Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beer tasting wrap-up!

The moment you have all been eagerly awating is finally here, the results of Dave's beer tasting are in! Dave finally had the Sweetwater IPA and at first said it smelled like cat pee (we have 3 cats, so we certainly know what that smells like...), I would have stopped drinking it right then and there, but Dave decided it was worth another sip. He said he should have drank it at the time he drank the other beers, he might have liked it a little better. His favorite from the beer tasting was the Blue Moon Rising Moon. He would like to tell his fans that when he commits to doing a beer review that he will do it all the way next time and not leaving you hanging with one beer left to review. I'm sure that makes you all feel better :)

He wishes he could review Cornoa every night, but I'm going to say that would get boring. One other new beer that wasn't in the first beer tasting is the Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen Triple IPA. The first time Dave had it was in Nashville at the Flying Saucer with Bob. The Flying Saucer has an excellent beer menu and super knowlegeable staff that did a great job explaining the beer and what it takes to make it taste it's best. With the Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen Triple IPA you have to pour equal parts in each glass (someting like a mini a brandy snifter glass would work best) three quarters of the way full. Then you take what's left in the bottle and do the wine swirl with it so it activates the yeast. After that you top off each glass with what is left in the bottle. Dave says it's, "very complex tasting, the flavors change with tempature, it's a sipping beer". He says it's not comparable to any other beers he's tasted. In fact, in Tennessee you can only buy the Houblon Chouffe Triple IPA at liquor stores because it has 9% alcohol. You might have to do a little searching if you want to find it at your local liquor store.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The 3 D's: Dave, Dylan, Dollywood

On Monday Dave and Dylan went to Dollywood. Dave had worked all weekend and had not gotten to spend anytime with the little man over the weekend so we decided to keep Dylan home from daycare so he and Dave could hang out. Dave decided that it would be fun if he took Dylan to Dollywood. We went to Dollywood once last year with Dylan and he was still to small to ride any of the rides, but this time he was big enough to go to the County Fair section of the park that has rides for little kids. Dave said Dylan also really liked watching the people float by in the boats on the river ride and whenever someone would float past he would let out an enthusiastic "WOW". When it took a while for people to float past Dylan would get agitated and say, "more, more" while signing it (yes, he can sign the word more).

He was also old enough to drive the cars along the track in another section of the park. Dave said Dylan had a great time driving the car, but he didn't do a very good job steering :)

They also went to the playground and Dylan had a great time going down the slides and just running around in general. However, as you can see from the video he was a little intimidated by the big slide and got some "encouragement" from Dave.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our child has an allergy?

Neither Dave or I have any allergies so I was hoping that Dylan would be lucky enough to follow in his parents foot steps and not have any allergies either. We didn't get that lucky. We found out yesterday that Dylan is allergic to penicillin. A few weeks ago he went to the doctor with a bad cough and we found out that he had croup and an ear infection. The doctor perscribed amoxicillan as usual and Dylan got better. However, on Tuesday, about eight days after he started the amoxicillan he got a rash, not just on his belly, but everywhere, arms, legs, and back. So, we made the trip to the doctor first thing Wednesday morning and she confirmed that Dylan is indeed allergic to penicillin. He is taking Orapred (a steroid) and Benadryl and did start to look better yesterday after his nap. But later in the day the rash flared up again and while he fell asleep pretty easily he woke up around 9pm and was up until about 11pm. Not very exciting for parents who are used to their child going to bed at 7:30pm and not waking up until 6:30 or 7am. We gave him more Benadryl and put some hydrocortisone creme on his neck, back and ankles as those seemed to be what was bothering him the most and tried to help him get back to sleep. Unfortunately, Benadryl does not have the same effect on Dylan that it has on his parents, Benadryl knocks Dave and I out, and it either makes Dylan hyper or does nothing, it certainly doesn't make him tired. I don't remember him having so much trouble sleeping even when he was teething.
The rash did look a little better this morning. Hopefully the Orapred & Benadryl Dylan took this morning will help him get through the day ok at daycare.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Let your children play

We had great weather in Knoxville this weekend, perfect for spending time outside. Saturday was a little cloudy, but luckily we didn't have any rain and Sunday was a little warm, but still great weather.

Dylan and I make our usual trip to the Market Square Farmers Market on Saturday and picked up a Tennessee strawberry roll, cinnamon swirl muffin, peanut butter cookie and chocolate chip cookie all from VG's bakery. All were excellent, the strawberry roll was chewy and sweet and perfect, the cinnamon swirl muffin was similar to monkey bread and really moist, I would certainly get both again. We haven't tried the cookies yet (I keep forgetting about them b/c they are in the pantry) so we shall try and remember to eat them tonight. I also got pesto chicken salad from Ms. Cock-A-Doodles and while it was a little pricey $6.50 for a 1/2 lb. it was excellent and I can't wait to try her other flavors.

After the farmers market Dylan and I headed over to World's Fair Park for the Knox County Library's Children's Festival of Reading. There was a kids play area with bubble machines, water activities, a bounce house and free Mayfield milk. There were also tents set up with vendors selling food and children related businesses like the Concord Sailing School,, book sellers and much more. Dylan had a great time getting in the sailboat that Concord Sailing School brought and petting the dogs that were there from the Humane Society and rehab dogs from HABIT (especially the Great Pyrenees, he was so sweet!). And of course there were lots of storytellers and musicians for the kids to watch and listen to.

World's Fair Park has a huge fountain that all the kids loved to play in as well as a playground. And here is where I get to the part about let your kids play. While the playground was busy since there was an event it was made more busy by parents on the play equipment. Seriously people, if you child is over 2 years old and can't climb on the equipment by themselves don't let them go on it. Also, you don't have to stand directly behind your children while they are playing with cars under a tent. I'm sure they can figure out how to play with the cars on their own. You can stand back and let them play so other children can have room to play. I don't think anyone is going to snatch your child while you are five feet away. I also overheard a grandparent (I'm guessing) telling another person at the park that, "His mother just doesn't let him run, she always has him tethered," explaining why his grandson was running around having a great time. Hello, he's a kid, isn't that what they are supposed to be doing? Did I miss something here? We aren't talking about a dog here, we're talking about a child.

Saturday was actually Take your children to the park and leave them there day, a day thought up by Free-Range Kids parenting blogger Lenore Skenazy. She was made famous and labeled the "worst parent in America" by letting her then nine year old son ride the NYC subway by himself. Since that event she has taken in upon herself to encourage other parents to let their children bike to school, play at the park on their own, play outside in their neighborhood on their own and in general let them play like we did when were were growing up. I grew up in a very small town (Lowden, IA population: 700ish) and my summer days were spend at the park or at the pool. With no adult supervision. Yes, there were lifeguards at the pool. But, my friend Katy and I would ride our bikes or scooters to the pool and spend the afternoon there WITHOUT OUR PARENTS. We would also go to the park WITHOUT OUR PARENTS. I am sure we were out of our parents sight for hours at a time, we knew to come home before it got dark. And you know what? I survived!

I hope Dylan will be able to do the same, we do have a park with in biking distance of our house, there is one major road to cross, but I am sure he will be able handle it when he is old enough.

Statistically, kids are safer today than they were when I was growing up in the 80's and 90's. Crime is down, but you know what is up? Television viewing, every child that is abducted is plastered on the television for us to see, creating paranoia that is understandable, but unfounded.

So let your kids play on their own, let their imagination and independence grow. They will thank you for it. I know I do.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Step three done!

Did you know that there are 5 steps to getting everything done outside at our house? I didn't either! (step one and step two saga)We were lucky to have Carolyn and Kyle in town earlier this week to help us complete step three on the house: repaint the shutters and front porch. Dave has been talking about wanting to replace or paint the reddish shutters on our house for a while now. However, our house is tannish and the roof shingles are reddish, so we don't have a lot of options. Our neighbors down the street just painted their shutters a dark brown that we really like, so we decided to do the same thing. And they look great! Carolyn spend the better part of yesterday afternoon spray painting the shutters. It is unbelieveable how much of a difference the new shutters do in making the house look updated!
Dave and Kyle repainted the front porch after replacing a few boards that had rotted. I was lucky and got to work and take care of Dylan, no manual labor for me!
Step four is painting the garage door and step five is replacing the RR ties below the deck. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday

Dylan loves playing outside in the sprinkler!

My dad putting new brakes on my Jeep! Thanks Dad!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Aren't dads great

My dad (Dave) and step-mom Julie made it to Knoxville around 6pm on Thursday night so they got to see Dylan before he went to bed. He was a little shy at first, but warmed up to Grandpa Dave pretty quickly. Dylan has always gotten along really well with my dad. I thought Dylan might be a little scared of him (my dad is a big guy 6'2" and we'll just say over 200 lbs.) since lately he has been scared of guys, but Dylan did really well and was just a little shy. He did see Grandpa Dave in April so I think helped that Dylan saw his Grandpa only a month ago. Dylan loves to go outside and Grandpa Dave likes being outside as well, he also brings Dylan a toy when he visits. This time it was plastic tools, something Dylan doesn't have, but we knew he would love (and he does). I must say that my step-mom Julie is good about helping my Dad figure out what is age appropriate (she has 4 grandkids from 4-9 years old). They also just spent a week in Florida with the grandkids so they were certainly in kid-mode.
It's so nice to have help with Dylan while the grandparents are here. On Fridays I work from home, so it was great to have Grandpa Dave and Grandma Julie hang out with Dylan and entertain him. Dad also found time to replace my brakes and put some much needed lubricant on Dave's brakes to stop them from squeaking. Also, Dave (as in my husband, not dad, sorry 2 Daves can get confusing!) learned how to replace brakes!
On Saturday morning we went to the Market Square Farmers Market and it did not disappoint. They had booths and booths of baked goods(but sadly no chorizo wrapped in bread), salad greens, onions, fresh strawberries, handmade items and much more. I picked up a morning glory and wild blueberry muffin from VG's Bakery and both were divine! There are also splash pads for kids to run through, which Dylan loved. There were also lots of dogs and Dylan is a big fan of dogs, so he got to pet a few of them. We walked over to Mast General Store to pick up some Granddaddy' Dave's Hot BBQ sauce for my dad, it's his favorite! And to see if they had anything good for Dylan. He needs a hat to wear outside, but they didn't have what we were looking for, so the search will continue.
Saturday afternoon I had to head over to Nashville to pick-up Carolyn and Kyle (Dave's mom and brother) from the airport so Dylan got to spend more quality time with the "Florida" Grandparents. The drive to Nashville was pretty uneventful which was good. Carolyn & Kyle's flight was on time so I got them picked up and we were back in Knoxville just before 9pm. I had put a pork shoulder in the crock pot on Saturday morning so Dave and the Florida Grandparents wouldn't have to worry about making dinner and it turned out great.
I used a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats:
1/2 c. BBQ Sauce -I used Famous Daves
Garlic powder
Coke/Coke Zero
Onion (1, sliced)
Put the pork shoulder/butt in the crock pot and turn to low. Season the pork shoulder (or butt) with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Pour the BBQ sauce over the pork. Put the sliced onion on top of the pork and BBQ sauce. Cover the pork with Coke. Cook on low for at least 8 hours.
It's that easy! And it turned out great. You could probably cut up the meat so you don't have to use as much Coke and you could also just throw everything in the crock pot instead of layering the onion and BBQ sauce.
It was great to come home from the airport and have dinner ready for our weary travelers (and myself).
More about Carolyn and Kyle's visit later this week!

Sick baby

Dylan has croup and an ear infection. He started coughing late in the day on Saturday and we thought that it was just from the pollen in the air. Yesterday he also had a fever from 100 to 101 most of the day even after giving him Tylenol, so Dave too him to the doctor this morning and the doctor said he has croup and an ear infection. I feel so bad for him! He hasn't been himself, lethargic and quite is not like Dylan at all. The doctor gave him a steroid so hopefully that will help the croup and an antibiotic for the ear infection. I don't know much about croup, thankfully the internet is very helpful and Mayo Clinic's website has a good overview, home treatments and more to help me understand what is going on with him and what to watch out for.
Luckily Carolyn and Kyle are here this week so Dave and I won't have to take time off work to take care of Dylan. Hopefully he will be back to his rambunctious, cheerful self soon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Family coming from everywhere!

We have a busy few weeks ahead of us. My dad and step-mom will be here on Thursday night and are staying through Sunday or Monday. On Saturday I am going to Nashville to pick up Carolyn and Kyle who are staying through Thursday and my mom is visiting June 4-7th. Did you get all that?
I am hoping we have good weather while our visitors are in town so we can go to the park and Market Square Farmers Market. I haven't been to the Farmers Market yet this year and I can't wait to go! We were in Chattanooga last Saturday and the weather was not very good the first weekend it opened. I am craving some fresh tomatoes and mozzarella as well as chorizo wrapped in yeast bread. I just have to get there early enough before they run out. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) Dylan gets up pretty early so I think we should be able to make it!
Our next few nights after work will involve some cleaning around the house to get ready for our guests, grocery shopping (what am I going to feed all these people?) and trying to find some time to catch up on our DVR'ed shows. The DVR is 68% full! And we haven't even watched the season premiere of Friday Night Lights! Maybe the cleaning will have to wait...

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Race

The moment you have all been waiting, not the results of Dave's beer tasting. The race results, Dave and Andrew (the Olympic Couch Riders) came in 16th in the North Chick Greenway Challenge! They are both a little disappointed in their finish, they started out really strong and did well throughout the entire race, but ran an extra mile or so due to a part of the course not being very clearly marked. That and some canoeing "issues" put them behind. They had a great time running the race and said that this one was harder than the Knoxville Urban Wilderness Challenge since there wasn't any downtime in this race. In the KUWC they had to wait to repel and for a few other challenges so they had time to catch their breath, that didn't happen in the North Chick Challenge. Nina and I (and all the kids) were able to see Dave and Andrew (and Bob and James) as they went through the transition area 3 times which was exciting. We were able to watch them do the frisbee golf, bow and arrow and then at the finish. This race was a combination of running, biking, challenges, canoeing, and swimming.
The kids had fun running around the huge open space and playing with the new kickball's we got them at Wal-Mart while we waited for Dave and Andrew and Bob and James to finish.
After the race Nina and I took the kids to the Tennessee Aquarium. We all had a great time petting the sting rays, looking at sharks, turtles, jelly fish and other fish. The aquarium is in two buildings, the Ocean Adventure and River Adventure. Both are huge and have a ton to see, they are also very kid friendly. I didn't have to lift Dylan up too much to be able to see into the tanks and there were a few animal interactions that all the boys really liked. We would definitely go again.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What we are doing this weekend...

imATHLETE Greenway Challenge Hixson, Tennessee, USA May 08, 2010

Or more so what Dave is doing on Saturday, running (and biking and kayaking) in another adventure race. This one is in Chattanooga, we are heading down there the night before with Dave's race partner, Andrew and his family. This race actually publishes the map ahead of time so Dylan and I, and Andrew's wife Nina and kids can hopefully watch at a few points.
The last race that Dave and Andrew (and our friend Jesse) ran was the Knoxville Urban Wilderness Challenge in March. They all had a great time and finished 15th out of 45 teams, not bad for their first race. While they all thought the race was tough they had a great time and immediately started looking for other adventure races to particpate in. Which has brought us to the North Chick Greenway Challenge 2010.
We haven't been to Chattanooga before and we are staying in the Hamilton Place area which is fairly close to the aquarium and other attractions so it should be a lot of fun. The winners of last years race finished in a little under 2 hours so hopefully we will have time to visit the aquarium before we head back to Knoxville on Saturday night.
I'll let you all know how the race goes and hopefully get some good photos to post!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bob's Birthday

Last night we went to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants not to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but for our friend Bob's 32nd birthday! It was great to celebrate Bob's birthday and catch up with him and Melea and also our friends Jesse and Amy. The margaritas were excellent as usual, the salsa was super spicy and Bob even got free dessert. Dylan on the other hand was a handful, literally. I don't know if he was just tired or what, but all he wanted to do was sit with Dave or I (mostly me) and not in the high chair. He even had the perfect vantage point and could look out over the entire restaurant from his spot in the high chair, which is usually enough to entertain him for a while. But that was not the case last night. He was good other than that though and he didn't cry when he saw Bob which was also good. Bob was one of the first people to visit us in the hospital after Dylan was born and the first person to hold Dylan other than Dave and I and the hospital staff, but Dylan doesn't seem to remember that :) He did give Bob a hug and kiss good bye last night, so maybe he is making some progress.

And maybe next time Dave will agree that we should get a babysitter...and I will remember the camera.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday

Now, actually last May.

Then, just another party. Dallas is in the back with the microphone & Ida is in front to the right of the guy with the accordion.

Dallas and Ida (my grandparents) will be celebrating 61 years together on May 7th! Happy Anniversary I hope you both have a wonderful day!

Making some changes

I am working on some layout changes to the blog, so bear with me over the next few days, you might see a few different layouts! I'll let you know when we have a final that will stay for a while.

Step two done! (Updated)

We finally got the landscaping done at the front of the house! It took us a while to decide which bushes/shrubs/flowers to plant, there are SO many choices. We already had day lilies planted in the front row, so we kept those. We also got a butterfly bush, which is on the left, if you are looking at the front of the house. Two white wings peony bushes, behind them, a foxglove. In the middle towards the right is a Japanese barberry and on the right next to the walkway 3 salvia (may night) flowers. Along the back, behind the butterfly bush, fox glove and salvias we planted 3 feather reed grasses. Around the light pole we brought in 3 rocks and then planted clusters of ornamental glasses.
We also put concrete planters with begonias in them on each side of the front door. On each side of the garage we planted Japanese holly (sky pencil).
We are both so glad to be done with this outdoor project! (we still have to paint the front porch though) It will be nice to spend our one day off together doing something other than working outside all day. I am sure Dylan would agree too!

UPDATE: Apparently my slideshow is not working, sorry, I'm not sure what the problem is. If you click on the "Picnik Show" at the bottom left of the box below it will take you to the slide show.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Anniversary dinner

To celebrate our 6 year anniversary Dave and I headed downtown Knoxville to the Crown & Goose pub to watch the Kentucky Derby and have dinner. We have both been to the Crown & Goose a few times and really liked it. Last night was no exception, the food was excellent, so was the service and atmosphere. We started off with a 1/2 dozen oysters for Dave and the Frenchman's cheese platter for me. The cheese platter came with Stilton (good, but definitely not my favorite), a triple creme (my favorite, perfect on crusty bread with walnuts, dried cranberries and honey) a sheep's milk cheese, Gruyere and Manchango. Unfortunately we didn't get photos of our appetizers because we were starving and dived right in! For dinner we split the sausage of the day, venison and blueberry which came with roasted sweet potatoes and Swiss chard. All excellent, the sausage was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy. We also had a few adult beverages to round out our evening!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

6 years

Today is Dave and I's 6 year anniversary! We went from dating for 9 months to moving to Florida, to moving again, getting engaged and married in 3 short years. I wouldn't change a thing, I know i married my best friend and I'm lucky to have someone who loves to go on new advertures, is patient and kind and a wonderful husband and father.
Happy Anniversary Dave! I love you!