Friday, July 8, 2011

July 4th

Here are some photos from July 4th weekend. I am too lazy to post anymore than this right now, but I know what a treat it is for you all to view the family moments I capture on my iPhone, and I would never dream of depriving you of this joy. What did you do for the fourth?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The "Ilyssa" plate

While my sister was in town we decided to go and paint ceramics. She is the one who re-introduced me to painting ceramics as an adult. I happen to think that the ceramics place we have here, Hands On Ceramics, is way better than the one she goes to on Long Island... It cost less, plus it’s bigger, friendlier and has a more relaxing feel to it.

Since my sister was in town, I decided to paint her plate this week. She painted an awesome tray to look like the Giants' football field. The sides of the tray had an incline so she painted those to be the stands. It looks super awesome. I'm not so sure my plate looks a whole lot like mys sister. But hey, I tried!

P.S. I am pretty sure I am ruining some sort of surprise by telling you about the football platter and then posting pics on here. So, um, SURPRISE MIKE!

I'd like to know, if you could do any art project, what would it be? 
Above: Ilyssa Painting
Below: The Giant's Football Stadium Plate

Friday, July 1, 2011

A St. Louis Adventure!

This past weekend was my first time exploring St. Louis. My sister came for a visit and her flight arrived in St. Louis late Friday night. We decided instead of driving all the way there and then turning around and driving all the way back and spending 4 hours in the car, that it would be fun to cash in Andy’s hotel rewards points and stay over for the weekend. We planned to fit a lot in just two days.

We left Columbia around 9:00, but first headed over to our friend Monica’s house for the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee cast Party. We could only stay about 15 minutes and then we hit the road.

This was Lilly’s first time staying in a hotel. She has trouble sleeping when she has to share the room. No let me rephrase, she refuses to fall asleep if others around her are still awake. So we decided the best thing to do would be to let her stay up an hour and half past her bed time and that we would ALL go to bed at 10PM. This way it would be dark and quiet so she could fall asleep. That was the plan.

By the time we got to the airport and got Ilyssa, it was already 11:30 and Lilly was fast asleep in her car seat. She was WIDE AWAKE when we got to the hotel at 12:00 AM. We got to our room and made it in about 3 feet before we noticed only one queen bed and a couch that didn’t open up. Andy went to complain to the front desk. When Andy told him there was only one bed, the man was like “WHAT!? Where could it have gone!?” He came to our room and proceeded to show us the door to the second bedroom. “Sir, you got the suite. It has two rooms.” Oops. That was embarrassing. After apologizing several times for making the guy come all the way to our room to help us find a giant queen sized bed we thought was missing, we set up Lilly’s pack and play and let her run around and get tired again.  

At about 1AM we were all ready for bed. We turned out the light and did our best to ignore Lilly’s whining, which thankfully lasted no more than two minutes before she fell asleep. Andy and I did a silent high five over this toddler bedtime victory, rolled over and promptly fell asleep.

Lilly didn’t wake up until 9:30 the next morning! We got our fabulous continental breakfast which included eggs, sausage, waffles, and yogurt among other things and headed out to the zoo! It was only 10:30 AM and was already HOT. The St. Louis Zoo is special to us because it is where Andy and I got married! After seeing, penguins, a cheetah, a bear, a tiger, pelicans, flamingoes, gorillas and  discovering Lilly is absolutely terrified of anything that is not human, we decided to get some lunch and head back to the hotel for naptime.

First we went to pick up the cake my sister ordered from the bakery that made our wedding cake. It was the same flavors as our wedding and cake tasted delicious!

After nap we headed to pride fest where we heard some great music, had some great drinks, and got like 12 bags of free potato chips! We let Lilly run around the park a little. She found these two guys sitting under a tree, ran over to them, and without hesitation just plopped down in the one guys lap. Luckily he found it just a funny and adorable as we did.

Next it was dinner time. We went to a place called Cheese-Ology where all they have is mac-n-cheese! They have tons of different flavors and everything we got was DELICIOUS! Lilly loved her dinner too and ate with a fork all by herself. She also colored. Directly on the table. So we had to wipe that off...  Thank God for Crayola washable crayons! Cheese-Ology was crowded, so we didn’t stay too long after we finished our meals.

The week before I searched the internet for something we could do on Saturday night that was kid friendly and would be open late so we could stick to our 10PM bed time without having a kid running around a hotel room for two hours first. I found the City Museum which was exactly what I was looking for! It is this amazing hands on museum with all kinds of things the whole family can enjoy and it is open until 1AM on Friday’s and Saturdays! There was a lot there that Lilly couldn’t do, but she had a blast playing in the toddler section, coloring on the giant blackboard wall with chalk, building with sponge blocks (and knocking said buildings over), and just seeing all the new and interesting things and watching the “big kids” play. As an adult, the City Museum was super fun! I might even like to try it without Lilly sometime.

We got back to the hotel at a good time and we all went to bed around 10:30. I had some trouble sleeping though. A storm came through and there were some really loud crashes of thunder. The loudest booming at 2:56 AM when I heard the hum of electricity die out and the hotel lost power. The storm settled down and I assumed the power would probably be back by the time we got up and I fell asleep. I woke up first, around 8:30 AM, and there was still no power. I went down to the front desk to check on the situation. They had no clue when the power would be back. There was no breakfast this morning, and the front desk attendant handed me a flashlight so I could use it to see in the bathroom. She assured me that the water was heated with gas so we could still shower.

The hot water was non existent. I braved the icy shower with a flashlight just barely providing enough light for me to determine which was the shampoo and which the conditioner. No sooner did I get dressed, but the power came back. Had I waited just 20 minutes I could have taken at least a warm shower!

We packed up the car and decided to skip the pride parade because of the heat (we didn’t want to sit in one place in the sun in that heat) and headed straight (no pun intended) to Six Flags!

Six Flags was fun. We did a couple of rides and purchased the $15 cup that gets you free refills for the day (which proved to be a very good purchase!). We decided pretty early on to walk back to the car, change into swim suits and hit up Hurricane Harbor. We spent most of the time playing in the giant kid’s area. It was so much fun! They had water pouring and spraying out of everywhere! Lilly had a blast! It felt soooo good to cool off! We spent about 3 hours there. By the time we finished it was 4PM and we headed back into six flags for a couple more rides and few last fill ups of that blasted $15 cup (we filled it up 12 times, so totally worth it). 

Lilly slept very well that night. All in in all it was great mini-vacation! Now here are some photos I took with my phone. I'll hopefully add some better ones, as both Andy and Ilyssa were snapping away with nice cameras all weekend.
Above and Below: Lilly watching the penguins from a safe distance so they wouldn't eat her alive.Or so she thought. 
Above: The Weener Mobile out and about in STL
Below: Tower Grove Park where Pridefest was held.
Above: Ilyssa and Andy at Cheese-Ology
Below: Our delicious Mac-N-Cheese meals!
 Below: Lilly enjoying the giant black board at the City Museum