Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Gavin!

After a family lunch at Ella's Deli, we had a few friends over this weekend to celebrate Gavin turning 2. He rejected the chocolate cupcake we offered outright, but had a good time playing with Quinn, E.J. and Claire and trying to figure out his new tent, Mr. Potato Head and other cool gifts. We can't wait to see what year 3 brings from the G-Man!

Food for thought...

An interesting read in today's NY Times about a book that explores the idea that keeping options open may not always be the best idea...

"...In the real world, we can always tell ourselves that it’s good to keep options open.

You don’t even know how a camera’s burst-mode flash works, but you persuade yourself to pay for the extra feature just in case. You no longer have anything in common with someone who keeps calling you, but you hate to just zap the relationship.

Your child is exhausted from after-school soccer, ballet and Chinese lessons, but you won’t let her drop the piano lessons. They could come in handy! And who knows? Maybe they will."

Friday, February 22, 2008

A mom's work is never done... you can see from the time of this post, it was a late night tonight getting Gavin's cake made and assembled for tomorrow's mini party we are doing to mark his 2nd birthday. Yes, I could have turned to Betty Crocker, but it's against my nature. Show me a baking opportunity and I'll take it -- despite having worked a full week at the office and wanting to do nothing more than see what was waiting for me on the DVR. At least this year, I avoided making a cake in the shape of anything, thus avoiding the do-over that occurred the day before Gavin's 1st birthday extravaganza (picture Winnie the Pooh in a dozen pieces) Maybe someday I'll learn to cut corners, save time and bake from a box, but it's hard to do when homemade tastes so good and, as Don always says, has that special extra ingredient: L-U-V ; )

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

First School Picture

It was "picture day" a couple weeks ago at Gavin's day care and we couldn't be happier with how his photo turned out ... it's one week until our little man turns 2 and we can hardly believe how quickly the time has gone.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

More fun at the pool...

Splish splash

Gavin had his first swimming class today --- it's been awhile since he's been in a pool but as the film shows, he was pretty excited to be there!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yeah, it's kind of like this...

View from the upper deck, 10 PM Wednesday

While Jenny and Gavin were ?enjoying? a snow day last week, I was down in Houston with my brother Chris, taking in the Mexico - US match-up. Easily the loudest sporting event I have ever been at, including Badger games at the Field House back in the pre-Kohl Center days. More than 70k packed into Reliant Stadium, with Mexico fans making up at least 80-85% of that number. Now, I've seen the US play in Chicago before against England, but that was a true friendly. While this game was for pride only, it definitely felt like the result mattered, from the way the players played, to the way the fans were going crazy. Getting down there was an adventure of course with the blizzard going on. Luckily I had booked a flight from Madison direct to Dallas, which was one of about four flights to actually leave on Wednesday morning. I then sprinted through the Dallas airport to catch the connecting flight to Houston. Met up with Chris, dropped our stuff at his college buddies apartment and grabbed a late lunch, and chilled out for a couple of hours before heading for the Metro and the ride to the Stadium.

We took our seats about an hour before kick-off (not in the upper deck, about 14 rows up near the edge of the 18 yard box) and even with the stadium only about a quarter full the volume was already jacked up quite a bit. Landon, the player the Mexico fans love to hate received the loudest reaction from the crowd at his introduction, cheers from the US, jeers from the Mexico contingent. I was definitely charged up for the game at this point!

Mexico came out fired up and really did a good job of closing down the US everywhere on the field really limiting our possession for the first 20-25 minutes. They had the majority of the ball and created a couple of half chances that Howard was able to easily handle. We finally came into the game a little bit through Dempsey's hold up play and Donovan finally getting into some space. Onyewu's goal came against the run of play and they equalized quickly on a free kick. The rest of the half though showed some of the better play by the US as we kept the ball a bit and were dangerous on attack, leading to 18 year old Jozy Altidore's (#9) first goal in a US shirt and a 2-1 half time lead. I think Bradley has been smart about not putting too much pressure and expectation on the kid up to this point, but goals like this in big games will make it hard for the boss to bring him along slowly.

The second half started much like the first with the US playing much flatter than Mexico and they made us pay right away with a goal from a corner (um, Drew Moor, this may be your last chance for a while unless you learn to follow your man just a touch better). Once the substitutes started flowing the chances dryed up for both teams, though the US got some more consistent possession once Benny Feilhaber came into the midfield. Overall Mexico deserved at least the 2-2 result, if not better. Hopefully the US can take this and grow, improve, and get more consistency as they head into qualifying in June.

Overall, this was an awesome experience, well worth the expense and the travel, though I don't think I'd be able to manage it more than once a year or so. I'm already strategizing a WC qualifying trip though!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

View out the front door ... 10 p.m. Wednesday

We're making the best of a snow day...

While Don and Chris take in the U.S. v. Mexico tonight in Houston, TX, we're holding down the fort back home with a snow day that closed Gavin's day care. I was kind of hoping to use these vacation days when the weather is a bit nicer, but we're holding up OK. Hopefully we can get the real Mr. Smith to write a posting about his trip to the Lonestar State (yes he made it out of the Madison airport this AM, how lucky is that?).

Enough already!

WISC-TV meteorologist Haddie McLean said that Wednesday's forecast calls for blowing and drifting snow continuing throughout the day. Snowfalls should reach 10 to 14 inches in Madison and Dane County, 4 to 10 inches in north and west of Dane County and 12 to 16 inches south and east of Dane County.
We'll get to use the patio someday, I hope...