Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tea Party

Tea party anybody? This was the scene last weekend; Lorraine sat all three kids down with tea and cookies at a little table and chairs that they have They loved it, it also looked like Connor may be a tea boy….he liked the cookies anyhow :))

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Anja Skating

It’s still pretty cold here in WL so we are hunkered in for the most part. Not much to report, other than we are all doing well. Anja and I did make it out this morning for an hour to our local ice rink, Riverside Skating Center in Tapawingo Park. It was Anja’s first time and although she has been asking to do this for the longest time, she did not enjoy it all that much. Skating for the first time isn’t really much fun. Anja did spend quite some time on her bum!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicago and General Update

We had a great weekend in Chicago last week. We received with great thanks Kay’s kind and gracious hospitality although it was a rather tough weekend for her. She had a sinus infection to start with but after taking one of her two cats to the vet, Simon, it was determined that he was too ill to live any longer (sorry again Kay). We also met up with Dave and Emily, both on Friday night and on Sunday morning for breakfast. To top it all, Lynne and I found this great Ethiopian place on the north-side to eat called Demera (check out their menu). It was very very tasty and to be a good sport, I even tasted two Ethiopian beers, a Bedele and a Castel which were just OK.

Back at home the girls and Connor had a great weekend with Randy and Lorraine (a huge thanks to you both again). They went to Snapperz again (photos below). When we arrived home, the kids were really excited to see us and we had a great dinner on the table!!

The week has been a little cold here, typical January really. They all went out in the snow last week, I think it was Connor’s first time so I have a few photos of that below too. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weekend in Chicago

We all survived the week here; I think I mentioned earlier that Lynne is in Denmark this week. I’ll actually be going to Chicago later this afternoon to collect her but also to stay for the weekend. Randy and Lorraine have kindly agreed to watch the kids all weekend long. Kay has kindly agreed to put us up for the weekend and we’ll be staying at her apartment in Harbor Point Tower, which is literally bang smack in the middle of the city. We are going to hit the town tonight, sample some Chicago food and entertainment and then tomorrow night try getting some ethnic food, possibly even East African if we can find some.

We’ll also get to meet Dave and Emily over the weekend since they now live in the city (Dave is a former PhD student of Lynne’s). We are looking forward to a relaxing weekend in the city, a very cold windy city this time of year. Hope you all have a good weekend too.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Connor Walking

Over the last two to three weeks, Connor has inched ever closer to walking, somewhat reluctantly. He loves zipping around on his knees (they are quite red) but he‘s becoming more on more confident on his two little legs. He is now freely walking a few steps between people and has even stood up on his own and taken a few steps. There was no moment that moved him into this category; he has literally taken several small steps along the way.

The Nutcracker

The highlight of the weekend, according to the girls anyhow, was this afternoon’s trip to a production of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. Our local Ballet Company puts this seasonal ballet on this week each year. The girls loved it.

Last night we had Randy and Lorraine over for a quiet post Christmas meal which was extremely relaxing and on Friday evening Brad and myself sat down and watched the final episode of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, The Return of the King, which lasted 4hrs 15mins.

This next week will be busier; Lynne travels to Denmark on Tuesday afternoon so I’ll be home alone with the kids in the evening. She’ll be back on Saturday.

Hope you all have a good week!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


As I was flicking one last time through my Christmas photo selection, I came across our photos from Snapperz that I forgot to mention or share earlier. We received a gift card to visit this enclosed fun area for kids to literally burn some energy when the weather is bad. They have all sorts of climbing and exploring stations for the kids to simply unwind on (they have relaxing areas with Wi-Fi for adults). The girls really loved the climbing wall….

Monday, January 03, 2011

Marathon Training

I do have a New Year resolution that I’m going to try keeping. One that I’ve wanted to do for some time,  I’m planning on running the Chicago Marathon this year, it’s Sunday 09th October.

There are several marathons throughout the year but I like the idea of Chicago since it’s in the fall and I can train over the summer. I think I’d prefer training in the summer than the winter. It’s also relatively local, a drive instead of a flight. Although it’s a big event, typically has 45,000 people running; I also like the fact that it is one of the World Marathon Majors. I may only end up doing one marathon so I’d like it to be a recognizable one.

I think there are two areas I’ll struggle with, motivation for long runs and staying injury free. One can usually stay injury free if you ramp up speed and distance slowly, motivation is generally in your mind. This is where you can help. When I run on my own I generally listen to music. So if you hear or have a favorite power workout tune that you feel I simply must have, send me an mail, comment or send me a message and I’ll take a listen.

You can follow my training progress, I’ve added my running log back to my links and of course I’ll let you all know how it’s going.

Let the running year begin. The picture below, which I've shown before, is from the Indianapolis half marathon two years ago.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Christmas and New Year Update

Happy New Year everybody. As we wrap up the last day of our holiday here, I’m not really sure why I didn’t give a running daily update on our holiday week, I think we were simply too busy. It seems like we have done a lot. I’ll give a short description of the major events followed by lots of photos below.

The highlight for us as parents and for the kids of course was witnessing the unwrapping chaos and facial amazement coupled with delirious expressions on Christmas morning. Priceless really. The girls were so excited, particularly with Santa’s main present, a Barbie play house.

On Christmas day we had Kaisa and Kevin with their kids in addition to Lisa and Brad, Marcia (Brad’s mum) and their kids for a full Turkey and Ham dinner. This was then reciprocated on the day after Christmas with a full day of chilling out and great food at Lisa and Brad’s house with their friends and family. On a side note, if anybody out there has not had authentic Polish sausages, you are missing out!!

Over the ensuing days, we did lots of playing, reading and general relaxation. It was pretty cold actually. I have had our fire going pretty much constant since Christmas Eve. I even managed to get to the gym a few times. One of the days we even had a friend from Anja’s class for a visit and we all built a pretty cool snowman.

 As the New Year approached, we had friends from Yellow Springs, Ohio. Chris and Karen with their two boys, Bobby and Morris. Chris actually went to college with Lynne at Bath several years ago and they have kept in touch ever since. They stayed a few days and helped us ring in and celebrate the New Year. I think I celebrated a little too hard actually, Chris and myself hit my homebrew and homemade cider a little too enthusiastically. I’m happy to report that I feel much better today.

All in all, we all had a great holiday, many thanks to all of you who shared it with us and gave presents. Happy New Year again and let those resolutions begin in earnest…..