Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to Have Fun: A Guide

Oh...we had fun.
Here's how:

Step 1:
Buy and consume disgusting amounts of fair-food.
You know... funnel cakes, brats, fresh squeezed lemonade. The works.

Step 2:
Perch yourself on a little patch of grass to watch the hot air balloons inflate.

Step 3:
Introduce baby to the wonders.

Step 4:
a.) Pose for a picture - baby suck on finger.

b.) Pose for another picture.

Step 5:
Crane your neck back, back, back to see the tippy top of the balloons.

Step 6:
Snuggle with someone you love.

Step 7:
Bump your sibling's booty to show excitement.

Step 8:
Snuggle more people you love.

Step 9:
Snuggle again.

Step 10:
Watch them glow.
Say, "Ooooh" and "Ahhh"

Step 11:
Pick out your favorite. Pose in front.

Step 12:
Head home before traffic.

Step 13:
Store up the memories to last until next year...

Bachelor - Bad Brad

You can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be back to Bachelor blogging come January.

Remember Mr. Twenty-five-girls-isn't-enough-for-me-to-choose-from?
He's baaaack.

Don't shoot me, but I kinda like the guy. He's much better than that plastic-faced pilot who ruined the show a couple of seasons back.

Will you be watching? Will you join the conversation? Suddenly January doesn't look quite so gloomy...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet Me In St. Louis

Just want to welcome you to my little corner of the web.

I haven't lived in the St. Louis area long - going on five years, to be exact.
I really don't even consider this city to be "home."
(Chicago is's where the heart -and the pizza- is.)
But this is the place we've found ourselves for the time being and while St. Louis isn't my favorite place in the U.S. it does have a lot of wonderful qualities.

I just want to highlight a few of my favorite place in St. Louis and the surrounding areas.

The Fox Theatre

A gorgeous old theatre that hosts all of the Broadway shows and fabulous concerts.

I've had the privilege of visiting the Fabulous Fox (that's what they call it here) a few favorite was for the John Legend concert.
Oh dream of dreams...

The Missouri Botanical Gardens

One of my favorite day trips is a visit to the MoBot Gardens.
I think it's prettiest in the Spring when all of the tulips are in full, glorious bloom.

With authentic Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, English, Woodland and the Children's Gardens (and more!) it's a breathtaking experience.

The St. Louis Zoo
credit: Jamie

We like zoos. We've been to quite a few and the St. Louis Zoo is probably our favorite yet.
Not only is it a great zoo, but it's free. 
Free free free.
We love free - especially when there are children involved - you never know how long they'll last. The worst is to pay for a day out and realize that the kids just aren't having it.
Last time we were there we got to watch a mama elephant and her baby take a bath (think Dumbo) standing only 5 feet away. 
And their penguin exhibit is the best I've seen.

Forest Park

Forest Park is nestled in the bustle of the city - it's sort of an oasis. Walking/running/biking trails, a golf course, The Muny (an outdoor theatre), the zoo, The Art Museum (pictured below), restaurants and more are all home here.

Not to mention - the grounds are just a really good picnicking site.

The World's Fair of 1904 was held here.

One of my very favorite events ever is the Forest Park Balloon Glow.
It is held in September (I'll be posting about the 2010 edition soon).
Dozens of hot air balloons are inflated and, at dusk, on the honk of an air horn, they all are lit simultaneously to produce this fantastical glow.
It's really pretty amazing.

Soulard Farmer's Market

The Soulard Market - a bustle of activity.
Fish mongers, butchers, a spice shop, bakeries, trinket shops, a pet shop, flower sellers and produce stands.
This is the oldest Farmer's Market West of the Mississippi.

The City Museum

The City Museum is the most unique place I've ever been to. I'm not sure I can even describe it. It's like your favorite play ground with those plastic tube-tunnel thingies meets Alice in Wonderland meets skate park meets   
that eerie dream you had last night meets the coolest art class ever meets Six Flags. 
Yeah, it's cool. You have to see it to believe it.

And, lest you thought the city was all about citification and man-made wonders, if you travel 30 miles from the city you can find total, unobstructed nature.
Completely peaceful.

Other StL delights you can't miss:
Delmar - a street full of funky shops, ethnic restaurants, concert venues, tattoo parlors and the historic Blueberry Hill (restaurant and venue)
The Hill - where all the Italians hang out and establish luscious, authentic Italian restaurants.
A Cardinals Game - I don't love baseball, but Cards fans are pretty darn legendary, so you've gotta check them out.
The Magic House - St. Louis' version of a children's museum. My kids' Happy Place.

What you can do without:
St. Louis style pizza. The stuff is ridiculous. Crackers, sweet catsup and some provel cheese. Gag me.

So, there it is - some of my favorite things about the city I live in. Not a comprehensive list of my favorites but pretty close. 

And, in case you were wondering...No. I've never been up in the arch. I've been under the arch. I've been around the arch. I've even been above the arch. But in? Inside that thing? 

I just heard that a group of tourists got stuck in one of the little compartments up there and had to use someones iPhone to listen to music so they wouldn't all go completely nutty while they waited for help.

No arch/iPhone dance parties for me, ThankYouVeryMuch.

A Day in September

It's Saturday morning.
The Brawny Man is off running a bootcamp for ladies desperate to get (or stay) in shape...
meanwhile, I'm home running a bootcamp of my own.

Welcome to the mess hall.
Today we are serving Kix and skim.
The troops dig in.

Pvt. Britt Jax is breaking ranks for a quick scrub down - he wet the bunk last night and was smelling less than daisy fresh.

 Baby is clean, he needs his fatigues for the day - a quick check of the weather (and facebook) gives me a clue on how to dress him.

(this is the end of my military analogy because I'm not very well versed in army lingo and, frankly, I'm annoying myself with it.)

The big piggies bring me every children's Bible we own and ask me to read them a story.
I read Creation, Adam & Eve's Sin and Noah's Ark.
I stifle a giggle at Beck's dubbing of the first couple as "Madame and Eve."
Oy...There are so many things a mama could say to that one...

 After our journey through Genesis, I need a bit of nourishment.

Scrambled eggs and mango it is...

Isn't it delightful when food is this pretty?

There are no photos of myself doing various cleaning up type activities.
No one wants to see vacuums and brooms, piles of laundry and dirty dishes...
They were there.
I didn't document because this is my blog and in my blog I don't want to remember that I had to do nitty gritties in my Day in September.
So, fast forward a couple of hours...

Isn't it delightful when babies waking up from their morning naps are this adorable?
( is still in his onesie and stays in it until well after lunchtime. It's Saturday. Cut a girl a break.)

We sit for a little nursing session and a DVR'd Oprah episode - this one had John Legend singing from his new album. Which I must have. Pronto.

At least Miss Evie is dressed.
She gives baby brother a sweet squeeze.

Britt is eating some sort of applesauce/rice cereal concoction when Beck and Evie flit in from the back yard bearing the last pretty blooms of the butterfly bush.
So sweet.

"Hey, Ma, if you're gonna put a bunch of pictures of me on the Internet, the least you could do is put some pants on me."
So I did.
Red pants and to bed for nap #2.

He's not always the best napper - but today was a good nap day.

I set the big piglets up with a puzzle (a fun gift from Auntie) while I commenced more of Operation Cleanup. (More Army talk...I guess I had a little more in me.)

Old magazines and catalogues bound for recycling.

By now, all three kids are asleep and Mr. B. is home from inflicting pain and anguish on training his victims clients.
I whip us up a bit of lunch.
Fish and almonds on top of brown rice studded with little bits of mango and parsley - so good

I go to fetch the mail and I'll bet what I find there trumps ANY of the things you've found in your mailbox lately...

A bottle of ants.
That's how we roll.
After my spine has had it's fit of shivers, I usher the ants into their new home and The Kid With The Best Bedhead Ever eats his Nutella on toast snack and watches them tunnel and dig.

Ants in the dinning room.
Pure class.

I leave Mr. B. with the kids (and the ants) to indulge myself with one of my very favorite luxuries:
reading a good novel in my bed, covers up to my chin, followed by a nap.
Saturdays are good to me. Brawny Man is good to me.

When I wake, I hear squeals of "Gramma Honey!" from the driveway and I know my mom has arrived to play babysitter for the evening.

She came bearing dinner in the crock and dessert for the piggies.
Honestly, what a perfectly Grandma thing to do.
(In the crockpot? Stuffed peppers...crazy good.)

I steal away to the bedroom to get gussied up for a date with Mr. B.
(See my gorgeous peacock? I love him. From here.)

This is me. Attempting to be glam and sassy.
Instead I look a little like I might have a rare lip disorder.
Whatever. I felt hot and I was going out as a woman instead of a mommy for the first time in months. Hence, the strange pucker pose.

Britt's got his Gram and his mama's milk - he's good to go for the night.

We're off...

...and we're holding hands.

We arrive at the Symphony. man takes me to the symphony. No ordinary DinnerAndAMovie for us.

Such gorgeousness.

We got to hear the music of Tchaikovsky.
And hold hands some more.
And whisper during the loud parts.
And act like a couple instead of people-who-have-kids.

So, yeah, it was a nice evening.

I promised total and utter edge-of-your-seat fun for this Saturday Day in September. Did I deliver, or did I deliver?

You're probably parched and out of breath from the excitement of it all - go grab a drink of water, let your heart rate return to normal and then come back here and link up with your own Day in September (be sure it's the link to the actual post, not just your blog url) so we can come to your blog and get a little glimpse of your day.