Thursday, July 31, 2008

And I Thought I Wasn't Having Any Fun Before!

Today was a big day! Brendan had a day off which was WONDERFUL and I totally took advantage of it! I went and got all my hair chopped off and dyed dark - I guess I change my hairstyle every 15 years whether I need it or not. I have been blond since 1996 and I have had long hair for as long as I can remember - save 6 months in Korea when a language barrier resulted in BLUE highlights and a VERY short cut. It's kind of hard to see, but it's chin length and a little shorter in the back than in the front. The color is good - hopefully not so much upkeep as blond but I still have a few warm highlights. We'll see how the color fairs - changing this much can be a little dicey!
After I got back, Brendan took Aidan to see Wall-E again and they HAD to go to Toys R Us first. They came back with this:and this for Emmy:She's walking all by herself behind the stroller! She will NOT allow her baby doll to go in the stroller - not quite sure why!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Catching Up

I have to confess that I have been a little behind on Emmy's Baby Book. I have been trying to catch up since she is over a year now and I should be finished! I have done one double 12x12 layout per month with a few favorite pictures and a little journaling to remind us what was going on that month. It's fun to look back at the little stories - there is no way I would remember otherwise! I am on March so far - here is the layout I just finished - with the mess that gives away my creative genius in the background!Just for fun - here are a few of my other favorites - nothing too fancy - I try to concentrate on the pictures!
January:November:Emmy's Arrival

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Historical Adventures

Today's post was supposed to be about how wonderful it is to live in a place that is saturated with history and how I have been able to expose my children to the wonders of America's past - blah blah blah
You know what's more fun? Let me tell you how our day fell just a little short.

I was super excited - for some reason - to go and visit the Woodlawn Planation. It's just down the street past Mt. Vernon a bit and the pictures on the web had shown a huge beautiful house with lots of gardens. It looked like a great place to run around and in my mind would be similar to Mt. Vernon. My first tip off should have been that we were the only ones there when it opened at 10 - we were trying the beat the heat. I got the stroller, sunscreen, hats, Emmy's taggie and baby doll (we can't go anywhere without BOTH of them), snacks, drinks, diaper bag - oh yeah - and kids all set and ready to go walk around. Note - still no one else has arrived. We walk over to the house - there is very little signage (another clue??). We find the door to go in and pay but we find out that it is FREE to just walk around if we don't want to take a tour of the house. Great - wonderful - I love anything that is free. So we start out around the house - rather mansion. I encounter the first set of stairs - don't you think the ladies inside would have said - you should probably carry the baby - there is no way around the stairs because of the HUGE OVERGROWN bushes everywhere?? I carry Emmy and the stroller down the stairs swearing to myself because I KNOW that there is a corresponding set of stairs that go UP somewhere in our near future. Anyway - I think you get the picture. This mansion is beautiful and I'm sure it's beautiful inside but the outside leaves much to be desired and is NOT stroller friendly. We made it around the house and I discovered that there was really nothing for us or anyone else who likes things other than overgrown plants - so back in the car we went and we drove to Gunston Hall (home of George Mason) which is right down the road - OK - 20 minutes - still not bad.
We arrive and it is getting hot - pretty normal for VA but I usually don't take the kids out if it's this hot. The older woman at the check in takes my $8 and tells me that I shouldn't be giving my kids cookies - they are eating an organic granola bar and water I tell her - probably should have just told her to keep her opinions to herself. Why do I feel like I have to justify my choice of diet to a stranger? We'll never know...
So we have to walk around for 30 minutes before the next "tour" (more on this later) of the house. That seems fine to me - all I really wanted to do was walk around anyway. We see the school house which impresses Aidan with it's tiny size. "Where do they play with playdoh?" he asks. Good question Aidan. We walk through the garden which is more of a path lined with boxwoods and go and see the outbuildings - kitchens, wash house etc. Aidan is intrigued with the push button self guided tour thing they have going on. We go into the house for our "tour". We are the only ones on this "tour" and the woman takes one look at me and say "So - do you want the abbreviated tour?" in the most condescending way imaginable. "Sure" I say - I could tell this was a no go from the beginning. She tells us interesting things about the house - and lets us go up the tightest spiral staircase I have ever seen to the upstairs where the bedrooms are set up but you can't go in them. Aidan LOVED the staircase - probably the highlight of the trip! Unfortunately the tourguide had either never seen a child before or perhaps had only been around children who were physically restrained because she kept shrieking at Aidan not to touch anything - mind you he was touching the 3/4 inch thick plexiglass barricade between us and the items in the room. Maybe they had already run out of Windex...
So here are some pictures:

Woodlawn Plantation - it was a gift from George Washington to his nephew Major Lawrence Lewis and his wife Nelly Custis (Martha Washington's granddaughter from her first marriage)ALWAYS pack a snackGunston Hall - home of George Mason - author of the Virginia Declaration of RightsAidan in the school house - 9 children went to school here.
Aidan and Emmy in the garden at Gunston Hall - Aidan hates the heat and Emmy was just happy to be out of the stroller
OK - so maybe it was fun to get out of the house and do something a little different. It's always fun to do stuff with the kids - even if things don't run smoothly!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Looking Back

Looking at new babies makes me realize that I don't really remember what Aidan looked like as a little baby. I had to look back on some pictures to see how cute he was!!

6 months:12 months:
18 months:
2 years:
He's changed - but not that much. Makes me wonder what he'll look like when he's 15...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Daddy's Away Again

Today we went to Burke Lake to have a "get out of the house" day with Aidan's friend Will and his Mom and sister. The weather was gorgeous. It was one of those perfect summer days that we really don't get too often around here. It was dry, breezy and 75 degrees. Can't get much better! We went on the carousel which Aidan calls a merry-GO-round:Emmy rode of the back of Aidan's horse and seemed to like it for a few minutes - then she wanted me to hold her so she could suck on her fingers. I think that Aidan liked it - what do you think?
There is a 1/3 scale train that runs on a 10 minute loop down by the lake and through the forest. This was also another hit although Aidan was a little worried about the lack of doors once we started moving.Emmy loved every minute of it. She likes forward motion (but not up and down) so it was perfect for her.Then we all put our picnic blankets together and laid out the spread. The kids always want to eat what the other mom has brought so Kim and I always bring extras!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Fruits of Our Labor

Our garden is doing really well despite the heat and lack of rain. We have had so many roma tomatoes that I made pizza sauce our of them on Monday and topped one of them off with our own basil! It felt so (self?) satisfying to eat what we have grown - knowing for sure that they are free of any pesticides and other yucky stuff!
Here are some Arkansas Travelers - an heirloom variety. They have a slightly peppery taste to them. They are really good - Emmy loves them!

Friday, July 18, 2008

124th Post

Today the kids and I went out to lunch at Panera for no reason. It was really nice - I don't know why I haven't done it before - probably terrified of the always looming tantrum followed by all the glances that say "oh that poor woman..." Ick. Anyway - it was really nice. Aidan chose to have a ham sandwich and yogurt and ate almost all of it as well as some of Emmy's fruit. Emmy ate some fruit and then decided it was much more interesting to watch all the people around her. Neither of my children are shy by any stretch of the imagination and we attracted lots of attention because they were both flirting and waving to people in the restaurant. It's hard to know if they want to be bothered or if they would prefer just to eat in peace...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Visit With Addy

On our way back from Williamsburg we stopped to visit the Rains family.
We got to see their beautiful house and Emmy and Aidan got to play with Addy!Here's Miss Addy! Ready for her close up!
Addy and Emmy played nicely although Emmy kept stealing Addy's pacifier. She kept looking at me like - What?? I just want to look at it!

Great Wolf Lodge

Brendan had two days off from work this week so we went to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg for the night. It's a hotel with an indoor waterpark and LOTS of other stuff to do for families and kids! We had a lot of fun and I wish we could have stayed for another night. Maybe we'll go back in September - they said that it is really empty right after school starts!Emmy waiting with me at the bottom of the big slideAidan LOVES all slidesHereitcomes!!Ahhhh!!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Emmy's Car

Brendan's parents got Emmy this car for her birthday. She LOVES it and so does Aidan. They used to fight over who got to sit in Aidan's car - now they fight over who gets to sit in Emmy's car!Crazy Emmy standing in her car. All she does now is stand although she refuses to walk. Would somebody brush that kid's hair??

Monday, July 14, 2008


We went to see Wall-E on Sunday afternoon. Aidan has been waiting for months and he was so excited to go! We had watched the trailer online a million times so he knew the premise of the story and the names of Wall-E and Eve. He sat quietly and watched the entire movie. Brendan and I passed Emmy back and forth but she was really good too.
We LOVED the movie. It is adorable and the animation is beautiful! There isn't much speaking in the movie - making it all the more impressive. Try to go and see it!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Emmy's One Year Check Up

We did Emmy's one year check up today - a month or so late...oops! She was 18 lbs 13 oz and 30 1/2 inches long. That means she is in the 90th percentile for height and only the 25th or so for weight. We saw a new doctor today - the first one who hasn't given me a hard time about Emmy's low weight. I think we'll stick with her!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The 4th of July

So this is a bit late but here are a bunch of pictures from the 4th of July. Brendan's parents got this HUGE blow up waterslide for the boys. They all LOVED it and stayed in until they were purple and shivering! Aidan, apparently, had some trouble sharing the floaties... Emmy in her cute dress from Aunt Siobhan:Aidan is COLD - and really as blue as he looks in the picture:
Aidan, Murphy, Chase and Brody - this was the best picture we could getAidan and Chase blowing bubbles:Aidan with a sparkler - I think we avoided all burns:

The 4th of July

So this is a bit late but here are a bunch of pictures from the 4th of July. Brendan's parents got this HUGE blow up waterslide for the boys. They all LOVED it and stayed in until they were purple and shivering! Aidan, apparently, had some trouble sharing the floaties... Emmy in her cute dress from Aunt Siobhan:Aidan is COLD - and really as blue as he looks in the picture:
Aidan, Murphy, Chase and Brody - this was the best picture we could getAidan and Chase blowing bubbles:Aidan with a sparkler - I think we avoided all burns: