Wednesday, June 28, 2006


The Dynamic Duo

Zoo Day

Aunt Annie is getting ready to move to New York so we decided that it would be great to spend the day with her at the Cleveland zoo. None of us had ever been there before so we were all excited to go. I packed up the kids and got to Lindy's by 9 (a small feat in itself as it is not easy to get 2 small children motivated that early). We took off to drive to Annie's place. We were driving along on the freeway at a good clip when all the sudden everything came to a screeching halt. Traffic crawled along at a snail's pace and we went 1 mile in 45 minutes. During this time, Luke decided that he was hungry so Lindy climbed in the back seat and fed him a bottle while we sat there. After that, he decided to get fussy and wanted out of his car seat which of course, we couldn't do. It was at this point I realized that Ella was being entirely too quiet. I turned around to see what she was doing and realized that she had taken a tube of lip gloss (raspberry glitter lip gloss to be specific) and had squeezed it all out of the tube into her hand and was proceeding to rub it on her arm and in her hair. Just what I needed at that point. UGH! I called Aron to see if he could figure out what was going on with the freeway. He looked online and saw that there was an overturned semi about 7-8 miles ahead of where we were and the highway patrol was routing three lanes of cars into one lane then taking them off the highway and routing them back on again. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I decided "what the hell, I have an SUV, right? let's see what it can handle." So I took off baja-ing across the median and did a u-turn to go back south. We got out my trusty atlas and found an alternate route to get us around the accident. Crisis averted.

We got to Annie's a little later than expected and the kids were in no hurry to get back in the car so she was kind enough to feed us lunch. After lunch, we took off for the zoo. We walked around at the zoo and Ella particularly enjoyed the fish and giraffes. It rained on us a bit at the zoo so that's why Lindy's wearing a poncho and Ella's hair looks drenched in the one photo. After the zoo, we went back to Annie's place and had some tasty Chinese. Mmm...sesame chicken...

Part 3--Sunday edition

Sunday edition of our weekend was just as busy as Saturday. We went to church in the morning. I think maybe Myles had an extra dose of pure energy that morning. He was running around church yelling "NEW SHOES. NEW SHOES. NEW SHIRT. NEW SHIRT." It was quite entertaining to say the least. After church we briefly stopped at home to pick up a contribution to our family's annual summer picnic (a salad) and then headed off to the picnic. It was also my Grandparent's (GG and Pawp) 60th wedding anniversary. There was quite a large crew there (about 25 of us) and it was all kinds of fun. My Aunt Pam (also a big favorite of Ella's) was the organizer officianado and brought along games and stuff for the kids. Aron brought along our Boce set and there was a spirited game of Boce in the side yard. Boce is usually a good game to bring along to parties because it doesn't require too much skill and most people can play it...except for my Dad who really stinks at it. He was paired up with my cousin's daughter who is 9 or so. She scored all of the points for her and my dad's team. It makes it fun to watch though, because it just kills him that he's bad at it. Good times, good times.

Part 2

Auntie T and Ella
This was my first trip to Dayton. I don't think I'll be returning anytime soon. No offense to the lovely people of Dayton. We drove the 2 hours to Dayton and it was nice because the kids slept most of the way there. Once we got there, we met up with Auntie T and Granny Lanny (my friend Tori and her mom, Lana). The church was a beautiful Catholic church right by the Univ of Dayton. Now here's where things start to horribly go wrong. We take our handy dandy directions to the reception and follow them (and several other cars) to start to go to the reception. We're driving along, driving along, driving along, driving along, UNTIL WE'RE IN BEAVERCREEK! I turn to Aron and I'm like "this isn't right, the reception place was only like 5 minutes away from the church. we need to go back." We stopped at some lovely children's park and Aron went to ask someone directions. The very nice woman came back to our car and helped us look on the map to figure out how to get back to the church. Ok, so we went back to the church. We started out with our directions again only to find that we were again going toward Beaver Creek. We turned around and stopped at some random woman who was sitting in her driveway selling tickets to a local garden club event that was going on. Again, a very nice woman who even helped Aron draw out a new map of where to go. So we head out once more. We drive around and around and around and around. Who knew that there were so many name changes for Dayton's streets? You'd think that would be confusing for poor out of towners such as ourselves and would make it difficult for them to get around. We would go for 3 blocks and the street would be known as Dixie Highway then it would suddently turn into Patterson then it would suddenly turn into something else. Eventually through the help of several more lovely Dayton-ers, we made it there. By the time we got to the reception, it was a good hour after we left. I was ready to throw my friend's wedding present towards the door of the reception hall and leave because we were convinced that we were so late that we had missed the dinner and everything. UNTIL, I saw a long, stretch Hummer coming down the road. It was the wedding party! We weren't too late! At this point I started to laugh--because it was either that or cry--and we decided to go in and have a good time. We got in the reception and found out that many other wedding guests had gotten lost, also. That made me feel not so bad. So, in summary, KUDOS TO THE LOVELY FOLKS IN DAYTON and GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR to my friend who wrote the directions to the reception wrong (you know I still love you, Daryle).

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The weekend in review--Part 1

This weekend, like every weekend, was packed with exciting adventures. Saturday Aunt Annie and Uncle Kevin came to visit for a breakfast at Granny Lindy's house. I made a breakfast casserole and took it to their house. Poor Grandpa Steve was very sick with the flu that day and couldn't do much more than sleep upstairs. Poor Steve! In spite of Steve's sickness, we had an excellent breakfast complete with Aron's Granny and Grandpa. Ella spent a lot of the time swinging with her new favorite person (aka Uncle Kevin). We changed our clothes at Granny Lindy's house and were ready to take off for a wedding in Dayton.

Aunt Robbie deserves a round of applause...

She discovered this treasure at a garage sale recently. Ella was thrilled to say the least.
We walked to the store tonight to pick up some hair gel for Aron and she had to wear it. Whatever makes her happy, I guess. Well, within reason anyway : )

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bring it on! I'll mess you up!

Special Friends

Ella has been working on her letters lately by using her wooden blocks. She can recognize almost all of the letters and name them for you. We've also been teaching her some words that go along with the letters like S for Steve and R for Robbie, etc. On Monday, Ella, Luke, and I were all upstairs in her room playing with the blocks. She grabbed the S and said "S for Steve." Then she grabbed the L and said "L for Lindy." She put them together on the floor and said "Steve and Lindy...special friends." Then she got the A for Aunt Annie and K for Uncle Kevin and put them together, too, along with G for Grammie/P for Poppy and J for Jeff /R for Robin. She declared each set of them special friends. Then she got the L for Luke and E for Ella and said "Buddies." HOW CUTE IS THAT?? I also find it interesting that she didn't try to label herself and Luke as special friends. Maybe on a subconscious level she knows that there's something different about her and Luke's relationship that makes them buddies instead of special friends? Who knows? I just thought it was pretty darn cute.

It's official

Luke's crawling. I think it happened overnight. I went to work on Tuesday like I normally do. When I came home, my Mom told me that Luke crawled right over to a toy to play with it. He wouldn't do it for me again all evening so I was beginning to think that my Mom had made it up (either that or she's putting a little extra something in her iced tea if you know what I'm saying). Today, however, he got up and crawled multiple times. He'd better get crackin if he wants to catch up with Ella's walking timeline. She was crawling at 7 months and walking at 10months. Although, I think he's ahead of her with regards to pulling himself to standing. He can pull himself up on quite a few things now and is working on transferring himself from one toy to the next. He's finally mastered the art of going from sitting to crawl position and back to sitting. He's such a big boy now. I know, I know, I say that like every other blog but I really mean it this time.

I could just pinch his little cheeks forever...

We went for a walk last night. When we got home, Aron turned the stroller around to get the kids out and this is what he found...

Monday, June 19, 2006

No rest for the weary...part 37

As always, the weekend was eventful and fun but tiring. Saturday, I got up early because it's our turn to help clean the church. Ella and I went over about 9:30 or 10 ish. She ran around playing while I cleaned. She had fun going up and down on the wheelchair lift and playing on the piano. I should've made her help me but I'm weak and let her play around instead. After that, we went to Granny Lindy and Grandpa Steve's house. Grandpa Steve became her hero because he had an air compressor to pump up her new swimming pool. SHE WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. Steve's always a popular guy in her mind but she loved him a bunch after her pumped up the pool. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how big the pool was until after we pumped it up. I had to take out Luke's carseat (good thing he was at home mowing the grass with Aron) and fold down the seat in the CR-V (again as a side note to my dad, NOT A MINI-VAN, DAD) and squish the thing around in the back to get it to fit in. After we got home, Ella took a nap. When she got up, she wanted to immediately get in the pool (see also Splish Splash). The pool time was over when it was time to get ready to go to the movies with Aron. Ella and he walked to see Cars at the local movie theater. There was much buttery popcorn and 7up consumed by both. On Sunday, we went to church and then went out to Bob Evans (or Bobby E's as Aron likes to call it) for some Father's Day food for Aron. Luke ate about 1/2 of his Sunshine Skillet (much to Aron's dismay). We came home and played in the pool some more then went over to Myles's house for a BBQ. After the BBQ, we went home and crashed.

Splish Splash

How is it that kids don't care if the water in the pool is 55 degrees?
Yes, those are sharks on his trunks.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


The Accomplice
aka Spaz
aka My Naughty Valentine
aka The Stealthy Instigator
The Culprit
aka Babyface Luke
aka Lukie Bear
aka Cool Hand Luke
*I have censored myself for this blog but I think after reading this post, you might want to say it, too.

So, I thought I'd be nice to Aron and go to the local bakery to order a pie for him for Father's Day. Anyone who knows Aron knows of his deep love of pie. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not enjoy making pie and am not good at it. Anyhoos, I loaded up the kids in the stroller and went to the bakery to order a pie. I'm standing there talking with Cindy (the owner of the bakery) about what kind of pie I would like for Aron (for those of you who care, I settled on a caramel apple pie--think apple pie with a boat load of caramel dumped on the top). Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I see a flash of chubby arm and hand. After that, everything happened in slow motion. I turned my head to see my darling little Luke pulling over for the display of yummy looking cupcakes. I shout "Oh sh#t!" and lunge for him but the damage was done. My little Luke pulled over the display of cupcakes onto himself. Let's just say that I ended up leaving the bakery with a few cupcakes.

As a side note, no Ella did not repeat my expletive which is good. But for those of you who know the Christmas tree story, let's just hope that there's no repeat performance of that episode. Damn it.

Pic from the wedding reception this weekend...

I forgot to get a picture of the wedding reception place from this past weekend. The view of downtown was gorgeous so here's a pic of that. I can't say that I'm completely sold on renting the place for myself any time soon given the hourly rental fee of 1000 dollars an hour (that's right, the facility is rented for 1000 dollars an HOUR. YIKES! )

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Work it, baby

Today, Ella, Luke, and I started to do the summer reading program at our library. That's right, your local libraries all host a summer reading program. As a benefit for reading to your child, you have the chance to win assorted prizes (prizes from the past have included a gift cert to McDonald's for a free happy meal, pencils, and tie-dyed bags). This year we decided that we were going to work what I am affectionately calling The Library Circuit. Uh huh, that's right. We're going to multiple libraries and loading up on the goods. This morning kicked it off with a visit to my Mom's library. They had a featured guest who was a ventriliquist performing in the gym of a local elementary school (the elementary school I went to as a child, I might add). He did a few little assorted magic tricks, too. Ella was a little shy and didn't want to sit by the other kids. I don't blame her--they were all way older and way louder than she is. My Mom's library will also be hosting a few other guests on Wednesdays (think Ronald McDonald and the zoo!!) so I think we will definitely return. After the show, we went home. On the way home, both kids fell asleep and stayed asleep even though I transferred them to their respective beds. They both slept for 2 hours! Sweet! I had to go upstairs to wake them up in time to go to summer reading program kickoff #2. The second kickoff was down the street from my house so we decided to walk. Because they were late getting up, we had to eat lunch on the way. I threw Ella's sandwich at her to eat in the stroller and we were off. This program featured a guy doing Rumpelstiltskin with marionettes. Good times, good times (although I feel the need to point out that although this man obviously works with children a lot, he did really seem to enjoy the children. He seemed very annoyed with them quite frequently). We came home after that and Ella played in her new sandbox while Luke took another nap. Whew. I don't know if I can keep this pace up all summer.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Two little teeth and a bloody nose

Luke's such a big boy now. He's really starting to get up on all fours and rock back and forth. One of these days, he's going to take off across the room. I guess it's time to baby proof the house again--it's still kind of baby proofed but we need to get out the baby gates and make sure that all of the outlets are covered. He's discovered, however, that he enjoys trying to pull himself to standing. He was sitting by his crib today and grabbed the bars on the side and started to pull himself up. As he was trying to do this, his hand slipped and he clocked himself on the nose on the edge of the crib. I'm really hoping there's not a bruise there tomorrow but he really hit it hard and there was blood coming out. Not a bunch of blood but enough.

Plus, my little guy has cut 2 teeth. They're his first! They were starting to come in yesterday but they're definitely in today. He's such a big little fellow! Ella was very excited about it and decided that she should call everyone to tell them about it. I told her we couldn't call everyone we know so I got her to make due with calling Granny Lindy and Grandpa Steve. They, too, were very excited by the news. He's such a little overachiever--going for 2 teeth all at once. Sniff, sniff.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Love, exciting and new...ok, semi-exciting, semi-new

Aron and I went to his coworkers wedding last night. It was a lovely event. They were married in a beautiful church (think stained glass windows and ornate decorations in the church). Then we went downtown to a gorgeous building on the riverfront for the reception. The building was all glass and overlooking the riverfront. Our dinner was an artful display of chicken something or other, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Tasty. After dinner while we were all mingling, I enjoyed watching the DJ in the corner playing air drums to Tom Sawyer by Rush. It was a beautiful moment--I had a flashback to my senior year of bandcamp when one of the counselors (think blonde mullet with black roots on a 6 1/2 feet tall 165# guy with his front teeth on his bottom lip play air drum to Tom Sawyer while my band director took flashlights and acted like they were strobe lights . Ok, um, how do you spell LOSER again?? Oh yes.). Anyhoos, I lost the table bet on what the bride and groom's first song would be. I chose At Last by Etta James, someone else had From This Moment by Shania Twain, etc, etc. I can't remember what the song actually was but no one had chosen it. Dang. The DJ also didn't play Celebrate by Kool and the Gang. What DJ doesn't play Kool and the Gang?? I guess the kind that plays air drums in the corner. It was an enjoyable event but I spent way too much time talking about Aron's work.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Starving Artist

Ella has been very artistic lately. I have a bag of art supplies ready whenever she wants to paint, play with playdoh, etc. Yesterday, she decided she wants to be a photographer. We have a digital camera so I said what the heck. So she went around for about 1/2 hour taking pictures of anything that struck her fancy. Here are a couple of her masterpieces...

Foul Language

Ella's speech development is really coming along. She tries very hard to get everything grammatically correct. It almost feels like she's someone that doesn't speak English as their native language. She pauses frequently, searches for the correct tense of a verb, tries to use "him" and "her" properly, etc. It's interesting to watch her learn like that. It's also interesting to see what she says. Her big thing now is to rat people out on things that she knows I won't be happy with. For instance, she has a toy crib upstairs that Aron's Granny gave to her. Granny used to put her doll babies in it when she was little and she's 80 so it's probably about 75 years old or so. Ella has all of her bazillion stuffed animals in it with a couple blankets, too. She always wants to get in there and play with them but I won't let her because I'm afraid she's too heavy and will break it. She tried to get in it last night and I told her no. She then told me "Mommy you go to work now, k?" I laughed and ask her why she wanted me to go to work. She said "Daddy let Ella play in here when you go work." Oh ho! He does, does he?? I told her Daddy and Mommy would have to have a "discussion" on what's appropriate use of the crib. Another example would be Luke's walker that we have. She always wants to get in it and have a snack. I won't let her do this because she's way too big for it and exceeds the weight limit on it. She tried to get in the other day and I told her no. Again, she asks me "Mommy you go to work now, k?" I asked her why she wanted me to go to work. She said "Grammie here... let Ella have snack in there." Oh ho again! She does, does she??

Sometimes I'm not sure what to make of what she says, though. She likes to take naps in my bed sometimes but she will only sleep on my side of the bed. She tells me that Aron's side of the bed stinks. She's told me that Jane, our kitty, poops in her bed (note: although Jane has mental health issues, she does not poop in Ella's bed. I have checked it thoroughly for signs of Jane byproduct. Please do not call Children's Services. Thank you.). She also told me that when she saw Aunt Annie and Uncle Kevin over the weekend that Aunt Annie painted Uncle Kevin's toes with nail polish. I'm not sure what to make of this. I don't know Kevin all that well but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is false, too.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Millions of peaches...peaches for me...

I could have also titled this post "My husband's mistress." Yes, folks, we're talking about his peach tree. I think the order of the loves of his life goes something like this

1.) The kids
2.) His peach tree
3.) Me

Aron's very excited about his peach tree. He planted it in his own brew of pure compost about 3 years ago. It has quite a few peaches on it--see also picture--and attributes all the peachy goodness to the fact that he planted it in his compost. He has grand plans for these peaches. He thinks I'm going to make him half a dozen or so peach pies. Me thinks him wrong.

Annie and Kevin and Myles (Oh my!)

Whew! Another busy weekend in our house! We dropped the kids off at Granny Lindy and Grandpa Steve's house to hang out on Saturday. Aunt Annie and Uncle Kevin came to visit that day. Ella and Luke hung out there while Aron and I went shopping. I hear that both the kids were well behaved and took naps at Lindy's like they were supposed to. Lindy bought a swing to hang from one of their trees and Ella and Luke tested it out. It was a huge hit! Much swinging...many good times...does it get much better than that.

Saturday night we went to a graduation party for one of Aron's cousins. It was nice but rained a lot. There was a chocolate fondue fountain there, though, which made up for the rain.

On Sunday, we went to church and afterwards hung out at my grandparents house. Ella and Myles thought it would be a good idea to ride each other like horses around their house while each calling the other one "Old Paint." I think that comes from one of their Backyardigans cartoons but I'm not sure. Anyway, many more good times there.

Sunday evening we went to my Mom and Dad's to check on the progress of the fireplace that he's putting in their living room. Looks pretty good so far (well, as good as it can look given that there's not actually a wall between their living room and garage right now but good nonetheless). Sunday evening Aron and I watched Myles at our house while Jeff and Robin went to watch a movie. Aron and the kiddies played in the back yard (actually I think he put the kids to work by making them pick up sticks in the yard but to heck with child labor laws, right?) while I made dinner. We ate dinner, watched a movie, and then it was time for Myles to go home. More good times! Yes!