Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 2

Above: That is not my photo, but something I had seen online somewhere and saved on my computer. I came across it again earlier today. I figured I might as well post it with my daily stuff since I love it.

Not a whole heck of a lot going on here, but still trying to keep up with my little project. I took a few photos from today, and will make my pages on them later this week. These are just a few of my favorites from the day.

Last night I promised Megan that she could sleep downstairs with me. The boys went to bed and both fell asleep really fast. Megan and I stayed downstairs and I finished up my laundry (I had to wash a pair of pants I planned on wearing to work this morning, and of course waited until it was too late. So I had to wait up for the washing machine so I could put them in the dryer before going to bed.) She played her DS while I emailed Mike so he could have an email waiting for him when he woke up. There is a five hour time difference, so we usually plan to have an email to each other to wake up to.

I know it may seem odd, and my kids will probably someday need therapy because you never know when I'll show up with a camera....but it was sitting on my desk, and while I was getting ready for work I noticed how Megan was sleeping. She used to sleep exactly like that when she was an infant, and all through being a little girl. As big as she's grown, seeing her face like that reminded me that little girl is still in there. Or is it that the big girl was always there and her expressions haven't changed at all? Which ever it is, it is very familiar to me and I love it when I see these little things that have not changed over the years as my kids have grown. She's also laying with her head on top of Bear Bear. She was given that bear by Mike's dad when she was a baby. I remember when it used to be bigger than she was. She sleeps with him every night, and the poor thing looks like it has been well loved with it's stuffing all smushed down to one end of it, and it's eyes not as shiny as they used to be. I love that she still loves this bear. It's funny how each child has attached themselves to one animal in particular that they can't do without.

A week ago, Piper ran underneath the deck for some odd reason and came back out with a big gash on her back. We've been giving her regular baths to clean the wound which is about the size of an egg, and putting antibiotic medication on it. She got another bath tonight. She's getting smart, and ignores me no matter where I am when I call her for a bath. I do it at different times a day, offer treats or try to trick her in thinking we are going out and I catch her by her collar. How can a dog whose breed loves water, and she used to love her baby pool on the porch, hate water as much as she does now? She's never been traumatized by it....but you wouldn't know that by that sad face. "I reeeally hate this."

It is sweltering. I am not fond of that word, but is just that, in the truest sense of the word. Damn sweltering. We are in the middle of a heat wave, and when I talked to my sister the other day she said something that made me laugh because I had noticed it but hadn't really thought about it....the big red area that has been making the weather on the news lately that covers most of the eastern part of the US? We are right in the middle of it. Usually we have some hot days and our weather changes so fast that we know some relief can happen in a day or two. Not this time. I don't know when this is supposed to end, but it is awful.

I was sending a text yesterday while I was waiting for Piper in the yard. My screen was fogging up while I was trying to swipe the letters with my finger. Today when I opened my car door to walk into Kohl's, my sunglasses fogged up. That is something I'm not used to since I have never had to endure wearing glasses.

The thing is, it LOOKS so nice outside. It looks like it should be nice and happy, and when the sun goes down you should be sitting outside on your deck. Only it is HOT. (Still makes for some pretty sunsets though.)

Success! School shopping

I'm going to do a project this week that involves taking photos of random things throughout my week. Most people are starting their project on a Monday, but with summer, we really have no idea what day of the week it is anyway. Add to that, we are in a transition from one type of schedule to another when Mike is away....which comes before a big transition of the first week of school. Right now, this is our normal.

Megan had been asking me about a girl day since last week. I figured the day after Mike left would be a good one since I had the day off and knew I'd still be in full blown anxiety weirdness. (It always takes me awhile to level out.) and I figured a day out shopping would be a good thing to keep my mind busy since I didn't have to work. Plus the bonus of a paycheck that fell on this day with the added sweetness of some holiday pay in there too!

The boys stayed home - trust me, they wanted to - a few hours of uninterrupted video game playing? Why not? I did end up bringing them each a little Lego treat for being so good. Megan and I walked around the mall and stopped in a few stores. We found some perfect jeans at Aeropostale, and a few shirts. The man that rang us up noticed that when I put the non fitting jeans back into the display that I put them in folded and sized. He gave me an extra $10 coupon since we were brothers and sisters of retail.

Then we went to another of Megan's favorite stores. Abercrombie. Or AberZOMBIE as Trevor and Matthew call it. . We found a dress, and two shirts that she LOVES. So we have a small amount of things to start the new school year off with in a few weeks. Plus she knows that mom brings home some goodies once in awhile from my job so they are never out of clothing!

Afterwards we went to Panera Bread for lunch. I had a salad and Megan had a bowl of soup and a ceasar salad. It was too hot for something big. This was perfect. We love chick food.

Then we went over to Target and picked up the things I still needed to pick up for Matthew that were on his school supply list. All three kids are shopped for and done. The only thing left is getting fees paid next week and getting new schedules.

We found out Matthew's teacher just the other day. We couldn't have been happier. She's the one we had requested since she was Trevor's teacher in 4th grade. Matthew had had a rough year last year. His teacher should have retired last year. Her heart wasn't in to the class at all. I've since found out from parents from other children that have felt the same way. But we felt like Matthew was a bit lost last year. He would try to be good, be funny, be a part of things. He wanted nothing but to be a part of the classroom and have his teacher proud of him. I feel he fell through the cracks a bit. He came home sad a lot. Mike had gone to bat for him with the principal a number of times. Long story short, we made sure we could have a better year for him this year. It's so hard once you lose a child to feeling like "what is the point?" and they start to not enjoy school to help them find the way back again. Not this early....that shouldn't be happening in 3rd grade. So we are very optimistic. This new one is so sweet. She can be strict, but I already know I like her.

Megan is looking forward to school starting again. Trevor is cautious about it, and Matthew could not care less. I think that will change once he gets back in the swing of things again. Plus he's top dog fourth grader when the school only goes up to 4th! That's pretty cool.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

catching up....again.

It's hot. Plus I'm trying to avoid going upstairs because that means we will be leaving to take Mike to the airport. I didn't think that he'd be able to come home this rotation, so each week that passed was a bonus. - But I really hate departure airport day.

We did have a nice mini vacation that was MUCH needed. It started one night when I said something to Mike about U2. I was bummed that they were going to be in Chicago, but at that time it was scheduled for when Mike was probably going to be gone already. I figured my chances of seeing them on this tour were pretty slim.

He surprised me and found a way for us to go see them in Detroit. Plus a road trip, plus take the kids to Cedar Point. We were all happy! (click on image to enlarge.)

The road trip was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I love road trips. Seeing Detroit was pretty neat. Where we stayed was beautiful. I would have liked to have spent a few days there. However we had one night. Driving through was neat, I love industrial stuff. I loved seeing the car manufacturers. Those places are huge. Hard to describe HUGE.

Where Mustangs are born:

The concert was, of course, awesome. Love.

The next day we headed back towards Ohio and up to San Dusky. We got to the hotel and I kind of wanted to drive over to see the lake, and walk along the waterfront.

We found an area to park and walked out towards the water. We walked around, and the boys jumped all over rocks. We found a park that had things for the kids to play on and get out some road trip energy.

Pretty flowers:

Graffitti that I thought was actually kind of cute. Nom nom nom.

Pretty boats:

These geese were walking across a parking lot, all in a row. You can't tell from this photo. It looked like mom geese and their awkward preteen geese babies following them. They still had baby fuzz on them.

That's about it from here. Off to fold.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Lake Erie/Marlblehead

(Trying to get caught up on some blogging and some photos. I will be posting these backwards so they will all be in order when all vacation posts are done.)

On our last day we woke up without any real plans. We were going to wake up and take our time getting back home. We decided to take a scenic route, which was so nice and ended up being my favorite part of the whole trip. Aside from U2 of course, this was my favorite time with the entire family.

We passed all sorts of farms, most of which were open for selling produce. It reminded me a lot of what early Chandler looked like, and also reminded me of a story my mom told me when she was out here last summer....about how when her and her mom would travel in Ohio they would stop at a place and buy a tomato or something and eat it along side the road. I saw one sign for a place selling homegrown peaches that said, "Take a peach to the beach." We passed farm after farm, and things that seemed so Americana. It was so nice to not be in a hurry.

I saw a sign that said something about Marblehead lighthouse/state park and we decided we'd drive along and find it. The sign said that it was about 10 miles. We wound through a neat town that I would LOVE to go back and spend more time in. It had the neatest downtown area, with pretty old restored buildings, neat little art stores and antique stores, and local restaurants. We plan on going back and maybe spending a week or so there.

First we stopped at a little place along the side of the road to look at Lake Erie up close. Where we were, you could see Cedar Point across the water in the distance. We were taking pictures of the kids and letting them jump around on the big rocks. There was a woman and her husband sitting in chairs, reading magazines under a tree and enjoying the breeze coming off the water. She asked us if her husband could take a photo of all five of us. It sounded like a good idea, but seeing that he was down in his chair with a magazine I hated to have him move. He wasn't the one who offered, but I know he wouldn't have minded if we said yes. I just thought it was funny that she was the one who offered for him to take the picture. I've done that with Mike before.

After we had been there for about 10 minutes, another car with two older women pulled up and they got out and walked near the big rocks to look at the lake. Mike offered to take their picture together. It looked like a mom and daughter, mom being in her early 80's maybe. Mike started a conversation with them after taking their photo together. They talked about the state of the world, jobs going overseas, and how her husband had spent his whole life working for one of the auto manufacturers. She also told us how she had spent summers over at Cedar Point, long before all the 'scary' coasters. They were so sweet. I wish I could remember their names.

Then the other couple got up to walk around a bit and we started to talk to them. Same kind of small talk, but they were so proud telling us about their retirement home that they built and about their kids, and how they sail on the lake. They were really nice people, and it was really nice to talk to people and make friends. The kids enjoyed us being sidetracked since they probably thought we weren't watching and were throwing rocks into the lake, and watching some bird who kept diving under the water and coming up with fish.

We got back into the car and drove on to the lighthouse. Even though we really weren't in a hurry, we didn't have as much time as I really would have liked to have spent at the lighthouse. The weather was BEAUTIFUL. The park was pretty big, and people were running, playing frisbee, and eating outside. Unfortunately the lighthouse was closed for the day, but I wanted to just sit at the side of the water and love on the breeze. I could have spent hours here.

I have to admit to not realizing the scope of how big the great lakes really are. I knew that they were like oceans, that you couldn't see across them because of their size, but I've never seen one up until now. I definitely want to spend more time near them, and go back often.

The boys LOVED the big rocks. They jumped all over them.

Of course they had to play and try to dodge the water as the waves came up.

Which of course resulted in very wet shoes.

Megan brought her sketch book with her and found a good spot to sit for awhile. She was busy sketching the lighthouse and ships.

With a perfect view like this:

The residence at the lighthouse:

We got back into the van and started to head home. Along the way we spotted a few of the Ohio Bicentennial barns. I love barns, but these are fun to find on road trips.