Festive Festivities

Our weekend started on Friday this week, with a day off to celebrate Nell’s graduation from preschool.  She and 35 of her classmates received their preschool diplomas and shared songs with parents and grandparents to show us everything they have learned. Nell is most certainly ready to head to kindergarten, and we are very excited that she recently got permission to transfer to the elementary school near her daycare.  Here are a few pictures from the ceremony on Friday morning.

(Shout-out to K who bought Nell the beautiful graduation dress.  Accessorizing for the big day was all Nell, though.)20160610_101142(0) 20160610_101142 20160610_103434 20160610_103437 20160610_104216 20160610_104413 20160610_104513 20160610_104556 After graduation, we changed out of our fancy clothes and into our curly W clothes to head to Washington DC for my company’s annual picnic at Nats Stadium, where the Nats were taking on the Phillies.  Our family was one of the lottery winners who got to go onto the field for batting practice before the game, and one of the players even gave Guy a baseball!

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Saturday morning, we just happened to be about 10 minutes away from my parents when they texted to let us know they were headed to the southern Maryland crab festival. Who doesn’t want to go to a crab festival?  Obviously, we went.  It was awesome (or, as Mom put it, “very Maryland”).  You know, crabs, beer, crab cakes, country music, classic cars, kettle corn, snow cones.

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And now it’s Sunday. We went out to breakfast, got our grocery shopping done, and went to the beach before these crazy 25 mph winds whipped up around us. It’s been a beautiful weekend, but this wind!

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I got in a couple great SUP sessions this weekend, too.  I went out around 545 am on Friday morning to get on the water before Nell’s graduation and was surprised to find pretty rough surf.  Luckily I enjoy riding the bumps almost as much I enjoy cranking out the miles!  Yesterday I paddled after the crab festival, but had a brutal fight with the wind, and spent the last three miles clawing my way home.  With the wind even fiercer today, I am taking it off!  Here are a few shots from my sessions the last couple of days — the first from yesterday’s wind paddle, and the next three from Friday’s seriously choppy session!

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And that’s what we’re up to!  (This weekend anyway.)

Spilled popcorn and some baseball

We were definitely ‘that’ family the other night.  You know, the one that gets up from the middle seats of the row twenty-five times.

In one inning.

Because popcorn, water bottles, and soft pretzels don’t walk themselves to the seats.

And because…

“I gotta go potty, Mommy.”

“Can you wait just a few minutes until the inning is over?”

“Nooooo.”  Dance, dance, dance.

We sacrificed a sippy cup to the gods of the stadium (sorry, clean-up crew, for EVERYTHING), which bothered Guy very little since there were so many other fun things to grab and to hold.

Like the beer cup sitting in the holder behind my seat, belonging to other people.  Which was perfectly within reach.

I had my own beer cup, of course. (Which was emptied quickly, don’t judge.)  Nell thought it would be funny to put the empty cup on the shoulder of the person in front of us.

“I am so sorry,” Greg said.

“I didn’t even notice!” the woman replied.  She smiled, and I really think she wasn’t totally lying.

I brought snacks as a diversionary tactic, however Nell only wanted things that required cash at concessions stands, and Guy was only interested in having an Oreo cookie, which he smeared over his face and hands like war paint.

“Oh my goodness,” the woman next to me said when she spotted him shoving the chocolate into (and around) his mouth.

“It’s okay. I have wipes,” I said.  She smiled, and I really think it wasn’t all pity.

We made it through the 5th inning, at which point the kids’ eyes were starting to droop and their tolerance for three hard seats was definitely up.  I carried Guy, and G carried Nell as we made our way out of the stadium.  And as the two of them walked, she dropped piece after piece of popcorn behind him like a fairy tale trail.

A cop offered to take our picture as we were leaving.

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Apparently, there was also a baseball game.

 

Natitude

Last night was my organization’s annual picnic at Nats Stadium for another unfortunate round between the Nats and the Braves. Despite the loss, however, we had a fabulous time.  Guy loved the picnic, baseball, and his new snazzy baseball hat (which Nell decided looked equally fabulous on her).  Nell, of course, only wanted things that were not free, which meant nothing from the picnic, and everything from the concession stands.  She also made it home with a new pink Nats bat and a matching pink Nats baseball with hearts and stars on it.

Here are some photos from our fabulous day — and Guy’s first baseball game at Nats Stadium!

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guy baseball

Check out that stink-eye he’s giving a Braves fan in the bottom left pic…

The Nats are winning so far tonight, and we say,

LET’S GO NATS!

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On the Diamond

We are usually pretty limited in what we can do after work due to our commute and Nell’s daycare schedule, but occasionally the stars align, as they did this week, and we get to enjoy a special school-night outing.  We were offered baseball tickets at the very last minute this week on a night that happened to correspond with my rescheduled OB appointment.  In short, I was already working from home that day, so with a bus drop-off and a few other schedule shifts, we were able to work out the logistics of getting Nell (and me) into the city for baseball.

And it wasn’t just baseball.

It was DIAMOND CLUB.

And now that I know this type of baseball exists? — well it will be hard to go back to, yanno, regular seats!  We received a reserved parking pass so close to the stadium that our car could actually peer over the railing and watch the game along with us, and our home plate seats were so good that they required special bracelets for access.

(This picture was taken on our way out — we forgot to take one from our seats. Nats had just tied the game at 3, and we were reluctant to leave, but it was already really late.  Unfortunately, it was about to get ugly — Nats gave up 3 in the eighth — so I guess we left at the best possible time.)

Nellie loves baseball games, and she was shouting “ball game!” for most of our drive into the city.  But she particularly enjoyed the all-you-can-eat seats and direct food-to-seat service.  I can say pretty confidently that she ate the most out of the three of us.

And it was *totally healthy* toddler fare, obviously.

We stayed in our seats for the first portion of the game, but we only had two and Nellie started getting antsy on our laps. So we went up to the club lounge, which had outdoor tables and a little balcony that Nellie draped over to watch the remainder of the game.

She was as sad as I was when we realized we needed to go home, though she wasted no time falling asleep and snored the whole way home until G dropped her into the bed, Nats dress and all.

It made for a late night and a hard Thursday morning, but it was totally worth it.

 

Heat Wave Weekend

We’re nearing the end of this heat wave — clouds have rolled in tonight, and there’s a storm in the air.  We’ve been waiting for rain, for a break in this suffocating heat, for days now, but it keeps being pushed further down the weekend.  First Saturday, then Sunday, then Sunday night.  But we’re still waiting,and it’s still hot out.  Nell is playing in her playhouse outside.  She stripped down to her diaper, and is running around, dipping everything she can find — toys, dog leashes, towels — into her water buckets.

She has been so good this weekend, and we’ve thrown a lot at her.  Friday night was my organization’s annual picnic at Nats stadium.  I had planned to work from home, then drive Nellie in after work and meet G at the game, but work had other plans for me, and I had to head in sooner.  So I picked Nellie up after her lunch, instead, so she could nap in the car.  Unfortunately, I came right after the clown visited to paint the kids’ faces, and right in the middle of a pizza party, so she wasn’t exactly thrilled to leave.

“Nell Nell said NO,” her best buddy, sitting next to her, informed me.

But she left with me anyway, and she napped all the way into the city, and then she was great at my office.  She watched Henry Hugglemonster and Olivia on the iPad, ate the cookies our chefs put out every afternoon, and colored on any paper she could find with my editing pens and highlighters.

After hanging out at my office, we headed to G’s work so she could meet the rounds and say hi to his coworkers.  And then we were off to the game!

It should be noted it was in the mid-nineties with a heat index in triple digits.  She was great, though, eating her weight in watermelon at the picnic, and then sitting in her seat for almost the entire game — clapping when we clapped, dancing at the players’ intro songs, and enjoying the attention of friends around us.

In addition to the picnic, our tickets were also loaded with money for concessions or team store purchases.  Nellie picked out a new red and blue Nats dress.  And even though she was wearing her very favorite shirt, her pink Harper shirt, she made it through about two innings of the game before announcing, “Harper off! Dress on!”  So she stripped in her seat, and changed into her dress, which she found very exciting.

By the time we finally headed to the car at 9:30, she was exhausted.  She slept the whole way home and, blissfully, went straight to bed in her toddler bed for the night.

On Saturday, Nellie and I woke up early to head to IKEA and pick up a few things for the nursery, and, of course, to Starbucks and the grocery store — our usual Saturday morning errands.  By the time we got back, it was almost time for Nellie to head to her best friend’s 2nd birthday party.  She was pumped, and she has been talking about the party all day long.

He wanted her to sit with him to open presents, which lasted through about one gift…

…until all the kids were glommed into the center of the room, ripping paper as quickly as they could.

After cake, we headed outside to play with pools, slides, and sprinklers.

Nellie’s buddy wore his new Cars swim trunks and Lightning McQueen rash guard that Nellie picked out for him.

We stayed at the party until after 8, at which point Nellie and her friend gave each other a big hug goodbye.  And then…. just as we were ready to head out the door, Nellie grabbed him and planted a big kiss on his lips.  He played it totally cool, of course, giving her a quick glance and a “bye bye, Nell Nell!”

Needless to say, it was the second night in a row that Nellie fell asleep in the car and went straight to bed at home.

After all that excitement, we had a much more relaxing day today.

We went out to breakfast and ran a couple errands this morning, and then we all came back to spend time indoors with the pups and get some things done around the house.  Nellie took a long, cool nap upstairs, and I finally had an opportunity to do a bit of work on the nursery.

It’s a very different experience setting up a nursery for the second time.  Instead of opening things I’ve never seen before and wondering how on earth I would learn to use all of them, I am pulling out old favorites, and thinking about what it will be like to start again.  Like my infant carriers, tiny cloth diapers, and breastfeeding supplies.  Thinking about starting again — about introducing a baby into our family — is overwhelming, to say the least; but it is a very different kind of overwhelming than when we were preparing for Nellie.  There’s an element of comfort in pulling out all of the old stuff and remembering that yes, we’ve done this before and we can do it all again.

The nursery isn’t very far along, but here’s what we’ve got so far for the little guy.  The goal is clean, white, modern, with a touch of circus whimsy.  It’s turning out kind of fun.