"It takes a heap 'o livin' in a house t' make it a home" -Edgar A. Guest

Friday, July 25, 2008

Virginia Vacay

by Adam
Every summer all the U.S. automakers observe a union-mandated summer shutdown period for two weeks, so for us that meant vacation! We enjoyed a nice, long two weeks in Virginia with my family; a much needed vacation for all of us. Don't be deceived by this cute picture of Bean (aka "Lily") in her car seat, it was definitely a grueling 14-hour drive from Michigan to Virginia. Thank you D.C. traffic! We decided to leave at 4 a.m. on a Saturday so Lily would sleep for the first bit. The only problem with that was that I wanted to sleep too! Despite being tired, I wasn't about to let Tiffany be the one to start the road trip. It's just too emasculating. Once there, we wasted no time in getting out to play. Monday morning, sans Bean, we went with my brother and sister to Virginia Beach for the afternoon. It was nice, but a little cooler than we expected, hence the reason Tiffany spent a grand total of five minutes in the water. I'm sure her fear of sharks may have had something to do with her reluctance to get in the water (Let me [Tiff] interject that there were scores of jellyfish as well as a pod--yes, a pod--of dolphins, and everyone knows that where there are dolphins, there are sharks). The following day, Tiffany and I, once again minus the kid, ventured out to Busch Gardens Europe for the day. The day started off well with a ride on one of the smaller roller coasters, but started to deteriorate as we rode more rides. Much to my horror, Tiffany is not a good theme park companion. After just a few rides her stomach was churning and she was pretty much done for the day! Hard to believe, I know. We almost left early, but Tiffany sucked it up and stayed for a few more hours. One of the highlights was my riding (alone) the newest coaster there, Griffon.

It was intense, but would have been more fun with my wife. :( (Tiff again--let me just say that it was quite disheartening for me to find that I no longer had the stomach of steel I once had as a child.) We got a 7 day pass to the park, which included Water Country, the water park, which we both thoroughly enjoyed. We went with my parents to Busch Gardens a few days later and brought Lily along this time.We took her on her first ride--the carousel, which she seemed to enjoy.

We stayed for the fireworks display, but the day proved to be too much for Lily, and she somehow managed to sleep through them.

We also had time to go to Colonial Williamsburg. We had a nice afternoon walking around the settlement and taking advantage of the tourist photo opportunities. I think these stocks may become more useful when Lily is a little older!

This picture demonstrates who the real center of attention was on our trip--Tiff and I can't complain--it was nice to constantly have multiple people vying for time with Lily. We managed to go to our first movie since Lily was born--we saw Hancock and were both somewhat unimpressed, but it was nice to once again grace the seats of a movie theater.
We went to see my brother, Alex, in Richmond--since we'd never been there before we figured we should take at least one picture, so here it is--good, ol' Stonewall Jackson.
Tiffany's one request for the trip was to go to The Cheesecake Factory, so we went with my parents and sister, Ashley. I'm not a big fan of their food, but when the wife sets her mind on something I've learned it's best to acquiesce. The cheesecake was good and Lily was even allowed a bite of some whipped cream. Little did we know that she had no intention of stopping at one bite. We figured since we were indulging, we'd let her do the same.

After lunch we went to the beach at Fort Story, an Army training facility. The beaches were beautiful and clean, with white sand, beach grasses blowing in the wind, and a couple of lighthouses--very picturesque.

(we love how unsuspecting my dad looks in the picture on the right--little did he know that wave behind us was about to drench him)

Overall, it was an eventful trip. We had a lot of fun just hanging out with my family and taking it easy--which, of course made it all that much harder to have to return to normal life, but we're glad we were able to make the trip.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where do your loyalties lie?

I know I'm absolutely ridiculous, but I just don't care! For the last couple of weeks I've completely engrossed myself in the world of Twilight in anticipation of the release of Breaking Dawn, the final book in the series (except for Midnight Sun, of course--follow this link for further information: http://stepheniemeyer.com/midnightsun.html). Yes, I admit that Twilight is my secret shame--my guilty pleasure--for which I feel neither shame nor guilt. :) And I'd be willing to bet that the majority of people who actually read this blog have already pre-ordered their copy of Breaking Dawn (you know who you are). At the risk of creating a rift in my marriage, I feel compelled that I must profess that I am unequivocally cheering for Team Edward. August 2nd can't get here soon enough!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Mover and Shaker

Things are quickly changing around our house--Lily has started to crawl within the last week, which means my procrastination of baby-proofing our house has finally caught up with me, so I am now trying to put up some makeshift barriers to keep her away from the entertainment center and electrical cords and other such tempting objects. Rolling had been her previous method of getting from point A to point B, but she finally figured out how to get her legs to work. Unfortunately, she could only go in reverse for a while. For several days, this is what I found each time I walked into the living room. She was always in the same spot, her head just poking out from under the futon. Now, however, she has figured out how to scoot forward. Her preferred system is a combination of scooting and rolling to get to whatever has attracted her attention--usually something exciting like a bottle of lotion or a phone charger. Heaven forbid she want to play with one of her toys! Anyway, all of this activity tends to wear her out, so she's been sleeping quite well. I was checking on her during her afternoon nap the other day to find her like this.
She's got all of that space and yet 9 times out of 10, I find her pressed up against the rails of her crib. Oh well, whatever works for her.