Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wheeeeeeeeee!

I'm going to be offline for a few days (until Sunday). I'm doing a little trip with some friends and will be computer-less.

Stay tuned after I get back for some awesome pix!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This post is brought to you by "Style My Tree"

Again, I come to you with an advertisement.

My friend, Jeanne*, and her sisters have started a small business. The business creates a gorgeous piece of art that displays your family history. Occasions where this might be appreciated includes the birth of a child, an anniversary, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, or any day you want.

Check out their website, www.stylemytree.com

A little birdie told me the first 5 customers get 10% off their order.


*some of you may also know her as "Natalie's Mom" whose blog is featured along the side of this one.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Big Kid I Have

Aron's job is cool. He is what's called a "City and Regional Planner." His company has been -featured in Columbus magazines/newspapers. Part of his job is to help design large areas of space (where to put buildings, what kind of businesses to put in a space, etc.) and to help plan out what to do with sections of a city.

Last week, his company (along with Aron) presented their ideas for how to develop the downtown of Columbus into an easily commutable (is that a word??) and attractive hub of Ohio. A place where people want to come and spend their time (and dollars) with their family and friends rather than just a destination for work. The downtown has changed drastically since I went to college there a few years ago and the Mayor, City Council, etc want to kept this going.

Aron drew the pictures by computer for the presentation so click here for an article outlining their plans. (Even if you're not interested, click on it anyway because Aron's making me blog about him because he says I don't feature him enough, thankyouverymuch). It's interesting to see their vision of what Columbus will look like in the coming years.

As a side note, Aron's company (not necessarily him) has designed some great spots in and around Columbus. In no particular order:
+ The Bride's Garden at The Franklin Park Conservatory
+ The area around Huntington Park, home of the Columbus Clippers
+ Arch Park next to the Nationwide Arena
+ The Secret Garden in Inniswood Metro Park
+ North Bank Park
+ Helped develop the Master Plan for The Arena District

Current/future projects include:
+ The redesign of the 70/71 split downtown (a HUGE undertaking)
+ Design of more greenspace of the Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Interested in more pix of great planning and landscape architecture? Interested in great pix in general? Visit the company website at
http://www.msidesign.com/

Monday, April 19, 2010

You say you want a revolution

America's eating habits stink. I said it. No going back on it now. They stink.

BUT

Between Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, proposed legislation to change school lunches***, and Michelle Obama's campaign for reducing childhood obesity, it seems like the whole country is talking about food. I think this is good!

If you've noticed, I put a link in the list of blogs I follow about the anonymous teacher who is blogging about her year long commitment to eat her school's lunch every day. I like this blog but find it can be a bit preachy and crabby sounding at times. I enjoy learning about food but sometimes it seems like the only ones that are out there preach only to those people who will only use the organic, free range, grass fed, etc, etc and exclude those of us who are just trying to make a decent meal for your family. Don't get me wrong. I buy organic, non-hormone injected items when able but if the price grossly exceeds what I would normally spend, I just can't do it.

On another note, I think that Michelle Obama's program is great. It's focusing on the fact that we all need to get up and move toward being healthy. However, I think it's missing a key point. JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE THIN, DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU'RE HEALTHY. There are tons of kids (and adults for that matter) running around that are thin which makes them appear healthy. Some of these kids are still not getting the nourishment, the vitamins, the nutrients, the everything they need to help themselves grow but they just happen to be thin and are able to metabolize the junk their body is consuming better than the chubby one. They eat McDonald's for breakfast, pizza and fries for lunch at school, and McDonald's on the way home. You are pumping their little bodies full of food that is nutritionally void! Don't even get me started on Lunchables who have 74% of an ADULTS daily requirement of sodium (which will kill your kidneys) and uses "cheese product" which means that "cheese" is not real cheese, folks. Surprise!

I'm all for having a "treat" on occasion. Heck, sometimes a whole treat day. The problem is that EVERYONE wants to give kids treats. We get bags and bags of candy at any given holiday. It's not just one piece from each person: it's a BAG. I usually end up taking most of it to work from Halloween and Christmas (sorry to those of you who supply this to the kids) unless it's something they really like. You know, like Reese peanut butter cup products. Keep those coming. The kids really like those. The KIDS. (digressing again)

I've ranted enough for one day so let's get voting on what you think.

***As a side rant, I think it's insane that my school (and I say "my school" as a generalization for all schools. It's not a personal attack on the school Ella goes to) can count KETCHUP as a vegetable. Or FRENCH FRIES as a vegetable. I realize that these products are derivatives of vegetables but you would have to be insane (or a government employee) to actually justify this as a vegetable. Today at Ella's school they're having nacho chips and cheese (presumably that weird liquid nacho cheese) and beans and weiners as their lunch.

As a disclaimer, yes I am the same parent who did this.

Cowboy Up

Luke loves the Amazing Race. Luke loves The Cowboys from the Amazing Race. See any influences on Luke from the Amazing Race?

Assorted cute state park pix







Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Hip Hike-ster

I took Myles and the kids to the State Park the other day because Aron was going to be late coming home from work (I'll post about that later) and I wanted something to occupy my time. We had a lovely hour long hike down the trails and a little picnic dinner.

The kids on the bridge leading to the trails...
What is that goofball in the middle doing??

The kids held sticks out of their ears and called them their own "GPS" for navigating the way back to the car. (Yes, Robin, I made sure your kid didn't poke his eardrum out with the stick. What do you think I am? The Auntie that lets him do WHATEVER he wants? Never!)


He gave me these dandelions "flowers" then struck this pose. Note to Myles: That won't win you the hearts of the ladies. The "funny guy" is always thrust into the role of "friend" but never the "friend that gets lucky with the girl someday." May want to think about that in the future, kid.
Off we go!

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

video

Yesterday was Ella's last basketball game. At the beginning of the season, I wasn't sure if she was going to like it or not. She didn't talk to anyone on her team and just stared at her coach when being coached.

HOWEVER, she loved it! She already asked me if she can have another go at it again next year. I think she was swayed by the ultra-awesome participant's trophy she got and the two points that she scored during last week's game.

Plus, they had this great closer to the season (play the video now). Get ready for the 31 second-ish spot of the video for the "4 foot, 1 inch Ella." They did this for all the different teams that participated in Hoops for Him. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view it), we were early enough for Ella's game that we saw the closer for the teams of the previous games that started an hour before hers. Ella took one look, pleaded with me with her eyes and quickly said "I'mnotdoingthatPleasedon'tmakemedothatI'mseriousIdon'twantto." So I did what any logical parent would do.

I bribed her. We all know how I don't normally employ bribery in my arsenal (I find that ruling with an iron fist is much easier) but I decided to do it this time. I told her I would take her to see How to Train Your Dragon if she ran across. I told her she could have popcorn and maybe some 7up if she waved to her mother as she ran across the floor. I also gave her some advice as she left.

"Get your rear in gear: the faster you run, the faster you get it over with." She had other plans, though. As you can see, she employed a bit of skipping.

He Who Wears Many Hats


He doesn't like to be pinned down to wearing just one hat, therefore, he must wear three (a baseball hat, a cowboy hat, and a batter's helmet. The batter's helmet is a bit hard to see but the tip of it is just visible over the cowboy hat.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Have I turned into a stage mother??

Ella is booked solid this weekend.

Saturday: Basketball game at 9:00, t-ball practice 10:30-12, play date with a friend from 12-5, and a movie date with her parents at 6:30

Sunday: Ballet performance at a local fundraiser at 12 and a bridal shower for a cousin at 2.

I'VE OVERBOOKED MY DAUGHTER! I've offically become THAT Mom.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My dear sweet little nephew...

...who likes to play basketball and scratch his bum at the same time...

Yup...scratching...
...a little more...

...a little more...

...yup...just a little bit more...

Spreading the love

I will now assault you with advertisements for my two new loves: Bags by Lora and Starwick Candles

Sorry the pics are small. I copied them from Etsy and that's all the bigger I could get it without distorting it.


Need a new purse? I did so I went on Etsy and found this one. It's made by Bags by Lora and I am it's proud, new owner. It's big without being overly huge and is darling. A friend of mine told me that it looked like me (I'm taking that as a compliment). Love it, too? Click on the Bags by Lora link and get one (or at least one like it cause you wouldn't want to have the same one as me and have me think that you're my stalker, right?)!

Need some awesome candles? Long time blog readers will recall that I am the teensiest bit particular about my candles but don't always have the time to travel 1.5 hours to go to my fave candle shop. Starwick Candles is a locally owned and operated Dayton, Ohio company. If you don't do Etsy, I believe you can also find them at the Dayton Farm Market Thurs thru Sundays. I can personally vouch for their Cherry Almond, Peach Jam, and Marmalade scents. They are a soy based candle just waiting to come home and burn you. Wait. That sounded bad. Never mind. Just buy some candles, mmmk?
(Disclaimer: No I am not receiving compensation for these blatent advertisements but please take the time to click the links.)

We would drive around this town....while the cops chase us around...


Aron looks kind of crabby in this pic...probably cause he wanted to get rid of me after last weekend. I almost caused him to get 2 traffic tickets.


Yes. 2. BUT I CAN EXPLAIN...


1.) I've known that my headlight was out on my car for a teensy bit now. Ok, so some people (like that pesky cop that pulled me over a couple of months ago) might even say I've known about it a while now. Welllllll, Aron and I had a little date last Friday night courtesy of his Mom and Dad. We both worked that day so we just ended our work day around the same time and met at my building. We went downtown and had a lovely evening at Hyde Park in the Short North and then we went to see "Hot Tub Time Machine." I'm not afraid to say I saw it. I'm not afraid to say I liked it.
.
That's right. I LIKED IT. It was a little raunchy in spots but what's not to love? There's both a hot tub AND a time machine. It's a little Animal House and a little science fiction. A little salty, a little sweet. I'm digressing again, aren't I?
.
Anyhoos, so he drove my car home after the date because he thought the brakes were sounding a little funny (how chivalrous of him) and I drove his car. One thing leads to another and wellllllll, he got pulled over a couple blocks away from our house. Whoopsie! Good news is that he just got a warning. Bad news is that we took our car to get the brakes looked at the next day and it cost us $600. YIKES!
.
.
2.) Sunday morning we were rushing around to go to church. Our church had their services (a 7:00 service, an Easter breakfast at 8:00, and another service at 9:00) in the community room in a local gated community. We rushed the kids through their Easter baskets and got dressed but were still at least 15 minutes late to the first service. Aron was speeding in the gated community (at least 40 in their 25 mph zone) and right after I said "Hey, it's 25 in here" he got pulled over by their "security." He slammed on the brakes and I was careful to protect the bread I had made for the breakfast part of the Easter service on the plate in my lap. The guy working security that morning was pretty ticked off at Aron (an understatement). Envision a red face, huffy expression, and a lot of yelling about speeding in his gated community where children ride their bikes, etc, etc. Aron apologized profusely and told him he was going to the Easter services in their community room. Envision a lot more of his red face, huffy expression, and an increased amount of yelling ADDED TO the fact that he was now staring in the car at my lap. When I say staring, I mean STARING. Fireworks could've gone off behind his head and he would've continued standing there and staring at my bread. I mean, it's good, Buddy. It's reaaaaaally good but do you have to stare? It's becoming uncomfortable. So, finally, I say something.
"You wanna piece of bread?"****
I thought he was either going to a.) have a stroke or b.) have his head pop off. At this point he says, "DON'T YOU THINK IT'S A LITTLE EARLY FOR THAT??" and nods his head in my car. I said "For bread?" Aron said "For what?" Security guy then says "You'd come in here with open container and speed in here? You think that's ok??" Aron then looks beside me (and my lovely bread) and sees the object of his stare.
OH! You think that's...
.
You think we've been...
.
Before Easter services...
.
Aron hasn't even had a coffee yet...
.
After we explained to the security fellow what it actually was, he let us go. I'm guessing he thought it was a Heineken.
.
****Given my previous brushes with the law, does it really surprise you that I would offer the man a piece of bread? Most of my friends find this offering of bread to be the most heinous part of the story.

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Easter Poppy

Whatcha got in the bag, Poppy?? Don't be holding out on me, Poppy Now when I was a boy, we each got a stick of gum and a pair of socks from the Easter bunny and we were happy about it, kid.

Thank you, PoppyBunny!

Go fly a kite!







The kids decided to fly kites after we had our Easter dinner at Uncle Jeffy and Aunt Robbie's house. They had a BLAST!

Ring my beeeeeelll, ring my bell!

Long time blog readers may remembAdd Imageer this Christmas post about how the kids played bells for the church service. Well, the bells were busted out yet again and the kids had an encore performance. Myles is in the diamond pattern sweater vest on the left, Ella is next to him in the polka dot dress, and Luke is next to her with the green plaid shirt on. As a funny side note, what Myles is wearing must be his go to outfit of choice because if you look closely, he's also wearing it in the Christmas video. Luke is a ham and definitely enjoyed performing for the crowd (see also video for proof).








video

Easter Egg Hunt

On Saturday, we took the kids to a local Easter egg hunt...

Luke kept making himself fall out of the swing which he thought was HILARIOUS


The kids dumped out the contents of their eggs so they could be "recycled" for next year.

Here's Aron threatening to gulp down the contents of Luke's egg...bully.


Ella's trapped at Aron's feet.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

All you need is love

Myles spent the night at our house last weekend. The kids woke up at 6:15 (#$%&#$&#!$&!!!) and came into my bed. Aron, seeing that there would be lots of talking and what not, ran to Ella's bed and proceeded to sleep in there while I remained with the kids. He turned on cartoons for them on his way out but they wanted to talk more than watch.

The best part was when Myles turned to Ella and said "Ella, you're my very best friend." Then he turned to Luke and said "Luke, you're my other very best friend." Then they shared a group hug.

I probably would've gotten a little teary if I didn't want them to shut the heck up so I could go back to sleep.