Instawhat: Week of 8/4

20130815-112428.jpg

One of Bug’s favorite places to play right now is the baby’s room.  I’d say it’s because he’s getting ready for his sister to arrive or something deeper, but really it’s just because it’s full of toys that he hasn’t played with in a long time.  Like this puzzle.  As soon as we took the pieces out, he said, “Let’s have a battle!”  And so we did.  Nobody won, because he decided that the animals became friends.  Sweet boy.  Love that imagination.

20130815-112437.jpg

Some lobster crackers that I ordered for work a couple of weeks ago came individually wrapped in these little bubble wrap bags, cardboard and zip ties.  Awesome for Bug, not awesome for Momma, who spent like 20 minutes unwrapping 50 crackers.  I brought a bunch of the bags home and we experimented  with fun ways to pop the bubbles.  The fun lasted about 5 minutes before we had popped them all.

20130815-112446.jpg

“Mom, take a picture of this!”  He was making some kind of animal sound while he made this face.  Alas, that was a whole week ago and I can no longer remember the sound he was making.  Because I’m pregnant and spacy.

Have a great weekend!

Advertisements

Instawhat: Weeks of 7/21 & 7/28

20130806-103412.jpg

This is Bug’s new friend Noah.  Noah’s super awesome parents just moved here on a total leap of faith to be the worship leaders of our church.  They moved to a new city & state knowing only a few people… just picked up and moved.  They have garnered a lot of respect from me!  We’ve really enjoyed getting to know them and showing them a little bit about where we live… like Mote Marine!  One of our favorite places to spend a morning.

20130806-103421.jpg

The day we visited Mote, we took the boys across the street to have a little picnic lunch.  Not a bad spot for a picnic, huh?  The boys loved watching boats go by!  You will notice here that Bug looks quite a bit shorter than Noah.  This is true.  And, of course, Noah is 3 months younger than Bug.  Story of my poor short kid’s life.

I realize it doesn’t look like much of an incline, but this is pretty much the biggest hill in Venice.  It’s part of the Legacy Trail, which is the amazing bike trail that I run on.  This bridge goes over US 41.  I used to look at this bridge as a challenge during my run.  Now I stop and walk and take pictures.

20130806-103435.jpg

Sometimes, Bug wakes up too early for my liking.  Especially after I’ve worked a late night.  Hubby goes to work at 7am, and his car often wakes up a small child.  If I don’t have to work that morning, or if we don’t have plans of some kind, Bug gets to pick out a movie and climb in bed with me.  We both think this is awesome.  He’s holding a Tums in that picture that was left over from the night before on my bedside table… I wouldn’t let him eat it, so he just held onto it for like 45 minutes.

20130806-103450.jpg

It was my turn to wait for the hood cleaners at work last week… yay!  Once a quarter, guys come to clean the hoods in the kitchen.  Instead of leaving work at about 11pm, someone gets to stay with the hood guys until, oh, about 2am.  It’s awesome.  I decided to make the most out of that time and work on a project.  I started making a paint chip mobile for baby girl’s room.  It turned out pretty cute… eventually I might even do a little tutorial on it.

This is Bug.  He was once a baby.  He is now a big boy.  Just ask him.  I love looking in on him while he’s sleeping, because he just looks so… so… grown up!  Until I realize that his Bud (his lovey blanket) his in his mouth because he fell asleep sucking it.  That makes me feel a little better… like he’s not growing up quite so fast.

Instawhat: Photo Dump

20130721-232249.jpg

Hi there.  We’ve been busy living summer.  This here’s a photo dump of what I posted on Instagram for the end of June and most of July.  These pictures pretty much sum up our summer thus far.  See that freckle faced boy?  Poor Casper has skin just like his mommy & daddy… fair & freckled.  No amount of sun leaves a tan on him.  Not that the constant application of 55 spf helps that situation.  It does, however, help that whole skin cancer issue.  You’re welcome, Bug.

20130721-232335.jpg

I never thought about this when we were naming him, but I am thankful that we chose a short, easy to spell, easy to write name for our son.  He’s been able to spell Eli for months, and now he’s figuring out how to write it.  This was the first time I had him try it (though they may have practiced at school).  With the exception of the letters themselves being backwards, I was was really impressed.

20130721-232351.jpg

I manage a full service restaurant.  We all know that.  We also cater.  Catering is kind of my baby at work, and we went from rarely catering (like, maybe once a year) to catering events 6-8 times a year.  I love being able to cook something fresh for someone’s wedding or birthday.  I also love the challenge of making a beautiful, delicious meal in an unconventional setting… makeshift kitchen, cooking out of coolers, etc.  We have yet to cater an event where people weren’t really happy, and that makes all of the stress of the organization and timing totally worth it.  This particular wedding was at the same estate where Hubby and I got married, which made it extra special for me.  This couple’s first dance was to Jack Johnson’s “Better Together,” which happens to be the same song that Hubby & I shared our first dance to almost 7 years ago.  I was very excited about that.  Also, the couple had their first date at our restaurant, which I thought was pretty awesome.  It sideways torrential downpoured about thirty minutes before that photo was taken.  Yay for improvising & for portable sunshades!

20130721-232409.jpg

Hubby and I got to go golfing.  By ourselves.  We laughed a lot.  Love that man.

20130721-232431.jpg

Fourth of July to me is celebrating with friends and family on the beach and watching the fireworks go off over the water.  This year we were able to share the evening with our new friends from church, some of whom had never experienced the 4th the way we do it in a coastal town.  Our little boy got to play with all of his buddies… I was in heaven watching him be so excited and happy.

20130721-232442.jpg

After breakfast one morning, Bug said, “Mommy, let’s snuggle.”  Couldn’t say no to that.  Plus, we were both wearing our tie-dyed shirts that we made together.

20130721-232449.jpg

Random boat trip on the Myakka River.  We packed a lunch, cruised for a bit and just spent time together.  It was a beautiful day with my boys.

20130721-232456.jpg

A long time ago, when I first started blogging, I had a Pineapple Project.  A pineapple grew from a pineapple grew from a pineapple plant I had planted and I documented the process.  That first pineapple was 4 years ago.  That same plant grew another fruit the following year.  The original plant died off, leaving a pup plant, which is what pineapple plants do.  That pup finally bore fruit this year.  Usually, pineapples start growing in the summer and are ready to eat by December or so… or, at least, my last two pineapples followed that timeline.  This guy started growing in the winter (which was very warm) and was ripe by summer.  The cold snap we had in the middle of that is probably what made him a munchkin pineapple.  He was seriously tiny, but oh-so-sweet and tasty.

20130721-232508.jpg

We closed for three days at work to do some remodeling and maintenance work.  In three days we managed to empty the kitchen of nearly all of the equipment, re-tile the kitchen, office & dry storage areas, re-pave the parking lot, sand down and re-epoxy the bar top, paint several inside doors, paint some furniture, paint the outdoor patio floor, paint the walls in dry storage and deep clean all of the equipment and pretty much the entire inside of the restaurant.  And, proudly, the only thing that we didn’t do ourselves was the kitchen floor & the parking lot.  I wore a face mask for three days, but it was totally worth it to see the outcome.  Also, it was amazing how many customers walked across the blocked off and freshly tarred parking lot to see if we were closed.

20130721-232525.jpg

We went on a mini-vacation with my parents to Steinhatchee.  Steinhatchee is a really small town on a rive that leads out to the Gulf in the armpit of Florida.  I don’t mean it’s smelly… it’s just in the curve of Florida before the panhandle.  The scalloping there in the summer is awesome… you snorkel on the grass flats and pick up the most delicious little bay scallops.  We had a great long weekend, but it rained a lot so there wasn’t actually a lot of scalloping to be done.

20130721-232531.jpg

There is definitely a Hungry Howie’s on the river.  You can call in your order when you are done fishing or scalloping or whatever and then go pick it up by boat.  This made a pregnant lady very happy.

20130721-232540.jpg

This is how Bug spends his time in the boat.  Catching, naming, playing with and then releasing bait fish and shrimp.  It is amazing how quickly those little hands can grab a pin fish.

20130721-232547.jpg

While swimming at the beach house, Bug turned Aunt Millie in to an elephant.  He’s quite the magician.

20130721-232554.jpg

After swimming at the beach house, Bug & I went for $0.99 ice cream at our favorite farm market, Detwiler’s.  Kid takes his ice cream seriously.

What have you been up to this summer?

Instawhat: Week of 6/16

20130624-073936.jpg

For the first four months of this pregnancy I was so tired that I spent every free moment napping.  Finally, about a month ago, I started exercising again.  I’ve been running once or twice a week and, man, does it feel good.  Don’t worry, I’ve been taking it super easy… alternating jogging for 5 minutes or so and then walking for a few minutes.  There is a great, wide bike trail that runs throughout our county that I take advantage of as often as I can… mostly because it is full of views just like this.

20130624-074004.jpg

We spent the weekend with Uncle Chris & Aunt Millie (Bug’s Godparents) and Chris’ wonderful kids Karley & Timothy.  Chris’ grandmother has a home right on the beach here in Venice, so we took advantage of the fact that she is up north for the summer.  That’s Hubby and the kids heading from the pool to the beach.  Rough life, huh?

20130624-074013.jpg

Buggers and Karley enjoying an awesome surf & turf dinner on the grill.

20130624-074019.jpg

When Hubby told the kids that he brought fireworks, they were excited.  When he told Uncle Chris, he might have jumped up and down a little bit.  Proof that boys never really grow up.  They just get big enough to use lighters all by themselves.

20130624-074028.jpg

Yeah fireworks on old crab traps!

20130624-074035.jpg

Sunday morning swim session/water gun fight.  What else would you do after breakfast?

What did you do this weekend?

Instawhat: Week of 5/26

20130605-073306.jpg

After not running for 4 months, I’ve been trying to get back to it… I’m attempting to run once a week.  Don’t worry, my doctor says its okay and I’m taking it really easy.  My run last week was on an ominous day.  Actually, every day for the past week or so has been rather ominous… lots of gray clouds and threats of rain with only sporadic bursts of actual rain.  I love running on days like this.  The sun isn’t beating down on you, there is a little bit of a breeze and the sky is so interesting to look at.

20130605-073317.jpg

Bug started swim lesson on Saturday!  Ok, short run down on Bug’s swimming progress over the last year:

  • Beginning of last summer (exactly 2 years old) – Bug LOVED the water.  He would hold himself under as long as he could, jump in off the side all by himself (with someone there to catch him, of course) and by the middle of summer would even swim underwater from you to the wall about 4 feet away.  He had a swim vest thing that barely let him float and he’d kick all around the pool wearing it.  We’re all, he’ll be swimming by himself in no time!  No lessons needed!
  • End of last summer (2 years, 4 months old) – Bug realized that water is something he maybe, possibly should be afraid of.  Awesome.  Refused the swim vest.  Absolutely no jumping in.  Wouldn’t leave the steps… not even holding on to Mom & Dad.  He would still put his face under, but only from the second step down.
  • This spring (April – 2 years, 10 months old) – First pool excursion since last year (finally warm enough).  Bug would go into the water holding onto me for dear life.  He would also jump in, but only if I held both of his hands.

Back to swim lessons.  I fully expected him to freak out as soon as the teacher pulled him into the water.  I think I knew that he actually wouldn’t freak out, but I prepared myself for it.  He did fantastic.  He was excited the whole time, and each time he was in the water, he did exactly what the teacher instructed.  Now, she never let go of him, but he didn’t hold on like crazy either.  He had another lesson on Sunday and did just as well.  She dunked each kid underwater and he came up smiling.  I would like to mention, though, that my child definitely was the least attentive while sitting on the steps waiting for the other kids to have their turns.  Not that he was intentionally disruptive or misbehaving, but there was a lot of splashing and talking involved.  Credit that to either a) he’s the youngest in the class or b) he’s Scary Uncle Adam’s nephew.

Instawhat: Week of 5/19-5/25

Eli & Adam

Wow.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these posts!  We had a busy week last week.  We started off in Raleigh on Sunday for Scary Uncle Adam’s wedding!  It was a wonderful weekend full of friends and family and exploring a new city.  And also welcoming a new sister (Aunt Kristin) to our crazy family.  Bug was the cutest ring bearer I’ve ever seen, of course.  Funny side story: during the ceremony, the pastor (Kristin’s father) said something that made the congregation chuckle.  Bug bursts out with the loudest, fakest laugh I’ve ever heard, which, obviously, makes the entire congregation crack up.  Love this kid.

Almost home

We split up the drive to Raleigh over two days, but we drove back in one fell swoop on Monday.  13 hours with all of the required stops for a toddler to stretch his legs and for a preggo to pee.  Bug was SO GOOD in the car.  He never once complained or asked to get out and he never once fussed about having to get back in the car after stopping for a break.  We were so proud of him.  He fell asleep at about 9:30… an hour-ish before we got home… holding his foot.

20130530-084313.jpg

Somebody (not me!) taught Bug how to roll Play-Doh into snakes!  He is very proud of this skill and we spent a good twenty minutes rolling numerous Play-Doh snakes that afternoon.

Reading books

Nine times out of ten, if you ask Bug what he wants to do today, he’ll say ,”Go to the libary.”  (Hard word for a little guy.)  We really only have one free day a week to do whatever he wants (Thursdays, if you’re interested), so about every other Thursday we go to the library together.  We return our books from the previous trips, find some new books and look through them before checking them out and then usually going out to lunch.  Ten times out of ten, the books he chooses contain superheroes and/or Ninja Turtles.  Someone might be obsessed.

Wedding prep

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of catering a wedding for a dear friend of Aunt Annie’s.  Let me start by saying that Hubby & I adore the family we catered for.  Hubby is close friends with the Jenny’s (the bride) oldest brother, who is one of the nicest guys I know.  Jenny’s mom is a nurse and was a lactation consultant at our county hospital when Bug was born… she was sweet enough to bring us dinner one night after Bug was born and was so open to any questions I had about breastfeeding.  I texted her often those first couple of weeks!  This was our prep area in the kitchen… catering for 175 people is tough, and we had a couple little hiccups, but we had so much fun!  It is always such a treat when I get to cater for people that I know and love.  That being said, Hubby and I are still recovering from working until 3am that night!!

Instawhat: Week of 1/27

So, I forgot to post this stuff last week, which is actually okay since I also forgot to take a single picture on my phone last week.  Which, really, isn’t a bad thing.  We had a great week and focused more on each other than the pictures 🙂

image

My favorite foodie event of the whole year is Forks & Corks, which is put on by a local restaurant group that we belong to called the Sarasota Originals.  Forks is held in the courtyard of the beautiful Ringling Museum and consists of about 50 local, independent restaurants as well as about 70 vineyards from around the world.  The coolest part to the wine enthusiasts (my dad & I included) that attend this event is that many of the winemakers and vineyard owners come to our town to represent their wines.  It’s like meeting celebrities.  Tickets go for $85 ($150 for VIP)… this year, they went on sale in early November and they sold out of 1200 tickets in THREE HOURS.  Amazing.  Luckily, we get to be one of the restaurants there.  We served pork belly with edamame fried rice and a sweet soy drizzle.  We were named the Best of Show.  No big deal.  We also drank a lot of amazing wine.  While we served food.  Also no big deal.

image

Bug loves helping wash the car.  He’s getting pretty good with the hose.  Also, it was warm enough on a January day to actually play in the hose.  Be jealous.

image

Just doing a puzzle in my underwear.  With my tummy hanging out.  Big man.

Instawhat: Week of 1/20

image

Superman and his muscles.  I die.

image

“Mom, I’n a princess dragon!”  Almost peed my pants laughing so hard.

image

Namaw (my mom), Bug and I went to Mote Marine on Thursday, and then to Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  We had such a fun time.  This is Bug on the way home, ballin’ with his sunglasses on and chocolate chip cookie all over his face.  As my friend Stef said, “They see me rollin. They hatin.”

image

Thursday was the best day ever, except for the thirty minute I refuse to go potty unless you let me take off my underwear by myself, wait no you do it for me, wait no let me do it, oh crap I lost my chance to do it myself now I’m going to scream tantrum Bug threw before dinner.  After he calmed down and started acting like a big boy, the three of us went to Bogey’s for a fun family dinner.  We played video games and chatted and had so much fun that Bug got to stay up until 9:00.

image

On Saturday, Nana, Pops, Aunt Annie, Hubby, Bug & I all went out to O’Brien Family Farms in Bradenton to do a little strawberry pickin’.  Bug was totally into finding the reddest strawberries and was a pro at picking them off their stems after like 5 minutes.  We had a blast picking berries, lettuce and broccoli, and then we wandered through their blueberry bushes, played in the mud and bought some veggies from their farmer’s market.  I am a sucker for farmer’s markets, especially one like this, where they grow everything on the property.  Amazing.  Also, the most delicious strawberry milkshake ever.

I might try to actually write some real posts this week, but no promises!!

Instawhat: Week of 1/13

So, last week, I was all, “I’m totally back on the blogging wagon, ya’ll!”  And now, holy cow, it’s already Friday and I realized this morning that I didn’t blog even once this week.  Yeehaw.

image

Last Monday, we had some good friends over for dinner.  We grilled some bacon basil wrapped BBQ shrimp.  They were tasty.  I also made brussel sprouts for the first time.  I oven roasted them (oven on 375′ for about 40 minutes) with some garlic, olive oil & almonds and they were delicious.  Seriously.  Awesome.

image

This is how we play in January in Florida.  Bug insisted that it was “too hawt” to put on a shirt.  I agreed.

image

Now, at this point on Thursday’s visit to the coolest playground ever, the explanation to this picture would have said something along the lines of: we played at a super awesome new playground and Bug was a big boy and actually climbed on things.  However, now the explanation reads: this was taken about 15 minutes prior to Bug falling and splitting the back of his head open, warranting a trip to Urgent Care, where he, thankfully, didn’t have a concussion nor were stitches absolutely necessary.  That will be a whole post unto itself.

Happy Friday!

Instawhat: Week of 1/6

image

Bug has liked playing with “Mr. Totato Head” since he first saw Toy Story.  We had lost enough of the original pieces that I think the spud only had eyes, one ear and his nose left, so for Christmas we got him the Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase.  Booger loves making “silly guys.”  Funny though, he refuses to use two different ears or two different arms.  They. Must. Match.  A boy after his Momma’s heart.

image

My dear friend / faux sister Amber got married on the 11th.  Her big sister Ryan and I became bestest friends when we were three and Amber was just a baby.  We grew up in the same neighborhood and we went to college together (can I get a Go Gators for the blue dresses?!?!).  I love her dearly.  She was the most beautiful bride.

image

There’s a traveling circus in town.  That’s something I love about our city.  The Ringling Brothers circus used to winter here, and the circus still has a pretty big influence on the area.  Just about every year, a small traveling circus will set up their big top in a random parking lot and do shows for a few weeks.  This was Bug’s first circus, and he sat for over two hours just like this.  Awe in his little eyes and mouth open.

**Update**  Pops (my fabulous father-in-law) pointed out that I neglected to mention the best part about the circus!  They had a clown type dude that entertained the audience between acts, and he walked directly up to Hubby) and pulled him into the ring.  Little did that clown know that Hubby isn’t even a little bit afraid to make a fool of himself.  The clown dressed Hubby up in a pink skirt and headband and they played a fake tennis match, including a fantastic slow motion replay.  Pops, Nana & I were in tears from laughing so hard.  If you ask Bug what his favorite part of the circus was, he says “Daddy.”

image

Someone got a snow cone during circus intermission!  Because snow cones are actually quite necessary in Florida in January.