Friday, December 30, 2005

Basement project in "full" swing

In order to make room for the boys, I need to move my office downstairs. Before that happens, we need a finished basement. Now that I have a good idea of what I need to do, I am working part-time on finishing the basement. I say part-time because I am lazy, so things don't happen as quickly as Karen would like to see. I have 80% of the framing complete and should be done with the electrical in mid January.

If I manage to make any progress, you can check out photos here.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Karen interviewed by local paper

A story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press about the latest gadgets and gizmos, Karen comments on her fancy  navigation system in her Lexus SUV. See the story here:

Friday, December 16, 2005

Joe's trip to Vegas

I spent the last weekend in Las Vegas with some friends and we had a great time milling about each casino playing a variety of games. Some of the games, including craps and Pai Gow I've never played before, while BlackJack, Slots, and Poker I've plenty of experience (good and bad). We didn't go to any of the big Las Vegas shows, maybe next time if/when the spouses come with us. I can't even tell you how much whiskey I drank, although I'd be willing to guess the casinos handed out well over $400 worth to me.

For those that don't know me all that well, Poker is one of my passions. If I could, I'd do it for a living. Some that know my level of play will tell you they think it's possible, but I don't think Karen would go for it ?. My most memorable moments during this trip were spent at the Belaggio.

I spent half the day on Saturday playing in their poker room. The place was bustling and I recognized some professional players, and among them, some of my favorite players. Gus Hansen and Phil Ivey were playing "heads up" no more than 10 feet from my table. I sat directly behind Marcel Luske (an entertaining gentleman, and extraordinary poker player) as he and several other pros were playing in a satellite tourney for an entry (and prize money) to the upcoming (next day) Five Diamond World Poker Classic.

I came back to the Bellagio Sunday afternoon to find a very long wait. As luck would have it, a $20-$40 Hold 'em table had just opened, so I decided to try that out. During the twenty-five minutes I played at that table, I played 4 hands and won them all. Shortly after my forth hand, my name was called for $8-$16 table and I decided to move (I feel more comfortable at that limit).

Grabbing my chips and filling nearly 2 racks (100 per rack, $10 chips), I headed to the cashier to get smaller valued chips and cash some in. I stepped away from the table started walking, while gazing down at my new fortune. As I made my way around the tables, I nearly bumped into someone. With a smile, he said something along the lines of "hey there partner, nice fresh chips you have there!". Looking up, I was surprised and in awe, that "guy" was Doyle Brunson, perhaps the most prolific poker player in the world. Next thing I know, I chatting with him and Johnny Chan (another famous Poker player) about Minnesota weather. Silly me.

While the entire trip was not only relaxing and entertaining, this little moment at the Bellagio is something that I will never forget.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Baby update - 28 weeks down, about 8 or so to go?

Mom and the boys are all doing well. I had an ultrasound yesterday to check on the babies' growth; they are positioned in kind of a yin yang pattern. Baby A on the left with his head up and his legs curled around the bottom, and Baby B is heads down on the right with his head above A's legs and his backside curled up near the my ribs. Baby A is about 2 lbs 5 oz, and Baby B is about 2 lbs 10 oz., which seems to be about where they should be. The printouts we got have been added to the Baby Vandermark x2 album, as has the latest profile shot of me and my big belly and one of Joe's favorites: me eating ice cream, which is a frequent occurance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Holy moley - twin boys!

We had our 20 week ultrasound on Monday (a little late, I'm at 21 weeks). We were more than a little surprised to find out that we will be bringing home two bundles of joy instead of just one! :O Both boys are doing well. One of them is 14 oz. and the other is 13. They do appear to be fraternal twins, each with their own sack and placenta.

I scanned in the printouts that they gave us. They are posted in the Baby Vandermark photo gallery (now renamed Baby Vandermark x 2). We'll also be posting progress pictures to show just how big I'm getting. :shock:

"Final" pics of the new house

Mom B took a bunch of pictures at our housewarming party of the "completed" house - as much as any home is complete anyway, as things always change. :) The pics have been added to the New House album, starting on page 29.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Karen's Uncle Ed fighting cancer

For some not-so-happy news, Karen's Uncle Ed (aka Unca Led) was recently diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. So far, the doctors are very optimistic as he begins his treatments. Her cousin Angie is keeping a blog with updates on how he is doing. It sounds like Unca Led is in good spirits and is keeping his (bad) sense of humor. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Baby update

I'm at 18 weeks now, and everything has been going great. I had minimal morning sickness during the first trimester, just a few instances here and there. I haven't had any weird food cravings or aversions either.

I'm slowly starting to look like I'm pregnant now, which I'm excited about. And as of this week, I'm able to feel the baby move a little bit; no big kicks yet, just little flutters every once in a while. 8)

I'll be able to schedule my ultrasound in a few weeks. We're really hoping that the baby will cooperate so we can find out if we're having a boy or a girl!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Site Outage

We experienced an outage today, and it lasted about 13 hours
This was due to a problem at the web hosting company- they screwed up our DNS. They have resolved and assure me that the problem will not occur again (ya right)

Sorry if you couldn't get here, sometimes things just don't work I guess :roll:

Sunday, June 12, 2005

New albums in our gallery

Check out the new albums in our gallery - Family and Vacation. We've added pictures as far back as last fall, since a lot of them never made it to previous versions of our site. These albums will continue to grow over time, so check back from time to time.

We've also added an Open Share album for you to share some of your pictures too. Feel free to add your family pictures, random pics for fun, or crazy ones that you have of us (there can't possibly be any of THOSE out there, could there? :?). We can't wait to see them!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

House all done, finished moving in.

The long and fun adventure is complete. The final brick was set, shingle applied, coat of paint, and application of finish to the floor. *sigh*, all is happy. Looking around, everything is surreal- it's just hard to imagine this started almost six months ago. Over a year of planning and our dream home is finally realized. Next step: plan the party! Keep an eye out for a house warming party invite!

Saturday, April 9, 2005

New house pics

Pictures from 3/19 to 4/6 have been added to the photo gallery. They include pictures of the hardwood floors (bare and stained), the granite counters in the kitchen and master bath, and completion of the plumbing.