Monday, September 3, 2012

The Greatest Weekend Ever

For a weekend with no plans this one sure filled up fast, and it was a blast.  All weekend, every second was filled with something fun. 
The kids and I started our weekend off with a swim date at Lucy's house on Friday morning.
On Friday night, Bryan took the kids to the Framptons' to play while Tania and I had a play date of our own at a sushi restaurant.
The kids and dads played dress up, bounced in the bounce house and rounded out the night with some cuddles and a movie.
 On Saturday morning I almost became emotional when Bryan announced that he'd like to take the kids to the zoo before it rained.  I used this time to get a pedicure and run some errands...alone.  (smile).
It was explained to Lilly that she would have to be a very good girl at the zoo and cooperate with Daddy or they would leave.  Clearly, she took this threat to heart.
 The imminent rains kept the crowds away and Bryan, Lilly, and Jack pretty much had the zoo to themselves.
 On Saturday night we had planned to have a cookout for Bryan's birthday, but with an all day downpour on the forecast we decided to move our party to Snapperz in Carmel.  What a great time, and a great deal.  Adults are free, kids are cheap and the food is not overpriced.
Bryan, Jack and Dylan at the top of the play scape.  Peyton on TV.  Did I mention this place was perfect...they even had football on the big screens.  If they served beer Bryan would want to take the kids every night.
Jack in the bounce area for toddlers.  He really liked it until others came to bounce too.
 By now you have probably noticed that there aren't any pictures of the big kids, Lilly, Avery and Georgie, at Snapperz.  It's not that we don't love them, it's just that the only time we really saw them was when the food came.
In celebration of such a wonderful time each of the kids, except Baby John, got a frosting covered rice crispy treat.  Jack's was shaped like a big truck and he ate it like a little mouse, nibbling on the corners and the tires.  It gave him and awesome goatee.
 Then, he worked on it a little more in the car.
 After a lazy Sunday morning we decided to go for haircuts.  Please see the previous blog.  When naps were over we lazed around the house until dinner.  During dinner the rain stopped and it was decided that we should put on our rain boots and go for a walk.  A walk in it's true form never really happened, but some serious puddle splashing took place.
 Jack asked "wa?".  Translation: "Is this water?  May I splash in it?"
 He also added two new words to his vocabulary last night.  "Splash"
 And, "Stop!"
 They were so cute and having so much fun splashing in the puddles that I just couldn't stop taking pictures.  Then, I couldn't stop posting them.
 Lilly was a much more effective splasher than Jack and he wore the evidence of that fact. 
Yes, that's mud on his face, and I'm pretty sure, by his expression, that it's in his mouth too.
After exhausting that puddle and turning it to mud we moved onto another.
 Woo hoo!
 This is how Jack jumps.  He also counts, "Un, eww, un, eww..."
When we were all done splashing we made our way home, had an early bath, followed by a family movie night complete with popcorn, blankies and cuddling.  What a great weekend, no onto packing for our Michigan trip!
Happy Labor Day!

The First Cut is the Deepest

We had been putting it off for a long time, for fear that a haircut would cut away Jack's baby curls and turn him into a big boy with a single snip, but yesterday we finally did it.  We got Jack his first haircut.
Luckily, he has a great big sister who volunteered to go first and show him how it was done...and stall for time in case I lost my nerve.
 He's watching, but he's not so sure.
 Jack picked the choo choo and climbed aboard for his haircut.
 Like with most things, Jack accepted the haircut with a scowl, but without saying a word or moving a muscle.  He just silently watched the lady move around him snipping here and there.
 There goes what we affectionately refer to as Jack's tuft, it's the longest lock of hair he has and it still ends in a dark curl, from when he was an infant.  It now resides in a small zip top baggie in his baby book.
 We were not disappointed, our decision to cut was a good one.  The lady did a great job of trimming Jack's hair out of his eyes, while still preserving our baby.  And, of course, there were balloons.
 The curls survived the haircut, fingers crossed that they stay forever.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Santa Fe

Early in the morning on August 16, I kissed the kids good bye, wished Bryan the best and abandoned ship for a long weekend in Santa Fe New Mexico with my mom.  A few years ago my parents were in Santa Fe and learned of an annual Indian market that they had just missed.  My mom always hoped to go back for it, but it wasn't exactly high on my dad's list of potential vacation destinations.  It was decided that I would be a much better companion for jewelry shopping, art gazing and jewelry shopping than my dad anyway, so my mom invited me to join her.  Of course I accepted. 
After a seemingly endless travel day, and a few scenes straight out of "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles", we finally arrived in Santa Fe at about 4pm.  We checked into our room and immediately made our way to the bar for a snack, and in my case a beer.  That's when it hit me: I was responsible for only myself for the whole weekend.  And, it felt great.  I could eat when I wanted, sleep when I wanted, rest when I wanted and shop without having to rush.
The first night we didn't do much except take in our surroundings.  Here is the beautiful church at the end of the street where we stayed.
 Friday morning we were off to an early start, although I woke up on my own without a child crying for me.  We headed about and hour north to Taos to visit the Pueblo...which was closed...until 12:30pm.  Good thing we got going early.  Oh well, we shopped in Taos and had lunch before returning to the Pueblo after 1.  The Taos Pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited pueblo in the country.  It was amazing.  We shopped (shocking), talked with some of the inhabitants and toured the pueblo.
 We were only 12 miles from the Rio Grande Gorge bridge, so we figured, 'why not?'.  I'm glad we did, it was breath taking and I just kept taking pictures.  None of them captured the scale of the gorge.  And then, a semi went across the bridge and we could feel the whole thing bouncing.  We made a pretty speedy exit after that.
 Mom and I got a little adventurous on our way back to Santa Fe, taking the 'High Road to Taos'.  Even if you are going from Taos to Santa Fe the signs all read 'High Road to Taos', strange...  Anyway, it was a highway through the mountains and a lot of fun...although we were pretty excited to see the interstate at the end of it. 
Here we are at a scenic overlook.  I'm pretty sure Mom was going to leave me.
The 'High Road to Taos' takes about twice as long as the low road and it's pretty desolate (although we passed four post offices) so we were thrilled to see this, even if the bullet holes were a little unnerving.
 The next day, Saturday, was our first taste of the Indian market and our shopping day.  There are no pictures.  There wasn't time.  The streets were lined with white tents, boothes, and the middle was packed with people.  Jewelry, Indian jewelry, was the most commonly sold item, but there were people selling arts of all kinds: pottery, paintings, bead work, stone and wood carvings, even a guy making turkey calls (we bought two).  The list goes on and on.  Because there were about a million people and only ten restaurants we decided to make a reservation.  All they had available was 5:15 (blah).  But, by 5pm we were worn out and ready for dinner and bed.  Ha!  This is pretty much the only picture from that day, and the only picture of me so I felt obliged to include it.
 During the market there were lots of dances and programs to give visitors a taste of the culture.  We saw these little guys on Sunday and they pretty much stole the show.  There were four or five other dancers with them, a drummer and a singer, but no one could take there eyes from he little guy in the back.  He danced his steps and shook his rattles at all of the right times, mostly because he kept peeking around the girl in front of him to watch the young man that was leading the dance. 
Santa Fe and the Indian market was unexplainable.  I bought some jewelry, gifts for the kids, and a handmade silver money clip for Bryan, but I took home much more than that.  It was a wonderful trip and I hope to do it again.  Maybe next time Lilly will come...or maybe not.  Thanks again, Mom, for a wonderful weekend.
I know what you are thinking....what about Bryan and the kids?  How did they do all on their own for five days?  Bryan's mom and Aunt Peg we kind enough to visit that very weekend and help out with the kids.  I'm pretty sure that he would have been OK, but a little back up never hurt anyone.  Thanks ladies for making my vacation guilt and worry free!