Baby Gorilla & the Uninhabitable House

Here in Ali’s inaugural Fritzwinkle posting. As Ali explains, it has been a long time since the last post for various reasons…

Many times Fred receives a phone call when I’m with him. All phone calls begin the same way, “Hi. How are you doing?……Not much….” I am here to tell you that if you are asking him what’s going on with him, “not much,” is a complete lie. There is too much going on. In fact, Fred has been so busy with the end of his school year, fixing up the new house, playing soccer once per week, attending childbirth classes once per week, serving on my company’s human rights committee, and then de-stressing with Playstation 2 FIFA soccer for hours on end that I finally tired of waiting for an updated Fritzwinkle (She forgets to mention that I created and also maintained two class websites for my students in the last few months during the Fritwinkle slowdown.). So I am going to write it. I have threatened Fred several times with this before, but this time I did it!

First of all…it’s all about me this time, so I’ll give the baby update. I have about two and a half months until D-day. So far so good. I mostly have back pain to complain about, but I’m sure Fred would have more complaints about my behavior than I do. We call the baby “Baby Gorilla” because it has strong kicks, it is making me HUGE and it goes through growth spurts that makes it so I am hungry ALL the time, especially for meat – beef. We have successfully completed 3 out of 5 childbirth classes. Fred is being a good sport about the whole thing considering he doesn’t even want to be in the delivery room. He jokes with the teacher and other guys in the class so much that when our teacher needs a victim for any demonstrations, she grabs Fred first. He was the first dad-to-be to have to wear the pregnancy suit. It was a weighted vest with a heavy stomach and large breasts. The vest even came with a sandbag to put pressure on his bladder. Fred’s least favorite parts of the classes are the videos. He calls them his “own personal hell” because he doesn’t like to see babies come out of women.

Photo: Ali and Me Belly-to-Belly

As for the house….what can I say? It is currently uninhabitable. We still don’t have real locking doors. Just a padlock on the front door and a slab of wood wedged in the back sliding patio door. We should have our doors installed by Friday (knock on wood). Fred ripped up all of the carpeting from the second floor. That made the place smell better at least. Keri and my dad spent two days last week mowing the lawn that hadn’t seen a mower since last year some time. I got to go in after my dad removed some tree stumps and plant some flowers in front to make the place look lived in. Keri spent her Saturday this week pulling out every carpet staple from the 15 stairs leading to the second floor. Fred is now in the more satisfying phase of priming and painting. Once we paint, we get to have carpet installed on the second floor. We also need windows, a water heater, and we will gut and redo the bathroom. It’s a good thing that Fred’s a teacher. This house is his full time job this summer. He’s under a bit of a crunch to make the place move-in ready before the baby arrives on September 7th.

Photo: Fred Cutting Carpet

Photo: Keri Cutting Grass

Photo: Me with Carpet Rolls

Photo: Keri with Remnants of the Lawn

Reception 2.0 – Massachusetts Style

Still haven’t got many additional photos from the wedding, but my guess is they will be rolling in now that we are back in town. However, I do have a few images from our reception 2.0 at the home and garden of Ali’s dad in lovely Marlborough.

Photo: Party Patio

I must say that it was actually a pretty entertaining bash, considering the heat was mind numbing. Had it been a little cooler methinks that we all would have had even more fun. Still, to all that headed out west for our suarez, many thanks. We were so pleased that so many people could be there. While we are extreemely grateful for the wonderfully generous gifts, we really were most glad that we got to see you all, break bread (or naan as it was), and chat while imbibing some cool adult beverages. I do sort of selfishly wish that I had not been so hobbled by the untimely ankle sprain, but I tried not to let it slow me down. I may have paid the price on that a little but it was worth it.

Photo: Woodbridge Staff Escape

So I guess it bodes well that in our young matrimonial life we have had the luck of throwing two parties, both under extreme conditions, and we haven’t looked to cancel the deal yet. From buckets of rain to the most dogged days of summer our receptions were memorable to say the least. And to think that we had liquor left on both occasions, suprisingly. Plus, I think we ate Indian food over the next five days; it’s a good thing we like it so much!

Photo: Pin the Ring on the Groom

Photo: Blindfolded Victim

As the pictures clearly show fun was had by all, eventhough they may have felt a bit like a melting popsicle. From a pinata full of candy to stick the ring on the groom (a spin on pin the tail on the donkey), those that endured the heat longer were rewarded with more of such good wholesome fun. In fact, some people were even known to make bufoon’s of themsleves!

Photo: Badminton

Arrival and Preparations Commencing


My dad has always said, “You don’t need hills to find hillrods!” Never was there a greater item of proof than our brief hotel stay outside of Akron. We should have known we were in for a treat when we arrived at our room and had to slalom through the multiple removable pick-up, truckbed toolboxes filled with ice and beer that inhabited the corridor that led to our room. If that wasn’t enough, a handful of screechy, grubby kids tore out of adjoining rooms, where the sounds of Playstations and country-music-playing boomboxes poured into the corridor. We were virtually surrounded by innumerable numbers of intoxicated adults milling between a host of rooms. Unfortuntately, the fact that our room was the temperature of a meat cooler when we entered meant that the air conditioner could not serve the dual purpose of drowning out the thoughtful bunch. Things grew more comforting when the phone continued to ring off the hook, because as we were to find out one of their own had been staying in the room that we now inhabited for the night. Our consolation was a reduced charge. Fortunately, we were able to salvage some shut-eye after about 1:30 AM. Morning came a little later than normal, then it was back on the road.

Main Event

With little more than a day to go before Ali and I stake our claim in the land of matrimonial bliss the prospect of matricide looms large across the horizon of that narrowest isthmus. Since we arrived in Chicagoland, things have moved at a breakneck pace, easing to a nice steady busy that will inevitably ratchet up to an altogether chaotic frenzy.

Photo: View from the Skyway

All things considered, la Maestra has been spot on in her management of all event aspects. It is the “others” that continually complicate and create a mild, but nevertheless monotonously present, unease. Generally, people have been extremely gracious in their offers to assist, yet the omnipresent spectre of the ill-informed do-gooder lingers at the moment. My mother is in a particular state, since she will be playing the hostess. Still, Ali has accounted for everything in her bulging binder (Those of you that have seen it know exactly to what I am referring.). If only my mother would recognize that everything has been planned to letter and in an effort to minimize any responsibility on her part, since she is, in fact, the hostess. Never one to trust with any sense of ease, Janet remains a wreck and her skittishness has become a contagion, infecting my sweet bride-to-be somewhat. What we are really fighting is the possibility of some roguish act of whimsy on the part of any possible do-gooder.

Photo: Construction on the Skyway

Photo: Chicago Skyline from Skyway

On the host-site front, I must mention that my parents have done themselves outstandingly proud in transforming their yard into quite a majestic setting of subruban liesure. Of course when we opted to hold the wedding at their house and yard, we were both of the opinion that little was in landscape preparation. My parents had other ideas, as the deadline of a larger event provided the stimulus to overhaul their entire yard. Part preparation, part conclusion to long-lasting desires that they both harbored, they reenvisioned the look and feel of the landscape and realized it with dramatic results, thanks in part to the Olmsteadian inspiration of Bryan Eastman (brother to one of my best and oldest friends). While it is next impossible to realize the full effect of the transformation without “before” shots, I will let the new work showcase itself.

Photo: View of Haas House from the Street

Photo: The Patio

Photo: Haas House Front Walk Photo: Alternative view of Patio

Photo: Another Patio View

Also, we managed a little pre-wedding family fun with an a short venture to a minor league baseball game. Courtesy of Ali’s dad, a group of us headed to enjoy the Kane County Cougars, an Oakland Atheletics affiliate, and a spectacular post-game fireworks display. The boys seemed to enjoy our great seats behind the plate, despite their fading with fatigue. I for one got to chat-up some of my best friends Lisa and Vince.

Photo: The Terwedows Watching the Cougars

One simply cannot say enough about one of my absolute best friends, Vince. His assistance can simply be summed up in a single word, “Clutch!” Anything and everything that we have asked him to help us out with has been nothing short of exemplary. Among the highlights of his contributions, the program that he designed is a stunningly beautiful piece. He thought of everything in the design, as he mentioned upon presenting it, “And it easily fits into a 5×7 picture frame, as a keepsake.”

Photo: Me, Vince, and Lisa

It is a two layer piece with a transluscent vellum upper displaying all the vital information, backed by a firm cardstock lower, featuring a prominent daisy blow-up, which folds over to create a binding, complete with grommets and a ribbon, holding the whole kit together. He really outdid himself and thoroughly exceeded our expectations; however, a photo will have to be forthcoming. More than that, he will also be filling in as the ceremonial videographer, as the original, my friend Sean, got a new television gig in Fresno and cannot make it. Ultimately, he has been so much the utility player extraordinaire, that Ali even asked if Vince might do some last minute tailoring of her dress.

That’s all for now folks. More to come.