oot and aboot...

emma and i made our first journey to the lake erie nature and science center today with some of our friends (and cousin ben too). talk about a neat little place...and it was free! the indoor building contains various classrooms, a planetarium, water creatures (i.e. fish), reptiles, arachnids and lots of stuffed (formerly living) animals. though it was too cold to venture outside, there was also an outdoor exhibit. according to a report from our little friend tate, there were deer, turkeys, owls and such out there.

.this photo courtesy of aunt jenna.

despite being a bit under the weather, emma had a blast being able to explore, touch and play. we even saw nature at work...the piranhas in the tank were having themselves a little snack consisting of another one of its own.

we made ourselves comfortable in one area of the building where we had lunch and let the wee babies crawl and sprawl. .

it was great fun. i even ran into cousins of 2 of my students from the Y. that's the first time someone recognized me before i recognized the other person


what is a cleveland accent?

while strolling through not martha, i came across this blog. what a great name. it has also helped confirm my suspicions that a cleveland accent does exist.

doggy dog visitor and other reflections

we had a visit from meg last week while gram and pap went w/ corrie and mamaw to washington d.c. i have to admit, it is nice to have a dog around again. i think we'll get another dog eventually, but we need to save up some money for it. there are some great sites for orphaned dogs and i think we'll probably find a pup from one of the rescue sites.

emma enjoyed having meg around, and brought out books to "read" to her. it was too funny. she did get rather upset when meg ate her cereal bar. of course, emma put the darn thing right infront of her nose.

our little girl is growing so quickly. it's hard to imagine the time when all she did was gurgle and coo at you. now she talks all the time. we're trying to work on forming 2-word phrases with her, but she hasn't quite mastered that except for thank you. she is fairly independent, so we've had to quickly start forming boundaries and rules in order to keep her safe. once they're set, she does pretty well adhering to them...it's defining them that's hard.

tyler just finished learning a little bit about the holocaust and hitler at school. they're focusing on historical fiction books at school right now, and he's currently reading one based on the french-indian war (or maybe it was the revolutionary war? one of those.). he's participating in a boy's club at school which meets every tues. during lunch and recess. it was strange that he wanted to do it, because the counselor's intention on forming the club was to teach the particularly aggressive/difficult boys how to practice self-control, anger management and working together. but i think he was drawn to the idea of being a part of an all boys club.

this summer, aaron and i will have been together for 7 years. i am amazed at how much life changes during that time, and how fast the kids grow (don't i just sound like my parents?). looking back, most of it was like a blur, but all of it was awesome. thinking forward another 7 years, tyler will be in his last year of high school...ack! i don't want to think about it anymore.



i finally finished the second tea towel for grandma this past weekend.

we also went to a birthday party sat. night and i did a last minute tea towel embroidery. we wanted to use the tea towel to wrap up the actual gift, which was a bottle of wine. but wrapping it up in a plain white piece of cloth is not very exciting, so i decided to do some quick embellishing.

i'm currently working on some pillowcases for yet another VERY late christmas present for mamaw. i'll post photos once they're finished.


for all you bacon lovers...

not only is there bacon salt (which happens to be kosher & vegan...hmmm...), but now you can make your very own bacon vodka! doesn't that sound like bacon heaven?


rock hall on MLK day

out the door with the kids by 10 a.m. (only a half-hour behind planned departure time), we headed to the rock and roll hall of fame. they are offering free admission today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. along with various events held through out the day.

i'm thankful we got there earlier than later. the museum really started to fill up around noon. they had a special exhibit on the doors and the beatles up on the very top floor, but i think the lower level has to be the best part of the museum with a vast display of music through the ages. while emma was primarily fascinated with the holes in the metal benches, aaron was drooling over all the vintage gibson guitars. there was plenty to see...from madonna's cone-shaped corset to janis joplin's hippie-fied porsche. we also ran into our friends todd and debbie who took a quick look around with their wee ones, but left shortly after they arrived because of the growing crowd in the museum. compared to emp in seattle, i think the rock hall offers a lot more for visitors (though emp may have changed since i went 5 yrs. ago), especially since both places charge about $20 for admission. however, i would not pay $20 to go to a museum. needless to say, the only times we've ever been to both locations were when they were offering free admission.

a little martin luther king trivia for you...
  • martin luther king day was not a nationally observed holiday until 1986, almost 18 years after his assassination.
  • as of 2003, there were more than 730 streets in u.s. cities and towns named after dr. king.
**update as of 11:08 p.m.**
per 19 action news, angela bassett was at the rock hall today as part of the MLK celebration. i guess that's why the lobby was crammed with people.


on "mean moms"

to all parents and parents-to-be: here is an encouraging post i just read about parenting and discipline (jon and jenna, i thought of you after what happened tonight). it's no always easy. it takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. but your children are worth it...more than any other tangible thing in this world :).

food notes

we (actually just emma and i) love our soy products. we had shared some tofu w/ soy sauce for a snack today, and then for lunch emma had soy nuggets drizzled w/ honey and some frozen peas. these soy nuggets are rather tasty...really. also, if you're looking for a low in fat meat alternative, these are great to snack on (4 nuggets has 2 g. fat and 120 calories). the frozen peas are a hit w/ her too. it's a fun, portable, and healthy snack that's easy to pop in her mouth. what's funny is that she actually prefers frozen peas over defrosted ones.

other food notes-we made tomato quiche the other day using the recipe from the superbaby food book. i used a rice and cheese mix for the crust, which i also got from the book.

the meal was a hit with everyone, and it was super easy to make. the quiche takes 30-45 minutes to bake, so while we waited for it to set we went outside to walk and play in the snow.

after expending a bit of our energy outside, we were ready to dig into our warm, oven-baked dinner. yum!


back in time

per blogher, library of congress and flickr have teamed up to start a pilot project: "the commons." impressive photos. i hope this project sticks. talk about going back in time.


bothersome boy

so maia wrote about an issue w/ playground etiquette yesterday, and we had a similar experience w/ emma today.

indoor play areas at the mall are a popular destination for cold and snowy days, and that's where we headed today. we went in the morning to avoid the mall moms that come in masses around lunch time, but there were still a few kids running around once we got there. emma had climbed into this pretend car, and before she knew it she had found herself being climbed and trampled on by this boy who was trying to get into the car too. aaron then proceeded to grab him off her, sternly reprimanding him for his behavior, and rescued the crying emma out of the car. instead of correcting this boy's behavior, his mother (who was busy writing before the "incident" happened) merely tells him to get into the car from the other side (apparently where emma wasn't sitting at?). i mean, this boy looked old enough to know better-she should at least take a more "disciplinarian" tone with him. later on, emma gave him the "if you mess with me i'll sick my brother on you" look. i think that scared him off.


crazy hair day

school spirit week began monday at tyler's school. today was crazy hair day. after many, many globs of elmer's glue, much pulling, some tugging, and hours and hours (well...maybe more like a half hour) of blow drying...

...BEHOLD, measuring 5 inches in height, the finished product.

eating clones

i'm watching the news right now and they just talked about the FDA's approval for consuming cloned animals. companies will be able to market cow, pig and goat products without having to label them as cloned. kind of creepy of you ask me (and not at all natural). fortunately, it's still much too costly to "make" those animal clones so it will be a long while before we will unknowingly consume "man-made" meat. phew.


let's bowl!

what's the best way to spend a cold, dreary sunday afternoon? bowling! we met up with family and friends at put-in-bay for a few games of bowling, and i guess everyone else had the same idea. we started with one lane, but fortunately we didn't have to wait long for a few more to open up. at first, emma was a little fearful of all the pins knocking together, but by the end she was happily cheering everybody on (even when they got gutter balls!). i was the BIGGEST looser, coming in last for both of the games i bowled (boohoo). so sad.

first recital

here are a few photos from the recital (i didn't post these ones on flickr). don't the little girls just look too cute in their tutus? there was a lot of positive feedback from the parents about the recital, which was good to hear. i also received some great feedback from the aquatics director, who was there helping me out w/ setting up & breaking down chairs. apparently, i impressed him w/ my organizational skills (has he seen my house? ha, ha). it has definitely been a great learning experience putting on this recital, and now it's time to start planning for spring!



the fall recital was a success. i anticipated around 30-40 people showing up, and about 75 came. needless to say, the aerobics studio was pretty packed (and stuffy). i think the spring recital will need to be held in a space with a stage. the girls did fabulous despite a month without practice, and those little ones looked ADORABLE in their little tutus. tyler was a LIFE-SAVER for coming in with me to help set-up and run the music. not only were the parents impressed with their child's performance, they were also impressed with how mature and helpful tyler was as he was assisting me. anyway, more details and photos later. right now, i just want to SIT and veg.


monkey, monkey

a special surprise awaited emma tonight when we headed over to jon & jenna's for dinner. two little sock monkeys sat in a chair, each with its own little monkey cup waiting for their owners to notice them. gram had made two sock monkeys, one for ben and one for emma, and they are absolutely adorable!


kids in action

the last few days, though VERY breezy at times, has been warm (i believe it was 60 degrees on monday). so warm in fact, that all the snow from last week is gone. though cooler weather has returned, we managed to play outside today. emma, who had forgotten about her big wheel, rediscovered the joys of riding it again (sorry, no photo). then tyler joined us after he finished his homework, and we continued the fun in the backyard.

great product

a gal @ the Y gave me this for christmas and i'm in love with it. first, i like the fact that it's in spray bottle. convenient. no mess-especially when you're trying to sanitize little hands. second, i like how it leaves my hands feeling soft and smooth afterwards. i also think it smells great, and even tyler likes the aroma. just thought i'd share.

dinner conversation

"so in science class..."


"...marshayla kept copying me. i was doing this [picking nose with finger] and then she would do it. and then i would do..."

"wait, did you say in science class?"


"was this during free time or was this when the teacher was talking?"

[pause] "umm...while the teacher was talking."

"what are you supposed to be doing when the teacher is talking?"


"are you able to pay attention to her if you're busy trying to get marshayla to pick her nose too?"


"no more doing that when the teacher is talking."


"now, what else did you try to get marshayla to do?"


monday, monday...

everything is pretty much back in full swing for 2008. tyler returned safely to us on sat. and started school today much to his dismay (at least he's honest about how he feels). emma started a story-time/baby and me program today, which will be going on every monday for 1/2 hour (i think it ends some time in feb.). we went this morning and she wasn't quite sure what to make of it at first. the nice thing was that there was a lot of reading involved and she LOVES to read. they also did rhymes which were posted on the wall...too bad i couldn't read them very well...and i think it will be good for her to learn to interact with other babes. aaron came along as well, though i think it will be the only time he makes an appearance-there were only other mommies there...no daddies. i do recall seeing some dad's during the evening story time session, but i guess if you sign up during the day most dad's are off at work. right now, the program is held at the small branch on madison ave., but once they finish all construction at the main branch it will be moved there. it will be much nicer once it's back over to the main branch because there'll be more space and it will be walking distance from our house!

the weekend was pretty low-key. we did take down our christmas tree though. i must admit, having a faux tree makes clean up much easier, and how convenient it is to just throw the parts back in the box. tonight, ohio state will be playing for the BCS national championship (again). hopefully, they can finish the season with a bang...go buckeyes!



winter session has begun at the Y so i'm back to teaching. my jazz/hip-hop class started today, and all the little ballerinas start this saturday. i'm still amazed how school teachers do it, day-in and day-out. they are absolutely amazing people. so this time around, i put together a brochure w/ class descriptions, program policies and my bio, which i should have done for fall session (oh well). this way, all parents will know what to expect from the class and there will be no surprises (had some "issues" w/ that last session). anyway, time for me to bust a move so i can figure out what else to teach for my hip-hop class (since i am so very well-versed in that particular area of dance). oh, on a side note, every time i work out a sequence when emma is around, she gets so excited and starts doing her own little dance moves. it makes me laugh, and i am so glad that she likes to dance too. she can kick and tap her foot on the floor, and she'll also lift her leg up to the side and bring it around to the front (sometimes pointing her foot). i've also started teaching her the difference between pointing and flexing her toes...she mostly just laughs when i help her do it. i can't wait until she's old enough to be in a dance class. hopefully, it will be something she wants to do.


new year's kiss

ummmwah! a new year's kiss from me to you!
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