Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My 3 year old

Happy Birthday, Allison!!! (even though I'm a few days late)
I cannot even begin to express how much fun we are having with you. You are a constant joy and life wouldn't be the same without your bright smile! I love the way you kiss and hug so willingly, and how you wake up every morning (and afternoon after naptime) with a smile on your face and a desire to cuddle. I love the way you idolize your big brother - and what a good big brother he is! - and try to copy everything he does and says. Not that you need to copy him - you have some pretty good ideas yourself! You are awfully independent, but occasionally remember that you need mommy and daddy around.

Here are some things I always want to remember about you at 3 years old:
1. You eat almost anything I put in front of you, willingly, even green things.
2. You love to play house.
3. You love to have your hair done.
4. You learned to ride your tricycle with the big kids.
5. You are brave - more brave than Elijah and me!!! You don't seem scared of heights. I don't know if that is a good thing or not.
6. You are officially potty-trained. Whew. Glad that's over.
7. You giggle constantly. Never stop that.
8. You love the Brewers and say that Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are your favorite players.
9. You make up silly songs all the time and then ask me, "Is dat funny, mommy?"
10. You still sleep all night long (since 4 weeks old!) and cheerfully go to bed.

What a gift you are to us, Allison Keona. Happy Birthday. We love you.
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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It's My New Favorite Summertime Drink

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Mix 8 T of ground coffee with enough cold water to make 8 cups of coffee in a french press (or a mason jar).
Let the mixture sit for 12-24 hours.
Press down the grounds (or strain through a coffee filter) and then add an equal amount of water to the brewed coffee.
Store a pitcher in the refrigerator and serve over ice . . . or . . . add a can of sweetened condensed milk for a frappucino-type drink.

So delicious, even my non-coffee-drinking husband asked for a second glass.

You can read here why cold brewing makes a significant difference in the taste.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Boston, Day 3

It was Friday morning. Our last day in Boston. With no business meetings to attend and no schedules to keep, we arranged for a late check out from our hotel and ventured off into the city to do some more sight-seeing. But first I had to eat.

Ever since we arrived in Boston, Dan and I kept noticing Dunkin Donuts on every corner. Walk up the stairs from the T and invariably there was one on the corner. They were more abundant than Starbucks, and that's saying something. But wouldn't you guess it, the morning I'm looking for a quick breakfast that travels, we couldn't locate one anywhere. So we headed back to the hotel before I fainted from hunger and caffeine withdrawal and went to Starbucks.

Okay, then we were off again. First stop: Fenway Park Dan assured me that Fenway is historical, so that's the only reason I agreed to this outing. As we walked around the perimeter of the field, I felt like we were actively betraying our Milwaukee Brewers. And then Dan mentioned the unthinkable - he wanted to buy a Red Socks t-shirt. He explained to me that Boston is not a division rival to Milwaukee, so it was okay to root for them. I couldn't handle it. I was just about ready to make a teary call to Miller Park just to offer my apologies, when Dan saw the prices of the t-shirts and decided against the betrayal. It was a close call.

Next stop: Boston Common, America's oldest public park. We had started off here on our first day, as this is where the freedom trail begins, but we didn't spend any amount of time exploring the park, so we came back to enjoy the scenery and do some serious people watching.
This is a picture of a monument. I'm sure it's historical.

I parked myself along the edge of the pond in the middle of the park. People were feeding ducks and I just sat in the shade and enjoyed the rest. All this walking was wearing me out. Dan wandered around and took some more pictures, including this one of the famous swan boats.
And what is a day in the park without grabbing a hot dog from a street vendor? Dan likes to take pictures of me eating. He's strange, I understand that now.
Stop #3: The Boston Public Library. This was actually just across the street from our hotel, so we decided to stop there after we checked out of the hotel. I checked my email and we wandered a bit.
This giant lion reminds me of our local library. What? You mean your local library doesn't have stories-tall paintings on the walls surrounded by gargantuan lion sculptures resting on marble blocks? Too bad.

This area reminds me of our children's library. Rows and rows of dust-free tables, not a whisper audible, with people absorbed in reading books or working on their laptops. What's that you say? Your children's library is loud and has tables strewn with books and puzzles? I feel sorry for you.
The Boston Public Library has a courtyard in the middle with cafe tables and a fountain, just like my public library. Actually, now that I think about it, the Boston Public Library is almost identical to our local, small-town library. I'm not even sure why we took pictures of it.

We ended the evening walking along the wharf and Dan rested while I took another picture to prove he came along on the trip. Apparently wearing a "Boston" t-shirt signaled to many that we were tourists. We were asked where we are from a few times. But only in the nicest ways. The locals are friendly.We ate dinner at the Cheers Restaurant, a duplicate of the television show. Apparently the bar that inspired the show is tiny and only a watering hole, so we skipped that on our tours and stopped here to eat.
And whatd'ya know? We got a picture of us together!
We returned to the hotel and collapsed, with a 4AM wake-up call scheduled. It was an enormously fun trip, and I would suggest it to any couple looking for a fun get-away. Although we'll wait a few years before we go back with the kids.