Monday, May 23, 2011


In an effort to avoid making a five hour drive, but still visit his parents, Bryan and I thought it might be fun to meet them in Cincinnati, a half way point between us and them. On paper it was a great plan. We 'pricelined' a nice hotel downtown and planned to visit the Newport Aquarium, a park and the Cincinnati Zoo. We would walk around downtown, eat outside and enjoy have a nice visit while doing something a little out of the ordinary. Jo and Wes even decided to go on Friday night to celebrate their anniversary. Bryan and I woke the kids up early Saturday morning and headed out. Everything was going great. We left on schedule, which is rare for us, and made the trip in record time. The kids were great in the car, Lilly watched a movie and Jack slept the whole trip. We met at the zoo and everyone was excited to get in and see the new baby giraffe. This was about the time that things started to get nasty.

Don't let the title of this blog fool you, Cincinnati is a great city, but Lilly sure was nasty. I don't think she felt all that great and we knew that the night before, so maybe it was our fault for making the trip anyway and not canceling, but she seemed just fine on Saturday morning, even excited to go on a car ride. She was clingy and didn't want to talk to or be talked to by anyone except her mom (which is super fun for me too, by the way). It was also almost 90 degrees and she didn't want to look at any animals, or talk about any animals, or ride any rides, or do any activities at the zoo...except get her face painted. What she wanted was for me to carry her...almost all day. As the day went on things just got worse, until finally Lilly fell asleep in the stroller.

We found a quiet spot to rest while Lilly took her nap and then found a playground before heading to the hotel. Like I said, we used to reserve a nice hotel downtown. We thought we got a real deal when The Millennium Hotel accepted our $60 offer. What we didn't realize was that they intended to put us in the ghetto of their south tower. The room was comically small especially after we set up Jack's portable crib, the tub didn't drain and you couldn't hear yourself think over the air conditioner, oh yeah, and we ran out of bottled water in the middle of the night. It was the first time that all four of us have ever shared a room and it was a less than ideal situation. Lilly and Jack took turns waking each other up every 45 minutes until after 4am and the air conditioner and uncomfortable double bed kept Bryan and I up the rest of the night. But, morning finally came and we checked out of the hotel (without Lilly's beloved friend Monkey and Zebra) and headed to the aquarium, getting lost on the way. And that is why I called this blog 'Cincinasty'.

The gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. I usually am against going to the zoo and taking pictures of the animals, but it was hard to resist when she was posing for us. The highlight of the day was when Lilly got her face painted for the first time. She was very excited and picked out the fairy wings. I have never seen her hold so still.

Lilly loved her fairy wings. She even sat on Bryan's lap for a little while and stared at herself in his sunglasses.

After the train ride disaster Lilly took a nap in the stroller while Jack slept in his carrier. Yes, Jack was in Cincinnati with us, but there are no pictures to prove it.

At the end of the day and on our way out we passed a small playground. In hind sight we should have just gone to a park because Lilly had a great time at the playground and even met a friend. I realize this isn't a picture of the playground, but this little bamboo forest was right next to it.

Later Saturday night, after dinner. Enjoying some ice cream by the fountain downtown. It really doesn't matter where you are, what you are doing or when you have eaten last, if you ask Bryan's dad for ice cream, he will get you some.

Jack did make it in a picture, but refused to look at the camera. Wes, Lilly, Jo, Jack and Bryan pose in front of the fountain.

Sunday at the aquarium. For whatever reason Lilly really enjoys an aquarium. I don't know if its the fish, water, or what...but she had a good time on Sunday. Here, in the amazon section, Lilly and I are feeding a bird. We had to get a friendly stranger to take our picture because Lilly and I are the only ones who braved the aviary...most Traylors seem to have a healthy fear of birds.

Waiting patiently for a shark to swim by in the shark petting pool. I don't think she ever got to pet a shark, but Lilly enjoyed splashing the water just the same. Posing with the penguins. I don't think she quite trusted these guys, she would turn away from them to look at the camera.

All jokes aside, we had a pretty good time. It was a lot of fun to meet Bryan's parents somewhere different and do something a little out of the ordinary. Hopefully next time we try to deviate from the norm Lilly will be in a better mood.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Story Time

I don't have a cute story to tell or a funny anecdote to relay, just that when I was finished cleaning up after bath time last night I came into the living room and found this...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Jack is six months old today. In honor of this sacred event I am posting pictures of Jack only. He doesn't do a whole lot, but we're sure proud of him. He rolls over, he's working on a couple of teeth and he has just recently started reaching out for toys and people, but he's still not sleeping through the night. Jack's hobbies include chewing on things, watching Lilly and Hank and touching people's faces. He is a sweet little (I use that word loosely) guy and he almost always has a smile for everyone.
Just relaxing today. Jack doesn't sit up yet, but he can be propped against any number of things.
It just happened to be 85 degrees today so Jack was able to embrace his redneck roots and hang out outside in nothing but his diaper. What a great opportunity to show off his new diaper jeans.

After dinner we celebrated Jack's 1/2 birthday by walking to town for ice cream. Well...Bryan, Lilly and I had ice cream...Jack slept.

Six months is a big deal because it marks the begining of solid foods. Jack has been eating rice cereal and a little bit of oatmeal for almost two months, but now he can try some other 'real' foods. As you can see he has barely mastered the rice...he still can't seem to keep 100% of it in his mouth, but he enjoys it anyway.

When they are little kids change so much in the first year and from month to month. We can't wait to see what you do next. Happy 1/2 birthday Jack!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


A couple of months ago I got off of the phone with my best friend and said wistfully to Bryan, "We should go see Courtney". I assumed that I would get a scowl and a comment about the six hour drive. Instead, he said, "Set it up. We can visit my aunt and uncle too." And a trip was made.
We arrived on Thursday evening after a long, long car ride. We learned a lot about traveling with two kids instead of one and also a little about traveling with a new pottier. For one thing, she's got our number. If she wants to stop and get out of the car for any reason all she needs to say is, "I need to go potty." and we are pulling off at the next exit. This has never worked for me. Anyway, we finally made it to Pittsburgh and felt very welcome staying with Aunt Peg and Uncle John. We had a cook out that night and included Courtney and her kids and also cousin Amy, please see the 'Lonesome Dove' blog from November 2009 for more on cousin Amy.
The next day we headed to the Children's Museum to meet Courtney and her family. Unfortunately Grant couldn't make it. Needless to say, Bryan was devastated, but later perked up when he realized that he could pretend that he was a polygamist.
First stop at the Children's Museum was Mr.Roger's Neighborhood. Lilly found the castle and dress up clothes and camped there while the rest of us checked out the other features of the exhibit. She loved the cape...I may have to make her one.
Bryan spent much of his time cussing for Grant...and rocking strollers and watching purses.

Not a great picture, but one of the only ones with Lilly and Aiden together. Despite that fact that we have no photographic proof they became great friends and spent any time apart asking about the other.

Courtney and Maddie get in on the action in the water play room.

Lilly playing in the water. Courtney suggested I bring some extra clothes for Lilly because even with a rain coat both kids would still be soaked. But, the raincoats were cute anyway.

Being an old pro at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum Aiden knew just what he wanted. He came in, found the toy shark and held onto it until we left.

Bryan again, wishing Grant had come. I think by this point Bryan and Jack were starting to get a little fussy.

After the museum we went back to John and Peg's for pizza and then laid out plans for the zoo the next day. Here are Lilly, Bryan and Uncle John watching the only animals at the zoo to actually move that day, the Springboks.

Jack wasn't interested in the actual giraffe, but he sure was excited about the one that he brought from home.

At the aquarium the exhibit that drew the largest crowd was the one being cleaned. Lilly saw the divers, pointed and shrieked at Bryan, "Those guys took Nemo!" He convinced her that they were not, in fact, the same people from 'Finding Nemo' and she got a little closer to investigate. She put her hand on the glass and the diver did the same.
Please notice that Lilly and Aiden both are climbing on the rocks right by the sign that says, 'Do Not Climb on Rocks', under the watchfull eyes of both their fathers.

We had a great time and can't wait to go back. Maybe next time when all the kids are a little older and Jack is more cooperative we can take Uncle John and Aunt Peg up on their offer to watch all four kids...for a short time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


After such a big day on Saturday we didn't do a lot for Easter. In fact, we forgot to explain to Lilly about the Easter bunny or color eggs until Sunday morning. But, the Easter bunny came anyway and Lilly seemed to catch on pretty quick.
Lilly and Jack's Easter baskets. Can you guess who got the rice cereal?
Lilly hunted Easter eggs on Sunday morning and when she found this one she gasped, "A magic egg!" It was not magic. But, it did have a dollar in it. Lilly found all of the eggs, but split the coins that she found with Jack. She didn't seem to mind whose piggy bank the money went into, as long as she got to put it in there.

Jack and his bunny. It was not a candy bunny, but he tried to eat it anyway.

Hunting eggs in (due to the rain) my parents' house. Lilly is very stylish and used her polo bag to collect eggs instead of the traditional basket.

AppleHammer Cabin Ribbon Cutting

On April 23 something very special happened in Parke County Indiana. Many people, family and friends, gathered to celebrate the completion of the brand new cabin and join in the fun of a ribbon cutting ceremony. My family has been camping, hunting, riding four wheelers, and partying at this property for over 25 years. The old 'cabin', if you want to call it that, has been in disrepair for most of these 25 years and it was time to replace it. I can't even begin to describe the old cabin to you, but if you picture your garden shed with a loft and nowhere near as plush you have a vague idea of where we have slept.
A couple years ago AppleHammer Industries (ie my dad and my uncle Chris) started talking about building a new, nicer cabin. The new cabin would have porches, actual windows, and most importantly, running water, only one level and a lot more space. The old cabin had electricity and a water spigot outside, but the new one is laid out to potentially have a toilet (gasp) and a much need shower.
The AppleHammer Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was a big event. There were speeches, a poem, a toast, gifts, and of course, the actual cutting of ribbon.
As the AppleHammer Event Coordinator I opened the event with the reading of a poem that was a tribute to the old cabin.

Wes was chosen to give the PBR Toast. Pabst Blue Ribbon was my grandpa's favorite beer and the cabin was one of his favorite places. It seemed only right that Mutt be included in the opening of the new cabin.

Dad and Chris were prepared to hack through the red ribbon with their pocket knives. But, why do that when you could just use giant ribbon cutting scissors.

Even Grandma came to see the new cabin. The wood carving is a morel mushroom done by Mark DeWeese with a chainsaw. Chris and Dad's hats are a tribute to the Amish man that built the cabin for them. Dad's suspenders, unfortunately, are not in any way related to the Amish hats, but just something he wears. Jack and Lilly are the fourth generation to enjoy the Parke County Property. This was Jack's second time there, the first being the previous weekend to get ready for the ceremony.

This is what its all about. After the festivities were over everyone melted into the woods to hunt for the elusive mushroom. As you might guess by everyone's posture, we're on a patch right now. Jack didn't do much mushroom hunting while in the woods, but he did seize the opportunity to take a nap. Lilly, on the other hand, seems to be pointing Papaw in the direction of a potential find.

Getting a little tired of hiking, Lilly takes a rest on a log. After a very long day both of my children were carried, crying, out of the woods.

All of the guys, minus Bryan, spent the night at the cabin. Bryan had to come home so he could be an Easter Bunny in the morning. But, we can't wait to go back and take the whole family to spend the night at the cabin. Lilly already has her cot all picked out. Sorry Chris, I think its yours.