February 25, 2015

A Brite Cleveland Weekend.

So this weekend was an all star Cleveland Winter Weekend.  Funtimes all around despite the craziness of this weather. And I'm so thankful because by Friday things were getting a bit... well...

Fish Fry at the Slovenian Home
But!  The weather finally broke!  As of today school is FINALLY back in session!

Anyways Friday was the first fish fry of the season and since we were all a bit stir crazy I bundled up the kids and headed out to the Slovenian Home for some polka and pierogies - the girl's favorite food:

Fish Fry at the Slovenian Home

The dude preferred to hang out at the bar.  And got everyone at our table a round so that we would sing him the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Song (seriously.  that happened.)

fish fry
Tiny just loved the food and bopping to the music:

Fish Fry at the Slovenian Home

 It was funtimes for all.  We'll probably be back this week!

family selfies
Then on Saturday my parents took ALL 3 KIDS OMG overnight so that we could go to Brite Winter. 
Our friends from New York were in town along with a whole crew of their NYC friends plus a whole bunch of Cleveland natives.  It was awesome. 
Brite Cleveland
 I was worried about the whole outdoors in winter aspect of the festival but it was quite fun, actually.  I forgot how awful summer festivals can be with the hot and the sweating and the drinking too much because it's hot. Blah.  Winter festivals are where it's at.  Handknits everywhere!  Alpaca as fashion accessory of choice!  My kindof situation.  You know what else keeps you warm?  Flasks:

My brother and Matt both brought flasks.  When the picture came out blurry they refused to let me retake it.  So Dan and I took a selfie instead.  Notice the squished bangs.  Blergh.
At one point we headed to the Cleveland Hostel - where the NYC crew was staying - to warm up (and use a clean restroom).  I'd never been in there before but it was quite nice.  Such a cool thing to have in Cleveland.

Brite Cleveland

Also cool?  Tower City Lights.  I'm not sure how the conversation got started but at one point someone was all "no seriously.  Jeanne.  Please ask the Terminal Tower to change colors for us."  And I was all... Wait, what?  Ok.  So I tweeted @towercitylights and asked.  And they did!

The lights stayed the same all evening except for the show they put on just for us - it was insane.  We were literally dancing in the street to their light show:

Brite Cleveland
Terminal Tower is in the background - we tweeted this picture back as a thank you.
Most of the crew went home when the bars closed... but Matt and I were all pro.  We were determined to end the night with Edison's pizza.  So we moved the carseats out of the way, loaded up our minivan with whoever was still vertical, and headed to tremont for some of the best pizza in Cleveland.  I think it was 3:30 before we found our way home.  Funtimes, indeed. 

And I'll end with my favorite line of the night.... the NYC people were talking about how you have to move to the suburbs if you want to have kids.  And how un fun that will be.  And how it wouldn't be possible to have kids in the city.  My response?

"You can absolutely raise kids in the city.  You don't have to move to the suburbs.  You just have to move to Cleveland."


February 23, 2015

Cobblestones Hat and a Question.

So.  I have a new hat.

Cobblestones Hat
It's the Cobblestones Hat pattern (link to my rav project page) knit out of some lovely Between the Pines yarn I picked up last I was at Yarn Cravin'.

Cobblestones Hat
I carried this yarn around with me for about a month waiting to find the perfect pattern.  It's just such pretty yarn!  Alpaca!  Sparkle!  I needed an especially lovely pattern to match this especially lovely yarn.  Eventually I picked the Cobblestones pattern for it's simplicity.  The basic knit / purl texture adds just enough something to break up the variegated yarn:

Cobblestones Hat

I added a couple of inches to the length b/c slouchy hats are all the rage these days:
Cobblestones Hat
My 5yo daughter was my photographer.  She did the best she could.

Which brings me to my question....

How do bangs work in winter?

Seriously.  I"m about a year in on this whole bangs thing and I still haven't figured it out.  Either my hat is perched on my head like so:

Cobblestones Hat

 Or if I pull it down completely I end up with squished, flat, terrible bangs.  Am I just destined to have bad hair until the weather breaks?  Is there some sortof genius hat hack out there on pintrest that I just haven't found?  Because it's -11 out there.  I'm not leaving the house without a hat on.

But regardless of the bangs squishing situation I do love this hat:

Cobblestones Hat
I supposed perched on top of my head is way warmer than not at all.... 

February 21, 2015

Endless Snow Days.

So Cleveland is a tundra.

Cleveland and the frozen Lake Erie from above - picture via my friend Jessica who flew in for Brite this weekend.

4We've had days of below zero temperatures, it's currently blizzarding out there, and we've only had one day of school in the last week and a half.  Yeah.

Elsa coronation hair. Bc its too cold to go anywhere and we are BORED. #rockitlikearedhead #snowday #stevensonpartyoffive
Elsa coronation hair.  Because it was too cold to go outside and we got BORED.
Luckily that one day happened to be the day that the dude presented his first ever homework assignment:

The Letter R.  Painted Red and decorated with Race cars, Reptiles, and Rubies.

He got to pick something to go in the mystery box, write three clues about it, and then present them to his class to guess.  See if you can figure it out*:

A video posted by Jeanne S (@lifeincle) on
I'm trying to have a good attitude about all of this Winter.  Because I'm pretty sure if I complain myself from last year will reach through time and smack me.  As bad as it gets it can never be as bad as last year - when I had 3 kids under 5 and we couldn't leave the house for something like 12 days.  I don't have to worry about a tiny baby getting frostbite!  One of the kids can get herself ready completely on her own!  Really things aren't that bad.

So we've taken every opportunity we can to get out.  Make the most of it.

Early release day = a trip to the Great Lakes Science Center. #stevensonpartyoffive #thisiscle #cleveland #glsc
Kids at the Great Lakes Science Center.

Matt chasing the boys through the art museum while our girl was at her class.

Looking for Ninja Turtle Weapons at the armory at the CMA.
We even braved the snow (seriously it took us SO LONG to get there) and drove to western Pennsylvania last weekend.  Where it may not have been warmer but at least it was different.  And we got to show off the very impressive trick of boiling water turning instantly into steam.

Also?  I own a basement sized bounce house:

bounce house It was our Christmas gift to the kids.  Purchased with weeks like this one in mind.  But I have to say... as well as we've done this week I'm not sure how much more we can cheerily handle.  Let's hope everything returns to normal for next week....

*The answer was:  Road Runner.  BEEP BEEP!

February 18, 2015

Florida 2015 Recap.

So!  Last weekend we took a quick trip to Florida to visit my grandparents and escape this miserable, horrible, awful, cold.  And gray.  Last year was the whole Disney Family Road Trip thing so this was my first time flying with THREE KIDS OMG:

Florida 2015
Don't worry, mom.  We got this.
They did great but I will be forever thankful that Cleveland has a direct flight to Tampa.

Florida 2015
My kids at the airport.  They walked to the gates themselves (as opposed to in strollers which is surprisingly common for surprisingly large children) and carried their own backpacks with their blankies, stuff to do on the plane, and sweatshirts.  I was super proud of them!
It was a pretty relaxed trip.  When it was too cold for the pool we went to the park:

There's a great park right down the street from my grandparents' place that has a lake and a boardwalk through the swamp.  Perfect for searching for alligators.  It's too cold for them this time of year - but don't tell my 3yo that.

When it was warm enough in the afternoons we went to the condo pool:

florida pool
Love the puddle jumpers.
And as our big adventure we had lunch in Tarpon Springs.

Florida 2015
But mainly?  The trip was about this:

Florida 2015
Playing UNO with the champ.
And this:

Noone gives one on one attention like Nonni does.  She even listens to the Dude ramble on, and on, and on, and on, and on...
And most importantly .... this:

My girl learning how to knit the same way I did. Nonni is the best. #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram
Learning to knit the same way I did.
It was a nice trip but we were happy to come home.

Home sweet Cleveland. #thisiscle #cleveland #216 #clevelandgram #superman
Superman display at the Cleveland Airport.  According to the dude "I like other cities but Cleveland is my favorite."
And our dog was happy to see us, too:

Florida 2015
Maybe.  The kids were certainly happy to see her, though!
Yay Florida and warm adventures!

February 2, 2015


So!  We're in the middle of a blizzard.  There's about 18 inches on the ground currently and it's still falling.  Hard.  Basically white out conditions out there. I wanted the kids to go play outside but at first the only taker was the dude.  So I covered him in handknits and sent him out to help shoveling:

Covered in hand knits ready to help daddy shovel. #stevensonpartyoffive #tomten #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram
Of course his brother then wanted in on the action.  Tiny does not like being left out:

Tiny in handknits
More handknits!  This time a Drive-Thru that I knit for his sister way back in the day.
And then their sister was quick to follow:

Sadly no handknits here.  Just the ubiquitous Elsa hat worn by every little girl between 3 and 7.

We had all sorts of fun... sledding!  Snow angels! Surfing!

Snow fun
And then figured .... well.... they are already in their gear.... let's throw them in the car and go for real sledding!


We went to Edgewater since it's really the best hill that I know of around here.  There must be some in the metroparks but I"m not sure where.... anyone know?  Plus there is an awesome view of the city from the sledding hill:

Wait.  It's supposed to be there.  Hmmmmm....
At first I wanted to take a test run by myself... make sure I knew how to control the sled before taking a kid down with me.  I figured they would wait for a second.  Then this happened:

Matt is a good dad.  With a pile of kids.

Then we did a whole bunch of this:

The boy sled.
The Girl Sled.  With an impatient Tiny who did not want to wait around for pictures.  GO GO GOOOOO.
There we go.

The boys were over it before my girl.  So she took a few solo runs all by herself at the end:

Sledding She was SO PROUD.

Yay for winter funtimes!  And spontaneous sledding adventures!

The hill.  Yes that would be Tiny - a 19 month old - walking up the sledding hill by himself.  That kid is fiercely independent and refuses to be treated any differently than his siblings.  Even though he's ... Tiny.

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