Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Birthday Girl Starts School

In August 2002, Trevin and I went to the temple to decide on the name of our first daughter. She was born the very next day. Six years ago to the day, it was Avery who went to bed very excited and a little anxious because she was excited to begin her school career at the new Mountain Green Elementary. She was bound and determined to ride the bus on her first day with no help from mom. At her Kindergarten assessment she succeeded at all the teacher asked of her. Counting, reading, hopping, throwing. She is ready for a great year with Mrs. Hoffman and many of her close friends from the neighborhood.

Avery is a very vibrant child. She has a wild imagination and is bursting with creativity. She has more friends than anyone I know and kids of all ages love to be around her. Dexter loves her with all his heart and I’m sure she’ll take a little piece of it with her as she leaves for school everyday. She is a very caring, thoughtful, intelligent little girl. I love her more everyday. Just the other day I was telling her how Trevin and I met in a math class and we would study together. Although Trevin didn’t really need a study partner he humored me anyway. Avery said, “I think I’m going to be smart like dad.”

Avery had a very fun birthday party the weekend before school began. All of the Bleggi and Wallin families came. All of her cousins were there. Since it was during the Summer Olympics, it was an Olympic-theme. Everyone decorated a flag and competed in an obstacle course, tumbling event, relay race, and water balloon toss/fight. After the games we had a Gold Medal Ceremony and a BBQ. Later than night, Avery and Dex went swimming at the Searle’s Pool.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bob Villa Super Summer

Here is a little peek at some projects that we've been working on this spring/summer. When I say "we" I mean I started them or was the mastermind behind them and then lacked the skill/knowledge to complete them. As you can see though, Trevin did an awesome job and is relieved to be concentrating his efforts elsewhere. He is competing in LOTOJA in a few weeks and takes his oral board exam at the end of October (in San Francisco 2 days before the baby is due. Very convenient!)

Sunday, August 3, 2008


It has been a short-lived tradition for Trevin and I to go on a vacation together before each child has been born. Looking back, we were on a permanent vacation until Avery was born. Before Dex came along we visited Aruba. With this one, we wanted Hawaii, but decided on New York City. We are also celebrating our 10th anniversary this month. So, we traded in our frequent flyer miles and headed for the Big Apple on Thursday, July 24th until Monday, July 28th. To save a little on money we took the air train from JFK to our hotel. We stayed at the Helmsley Park Lane (bid on Hotwire.) It was literally between the Plaza Hotel and the Ritz Carlton across the street from Central Park in Midtown. There was a subway station less than a half of a block down so we bought a subway card and did most of our travel by foot or train.

Soon after we checked into our hotel, we head straight for Time Square where we bought tickets for a Broadway play. It was “39 Step”s by Alfred Hitchcock. It was a pretty good play, but more for the experience. I had my heart set on Wicked, but there were only premium seat left. My neighbor said, but you’re a “Doctor’s wife!” Well, a doctor’s budget doesn’t travel as far as it used to!

Prior to arriving in NYC, we had several travel advisors (Nicky, Kelly, Mason, Sam.) Nicky hooked us up on the eating establishments. Before the play, we ate pizza from a small shop near the Little Mermaid Theater. As luck would have it, hot, fresh mozzarella and basil came straight from the oven. Best pizza we had in NYC.

The next day we slept until 11 am. Remember we were on Mountain Standard Time. We had brunch at Sarabeth’s. We had lots of recommendations for this place but were disappointed. As Zagat had pointed out, the service is inattentive and it was SLOW! Our food lacked flavor. I think we took the fabulous central park location for granted since it was literally one door down from our hotel. From there we headed for the Statue of Liberty or Empire State building. We toured neither. It was Friday afternoon and the lines were hours long. So, Trevin promised me to get up early the next morning. Instead of the lines, we walked around the World Trade Center site. We also walked around Little Italy where we had lunch at a Cuba sandwich place. Sooooo delicious.

Friday night we saw a Mets/Cardinals game at Shea Stadium. I guess the $20 for 2 hot dogs and a coke and the experience of watching a game during the last season in the current stadium was…priceless.

On Saturday, we woke up 5 hours earlier that the day before and were the ultimate tourists at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We even indulged in the walking audio tour of Liberty Island. We did get their early enough to tour the inside of the statue. It was worth the early morning. We had a late lunch at the seaport and on our way back to the hotel we did a hop on, hop off bus tour of Downtown. We went to Little Italy again that evening. It was much better this time around because the streets were closed to traffic, restaurants had table and gelato freezers in on the streets.

Sunday morning we walked around Central Park and took another bus tour of Uptown and Harlem on top of the double decker bus in the pouring rain. That helped with the heat. That night we went to Bob Flay’s Mesa Grill. My pork chops were very good. Trevin’s steak was okay. It was fairly pricey and the $8 pasta in Little Italy the night before was equally as flavorful.

On Monday morning, Trevin surprised me with breakfast in bed and then we headed to Greenwich Village. We took a walking food and cultural tour. I could have done more food and less culture because the food was sooo delicious. My one regret is that we did the tour on our last day instead of our first so we would have known of more diverse places to eat. Here are some links to some of the places we ate. Some, but not all were on the food tour.
Best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had.
I liked this pizzeria the best. Thin, crispy crust.
This was Trevin’s favorite. Thicker, softer crust.
Yummy cannoli.
Expensive olive oil.
Savory Thai food
Cheese made right on site. Very good.

Being pregnant, I definitely had much less energy than I would have otherwise. Trevin was thankful for this as he was looking forward to a “relaxing” vacation. Nonetheless, we had a great time on vacation, but as always we missed Avery and Dex terribly. We are lucky to have friends and family nearby who took such great care of them. I think it might be a little harder to get away in the future with three little monkeys.