Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Summer - Week #7

Summer is essentially over.  SOB.  Georgia and I are enjoying our last day at home today.  These two months at home seem to fly by faster and faster each year.  We didn't quite hit up the pool as much as we planned, but Georgia and I managed to cross off 90% or more of our summer to do list.  We had lots of fun planning our adventures... and have made it 2 months without killing each other (barely).  There's talk of creating a fall list sometime soon.

With 1st grade on the horizon, Grant moving up to the next class, Nick interviewing for new jobs as his current contract winds down, and my new part-time schedule this fall, we're in for some big changes at home.  Never a dull day!

Flashing back a few weeks to the 7th week of summer in early August...

Keeping up with the wacky August weather theme, we had the most glorious "fall-like" weather a few weekends back.  Highs for the day were predicted to be only in the 70s.  That's like mid-October or Halloween weather for DC/MD.  I kept seeing social media posts from friends checking out a place called Waredaca.  After some research, we discovered that it was a brewery not too far from our house.  A few quick texts with the neighbors and we set off to explore...


Adorable!
The farm was super cute.  The weather was perfect.  We grabbed snacks and brought them with us.  Kid friendly.  Dog friendly.  Excellent way to spend a gorgeous Saturday.  Babies + Beer = Brilliant.





If that is not an ideal way to spend the day, I don't know what is...
Scotlynn helping Nick with cornhole
Our perfect little shady spot to sip some beer, play some cornhole, snack and people/dog watch.  It felt like we were back in the Finger Lakes in NY!



We kept seeing horses in the distance, so I took the kids to go explore the rest of the farm.



And then a horse walked right by us!



Overall, two thumbs up.  The beer was awesome.  The views were incredible.  We will definitely be back in the fall and we're bringing more friends because we keep telling everyone about this hidden little gem.

In other news from the week...

Grant solidified his "Uh-Oh" use all over the place - mostly when knocking things down on purpose!  He also started signing "More."


Signing "more" during breakfast
video


video

On Sunday afternoon, we headed to Rio for some train/carousel/playground action and to grab dinner at a favorite Mexican spot.  We expected Grant to like the train, but instead, he LOVED the train!




Waiting...
And we're off...
The whole ride only lasts a few minutes as they do a quick loop on the boardwalk around the shops/restaurants, but Grant loved it (as his sister STILL does!).



After the train, we took the kids over to the playground to kill some time until our dinner reservation.


Climbing


video

video

We never seem to be able to pass up a carousel...



On Monday, it was Georgia's turn at the allergist for a quick check-in visit.  We picked up all our epi-pen prescriptions for the year, discussed her continued avoidance of peanuts and all tree nuts, and did a quick dairy skin check (boooooo - still showing allergic).  So, our plan holds for the next year with no changes.



Also on the hit list for the week was a veterinary appointment for KC.  Oh KC, the wild cat.  Since she has to be sedated during the appointment, she was a tad "drunk" when Georgia and I picked her up and brought her home.


Tongue out and drooling everywhere!
Georgia and I's big adventure of the week was a pirate cruise on the Potomac!  I purchased a Certifikid earlier in the summer to Boomerang Pirate Ship that departs Georgetown several times per day.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but G and I had a blast cruising down the Potomac, shooting water cannons at deserters and screaming "Arghhhhh" like true pirates!


Waiting for our pirate ship
I purchased the "upgrade" option so that Georgia got a pirate welcome kit - eye patch, sword, hat, map, etc.  She was soooooo excited when they handed her the bag as we prepared to board the ship.


With her upside down eye patch...

We were more than happy when the boat started moving because the cooler weather from earlier in the week was long gone and it was HOT day on the river!



Even if you aren't into pirates, it was an awesome way to sneak a look at some of DC's most famous landmarks.


My pirate and the Lincoln Memorial



While we hunted for a pirate deserter on the river, the kids played games, got tattoos/face painting, and learned pirate lingo.




Ready for action (with a treasure chest on her cheek)
There weren't enough water cannons on the ship for every kid to have their own, so the pirates asked that all the kids man the guns together.  Of course, Georgia, rushed over and was one of the first kids to get a cannon.  I was standing on the other side of the ship, so I walked over to join her a few minutes after the mad rush.  When I got there, an older lady pulled me aside and complimented Georgia on being a "sweet little girl" since she offered to share her cannon with her grandson, who didn't get over there fast enough.  It's always nice to get a compliment, especially from a stranger (and especially 2 months into summer when Georgia and I have spent EVERY waking minute together and may be on the verge of killing each other some days).


video

Working together to shoot water at our pirate enemy (I was ready to volunteer to get squirted!!!)
Can you spot Georgia???

video


video

video

video


Overall, we gave our pirate adventure two thumbs up!  The kids had a blast.  It was only an hour long.  We got to spend some time on the river on a gorgeous day (and there were adult drinks available for purchase aboard the ship).




We got off the ship back in Georgetown and decided to grab a late lunch/early dinner while we were in the city.  I launched my handy Allergy Eats app to find a restaurant with good reviews in the area and it turns out that Sequoia was noted as nut allergy friendly.  It was right behind us, so we headed inside to eat.  Ironically, I spent many a night drinking there back in the day, but never ate at the restaurant previously.  We were the ONLY people inside since it was in the middle of the afternoon (and I even had to ask if they were open), but we had great service and even better food!  Our waitress was awesome and even engaged in a mock sword battle with Georgia in the middle of the restaurant.


My lunch date loved her margarita pizza!
After lunch, we walked up the hill toward M Street and stopped at Dog Tag Bakery.  During previous visits, the bakery had claimed to be nut-free.  The policy has changed a bit, but they were still very knowledgeable about food allergies and I was comfortable enough to treat Georgia to a brownie.


I know that the days of this sweet face wanting to hang out with her Mom all day every day of summer are probably limited.  So, I'll take all that I can get now!
In other Grant news from the week, he's discovered that there are all sorts of wonders in the basement.  He's now obsessed with all the Thomas trains down there, the play kitchen, and a whole assortment of other toys that he's never seen.


He loved the toy kitten
Both of my kids have been obsessed with phones as babies!
And escaping back upstairs!



Saturday, August 19, 2017

Summer - Week #6

I'm still catching up on all our summer fun over here and finally plugged in my phone long enough to grab the rest of my pictures from July/beginning of August.  I also spent some time re-designing the banner at the top of the blog since I wanted to incorporate some new pics and we desperately needed an update up there!  I also have been working on Grant's baby book each night.  It is my number #1 goal of the summer to complete before heading back to work.  Thank goodness for this blog and monthly updates because I had written absolutely nothing down (sorry, my beloved 2nd child). 

Onto the 6th week of summer and the end of July and beginning of August (insert sob noise).

The weather at the end of July/beginning of August was crazy around here.  Cool mornings.  No humidity.  It was lovely, but bizarre!  There were days that Georgia and I actually passed up on going to the pool because it was "chilly."

We kicked the week off celebrating a neighbor's birthday at the local Splash Park.  Grant wasn't a huge fan of the very cold water spraying on him, but he loved the giant jumping pillow!







Back in July during the Brodeur's visit, Georgia was sick and missed exploring the National Geographic Museum with the rest of us.  So, I promised I'd take her back later in the summer and we managed to squeeze that in this week.  We had just spent the whole week watching Shark Week, so she was super excited that the main exhibit was all about sharks! We had plans for neighbors to join us, but they woke up with sick kids, so it was just Georgia and I.  We hopped onto the metro and headed downtown for the day.


She loved the "cage diving" experience...




video

The museum had a cute scavenger hunt, which required some adult assistance for a 6 year old.  But, thanks to all we learned during Shark Week, as well as what we learned in the museum, Georgia was able to complete it and turn it in for a prize when we left.




Onto the Earth Explorers section...





The only downside of the museum is that it is super small (and you have to pay to get in vs all the free Smithsonian museums).  Georgia and I covered the entire place in just about an hour (it was also empty during the week).  We debated what to do next and decided that the zoo was just a few minutes away.  Instead of heading back into the metro, we flagged down a cab and made the super quick drive over to the zoo.


Pretty sure this was her first cab ride

We weren't sure if we would spot any animals in the afternoon heat or if they would be all napping.  However, we ended up hitting snack/lunch time for most of the animals, which led to some awesome viewing experiences!

First stop... pandas.  

In all my years visiting the zoo, I've NEVER seen the pandas this close!  Usually they wander up by the fence line, but their snack was down by the viewing area, so all of them were RIGHT THERE!






Panda #2
Feeding time for the seals and seal lions
Cooling down on the American Trail
G scored a cool view of the tiger, who was not pleased that his snack wasn't ready yet!



Of course, no trip to the zoo is complete without a ride on the carousel.  It was also a nice break walking up the hill.  We ALWAYS park at the bottom at the zoo and spend the first half of the day climbing the giant hill, so that on our way out, we're headed down the hill.  Unfortunately, the metro stop is at the top, so G and I had a LONNNNNNNG climb up the hill to exit the zoo.  The cooler weather from earlier in the week disappeared and we were HOT!  We stopped at every misting station on the way out.





Georgia was most excited by a special treat we found on the way out of the zoo - cake pops at Baked by Yael, which is right at the entrance to the zoo.  We had never visited previously, but heard amazing things online about this nut-free shop.  Georgia and I each enjoyed a cake pop as we strolled to the metro to round out our long adventurous day in the city!

Later in the week, we hosted Georgia's Girl Scout troop and their families for a s'mores night at our house.




Our little troop is expanding by a few girls, so it was a good opportunity to introduce the new friends and their families to our crew.  Georgia was so excited that one of the "new friends" was an old friend of hers from her daycare days.



Meanwhile, Grant was getting faster and faster with his walker (and didn't mind indulging in s'mores with all of his sister's friends).


video

Georgia and Grant may have their differences, but they are EXACTLY alike when it comes to walking.  Big ole scardy cats!  He refuses to let go of the walker or your hand.  I can remember it took months for Georgia to work up the courage to walk on her own.  Mr. Man seems to be very similar.  Cautious is the name of the game for our kiddos!  I'm terrified this one is going to go from not walking to sprinting because he's got crazy speed on this walker.


video

Later in the week, we were invited on a play date to Bohrer Park with some neighborhood friends.  Georgia and I hadn't been in a few years, so we were excited to check it out again (ironically, our trip to that same water park popped up in my Timehop app that day from 2 years prior).  



Georgia was still a few inches shy of being able to ride the big water slides, but she still loved riding the smaller ones all day (and the moms/big kids definitely took a turn or two down the big slides!).



We were so lucky with the day that we went - totally empty.  I usually avoid the place because it is typically PACKED with multiple camp groups.  The last time Georgia and I were there a few summers ago, we were squished in like sardines and couldn't even find a place to sit.  




video

And no trip is complete without a few Boomerangs...


video

The kids would jump out of the pool demanding to see their "video!"


video

Wrapping up the week, our favorite allergy company, Enjoy Life Foods, sent us some boxes of their new chewy bars.  Georgia has LIVED on their bars for years and they are in her backpack daily for after school snack.  She was so excited to check out some new flavors and the caramel blondie got an immediate thumbs up.  It probably won't replace her beloved Cocoa Loco, but I suspect nothing will at this point.  She's a loco-aholic.


Three new flavors to add to our rotation
Nut-free snacks always get a thumbs up from us!



The week wrapped up and we were solidly into August.  BOOOOO.  As any teacher will tell you, flipping the calendar to June is pure elation.  Flipping the calendar to August causes immediate anxiety!