My son got his most recent issue of Ranger Rick yesterday and we got to read a bit of it last night while he had a friend over.  Both boys and my daughter were amazed to hear that ladybugs (really ladybirds) come in all different colors.  While they were sleeping, I looked up a few pictures to share.

Most are from this site.  Here are some unique shots:

This is my favorite!  I also looked for a purple one, but didn’t find one yet.

Lots more variation:

Oh, and as an aside, part of the article mentioned that some people think all ladybugs are female since they have the word “lady” in the name.  As I started to read it, my son said something to the effect of “Well that couldn’t be true because you need males and females to make the babies”  Guess we’ve got that part down 🙂

Also, my daughter was sad to learn that just because he got his “Ranger Rick” it didn’t mean that she would get her new “Highlights” magazine on the same day.  She is looking forward to it coming!  Thanks mom 🙂

No Cavities :)

The kids had their first dentist appointments today and everything went incredibly well.  Their teeth look great and neither one had any cavities.  The hygienists and the dentist were all fantastic..they took both kids at the same time in side-by-side chairs with a seat for me right there. 

If anyone is looking for a pediatric dentist near Beachwood, I would highly recommend this practice.

Here are the kids’ pictures.  The dentist gave us a folder full of info. plus these shots of the kids to take home.


Birthday fun and fun and fun

Due to waiting until the last minute to try to set up a birthday party for my daughter, we celebrated many times over the week.

First we headed down to my dad’s to celebrate. My aunt and her grand-daughter came too!  It was a bit rough at times as my son had trouble handling his sister getting stuff he liked.  It came totally out of left field (for me) as he hasn’t ever had trouble in the past.  Now at least I will know to prep him in the future…

Then we had my mom, step-dad, and J’s sister over the night of her b-day.

Finally, we had J’s parents and his sister over on Sunday for her b-day and Father’s day.

She also got stuff from me and J. when she woke up on her b-day.  She got a fish tank for her own (they picked out all the decorations) along with a tiny goldfish she named Lucy, a crocheted monkey she named Mike, and a jewelry box which she promptly turned into a tiny doll hotel, LOL.

Monkey in progress:

Finished Monkey:

Wii Would Like to Play

My mom offered to buy J. and me a combined present for our anniversary (which was the 13th), our b-days, and Christmas.  I jokingly asked if we could get a Wii with it, but after she said “yes”, we started seriously considering it.

I have been frustrated about the idea of working out and trying to fit it into our schedules for quite a while.  Gym memberships do nothing for me.  So we made the jump and got a Wii and then decided to add on the “Wii Fit”. At this point, I have been working out for 6 days, getting up in the AM with J. before he goes to work.  We are alternating between the PS2’s “Kinetic” and the Wii’s “Wii Fit”, each of us working out at the same time in different rooms.  I really like both programs…”Wii Fit” is neat because it measures your balance and weight in addition to having Yoga, strength training, and aerobic activities.  I just don’t think it is very rigorous.  “Kinetic” on the other hand has me sweating after just the warm up and then chasing imaginary things around the room and punching and kicking using a camera which puts me “in” the workouts on screen.  It also has a nice targeted workout and a cool-down with stretching.

Of course we added on some stuff for the kids as well, “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” and “Mario Party 8”.  It is amazing what they put in games these days.  In SSBB, you can actually create your own boards using drag and drop menus along with the Wii remote controls and then play them just like any other.  As you play and create, you open up more stuff to build the boards with.  “Mario Party 8” is pretty much just like the older versions which we have always loved, but with new games and new ways to use the controllers.

So far, I am loving the Wii.

10 Years!

J. and I have now been married for 10 years 🙂

To celebrate, we decided to go to the Watermark restaurant in the flats because we had our first date there and that is where J. proposed.  One of our friends graciously agreed to babysit the kids and we headed downtown to go out to eat.

Only one problem- when we got there, it appeared to be abandoned.  We hadn’t bothered calling for reservations because we were going for an early dinner and didn’t think it would be busy.  It turned out to be definitely abandoned as were most of the buildings down there.  I couldn’t believe it.  Only 11 years ago, it was hopping every night.  There were clubs all over.  It was busy enough that the city added an extra rapid stop down there.  We decided to drive around and find another place for dinner and wound up at Mallorca where the food and drink was fantastic.

Before we left the flats, however, I did grab a few pictures of the now empty Watermark, the Nautica Queen (the boat on which we were married), and the booth where I used to sell photos to folks who went on the Nautica dinner cruises (It was my first paying job while I was still attending CWRU).  Back then, I had to take the rapid to Tower City and then walk down to the flats.  After all the money and work putting in the rapid, it appears to not be getting much use.  It was quite depressing to see it all so run down.

After getting home, I “Googled” the Watermark and found out it closed 5 years ago!