Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Yep, Friday was my times!  All week I ignored that stinkin' weather report and blocked my ears when Bob Ryan said rain, and planned some fun outdoor things.  It had been nice all week, right?  How could it rain? 

It rained.  A gross, misty humid, clammy rain.  So, like any good momma...I put on my flexibility hat! What could I do with this baby on a rainy day??  Lightbulb: we went to Chuck E Cheese!  I figured we'd just go check it out, and if it wasn't too yucky (I've heard horror stories), we'd have a little fun.  And we did!  I was happy to see hand sanitizer on every wall and a special play space for little ones.  Chloe had fun riding the little rides and playing Whack-a-Mole Jr.  I had fun reminiscing about Jasper T. Jowles and the ball pit and the ferris wheel on the wall.  Okay, so, the ball pit has been banned for sanitary reasons and that wall ferris wheel might have been something I dreamt, but darn it if Jasper wasn't playing in the band with the giant mechanical Chuck!  Awesome.  If only there had been tunnels of swiss cheese under the stage.  Anyone remember these things too???? 

Well, here's some pictures of our fun with Chuck!

...and a special thank you to my family, near and far, for making the day so special!  Mike and Chloe gave me a Kindle!  So cool.  It's going to be so nice to have things to read without trying to stuff books in the diaper bag!  My parents and sister gave me some nice treats, including Home Depot giftcards, so I can hopefully purchase some fun things for our deck.  And, in the category of "Awesome Things I Never Knew I Really Wanted" from my in-laws:

It's the Zoku Quick Pop Maker!  Awesome.  It makes ice pops in NINE minutes.  As you can see from the picture, you can make all sorts of fancy kinds, and we got a recipe book too.  We decided our first batch will be Key Lime!  I'll give a report when we try it! 

Thank you everyone for a wonderful day and for making me feel so special.  28 was an amazing year for me and I can't wait to see what 29 will have to offer! 

Choo Choo Cha-Boogie (and the playground)

Sometimes all you need to do is look around the corner for entertainment.  There is a great little playground right down the street from us that Chloe is starting to really enjoy playing on.  Coincidentally, it's right across from the train station, so it's fun to have some playground time, and then scoot back to the train station to watch Daddy's train come in! 

LP in the tunnel, she loves it!

She can finally stand and play with the bees

This is the spot where the playground is.  It reminds me of Fred Penner's Place. Anyone remember that????

It's fun to watch the big train come in!


On Tuesday, LP and I headed into DC to see Mike receieve the Willard Wirtz Award at the Department of Labor.  It was a nice ceremony and we are so proud of him and all of his hard work!  He really deserves this.  And the eagle trophy was a great added bonus. 

This was Chloe's first big "event" for Daddy's work, so I was a little nervous how she would react in an environment with so many people she didn't know and where there were no other babies around.  Despite a little nervous cry at the beginning, she was so well-behaved!  She clapped for the award winners and was excited to see Mike on stage.  She totally knew that he was getting his picture taken with the Secretary of Labor.  Hehe.  So smart. 

Afterwards we went out to lunch at Austin Grill and enjoyed the walk to the restaurant in the beautiful weather.  It was a great day!   

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, Sweet Mommas!

It's a day late, but I wanted to pay tribute to some of the wonderful moms in my life who have helped me learn what it means to be a mother.  Thank you more than I can say in words!

My Mom, Margie, or "Grammy" meeting Chloe for the first time

My Mom-in-Law, Katie, or "Grandma" and Chloe on Thanksgiving
My little family had a very nice Mother's Day...we went to church and brunch in Occoquan, and I took a nap...WHILE Little Peanut was awake. Unprecedented.  I also got a very pretty orchid corsage.  We finished up the day with some cupcakes from Cupcakes Actually, my favorite!  Here are a couple of pictures from our day---hope all of the mommas out there had a relaxing day!

And one more picture...LP and her wonderful daddy at a picnic on Saturday. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bry's *Not-So* Expert Fashion Advice

There are two things that are guaranteed to happen every day:

1.) I will take a shower.

2.) I will make the bed.

There are a few add-ons on a good day too.  I will do my makeup, I will do the dishes and stay on top of the laundry.  But the first two items need to happen for me not to feel like a schlep (sp?).  As a (we don't) stay-at-home (all day) mom, I think it's necessary, for me at least, to feel like I am a regular person who can be seen in public without feeling like a crazy-looking mombie (yeah, that's a zombie mom).  So when I take a shower, I feel refreshed, and when I make the bed, the house feels refreshed, and in turn, I feel more refreshed.  I don't know if that makes sense, but it works for me.  And wearing cute "around town clothes" instead of sweatpants*  makes me feel good too.  With all the going out on adventures that we like to do, I still have fun picking out my own clothes, almost as much as I enjoy picking out all of Chloe's outfits and coordinated hair accessories.  So yesterday, as I said, we went to Fairfax Corner to the interactive fountain.  Also, as I said, we did a little window shopping, which was a mistake, because now I can't stop thinking about the adorable things that I saw at Ann Taylor Loft.  Here are a couple of adorable little finds---what do you think?

Love the little graphic design on the top---looks like embroidery.  Comes in navy too...decisions!

Done with nursing = ease of summer dress wearing.  So excited!

I almost bought these, but they were out of size 7.  Boo.
I'm really no fashion expert, but if I could give any advice to the mommas out there, it would be to find a great pair of jeans that you can bend down with and not show everyone behind you your plumber's behind.  This spring, I found my favorites at Kohl's, from the Simply Vera collection...

They are great, and comfortable, and durable with all of the many washes they have endured since LP has realized that launching food at speedy rates is fun. 

One more essential item, this time in the accessory department, a nice pair of stud earrings, because babies love them some danglies, but your ears will not love the baby loving them some danglies.  I like these, also from Kohl's:

Happy shopping!

*Disclaimer: Believe me, there are days when the sweatpants are out in all of their glory.  Everyone has to have a sweatpants day. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Little Miss Muscles!

Chloe and I attend a Gymboree  class once a week at the location that just opened up in Burke.  We both love going. Chloe loves the songs, parachute, bubbles, etc...and I love meeting new people and watching Chloe learn new things in another fun environment.  In addition to the class, we also go to an open gym, usually on Wednesday afternoons.  While the classes are wonderful, I think the open gym has really allowed Chloe to have a completely safe place to explore and also has given her the chance to build up some strength in a spot where it's okay to climb!  She's really gotten quite mobile in the last few weeks and a lot more brave when it comes to climbling and scooting.  This past week I was able to catch a few pictures and videos of little Peanut having a ball at open gym.  I posted some videos on FB but I'll post a few more here too.  Gymboree is the best!

And now the video clips...

Bluegrass Baby

This morning Little Peanut and I got our dance on at Jammin' Java.  I'd heard about the kid's concerts there and just rediscovered them on the calendar of events portion  of the Fun Things to Do in DC website I'd shared a few weeks back.  It took a little while to get there from our house, but Chloe often likes a car ride and we just got a new car cd, so we didn't mind.  We saw The Banjo Man perform bluegrass inspired kids songs on his banjo, along with a couple of band members with guitars, harmonicas, and a bongo drum.  Aparently the bongo man (Dr. T) was a former defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys.  No one seemed to hold it against him, including me, the serious Bills fan. 

Chloe seemed to enjoy the show.  She watched very intently when the band was playing and laughed when we danced.  She liked to shake the shaker that the band handed out, after she had tasted it, of course.  Luckily I had a full supply of wipes.  I always hate handing back a drooly shaker to it's owner, hardy har har.  After the show, we could "meet the band."  Chloe really had fun banging on the bongo drum, and she even gave The Banjo Man himself two high fives!  There are many different shows during the week, so I think we'll definitely go back to see something different.

After lunch, a nap, and some play time (with toys that we're really not that interested in as much as the recycling and opening and shutting doors), I decided to bring LP back out to enjoy the nice weather.  We went to the interactive fountain at Fairfax Corner.  This was a big hit, as I was thinking it would be.  With Chloe, you can't go wrong when there's water and other little kids around.  It was a nice day, but the breeze was kind of chilly, so just stuck our feet in and watched the kids play.  I really love that they have that fountain.  You can do something fun with the kiddos and do some shopping at Fairfax Corner too!  (Which I did, well, some window shopping anyway).  Enjoy this little clip of Chloe watching the fountain!