Friday, December 28, 2012

P.S. Merry Christmas!


Home for the Holidays

I really love the holidays.  Going to Chicago for a whole week is a blast.  We get to spend some quality time with our families and try to see our friends as much as possible.  This year I think we were able to see almost everyone but it still felt like we were cutting some visits way too short.

We drove home Tuesday night after a stop for dinner in Eau Claire.  We ate at BW3's with Katie and Tyler.  It was great to see them and I cannot wait till baby McMullen is here, shouldn't be long now.  Its hard to have conversations when Rory is around but it was nice to catch up.  Rory was actually pretty good at dinner.  We then drove the rest of the way to Tim's parents house and arrived at about 1am.  Rory slept the whole way.

Wednesday was relaxing day.  We sat around in our PJs and did nothing.  Wednesday night the family came over for dinner.  Annie and Alex are so great with Rory!  Alex led Rory around by her hand all night.


Thursday and Friday Rory and I moved to my Mom's house to have a slumber party!  Thursday we hung out with Loni all day and then went to lunch with my Dad, Uncle and Grandparents.  I didn't get too many good photos because Rory was in CrayCray mode but I love this one!


Friday we went Nikki's house.  I loved seeing them but that visit was definitely too short.  As soon as we got them both down for a nap, it was pretty much time to go.  We did remember to get a photo of them though!  They are about 11 months apart, amazing how much kids grow in 11 months!


We then drove to my Mom's school and met all of her favorite students and teachers.  We hung out for the sing-a-long.  It was so cool.  Rory loved it but did try to run on stage a couple times.  She also loved just walking the halls of the school.  She would run down the hall then lay down in the middle on her back and laugh.  It was hilarious.  We also got to see Caleb and Amy!

Saturday was PARTY day.  We celebrated Caleb's first birthday!  And my Mom had a little get together at her house so everyone could see/meet Rory.  It was so nice to see everyone!  Rory did great at both parties.

Sunday was another day to just relax.  Monday we went to breakfast at my Mom's to see my Auntie Pam.




Christmas was fantastic!  We had so much fun with Annie and Alex and the whole family all day.  Dinner was great!  And the gift exchange was a success!  I had Marybeth and I think she was happy with her scarf, workout clothes and owl dish!  Andrew had me and I was thrilled with my Coffee mugs and Stoneware (and college sweatshirt to come).

Rory got some wonderful gifts!  Including a basketball net and a princess castle.  Autie shirts.  A Yankee t-shirt.  Owl Pjs.  Bath seals that sing!  And lots of other toys and clothes from everyone.  (There is a giant Mickey staring at me while I type this).  We are so thankful for everything and everyone!  I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season!


Rory and Tim before church on Christmas Eve
Rory opening her basketball net
...And Woohoo for 100th post!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

15 Month Check Up

I just realized I have been kind of slacking in the posting department this month.  Only 3 posts before this one.  One of my many 2012 goals is going to be to post more in 2013 then I did in 2012!

Rory had her 15 month check up last week!  This was the first appointment that she was pretty freaked out.  I have done everything I can think of to make the doctor's office a NOT scary place.  We talk about it, I woo hoo on the way in and I act like its a fun exciting thing we are doing. 

Well, guess what... it doesn't matter.  As soon as we walked into the check up room, Rory freaked out.  She screamed and cried and wanted none of it.  Then she calmed down.  Then the doctor walked in and she freaked out again.  Then she calmed down.  Then the doctor wanted to touch her and she freaked out.  Then she calmed down again.  Then the nurse came in to give her shots and she freaked out again. 

So much for having a daughter that isn't afraid of the doctor, but we'll keep trying!

Rory is leveling off a bit, but she is still tall and big!


We had a fantastic Christmas!  More to come on it later!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Off to Chicago...

I could not be MORE excited right now.  First of all Rory has her 15 month check up today and I cannot wait to find out how much she has grown.  Second, Tim and I are leaving for Chicago today for a whole week.  That means family and friends and Lox and Bagels!  I seriously can't wait.  Did I mention no work for 8 and a half days!

This holiday season has been so much fun with Rory!  This weekend we did a lot of nothing and preparing for the holidays.   I made each of us lunch on Sunday and we pulled up our high chairs/chairs to the tv and grumbled as the Bears lost.  Guess which one is Rory's?


We finished our holiday shopping and I am so excited about all my gifts.  Particuarly a little pair of shoes I splurged on for a special niece.  I hope she loves them!

Last night I went to a "holiday" dinner with the girls.  We ate at 112 and it was fantastic.  Ellen made us all the best gift ever, a photo book from the whole year.  Looking back at the year makes me realize how many fun things we did!  I am so fortunate to have these girls in my life!  I'm also extremely fortunate to have a husband that makes sure I can go on trips and out to dinners, etc.  He makes achieving a balance so much easier!

Friday, December 14, 2012

My 1 Day Cleanse Experience

I have always wanted to try a cleanse.  I like the idea of them.  A reset.  A jump start to eating healthy.  I have done a bunch of research on all the cleanses out there (there are SO MANY blogs out there with reviews) but was always afraid to pull the trigger.  Well, finally I decided to do just a 1 day cleanse and see what it is like.  I know I am not going to get huge results from a 1 day cleanse, but not eating solid food for 1 day and just giving my body a break sounded appealing.

My thoughts are that if I like it then I can do a 3 day cleanse after the holidays.

So after much research I decided to do Blue Print Cleanse.  Keep in mind, this is pretty expensive, but they had a good deal going on for Cyber Monday.  There are a couple others that I might try one day Life Juice and Cooler Cleanse.

So first of all the Blue Print Cleanse web site is easy to use, informative and hilarious.  Their sense of humor is fantasic and for that alone I was excited about this product.

You are supposed to do a 3 day prep.  I honestly didn't put much effort into this.  I kind of felt like since I only am doing a 1 day cleanse I didn't need it.  I might be paying for this later.

Here's what I ate yesterday (keep in mind they recommend only vegtables): Pumpkin Muffin, Tostitos and Guacomole, Celery, Beet Salad, 3 scallops and a glass of Sangria.  Not good at all!  I weighed myself this morning when I got up and I am 7.5lbs over my wedding weight (not good since I was 4 lbs over my wedding weight before last weekends cookie extravaganza, fyi - wedding weight and pre-baby weight are the same).

I drank the first juice on the way to work.  Its a green juice so it has a very earthy taste, but I didn't think it was too bad.  I finished it at about 8:30.

10:02 - mmmm, juice #2 is yummy!  I feel pretty good in terms of hunger.  I feel a little foggy, but I honestly don't think that has anything to do with the cleanse.

10:40 - Juice #2 is done.  Your kidding me that its only 10:40 and I can't eat all day!

12:35 - Opened Juice #3.  Its the same as #1 so nothing new there.

1:20 - Juice #3 done. Yuck.  I really wish I could eat a cookie.

2:19 - French Fries would be amazing right now.

3:05 - Juice #4 - Spicy Lemonade.  The whole time I am drinking this I am thinking about how to recreate it.  Who knew a little cayenne pepper in Lemonade would be so fantastic.



4:05 - Juice #4 done.  I have to pee for the thousandth time today!

Feeding Rory dinner was hard because I had to touch turkey, cheese, goldfish and bread.  It did make me realize how much I pick at her food when I am feeding her.  And of course I never log those little bites in my food diary.  I need to be more mindful of not grabbing a few goldfish here and there when I am feeding Rory.

6:35 - Juice #5 Beet Juice is done.  Thank God!  I made lots of gross faces while drinking this and Rory thought it was hilarious.  This juice is pretty nasty but gets a little better every sip.  Its bad but you can definitley power through it.  I think I would do the next level cleanse next time because the only difference is that they switch out this beet juice for another green juice which I like way better.

8:00 - Cashew Milk.  This juice is seriously awesome.  I was sad when I finished it in like 15 minutes.

8:57 - I gave in and had 2 sticks of celery with Frank's Red Hot Sauce (didn't finish everything on this plate). This is the only way I will eat celery by the way.



10:00 - Went to bed.  Not hungry at all, just wanted food because I can't have it!  I was scheming in my head to wake up at the crack of dawn and immediately run downstairs and stuff a muffin in my face.

I woke up this morning and felt really good.  I was actually bummed that I didn't have another day of juices and I chose to only do a one day cleanse.  I definitley want to do a 3 day cleanse next time.  Maybe in January after the holidays.

I weighed myself this morning and I lost 3 lbs in one day!  Goodbye cookie weight.  That puts me back at +4.5 wedding weight.

Today I plan on easing back into food like they suggest.  But I am going to be a little more liberal because I only did the one day cleanse.  So goal is no meat, bread or dairy.

Overall, this was a great experience and I would definitely do it again.  In all the blogs I read, the bloggers wrote that they learned a lot about themselves when they did their first cleanse.  I think this is absolutely true.  It makes you realize that you don't NEED that handful of goldfish or sugar cooke.  I got out of this exactly what I wanted, a reset.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Minnesota Children's Museum

Thanksgiving weekend Tim and I took Rory to the Minnesota Children’s Museum for the first time.  I wanted to take Rory for quite a while but Tim always told me that she was too young.  He was right, at 14 months she was probably just on the beginning range of being able to enjoy the museum.
I must admit that it is a little expensive.  For the 3 of us it cost $30 to get in.  Seems like a lot for an hour or two.  However, I do think it was worth it.  And I would love to take Rory one or two times a year.
The first room we went into was The Amazing Castle.  Rory liked being inside the castle and stacking the blocks but the rest of the exhibit was too old for her.  She crawled right into the royal garden and tried to eat the cabbage.


The next exhibit was Our World.  This was really cool.  The exhibit is a mini Minnesota including a bus, grocery store, restaurant and kitchen.  World Works was cool too but also too old for Rory.  They had a water zone area that’s going to be really fun when she gets a bit older.
Ball-o-Rama was the highlight for me and Tim.  They had some fun things set up with golf balls.  Rory loved it too but she mainly just wanted to throw the golf balls.  We are excited that she’s showing an interest in golf!

Habitot was the highlight of the museum for us.  The whole area was toddler friendly and Rory had a blast climbing up ramps and sliding down slides.  The carpeted slides seemed weird to me at first but they work really well.  Rory can slide down on her own and it goes really slow.  I love Tim's facial expression as he watches her.

Rory was able to appreciate Earth World a little bit, they have a giant ant hill where you can climb in and out of little caves.  She loved that.  Man those tunnels and caves are a tight fit for an adult though.  This ant is awesome because the way the legs come up she can't fall off, perfect for picture taking.  She clearly thought it was fun, what a great facial expression!
I must admit we were a little outraged at the rudeness of some of the kids we ran across.   There were a lot of kids that were oblivious to the others around them, only concerned with what they want to play with at that moment.  They were willing to knock a little 1 year old out of their way if they needed to.  At what age can you teach little kids to be respectful of those around them?  When do they understand that concept?  I am not going to pretend that my kid is going to be any different, but it sure was annoying.
Next time we have to leave our jackets and all bags in the car.  Carrying everything around was too much.  We left the museum totally exhausted, all 3 of us! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Black Friday Shopping

For the first time ever, I did the midnight Black Friday Shopping experience!  The main purpose was that i wanted to get a new pair of Uggs and Sport Authority had a BOGO 50% off deal that I could not pass up!

I left the house around 11:30 and drove to Sport Authority, I was amazed by the line. 


The first 80 people got scratch card for $10 - $500 and their were people who had been waiting for an hour.  It was 30 degrees out!  I got in line and wondered if I was in the first 80, I knew it was going to be close.  Turned out, I was number 78.  The guy had 2 cards left in his hand after he handed me one.  Mine was only worth $10 but it was still worth it.   I only waited for about 15 minutes.

I went straight to the Uggs and they only had 4 pairs in my size in the style I wanted.  I was glad I went so early because I am positive that they ran out of them within an hour based on how busy the store was. 

I grabbed the Uggs, a pair of running shoes, a couple North Face 1/4 zip fleeces and a North Face vest.  I also had a coupon for $25 off North Face when you spend over $125.  I got some great deals!  Tim was thrilled with his fleece, its light blue which isn't a color he normally wears and it looks great on him!

I got in line at probably 12:20 and it was all the way through the center of the store to the back.  Luckily I was between two very nice ladies and we chatted a little bit to help pass the time.  It took about 45 minutes to get to the checkout. 

I thought about going straight home since it was now close to 1:30am, but I decided to go to Kohl's.  I had a few gifts to pick up as well as a new Keurig.  Kohl's was insane.  The lines were around the whole store and they were completely out of carts and bags to carry stuff in.  I grabbed a new razor for Tim, my Keurig a few other things and my arms were maxed out.  I was about to look for new Tupperware and I saw someone in line faint.  The police quickly helped her up and talked with her until the paramedics got there.  There was so much chaos I decided to just get out of there.  I waited in line to pay for about 20 minutes.  The Keurig was my best deal 89.99 for a $140.00 Keurig.

I was home by 2:30 but I was so wound up that I couldn't fall asleep.  Black Friday shopping is kind of a rush!  I definitely think I'll go again next year!

Friday at about noon we went back out shopping.  We always go on Black Friday and get 5 new ornaments for our tree.  Well, this year we went a few over 5! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Thanksgiving

Back to reality today.  Sigh.  I am back at work today, Rory is back at school and Tim is off on a work trip to St. Louis and Vancouver.  I miss both of them already.  We had a fantastic weekend together and I can't even remember when the 3 of us spent that much time together. 

Wednesday I sent Rory to school for part of the day so I could put up the Christmas tree and all of the decorations! I also did tons of laundry and cleaned everything.  Tim and I even grabbed a quiet lunch together, just the two us, which we haven't done in a while.  The house was offically ready for a long weekend of doing nothing!

I also made these amazing Vanilla Peppermint Fudge Bars they are so amazing.  But you have to cut them really small because they are so rich and sweet.

Thursday Tim cooked Thanksigivng dinner...


We had a 4lb turkey breast since it was just the three of us and he made sweet potatos, stuffing, green beans, corn and cranberries.  Although it wasn't Rory's first Thanksgiving, it kind of felt like it since it was the first time she could eat the food.  Hands down, her favorite meal ever!  Good thing too because she ate it Friday and Saturday night too. 


In addition to the rest of my meal, I ate pretty much an entire can of cranberries, I shared one slice with Tim and one with Rors.  They are my favorite thing about Thanksgiving.  And they have to be the ones from the can with the ridges on them.  I know that is awful but I just love them.  Rory liked them too, that made me happy!

I'll post later this week about the rest of the weekend!  Including Black Friday Midnight Shopping and our family trip to the Children's Museum.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sea Life Take 2

I posted all of these of Facebook and I normally don't like to double post, but these are just too cute to resist. 
I took Rory with Amy and Meghan and the boys to Sea Life when she was younger and she hated it.  I don't know if she was just tired or what but she cried the whole time.  I was excited to see how she would react this time.

Here is Rory seeing the fish for the first time.  She loved it!  She kept saying "oooooohhhhhhhh".


And she was even proposed to at Sea Life!  We are thinking of having the wedding there, seems appropriate!  Jack was trying to hug her and he fell to his knees.  He knocked her over about 2 seconds after I snapped this!


She was so amazed!  Face right up against the glass.


Rory, Jack and Calvin checking out the star fish.  Rory is still a little too short to reach in and touch them.  Which is probably a good thing since we are still working hard on gentle touches!




I love watching these 3 grow up together!  And I think its just going to be more and more fun.



Here's one from the last time we went to Sea Life in April - so Rory and Calvin were about 7 months and Jack was 11 months.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Transitions

Yesterday we got Rory's transition plan to the young toddler room.  I have very mixed emotions about this.  On one hand I am super excited for Rory to experience some change and try something new but on the other hand I am not ready for my little baby to grow up. 

I think she is bored in the infant room and is ready for a little more of a challenge.  Last week we were told Rory was being a little "handsy" with her friends.  Which basically means she was slapping them - not on purpose obviously.  They think its because she is bored.  She is the oldest in the class by over a month.

She'll also be back with the friends that she has been in class with since the very beginning.  There will be 7 kids and 1 teacher in her class.  We know the teacher Miss Coreena already and we like her a lot.

The kid that bit Rory 3 times will be in her class again, but I am hopeful that she has grown out of that stage.  Its been a couple months since her last incident as far as I know.

And honestly, Rory has been really whiney lately about everything.  This morning she was upset when I put her down, upset when I walked away, upset when I put her shirt on.  I don't know if she is teething or just going through a stage, but I am hoping that being around older kids vs little babies will help her get out this whiney stage.

I am going to really miss the teachers Rory had in the infant room.  They have been absolutley amazing.

Rory will start transitioning next Wed 11/14 - She'll be 14 months.  Here's how it works:

Week 1 - 1 hour in YT room
Week 2 - 2 hours in YT room
Week 3 - Half Day in YT room including lunch
Week 4 - Most of the day in YT room including nap.

On 12/14 (at 15 months), she'll be officially in the new room.  They teach them how to drink out of cups and brush their teeth and they sleep on cots in there!  Holy Cow!  How in the world is Rory going to sleep on a cot?

They keep them in the YT room till they are about 21/22 months and then she will transition to Toddlers.  So come June or July we'll go through this all over again.

I am so excited for her!  Here's to hoping this transition goes well!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Goal Reached! 10 Mile Recap!

Although it’s not my longest distance or even my first 10 miler, I wanted to give a little bit of a recap of my race last weekend.  There were times when I was pregnant or when Rory was little that I really worried that I would never be able to get back into running.  I had both physical and emotional barriers I had trouble getting past.  I gained over 40 lbs while pregnant and when I started running I was still 20 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight.  That’s a lot of extra lbs. to run with and when I started out it was really physically hard to run.
Also, Mother’s guilt is a real thing, and it took me a long time to get past feeling guilty about leaving Rory for an hour on a Saturday morning for a run.  My friend Ellen said to me at one point during my training that I was doing more good for Rory by running because Rory was seeing her mom be active and healthy.  This has stuck with me.  Taking 3 or so hours a week to go for runs, whether I drag her with me or leave her at daycare or with Tim is really better for everyone in the long run.  But it took me a long time to get there.
I am still struggling with this concept as I rejoin the gym.  Leaving her in a childcare for an hour on a Saturday so I can take a Yoga class is hard for me.  She spends the whole week in daycare.  But, again it’s just an hour and I think in the long run its better for everyone.  I have really good memories of my Dad taking me to his health club when I was little.  I remember getting to play and sitting at the juice bar with him when he was done with his workout.  I think bringing kids into that environment is a good thing.  And by the way, she could care less as long as she gets to play.
So back to the 10 miler.  As you know if you read my blog, I have been training for 10 weeks.  When I started training I was just back up to 3 miles and I was really proud of that.  Every additional mile felt like a new milestone, even though I had done this before.  I celebrated each mile 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 because they were new post-baby.  My training plan wasn’t nearly as jam-packed as it had been for past races.  I ran 3, sometime 4 times a week.  The last few weeks I topped out at about 15 miles per week.  I think it was a good balance of time. 
For the first time, I trained with someone.  For my 2 half marathons and the 10 mile in 2010  I trained alone.  I always thought I preferred running alone.  But I was crazy.  Mackenzie and I ran almost all of our long runs on Saturdays together and it was great!  It was great motivation to get up and run early.  We chatted about everything and it just made training way more fun!  It was a great balance to run with music on my short runs during the week and have a running partner on the weekends.  I never got sick of my music and never got sick of my running partner (as if I could!)  It worked out great and from someone who has trained both ways, I would recommend this approach to everyone!
The 10 mile race was awesome.  It was so quick but I saw every single mile marker.  They came really fast too.  My legs started hurting around mile 6 but I never walked.  I am one of those runners where if I walk I am done.  My legs just stiffen up and I am done.  My goal was to run every step, which I did!  My secret goal (everyone has one) was to finish under 2 hours.  Not a lofty goal but remember I didn’t train nearly as hard as I had in the past and frankly I am not fast, never will be and really don’t care.  Well, I finish in 1:55:58 (11:36 pace).  Goal reached!  And I must admit, I am pretty proud of that pace!
10 weeks, 118 miles and 13 lbs later – I feel fantastic! 
I now have 3 months off before I start training for the Country Music Half Marathon.  I reactivated my Lifetime membership and I am excited to take some classes with friends and get back in to spin.  My plan is to run 2 times a week, maybe just a 3 and 5 miler to keep up my distance a bit.  But first I am giving myself a much need and well deserved 2 full weeks off of running!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Here I am!

Where Oh Where Has Erica Been.  I have not posted for a long time.  Probably the longest since I started this blog.  I don't really have a great excuse.  I was in Florida and then Chicago and things have just been kind of crazy.  So let me tell you all about it.

Florida was fantastic.  I went with 4 girlfriends and we had an absolute blast.  There was a lot of Shenanigans, which is just the way I like it!  I posted some photos on Facebook but here is the only one I got of all of us.  Beleive it or not, I wasn't too camera happy on this trip.


I feel so lucky to have found these girls.  I started our bookclub in Oct 2008 because I was in a new city, lonely and depressed.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would find such amazing friends.  (Sorry, sappy part over).  I am already counting down the days till our trip to Nashville in April.  We are going for the Country Music Half Marathon and staying for the Honkey Tonks.  Can't wait!

I got home from FL on Tuesday and flew to Chicago on Friday for Michael's fathers funeral.  I felt like the funeral and the Shiva house were really a good celebration of Art.  I was glad I could be there for Michael and his family.  It was a really sad couple of days, Art was an amazing father, husband, grandpa and everything!

I got back late Tuesday night.

Last night I took Rory to a couple houses trick or treating.  Mainly just to show off how cute she is.  Then I just hung out with my little Elmo the rest of the night.  She was even more cuddley then normal in the furry costume!


Rory has been a little off the last week or so.  I am not sure if its a stage or if she is teething or what, but she has been super crabby.  Every time you transition to a new activity etc she flips out.  More about this later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One Proud Papa Today

So with Erica on her flight home from her vacation in Tampa; I thought I do tonight's update.

Rory Husted is a full blown walker now.  I know that many people have heard that Rory was walking for the past few weeks BUT today was the first day that Rory was brave enough to on her own walk away.  Up until today, she would walk from Me to Erica or from the island to my leg.  She was willing to walk only when we asked her and urged her to "walk".

But today when I got to daycare I was told she was starting to "want to walk" more.  She walked like 20 steps from Miss Nikki over to me at the door.

Then we drove to meet one of the Danes players, Frankie, for dinner in St. Paul.  And we were hanging out in the lobby waiting and Rory was standing holding on to my leg and then next thing you know she was walking toward the door.  I never told her to walk, she simply got brave enough!

So then I realized I had no clue what to do; I mean if she falls on the tile floor she'll cry but I want her to know she can walk on her own; but I mean how far into the street in St. Paul do I let her walk.  So as I'm trying to decide, she turns around and walks 5 steps back to me.

It was awesome.  She looked up and was so proud of herself.  She was beaming.  I honestly don't think I'll ever forget her smile in that moment.  And she was so proud of herself and I was so proud of her.

She was so excited and happy that she finally did it.  Once we got upstairs at Cosettas, after dinner she started walking around the table.  Once she increases mobility, that is when she moves up from her current room to the next room at day care.  Mobility is a huge part of development for a toddler.

Although I already hate how quickly Rory grows up; I am so happy for her and her achievement.  We celebrated her success by dominating some Baked Ziti and Applesause and drinking water out of a straw and cheering all the way home from St. Paul.  She even got to stay up 20 mins late cause I forgot to count that after eating Baked Ziti she'd for sure need a bath!

So great day for Rory.  And I'm one proud Papa!

TJH

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pink Eye

Monday at about 3:30am I woke up and one eye was crusted shut.  I got up and looked in the mirror and it was bright red and nasty.  Wishful thinking had me hoping that it was just an eye infection, but when 12 hours later the other eye started bothering me I knew for sure it was Pink Eye.

Later that night Tim told me one of his eyes was bright red and eventually it spread to his other eye.  The funny thing about all of this... Rory never had pink eye.  Somehow Tim and I both got it and it skipped her.  Go Figure.

So the entire time at the conference I felt gross and infectious.  I got drops Tuesday morning but I still fully expect the 2 coworkers I was with to call me next week to tell me they have pink eye.

This is a pretty gross picture but I have to share how bad my eyes were.  Have you had pink eye as an adult, its awful!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

I am a Technology Nerd!

This week I got to go to the HR Technology Conference in Chicago.  I was really excited to go and learn about the HRIS world outside of my little bubble and I got even more out of it then I thought I would.  A big part of my job is creating reports for HR using an Oracle tool called Discoverer as well as writing scripts in SQL.  The big buzzword of the conference this year was Workforce Analytics, which is a new way of looking at the type of data that I run and send out.  Its a change in philosophy of giving the big picture to HR instead of just providing the data.  A lot of companies have fantastic new products for Workforce Analytics.  I am glad I got to go and learn about the direction the field is going.  There is a lot more I got out of the experience but I don't want to bore you too much (any more then I already have) with work talk.  I brought home tons of crap - 3 new tshirts, a new lunch bag, a tons of pens that light up and do other crazy stuff.  My favorite though is a stuffed monster from Monster - its for Rory and so cute.  And the shirt below, HR is always the most inappropriate!


One of the people I was with grew up in Chicago and drove us around the area that he grew up, which is Hyde Park.  This is where Obama's house is.  We parked at the end of his stread and walked a few houses down before Secret Service got out of their car and told us to turn around and go back.  I was surprised how much security they have on his block when he isn't even there. We didn't follow the sign's directions very well.


I normally don't have a hard time leaving Rory for a couple of days.  I've gone to Chicago once for a day, California for 4 days and Brainerd for 2 days and all 3 trips were pretty easy for me.  Its not that I don't miss Rory when I am gone, its just that I recognize that adult time is good for me and I embrace it.  Plus, Tim has travelled a ton this year and its been just Rory and I a lot, which can be hard and exhausting, so I am not going to lie when I say that I look forward to a little break.  I also love when Tim gets some quality Daddy/Daughter time.  Its good for everyone.

This trip was a little different.  I felt guilty about leaving Rory because in less then 2 weeks I am going to be leaving her again for girl's trip to Florida.  Its not that either individual trip bothers me, its the fact that they are so close together!  It just kind of worked out that way.

I stayed at the Radisson Blu, which Rory, Tim and I stayed at for a night over Christmas.  That made me sad too.  I remembered having Rory in her pack and play and nursing her there.  That was such a fun trip. It made me miss both of them more.

Tuesday night was Rory's first overnight away from both Tim and I.  Mackenzie stayed over with Rory for the night and took her to school the next day.  Of course, she got a sick baby that woke up 3 times overnight.  But I think they had a fun time!  Thank God for good friends!  Here's some pics that Mack took.  Rory loves Chobani Champions!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Top Baby Blogs: To Join or not to Join

For the 8 months that I have had this blog going I have gone back in forth in my head multiple times on whether I should join the Top Baby Blogs web site.

Part of me wants to keep this blog for just myself and my closest 300 Facebook friends.  Really I think only my close friends and family are reading this.  I worry that if I am expanding to a wider audience I will feel more self concious about what I am writing.

But on the other hand I would love to know that someone is reading this!  And it would be fun to see if I could get some votes for the the best baby blog and climb up the list a little bit.  Plus it would be encouragement to post more. 

What do yout think?  Seriously... please comment.  I want your opinion!

Thanks for listening to my nuttiness!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Ryder Cup

Last weekend I got to do something really cool.  I got to go the The Ryder Cup and watch the best 24 golfers in the world represent either the USA or Europe.  I am super lucky that this is the 3rd PGA Tour event that I have been to.  I went to the PGA Championship in 2009 and 2010.

As much as I love watching golf on TV, and yes I really watch it I don't just fall asleep.  Going to a live golfing event is just so cool.  I loved the PGA Championships because you could sit at one hole and watch every golfer come through and see every shot.  And unlike a lot of other sporting events, you get to be so close to the action.

The Ryder Cup was an awesome experience.  The excitement and cheering is nothing like the normally quiet game of golf.  There were so many European fans there, I couldn't believe it.  They are very loud.  I will say though, you don't get to actually watch as much golf as a regular stroke play event.

Here's a photo from when you walk in the gate.  This is actually the fairway of one of the other courses at Medinah.


Unfortunately we lost and Europeans kept the cup.  We'll have to get it back in 2014 in Scotland.  Next year I am hoping to go to the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, IL.  It will be really cool to go to a playoff event.

While we were at Medinah, Rory got to spend the entire day with Grandma!  I think they both had a great time.

The whole weekend was a lot of fun.  It was great to be home for a few days and see everyone.  And I love when Rory gets to play with her cousins.  They sure do tire her out.

I am adding a golfer to my list of favorites (Poults, Rory, Bubba).  Alvaro Quiros.  He didn't play at the Ryder cup but the Europeans brought him along as eye candy, I mean support.  I swear I am adding him because he's a good golfer.  (Tim's not going to like this).



PS - Rory did so good on the plane.  On the way there she cried a couple times for less then a minute each.  And on the way home she slept almost the whole way.  Flying with a 1 year old isn't the easiest thing in the world, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be either.  All my anxiety was pretty much for nothing (as usual).  On the second flight as Rory and I were waiting for her stroller someone actually said "Your baby did so good."  Can't really get a better compliment then that!