Monday, February 25, 2013

If you hear snoring, let us be!

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of R&R for LL after not sleeping on Saturday night due to indigestion from eating (too much!) Mexican food. Poor thing had heart burn and really didn't sleep much at all. We had tickets to the Hawks game Sunday evening, but she decided to bow out and recuperate. She's a big fan and really likes our seats, so she was sad about missing. The Oscars being on was a nice alternative for her though while she flipped back and forth between the game.

Just when LL was getting ready to take a nap, about 2:30 or so, I went up to the kitchen and noticed the sink had backed up. Ugh!! We have two sinks up there so I needed LL to secure the stopper on one side while I plunged the other. Unfortunately it didn't work. Then my neighbor came over and said there's was backed up as well which meant the main stack going to the main line was backed up. Double ugh! So I called the plumber who asked if I REALLY needed him out today (their way of saying it was going to be expensive) and I said I did. Unfortunately I left for the game before the plumber got there and had to have a few conversations and short texts with LL while the plumber was here. When I came back though, it was all cleaned up and things were sterilized that needed it. Fortunately the condo building foots the bill since it wasn't in our unit per se.

Since LL didn't get the sleep she needed, I thought I'd hit the store while running errands and make dinner for when she got home. Porterhouse steaks were on sale and I bought some sugar snap peas to cook. Combine that with some pita triangles heated up in the oven and dipped in one of two kinds of hummus and it was quite the meal! Delicious! LL was very happy. I don't think she's going to have any trouble sleeping tonight.

I also hit the gym today and did some light weights and then ran for the first time in a LONG time. I only put in 20 minutes, but went about 2 miles before walking briskly for another 10 minutes or so. Just easing back into it. It was a pretty good workout, which leads me to believe I too will have no trouble sleeping.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Too long between entries!

It was a busy week last week with ESDNM coming into town late on Tuesday night (11:30) and then leaving Thursday late afternoon. We had to fit our clients into the day and a half of meetings along with a prospect and two lawyers. Busy, busy, busy. Then Thursday evening, LL and I had another baby class for 2 1/2 hours, this one was on caring for newborns, so come Friday, I was pretty beat.

But there was no rest for the weary as LL had an early doctor appointment and ultrasound which I wanted to attend. The baby is now 6 pounds 5 oz and is smack dab in the middle of average for a 36 week 5 day baby (now 37 weeks as of today). The good news from the ultrasound must have relaxed LL as her blood pressure afterwards was the lowest in a few weeks.

Early in the week, LL went on an online baby shopping spree boxes were arriving daily starting Tuesday. Not just one or two and not small either! The mailman had to stretch to reach the mailboxes on both sides of the foyer on Tuesday just to deliver the mail. So now our neat and orderly baby's room is not and we'll be putting stuff away for a little while.

LL's car battery didn't start Saturday, but unlike last weekend, I was able to jump it with my portable emergency battery/tire inflator/outlet/charger box that I keep in my car. She was able to get a new battery at Sears in Joliet as she was visiting her parents and picking up the dog.

So lots of stuff going on, but nothing inspirational to write about here. Hope you had a great week!

Oh wait, congratulations to sister Bee who just got a new job and will be working at Argonne National Labs with her hubby! Very exciting time for her and we're very happy for her!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Skating where the Bears play

There were two hockey games over the weekend at Soldier Field, where the Bears play. They put a rink in over the last few weeks and had various events going on there. One of them was letting people, who acquired tickets, to go skating. Good fun! One of the baristas at my Starbucks got four for Monday afternoon and let me have one.

This is an ice sculpture inside the stadium showing the teams that played.  Office Max was the sponsor and where my barista friend got the tickets (after waiting in line for about 90 minutes).

And there's barista Sara, she couldn't skate due to a back injury, with Tommy next to her and her husband Mike on the far right of the pic. This was the prep room where you put on and take off your skates.

The entrance to the field and rink, with the exit on the left.

 And there's the rink! We had a 45 minute slot to skate and then they would clear the ice and run the zamboni. They went all day, so they were probably able to accommodate 1,000 skaters or so during the day.

The three of us with Soldier Field in the back ground. It was raining a bit when we went out onto the ice, so I put on my softball pullover. I should have brought my Bears pullover that Joisey Ken had bought me. Just wasn't thinking.

Nice cross-over form.

I'm coming to get ya!!

 Picture of my seats! Section 312, on the aisle, last row.

And my other seats from center ice. Section 437, second row from the top.

We'll see if either of these videos post.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Shower time

It's been some crazy busy days, but I'll try to catch y'all up.

Friday morning, I cook LL breakfast because we had mashed potatoes from a recent visit to my parents' house and LL loves potato pancakes.  But, since she had to wait for me a little to cook breakfast, plus we slept in a bit, I drove her to work.  That meant though that I barely had time to get to my physical therapy appointment, which was pretty grueling again.....but good. Then Friday during rush hour, I picked up LL and we made a 2+ hour trek to Joliet to have dinner with her parents, two aunts and a cousin. They were all in town for the shower on Saturday.

Sub-plot to the week: I received, started using and lost, two styluses. Yes two. A stylus is what you can use to operate your Iphone with your gloves on. They make gloves with which you can operate a smart phone, but while they work well as styluses, they suck as gloves; which is really their primary purpose. So I started using a stylus, which was awesome. Then I lost it, which sucked. Then LL got me another one for Valentine's Day, then I lost it first thing the next morning. LL then ordered me 5 of them which have a tether line that you put into the earphone jack on your phone so you can't lose them. Day one and I still have it!!

Saturday was LL's shower, a very small, family oriented event, and here are a few pics.

My sisters, mom and niece! LL's sister-in-law organized everything and then her husband, LL's brother, got sick and she couldn't make it. She did a great job though. It was at a little place called Jane's, which I've never even driven by, but it was nice. I of course stayed home and watched Swamp People with LL's dad. Ha!

One of the fun/crazy things I've seen as gifts thus far was a diaper cake from my mom. Ha! I moved it out to the car and thought it really was a cake! I was being careful not to mess it up or damage it. Too funny.

LL was really tired afterwards though and we had a glorious day sitting on the couch doing a whole bunch of nothing. We went for dinner at The Bagel, one of our go to locations for soup and comfort food.

Sunday didn't amount to much either as we slept in, again, and I went to get my ice skates sharpened. Oh, did I mention that I get to skate at Soldier Field on Monday? Yep! And I've been skating for years on skates that were NEVER sharpened!! Ha!! I bought them oh...I don't know...6 years ago at a Play it Again Sports, a used sporting goods store in whom I held stock some time ago. Anyway, I just assumed they had been used and were sharpened. Having never owned a pair of hockey skates, I didn't know any different. They worked pretty well, so I thought I was okay. Then I went skating with some people on Thursday and one of the guys said he bought new skates and couldn't skate because they weren't sharpened. He didn't know that he needed to get them sharpened. That made me think....Have I ever had them sharpened. Nope. Doh! Idiot! Anyway, looking forward to skating on REAL skates for the first time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


It's Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent for us Catholics. St. Alphonsus' mass schedule wasn't to my liking so I went to Old Saint Pat's church in the west Loop at noon. The priest was very engaging, which isn't always the case, but this guy was pretty good. In his homily, he made the analogy for Lent of a Brita water filter. We are, he proposed, the water going into the upper chamber of the Brita. Lent is the filter itself and the clean water is us at Easter. I like the analogy. Oh, he mentioned he needed a simple analogy to use for the 500 or so school kids earlier that morning and this is what he came up with. I like the analogy anyway. Maybe that doesn't say much about me!

Being Ash Wednesday meant that I had to fast and avoid meat. Lunch was just a yogurt with Grape-Nuts (by the way, where did that name come from??) and breakfast was two halves of paczki's (pronounced punshkies) left over from Fat Tuesday (which I purchased at Glazed and Infused, very awesome). Fortunately I had plenty of energy (in the form of fat cells) to get me through my trip to the gym.

So I hit the store to get some fish-type food for dinner. They had 4 oz lobster tails on sale for $4, so I bought two, had two 6 oz portions of trout and then some smelt, which I cook for an appetizer. Already at home was an acorn squash, so we were good to go! The lobster was outstanding because of the marinade I used. Here's the recipe. It was unbelievably good. We're already figuring out what other types of food it will work with! Scallops and shrimp jumped to the forefront. Yum!

Monday, February 11, 2013


Since 1973 our family has gathered to vote on the best Christmas card received by parents that Christmas season. Next Christmas it will be our 40th anniversary of this tradition!! Holy cow. The card LL and I have sent the last two years hasn't qualified because it has family pictures on it, which we don't allow into the competition. Clearly though, they were the best cards of the last two years. Still though, we got together to vote on the OTHER cards that did qualify. It's a good reason to get together and share a meal with the family. The winner, if you recall, receives a letter of acknowledgement from my parents and the picture is framed and hung in the hallway of their home.

The owl card won this year and was sent by my sister Lori. The card below it came in 2nd and was sent by my niece. Their family get's 3 votes and have no qualms about cheating, but this year they actually did send the best two cards, after the card we sent of course.

Yesterday's events were a reminder for me to go through my cards and pick out the best ones that I received.

The top one is from the Bears, as you might suspect. The next one is from my Mokena friends, Terry and Sandie.

These cityscapes are from intellectual property attorneys with whom I actually haven't worked and the second one is from my parents!

And this pooch card is from my sister Bee. Very good card.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Friday Fun

Thought I'd just post some pics today.

 These are the softball uniforms I've had since I started playing about 11 years ago.

Here's another picture with a few more added I think. Guess there's no reason to post the first one, but it's already posted. Ha!

And here's February's calendar picture downstairs. A great picture from a great day.

And here's our other calendar's pictures for February. Lots of good pictures from our dinner on Thursday at Barrachina. That's my niece that I'm hugging, my parents, Mokena Terry and Sandie, Linda and Greg and me with Greg. Good pics!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Saturday and Therapy

It was a busy, busy weekend.....or at least Saturday. Sunday was busy too I guess, but just in a different way. First, back to Saturday. As we had turned the baby's room into....the baby's room, we had to move stuff.......well...out. Unfortunately a good chunk of it made it to the hallway and no further. So with guests coming over for the big game, even though they are good friends, the crap needed to be relocated or tossed. A good portion of the stuff we earmarked for sale by my parents at a future garage sale to be determined. The rest of it was moved to offsite storage, pitched, consolidated or stored in a closet downstairs.

Then we tackled this wall decal. LL bought it from Etsy and it had about 15 separate pieces that had to be lined up just so.  It took both of us the better part of an hour, maybe longer now that I think about it, to get it all set up. The finished product is pretty sweet though. LL has a great eye for decorating!!

Just another view.

On a separate note, as you recall, I'm going to physical therapy in an effort to help my herniated disc. The interesting part of this set of sessions is that it starts with an extended period of deep tissue work on muscles and "knots" in my upper back.  For this part, my PT uses Graston tools pictured here:

Yeah, the tools are dug into the muscles pretty hard, does lead to some bruising, but in the long run the breakdown of the knots will help stabilize the muscles in a more normal fashion. 

The Graston portion is followed up by dry needling. Dry needling is similar to acupuncture, but they limit the needles to just the impacted areas (so no wrists or feet or other areas).  For me, it's obviously limited to the upper back and neck area, so I had the PT take pictures. You can see the redness from the Graston tools.

After the needling, I go through about 45 minutes of regular physical therapy: lifting weights, stretching tiny muscles, etc, etc. Today I was gone from 1:30-4:30 at PT as I have to take a bus there and back. It was a long afternoon.