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!