Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Spring Break 2014 (NoVa/Washington DC)

Monday, April 21st, 2014

This was not “Spring Break woo-hoo!” I don’t think I’ve ever been on a woo-hoo kind of Spring Break and I am definitely too old for it now. Plus my pregnant belly would totally get in the way during drunk limbo contests.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t have a wild and crazy trip to visit my parents in Virginia. Going to DC during cherry blossom season? AND while everyone is out of school? AND not bringing a stroller?? I live dangerously.

Before our trip into the city, we tried to make the best of some pretty bad spring weather. Our neighborhood is full of paved paths, playscapes and little creeks, so I had the bright idea to go play outside even though it was raining. I patted myself on the back for packing boots and raincoats, even though patting myself on the back never, ever ends well. After about 5 minutes poking rocks with sticks and looking for frogs it went from sort-of-drizzly to torrential-downpour. It was pretty clear our trickly little creek wasn’t going to stay cute and shallow for long, so we booked it home for some dry clothes and Disney movies.

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The rain cleared out overnight but the sun came with lots of cold wind. I tried to keep the kids entertained inside but they were way too crazy. Bouncing off the furniture crazy. Tantrums over nothing crazy. Make me want to run away and leave them there forever crazy. So we bundled up and walked to the elementary school playground for them to burn off some of the crazy.

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And that brings us to Thursday. THURSDAY. The day I realized just how much my oldest child is like me when it comes to crowds, being hungry, being tired and did I mention crowds? I hate crowds. HATE. And if crowds were bad enough, it was crowds of field trips, big families and strollers. So many strollers.

Personally, I am greatly enjoying having children at an age where we don’t HAVE to have a stroller. No diapers = no diaper bag = purse I can fit enough stuff in but it’s too heavy to carry all day + children who have seemingly endless energy = a math problem that defies all logic but means I didn’t bring a stroller into DC. I’m doomed to rejoin the Stroller Mafia in a few months and I still love/adore/worship/etc my Baby Jogger, but NOT dragging a stroller around makes me want to throw my arms in the air and shout “FREEEEDOOOOOOOOM!” It also makes me instantly intolerant of people with strollers who block aisles and hallways and walking paths and generally get in my damn way. It’s just one of the many ways I am not a very good person.

Luckily we planned our trip pretty well, catching a post-commuter-rush-but-still-early Metro into the city so we got to the Natural History Museum 30 minutes after they opened. All the good exhibits were crowded but not so crowded I couldn’t stand it. The kids got annoyed and hungry pretty fast though, so we went for lunch early. It was an excellent (lucky) choice, since when we LEFT the cafeteria the line to get it went all the way to the back entrance of the museum.

I do owe an apology and possibly an explanation for my child’s behavior during lunch to anyone who happened to be in the Natural History Museum last Thursday. I promise I did not actually beat Evan, spank Evan, hit Evan or torture him in any way. I did not tell him I hated him or he was an accident. I MAY have threatened to leave him with DC police after 20 straight minutes of crying, but at that point it wasn’t so much a threat as something I was actually considering. What caused such a huge disturbance in the force, you may ask? I didn’t let him carry his very own cafeteria tray.

Trust me, that was NOT a hill I was prepared to die on, and if I had known he really wanted a tray he could have had a damn tray. He just didn’t NEED a tray, so when we went through the line I said “No, we can share” and then breezed in to grab our food. By the time I realized he was sobbing silently behind me it was too late to go back for a tray and mine was too full to let him carry it on his own. TRAGEDY.

I made him stand in a corner for a while, but the judgey looks from other people got to me so I planted him in a seat at our table and eventually he calmed down enough that he actually ate most of his food, drank some Cherry Coke (DESPERATE MOTHER IS DESPERATE) and ate a dinosaur cookie. SHOCKINGLY, once he was no long hungry he perked right up and we enjoyed the rest of our visit. The crowds eventually got too bad to fight and the kids kept needing to sit down for breaks, so we left the museum to walk on the mall.

I was too sore already (stupid pregnancy sciatica) to make it to any of the monuments, but as soon as they were out in the fresh air and sunshine the gingers got a second wind and begged to ride the carousel. Their very generous grandmother said yes that I am confident it was the highlight of their day.

Based just on our pictures you can’t tell at all that it wasn’t a super fun trip, which is basically the foundation of blogging, right?

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We only misplaced Creepy Baby ONCE for a few minutes in the rocks & stones hall. Thank God my mom realized it and we found her quickly.

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We drove home Friday to discover E DIDN’T have to work all weekend, the weather in CT was at least as nice as in Virginia and that both children were totally exhausted from our trip. It was a lovely, relaxing Easter weekend with approximately 75% more sleeping and fewer tantrums. Apologies again to everyone in NoVa/DC/especially my parents.

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Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Happy Easter! I have a ton of big-girl camera pictures to post from our spring break in VA and our holiday weekend, but I fell asleep this afternoon and didn’t wake up until just now, so my editing is a little behind. I am behind on everything. Except baby-growing, which seems to be happening far, far too fast.



Easter egg hunting at church is not an advanced skill


That’s how Target makes me feel too


I think they chose Panera just because they like the buzzer



Fancy rest stop is fancy


Life of luxury at Mormor and Bumpa’s


This was my bedroom when I was a teenager. It was a lot less classy then.



Maybe not a good day for taking a walk


Oh Northern Virginia, how I don’t miss you



Ginger Noir




Someone was a big fan of Cafe Rio



That cookie cost like $6, but the museum was free.


Bones. It’s basically a whole building full of bones.


PREGNANCY CRAVING: SATISFIED. Evan loves “The chicken place with the playground.”



Somehow we made it through vacation without losing Creepy Baby


Fancy artisan Dominos pizza was oddly delicious


Catching up on my favorite hate-watch show



She calls those two babies her “twins”.


Cheese and crackers for dinner makes everyone happy


This doesn’t do the gorgeous colors justice

Today was warmish. Yesterday was warmish. I think the whole week is supposed to be warmish, which gives me hope we’ve reached the warmish part of spring and pretty soon we’ll be sitting on the patio instead of the couch. I can’t wait until I can flop by huge pregnant butt down on a beach and get a nice sunburn.

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Evan is 5! A Pirate Birthday Party

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Evan choose a pirate birthday party for the big FIVE and it was super fun.

My dad pointed out (several times) that a pirate birthday party might not be the MOST appropriate theme for a bunch of 5 year olds. Murdering, robbing, raping and pillaging don’t really seem like good party games for kids, but based on the internet pirate is still a really popular theme.

“Popular theme” can mean two things – easy to find supplies is the good part. TOO MANY IDEAS is the bad part. I could have used an extra 6 months to plan the perfect pirate party but I’m sort of glad I didn’t give myself that time. This might actually have been my lowest-stress party to date (although it also might have been one of the most expensive – SO MUCH pirate stuff on the internet!)

OK, now for pictures because you’ve probably already skimmed this whole intro. Blah blah blah my kid is 5 blah blah so big blah blah blah some people came over. I’ll source stuff at the end, if I miss anything let me know and I can add it.

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I drew that chalkboard map with chalk pens. It is not impressive but I am very proud.

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She ate so much her belt didn’t fit anymore.

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Also, apparently tiny ginger pirates have pet lizards instead of parrots.

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Once again my parents and my in-laws came for the party, so I had a ton of help prepping food. There actually wasn’t TOO much to do this time, besides cutting  fruit/veggies and making sandwiches. I made the cookies and cake and jello ahead of time and counted on my cute names to make boring food more exciting.

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The empty spot on the bottom right is “Catch of the day”, which was fish sticks (a bigger hit than I expected – they were all gone at the end!)

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E carved that watermelon with my instructions being “I dunno, like a ship”. It’s even better than the one on Pinterest.

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Really excited with how blue these came out – just blue jello!

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GONE at the end of the party

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Turkey, cheese and hummus in a spinach wrap

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One part weird blue raspberry sugar water that came in jugs at Walmart, one part Sprite Zero

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Bottle of pineapple soda, bottle of Sprite Zero, half a bottle of orange soda, bottle of orange/peach/mango juice from BJs

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Second try cake! I still hate frosting them myself but it looks adorable and was very, very tasty (I made lemon curd for the filling)

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All the kids got to hit the pinata and LOVED it.

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Eventually E hit it – first he broke the bat, then he smashed it open with a hockey stick.

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The stomp-rockets were the first gifts Evan opened and E wore all the kids out playing with them in the yard

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My Pinterest Inspiration Board – lots of the food ideas came from here
Plates, napkins, round banners, table cloth, straw, chocolate gold coins, pirate shower curtain (backdrop) – Target
Hats, swords, 5  balloon, pirate balloons, pirate flag, torn sail netting, pirate mugs, popcorn boxes, fake coins, treasure maps, pirate tattoos – Oriental Trading Co
Sword toothpicks, flag toothpicks, pirate pennant banners, pinata, gummy sharks, pirate masks, skull shaped cookie cutter- Amazon
Pinata favor bags, buried treasure, candles – Walmart
Evan’s costume & Caroline’s tights – Costume Express
Caroline’s costume – made by my awesome friend Leah
Signs and watermelon ship sails – designed by my awesome friend Becca
Plank (board & cinder blocks), galvanized tub, sand, twine – Home Depot
Lots of fabric – JoAnn’s
Recipe for sand dollar cookies – Delicious Inspiration

Ta-da!! That really was a great time. SO glad the weather (mostly) cooperated (it wasn’t actually warm enough for Evan to be barefoot) and the kids all got to play outside. We had friends stay all afternoon and when they left my kids COLLAPSED into bed. I love parties.

I’ve got a BUNCH of hats left over, so if anyone is throwing a pirate party I’ll give you a great deal. Plus also masks, toothpicks, fabric, banners…yeah. Lots of stuff. Someone please have a pirate party.

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Sunday, March 16th, 2014

I spent 3 hours and $900 on my minivan today, and if anyone had ever told me that would be my life 10 years ago I would have died.



Chalk markers changed my life.


She will literally sleep on any flat surface.


Bunk bed building buddies



Good bye, see ya, I’m done here.


Matching princesses


My goal for Monday was to clean the new shared room. This was after THREE HOURS. We own too. Much. Stuff.



Everyday I’m scooterin’




Peek-a-boo princess



Hugging a beach ball


Hugging a different beach ball


Learning to dive is his MISSION IN LIFE



Go $#%& yourself, Winter


Birthday balloon update: Still mostly floating after 3 months.


Thursdays are exhausting



Dress up and glitter slime playdate


Showing off the muscles he grew when he ate his whole sandwich



Warm up moves


She thinks having a blue tongue is the most AMAZING thing ever



ONCE nice day this week and I’m ruined. I’ve lost my ability to handle the cold at all. I’m like a snake that shed its winter skin and all I can do is think about how nice and warm I would be if I lived in Florida or California or Hawaii.

Although right now I will accept 2 more weeks of cold as long as we can have beautiful, warm, sunny weather for Evan’s 5th birthday. The world of “these are your friends because I like their moms” and “these are my friends because I go to school with them” collided, and my guest list is a little out of control. Mostly that’s exciting, since this might be the first party Evan REALLY remembers and it’s going to be super fun. But also having all those people trapped in my house instead of using the porch/patio is going to be…well, horrible. It would be horrible.

Fingers crossed.

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Sunday, March 9th, 2014

It appears these are the only posts I have in me right now. It’s a weird combination of being too busy and not at all busy. I spend a lot of time on my computer doing other things (photo editing, writing Glee recaps or trashy gossip stories for my new gigs, Facebook chatting, refreshing Facebook to make sure I haven’t missed any good Buzzfeed quizes) but none of that is interesting enough to blog about.

I’m also deep in pirate party planning mode for Evan’s birthday. I remember thinking I was a crazy person when I started planning his first birthday party (Circus party! Still one of my favorites) in January, but I think starting in March is even more crazy. So much to do in so little time!



It was so much easier to say “No, I’ll just have a salad” before they put a Five Guys in my town.


BEST KIND. Anyone who disagrees is just wrong.


Can I get 3 million shares on my blog post for taking this? No?



Cute from the back…


…cute from the front.


Editing isn’t so bad when this is the baby you stare at for hours.



Refusing to go to school until they see Idina & The Roots sing Let It Go


Basically heaven for a 3 year old


Yo ho let’s go!



Somehow climbing in the snow is STILL fun for them


I am extremely jealous of their swim classes


I was conned into buying toddler Elsa because Caroline now recognizes “Sale” signs at Target



Why 3 year olds should not use mascara




It’s crazy hair day every day in our house



More pirates! it’s an invasion!


A rare look at the room I was attempting to “take back” from the children. It’s not going so well.


He insists on “swimming” in the bath now.



The friendliest koi fish ever


Tiny hipster children play cornhole at a brewery in an old mill. I can’t even.


That’s the cupcake happy dance

I am the only parent in the world who doesn’t actually hate springing forward. We don’t have anywhere to be until this afternoon, which means I got to sleep in even if the kids got up to play. Plus they’ve both been falling asleep on the couch at 6 pm, so I don’t think bedtime will be too hard. Basically, I am the worst.

I am sure I will pay for it later this week when they get up at 5:30 and paint my dining room table (again).

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