Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Urban Ballerina


mommy and daddy told me I can be anything I want to be!

Just Sayin'

Kleenex boxes (or boxes of tissues...but we all know that branding has worked well for Kleenex) are conspirators. Nasty little between-themseves-talkers and conspirators. I swear it to be true. And, exactly how do I know this?

In our house, when a box of Kleenex empties, it might take a few days before a new one appears. I don't know why. That is just how it works. I think because I always remember the necessary task while looking at the empty box, but as soon as I walk away....all bets are off. When at least two boxes have become empty, it really is a kick in the pants to replace the cavernous ones. Doing without one box is fine. But two? Forgeddaboudit.

So, today I replaced two empty Kleenex boxes. I walked the stairway of drudgery ALL THE WAY to the basement to get the much-anticipated replacements. I threw away the old no-longer-doing-their-job boxes. I put the new ones within their fancy and absolutely unnecessary covers. Ahhh....all done.

But wait just a second, the Kleenex boxes plan conspiracies, remember? They know precisely when you have gotten your house in order and are feeling good about yourself. They know that the other boxes are full to the brim and are waiting to be used after you worked so hard for days to complete that very task that allowed you to be at this point of delirium. And, because of that...when you go to that "other" box of Kleenex in the house and pull out a tissue...it just happens to be the last fucking one. (you can almost hear the giggles coming from the other tissue boxes in the house) And every time for the next two days that your nose is running and dripping from freshly born Spring allergies, you go to that empty box and you anticipatingly reach…and you realize yet again that there are no tissues.

And you know what that means? It means that you once again have to remember to replace yet another box...when you thought that you were all done with that sort of thing just that very morning. And, this happens EVERY SINGLE TIME you think you are all done with that sort of thing. Jerks.

I actually think that all paper products work together to do us in. The Kleenex. The napkins. The paper towels. The toilet paper. Oh yeah...they all know the game. They are all in on it. And, seriously…They. ARE. Ridiculous!

So, Kleenex conspiracy? Yep, you got that right.

Just sayin'....

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Just Sayin'

Nobody loves doing laundry. Well, no one that I know, anyway. And, if you do by any chance know of someone who loves to do laundry, you should probably slap that delusional person...back into reality...you know...where everyone else hates the blasted chore.

As much as I do hate the laborious task, I do not at all mind the first two loads. Those first two lovely and friendly and delicious loads. There is something wonderful about feeling like you are doing something without really doing much of anything at all. You can say, "hey...I have accomplished so much today...the second load of laundry is already in the washer". See...doesn't that sound pretty good? Go ahead, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

But, we (we being all the people who actually do the laundry) know the (not so) secret fact that those first two loads of laundry practically do themselves. Because at that point, there is no folding involved. There is no matching. There is no turning things right side in. It is just simply putting a load in the wash. Then transferring that load to the dryer. Then simply putting a new load in the wash. What bliss!

Ahh...if all laundry could be done without the stupid folding and the other nasty minutiae of laundry-hell...well, then life would be pretty ok. Pretty ok, indeed.

You know. Just a little laundry speak for the day. And, you know...just sayin'.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Future

In the not so ridiculously distant future, I am sure Finnley will thank me (read: hate me) for this. For now, though, I will be sure to enjoy this tidbit immensely!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just Sayin'

Once upon a time in a land far far away (Cleveland) we had a neighbor who absolutely LOVED and ADORED dogs. He and his wife had unfortunately established over time, though, that she was allergic to them. In a bad way allergic. A very bad way. So, it just wasn't possible for them to own or have dogs in their home. To help close up that ungodly doggy-sized hole in his heart, our neighbor used to come into our yard and play with Batman. A lot. Sometimes you would even find them laying in the grass together, and our neighbor would be smelling Batman's paws.


Apparently (he claimed, anyway) there is nothing better than the smell of grassy and sweet puppy paws. Well, alrighty then!

So, just sayin'.....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Joys. The Little Things.

Start with one silly baby. Put her on the floor. Add a roll of paper towels. And, what do you get???

See for yourself!

And, once again...why do I spend money on toys? Really? It is usually the simplest things that seem to create the greatest joys. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


...taste of spring

...time truly IN the yard

...experience with the tactile sensation of grass

...real reason to wear a sunhat

Monday, March 15, 2010

Getting Older

Both my dear sweet lovely and I have birthdays within four days of one another. Now, we do love ourselves a birthday around here. Always have. What is there not to like about cake and presents, afterall? But, after having a baby...personally, my birthday just doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore. It hasn't felt at all like a birthday. Not leading up to it, and not now that it is here.

What in the hell happened? Am I all of a sudden more mature? Um...nopers. That is pretty much a guarantee (see picture above). So, what is it then?

I simply think that Finnley is now the focus. It is HER birthdays that will bring the most pleasure, excitement, and joy to our lives. Instead of looking forward to my own "special day", I will look forward to her first birthday in August and then all of the hundreds of others to follow from there. I want the parties, the cakes, the presents, the clowns, the hullabaloo, the selfish "all about ME, ME, ME, and if it isn't, I might hurt someone" sorts of days...all for her. Ok, maybe not the clowns. They really are kind of creepy. Ok, not kind of creepy....but SERIOUSLY creepy.

I guess all of this just makes me a mommy. A real adult, of sorts. As I said before, not necessarily more mature...but a real adult mommy lady person nonetheless.

But, just for old time's sake...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! boo-yah!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Our Trip to Florida...IN PICTURES!

I am pretty sure that no one and nothing was harmed during the shooting of these photos. Not even egos or pride. Pretty impressive, huh?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A look back at 40 years...

How is it to turn 40? GREAT! In doing so I realized my life up to this point has been one hell of a good time! I am blessed. To me, each day of life begins with a choice. I can choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood. I can choose to make the most of every day or choose to do nothing. It won’t surprise you that I wake up every day choosing to make the most of my day and to be in a good mood. Of course that mood can change depending on others. Anyway, here is my life summed up in 40 (make that 66) things that have brought me laughter, joy, tears, heartache, and perspective.

1) I was born into a great family. Think “Leave it to Beaver” upbringing. I am blessed to have the parents I have, and I am blessed to have the brother and sister that I have. Oh, and sister in-laws and brother in-laws.
2) My father put me on skis at 4 years old and I thank him for that.
3) I made very good friends in high school and we have enough memories about “Hoosier Cannonball” and The Jock Block to laugh about for years.
4) I was fortunate to be able to attend college out of state at Colorado State University.
5) I skied. A lot.
6) I am a triple legacy member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
7) I served in student government as a Senator for the College of Business, VP of the Business College Council (thanks Laurie Hammond), and as chairman of the Lory Student Center (plus countless committees).
8) I helped save beer sales at CSU football games! One of my proudest accomplishments! Thanks Meyer!
9) I traveled throughout Europe for a month in college and have everlasting memories. Thanks Dawny! Thanks Meyer! Thanks Newman! Bada Boom! Bada Bing!
10) I graduated with great friends and I miss them every day. I am grateful to have experienced college with them. Thanks Hammond, Murph, Karter, Ressler, Meyer, Newman, Galloway, Maurer, Webb, Johnson, Perkins, Gold, Jamie S.,…I can go on
11) I started in the wine business. Hated it.
12) I ended up in the car business. Love it! Toyota, Porsche, AutoNation, and Subaru.
13) I am blessed to have so many friends from my career. Friends that have stood by me through my toughest moments and my proudest moments. Thank you Travis, Patrick J., Grimey, Sanchez, Zamora, and Johnny M.
14) My heart has been broken and I have broken hearts. I am sorry. You know who you are.
15) I have driven a Porsche 164 MPH on the autobahn.
16) I have ridden in a Carrera GT with Hurley Haywood as we hit 200 mph on a track in Michigan! I have driven that same car. It costs $440,000.
17) I have met Malcolm Forbes.
18) I have met Jimmy Carter on a ski slope (even had Rosalyn take our picture, which is a funny story).
19) I have played craps with John Cusack for 2 straight nights. I am in America’s Sweethearts, which is a terrible movie.
20) I have met John Madden and Barry Switzer.
21) I have met Emmitt Smith twice and dined next to him and Bruce Smith in VA Beach, buying them a bottle of wine.
22) I sat next to Tim Robbins on an airplane.
23) I said hello to Demi Moore in a CVS in Scottsdale, AZ.
24) I sat next to Bill Medley (Righteous Brothers) on an airplane (autograph on a bottle of Cristal)
25) I am a Buckeye!
26) I spent many a football Saturday sitting in Ohio Stadium next to the legendary Bill Willis (autograph)
27) I’ve met Jack Tatum, Chris Carter, Pepper Johnson, Chris Spielman (autographs)
28) I’ve met Jim Tressel and Archie Griffin and had them sign my Buckeye helmet.
29) I’ve met Gordon Gee (autograph)
30) I’ve met Dick Vitale (autograph)
31) I’ve have a pair of Karl Malone’s shoes (autographed)
32) I’ve met Bart Starr (autograph)
33) I’ve met Fran Tarkenton (autograph)
34) I’ve met Eddie George at an airport (picture)
35) I’ve met John Elway (autograph)
36) I’ve met Jerry Rice (picture)
37) I’ve met Howie Long (autograph)
38) I’ve met Michael Schumacher (driver for Ferrari in F1. Picture)
39) I’ve met Tony Dorsett (autographed helmet)
40) I sat 4 rows behind the Bulls bench during the Bulls/Jazz NBA finals during the Jordan era. Saw Scottie Pippen puke on Phil Jackson's shoes.
41) I have a piece of a goal post that we tore down at CSU when we went to the Holiday Bowl. It is autographed by Earle Bruce. Yep, he coached at CSU after OSU.
42) I went to the Ohio State/meechigan game when they were ranked #1 & #2 in 2006.
43) Megan and I met Rupert and Biff from the Letterman show where we sat front row.
44) Meg and I met Tony Danza.
45) I sang Little Pink Houses on stage in CA with a cover band.
46) I have partied with Mormons. News flash: They actually can party with the best of ‘em.
47) I have hiked a 14’er, floated a river, and bungee jumped several times.
48) I met my wife in Chicago in 2002.
49) We married in 2003 & I have terrific in-laws!
50) We got a yellow lab in 2003 and named him Batman. Why not?
51) I have shared the crust of my toast with Batman EVERY morning for the last 6 years.
52) Megs and I have been to Maui, Aruba, the White House, countless concerts and sporting events, and we have skied some of the best slopes in the country in our brief 6 years.
53) We went to the NLCS in 2007, the NLCS in 2008 and 2009.
54) I took her sky diving for our anniversary. I know….very romantic.
55) We went to the World Series in 2008 and 2009! GO PHILLIES!
56) Megan and I met Robert Duvall and posed for several pictures with him. Thanks Katie Snyder! I presented a trophy to a jockey with Robert Duvall.
57) I am OK with the fact that my bride is in love with Dave Mathews.
58) We have experienced infertility and I have given Megan unromantic shots in her ass in gas station parking lots in hopes for a baby.
59) We have experienced deep heartache and loss.
60) We have experienced great joy with success of IVF and the birth of our daugter Finnley Piper Ritter.
61) We are blessed to have a family that adores Finnley. Our families are very generous and we appreciate that so very much!
62) We are blessed to have wonderful friends to share Finnley with. Thanks Karen and Dave.
63) We have made wonderful friends in Chicago, Cleveland, Virginia, Colorado, and now South Jersey/Philly. Thanks for your friendship and great times Kelly, Jason, Canella, Kate & Dave, Bill & Jen, Eric & Serena, Kristal, Kitten & Nancy, the Wingo’s, Angela & Zach, Joe & Lucinda, Ken & Ginger, Steve & Jean, Karen & Dave, Sean & Marie, Jen & Troy, Betsy, Cate, Michael & Rachel.
64) Thanks for new friends I have made at work. Keebs, NDHogan, Angelucci, Cavallucci, TK, Gobin, Joey S., JR, Mayer, and more.
65) I have learned patience, compromise, and unconditional love.
66) We are not perfect but we respect the opinions of others, and we know there is nothing more fun than experiencing this thing called life with great friends and family.

So that’s it. Well, not really. I could have gone on. I left out a bunch of things, but those are stories best told over a beer. Looking back, the first 40 years have been nothing short of amazing. Thank you to my family and friends. Of course, special thanks to my wife Megan, my daughter Finnley, and my dog Batman, for bringing me more laughter, love, and joy than I probably deserve. Is luck real? Because I feel like the luckiest man on earth.
If the next 40 are anything like the first 40, they will be a blast and I will need a new liver. The moral of this story is simple if not cliché. In life you should take advantage of every opportunity knowing that every day on this planet is a gift….and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a BLAST!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Maybe One Day

But not right now.

Finnley REFUSES to hold her own bottle. Now, she is completely capable of holding it. She has done it on several occasions. But, if she does hold the bottle, she cannot put her hands together / manipulate them / and stare at them during that endearing process. She also wouldn't be able to massage her head and face.

These things are a ritual. Almost a sensual calming ritual of sorts, or so it seems.

So, maybe one day she will hold her bottle. But, like I said...not right now.

(just as a side note...we leave for Florida tomorrow so we will not be posting until after we return!)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Thursday, March 04, 2010


This blog has a new look. I thought I would point it out in case you hadn't noticed. And, if you hadn't noticed, then this is probably your first visit to this blog...and, well, SHAME on YOU!

Why the new look?

Because I miss over-alcoholified margaritas with salt dripping down the rim, good Mexican food, and splendiforous mountain views out my window.

Ok, so that isn't really the reason for the change. The above explanation sure sounded a hell of a lot better than "just because". Sadly, though, "just because" really is the true reason behind the new visual digs.

Don't get me wrong. I do miss those things. The East coast is not good for any of the aforementioned items. I guess it can't be good for everything, though! That is what vacations are for, right?

Did I digress? Hmmm...oh well. Enjoy the new look. And if you don't like it or aren't enjoying it, feel free to tell me. I won't do anything about it, but I do both appreciate and love honesty!

Thanks for visiting.

Out to Lunch!

This has been a busy week. Finnley and I like to try to have an activity to do outside of the house almost every day, as it helps to break up the monotony of the day in general. It is my hope that during the week neither Finnley nor I get bored, that Finnley gets socialized, and that Finnley gets mentally stimulated on a daily basis. For that matter, I also hope to get somewhat socialized and to get mentally stimulated on a daily basis. Heck, who doesn't?

The weeks fly by this way, I can tell you that much.

So, what was on the agenda this week?

Music I class at Gymboree

story time at Barnes and Noble followed by lunch at the Corner Bistro in Haddonfield

TLC mom's group at Virtua

Out to Lunch! Dr Seuss week at The Pop Shop in Collingswood

Play and Learn class at Gymboree

BZZZ. Bzzzz. bzzzzz. Busy bees we are!

Once the weather gets nicer, I cannot wait to incorporate walks around the neighborhood or park with Peanut and the dog on a fairly regular basis, too. Physical stimulation added to the mental. ahhhhhhh...perfection!

Come on Spring, so we can be more than just "out to lunch"!!!

(Finnley is thinking...who in the heck are you, Mister???)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Put it Out There!

I really wanted to put it out there. I wanted to fly my little freak flag and advertise to the world that "I kicked infertility's stupid ASS!". Apparently that phrasing isn't available in a car magnet version just yet, though, so I settled for "Baby on Board" instead.

We all do what we have to do, right? I know what my magnet really says. That is all that matters.

What would your freak flag or magnet say???

And, included is a view of the magnet along with my car's badging...which is a shameless plug for the Subaru brand and my lovely. Aren't I a good little wifey?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Gussied Up

This is a busy time a year for Subaru people in this part of the country...lots of events going on in Philly sponsored by the company. Or at least events in which the company is involved. And, that means we have lots of places to be for which we also need to be gussied up. I have quite the collection of formal dresses thanks to the auto industry over the past several years.

Last time we got dressed up for the black tie preview for the Philly Auto Show. This time it was for the Philly International Flower Show. It really is a great show, especially in the dead of a brutal winter. It almost felt like spring for just a bit.

The best part of the evening? Well, besides the great food. And the free liquor. And the pleasant company....well...it was the fact that we got to stay out for the whole evening this time!!! Finnley was by no means a perfect angel for the babysitter, but she was good enough that we didn't get called home this time around.


Next weekend we have the American Red Cross Red Ball at the Please Touch Museum. Such a great venue. Only problem? We don't have a babysitter. Who knows if my lovely will be attending by himself. Or if by any luck, we find a last minute babysitter. Or, maybe it really isn't so bad to take an infant to a formal affair? Maybe. We will see!!