Sunday, December 9, 2012

Building a restaurant

So in the past 3 months, a restaurant (surprisingly) took form! Thanks to our friend (and tech genius) Andy, there are some photos to document the time spent. 

Tennyson has graduated to a big boy car seat for the commute back & forth from Indy (don't call CPS) & remains calm, cool, & chubby. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Indy Project

Times are changing, that's for sure. As I sit here today & type, the whole Cerulean gang (or at least a good 30 or so) are off on a kayaking adventure at Turkey Run State Park. Every year we try to do something that includes the whole staff whether it be a lake party, cookout, bonfire, etc. Just something that is fun, stress-free, & not related to work! We provide food, drinks, & hopefully an atmosphere where the staff can just enjoy each other's company & engage on a different level. Well, this year we decided to treat everyone to kayaks down a river- a 4 hour adventure! They loaded up coolers of Martins donuts, Strongbow Cider & Jimmy John's subs & headed for the open road around 6.30a! It should be a fantastic day for them- sunny skies & about 70 degrees- perfect! 
On the other hand, I am a bit sad. While you will NEVER hear me complain about time spent with the little dude, it is a bit disheartening to not be a part of the adventure for the first time in over 6 years. An unfortunate circumstance that leaves me sad for my loss... the loss of quality time with the staff. Yes, they really are that cool. : ) 
So, while I get a day "to myself" & the little one naps, I wanted to look forward to what is still to come.... Indianapolis. Wow, more cool people yet to come into our lives! Here is where we are at:

Our contractors gave me my own hard hat. That moment truly put things in perspective... Silly, I know... but sometimes it is the little things. : ) This was also Tenny's last tour before the restaurant is complete. For some reason the construction crews really frown on having a small child in "steel-toed boots & hard hats only" facilities. 

Both families have now see the space in its inception. Just wait until it is complete!

These are both open dining areas... The picture on the left also looks out toward the outdoor Garden area. That will come in 2013!

This will be booth seating along the window. 

This is what we are calling the "Food Lab". Guests can visually see whatever we decide to feature in a given day being prepared or created. Behind that to the right is a private dining room for the VIP's... ya know, like Reggie Miller. ; ) 

Bathrooms :)

Bar & lounge area looking towards the front entrance/host desk

2 more shots of the bar from each side: one from the host desk, one view down South Street (booth seating & server station on right)


So, quite obviously, we have a ways to go.... BUT it is also moving very quickly! At this point, I think the goal is just to keep up with everything... & ride out the current whenever we get the chance. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

6 months old

So, to help the Main Man keep up on all the shenanigans that happen around the house, I decided to send a random Tenny-ism email from time to time. Please don't take it like there is an absent father in the home cause that couldn't be FURTHER from the truth. But it helps us all stay connected & this kid grows so fast that who knows what even tomorrow may hold?! So, in honor of making it 6 months, I thought I would devote an entire blog to the growing boy by sharing the reports.....

Tenny-isms Part Un

Just a few things from this week to help you feel connected : ) & maybe some you already know!
  • He will most definitely eat carrots & be excited about it! You just have to be patient & he warms up to them!
  • He is a rolling machine- this morning in the hotel I had him rolling around on the floor while I was making coffee & when I turned my back for 10 seconds he was stuck under the tv stand! He grunted, thought it was kinda funny & then started crying for me to get him out. : )
  • He will fall asleep ANYWHERE with singing or the white noise app... otherwise, not as easy. He napped on a blanket on the floor at Shoop's.
  • He now knows what pajamas mean. Sometimes (about 50/50 right now) he begins his bedtime protest just by the changing of clothes
  • He poops in his walker. That is his spot. The past 4 poops have taken place in that walker. Today I actually caught him making a face- that is the first time I have witnessed a poop face. 
  • He is beginning to find Banks very funny. Lenny, of course, is still the BFF.
  • He can feed himself his own bottle with minimal help.... in his CAR SEAT. : )
  • He sits pretty well in the tripod position on his own. He is getting to the point where he would rather do that sometimes than be held. He is getting to be an extremely independent little boy.
  • However, he will not go to anyone but mom... not sure about this one... if I am in the room, he may be ok for a few minutes but not normally... 
  • TOES!!!
  • He has started trying to "eat" the water in the bath
  • He is responding to his name, gets really excited when you say "good job" & understands "no"
  • He likes to be around a lot of people but he doesn't like to be the center of attention. He will sit fine if no one is paying attention to him but as soon as everyone is in his face, he gets anxious :)

Tenny-isms Part Deux

I should be doing a MILLION other things right now but I find this important because I know that we all miss each other...
  1. Tenny's poop is now usually brown with flecks of whatever he eats & IT STINKS. ; ) There is no questioning now whether he has pooped or not- just take a whiff. 
  2. First time I have ever seen him puke- twice. Not fun & kind of heart breaking. (can't wait til the first hangover) 
  3. He is starting to show less interest in nursing. Surprisingly has been very sad for me. 
  4. Ten rarely ever cries when he is hungry now. He will look at me & maybe whine a bit, if anything. I am proud that he trusts us enough to meet his needs in that regard & doesn't feel too panicked when hungry anymore. 
  5. He LOVES to watch the rain & the wind in the trees from his walker.
  6. Loud noises don't seem to scare him too much if I am an eyeshot away. He often looks to me for approval. 
  7. He sticks out his tongue & vibrates his lips. He finds it hilarious. He will also mimic it if you do it at him. This is the first thing I have seen him consistently mimic on cue. 
  8. I think he feels like a big boy in his high chair! I give him a lot of praise for sitting well in it & I think he is proud of himself. 
  9. He not only grabs at things now but he reaches- he will lean forward or scoot forward or turn in order to get want he is looking at. He has figured out that he can propel himself forward in some regards. 
  10. When I ask, "Are you silly?" He smiles, giggles a bit & says what I can only determine as "yaaaa" ; )
  11. Head butting & hair pulling is full time gig now. He hasn't bit me since the last time I told him No.
  12. I think he may actually look forward to his daytime naps. He gets excited to be in the crib & LOVES your grandma's afghan. However, if you miss the cues...screams may follow.
  13. Make that 3 pukes- 1 all over mom
  14. He is now in 9-12 mo clothes 
  15. He has started jerking his head from side to side really quickly when he is tired & trying not to fall asleep. It's really funny.
  16. I found that even after just a week of asking him not to put his hands in his mouth when eating, he rarely even tries to now. 
  17. He is SO SPUNKY- that boy is getting a little (biG!) personality on him & I am starting to see the toddler characteristics creep out... He wiggles his whole body when he gets excited almost to a point where its hard to hold him; he has a sly grin when he knows he's about to do something questionable; if I am not paying attention to him, he will whine so I look at him & then grin when I ask what is wrong (stinker!); he plays his cards well- he knows what to do to get what he wants & he's stubborn about it (for example, I want attention so I will just throw all my toys on the floor); he will side swipe or kick about anything he can reach at any moment so watch out- I have buried a wine glass & saturated cookbooks multiple times in the past week!
  18. The chub has thrown my back out 3 times in this past week trying to load him into the car with that carrier. However the wrist sprain from last week has healed.
  19. He almost always falls asleep on his side now. 
  20. He is very intuitive toward anything new. New scenery is especially welcomed & studied intently. (especially dogs)

Happy 6 mos Tennyson- you're one pretty cool dude!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A New Way of Life

This past weekend was jam-packed with festivities. So jam-packed, it started out stressful. While I had the day off work, which was great(!), I was planning a road trip with my little man to Canton, MI for an adoption shower. Although it was extremely exciting to get to go, I had never taken a trip that far with my little man. Alone. And even that would not have been too worrisome had I not known that we had to drive home that night, & then turn around & leave for Indianapolis @ 5.00a the next day! Do we want to raise this little dude to be flexible, yes! But I realized what I was asking him to do for me this weekend & it was quite unpredictable... In, what I like to call, my former life- pre-Tennyson- a weekend like this was a dime a dozen. No problem. Piece of cake. A welcomed adventure tied in with some hard work- 2 of my favorite things! 
And I let my anxiety get the best of me... 1 hour out on the open road during "nap time" & all anxiety had escaped. "We got this." Only one stop to eat & the planned 4.5 hour trip turned in to 3.5. That's right, we were early! (that would have never happened in my "former life") 
We not only got to celebrate at the adoption shower but I got to SEE a picture of the little baby boy that will be welcomed into Sara & Dave's family. My heart is full for them. The joy of a new baby boy is immeasurable & I am so excited for the experiences they are about to have! So, round one was a success! Friends, family & fun!

well, mostly ; )

After the adoption shower & a WAY TO QUICK visit with college buds, Tenny & I packed up to hit the road at "bed time". 5 minutes into the drive & he was out. Cold. This got me thinking- might as well continue the adventure & drive on down to Indianapolis. It would save us 1.5 hours of driving & keep the little man cozy as he dreams. Why not?! So with nothing but a diaper bag, breast pump, & a few random extra articles of clothing- the loving husband booked a hotel & South we sailed. Tenny was about as good as he could possibly be & although my ZZZ's were lacking, we stayed quite happy.

The following morning we prepared ourselves for the largest "catering" event we have done yet.... DigIN
And honestly, I did not do a whole lot... supported the guys, got them beer, talked with patrons, & managed the little guy. Meanwhile, our Indianapolis crew plated 2500 plates of pork belly confit over arugula & napa cabbage , topped with Goldwood Garden micros, candied hazelnuts, & may apple jelly. And yes, they said that 2500 times!

It was amazing to get a small glimpse of what we are about to embark upon in Indianapolis. It is legit & it is coming fast! The city is bustling & we just need to have enough food to feed everyone. 

The event went until 5.00p. Tenny & I made it until about 4.30p! Which to the little dude's credit, there are only so many times you can go to a beer tent in the baby bjorn before it just gets plain boring. So, we packed up again, patted the guys on the backs, & hit the road. The trip home involved a HUGE nap (who would blame him??) & feeding himself his bottle. In the carseat. For the first time.... The kid's a genius. And I could not be more thankful for the time we had. 
Two hours later, we made it home. Home sweet home. 

What a good feeling to know that these 2 lives will intersect & all will be ok. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Great Debate

Well it is no secret that in the Cerulean life, Sunday is a great day. It is often mentioned with the terms 'relaxing', 'unwinding', 'leave us alone', & 'what? you called? sorry, I didn't hear my phone'. It is our day of rest... and by rest, I just mean that the restaurant is closed so unless it is on fire, we ain't going near it!
This summer our Sundays have been especially rough in terms of causing much added stress to our, normally mundane, decision making processes ... where do we spend our day? 

The Lake.....

Or the pool....

Surely, you can feel our pain...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Many mouths to feed...

Consistency... what a word, huh?! It would be very safe to say that in the *front of the house* restaurant world there is very little consistency in terms of the day to day expectations.

  • Working hours- varies from day to day depending on the "needs"
  • Reservations- NEVER the same from day to day
  • Carryout orders- phew, exhausting unpredictability
  • Customer attitudes- well, is it rainy or sunny or hot or cold or Monday or Saturday or July or November....
  • Employees....sorry, don't even get me started on employees right now...
And that is how it goes. Everyday is new. Everyday is unpredictable. And everyday, no matter what was originally planned, will change exponentially. I like it that way. It keeps things interesting & fun & I never dread going in to work because everyday its like getting a surprise! So, the lack of consistency has never been a big deal....


Yes, this little ball of love knows what he wants & when he wants it.... And nobody better mess that up! 
So the past few months have been an arrangement of consistency for Tenny while keeping up with the rocky road of the restaurant world. To say that life feels like its moving at the speed of light may be an understatement- or an overstatement. To be frank, we are just trying to keep up. Everything is so new, so captive, so unpredictable. 
  • We had 4 managers- I had to let one go
  • I had a fantastic nanny- she just left to student teach
  • We were sleeping through the night- then came the baby teeth
  • Our schedule was finally fully staffed- then school began to start
So, the word you may be searching for is chaos & that is absolutely correct. We have been maintaining consistency amidst the chaos. 

A few things we have learned:
  1. As soon as you know an employee is not going to work out, let them go. Don't belabor the inevitable even on high hopes, it doesn't help anyone. 
  2. Dreaming something into existence is completely possible despite the odds. Even the smallest idea can produce the largest reward. (& yes, I am referring the Vespers concert when everyone said there is NO WAY they will come to the Garden & play... but they did) Check em out!
  3. Children get more & MORE FUN every week they are alive.
  4. A bulldog (or 2) will act out with fits of destruction when everyone & their mother comes over to see the baby but not them. 
  5. A smile does always win... whether its with a customer or a baby.
  6. Dancing around the room not only relieves restaurant stress but makes babies laugh. And in a world with little time to spare, a twofold outcome is greatly welcomed. 
  7. Blogging comes low on the priority list when there are emails to return, calls to make, & a baby to play with....
However, it is a new mission to get a little more organized, a little more routine & yes, maybe a little more consistency. There are many mouths to feed & only so much time to do it sooooooo- the game is on & this chica is ready! Bring it!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Leave of Absence

Well it has been exactly 3 months since my last post. And while generally I would find that extremely embarrassing (& still kinda do), things have been a bit crazy in the Cerulean life... well, more so than usual. 
To begin with, there has been much attention directed toward our new baby. And yes, I mean a literal baby... not Banks, not Lenny, not the restaurant... George Tennyson France. 
Born March 7th during one of the MOST beautiful weeks March has ever seen in Indiana... sunny, 70 degree weather, light spring breeze, birds chirping.... and plenty of opportunities to open the windows & let the fresh air breathe in on our new way of life. We could not be happier.
And yes, I could go on & on & ONNNN about the little man we commonly call, Tenny, but I will leave it alone for now in order to get all the other "babies" their fair share of recognition regarding their development the past 3 months....
For example, the bullies... other than a few attention deprived whines & bouts of rebellion with this new "thing" in the house...they have remained fairly consistent. Eat, sleep, poop, sleep, play, sleep. (and who said having a kid is any different) : ) 
The FANTASTIC husband (and yes, he has become even more fantastic if that's possible) turned the big 3-0 in the wake of Tennyson's arrival & while I did not feel he got the proper celebration in any way, shape or form- I think he considered it a good birthday. 
We continued the addition to our house- practically adding a whole other house worth to our property! And yes, they were pounding & drilling & sawing & beeping while I tried to manage a 1 week old baby. But no, he did not seem to mind... at all. 

The restaurant has progressed & changed in so many ways that I almost feel like an outsider going back to work.... One of the weirdest feelings I've had in awhile. We have turned over so many staff members that a server actually told a customer, who happened to be a good friend of mine, that she has never worked with me... ouch, kinda. I mean, wow, things have changed. The Garden is now open & in full swing & summer has succeeded in creeping upon us so fast that Bike Fest & Art Fair have already come & gone! Welcome to the summer! 
And yes, even though the Garden is only in its 3rd season, we did some renovating!

The Indianapolis location has taken off as well. Caleb has been back & forth quite a bit in the past few months. In fact, Tenny & I finally got to go with him this last trip! (And yes, we took the plane!) So I got to take a few pictures for myself of our new emerging space. 

The space will be delivered to us June 15th & then... hold on to your hats! We're moving in! 

So, I think that is the abridged, abbreviated, condensed version of all the new developments over the past 3 months. And yes, our hands are full.... 
but our hearts are even fuller. : )