Thursday, July 25, 2013

So Long, Summer!

My summer is pretty much over because I have a million things to do before school starts.  The good news is, I look forward to these million things because most of them involve taking on a leadership role in my school or my district and I'm all about being bossy without being The Boss!  Not to mention, I get to work with the world's greatest teachers, so going back to work is pretty much a treat for me!

We've had an amazing summer here at Chez Fasciotto.  Not perfect by any means (stupid Pinterest - I had GRAND plans), but amazing nonetheless.  Sylvia started ballet classes and my heart melts every time I watch.  Margot likes to give kisses to every dog she sees in real life or in a book or on her pajamas.

It seems like Margot does something brand new almost every day.  I'm amazed at how quickly she's learning to communicate and I'm depressed at how quickly she's leaving babyhood.  Whenever I start to get sad about her growing, she does something completely hilarious (ROAR like a lion?  Funniest thing ever!  Wish I had it on video,) and I remember that watching kids grow is the payoff for watching them grow.

I went looking for the video of Margot crawling and then found some other fun videos from this summer, and while I'm sure no one cares to watch all these videos of my kids, I know I'm going to look back on them someday and cry from all the cuteness.  So here they are:

Sylvia "reads" her first book!  My favorite part: "It was yummy and delicious and yummers and delicious."  I also love that she called the pickle "asparagus" because we do not eat pickles and I don't think she's ever seen a real, whole pickle before.  But the girl loves asparagus!

Margot has a lot to say, if only we knew what she was saying! I would also like to point out that mornings are only this calm and quiet when Daddy wakes up with the kids.  Imagine that.

A typical dinner at our house.  We're all finished eating...expect for Margot.  This was only a couple weeks ago, but her lion roar is much more lion-y these days.

This is how she crawls now.  Concrete, carpet...doesn't matter.  Once she figures out how to stand up, her life as a baby will be over.  Sadness!

We've been to lots of fun places and done lots of fun things this summer. And we've done some lame things like watch TV all day and eat terribly unhealthy yet sinfully delicious food....but isn't that what summers are for?  As for what's looks like Sylvain will be a STAY AT HOME DAD (!!!!!) once school starts and I have to be completely honest here:

Losing his job was the best thing that could have happened. 

We never would have pulled the trigger on dropping to one income unless we were forced to.  It won't be easy, but it will be what we've always wanted to do.  If a job comes along that's worth his time, he'll take it, but he is excited about taking care of the girls and living life in French together.  And I'm excited about all the jobs I get to take on at school.  I'm just a little sad to see summer go, but I'm much more excited to see the school year begin!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mama's 32!

Or, as Erin would put it...32-rific!  I had a wonderful birthday.  Here are the picture highlights!

Sylvain found three wineries in our area and we visited each one with my brother, John, and his girlfriend, Jess.  We met them at my Mom's house, where we dropped off the girls.  She and Jay watched them ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT!  Woohoo!  Mom also gave me gifts on top of the free babysitting, so she's pretty much my favorite person ever.

Our first winery was Stone Brook Winery in Camp Springs.  It was a beautiful place with very good wine.  It was the closest of the three, so it felt like we were in our own backyard!

These dummies ordered beer while Jess and I tasted wines.

I liked all but one of the five I chose.  I bought a bottle of the Vidal Blanc.  Yummy!

Beautiful gardens surrounding the house.  Very British and overgrown!

Next, we drove about 35 minutes south to Augusta to visit Baker-Bird Winery.  It was a beautiful historic house and cellar built into the side of a hill.  We had a great historic tour and a wine-making demonstration in the gigantic cellar.  These folks claim they are the first commercial winery in the US, but I overheard some other patrons scoffing that claim, insisting that Napa Valley has older wineries.  I don't know, these people had documents for everything so.....whatever.

Walking down the driveway, that's the roof of the building on our left!

We walked down a brand new staircase to the cellar and passed the side of the house where a porch (hopefully) once stood.  Otherwise that door would have been dangerous.

Ms. Bird, the owner, gave us the cellar demonstration. 

This pic doesn't do it justice: 90 ft long, 40 ft high, 40 ft wide.  It was huge.  At one time, it held almost 5,000 barrels of wine!!

Our tasting companion - the biggest spider I've ever seen in real life!

Now, the Baker-Bird Winery was beautiful and I believe that someday they will be a large established wine maker that could rival Elk Creek in Kentucky, but I was not crazy about their wine.  I did by a bottle of a dry red wine but I don't remember what it was called and I really only bought it to be nice.

Our last stop on the mini wine tour was Seven Hills Winery in California, KY.  It was by far my favorite!  The view was breathtaking and the owners were very down to earth and pleasant.   But...oh my goodness...the wine was DELICIOUS!  I tasted every one they had, sweet and dry.  I'm not a fan of sweet wine, but I loved ALL of their wines.  I bought a bottle of the Cabernet Franc.  I'm trying not to open it on a regular night and drink it all by myself!

Since it was our last stop before dinner, we all had a glass out on the porch.

It was the only winery (out of the three we saw) in which you could SEE the vines from the porch.

My day could have ended there and I would have been one happy camper, but Sylvain had more plans!  We met up with Ann and Andy at the York Street Cafe for dinner where I had the best birthday steak of my life.  Well, I'm not sure if it's better than Malone's in Lexington, but I think it might be.  I should really visit them both again soon just to be sure.

Since we were having so much fun and the kids were well cared for, we didn't let the night end at dinner.  Which was a shame, because our next move was not a great idea. I blame my brother.

We went to Bobby Mackey's. 

I always assume that everyone knows this bar, but alas, it's really only famous in Northern KY.  It's supposed to be haunted.  It's really just a sad, lonely, smokey country music bar.  I've only been one other time in my life and I didn't enjoy it.  I agreed to give it a try, and we had a good time, but the night ended like this:

That would be me on a mechanical bull.  I was peer pressured into it and I only have a few things to say about the matter:
1.  I'm glad it was super early and we were the only people there.
2.  I'm glad I did it, so I can say I've done it, and now I'll never have to do it again.
3.  Mothers should not ride mechanical bulls.
4.  I'm not going to let that unfortunate experience ruin my birthday, because when all was said and done, we had a really GREAT time!

I'm 100% sure that being 32 is going to be awesome! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sausage Fest! (and a trip to the Zoo)

No, seriously.  There's a REAL Sausage Fest in Cincinnati every summer!  Apologies to my vegetarian friends, but we had a darn good time sampling the finest brats, metts, and my personal favorite...goetta!  Sylvia had her first brat, which I thought she'd hate, but she loved the first and only bite she took.  Then she ate the cheese off the top and snacked for the rest of the night.  Whatever!  It's summer.  Sylvain ate a hot mett and loved it and Margot and I shared a goetta, egg and cheese sandwich!  Oh. My. Goodness.  I'm pretty picky about goetta, for example: I hate the goetta at the Hofbrau Haus or in most restaurants, but this goetta was perfect!  Crispy and delicious. 

Sylvia was having a hard time being anything other than a three year old.  There was a lot of "I want" and "BUT PLEASE!!!" and screaming and crying.  Finally, after we all ate dinner, we decided to let the kids be kids and she perked right up.  She loved the bouncy houses and the GIANT alligator slide (which scared me to death, but she survived).  I didn't think to pull out my camera, though, until we got to this:

Glitter Rainbow face painting?  Yes, please! 

Too bad she only got to wear it for, like, an hour before she had to take a bath.
 Then we found this...

Cici got a glitter tattoo on her arm - probably a better move than paint on the face.  Sylvia kept rubbing her eyes in the car and we had rainbow paint everywhere!

Poor Margot was a total champ, hanging out in the stroller watching the big girls have all the fun!  She did love the misting tent and the live music.  She's a dancer!

This is Sylvain's favorite picture from the evening - I'm all happy and Margot's all, "I don't know, Mom.  I might puke."

Sylvia enjoyed her fist cotton candy!

Okay, do you remember what it felt like to be a kid and eat cotton candy with a painted face?  Remember how it felt awesome and terrible at the same time?  Sticky, sweaty, uncomfortable, and amazing!  Sylvia took a shower when we got home, and I've never seen her more cozy, comfy and relaxed once that junk was off her face and the sugar high wore off!  We watched the rainbow paint swirl down the drain and she let out an audible sigh of relief..."Aaahhhhhh....."

Now, if you haven't had enough pictures, I thought I'd tack on some picks from our trip to the zoo yesterday - hooray for summer!  And might I add - this weather has been amazing.  I won't complain if the rest of the summer stays just like this: sunny and warm, but not sweltering.  It feels good in the shade and when the breeze blows.  Heaven on earth, I tell ya! 

Sylvia touched a lizard.  Multiple times.  That's my girl!

A sign for the new "Nursing Nest!"  DANG!  Where was that last summer?

Waiting for the train ride to start - the highlight of every trip.

Margot loved the train.  She nearly jumped out of the moving car when she saw the wolves, because she wanted to snuggle with them.

A bird landed on my head.  It was weird and I did not love it.

And one landed on Sylvain's neck.  He laughed, I panicked.  The bird didn't kill him, though, so....we survived.

A nice stranger bought some nectar for Sylvia.  The girl is fearless!

I gave it a try.  Two birds almost killed me on their way to the nectar.  Margot loved it.


Sylvia loves these lazy fellas.
Of all the amazing animals at the zoo - Sylvia's favorite?  The butterflies!!  We need a butterfly garden at our house.
And there you have it!  I didn't take any pictures of the magical moment we all had with the penguins.  They were swimming right next to the glass and an EMPEROR PENGUIN floated up to us and stopped to stare RIGHT AT US!  I cried a little.  It was truly an amazing experience. 

Tomorrow I turn 32.  If I feel like posting about it I will, but if I don't, just know that we have a lot of fun CHILDLESS things planned for tomorrow!