SJ on the Move

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Baby!

J is one happy boy!

Apple Picking, again

One can never pick too many apples in the fall! Last Saturday we went again to our favorite orchard. We waited in line for the infamous cider donuts and Nathan let J lick his fingers after he ate one! J though the sugary goodness was pretty good!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

French Cuisine

So, my time in France allowed me the opportunity to sample a bit of French cuisine. While I am sure I'll probably infuriate some of my more cultured friends, I must say that I find French cuisine to be generally overrated. I mean, it's fine, certainly better than some. But, I've never really quite understood what the big deal was about.
Certainly, French cuisine is very avant garde. But, is that really such an achievement? Everywhere you turn around its foie gras and smelly cheeses that you'd probably throw away if you found them in the bottom of your refrigerator. Since I was in Paris, I did partake of these foods abiding by the "when in Rome" motto. I wasn't presented with the opportunity to sample some other French delicacies such as frogs legs or escargot. Other examples of foods one - at least this one - wouldn't ordinarily think of as food.

I do have to hand it to the French when it comes to croissants, however. They do seem to do those very well.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Viva la France

So, the proximate cause of these two weeks of non-stop fun in Ohio was my weeklong business trip to Europe. As my entry in and out of Europe was Paris, I flew over on AirChance err... Air France. My ticket afforded me the "privelege" of hanging out in the AirFrance lounge at Logan Airport. If anyone has any delusions that these exclusive clubhouses are somehow the lap of luxury, they are quite mistaken.

The best analogy I can describe for the AirFrance lounge at Logan is that it really reminds one of highschool detention. The first clue that this was not going to be a luxurious experience came when I went to the elevator. While I don't frequent these lounges often, in my experience, you typically travel "up" on the elevator to get to the lounge. At Logan, you travel down. Not a good sign.

(the room for our partner meeting - not the AirFrance lounge)

You then are treated to a long, featureless hallway with doors leading to the different airline lounges. Upon entering the AirFrance lounge, you are greeted by a woman sitting at a metal desk, just like the kind the teachers had in my elementary school. The AF lounge is a particularly dismal setting - with absolutely no windows. It's a series of three small rooms, but artfully arranged so that each one gives the minimum feeling of open space.

Now, I understand that maybe they weren't given a great location to work with. But, the "Pièce de résistance" is the service. The AF woman working there couldn't be more apathetic. It seemed like every single passenger who came through there ended up in some kind of confrontation with her. Our flight was delayed, so at one point I cheerfully asked her "Do you have any information on when we might be boarding?" She barked at me "I'll call your flight when it's time to board!" Such service!

(more meeting photos)

Now, my experience at the AirFrance lounge had me all prepared to go on a lengthy rant about the rudeness of the French, but I must say that every other person I encountered in France was extremely polite. Well, except for the guy manning the ticket counter in the subway, but does that really even count?

Sydney, A True People Person

We are constantly amazed at how outgoing and friendly S is. As soon as anyone talks to her she is their friend and she will talk to them forever. She even talked my Uncles into helping her ride her new bike. She also made friends with the landscaping guys working at my parents house. She was so excited to visit my college friends while here in Ohio even though she had either never met them or has no remembrance of meeting them. As long as they had toys (which they did!) and would answer her when she said, "Guess what?" she was their friend and was super happy!

She also became very fond of my brother, her Uncle Jeff. She was always anxiously awaiting his arrival for dinner, wanting to play with him the instant he walked in the door, and wanting him to sit next to her at dinner. She was also glad to have her own Tommy's pizza leftovers box, just like him:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fun with Aunt Linda

S and J got to spend a lot of time with Aunt Linda. One day they were there the whole afternoon so my Mom and I could go shopping. Aunt Linda is very crafty and she and S had a lot of fun doing beading and painting in her craft room. J slept most of the time :) Another day, S and J got their hand and foot prints painted on sweatshirts that Aunt Linda will make into pictures of reindeers.

Aunt Linda with S and J!

S with her new beaded necklace and bracelet and her newly painted purse. She is wearing Aunt Linda's glasses, too!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Apple Picking

My parents have an apple picking farm 5 minutes from their house! We took J for his first orchard experience and surprisingly it was also my Mom's first time picking apples. The orchard was so well maintained that we were able to take J around in his stroller - thus giving is a nice sized basket to hold our apples, too!

S always has to have a taste!

Baby J even got to lick the apples!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Day at the Farm

We went to visit my lifelong friend, Shelley, her husband, Scott, and their 3 boys in Garrettsville, Ohio for a night. Shelley lives in a small farm and S was so excited for this new experience.

Shelley has a huge yard and has room for a large trampoline. S had so much fun on her first by herself and then with Shelley's 3 boys:

S enjoyed the dogs. Both of which were very mellow and didn't lick S - (2 qualities, that according to S, make the best kind of dogs!) By the way, Shelley and her husband make their own apple cider - that's the apple press thingy there in the picture:

Sadly S experienced her first bee sting while on the farm. Shelley knew right what to do though and pulled out the stinger, applied special bee sting medicine and gave S an ice pack:

S got to help feed the chickens and gather the eggs. She only dropped one really hard in the bucket. We then had to remind her that these were not plastic Easter eggs!

Shelley and Scott also raise cows and pigs that they harvest for meat. Right now they have 3 cows, but no pigs. They have 2 large freezers to store all the meat they have gotten from their animals. That night for dinner we had a great steak dinner that was from one of Shelley's own cows. The veggies were all either from her own garden or from a neighbor's. Dessert was an apple pie that Scott whipped up in about 30 min from apples picked in his own yard and a homemade crust. To drink S had fresh milk from the neighbor's dairy cow. The next morning the cream we used in our tea was freshly skimmed off the top of the milk - so yummy....

S also discovered she likes hot dilly beans. These are green beans that are made like a dill pickle would be and then you add Cayenne pepper. S loved these so much she even had a few for breakfast along with her juice and bagel:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Columbus Zoo

A trip to Columbus is not complete without visit their great zoo. Our first stop at the zoo was to visit the baby elephant, Beco. He was born at the end of March and is already 750 pounds! (By the way, did you know that an elephant's gestation time is 2 years! I can't imagine!!)

Anyway, Beco and his mom hang out with at least 2 zoo keepers. The keepers act as the elephant's herd and help entertain the baby elephant. The other male elephants at the zoo would not normally interact with a baby elephant so that is why they bring in the keepers. The mom elephant keeps the baby in line so he doesn't get to rough with the keepers.

S always enjoys posing with the animal statues, however, J was not thrilled with this one. He must have thought that S was going to offer him as food to the tiger:

S and her Grandpa enjoy brushing the goats at the petting zoo:

Monday, September 07, 2009


S, J, and I flew to Ohio on Saturday for 2 weeks with my parents. S was super excited and had been counting down the days for about 2 weeks before we left. Today we went to the indoor pool.

At first J thought it a bit cold, but as he got used to the water he found it quite comfortable:

S practiced her jumping skills and swam all around the pool with her noodle:

Friday, September 04, 2009

Jayden's first play date

Today we got to babysit our friend, Baby A. He is 4 months old and a real gem! It was interesting to see the baby's react to each other. Most of the time they didn't even seem to notice one another. This was until J discovered that A had a great toy - the clutch cube. J was super interested in it. I stood J up by A's bouncy seat and J proceeded to grab for the toy while A was still playing with it. J and A then played with it together - or perhaps it was the early stages of fighting over a toy - it's hard to say!

I decided to bring out J's own clutch cube toy. An exact replica to A's. However, J was always more interested in the one that A had.

The babies also had some tummy time. J did great holding up his head and A moved his legs like he was ready to start crawling already!

We also had some great help from S. She was so good with the babies, gave them both lots of hugs and kisses, and made sure everyone smelled good (this was done by telling me if either one had a poopy diaper!). She also read them a story and sang songs to them.

It was a great day! The babies were so good and it was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A new use for diapers

We always have to have a burp cloth handy for when J spits up. J has thus started to like to play with his burp cloths. He likes to bring it to his mouth and chew it! Today I was changing his diaper and somehow he got hold of his clean diaper and started chewing it. He really liked it and I could barely get it away from him. I guess he figues that since his burp cloths are technically cloth diapers that he could use his disposable diaper as a burp cloth!