Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wedensday

Yeah! My first Wordless Wednesday! I have always seen these and thought they were so cute.

So for my first one, I would like to appreciate the little things in life, like A playing with some colorful mixing bowls this morning in the kitchen as I watched the sleepiness gradually lift off her like the thick morning fog on the Sound.

Daily Mom

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Know It Is Not Thursday...

But we had a super fun playdate today! If you saw my post from last week about the Cylburn Arboretum then you must remember there was an hour long Nature Story Time today! Naturally, A and E were all over it...and by that I mean literally running all over the (absolutely breathtaking) mansion, while listening to a lady read stories about bats. I guess that was the animal of the week. The two kids were so good when we first got there before the stories began, but about 10 minutes later they had enough sitting and looking at stuffed bats, bat skeletons, and bat books and were off to explore. The downstairs of the mansion is a collection of four large rooms, which all had marble fireplaces, inlaid wood detailing on the walls, tray and grid ceilings, and the most amazing and ornate moldings I have ever seen! I would have loved to have gotten a few pictures of the inside of the mansion, but A would not sit still for more than about 3 seconds, so I was off and running too! I will make sure I get some next time we go.

After an unsuccessful 20 minutes of story time we decided to let the kids run free outside in the gardens, where they were at least a bit safer, and not annoying to the other kids who wanted to actually hear the bat books. They had a blast running all over, finding eggs (sure, we might have pointed them out), and of course having their picnic lunch.
Ready for story time!

E is facinated with the first bat book

E and his Mommy <3

A and me!

A found E's baseball hat

Wasn't too fond of it on her head...

So she decided to try to put it on E's head
Good job!

The Robin's egg we found

Always time for some soccer

Hey, no hands!

Checking out the second egg we found

Waiting patiently for lunch

"Sharing" some veggie straws...well sort of :)

What a fun day!

Daily Mom

Monday, June 27, 2011

What Do I Do?

Do you ever have one of those days where you are just stuck in an emotional rut? Today happens to be one for me, which is weird because I am a very upbeat and positive person, so I think it is extra annoying when I am like least for myself it is. I am worried I am not teaching my daughter discipline very well. In addition, I think I have been a little hard on A recently. I know these are the antithesis of each other but just stick with me here.

 I know she is only 16 months, but I think she needs to follow directions, or at least try to follow directions from me. Now, before you think I am being unrealistic, let me explain our daughter to you. She is very smart (I know every mom says this, but I think she is a little advanced), and knows what we are saying. Not only does she already talk to us using understandable words ( I counted about 40), but she even strung together "no, Mommy" the other day. I can ask A to get her juice from the family room, or clean up her books, or come into the kitchen (without using any gestures) and she will do whatever I ask...well when I am convincing enough to make her think there is something in it for her!

  I am doing a terrible job explaining myself today so let me use an example for my plight. We were in music class the other day and are all sitting in a circle singing songs and playing with the instruments, but A has no interest in playing the instrument all she wants to do is run around the room. It didn't bother me too much until A would go up to the other kids who were sitting nicely and say "hi", aka distracting them when the teacher was talking. Not only was I having flashbacks to when I was an elementary school teacher, but I think I was getting some serious death stares from the other moms. I know she is young, but I think she should listen to me when I ask her to sit with me (read: sit her down on my lap and not let her get up and run around for a very small period of time). But whenever I do get her to sit in my lap she only starts to whine and arch her way off. Then I start to worry that I have let her "be herself" since she has been born and have not really made any requests of her behavior. Sure, she gets the standard, "no" and "don't touch" when it is a safety issue...but that is about it! Should I have started at an earlier age enforcing certain types of behavior and not just let her explore and be free? But then, I want her to be a kid and figure out the world on her own....

Maybe I am being unrealistic but I don't want the kid who is unruly, running around preschool and not sharing (a whole other post for a different day). Am I being too optimistic to think an almost 1 1/2 year old can follow "please sit here" directions or have I already hindered her by not being more strict?

Please Help!
Daily Mom

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Sunday Morning Tradition

Isn't it funny that something we do every week, and love doing, somehow never gets recorded in pictures or words? For example, every Sunday morning, we feed A breakfast, grab our reusable bags, and head to the farmer's market. Now, this is not your typical farmer's market. First of all (remember we live in Baltimore) it is under the highway, at the place where the highway dead ends into the city. So Monday through Saturday this area is definitely not somewhere you would ever travel! Not only is it the place where the majority of homeless people set up shop, but it is loud, nasty, and dirty.

 Somehow though, on Sunday morning the homeless are nowhere to be found...okay fine, you will see a few nestled by the on and off ramps... the traffic overhead is non-existent, and there are hundreds of people, kids, and dogs bustling about the 50 plus stands.

 It is quite the operation. There are your typical farm stands with everything from beets, onions, potatoes, and other root vegetables to greens, berries, and fruit. Then you have the honey stand with the 101 year old lady working, who swears she is still alive, and thriving, because she eats one teaspoon of bee pollen each morning. You have the local crab men with their trucks loaded with bushels of live blue crabs, calling out the price of the day over the hum of the croud. Speaking of fishermen, there is also a truck (in fact I think it might be two now) who drive down each Saturday night from Maine with mussels, clams, lobsters, and all the fresh fish you can imagine. The Maine men have a trivia question each week too, and if you answer it correctly, right on the spot, you win a free lobster. Nope...I have never gotten it! Then you have the bake stands...delicious. The coffee stand, yes there is only one and there is always at least a 20 person line. The kettle corn stand, the flower stands, the dog treat stand, the lamb wool blanket stand, and the creamery stand. There is also "the pea guy" stand who has a line that rivals the coffee stand and sells all kind of peas and beans out of coolers. I have only waited in the line for the lima beans, but trust me, they were worth it!

A while ago I wrote a blog about houses...and I need to add something to my list of what I want to happen in our next house...which really doesn't have too much to do with our next house but more about what kind of mom I want to be. So, I would like to add to the I want A to always remember and cherish our Sunday morning family trips to the farmer's market.

Here are some pictures from our trip this morning.
One of the many vegetable stands

A was picking out what apricots she wanted.

They waited in line for coffee...with a kid...impressive!

Some of the beautiful of which is sitting on our kitchen table right now!

A bushel of Maryland blue crabs...pinch, pinch!

It doesn't get much fresher than this.

A likes to be our big helper by carrying the bag of cherries.

A different root vegetable stand

After a muffin snack, A was lounging in her stroller!

Daily Mom

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Something Old

Although I have lived in Baltimore my entire life, minus the 4 years I was in college, I am still finding new and exciting places to visit and things to do. Especially with A now in my life, and being a stay-at-home mom, I like to find new places for us to explore each day. I mean don't get me wrong, I love going to the zoo and the pool, but even I get bored of them sometimes. So yesterday after A woke up from her nap, we headed off to find a place I had never heard of before but found online...Cylburn Arboretum.

Let me start off by giving you a little history of the place, since that is what sold me on the visit. First of all, as you know, Baltimore is a very busy city, so having this gorgeous property nestled right outside the city center, is quite a find! Cylburn Arboretum is a 101 acre property that consists of walking trails, gardens, and a mansion. The mansion was built in 1863 by Jesse Tyson as a summer home for his mother and himself. This post Civil War mansion is built almost entirely out of gneiss, a coarse-grained layered rock where the light and dark mineral separate into visible bands, which was mined out of the quarry about 10 miles from the property. Pretty cool that the material for the house was mined in Baltimore too!
Can't you just picture yourself on the porch with a cocktail!

I mean, really...a summer home!

I love the sky in this picture
The other side of the mansion...the garden side

Secret Garden...Couldn't you just see a wedding here?

Anyway, enough history (can you tell I was an elementary school teacher), after nap time A and I headed towards the city, to see what we could find. When we arrived at Cylburn, I thought it must be closed, since it was a beautiful, and not too hot summer afternoon and we were the only car in the parking lot. But we unpacked the stroller and headed towards the adorable (and very modern, which surprised me) information center. There we got a map, and a list of events they had free to the public, before we headed off on our adventure. It was about a 1/2 mile walk to the mansion and gardens so we thought that was a good place to start. As you can see A ran around the grass, smelled flowers, and chased bunnies for over an hour. Finally, after she began to really stumble, I loaded her back in the stroller, gave her a snack, and headed towards the car.
A little timid at first with all the new flowers

We worked on touching without picking!

Not always successful...

Playing hide-and-seak with mommy

Checking out the benches

One, two, three, four...ready or not, here I come!

Huh...where could mommy be?

There you are!

I think running away pictures are so timeless.

Getting that glazed look...time to head home.

I got a chance to read the information about Cylburn last night  and found out they have a nature story time on Tuesday! So you better believe we are going to pack a lunch, grab A's best buddy E, and his mommy, and head back to the sprawling hillsides and gardens for some more fun Tuesday morning!

Daily Mom

If you want to learn more about Cylburn Arboretum

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Smile of Victory

I love challenges, especially when most people would say, " can't do that". Luckily my husband is the same way, so we often get ourselves into some situations. Today, happened to be one of those days.

Like I said before, we are getting our house ready to go on the market...well, we are pretty sure at least. So today's task was to get rid of the nasty, old, broken fridge that the family before us left in the house. We didn't know the fridge was broken when we bought the house, but since it was so old, we decided to buy a new one and move the old one to the basement so we could use it to store extra food, especially for parties (which I love hosting!). In fact, moving the fridge was one of the very first things we did when we took possession of our house, so our new fridge could be delivered. We called one of my brother-in-laws and with my husband they maneuvered it down into the basement.

Now, here is the part that needs a little explaining. First of all, we don't really have a "real basement"...actually it is a REAL basement in the fact that it is very unfinished with low ceilings and this scary bomb shelter door that  leads outside. Yes, there are stairs that you can go down to reach it from inside the house, but they are so steep and the stairwell is so narrow, a railing was the second thing we did when we moved in here. Needless to say the fridge did not fit down the inside stairs, so the boys had to lug it through the breakfast room, outside, and down the bomb shelter. Unfortunately, the basement was too low to stand it up, so they had to carry it all the way across the nasty, scary basement to the stairwell, and turn it up there. They were able to get it about three inches past the staircase base and that is where our fridge has stood, where we realized it was in fact broken, for the past four plus years.

The other day, however, someone told me about this program BG&E does in their attempt to be more environmentally friendly, where they will come and remove old fridges and freezers (as long as they are in working condition) and pay you $50.00. Sounded like a challenge to me!

The fridge sounds like it is running when it is plugged in, so this morning, before A even woke up, my husband was up at Giant buying  4 bags of ice. Why you ask? Well, we had to make the darn thing cool enough so they would actually believe it was working and haul it away! When 4 bags were not doing the trick, my husband again make the trip to the grocery store and bought 4 more. The fridge cooled significantly better with 8 large bags of ice, so now we just had to get them out of there before BG&E showed up in three hours.

My husband headed off to work this morning with strict directions on what to do when BG&E arrived.

When I answered the door I had to tell them to hold on (outside of course) while I "restrained the dog". Then I had to run to the basement, throw 4 bags of ice in the cooler, and hide the other 4 bags in the washing machine. Apparently the max capacity the cooler could take was 4 of these giant bags. Then I had to dry the shelves quickly with the towel that was down there, without letting the fridge door open too long so the cold could escape. Then I had to run upstairs...actually put the dog away, and let them in. You know this was my husband's plan because not once was our child mentioned in here...I guess she was sitting patiently in the family room waiting for me...right :)

Don't worry, I had already tweaked the plan to include putting A in her booster with some crack...aka yogurt raisins, and messing up my hair so it looked like we had a very ferocious yellow lab, and they should not even bother checking the fridge to see if it worked, they should just grab it and go and be very thankful they made it out alive. I even contemplated listening in as they were removing it and if anything like, "this doesn't work" came out of their mouths I was going to release the dog! Very cleaver, huh!

Well, as I am writing this, I am staring at a large pile of ice on our grass and thinking about the nice bare spot that is now 3 inches from the bottom of the staircase.

Challenge won!

Daily Mom

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Last night was crazy! At 6:30pm our babysitter showed up, and we headed out the door for an unforgettable time at the U2 concert!  Our seats were perfect, the weather held out and we may or may not have come home with a giant 20lb tray of soft pretzels. I think the night took a turn for the worse when we decided flip cup was a good idea...oh yeah, and when we finally got back to the car after the concert and I realized my cell phone was still at our seats. At least the nice sprint back to the stadium, and a cold coconut water I snuck into the concert in the bottom of my purse, helped sober me up a bit.  Here are some pictures from the you can see the night got progressively sloppier after each song.

I feel like every few years you need one of those nights, to release some stress and let loose. However, this morning was a little less than ideal as my main focus was to not throw up on A, as I dominated a few of those delicious soft pretzels on our kitchen counter :) before we headed off to music class. A class I normally love, but one that seemed a little too loud and a little too hot this morning.

Daily Mom (who was very off duty last night)