Tag Archives: akron adventure

March…didn’t happen?

It’s amazing how just when you get in a nice little groove with your favorite toddler, they decide to go and screw everything up.  In Simon’s case, this means dropping his nap.

 

That’s right, I now have a 20-month-old who, most days, is awake continuously from 8:00am to 8:00pm.  A 20-month-old who will not be dissuaded from this schedule, who would rather scream for an hour as I cuddle him, rub his tummy and sing every song known to man than deign to close his eyes at midday and potentially miss something Exciting.  And, not coincidentally, he is now a 20-month-old who nods off in the backseat when we go to pick Jeff up from work, and who has decided to fuss and hit and bite his way through the past several evenings.  I WONDER WHY.

 

Which means that today I’ve bought 10 minutes of silence this way:

I ordered a breadbox from Amazon the other day and it arrived this afternoon in a huuuuuuuuuuuge box.  The better to repurpose, eh?  Whoosh whoosh whoosh!

 

…aaaaaaand he’s moved on.  Now we’re back to staring at me and tugging at my sleeve in hopes I’ll let him go wreak havoc on the pantry.

 

Good thing he’s cute.

 

We’ve been up to a LOT of good adventures these past few weeks.  Rather than yammer about them in some huge blog post, you may as well just check out my Flickr photostream.  It’s not like a tremendous amount of narration is required anyway 😉

 

Jeff and I had been hoping to catch a matinee on Saturday but our sitter cancelled on us at the last minute so a change in plans was required.  We ended up making the trek up to Cleveland and visiting the science center.  It was well worth the trip 🙂

 

(That’s Jeff’s new profile pic on FB, too :))

 

Simon learned all about the building blocks of DNA:

And I impressed Jeff by remembering each base pair.  9th grade science FTW?  Though to be fair, I’m not sure DNA had been discovered yet when he was in high school 😉

 

The science center’s little kid play area had a ball pit with all sorts of buckets and pulleys (and a few kids who were definitely not under 6), so we plopped Simon in the middle of it and stood back to see what he thought:

Clearly he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  He just grabbed a few balls and froze, while dozens of others whizzed around him in the melee of tiny humanity.

 

The ramp/tube contraption off in the corner was more his speed 😉

Jeff and I are pretty sure he’d still be there sending that tennis ball whizzing around, if we hadn’t dragged him away after, oh, 6 or 7 hours.

 

But he was OK, because after that we found a slide!

He climbed the stairs all by himself (with Daddy spotting) and slid down all on his own, over and over.

 

He was a little trepidatious at first but made a friend who helped him along.

 

We escaped the kid’s area eventually, though, and found the physics exhibit that was a little bit more interesting for all of us.  I LOVE how much hands-on stuff this science center had, and how even on a snowy Saturday afternoon it wasn’t too crowded.

 

Planetary atmosphere simulations are still a liiiiiiiiittle bit above his level, though. 😉

 

But drums aren’t!

 

And this giant wall of gears was pretty much the best thing ever.

 

Of course, on the way back to Akron we got caught in an end-of-March “fuck you” from the weather (actually it was a quite pretty – 3-4″ of snow that pretty much melted on Sunday) that made for a little bit of nervous driving, as the highway department hadn’t prepped the roads at all.

 

This week has been pretty busy, but also low-key.  Errands (I went to Home Depot yesterday morning and got the supplies for a couple kid projects, and some grass seed and stuff to try and make this place have a modicum of curb appeal for when the homeowners list it for sale this summer), laundry, the usual.  It was supposed to rain all day on Tuesday but turned out to be almost 70* and sunny, so I was able to hang out two loads of laundry on the line (first time since, what, November?) and Simes and I went on a long walk that culminated in approximately 45 hours of swinging at the park.  I made him push his own stroller, because I am cruel like that.

 

It’s pouring rain all day today so we probably won’t get to go out (maybe to stomp some puddles in our dragon boots if it lets up a bit), but I got this picture yesterday, which proves that spring really IS coming to northern Ohio 🙂

Hopefully this weekend the weather will cooperate and I can rake up the last of the leaves, maybe get that grass seed down, and get things ready for spring.  Until then, I’m going to go make some energy bars with my sous chef and maybe dig into that blueberry bread I baked yesterday for Jeff’s breakfasts.  And wait for Simes to drop face-first into a dead sleep in the middle of the playroom at 6:00 because THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU’RE 20 MONTHS OLD AND DON’T NAP.  Ahem.

 

Wish me luck 😉

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Evading cabin fever

I had the best intentions to blog yesterday, but it didn’t work out.  It shouldn’t really be working out today, either, but I’ve bought Simon’s silence with an oatmeal cookie (we baked them this morning.  Pecans, dried cherries, cranberries and blueberries. Yum!)

So here we are.  Better make this quick!

Our weekend was pretty darn close to perfect.  On Saturday we went up to Cleveland to check out West Side Market (I had SUCH a fun time there last fall with Megan and Marin, and wanted to share it with Jeff) and play tourists for a while.

I love that place; it’s well worth the drive!  Of course, it’s completely different on a Saturday morning than it is during the middle of the week (DUH), and crowds are, err…not our favorite thing.  But Simon was snug in the Tula, so Jeff and I dodged the crowds and bought all the pastries our canvas bag would hold:

And fancy olives.  And dolmas.  YUM.

So crowded.  So neat!

Then we walked over to Great Lakes Brewing for lunch.  I had fish and chips; Jeff had a ridiculously good beer, one of their brewery exclusives (I had a few sips) and a really good brat with pierogis (he alleges.  Like hell I’m touching a flesh-stuffed intestinal tube.)  Simon made do with scraps from home, like usual. Poor baby.

We weren’t quite ready to head back to Akron after lunch, so we decided to check out Cleveland’s natural history museum.

And there we saw OMG DUCKS!

Pretty sure this was the highlight of Simon’s little life; he was absolutely captivated.  And chilling there with his sleepy eyes in his little stroller, it was more than a little reminiscent of an old man sitting at a nursing home (and would’ve been sorta sad if it hadn’t been so cute :-P).

We eventually dragged him away, though, and he quickly resumed his ornery toddler-y ways:

Little stinker. He’s my favorite.

As one might expect, he conked out on the drive home and was OK with a quiet evening with Mama Daddy.  On Sunday we just hung out around the house and did some chores; pretty quiet.

Yesterday was “challenging”.  Someone was in full-on Toddler Mode all day, and it wasn’t necessarily the person you’d expect.  By 5:00 I was ready to scream, so we escaped to the post office and the grocery store (exciting!), then picked up Jeff from work.  Jeff made the very wise decision to entertain Simon almost all evening, leaving me free to unwind (you know…do dishes and laundry. :-\)  It was actually a pretty good time for everyone.

He determined earlier today that sleep is for babies and since he is a big boy, naps are completely unnecessary.  See how well that worked out:

We worked on a nap for 2 hours, including a 20-minute intermission in which I took a nice long shower while he stood at the baby gate and talked to me.  I warned him that his days of endless pacifier boob are numbered, but to no avail.  Toddlers are not well known for their foresight or appreciation.

So, bedtime tonight should be interesting. I predict he’ll either  go down in 5 minutes, or 75.  Who wants to take bets?

I’m starting to feel guilty about parking my butt in front of the computer for so long, so I’d best be off.  Simon and I have been reading “Where Is Your Nose?” off and on as I write.  He can now consistently identify his eyes, nose, mouth, chin, ears, hair, tum, hands, knees, and feet.  Even when the book isn’t in front of him.  Big smart boy!  Tomorrow we start calculus.

Yay stuff!

This has been SUCH a busy week.  Yesterday I was moving CONSTANTLY from 7am until 10:30pm.  Work work work.

 

To pick up my saga where I left off (since I know you’d be disappointed if I didn’t :-P), on Tuesday I verified with our landlord that unfortunately a replacement washer is *not* included in our lease (boo), and then got to go washer shopping (whee?).  I found one at a well-reviewed used appliance place for less than $200, the same model of Kenmore that my parents have.  Our last set in St. Louis were Kenmores, too.  I love those.  You can’t kill ’em.

 

We ran a couple more errands on Tuesday, too, and I canned 4 quarts of the apples from last weekend’s adventure, into unsweetened applesauce.  And I have this little doohicky that makes things go RIDICULOUSLY FAST!

I actually got it on clearance at Target at the end of last season, and I think it’s the best $13 I ever spent.  I was able to core, peel and slice my whole pot full of apples in about 15 minutes.  That usually takes me HOURS.

 

Our local grocery store also had 20-quart stock pots on sale for $4.99 each this week, so I picked up one of those and did Wednesday’s batch of applesauce in it, instead of my big Le Creuset pot.  I was able to do 5 quarts of applesauce in one batch (cook the apples down in the stock pot, then heat the sauce in the Le Creuset).  So two days work = 9 quarts of applesauce.  And that’s less than half our haul!

 

Oh I do love canning.

 

I’ve also been making cinnamon rolls like there’s no tomorrow.  I did one batch for us, and then decided to get on the neighbors’ good side by making a batch for them.

In a marked departure from tradition, I sprinkled just the tiniest hint of nutmeg on with the cinnamon and sugars, and then put some maple flavoring in the icing.  It’s like eating fall.  OM NOM NOM AUTUMN.  (Here’s that recipe again, if you’re interested)

 

The new washer was delivered on Wednesday morning, and I spent all afternoon and evening chugging through the massive laundry pile that built up over the past two weeks.  I’m *still* not all caught up, but a lot of that is because I’m doing a wash-strip-rinse-rinse-rinse-wash-strip-rinse-rinse-rinse on all the diapers (two loads), to try and get out all the built up detergent and ammonia that crappy old washer was (unbeknownst to us) failing to remove.

 

Don’t tell anybody, but I actually think stripping (and just normal laundering!) diapers is kind of fun.  They’re so fluffy and soft and nice smelling!

 

Today, though, was the most exciting!  First we got to go to the HYUNDAI DEALERSHIP!  wheeeee!!!  And we got to eat breakfast there (cheese sticks, granola and banana!), and play with A BASKETBALL!  And Mama got her car fixed!  And it was under WARRANTY!

Yeah, it’s not exciting.  No matter how I spin it.

 

On a completely different (and legitimately exciting) note:  Ohio Mart!

 

I had been looking forward to this for SO LONG, until Jeff and I actually looked at our calendars and realized that it conflicted with his cousin’s wedding in St. Louis.  And given that Jeff has to go to that silly place called “work” every day to earn “money” so we can “eat” (Ugh.  PRIORITIES, MAN.), he wouldn’t be able to go with us on Thursday or Friday.

 

Which meant that we had to have a Weekend Adventure in the middle of the week, with only 67% of the usual adventuring team.  But we pressed on.

 

Ohio Mart!

 

I present to you the finest photo ever taken at the festival’s interest:

Blurry back of a stranger’s head? Check!

Photographer’s finger in corner? Check!

Lack of discernible subject?  Check-CHECK!

 

Simon was none too impressed, either.

Actually, that picture was taken about 15 minutes before this happened:

This was the perfect situation to have the stroller, BTW.  No Jeff to help bear the load, a bunch of random crap to haul, and a baby who suddenly finds the wraps to be more exciting than sleep-inducing.  So I wore him about half the time, and strolled him the rest.

 

I shouldn’t have been surprised about the demographics represented here, since we went on a Thursday morning and all.  It was mostly retirees, “ladies who lunch”, and a handful of other young moms.  All other things being equal, I think I prefer adventuring on weekends.

 

It was nice strolling on the beautiful grounds and window-shopping in the booths (a lot of the stuff wasn’t really my taste, but was pretty anyway).  And then there was…the rest.  Take the World’s Largest Assemblage of Fun Fur, for example.

That hurts my eyes.  And my heart.

 

I also saw this craft, which falls in the category of “cute idea, crappy execution”:

I could see myself putting together something sort of like that (only better… ;-)), maybe in blue/white, for late winter?  I’d use Lamb’s Pride Bulky or Lion Brand Thick ‘n Quick and do it a little more thicker and rustic looking.  I can see it in my mind.  It looks nice in there.*

 

But ANYWAY.  The gardens! And the hall!  I wish we could’ve gone inside (but I decided to save that for sometime when Jeff can come :)).

 

I think I’m going to doctor up this photo and make it my phone wallpaper.

Have I mentioned I love autumn?

 

I also love food (because duh).  I pretty much gorged myself all day.  With hot spiced cider!

 

And pumpkin roll!

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m seriously going to have to breastfeed forever so I can gluttonize guilt-free.  Or else take up ultramarathons and/or Zumba once the last Hoopling is weaned.  Probably ultramarathons.  Less silly looking.

 

I’ll wrap up with a picture from the end of our visit (not coincidentally, about 5 minutes before it started pouring rain):

(My mom showed that to someone at her work, who said “He’s so sweet I could get diabetes just looking at that picture!”  I concur, work lady.  My wonderful sugary babyface!)

 

TWO SEPARATE groups of old ladies stopped behind me and started cajoling Simon to smile for the camera as he posed in this little setup. 😀

 

(I also texted that picture to Mona, Miss “Orange County winters are so cold!”, and she started chastising me for not having Simon bundled up enough in the harsh midwestern air.  It was 75*!  Silly California friend.  I miss her :))

 

Yay for OhioMart!

 

Kathy, I only wish you could’ve come along 🙂  We’d have had a blast!

 

This has gotten long enough for tonight.  Tomorrow I’ll show you my most exciting find from the festival.

 

What’s your favorite autumn activity? (we’re on the lookout for more weekend adventures…)

 

~~~

*THAT WAS A TEST.  CAN YOU REMEMBER THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE, FRIENDS?!?!

Yankee Peddler! And also I think there may be a house under these boxes

First things first:  they came and installed a new dishwasher yesterday, and fixed the gas line leak.  The maintenance dude went ahead and reconnected our gas, so now we can enjoy life’s luxuries (cooking, bathing…).  At least until I get the gas company to do their re-inspection, at which point I’m sure they’ll find something else that’ll be imminently killing us. :-\

 

ANYWAY.

 

On Sunday we were going kind of stir crazy in the still quite boxy house, so we decided to escape on our first-ever Akron adventure, and visit the Yankee Peddler festival.  I had heard-tell that it was one part craft fair, one part RenFest-set-in-the-19th-century.  We were intrigued.

 

PSLs in hand, we ventured southward.  The trees in northern Ohio are juuuust starting to turn, swaying ragweed lines the highways, and the weather on Saturday was absolutely perfect:  cloudy and cool with just a bit of nip in the air.  LOVE.

 

Our arrival!

 

Soooo…it definitely wasn’t like RenFest (give or take 300 years).  We didn’t see any costumed attendees (just some of the workers), and the stage shows were cute but not quite up to caliber.  But there were lots of neat crafts to see (pottery!), and funnel cakes:

 

So I was happy!  We also got to see a magic show and some clog dancers.  And also a lot of white people.  White people as far as the eye can see!  (Ohio is not, I understand, known for its diversity)

 

I was also the only babywearer there.

Which is fine.  As I told Jeff, I’m comfortable being the odd woman out in a crowd.  It’s kind of my thing. 😛  Plus at least this is something vaguely positive for people to point and whisper about, rather than my acne or debilitating clumsiness.

 

(That’s also a really bad wrap job, but Simon was cranky and pulling my hair and was about to get his little butt yanked out of there and tossed over Daddy’s shoulder for the trip back to the car.)

 

So yes. Yankee Peddler: fun!  Good job, Ohio.

 

~~~

 

Yesterday Jeff discovered his front bike tube really won’t hold air, so he took the car to work and left us stranded at home.  It was just what I needed: some SERIOUS unpacking happened: Simon’s room, the playroom and dining room are done, there are just a couple boxes left in the bedroom, half a box in the bathroom (the bathroom closet/cabinet isn’t really big enough for all our towels and toiletries, so I need to pick up a shelf at IKEA), and a bunch of miscellaneous things in the living room.  Hard to unpack the office/craft room without any desks or shelves to put our stuff on (casualties of the past two moves), so those will have to wait for Ikea, too (Pittsburgh!).  And then we’ll be done!

 

Simon’s asleep now, having just returned from a trip to Target (bless his little heart, I always have to send him with a list or else he just comes back with more blocks and greek yogurt), I had an early lunch of leftovers, and now I think I’ll see about finishing up some of these random boxes so I can stop effing looking at them!  Good riddance to boxes! 🙂