Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weekend in NYC

We just got back from a weekend in NYC . It had been a while since Amelia and I were up there to see my parents, and Bryan had some business meetings, so we combined the trip. Actually, the main reason we chose this particular time to go was that I really wanted to see a certain limited-run play on Broadway, but more about that in a moment. Here are some highlights from our trip.

First, Amelia was thrilled to find that there are different toys at Nana and Pops' house! I had forgotten that my mom had kept several of my old Barbie dolls and their various outfits. It was quite a trip down memory lane for me to see those dolls, and it was really weird to me that my daughter was playing with me, with my dolls. Anyway, Amelia also immensly enjoyed playing with the Strawberry Shortcake figurines we used to have. In case you're wondering, by the way, you can still faintly smell their individual scents!

Mom and Dad had to teach lessons all three days we were there, so that meant I had to keep Amelia occupied (see toy story above)! However, she did manage to escape every so often to charm Pops' students and impress them with her impressions of their vocal warm-ups. She even treated a few to some choreography to accompany their arias! I should've gotten video of was pretty funny.

In planning for our trip, I'd done some research on fun kid stuff to do in the city, and one of the main things I wanted to do was go to Central Park. However, as Murphy's Law would have it, it rained every day we were there and cleared up beautifully just as we got in the car to go to the airport. So, the only day we ventured out much was to go right across the street to the playground, which was a great outlet for Amelia to run around and yell a lot! She didn't know what she was missing with Central Park anyway, so to her the playground was pretty cool.

While we were there we did enjoy an outing to New Jersey; we had dinner at Rich and Linda Spivey's house (our good friend Matt's parents' place), which is palatial to say the least! We had a great time visiting with them and drooling over their amazing place. Amelia especially enjoyed playing with the assortment of rubber duckies and chasing their cat, Sam.

The bad part about our trip (aside from the yucky weather) was that Bryan was really sick the whole time with flu-like symptoms. He barely had a voice starting Thursday night, and by Friday night he had a fever and awful chills. Fortunately I think he's on the mend, but it sure is no fun to be sick, especially when you're not at home and when you're on vacation. Amelia also had a cough, but I think hers is just a little cold and she'll be fine. Thankfully, we have some time to rest now that we're back at home.

So I've saved the best for last! I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I'd wanted to come during October because of a limited-run play on Broadway. For those of you that don't know, I'm a big fan of the TV show "Alias" and especially its star, Jennifer Garner. I'd heard from various sources that she was going to be in a Broadway revival of "Cyrano de Bergerac" with Kevin Kline playing the title role, and so I thought, wow, it would be awesome to go to that! Then I thought, well, why couldn't we go to that? After all, my parents do live in New York, and Bryan has a lot of clients in the area, so we could do a business/pleasure trip (and get one-third of it paid for, thanks to Omnicare). So I mentioned it to my mom, and both of us did a little research and found out when it opened (Oct. 12 in previews). I wanted to catch it toward the beginning of the run to make sure all the original cast would be performing, so that's why we chose this weekend--not the first week, but not too late--and we got the tickets for Bryan, me, and my parents (all of whom are also big Alias fans) to go. So....Friday night we saw the performance, which was really great. Kevin Kline is brilliant and natural as Cyrano, and Jennifer Garner is a heartfelt, sweet Roxane. We thoroughly enjoyed the play, and afterwards we waited by the stage door to see who we could see. So see below...

Yes, friends, that is me with Jennifer Garner. Woo hoo! She was very gracious to all the fans outside the stage door and patiently signed lots of autographs, took lots of pictures, and was sweet and thankful to the audience for coming. It was a really cool experience for all of us to get to meet her. I told Bryan that this trip, and the tickets to the play, were my early birthday present, so thanks for my present, Bryan! It was a really great birthday and a good trip.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


When I was a kid, my family didn't have a dog (at least not until I was in sixth grade, and we got a Scottish Terrier, which was completely the wrong dog for our family, and only kept him about a year) and I envied kids who had a trusty old dog in the family. I always knew that when I had my own place, I'd want a dog.

Fortunately, Bryan is a dog person too, and right after we got married he REALLY wanted a dog. As impractical as I knew it was, I caved and we got Baxter, a very feisty little beagle. Sadly, we had to put him to sleep due to an accident after we'd only had him nine months or so . We were absolutely crushed! Baxter died the week we were moving up to Michigan, and we were going to be in an apartment there, so we knew we couldn't get another dog right away.
After we'd lived in Michigan almost a year, we found our house (with a fenced-in yard, of course) and knew we were ready for another beagle, so we did some searching around and found beagle puppies about an hour away. We got Fletcher when he was about two months old, and we've had him ever since! Here is what he looked like as a puppy:

Anyway, we've had Fletcher for four and a half years now, and as goofy as it is, he's a member of our family. He is a super laid-back dog who sleeps most of the day and barks or eats in his free time. One of the greatest things about him is how wonderful he is with Amelia. Since the day we brought her home from the hospital, he's been her buddy. He lets her pull on his ears and tail, play with his food bowl, and chase him around. She, of course, loves this, and I think he secretly doesn't mind the attention. I could probably put together a whole photo album of pictures we've taken of the two of them together, and I may do it some day. They are quite a pair to watch. Here's their latest couple of pics:

Amelia likes to lay down by Fletcher exactly the way he's laying. My favorite thing about this one is how they're the same size! And this next one is really sweet:

So now you know a little about Fletcher. He's crazy, but we love him. Beagles can live to be 15 or 16 years old, so it's possible that I could be 40 and still have this dog. Pretty wild...and I don't really want to think about what it would be like any other way!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Joining the rest of the world

So...we finally decided to join the rest of the world in creating a blog for our family news! We've enjoyed friends' and family's blogs so much, and we thought this would be a good, easy way to give small updates on Amelia's funny stuff, baby news, etc.

First, here are pictures from our 20 week ultrasound:

1)A face-front view of Baby Jobe.

2)Baby's footprint pressing against the camera.

3)It is, indeed, a boy...look right above the word "boy."

4)Baby's profile.

And now for Amelia's latest funnies:

1)The other day I was calling for Amelia and discovered her in Bryan's office with the door closed. When I went in, she was seated at the computer; I asked her to come with me to the living room and she replied, "Um, sorry, I'm preparing for my meeting." Wow.

2)Amelia and I were outside playing on the deck. She started pulling on a lounge chair we have, and I asked her what she was doing. She said, "I need to bask in the sun!" For those of you who haven't read the book Olivia (by Ian Falconer), check it out. You'll get some insight in to Amelia's mind!

3)Amelia has a plastic bath book that we've read about a million times. It has three double-page spreads, each spread with an animal name, a cartoon picture of it, and a real-life picture. The animals represented are dog, cat, and cow. Amelia is doing quite well with her letters these days, and with lots of repetition and memorization, she can now spell these three words, usually like this: "c-o-w. Cow!" etc. Yesterday, all three of us were eating lunch when we asked Amelia to spell her three words. She obliged and did so perfectly, then decided to branch out: "g-a-t. Mommy!" Nice.

Hopefully Bryan and I will keep this updated often! Check back later for more family fun!