Thursday, August 27, 2009

What a guy!

Rhy got her fingernails painted a week or so ago. I've done her toes before, but never her fingers. Guess who gave her her first paint job? Daddy!
It was soooo sweet watching her cuddle up with him and hold still while he tried to get the polish on her tiny nails. He did a pretty good job too!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The joy of watching (and eating!) fishies!

You'll have to forgive me for the sheer number of photos in this post ... 17 I think ... but we had SO much fun today! We woke up this morning and on impulse, decided to drive to Chicago for the day. We were 10 minutes late catching the 9:20 train in Michigan City, so we ended up just driving the 90 minutes and beating the darn train anyway. (the boys were disappointed, but we promised them a train ride next time).
We got into Chicago at about 11 a.m. (noon, our time) and promptly hit a hot dog stand outside the Field Museum for some genuine, Chicago-style hot dogs (mustard, onions, dill pickle, relish, celery salt and tomato .. no peppers on mine!) This was a first for me and it was soooo good. Rhy was in ecstasies over the 35 tiny wrens that decided to stalk us while we ate, nabbing every little crumb that dropped.
Next, it was on to Shedd Aquarium, another first for me. It was overpriced, but very, very fun! The kids got to see every kind of sea creature imaginable. The boys LOVED the sharks (of course) and the one-ton Beluga whale. The dolphins were also a hit, as were the sea turtles and the jellies. Rhy loves fish, so she was in heaven.
Finally, we ended the day by hitting a sushi restaurant. (This might seem a little macabre considering where we spent our afternoon ... I believe I told Nate that I felt a little guilty and said something to the effect of "It's like visiting the zoo and then going off to eat a Lion burger!!)
But anyway, this was another first for me. I have been desperate to try GOOD sushi for some time, and I was not disappointed!
After visiting the lobby of the Hilton, whose employees helpfully supplied us with a restaurant map broken down into location and prices of the various menus (how very handy!) we made our way to Tamarind, a great Asian cafe. We ordered two huge plates of sushi and sashimi (raw fish). And it was SOOOOOOO good!!! I loved it! Then it was home again -- back to our snug little house, just in time for bed! What a delightful day!
Now for the onlslaught of photos .... prepare yourselves ... you're about to see Asher dressed up as a bird ... no kidding ...

The boys stand in line at the hot dog stand outside the Field Museum ... another place I want to hit sometime. (They have a pirate thing going on there right now, so you can imagine our distress at having to choose between Shedd's and pirates. Asher adores pirates...)

Here we are with our Chicago-style hotdogs! Okay, the kids just had ketchup and mustard, but MINE was a true Chicago-style! Nate even got the peppers!

Check out the line we waited in to get inside. Ack. But we enjoyed the view while we waited.

This was the view. Gorgeous, yes? I love Chicago. It's one of the few cities I could actually picture myself living in.

A blurry shark. No flash photography was allowed.

A seahorse. So cute! I want one.

I didn't take this photo, because it was so dark it was impossible to get good pics with my little camera. But this is the Beluga whale we saw at Shedd's (the baby too). (I borrowed it from online somewhere ... but it's the exact same whale!) Cute, huh?

Rhylah is entranced with the fish.

All three kids crammed through the crowds to mash their faces against the glass. Too fun!

Rhy had fun in a hands-on exhibit which allowed kids to touch barnacles and shells, etc.

Another priceless moment ... in one exhibit, the kiddos could dress in penguin suits and play in a penguin habitat! Isn't Ash CUTE!!!?? (This is the photo I'm donating to his senior yearbook...)

Rhy wore a suit for all of 30 seconds. It really freaked her out. Understandable.

Asher does the responsible male penguin thing, and looks after his egg. Hee hee!!

Still in character, Ash does a belly slide down the penguin launch.

Here I am eating my first, really GOOD sushi! I used the chopsticks on everything but the potstickers!

Gabe also enjoyed his Pad Thai, and even tried to use his chopsticks ... he was not very successful, but at least he made an effort!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fair Time!

We went to the county fair on Tuesday evening. Kids were free and we had an absolute blast! The kids loved seeing all the animals. Rhy's favorite were the ducks (which were really geese, but she doesn't know the difference) the pigs and the turkeys. Ash liked the pigs too. Gabe was just anxious to get on the rides!
After a dinner of hot dogs and fries, we rode the rides and ate an elephant ear and some roasted corn. Then we even caught the last few acts of a free circus, with tigers and elephants and everything! It was a great end to our summer!

Asher rode his first ride alone, and he probably wasn't really tall enough, but the guy let him on anyway. He had a BLAST!

Gabe and Ash share a car.

The end of the circus. The boys kept asking me if these were real elephants. LOL!


Me and the younglings take a spin on the train. Rhy was EXCITED.

Daddy and his princess.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

If this is where hometown newspapers are headed, I'll cheer their demise...

Rant time.
Last week Friday I received an interesting piece of mail.
It was from my local, hometown newspaper. The Herald Palladium. For which my hubby and I had a brief subscription when we first moved in, a year ago. It lapsed about 9 months ago, since we only ordered a 3-month subscription.
The note said that we had recieved 11 issues above and beyond our 3 months, and now owed the Herald Palladium $13.95.
Needless to say, the longer this piece of mail sat on my counter top, the angrier I got. $13.95? Nine months after the fact? With no prior notice? Really? Reeeeaaally?
First of all, I don't remember EVER getting a single issue above and beyond our 3 months. Second, I was appalled at the disclaimer at the bottom of the bill saying that this was OUR fault, since ... drumroll ... we were supposed to call and CANCEL our subscription at the end of those three months. Um....Hello???? I ordered three months for a reason!!
Ohhhhh, and it gets better.
I made Nathan call to ream them out.
He's good at that, whereas I stink at it.
He did his research and called the head of the department. Who ... AND I KID YOU NOT ... offered to "forgive" our debt of $13.95 if we would renew our subscription.
Nathan, in a not-so-polite tone (I'm assuming) told them he would consider the debt forgiven, thank-you-very-much, and NO, they would NEVER be receiving a single dime of our money again.
Ackkkkkk!!! Can you believe this?? I can hardly believe that our small-town newspaper has resorted to extortion and bribery in order to make ends meet. Because you can BET that was what happened. They had a little meeting. And decided they needed more money. So they figured they'd send threatening letters to their former customers and try to bilk it out of them. SERIOUSLY. ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS???
The sad truth was that we HAD been considering renewing our Sunday subscription. But now there is no way ... not even if I was stuck in Dante's ninth level of hell ... that I would ever buy another edition of the Herald Palladium.
All I can do is marvel at the slow demise of this particular American newspaper ... (for surely, it is eventually headed that way along with all newspapers...) It's become like that one sordid headline that you just can't rip your eyes off of no matter how much you regret it later. Fiery. Explosive. Unpredictable. Morally offensive.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The magic of a new bowl

I love how she's diggin' in here, like she's afraid her brothers will get it if she doesn't eat fast enough. Silly girl!

So I was at Meijer, doing my biweekly grocery shopping, and I caved in and bought Miss Rhy her very own girlie, Tinkerbell cup/plate/bowl/silverware set. (Incidentally, what Disney charges for such items is a travesty...) This morning, I tried it out on her for the first time, and, also for the first time, filled her bowl with cereal. Coco Puffs to be exact, which is Mr. Asher's breakfast of choice on most days. She ate the entire bowl AND drained it of it's milk. HUZZAH! Feeding Rhy breakfast has always been somewhat of a pain in the butt, because she isn't really interested in much. Now I can give her cereal just like her brothers. Thanks Walt Disney! Whoo-hoo!

Look mom! An empty bowl!!! Wanna put some more in here??

Friday, August 07, 2009

National Night Out

We went to National Night Out this week ... an event designed to let kids get a first hand glimpse of local fire/police/ambulance and other first-aid folks. Then there's free hotdogs and ice cream sundaes. We had a blast!

Rhy tries to climb into a fire truck.

Asher tries to fill some big boots.

Gabriel tries on a fire outfit. I think he looks like Dopey from Snow White. :)