Monday, June 21, 2010


It's been a long time since we've blogged. With both of us on FB, the blog has kind of taken a backseat.
Things have been busy, but good. We've all settled in at the new house and love it here. I was really worried about losing the extra bathroom, but it hasn't been an issue at all, and the additional 650 square feet of living space is amazing. Stanzi is doing fantastic. She's really become a typical 2 year old in many ways. On the other hand, she's super affectionate, has a great imagination and astounding comic timing. She's a joy to be around. She is also bonding with family members we don't see all the time. The picture above is of Stanzi watching hummingbirds with GG and Boppy. They were so happy that she remembered them from our last visit 2 months ago. She even remembered where GG keeps the toy box! She lalso oves talking to relatives on the phone and wished Papa and Pap Pap a happy father's day. We have a second babysitter now and Stanzi has adjusted so well to going to the sitter's on work days. She sleeps in a toddler bad and I got her off the bedtime bottle (finally :) All in all, life is pretty darn good here. We couldn't ask for anything more.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween Fun

I wasn't sure how Stanzi would handle the idea of "trick-or-treat" but she picked up on the concept in no time: "If I'm cute and hold out my hand, they will give me candy". She's never really had candy but immediately realized it was a good thing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just some pictures...

Random pictures of watching football and eating Chinese take-out...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Oh, and about Stanzi....

Okay, this blog is supposed to be about our little girl, and the last post didn't say a thing about her. Everything's great. She sleeps extremely well (about 11 hours a night, plus a 2-3 hour nap during the day), and she's

growing like crazy. She's fully mobile (including going up and down stairs) and her vocabulary is growing every day. She now calls us "mama" and "dada", and the dogs "LaLa" and "RuRu." Just this morning she started saying the name of her hot breakfast cereal: "Coco" (it's Coco Wheats). She's still very much into music, so we're enrolling her in a "move to the music" class at the Salvation Army's Kroc Center. And she loves television, particularly Dora the Explorer and Yo Gabba Gabba! She's an absolutely delightful little girl, and the light of our lives. And she's going to love her new room, which is already painted pink and decorated with Tinkerbells.

Long Time No Blog

Let's see, the last entry here was from just after Father's Day. But those of you who know us are already aware that we've had an incredibly busy summer, because over Father's Day weekend we decided to put our house on the market. Just the weekend before I was riding my bike down Samaritan Avenue here in Ashland when I stumbled on an open house. We weren't even thinking about moving at the time, but I liked the look of the place, so I decided to go inside. It was love at first sight. Cherry hardwood floors, high ceilings, a gorgeous sunroom, and, best of all, lots and lots of space. It's nearly 50 percent larger than our current house, in fact. And the asking price was extremely reasonable.
When I got home I told Monica about it, and told her about the place's biggest negative--it only has one and a half baths (we currently have two full baths). She looked at the photos of the house online at the Coldwell Banker site, but she said that the bathroom situation was a dealbreaker. Okay, no big deal--as I said, we weren't really looking to move.
Two days later Monica informed me that she had a confession to make. She'd been surreptitiously visiting the Coldwell Banker site to look at the house, and now she wanted to see the real thing. So next day I made a phone call, and that very evening we were there. And Monica fell in love with it as well. The following day we left for Pennsylvania, our minds reeling. By the time we had reached Monica's parents' house in Sandy Lake we'd decided to try to sell our house.
The next couple of months were a blur, full of open houses and last-minute showings. Early on there were a few people who seemed really interested but no offers came. We looked at a few other houses, but didn't see anything we liked nearly as much as the place on Samaritan. After about six weeks Monica and I agreed that if the house we wanted sold to someone else, we'd take our current house off the market.
In the end things moved very quickly. While we were in Pittsburgh in mid-August (we celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary by going to a Steeler game, but that's a subject for another post) an agent showed our house. It was a Saturday afternoon. On the following Tuesday we got an offer. It was lower than we had hoped for, but still within the reasonable range. We contacted the agent for the people selling the house on Samaritan to see what kind of deal we could make, and I spent much of Wednesday on the phone engaged (via our agents) in a three-way negotiation with our potential buyers and sellers. By 5:00 that afternoon we had a deal, and that evening we signed the paperwork. We're scheduled to close--and move--on September 25.
If you'd told us back in March, when we'd just returned from China with our little girl, that we'd be moving in six months, we would've laughed in your face. But here we go. On the plus side, we have the sort of home I've always dreamed of living in. But it's going to be a bumpy few weeks.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

We had a wonderful weekend in Pennsylvania. We arrived on Thursday afternoon and my parents looked after Stanzi and the dogs so John and I could go out for a "grown-up" dinner. We decided to go to The Springfield Grille in Mercer. We both had beef and it was a lovely evening. On Friday my mom and aunt took Stanzi to the Pittsburgh Zoo and John and I went to Waldameer Park and Erie Brewing Company. Later that day we had dinner at the infamous Jules Tavern. It's a pretty typical dive bar but they have a "family section" for dining and they do "deep fried" to perfection. Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the Pymatuning Century Club. The weather wasn't ideal for sailing, but we had a great time on the porch (long live the porch rats!) My Aunt Betty & Uncle Butch, Uncle Ralph & cousin Danny were there. And Stanzi's Great Grandma and Great Grandpa came up from Boyers. And of course my Mom & Dad were there. We had a picnic supper and Stanzi got to finally meet many of the club members who waited 3 years to meet her. It was a really nice Father's Day celebration.

Now we're back in Ohio and today was kind of nuts. We've decided to put our house on the market and, since we have another house in mind already, we want to move as quickly as possible. The next couple of weeks are going to be a little crazy with trying to get everything in order and starting to pack, but the end result is going to be more square footage so it will be worth it.

In closing I want to thank my wonderful husband. I know he had a terrific Father's Day weekend and he knows how I feel; but I want everyone to know that I love that man and I couldn't do any of this without him. Not only did I get the best baby but I got the best husband, too. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Long Weekend

I'm sitting in the den listening to Stanzi cry, make that howl, herself to sleep. She usually fusses a bit, but she's really putting her lungs into it tonight. She was in a super nasty mood by the time I gave her a bottle and, even though she's completely exhausted, she's going to torture me some more. Actually the worst part about it is knowing she'll be covered in dried snot in the morning. At this point it's not really crying, it's more yelling. Very dramatic yelling. She'll stop for a couple of minutes and then pick it up again. I keep thinking she's finally asleep and then, "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! BBBBLLLLLAAAAAA BBBBBBLLLLLLAAAAA!!!! (gag, gag, cough, deep breath) AAAHHHH AAAAAHHHH AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!" Poor Stanzi.

I'm back to work tomorrow after a four day weekend. It was a nice weekend, too. I had a spa day (courtesy of my wonderful husband) on Friday, the Pizza Gang had a party for us on Saturday night (Jill made the adorable panda cake), a rather lazy Sunday with our very own pool party (see pictures) and a rather boring Monday since I worked some this morning and John worked this afternoon.

This weekend we did get Stanzi off of formula and onto whole milk which simplifies life a bunch. I took her in for a check-up on May 29 and Dr. Boyd (our local doctor) suggested it was time for the transition. He said that her diet is great and she's gaining weight appropriately so the formula is unnecessary at this point. I've also got her sleeping through the night again after a very long three weeks of midnight bottles. I will not be giving her late night bottles ever again! That's something else Dr. Boyd said is unnecessary. I blame myself for slipping back into it. At 3am it's easier to give her a bottle than listening to her whine for an hour. The next big step is for her to sleep in her nursery at night. That has to happen soon. It's not like we have a "family bed" but a pack-n-play next to the bed can be rather distracting if you get my drift.

The past month was huge as far as Stanzi's development goes. Not only is she walking, but she's crawling, rolling all over the place and her transition movements are outstanding. I can tell she understands a lot of what is said to her and she babbles quite a bit. She loves music and she dances and "sings" along. Ducks are still her favorite animal but she's grown fond of dogs as well. She loves giving hugs and kisses and waves goodbye. I'm a little shocked by her ability to just be quiet, content and affectionate. Considering she's 15 1/2 months old I'm surprised at her abiltiy to enjoy "happy, quiet time". What better way to decompress than with a loving baby in your arms, just content to be there?

I've also included a picture of my darling daughter having a meltdown at the dinner table last night. I know many of you think she's absolutely perfect, and she is in many ways. For instance, she saves her most dramatic fits just for her mama and dada. She's an angel in public and generally well behaved with new people, but with us she lets her hair down. We have a dozen pictures of the incident but the one I'm posting is my favorite. As John would say, it's a very "gibbon-y look".