Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Short post

We've been pretty busy lately - so much that I haven't really had time to jump on and blog.

Let's see - Justin is walking now. He just stopped crawling on Saturday and decided walking is much better and will walk everywhere. I just can't believe it. It's so weird finally seeing him on his own two feet!!

On top of that today (Wednesday) we pick him up from daycare and he's not only walking, but will walk and kick the soccer ball in front of him without falling down. He is always trying to do what his brother does. There is no stopping him!

Saturday we went to the zoo with our friends Sheryl and her daughter Nicole and her son Mason. We had a wonderful time and I'll have photos to share soon.

Sunday we had a funeral viewing for Nana - who is Joe's great great grandmother (Joe's dad's mother's mother) who died at the age of 95. She was sharp and witty right until the last day so it was almost a shock. She died in her sleep.

That leads us to Monday. We had a funeral for Nana which was followed by the burial and a wake at a great Italian restaurant where I ate more than my share!

Tuesday back to work!

Wednesday (today) - Another funeral. Ironically same funeral home, different side of the family. This time it was Great uncle Stan - Joe's dad's father's brother. It was another nice ceremony - well as nice as a funeral ceremony can be.

Today we took our time and cleaned some of the garage. We threw out a bunch of stuff, freecycled some and someone already garbage picked the metal out of our trash.

When I don't have photos ready to show you about my days, then I upload some photos from my phone. Here is Joey pushing the umbrella stroller. We take long walks over to the rail road tracks in town. Here is how close we are to the road and him being a bit brave. Don't worry, I called for him to stop so I could catch up to him. The last photo is a photo of him sitting on the bench by the pond in the gazebo in town! Photos are from 8-14.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Our Anniversary Dinner

One thing married couples look forward to every year is their anniversary. It's a day that they can look back on that day, years ago, in which they tied the knot.

This year was our five year anniversary. I can't believe it. Those 5 years flew by.

Since it was a special anniversary, Joe had special plans for us. We were to drop the kids off at my parent's house and then we had reservations at the restaurant at the top of the tallest building in Detroit - the Renaissance Center (also known as the GM building). The restaurant we were going to is called Coach Insignia.

We had a busy day of sorts on Saturday and that afternoon, as the kiddos woke from their nap, we were getting ready for our special night out. Joe wore a nice pinstripe suit, and I wore a new dress that I had just went out and purchased, complete with shoes and necklace for the occasion! We rushed the kids into the car and we were off to my parents.

Joe, Justin and I at my parent's house.

Joe and I before we are off to dinner.

We gave the kids our best, hugged and kissed them, got a few photos and were anxious to start our date. I mean, how often is it that a married couple with kids get a special evening to themselves?

Joe has parking a block away from the restaurant so we walked over to the building across the street from the ren cen, walked the covered tunnel that crossed over the street to the GM building.

The GM building is quite beautiful. Inside there are cars on display, special lighted floors, the works. We then walked to the elevator where a woman took our names and found us on the list for reservations. She called an elevator for us to get into.

The elevator up to Coach is quite cool. If you don't like heights, I don't recommend it. The elevator looks OUTWARD as you go up 71 floors to the top. You can see into Canada, you can see cities away from that high, and you are just in an elevator, suspended outside the building! At least you can't see DOWN through the floor. That would be freaky!

Once we got there, a woman took our names and we were seated shortly after.

From there on I felt like a rich princess. The staff was awesome. Our waitress was wonderful. We had people coming with special brushes to take the crumbs off the table.

We started with their crab cakes.
Peeky Toe Crab Cakes Creamed Roasted Corn, Caramelized Shallot, Roma Tomato 13.00

All I can say is OMG - this was the best food I've ever eaten. Now when I think of crab cakes, I think of the ones that come from Red Lobster. No, these were almost loose, falling apart. When they hit your mouth, I can't even explain the explosion of flavors. I ate it really slow and just savored every bite. I've been craving them ever since. Wow, I think this was the best food I've ever eaten.

Then we had soup:
I had:
New England Clam Chowder Traditional Preparation, Parsley-Shallot Emmincé 8
Joe had:
Beef and Caramelized Onion Pearled Barley, Mini Cheddar Biscuit 7

Now mine was good, but not as good as the authentic clam chowder we had at a hotel restaurant in Seaside, Oregon on our honeymoon.

Joe liked his, but didn't rave over it. The presentation of the soup was nice.

A family joined us to our left. 3 older woman - looked like grandmothers, with a mother, father and three young children. I can't imagine what that tab will look like!

For our main course we had:
Center Cut Filet Mignon 10 ounce 39 With Detroit Zip Sauce.

Joe had his topped with caramelized onions. I had mine topped with mushrooms. Ordered medium rare.

Now this was a steak. Wow was this good. It literally melted in your mouth. This is what Coach is known for - their awesome steaks.

End out the meal with dessert : which was a pumpkin stuffed chocolate torte. Very good.

Joe and I agreed that instead of going out to eat often, we will come to a nice restaurant instead every few months. We loved the service, we loved the view, and we loved the food. We felt so special, we felt like our romance was renewed. What a special night!

Me sitting right in front of our view from the restaurant. You can see the Ambassador Bridge in the background - it goes from Detroit into Canada.

A freighter came down the Detroit river as we were eating dinner.

The nice waitress took a photo of Joe and I!

Awwww - they brought out my dessert with Happy Anniversary written on the plate!

Me before we were leaving.

Joe in the Ren Cen on the second floor. Aren't these floors cool? Isn't this a great photo of Joe? He looks like an executive!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Wow, can you believe it? 5 years!

Five years ago today, Joe and I
got hitched
tied the knot
got married

or whatever you want to call it.
Wow, can you believe it? 5 years now! We've been together actually 10 years as of last April. I feel old LOL....

In 1997 we met.
In 2000 we graduated college and got real jobs!
In 2002 we got married and bought a house.
In 2003 I got pregnant with Joey.
In 2004 I had Joey.
In 2005 Joe got his masters degree and I found out on New Years Eve that I was pregnant with Justin.
In 2006 we welcomed Justin.
In 2007 - we celebrate 10 years of being together and 5 years of marriage. What a journey it has been.

It seems surreal to think 5 years ago today we were married! We were getting drunk (haha) and having a BLAST on the dance floor with our friends. We were laughing, we were having a great time.

I told myself I would never be one of those brides that doesn't have a good time at their own wedding. So many times I see the bride and groom greeting guests the whole night, and not enjoying their OWN wedding.

Not me, I went out on the dance floor, I drank AND I greeted guests ON the dance floor. What a fun time. Blu danced with a beer pitcher all night and was the talk of the party. Our best friends Caroline and Jason flew in from Seattle. We shut down the house! The food was MARVELOUS! Gosh did we have a great wedding. At least we enjoyed our OWN wedding!

I remember so much about my wedding.
  • I remember it flew by very fast, like a fairy tale.
  • I remember my long train on my dress - it was so beautiful and that I actually spent $860 for my dress!
  • I remember Doug dropped our wedding rings 3 times on the alter, we couldn't light our unity candle and my dress got stuck in the door exiting the church!
  • I remember feeling rushed and pulled in different directions between our videographer and the photographer
  • I remember the awesome food we had. YUM
  • I remember the boys singing 'You've Lost that loving feeling' to me while I sat in the chair laughing (this is something the videographer setup for the video! It was funny!).
  • I remember my dad being in a daze the whole day long.
  • I remember my cake, with a fountain underneath it - just the way I always wanted it.
  • I remember we had a great time!
The next day we started our journey, as we flew on an airplane to Seattle (with our friends) to celebrate a long honeymoon and a long life together!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Update on the kids

First off - this was taken by my camera phone on 8/14. Isn't he dear? He was learning how to hold his own bottle. Up until then he was either nursed or I held it for him.

OK, so this will be a short post. I'm really tired tonight.

Justin is walking! Yes you heard me. One day after his first birthday he took a step. Then it's been non-stop since then. He will take about 5 small steps at a time and then that's it. I can't believe it. His steps are so cute, they are so small and cute. I had to get out the video recorder to record it today! He's also getting tooth #3 on the bottom.

The other thing is he HATES milk. I can not get him to drink it for the life of me. Dina at daycare can get him to take about 5 oz and that's all. I'm not sure what to do. He was fine when I was nursing him and it was my milk, but he does not like cow's milk and I even mixed it when I was nursing and he still wouldn't take it. I tried formula, I tried skim milk, 2%, whole, soy - nada. I'm at a loss!

Joey had on #4 pants today and they looked like floods. Yet another series of clothes to put into storage. I guess he's in 5's now! Justin just outgrew 12 mos. He's in 18 mos now.

I stopped nursing last Thursday for good. It's been a hard reality to stop. It was a little over a year. I am relieved but I miss the bonding time with Justin.

We found out we are moving in February now (mid to late February) so we believe we are going to list the house next month. I've actually been doing a pretty good job at keeping it clean so I think we should be ready. My flylady timer has really been helping me get motivated to clean. I look at a mess and say to myself, "I'm soooo not wanting to do this. It's soooo much work". I set my timer for 15 minutes and before you know it the dishes are all done, the counters are wiped, the floor is swept and the table is cleared. Wow - just 15 minutes. My timer is keeping my sanity right now.

I guess that's about all. Will try to update tomorrow but not sure.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rewards, Soccer, cleaning and more...

I decided to stop my perfectionist behavior and post to my blog even if I don't have photos to share. How about that? Perhaps I will post more often than once every two weeks.

Cool stuff:

I've been blogging since 2005. Yeah, I can't believe it either! I'm addicting to blogging to say the least! So if you go to you can author your own book and publish it! How cool is that? What is even cooler is that it will 'slurp' your blog so you can publish your blog into a book to save forever!!!

So you thought your time was wasted blogging and that you didn't know how to get it saved someplace - this is how to do it! I printed all my 2005 entries into a book through blurb. It had 176 pages and cost about $39.95 to print and I used a code (search google for blurb coupon codes) and got free shipping. I should get my 2005 blog entries in a book format in about 10 days. It even has photos and everything to go with the entries I blogged! Go check it out! It's cool!

Second cool thing:

My friend Marcie convinced me that I need a laminator. Actually she decided she needed a laminator after find this really cool organizing blog called The woman who runs the blog has a laminator and uses it to 'toddler proof just about everything'. I LOVED her ideas for chore charts for Joey. I made the chore chart shown in that link and used these chore blocks:
  1. Set the table
  2. Clear the table
  3. Vacuum or Sweep (he uses my Swiffer vac which I LOVE)
  4. Bath
  5. Put away toys
  6. No Accidents (potty accidents that is)
  7. Brush teeth
He used the chore chart tonight and did great. In fact he brushed his teeth, left the bathroom, and ran back in the bathroom where the chore chart was and said, "Mom, I need to move over my brush teeth to the done." What a good boy.

Cool thing #3 (Can you take anymore?)
The house fairy! No, I'm not kidding. Go check her out! For $10 for 2 years worth of online access the house fairy talks to your kids through videos and the whole concept is if they clean their rooms and do their chores every day, the house fairy visits and leaves a gift (or candy or something the parents decide), much like the tooth fairy visits.

I paid the $10 for two years (which is super reasonable!!!) and she has tons of videos. Some teach kids how to chew with their mouths closed and Joey watched the video and now actually keeps an eye out when he chews. Now if I were to tell him, 'Chew with your mouth closed' it would go to deaf ears. BUT if the house fairy tells him, he loves it and listens.

Take a look at her site. We used the chore chart and the house fairy together. We told him that the house fairy visits and looks at his chart to see if the column DONE is filled. If it is, she leaves a treat. We also made these tickets for a family outing or good behavior bucks which he can redeem towards saving towards a toy, or going out to the park or something. He gets these for doing something good.

If you decide to sign up, using my email designsbybriana @ gmail . com without the spaces of course (I did that so I don't get spammed). I don't know what I get for referring you but I thought I would pass this along. What a cool concept and it works! My friend Marcie also signed up and is doing it with her daughter who loves the house fairy too! Check out the videos on her site to get an idea what it's about.

OK, are you all 'cool thinged' out?

Today daycare accidentally gave Joey regular milk. If you aren't aware he's allergic to milk. He broke out in hives. They gave him benedryl. When I picked him up he had hives on his face and his neck was very itchy and red.

The bad thing about this was he had soccer practice - his first soccer practice today right after daycare and he was itching almost the entire time. Poor kid. He did GREAT though. He kicked the ball into the goal, and kicked the ball back and forth to a boy named Nick. He liked soccer a LOT more than he liked T-ball.

When we got home we gave him benedryl. He was knocked out before 8pm tonight. Both kids were in bed before 8pm. I can't believe it. I had time to myself this evening!

Ok, I am going to share a photo with you. I had a few photos from my cell phone which I haven't shared with you yet. Enjoy! This is from 7/19. I took a photo of him with my cell phone while we were in the car.

Menu Plan Monday!

Our menu for this week!
M. Dad's Favorite Sloppy Joes
T - Easy Grilled Chicken Teriyaki
W - City Chicken (One of our favorites)
T - Leftovers
F - Italian Spaghetti Sauce and Meatballs (One of our favorites)
S - Dinner at Coach Insignia in the Ren Cen in Downtown Detroit for our 5 year wedding anniversary!
S - Dinner at my parent's.
Lunch is Peppery Beef with Vegetables

Yum!! Can't wait for this week's menu!
For more exciting recipes, check out Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Great joke

Every now and then I share a really funny joke. I got this from an uncle.

Title: Why men shouldn't take phone messages.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Justin's first birthday

On Justin's birthday we had planned to go to work, pick up the kids from daycare and then celebrate at home with a cake just for him.

Justin before he goes to daycare that morning.

Joey smiling from our bed that morning.

Justin likes to stand on our head board and bounce up and down holding onto it.

Well we had the cakes, we got extra cupcakes from daycare and proceeded to serve the cupcakes to the kids. We had another storm blow through and what do you know - we lost power - again. Even though we were without power, Joey, Justin and I all had a cupcake in honor of Justin's birthday.

Justin starting in on his cupcake.

Justin demolishing his cupcake!

When Joe got home we made the decision for Justin's birthday we were going to bundle up the family and the cakes and drive to my parent's house and have the celebration there. Our power still had not come on.

We got to my parent's house and had our dinner there. We then pulled out the birthday cakes and sang Justin the Happy Birthday song and he loved all the attention. He just looked at everyone singing to him and looking at him and looked at every one of us and smiled. Then we gave him some cake to eat.

Justin and his cakes (we got two because one was originally for him and then we decided to just cut them both up and give him only a piece).

Justin enjoying his cake.

When I was a baby I used to get into my mother's tupperware drysink and now Justin does it.

That weekend 9/01 we traveled to Grandma's house up north for labor day weekend. Grandpa's side of the family had a family reunion, so we took the kids to it for a few hours.

Justin was the life of the party. He was really practicing his standing skills, and you can see he's standing here. He loves flyswatters (clean ones of course) and takes this one everywhere at Grandma's house.

Here is Grandma Norma!

Polishing up on my flower photo taking skills.

Joey standing by the garden gate.

Joey by the garden gate again.

Justin was spending time with Grandma Char in Aunt Judy's garden!

Justin and Grandma Char.

Love this one of them looking at a flower.

Later that day Joe's mom wanted us to come over to her house. She was selling her corvette and wanted someone to be at her house when someone came to look at it. We were there awhile. The kids went swimming (ok Joey went swimming) and we picked up sticks for a bonfire. We played around outside.

Joe's mom ended up selling the corvette. The guy who bought it bought three that day. That's all he does it buys and repairs corvettes. Wow! She was sad. I took photos of it ironically right before they came to buy it!

Grandma Char's corvette now sold!

View from Joe's mom (Grandma Char's) backyard. They live on a small lake.

I really liked the look of these lilypads and the color from the setting sun.

The neighbor went out fishing.

Love this one of Joey posing for me.

On Sunday 9/2 we celebrated Justin's birthday!

Grandma Norma made Justin his own chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, just like she did for Joey when he was a baby.

Flashback: When Joey was a baby on his first birthday he got the frosting on his arm from his cake and started to scream.

Fast forward to NOW: Justin looks at the cake in front of him, and proceeds to take a taste, then take his fist and grabs a big gob of cake and smashes it into his fingers. Then he manages to demolish the cake. I've never seen a dirtier, or happier baby. I KNEW he would do this. He gets really messy at meal times and I figured the cake wouldn't phase him.

No really, can you believe this?

Gotta try some.

Oh my, what have I done.

Hey mom, Cheese!!

Needless to say, he was stripped down in his chair and taken in outstretched arms right into the bathtub where we removed the 10 layers of cake from his face, the ground in cake in his hair and everywhere else on his body. It was quite a trip.

Justin got a cute little dump truck for his birthday and some money for his college fund. They got Joey a bubble gun. He played with it for nearly an hour. He loved this thing!

He just kept blowing bubbles over and over.

Grandma's flower in her pot. I love taking photos of flowers.

Justin, standing on his own again!

After the kid's naps that afternoon we headed over Joe's dad's house to help his dad cut hay. Joey got on the tractor with Poppa and Joe rode with him and held onto Justin. Eventually I jumped on the hay wagon too.

Afterwards we went next door to Grandma and Grandpa Fisher's house for dinner and to see everyone that was over there.

The guys helping load hay.

Grandma' flowers.

Last one of Grandma's flowers.

We had a great labor day weekend, but even with the extra day, it went by too fast!!