Making Summer last...

We usually take a summer vacation but this just didn't work out.  The girls and I were both sad to miss the beach as this is the first time since they've been born that we couldn't go.  (Um wait...maybe second, I think we skipped the year Sprout was born too). So we decided we would stay home and do loads of fun things.  And we feet are still aching from all the walking and my thighs...enjoyed the pizza and pop and other goodies we had as well.

One of the things I liked best was that I got to sleep in my own bed every night.  And I didn't have to pack.  And there weren't any long drives...well, except to Cincinnati.  That was a couple of hours.  But it was a fun week.

A few of the things we did included a boat ride down the Ohio River.  It was a lunch cruise and it was yummy.  Sprout ate a ton of food!  And perhaps two pieces of cake...or at least licked all the frosting off of two pieces of cake.  "Banjo Bob" played old time music and gave us a lot of history about the area.  It was really nice and the kids loved it.

After our lunch cruise, we hit the Newport Aquarium.  The shark tank...SO COOL!  The girls even got to pet a shark!  Who pets a shark?!?  That's crazy!

One thing the girls had been looking forward to for weeks and weeks was WEDNESDAY.  We had decided to let them get hamsters but not until our vacation week.  So Wednesday, we adopted Poppy and Daisy.  I am now somewhat regretting this decision.  They are so excited and love them.  Me...they are cute and the novelty has already worn off, soon after the stink.  It's mild but the big one, Daisy, stinks.  Sigh.

The Columbus Zoo is amazing.  The animal exhibits...fabulous.  But we didn't go to the zoo to see animals.  Because our zoo also has a golf course, huge water park and an amusement park area.  We went for the rides.  We never ride the rides at the zoo.  Because we go to see the animals.  But this week, we went JUST to ride the rides for once.  And to see the new polar bears.!  So much fun!

I think I rode the elephants at least 8 times with Sprout.  Um, the girl is like the energizer bunny.  Never stopped.  Never fussed.  Loved every minute.  Until about 5pm.  Then she totally just passed out in her stroller.  So cute.  Woke up 30 minutes later asking to go back on the elephants.

But for the Gardener and I, the Polar Bears were amazing!  You can view them from underneath or from the water surface...they played, they chased fish, they stuck their head in a bucket.  I was standing like 3 feet away from a polar bear.  3 FEET!  It left me speechless...squeeling and laughing with delight but no words.!

It was fun to watch the girls have such a great time.  Watching your kids just enjoy themselves, smile, laugh, run, play, ask for things and we said yes, yes, yes, all was really nice.  Really joyful.  Really blessed.  How are you making your summer last these days before school begins?



Sewin' with my hands tied...

...well, not exactly tied, but let's say very full.  Here's where being a twins Mom comes in handy.  I have a plethora of experience of doing things one handed or no handed and gettin' stuff done.

I'm often asked, "How on earth do you do all that you do?!".  And my answer is...I do not know.  For serious.  For one, I have a super helpful husband who cooks dinner without being asked, cleans my kitchen, um, quite frequently, and spends a whole heck of a lot of time with our kids.  The rest of my house...yeah, that...not so much organized, or clean.  As my Mother said last week when she was here helping, "your house is clean...underneath all the stuff that's laying around".  You know, the 7...oh yes ladies, SEVEN tubs of clean laundry in my bedroom that are folded but not put away.  Yeah, that's "how on earth I do all that I do" (wink! wink!).  It's called, just shut the door when company comes and hide the messes.

SOOOOO....I was prepping for this "craft show" on of my first.  And prepping lots of product and conferring with SuAnn, a fellow crafter who teams up with me frequently on events, and giving myself a serious ulcer in trying to get EVERYTHING done.  Let me backtrack...

Thursday before this event, I had the GREAT idea that we should go to the Zoo for the Wildlights preview night for zoo members.  (I HEART our Columbus Zoo!)  It was a school night, sort of raining and I thought, nobody will be there.  This will be great!  Um, apparently, EVERYONE else had this exact same thought because it was wall to wall people.  Kind of a bummer.  We got our photo taken with Santa.  Well, little pea is barely in the frame as she has this terrified look on her face and is trying to escape.  You can see my hands in the picture holding her back trying to get her to stay next to her sister for a quick photo.  I love it!  It's so funny!  Traumatic for her?  Oh, maybe slightly :>)  No!!  I'm just kidding!  She was fine so long as Santa was a good 10' away or so...close up, not so much.

Many people that night left their manners at home.  That was a bummer too.  Case in point.  We went in to sit with our little ones and eat some packed dinner as well as a couple of things we bought there.  No tables.  Packed.  One table was getting up to leave and we went over and asked to have their table.  They were very nice, said yes, and we sat our two older kids down and then some grown adult, his wife, and their 3 teenage children came over and LITERALLY took the seat out from under me and my husband and said they were sitting there.  I was dumbfounded.  What do you say?  This guy was clearly a jerk.  He's teenage daughter said, Ma'am, would you like this seat?  She saw what her Dad had done but I was too ticked.  I said no thank you and we stood behind our kids and just took care of them.  I can only imagine what must be going on in this guys life for him to think that he would bully some woman with a baby in stroller and two small children for a table.  Really?  But you know what?  Coming home in the car, for as much as my husband and I were "not happy" about our experience, our kids were talking about how they got to touch a sea star, see a shark, and they loved the "real" toy soldier that was marching around and posing for photos.  They didn't even notice it was crowded or the bad manners from others.

They just knew they got to go to the zoo on a school night and see the lights.  That made all my anger go away...they are such good kids.  With no prompting they both said, "thank you for taking us to the zoo".

Spending time with family comes first but that also meant my window for prepping was smaller.  But get it done, we did!  And here it is...

Well...that's pretty much it for this post.  I'm mush brain with thoughts of turkey and family all coming here for four days and...did I mention my house is a mess?  Oh, I must go start loading up bins and hiding my mess!  Happy Turkey week...

ps Up for a giveaway?  Kaye over at Miss Print is giving away a Hazel Hipster pattern...and her blog is fabulous.  Go check her out and follow her adventures.  You'll be glad you did!



{Our Easter parade...}

Where do I begin?  So much I want to share with you but so little time!  The girls enjoyed a great spring break last week and if you were following me on Twitter you know we headed out to the the snow.  I love working at the largest university in the country - gives me a chance to network with loads of people and luckily, one of our alumni board members is a keeper at the Columbus Zoo SO, she was wonderful enough to give my girls a behind the scenes tour.  We got to see exactly what she does to care for the animals and a chance to see a grizzly bear, 2 alaskan brown bears and a cougar very close!  So cool!  No photos to share of that as we were not allowed to take any in the back areas but...check this out!

This is the cafe at the zoo.  See anybody else there?  That's right...when it's 20' windchill and snowing - NOBODY goes to the zoo.  We saw two other people there all day.

Here's the girls in the "jungle" with a researcher!  Ha!  100_27541And some cool looking birds we saw in one of the aviarys...where it was WARM.



The flamingos were out...


The manatees and sea turtle at the aquarium section...


100_2804And so on to Easter...we went to my parents house which was fun.  The girls got these really cool little jackets for their American Girls from the sewing room of the easter bunny, aka The Doll Closet on etsy.  Really cute!100_2798

And they had a blast!  I have to say, they looked BE-AU-TI-FUL in their easter dresses.  They turned out really well, if I do say so myself!  I got the pattern for these from PinkFig.  I used the Lily pattern and had to adjust some because my girls are a size 8 and the pattern only went up to a size 7.  I added some extras on the ruffle, etc.  They LOVED them!  If you are looking for an easy EASY to use pattern line - PinkFig is it!

100_2814100_2812OK, so I never did get them to stand very still for a photo but here's a few portfolio get the idea!



And then...I've had quite a few orders for dresses lately.  I have some already listed on my etsy page. But here's a peek at a few..




And matching ponytail ribbon explosion thingy whatevers on their way to etsy's a peek at just one of them...


100_2809Does the baby look happy here?  Poor thing!  Her sisters love her TOO much!  Well, lots of photos, not too much text.  Since Easter (yesterday) one of the peas has been diagnosed with whooping cough.  She doesn't look sick does she?  Exactly why we had no idea...since all she had was a nagging cough.  Our AWESOME doctor caught it and well, things are now quite hectic in our house so I'll be back next week with an entry about handmade stuff!  (I noticed at my Moms, my sisters - dang!  I make a LOT of stuff cuz it's all over their house from paintings to placemats! More on that next week!)

I'll leave you with one last little cutie - my baby's first Easter.  Next week she celebrates her first birthday.  A very special little day.  She was born on April 25th - the same day as my oldest sister.  My oldest sister  died when she was 15 from complications from mono.  My baby being born on her birthday was quite special.

God bless - hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday!  Ciao, xo Trish


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