Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Face In or Face Out?

This is a serious question...is there a protocol for facing IN or facing OUT when you have to climb over people at a concert, performance, or anywhere else you are jammed in like sardines?   Also, why are people so weird about letting you out?  Like it's some enormous inconvenience to stand up and let them by?  That's something else - PEOPLE, please stand up (...please stand up), for God's sake don't swing your legs to the side as if that helps.  Because it DOES NOT.

Face OUT:
This means you are facing the stage and your rumpus is facing your opponents
You can grip the seat in front of you for support
You can still see the stage

You risk an opponent butt grabbing your duppa (intentional or not)
You cannot see your opponents
You may grab the hair of a snarky teenager in front of you and get tweeted about #mylifeisover

Face IN:
This means your tuckus faces the stage and you have to look at your opponents
Honestly, I cannot think of a singular one

You might fall face first into the lap of an opponent
You might grab an apendge of your opponent because you have nothing to brace with
Eye contact with your opponent is entirely possible

Face out if you have to at all.  Most times I will only purchase an end seat because of this debacle.

What do you prefer?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Restaurant Review: Chick-fil-A

Everyone on the planet knows that Chick-fil-A is the best of all fast food places.  We all respect your right to be closed on The Lord's Day, but MAN, I crave chicken on Sundays.

Have you eaten in the dining room recently? Let me tell you - a whirling dervish with an appetite of Andre the Giant is sometimes difficult to control in public.  Chick-fil-A is so amazing - they are built to help and make your experience a fantastic one.  Here are some of their amenities:

1.  A bounce house/indoor playground
2.  Incredible food with healthy options.  Grilled nuggets are so good and the fruit cup is more delicious that the waffle fries (well, I'm lying but the fruit is still fresh cut and a nice alternative)
3.  The nicest employees ever.  EVER.
4.  High chairs that are clean and on wheels
5.  Little stuffed cows for the kids.  That someone brings to your table!  Really nice interactive outreach by a manager to make sure everything was good for us.
6.  The bathroom has diapers and wipes and a door handle that you don't actually have to touch.
7.  Chick-fil-A has this little plastic place mat of sorts.  It has adhesive on the back so you can truly just put your food on the table.  And eat it!  And cut it!
8.  Magic knives that actually cut food but not your finger.

I  know some people are creeped out by their motto, "My pleasure," but I like it.  I am not impressed when you thank someone and they reply, "No problem," or something like that.  I appreciate the MY PLEASURE and I probably say it back to them.  Like a weirdo.

Anyway!  Go eat at Chick-fil-A for a great experience.  It will be a ....pleasure.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Art of Overcompensation



  1. take excessive measures in attempting to correct or make amends for an error, weakness, or problem:
    "he was overcompensating for fears about the future"
Overcompensation is an art.

You must engage in frequent overcompensation to master it.

My friend Kristin and I talk about being overcompensators quite often, as we are both second generation OVCers and card carrying members of the club.

Example A:
When you feel uncomfortable about another person's behavior
If you have bad service at at restaurant and your dinner partner tips little or nothing, you, as the classic OVCer, will constantly tell the waitress that she is doing an amazing job and eat the coldest burger on the planet citing - it's fine!  Plus you will leave an obscene tip - like 90%...and a smiley face on the receipt.  Looks like I will never dine at that place again.

Example B:
When you feel stupid about what you just said
I stopped at McDonald's to order Chicken Nuggets and an ice cream an iced tea (priced $1) and handed the cashier a $2 that was a gift from Grandma for my first communion.  As the cashier took my bill from 1985, she said thank you....as if the transaction was over.  So, I OVCed and said, "That's actually a $2 bill..."  She looked at me like, yeah lady, I have eyes.  So I OVC once again and said, "Right?  Like, WHO carries a $2 bill," and roll my eyes at myself and laugh a little weird laugh.   And proceed to tell her that it was my first communion money.   Now I can never go back there.

Example C
When you feel stupid about what you just did
After dinner, TNT and I were taking a walk in the neighborhood.  I saw a friend way down the street and waved and also YELLED HELLO, as in SCREAMED to reach someone three blocks away.  You will find that you have to OVC often when you have a loud booming voice.  So the 16 year old boy that was about 20 feet away from me, jumped and said, "Oh, uh, hi (?)...."  So OVCed and I said, "Oh hi, I just loooove your yard."  Come on,  The yard?  Like he cares about the yard.  I have obviously changed my after dinner walk route.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I'll slap you. I don't care if you ARE 5.

I took my sweet pea (who will be 2 next month) to the playground at Pacesetter yesterday.  Taylor LOVES the playground and zooms from slide to slide, swings, sea saw and enjoys spinning and banging the extras on the equipment.

In the young kids' section, there is this little tube that goes up, connects with a semi-open cube, and then goes down in a similar tube/slide.  She loves it.  It was the first "slide" she rode.

There were two little boys (probably brothers, probably 4ish and 6 ish) in the connection, just sitting there.  As Taylor climbed up the tube, they were blocking her way to the slide.  I politely said, "Hey guys, would you please let her through."

Do you know what?


In the meantime my sweet, angel, ASS KICKER, just said excuse me and pushed her way past these two little boogers.  I was insanely proud.  GO GIRL!

If you have experience with 2 year olds, you know what's coming next.  AGAIN.  So up she went and guess who was there to impede her success.  Those two little hooligans.  THIS TIME they would absolutely not let her through.  WHAT!!!!??!!  So again, my bass-ass bull-baby, just went down the same side she came up.  What a champ.

AGAIN.  So this time, as Taylor climbs up - these two little SHITS threw wood chips down on the slide so it was hard/slippery to climb on up.  Taylor was slipping and not making it up.  When I heard these boys yelling at her - "YOU DUMB BABY, GO AWAY,"  naturally, I freaked out.

As I slapped the shit out of both of them - no wait, I didn't but you can imagine that I gave them the dirtiest, dirty looks of all time.  So instead of accosting a 6 year old, I just grabbed my little amaze-ball and said, "Ok peeps, let go where the kids are nice.  I see only mean bullies here."

Guess where their parent was?  Can you guess?  Well, I'm still guessing.  Keep an eye on your kids, people.

Moral of the story - my girl is confident, relaxed and clever.  And I'm so PROUD.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

If you could choose to be a car, what would you be?

I have been working out for what seems like forever.  We had a memebership to the UT Rec center in gradeschool and it was brand-spanking sparkly new then.  It was like a giant playground.

In high school, softball and basketball (CYO, definitely not Varsity) kept me busy and on to college where I returned to my beloved Rec.

After college, Lifestlyes for Ladies Only was my new home.  Filled with ladies only, you could wear cut off sweatpants and a giant Frat T-shirt because you didn't  know better....plus no one cared!  My love of spinning started there and my obsession continued.

After Lifestlyes closed (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!), I searched for another place to call home.  I wound up at LA Fitness (formerly Urban Active) and while it was a new sparkly gym, I never really liked it there.  It was like CLUB PICKUP and all the pretty people were there.  The music was so loud (hello, I'm 80) and now my cutoffs and Pi Phi rush tie-dyed T-shirt was antiquated.  Sigh.  How am I supposed to wear tight pants when my thighs touch...down to the knee?  WTF.

I jumped ship and joined a no-frills gym called Fitness 19 - it was $19 dollars a month and I found myself enjoying this simple gym because again, no one cared and you were there to just work it out.  Plus, I saw a LOT of Fratty T-shirts there.  Ahhhh.....these are my people.

After we moved to Sylvania, I needed a closer gym and I really missed the group exercise classes.  I tried the Y and didn't love it but then....I discovered Wildwood Athletic Center.

Angels sang and doves fluttered out the doors as I entered this amazing, open, beautiful place.  It was just so...impressive.  And clean.  And state-of-the-art.  And it smelled really nice.  All the amenities were attractive to me - sauna, steam room, group classes varied in schedule and type, you can even get a massage there!  WHAT?!?!?!  Yes, please.

Needing the extra help as always, I signed up right away to work with a trainer and got some new workout gear, a heart rate monitor and awesome new neon shoes.  My trainer was AMAZING, she was a college athlete and we shared unwieldly curly hair and love of cussing...we were gym besties.  She moved because a great job opportunity and I had to start over.

She recommended a new trainer that she knew personally.  He was totally different.  Military guy and it took a while to get a groove.  Finally we bonded over Deutsches Bier and metal bands.  We laughed and I felt better about our trainer-trainee relationship.  He even was able to crack jokes with me about being short (me, not him) and I've always enjoyed a good laugh at myself for being short...because that's who you are!

One day he notices that I am excessively short in the extremeites area.  "You have the shortest arms I have ever witnessed."  Really?  Even babies?  What about grade school boys?  "And your legs are especially short, which is why you are an excellent squatter."  Ok, that's better..

He thinks...."You are built like a...."  Say athelete...say international business woman superstar...say body builder waiting to emerge.....


Not was I was hoping for.  However, at least American-made Buicks are cooler, reinvented vehicles now.    Right?  Right?

I would have hated if he said  Toyota Tercel.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Back it up, back it in, let me begin....

We are pretty lucky in Toledo, OH to have such ample and wide parking spaces...not to mention mostly free or otherwise relatively inexpensive. Have you been to Chicago, NY or LA? My husband lived in Chicago while we were first dating and so I journeyed through the never-ending boringness of Indiana twice a month to see him. Traffic was....well, a nightmare for an Ohio gal. Parking was almost non-existent and while parking and walking with a travel bag in the summer is all fun and games, not so much in the winter. Gah!

Parallel parking in a big city is honestly something you could add to your resume under "superhuman skills." Pulling in backwards at a crazy precise angle into a space as big as a baby bassinet with cabs, Ubers, dogs, cats, road raged folks, and cyclists, is really no small feat. I digress as usual.

So! I was thinking about parking in a big open lot and wondering why people choose to BACK IN.  Here are my theories:
1) You are demonstrating that you have mastered reverse
2) Reverse in a manual VW is extra fun because you get to push down on the stick
3) If necessary, one could make a hasty escape from eminent danger - Jack Bauer style
4) Your parents were back in it people...wait.....not like that
5)  Your automobile is just that sweet that it needs the respect of facing out

Are you a backer in-er?   Try it today and see if you command more respect.

"Who you tryin' ta mess with ese? Don't you know I'm loco?"

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Butt, I thought you said....

I have been sick for over a week.  This super-morphing cold took me in all directions and ended with an ear infection and a sinus infection.

Not cool.

One week of an antibiotic didn't work (surprise, surprise) so I went back in to the doc to get a steroid shot (which they should have administered in the first place!).

I head in and see the nurse right away since they were ready for me with the doc's orders.  The nurse is a friendly, kind lady and thank God she has a sense of humor.

"This shot goes in your bum, " she says cheerfully.  Bum...haha!  Right Govn'or!

So I turn around and literally drop my pants, exposing my entire keester.  I don't know why I did that.  I really don't know....I still am wondering why I did that.

She sticks the needle in my the upper quadrant behind, but honestly, I had on workout pants and the injection goes right above the pant line.  So in retrospect, dropping trough ENTIRELY was ENTIRELY not necessary.

I left the office feeling like Magda from There's Something About Mary, with all this crazy roid energy, but really...

Why did I do that?

Bum's the word, Gov'nor.

Monday, March 28, 2016

And a I made a noise like this......

I hope everyone had a happy Easter!  We had a nice but busy day as usual visiting family, hunting for eggs, eating too much chocolate & kolbasz (alternating chocolate and kolbasz...), and watching Peepster having the time of her life running around with her cousins.

In between one of many stops, we landed near the Dave White Chevrolet in Sylvania.   A car sped into the lot and came screeching to a halt.  The car was barely stopped when out of the passenger side tumbled a woman.

She immediately leaned over and braced herself on the pole in the parking lot.  AND BARFED.  At 10:30 am.  This poor lady was just puking her guts out.  I could see her doing what looked like a standing cat/cow but I know all too well that forceful barfing motion.  She vomited for what seemed like 10 minutes.  That poor lady!

I could only assume she was pregnant, and then I thought....well, what if she is really  hungover?  Ha!  Or drunk still?  On the way to church perhaps?  Puking in the holy water font is probably frowned upon.

Thinking further about our barfing heroine, I wondered if Dave White's security cameras picked this up.  Monday morning the surveillance reviewer will get quite a little show.  Poor lady is probably going viral.   Or has a virus.  Or a baby.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hello TNT!  

Happy 18 month birthday - you are a year and a half old.....time sure flies.

How about this little track suit?  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pizza Tour of Toledo: Maumee Bay Brewing Company

Maumee Bay Brewing Company, Downtown Toledo, in the Historic Oliver House
In the many times I have been to MBBC, I have never had the pizza, so we thought we would try it...
Crust - I thought the crust would be thinner.  It was pillowy, medium thickness.  Just average.  I like a thin or a really thick - the medium is just sort of well, average.  

Sauce - Needed more sauce.  It was light on the sauce and I should have asked for sauce on the side or for it to be saucier.  Sauce.  Tasted good though.  

Overall Pizza Score - I would say B.  It was nice pizza with fresh toppings and you can tell it is truly baked to order.  It didn't blow me away but it was good (how can pizza be bad?).

What did ya eat?  We ate with friends so on the table was a mushroom, onion and pepperoni pizza, then the classic Marghertia pizza and the third I think was sausage, pepperoni and artichoke (but I didn't get to that one so I cannot be sure).  I also had a side salad that was pretty nice - it had fresh veggies, a sprinkling of cheese, and romaine lettuce.  It's nice to be able to have a salad with your pizza.  Here is the kicker and their secret weapon as far as I am concerned.  THE GIANT PRETZEL!  Dear Lord, the giant pretzel.  This baby is house-made (probably by magic elves) and you can really tell.  It is soft, buttery and garlicy with a salt top but nothing is overdone.  All flavors compliment one another into a fantastic masterpiece pretzel.  BONUS:  it arrives with three ramekins of dipping sauces - beer cheese (yes please), whole grain mustard (ja wohl!), and cream cheese (die of happiness).   This pretzel is $15 but, honestly, I believe it is worth it. 

Other items of note -  This is wood-fired pizza, but it didn't seem to have that wood or smoke flavor to me.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I just thought it would be more obvious.  You cannot go wrong with a brewer's sampler as this place is, after all, a brewery.  They were out of a few flavors but we got the paddle and tried 6 brews.  We tried Ruchy's Revenge, Total Eclipse Breakfast Stout, and a few others that I didn't hear my husband order.  They were all mostly good.  I didn't get to sample the Blitzen or the Bourbon Barrel - there's always next time :)  List of beers here.  

Atmosphere - Downtown Toledo has a lot of history, and the Oliver Building has done a great job of cleverly adding eateries to it's structure.  I love all the exposed brick and wooden features.  Lighting and decor are nice and not overly done (hence, you don't get that "bar" feel, but a little more casual than a restaurant.  Nice mix.    
Service - Pretty good.  She was fast and nice.  I wanted some popcorn though....

Next stop:  Village Idiot (need a sitter for this stop....)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Which Wich

Everyone that knows me knows I am forever on my weight loss and healthy me journey.  Everyone also knows that I have a passion for food and beverage (but also don't mind getting down on some weird low-class food favorites) so this is quite the daily battle of the bulge.

At a convenience mart in Whitehouse (there are no restaurants in Whitehouse):

Devil Iris:  Go on....those hostess cupcakes aren't going to buy themselves....

Angel Iris:  Fiji water!  MMM!  What a treat!

Devil Iris:  Those Snyder's of Hanover Hot Wing Buffalo pretzel bites sure do look good....

Angel Iris: How about a nice glass of ice for your Fiji water??  Refreshing!

Dang it!
Today I really did need something to eat (because my day was crazy and I was not prepared) so I settled on.....

A Cheesewich.

Seriously.  I don't know what I was thinking.  My usual beef jerky was not in stock.  It is exactly what you are thinking.  Two slices of pepper jack cheese with a piece of salami in between said slices.   God.  Come on!  It's better than the Twinkies I was eyeing or the Chex mix I would have rather crunched all the way home.  At that moment, the Cheesewich was perhaps the healthier option?  The weird part was I was actually having trouble deciding which flavor Cheesewich to get - pepper jack or colby jack.  Spicy is better for your metabolism, I heard in my head.....which wich....which wich?

At the register I continued to justify myself to the cashier.
Me:  "Have you had this?"
Her (a cute young cashier so of course not):  "What?  No...."
Me:  "Yeah, well, it's not for me anyway...gross!"
Her:  Weird look that says she doesn't believe me.  She shouldn't.

Let's hope she didn't see me eating it in the car.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

M' Osteria review


M'Osteria has been on our restaurant list for some time now and we were able to check it off the list last week (or was it two weeks ago?).  I found out several things before we even started our meal.

1)  You say:  EM OSTA RIA, not MOIST AREA.  Much better and more appetizing.

2)  An OSTERIA refers to an Italian place serving simple wine and food.

Now that that's settled, on to the more important matter....the FOOD.

We ordered:
Osteria meatballs
Margherita Pizza

My thoughts?

-Meatballs were just ok - the sauce was excellent. Simple and not over garlicky or oily.  Great sauce, or gravy as my New Jersey family would say.

-Arancini was just incredible.  Something rich, creamy, savory, with a crisp crust that you would never have at home.  A real treat.  A+++++

-Pizza did not disappoint.  Handmade, thin and crispy crust with great flavor, fresh ingredients and cooked to perfection in that beautiful, wonderful oven that made the entire restaurant smell inviting.  Love it. Did not feel bad about eating my fair share of the pie.

Also had a Curious Traveler grapefruit shandy, which while delicious, a red wine may have paired better. But really?  Beer goes with everything in my opinion.

Would have liked to have seen a chocolate option on the dessert menu.   Interesting that there is only one option and I should have ordered it because if you only offer one dessert, it must be amazing.

Atmosphere was nice.  Relaxing and decor was well done.  Happy to see a downtown place with new life.  Service was a bit slow but we dined late on a Tuesday night and I am sure they we understaffed and truly I was just happy they were open that late.  No big deal to us.  All servers and staff were friendly though and that is always a huge plus in my book.

Next time I would like to try a sandwich and a pasta dish.  And the dessert :)  And wine.  And more pizza.

See menu here.

Great job Osteria.  Arrivederci!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Husband Perspective

My last post was in June you guys.


What is happening!!!???  We are busy.  Busy with a sweet peepster baby (toddler?!?!?) - I have no pics to upload right now so I will save her update for later.  For now, I will tell you the tale of just another day in my life.

The TJ Maxx on Airport is a little sketch - you know it is - but you shop there anyway.  Admit it.  I was on my way into the store when all of a sudden, a giant red SUV sped into the lot and I mean it was coming in HOT.  It came so close to me (and remember, I was on foot), that I am sure the driver of this vehicle did not see me.

As he squealed to a halt, I was about to yell at him when I noticed the immense bass and overwhelming treble along with a familiar melody from my grade school days.....

"It's so haaaaarrrrrrrrddddddd, to say gooooooooodbyyyyeeee......."


I looked at this car and noticed the license plate read "ROMEOO." Stop it.  Two Os?  Like some kind of bad Top Gun reference?  The plaque for the alternates is in the ladies' room.....
So Romeoo almost killed me to a Michael Bivins' song that everyone slow danced to in the 8th grade.
The moral of the story came to me when I recounted my pedestrian peril to my husband.  His reply?

"When you're in a Bell Biv DeVoe slow jam, it's hard to concentrate on anything else."

Husbands.   Making perspective simple for the rest of us.

Monday, June 8, 2015

ONE and other stuff

My sweet pea is ONE YEAR OLD!  I cannot take it!  She is literally the light of my life.  Let me just spread some joy to you as well.  I don't have any pics but will get some soon.  I am disorganized right now.  You guys know how it is. 

Big in the peepster world:
She ate her first cupcake.  Ha!  Well, she did.  She was a little timid to begin, but then got into it, chomping it and smearing icing all over her high chair like a baby VanGogh. 

But seriously, this baby can take steps on her own. She's walking.  How!?  When?!  We marvel at her greatness constantly.  She is wobbly and will take just a few steps on her own when distracted but she's determined. And funny.  And happy (and adorable, and perfect, and amazing......).
She can walk quite a distance holding on to bigger hands for guidance.  Which is my favorite. 

Other traits:
Her voice.  Her little voice is fun and babbling quite a bit now.  She is imitating sounds and her favorite word is NO!  I am not sure if she knows what it means, but she says it often and proudly and we adore it.  Lots of mamamamamamamama, and other things that sound like "shoes" or "yeah, I did," all incredible.  Better clean up my language and quick!

She can be LOUD which I am sure is no surprise to anyone reading this.  She laughs all the time.  What a sweet pea.  She loves to blow spit bubbles and slurp zerberts....like a lady.  Ha! 

She is the fastest crawler.  She will take off and zip away then stop, plop down and stare back, just to make sure we are looking.  Of course we are, baby. 

TNT has started to wave, a little, but the waves look more like saluting.  Pretty funny.

Clapping - still not so much.

Eating - cannot.get.enough.FOOD!!!  She loves all food.  Eats everything.  Wants all food.  Her transition to milk went perfectly.  She still loves her bottle and does not prefer a sippy cup.  Ce st la vie.  I am picking my battles. 

Sleeping great.  If she wakes up too early on the weekend or when I don't have to be into work until later, I pick her up out of her crib, bring her into the spare room with me and we both fall back to sleep.  Sue me.  It's the best time of my week.  She is so sweet.  SO SWEET.

This is an amazing baby.  She is happy and social and is good in public and at restaurants.  LOVES other kids.  I couldn't be more proud of her.  My sweet little peepster. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Amazing Race: Read for Literacy

On Saturday, we did something a little different. 

We dressed up like the Blues Brothers and went on a 2-hour scavenger hunt in Maumee.  For charity.

Read for Literacy is a wonderful organization that hosted the Amazing Race event as a fundraiser - and how fun!  Not your normal thing.  It was a total blast!!!  We started out at the Pinnacle where we got our clues.  Each team got their packets and off went.  25 minivans tore out of the Pinnacle, each like a bat out of hell.

The clues were not terribly hard per se, but there were SEVENTY SEVEN of them...and they were sentence format.  I guess they were making us read..... 

Anyway, we went all over, performing ridiculous stunts, taking pictures with the correct clue numbers, asking strangers to help us with odd tasks and my favorite, pumping a stranger's gas. (!) I will give all the credit in the world to my friend on that one because he had the nerve to approach someone.  I would have just skipped that one.

We returned to the Pinnacle in the same fashion - bats out of hell - tires squealing - and onto dinner, drinks, silent and live auction while the judges counted our clues.   I seriously could not believe we didn't win.  We even counted our points at the bar later and decided that we were only a few points away and must have been 4th place.  Then we plotted our course for next year because we had maybe had a few cocktails and are overly competitive.  Just maybe.  Besides, we were the best dressed for sure and people sang SOUL MAN to us all night.  Pretty fun.  We did make the slideshow - take a peek here: http://www.readforliteracy.org/events/the-amazing-race-for-literacy/

If you don't know about Read for Literacy, I would encourage you to take a look at the website and find out more.  This is a great organization that is working hard here in our community to support children and adults in their goal of literacy.  Pretty noble stuff.

Have you participated in a scavenger hunt as an adult?

Friday, April 24, 2015

11 Month old Peepster

My little peepster is 11 months old.   She is even more amazing every month, every day, every minute.  Each month I look back and cannot believe how much she has grown, how much she has changed, before our eyes.  Making progress and learning by leaps and bounds.  My sweet pea, peepster.  My love.

Eating:  Oh man - this baby is the champion of all eating.  She.eats.everything.  Anything.  What a good girl!  Spinach?  Yes.  Eggplant?  Yep.  Mushrooms?  You bet!  It's so great.  Now that she's actually eating cut up food and not pureed food, she's like a living experiement.  That sounds bad.  But, I mean, she likes it all!  It's so cute to watch her pick up little chicken, little grapes and little pasta with her teeny little hands and SHOVE IT INTO HER MOUTH.  Such a lady :)

Sleeping:  Overall good!  She will sleep about 12 hours a night unless she is sick or just feels like being a pistol.  Napping is not that good.  She will nap for 5-120 minutes once or three times a day.  Ha!  We are not as consistent about naps as bedtime.  Such is life.

Teeth:  Bottom two have been alone for so long but the top ones are juuuuuust poking through now.  Whew!  What a champ.  TNT has been teething for - well basically her whole life - and handling it well. She gnaws on everything and drools a lot.   I do brush her little teeth with this teeny-weeny brush that has winnie the pooh on it.  It was a gift from my dentist and I think I can take her to the dentist soon!  So cute.

Walking:  We are almost there!  She cruises the ottoman, the couch, me, the chair, her wagon, whatever!  She's excited.  She will bounce on the floor and can actually stand up on her own but then doesn't know that she can take steps so she plops back down.  And laughs.  And LAUGHS!  

Personality:  Honestly - this girl kills me.  She is amused by her socks daily.  Today she actually stuffed her sock in my mouth.  And laughed.  And I laughed.  It was muffled because of the sock but man did I laugh.  She sticks her tongue out when the wind blows.  Like a dog.  Like the most adorable dog with the sweetest little tongue you have ever seen.  She loves bubbles and peek a boo and all the silly stuff.  She LIGHTS UP when someone walks into the room and says hi to her.  My social little sweetheart.  She is wonderful in restaurants and in the grocery store.  She is a bit on the loud side (ha!), but it's usually screams of delight and expression.  The crying usually only happens when I don't give her food fast enough or she dive bombs into something head first.  Whoops!

There is so much more - I will leave it for next time.  Everyday I thank the Lord for this wonderful angel of mine.  We could not be more proud or more blessed.  

Easter Time!

The tongue!

She is so curious about fabrics and textures.  Why, yes this is a leaf of Lorien.

Her friend, the Mouse.

Ponderous little Peeps.

Walking behind her Lion.  Bridget her babysitter calls this the "Bitter Beer Face."  LOL!

Cruisin' the ottoman.

How do you guys get these amazing pics with these on?  This was ripped off in two seconds.

But the orange!  She was in love with the little orange.

This is her favorite blankey.  You know you had one just like it.
Look what's next.......

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Rensch & Co - A Family Tradition - The Good Stuff

An important part of my family history is the Rensch & Company building and business that sits at 607 Monroe St., Toledo, OH.  This building was first occupied by my Great-Great Grandfather who came over from Switzerland and brought the Swiss culture to Toledo via the universal language - imported cheeses, wines, chocolates - the good stuff.  Now, this was way before Amazon prime so it was truly extraordinary and The Rensch Family specialized in these unique products that reminded Toledoans of the Old World.  At Christmas time (and any time really), they made wonderful gift boxes for corporate gifts, hostess gifts, or anyone that wanted a box of amazing lovely delicacies.  A true gift.  They were in these gold and silver boxes that were classy, memorable and artfully assembled and just seemed to coax, "Hey open me, tasty treats inside."

I loved this store.

We all did.  We all do.

I remember going there as a kid and being so excited to try new things and seeing what Nana had for us.  Tiger cheese (it was Gruyere, but it had a Tiger on it so we called it Tiger cheese), hard salami with the rind on it, and the rum-filled cordials.  Heaven.  The good stuff.

With 3 floors and a basement (and no iPads or wifi) we explored and played at the store and had just the best time.  We all had our favorite games. For my spreadsheet-loving big sister, it was bookkeeping in the office with the vault and register receipts.  I personally preferred to play chef, so I could eat more of all the delicious things.  For my little sister, her favorite was pretending to be a dog to keep watch over the store.  But we all played together.  The main floor was where all the action was, with long, gorgeous, glass cases of FOOD!  And not lunchables.  Not go-gurt.  The good stuff.  The back held the office and the cooler where the cheeses and meats were stored longer term (that Rensch & Co smell).  The upstairs were eventually offices for my aunt to practice law in, but originally had a dumbwaiter and a potbelly stove which were once used for production.  If you were brave, you headed up to the third floor, where you tiptoed carefully around and not too far so as not to get eaten by the monsters or ghosts.  It was a big open space with bare light bulbs, and layers and layers of wallpaper - 3 big looming doors at the back.  This was a hotel way back but was not used as long as I have been around.  The basement was where we would scare ourselves to pretty close to death and there was even a hand made coffin down there.  Think about the creepiest place that you have ever felt compelled to explore.  That's it.  The good stuff.

The store had a wonderful smell to it.  Sometimes my sisters and I might be somewhere and we can all say simultaneously, "It smells like Rensch & Company in here!" and that's a good thing.  Or if there is a great cheese board at a charcuterie, I immediately am taken back to this wonderful store.

For me, I grew up there.  My love of food and German culture was influenced in a very big way by my Nana and our Rensch heritage.  This store means a lot to so many people, and I wanted to share just a small part of what it meant and means to me.

Thank you Nana - you have been the driving force at the store while I have been around.  Your endless energy and positivity have made this place a success and a permanent fixture in our hearts and minds.  Cheers to you and your marvelous-ness.  You even waited for the right new owner and would not let someone take over this store that didn't fit your standards and vision.  We leave it now in good hands and look forward to seeing it's renewed chapter.  Read more about the plans for the store here.

God Bless A. Rensch & Company and the memories it has for me and my family.

That is truly the good stuff.


Monday, March 2, 2015

People are Crazy

This is why I started a blog.  People are CRAZY!!  So crazy, and the general public just opens up to me like no other.  I mean, I get that I am friendly, but you guys, there is a limit. 

Yesterday.  Home improvement store.  Picking out paint. 

I have oak cabinets (yes, I will take your sympathy vote now) and repainting them is the same cost as replacing and I am not willing to do that - I would rather spend the money on the appliances.  So, I'm working with the oak....as much as I hate it. 

My kitchen needs some updates, a new sink, fresh coat of lighter paint, yada yada.  Do I need granite?  Yes, no, but I want it.  Anyway, I was picking out paint and Mr. Paint worker comes over and asks to help me.  I show him a pic of the kitchen and say I need it to be lighter and he looks like he's got just the idea.  *Snaps fingers*  Ok, yes!  I am so happy to have the help!  


What?  She shows me a maroon paint sample.  Yes, like dark red.  Barf. I blurt out - "I hate that.  I'm sorry, that makes me sick, I hate it.  With wood??"

He sticks to his crimson guns.  Yeah, it would be great, he says. 

After negotiation, we finally get the samples I want (linen, burlap, and Woodrow Wilson something) and I am almost on my way but he starts telling me about his son (I think it was my R2D2 phone cover).

"Oh, how old is he?"  My mistake.

From there he tells me this story about how his kid is a demon (his own child?) and how he is trying to terrorize his girlfriend all the time.  Ooooookkkkaayyyyyy...... pleasepleasepleasestophere.....

No dice.

"Yeah well, we were having "mommy and daddy time" ".....Oh my god, please no.......

Mr. Paint continues to tell me how they were "getting intimate," complete with air quotes Matt Foley style, and his son popped the lock with a butter knife and caught them in the act.  


Also - you just told a total stranger this story.  At your place of work.

And this, my friends......is why, people are crazy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

An update

Hi guys!
Just a little update for you on what we have been doing!

I remember thinking a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away...).....

"When I have kids, I am not going to just post about my kids....I'll still write about movies and food and stuff I have been doing."

It's not that I don't want to write about those things, it's just that I have not been doing those things really.

You see, my life has changed drastically (for the better of course), but when I have spare minutes, my blogging hobby has gone to the bottom of the list under baby (the most important and the most fun) laundry (least fun but very important), dishes (well, this might be least fun but also necessary), and sleep (love this and also high on the important grid).  Sadly, because I love this creative outlet, my little old blog is not getting his exercise.

Parents are nodding their heads.

You guys - you know how it goes!

I am going to try in the next few months to do a better job blogging, if nothing else just for me to express my feelings and talk about what I want to talk about.

Last month we went to Florida and achieved something I never thought possible - flying with a wiggle-worm baby, who is active and LOUD.  Yes, we were those people and guess what, it worked out fine!  I mean, I had some anxiety before and during, but it worked out.  Plus I had some great advice from my dear, dear Two Pretzels, my bff, and cousin who are expert fliers with kids.  Final product, we had an incredible week in Florida with the Peeps and she LOVED the pool.  What a great break from this weather.

We also took a day trip to Clark Lake and met Parker James (finally!).  My dear friend since childhood had a baby a month and a half after Taylor was born and it only took us until now to get together - ridic - but we did it.  And I never thought Sunday afternoon lunch with no drinks would be so fun.

Life has changed.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Taylor - 8 months old

What has my sweet little peepster been up to?

I know every parent probably thinks this, but honestly....my GOD IS THIS BABY SPECIAL!  She just lights up my life and spreads joy to those around her.  I feel so blessed and lucky to have her in my life (and to be her mother!).  My precious little angel.

8 months somehow is upon us.  TNT is babbling up a storm.  I swear she really does make "words" sometimes.  She is so responsive and communicative and "sings" and laughs and yells.  It's adorable.

She is still an awesome eater and loves most things we give her;  favorites include sweet potato, chicken, noodle mix and apple/pear combo.  Green beans are moving to the bottom of the list as we incorporate more foods.

Peeps loves bathtime now and has a blast in her little tub kicking and splashing and yelling into the 30 year old Dinosaur cup (thanks for saving that mom!).  She does not mind when water gets in her eyes either - what a champ!

Taylor is doing well sleeping and enjoys a routine.  Naps are difficult for us to be consistent with but bedtime is always between 7:30-7:45pm and she usually chugs her bottle and then passes out on me.  Sigh.  It's the best.  Honestly the best part of my day other than when I get her out of bed in the morning (she is ridiculously happy and happy to see me in the morning.  She always wakes up singing and amusing herself - never crabby or out of sorts).

This baby is FUNNY.  Her facial expressions slay me.  I constantly laugh and smile when we play.  She lights up when you say hi to her and enter the room.  It melts your heart and I think about it all day.  My sweet pea.

Taylor goes with the flow.  I can take her to a restaurant or the store to to a friend's house, and she's just good.  She's loud.  She's a handful, but she's happy and fun.  She's great in the car now (weeeee!) too.

However, she does not like to be alone all the time.  She can play independently but mostly likes to be around people.  She loves her exersaucer but I have to bring it in the kitchen right by me so she will not feel alone.  She loves TV.  I feel like that's bad.  If it's on (and let's be honest, it's on a lot), she watches - she's just so interested in in.  Loves the phone too.  Everything's in her mouth!

TNT is on the move.  We need to also get movin' baby proofing this house.  She can roll all over in every direction, back and forth and has a great time doing it.  She can sit up from laying on her own now too.  Just this weekend, I noticed she is rocking on her hands and knees and was dragging her little self a bit like an army crawl.  She looked back at me and I clapped for her and she CRACKED UP.  Ahhh!!!  

I could and should write a ton more, but I have been pressed for time lately as you probably noticed (if anyone is still reading!), but that's all I can do today.  

My sweet little tiny little angel sweetheart baby is simply put, to me, perfect and the best gift I could have ever received.