Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Obviously today was Matthew's first halloween and it was a really good one.

Things are really hectic here because Jodi and Matty are heading to Florida tomorrow and there is a lot of stuff to do. Also, Matthew has decided he would like to try going through life without sleeping, so things were a little tricky today - some highlights:

> Matthew woke up at around 5:45 and and I took him downstairs so Jodi could sleep - none of his normal cartoons were on so we watched The Blues Brothers which is his new favorite movie - can you guess why?
> We tried to give Matthew a nap at 10:30 and he proceeded to sleep for 10 minutes
> We managed to go to the park with Matthew and Belle but it was actually too windy to stay - Belle was about to fly in the air like a kite and we all know how Matthew's cheeks get windburned.
> Does anyone remember John Kerry who ran for president in 2004? Well, he was forgettable as a presidential candidate but has recently been getting crap done with the election debacle in Afghanistan. Either way, we saw him outside of Roche Brothers this morning
> Went to my parents' house for dinner and trick or treating; Matthew had a good first halloween - he got to trick or treat at a few houses and then came home and ate lasagna.
> You wouldn't believe the weather here; it was in the 70's today but cloudy and super windy; made for a good halloween scene with leaves blowing around.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Photos from this Weekend

Some pictures from yesterday with Matthew in his costume and some of us unwinding at the park.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween at the Zoo

Today we went to the zoo by our house, the Franklin Park Zoo which was having some halloween festivities. It was basically an opportunity for kids to get some additional use out of their halloween costumes. In terms of activities, there were a few trick or treat stations set up around the zoo and there was a bogus costume contest (Matthew entered but did not win).

This zoo isn't in the best shape but I thought the animals were pretty active - at one point a monkey came right up to the glass and peed on some fruit right in front of us. And the weather was absolutely fantastic, so we had a really good day.

Here is Matthew at the zoo in his Mickey Mouse suit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Toddler Time!!!

Here is a guest post from Jodi:

For the past 6 weeks, every Tuesday morning Matthew and I go to "Toddler Time". This is an hour play group for children Matthew's age. He loves it! The first half an hour is playtime in a big gymnasium filled with lots of toys. The second half an hour is circle time where we sing songs. Matthew's favorite song is "Row Row Row Your Boat".

It's truly amazing watching how much he has grown up over the past six weeks. At the beginning, I had to support him when he would sit on tricycles or rocking horses. Now he runs around the gym like he owns the place. Today I brought a camera to get some pics since next week is our last class. I'm glad I did because I was able to get some cute pics of Matthew playing and even one of him pushing a little girl in a car.

Just Some Random Video

Hope everyone is having a nice week.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Matthew and the Circus: The Prequel

Little known fact, before we actually went to the circus we went and checked out circus animals walking in Boston. The other night the elephants and the horses walked from Cambridge to Boston for the circus that was held this weekend. We went down and checked it out.

Here are a few more pics from today as well.

Matthew at the Circus

For years, whenever the circus came to town (which I think was every year), Jodi would ask to go and every time my response was an emphatic "no". I remember the one trip to the circus when I was a little kid being kind of smelly and somewhat unimpressive (no offense to my mom and dad who probably went to much expense and trouble to take us). And I think it is well documented I have been roundly unimpressed by Cirque du Soleil.

Anyway, so this year, Jodi says she wants to take little Matthew and again I am dead set against it. In fact, I figured I had a foolproof excuse: who would take a 1 year old to the circus? As you know, I am flexible so figured, "what the heck, let's go for it" .... assuming Matthew would make a scene and we'd be out of the there in time for the 4th quarter of the Texas-Oklahoma game.

Well, as you can see from this video, Matthew ended up enjoying the hell out of the circus. Of course this is less than a minute of coverage but I can assure you that Matty was a good boy all day. So good that he got a souvenir stuffed elephant. Not only did he sit in our laps watching the show and not cry too much for cotton candy, but he charmed the heck out of the two 5-year old girls sitting in front of us.

A solid day all around (and I didn't even mention the Italian sub I had for lunch .... I will admit I was wrong about the circus. I'm glad we went.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Couple More Pics

Matthew is a man of many talents ... but one that he has been using extensively in the past few days: the sidle. You might remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine was annoyed by a guy who sort of silently moved around her office and always popped up unexpectedly. So Elaine gives him a pack of Tic Tac's so she can hear him coming.

Not that he is moving around without us knowing his whereabouts but he has developed a knack for just popping up ... for example, you go in the fridge, grab the cream, close the door and there he is admiring some salad dressing and you're about to close the door on him. Or you are going to bathroom and you're just about to go but you hold up because you look down and there is Matthew about to touch the toilet rim.

Should we give him the Tic Tac's so we can hear him coming?

This One is for Jodi

Here is a quick shout out to Jodi who is working late tonight.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Obligatory Pics of Baby with Pumpkins

Today was a bad day for fans of Boston sports teams. But it is a good day for fans of cute kids sitting around a bunch of pumpkins.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Club Sandwich

Today, during our travels we stopped off for lunch at a restaurant called Burton's. This is a chain that is local to Boston. It is basically a restaurant serving American fare, that is modeled after the chain Houston's. We think it is pretty good. In fact, the Burton's near Fenway park hosted my dad's surprise 60th birthday party back in December of 2007. Little known facts about that party: the restaurant ran out of Budweiser because we drank them dry at the party and also, the waitstaff stole half of the nice cake we brought in from Konditormeister, and presumably ate it.

Anyway, back to today. We went to the Derby Street Shops which is a plaza of mall-type stores in an outdoor setting. You might refer to it as a "mixed use property" or a "lifestyle center". Anyway, I continue to digress. Jodi suggested going there and I was tempted with the prospect of eating a burrito at Baja Fresh a Mexican fast food place they have there. But upon arriving we found that Baja Fresh was in the process of being replaced by a Chipotle. We were faced with a decision but as we stumbled upon a Burton's it seemed like a better idea to hop in there as opposed to having to deal with a hungry Matthew, let alone a hungry Jodi.

As usual at lunchtime, I went in thinking salad but once I saw the Club Sandwich I was instantly sold. This particular club had the requisite turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato, but as an added bonus, it also came with ham. And not any ordinary ham, Cure 51 Ham. Now I don't know what this stuff is, but the last time I had this kind of ham it was on a club sandwich at (where else?)... Houston's. Needless to say it's a great addition to an already solid cast of ingredients.

Which brings me to the main point of my post. What is the deal with the Club Sandwich? We all eat them and we all certainly love them, but where did they actually come from? I usually associate Club Sandwiches with restaurants - and moreover, hotel restaurants. Some notable clubs that I have eaten:

Planet Hollywood: the first time I ate one I was hungover on the last day of Spring Break in Cancun (circa 1995) ; maybe anything would have tasted good; but it left an impression.
The Harbourtown Hotel, St. Michaels, MD: this the hotel we stayed at for my buddy Jon's wedding. This was a great hotel (right on the Chesapeake) with a great Club Sandwich to match. I ate club sandwiches two days in a row and one of the times, my buddy Cal's wife Eileen let me have all her ham; thanks Eileen.
Houstons: their claim to fame is the Honey Mustard - a perfect accompaniment to a club sandwich (try it with their chicken fingers); the best honey mustard for a club will usually be a little more mayo-y than mustardy.

Anyway, I did a little research online. Surprisingly, the Wikipedia entry was pretty sparse but there were some other informative links. According to legend, the first club sandwich was made at a gentlemen's horse betting club in Saratoga NY, sometime around 1894. It has been a staple at hotels and in country clubs and has seen many variations over time. It was said that the club was the favorite sandwich of former King of England Edward VIII and iconic American chef James Beard said of the club sandwich: "it is one of the great sandwiches of all time".

So, just some food for thought. Sorry for the rambling and pointless post. Your reward for putting up with this is some pics of little Matthew who will likely grow up to be a great connoisseur of sandwiches of all kinds.

ps. I did end up eating a Burrito tonight for dinner.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Knock Down Drag Out Competition

Not to be outdone by Matthew's escapades, Belle upped the ante by being good and posing for some pictures.

Matthew Doing Funny Things

Had another day hanging with the Mattster today.... that makes three days this week, which is ok with me. We are running out of stuff to do but managed to put on some music at which point Matthew decided to do pretty funny stuff. Luckily, I actually had the camcorder handy for a change.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Baseball Playoffs Start Up

Tonight the Red Sox play their first game in Anaheim against the Angels. The playoffs started yesterday with three games including a Yankees walkover against Minnesota. The Twins who came back to tie the Tigers for the AL Central on the second to last day of the season and then valiantly battled Detroit for an extra inning win this past Tuesday in the play-in game, are simply cannon fodder for a very good Yankee team. The Yankees, effectively given a first round bye, are able to tune up against an extremely overmatched Twins squad.

Meanwhile the Red Sox play the Angels for the fourth time this decade and we all know how successful they have been in the past. They managed to beat the Angels in 4 games last with Anaheim playing poorly in 2 of those game. The Red Sox will beat the Angels if their pitching holds up. The whole thing, including a possible matchup against NY in the ALCS could hinge on Sox 3rd starter, Clay Buchholz who is basically a rookie.

First pitch tonight is at 9:30 - while you waiting, check out a video my dad took of Matthew playing a toy piano.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Good Day Hanging Out with Matthew

As you know, we're right in the middle of Jodi's busy season which means Jodi is buried and working late (it is after 9:00 right now and she is still in the office). Today I took a vacation day and hung with Matty all day and had a great time - the day flew by. Here is what happened, in estimated chronological order:

8:10: Jodi leaves for work; I am having some breakfast with little Matthew who is eating some pancakes left over from yesterday.
8:30 - 9:45: managed to kill over an hour just chilling out on the couch in the living room; caught up on some email and Matthew was a good boy the whole time
9:50: go upstairs to check out some blocks; we realized we can stack the blocks a little higher by putting a book on the floor; this way we can go up to about 6-7 blocks before Matthew just totally knocks the whole thing down.
10:15: head downstairs to play outside; we set up this little play area in our garage where we have some larger sized toys that don't fit well in the house. We play a little but of course Matt is more interested in checking out a pile of wet leave on the driveway.
10:35: head out for a short walk, Matthew falls asleep a little less easily on these walks but they are still a pretty reliable way to get him to take a nap. We get back from the walk and I manage to do about an hour of work while little Matthew racks out in his stroller.
12:10: head inside, and hang out in the living room and watch some TV while I cook up some chicken nuggets
12:30 - 1: Matthew eats his nuggets and has some peaches; I eat a grilled cheese; we watched part of The Incredibles (great movie) on TV.
1:35: diaper change and then decide to head out for the afternoon; the original plan was to walk over to the park but I had a few thing to do (just basically holding down the household at this point) so I pile Matthew into the car and we headed to a different park (see pics).
2:30: made our way over to a different part of the park where there is playground equipment; usually the big highlight of the playground is the woodchips - Matty is usually happy to just play with the woodchips - he takes piles of them in his hands and sometimes sits down and just dumps handfuls of them on his pants. Sometimes when he thinks you aren't looking, he tries to eat one. Today he seems less interested in the woodchips and plays a little on the equipment; went down a slide and he even tried to climb up a slide. Matthew eventually realizes there is a wonderful new thing on the ground: acorns - he tries to carry about 5 in each hand and that is when I decide its time to take off.
3:00: headed to ice cream place for a little cool down; split a little cup of Mint Oreo ice cream (*we can get good stuff when Jodi isn't around) and I had a Rasberry Lime Rickey.
3:15: we head over the cash machine then I put Matthew into the car when I realize, one of his sneakers is missing. So I have to run back into the bank and ice cream shop where I find his sneaker under the highchair we were using.
3:30: feeling confident after a good time at the park and finding the missing shoe, I decide to take on the supermarket - and go for the gusto - so we head over to the Whole Foods.
3:47: things get off to a good start at Whole Foods who have a big bowl of apple slices at the front of the produce section. I figure, at these prices, these apple slices are probably clean so I give one to Matthew.
3:58: the apple is gone and Matthew is starting to get antsy (which makes two of us). Jodi told me to give him something to hold but that didn't seem to work all that well.
4:45: make it out of Whole Foods relatively unscathed after spending about $60 which should get us through maybe 2-3 meals; I had originally hoped to grab some prepared food that I could throw together for dinner but there wasn't much that was catching my eye
5:10: back at home, we're unloading groceries and greeting Belle
5:45: give Matthew a bath - he totally hates when I wash his hair
6:30: despite spending big bucks on stuff at Whole Foods, Matthew dines on Fish Sticks and some vegetables; I guess I could be lying and telling people how I cooked a big elaborate meal but I was out of ideas and basically consulted Jodi
7:30: bedtime for Matthew; I realize this is incredibly long and boring; if you are still reading right now you deserve a prize.
8:00: Goodnight!!

Friday, October 2, 2009