Closing the door on April

April was for the most part, a cold and rainy month. But it is a new month, and a new moon, so here is to hoping that April Showers do bring May flowers, because I am so ready for those lovely colors to be popping up everywhere!

Last weekend was the last weekend in April, and we spent the majority of it outside. The first nice weather really this spring and we were making the most of it. Saturday we spent messing about in our small garden, trying to get things ready for planting, and admiring our new blueberry bushes and cherry tree that we planted. Midway through the day we took a break to drive into the city for a bike garage sale at Back Alley Bikes, which is a non-profit that works on bikes with kids and volunteers fix up bikes that people donate which they then sell cheaply to raise money for their mission. They also will give a free bike to any kid over the age of 5! The last Saturday of the month they have a garage sale where they sell off some of their fixed up bikes and my husband who is a bike nut wanted to go take a look at the bikes. So we did, although I was not really super interested as I am not a great bicyclist. So, it was to my surprise that I fell totally in love with an old bike from the 70s, a Sears and Roebuck Free Spirit, red. My husband had attached our bike rack just in case, so we paid our $50 and headed home. It was getting a little cold and dark by this time so I didn’t get a chance to try it out, but I am looking forward to giving it a whirl. Although, that might be a while…

Sunday we got up early and decided to visit Belle Isle. The sun was shining, and everything was almost technicolor in it’s beauty. We drove around, then got out to look at the conservatory, the gardens, and the koi pond (which freaked me out- did I mention I am weirdly afraid of fish?) I took a billion photos, one of which the Belle Isle Conservatory actually shared on their own Instagram page, which was pretty cool!

These were all taken around the koi pond. In all the times we have visited, we have never walked around in here!

After we had explored to our heart’s content, enjoying the beautiful tulips everywhere, we got back into our car to visit my mom for her birthday. We had a lovely visit complete with ice cream cake, and then as we were getting in the car to go home, I had a bit of an accident. I was putting stuff in the back of the Jeep, and when I shut the back hatch door, which swings up, I forgot the bike rack was still attached. And slammed it down on top of my head. It was instant searing pain, and an instant enormous goose egg on my forehead that my husband wouldn’t even let me look at. We went to the ER where they decided I was ok, but told me as I left that it was going to get really ugly…and they were so so so right. Even as I sit here now typing this 6 days later, I still have two black eyes, a bump on my head, and bruising down my cheeks to my mouth. I spent most of my week laying as low as I could, taking care of Wyatt but not doing much else. For a few days I couldn’t even really read due to swelling, although ice packs every twenty minutes one day took care of most of that. (thank goodness for moms who will take care of your kiddo so you can put ice on your eyes) I’m feeling and looking a lot better, but it was not an experience I ever want to repeat again! So a little PSA for you all: when you take the bike off the bike rack of your car, take the bike rack off too, if you are not someone who uses it a lot!

How about you all? How did you spend your last days in April?

Saturday Snapshot

SaturdaySnapshot

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads

In July, we went to a kite festival on Belle Isle in Detroit. We had gone the year before and it was such an amazing sight, all the multi-colored kites flying through the sky. This year was a little different. No kites. No wind. It was a still, hot, humid day. If the kites could have sailed through the moisture in the air, kite day would have been hopping! Despite the gross weather, we set up shop under a tree and hung out for a bit, listening to music, snacking, and basically just enjoying the day and some family time.

I remembered not to touch the fuzzy caterpillar! And I loved our shade tree – doesn’t it look like a woman, arms outstretched, head back, dancing in joy? I could be a little fanciful I guess.

Billy took a little walk, investigating the the food trucks that were lining the street. Wyatt and I stayed in the shade, waiting to see what Billy had found. Billy bought Wyatt his own snack, but somehow that little hand kept sneaking over and eating our chips and guacamole…. He of course was welcome to them, it had just never crossed our mind he would want it!

A short little outing, but we enjoyed some good tunes and family time. We are looking forward to next year – and hopefully a cooler, breezier day!

A Little Day Drinking..But First, Doughnuts..

Some weekends you just don’t want to end, and this is one of them.

Saturday began with an early morning wake up from Wyatt, who has for some reason decided weekends are for getting up early. Maybe he just really likes them too, all the family time and fun stuff we do, who knows. Whatever the case, we were up before it seemed like we should be. Instead of crying into our coffee, we piled into the car, slightly disheveled, and aimed for doughnuts. There is a local bakery, Sugarr Donuts, that sells craft donuts, and they sell out early, every day. Like sometimes before 10 am. We usually don’t get there early enough to get the cool weekend specials, but this Saturday, we did..

A shark week inspired donut! It was insanely sugary, but so full of goodness. We bought enough for the three of us, plus an extra to drop off to my niece as a surprise. She woke up ‘specially to eat her “silly shark cupcake.”

After our sugar rush and showers, my mom came over to watch the boyo, who was by this point ready for a nap and to hang out with grandma while we went out for a day date. A metropark near us was hosting a prohibition event, with interpreters on hand to talk about prohibition and Detroit. And, to give it a little extra kick, they were serving Michigan craft beers. I was super excited – I am a huge history nerd, and there are rumors that my family had a hand in rumrunning across the river during prohibition. We can see Canada right across the river here, and some houses and buildings even have underground tunnels that were used to smuggle in booze.

boots

The day was rainy, and I knew the event was outside in a field, so I was super excited to wear my super cute boots! Billy gave me these for my birthday a while ago from Modcloth, and I don’t get the opportunity to wear them much. I felt very British, in my foxy boots and swishy skirt.

beers

We are not big drinkers much anymore, much less day drinkers, so our day was definitely a departure from our norm. There were over 40 craft beers to choose from, and tickets were ten for ten, a ticket per beer. And I have to say, they were generous pours! We had a blast tasting the different choices. I had the Purple Gang Pilsner ( I had to – the Purple Gang was the Detroit gang that was in operation during Prohibition!), Copyright Cream, Bonfire Brown, Lager of the Lakes, and the Kamikaze Kaleidoscope (a wheat). I am a light beer, pilsner/lager gal, so I stuck to a few I figured I would like and went “crazy” on the other two. Of my five, my favorite was the Purple Gang Pilsner.

Billy likes IPAs, which are not my thing, but he also tried a few fruity type beers, including our overall hands down favorite of the day. He had the Lost Dune (which is about the town of Saigon, Michigan, a fascinating story!), Better Life Choices (IPA), Blueberry Lemonade Shandy, Blood Orange Honey, Level 92 Black IPA, and one called Blue Magic, which was amazing!! It was blueberry with lavender, and it was so good! Definitely the best one of the day.
blue magic

We also chatted for a bit with the interpreters about the history of Detroit and Prohibition, and one guy was on hand with this old school Ford truck. He told us the model which of course I don’t recall, since I had tasted all those beers first. If you know, let me know!

truck

Who’s got the hooch?

It was a fun, relaxing afternoon, albeit a slightly damp and rainy one. It was a great start to our weekend!

Dino-Might!

I love dinosaurs. I always have. I used to dream about being a paleontologist when I was a kid, but then realized I was better at words than math. I have a love for the sciences even though I am not great at them, and I want to pass this along early to my son. I started collecting dinosaur crafts and projects and coloring books and all sorts of fun things to do with him in July, which I deemed would now be known as Dino-month.

So I was super excited when I saw that a nearby indoor playscape/preschool/wellness center was having a drop in class for preschoolers and toddlers all about dinosaurs!! There would be songs and stories and sensory bins and a craft – all for $12! I was so excited to take Wyatt. I knew he would love it. Then I realized…I would have to socialize too! My biggest nightmare as an introvert super shy momma, is interacting with other parents. But, like we push our kids to move past their fears, so must we as parents push past ours. And it is good for us to get out of our comfort zones too – I need to grow and move forward as well. So, this was it for me. Wyatt needs to do this sort of thing, it is so good for all kids to interact with their peers and all that, and especially for Wyatt. As a kid with some developmental disabilities due to his CP, he picks up a lot of language and movement by being around other kids. So, it was time for this momma to toughen up and go talk to some strangers! Lol.

dino4

I had this super cute outfit laid out for him to wear – but then it got breakfast on it and had to be changed. Note to self: put cute outfit on preschooler after he eats..

We finally rolled up to the place, which was in the middle of an adorable neighborhood. I was feeling nervous, made worse when I walked right in to the end of the baby and mom yoga class that was before the Jurassic Wonders class. But the yogi (whom I actually knew, I met her when our husbands worked together years ago) is a sweet welcoming soul who made me feel less awkward and less like bolting back out the door. Wyatt and I took a seat and waited for the class to clear out then I put him down to explore. The place, Nature’s Playhouse, was super accessible and I totally loved its vibe. Natural materials, solid and sturdy wooden toys everywhere, tables scattered about, puzzles, a rocking board. I felt like I was in a kid’s secret fort. Wyatt dug it, and enjoyed that shoes weren’t supposed to be worn in that room, since he hates wearing shoes. He had a big grin on his face the whole time we were there.

As the rest of the parents and kids trooped in, we circled up with our kids for story time  and songs. Afterwards, there were two sensory areas, an area with dinosaur books to flip through, including a cool one with different textures to touch, and the craft, which was painting a dinosaur with sponges and paint. Wyatt and I started with the painting, getting the messiest out of the way first.

dino 1

I think he did a great job! After that we headed over to the sifting through the sand bin, where the kids used paintbrushes to brush away the sand to find the dinosaur stickers hidden under the sand. Wyatt seriously loved this the best. Most of the other kids liked the area where you dug through beans and did some pouring and jazz, but Wyatt liked the sand area. We happily played over there, I made awkward (on my end) conversation with another mother, then, it was time to go! The class passed by super quickly.

I am so glad that I went – Wyatt had a blast! I will have to watch for other classes that fit into our crazy life schedules, even if it is just to drop in and play. It is worth it for the big grin I saw on my son’s face the whole time we were there.

Walking back to the car, I noticed the sidewalk full of acorn hats, something I had missed on the way in. I stopped and picked one up. Acorns are special to our family, almost a talisman. My Wyatt is my acorn, my tiny boy – and like my grandma said, “From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks.”  Stumbling on these acorns was a reminder, I think, of how we all need to grow, to be strong and to be mighty..

I am looking forward to our next visit!

Girls’ Night Out

So my super amazing, thoughtful, hilarious friend met a pretty awesome guy, and fell in love. And what comes after Love? That’s right, marriage!

(I am a little off timing wise posting this, since she got married over Father’s Day weekend, in a beautiful seaside wedding)

Since Jill was having a destination wedding and due to different circumstances, mostly toddlers, we were not able to go. But we couldn’t of course let this time of her life go by without a celebration. So, girls’ night out it was!

We started the night out with dinner at Rock City Eatery in Detroit, which is a hip little place, slightly edgy, with a great menu. There are just enough different options, with something for everyone – the safe choices, the more experimental choices, vegetarian choices. And our table seemed to hit them all, with octopus, brisket, and macaroni gracing the table. However, the big deal of the meal were the pickles as appetizers.

Yes, pickles. Not only do they make them there, apparently you can take the jar of them home when you leave. I have to say though, I don’t like pickles! I took everyone’s word for it though that they were fantastically amazing and worth being so acclaimed. I preferred the poutine, which was delicious.

They also had some pretty legit craft cocktails! I was the designated driver, so I did not indulge in one all to myself, but I definitely sampled the array around me! And god bless American they were good!! I need to go back when I am not the designated driver because, they were awesome.

 

 

The desserts looked pretty BA too, but we decided to do something fancy and class it up for our friend instead. Instead, we skipped across the street to The Whitney, and up to their dessert parlor. Yes, parlor. The Whitney is an historic mansion of a n old lumber baron in Detroit on Woodward, beautiful and gorgeous. I didn’t take enough pictures at all, the whole night, sadly. We continued with drinking (or not, in my case. I did have a glass of wine though at dinner) Our server whipped up tableside Spanish coffee for those interested, and then we all dug in to our desserts. I had the flourless chocolate cake, which they called Ugli Cake, and it was divine. I had never had flourless cake before, and this one was so good! It was dense and nutty, and I ate every bite. The white chocolate strawberry torte was popular at our table, as was the bread pudding. We had such a blast, laughing and chatting, and feeling a little like little girls playing pretend. (but with booze) Some of us also had some fun posing like the portraits…

Sadly, our evening was not a late one, as most of us have little children at home. But we had a great time on our adventures out, celebrating one of our best friends. It was a fabulous night, magical when we left it seemed almost, with a chill in the air, a giant moon, and the mansion behind us. I can’t wait for our next night out!

whitney

 

Still Waiting on Spring

Michigan is still waiting for spring, it seems. Sometimes we get a sneak peek, but then it hides away again. Today is sunny – but also 24 degrees. I have strawberry plants that have arrived and want to be planted, but the ground is still frozen! For now they are living in the house, but I am going to have to come up with a new plan for these guys, my awesome Viking strawberries.

Yesterday was sunny and mild except for the crazy wind. The wind was biting cold when it slammed against you, but when it wasn’t stealing your breath, the day was actually not too bad. Our family celebrated the return of the sun to our area by heading downtown to Belle Isle and visiting the aquarium and conservatory, where we not only got the sun, but we also had humid temperatures, tropical plants, heat. It was wonderful, despite the fact that we were dressed for winter but walking through a greenhouse.

It was jam packed there – I am guessing everyone in the whole metro area was out enjoying the weather. We have had gray skies for too long! This whole state has a Vitamin D deficiency, as we wait for spring.

The garden was beautiful, full of green growing plants, smelling of earth and warmth. We saw a banana tree, a lemon tree, an orange tree, a pomelo tree. Cacti. A ginger plant, pink puffballs. Giant leaves bigger than Wyatt, delicate fronds, wispy ferns. A water fountain. Even signs that a cat lives there somewhere, but not the cat itself, although I would have loved that, and Wyatt would have too. He loves his kitties.

It was a nice day, that we ended with pizza slices from Supino’s, which has the most amazing pizza ever. It was Wyatt’s first time eating there, and he kept asking for more. Another fan is made. We stuck with the basics but I love their pizza with basil – I love basil anything. The slices are huge, thin crusted, so you can just fold them over and eat. But there is something about the crust, some taste, some deliciousness we can’t put our finger on – that is where the magic is. In that crust. We had a car picnic so I didn’t get any photos, but next time I will.

I feel inspired! This week we are going to start seeds indoors. Normally it would be too late, but with this delayed spring I think we should be ok.

How about you guys? Any thing in particular you like on pizza? Are you a thin crust person or a thick crust person?