Early Adopter

I keep coming up with reasons that I don’t want an iPad. The story typically revolves around closed system, no multitasking, high connectivity rates, etc. Here’s what I think is the real reason. I am tired of being the early adopter. I bought a Palm VII for portable internet connectivity in the 1999/2000 era. I bought the first color ipod that did music AND pictures. I bought a brick of a windows laptop that was a tablet so I could draw with a stylus instead of a curser. Eventually cooler gadgets came out and I was stuck with the prototypes. I will somehow show patience with this one so I don’t have the early adopter’s remorse.

2010 Goals

I was able to take the last two weeks of the year off to reset. It took me awhile to get out of the normal schedule. Sadly, my sleeping never got back on track. I could only sleep 5-6 hours a night. I do need to get this back on track this year. This brings up the topic of my New Years Resolutions. I have had previous ones about writing more, cooking more, etc. This year I am putting these goals on the back burner and focus on some other things that might be in the way as well as some that are continuation of previous years.

1. 2010 – the year of the declutter: We don’t have a lot of stuff but we have enough where I can’t find thing and that is driving me bonkers. I pretty much had a meltdown on New Years Day when I couldn’t find the sewing machine manual and since I haven’t sewn since 7th grade this was a big deal. I will go through every drawer, every bookcase, every box, every closet and anything else that I see. f things are broken, then it will be repaired. This effort also includes emails, digital files, online presence (linked in, website, facebook, twitter). It’s a BAG but I need to start working towards it so I quit wasting time and energy sorting though the muck.

2. Expand workout routine to include weights at least once a week. I started running 2 years ago. Last year I added the My Fitness Coach for the Wii. I ended up the year doing these 2 things 4-6 times a week for 45 minutes each time. I usually work out at 5am so I get it done before work. The last couple of weeks have been off quite a bit but I did enjoy the break from the schedule. Once the work year starts, I’ll be on the treadmill of the daily routine. My stretch goal would be to do weights twice a week.

3. Use our media better. I want to put together a video recap of 2009 using the footage that we shot last year. It may be a short recap, but I need to start somewhere. I also want to go back and do photo books for 2003-2007. We started doing the Apple books last year. It would be nice to have the series complete for the years that the kids are around.

4. Decorate the house more. We need to update pictures of the kids as well as put artwork up on the walls that are bare. I would like a few more tables/book shelves to display things and store things better. Our house as minimal wall space so the opportunity for tables and flat surfaces are somewhat limited.

5. Enjoy free time more – set targets and work to get them done but during the other time, completely checkout and have fun. I have been spending most of my time catching up (rss, emails, laundry, etc.). I need to carve out time for relaxing and enjoying family time more. We played Clue yesterday and we had a blast. I need to make sure that those times continue even after I get back into the work mode.

So that sums up my goals. I will check back on the progress. It’s going to be a very good year and hopefully, I’m in a better place at the start of 2011 to take on the goals that I have been struggling with the last few years.

Crunch Time

It’s the end of October and soon we will be living in overwhelm. Here’s how it stacks up:

October 31st – Halloween
November 5th – Owen’s birthday
November 8th – Owen’s friends party
November 10th – Ariel’s 17th birthday
November 16th? – Combined “family” birthday party
November 20th – Wedding Anniversary
November 27th – Thanksgiving
December 1st – Alex’s birthday
December 6th? – Alex friends party
December 21st-28th – Hanukkah
December 25th – Christmas
December 31st – New Years – last event!

Somewhere in there will be a Holiday Program, other holiday parties (Mark’s), school visits (on the quest for the perfect 1st grade spot for Alex), cookie making day, tree decorating and shopping.

Guessing we can take a break in 2009.

South Dakota

We’ve been back for a week. The kids loved South Dakota. I’m pretty sure that their overall favorite part of the trip was the swimming pools at the hotel.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Our GPS logging our trip — top speeds, elevation, miles to the next destination. We always had an answer for the kids when they asked how much longer we would be driving.
  • Driving through Bear Country following a car with a banana on its roof. Apparently, the bears have no interest in food.
  • Total darkness in Crystal Cave in Rapid City. We never knew that you would lose your site if you had no source of light for 3 weeks.
  • Petting farm is always a favorite of the kids. The pig race was nutty — the pigs went a lot faster than I expected. There was kool-aid at the end for them.
  • The GPS has no fear of narrow, windy, very high roads.
  • The Buffalo (or Beefalo as my family calls them) in Custer State Park was amazing. We were lucky to get to see a group of them in and around the road we were on. Bummed that our video camera was in the trunk (we ended up there after we overthought the GPS directions).
  • Crazy Horse is huge and the fact that they don’t accept government funding is very cool and definitely worth supporting.
  • The drives were gorgeous.
  • Wall drug was bigger then we thought and not super cheesy but we are partial to nickel coffee.
  • The oddest question is when we were in Sturgis looking for a place for lunch, one salesperson in a store said “that’s tough since you don’t want your kids around liquor” – omg, these kids have WI blood in them, this is not an issue for our family.
  • It was shocking our conservative South Dakota is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many Anti-Abortion billboards in one place. It was the picture of W in the workout room in a hotel in Sioux Falls that creeped me out. Thank God for the lesbian couple sighting at Mt. Rushmore – it grounded me.
  • The walk around Rushmore was gorgeous although a big challenging for the kids.
  • Adam discovered the car door was not all the way locked when the keys were inside. Sadly, he discovered this after he call the Volvo Roadside Assistance people.
  • There seems to be no veggies in South Dakota.
  • Indian Tacos at Cheyenne Crossing were by far the best food on the trip.
  • By far the nicest people we’ve encountered on our travels.

Family Highlights/Observations:

  • The kids did perfect in the car. We used our friends suggestion of activity bags and we added headphones for music. There was absolutely no need for DVD players for them.
  • The pools in the hotel were critical for them. Gave them a chance to exercise after long days driving.
  • We packed lunchboxes with snacks for them. Since Owen is a snacker, this was the only way that we could make sure that he ate something on the trip. Eating is not a skill for him, snacking is.
  • We had rooms with a separate bedroom – this was perfect for the post-kid cocktails.
  • Internet in Sioux Falls was not the greatest but since I’ve switched over to RSS feeds instead of going to the sites, it was manageable.
  • We did not take enough pictures. It?s challenging with 2 kids though.
  • Owen used this trip as an opportunity to work on his potty training. It went well except that sheer amount of time spent in the various restrooms.
  • Alex went days living on chicken nuggets and fries. That was a lot more than Owen ate.
  • Breakfast at the hotels were crowded but served the need very well.
  • We bought Owen’s t-shirt at Empire Mall in Sioux Falls. The kid never asks for anything.

It was a great trip!

Here are some pictures : 2008 South Dakota Pictures

Out and About Drinking Martinis

For the past week or so, I?ve been able to have the kid coverage to go out and have a few martinis. Last Thursday, I went to The View in Minneapolis with my friend Holly. I had a lemon pear martini that was not on the menu. It was pretty good but the lemon seemed to overpower the pear. On Friday, Adam and I went to The Chambers and had a Thyme Vodka Lemonade (or something close to that name). That was a great drink. The first one we ordered we had in a highball with lots of ice. We ordered the next one straight up. It was very good both ways. You know when you talk about it the next day, it must be pretty good.

Adam and I have cocktail hour at home once the kids go to bed. We have been in a rut lately so we brought out one of our cocktail books. That has certainly helped to jazz up our ?at home date.? We?ve had Lady of Leisure which was a gin and chambord drink. Last night we had Sex on The Dunes. We actually cracked out the unopened bottle of peach schnapps for that one. All in all, it?s been a good week for waking up the tastebuds.

Uptown Night

We were in Go Home a few nights ago One of our favorite stores. Every time we are in Uptown without kids we spend quite a bit of time there. Last night?s acquisition was a weeble bottle opener. Now we need to have screen porch time this Friday or at least sometime soon.

Uptown lost Campiello recently. That was news to us. Too many cool places have bit the dust since the cloud of what will happen with Calhoun Square. I miss Borders, I miss Beezwax. And I actually miss The Smiling Moose. Even the Gap was the loss despite being a chain.

We went to Barbette on the same night. Done with that place for awhile – atmosphere much better than drinks. We finished the night at Zeno. Either they just added liquor or we missed it before. Great drinks — Adam had a Not So Classic Cosmo — we both loved it. I had the Coast to Coast — it was good but not like Adam?s. The waiter talked us into a drink that wasn?t on the menu. How could you not order it? It was gin, orange juice, pom and sugar. I might be missing something in there but it was amazing. I?m wanting to get back soon to have that one again.

We still contend that if Lucias or the Uptown Bar vacate, we will need to seriously consider our decision to live here. We are not here because of the stellar schools. But with Zeno?s new drinks and Go Home — it?s not a bad place to live.