Happy 14th Birthday to Thomas

IMG_4348 Today is Thomas’ birthday and while we do have some fun plans for later today, right now it’s  a lonely morning with just the two of us. Normally we would be eating crepes with all the kids around the table, but since Daniel and Beth are gone Thomas thought it would just be too depressing to do crepes all alone. So we’ll wait until Beth comes home from LA for the official crepe breakfast. Instead he got bacon and eggs, which is not quite the production that crepes usually are.

For dinner tonight we’re going our favorite restaurant Knead Urban Diner with Daniel, Megan and my parents. After dinner we’re heading over to the Santa Maria for a haunted tour, then back to our house for ice cream sundaes. Since mom and I bought Thomas’ birthday present together he won’t get that until this evening and he is very anxious!

But I didn’t want the morning to be too sad so we got some balloons to brighten up the room and he also got 2 small presents to open right away. A new yo-yo that he had picked out months ago (and now can’t quite remember why he wanted it) and a box of…IMG_4326

…Boo Berry cereal (gross) since we don’t buy these kinds of cereals and this is a limited edition cereal that just comes out for Halloween I thought it would be a nice surprise. He was intrigued but still asked for bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of the sugary cereal (YES!)


Happy Birthday Thomas, you are my super sweet and easy child. The one that opens car doors for me, unloads the van without complaint, cleans the kitchen just to be nice, doesn’t argue (too much) is silly and funny and get along with everyone. You make people happy and everyone enjoys having you around. Daddy and I love you very much!

Happy 18th Birthday, to my little girl


who’s not such a little girl anymore…..

NY pic

This is Lena’s favorite (recent) picture of Beth and a lot more like her little girl self.

Alice Ritter

Beth’s morning started with being woken up by her BFF Lena, then we all ate our requisite b-day crepes. This was Lena’s first time having crepes. I don’t understand, doesn’t everyone do b-day crepes? Man I took really bad pictures of breakfast.




Now the girls are off to do a few things that you need to be 18 to do, cash in a winning $1 lottery ticket and buy a new one then register to vote. There was talk of buying a firearm but that idea was thankfully put to rest. There’s just not much else you can do when you finally turn 18.

***this was supposed to post yesterday but everything electronic that I touched quit working. argh!

Melancholy Birthday

67270_1667600973928_1354428950_31780469_3925028_nToday is my birthday and I am nauseous, anxious and completely out of sorts, not because I’m concerned about getting older or that life is passing me by, not at all, I LOVE everything about my life. I’m feeling this way because my little girl, who is almost 18 but not quite, is on her first solo trip to New York City to meet with her agents and get this modeling ball-a-rolling. I am so excited for her and I hope fabulous things come from this trip. But when they do then this will just be the first of many solo trips that she will be taking all around the world.

I wanted to be with her, had every intention of dropping all my birthday plans and leaving on very short notice to NY. But after back and forth talks with her agents they said that they really wanted Beth to come alone to show that she’s ready for all this. Sure I could have snuck along, I could have gotten a hotel room and stayed out of the picture. But if this is really what she wants and what we’ve been working towards then how is that going to help her in the long run? She wants to model, she is willing to put college on hold (and she is really excited about college) she is willing to leave her family (OK that’s more like eager) to travel this world and strut her stuff.

She can do this, granted she can’t put air in her tires without having a complete melt down, but she can do this. Flying is no problem, she’s been flying across the country since she was a baby, last year she flew by herself to visit a friend in Chattanooga. So I’m not worried about that, well except I do worry when my kids fly and I track their flights to make sure they are where they are supposed to be. I don’t sleep while they’re flying which is hard if they’re on a red eye flight, but I have to know that they are safe. I tend to be slightly neurotic, I know this.

Once she gets to the airport she’ll have a driver with her name on a sign ready to pick her up, easy enough. She’ll go straight to the model apartment, that has a doorman and she’ll get her key and head on up to her room. Which she will be sharing with 3 other girls, 1 of which will actually be sharing her bedroom, much like a dorm room. All should be well and hopefully I’ll be getting text updates letting me know all is going as planned. (**Beth’s flight was last night and all went just as planned, she safely made it to the apartment and we skyped for quite awhile.)

Now this morning the excitement begins, she needs to get herself to the agency by 10:30. Her apartment is in East Village the agency is in SoHo, they’re not far apart. You could walk if you were up for a bit of a hike. Since NYC recently got 19 inches of snow she’ll probably opt for some mode of transportation. We’ve asked her to take taxi’s she wants to take the subway. As long as there are other people on the platform and she’s not all alone I’m ok with that. Unfortunately, how do you know that until you get down there.

I’m also worried about her eating, she simply doesn’t. Not because she’s trying to lose weight just because food is not important to her. Coffee on the other hand is very important. She’ll find a coffee shop and hopefully she’ll also eat. She doesn’t have a lot of reserves, so if she doesn’t eat eventually she’ll feel sick. When I’m with her I make her eat, at the very least a protein bar. She’ll have to do this on her own. I worry she won’t. She’ll get busy, distracted, nervous all things that make eating not in her consciousness. I threw a couple protein bars in her bag along with some fruit snacks and dark chocolate, all the essentials.

And once she get to the agency, then I don’t know what happens next. They’ll have her days planned and I don’t know what that means. Will they give her a schedule with shoots and meetings and send her on her way? Will they send someone with her take her to get her hair cut (it really needs it) help her pick out the right clothes to wear and just generally hold her hand, probably not. But I wish they would. She’s so very innocent, she’s had a very sheltered life. At this point I’ll only know what’s happening if I get updates from Beth, I better get updates!

Then the whole thing will repeat on Tuesday except for in the evening she will have to get herself to the airport. Will they have that arranged or will she need to call a cab. I don’t know but that she can figure out on her own. She is really good at asking for help when she needs it. She can do this! Then she’ll be back on her way home before the next snow storm comes into NY and threatens to close the airport yet again. But she will be home and I will be able to relax, finally!

Thomas and that yo-yo

Thomas really wanted a fancy yo-yo for his b-day. I’ve seen him yo-yo a bit with the inexpensive regular yo-yo’s you get at the store, it was never anything exceptional; up and down, walk the dog, around the world, just the regular tricks kids do. Then he started watching YouTube videos about yo-yo tricks (I think all the hula hooping videos segued into yo-yo videos.) Then he started researching yo-yo’s online and several months before his birthday he said the ONLY thing he wanted was a fancy yo-yo and a metal detector. That was it! And he kept talking about that yo-yo. Well as I’ve now learned there are quite a few different types of fancy yo-yo’s for all kinds of different types of tricks (literally I think there are hundreds.)

But Thomas chose the Yomega Maverick yo-yo

The Yomega Maverick is a new all-aluminum yoyo designed for low friction spinning. It has clean lines, an internal wing shape, and is even laser etched to reduce rub points.
Included with the Maverick Yo-yo is the Yomega Mania DVD. It includes maintenance instructions, a yoyo music video, bloopers, and more than 150 tricks filmed in high definition. The DVD has tricks for all skill levels, but this yo yo is best for intermediate and advanced users.

  • Stainless Steel Ball Bearing
  • Weighted outer perimeter
  • Smooth rubber return system
  • Adjustable gap system
  • Durable 6061 Aluminum Alloy (anodized for extra strength)
  • Includes trick book, extra string, and Yomega Mania DVD
  • See that’s a fancy yo-yo! And about that instructional DVD, it is running all time at our house. Whenever Thomas has free time (which he has a lot) he is watching that DVD and trying the tricks. He literally is always yo-yoing, unless he is doing schoolwork or snuggled up in the evening watching TV, he is yo-yoing. And he’s really good, he can actually do most the crazy tricks they do on the DVD, and the really advanced ones that he can’t do yet, I’m sure he’ll have figured out eventually.

    He’s already starting on his Xmas list with the other yo-yo’s he wants. Because you know there is a special yo-yo for all these different tricks!

    ***Thomas just came up to me to show me is finger where the string is leaving a permanent indentation and to tell me that he really needs a yo-yo glove, “because like in that song about about the guy that got his first real six string and he played it until his fingers bled, I’ll probably be yo-yoing until my fingers bleed.” That’s some serious dedication to the yo-yo.




    Rock the baby:




    Birthday Presents

    Thomas had been asking for 2 things for his b-day a really good yo-yo (I don’t know what makes a yo-yo really good) and a metal detector. As Thomas said, “a metal detector can pay for you,” I’m not sure how much he thinks he’s worth but he did have a quote of a man finding 2.5 million dollars worth of Mexican pennies with his detector. That seems like a lot of pennies! He must have watched a show about metal detectors on the discovery channel because he sure has a lot of stories about people finding treasures. Do you even know how much a piece of meteorite will go for, if you find it. Again how you identify it as meteorite I’m not sure and where exactly do you find a buyer? Hmm maybe eBay, I bet Daniel would bid on it.

    Well needless to say Thomas did get his Metal Detector, since my parents, Dan and I went in on it together we gave it to him when we all met for dinner at the Chines Buffet. And as soon as we got home he headed out to the yard to start looking for treasure. I’m willing to bet my life that my dad would never have allowed us kids to dig up the yard searching for buried treasure. One advantage to having a lawn made of weeds, its just not that big of a deal. I did tell Thomas as he fills in the holes to pull the weeds out of the clumps of dirt, I’m pretty sure he ignored me.


    His first find a 3oz lead surf casting weight. Isn’t it ironic that the first thing he finds is a weight for a fishing jig, hmm I wonder if it broke off when Dan was trying to hook one of the kids in the head? Dan claims its not his weight since it’s actually on a key ring and not on the remains of a fishing line. He does however use these weights when fishing in the ocean in North Carolina.


    Well we’re not getting rich so far but maybe just maybe we’ll get rid of some of the weeds in the yard!

    Birthday Boy

    IMG_5208Today my youngest child has joined the ranks of teenager. Thomas is now officially 13 years old! Normally on a b-day morning we would be making crepes and lounging around the house. But Thomas now works at COSI on Weds, so he will be off to work at 8:00 which leaves no time for a leisurely birthday breakfast.  Wed after he’s done with work we’ll head to a Chinese buffet for dinner along with all 4 of his grandparents, sister and Dan. Birthday crepes will be pushed back to Thurs morning, a day late but just as yummy. Thurs evening is trick or treat night in Columbus so we’ll do that at my parents, Daniel & Alicia will even join us. Then on Sunday we get to have a birthday brunch with all 23 members of Dan’s family. Birthdays are a week long, family celebration around here!

    Everyone knows Thomas as my sweet child (sorry Daniel & Beth but you have other positive attributes,) being the baby and the one that was left behind when his siblings tried high school, we’ve spent a lot of time together (and that’s not just because he nursed until he was 3 or slept in our bedroom up until last year.) He’s the one that will open car doors for me, or will go clean the kitchen without being asked. He’s a sweet boy and very loving. It makes me sad to think that some day he may be a snotty teenager that ignores me when he’s with his friends (like his mean sister did last weekend.) I make him promise that he won’t act that way. I can only hope that his siblings bad behaviors continue to teach him how not to behave!

    We love you Thomas keep making us proud, we know you will!

    Birthday breakfasts

    Thomas recently had his 12th b-day. 12 years ago I was upstairs in my bedroom delivering Thomas on my waterbed with 2 midwives, an apprentice and my family all present. For future reference do NOT try to deliver a baby on a waterbed! But I digress this is about birthday breakfasts. We don’t have a lot of family traditions but one that has lasted through the years is crepes for birthday breakfasts. This tradition started in a completely different way; when I was much younger whenever I would spend the night at my best friend Patti’s house she would make me crepes for breakfast. I love crepes! Somehow that turned into me making crepes for the kids on their birthdays. It’s pretty much the only time we make crepes but they have come to expect it year after year.

    Actually making the crepe batter is super easy, just dump the ingredients in the blender and voila you’re done. The bigger challenge is having all the fillings and toppings prepared. This year we were without one of the favorite components, chocolate ice cream but we did have all the other favorites. Bananas, blueberries, strawberries, jam, cream cheese, dark chocolate chips, chocolate syrup (with HFCS how did that sneak into the house?) whipped cream and real maple syrup. This breakfast has not been healthafied like so many other things in our house. But they are eating a lot of fruit along with all the sweets so 3 times a year we’ll let it slide.