Monday, May 25, 2009


Ella and I went to a family picnic at my cousin's house this weekend. They (Ron and Judy) have a rather lovely deck and pool (and swingset and trampoline). Ella was very excited to go swimming so we put on our suits and braved the frigid waters. 76 degrees sounds warm, right?

Here are some pictures of the adventure into the artic...


Jumping in...notice the massive diaper? I didn't have a swim diaper so she wore a regular diaper. It probably weighed 20 lbs by the time she was done!

Getting used to things...

Barely holding on...

Look Ma, no hands!

Swingset Progress

Another afternoon spent hammering away on the swingset and we still aren't done. We would be finished except the slide is cracked. I called the swingset company for a replacement but it took several days before I actually got to speak to someone. The slide is on its way and should be here before next weekend.

In the meantime, Ella has been enjoying the swings and climbing up the ladder and having someone lift her down so she can climb right back up (I can't wait for the slide to be installed!!!!).

Things we have learned so far...

1. Ella likes to have all possible swinging attachments swinging at the same time.
2. Ella does not care if they swing straight or are going sideways.
3. Ella swings on her belly.
4. Ella's head is like a giant magnet to other swinging objects.

So, as a precaution to her hitting her head on the side of the swingset (since she doesn't swing straight or watch where she is going) we decided to put some rubber pipe insulation around the wood. It's Klassy!

Cracked slide...

swingset with actual swings...

oh all those birds the contraption in my yard is a SWINGSET not a Port-a-john!!!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Swingset - Day 2

Friday was a beautiful day! My dad (Granpa T.) and Flor came to help us assemble the swingset (Thanks guys!!!). We got started around 10 am and stopped working around 7 pm, with only a break for lunch!!!! Darren is a machine! The main structure has been put together. We need to add the swing part, slide and decorative/finishing pieces.

Adding the roof.

Everybody helping.

Ella is able to climb into the house via the ladder (not the green ladder, the ladder shown in the next picture) but hasn't figured out how to get down yet. She is quite excited!

The backside.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Swingset - Day 1

Yesterday was day 1 of the swingset assembly project. By day 1, I mean day 1 of actually assembling the swingset. We spent one evening sorting all of the bolts, nuts, screws, hex bolts, washers, lock washers and upteen million other pieces of hardware. We spent another evening sorting all of the lumber, labeling and grouping the pieces and stacking them into groups. Then, we spent an evening putting together the kid's size picnic table that came with the swingset.

So, yesterday was Darren's "Saturday" so we went full force on assembly (after his dentist appointment and a quick trip to the grocery store, park, library and Noodle's for lunch).

See how happy Darren is? Can you see him behind the pile of wood? Trust me, he is excited!!!

Progress at the end of day 1. You can't really see it, but the floor is there...that alone was about 100 screws!!!

We put out a tub of water for Ella to play in. She was getting a scoop of water and going over to the swingset and pouring it on one of the legs. Maybe watering it in hopes that it grows faster?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bird Update Plus

Sad news. It appears that one of the birds didn't make it. I wondered before because one bird seemed much bigger than the other. When I went to take a picture there was only one in the nest. Bummer.

Here is Ella sitting in the neighbor's yard. I just love what they've done with their yard...I might have to ask for tips.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Grandpa's Birthday

Darren's parents (a.k.a. grandpa and grandma) visited us for a couple of days.

On Sunday, we visited the Franklin Park Conservatory to see the butterflies. It was a gorgeous day!!! We enjoyed walking around the gardens and seeing the butterflies. They have a koi pond so Ella was able to feed the fish too. Sadly, I forgot the camera...rookie mistake!

On Monday, I worked. Sigh.

The rest of the gang ran some errands and visited a local park for a quick hike. Later that day we went out to dinner at The Pub to celebrate Grandpa's birthday. After dinner, we came home and surprised him with a Suisse Almond cake from The Suisse Shop Bakery. Drooly pictures here! YUMMY!

I love when Ella sings Happy Birthday. Happy dur-bay to you!!! She pretends to blow out the candles at the end of the song. Must find video camera!!!

Tuesday was my usual day to work at home...I swear I worked, really, I did!
Right after we got home from visiting Ye Old Mill - the velvet ice cream factory.

This place is pretty neat...they have a "tour" of the ice cream factory. Really it is a big glass window and behind that is the machinery of goodness - they don't let you in (probably had too many people trying to climb into the vats of ice cream - I know I would be one of them). They have lots of old ice cream equipment on display and a museum of old ice cream related stuff. They also have a walking trail and playground and a pond with ducks and fish.

Most importantly, they have an ice cream shop.

Darren enjoyed a root beer float with his lunch and then ordered a sampler...5 scoops of different ice creams (he claims to be ice creamed out but I don't think that is truly possible). Grandma and Grandpa split an ice cream sampler as well. I had a delicious chocolate soda and Ella had a scoop of vanilla plus her fair share from the samplers.

I would tell you the 10 flavors we, er they, had but I can't remember them all.

Or can I...

mint chocolate chip, butter pecan, strawberry cheesecake, peppermint, vanilla, lemon cream pie, strawberry, cherry cordial, orange sherbet, and black raspberry.
Apparently I can remember. :)

Turns out, this is a very drooly post.

Ella, Darren and I made a stepping stone for Grandma for Mother's Day. We probably should've done it earlier in the visit as it needs a few days to dry. Fingers crossed it survives the car ride home.

Grandpa and Grandma left early this morning to make the journey home. We will see them again in just a few months as we plan to visit them this summer.

And on that note...some pictures...
Corn statue at ice cream place...I can't remember the story on the corn statues but there are more of these throughout Ohio...maybe someone who knows will leave a comment...
Holding Grandpa's hand
feeding the ducks and fish
on the nature trail

just cute...don't mind the horribly mismatched outfit - we had a diaper incident. :)
more feeding ducks