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...

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).

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.

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.  

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

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer - Week #5

**I'll jump back to summarizing Grant at 12 months, but I wanted to catch up on some other pictures, updates, etc!  AKA - I am a full month behind on recaps because summer is summer and we've been too busy enjoying every second of it while it lasts!**

After a weekend celebrating Grant's 1st birthday, we got back to checking things off our summer to-do list and enjoying actually being HOME for the last week of July and the month of August.

While Mimi was still here for Grant's birthday, Nick and I took an afternoon to go see the sunflowers at McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area.  Georgia and I discovered these fields last summer and it was the last adventure that her and I had together before I gave birth to Grant. I couldn't believe that I had lived in this area for 10+ years and I never knew they existed before last summer!  Nick had never been, so I was excited to show him.  Georgia was more interested in playing with Mimi and Grant, so Nick and I headed out on our own.

Nick flying his drone in the fields

Of course, as soon as Georgia saw our pictures, she declared that she wanted to go back and see the flowers again.  So, later in the week, we headed out for ANOTHER viewing of the flowers (thank goodness they bloom for several weeks!).

Her favorite flower!
This woman was amazing!  She told Georgia that she should have brought her paint set!!
The best part of our outing... we stopped on the way home for Dole Whip!  If you don't know what Dole Whip is, then you are missing out.  It's nut-free and dairy-free frozen yogurt, which means it is completely Georgia safe.  Typically, the only time that Georgia gets to eat it is when we are in Disney World.  Not anymore!  Our local sweetFrog chain now sells it.  Nick and I scouted them out the previous week to check out the scene (because the store definitely sells other dairy and nut flavors).  Amazingly, it is in it's own dedicated machine.  YES!!!!  And it tastes amazing.  Pineapple deliciousness.  Game changer.  We can officially bring our kid out for ice cream now.

Just look at her face!
I would seriously pay like $20/oz just to make her this happy over a totally "normal" kid thing to do - go out and grab some ice cream with your parents!
In other news from the week...

Georgia has figured out that she can treat Grant just like KC.  He loves to play the laser pointer game too!

Everyone loves daddy cuddle time...

This kid is gonna be the death of me.  You can't turn your back for 2 seconds...

We've been trying to teach Grant the whole concept of hide-n-seek.  Can't say that he quite gets it yet, but he likes hiding and finding people.  We just need to work on not doing it at the same exact time.

One item on Georgia's summer to-do list was to pick peaches.  We had never picked peaches anywhere locally, so it took some googling, but we found a farm in nearby Woodbine that was advertising peach and blackberry picking.  We hopped into the car and headed out on a peach picking adventure at Larriland Farm.  

After a quick lesson from one of the farm workers about what we were looking for in terms of picking, we were off...

Some big storms had gone through the area the night before and the fields showed it.  Almost every row had multiple trees down.

My Georgia peach picking some peaches...

Our haul for the day...

And some blackberries too!

Georgia and I wrapped up our 5th week of summer with a rainy day at the mall.  Another one of our summer to-do items was to visit Build-A-Bear and use a gift card that Georgia had from Papa.  Since the forecast was for rain, rain, rain all day long, we headed to the mall and Georgia built herself a new friend.  After some shopping, we grabbed lunch at Cava (nut free - wahoo!) and then headed to the movies to see "Cars 3."

Entire movie to ourselves!
By the time we got home from the movies, the rain was drying out and we had the craziest bright pink/orange sun set that evening!

No filters - just my iPhone

Georgia had talked about camping earlier in the week, but obviously the ground was pretty wet from all the rain that day.  No problem - we improvised.  Nick and Georgia camped out in the basement (and she has spent the rest of the summer sleeping down there on/off again).  She absolutely loves it.  We thought she might be scared to sleep down there by herself - nope!

We wrapped up the week with officially declaring "UH-OH" as Grant's first word.  We've heard lots of "Mama, Dada, Aja," but we can't with 100% certainly declare those his first words (since he tends to use them inconsistently).  When your mom is a Speech Language Pathologist, you tend to get your language a bit more analyzed!  Sorry, buddy.  But, "UH-OH" was clear as day... and he hasn't stopped saying it.  All day.  Every day.  It's going in the baby book as word #1 on 7/29/17.  Exactly 1 week after turning 1.