May 24, 2013

The view fromt the top of the hill.

So I"m 37 and a half weeks pregnant and I spent a good chunk of Tuesday in Labor (it stopped before I progressed far enough to actually have a baby, obviously.  But progress was made!  And according to my doctor it will be "days not weeks").

You know when you get on a roller coaster and you're all  WHOOO HOO!  THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!!!  And then you start clicking up that hill and you get more and more nervous because this is a lot higher than it seemed from the ground, and wow we're still going up, and how can we still be going up?  Then you get to the top and that first car goes over and you have a moment of sheer panic because like it or not you're going over and AAAAAAAAH.

Yeah.  That.

But!  As panic-y as I am about all of it I am finally starting to feel like we are ready.  There's a ton of logistical nonsense to do still - the carseat isn't installed, the bottles aren't washed, the baby's room is a pile of mess, and our baby swing is broken (anyone have any recommendations for a super cheap one?  or better yet have one we could borrow for a couple of months?).  But!  More important than any of that these two are READY:
Enjoying their new playhouse!  #outside

And that is calming me down considerably.  These guys have stepped up and grown up so much in the last few weeks.  It's been pretty amazing to watch.

Got out of the shower this morning to my kids happily watching a movie. They were both asleep when I got in the shower and Matt's already at work. #independent #whoneedsparents
Happily watching a movie together.  I found them like this when I got out of the shower the other day.  When I got into the shower they were both asleep and Matt had already left for work.  Who needs parents!
Things with them have gotten.... well... I don't want to say easy.  Because that's certainly not right.  And I'm not naive enough to think that any phase of parenting is any easier than any other.  But I have to say that not having to meet every single base need of every single person in this house has been kindof amazing.  Even just simple things like the dude climbing up into his own car seat have made a huge difference in my day to day life.  

Just in time to do it all again!

Haaaaa facedesk. 

But I know that the reason that they have stepped up is because we are about to do it all over again.  We've pushed them in that direction knowing what's coming.  We've encouraged independence every step of the way and we've set up our house so that they have many play happily together options:

The lilac bush and their playhouse. Yay for not having to plant anything there this year!  #lazygarden #mulchthecrapoutofit
New playhouse in the backyard.  Also look how nice our lilacs looked this year!

This sounds crazy but my real "It's all going to be ok" moment came while running errands this week.  The thought of dealing with even mundane tasks with THREE OF THEM OMFG is daunting.  Especially when I'm used to having some preschool time making it possible to grocery shop etc with only one kid.
Last day of school. Much sadness ensues. #summer #preschool
Last day of preschool.  Great sadness ensues.
And it was fine.  Better than fine. To the point where their behavior was complimented at the BMV - somewhere that I think it's technically impossible for even adults to behave like human beings.

So, yes.  The logistics of 3 will be tricky.  It will be hard to get out the door.  It will be hard to physically manage all of it.  It's not going to be easy.  But the bottom line is that these are good kids.  They aren't going to stop being good kids just because there are more of them.

The Hooley 2013!  #westpark #happyincle #kammscorners #thehooley

 This hill is crazy high.  Bring it on.

May 17, 2013

The Baby Dude's Room.

So!  It occurred to me as I was taking some pictures of all of our new house stuff that I never posted any pictures of the last round of redecorating that we did.  So I thought I'd take a pictures of the Dude's nursery because I really loved it.

We painted the walls blue b/c we knew he was a boy so why not.

The Dude's Room Before

Then my aunt made him this quilt with some pirate fabric so we devised a loose pirate/ocean/water theme from there.  It worked out perfectly because the dude's favorite thing in the whole world is water:

The Dude's Room Before
Some stuff was pilfered from gizmotopia - like the red mirror and the changing table stuff.  I refused to have 2 changing tables in our house even if we had two in diapers.  I stand by that policy and am repeating it again.  If it sucks for the older kid to get their diaper changed in a baby's room well, good.  More motivation to potty train:

The Dude's Room Before
Some stuff was new.  Like the rug (bought cheap from Target), the shelf organizers for diapers,  and the wooden blinds.

Then I added some personal touches like these pictures.  All of them are kindof ocean-y.  The top one is of Shayne's Boat in Boston, the middle Uros Islands in Peru, and the bottom Bar Harbor, Maine.  It was super fun when he reached the age that he noticed them and would point at the monster and react to it:

The Dude's Room Before

But my favorite thing about the room was the map.  I loved the map:

The Dude's Room Before
It's a full on national geographic map.  I had the idea because his name means "Man of the World" of doing a map... but all of the kids ones were too... kid like.  So we went for it.

But!  All of this is throwback.  Because shortly after I took these pictures this happened:

So. This is happening. Yay for a Big Boy Bed! #2 #growingup #partyof5
He us SO PROUD of his big boy bed!  #growingup
So proud of his new bed!
He did pretty well with the adjustment.  There were a few nights of putting him back in bed repeatedly a naptime or two where this happened:
How my crazy boy is napping. He brought a pile of books, his car ramp, and all of his cars into bed w him. #seemslegit #toddlerlogic
He brought every single car, his car ramp, a pile of books, and some other nonsense into bed with him before passing out on top of the pillow.  Like you do.

But overall he handled it very well.  So last weekend the BIG move happened.  The one I've been anticipating/dreading since we found out about #3.  Last weekend we moved the dude into his sister's room.* 

The Girl's Room Before
I had to dig up a picture from 2011 - right after we finished it - to actually have a good picture of her room.
It... well.  It hasn't been nearly as bad as I worried it would be.  Actually they really love sharing a room.  A little too much.  The biggest issue has been that they keep each other up because they make each other laugh.  The first night (once we convinced the dude to stay in his bed) it would get real quiet and he would yell out SHARK ATTACK!!! and they would both dissolve into a heap of giggles.

The Girl's Room Before
Another 2011 pic.  She still had her cast!  Crazy.  This corner held her play kitchen for a long time.  Now the kitchen is in the basement and her brother lives here.
Then, last night Matt was at work so I was on my own.  And I had been trying to follow his "leave them alone.  Eventually one of them will fall asleep if you don't go in there and poke at them" advice.  But they were laughing SO HARD.  I had to find out what was going on.  As I approached the room I hear my daughter say "Here comes Mommy!  SSSSSSSHHHHHHH!"  I go inside and everyone is quiet so it takes me a moment to notice.... they had switched beds.  Like full on brought their blankets and stuffed animals with them SWITCHED BEDS.

I'm not going to lie it was pretty hilarious.

So. Yeah.  If those are the problems we're having - that they have too much fun together - I think we're doing ok.  Now to finish sorting/washing/preparing all of the baby gear and setting up a new nursery!

Which pile will I be using.... Pink or blue?  Both are washed, folded, and ready to go. Can't wait to find out!  #teamgreen #baby3
Which pile of newborn clothes will I be using?  Pink or Blue?  Can't wait to find out!!!
* (haven't done a foot note in awhile.  figured not everyone would want to hear all of our rationalizations)  We decided to put the two older kids together in the bigger of the two rooms.  It seemed like a better plan to me than trying to have someone share with a baby who wakes up every couple of hours.  And they are 2 and 4.  It doesn't matter if they are sharing with someone of the opposite sex.  I figure in a year or two when the baby is sleeping through the night / ready for a big bed we'll reassess.  And also consider BUNK BEDS OMFG!!!!!  We also decided that we were not going to repaint any of it.  See the girl was all upset about the room situation.  Which took me awhile to figure out b/c she was super excited about having her brother in her room with her but was then upset but was happy but upset but.... Yeah.  Turns out all of the upset was because she wanted her room to stay purple.  It mattered SO MUCH to her.  And her brother could give two shits.  So he gets to live in a purple room for awhile.  Maybe at some point we'll convince her, maybe not.  But either way it was a small concession to make to have both kids happy and adjusting!

May 14, 2013

Cincinnati an some catchup.

So!  Another couple of weeks went by in a blink.  Renovating! Organizing!  Scrubbing! Painting! Driving out of town for weddings!  Work!  Trying to figure out where to put a baby!  Everyone is sick! GAH!

But!  As I'm writing this the kids are playing happily in their new and damn close to finished playroom.

Happily playing a game together in their new playroom.  #renovation

Matt is out at home depot (again.  trip 100,000 of this renovation).  And it's crazy the amount of uninterrupted time this playroom is giving me.  Seriously I've been sitting here for an hour thinking they are going to need me for something any minute.  They haven't.  So finally I went and got the laptop  (I don't think they even noticed I disappeared) and downloaded a few weeks worth of pictures.  How about a quick photo rundown?  I'll post as much as I can before a kid needs me... and... GO!

(Edited to add:  I got exactly 0 pictures posted before my kids needed me.  As soon as I wrote that I would have time I cursed it.  NEVER POKE THE DRAGON!)

So we went to Cincinnati last weekend for a friend's wedding.  We debated but ended up bringing the kids.  Figured we might as well get in one last trip as a family of 4 before travel once again becomes a BFD.  I'm so, SO glad we did.  The kids were great:

Frostees at the park. The only way to travel.
Our kids at a random park in Columbus eating Wendy's.  Because that's how we roll.
The drive was surprisingly easy both ways.  The kids have finally reached an age where we can explain what's going on and they get it enough that travel isn't horrifying.  The dude spent the whole way down just looking at trucks.


We stayed with a friend's sister and left our kids behind while we went to the wedding.  It's nice to make new friends:

New friends and a tire swing.
And spend some time with old ones:


The next day (after breakfast with some other good friends and their adorable baby girl) we met more friends at the Newport Aquarium:


I've never been but it was pretty cool.  Much larger and with much more variety of creatures than the Cleveland Aquarium:

These things can grow up to THIRTEEN FEET.
The jellyfish room was awesome and also the stuff that nightmares are made of.
The dude had so much fun he was asleep before we left the parking garage:

But we wanted to show our girl around the city that we use to live in.  And also check out a project that Matt worked on:

Somewhere on Vine close to the no longer super-ghetto Kroger.
Matt's rendering.


Of course we had to swing by our old stomping grounds:

Our old stomping grounds. Matt wouldn't let me randomly knock on the door. #apx
I lived here for 3 years.  Matt for 2.  Also we are both charter members of the Rabirius chapter of this fraternity.  And he wouldn't let me randomly knock on the door. BOOOOOOO.

And I'm not sure what nonsense went down while we were gone but DAAP is GRAY:

Um WTF.  Also Crosley is still standing.  How many rumors did I hear about them tearing that thing down?
We were told later on that the pastels will return.  They are re-cladding the entire building in metal panels.  Much better than the EIFS monstrosity it used to be.

Construction pic of the DAAP courtyard courtesy of my friend Mark.
Also in the WTF category they've clad one of the 3 sisters: 


  But Wilson Auditorium is still standing there unused and falling apart. Some things never change:
Seriously, UC.  We did a studio on adaptively reusing this mofo 11 (!!!!!) YEARS AGO.  Get it together.
And with that we headed home.  Our girl was asleep the second we were on the highway and done with fun things to look at.  She is her father's daughter through and through.

Yay for a fun trip and good friends!

May 1, 2013

Ohio Wineries and Geneva-on-the-Lake.

So to recap: We had just spent a lovely night at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake.  During dinner at their Horizons restaurant we had a flight of wines from Ferrante - a local winery - and were surprised at how decent they all were.  So we thought we'd check out the actual winery on the way home.  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?

Super pregnant lady at a wine tasting. FLAWLESS. #ohiowine #happyincle #genevaonthelake

Wow.  I.... wow.  I was blown away.  I had NO IDEA that the quality of wine would be SO good.  Or that the wineries would be SO adorable.  Everything we tasted (and obviously Matt tasted a bunch more than me) was every bit as good as anything we had in the Fingerlakes. And the scenery is worth the trip in and of itself:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Geneva on the Lake 2013

And it's only an hour away!  I am basically horrified that I didn't know about this and have it on my Must See Cleveland list.  Because, seriously:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
That's a lot of wineries in a small area.  How did I not know about this???
We went to Ferrante first - mainly to pick up some wine to go with the fish fry that night.

Geneva on the Lake 2013

They have a few tasting flights but we were kindof all over the map.  We were on a mission and they were super helpful with their recommendations.  We ended up with a dry Riesling that impressed everyone at the dinner table.

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Clearly their wines impressed some awards type people, too!
We also bought an Ohio Ice Wine because they are SO good.  I'm not a sweet wine person but I am a complete sucker for this very specific type of dessert wine.  See it's only possible to grow it in a few places because in order to make it they have to let the grapes freeze on the vine.  Then pick them as quickly as possible as soon as it's cold enough.  It's a very risky venture (the frost may not come and the grapes may rot on the vine) and it requires that they have enough people available to pick the grapes on very short notice.  It's pretty neat that they can do it here.  If you live in ohio and haven't had an Ohio Ice Wine yet get yourself a bottle STAT.

Geneva on the Lake 2013
From there we had a little bit of time left so we thought we'd mosey down the road and check out another winery.  (The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake gave us a great map to use on our venture and had some great recommendations for where to go.  They have a list on their website that would be a good place to start when planning a trip like this.)  We chose Harpersfield:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Someone at Knitters Fantasy actually recommended it to me.  She bought a skein of Frozen Great Lake because of a recent trip to Geneva and told me to check out the place with the giant fireplace:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Done and done.
It was adorable.  The ladies working there were super nice and interesting.  And they have 2 little terrier dogs that hang out in the tasting room.  You know how I feel about little, white, dogs:

Lilac bush = dog secret lair. Pretty effective hiding place from the kids....
This one is ours but I think she'd feel right at home in a wine tasting room.

Anyways their specialty was Chardonnay so that's what we tasted.  They have an aged in oak version and an aged in stainless steel version that it is super fun to taste back to back.  You can really see what a difference that makes in the final flavors.  We liked the stainless version the best and ended up going home with a bottle.

From there we decided to keep heading away from the highway and see what else we could discover.  We didn't have a ton of time but weren't ready to go home just yet because, seriously:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Geneva on the Lake 2013
So pretty!

Geneva on the Lake 2013

We ended up at Chalet Debonne Vineyards.  They also have a brewery on site:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
And their tasting room is pretty cool:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
But we were there just before they opened and it was pretty dead.  Plus we were running out of time before we needed to get back and pick up the kids.  Also I was hitting my limit of what I thought was reasonable to taste pregnant.  So we didn't end up sampling anything here.  I definitely want to go back sometime, though!

From there we headed to South River Vineyard - the other one on our must see list of recommendations from the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake.  Because this winery?  Is located in what used to be a church:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
I love me an adaptive reuse.

I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the insides but it's pretty neat.  Also the back of it looks like this:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Yes.  They blew off the back of the church to make a balcony with a view of the vineyards.  Strong play.  Although I probably would not have gone so... decorative... with my architectural elements:

Geneva on the Lake 2013

Anyways we ended up getting a simple cheese plate from them for lunch:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
We were still pretty stuffed from breakfast but I knew with the drive home then the frenzy of picking up the kids and getting them down for naps it would be awhile before I could eat again.  So this was perfect.  And, obviously, with lunch we needed to taste some of their offerings:

Geneva on the Lake 2013
We tried one from each of their categories.  All were good.  They, too, have an Ice Wine although I didn't like it as much as the one we purchased from Ferrante.  The wine we liked the most was their "Trinity" (LOVE the religious names to go with the rehabbed church!)  Unfortunately we didn't purchase it because we were already headed home with 4 unexpected bottles of wine and 5 seemed to be pushing some sort of limit?  I don't even know.  Also I was picturing all of the wine we purchased on this trip as being drunk sometime this summer with friends when they come to meet the new baby and somehow a red didn't fit into that image.  Honestly, I regret it.  The wine was good.  And seriously what's one more bottle of good wine?

Then it was time to head back to reality.  Overall we had an amazing time.  We were gone for less than 24 hours.  Left after work and were back in time to put the kids down for naps.  And in that short time we did so many things!  I really can't recommend both the Geneva area and the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake enough.  For a quick, romantic, escape reality getaway like this it is PERFECT.  Only an hour away and yet far enough that it feels like a completely different world.
Geneva on the Lake 2013
Pictured:  Us relaxed and not working and/or renovating.

I absolutely want to go back again.  The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake has a wine bus that will take you from place to place.  I think a trip with friends in the dead of winter when the lake looks really cool to do nothing but go to the wineries is in order.  

Yay for discovering new and amazing things in our own backyard!

Oh and we even stopped at a quaint little covered bridge on the way home.  Super adorable!

Geneva on the Lake 2013
Checking out a covered bridge on our way home. #genevaonthelake #happyincle #ohio #coveredbridge

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

PS:  Pic of us at the finger lakes in 2006.  WOW WE LOOK YOUNG!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...