Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Road Trip

When Bill "won" a car on ebay last week, the idea for the babies first overnight roadtrip was born. Usually when he gets cars he flies to where they are and then drives back. Since this one was only about 2 hours away it was feasible for us to make a little vaca out of it. It has been years since I've been to Columbus and, to be honest, the previous trips revolved around drinking. Go figure. Needless to say, I don't remember much about Cbus, other than eating a burrito as big as my head somewhere on High St. The plans fell apart and we were much later in getting the car stuff done than was the plans. Seems the seller, that is days away from graduating dental school, didn't know how to work his voicemail on his cell phone and never got our messages saying we were leaving, we were 30 minutes away, and finally the one saying we were at the bank. Needless to say the rest of the afternoon was a huge f$*%ing mess and I was as cranky as the kids. We finally got things wrapped up it was pushing 7pm. All of the places we thought looked good were packed and it was well beyond the kids dinner time. There was no way I was taking them in a place where they would potentially cause a scene . If I didn't eat soon, I would be the one throwing myself on the floor of the restaurant. So we crossed the street, going towards the smell of garlic. We popped into a place called The East Village. There were a few other people inside and it was more bar than restaurant, but the bartender offered booster seats for the kids so we stayed. We finally got the kids situated and I looked up at a sign on the wall for an event at the place this weekend. It was produced by "Gender Bender Productions." We were in a gay bar and Reagan had the bartender/server wrapped around her finger. He was bringing her glasses filled with orange and lemon wedges and chit-chatting her up. She loved the attention. Mark another first off the babies list. Gay bar. Check. Nolan sharing a lemon wedge with Daddy.......and Barack. The food was not that great, but they had a huge video screen playing videos with heavy beats that keep the kids going.... for a few minutes. We packed up the rest of our meal to eat at the hotel and got out of dodge before they went over the edge. We stayed at the Hyatt at the Capitol (thank you hotwire!) and checking in was a breeze. As soon as the kids got to the room, the got a burst of energy and had to touch everything and explore every corner. They have never been in a hotel so it was all too much fun. In hindsight, we should have requested at least one crib (that was probably all that would have fit), but live and learn. Before we left I asked Bill to pack our playyard gate and I am so glad I did, otherwise the kids would never have gone to sleep. We put a mattress on the floor and gated it in to create a really big crib. I'm drinking milk in a closet....woohoo! Hello, room service? Wow, those cars are small! We all got in the "crib" and attempted to get at least two of the four of us to sleep. It took a while, but finally two of us were asleep. Reagan and Daddy were snoring so loud it was keeping Nolan and I awake. So much for Bill and I eating our dinner! I finally got Nolan asleep and I got up to take a hot shower and unwind. In the morning we headed to Einstein Bagels (the ones near our house have closed and I miss them) for breakfast. Got my pumpkin bagel and life was back on track. nolan says, "Eintine!" That's Einstein to you. We packed up and headed to COSI for science fun and the special Sesame Street exhibit that is there for the next couple of months. Perfect timing for my "Melmo" and "Cookie" loving kids. COSI is awesome and the pictures speak louder than words. The Sesame Street exhibit was about the human body and, while the content was over Reagan and Nolan's heads they enjoyed playing with all the interactive stuff and hanging out in "Elmo's World." There is an awesome play room for toddlers and we spent the remainder of our day there. How cool is that!!?? Nolan making friends with Dorothy, Elmo's fishy. There was a section on digestion that was particularly fascinating to Reagan. The poo part. After Sesame St, we went to the other large play area. Lots of cool stuff. Roadies with kids are a lot of work, but it was lots of fun too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We're Back

We are back safe and sound from out little jaunt to Columbus. Along with a new addition to the family. There are lots of fun pictures and a couple of funny stories to tell, but that is for another day. I am tired. Taking a "vacation"with kids is not a vacation at is more work since you don't have all the everyday "stuff" on hand to deal with whatever strikes a 17 month old's fancy. Oh yeah, hotel rooms are FAR from childproof too. I'm sure the front desk talked to Nolan more than twice yesterday before we unplugged the phone :) By the way, the new addition is Bill's winter car. Hope I gave you heart a little skip ;-0

Friday, October 24, 2008

Haunted (and Soggy) Hayride

We caught the only 30 minute break in the rain Friday night, and got our ride through the Metroparks Haunted Hayride in.....much to Nolan's chagrin. He was not impressed with the ride and about half-way through left Bill's arms for mine. He buried his head in my chest and started to doze off. I'm not sure if he was scared, tired, bored or a combo of all three, but he was happy in my arms and that was all that mattered. When we arrived, Reagan was excited for all the music and happenings around her. She is doing the sign language for more (well, her version of mo, mo, mo as she yells.) Also was reminded how hard it is going to be to keep mittens on this finger-sucking girl. Guess we'll have to pull out Mommy's hot pink fingerless gloves from the 80's, a la Madonna.
Nolan was cold, wanted his mittens, on and I think he really didn't care about the whole event! Not into crowds, just like his Grandpa was. See Reagan in the back clapping along to the Chicken Dance :)
In line and ready to ride!
Nolan and Daddy sitting on the hay wagon.
1st stop of the night.....the joker, from Batman's, lair.
Reagan loved it. She was doing her mad scientist laugh and making the people in front of us laugh at her. When the ghosts would scream and yell, she would yell right back. It was too funny. For a few days, about a month ago, she seemed afraid of the dark and I was worried that this ride (even though we went at 6:30 and it was just twilight) would really scare her. Not a chance.
Looking back at a huge inflatable spider that made her whole crazy laughing start!
Nolan's expression for most of the night
I'm sure we will try again next year to see if Nolan's opinions changes, but this might become a Daddy and Reagan date night for years to come!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

They're Not Hibernating Just Yet

I was reminded today about how amusing my posts about the Hillbilly Bears were. (Thanks Matt!) I sadly must say the tale of the bears has not come to the happy ending we all had hoped for. When last we left the scene, the bears appeared to have been done with the siding and left with promises of being back the following week to fix the area in the garage where the roof had leaked. It was promised to be a quick job that would unfold over the course of 3-4 trips. Pretty much allowing time for things to dry in between. Yeah, that was July. I let sleeping bears sleep for the rest of the summer, but fall has quickly approached and we need to get the garage in order. A few calls were made to the head bear. More promises, but no bears in sight. Finally two weeks ago foreman bear and a cohort showed up, worked for about 40 minutes and then left, never to be seen again. A couple of Saturdays ago we were in the backyard and I noticed a piece of the siding hanging precariously off the top of the house. It fell off that night. It scared poor Chandler cat out of his skin. At age 14 (well, will be in 5 days) he doesn't need that much excitement. Bill called head bear, who, when told where the piece had fallen off, acted like he knew that was going to be a problem! He said he would send foreman bear out to glue all the pieces on that were at the top of the house. You guessed it, two weeks have gone by and still no bears. I had my panties in a snit yesterday (I do my best phone calls when I'm in a mood) so I called head bear. He sputtered and stammered something about going to find foremen bear and sending him right over. Over 24 hours later and still not a bear in sight. I do see the bear-mobile at a dive bar a few miles down the road. For those in the neighborhood, it is Sugar's Last Stand. I have visions of going in and asking foreman bear if he has any intention of every fixing what he started at our house. I'm afraid it would be my last stand!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The (not so) Great Pumpkin

On Saturday we had breakfast with the Great Pumpkin at the Farmpark along with our friends, Lori, Matt, Sarah, & Matt Jr. If you ask Nolan, he could live without the Great Pumpkin. I can only imagine how he is going to feel about Santa Claus this year.
girls side of the table
Everyone enjoyed breakfast until the pumpkin came along. Reagan seemed to not care at all, she was more interested at stabbing (yes, she yelled STABBING as she poked at her food with her fork) fruit and Nolan couldn't get any closer to Bill to get away from her.
We took a wagon ride to the 'pumpkin patch' and picked our own pumpkins. Reagan and Sarah went off on their own little adventure. It just cracks me up how grown up Reagan acts.
Miss Independent insisted on carrying her own pumky. Reagan speak for Pumpkin. She likes to add an "e" to everything these days, just ask Nolee (Nolan.)
We checked out some animals and took pony rides.
Nolan walked right up to a sleeping sheep that was right on the edge of the pen and yelled SOFT and started petting it.
On the way home we saw some pretty sights

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quacky & Stinky

I am back in touch with an old high school friend, Paul Lender, (thanks facebook) who happens to take awesome photos. He is doing Halloween portraits in his garage studio and we stopped by last Sunday. If you are interested, check out his company, Left Of Center Photography, and then give him a call or drop him an email to set up your session 440.225.3041 It is only $5 for a 5X7! In my infinite hunt for a bargain I paid next to nothing for the kids costumes the day after Halloween last year from The Children's Place. When I bought them I intended for Reagan to be the duck and Nolan to be the skunk, but life had other plans. Somehow (no idea how, cough, cough, wink, wink) our stubborn , persistent daughter picked up the nickname Stinky from her Dad. When he calls her that she says "STINKY!!" right back. As for Nolan, besides barking, quacking is his favorite animal noise to make. So it all worked out in the end. photo: Paul Lender, Left Of Center Photography 10-12-08 Nolan & Reagan 17 months

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lots O'Leaves

We hit up another Toddlin' Towards Nature program at the Metropark on Tuesday. Different location posed a different set of challenges though. This whole program was outdoors so there were way too many distractions from the usual schoolhouse setting. The theme was "What Colors Will We Find?" and it was a beautiful day (probably our last of the really warm leftover summer days), so it was fun being outside. Our partner in crime was Grammy. She really had fun. I think she secretly misses working at the school.
Making shapes out of the clay (at least he didn't eat it this time!)
The girl has a promising future in slasher films
Reagan liked helping Mr. Tree shed his leaves Nolan had other things to do
Reagan & Nolan pretending to be trees, swaying in the breeze and losing their leaves
Hey, check out my new teeth :)
The leaves fell from the sky in a flurry