Wednesday, April 22, 2015

White House Easter Egg Roll & Easter Sunday

Sounds like a fun time, right? Well think twice if you're ever offered tickets to attend. The White House extends tickets to 35,000 guests for a one day event so you can imagine what a nightmare it was to get on the White House lawn.

The event itself could be a lot more enjoyable for guests if they scaled back the number of tickets that are distributed. Each guest is given a timed ticket which grants them access to the White House lawn for a two hour period to enjoy music, various games for the kiddos including obstacle courses with featured famous athletes and of course the Easter egg roll itself. There were a lot of PBS cartoon characters in attendance that your kids could meet and take their photo with as well as story time and yoga. However, after waiting in line almost two hours in the direct sun just to get into the White House with a toddler you're a little frustrated by the time you're on the grounds.

We had tickets to enter the White House and 12:15p.m. and got in line a little before 11:30a.m. By the time we made it through security and in and out of multiple waiting areas we finally walked onto the grounds of the White House around 1:15p.m. Of course it was fairly hot that day and we had to keep Carter in the stroller since were constantly moving in different directions. Carter isn't the best at standing or sitting still so in the stroller he went! He refused to keep the sun shade down on the stroller to keep him cool and out of the sun so finally I lathered him up with sunscreen and just let him do his thing. So as you can imagine, by the time we made it in he was fit to be tied.

We eventually let Carter out of the stroller and off he went. There were hundreds of thousands of people so keeping up with a little toddler running around wasn't the easiest thing to do, especially when you're 36 weeks pregnant. We walked around the grounds for awhile and decided that we should at a least do the Easter egg roll since we waited for so long to get in. Well what do you know; once you got in you had to wait in line to do all the activities. I would say that the line for the egg roll itself was probably about an hour. Seriously? We just waited in line almost two hours to get in and now you want us to stand in line for another hour to do ONE activity. I think not.

So we decided we would just walk around instead and I was thrilled to come across Wyatt from SuperWhy making his way toward us. Carter absolutely loves SuperWhy, especially Wyatt. We watch it every morning so I thought he would be thrilled to meet him. Well boy was I wrong. Chris carried Carter up to him and he cried so hard that his entire body shook. He was terrified of Wyatt. I managed to snap one picture but Carter had his head buried in Chris' shoulder. Of course once it was over he kept saying "wanna see Wyatt." So we quickly learned that Carter isn't a fan of dressed up characters and there was really no reason to stay any longer. That was until Chris spotted Roman Harper from the Carolina Panthers. After a quick introduction I snapped a photo of the boys and then off we went to the car.

Poor Wyatt and Chris.

Want to know how Carter is beyond exhausted? He sucks his thumb and pulls on his right ear. 


I'm sure you're wondering why I ever thought this would be a good idea. Well I'm not exactly sure. I've had friends that have been in years past and their experience was pretty much the same. However, I thought to myself that not many people get the opportunity to go to this event and since I had the tickets it was worth giving it a shot. I didn't think we'd have to stand in line as long as we did and had we not, maybe we would have enjoyed ourselves a little more.

The White House didn't go a good job of clearing out earlier groups before ours came in so the later in the day you go the more people are there because they continously back-up. I don't know if there is a better way to manage the crowds but unless you get a ticket to go at 7:30a.m. in the first group I wouldn't recommend going, at least not with little ones. If you're kids are old enough to keep themselves entertained for about two hours and don't mind standing in line, then maybe it would be worth going.

At least Carter can always say that he went to the White House Easter Egg Roll and we have our family photo and commemorative egg to prove it. But never again......

2015 White House Easter Egg Roll

Fortunately Easter Sunday went a lot smoother. We went to the 10:30a.m. church service at Delray United Methodist Church. I was so excited because I thought the church was having their annual Easter egg hunt afterwards but upon our arrival I realized that I got the dates mixed up and the hunt was the weekend before. Ah, pregnancy brain at its finest. Oh well! I couldn't get over how well behaved Carter behaved during the church service. It was definitely the perfect start to our day. 





After lunch we headed home to for our own Easter egg hunt and we had our family and close friends over for lunch that afternoon. Carter loves picking up the Easter eggs and placing them in his basket. For lunch we enjoyed a Honey Baked ham, homemade deviled eggs, potato salad, green beans, pineapple casserole and sweet tea! Nothing like a good ole' southern Easter lunch. We had perfect weather and enjoyed our company for the day.






I hope everyone else had a wonderful holiday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Our last snow day of the season....hopefully

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I hope you're wearing green today so you don't get pinched.



It's hard to believe that just a little over a week ago we were all bundled up playing outside in about 8 inches of snow. Today it's supposed to be sunny and close to 70 degrees. Even though I'm sick and tired of the winter the last snow storm we had was a pretty one. It produced the really good kind of snow that you can play in too. Chris was home for this snow storm so we decided it would be worth playing in before we said farewell to what was hopefully our last snow of the season.



Earlier in the Fall I bought Carter a snow suit from a mom in the neighborhood. It's a great suit; however, even though it's a size 2T it's already running a little small for Carter- especially the length. I couldn't for the life of my keep the legs down over his ankles so before we knew it his Batman boots were filled with snow! We borrowed a sled from our neighbor and took Carter sledding down the hill in our side yard a few times and he absolutely loved it.






I bought Carter some nice waterproof mittens before Christmas that has grippers on the palm but for some reason he won't wear them- at least for us. He prefers the cotton mittens which are fine on a cold day but when you're playing in the snow they're good for all of about 5 minutes. Carter will wear his nice, waterproof mittens at school but not for mom and dad, surprise, surprise. In case you're looking for some for next season I highly suggest these from One Step Ahead.

After watching the movie Planes and taking a good nap we packed our things and headed over to the Murphy's house for a little more sledding. One of their neighbors has a hill in their front yard so most of the kids were out with all their sleds for some afternoon fun. Carter enjoyed going down the hill, especially when Finola took him. They were able to pick up a little more speed when the two of them went together. Unfortunatley we didn't get to stay as long as we would have liked because Carter's boots were filled with snow and his hands were ice cold after going through several pairs of mittens.




Before we left to go to the Murphy's we put a Costco lasagna in the oven so by the time we got home dinner was ready. If you haven't tried the Kirkland's lasagna I highly recommend it. It has to bake for about two hours but it's a great option for an easy dinner. The Murphy's came over to join us for dinner which was the perfect end to our snow day. They announced that schools were closed not long after we got home so fortunately we didn't have to worry about getting the kids in bed at a decent time. Carter had so much fun playing with Jack and Finola that he crashed when we finally put him to bed around 8:30p.m (late night for the little man)!


As much fun as we had it's time to say goodbye to winter. I'm ready for warm temps and long walks. Carter is getting bored with mom and dad on the weekends and we're tired of being cooped up inside!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pregnancy #2

So it has been awhile since my last post and a lot has changed. Not only are we expecting our second little boy at the end of April, Chris started a new job in October and I started a new job in December. If you knew the road that lead us to where we both are today you wouldn't believe it. We certainly had our ups and downs at the end of last year but thankfully most of them were ups and we couldn't be in a better place! Most importantly we're excited that our family is growing from 3 to 4.


But my how things have changed with pregnancy #2. The only reason that I happen to know exactly how far along I am is thanks to the What to Expect app I have on my phone. It sent me a lovely reminder this morning that I am 28 weeks pregnant and our little man is about the size of a head of cauliflower. Good to know because if you had asked me yesterday how far along I was I could have given you a ball park answer. I just tell folks that I'm due April 30th.

When I was pregnant with Carter I could tell you at any moment how far along I was, Carter's approximate size and what was developing at that point. Now I'm lucky if I have a still moment to even feel the baby move. Chris will always ask me what the baby is doing and I have to force myself to sit still for a few minutes to see if I can feel him moving around. Now don't get me wrong, he loves to roll around and punch me when I'm about to go to sleep or first thing in the morning but most other times I'm so busy running around that I forget to anticipate his movements.

A friend of mine asked me the other day if I've done anything to the nursery to prepare for the baby's arrival and I just laughed. I haven't done a single thing and don't plan on it either. Baby #2 and Carter will share a room and things will stay exactly like they are. Carter's initials are above his crib and Chris was so paranoid about hanging them that he pretty much bolted them to the wall. I vividly remember him telling me when he hung them that we'd have to sell them with the house because they're never coming off the wall, ha! So poor baby will just have to go with Carter's initials for now (luckily they're only off by one letter).




Carter slept in the Rock n' Play until he was four months old and I'm hoping that his little brother will do the same. Carter isn't ready to transition into a big boy bed and mom and dad aren't ready to deal with it, so we'll worry with that at a later date. In the meantime, we'll eventually move the Rock n' Play into Carter's room so they can become accustomed to sharing space and we'll figure the rest out later. I have too much on my hands right now to stress about when and how we're going to handle it! And that's what the Fairlington MOMs Club is for, right? They always help you get through everything!

My SIL recently returned our baby swing to us and Carter loves us it. Boy, that will be fun to deal with when there is actually a little baby in the swing!
I really enjoyed my pregnancy with Carter. It's not that I haven't enjoyed this pregnancy but it has been so different. When I was pregnant with Carter I would come straight home from work, plop on the couch and watch TV until around 7:00/7:30p.m. and then Chris and I would eventually figure out a dinner plan. I napped all weekend long, took walks whenever I wanted, went for massages, read books about my pregnancy and preparing for Carter's arrival and didn't worry about anything but myself. Boy have times changed.

Nowadays I leave work at 5:00p.m. to get home in time to pick Carter up from Gavin's house (where we do our nanny share). Typically when I walk in their front door Carter collapses to the ground, rolling around because he doesn't want to leave. That makes putting his jacket and hat on a ton of fun. God bless our sweet nanny, who has started to put Carter's jack and hat on and puts his book bag on his back before I even get there. That helps us get out the door in a somewhat timely fashion but then it takes us about 10 minutes to walk to our house which is only about 30 seconds away. We have to stop and sit on everyone's front porch, walk through the snow, and sometimes just fall to the ground in protest of going home. Eventually I pick him up squirming and yelling and we make our way into the house. By that time it's usually around 5:45p.m. That leaves us about 15-20 minutes to get dinner prepared and on the table. There is no lounging around the house, watching TV and casually fixing dinner when we're ready to eat. We try to sit to down to eat dinner by 6:15p.m. and we typically eat together as a family. I grew up eating dinner with my parents and brothers most nights and I think it's an important tradition to carry on. There are no phones, TV, or music, just the three of us together which is special.
Carter's first snow of the season. Notice how he isn't wearing boots or gloves, ha! It just wasn't a battle I was willing to fight that particular morning.

After dinner someone is left to handle clean up duty while the other gets the bath time routine started. That's always fun too because Carter loves to fight us when it comes time to getting into the bath tub. Once he's in he's usually fine and has a great time but then it's another battle to get him out of the tub and in his pj's. With Chris' new job he spends a lot of time in Raleigh so I find myself handling this routine on my own several times a week. Don't get me wrong, I love Carter and enjoy our time together but when you're pregnant, worked all day and then have to come home and do all of this on your own....whew. I've had my brother come over occasionally to help but that only seems to make matters worse. The last time he came over I think Carter thought I was getting ready to leave so he went into meltdown mode and wouldn't let me put him down. Fun times. I hope Brandon enjoyed his free dinner and watching TV while I dealt with a wild man.
Carter loves to wash his hands and has recently started helping us wash the dishes. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about any of this but it's amazing how different things are with subsequent pregnancies. It is no joke taking care of a toddler while you're pregnant. No one prepares you for that. I never get the compliment "wow, you look great and are glowing!" It's usually "wow, you look really tired. Are you feeling ok?"

No one told me that I'd get bigger a lot faster with the second baby either. I guess I should have realized that but wow, by week 9 I was fully showing! I didn't show with Carter until I was 4 1/2 almost 5 months pregnant. I'm so over maternity clothes too. They're terrible in my opinion. I appreciate that Old Navy and Gap offer a decent selection but I'm sick of all of it. I feel like I wear the same outfits over and over and if you know me, that's not my thing. I feel like a slob at times and it's driving me crazy. Most other lines are way over-priced. Why would I spend $200 on a dress or a pair of pants that I'll only wear a handful of times? I don't understand why they can't make some nice, affordable maternity clothes these days. Boden used to have a nice line and I went to their website the other day and they had a total of 3 pieces to choose from. I was so frustrated that I emailed their sales department and believe it or not they got back to me this morning. I was told that "though the maternity clothes were loved by many of our customers, like yourself, they were not as popular with the vast majority of our customers. Therefore, we decided to no longer continue this range. I myself disagree, as I think they were some of the most fashionable maternity clothes I have seen." I was honestly shocked to get a response and disappointed to hear the news.

I have moments of anxiety when I think about this baby's arrival and how we're going to manage two little boys, but I guess we'll just adapt and figure it out like we've done with everything else. When we took Carter to the doctor for his 2 1/2 year check-up Dr. Park warned us that we could see regression in Carter for 3-4 months after the baby arrives. Yes, can't wait for that!! I pray baby #2 is as laid back as Carter was. If not, then we're really in for it. This baby already moves around a lot more than Carter ever did so I don't know if that's a sign of what's to come or not.

I realize that the first couple of months will be an adjustment but we're all very excited about it. It's hard to beat a precious newborn baby and I will cherish every minute of it but I also look forward to the day when he and Carter can be rough and tough together. Sometimes I think Carter gets bored with us, especially over the weekends. I am so glad that he'll having a sibling, especially a brother, to play with over his life time. I know they'll be best friends and will always look after one another and especially their mom! People love to tell me how I'm going to have my hands full with two boys and while I do agree with them I'm glad that they'll have each other. I love my two brothers and wouldn't trade them for anything in this world. There is something special between siblings that you can't find anywhere else. I am so grateful that our family is growing and couldn't be more excited to continue to be outnumbered by boys.

Carter loves to drive cars, trucks, motorcycles, lawn mowers, you name it. The money we spent to take him to the Washington Auto Show was probably the best money I've ever spent.

Give Carter an iPhone, iPad or blackberry and he's content for hours.

Our family of three.....for not much longer!


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Weekend Fun

This past weekend my mom came to town to visit. Chris played in a member/guest golf tournament all weekend so I made a special request for my mom to come to town for some extra help with the little man and to have some fun too!

We had picture perfect weather and enjoyed our time together. On Friday I took my mom to Carter's school so she could see where he spends his days. We were able to go to his classroom and watch him finish his lunch before settling down for quiet time. After school let out she got to meet his teacher which meant a lot to her. The rest of the afternoon we just laid low and Brandon came over to join us for dinner that evening.

On Saturday we got up and went to a Touch-a-Truck event at a local elementary school. Many schools host these types of events throughout the year and they're a lot of fun, especially for little boys who are obsessed with trucks, cars and buses! This particular one had a fire truck, ambulance, city bus, tow truck and a Dominion Power truck. The kids were allowed to climb all over the trucks, honk the horn, and run around until their hearts were content. Carter's favorites were the ambulance and the city bus. One of his favorite things to do these says is sit in the driver's seat of one of our cars and pretend to drive. He likes to change the radio, honk the horn, pull the visor down and look at himself in the mirror, all the things he sees his mom do on a regular basis, ha! So as you can imagine how much fun he had.
Taking the Traverse out for a spin

Touch-a-Truck at Belle View Elementary School

Afterwards we headed to the Del Ray neighborhood for Art on the Avenue. It's a large art festival that that is held annually the first Saturday of October. They close Mt. Vernon Avenue and line the streets with over 300 artists (jewelers – silversmith & beaders, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, unique painters, sculptures, fabric artists), musicians, a petting zoo, face painting, games for kids and food vendors. We had a great time strolling up and down the avenue and taking in all the sights.

A visit from mom isn't complete without a trip to Guapo's so we headed there for dinner Saturday night. We learned upon our arrival that Oktoberfest was taking place in Shirlington that day and not only were the restaurants slammed but there were drunk people stumbling around everywhere! Luckily we got a table quickly and Carter was provided with quite the entertainment.
Yay for Guapo's! 

On Sunday we got up early and hit the road to Homestead Farm in Poolesville, MD. It's about a 45 minute gorgeous drive from DC. I love to drive along the GW Parkway this time of year. The leaves are starting to change colors and you feel like you're in the mountains. The majority of the drive is down back roads in MD and it was really beautiful. Upon our arrival we took a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick the perfect pumpkin. Carter wasn't a big fan of the hayride. It was very bumpy so he was very hesitant the entire ride. I also decided to put him in a cute vest; however, he absolutely hated it. I can't figure it out because he'll wear a jacket without any problem but the second I put him in his puffy vest he unzips it and pulls it off. So of course it was a battle of the vest half of the time we were in the pumpkin patch.
Searching for the perfect pumpkin!
After our hayride we put Carter in one of the wheel barrows and off we went into the apple orchards. They still had a lot of apples to choose from and it was a lot of fun. Carter enjoyed running around and sampling an apple or two while mom and I did all of the work. Who wouldn't want to go apple picking when they get pulled around like this?
Nothing better than a sweet, crisp apple!

Gigi got her workout for the day
Cutest little apple picker I've ever seen!

I highly recommend visiting Homestead Farm if you live in the area. My advice is to go first thing in the morning because it gets very crowded. When you arrive immediately grab a wheel barrow because they only have about 40 in stock and they go very quickly! People will stalk you for one when they realize you're headed to your car. Hayrides are offered on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30a.m.- 4:30p.m. and tickets are $3 per person. They currently have Aztec, Fuji and Enterprise apples to pick.They also have a market with the following items for sale: pumpkins, fall squash, apples, tomatoes, vegetables, local honey and preserves.

We were sad to see mom leave Sunday afternoon but we had a great visit while she was here. As I've said before, as much as I love the spring and summer there is something about this time of year that is the best!

Happy Fall ya'll!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Carter Starts Preschool!

Carter started preschool yesterday at Claremont Elementary School. This is a huge adjustment for our entire family considering the fact that I never dreamed of putting Carter in a preschool program until he was three years old. Don't get me wrong, there is a TON of pressure in this area to get your child into some kind of program as early as possible but I didn't feel like it was necessary at this time, especially considering our wonderful nanny share.

It was going to be hard for Carter not to be with his best buddy every morning.

Since Carter was 10 months old he has received physical and speech therapy services through the Arlington PIE (Parent Infant Education) program. Carter has had physical therapy (PT) weekly and speech therapy (ST) every two weeks for 17 months in our home. Every child enrolled in the PIE program is eligible to be evaluated for services through the Child Find program within Arlington County schools as they approach their second birthday. Within the PIE program you receive therapy in your child's natural environment whether that be at home or their daycare center and you pay for those services. Child Find is a program for children between the ages of two and five years old where children receive their designated services through the school system and you do not pay additionally. We were warned that the evaluation process was very lengthy; however, in the end felt that it would be worth our time given Carter's current situation. We knew that Carter would qualify for some level of services but we weren't sure if it would be enough for him to attend the preschool program. Considering Carter has had delays in multiple areas and still remained about 6 months behind at his annual review we decided it was worth our time to go through the evaluation process.

The evaluation is basically a six step process. We began the process in May and completed it on Thursday, September 11th! Our first meeting was basically an introductory one where we went through Carter's social history. We discussed my pregnancy, delivery, his medical history, behavior and the services he has received through the PIE program. This meeting took place with a study committee which consisted of a Special Education Coordinator, a Social Worker, a Psychologist and our PIE Service Coordinator. At the end of the meeting the committee recommended a referral for an official evaluation. Basically it was a meeting to state that we can officially begin the evaluation process.

The first evaluation was physical therapy and the second one was for speech and developmental therapy. Each session lasted about an hour and the therapists spent their time playing with Carter and asking Chris and me questions about his development. The only bad thing about our timing was that it fell in the middle of the summer. Most teachers and therapists were out of school; therefore, there were only limited days we could meet. Our physical therapy evaluation was at the beginning of June and our speech evaluation wasn't until the end of July. If your child were to be evaluated during the school year I believe this process would move a lot faster.

Technically after your evaluations have been completed a social worker is supposed to come to your home to go through your child's detailed social history. However, our social worker called me the day before we were leaving for the beach and Carter's eligibility meeting was scheduled the day we returned so we skipped this step.

On August 20th we had Carter's eligibility meeting with the study committee. They walked us through each of the therapists evaluations and came to an agreement that Carter did qualify and would benefit from services. Unfortunately it was still going to take another meeting to determine what those services would be. Carter has delays in five out of six categories and the pre-k teacher that participated in the meeting said that he would qualify for the preschool program; however, they couldn't officially confirm that until the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting. The good news is that they try to place your child at your home school, which for us is Claremont Elementary School. If they don't have room for your child at your home school then you'll be assigned to the next closest school. One of our neighbor's daughter was in the two year old program at Claremont and couldn't have said better things about the program and the teacher. So we were very excited to hear that if he was accepted in to the program they would have room for him at Claremont. 

After waiting patiently for two weeks I decided to call the teacher at Claremont. I was surprisingly connected directly to her and we scheduled Carter's IEP meeting for September 11th. At this meeting we walked through the eligibility meeting notes and met with Carter's teacher, each of the school's therapists and the Assistant Principal. They were in all in agreement that Carter would benefit from attending the preschool program Monday-Friday for five hours each day. He'll receive 30 minutes of PT each week and an hour of ST. Once he starts school the occupational therapist will complete an evaluation and it's possible that he may receive some therapies from her too.

Do I want Carter to go to school five days a week for 5 hours each day? No, not at all. Do I think that this is the best thing for him and his development? Yes, absolutely. Part of me is a little upset that Carter has enough delays to qualify him for this program yet there is another part of me that is grateful that he qualifies. As of right now there are three little boys in Carter's class, one teacher and two assistants. The class maxes out at eight students and it could take until the end of the year to get there. That's how hard it is to get in and that's how wonderful the teacher to student ratio is! You won't find that anywhere else!


I'm not sure where my baby boy went!

He's off!
Even though Carter will receive his therapies during designated times throughout the week the teacher and assistants are fully aware of the exercises he should be working on and they continue that throughout the day. The kids are taught to be very independent. Each student is asked to bring in a family photo that they hang in the room so they can talk about their families throughout the day. They walk to the cafeteria to get their lunch. They unpack and pack their book bags on their own. They set up their cot for nap time and put it away when they're finished. They go on field trips. The school brings in animals from the nature center to learn about. They go to the library. They have music class. They have PE class. They have reading buddies from the local high school come over to read with them. And his teacher sends home a personal notebook at the end of each day with detailed notes about Carter's day. What more could you ask for? 

So far things have gone well. Carter has cried when we've dropped him off each morning but his teacher has assured me that it didn't last long. When I've pulled up each afternoon to pick him up he has been sitting patiently on the bench in front of the school with his little backpack on his shoulders with the biggest grin you've ever seen. 


They have about an hour of "quiet time" at school so we're going to have to work on his nap schedule once he gets home. The poor little guy's world has been completely flipped upside down! Carter has been used to very lazy mornings and typically eats breakfast around 8:30a.m, so you can imagine the struggle we have on our hands to get him up, dressed, fed and out the door by 7:45a.m.! Mom and Dad are going to need some time to adjust too- ha! It will take some time but I'm confident that he'll quickly adapt and thrive with his new routine. 



I should note that technically Claremont Elementary is Claremont Immersion School. It opened in September 2003 as Arlington's second dual language immersion elementary school. Their program allows kids to learn a second language through curriculum, art, music and every day interactions. We were blessed to learn that this was going to be Carter's home school because our nanny speaks fluent Spanish to the boys during the day. Carter has several Spanish words and understands it just as well as he does English. My two year old son knows more Spanish than I do! Our first nanny spoke Spanish to the boys since they were three months old and our second nanny speaks even more to them on a daily basis. It is very important to us that Carter keep it up so the fact that his teacher uses it with him throughout the school day is an added bonus!

Thank you to everyone for all the phone calls, texts and emails! The little man has done great so far and we're so proud of the little student we have on our hands. Now and for the next 18 years......






Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Carter's Second Birthday Party

This past Saturday we gathered together with our family and friends to celebrate Carter's 2nd birthday. Even though a number of our family members couldn't be there with us we enjoyed our time with the ones that made the trip up to DC and our close friends.

This year I decided to go with a circus theme for the party. It was an easy theme to pull off thanks to Pinterest and Oriental Trading Company. I decided to have the party mid-afternoon so we wouldn't have to worry with serving a full meal. We enjoyed corn dogs, soft pretzels, popcorn, animal crackers and fruit to go along with our circus theme. And of course we had birthday cupcakes for the birthday boy!

Courtesy of a local mom. They were amazing! Let me know if you want her contact info.



We decided to have the party at our house. We did the same last year and it turned out great. We have a nice patio that opens up into a large backyard so there is plenty of room for the kids to run around. My only worry with an outdoor afternoon party is the weather. Fortunately we were blessed with picture perfect weather, as we were last year. We couldn't have asked for a better day! It wasn't too hot and there was a nice breeze to keep everyone cool. The kids enjoyed playing with the water table, bubbles, tattoos, stickers and going on wagon rides. The kids are still young enough that you don't have to have a lot of organized activities to keep them entertained. I know that day will soon come to an end so it was nice to just let them run free! 









As I mentioned above, I got most of my party ideas from Pinterest. I ordered all of my party supplies from the Oriental Trading Company and they were great. Everything was reasonably priced and great quality. I even got the cute cupcake stand, banner and popcorn boxes from them! I received their catalog in the mail about a month before Carter's birthday and they had categorized all their party supplies by theme and just so happened to have a circus theme! It couldn't have worked out any better. I found the idea for the balloon banner from Parenting Magazine. It was really easy to make and the key was definitely the balloon clips. You can find them at any party supply store.


Carter had such a good time at his party and we appreciate everyone that shared his special day with him! We capped off the weekend with a pool day on Sunday. It took Carter about 30 minutes to get accustomed to his puddle jumper and then before we knew it he was a little fish.





Friday, June 20, 2014

Father's Day

We had a fairly low-key Father's Day weekend, although if you were to ask Chris it may not have been low-key enough! Chris played golf on Saturday so Carter and I went to music class and then ventured to the Virginia Highlands Park for the rest of the morning. For the past few months Carter has participated in a weekly music class hosted by Music Together Alexandria.When you register for their classes you can choose from various locations throughout Alexandria. We're fortunate enough that one of the locations is less than a mile from our house.Typically there are 4-5 other kids in the class each week and Carter has really enjoyed it. They give you 2 CDs and a music book at the beginning of the session which allows you to learn the songs so you can sing-a-long with the teacher during class. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not because inevitably I find myself singing the songs on a regular basis.


Saturday evening we drove up to Solomon's Island to join the Murphy clan at Stoney's for dinner. This has become a favorite semi-getaway dinner spot for us. You can sit right by the Chesapeake Bay, enjoy fresh seafood and most importantly their orange crushes! Since it was Father's Day weekend we left the guys there after dinner to enjoy some downtime and Jana and I piled all the kiddos in our car and headed back home. I've never had so many car-seats in my car before!

On Sunday we went to Ted's Bulletin for breakfast where Carter enjoyed eating their homemade pop-tarts, yum! After breakfast we took a little stroll around Eastern Market before it got too hot. The rest of afternoon was spent playing outside and watching the US Open. Even though I didn't get to spend Father's Day with my dad, it was nice to have had some time with him the week before. I'm very fortunate to have a wonderful dad and such a wonderful grandfather to Carter. I'm also very grateful that Carter has such a wonderful father in Chris. He is Carter's biggest cheerleader and loves his family unconditionally. There is no doubt that he puts our family first and always puts other people's feelings ahead of his own. He is our rock and always manages to keep us sailing on smooth waters. Carter is a lucky little guy to have such a great daddy and I'm blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful guys in my life!



Courtesy of an app called Waterlogue