April 30, 2013

The Lodge at Geneva-On-The-Lake, a perfect mini getaway.

So you guys know the pace we've been keeping lately.  And you know how much I love Lake Erie.  So when The Lodge at Geneva-On-The-Lake contacted me about coming for a stay I was all YES.  AND THEN SOME MORE YES.

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Geneva on the Lake 2013

I love Geneva-on-the-lake.  I've gone the last couple of summers when my dad moves his boat from Cleveland to the marina in Geneva State Park (which is right next to the lodge, incidentally) when the fishing heats up there in August.

082611 017
Random picture of my dad's of a fish he caught near the lodge sometime last year.
Previously we've either come up for the day or stayed with my parents in the Geneva State Park Cabins. Spending most of the time just hanging out on the beach:

geneva 2010

2011.  This is one of my fav pictures of the kids ever.

Geneva 2012
But I've never gone without kids and I've never stayed at the lodge.  So I was super, crazy excited about this opportunity.  Because the Lodge?  is BEAUTIFUL:

Geneva on the Lake 2013

Seriously this was the view from our room:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
We left on Thursday after work.  Probably didn't get on the road until after 6:30.  It took us just under an hour to get there from my parents' house in Lakewood (where we ditched the kids).  We made it in plenty of time to eat dinner at their Horizons Restaurant while watching the sun set over the lake:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Dinner with a view for the win!
Dinner was spectacular.  They do a flight of local wines from the Ferrante winery which seemed like a solid plan.  Especially since this allowed the pregnant me to try a bunch of wines and still only drink a glass or two total:

Geneva on the Lake 2013

All of the food was amazing, too:
And we didn't even try what our waiter told us was their specialty:  Lake Erie catches.  Mainly because on Friday we had plans to go to a fish fry at my dad's house which would consist of fish caught... in Geneva.  Hmmmm.

The next day we enjoyed the complete luxury of no kids waking us up.  I also enjoyed a cup of delicious coffee (they have a keurig in each room!  I was pretty excited about this feature) on our balcony overlooking the lake:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Uninterrupted coffee and a lake view.  HEAVEN.
So pretty.  We then headed back to Horizons for breakfast which was also delicious.  They have someone cooking omelets to order.  YES:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Pictured:  How to make a pregnant woman happy.

After breakfast we decided to walk off all of the food along their walking path by the lake:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Geneva on the Lake 2013
Geneva on the Lake 2013
Geneva on the Lake 2013

 The path runs from the hotel, past the marina, past the beach my kids were playing at above, to the cabins.  I believe the whole thing is 2 miles.  We didn't walk the length of it this time but I've done it when I was there in the summer and it is lovely.  It would be expecially lovely on a bike:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Bike rental through the lodge.  If I wasn't super pregnant that is exactly how we would have spent this perfect spring day.

We debated enjoying some of the lodge's other amenities - more specifically the pool - but since the Ohio Wine flight we had with dinner was so delicious we wanted to check out some of the local wineries on the way home.

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Seriously look at this pool!  How amazing would it be to take a swim in this in January with the lake frozen in the background?

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Outdoor pool not open yet.

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Playground.  Glad we didn't need this one on this trip!

So the wineries.  I had an idea that there were wineries in Geneva area but... well... we've been to Napa and to the Fingerlakes.  How could Ohio Wine even compare?

Geneva on the Lake 2013
You know what?  I'm going to leave that one as a cliffhanger because this post has gotten WAY too long.  I'll post about the wineries tomorrow.  Instead let me wrap up by saying that it was a fantastic little mini-getaway.  The area is spectacular.  There's tons to do no matter what time of year it is.  And I would highly, HIGHLY recommend the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake.

Geneva on the Lake 2013

Disclaimer:  The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake invited me to stay with them and post about the experience.  As always all opinions and photographs are my own and I would never post about something that I didn't believe in.

April 28, 2013

Roller Coaster of Insanity.

So. Wow.  A couple of weeks went by there didn't they.  Basically our lives lately have been .... well... exactly like the weather.  A roller coaster of insanity.  70 and sunny one day! 30 and sleet/snow/hailing the next!  You never know what's going to happen next!  Let's break it down:

The Good:  The Dude's 2nd Birthday.  He turned 2 and it was awesome:

The Dude turns 2

Birthday boy!  I think he loves his new toy! (Yes I realize that we've armed our 2yo w a bat.  Outside toy FTW!) #birthday #2 #boymom #onlythebeginning #happyincle

Mexican for the dude's birthday - It's becoming a tradition!  Although he was NOT OK w the sombrero situation. #birthday #picstitch #latergram
Mexican food! Best Birthday Ever!  Except for that sombrero.  Screw that hat.

The Bad:  We spent a good chunk of his day driving to Pittsburgh and wrangling 2 kids in Ikea:

The Dude turns 2 The Dude turns 2
Had to be done.  We had some things to return (most notably a sink that was the wrong size) and other things to pick up.  We survived.  And our daughter got to unleash her inner designer, straight up insisting that we get orange towels for the new bathroom.  Ok then.

The Dude turns 2

The Good:  The real reason we were in Pittsburgh was for our nephew's baptism:

Baptizing baby L. #latergram

The Insane:  I also had a birthday.  33.  I expected it to suck considering that it was a Wed. and I had both kid's well baby doctor's visits that day.  Boo hiss.

Happy Birthday!  You get to take your kids in for shots!
But it ended up kindof rocking.  Both kids are healthy and growing perfectly.  According to the doctor we're doing everything right.  And I had two unsolicited compliments from strangers on my kids' behavior.  My mom surprised me with an ice cream cake and my husband surprised me with a really thoughtful gift (We had talked about doing nothing at all so anything was unexpected).  Also we went to Dewey's for dinner and this happened:

Healthy kids who are also well behaved, a family that loves me, and delicious pizza and ice cream cake?  What more could I possibly ask for.
My mom surprised me by dropping off Ice cream cake for my birthday! #picstitch #icecream #dq #yum #birthday
Except maybe not to share my ice cream cake.

The Bad but also kindof Good:  Painting.  So much Painting:

Not this kind.
I had a show at Soft 'n Sassy last weekend.


And then went home and did some more painting:

Home and exhausted after a long day of selling yarn?  Time to paint. #likeaboss #renovation
It's... been intense.  Many late nights.  My entire body is sore from the experience.  But it's basically done now!

Preview. #renovation #basement
A brief preview.  More on the insanity that was our color selection process later.

The So Very Bad:  Our flooring has been delayed.  It was supposed to be in last Tuesday.  It's still not in and won't be for another week.  I... yeah.  Furious doesn't even begin to describe.  Not only is it delayed but we had to pick an entirely different product.  I spent buckets of time yelling at people this week.  Exhausting.  Interestingly enough once I tweeted about how frustrated I was all of a sudden I got some results.  Amazing the power of social media!

 The Crazy Good:  Our carpet is in!  Installed and fantastic!

I left this message on the concrete floor for whoever pulls up the carpet that is being installed over it today. #timecapsule #renovation #hiddenmessage #latergram
Message I left on the floor under the carpet for whoever pulls it up.
And seeing our kids play in the new space has started to make this whole process worth it.

Checking out their new so very close to finished playroom! #picstitch #renovation #soclose #somuchtodo

The Insane:  I am 33 weeks pregnant.  I'm putting this one in the insane column because we?  ARE SO NOT EVEN CLOSE TO READY.  I mean it's ridiculous.  In 7 weeks we will have a baby and I don't even have a single onesie accessible let alone washed and ready to clothe a small child.  The crib is still firmly occupied by a 2 year old.  We have no room prepared.  All of the baby gear needs dug out of storage and washed.  And there's some big ticket things that we just straight up don't have (AHEM CARSEAT)  And... I can't even really think about any of it until the basement is done.  I've been telling the baby that by the time they get here Mommy and Daddy will have their shit together.  I AM LYING. 

The Even Better:  We took a mini getaway to Geneva-on-the-lake.  It was AMAZING.  Full post on our trip coming.  Until then I'll just leave you with a Lake Erie Sunset picture:

Enjoying a Lake Erie sunset at The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake. #happyincle #nofilter #lakeerie
Whew.  It think that about catches me up.  So much more coming!

April 12, 2013

4 Things that are Awesome.

I haven't done one of these fly-by lists in awhile.  So here we go!

1.)  The Cleveland Flea

So the organizers of the new Cleveland Flea asked me to help spread the word.  No problem.  This is going to be awesome:
The Cleveland Flea is part urban treasure hunt, part culinary adventure, part maker center. An organized maze of experiences,The Cleveland Flea celebrates the thrill of the hunt and discovery of new to you treasures.  Explore unique workshops led by maker-instructors, enjoy Design Dinners each Friday evening before the flea, entertainment, a beer garden and Cleveland’s finest food trucks. You never know what you will find at The Flea. 
Shop the Flea every second Saturday on Saint Clair Avenue from 10 am - 4 pm. For more information, visit theclevelandflea.com.

So many fun things to go check out.

2.)  The Dude is turning 2 tomorrow:

Throwback Thurs: the dude in April 2011, and 2012. He's going to be 2 on Sat!  #picstitch #two #birthday #tbt #throwbackthurs
Him as a newborn, him as a 1 year old.
Obviously 2 is a challenging age but it's also the one when things start to get really fun.  When the trappings of babyhood finally disappear and you're left with this unique person.  I can't wait to learn more about who this little guy is.

3.)  THIS.

May 26, baby.  If I don't have an actual baby by then I most certainly have something to watch while I wait.


Well we've succumbed to the April Showers the last couple of days but there was a brief window where I got a glimpse of what summer is going to be like.  It. Is. Awesome:

OUTSIDE. #spring #happyincle
Tired, happy, dirty kids who are basically drunk on fresh air and outdoor activity.  Fencing in our back yard was the best thing we ever did.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

April 11, 2013

Unintentionally Profane.

There is an obscene amount of cussing in this post.  You have been warned.

So my kid has a horrific potty mouth and I"m actually encouraging it.


Let me start at the beginning.

When my daughter was around 2 and just starting to get a grasp of the whole language thing she busted out with FUCK!  I was mortified.  And horrified.  And didn't know what to do.  So I sat her down for the whole "some words are adult words" conversation that I knew I would need to have with my children someday.  Except at 2 it went completely over her head.  And she kept up with the FUCK! FUCK!  *I'materribleparentheaddesk*

A week or so after she dropped her first F bomb I heard her dancing around in her room gleefully saying FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!  And I had the revelation.... we just bought her a frog for her fishtank... is she trying to say frog?  30 seconds of conversation with her later and it was clear.  She was happy she had a FUCK in her fishtank to play with her FISH.  No cussing intended.

But I still discouraged her from saying "frog" because I was embarrassed.  I didn't want to have to explain to every passerby "no, really, she's just saying frog!  I swear I'm not that terrible of a mother!"

The FUCK didn't last long - eventually her language developed and the actual frog straight up disappeared from her tank.  I'm about 90% certain the dog ate said FUCK so I never replaced it.

So I tried to get a pic of my kids w our dog like the one of Joe that I posted yesterday...no one would sit still for it. So this will have to do! #kid #dog #hound
Yum.  Amphibious treats.
But I always felt a little bad that I discouraged her language.  That's the opposite message you want to send to a 2 year old who is so proud of learning a new word.  Especially in that fragile stage where I was her sole interpreter.  The only one who completely understood the subtleties of her words.  So this time around I swore that I wouldn't give a flying frog what other people thought.  I was going to encourage ALL language.

Kids have a way of really testing your intentions don't they?  Because my son has a filthy mouth.

None of it is intentional.  He's not ever actually cussing.  But SO MANY of his words are SO BAD.  Trucks, Rocks, Sharks, and Clocks, are all blatantly, clearly, and without question one word:


It's... disturbing.  And ridiculously embarrassing.  And means that he does things like run through the Cleveland Aquarium shouting COCKS! COCKS! MORE COCKS! TEETH! COCKS!


Or the Cleveland Botanical Garden saying COCKS! NEEAH CLIMB COCK!  WOOOOW! BIG COCK!

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
I don't get what the problem is.
Oh holy frog kid.  You're killing me here.

Then at lunch the other day he upped his game.  My mom was over and her and my daughter were discussing the animals she would see at the fair this summer.  The dude - never one to be left out of a conversation - busts out loud and proud with FUCKS!

Clear as a bell.  No question.

Obviously he meant frogs.  Which I knew this time from past experience.  But still made me laugh so hard I cried.  So then he continued FUCKS! HOP HOP FUCKS!  which roughly translates to "seriously why are you laughing.  frogs?  the things that hop??? how can you not know what I'm taking about here"

All I can do at this point is laugh.

Because you know what other word fits into his new mold?  Park.

Someone was super upset that his sister left for school. Until  I took him to the park. With a ball. #park #outside #happyincle
Translated that means "I'm having so much fun going weeee down the slides at the park!" but I don't think that mattered to the other, horrified family that was there.

Meh.  He'll get it eventually.  And until I get to giggle when he plays with rocks at the park.

April 10, 2013

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden!

So last week my kid was on Spring Break.  So a mom of one of her classmates and I decided to get together and take the kids somewhere fun (read: tiring) to break up all of the.... break.  We debated places and landed on the Cleveland Botanical Garden.  Because of this:

Alice in Wonderland theme?  Hedge maze?  YES.  Also there's the huge and wonderful Hershey Children’s Garden which was perfect considering it was still too cold for a full day of outdoor activities.  But we still wanted to get the kids out for a bit because there is nothing more fun (read: tiring) than OUTSIDE.

But enough with me blabbering.  How about some pictures?

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Umbrellas from the ceiling!
Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
4 of the 5 kids.
Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Hanging out at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
The Big Spring setup was ADORABLE. My friend kept saying she wanted to live there.  The kids basically loved all of it:

Playing with the costumes at the Toadstool Theater.
Especially exploring the indoor hedge maze:
Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
My kids are running around in there somewhere.  I am too pregnant to chase them anymore.
They also had this really cool decorate your own boat thing. The kids were totally into it:
It took a water feature to get all 5 of them to stand still long enough for a picture.
But then the Dude noticed that there were goldfish in the river for the boats.  And started saying CATCH! FISH! CATCH!  So we redirected their attention and headed outside.  Something tells me the Botanical Garden would frown on a toddler bare handing fish out of their display Bear Grylls style.

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Little boys in plaid.  SO STINKING CUTE.
We had the outdoor Hershey's Children's Garden to ourselves which was crazy fun:

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
All of the kids were in the house but only one would pose for a picture.
Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

 Especially since the whole thing is decorated for Big Spring:

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

And since there are no leaves on the trees yet we could let the kids go exploring and still keep an eye on them: Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

Then everyone was getting cold and cranky so we headed in for a snack and some time in the Glass House:

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

Overall we had a great time at Big Spring. The kids loved it. 

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden

I'd totally recommend it as a perfect Cleveland activity for this in-between time when it's getting warmer but not warm enough and everyone has spring fever:

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Crazy kids need some spring.

Big Spring at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
There's the picture we were trying to get.
Disclosure:  I received admission to Big Spring in exchange for writing about it.  As always all opinions are my own.  This time I can't claim all of the adorable children, though.
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