Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Indy Weekend Getaway

Last weekend, we headed to Indiana on Friday afternoon.  We hung out Friday night at my parents' house.  On Saturday morning, however, we left Bean with my parents and we headed south for a little child-less getaway! Steve did all the planning (it wasn't a surprise though, I knew all that was happening).

Our morning started off with a bike tour of Indy along the Cultural Trail.  We met at 10am the Bikeshare headquarters, not sure what the tour would look like (as far as the group).  Upon checking in, we discovered that we were the only people signed up for the tour that day! So it was just Steve and I and our amazing tour guide Daniel! He was a funny guy who loved biking and sharing the history of the trail and some history of Indy along the way.  We'd bike to little locations then stop and hear what he had to share.  Some of the stops included different art pieces installed along the cultural trail, information about the different cultural districts, and stops at sites like the capital building.  The weather was beautiful and we had a perfect morning (sore bums and all!).

(Safety First!)

(USS Indianapolis monument & the canal)

(State Capital building)

(One of the works of art along the cultural trail.  As you biked, LED lights above and below would light up and look like fireflies.  The artwork symbolizes how everyone's movement in space affects others' space.)

(Fountain Square.  This used to be a rail turnaround and was known as the "end of the line".  It is the furthest SE point of the cultural trail and is an up and coming area because of the trail.)

(View of Soldiers & Sailors statue in the circle.)

(View of the Murat Theatre and another artowrk on the trail -- "Dancing Ann".  You can see on the road the green/white bike images/blocks that marked the cultural trail.)

After our tour was over, we bid Daniel a fare well and drove to Cafe Patachou for a delicious lunch! I got the stuffed french toast and Steve got a turkey sandwhich.  Halfway through lunch we tradesies (planned)! We loved both dishes so much, we couldn't decide which was better.  We sat at the bar and got to watch all the food pass from the kitchen to the different tables.  Everything that came out looked delicious.  I'm pretty sure I could have ordered anything off the menu and been happy with it! Our server even kept saying he'd been there for 2 years and still has hard times picking out food to eat because he loves it all.

After lunch, we drove to Crown Point Hill Cemetery.  I went there on a field trip in middle school and remember loving the historical facts about some of the monuments and people interred there.  Since we had such a good time doing a walking tour in Pere Lachais Cemetery in Paris, I thought Steve might enjoy a walking tour around Crown Point Hill.  He had found information online saying you could get a guide map for a historical tour located in their mausoleum.  So we searched there first and found nothing.  We headed over to their head office and discovered that they no longer have those tour guide maps.  The guy did give us a map that pointed out some favorite spots in the cemetery.  So with that map in hand, we would drive around, park, and stop to search for the items called out (some were famous people, some were just fancy monuments).  The map didn't have any facts or information, though.  Some information I remembered, and some we just searched for on our phones.  After we saw all that we came to, we headed in search of our stay for the evening.

(Crown Point Hill Cemetery)

(Standing on the top of Crown Hill - where Robert Frost is buried - overlooking Downtown Indy!)

(So back in 8th grade, we went to the cemetery on a field trip.  We had to walk all over the cemetery, and it was a warm day.  We were all pretty tired when we got to the crown, so our teachers let us roll down the backside of the hill.  I was too chicken to do it, so I walked back down.  However, my best friend rolled down the hill.  A week later she became very ill, to the point of not being able to walk and use her arms.  They found a lesion on her brain and it took her the entire summer to recover and gain her strength back.  She always blamed this hill for causing the lesion - which by the way is gone and doesn't cause her any issues.  I joked around and sent her this picture.  She didn't laugh. Ha.)

We stayed at the Nestle Inn Bed & Breakfast in downtown Indy.  It ended up being located right off the Cutltural Trail and also a few blocks away from the Murat Theatre (I'll get to why that's important soon!).  We relaxed and freshened up in our room (which was so nice!) before heading down the block to get some dinner at Pizzology. We ate our delicious sausage pizza outside while people watching.  We thought dinner would take longer than it did, so we had another hour to kill before our big evening plans. We headed back to our room to chill.

(Little living room/entry way into our room. There was a tv on the other side of the table.  The hall way/bathroom/bedroom is to the left behind that grey chair.)

(Looking down the hallway - bathroom to the left - into the bedroom.)

(Peek into the bathroom.  There was a stand up shower and toilet behind the door.  That bathroom was so big!)

(Bedroom! We are used to sleeping on a queen.  It felt like we were in separate rooms on this king-size bed.  Maybe we were just both so worn out from the biking and long day that we we both zonked and never noticed the other person, ha.)

(Standing at the end of the bed looking back down the hallway.  We loved this place! So much room!)

At 7pm, we left our room and walked the couple blocks to the Murat Theater to see Sufjan Stevens in concert! Sufjan is an indie/folk singer/songwriter.  Steve listened to him back when we started dating.  I like listening to some of his music (some can be a little crazy), and especially love his Christmas albums.  He just released a new album Carrie & Lowell and is touring to share this album with others.  I've been to several different concerts of various artists and I must say this one was completely different than all of them.  Sufjan's music isn't really 'dance & sing along' kind of music.  So we just sat back and listened to him sing.

(Even though we were in the upper balcony, we had a great view and really enjoyed the concert!)

(Bring out Sufjan!)

Sufjan's new album has been described as "bare" & "haunting".  I had listened to the cd a couple times before the concert, but I didn't understand it all.  However, after realizing that Carrie & Lowell were his mother (deceased) and step-father, and that this album is him coming to terms with his mom abandoning and neglecting him as a child, his songs really do become haunting.  He played the entire album without stopping to talk or explain any of the songs.  No extra words were needed to understand the pain and demons Sufjan has had to work through to come to terms with his mom's schizophrenia and eventual death.  While he sang some of the songs, there would be home videos playing in the background.  I still think back to the concert and still ponder a lot of his words and what he has gone through.  Really makes you think about your own actions, the family you are born into, and how you cope with life.

After the concert, we had a glorious no-kid night's sleep! Ha!  Bean has been doing a lot better with sleeping through the night, but she still has nights (like last night) where she cries out a ton and I have to calm her down by talking to her in the monitor (going in seems to escalate her anxiety and takes longer for us to get back to sleep).  It was so nice to just sleep and not worry about getting up at all.  I still woke up around the same time I normally do, but I didn't feel guilty about just laying in bed for as long as I wanted!  We headed down for breakfast a little after 9am, and enjoyed delicious yogurt, fruit, chocolate bread, and breakfast enchiladas.  There was so much food and it was all so delicious.  We headed back upstairs, backed, and made our return trip to Bean!

This was the 2nd time we've ever left her for an overnight (last time was for our anniversary when she was 9 months old).  We knew she was in good hands, but we seriously missed her so much! We'd think about what it would be like if she was there with us, her silly laughter, and sweet kisses.  We were so ready to get back to her (and it wasn't much more than 24 hours!).  When we got to my parents, she was happily playing with Ahm (my mom).  She immediately turned to see who came in, made eye contact with Steve first, then me, then immediately started sobbing.  I picked her up and she clung to me with her head buried in my neck. She was a little emotional for a little bit (would laugh/cry all at the same time) but eventually lessened up and was okay.  She was even excited to go home (I think merely because she was excited she was staying with momma/daddy).  The car ride was uneventful; however, I did sit in the back with her.  I wasn't sure how she was going to travel and I didn't want to have to keep turning around.  It worked out great!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April Showers bring April? Flowers?

Ha, I crack myself up sometimes.  The weather was gorgeous this past weekend, so we randomly decided to work on our Flower boxes! Since we've moved in a few years ago, we noticed that the boxes were starting to fall apart a little.  So Steve took the front box down and used screws to secure it back together.  Some of the wood is rotting and will eventually need totally redone; but for now, some simple fixes will get them through a couple more years.

Once he got it put back together, I did a quick sanding and then gave it a fresh coat of paint! We decided we wanted to repaint the numbers and brackets as well, but didn't have the paint.  So I just painted it and moved on to the other box.

The box on the side of the house is a different story.  The bottom board was pretty rotted and slanting.  We couldn't get the box off the house, but the bottom board easily popped out.  So we decided it was worth buying a new board for the bottom of the box.  The insides are rotting pretty good, but again, it'll last a couple more years.  So Steve screwed together the sides that needed it and I painted it!  Once Bean woke up, we headed to Menard's to get the paint we wanted for the numbers/bracket, new board, new plastic planters, and flowers.

We had to put the project on pause until Sunday afternoon.  Once we got home from church, Bean went down for a nap and we headed back outside.  I worked on painting the numbers and the brackets while Steve cut the board for the bottom.  I should have taken a photo, but forgot.  I taped a bunch of paper all around the brackets on the brick so that I didn't get paint all over the house.  It was windy and the wind kept moving the paper which really annoyed me.  Steve had to come help hold the paper while I painted.  I used a really cool textured black spray paint with copper flecks in it.  It turned out great!

Once the painting portion was done, I moved on to planting the flowers in the plastic planters that would go in the boxes! We picked petunias (loved them so much from last year!) and dianthus.  I had just finished the planting when Bean woke up.  While I went and got her, Steve drilled the new holes for the bottom board and put it into place.  While she played in the driveway with chalk, I quickly painted the bottom board (not for looks, just to help it last longer).  Steve put the numbers back on the front box, put it in place, and put the flowers in it.  Now to wait for them to grow bigger!

Front Before:

Front After: 
(I realize there's not much of a change.  Just a lot brighter and fresh looking!)

Side Before:

Side After: 
(This one to me looks tons different!)

(Close up of the flowers -- Purple Petunias on left and right, White Dianthus in the middle!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Revenge of the Blueberries

We've learned the hard way that blueberries and dairy don't mix well with Bean.  This morning, I woke up (like usual) and went into Bean's room to get her up and ready for the day.  When I went in, I smelled something suspicious and immediately assessed that she had thrown up a few times in the night.  As I saw what had happened, I had a sudden realization that I had actually heard it happen! I remembered hearing what I just thought was a cough attack from her in the night.  It did sound "juicy" so I checked her on the monitor, but I saw her just lay back down and roll over.  Since there was no crying (or if there was, it was short and sweet) I assumed she was fine and rolled back over myself.

I feared that she was sick with flu again, but she seemed fine and has shown no fever all day.  I then remembered, the last time she randomly threw up (see the end of A Really Bad Day), it was in the car right after she ate some blueberries and drank milk.  This time, the last meal she had eaten was cottage cheese and blueberries!  She ate blueberries fine last week, so I guess it has to do with the combination of dairy?  Regardless, I'm not willing to test out my theory, so we're restricting blueberry consumption around here!

(What happened?! I'm pretty sure she was most upset about the fact that "Bay" - blanket - was dirty and she wasn't allowed to hold it while she was changed later.  I worked hard on it, though, and had it fresh, clean, and dry before nap time!)

(So apparently, there was more than just 1 incident of puking?? Let me just tell you about blueberry stains.  When you run them under cold water or just wash the first round, all that red turns a deep blue.  Bleach is works amazing for the white items.  Still figuring out what the best removal process is for the sheet and bumper.)

(She earned a quick trip to the bath! You know it's not going to be a good day when it has to START with a bath instead of END with a bath.  And yes, that is a blueberry skin in her hair.  Apparently those didn't get digested.  But I can tell you that some of the blueberry was digested from the diaper I changed later in the day. . . )

(She acted a little clingy in the morning, and evening laid on me for awhile while watching Sesame Street.  Other than being a little clingy, she's acted completely normal -- even eating like normal.  Fingers crossed that we don't have a round 2 and that it is just the blueberries!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hoppy Easter!

Last Thursday, we headed to Indiana to spend Easter with my family.  I spent the week getting us all ready so that we could just hop in the car once Steve got home from work.  My long runs fall on Thursdays, so I had to have everything ready before nap time so that I could put Bean down, run 7 miles on the treadmill, shower, and then be ready to go by 3 (nap time starts at 1).  We ended up not being ready and in the car until 3:30, but it was close!

I was nervous about the car ride, seeing as how the last long car ride resulted in Bean puking.  However, she did really good.  As a family, we ate chips and dip (Steve - salsa, Bean/I - guacamole) and that seemed to pass some of the time.  But then Bean started spreading the guac on her seat, so snack time was over. The car ride was uneventful and we only had to listen to the Frozen sound track twice.  We got to my parents just as they were getting in the car to head to their Easter choir practice.  We settled in and let Bean run around for a little bit before putting her to bed.

Bedtime has been sort of crazy lately.  Bean's been in this weird funk where she cries when we leave her in the room.  I'll talk to her on the monitor and say, "Get your paci and blankie and lay down with wormie." She scans the room, grabs the blanket and immediately lays down.  My parents have a monitor system and I wasn't sure if we could talk to her.  Well we couldn't, so we had to be creative and patient at bedtime.  The first night went pretty smooth.  I popped my head in the room a couple of times and told her to lay down, and finally she did.  She even slept through the night!

On Friday morning, Bean and I took my mom to the store to buy some last minute Easter stuff.  My mom is recovering from foot surgery and still on crutches, so outings are few and far between for her, haha.  We got what we needed and headed back to her house. The rest of the afternoon was a whirlwind - my friend April came to hang out along with my sister and nieces.  We (well, I) grilled out hamburgers/hot dogs and had a little birthday celebration for April. I offered to watch the nieces (for the whole night) so that my sister didn't have to take them to church for the Easter program or come back to my parents to take them home. So the crew heading to the church left and the rest of us just hung out and watched Disney movies (my mom ended up not feeling well and stayed with us girls!).

(Bean got to eat a cupcake to celebrate April's Birthday! She was loving it!)

(Bean got really attached to Gabbie.  She loved playing kitchen with her.)

Getting Bean to bed that night was really rough.  After an hour of both Steve and I tag teaming going in, I finally just laid down with her and fell asleep. About an hour later, Steve came up to bed and moved Bean into her crib. She only lasted a couple hours in the crib before she started crying.  I ended up going into her room and laid in a bed with her in there for the rest of the night.  It wasn't too bad, except for her waking up at 6:30 in the morning to start her day (we usually get up around 8).  I'm glad the nieces were around to help out in entertaining her the rest of the day!

We were supposed to go to Lafayette to celebrate my other niece's birthday in the afternoon; however, she ended up sick and the party was cancelled.  We then decided to move our Easter egg hunt from the morning to later in the afternoon.  When my sister got to my parents, she and I went over to the school track (like a 5 min walk) an ran together.  Well, we started off together, but then I broke off and we went at our own paces.  She ran 4 miles while I took a few more minutes to complete 4.5.  She is the one that started this mini idea, but she's dealing with a knee injury and is a little behind in her training.  The run was still really fun to do with her and I loved the outing! While I was running, I thought about all the years I've been on that track for gym class & activities in school.  In that 1 instance of running 4.5 miles, I'm convinced that was the most running I've ever done on that track throughout my entire 13 years at that school (kind of a cool feeling!).

We finished our runs and headed back to the house, just in time for lunch! Steve played Mr. Mom in my absence.  Bean was just finishing up her lunch when I walked in. We also had some more family show up for a little bit.  My sister (who is a miracle worker) put Bean down for her nap.  She said Bean fell asleep before the last book was read (which never happens for me).  When Bean got up from nap, all the little girls got to color Easter eggs! Bean LOVED coloring the eggs.  She would even sign "more" and say "eeeeg".

(Can you tell she's the center of attention??)

(Girls dyeing the eggs together! Thanks Aunt Amber for taking the lead this year in coloring!  It's so fun to watch the roles switch from me being the aunt to her girls, to her being the aunt to my girl!)

(So much fun!)

(I love this shot simply because you can see she had her feet perched up against the table.)

(We took home a couple dozen of the colored eggs so we could eat them.  I got quite the kick out of one of the older girls's egg -- I <3 do="" ell="" family.="" i="" kid="" my="" nbsp="" p="" said="" too="">

After the coloring, my sister and I took the girls over to the school playground to let them run around a little bit.  While they played, the "Easter bunny" hid eggs at my parents' house.  It was so nice out that we were able to do the hunt in the front yard.  Bean LOVED the egg hunt as well!  We each had assigned colors so I helped Bean find her color.  She would pick it up and proudly put it in her bag, then run off to find another egg.  She did "find" some eggs that weren't hers, but then she'd happily hand them to who they belonged.

(Ahhhh, how on earth is Emily this big?!  She was such the big helper over the weekend!  She took such good care of Bean and allowed me to relax a little.)

(Slide time with Allie!)

(Slide time with Emily!)

(Hold the phones -- all 4 girls are looking in the right direction AND smiling! Win!)

(Egg hunt time!  Bean did a great job picking up her eggs and putting them in the bag.  I would point to which ones were hers -- the pink camo! If she picked up someone else's egg, I'd tell her whose it belonged to and she'd run to them and hand it over.)

The girls played together a little more while the guys continued their computer games and then we had tacos for dinner (nothing says Easter dinner like tacos, right??).  The Adams crew left and then it was time to get Bean to bed.  We had another rough go and she just kept fighting it.  With Steve playing computer games (he did offer to help, and even went in, but then the game had to be paused and I felt bad that my dad and brother-in-law were waiting on him) I decided it wasn't worth the headache.  So Bean got to stay up later.  I laid her in bed with my mom while I finished getting some stuff done.  I then joined them when I was ready.  They had been laying there watching Frozen and Bean looked like she was almost asleep.  At 10, I decided it was time for her to go to bed and if she wouldn't go to sleep, I'd just lay with her again.  I rocked her for 5 min and she was out! What?! She cried out once in the night, but went back to sleep.

We got ready and headed to church Sunday morning.  Bean went in the toddler nursery at my parents church like it was no big deal.  When I picked her up after the service, she was actually disappointed that she didn't get to stay and play.  Sorry kid.  You are stuck with us.  We went back to my parents, changed clothes, and packed up the car.  We made it to my Mammie's house for lunch at 1 and got to quickly catch up with my cousins.

(All dolled up for church.  We did pigtails on Miss Bean for the first time! It seriously made her look so big! She also loved going to the toddler class at my parents' church.  She actually was upset I picked her up and made her leave.  She wanted to continue to shake her maraca as they walked around the table listening to music.)

(On the way from my parents' house to Mammie's house, Bean was gong a little crazy.  She was tired and hungry, and I didn't want her to fall asleep.  So I encouraged the crazy.)

(Okay, so maybe she was going REALLY crazy.  And again, those pigtails make her look SOO big!)

We left to head back home to Ohio after lunch.  We wanted to time it so that Bean would sleep on the way home.  She slept about an hour (that happens when we do later naps, typically she goes down by 1) and was sort of hateful the rest of the car ride.  Haha.  She's finally caught on to what being in the packed car means and what "byes" mean now.  She was devastated to say goodbye to her cousins and return home to just Momma/Daddy.  What she doesn't know is we'll be heading back in a couple of weeks. . .

(She passed out like 5 minutes into the car ride.  I had high hopes of her sleeping the whole way home; yeah right! She slept about an hour and then was a little hateful the other 1.5 hours.  However, we didn't have to pull out the tablet with Frozen so she wasn't being THAT hateful.)

(One of my best friend's parents go to the same church as my parents.  I met up with them to get a "gift" from my friend.  Bree made one of these for her daughter and made one for Bean! It is a really nice step stool for her to use in the kitchen so she can help me cook, bake, and do dishes.  How exciting! Bean loves sitting on it and playing while I'm fluttering around.)

(I had made up an Easter bucket for Bean before we left and had it ready for her when we got back home.  It had some little Easter chotsky from last year as well as some toys I got her.  She has a neat Disney Princess play set so I got her a couple new Princesses to play with it.  When she found them in the eggs, she knew what they were and took them to her castle to play.)

(Loving all her Easter chotsky!  This girl is so much fun right now! I'm LOVING this toddler stage, even with the tantrums and teething.  I love to watch her learn, interact, and turn into this sweet little person.)

So these aren't from Easter, but they are from a week later.  Sara and Baby James came and hung out with Bean and I while the guys were at a church event.  What else do you do with Peeps?!  Make S'mores dip of course.  

(Chocolate chips & peanut butter mixed/melted together, then layer on the peeps and place under broiler for a couple minutes.  Dip with graham crackers - or my favorite animal crackers! Yum!)

(Bean wanted in on that action.  This girl has her momma's sweet tooth!)

(It was Bean approved!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sweet Sunshine

We are in the middle of a very rainy week around here. We are in some desperate need of sunshine and outdoor play! Last week, we packed in 3 days of playing at the park! I see many more days hanging at the park with friends in our future!

I need to get better at taking pictures.  It's hit or miss on whether they happen, and when they do happen, they aren't well coordinated. Ha.  I'm working on it!

(On Tuesday last week, we sort of spur of the moment met up for a *Sparkle* play date at the park! I call it a sparkle play date because it was with my friend and fellow Jam-lady Kambria and her daughter Nora! Bean and Nora are about 4 months apart and it was cute to see them try to interact.  They pretty much just walked after each other.  A big hit for both girls was the baby swings! And despite how the picture looks, Bean was not about to smack into Nora!)

(We have a park that's about a mile from our house.  It has a few different play areas, but this one is my favorite! IT has lots of slides, things to climb on and a set of swings.  The picture is being take from the swing set.)

(There are two baby swings on the set, and Bean likes to test them both out.  She'll swing in one for awhile then point and ask please to the other one.  What a silly girl!)

(On Wednesday, we met my friend Sara - not to be confused with cupcake Sara, although her and James did join us later - and her daughter Emi!  Emi is 3.5 and made instant friends with all the kids at the playground.  She was a big help to all the kids and even encouraged Bean to slide and play. And remember my "I need to coordinate pictures better" -- Bean is staring at Sara and Emi turned last minute to run up the steps to slide.)

("Don't worry guys, I got this" -- stuff Bean thinks)

(We stayed at the park for almost an hour on each day.  Bean thought it was funny to swing next to Sara & James!)

We also snuck in some play at the park by my parent's house with cousins over Easter, but you'll have to wait for the Easter post for those photos!