new nephew and a day off

I have a nephew! He is adorable and I get to see him a week from tomorrow, June 9th. I’m so excited and glad I took the day off and booked the flight in enough time to see him in his ‘natural habitat’ at home with his mom and dad.

Today we had a busy day, and we started it off having breakfast with our dear friend Cindy and eating lunch at Grand Day Cafe in grandview. It was lovely. The whole day it was POURING down rain, so my ideas for Family Fun Day at Columbus Commons and hitting up the tennis courts with Simon were dashed by the rain. So instead we went to the grocery store and I bought all the trappings to make this yummy pork chop recipe that was in my most recent edition of Food magazine (gift from sister in law Miranda- Magazine subscriptions like this are the best gifts ever!).

mmmm

And of course I didn’t read the part that says, “Leave to marinate in bag for at least 8 hours.” So I started the recipe and will have to finish it Saturday or Sunday. Anyhow, it looks yummy and I had ALL the ingredients needed except the pork and vegetables. So win win for me! I have a lot of spices left over from my Spice Rub Christmas Gifts of 2011. It’s nice but there’s no way I’m going to use all this leftover Ginger and Coriander and Nutmeg from the Jamaican Jerk recipe I used. I’m up for suggestions if anyone has them!

So after putting the groceries away, I sent out an SOS call to my dear brother Brett, and asked if he’d be interested in helping me entertain Simon this afternoon, since clearly he was not entertained enough by me. I can’t tell if my patience wick is shorter due to lack of full nicotine, or if it’s just because he’s getting more difficult but MAN today was a tough day with this kid. “Simon, don’t touch the pork chops. They will make you sick. ” Turn around, and he has pulled up a step stool to the counter and has two palms on two raw pork chops. Great.

So I had read about this Central Ohio Fire Museum in Parents newspaper magazine, and decided to give it a shot. It was downtown and cheap, so why not? Easy way to kill a few hours before naptime I figured. I didn’t want to make the trek to COSI which requires more time on your hands to kill, so this seemed like a good idea. It was really neat!

Antique fire engines and horse-drawn firefighter gear

I’m in a local-history mood (more on that later) but they renovated the old Fire Engine house to be this museum. There were really neat things on display there and a very cool interactive learning center in the back room, where the horse stables used to be. Apparently Columbus went entirely motorized (no horses) in 1919 (!?) so after that year there were no horses in the stables. But they have a pretend horse and pretend apples to feed the pretend horse. This was probably Simon’s favorite horse ever, since it was not real.

Simon feeding “Jim” the horse a plastic apple.

Back in the stable area you could see where they previously had wooden bricks instead of regular bricks, so they were easier on the horses’ feet. And the original stable doors were there too. You could also see the hole in the ceiling from where they would throw hay down for the horses to eat. They also offer classes for kids to learn how to properly leave their home if it was on fire. I think Kindergarteners and 1st graders would get a HUGE kick out of this. The “bedroom” door heats up so when they feel it, they must choose to open the door and leave the room that way, or exit through the window, which has a roof outside of it leading to the ground. It was really neat and informative. The best part was the play area in the back, where kids could play on a firetruck with lights and sirens, slide down the pole, put on fireman gear (if they weren’t already wearing their own, like Simon was) and even drive a “firetruck” in front of a screen that showed video of a truck driving through the streets of Columbus.

Simon was not happy about leaving the Fire Museum, but right after this picture Brett and I were laughing so hard at Simon’s face, that soon he was laughing too. Pouty face.

For $6/adult and $3/kid, it was worth the trip. Simon had a blast and even I enjoyed seeing the antique fire equipment and learning more about how fires were fought back in the day. It was really cool. The working fire station is just a block away and if the doors are up you’re welcome to walk by and peek in, so we did that. Simon always says, “TOP GUN!” with a thumbs up, thanks to his Grandpa Simon, so we had to take a picture in front of one of the garage doors saying Top Gun.

Top Gun!

We ended the day with frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf and it was delicious, even though Simon was once again upset over something trivial. This time it was because he dropped his plastic spoon on the floor of the men’s restroom and Mean Old Uncle Bert threw it away instead of letting him put it back in his mouth. Oh the injustice!

So quickly back to my recent interest in Local History- I started reading this book: Look To Lazarus: the Big Store. It’s all about Lazarus (now Macy’s) that was downtown. It is really cool and it’s history started back in the 1800s. I think I like learning about Columbus’ past because I know my great grandfather and grandparents all came here for college at Ohio State (then an agricultural college). I like to think of what it was like when they were here. I always enjoyed talking to my grandpa about his days in Columbus, and seeing the pictures and hearing the history of this store (in the book) is really interesting to me.

Of course I SHOULD be reading about 15-20 teen books for Summer Reading recommendations but instead I’m nerding out in my local history book. And I can tell this is going to start a “thing” for me. I’m already interested in tracking down more historical societies in the area and thinking about taking Simon to the Ohio Historical Society too. Let’s be honest, its’s for me more than him.

So that’s that. Seven day countdown to see my nephew starts tomorrow!

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