Just realized this blog was still up and some people are still visiting it…so, um, we don’t live near Chicago anymore. And I guess I forgot to tell you that I don’t update this blog anymore (though that is kinda obvious…).

Best way to keep track of us is through our official websites:

Me, Kimberly Pauley: www.kimberlypauley.com

Tony, The Hubster: www.tonypauley.com

So, errrr…see you there. :)

We’re cleaning house! It’s the great Pauley Purge of 2010! We’re cleaning out the basement (there’s an amazing amount of stuff down there). I’m posting stuff on Craigslist. If you’re interested in something, let us know. Make an offer! You can email me at kim@yabookscentral.com

There’s also more to come. This is just the beginning…

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Blink.

Yes, apparently I blinked and look — it’s March. Max is two. TWO. The boy is two! His party is tomorrow and I should be getting ready, but I know I need to do The Max Stats report after his two year check up yesterday at the doctor.

He’s up to a not-so-whopping 23 lbs. He’s 33 inches tall (that’s 2′ 9″ for ya’ll folks out there who can’t convert it). In other words, a tiny little peanut. He’s 15th percentile for height and just 5% for weight. His pants all fall off of him. Skinny butted-boy.

He did really great at his checkup, though he acted shy for a few minutes. He was really good for Dr. Malloy and even gave him a high five when the exam was over (though he also immediately went shy as he realized what he’d done). Then the nurse came in to give him his (thankfully single) shot. That he didn’t like at all, but then she gave him a football bandaid for it and the little man actually told her thank you. He’s a sweet little guy.

We took him to Chuck E. Cheese for his birthday and that went over really well. He even ate some of the pizza and he fell in love with Chuck E.’s animatronic dancing self. We’ll definitely have to go back.

He’s a little chatterbug too and has lots of complete sentences, including things like “No, mommy, don’t want chicken. Want to watch TV.” which I’m not altogether happy about. He’s always on the go.

In other news, Tony and I are doing well on the diets. I’ve lost 19 lbs. so far (10 to go!) and Tony has lost a bit over 20. (I think he’s got 15 to go). And we’re going to go to China — with The Max — very soon. I’m very excited about that, even though I’ve realized my non-existent Chinese skills are going to be put to the test. I did learn a few words growing up, but they were all in Cantonese, not Mandarin.

Anyway, I will try and blog more. It’s just been crazy busy around here. Life, right?

We’ve recently gone to two new restaurants (I should say: new to us) that deserve a blog mention (okay, actually 4, but for the life of us, we can’t remember the other two at the moment). So, last up first…

Last night we went to Inovasi. I found it listed on Chowhound and made a reservation through OpenTable. It’s in Lake Bluff and only took us about 15 minutes to get there (why haven’t we thought about Lake Bluff before??).

In a word: deliciousness.

In more words: This is my new favorite place. The decor is upscale, sorta fancy, but the vibe is still open and friendly. The entrance area is bar and high top tables, while in back is more cozy, with a fireplace and both booth and chair seating. We were there on a Saturday night, but there were quite a few families with kids, so we weren’t the only one. Actually, that’s one of the things that was great about this place — it was kid friendly. Not like Ponderosa-no-holds-barred kid friendly, but okay for well-behaved kiddos. It was noisy, but not so noisy you couldn’t talk (but noisy enough to muffle the sounds of high pitched little kid voices). AND they had a nice kid menu, with two different portion sizes (little kids and big kids) — why don’t more places do this??

Yes, our priorities have changed some since we had The Max.

But, the food here was worthy of a Chicago city (not suburbs) restaurant. Innovative, interesting, and very good. The plates are small (and priced accordingly) so you can try multiple things. We had a diet-busting night, but it was worth it. I had these homemade cheese and potato tater tot things (yum) and a crispy chicken dish over homemade noodles with homemade bacon. Tony had foie gras (of course, it was on the menu) and it was perfectly done. Then he tried a steak tartar as his main course. That was the only dish that wasn’t quite up to snuff; the rest were fantastic. And the desserts? OMG good. We split a cherry cake thing and a lavender custard. Good stuff.

We’ll definitely be going back.

Now, for the Alhambra…we were in the city a couple of weekends ago and wound up stopping at The Alhambra Palace for lunch because we drove by it and it looked cool. Well, it was really cool. Like you walk in and go “Wow!” Actually, I think Max might have actually said “Whoa!” as we went in.

It’s like a Moroccan / Middle Eastern place and the decor is amazing. The food was also really good. (disclaimer: I have to admit that I wound up ordering the one non-ethnic thing on the menu because I was hoping Max would eat some of it. He didn’t, but it was really good anyway, so it was okay. But I wish I’d ordered some kebbeh or something instead. I did have the tabouli and Tony had something cool, so we weren’t total Anglos). And it’s HUGE. I mean seriously HUGE. 24,000 Square feet huge. Go to the website and take a look. I can’t even do it justice.

We need to go back here sometime when they have their live entertainment going. And on Tuesdays? They do Salsa dancing. Kind of a cross-cultural thing, I suppose, but I bet it’s cool. Fridays they have a live Arabic band and a bellydancer. And a bellydancing group on Saturday nights. Oh, I am so there.

Merry Christmas from us to you!

Merry Christmas from us to you!

We finally broke down and had family photos taken by Souder Photography. They’ve sent me a few, though I won’t be getting the rest until later once they’ve finished processing them and cleaning them up and what not. I’m only going to share one right now, as some of you may be getting a picture for Christmas…

This one makes me laugh. It’s very Max.

The Max Expounds

The Max expounds on an important point.

It started snowing a little bit yesterday and deposited some more over night. Max has seen snow before, but it was a long time ago and he certainly doesn’t remember it — not to mention he couldn’t walk last time he saw any. We’ve even been reading some books about snow to get him prepared.

So this morning he’s standing at the door yelling “Snow! Snow! Oh no! Snow!” I’m not sure what the “oh no” part was for, but he definitely gets what snow is now. I bundled him all up and got on his snow suit (a hand me down from a neighbor, thank you very much Maryanne!) and his boots and his hat. Couldn’t get mittens on him, but I figured, oh okay. Then out we went. Five minutes later, with freezing little boy hands and a small boy meltdown, we were back inside.

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