Monday, December 12, 2011

Life goes on

Even with the bombshell of a new baby, life still goes on for me and Robbie (especially for Robbie who still has to get up and go to work like normal each day while Bella and I lounge at home!). Lots of changes for both of us lately as we adjust to our new life in Ohio.

Robbie is ticking away at his residency one shift at a time. The first month after Annabelle was born, Rob was working in the ER. He loves working there (which is a really good thing since he will be doing it the rest of his working years!) and there are both good and bad things to the schedule so I don't mind it either. His hours are all over the board when he is on an ER month, sometimes working 11am-7pm, 9am-5pm, or 5pm-1am. It changes from day to day so it can be a challenge when he has to work back to back shifts. Also, during most months there is lecture on Thursday mornings starting at 7 a.m. It is about a 30 minute drive from our home and ER residents are required to go even if it is their day off or if they worked until 2 a.m. the night before. It can be pretty challenging for a tired intern to wake up at 5:45 when he finally drags himself home around 2:30 in the morning. I kind of like the random schedule since there are good and bad things to each shift. If I get tired of the one he is working, it will change in a few days. It's nice to have him home sometimes in the middle of the day and it's also nice when he's home at night for dinner. We get a good mix of everything when he works ER so I really don't mind the unpredictable schedule. It keeps me on my toes since being a stay at home mom can get a little monotonous. Still, even with the crazy hours, Rob loves being in the Emergency department and always has some unique stories when he comes home.

The month of December he is working in the ICU. This is supposed to be one of the more difficult assignments for the interns but it's going well so far. A few drawbacks are the early mornings, long shifts, and the 6 days on, 1 day off schedule but there are advantages too...he is almost always off when his shift ends which is a change from ER. In the ER he stops taking patients at the end of his shift but can have 1-2 hours of clean up to do (test results, discharging, paperwork, etc.) before he gets to leave for home. In general, in the ICU he works either 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. or 6:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. (every other day mostly). He is home within 30 minutes of the end time so it is much more predictable! One day out of seven he is off entirely. The senior resident, Brian, Rob is working with this month is a really nice guy and that helps make things more bearable too. He got a pretty lucky break there! Rob is also off Christmas day since Brian wanted to take New Year's Eve off. We invited all the interns over for a Christmas dinner at our house since many of us won't be able to spend the holidays with family this year. Several people have accepted the invitation so I'm getting ready to throw a turkey in the oven and break out the Christmas centerpieces. Some of our best med school memories were throwing parties for the other students and I absolutely love hosting...I can't wait!! 

I have been getting out of the house quite a bit, even with a newborn. The most difficult part is lugging around the ridiculously awkward carseat. It's definitely a workout but I'm not so sure it's good for your back...I feel really fortunate that I have made quite a few new friends already - a few resident wives and a new friend who lives right across the street. Just in the past week or two we have been able to socialize quite a bit. 

We went out to dinner with the Lanzer family at Texas Roadhouse. We had an unpleasant surprise when just 2 minutes down the road Bella decided to empty the entire contents of her stomach all over her car seat and outfit but Sara and I ran into a gas station rest room and got her cleaned up while Rob cleaned up the carseat as best he could. Determined to go ahead as planned, things went pretty smoothly the rest of the night and all three kids did really well. We were able to have some adult conversation (which was especially nice for me!) during dinner. 

My friend Joslyn also came over last week for a girls' day with me and Bella. We made snickerdoodles, drank apple cider and coffee, burned a cinnamon candle, and watched The Holiday (a girlie Christmas movie). It was so fun to have some relaxing girl time. There's some times you just need a girlfriend (no offense to our husbands but three out of those four things I mentioned Robbie wouldn't endure for my sake, at least not quietly!).

Just a few days ago we were able to head out to Westlake to see our friends Chris and Jenay. In honor of Chris's upcoming birthday Jenay made a yummy cookie cake. Can't believe how close Jenay is getting to her due date - seems like it goes faster when it's someone other than you! Their little girl could be arriving any day now (due early January). 

We love to cook for people so we also had our resident friend, Dan, over for lunch before his shift one day. Somehow our meal turned out to be Thanksgiving themed with roast chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls, and broccoli salad...I guess subconsciously we felt we had missed out. He brought over some great brownies and we had a mid-week belated Thanksgiving feast. 

A few days later another resident, Jess, stopped over to see Bella after work. I was already making dinner for Robbie so I threw some extra in for Jess and she stayed for dinner. Jess is such a little girl, Bella looked huge in her arms! Our social calendar has been filling up and I'm guessing it's more due to a cute little baby than us...although, if we keep feeding everyone they may come back anyway :) 

Awhile back Sara told me about the church they attend that is about 15 minutes from where we live so we decided to try it out two Sundays ago. It is a HUGE church but people were really friendly. We liked the service and I picked up some information on their women's ministry. Thursday I headed to their MUMs (Moms Uplifting Moms) group and had a good time. It's hard with Bella but it lasts several hours so I only had to miss a little bit of the speaker when she wanted to eat (she has terrible timing). There were about 200 moms there and I met a really nice mom my age afterwards who invited me to a Christmas party this upcoming week. We'll see how it goes! I also have incredible luck with raffles and managed to win one of the four prizes they were giving away. I don't know what it is but ever since I was little, whenever there is a raffle I tend to win something. Crazy! I got this hair clip holder for Bella.

Funny thing is, the day before I was thinking I should make something to hold all her clips. They are taking over her drawer space. Guess I can take that off the project list...

Robbie showed up the other night with some flowers for me just because. Aren't they cute? I decked them out to look holiday-esque! I married the right man :) 

I had my six week check up this week and was totally released from restrictions. Of course, I couldn't wait to get out for a run so I started again this week. Trying to take it easy since it has been 10 months since my last run. I went 1 1/2 miles and the worst part was the freezing cold winter air burning my lungs...The run felt good at the time but I definitely felt it the next day. Weather is warming up later this week so I hope I can get out a few more times. Have to be able to keep up with my sister (who decided to take up running during my pregnancy - the one time in my life I can't run with her!) when my family visits after Christmas! I'm hoping to get a few races in this spring/summer. It will give me motivation to tone up a bit and lose those last few pounds of chocolate, ummm...I mean, baby, weight (along with any pounds I'm sure to add over the holiday season - totally worth it!).

Speaking of holidays, we are getting pretty excited for Christmas! Robbie said it makes him sad when he drives down the street and the houses don't have lights so we picked up a little outdoor tree and one string of lights to decorate the house which Robbie put up today. We are going to try to buy more after the holidays so next year we can be a little more festive and prepared. We are kind of late in putting them up this year. There wasn't much selection at the stores but we figured one strand is better than nothing!
Our one strand of Christmas lights! :)
We plugged in the tree in our living room and ended up liking it so much it is staying. We don't really have enough space for a big tree so this feels Christmas-y enough for this year.

I decorated with a few things around the house although I'm sad that I can't find a spot for my nativity set. Seriously, this upsets me. Sigh...hopefully next year. Or at least in a few years when we have a little more table space.
Perfect spot - there was already a nail here!
Can't wait to see our family members who are able to come out in December/January. We are especially excited since we weren't able to travel this Thanksgiving. Happy holidays everyone - we miss you :(

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One Year Later: Waiting for a baby in Cleveland

I have two completely conflicting thoughts when I think about our first year of marriage. First, it has already been a year? It feels like just a few months ago we were getting engaged and planning the wedding. Second, it has only been a year?!? Every aspect of our lives has been completely turned upside down in this past year and I can’t believe we will have another year quite as dramatic as this one. Each week is a new “normal” with unique benefits and challenges. An amazing, fun year it has been though and I find myself regularly thinking I hope the old adage that the first year is the hardest turns out to be true for us. Every marriage has difficulties and adjustments along the way. I would be somewhat of a hypocrite to be Pollyana-ish about every aspect of this past year but I honestly feel there is no better person for me to be walking through life with. Even though in the past year I have become all too familiar with his sock wearing and discarding habits, his leaving the cereal bowl on the counter instead of putting it in the dishwasher pattern, and that he is quite possibly the messiest cook I’ve ever met (but I have to say a really talented one!) I am thankful each day for the husband I married one year ago.  

Summary of this past year: October – wedding and honeymoon; September – Rob auditioning in St. Joseph, MI; November – Rob auditioning in Westlake, OH and our first Thanksgiving; December – holidays in Nashville, TN and Orland Park, OH; January – our first New Year’s Eve and Rob was finally back in Des Moines; February – (11) found out we were pregnant, (14) found out we were moving to Cleveland; March – Jill job interviewing in Cleveland; April – Rob and Jill house hunting in Cleveland; May – Rob’s medical school graduation, Rob moves our stuff to Cleveland and heads to Chicago, Jill stays with parents in Iowa to work; June – Jill quits job, staycation in Chicago and (finally) move ourselves to Cleveland; July – Rob starts his new job at St. John’s; August – September – Visitors, visitors, visitors, baby showers in Iowa and Chicago, trip to Niagara Falls, and getting ready for baby!!

Those of you who know Robbie well know that he is in no way sentimental. Reminiscing about our first year of marriage was a very short conversation during a gorgeous fall walk on our anniversary. We did, however, manage to share our favorite parts of this past year. For Robbie it was our 8 day honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta. To me, that week was perfect and I regularly wish I could close my eyes and just be back in that time and place. I, of course, picked about six favorite memories. I just couldn’t help myself! It is amazing to me that the things people cautioned us against or said were a bad idea turned out to be some of my favorite moments. Just goes to show everyone is different and things work out differently than you might think. Some of my most vivid and favorite memories from the first year are visiting Robbie in both St. Joseph, MI and Westlake, OH. I won’t forget the old person’s home he was housed at in St. Joe, sleeping on an air mattress because his room only had a tiny twin bed, taking a freezing cold walk on the pier with sand from the dunes pelting our skin yet deciding this was where we wanted to be. I also will never forget the long, long drive to Cleveland from Des Moines with rain and ice the entire way and a cooler in the backseat packed with everything we would need for our first Thanksgiving dinner. Seriously, I brought turkey, sweet potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, stuffing, cream corn, broccoli salad, dinner rolls, and a homemade pumpkin-pecan pie all for the two of us. After almost 13 hours of driving I have never been happier to arrive at my destination! We played more Monopoly that weekend than I cared for and (confession) watched more Real Housewives episodes than any normal person should. Those marathon showings really get you hooked! I decided on that trip that I hated Ohio and would never move there…famous last words, right?? That weekend, however, was one of the best holidays I have ever had. It seems like those two months apart made the time we got to spend together all that much more memorable even though many people had told us exactly how difficult it would be! Having Robbie at home for New Year’s and celebrating by ourselves was, for some reason, also memorable. We were just enjoying finally being in the same place, home cooking together which is one of our favorite things. We made an amazing curried chicken with mango salad on the side and homemade mojitos. We laughed ourselves silly and didn’t even make it to midnight but it really didn’t matter.

Another of my favorite moments was, of course, finding out and telling Robbie that I was pregnant. Although it was too shocking at the time to be overly-joyous, I look back at that moment and just have to laugh. What a week of surprises that was and it changed the course of our lives forever.

Finally, watching Robbie graduate from medical school after four challenging years was so meaningful. I got to walk with him each step of the way from the MCATs to graduation so I know exactly how hard he has worked and the sacrifices he has made. At the end of medical school I read reviews from his two years of rotating through different hospitals and doctors and the comments from those who worked with him demonstrated exactly how much his patients and peers trust and respect him. I honestly couldn’t be more proud of him. Graduation weekend was a bittersweet farewell to the amazing friends we made throughout medical school and a happy gathering of so many people who have loved and supported Robbie along the way – family and friends. His graduation party back in Chicago was just another extension of the weekend. It was a happy reflection of how far he has come and an enthusiastic send-off to our new life in Cleveland for the next 4 years.

We celebrated our anniversary this past weekend in a low-key way considering I was nearly 39 weeks pregnant. Robbie brought home a gorgeous bouquet of lilies (my favorite!!) and roses. After nearly 6 years together he might not understand my flower obsession but when he does something, he does it right! They are beautiful and the whole house smells like lilies. Sunday evening we went to an upscale Cleveland restaurant called Luxe that turned out to have a cute outdoor patio where we were able to enjoy the gorgeous weather (just like our wedding day weather last year!). We are such foodies that we can think of no other way to celebrate than with really great food! Next we headed to Rocky River park to watch the sunset over the beach – not quite Puerto Vallarta but it was still a great sunset. In reality, I watched the sunset while Rob played with driftwood and dug a hole in the sand “for me”. Nothing has changed in the past year… I love my husband! He may not be sentimental but he will really be a great dad…The evening was finished off with dessert at Mitchell’s ice cream shop.

And with that, the final line of year one was written. It finds us in Cleveland, waiting for a baby girl to arrive.  As I write this, little baby Annabelle’s foot is pushing out against my stomach, trying to find her way out I guess. Year two promises to be no less eventful and I am sure one year from now I will find myself saying, yet again, where exactly did year two go?!? 
1st anniversary
Sunset at Rocky River Park
Sunset at Rocky River Park
Anniversary Flowers
Lilies and Roses
Anniversary Dinner
Dinner at Luxe

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Social Butterflies

Things continue to move forward for us at a breakneck pace. Can’t believe September is here and gone! October is an easier month for Rob since he is switching from ER to Pain Management and Anesthesia. He will spend two weeks on each and it is more typical 8-5 office hours Monday through Friday. St. John was really nice to ask before they made the schedule for this year if anyone had anything big going on during the year and tried to schedule residents for easier rotations if they had a baby or wedding. It is really nice for him to have an easier schedule after the ER month. We still have some big difficult months coming up like IM and ICU so I know we will have to get used to him being gone a lot but having him home to help with the final projects before Bella gets here will be really nice. This month we had so much fun hosting two sets of visitors to the Cleveland area and spending time with residency friends as well.

September 9-11 a group of our Chicago friends came out for a visit. Brian, Libby, Gil, Kara, Jeff, Little and baby Hunter made a trip out for the weekend. It was great showing them around the city and spending time catching up. Sadly, it rained most of the weekend but it did clear up enough for the guys to catch a round of frisbee golf while the girls grabbed a coffee at Root café. I didn’t remember to take too many photos over the weekend but it happened to be Jeff and Little’s 2 year wedding anniversary on Sunday so I did grab a photo of them when we were having brunch at the house and also got a photo of the whole family decked out in their Bears gear! (see below) Too cute! We really don’t get to see this group of friends often enough and loved that we got to see everyone before the baby gets here.
Happy 2 year anniversary!
Hunter on Jeff and Little's anniversary
Bears Family!
Hunter wants Mitchell's ice cream!!
The next weekend, my brother, Neal, and his girlfriend, Ashley, came out for a few days. They had a bit of a longer drive coming from D.C. but they made it out around midnight on Friday. Robbie had to work all day Saturday so I took them to to Cleveland hot spots including Westside Market and a store called Big Fun on Coventry street that I knew my brother would love. Big Fun has toys from our generation like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, California Raisins, Carebears, My Little Ponies, Atari and Nintendo games, and even Troll playing cards (which I bought to send to my sister since she used to collect them…long story here but I make fun of her about this whenever I get the chance. She was obsessed!). There are some other great little boutique shops on Coventry street that I thought Ashley would like so we spent the early afternoon shopping and catching up. As we’ve been discovering Cleveland I have been bookmarking places that I want to take friends/family and it is so much fun to have people come visit and check it off my list. Sunday we grabbed breakfast at Root café and got to hear about Neal’s latest book project. Book number three already - I am seriously so proud of that kid!! With Neal and Ashley so close I am sure we will be seeing them more in the future and I hope a D.C. trip is in the cards this spring since Rob has yet to see this fabulous city!!

Not so sure about Cleveland I guess?!?
Me (36 weeks), Neal and Ashley
I also got the joy of showing my friend Joslyn the trees a few weeks ago as they began to change colors. Living in the southwest has deprived her of one of my absolute favorite natural wonders: leaves changing in the fall! We went for a walk in the metro park last week and it was adorable. She is so excited about this season of the year and I love it because even after 28 years of life I get almost as excited every single year. I just love it! It was nice having someone along who didn’t get annoyed by my enthusiasm. When Rob and I go out for walks I think he starts to tune out my exclamations over every single tree that is turning. I just can’t help myself… I am glad over the next few years I will have a little girl to jump in the leaves and carve pumpkins with!!

After several months of trying to coordinate dinner with two of the other residents, Jess and Adam, we actually managed to get all three resident schedules to line up in order to grill out at our house. We had them over to our place last week for a brief dinner after Jess had to work late. It was great to see them and catch up but it is amazing how difficult it can be to try and coordinate 3 resident schedules! Jess and Adam are from North Carolina and as we were saying goodbye outside Jess asked if it was cold enough to snow yet. We definitely laughed at that comment and assured her it would get much, much colder before it snows!!

Jenay, Joslyn and I were able to meet up at Panera one day for a girls’ lunch and managed to snap a few photos since we never know when I might have the baby. Check them out below! Jenay is also really showing by now so it was fun to “introduce” our girl babies! Jenay and Chris were also able to come over to our place for the NFL season opener earlier this month which was a lot of fun. We don’t have too many channels on our TV but at least the big games come in clear!!
Me and Jenay with our girls!
38 weeks and 28 weeks
Joslyn, me, and baby Bella

Just this past week my friend Katie was traveling through on business and was able to make an overnight stop at our house. It was so nice to be able to go for a walk with her and catch up like old times. It was a fun surprise that work took her to Cleveland before the baby gets here so we were able to have girl time without a baby in tow! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

3,000 Miles Later

It has been several weeks since I got the chance to sit down and blog. Life is moving forward a bit too quickly at times and we are simultaneously settling into life in Cleveland and not settling in because each day holds a different schedule for us!! A good indicator of exactly how busy we have been is the odometer on our newly purchased Sorento – just crossed the 3,000 mile barrier in a little over one month! It seems we are always driving somewhere lately whether it is back to Iowa, Chicago, or to Niagara Falls!

Rob is liking his residency program and we have settled into some great friendships already here. We have really enjoyed getting to know our new “southern” friends Jenay and Chris. They are LSU fans who love grits, crawfish, red beans and rice! We have gotten the chance to hang out playing board games, mini-golf, and just chatting late into the night. They are also expecting a little girl in January. It has been so nice to have Jenay to chat with over coffee talking babies and OB care. I can’t wait until we both have our little girls and can have girls days out! Rob and I are incredibly sad they will be in Westlake at the St. John’s residency program just one year but glad for the new friendship!

I have also really enjoyed my time with another resident wife, Joslyn. She is so sweet, energetic, and crafty! Without my sister, mom, or friends here in Ohio Joslyn has jumped right in and made planning for Bella so exciting and fun. Joslyn is the queen of crafting and has helped me get the nursery ready. I will post some photos soon of the decorated nursery (when the crib comes in) and point out the adorable stuff she has helped me make. It has been such a blessing to have a friend here to hang out with while our husbands are hard at work. We have explored Cleveland together and found some interesting antique stores – some we love and some that creeped us out!

In mid-August I got to head back to Iowa and Chicago for two baby showers. My oldest brother, Seth, was home from Afghanistan for the Iowa shower and my sister, Jolie and her husband Mark were also able to make is up. It was nice to plan the shower around a family “reunion” of sorts although I will blog about the showers separately on Annabelle’s page! Both showers were absolutely adorable and it was so nice to see family and friends before the baby gets here.

When I got back from Iowa/Chicago Robbie decided (on a whim) that we should have a one year anniversary trip. He surprised me on Friday by asking if I would like to go to Niagara Falls the next morning. I am always in for an adventure so of course I was ready to go! The crazy part of the whole idea was Rob had to work the overnight shift that night so I packed our things up while he was working, he came home and crashed for 3 hours of so and we were off on our “international” anniversary trip. Granted, it’s not the type of international anniversary trip we had originally said we would take when we thought we would be child-free and it was 6 weeks early because of the baby but it was so much fun! We decided to spend the night on the Canada side and as soon as we crossed the border Rob switched to “kilometer” mode and drove ridiculously slow to avoid getting pulled over by the mounties. We got to our super-cheap hotel, checked in and took off for the falls as soon as we could. We walked next to the falls for a bit, grabbed dinner, and then came back after dark to check out the falls all lit up in different colors. It was gorgeous! The next morning we took the Rainbow Bridge over to the American side of the falls. After breakfast at a café we decided to go on the Maid of the Mist boat tour of the falls. Despite getting soaked in the rain on our way down to the boat and the fact that in the back of my mind I thought a boat ride could be a little bit lame, we hopped on the boat and headed out to the falls. It was absolutely incredible!! The boat ride took us right next to the bottom of the falls and we couldn’t stop laughing from our goofy blue ponchos, getting pounded in the face with water and my mascara running all over the place! When we got off the boat we spent some time walking around Goat Island and looking at Horseshoe Falls from the top. The amount of water going over the falls was mind-blowing and I rolled my eyes as Rob excitedly told me facts about the falls like the fact that 750,000 gallons of water go over the falls each second. He then spent time calculating out how many gallons that would be per day and how many gallons that would provide for each American, etc. etc. I had to laugh to myself to think that our kids are going to think at some points in their lives that he is the smartest person they have ever met and at other points in their lives that he is the cheesiest person on the planet. Regardless, I love him tons and am excited that at the end of our first year we are about to have our first little girl. I honestly can’t imagine a better first year. When it started to rain again Rob turned to me excitedly and said, “I’ll bet there are a million gallons of water going over the falls each second now!!”. Oh, I love my husband!!

The week after our trip to Niagra Falls I worked a short temporary office job which my landlord’s wife had referred me for. It was so nice to make a little bit of money and get out of the house for a bit but it definitely re-affirmed our decision for me to stay home. It was hard to keep up on everything with Rob working crazy hours and my working each day. Our time off didn’t line up so well and a lot of household chores fell to the wayside! I am so grateful that we will be able to have me stay home once Bella gets here – it will definitely help us maintain a more harmonious home. :)

We are getting excited for some friends to come visit with our good Chicago friends Jeff, Little, Hunter, Kara, Gil, Libby and Brian coming up next weekend. The week following, my brother and his girlfriend Ashley will be coming out from the D.C. area. Time is definitely going to fly between now and October 18th…I just hope we slow down the miles on the Sorento!!

Robbie and me at the top of the Canadian side of Niagara Falls

Robbie with the American Falls in the background

Me with the Horseshoe Falls in the background
Horseshoe Falls view from Canadian side

Horseshoe Falls
Horseshoe Falls at night - White

Horseshoe Falls at night - Red
American Falls at night - Blue

American Falls at night - Purple
American Falls at night - Yellow

Robbie on the Maid of the Mist boat tour
View of American Falls from boat

View of Horseshoe Falls from boat
Falls from boat tour

Climbing right up next to the falls after the tour - look at the amount of mist they give off!
View of both falls from the top - American side

View of both falls - the path in the lower right corner is where we walked next to the falls (photo 2 above)
Robbie and me at the top of the American Falls

View of Canada from the American side

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Brandywine Falls and the Beaver Marsh

I am a bit behind on posting updates so here is the second one today! 

Some of our new resident friends, Jenay and Chris, had recommended we check out the Cuyahoga Valley National Park sometime before the baby gets here. Specifically, they said we should head to the Beaver Marsh and Brandywine Falls. We looked it up on the map and found out it was just a few minutes from Sagamore Hills (south CLE suburb) where Robbie goes each Thursday for a half day of lecture. Last Thursday Robbie had the day off after going to morning lecture so we decided to check ou the park after he was done. I was more than happy to kill some time at Panera using the internet and drinking a hazelnut coffee (yum!). He got done a bit early so we grabbed lunch and headed out to explore. It was a gorgeous day and we got some beautiful photos to share!

First we drove south to go see the Beaver Marsh area.
Beaver Marsh area
Scenic Railroad train with bird in the tree

After a walk there we drove back up to the Brandywine Falls area to check it out!

Gorgeous views on the walk down to the falls

Brandywine Falls

Robbie and Jill at the Falls
We finished off the day with a hike through the forest. I loved all the mushrooms even though Robbie thought I was crazy. I stopped to grab a few photos of them as well!
Mushrooms and moss in the forest

Thanks Mom!

When we moved to our new house our landlord had beautifully remodeled the kitchen putting in very functional custom cabinets. One of my absolute favorite features is a large built in spice rack next to the new dishwasher (I plan to put up photos of the inside of our house soon and this will definitely be something I show off!). With both of us being adventurous cooks we have a huge variety of spices and filled the rack up entirely.

A few weeks after moving in we had used up all our curry powder and I wanted to try a recipe that called for marjoram. I headed out to the grocery store and into the spice aisle. I found the curry powder and did a double take…$5.59?!? That just couldn’t be right!! At first I thought maybe it was just an expensive grocery store so I stopped at 2 or 3 others and found the prices to be more of the same. When I got home and asked Robbie how much he thought spices cost he said, “umm…maybe 75 cents?” When I told him the Cleveland prices he was just as shocked as I was! He decided he’d better stop using spices so liberally when he cooks! The next time I was on the phone with my mom I asked her the same question. She said, “I don’t know, less than $1?”. Maybe we were just a bit spoiled in Iowa but here is a comparison to show the price difference between Iowa and Cleveland. Note the price difference between whole cloves in Iowa (88 cents) and Cleveland ($6.69).

Cleveland prices

Iowa prices

Cleveland prices for whole cloves: $6.69 (top left)

Iowa prices for whole cloves: 88 cents
A few days after the phone call with my mom there was a FedEx box by our front door. When I opened it up, right on top was a huge assortment of spices sent by my mom. That should tide us over for awhile I hope! As a side note, I’m thinking if we get short on cash over the next few years I might start a black market trading spices to Ohioans out of our house!!

All the spices my mom sent :)