Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pinewood Derby

The boys recently participated in the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. This was Nick's third year and Seeger's first year.

I love seeing them in their uniforms!

I helped in the concession stand so I gave Nicklas my camera and asked him to take some pictures. He did a great job!

Before the race the den leaders gave out some recent accomplishments. Nicklas received six belt loops and three pins. Seeger received four belt loops. Then it was race time! This is a photo of Nick's car getting ready to race. He received a first, a tie for first and another first.

Seeger's is the white car. It was in last place until the end when it got second. In addition to that second place, he received a third and a first.

And here's a shot of their cars.

Click here for my post from the 2010 Pinewood Derby.

And click here for my post from the 2009 Pinewood Derby.

Friday, February 18, 2011


These are the kinds of texts I receive from my mom. We have no idea
why her messages convert to gobbligook but it happens every once in


I've left Tampa and I'm now in St. Petersburg. My hotel room isn't
ready yet but they comped my drink and I'm sitting by the pool.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

ESPN, grieving, and Tampa - otherwise known as my longest post ever

Woo boy, has it been awhile since I've posted. So much has happened... I must catch you up on the crazy, busy, exhausting past 2 weeks. It all began two weekends ago... We spent a quiet Friday night at home but Saturday was full of activities - Seeger's tae kwon do (referred to as TKD from here on out - just because I have think too hard to remember how to spell it) and Nicklas and I had a research study to participate in on campus. After, I made a few appetizers for the evening and then we headed to the IU baseketball game. The reason for the apps... stuffed mushrooms, fruit pizza and something else I don't remember... for game night with some friends. Sunday was LAUNDRY and Nick's hockey practice. I had great intentions of cleaning the apartment but chose to spend time with family instead. I knew I should have done it but I didn't. And I regretted it. Because Monday and Tuesday were busy with activities. Actually, we had a quiet evening at home on Monday so I should have cleaned the apartment then BUT I didn't. I don't remember why. I'm sure I had a good reason. Tuesday was the PTO meeting, TKD, and Nick's first basketball game. His team won and he played great defense.

So obviously, I didn't have time clean on Tuesday.

Wednesday was the closing on our land/future house. Exciting! (Although, while we were at the closing, we got a call from Nicklas who informed that Seeger had taken the bus home instead of going to aftercare so GASP, he was home alone - well with Nicklas - but that's bad. And it was his teacher's fault because I had written a note to tell her he should go to aftercare and she got the note but she "neglected to see that Seeger got in the wrong line" and she was very sorry "but sometimes he is forgetful". Forgetful? FORGETFUL? You make a mistake lady and your blaming a SIX YEAR OLD?!) So yeah, no cleaning on Wednesday.

And I felt bad because I knew that the following Tuesday, I was headed out of town for a week and the Polack's parents were coming to stay with him and the boys to help out. And our apartment was dirty and we didn't have any food in the house. So I needed to clean and shop and have everything ready for guests. And I knew I had some upcoming busy days so I decide that I'll do all the cleaning and shopping on the upcoming Sunday, pretty much the only free day I have. Sounds good, right? I love having a plan.

Then Thursday comes. On Thursday evening, the Polack and I went to the builder to pick out all of the stuff for our house... carpet, cabinets, wood floors, sinks, shutters, siding. The whole kitten kaboodle. (Does anyone ever say that anymore? It's so 1980's.) Everyone says that this is the worst part about building a house because of the fighting that occurs when two people can't agree between sandstone and merlot. So with each choice, the Polack and I internally picked out our favorite, said "one, two, three" and pointed to our favorites. And each time WE PICKED THE SAME THING. Except one time but it was settle amicably. Cause we're cool like that. For the record, it's dark tan siding with black shutters and merlot cabinets with dark countertops.

And let's black track a bit. Just before all the choosing, the Polack gets a phone call from his dad and finds out that Uncle Tom has passed away. So sad. We knew the call would probably happen soon but it definitely didn't make it any easier. Uncle Tom was the T family patriarch. So in the midst of all the choosing and decisions and what not, we are makings plans to take the trek to Detroit for the funeral.

So after our appointment with the builder, it's pretty late and we head home BUT because I was going to spend the next days hosting some VIP's, I have to stop at the car wash to clean my salt covered car. And vacuum the inside. And armoral everything. Just what I wanted to be doing in 20 degree weather at 8:00 at night.

Oh and I forgot to mention what the boys did all day... Nicklas got home from school and our new awesome babysitter (who is a local so she is around during spring break and summer woo hoo!) met him and waited for Seeger to get off the bus. Then she helped them with their homework and walked Seeger down the street to TKD. Then she made them dinner. Did I mention she's awesome? I would seriously pay her every day if it meant she helped with homework and cooked dinner!

So the next day... the first VIP I spend the day with is Sage Steele. She happens to be an IU grad and we've invited her back to campus to receive a distinguished alumni award. Since we flew her here all the way away from Connecticut, I packed her schedule for the two days she was campus. I spent the Friday driving, walking, dragging her from place to place. And she is AWESOME. So gracious and so open to talk to anyone and never wanting to leave until she answered every question and posed for every picture. And since we have the same kind of car, we both have son's named Nicklas/Nicholas, and we both met our husbands at IU, I definitely think were soul sisters. Or at least, I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Friday night was the Boy Scout Blue and Gold Banquet. Pitch in = no cooking. Woo hoo! Nicklas loved the all you can eat pizza and Seeger was so proud to receive his next badge.

Saturday was another work day for me. Nicklas and I hosted some students and Sage for lunch. The students freaked out about the menu because they didn't know what any of the options were - except Macaroni and Cheese. Nicklas did much better... he ordered Calamari. He also wowed the group as he was reciting statistics from previous sporting events that he had attended. Sage wants to hire him to help her out! After lunch we did some tours on campus and returned folks to their respective places as I headed back to campus to pick up our next VIP, Dominique Dawes. Dominique isn't an alum but we paid to bring her to campus to serve as a keynote speaker for our event. So I had to drive her to a community Q&A and then to big event. By the time the event came around, I was exhausted from constantly being "on" the past two days. Luckily, I snagged a drink ticket, got myself a glass of wine, and chowed down on dinner. I also ate two deserts. So there.

My Sunday cleaning plan didn't happen. We got up early and made the trip to Detroit for Uncle Tom's showing on Sunday and funeral Monday. It was a long drive but the boys were awesome. Praise the lord for portable DVD players and the Nintendo dsi. We spent two days with family, relaying memories about Uncle Tom, eating at Big Boy, and crying. Lots of crying for me anyway. This was the first funeral Nick attended where he actually knew the person. We spent 8 hours at the showing and right as we were leaving, Seeger looked at the casket and asked if Uncle Tom was a real person. After showing we headed to my aunt and uncle's house who also happen to live in Detroit. Well close enough anyway. Next day was funeral 0 they played Taps so that made me cry a whole bunch more - a meal at the Hazel Park Lion's Club, and then we headed home. My mom happens to live half way between Bloomingotn and Detroit so we were able to make a quick stop for dinner at Culver's. She wanted to go to my favorite restaurant - Casa d'Angelo's - but it was Valentine's Day so she decided against. Oh yeah... Valentine's Day. We arrived at home around 11pm Monday evening. Thank god, the boys feel asleep before we got to Indianapolis. So we go to bed and the next morning the Polack goes to work. (He was exhausted I'm sure. I don't know for certain though because I was still asleep when he left.) I got the kids off to school and then unpacked and repacked myself. Because I had a 7 day work trip to begin. So now I'm in Tampa. I'm spending three days at a conference, two days doing donor visits, and one day attending an IU Alumni Association event. Good times I tell ya. Everyone is all, 'oh you're so lucky, you're in Florida.' But when I'm here by myself, it's definitley not as fun. Actually, I'm not by myself. My Dean is here. So that's almost worse because I have to be "on" around him all the time. So after spending two days holed up in the conference hotel, I made myself go outside and spend a few hours by the pool today. I took my lap top and got a lot of emails taken care of. Tomorrow the conference ends at noon and we're changing hotels. It will be relatively relaxing. Saturday, we're driving three hours to visit a donor who lives on Lake Okeechobee. He's an interesting character but he's going to take us out on his boat so I'm really looking forward to that. I'm a lake girl after all. When I was making plans with us, he said it was too bad he didn't have any frog legs to prepare for our visit. And he was serious. Eww.

The Dean leaves on Sunday and I'm here until Tuesday. I'll have most of Monday to myself so I asked a local what I should do. He wrote me a list:
Busch Gardens
St. Pete/Clearwater Beaches
Dali Museum
Tampa Museum of Art
Billy Elliott at Straz Performing Arts
Outlet Mall in Ellentown
Ybor City - historic Tampa
Lowery Park Zoo

I'm not feeling beach prepared. No sunscreen or blanket or chair or anyting so that's out. And I don't want to pay for Busch Gardens. I've seen Billy Elliott. I'm not a big Dali fan. I will happen to be at the Tampa Museum of Art for the alumni event on Monday so that's something I can check off the list. I think I'll try Ybar City Sunday evening, after I drop off the Dean at the airport. That leaves the Outlet Mall and Zoo and I figure the Zoo will be cheaper. That's my plan for now anyway!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Damn You Auto Correct

I wish I could blame auto correct but really, I'm a poor iPhone typer.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I'm really bummed that this app-full of Atari, Nintendo, Gameboy, and other flaskback systems- isn't available for the iPhone.

On other app related res, I DID download the Roadside America app. It's has way more attractions than the book. So exciting! I'm happy to say I've already seen a few in my lifetime - like the Hapy Face Water Tower in Ashley and the Giant Bowling Pin in Fort Wayne. But that's not enough... I must get pictures to show you!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Persausive Letter

The fourth grade is working together to put on a production of The Lorax. The students were assigned to write a persuasive letter for the part they would like to have for the play. Below is Nick's:

Persuasive letter

Dear Mrs. Teacher,

I want to be the Lorax for the 4th grade play. One reason is that I am a good actor because I have had experience before. Other reasons are that I have an expressive face and I’m very self confidant.

I’m also very comfortable in front of an audience because I’ve preformed before and I don’t get nervous. Plus, I could improvise if someone gets sick or makes a mistake.

I’m very familiar with the Lorax because I read the book a lot when I was little and I still like it today. I know the role and I feel OK with the lines and I would make sure that every line gets memorized by heart.

I feel good that I might get a shot at this part and I know that I will do my best to do a good job if you choose me and if you don’t then I will not have any hard feelings.

So that is why I hope that I get the part of the Lorax, and if I don’t get it, then I hope that I get the Once-ler because of the same reasons I wrote above.


I think it's in the bag!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Best and Worst

Seeger's worst - getting his ear flushed
Nick's worst - taking forever at the doctor
Mike's worst - finding out Seeger is sick and having to go to the
school to pick him up and spending the entire Friday night at the doctor
Natalie's worst - seeing Seeger in pain and not being able to fix it
Seeger's best - probably getting ice cream and picking the table to
sit at
Nick's best - it's Friday but only feels like a Tuesday or Wednesday
Mike's best - free dinner
Natalie's best - Seeger is much better now

Natural Ice

A friend from work must be tired of hearing me complain about my lip balm woes. She bought me these for my birthday.

She found them on Amazon. She's amazing! The Polack's mom found some Fresh Effects for me at the Lafayette Walgreens and bought what she could. (Unfortunately, Bloomington doesn't have a Walgreens.) But that's okay because with 8 tubes of lip balm, I should be set for another year or so.

I'm a lucky girl!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Random Thought Thursday

1. Ack - it's Thursday night and I almost forgot RTT!

2. I'm typing this on the Polack's computer and I'm super annoyed because I have trouble with his keyboard. Plus it doesn't light up so I keep making mistakes.

3. It's been a crazy week in Btown. We didn't get hardly any snow - like our neighbors north of us. But we were right on the cusp of things so we had freezing rain which covered everything with several layers of ice. It was really, really pretty but shut down everything - even the University. And now, well it's just really windy and really cold. The boys had three days off of school and the Polack had four. I'm worried that they'll be going to school until July.

4. I got to do two things I've been wanting to do since we moved here this summer. I shopped at Sahara Mart - a local international grocery. They have lots of unusual food and I found something from Sweden but not Norway so I think I'll have to go back. We bought stuff for gyro's and a new Thai dish (that I don't remember the name of.)

5. We also visiedt Little Nashville. Too bad most of the stores were closed. We made the 30 minute drive there because there is branch of our former bank and we needed some paperwork for our closing. We stopped in a cute little shop that had coffee and some sweets. It had been fifteen years since I was last in Nashville and I can't wait to go back.

6. The Polack and I are trying to figure out our Superbowl plans. Decisions, decisions.

7. My new favorite show is Parenthood and I don't really know anyone else who watches it. It's SO GOOD and I'm sad I can't share it with anyone. But a show that has Coach, Lorelei, Aiden, and Ann has got to be good, right? Except it also has Dax who is just dirty and gross.

8. Speaking of shows.... the Polack and I finished Season 1 of Deadwood. I highly recommend it. We're now watching Season 5 Dexter. FINALLY. When we were visiting my family last week, my brother copied several series for me and my other brother gave me a home theater hook up thingie for my birthday. We all set!

9. I'm ready to do my taxes and get them over with. Except I lost one of the Polack's W-2's. I'm freaking out about it because I can't find it anywhere. Grrr...

10. Edye's Girl Scout Cookie ice cream was buy one get one free at the store tonight. Score!


Seeger's worst - having to wait for so long for dinner because he was
really really hungry + losing electronics
Nick's worst - bad day, losing electronics
Mike's worst - having to take away electonicsfor the boys because of
poor behavior
Natalie's worst - everyone seems to be getting on each others nerves
Seeger's best - nothing really, maybe playing with Kung Zhu's
Nick's best - dinner out
Mike's best - had fun when Natalie came home early
Natalie's best - checked two things off the fun list - visit Litte
Nashville and shopped at Sahara Mart