago Botanical Gardens

A trip to the gardens, you say? What could be growing in the winter? Well, it is not floral or fauna or whatever...IT IS TRAINS!

The Chicago Botanical Gardens created a holiday train display along with lighting up the entire grounds (supposedly looks great at night). I would not have known about it had it not been for Groupon. We bundled up for what has been the coldest day of the year (so far) and headed north. We actually thought we'd go outside and run around the grounds. Ha!

The train display was impressive as the entire scape was made by hand - out of wood - including many replicas of Chicago landmarks. Gilbert could not have cared less. All he focused on was, you guessed it, the trains! Freight trains, passenger trains, trolleys, and more. The display had it all and Gilbert loved it!

Getting to the display did require traversing the grounds. There was the snow and then there was the WIND! Thankfully, Gilbert thoroughly loved it! He ran around with a grin on his face. We threw snowballs, laughed, and ran around from building to building.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

No Snow? No Problem

Who needs snow when uncle Ryan will take you for a bike ride in 20 degree weather? After Thanksgiving dinner it started to spit snow and my brother said he would take the boys sledding the next morning (my brothers house has an awesome hill) if it snowed enough- well it didn't snow enough, so a Chariot ride was the next best thing. The boys rode the bumpy dirt roads in enclosed comfort - they saw deer and passed the Christmas tree farm. Big excitement for a city kid- just another day with dad for his cousin Jasper!

Talking Tucan

(posted by Kristen- I know I need my own log in so you know who is writing, but I have not gotten to it- not an excuse, just the facts)

Growing up my grandparents had a Parrot(not a living bird, but a toy)- a talking Parrot- that lived on the Bar in the Basement. All of the kids (and the adults after a few cocktails) would talk to the bird and it would repeat everything you say- EVERYTHING! So when this little bird (shown below) was brought out at Thanksgiving we all had a good laugh. When we were younger we would say swear words to the bird (why we found this so funny I am not quite sure) but I am sure in the years to come Gilbert and his cousins will continue this tradition.

Lots to Catch Up on

Little Man and his parents have been going a hundred miles an hour for weeks now, it is time to get back to the fun in life. Here are a few pics of what has been going on.

Thanksgiving- My brother and sister-in-law hosted and it was wonderful, good food and good conversation. The kids had a blast and the adults ate too much. Didn't get the best photos, but here you go....

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I just felt obligated to post for those of you that routinely visit. Kristen and me have been working quite a lot lately. Her seasonal gig at Macy's - where she helped prepare the flagship store with Christmas decorations - resulted in working six days a week. I started a new gig that has required me to run up the steep learning curve producing long days and work weekends.

No worries, though. Little Man is prospering! He continually amazes us in his independence, ability to communicate, and just make us laugh.

To share a funny story...

Gilbert is enjoying singing. At school group sing-a-longs are commonplace and he carries that home. He can recite, er, sing the national anthem and pledge of allegiance. The kicker is there is no pause and he believes both are just one long, continuous song.

The other morning we are in the car together and just pulled out of the building only to be blocked by another car gridlocked in the intersection. Typically cognizant of Gilbert and refrain from using flowery language, I blurted out "Jackass!"

Up to that point, Little Man was content singing - some song that was not audible to us in the front - when he then sang loudly, "Jackass." We both had a frozen look on our face, of "Oh shit!" Only to start laughing as he continued to say 'jackass', but trailed off each time until it was only a whisper. Picture the scene from Animal House when Otis is singing more softly each time, "A little bit softer, a little bit softer now, a little bit softer now."

What was truly funny was he did not miss a beat from the song he was singing when he broke into the new chorus and the trailing off was as if a song was ending. Kristen was beet red and I had to turn away I was laughing so hard so Gilbert could not see me and think it was acceptable to sing "Jackass!"

Now, I have this looped audio in my head of him pleasantly singing..."Jackass, Jackass, Jackass."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cookie Making With A Buddy

On Sunday, Gilbert's classmate and buddy K (and his mommy) came over on Sunday for some fun time. Kristen had the idea of making, baking, and decorating cookies. Clearly, the boys did not have any fun!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Halloween

Halloween was a blast this year. Gilbert LOVED trick-or-treating. We got to spend the day with his cousins: Jasper the bee, Iara the ladybug, and Gilbert spiderman. It was bugs all around!!
Gramma had the house all decorated spooky and the kids ate "worms" for lunch. It was a wonderful day.

Autumn Fun

Yikes Uncle Ryan you are kinda SCARE-Eeeeeyyyyy


Thought it would be fun to carve a pumpkin this year. Gilbert was interested for about 3 minutes. And then I never got a photo of the finished product. Oh well, there is always next year.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Birthday Dinner...With The Neighbors

On Sunday, we had Gilbert's birthday dinner. He wanted our neighbors - John and Jenna - to come over. He even selected the menu - BBQ pork chops, mac and cheese and green beans (I added sauteed mushrooms).

John and Jenna kindly obliged. Actually, they are great neighbors, love Gilbert, and we enjoy hanging out (a few bottles of wine to wash down the cake were in order!).

They gave Little Man some very cool and stylish gifts - a very artistic coloring book, a sticker book we had never seen before that could be used to build a jungle scene, and a more complex board book than the typical board book - and Gilbert loved the gifts. He actually wanted to go straight into coloring mode forgetting cake had yet to be served!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gilbert's Birthday...Weekend!

Gilbert turns 3 on Tuesday! Unbelievable. Where has the time gone? Looking back through the blog, Little Man has had a fun filled three years!

With a weekday birthday, we hosted a party for his friends on Saturday at the 'go to' place for kids parties...Pump It Up! I've lost count the number of parties we have attended at that place. Gilbert identified Pump It Up back in the summer as the place he wanted his party. And the summer was when we had to book the place!

ANYWAY, what a great party. All of the kids had a blast (and some of the parents too!) playing in all of the inflatable equipment. And Gilbert practiced all week on blowing out his three candles!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Urbanathlon Is Here!

Saturday is the day! My first Men's Health Urbanathlon!

This has been four years in the making. Year 1 I missed due to knee surgery. Years 2 and 3 to recover from my involuntary flying episode (that is what I'm calling my accident!) . Finally, pain free and relatively fit I'm excited to test my mettle!
Let the pain and fun begin!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


We had our good friends from Nashville up last weekend. Ryan was scheduled to run in the Chicago Marathon, but his body gave out on him. So, we got to play all weekend!

They have a son, T, who is just a few weeks younger than Gilbert. Works out great. They enjoyed each other thoroughly!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Couple of Classics

Our little boy is turning 3 in less than 2 weeks. Mommy is wondering where all the time went? I guess time really does FLY when you are having FUN! A couple classics on this Blustery- Rainy-Wednesday.

PJ Has A New Gig!

Changing jobs! After four years at my current firm, the time has come! Moving on to hopefully bigger and better opportunities! It has been a whirlwind few weeks and am thankful all is now final.

Looking forward to taking a week off and then starting anew!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Couldn't Resist

Forgot the camera at home, so no new photos to post. But in visiting a wonderful blog post from our friends at Daily Mayhem, I couldn't resist posting her photo on our site. I laughed so hard my sides hurt. I guess the zoning board was "out to lunch" the day this strip mall got approved.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Yeah, the Choo-Choo sweater finally fits! Gilbert got this from my God Son Tag a few years back and now he's big enough to wear it. Only problem, he wants to wear it everyday!
Thanks Em, can you even remember Tag being this little?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Saturday Afternoon in the Big City

One of the advantages to living in the city, is you can "just go" and it's not a big deal. Last Saturday we jumped (yes PJ, we actually jumped:-) on the El at Lake Street and got off 4 stops later at Madison and Wabash. A short walk and we were in Millenneum Park. We ventured to all corners of the beautiful lake shore. Then we got back on the El at Roosevelt and were home just like that. I think we were out 2.5 hours total- now that is something you just can't get done when you live in the burbs! This sculpture/art installation as always kinda creeped me out, but after visiting it in person I have a new appreciation for the legs.
Gilbert at the Harbor trying to pick out just the right boat to get for mom and dad when they they retire. (notice he has one foot crossed over the other-love that)

PJ spoting his new Southern Miss Hooded Sweatshirt- I like it. reminds me of college. Gilbert- to focused on the "airplane with a banner" to pose for the shot.

Bangs?! Yes, I have a new do. A girlfriend of mine, Laura, was sporting new bangs last week and I thought they looked great on her and decided to get some myself.