Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Bryan and I recently took a trip to Colorado.

It was beautiful and we loved it.

The end.

Just kidding! I've wanted to post some pictures from the trip but have been hampered by "economy" high speed internet. Back when only one adult Fantoni in my house had a job, we cut some expenses. One of those expenses was to go from Insight 10.0 internet service to Insight 0.75 internet service. While it was still infinitely better than the dial up of yore, it was very slow in certain areas, the two most notable being while I was trying to shop Amazon and when I tried to upload pictures. So we recently (read: TODAY!) decided to go back up to our old internet service as everyone is now happily employed. It also seemed to be a good idea to make the change back before both of us ended up bald from the sheer frustration of waiting ten minutes for one measly picture to load.

I digress. Back to Colorado.

The purpose of our trip was to attend the wedding of a good friend of Bryan's; the wedding took place in Buena Vista, Colorado, where the two pictures posted above were taken. It also seemed like a good time to take advantage of Bryan's uncle's condo in Silverthorne so we made a long weekend out of it. The trip could have started better--we were diverted to Pueblo, Colorado after a tornado and hail hit the Denver airport as we approached it. After almost three hours on the plane, we finally landed in Denver only to have to travel via car through a torrential downpour, straight up a mountain in a Hyundai. Oh, and when we got to Buena Vista the next day, they had booked us in the hotel and charged us for the previous night. It was straightened out but UGH.

After that messy ordeal, however, the rest of the trip was a lot of fun. We experienced every sort of weather while we were there--rain, sleet, hail, snow and sun. The Sunday we were there, the weather was finally nice enough for us to take a hike and also for me to take out the camera without fear of getting it wet. I am glad that we got to use it as I traveled across the country with it as a carry on because I was too anal to put it with the checked luggage.

Some photos from our hike, in no particular order:

I am still learning about my Rebel, but I am still in love with it and I think that I love this picture the most so far. I posted it on Facebook too and now I am putting it here. My mother in law has not even seen it yet. I need to do something nice with it for her birthday next month!

Bryan flew back a day early but his momma and I stayed an extra day and shopped 'til we dropped in Denver. Thanks to the amazing shopping in Cherry Creek, I am now the owner of a pink patent leather Kate Spade purse and my sister the recipient of a belated birthday gift from Tiffany's. THAT is my kind of vacation! If you could have just thrown in some beach, it would have been perfect!

Unfortunately, as with all good things, this trip had to come to an end and we returned to Louisville and back to work and the real world. Sometimes being a grown up is no fun at all!

And sometimes it's nice to get to escape from the regular daily responsibilities and act like a dork. Isn't that what vacation is all about??

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: A Photo Montage of Our Latest Exploits

I hate when I get behind on blogging and then I feel like I am SO FAR BEHIND that I will never catch up. We Fantonis have been so busy these past few months, what with Bryan's new job, a Buffett show, a trip to St. Louis and the start of summer. In lieu of continuing NOT to post because of a need to post the backlog of events that are currently stored in Picasa in my computer, here are a few photographic highlights to bring everyone up to speed. Then maybe, just maybe, I can start fresh with photos from this coming weekend's trip to Denver, Colorado.

Yes, I realize that I have made this promise before but I will stick to it this time. Really. Definitely.


Anyway, without further ado...

1. We attended the Pegasus Parade this year (an annual event that is part of the Derby Festival for you non-Louisvillians). Jonathan's favorite part--when a horse took a huge pee right in front of us. I swear, that horse urinated for 15 minutes!!

2. Jonathan recently completed his fourth session of outdoor soccer. We had an amazing coach this season, Chris, who was so great that, although we were going to switch to HYR for soccer in the fall, we will likely stay with the Y for one more season as Chris will be coaching 4-5 year olds again in the fall (Disclaimer here: Bryan coached Jonathan's team last fall and totally rocked it. If I don't say that, it's grounds for divorce).

3. I had an awesome Mother's Day. I received this lens as a gift and I love it. We went to Huber's again for Mother's Day and it was lovely. I like that this is becoming a tradition. I took the new lens along with me and this is now one of my current favorite non-Jonathan themed pictures:

Oh, and this one. I love wine almost as much as ice cream. Or maybe more, depending on what sort of day I've had.

4. Also over Mother's Day weekend, we added to our family. Meet Pearl. She is an itty-bitty kitten but she is a spit fire. The vet tech at the animal clinic was so right when she told me that male cats were more chill.

5. There were a few days in there where I thought we'd made a mistake--a lot of meowing on Pearl's part and a lot of hissing on Albert's behalf. It took about a week but things are definitely better now.

6. In May, we took Jonathan on a trip to St. Louis to visit Uncle John (Bryan's uncle). We visited the St. Louis arch which was nothing short of awesome. Jonathan loved it as much as I did. Bryan had been in the arch before; he did really well considering that he is deathly frightened of heights.

7. While we were in St. Louis, we also went to a St. Louis Cardinals game. It was my first (and Jonathan's first) professional sporting event ever. It was really hot but a lot of fun. Jonathan came home with a hat, a shirt, a claw, a pen, a baseball and a stomach full of cotton candy and peanuts. This only cost 1.4 bazillion dollars but it was totally worth it :)

8. Also in May, Bryan and I attended a Buffett concert in Indianapolis with some of our close friends. The weather was horrid but the show was fantastic, as always.

Note to Jimmy Buffett--please never stop touring or my summer will be void of meaning. Thanks. Love, Jennifer.

9. Last weekend, we visited Squire Boone Caverns in Indiana. It was a nice day trip and good times were had by all but for the injury I sustained when I fell on the slippery metal steps that descend into the caverns. Not exactly how I intended to get a bit of color on my legs.

10. This week marked the second week of summer camp at Jonathan's school. The theme--pirates. How I love the faux beard.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Hello, my name is Jennifer.

And I love Fiestaware.

I mean, I really love it. A lot.

Like maybe too much love. Like I would marry it love. (Sorry, Bryan, but you love it too! It's just so colorful and pretty and shiny.)

Luckily for me, the Everything Fiesta store is located in Flatwoods, WV, just about an hour from my parents' house. Twice a year, they have a tent sale where you can buy Fiesta products with minor imperfections for a fraction of the retail price. Think 75% percent off the regular price. You never know what you are going to find in the tent and it requires some looking since some of the pieces are not in the best shape. But that's just part of the fun--it's like a treasure search but instead of gold you find something better--discounted dinnerware!

This year was my second trip to the tent, made even better by the fact that pretty much all the chicks in my family came along--my mother, both sisters, my grandmother and my mother in law. Here is the crew, minus me as I was taking the picture:

And thanks to my MIL, I have joined the crew. I like being in the middle. I also like that I look tall. I have never looked tall in my life.

Basically, the way it works, is that you go into the tent with a dolly and some milk cartons. You go through the various bins and make your selections, after which time you go stand in line for 1.2 billion hours, upon the completion of which you are able to pay for your items. I think the line takes so long because every single person in it is making a purchase that looks much like this and it takes a while for the kind Fiesta tent sale workers to wrap up and box each individual's purchase:

Look how happy my mom and sister Laura are to pose with their super awesome purchases:

And how much do I love this picture of Laura and me? I really wish that she lived closer!

After the tent sale, we packed the car full of our items, ate some lunch and bought some more Fiesta as well as some other items in the outlet stores that are also located in Flatwoods, WV. The car was amazingly full--my poor sister Melissa was squeezed into the optional third row seat of Laura's car. As far as an option, Cadillac should have opted to skip it as the seat was barely larger than a folding chair and honestly was probably a $5,000.00 add-on to the vehicle's MSRP.

A super fun trip combined with kick butt shopping--what more could a girl want? Until next year, dear Fiesta tent sale. Adieu.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The "joys" of motherhood

Mother's Day is right around the corner and I am proud to say that I have been in the mommy club for almost five years. Most of the time, I am bursting at the seams with pride at my little guy's accomplishments. He's changed by leaps and bounds since he was born and I would like to think that he has changed me for the better too.

Sure, there have been rough spots. As an infant, there was the projectile vomiting, the waking up daily at 5:45 a.m., the never ending diaper changes. Then as a toddler, there was the worry about when he would walk and whether he would ever learn to count to ten as he was insistent on skipping the number 6 ("I no like six", the eighteen month old Jonathan would announce emphatically). Most recently, we have battled over back talk and eating dinner. And over not running through the house screaming and crying when you don't get your way. We've also dealt with some resistance to committing to memory the letters S, K, G and N.

These frustrations sometimes cause me to question my ability as a parent and whether I am adequately equipped to deal with this strong willed little creature. But then I will get to school to pick Jonathan up after a long day and he will run to me with a handful of weeds that he has assembled for me, thrusting them at me with one hand as he embraces my leg in a hug with the other arm and I think, this is what motherhood is all about. THIS is why they have sappy Mother's Day cards out the wazoo at Hallmark.

When you are contemplating being a mother and even when you are actually pregnant, no one tells you that being a mother is, a lot of times, quite far from the ideallyic images of flowers and rainbows we women have in our heads prior to taking the motherhood plunge. What no one tells you is that sometimes your child will do or say something that makes you wonder who is this alien creature who grew in your body but whom surely must be the spawn of Satan. I suppose that, as an intelligent woman, I should have known this fact but then something happens that will totally blow me away, marking me as the the mother whose child did THAT.

Case in point--I just found out this morning that my dear sweet cherub faced son told a friend at school that he hated her and never wanted to play with her again. This little girl is the sweetest little thing you have ever seen. She and Jonathan went to day care together as infants and switched to their current preschool at the same time last year. Even worse, her parents are good friends of Bryan and mine. They are an all around lovely family. When I found out that Jonathan said this to her, I was mor.ti.fied. I wanted to believe that there had been some sort of mistake. But when I asked him, I knew he was guilty as his eyes immediately welled up with tears. Bryan and I had to explain to him that you never, NEVER, NEVER say something like that to anyone, that it was a mean thing to do and that he had hurt his friend's feelings. We told him that he needed to apologize to her this morning and, most of all, that he needed to be nice to everyone at school and pretty much in the entire world.

This was not exactly how I wanted to spend my morning.

What I think is lacking in the gagillions of parenting books and articles that I have perused during the time from when Jonathan was a two week old mass of cells until now when he is a full fledged person is that people are not born with inherent manners or even any real idea of how to interact in the world. While I have worried about Jonathan's academic achievements as well as his physical growth and development, I have not been as concerned about his growth as a person, his ability to be a kind and compassionate human being--I thought it would just happen. And honestly, I'd rather have a child who cares about others, who knows how to make friends and who makes an overall positive contribution to the lives of those around him than a child who is the valedictorian of his graduating class (OK, I want that too, but if I have to choose one...)

While I am sure that Jonathan will do and say many things over the coming years that will mortify me, I love the little guy unconditionally. This whole motherhood business is not exactly what I expected it to be, but I could not have asked for a better child to travel with me along the journey.

I just hope he gets over this mean streak :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quiet Time

A bout of food poisoning from dinner on Friday night left me feeling pretty puny early Saturday afternoon. Jonathan officially gave up his nap several months ago but Bryan and I still require that he have quiet time. This quiet time used to be comprised of watching a movie on the couch or upstairs in our bedroom; more recently, however, quiet time is spent in his room where he gets to watch said movie on the television that he got as a hand me down from my parents. He's not spoiled at all.

He chose the movie Mary Poppins, a good choice in my mind as it is a long movie and I planned to enjoy his quiet time on the couch watching 16 and Pregnant episodes that I had on DVR. After starting the movie, I reminded Jonathan that I did not feel well and asked him to chill out and watch the movie. He seemed sympathetic and said that he would.

And he WAS quiet. And he was being good. I thought to myself at one point how happy I was that he had developed a sense of empathy. This is great, I said to myself.

Oh, how wrong I was.

Yes, the child did not make a peep during the movie. Yes, he did not call for me until the movie was done. But something didn't look quite right when I went back to get him after quiet time ended. I couldn't quite place my finger on it at first.

Then something on the floor caught my eye. Red fuzz and something else. Not dust, which would be totally typical, but something else entirely. I bent down to pick it up and realized that it was hair. Human hair. I wondered from where it came?

Then I looked at Jonathan again. I didn't remember his hair being like that in the front; in fact, I recalled it looking more like this:

Usually hair looks longer the week after a haircut, not shorter. I asked Jonathan how this hair ended up on the floor and he told me that he did not know. I asked him again and reminded him that it would not be a good idea to lie to me as I was holding the evidence in my hand. Still, he hesitated. He started to roll around on the bed a bit giving me a better view, one that looked much like this:

Finally, he confessed that he took the kid scissors stored under the easel in his room and used them to trim up his stuffed Clifford's coat. Apparently that was not gratifying enough as he thereafter moved on to his own head.

An aerial view:

Part of me wanted to laugh as there was a time when I was about the same age that I cut a huge triangle out of my sister Laura's bangs. But the difference there was that I freely admitted to doing it when confronted by my mother (in fact, I recall being PROUD of my handiwork) whereas my child blatantly lied to my face about this. Apparently I was supposed to believe that the hair just fell off while he enjoyed a Disney classic. In sum, I felt pretty pissed off.

Needless to say, we had to have a talk about telling Mommy and Daddy the truth, that even if you are going to get in trouble for what you did, you will always get in more trouble for lying. God, I could literally hear my parents' voices as I said these words. I wanted to rewind ten years to a time when I would have been enjoying the nice weather by sitting on a patio somewhere with a beer.

I'm not sure that he got the message. He was pretty upset when I told him that I was going to tell his Nana and his Grams about this. And anyone else who asked. There were some sad expressions thrown around with a dash of whining mixed in for good measure. The scissors have since been placed where he cannot access them without asking. I hope that he learns something from this lesson. The hair will, of course, grow back and he will look normal again within a week, but I hope that he learned his proverbial lesson.

I think I still see an evil twinkle in his eyes, though, causing me to suspect that the "fun" is just beginning;

Monday, March 29, 2010

Soccer Practice

My kid likes to play soccer. My husband also likes to play soccer as well as watch soccer on TV. I think soccer is great exercise for both of them but watching it in person or on TV? Honestly? It bores me.

However, combine soccer with a chance to use my new camera and I'm interested. This is true despite the facts that I had a killer day at work and it was quite chilly for practice this evening--the temperature display in my car said that it was 53 degrees. Unfortunately, it was also windy which made for one chilly mama.

But I was happy to have braved the elements as I was able to capture some pictures that make me feel all warm and fuzzy and motherly inside.

Look at this face:

I don't know what the coach asked the kids to do but when I uploaded this picture tonight, I had an urge to caption it with Jonathan saying "Man, did you see how tall this chick is?"

Speaking of size, can you believe that Jonathan and Gael (the son of a friend of ours) are just a few months apart? Seeing the two of them together is like a real life visualization of two ends of the growth chart from the pediatrician's office.

The coach had the kids work on learning how to stop the ball. Does it make me a bad mother that I laughed not only at my own child but also other children when they lost their balance and fell off their respective balls? Please say no.

Back to being motherly--I'll leave you with a picture of my sweet boy using his listening ears and following the coach's directions. If he would just transfer some of the behavior to listening to Bryan and me, that would be super great :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Camera!

I've wanted a Canon Rebel for some time as my pitiful Kodak point and shoot left much to be desired. Thankfully, Bryan is now employed again (and not a moment too soon!) and it became economically feasible to make the plunge into SLR world. We just brought home the new addition yesterday so I've not had a lot of time to play with it yet but I am already SO happy with the results:

Ignore the dirty face in this one--is there a way to Photoshop filth from a child's face? (I'm intending to learn Photoshop too)--but I am quite pleased to be able to finally achieve (pardon the usage of a super technical term here) the blurry background behind the subject of the picture:

And while I am on the topic of new things, now is as good a time as any to introduce Albert. We adopted Albert two weeks ago--he is around 10 weeks old and the sweetest kitten EVER. And this is coming from a self-professed non-cat person. Long story short on Albert--Bryan and I had decided, despite the fact that I was not a cat person AT ALL, to get Jonathan a kitten for his fifth birthday this July. Then Arthur decided to take a nip out of my lip. He'd done the same thing about two years ago and Bryan and I discussed at that time that was it, he'd gotten his "one bite free" and the next time, he was out. I love the grouchy dear but having a dog who bites with no forewarning is absolutely unacceptable, especially when combined with a child. Luckily, my sister did not mind to add Arthur to her pack of creatures, so Arthur now lives in Georgia and we are now a cat family. So far, so good.

I was hoping for good weather today so that I could take Jonathan to a park or play ground to try out the new camera as well as the zoom lens but looks like I will have to wait until Jonathan's first soccer practice of the season tomorrow for that. Unfortunately, the rainy day today has left all three us us (Albert seems unaffected) looking much like this: