Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Winding Down

School has already started for most of the kids around here, but until we hit Labor Day it still feels like there are a few last fleeting days of summer to savor. We were thrilled today to get 1 more invitation to Jocelyn and Zara's pool before it inevitably shuts down (or we outwear our welcome, whichever comes 1st). Throw in an impromptu story time too? Awesome.

We haven't spent as much time in the water as I had hoped this summer, but Joseph has decided that he can really swim. Here's a video clip from about a month ago. It's technically more of a hurling of his body under the water and wriggling around until he needs to come up for air. He'll do it over and over until it's time to go home. Maybe we'll manage some private lessons this Fall to work on his technique.

He's even more into it now that he has goggles.

Thanks again, Jocelyn!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Winnie the Pooh and a Hurricane Too

Nasty weather the past few days foiled our plans to hit the water park one last time this summer, so we decided to take Joseph to his very 1st movie ever as a special treat on a rainy day. A few months ago we thought that would have been Cars 2, but we heard it was loud and crazy and hard to follow, so we ket waiting for something more appropriate to come along. And along came Pooh.

Joseph was so exited about the whole thing. Until he heard how loud the previews were. He refused to go in the theater. Flat. Out. Refused! We paced him up and down the halls waiting for the actual movie to start to try to get him in again.

That poor little guy siting with his mom in the lower left hand corner of the picture was sobbing. Wailing! He never did make it in. We did, but it was touch and go through most of the movie. Look at the expression on Joe Joe's face! Who knew Winnie the Pooh could be so horrifying?

We made it through to the end, and overall I think Joseph enjoyed it. He talked about the plot and the characters the whole way home. But I'm not too eager to try a movie theater again any time soon.

What was truly a little more terrifying was the threat of hurricane Irene destroying the east coast yesterday. We all took appropriate precautions and hoped for the best while preparing for the worst. We went to bed while it was steadily raining and woke up to the sun peaking through the clouds. Our power was on! And our basement was dry! The worst of our storm damage was one of our crepe myrtles in the front yard leaning a bit to the left.

But yet 2 blocks over:

We've now survived an earthquake and a hurricane in DC in about a week's time. As Pooh would say, "Oh, bother!"

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The End of an Era

It was with such unimaginable luck and good fortune that my friend Missy and I had kids within 2 months of each other. Ever since they were born we have hoped and dreamed that our boys would love each other the way we do and become the very best of friends, as we are. To that end we have gotten Joseph & Jack together almost every week for the past 4 years. Four YEARS of playdates! Oh, the adventures we've had. Museums, water parks, playgrounds, pools, lunches, zoos, aquariums, train name it, we did it.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end. Today was the very last of our regularly scheduled playdates. Joseph starts school on Monday, and Jack the following week. Both of our little guys will be in school 5 days a week so we won't be able to get them together as frequently. We'll still see each other often enough, but we will dearly miss our special times with our wonderful friends. Our only consolation is knowing that in fact Joseph & Jack really do consider themselves best friends, and we're going to be darn sure that never changes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dolphin Duo

Trying to cram as much excitement into the last few days of summer possible, we headed out to the National Aquarium in Baltimore today with my friend Nicola and her son Francis. Not that having an earthquake in DC registering at 5.8 yesterday afternoon doesn't count as excitement. It's just not the kind we're looking to repeat often, if ever! JT & Francis were fast friends and had a really fun time. We always make sure to catch the dolphin show.

My favorite part is always watching the dolphins underwater after the show is over. I could stay there for hours!

The boys were excited all day long about seeing sharks. In the end they weren't particularly exciting to watch just swimming around and around, but there was one fun little stingray that kept coming over to the glass again and again giving kisses to Joseph.

A visit to the aquarium is never complete until we find Nemo. He was hiding very well today.

The drive there and back was probably just as much fun for the kids. Movies and snacks and new toys from the gift shop - no complaints!

Thanks for a really fun day, Nicola and Francis! Summer is going out with a bang!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Scenes from a County Fair

I did not grow up in an area that had county fairs. Carnivals and festivals, sure, but nothing with cattle shows or pig races or tractor pulls or monster trucks. So when the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair rolled into town this year, I hooked up with a friend and we took the kids out for the day.

None of the rides were open before noon, so we spent the better part of the morning checking out the agricultural animal exhibits. Sheep, cows, chickens, pigs, you name it. The kids were fascinated by just about everything. How often to you see a goat being milked in the suburbs?

The poultry barn was especially a hit. Joseph was right at home with his "peeps." (Anyone remember I dressed him as a rooster for Halloween since he's always up with the chickens? I still love the video of that.) We had to drag the kids away from the incubators where they watched baby chicks hatching.

Okay, that last one? I will never to be able to erase that image whenever I think to myself that someone has skinny chicken legs.

Now, I can't even imagine what you can judge a sweet little bunny on. But boy, do they judge - that last little guy was disqualified for being overweight. Harsh.

Sure, I get how a county fair would have pony rides......

....but this was a little weird. The kids thought it was cool.

After lunch we strolled down to the carnival area. Zara, Sophie and Joseph were really very sweet on each other the whole day.

There are always so many crazy rides at a carnival! My friend Jocelyn could not stop thinking about going on one of these swing rides.

And of course there are ridiculous amounts of treats to be begged for, like cotton candy. It took some convincing, but Zara finally shared some of hers.

We lucked into an awesome deal because it turns out it was "family day." There was a flat fee for unlimited rides all day. We started off with a ride on the ferris wheel to take it all in, then hit anything and everything the kids wanted to try.

Even the big kids ;)

Jocelyn is a HOOT! It was so much fun spending the whole day with her and Zara. It was the very last thing we did before leaving for the day, but Joc got her turn on that swing ride. It's good to have friends in high places.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sweet Success!

Apparently, upon meeting the newish boyfriend of a close friend, after learning he enjoyed making ice cream, I suggested we get together sometime for an ice cream tasting party and put our mutual skills to the test. Another friend eagerly volunteered to be an impartial judge. And so, 2 flavors of our own choosing each, a bunch of spoons, and Mallory with a task few people would refuse.

Meredith and Matt impressed with Guinness Chocolate ice cream and "Lime Scream" and were awarded the "Triple Crown." I offered Coffee Heath Bar Crunch and Oreo Mint ice creams, both from the Ben & Jerry's ice cream cookbook. My Oreo Mint was awarded "Best in Show!" Sweet!

But the best news? We ALL got to taste ALL of the varieties, and they were ALL delicious!

We're thinking this may have to become a regular event.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Bestest

...and the lastest, by the way. With this I'll be done with all of our vacation pictures and will have to accept that it's really, truly over. It's not often that we get to spend time with our bestest friends since they live on the other coast, so I've been dragging this out to make it feel like they were still right here with us.

Hard to believe it's now been 20 years since Lance & I 1st met in medical school and instantly became best friends. Harder still to believe that we both found love right around the same time and have been with our partners for more than 15 years. And impossible to believe that we are lucky enough to have the amazing children that we have.

Brent & Rodney

Me & Lance

The bestest/my favoritest pictures that I took of each of their gorgeous kids:




And the bestest of my little sweetheart