Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Recap

Hey everyone! Had a great Memorial Day weekend. The weather was super hot and humid, a perfect kick off to summer. Of course our A/C decided to kick the bucket on Friday. Well, it didn't really completely die. It seems to kind of work a little, enough to keep downstairs a respectable temp. It's still warmer than we'd like but not so bad. Now upstairs is a different story. The A/C doesn't seem to work at all up there so it's been hot, hot, hot. Calling the repair people today!

Saturday we went to a birthday party in Pittsburgh. That night Dave and I went to dinner and a movie (the Avengers in 3D = 3 hours of non-stop explosions). It was our first "date night" and was a lot of fun. Cameron got up at his usual time (5 a.m.) so we watched the sun rise over downtown Pittsburgh. The view from my in-laws condo on top of Mount Washington is amazing!

Cameron basks in the glow of the morning sun.

On Monday we went to the Memorial Day parade. It was Cameron's first parade! I thought he'd be scared of the loud drums from the marching bands but he didn't bat an eye. The next three photos were taken by my mother-in-law.

 Cam made a new furry friend at the parade.

Our neighborhood pool opened this weekend so we checked that out for the first time after the parade. It was a lot of fun and not ridiculously crowded like we assumed it was going to be. I'm excited to have such easy access to a pool (right down the street from our house), especially for Cameron since he loves the water so much!

Cameron contemplates his attack on the kiddie pool.

 What kind of madness have you brought me into?

In between all of that Dave finished mulching the front yard (there were a few plant beds left), mulched around our mailbox and Cameron's playhouse and re-seeded a patch of grass. Phew! That's a lot of hard work in very humid, 90 degree weather! It all looks so, so, so nice though.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's OK Thursday!

Last week I gave Adventures of Newlyweds "Friday's Letters" a try and had a really good time reading and getting comments from other linkers. So this week I'm giving "It's OK Thursday" a spin!

"It's OK Thursday" is a feature that Amber from Brunch with Amber does every... you guessed it... Thursday! For those of you bloggers out there who have never linked up and done one of these- give it a try! It's fun to read others posts and I've noticed that I find a bunch of great blogs that I might not have otherwise come across and vice versa- they find mine! :)

It's OK...

...to grab a toy off the shelf at Target, open it and give it to your screaming baby in order to be able to shop just a few minutes longer.

...to scrub the spit up stain off your shirt with a wet wipe instead of changing your shirt even though it (and you) kinda smell like baby vom.

...that you go to Hot Yoga and think "Why do I put myself through this", "This sucks", "This is not relaxing" and "Really? Put my head where?" during the entire class instead of "clearing your mind" like you're instructed to.

...that you don't buy into the whole mind, body, spirit "thing" of yoga and just go to get limber and hopefully lose a few LB's because it's hotter (and smellier) than hell in there!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Mother of a weekend

We tackled a huge project last weekend- mulching the entire front yard. (I use "we" liberally, as always Dave did all of the heavy lifting, digging, raking and sweating.) For a few months now our yard has looked really shabby and I've been a little embarrassed especially since we're flanked by neighbors with yards that could be featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazines.

We started with quite an over grown mess. Instead of just hacking everything back and dealing with what we had we decided to pull everything out and start from scratch. So after mulching we're halfway there. Now it's just up to me to select the flowers, plants and shrubs- no small feat!

Here's the before...

And the after...

Yard work took up most of the weekend but there was also Cameron's weekly swimming lesson on Saturday and of course Mother's Day. I woke up to find a large gift waiting for me in our freshly painted sun room!

Dave finished the sun room the weekend  before. We eventually plan to replace the carpet with tile. The paint on the walls is Benjamin Moore Weston Flax HC-5, a really light, creamy yellow color.

Back to the important stuff... like my gift! As soon as I saw that it was from Don Drumm I had a good guess at what it could be...

A beautiful sun to grace the wall of our sun room! Love it so much! It's a perfect fit on the one wall we have in the room. Don Drumm is a well known Akron, OH based artist best known for his beautiful sun sculptures.

Of course I asked Dave to hang it up right then and there. While he got the tools he needed Cameron and Boo Kitty played with the ribbon. (Please don't write me... I know that it is not a good idea to give ribbon to babies but I was watching him the entire time and did not let him put it in his mouth nor did he ever attempt to wrap it around his neck. He mainly just looked at it and waved it around. And no, I won't ever assume that since he did not do any of that this time that he'll never do it another time.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday's Letters

I've been reading a feature called Friday's Letters by Ashley from Adventures of Newlyweds blog for a few months now and have decided to link up and do one for today! 


Dear Car, please make that same crazy noise that you make for me when Dave drives you today so he doesn't think I'm being overly paranoid. Dear Mulch, you are heavy and smelly but you certainly made our yard look neat and tidy! Dear Trees, please stop dropping, spreading and spraying your nasty pollen. I know you're just doing your natural thing but um I can't stop sneezing and my poor baby is all stuffed up. Dear one inch long ants, you are very creepy. Please go into my strategically placed ant traps and get a good amount of "stuff" on you and take it back to your creepy ant lair. Dear Ohio, winters are pretty rough but Spring, Summer and Fall are absolutely gorgeous here. Thank you for being so green, lush and beautiful!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

7 Months Old!

Yesterday was Cameron's 7 month birthday! Of course we celebrated with a little mini cake that he actually picked out himself. I'm not kidding, he really did pick it. I held up three cakes- chocolate, vanilla and rainbow and he actually looked at each of them for a few seconds and then reached over and pounded the top of the rainbow cake! (He just knew it coordinated with his birthday hat.) Of course, he doesn't actually eat the cake- that's my job (It's rough I tell ya!). I gotta say that I really wanted the chocolate turtle cake but he picked the rainbow one so what could I do, it was his birthday after all. :)

Grandma was on hand for the momentous celebration!

Look at that face! That's a face that says- "Mom, this has got to stop!"

For the record... I took two bites of his cake and that was plenty! It was like eating a sugar cube. Can't imagine having a child eat the entire thing, they'd be swinging from the rafters!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Amish Country!

I've been so obsessed and busy with posting my May Photo A Day challenge pics that I almost forgot to post about my trip to Amish Country! It was sooooo much fun and we learned so, so much about the Amish people and their amazing way of life.

These pics are all courtesy of my friend Paige. I don't know what happened but I think I must have just been in such awe that I only took a few measly pics on my own camera! Paige took some really great ones though so all was not lost.

The info and facts are also from Paige. She's an amazing 5th grade teacher so she's filled with so much great info and she's really good at sharing it!

There are approximately 200, 000 Amish people living in the US today. The highest population of Amish are currently living in Homes County, Ohio but a close second is Pennsylvania followed by Indiana. As the land in Holmes County and surrounding areas is diminishing, the Amish have relocated to Colorado, and even Australia.

From the time they arrived in the US around the 1700's, all Amish families owned and operated a farm. Since religious persecution pushed them into rural areas in Europe, the Amish have always nurtured the land and are known to be excellent farmers.

Today only about 15-20% of Amish families consider farming their source of income. Farming has given way to other industries like construction, furniture building, crafts, etc...

The Amish only attend school through the 8th grade, while the Mennonites usually continue on to high school and sometimes college. Before 1950, most Amish children attended public school. In 1972, The US Supreme Court ruled that the Amish children could end their formal schooling at eighth grade. They don't feel that further education is necessary to live on the land and farm.

Giddy for our Amish buggy ride!

Mr. Kline! He's an Old Order Amish. He was very friendly and was as interested in us as we were in him. He asked us questions about Los Angeles and movie stars. (Funny huh?) Mr. Kline worked his family farm for 26 years before retiring and turning it over to his oldest son. He started giving buggy rides soon after retiring and loves meeting and talking to new people every day. After the buggy ride we stayed and talked to him for about 45 minutes. He answered all of our questions truthfully and even elaborated on a lot of the questions giving us a real peek into the lives of the Amish.

We LOVE Mr. Kline and often wonder what he is up to!

We left Amish Country around 6 pm, right when most of the Amish were getting off of work and headed home so we were stuck in a sort of Amish traffic jam. It was awesome!

A typical Amish home.

Love this photo! Even Amish girls like to coordinate with their husbands. Ha!

Children are not part of the church until they are about 20 or 21, until they decide IF and when they want to become part of the church and obey all of the rules. At this point they would be baptized. They feel that giving their children the right to choose their faith, strengthens their willingness to obey and live the lifestyle. During a time known as Rumspringa which means "Running around", kids aged 16-20, may choose to dabble with dating, modern clothes, buying a car, watching TV, dating, and even trying drugs. Typically about 85-90% of their youth join the church.

 Since they do not use electricity, the Amish create extensive drying lines that are set up on a pulley system and can be as long as 200 yards.

 This is an Amish cemetery which must be constructed on top of a hill. There is no grieving in the Amish faith and they believe that the cemetery should be plain with no flowers. They simply feel that this is the end of God's path for them so there is no sense to be sad

Love these signs! They dot the road as you enter Holmes County.

The long and winding road home. Beautiful!