Sunday, September 30, 2007

And the Ballons Are Where, Exactly?

Yesterday the weather in Louisville was BEAUTIFUL and we had plans to meet up with our friends, the Burkes, at the Bluegrass Balloon Festival. According to their website and the write-up in the newspaper, over 90 hot air balloons participate in the festival which is held at Bowman Field. Besides balloons, there is fair food and inflatables for the kiddos. It was a mere $7.00 parking fee to attend so it seemed like a perfect idea.

We got to the festival around three p.m. and everything was pretty much as expected. Around twenty inflatables were set up. There were your standard mylar balloon stands with $7.00 mylar balloons for your precious child to hold for approximately 2.3 seconds before letting said balloon sail off into the sky. Food stands and a beer tent with obnoxiously over-priced draft beer were tucked into a corner. All of this was set up in a circular fashion with a big open grassy field in the middle.

Silly me, I expected this field to be filled with beautiful, colorful balloons. But, no, there were NO balloons. Thinking that they would show up well before the six o'clock scheduled beginning of the balloon glow, we hung out, ate a funnel cake and let the kids run around. Three hours later, the closest we'd gotten to seeing a balloon was when the Dean's Milk Cow balloon truck pulled up and parked in front of us.

Honestly, I am really disappointed by this experience. It was great to see Kevin, Amber and Jessie, but I am totally let down by the whole balloon festival fiasco. In fact, I am going to use the "contact us" feature of the festival's website to make a few suggestions, something along the lines of them having at least a few balloons on display during the afternoon of the festival...

All was not lost in that I was able to get a few good pictures. Here is Jonathan happily waiting for planes to take off:

And here he is with Jessie hanging out on a picnic table. It's so funny to see him with Jessie because you would think he was the younger of the two but he is actually older than her by at least seven months. Isn't she adorable in her sunglasses?

They had a "sample" out of service balloon that they had set up with cold air so that you could walk inside it. Although I thought this was really cool, both Jonathan and Jessie were scared of it.

Today is supposed the be equally as nice as yesterday so perhaps we will go to the Italian American festival, which is also going on this weekend. But if there is no Italian food, I am going to be one unhappy person...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Girl, A Chihuahua, Whatever...

The second day or so of vacation, Sarah and I decided it just made sense to put Amelia and Jonathan in the bathtub together. Both of them LOVED it so we pretty much had to give them a bath together every night thereafter. Jonathan loved having all the room (he's still in his baby duck tub at home) and Amelia enjoyed her first encounters with bath bubbles. A fun time was had by all and, of course, I had to take pictures. I also had to be sure, prior to posting, that the pictures were G-rated, as Jonathan really enjoyed standing up in the tub. This one is actually the only one that did not have inappropriate frontal:

The last night of vacation, Jonathan and Amelia enjoyed their bath but Amelia was ready to get out before Jonathan was ready. My mother was going to give Pebbles a bath and Jonathan was insistent that she take a bath with him. So we just put her in the tub. Jonathan thought it was a hoot but Pebbles looked as mortified as it is possible for a chihuahua to look. You can't tell it here because she actually refused to look at the camera, that is how embarrassed she felt.

And just so I can be finished with the vacay pictures, I will throw in some random ones. About halfway through the trip, Jonathan discovered that he liked picking up sea shells. He really did not care about the quality, but it was nice that he would wonder around with Daddy for a while and fill his bucket. That was a nice break from the mommy-clingies that dominated most of our trip.

This next one was taken on a morning that started off ominous looking but actually turned out to be one of the better days, temperature wise. I really liked Jonathan in this outfit and I loved it even more when I remembered it was $2.86 at Sam's last fall!

Here you will see Jonathan and Amelia cooperating. Not really a strong toddler skill but they played well together (or at least around each other) overall.

This is of Jonathan in one of the Speedo suits they had at Target this year, the ones where you zip the inflatables right into the suit. They were not as effective as I'd hoped, but Jonathan was pretty darn funny walking around in it.

All in all, a good time was had by all. It's nice to be home and settled in for a bit--at least until Jonathan and I voyage to West Virginia next weekend!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Shutterfly--That Funny!

One of Jonathan's favorite things to say right now is "that funny" and then laugh like a complete dork. Well, that saying totally applies to the following. It's a link to a Shutterfly video I created with just the simple act of uploading one picture. Jonathan thought it was hysterical. Watch Jonathan in a number of amusing attires here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Currituck Lighthouse

I've been a bit lax on my posts this week. I had forgotten how hectic it is to get back in your regular schedule after a week of vacation. In my case, it's been even worse due to the fact that I lost my kick-butt assistant this week and am having to start all over with a new girl, who I am sure will be great but there is always a learning curve. Add to this the fact that Jonathan has been under the weather for a few days (which culminated in a back seat vomit coating this morning while I attempted to take him to buy new shoes) and I just have not had time to sit at the computer. However, as the kiddo is currently enthralled by the Curious George rocket ship video, I now have an opportunity to blog a bit more about vacation.

As I've already posted, we stayed in Corolla this year. From the deck of our beach house, you could see the Currituck Lighthouse. In fact, it was close enough that you could walk to it and take a tour. This is the first lighthouse I have ever seen in person and it looked pretty cool even from afar. Before I get into the pictures, though, here is a brief history lesson:

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse, also known simply as the Currituck Lighthouse, is located in the community of Corolla on Whalehead Hill, 40 miles equidistant from Oregon Inlet and Cape Henry, Virginia. When this lighthouse was illuminated for the first time on December 1, 1875, it completed the chain of lights along the North Carolina coast by filling in a previously dark 80-mile gap. One of the three lighthouses modeled after the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, the Currituck Beach Lighthouse has never been painted in order to distinguish it by daylight from Bodie, Lookout, and Hatteras Lighthouses. The red brick, 158 foot structure sits in a wooded area on sandy land. An underground structure of heavy timbers supports the tower in the sandy terrain and an interior steel staircase strengthens the building. The entrance to the lighthouse has served as a work area for the lightkeeper and as storage for whale oil to light the lamps.

Bryan, who is not too pleased with heights, to put it nicely, kindly agreed to visit the lighthouse with me. It really is an impressive structure and the grounds are beautifully maintained.

The fee to climb was a mere $7.00, all of which benefited the restoration fund for the lighthouse. It was pretty warm outside and there were some people in the lighthouse who apparently thought soap and deodorant were optional, but, overall, the climb was not nearly as bad as I would have thought:

The view from the top was nothing short of amazing! When I first stepped out on the observation deck, it took my breath, but I adjusted in a short period of time.

Bryan was even comfortable enough to pose for this self portrait:

Jonathan missed out on this experience, partially due to the fact that we went due to his nap time but mostly due to the fact that the Cragos went before we did and said that the railings at the top were far enough apart that a toddler could slip though. Maybe next year!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Tale of a Reluctant Beach Baby

I really talked up the beach before we went on vacation, elaborating on the awesomeness of the ocean, sand, sea shells, etc. Jonathan really bought into it and wanted to see the ocean immediately upon our arrival on Saturday. So Bryan said he would unload the van while Mom (who had not been to the beach for at least 15 years), Jonathan, Pebbles and I walked down to the ocean. Jonathan eagerly ran across the beach and into the ocean. The ocean responded, as oceans do, by splashing on him and then retreating. This startled the poor boy, causing him to turn abruptly and fall down. He apparently blamed this incident on the ocean, vowing never to return to said ocean without a good deal of coaxing by yours truly and even then only if I was holding him.

This was disappointing to me, but what can you do? I LOVE the ocean, despite my swimming inadequacies, and I hoped he would feel the same, but not so much. So, much like last year, Jonathan was perfectly content to sit in the sand and play with ocean water in a bucket. Not too exciting, but it did amuse him for upwards of thirty minutes at a time, leaving me free to read a book. That, I liked.

He was even apprehensive about the hole Jody dug. How any little boy could resist this creation is beyond me:

And this next one is Bryan's attempt to be artistic. It's actually a pretty good attempt in my opinion. You can see (if you look closely) that I am holding Jonathan. He was probably crying because that's what he did for the first few days whenever I went near the ocean with him, but you can't tell because our backs are to the camera.

Maybe he was smarter than the rest of us because there were a lot of these in the water and on the beach. We found out later they were not poisonous due to their lack of tentacles, but still pretty yuck nonetheless.

And also these, apparently due to the tropical storms a'brewing out in the Atlantic:

Interestingly, although he was scared of the ocean, if I asked him right this second if he liked the ocean, he would emphatically answer yes. There is truly nothing like the workings of a two-year-old brain.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Vacation: The Beginning

Our trip to the Outer Banks was wonderful this year! This is the third consecutive year we have gone there. The first year was in Kitty Hawk with 27 other people (I am SO not joking!) and last year we stayed in Duck with our friends the Cragos. This year was also spent with the Cragos but this time we stayed in a house in Corolla. For those of you not familiar with the area, the Outer Banks is an island and Corolla is at the northern tip of that island. It's a relatively new area, open for development within the last thirty years or so. It is totally beautiful with a ton of really nice rental houses but rustic enough that the road ended onto the beach just about a mile north of us and there are still wild horses that roam free.

We started out on Friday and drove to my parents' house in WV. After we spent the night there, we loaded up our rental minivan with ourselves and also my mother and one of her chihuahuas, Pebbles (to be featured later). Mom tagged along so as to help with the kiddos during times when the other four adults wanted to go do dinner, kayaking, etc. In exchange, she got a free vacation. Win, win.

We made it to the rental office of Southern Shores about an hour and a half ahead of schedule (the whole trip is around 12 hours) and luckily our house was ready so we didn't have to try to amuse Jonathan. Jonathan was, overall, very good on the trip to the beach, helped along substantially by the in-car DVD player. Honestly, I don't know how our parents traveled with us without one of those things! It was truly a godsend.

Our friends came from Chicago and arrived a few hours after us. A bevy of unpacking, grocery shopping and wine consumption ensued. When we checked in, the rental folks warned us of a tropical storm as did The Weather Channel for most of the day on Sunday. Fortunately, although said storm hit the Outer Banks, it was a few hours south of us and we got but a mere sprinkle. We actually had perfect weather up until this past Saturday morning, which we did not mind a bit since we were headed out that day and it's always easier to leave the beach when it's dreary outside.

Anyway, our friends have a little girl, Amelia, who will be two in November. Jonathan dubbed her "Mia"; she called him "boy" and sometimes "buddy." Along with a female toddler came female toddler toys. Jonathan, as I suspected he would, became immediately enamored with the baby doll stroller.

Of course, if you are going to push the baby stroller, you must insert a baby into it. Not surprising, Amelia brought a baby, too. This was like Christmas to Jonathan. He really wanted to take care of the baby so he was careful to put her into the stroller just so...

A baby stroller can only hold a man's attention for so long, so it was just a matter of time before Jonathan moved on to other amusements. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Jonathan Potato Head:

With the beautiful weather, we, of course, made several trips to the beach. As this has already been a double posting day and also my first day back at work after vacation, I am too tired to post more, but I will resume soon...

Mr. Postman

We are back from vacation and I took fair amount of pictures that I PROMISE to post soon (perhaps even later this evening, at least the first round). But I wanted to add this quick post to share my Halloween 2007 costume success.

As I posted previously, I was considering an Elmo costume. Well, once I saw the actual costume in person, I was less than impressed. So I decided to just pick something I liked since next year Jonathan will likely have his own ideas about what he wants to be. So, thanks to Janice and her recent post about the fantastic costumes she bought for her adorable kiddos, I found some really creative costumes at Buy Costumes. Although there were several that gave me a chuckle, this is what I decided on:

Seriously, could that be any funnier??

Thursday, September 6, 2007

“It's a jungle out there kiddies. Have a very fruitful day.”

OK, we're totally not going to the jungle, but what's vacation without a fun Jimmy Buffett quote? I would take a picture of our dining room table which is currently piled high with an ungodly amount of earthly possessions but our camera is somewhere IN those possessions, so I'm not able to share. BUT, because I feel like you need a picture in every blog, here is a picture of the house where we are staying. I am SO excited about having our own pool--I just know Jonathan is going to love it!

Everyone have a great week and I will miss all of you (is that sad or what, but I totally will!) I promise to take a lot of pictures so I can do a series of vacation blogs like Kim did!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ten Tons of Change

As Bryan and I are just two days away from leaving for vacation, we decided to cash in our "change bucket" so as to have some extra spending money. This should have been an easy task as our bank, which is a mere four blocks from my parking garage, has one of those coin-toss things that you pour all the coinage in and it prints out a paper slip that you then give to the teller. Easy, right?

Not so much. So, for starters, I vastly underestimated the weight of the bag of money. You see, my husband, for some reason, actually OWNS a money bag. Last night, he put all of the money into this bag. I noticed it was heavy when I took it to the car this morning but didn't give it too much thought. Jonathan and I took my car for an oil change and then I took him to school. It was around 9:30 am when I lugged the bag of money out of the car and headed to the bank. I thought I might get mugged if I just waltzed down the street carrying a bag-o-cash, so I put it in my purse. I was carrying a good sized black Coach bag and the coins fit into it. Unfortunately, though, it made the bag so heavy that I had to carry it with both hands instead of over my shoulder.

Still undaunted, I began the trek to the bank. By this time, it was over 90 degrees and I was wearing a suit and heels because I had a few traffic cases this morning. I make my way to the bank and even have to take a detour for a closed sidewalk. I finally open the door to the lobby and immediately realized there was a problem--the coin machine was not there. I thought, foolishly, that they had just moved it. But no, they apparently decided they don't need one at that branch anymore. They offered me coin wrappers. I contemplated killing one of the tellers. Eventually, though, I just walked back out, feeling pretty deflated. Then I called my husband, almost in tears as I was now a hot, sweaty mess who had to carry this same darn bag of coins back to the car. And he laughed at me. Not one for sympathy, that guy.

The story ends well, however, as Jonathan and I took the cursed bag to Kroger after work. They have a similar machine that I was all too happy to pay the almost 9 cents per dollar to cash in my change. The happy news is that, even with the fee (the bank would have been free, of course), I walked out with just over $125.00!

Unrelated, but a much more upbeat story, can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture?

Yes, that's right, my miniature of a child has taken a liking to Mommy's shoes. I think it's the perfect idea as this means he can finally be the same height as the other kids in the Twos. Heck, he may even be taller!

Bryan was also in the room as Jonathan happily clicked around the room. He is sure that I am the cause of this new-found love because I let him use Victoria's Secret pink sparkly strawberry flavored lipstick. I say, who cares, he's cute anyway!