Fall Festivals: All The Fall Things

It is time for all things fall like festivals. The D.C. area is full of great spots to get out of the city. In less than an hour, you can be on a farm in the middle of what feels like nowhere petting baby goats and sipping homemade cider.

Montpelier Farms – Upper Marlboro, MD

1508936378663Sometimes I do not want to drive to what feels like the far ends of Virginia even though in reality it’s only like 43 miles. Lucky for us there is a great spot less than 20 miles away in Upper Marlboro, MD. We found Montpelier Farms last year when our desire to visit a pumpkin patch was great but our fear of driving an hour with a screaming 1 1/2 year old was MUCH greater.

This fantastic little farm is filled with activities for the whole family. Kids can play games, pan for jewels, get lost in a corn maze, jump on a giant pumpkin air mat, make a scarecrow, go on a hayride and feed farm animals. The alpacas and the horse will nibble the food right from your hand. It tickles, it’s wet and slightly frightening – IT IS THE BEST. We spent a lot of time watching LADC climb up and slide down an old truck bed converted into three slides. After you’re finished with your afternoon of fun, you can pick your own pumpkin.

Admission: $12.00 (2 and under free) – Most events are included with the price but there are some ticketed games as well.

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2016 Montpelier Farms Visit – It was hot hot hot!!!

 

Winterbrook Farms – Thurmont, MD

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Our friends invited us along to this fantastic farm way out in Maryland. This was about an hour and half drive for us but it was well worth it. This beautiful farm has a huge barn with kids activities, animals to feed and shaded tables for eating. There are apple cannons, a cow train (highly recommended), zip lines, corn maze, hayrides to a pumpkin patch. So many things to climb – bails of hay, tire stacks, and even a hill with a bell at the top. We even engaged in a friendly sack race which made me laugh so hard. We spent a lot of time in the giant corn box…a sandbox filled with corn kernels. You’ll want one for your own! The corn box was conveniently located next to a duck race using water pumps which was a hit with the adults. LADC loved the tube slides so much that she insisted on doing them alone. They were not too fast for a tiny two year old so we let her go for it…OVER…AND…OVER…again.

Admission: $10 Regular, $7 for children under 4′ tall – All events included expect Apple cannon and pumpkins

Ticonderoga Farms – Chantilly, VA

This was our (mine and LADC’s) third trip to Ticonderoga Farms. LADC and I have  in the past attended my former employer’s corporate picnic with friends so this year was our first time being able to do all of the farm activities. Ticonderoga has a huge pillow jump, a mountain of slides, several playgrounds, goats and chickens to feed, hay rides, a bamboo maze, pedal carts, pumpkin patches, and live music. We spent a lot of time playing hide and seek in the pumpkin patch and on the slides. WE enjoyed the slides over and over again! Climbing that slide hill like 50 times is an exhausting good time!

Oh and everyone gets their own pumpkin to take home!

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Admission: $16.95 for everyone 2 and up (slightly pricey)

As the fall festival season winds down, I come away with one final thought.  – Turns out all that is important to us is a good slide and apple cider!

To Pour or Not to Pour…The Toddler Decides

During a rather idyllic breakfast on Wednesday morning, LADC asked to pour her water onto her grits. My gut reaction was to shut that mess down but instead I simply said, I don’t think that’s a great decision but go for it. It may not taste very good. 

Sounded gross. But totally harmless.

She poured.

She stared.

She tasted.

She gagged.

She waved her hand over it and muttered some toddler-ese which I interpreted as…”You were right, mom, that was a POOR decision.”

When I asked her if it tasted badly she said, “Yea,” connected to this half laugh half sigh that she does when she know something was so ridiculously silly. (seriously, it is the cutest)

We can call it a culinary experiment so it sounds really brave and smart. We do encourage exploring and learning at home. Making messes and doing the silly thing is kind of part of our every day life. Some of us shoot water cannons at others while they mow the grass just because it makes the toddler insanely happy. We will be cleaning up glitter for the rest of our lives.

If I had said no to pouring water on the grits, there would have been tears and frustration. I do not like to say NO all the time. Sometimes our instinct is to say no because of inconvenience, a bad mood, laziness…those times I have to stop myself and remember I am trying to raise a tiny human. I have to stop to remember that pouring water on the grits might just turn into a moment that I can tell her about when she asks about when she was a small. Saying yes to the silly odd random thing might just be the best decision I make all day.

I read an article once about parents who never said no. They discussed the good and bad consequences of decisions with their kids and gave them the choice. Keeping an open dialogue for when the tough subjects come up. I mean some things are inherently dangerous and require a strong NO. We have some non-neogtiables like brushing teeth. Has to be done even if there are tears and ear piercing screams. BUT Some things are just things that can be turned into a teaching moment. Some things are just silly so you do them anyway.

LADC thinks grits are the best breakfast ever. As most parents know, getting a toddler to eat can be challenging so having their favorites on had is essential. I have had to permanently add grits to the grocery list. I remember not liking grits as a kid but I also remember them being white and bland unless you put a slice of cheese in it. (We use Bob’s Red Mill Polenta following the suggested directions and also adding some nutritional yeast and flax meal to make it extra nutritious.)

Guess Who’s Back!?

Hello all (if you’re still out there)! I haven’t read a blog or written a blog in like 6 months. I have been momming, working and wifing hard…not always in that order but always doing all the things. If you follow us on Instagram, you’re fully up to date on her growth and what we’re doing now.

Working from home was hard. I made it work. I did some office management work for a about 6 months which demanded a lot of computer time. However, I am now back working in the real world…and by real world…I mean I play for a living and I love it. I was presented with an opportunity this past February and I seized it. My little one goes to work with me every day!

I finally have some room to give updating, writing and musing some attention.

I mostly want to hold on to memories that I know my brain can not possibly hold on to forever.

Like would I always remember that she laughed in her sleep the other morning. Then Lisa and I giggled back and forth. I wonder what she was dreaming about?

I want to remember the pee-pee in the potty dance she did for hours last night EVEN before she actually peed in the potty.

Or those moments when we have one big group hug and there are so many giggles, kisses and love is just oozing out of us.

Maybe moms always remember this stuff…Maybe I will remember it but just in case my brain gets so full of wonderful memories that some start falling out…I’ll write them out just in case.

Weekend Family Fun in Rehoboth Beach, DE

This whole month I have been thinking about Pride and how to participate with a youngster in tow. In general, Pride is kind of an adult affair…information booths, booze, beads (kids like beads though), parties, and fabulous parades…But who doesn’t love a parade? Am I right? I am sure eventually there would be questions about certain floats…and I’d have to explain that the plastic squares with the round discs are not suckers that have lost their sticks…they are something entirely different!
With an infant though, this year my major concern was about heat and sunburn on very fresh baby skin. June in most of the country is HOT! The last few years we have gone down to the Pride festival we have been so hot that we quickly opted for an indoor restaurant after a quick walk through. In our younger years we probably would have had all the drinks and danced our cares away. But alas…we have to do all the responsible adulting now…Now I know there are some family areas at Pride and I will explore those more in the future as DC Pride has come and gone. Yesterday, I got an email from CAMP Rehoboth about their first annual Family Pride CAMP! This is so exciting! Unfortunately, we will not be able to attend Family Pride CAMP this year so I hope they do it next year!  I am posting details below and click on the link above for more details.
From CAMP Rehoboth’s Website: 
Featuring bouncy-castles, a pizza party, parent’s-night-out, a seaside BBQ, a fire station tour, beach games, a farewell brunch, and more, Family Pride CAMP 2015 will be a fun-filled weekend—generating a lifetime of memories—for all families, young and old, big and small!
Family Pride CAMP Schedule of Events

June 26-28
Rehoboth Beach

Friday, June 26

  • 4-6 p.m. Registration at CAMP Rehoboth. Preregistration is available online or come to CAMP Rehoboth to check in and pick up information about the weekend.
  • 6-9 p.m. CAMP Rehoboth Welcome Party-Featuring food, drink, and entertainment for kids and adults.

Saturday, June 27

  • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Gordons Pond Pavilion-Featuring lunch, beach toys and games.
  • 4 p.m.  Rehoboth Beach Fire Station Tour
  • 5:30-8:30 p.m. Let’s Bounce Party at “Shell We Bounce!”(add-on fee of $30 for first child and $25 for each additional sibling), featuring dinner, babysitters and fun!
  • 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Adult Dinner at Eden (pay at restaurant).

Sunday, June 28

  • Featured Beach: Poodle Beach
  • 12-4 p.m. Farewell Lunch at the Bromley-Salie house, 5 Prospect Street (steps away from Poodle Beach). Featuring food, drink, toys, games and restroom facilities.

$30 per adult;$15 per kid; $90 per family (max). Plus optional add-ons (babysitting, parent’s dinner at a local restaurant).

Even if you cannot make this event! Check out CAMP Rehoboth’s events…they have a Women’s Fest every year which is also awesome! Rehoboth Beach is very LGBTQ and vegan friendly!
The only Rehoboth picture I have on my work computer.

The only Rehoboth picture I have on my work computer.

 

The Twinkle Diaries

I am not 37 and neither is my wife…

I had an amazingly large brain-fart which I am claiming was brought on by parenthood. My super wonderful awesome forgiving wife fo’ life had a birthday. Through the power of miscommunication and corporate policy…Lisa was at home all weekend! So even though I had a birthday present for her, I did not have a card. I love greeting cards…a whole bunch so I went downstairs to write a note…draw a picture…something.  However, I found a kid’s birthday card that I thought was PERFECT! Hilariously, I wrote in a 3 in front of the 7 with a Sharpie…manufacturing a 37.  Listen people I was full on happy with myself and my silly gesture…I proudly plop her card on the counter which she finds and opens…

Let’s just say, she is not 37 which means neither am I.

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No matter how hard I wish…I can’t make that not a 7.

An Orderly All Encompassing UPDATE….Through Week 35

Holy crapola,that’s right it’s freaking Week 32 33 34 35! I have been writing this blog entry for weeks. I am not proud that it is taking me so long to write one blog entry but things have been busy. There is a baby coming in the next few weeks.  Not some abstract number of weeks that feels so far away it might as well be infinity but in a matter of weeks, days, hours…It is exciting, intimidating, awesome, weird, exhausting, wonderful, marvelous…I am not even the one with surging hormones and those are my feelings like every 30 seconds. I was riding down the elevator to get a latte because of the exhausting part…when I had one of those “I’m going to be mom” moments…someone is going to call me mom, I will be a mom. (That’s where the weird and wonderful come in to play.) It’s one of those times I would like to use the word surreal then I do not because well people are weird about the use of surreal.

Anyway, so I want to catch you up on our life….These events are not in order but will baby update last as the grand finale!

1. We moved!

I keep wanting to say, “we bought a zoo!” However, that would be entirely incorrect and untrue. We did buy a house though! We closed the week before Christmas! How crazy are we, right? We love it. We were all moved in at the beginning of the new year with the help of our amazing family! This girl had to work and the other one is pregnant so we were completely dependent on our fine family for all of the help! We seriously could not have done it without them – And Bonus —we all got to spend time together during a holiday!

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When we started looking at houses back in November, we did not expect to find “the one” on our first trip out.  We were just testing the waters…figuring out what and where we wanted it to be. But when I walked into this house, an entire life played out before my eyes and I knew…this would be our home. We still need to decorate and finish the baby’s nursery but my amazing wife is all nesty so there is no packed box to be seen!

We love our entire new home but of course, my favorite part is the wet bar downstairs because it has a beverage/wine refrigerator…There was talk of me selling this prized possession but I was all like…WHOA…Hold On…let’s not be hasty…So the beverage fridge stays…So you can all start sending me bottles of your favorite champagne. Another fun feature is the fact that we now have two microwaves…We haven’t had a microwave since 2010. So, of course, I was excited about this modern technology that cooks food with mystical powers super fast but I have used it to cook 1 bag of popcorn. It was fun, it was exciting but the thrill is gone.  Our microwave(s) remains clean and shiny!

Once the nursery is all set or at least most of the way there, I will post pictures of that!

2. The Pregnant Lady

Lisa is doing superbly! She is 35 Weeks and 1 day…she looks great…she’s healthy. A full night’s sleep has become elusive for her…She has had three midwife appointments since my last update. One included the glucose test which she passed. Her blood pressure has remained normal throughout her pregnancy. So far no swelling of ankles or feet. I read about people leaving behind the vegan lifestyle during pregnancy for different reasons but Lisa has had no complications or issues (nor has the baby). She eats healthy and smart…she has more will power than me.  She even is able to resist all the good vegan treats and convenience foods.  (just thought I’d brag on her for a minute)

We have been dealing with a placenta issue that appears may have resolved itself. There was some talk of placenta previa so a 30 week scan was scheduled. That scan showed not much change in the distance of the placenta from the cervix plus some possible vessels in the way of the cervix (vasa previa) so we scheduled a 32 Week ultrasound. During the two weeks before the ultrasound things were a bit panicky. Either of these conditions would change our birth plan and time line. If these things were happening, that baby could be coming as soon as Week 35 because of the complications that could arise out of a natural birth. Were we ready? Could we be ready?!? Also, all of the reading about Vasa previa proved to be scary. However, the 32 Week ultrasound results were promising. The placenta seems to have started to move far enough away from the cervix and there didn’t seem to be any vessels in the way. We go back again today for another look. We are hoping to know what our plan will be after the ultrasound this afternoon. The 34 Week ultrasound showed that the placenta has moved away from the cervix! Yay placenta! However, out of an abundance of caution, the doctor on duty suggested that we not labor at home but go straight to the hospital when labor begins.

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3. The Baby

 The baby is perfect. There is really nothing else I can say..so I’ll show you pictures.

Warning: The cuteness is overwhelming.

Side Effects Include: Melting heart, strange verbal utterances (oooh…ahhh), enlarging of smile, tugging at ovaries and in some cases subjects experienced eye watering. If any of these and/or other symptoms occur, congratulations you’re not dead on the inside. The writer of this blog is not responsible for any side effects related to viewing these pictures.

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