Monday, August 26, 2013

July Photo Dump

Because it's almost September, it's time for a serious photo dump of all the fun things we've done (and I photographed) in July that I haven't had time to blog. Ugh. I'm busy. And I take too many pictures.

Gravelly Point with Cakes & Kids  

While Mike was traveling for two weeks to Asia and Europe in July, my Cakes drove up to keep us company. We took the kids to Gravelly Point - a park immediately north of Reagan Airport - to watch the planes take off and land, literally, FEET above our heads. 

We followed up our picnic in the park with a quick stop in Georgetown for Baked & Wired cupcakes!
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Our {Cutest Ever} Lemonade Stand

While Mandie was visiting, she promised her girls we'd all do a lemonade stand. Except I didn't want to. Like, at all. I thought I had successfully avoided it when she left and no lemonade had been sold... but the boys still just had to have a lemonade stand. So, we "squzzed" 28 lemons and made $16.50!

Oh. And it was really cute.
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Swim Lessons at SwimKids

I decided that since Henry always loved going to the pool, never minded getting his face dunked and always wanted to do the things his big brother was doing at the pool that he would do really well with swim lessons. So I signed him up for two weeks of lessons at SwimKids.

Well, I was wrong. He hated it. But after two weeks of threats, bribes and LOTS of patience, he passed SwimTots Level 1. He will now kind of let you dunk him, spider-climb the wall, kick his legs and blow bubbles.
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Big Blue Goes Big Red

Charlie switched out his blue cast for a new red one - which was the color he originally asked for that the Orthopedic surgeon had run out of in the ER. He was really nervous for the saw but giggled through the whole thing.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Washing All the Cars

My hubby is from Michigan. And apparently that means he needs to wash our cars. Like, a lot. They breed serious clean-car pride up there.

This really works out for me because I have two kids in my car all.the.time. and it's messy. And since I'm not from Michigan, I don't care. Messes in cars are losing battles. I choose not to fight losing battles. There will always be more crumbs. And lollipops stuck to leather seats. And milk cups that rolled under the chair and no one bothered to say "heads-up, mom, I dropped my milk cup and it rolled under the chair" so you don't even know it's there until your keen mom sense picks up on the scent of the ounce of unfinished milk that is now gourmet car-cheese. There will always be another mess. Always. Why clean the car if tomorrow I'm going to have to give Hank a yogurt so he stops whining in the back seat and someday in the future someone will say "how did whatever that is {that you never even noticed} get up on the ceiling of your car?" By the way, it's yogurt up there. And this *might* be a true story.

In my opinion, you just don't need to clean your car unless you know someone who might be judgey is going to take a ride and point out the yogurt that spilled UP instead of DOWN to you.

But this, ladies, is why we marry midwestern men. They will just do it for you on the weekend. And also clean their car while they're at it. And insist on involving your darling children so that weird car pride is passed down to the next generation.

So... Clean car. Kids occupied. And all you have to do it take pictures when it starts getting really cute... and then blog about it {because midwestern men love cleaning cars but all the family documenting is up to you, girlfriend}. I think this is a pretty sweet deal.

Spoiler Alert: Henry got really wet. Who's shocked?

Also, Charlie has a waterproof cover over his cast if you're wondering what the blue thing with the really giant thumb-hole is. :)
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Once those cute little feet got in the bucket, it was all over. 
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blackberries at Great Country Farms

About 45 minutes west in the beautiful farm hills of Virginia, there is Great Country Farms. And blackberries, ripe for the picking.

While Mike was away in Singapore, I was happy to fill our days with anything and everything and picking blackberries sounded like a perfect day! My girlfriends, Jackie and Bridgett, and I took all of our boys on a drive through the gorgeous country up to the farm.

There is a wonderful deal for an all day pass to Great Country Farms for only $5 on certifikid HERE. It lasts through August, so go, people! Go!!! Read on to see all the reasons to make the trek yourselves!

The blackberry field was a tractor-trailer ride away. Boys love trailer rides. Moms love the cuteness overload.
It was an overcast day which was such a blessing in the middle of July. It could've been so hot. But it was nice and mild.

We had NO CLUE what to do. Clearly. My girlfriends and I were all wearing flip flops and I put my kids in JCrew outfits, and Charlie's was WHITE. Dumb. Luckily, we ran into some other ladies who seemed a bit more experienced than we with their boots and buckets. They pointed us to the best vines and told us how to pick the berries. "Pick the ones that have turned black and are so fat that they come off easily - those are the ones you want". Thanks so much, Moms-Who-Have-Done-This-Before. We appreciated it.
I really didn't expect my kids to like this. I just figured they would be terrified of the ticks that might get on them like I was and refuse to get deep into the fields. {Seriously, I pretty much just stood in one spot  cursing myself for wearing shorts and flips and wiped down my legs on repeat. I might have asked my girlfriends just a few times if they were certain the farm was fenced so the deer, and their ticks, stayed away from the fruit}

But the kids loved it. Charlie filled three pints! And they were soooo good. So much more flavor right off the vine than any you can buy at the grocery store. And so sweet!
After picking the berries, we had a picnic lunch under the shade of a big tree behind the farm store.

At that point, we were sold on the fact that GCF was amazing. Little did we know, there was SO. MUCH. MORE.

Behind the farm store, there are playgrounds, farm animals, mini golf, slides - AND A GIANT JUMPING PILLOW!!! Yup. A giant. jumping. pillow. Kid heaven.
I couldn't resist. I had to try it out too! 
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After the jumping pillow, we decided to see some of the animals and feed them. A cup of feed comes with every $5 pass. Henry loves animals. For a kid who used to hate everything, we kind of eat it up when he finds something he loves. And he sure loooooves farm animals. When he sees them, he says "Hey {insert farm animal here}, you come home with me and I will pet you." He loves to have the goats eat out of his hand. Charlie does NOT. Charlie will look but will NOT touch. We all did fall in love with sweet Daisy the mini cow though. She was soooo cute.
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With toddlers in tow, we finished the day at nap time - long before we got to see everything there was to do at Great Country Farms. Luckily, there is always a new crop to pick and a reason to go back. Next up - PEACHES! Can't wait.

Monday, August 12, 2013

OBX, The Part In Which I Used Princess Consuela Just Once

Having a little boy break his arm at the beach means, well, the beach loses a tad of its appeal.

Even though broken arms are "no big deal" and it wasn't painful, Charlie was still getting used to his cast during that second half of our beach vacay. He's a worrier and he takes his time getting comfortable with new things.  We had a cast cover overnighted to our beach house - thank you for being so awesome, Amazon - so no water or sand would get inside it. Technically, you can get these fiber glass casts wet -- but I just couldn't imagine how itchy it would be to have sand get down inside it or what it could do to his skin to have it stay wet in there for the length of time it would take before it would dry. Seriously, though. How would it ever dry inside there?  

After a bit of an emotionally exhausting start, we were thrilled to have my parents join us on Monday evening for the remainder of the week.

On Tuesday morning, we took Mom & D down to the water for a walk. This is the only time Princess Consuela made it out that week. Oh, well. It was midday and I was feeling uninspired. Sometimes I'm lazy and Instagram makes life so lovely and EASY with those adorable squares... ;)
It's always nice to have my mom around. She takes pictures of me. :)
How cute is this?? My dad brought a metal detector and the boys were just following him around in a line on a treasure hunt! Seriously. It was the cutest! And they found several quarters, a baseball keychain and three bangle bracelets! And then Henry threw most of the treasure into the ocean...
Photo shoot-out!
Later in the afternoon, my parents took Charlie to the movie theater and Mike and I took Henry back down to the beach. THIS is when I should have brought the big girl camera. Henry with the truck. Golden hour. It would've been lovely. Oh, well.
The next day, we all went down to the water. The cast cover had arrived but Charlie, like I said, takes a while to warm up to things and he wasn't the biggest fan of it yet. We managed to convince him to get out on the sandbar and he had some fun finally playing catch with Dad with a little ocean on his toes.
Mike and I left the boys with my parents and went to Blue Point in Duck for dinner. This has to be one of my favorite restaurants. It's on the sound side with an outdoor bar overlooking the water. We love it. I had the scallops while Mike had the crabcakes. Then, I couldn't resist the blueberry and peach crumble. The food is amazing.
Thursday was a pool day. We finally got the cast cover on C and he was instantly happier.
We had been wanting to try The Paper Canoe and decided to have a big family dinner there on Thursday night. It was delicious. I had lobster ravioli. Um. YUM.

We had a wonderful week at the beach -- but we are already looking forward to next summer when we can do it all again -- without the cast. ;)