Tag Archives: cuteness

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.

Ahhhh

Many thanks to everyone for the comments, Facebook posts, texts and emails congratulating us on our  impending addition!  We are so stinkin’ excited to meet Garfunkel.  Based off the pancake theory of birth order, this one should be even better than Simon! (Nooooooooooo)

 

Speaking of my most favorite bigboy, I juuuuust got him down for a nap.  He’s having a very Toddler day today, complete with “tired but don’t want to sleep” fussiness, “not THAT water bottle!” pickiness, and also adorable fun at every turn.  So I’m consoling myself with an Amy’s pizza pocket and some veggie chips for lunch.

 

He’s got this new trick that I tried SO hard to get a picture of, but completely failed.  We call it the “demon imp” face.  He pulls it with no warning, and it’s the most laugh-out-loud ridiculous combination of furrowed brow, sly smile, and upcast glance.  It’s just…oh I have got to take a picture.  He did it once at dinner last night and Jeff and I both just DIED, then at breakfast he did it again.  We were Skyping with my mom this morning and he started doing it on demand, egged on by Mom and me cackling every time he pulled the face.

 

Every time I head into the kitchen to work now (even if it’s just to wipe down the counters or make a snack), Simon follows me in and pushes a kitchen chair up to the counter to help me cook.  And he won’t take no for an answer.  He helped me throw together our dinner salad the other day:

 

And yesterday we made some jam bars.  He tested them out, taking his role quite seriously, this morning:

 

He’s been a clingy sleeper lately; I’ve had trouble extricating during his naps (there was a 45-minute intermission in my post here when he roused just long enough to get me thoroughly stuck).  But it’s hard to mind too much; before long I won’t be able to nap under him all the time like this.

His little head still smells so nice.  Sweet and salty and warm.

 

Today is National Frozen Yogurt day so I think we’re going to run to Menchie’s for dessert tonight.  (I’m going to do Indian food from the TJ’s frozen section for dinner).  If you Like Menchie’s on Facebook you’ll get a coupon for 6 oz free, today only.  Sweet!  (Or tart)

 

And now I’m going to try and finish folding laundry before my helper wakes up.

 

Happy Thursday!

I could be stitching

But I’m taking the time instead to tell y’all all about the past few days in the Hoops household.  YOU’RE WELCOME. 😛

 

The funnest (shaddup) thing was on Friday night:  I’d seen signs stuck on various lawns and curbs advertising a Greek festival, and there is literally nothing in the world I love more than eating baklava and watching children dance in ethnic garb, so that evening we loaded up and swung by the courthouse and retrieved Jeff.  I plied him with gyros and spanikopita, yes I did.

 

We used to go to one in Kansas City every year when I was little, and I always loved it.  Jeff had never been before, so I was excited to share the experience with him too 🙂

 

This one was PACKED.  Definitely not a secret among Akronites.

 

We waited in line to sit out in the tent, and Jeff got his gyro and I got my spanikopita (NOM) and we split an order of calimari (meh).

 

And then there was dancing!  Wee little kiddies dancing in traditional clothing!  My favorite!

See the tiny girl at the end of the chain?  She was so cute I could hardly stand it.

 

But then something miraculous happened:

That unassuming triangular pastry, my friends, is the most delicious baklava to have ever existed.  EVER.  Something about it…the honey?  The nuts that were finely ground but not paste-like?  The tiny hint of clove?  PERFECTION.  And I should know, I’ve eaten my fair share of baklava.

 

It has set me on a mission:  I must replicate this baklava!

 

BTW, here’s how you know that Jeff has become of secondary import in my life:

Sorry, Love. But the baby was being cute! 😛

 

After the dancing and baklava eating and such, we browsed inside at the silent auction and tag sale, and then I found a little cardboard art print of a girl babywearing ($1!) so that came home with me.

 

It was an awesome time.  OPA!

 

On Saturday we just ran some errands.  It was rainy so Simon and I wandered around the mall for a bit while Jeff got his hair cut (I found Simon the cutest little footy pajamas on clearance at The Children’s Place – they have castles and baby dragons!).  Nothing too exciting.  Then on Sunday Jeff and I went on (duh duh DUNNNNNNNNNNN!)…

 

A date!!!

 

All by ourselves! Like two grownups!  For the first time since about MAY 2012.  That, in case you’re curious, is about 16 dateless months.  Think on that.

 

Lucy and her daughter Sarah came over to watch Simes and Roxie (mostly Roxie), and we went to see The World’s End – the new Simon Pegg movie, the final part of the Cornetto trilogy.  The movie was OK (not as good as Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead), but it was SO NICE to have a grownup conversation with Jeff, eat popcorn and Red Vines, and just not be “Mama” for a couple hours.

 

When we got home, Simon told us in great detail about all the fun he had with his babysitters:  they gave him cheese!  And played with blocks and the pushwalker and wagon!  He definitely had a good time, and I think Jeff and I will be able to leave him and go on another date before a further 16 months have passed 😉

 

This week so far has been pretty uneventful:  now that we’re mostly unpacked (everything but the office) we’ve really been ale to settle into a routine.  I need to take pretty pictures of the house to share with you, but I’m sort of procrastinating because I’d like to paint the front porch and buy some furniture for the office first.  And I desperately NEED to get the big ol’ baby gate partition thing installed around the staircase and TV.  Simon has gotten too dang fast at scrambling up and down those stairs.

 

Yesterday afternoon I decided that we needed some sort of cute seasonal decoration for the front door, so Simon and I headed out to Michaels and JoAnn.  I got a couple autumn leaf garlands and some cinnamon pinecones for the mantle.  Nothing called to me for the front door, though:  it was all either insipid, tacky, expensive, or some combination thereof.  Then while I was browsing the pre-made wreaths in JoAnn (and giving Simon a detailed explanation of why each one was lacking in some vital way) I saw this picture on a display:

 

Cute, right?  Simple and classy and not all froofy.  No droopy-eyed scarecrows or inexplicably glittery apples.

 

I wasn’t madly in love with the color scheme though, or the way the raffia was obviously wrapped around an angled foam wreath form – it reads a little “beach wedding in 2006” to me.  So I got a round straw form and some raffia in more autumnal colors, and a a super helpful associate told me how to replicate it.

 

Suffice it to say that my little project didn’t go as smoothly as I’d planned (do they ever?).  Dinner plans went out the window as I wrestled the glue gun, and Simon spent a good chunk of the late afternoon in his high chair munching on cinnamon apple sticks and watching me curse under my breath.

 

THREE FUCKING HOURS LATER, covered in innumerable hot glue burns and ankle deep in raffia scraps, I had this:

And there it is, on our front door.  I sort of love it.  I’m glad it turned out well, but I need to remember that this kind of “product” crafting is no fun for anybody, and I should have just bought a damn wreath.  But hey, it was only $20 (including glue sticks), so not a bad way to kill an evening.  If anybody’s madly in love with it I can share some tricks for making your own, but I’ll spare the tutorial if no one cares 😉

 

Do me a favor?  Next time you even SUSPECT that I might be contemplating a fun fall craft, just shoot me OK?  My family will thank you.

 

I love ending posts with Simon pics, so here you go.  Playing with his kitty:

(box-filled office in the background, of course).

 

Macbeth is SO happy in this new house! He has resumed all former scampering activities, including “crazy cat hour” (something he hasn’t done since Othello died).  He’s even started playing with his toys and hopping around like a madcat on the furniture.  His appetite has picked up, too.  I didn’t realize how unhappy he was in that tiny LA apartment, until we noticed the marked difference here :(.

 

Last one!

It’s kind of ridiculous how much I love him.  That dimple!

Happy Wednesday!

I don’t have a whole heckuva lot to share today.  Simon never ended up letting me get much alone time yesterday, so I mostly just sat and watched documentaries on Netflix while he napped  on me.  He ended up sleeping for 3 hours, off and on, yesterday afternoon!  At one point he was even so soundly asleep that I could put him vertically on my shoulder rather than draped across my lap.  Which was a nice change of pace (my days are so exciting).

Here, I took a picture of the miracle:

Astounding!

 

When he wasn’t asleep, I was busy trolling Craigslist and emailing back and forth with our realtor person and Jeff about all the stuff for the move.  I made all of Dad’s and  Jeff’s hotel reservations (they’re doing the exact opposite of last year’s trip: LA to Kingman AZ, then Kingman to Albuquerque, then Albuquerque to OKC, then (this part is new, of course) OKC to Indianapolis and Indianapolis to Akron.  It’s more-or-less evenly spaced that way.

 

Dad is flying in to LAX about two hours before Simon and I leave for KC, so Jeff is going to drop us off and pick Dad up in the same trip (sooooo convenient, assuming his plane isn’t late or anything).  Then Simon and I are going to kick around Kansas City while the guys are doing their drive.  I think I’ll try to see Aunt Judy and Grandmother & Granddad, and at least get coffee or something with Stef and Mandi.  Then Linda arrives on the afternoon of 9/3, and she’s going to accompany us on Simon’s haircut and maybe a grocery run for car snacks.  Then the three of us set out early on 9/4.  We’re going to have lunch in St. Louis with some of Jeff’s family, and hopefully make it to Indianapolis at about the same time as Dad and Jeff.  Then the next day we’ll all head for Akron together.

 

So much logistics!  I will be so glad when I never have another cross-country move.  Every “in town” move for the rest of my life is going to seem like the easiest thing ever, lol.

 

Our realtor has found about half a dozen places for Jeff to look at on Saturday.  A couple of them are just “meh, OK maybe”: apartments in big buildings, etc.  A few are houses, which I vastly prefer the idea of.  I just would rather not be stuck out in the suburbs where there’s no place to go and nothing to do.  But I’m sure they’ll be able to find something that’ll meet our needs well enough.  It’s just a year, after all.

 

Anyway.  Enough about the damn move.

 

The PLAN last night was that Jeff would come home from work and play with Simes so I could get my housework done.  I felt bad because I’d spent almost all of yesterday afternoon working on Akron stuff and stuck under Mr. Sleepiness, so he hadn’t really gotten much lovey-playtime.  Which makes me feel like a pretty crappy mother (maybe that dumbass lady who rear-ended me was right after all :-P).

 

Instead, of course Jeff ended up getting home later than he’d planned, and Simon didn’t want much to do with his dinner, and then next thing I knew it was 9:00 and I hadn’t been able to accomplish a darn thing.  So frustrating.  And when the floors are dusty and the sink is full of dishes it just makes me twitchy.  So this morning I threw him on my back and ran the vacuum until he conked out, then finished my mopping and dishes and now I can finally stop twitching 😀

 

I love all the expressions this kid makes.  He is just SO much fun to interact with.  All his little faces crack me up, and I love how he latches onto one particular sound, then we have whole conversations in it.  He does the cutest little wordless whisper, and a mean fart noise.  And a dinosaur noise!  Anybody looking in our windows would think we’re a bunch of lunatics, the way we’ll all sit around and “talk” to each other like we’re all dinosaurs.  Seriously, ever new age/stage is more fun than the last.

 

Time to go switch the laundry.  I will NOT miss having to feed quarters to a machine down the hallway!

When your gift has cat hairs on it…

 

It’s his fault.

 

But what a good helper!

Cozy

I love weekends.

 

 

Can we have another one now?

 

 

Please?

Adorable Thursday

I love Marcel.

MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON from Dean Fleischer-Camp on Vimeo.

She’s my new favorite.