26 January 2012

Chuck SERIES finale

Part of the Chuck cast on the final day of filming.
Photo Credit: (C) Warner Brothers Television, 2011 obtained by http://www.examiner.com/tv-insider-in-los-angeles/the-chuck-cast-on-finale-day-photo.

After five wonderful years, my favorite TV show of all time is coming to a close. Tomorrow night, NBC will air the finale two episodes of the series. I will be watching,
hopefully with friends and family
at home alone* at 8pm EST / 7pm CT. Thank you to the cast, crew, writers, WB, and NBC for 91 glorious episodes.

What's next for the cast? Here are twitter/imdb links to keep updated.

Don't forget to watch the 2hr finale live!

*Alone, because we all got the stomach flu this week, and are thus under quarantine.

21 January 2012

Circus Juventas Updates

Now that Aidan has been taking classes at Circus Juventas in St. Paul for a year, I thought I'd post some updates on his progress. He LOVES going to class and is getting bolder and much more willing to try new things. He's also much stronger and has much better balance than when he first started.

Here is a video of a recent go on the trampoline - he's really perfecting "stick it!"


And, some photos!

Aidan is perfecting his bear walk during warm-up.

The tumble track is always a big hit.

Lately, so has the silks!

As we head off from circus class to our weekly trip to Coldstone, Aidan shows off his wild hair (and new car seat - thanks Auntie Lola!).

Fridays are awesome!

19 January 2012

Winter in Wisconsin

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living 7 years in Wisconsin (9 in the Midwest), it’s that here, more than any place else I’ve lived, the weather is always unpredictable, often extreme, and very fleeting. Temperature swings of 60+ degrees over the course of 4 days are par for the course here, as are floods, snow storms, tornados, frigid temperatures, and blistering, baking heat. I've seen them all here, with photos to prove it! The hottest temperature to date (per what I've seen on the bank thermometer) has been 101F, and the coldest (air temp), -30F. I don't really want to think about what the wind chill was that day.

Up until the last couple of weeks, we've actually had quite a mild winter. Some days in December saw 50 degree beautiful, sunny days. The trouble is, when we don’t get snow in December, there’s nothing to keep the ground warm in January when the inevitable arctic air descends upon us.

Like today, when the temperatures crawled up to -12F by 8:30am, with barely a dusting of snow on the ground.

Unlike most years, when the snow just keeps coming (December 2010).

Sometimes, the temperatures swing upwards just long enough to give us some fabulous looking icicles...

...before dipping back down to frigid temperatures (January 2009).

One thing is for certain: regardless of the snow storm, the snow will drift at least 4-5ft in front of my front door, making shovelling a royal pain. This drift was over my head before I went to bed. I'm not sure how high it got because, by the time I got up in the morning, my friendly neighbors had already dug me out with their snow blowers (February 2007).

I suppose I've (mostly) gotten used to the intricacies of our crazy weather. The only thing that really bothers me, year after year, is being cold and still seeing grass. In my mind, if I'm going to be cold, I shouldn't be able to see my grass. Most years, Wisconsin is quite accommodating on the snow front, but we're seriously lacking this year. So, anybody want to send over some snow, I'm ready for it!

17 January 2012

Fun times on the way home from preschool

And the best part...I got to drive my sister-in-law's "big red van" which is, quite possibly, the coolest mom-mobile ever!

12 January 2012

New directions!

After dropping off my son at preschool this morning, I did not, as was my custom, rush back to work. For the first time since I graduated from college (actually, even before then), I do not have a job outside my home. I am so excited to report that I am now a work-from-home mom!

I now work for a vacation rentals management company an old friend of mine started. I work the night shift - from 9-midnight - answering inquires via phone or e-mail (all through my lap top), creating advertising, welcome binders, and all manner of other odd jobs. I love it. My son is already sleeping, my husband is usually at work, so it gives me something to do with my time. Each time someone calls about a home, or I'm updating an advertisement for a home, I can imagine myself right there.

Having not had the opportunity to travel nearly as much in the last several years as I was previously accustomed, it's a way for me to get away without leaving my house.

But more importantly, it gives us the opportunity to be together more as a family. We are less stressed and happier, for which I am very grateful. 

06 January 2012

I will miss you, Great-Grandmother

Born in northern Portugal on a farm/plantation known as "A Quinta dos Ingles" my great-grandma Rosa lived the majority of her life in Brasil. She died this week at the ripe old age of 96, following about a year of declining health and increasing pain. I've been rushing, for the last few months, to try to sort out my documents so that I could go visit her and the rest of my family, but I was too late. Though I am glad that she is no longer in such pain, I regret that I didn't have the privilege of seeing her one last time, and that Aidan will never know her, his great-great grandmother, apart from photos. My cousins were kind enough to pass along Grandmother's last message to me, which I translate below:

God bless you and our family; she ask god to always protect you.
She loves your son very much
even though she have not see him
but deep down in heart she knowns him.

Love and kiss to Chad and Aidan, from your great grand mother

Circa New Year's eve, 1998.

New TV!

I think Aidan approves :-).

[Many thanks to all the people who made this possible, including: Tom, Luke, Dan, Erik, and especially Jon for advising us on what to get. This is just a bit of an upgrade from our early '90s RCA tube tv....]

02 January 2012

RIP Sadie

Sadie, my in-law's dog, was hit by a car Christmas eve night. We weren't told until just a few days ago, and we miss her. Sadie was growing increasingly deaf, blind, and absentminded: they think she just wandered away and never saw the car. To his credit, the driver did stop when he hit her and brought her to the house. He felt really bad, but I imagine a little black dog is an easy thing to miss in the dark. We don't blame him, and we're thankful he had the heart to stop.

I tried to explain to Aidan that "Sadie got hurt and the doctors couldn't fix her, so she died" but right now I think he still believes she's at the hospital and will get better. I don't think he understands...and I don't know that any 3yr old living a sheltered life really understands death.

But he misses her, and we do, too.