Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm holding on to fall.

It was pretty chilly thursday morning and there were only two of us- but we still had walking group :) and I loved it.
There is this one small grove of trees at swan creek park that always turns colors later than the rest. It's a cluster of dense foliage with tall tall trees. Of all the wonderful spots at swan creek- I think that it's my very very favorite.
I know for sure that thursday was my very last day of breathtaking trees- so we veered from our normal walking path and visited my favorite spot!
It's got a few good views of the river- so even the boys loved it!  Plus, they were pretty excited to wear their winter coats for the first time this season.
Renae pointed out this lovely collection of fungi and I couldn't resist a picture.  Who doesn't love fungi?
It was even semi warm enough to play around at the park for a little while after walking.

Ike found the most ridiculously large stick and ran around with it like a maniac.  We're lucky that nobody lost an eye.
Goodbye colors. Goodbye leaves. And soon to come- goodbye walking group!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ike time

Today Zebbo had school during walking group so I got to spend the morning with just Ike. He had a rough day yesterday (dislocated elbow) so I think it was nice for him to have a morning free from fending off attacks from Zeb.  The two boys love to poke and prod and pester each other like CRAZY while in the stroller.

Most of the vibrant fall colors are gone now. They've gone dark and brown- but have left lots and lots of piles to play in.

I carry my 'normal' camera around in my bag everywhere I go - but I rarely use it anymore because I always compare my pictures to those with my nice camera and end up disappointed.  Today Ike and his friends were having too much fun in the leaves with all the big kids gone and I took a few pictures.  And they aren't even all that bad.

Here's the turkey throwing leaves up into the air.  I really just think that he was so happy to be away from Zeb for awhile. They really do love each other and have so much fun together- but sometimes they just need a break.
 I tried to get him to roll around in the leaves and hide in a pile- but he was livid about that.
Here's his pal, Taylor.  She was far better about smiling for me than Ike was. There is NO way Ike will sit still or smile for me right now.  My kids turn into little crazies at about 21 months.
 After our morning at the park- we went and got Zebby and then spent the afternoon fending off tornadoes. Really we just had some tub and hallway time and kept an eye on the weather!  It got pretty windy- but nothing too dramatic happened.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kent is home FOR GOOD!! Our weekend was INSANE and I have NO pictures to prove it!  We ran a 10K, I threw a baby shower, we went to a crazy fun trunk or treat party in Ashland , OH and more.  It was a lot of fun and I'm beyond happy that Kent is finally home to stay.
I do have these pictures from last week's playgroup.  We decorated sugar cookies and the kiddos ran around in costumes.

I wish I would have gotten pictures of all the kiddos- but I just got a few.

Zeb only took two bites out of his cookie and he was totally done. He isn't crazy about this much sweet all at once- but wanted to decorate it like everybody else.
I'm glad we stuck with the orange frosting! The black stuff was potent!  Here's his pal, Matthew.
And his favorite, Ellie.  Matthew and Ellie are also both his classmates in preschool.
And here's our little monkey with scabs and pizza all over his face.  I kept him away from the cookie decorating.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


The main reason for our mini vacation last week was to get the down low on Dayton. I wanted to see the city, check out some neighborhoods, and ward shop.  I know everybody does it when they move- don't act like you don't.  Moving into the right ward can make or break a move.  Kent tried to ward shop as much as possible in Texas because I didn't make it down there- but luckily Dayton is close enough that I could get a look for myself!

The verdict is in. I ♥ Dayton.  It is such an easy place to live when it's between 50 and 75 degrees, the leaves are beautiful, and somebody else (the AF) is paying for your hotel room :)  Winter with -20 wind chills and summer with 90% humidity would have possibly left me with a somewhat different opinion I'm sure- but luckily I got to see it at the peak of fall and I'm in love.

This is on base- right across the street from Kent's guest quarters.  It's a golf course. I don't even golf and I love it.

And, in fact, every picture posted with this post are ON base.

We visited the air force museum and it was HUGE and amazing. Oh, and FREE.  It would be a great place to take visitors. The kiddos loved seeing all of the ginormous planes and swinging from the rails.
Zeb has been reading words all over the place lately but we decided to have him NOT sound out this one.  I did take a picture, though.
They also loved the airplane.cockpit playground outside.  We walked out of the museum thinking we'd seen almost all of it only to realize we'd actually only been in ONE of the three giant hangars.  This place is humongous.

We were going to go to two wards on Sunday- but the kiddos were crabby cranky- so we just did one and then took a drive to put them to sleep and check out neighborhoods.  There are a lot of great areas in Dayton to live- which stresses me out a little bit.  I like Toledo where there's really only one or two great parts of town and the decision was obvious of where to live.  It's going to be really hard to make a decision if we end up in Dayton.

After a good long drive we went back to base and walked around for a bit.

Zeb loved the golf course.  He thought for sure there should should have been golf balls in every hole and kept asking "why isn't there a ball in here, mom?"

I couldn't even get Ike to stand still long enough to get a picture that wasn't blurry.  Mostly the two of them just threw rocks into this pond. 
This is the main road leading onto this portion of the base. It's right in front of Kent's 'hotel'.  Wright Patterson is so so big.

The only way I could get Zeb to turn and look at the camera was to make 'crazy faces'. I look insane, I know. Plus, the two boys are really hard to hold at once.  Behind us is Kent's place where we spent the night. 

And here's another funny Zeb face.  He loves making weird faces lately.
The boys LOVED staying in a hotel. Zeb set up all sorts of obstacle courses and places to jump and hide.  He was obsessed with the fact that the couch turned into a bed.
Ike spent the majority of our time inside scooting chairs over to light switches.

I really do love Ohio and I'd be so happy to stay- but I do realize it isn't a guarantee.  I try not to make Kent feel all pressured to feel like this is the only place I could live- because I can be happy ANYWHERE.  If we decide that another program is better or that we are supposed to be elsewhere- I'd be totally happy with anything.  I just really like Dayton :) A lot.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm not kidding AT ALL when I say that Zeb  asked over 100 times to 'go back to Indiana' as we drove away. And it was more of a high pitched whine mixed with tears and angry grunts.  This kid had waaaay too much fun with his good pal Sam.  We spent the night with our good friends, the Dockters, in Indianapolis. 

I think that Sam qualifies as Zeb's first friend.  They lived directly across the hall from us here in Toledo and Zeb started having playdates at six months.  Their friendship has obviously not waned. They laughed and screamed and giggled and ran and flew until they collapsed with exhaustion.  They shared a bunk bed to go to sleep and seriously stayed up until MIDNIGHT giggling with each other about barbies and tinkerbell?!  I could NOT believe they stayed up so long.
After the race that morning we checked out downtown Indy and met up with some other good friends, the Curtises, who also left Toledo last year.  Hillarie also got to stick around and check out the place.

Indianapolis is one of the coolest cities I've seen. I absolutely loved it.  They have this amazing canal walk downtown and all sorts of fun stuff to see and do.

Here are the men with their cool double strollers and rugrats.

And here's tortured Zeb.  We stuck him up high on the tusk of a giant Mastadont sculpture to take a picture and he kind of freaked. We like to torture our chidlren so I snapped a few pictures and then we got him down.
My two favorite parts of the day were:
#1 -going to the top of this monument.

It was hot and stuffy and extremely claustrophobic.  This is a shot of us going up in the elevator. For some reason I love being jammed in elevators and being in rickety scary places.  Plus- we did get to see a great view of the city.

and #2 - this pizza.  I realize I'm not looking at the camera- but look at the Pizza. I LOVE Pizza and this stuff was amazing. I'm sure I was super hungry from running the race that morning- but this stuff was delicious. And eating it on the streets with friends made it all the better.

 After dinner we played around at the monument a bit longer and just enjoyed the perfect weather.  Did I mention that I really love this city? It was probably because we were with such great people- but either way  It was so much fun!
Thanks so much for hosting us Dockters! and for getting together with us Curtises!!  We will be back!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

most beautiful race EVER

I got to go on a mini vacation down to Dayton and Indy this past weekend and it was wonderful! The next few  posts are dedicated to our adventures.

On Saturday I ran the MOST amazingly beautiful race!  I met up with Hillarie, my college roommate, in Indianapolis to run the indy half marathon. The course ran through Fort Harrison State Park/golf course and was unbelievable.  It was the perfect day with the perfect scenery and the most amazing weather.

these  pictures are from the park's website
The night before the race I realized that I had FORGOTTEN all of my race clothes (thankfully not my shoes) AT HOME in toledo !! After borrowing a few items and making a quick run to Meijer the morning of the race - the actual run itself was fabulous!  it was so nice to just run for fun and chat with Hillarie!    There were 6500 participants running and it was crazy.  It was my first 'big' race and it was so exciting to run with that many people.
Kent and the kiddos came and watched us finish and then had fun with us afterwards.  I have no idea who this mask is- but they were free.
Here are Hillarie and me in true Rick's College fashion.  I think almost every college picture I have looks similar to this one.  Can you see how beautiful the trees are?!?  Indianapolis in October is just stunning!!!
After the race they supplied us with lots of nasty food. That was my only complaint for the entire day.  They had grilled krispy creme donuts!?, oreos, and then a bbq with hamburgers, brats, and baked beans?!  All I wanted was a bunch of bananas.  I gave all of my nasty food to the boys and they happily indulged :)
If anybody wants to run the race next year- I really want to do it again!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My obsession for fall is unhealthy.  I actually have a little anxiety every morning when I wake up and more of the leaves have fallen. I'm afraid I haven't taken enough pictures and we haven't played outside in the leaves enough and I haven't been able to see them as much as I wanted.  So- here comes a blogging frenzy.  I've taken a lot of pictures this past weekend.

Last week we spent some time at the park to play (take pictures).

Here's our little hoarder in the making. He is more interested in having EVERY toy in his hands at once than he actually is with playing with them. I was getting all worried about his grabbing/hoarding until Kent reminded me that Zeb did the very same thing at this age and then outgrew it. I don't think that I have outgrown this phase yet.
Swan Creek Park will always hold a place in my heart.  I wouldn't mind having my ashes scattered here.  Or at least a water fountain with my name on it.  This place is beautiful and full of the most wonderful toledoans.
Plus- it has some playgrounds and the kids love to play here.

We took a walk along the less traveled side of the park (my favorite) and these two got VERY angry with each other. Ellie and zeb are definite frenemies. Mostly friends with a little bit of enemy.  The two of them refused to speak to each other and sat pouting for quite some time.

Ellie's mom, Alison, took this one and I love it.  This is zeb's favorite facial expression.

 and this is my very favorite tree in the whole park. It's colors are amazing.
 I'm so glad that it's still fall.  I need it for just a few more weeks.