Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair if you're going to San Fransisco

So, vacation...

Like I said, it was pretty awesome.  We arrived on Jason's birthday (what bad friends, I know, not bringing any gifts)  and just chilled out for the afternoon and then we walked to Castro Street and had dinner.  It was nice.  Ann got to buy some girl scout cookies from a girl walking down the street with a wagon, so that made her pretty happy, too. 

Sunday we went to the farmer's market which was cool.  I wish our farmers markets were like that around here but...I have the CSA so that's pretty cool too so I'm not too jealous.  (sign up for the summer, it's that time of year and spots fill up fast!)  We also took a train from Mountain View to Palo Alto, which almost blew Asher's mind.  He thought it was the coolest, especially it was double decker style and we sat on the top. 

On Presidents day we went to the Exploratorium, a pretty cool museum right in the bay in San Fran.  Seriously, our kids loved it, we aren't just imposing our own love of science and cool stuff onto them.  Asher asked to go back to the museum for the rest of the trip, I kid you not.  He also had a massive meltdown there over a cheese sandwich (welcome terrible twos...), but over all it was pretty awesome.

Tuesday we went to Pinnacles National Monument and had a wonderful picnic lunch prepared by Ann, then we hiked up hill to some caves which were pretty cool.  I'm pretty sure Athena ran the entire time, perilous cliff faces be darned.  She is so daring...Asher made us carry him most all of the time.  Athena touched coyote poop and immediately got her entire upper body disinfected, then we saw the coyote that pooped it out, which was cool (not the touching part and I'm assuming it was the actual coyote and not another, grant me some liberties here).  On the way home we ate in the garlic capitol of the world, Gilroy, California.  The fries weren't as garlicky as I'd like, which was a little disappointing since we were in the garlic capitol of the world, but you know, they weren't bad, either.  Maybe they could tell we were out of towners and toned it down for us.  Maybe they are just tired of garlic...maybe the garlic is just weak because it's out of season and not fresh. 

Wednesday we played it a little more chill and went to Happy Hollows Kiddy Park in San Jose.  A good time was had by all, the place is kind of a mini zoo, a petting zoo and a kiddie amusement park all rolled into one.  And, awesome news was....Cleveland Zoo pass got us in for free!  Rock on, right?  Awww yeah.   Asher and daddy and Jason and Athena all rode the roller coaster.  Did I mention it was like 72 degrees and beautiful?  What a nice day.  And we ended up going to a Japanese noodle house where I got to have the best Kitsune Udon I've had in years.  Even if Asher threw another giganto-tantrum there, I don't care because the food was so good. 

Thursday we chilled at the park in the morning and then the Morrisons delivered us to the airport.  Then our flight got cancelled.  Then we got rerouted to Pittsburgh instead of coming home (snow cancellations in Chicago) but that flight didn't leave for another 3 hours.  So, Ann, being the awesome person she is, came back and got us and took us to San Bruno to a park so Asher could burn off some extra energy.  What a hero, seriously.  Ryan was freaking out massively, too, so getting out of the airport for a while and hanging out with Ann just a little bit more was really nice for everyone involved (I hope I'm not overestimating Ann's enjoyment levels here).  Did I mention it was another beautiful sunny 72 degree day? 

Finally we boarded our flight which was a direct flight so that was nice.  And they put us in economy plus, so that was nice, too.  Asher slept the entire time which was amazing and really really nice for both Ry and me, I watched The Big Year in flight movie, which was okay but not great.  We get to Pittsburgh at 12:42 am, get our rental car and discover our luggage has been lost...well, not lost but it went to Chicago anyway.  So now we need to pick it up tomorrow at Akron-Canton.  Yippie...well, at least we have to go there anyway to get our car, so it's not horrible.  I drive us the whole way home.  It was a little eerie, there were almost no other cars on the highway at 2 am, go figure.

We get home around 3 am, then get up at 8:30 so Ry can get ready for his interview (which went pretty well, considering how tired he was).  I dropped Asher off at granny's house (where he immediately contracted pink eye from Katya) and Ry met up with me and we got an ultrasound (as I mentioned yesterday, a girl).  Then we drove our car back, picked up our luggage and tried to relax for the rest of the weekend. 

Overall, a pretty great trip. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

I'm back...

So, vacation rocked.  It was super awesome.  We had such a good time, the kids had a good time, I think everyone was pleasantly pleased with what a good time had been had.  There's a few quick photos...

Gonna try to to write again tomorrow actually telling you guys what we did and some other stuff as well..ran out of time today.  See you tomorrow. 

Oh, we found out we are having a girl.  You may suggest names.  I don't guarentee we will use them. 

Everyday our kids are shuffling

Hiking along at Pinnacle National Monument on our way back from
seeing the Bear Caves.  It was uphill both ways.  :)

Too much fun....too much fun.

Checking out each other's tickets for the train to Palo Alto

Making sure our kids don't jump to their deaths waiting
for the train to Palo Alto
Asher seems skeptical about that being the actual Golden Gate Bridge

At a really cool sceince museum called the Exploratorium. It was
seriously all Asher could talk about for the next few days of our trip.

Exploratorium again.  What a great museum.

Monday, February 13, 2012

30 day challenge on hold...

Okay, so I have been kinda busy with being sick and getting ready for vacation and being super busy at work and have fallen behind (insert temporarily suspended) the 30 day challenge.  So...I decided I am going on hiatus with the 30 day challenge until after my environmental forensics presentation.  And then I think I'm going to do a photo a day.  I think that will be good. 

Anyway, like I said, pretty busy with work so......

Monday, February 6, 2012

30 day writing challenge day 4: simple

Even a topic as simple as simple is is kind of giving me a challenge today.  Didn't write anything yesterday, partially due to us still recuperating and partially due to cleaning/disinfecting and baby showering all day long.  Off again today because my sitter is sick now.  It's nasty and apparently incredibly contagious.  Here's my attempt at writing for simple:

Sometimes even the incredibly simple things can be taken for granted when they go away.  Simplicity is overlooked and under recognized.  People wish for the simpler days.  Remember when a bucket full of bouncy balls and a bubble machine could bring you pure joy?  No?  They could, just watch a toddler.  And that simplicity is something that you miss, deep down,  That's why we try so hard to find happiness in any escape we can, when really all we need to do is figure out how to make a bucket of bouncy balls and a bubble machine fun again.  I think my solution was having kids, but that's not for everyone.  Having kids has made my life infinitely more difficult but has also brought back those moments of simple joy.  What does that for you?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

30 day writing challenge, day 3:being sick

A haiku.

My guts in distress

Intense pain passes the time

When will I throw up?

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Friday, February 3, 2012

30 day writing challenge: Cat, Day 2

Open one eye.  Open both eyes.   Oh, girl is awake?  Is girl awake?  Better go check.  Probably can tell by sitting on top of her and meowing.  Wait, now I'm on the floor...maybe she isn't awake?  I'd better check again. I should walk all over her.  I will.  Meow, merrrrrou? Yup, she's awake. Pet me girl!  Pet me.  Oh, yeah, right behind the ears like that.  Ahhhhhhhh.....yeah.......

Wait. WAIT!!!!  Why did girl stop petting me? Come back girl.  I'll make you pet me.  Stop pushing me away.  Pet me pet me pet me pet me pet me pet me! Oh, she's gone.  Maybe I'll stare out the window for a while and watch if she will come back to pet me.  Hey, is that a bird?  That's a bird.  Wait, no, that's not a bird.  Is that a bird?  No. 

Hmm....sleepy....time for a nap.  Now hungry.  Time for food.  Sleepy.   Time for nap.  Time to watch for squirrels.  Oh, squirrel!  Come here squirrel!  Come here!  I'll get you.  Is that a mouse on the floor?  I'd better check it out, but first I'd better stalk it for a while.  Nope, just a rubber band.  But...it might be a mouse in disguise, tricky mice.  I'd better stalk it again.  And....pounce.  KILL KILL KILL!!!!!  Killer ninja cat in the house, protecting everyone from dangerous mice!  No, still just a rubber band. 

Is girl home yet?  I want to be petted.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

30 day writing challenge. Day 1: Hand of Fate

The birth of my brother was a defining moment in my life.  I think I would not be the person I am today if he had never been born, or if he had been born at a different time in my life.  The kind, loving, nurturing person I am proud to be is because he was in my life, anchoring me during the hardest times in my life and giving me a purpose and reason to be strong and reliable and giving me the strong sense of family that I have.  I feel that, without my brother in my life, I would have ended up on a different path of self degeneracy.  I might have (probably would have) given up on a lot of my dreams and aspirations due to the hard times I lived through as a child and ended up being a broken shell of what I am today.  I am eternally grateful (even when I'm annoyed at him) that he is in my life and that we have the relationship that we do.  I know this comes off as cheesy and sappy but it's the truth and I feel that, if I did believe in fate, that the hand of fate has put him into my life to make me who I am today.  And I'm proud of that.