September 2010

The business of doughnuts...

File under: nada mucho

I try to avoid telling people about my dreams and I try to avoid hearing people's lengthy and confusing explanations about their dreams. I just think dreams don't translate well. In other words, you had to be there.

However, I woke up this morning in the middle of a dream that I thought was worth sharing. I won't go into the details because the details are boring, but right before I woke up, I saw a vision. There was a grainy gray and red image of me that was taken from an old photo from this time we went camping at our friend Pete's parents' camp. Under the image of me was a line of text. Here is my re-creation of what I saw in my dream.

I just had to share. This is probably not nearly as funny to anyone else as it is to me, but I went through the trouble to dig up the picture, scanning it, and doing some Photoshop magic.

Fran

4.5

File under: food | weekend update

We really crammed the fun in this weekend again. Friday was Greta's four and a half year birthday. When you're still young, it seems like birthdays are worth celebrating more than once a year, so we have a tradition of celebrating Greta's half birthdays. We got a pizza and some Cheesy Eddie's carrot cake and went over to hang with the Leshers. It was the perfect way to celebrate Greta's 4.5. Mike took some nice pictures of Greta that he shared with us.

This one just cracks me up. I don't know why I look so sad. I think I must be contemplating just how small I need to make all of the pieces to ensure I have lots of leftovers.

Saturday morning, Greta had her first dance lesson. Here she is before her lesson doing a "dance move." I like the crazy eyes. Don't mind the sneakers!

Parents wait out in the waiting room (or in 80% of the cases the parents haul ass someplace else as soon as the kids go back in the studio) during the lessons, so I didn't get to see Greta dancing with the rest of the kiddies, but she clearly had a wonderful time and she was able to show us some of her moves later on. And can I say I can't fathom leaving Greta in the dance studio while I just disappear and run errands or something?? Is that wrong?

Today, we had lunch at a new restaurant in Rochester, The Owl House. I actually went there earlier in the week with my friend Alex and haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. I couldn't wait to have Pat and Greta try it, and I also couldn't wait to eat another Fort Point sandwich (in a nutshell, it's a fried fish sandwich). Everybody knows how much I love Doug's Fish Fry, and I've tried many other fish sandwiches, none that have come close to tasting as fresh and delicious as Doug's. Well, comparing the two sandwiches is sort of like comparing apples and oranges, but damn, the Fort Point gives Doug's Fish Fry a run for its money in the fish sandwich department. At this point, I will call them different but equal. You heard it here first. (Sorry, Doug. I will always, always, always love your fish fry [not that you read my cruddy website].)I'm sure the rest of the food at The Owl House is amazing too, but I may never know since they had me at panko-encrusted tilapia croquette.

Oh, also, we took our annual trip to Powers Farm Market. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

Every time after Greta feeds one of the animals, she does this funny little slobber hand dance for a second or two.

We're currently in a phase where when we ask Greta to smile, we get something like ridiculous. Exhibit A.

After some coaxing we got this.

Fran

You can pick your friends, and you can pick your apples, but you can't pick your friends' apples

File under: weekend update

Friday night: I was grumpy and had a headache, but Pat and Greta totally lured me to RIT for a carnival and fireworks. The carnival and fireworks didn't really help my headache, but they sure were fun. It was fun to watch Greta take it all in. We ran into Greta's best daycare buddy and her family and got to watch fireworks with them. Oddly, they were the best fireworks we'd ever seen. They just seemed extra super duper loud, bright, and big. We were close enough that we were getting hit by ash and firework shrapnel, which is just close enough for me. (I love fireworks.) It was such a good impromptu night of fun.

Saturday: We had a lazy morning, and then when I was in the shower I had this overwhelming feeling that Greta's swim classes started that day. Pat confirmed and we high-tailed it over to RIT for Greta's first swim class. It was one-on-one instruction, and while Greta was clearly nervous and reserved, she made great progress with her new instructor, Erica (who was much sweeter than my childhood swim teacher, Mrs. Casper, the former drill instructor).

Saturday night: We headed down the street to our neighborhood block party. It was sort of highfalutin! We hung out with the Johnsons, and the girls had so much fun together. There was good food, booze, good company, and after a fairly horrible DJ, there was a fairly awesome band. Everyone really whooped it up, and the band very well had the best gig of their music-playin' lives.  They played a hybrid of Bust a Move and Norwegian Wood that sort of blew my mind. Sadly, I have no idea what the name of the band is, or I would totally give them props here.

Sunday: I took Greta to an apple orchard we'd never been to called Lagoner Farms. It was a bit of a drive, but I loved that they had all of the must-haves I look for in an orchard and it wasn't at all crowded. We took some pictures.

We also made the best apple pie ever.

Later on Sunday, Pat took Greta to Seabreeze for one last time during the summer season. They didn't win any awesome prizes, but they did have a lovely time.

What else? We also signed Greta up for dance classes (finally). That is something I've been looking forward to since Greta was a zygote. (No pressure, Greta.) We went and bought her ballet slippers and tap shoes tonight, and the look on her face when she made the first tapping noise on the tile floor in the shoe store was the GREATEST LOOK EVER. I can't wait to see my little bunny dance. I think my heart will explode with joy a thousand times. (Really, no pressure, Greta.)

Fran

Seabreasy

File under: nada mucho

I mentioned that we went to Seabreeze last week and that it deserved its own post. It was a week night and we just wanted to go for a couple hours to enjoy the nice weather and get out for a bit. I sort of randomly suggested Greta play some game, and somehow she walked away with the "jumbo" prize (based on luck, not skill—or maybe she's a total ringer, I don't know) for that particular game. She picked out this big yellow dog, and we were enjoying the thrill of the win, when Pat plunked down $3 to play some other game. I thought he was nuts, but Pat said, "This is my game." Um, okay. (Pat worked a summer at Enchanted Forest, but I didn't know he had mastered a midway game!) About 30 seconds later, we were walking away with the biggest stuffed dog dressed in a banana costume I've ever seen.

It was sort of surreal. After they won their prizes, whenever they would go on rides, I had to stand there holding both of the giant stuffed animals, and it was so ridiculous. I kept getting heckled by strangers, and it was hilarious. (Maybe you had to be there.)

Sadly, I neglected to take a picture at the time, while we were at the park, so I had to try to re-create the scene in the back yard tonight and then use my (piss poor) Photoshop Skills to simulate the actual event.

Or maybe you prefer this more realistic one in front of the carousel.

And then we went to France.

Followed by a stop in Africa.

Then we went home.

Greta picked the "doggie in the banana outfit," that Pat won, and at first I was just like, "Hmm, dog in a banana costume," and then it dawned on me that it's Brian, the dog from Family Guy, from this. It's one of the few Family Guy episodes I've actually seen. And now there's a giant hommage to it is in my living room. Naturally.

In case you want a behind-the-scenes look at tonight's photoshoot, here you go!

Fran

Hiking and LARPs

File under: weekend update

Hola, amigos. Where to begin?

This past month has been sort of a blur. August was the end of the fiscal year for the company I contract for, and I spent a lot of time either furiously editing (that's quite an image, right?) or nervously awaiting work I knew was going to hit at any moment. It wasn't pleasant, but I'm always willing to work my butt off to make crazy deadlines as long as it's the exception and not the rule. The only other thing I'll say about that is that I'm glad it's done and that I'm glad I accomplished everything I set out to accomplish.

Did I mention Pat has a new job? He is still working at RIT and doing a similar job, but he's in a different department now. The change has been a good one, but it means he's been working extra super hard and getting settled there.

To try and compensate (probably overly so), we have been trying to make things as fun as absolutely possible for Greta. A few highlights include going to Letchworth State Park (aka, the "Grand Canyon of the East"), going to Seabreeze multiple times (that is worthy of its own blog, which I will do soon-trust me), and going to Genesee Country Village and Museum. These things seem noteworthy to me because all of them were completely out of my comfort zone a month ago, but now I think they're all at least kind of awesome.

Last Sunday it was super hot and Pat and I were both overtired and slightly hung over (we went to a wedding Saturday night), so naturally we decided spending the day in the sun and hiking seemed like a fine idea. After I got over the feeling that I was going to pass out and we found trails in the lower area of the park, where we could actually get to the water, we had the best time, as evidenced by these pictures.

See? It's sort of Grand Canyony.

This is what I look like out of doors.

Greta was all serious about the hiking, and toward the end, she insisted that we let her carry the backpack. People were looking at us sort of funny when we got to the really steep parts and she was carrying the backpack like some sort of blond, four-year-old Sherpa, but I was very proud of her. I loved the day so much I had a big, dumb grin on my face the entire time (except when I was fighting the urge to keel over). It was great; I can't wait to go back.

On the way home from Letchworth, we let Greta start a movie in the car. When we got home, she brought the DVD player inside and made herself comfortable on our tile kitchen floor. I just thought it was cute and worth documenting.

Since branching out was so fun, today I suggested we go to Genesse Country Village and Museum (which I had seen pictures of in the past and that made me snicker). Today was colder and windier than a witch's elbow (what? witch elbows are wicked cold and windy), witch which we didn't let dampen our spirits with wind and cold. I took zero pictures, but as I sort of eluded to, pictures of this place don't do it justice. Greta was super into it and was talking to a lot of the LARPs (live-action role players). She asked them cute questions like, "How long did it take you to make that?" and "How long have you worked here?" and things like that. (It's amazing and so satisfying to see your kid turn into this little thoughtful person who isn't painfully shy!) Toward the end it felt like we had been there 5 million hours, and now I am so tired (and I think maybe a little wind burned??), but it was awesome. Yay for stepping out of my little tiny comfort zone.

Fran