I'd rather be. . .


So by now I have told you, or you have realized I enjoy shopping. More specifically, I enjoy shopping at Von Maur. I’m sorry Lando, I am sure by the time you are able to read this you have already spent a great deal of time at Von Maur, but it is a family tradition. It has been a family shopping favorite since the downtown Davenport store and it was called Petersen, Harned, Von Maur or simply “Petersen’s.” Grammie can tell you stories about going to Petersen’s with Nana with your Great-Aunt Kim and being placed on furniture to purchase, on sale of course, while she went to find a clerk. (Nana would have been your great-grandma, but she wouldn’t have phrased it that way. She would have said she was your mother’s grandmother, she would have it said it this way because in her mind, she was too young to be a great-grandma.) 

{Before Grammie was born, Nana sang with a jazz band. "Stormy Weather" was one of her favorite songs to sing.}
Nana loved Petersen’s. (Although they officially changed the name of the store  to Von Maur in 1989; Nana always called it Petersen’s.) This was also reflected on her license plate frame: 

I’d rather be shopping at Von Maur

Can you really blame her? Von Maur is a great place to shop. Free gift wrap, piano player, interest free charge card, the canaries by the piano at the North Park and South Park stores, the awesome sales, and the shoe room. Nana taught Grammie and Grammie taught me; you always go to the sale racks first and try to find the third mark down. Lando, you will have a lot of great clothes and shoes from the sale rack at Von Maur. It is a family tradition. 

{Whenever we drove over the 74 bridge, Nana would point to the old LeClaire Hotel and tell us she used to sing in the ballroom there on the top floor.}
 Nana was a bit of a fashionista. She loved clothing and shoes. The more sequins the outfit had the better. If it was red and had sequins, you knew it would be found later in Nana’s closet. (Lando, this could explain why your Mom likes red so much and shoes. It also explains the current 4 pairs of red shoes in the closet.) She enjoyed clothing that made her stand out. 

Nana would have been proud of your Mom’s Von Maur skills. My favorite pair of red heels, 80% off in the shoe room, earlier this summer I found a $60 outfit for Han Solo on sale for $6. I really think Nana enjoyed the hunt for a good deal at Von Maur. She knew she was getting good merchandise, but she also liked the thrill of saying the original price versus what she paid. (Unfortunately she tended to buy clothes, even when she didn’t need them. You can ask Grammie and Aunt Kim about this.) Today I found some books for you on the sale table, all of them at least 50% off. (You now have Shout! Shout it out!, Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born, and Can't Sleep without Sheep. You need these books. I really enjoyed reading them in store. Pat, the clerk in the children’s department, pointed them out for me.)

Things I learned about shopping at Von Maur with Nana:
  • Always check the sales rack first and look for the third markdown.
  • The shoe room is a must stop every trip.
  • Know the name of the clerks. They will call you when something you like goes on sale. (Olga, in the children's department, at South Park was a favorite growing up. I loved her accent! Today I am a big fan of Pat, in children's, and Nancy, in gifts.
  • Even if you don’t like it on the hanger, try it on. (When shopping for my first prom dress, Nana made me try on every formal dress in the store. Even the silver sequin one that made me look like a disco ball.)
  • Stop and listen to the piano player.

Lando, tomorrow would have been Nana’s 85th birthday. Although we didn’t always get along in the end, she was a very important in my life. On a funny note, I need to share my conversation with your Aunt Meg.

Meg: Hi

Mom: No Meg, we didn’t get the call today.

Meg: You aren’t lying to me are you?

Mom: No

Meg: I thought for sure you would have gotten it today. I thought Nana would put in a good word. (Aunt Meg picked the last business day before Nana’s birthday in your contest.)

Mom: Meg, Nana didn’t like me in the end.

Meg: But she liked me. She would have wanted me to have the cake pops. 

Meg, okay you didn't win Lando's contest for guessing the referral date. You know you will get cake pops soon. At the very latest, you will get some at Lily's birthday. 

Happy Birthday Nana.




Again, by the time you are old enough to read this, hopefully you have learned I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to hot days. I don't like hot days. I don't like them at all, we don't get along. It has been HOT. Today, driving home from Grammie and Grandpa's, I was thinking, "If there is a heat index of 113 degrees here, I wonder how hot it is in Ethiopia?" So I checked. According to our friends at The Weather Channel, it is 66 degrees in Addis Ababa and raining. (A huge rain front blob is covering half the country according to their radar. Sorry Lando, I don't know the technical term for the blob.) I have to admit, I thought it would be hotter in Addis little Lando. Your Mom has learned she really needs to work on her geography/weather skills when it comes to Ethiopia.  

Yesterday you got mail! Okay, it was addressed to me and intended for you, so no federal laws were broken. It was a good piece of mail, it was a package from Von Maur. Sorry, if I had been thinking, I would have taken a picture of it wrapped for you. Grammie sent you this present. Note that the enclosure card has your name on it REALLY big. I think she was afraid I would think the Darth Vader alarm was for me. (So you know, when I was born, your Uncle Spence didn't want a sister. He wanted a cat, so he called me Darth Vader for a bit. Your Uncle Spence is highly allergic to cats.)

{source: me}

Lando, today I babysat your cousin Lilypad. For 20 months, Lily is pretty busy. We played with blocks, watched Justin Timberlake do the "Evolution of Rap," looked at the American Girl catalog where she identified her "Baby" (She got a chocolate bitty baby for her 1st birthday from your Dad and some crazy person I. Your Dad says he is never going into the American Girl Place again.), watched Elmo, made cakepops, napped twice, went out to lunch, and ate applesauce. Yes, the Lilypad and I made cakepops. Lily needed Grammie's help, as well as my help, but she did it! While at Grammie and Grandpa's I also got to see Grandpa's "new" toys. Your Grandpa bought a 1927 Model A truck and a train set. (Lilypad has already been for a ride in the truck. Grandpa thinks you are really going to like it. So you know little Lando, Lilypad is starting to call Grandpa "Papa.")

{source: me- Lily's cakepop is the one in the front that is really shiny}
So you know, Saturday marks one year on the waitlist! We can't wait to see your face(s) for the first time. Maybe then I can talk your Dad into doing a post. . .  (he laughs and continues to watch the White Sox) Your Dad doesn't like to write.




So today we officially received our 13th set of waitlist numbers for you. This Saturday (the 16th) marks the one year date of sending in our dossier and next Saturday (the 23rd) will mark one year on the waitlist. On July 23, 2010 I had been working at the church's attic sale and when I got home noticed that the light was blinking on the machine. T had left a message saying I needed to call her and I was pretty sure there was a small error on our dossier. I had grabbed one of the copies as I sat down on the steps going into the sunroom as I called her back. As she picked up the phone, your Dad got home from work and together we heard our first set of numbers.

We have moved so far since those first numbers of Girl 79, Boy 47, Siblings 49. Granted we are not where we thought we would be at this point, but you are out there and are meant for us. B emailed us this afternoon with the "lucky" 13th set of numbers. We are now officially Girl 14, Boy 6, and Siblings 6. (Our first set of official numbers in the single digits!!!!!) This means we have moved 65 spots on the Girl list, 41 spots on the Boy list, and 43 spots on the Siblings list! That is a lot of movement little Lando. Next Saturday your Dad and I are celebrating a year on the waitlist by going up to Chi-Town and eating at one of the Ethiopian restaurants. (Maybe we will get to celebrate your referral instead. A girl can pray and wish.)

  So your contest Lando. . .

{source: me}
Although our official waitlist numbers for you are, Girl 14, Boy 6, and Siblings 6, we know we are lower. I am pretty sure we are unofficially 4 on the boy list and I am not sure about the other two lists. Over the 12 months, we have averaged 5.417 movement spots on the girl list, 3.417 movement spots on the boy list, and 3.583 movement spots on the siblings list. (Your Dad thinks that is too much math.) So Lando's contest is when do we first get to see Lando's picture? Will it be a Landa, Lando, Lando/Lando, or Landa/Landa? (If we get siblings, they would be the same gender.) So in the comment section below guess Lando's gender, single or sibling set, date of referral, and time of referral. (You probably will also need to leave your email, just in case you win.) The person closest to Lando's actual referral not only gets the pride of knowing they won, but also cake pops. (I don't guarantee they will get done that first week or how well they ship.) Mom, you can only give one guess, you can't guess everyday between now and Christmas.  

!!!As of 10:06 pm on Thursday, I think we are now unofficially 13 girl, 3? boy, and 5 siblings!!!


dog model and twins

{Not Joey Ramone}
To our Lando

{source: me- Joey Ramone}
After coming home from our trip over the weekend, I finally checked the listserv AGCI has on yahoo. While on the yahoo homepage, I saw a picture of a dog. I really had to do a double take. It looked like Joey Ramone. I looked closer and notice that this dog even has a bit of white on his chin, but way less than Joey. Lando, I was worried that while Joey was at your Grandparents, they had him dog modeling. There is already a model within our circle (A, you make a great pattern model) so I wasn't sure how having two models would go. Plus Joey already has a high opinion of himself, I can't imagine what it would be like as a model. Plus, he doesn't do well in novel settings, so different locations would be difficult. The similarities are kinda disturbing, plus they both have a paws and cross bones collar. 

So it was a bit exciting today Lando. Today two of your friends were born, J and L! They are both adorable! Aunt Marcia and I went up to the hospital to see and hold them this afternoon. We were both in awe in how wonderful they were and slept pretty much the whole time we were there. Your Aunt Courtney is a real trooper and did awesome.

So we haven't heard yet what our official numbers are for the month of July, but from other families who have, I am pretty sure I have it figured out.
Girl- 14

Boy- 6 (I am still pretty sure we are unofficially number 4 on the boy list)

Sibling- 6


Oh I wish. . .


It has been busy the past couple of days. Your Dad and I saw the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile on Thursday with your cousin Lilypad, Aunt Meg, Uncle Alex, and Gpa at HyVee. (Now this isn't the pictures Grandpa took while we were there, but he hasn't shared them yet. Hopefully he doesn't doesn't forget where he saved them or accidentally delete them.) Your Aunt Meg and Uncle Alex laughed at me because I thought there would be a line. Who wouldn't want a wiener whistle? So we all got whistles and stickers and saw the wienermobile. I will admit, I was disappointed they weren't grilling hot dogs. I think they regretted laughing at me since I sang to Lilypad the whole way to their house "I Wish I Was an Oscar Meyer Wiener." Lily loved it! Your aunt didn't.  

{source: me- Dropkick Murphys}
{source: me- Dashboard Confessional}
Following the awesomeness of the wienermobile, the weekend only got better. (I know, how can it get better than the wienermobile?) We left Joey Ramone with Grammie and Gpa and headed north to the Dairy State for Summerfest. (Joey played a lot with Lilypad and Josi on Friday and enjoyed getting under the pool table.)  While waiting for the train at Union Station we learned how not to be parents by observing and took naps on the train before pulling into Milwaukee. Friday we heard several not so good bands, but ended the night with the Goo Goo Dolls and Dropkick Murphys. Saturday was Permanent Crush (from Chicago and not bad for being an opening band), The Get Up Kids, and Dashboard Confessional.

{source: me}
Lando, so far we have had Ethiopian in Chicago at two different restaurants, once in St Louis, and now we can add Milwaukee to the list. On Saturday we ate lunch at Alem Ethiopian Village on Wisconsin Avenue. We of course had the sambusa, which has been the been the best sambusa so far. It wasn't served with the berbere sauce, but they were huge and awesome. From there we moved onto our mesob of Siga Keay Wot, Yemiser Wot, Gomen, and Fasolia. Of the four different restaurants we have been to, it was one of the best. (Your Dad and I can't agree which one we prefer. We like different ones for different reasons or preferred foods.) While at Alemm Ethiopian Village, we bought you a game. According the box, it is the "first card game using Amharic Alphabets." Basically it is a vocab game with different variations.

With some referrals, on the unofficial boy list, we could be as low as #4!!!! It has been really promising to see some movement on the list these past couple of weeks. We have no clue where we are on the girl or siblings lists.