Monday, June 29, 2009

Milwaukee!

Warning: LOTS of pictures!



I just returned last night from a fabulous three day trip to Milwaukee. My friend Lyn is from that area and invited me to tag along for a weekend of family obligations-- we managed to have a ton of fun though, too!



Our adventures began when our original flight Thursday night was cancelled- so we bunked at Lyn's apartment and got three hours of sleep before catching a 6:30 am flight. Because of the time change, it was about 6:15 am in Milwaukee when we landed. Gotta love time travel!




Friday was seriously packed with busyness- we scouted out a 1/2 Price Bookstore wth Lyn's brother and bought WAY too many books...but most of them were only $1!

We managed to fit in a tour of the Miller Brewing Company. While I'm not a huge fan of beer myself, it was a cool tour!





We spent the afternoon exploring Milwaukee, then relaxing on the lakefront. I lounged around reading and listening to music while Lyn and her brother reconnected playing frisbee. I had a great view of the lake and it was beautiful!

We met up with Lyn's dad for a birthday dinner and explored Safehouse (007, really cool bar!)

and then hit Summerfest, a HUGE music festival. Wow, that was an experience! There were drunk people everywhere, crammed on top of tables and falling off...but good music, too. By the time we got back to Lyn's parents' house, it was early in the morning in Wisconsin...we were beat!

Saturday morning it was up early to hit the Farmer's Market in Madison. I got to try squeaky cheese curds for the first time. They are good but that is SO weird... we also downed tons of green beans, fresh peas, cheese bread, and so many delicious pastries!
The remainder of Saturday was spent at a wedding and then a different family’s reception. The second occasion was held at a tiny airport north of OshKosh (I LOVE that name and had to put it in here somewhere! :)...).


The owners of the airport hangar next to the party spot was offering airplane rides in his tiny 4-seater plane and I took him up on that! Lyn took a bit of convincing but eventually I convinced her. I’m pretty sure I enjoyed that adventure more than she did, but I had a blast! It was so cool to experience a more unusual form of flying—the wind definitely affects the airplane differently! ;) SO MIUCH FUN!


Sunday was our low-key day. We relaxed a bit finally, had a pancake breakfast, went bike riding (okay, not so relaxing!), ate Cobb’s frozen custard (SO good) and to the park (got bitten badly by mosquitoes!) before flying back home- on time AND on the correct day, I might add! We arrived home late last night and I’m back at work as I type. I have just a few days here and then it’s off to the next adventure!



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Doll


Babysitting is not what it used to be.
Gone are the days of parents leaving me a phone number of the restaurant they plan to visit for dinner. Instead I am given cell phone numbers of both parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles galore. The parents email or text to see if I can babysit, text while they are gone to check on the kids, and I rarely know where they are actually eating dinner.

In the same way, the group of children that I care for has changed dramatically in the past 10+ years. This new era of children live in million (or close to!) dollar houses. They carry cell phones and furiously text message by age ten, belong to country clubs and the girls' bedrooms are stocked with princess clothes, posters...and the infamous American Girl doll.
I was babysitting Maggie and Gav last night. Maggie is 5, Gav to turn 2 in September. It was a sunny and warm summer evening and we set out to take a walk around their neighborhood. About halfway through our stroll, Maggie mentioned that her AG doll had fallen outside while they were drawing with chalk earlier in the week. Poor Josefina had broken her head, Maggie explained, and would have to be sent to the AG hospital to get a new head. I held in my laughter as Maggie very seriously explained the horrible scenario (in which if Josefina was real she'd most definitely have died!) and promised to show me broken Josefina when we got back to their house.
As soon as we arrived home, Maggie ran to bring me Josefina...
See her broken head?
I know, I was having some trouble too...
Let's take a closer look.
Uhh...yea. That size scrape on the face definitely warrants a new head. Totally!
~~~
At the end of the day, though, who's concerned about scratched up AG dolls and fancy houses? This is what really matters.

Monday, June 22, 2009

There Goes Monday

*Thanks for the questions from my last post! Keep 'em coming!*


I only worked for about five hours today. When I got to work, Z was already awake, so eager to head to his grandparents' house at noon. His mom went to work & grabbed her files and computer but "worked" from home today- she is such an easy parent to have around the house. So very rare in my profession!

Z and I watched a few episodes of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and then pulled out Monopoly and some coloring books. At age 7, Z just loves to color and draw- he's just not a sporty type of boy. Our morning continued...Z had breakfast, we rode our bikes to the park, colored with chalk on the driveway and still J wasn't awake (she finally woke up at 11!).

A little after noon, Z left with his grandparents and their mom said I could leave since J was heading to the doctor anyway. I ran a few errands and then spent an hour or so with these views...love it!

Monday morning ALREADY?!

I can't believe my last free weekend until the end of July has finished. Dangit- it went too fast. I hit the pool a few times (yes, Mom, I wore sunscreen!), took some walks, read a lot, hung out with my new roomie Jenn and Lyn...it was low key and just what I needed!

I have a busy week ahead- besides working, I have a premiere party tonight for Make It or Break It. Tomorrow evening I'm babysitting and Wednesday I have a sofball game and need to pack because I fly to Wisconsin right after work on Thursday! Lyn and I will be there for a few days and even happen to be visiting at the right time- we'll get to go to Summerfest '09! I'm not sure what bands we'll get to hear, but it should be fun!

~

So...on a totally different topic, is there anything you've wanted to know about me? Any questions you want answered? Post them here in the comment section or email me, and I'll respond to them later this week! I haven't done that in a while, and it's always fun! :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Disclaimer


I'm looking for some new blog friends, since I really enjoy meeting new people!

My bloggy buddies should be in their mid-20s, single, no kids, be a teacher or nanny, enjoy softball, things tie-dyed, pizza, cheese, traveling, photography, be at least 5'5" and under 150 lbs...

Oh wait. That's not right! I enjoy meeting people from ALL walks of life. True, we're not all the same, but that's what makes life interesting. I love commenting on blogs, love when people comment on mine, and really do enjoy meeting other bloggers. I wouldn't enjoy blogging nearly as much as I do if everyone who read and commented on my blog were like me! Most of my friends in IRL are moms, and since I spend my days with kids, it makes sense to me that the majority of the blogs I read and comment on are those of mothers.

While I'm not a mother myself, nor have I ever claimed to be, I spend the majority of my days with children. I am the oldest in a large family, I began babysitting young, I majored in Child Development in college. I teach, I nanny, I babysit a few times a week and hang out with my friends and their kids. Kids are a huge part of my life- and while that doesn't make me an expert on motherhood, I feel it does enable me to talk about kids and occasionally give advice on the subject of children.

However- this is MY blog. It's my space to think, vent, type whatever I please. If you have an issue with what I write on my blog or a comment I left on yours, please make use of the blue button in the top right corner that has an envelope on it. Clicking on it will allow you to contact me privately via email. Use it. I respectfully ask that you use it in place of other, more public venues of disagreeing with anything I've written.

Thank you!

(The normal, usually cheerful posts resume below)

Ice Cream


Way back in December, I went to visit one of my best friends who lives 6 hours away. Beforehand, I was talking to my co-worker Cara and we were discussing our holiday break plans. When I mentioned I was traveling to PA, she told me her grandparents live there as well. As the conversation continued we discovered that her grandparents live less than an hour from where I grew up. We laughed at the irony and Cara suggested I try out her favorite ice cream shop-- one I'd been to every year on my way to 4-H camp (which, of course, is about 5 minutes from her grandparents!).

When I arrived in PA, Stevie and I set out to hit the very same ice cream shop. To my dismay, it was closed so the employees could enjoy a Christmas holiday. Poor Cara was saddened by the news because I told her I'd bring a container back just for her! The months went by and neither Cara nor I made it to PA again as winter melted into spring. The ice cream was forgotten about, until I began to plan my most recent trip.

I asked Stevie if, for SURE, was the ice cream shop going to be open so I could surprise Cara with her oh-so-amazing vanilla (can you believe it? That's her fave!) frozen treat. Stevie replied that she thought so, but of course couldn't promise anything. Cara kept pestering me (nicely) about meeting up because she had borrowed a few bags from me to travel overseas earlier in June. I finally told her that I had something for her (which of course I didn't, YET!) and we arranged to hook up at school yesterday. I thought for sure she would know what I was bringing for her, since she knew I was heading to PA and hello, didn't she remember I told her six months ago I'd bring her ice cream!?!

All the way to PA, I was crossing my fingers the darn ice cream place would be open- because if not, I definitely didn't have anything ELSE to give Cara!

Luckily, the shop was open and I carried a half gallon of ice cream across state lines. It's a good thing my cooler works well, because it was a hot summer day! Nevertheless, the ice cream made it safely to Big City and then from my apartment to work and work to school early yesterday. Cara stuffed my bags in the back of my car and I told her,

"There's something for you in the front seat."

She looked so perplexed but went to look, muttering, "What??"

I replied, "Hey, you know where I went this past weekend..." and allowed my voice to stop there.

I heard a gasp, "NO WAY!!!!!!!!" and then her face lit up with a huge smile and a "You DIDN'T!!!!, AHHH!!!! I love you!!!! I can't believe you remembered!"

Hahaha...it was so funny! I love surprising people, even if it is with vanilla ice cream. (Btw, I have nothing against vanilla ice cream. I love it- I just wouldn't say it's my favorite flavor offered at the ice cream shop so far away!)

J & Z had just one question about this whole endeavor-- "Why can't Cara just get her own ice cream??"