Oyster Festival

It’s been a big week over here. A knots-in-your-stomach kind of week. On Monday, after three years in one place, our kids started a new daycare center. It was a change that had been in the cards for a while, but that didn’t make it any easier. We are still adjusting and transitioning, and both kids got sick this week to make it even more difficult. I owe a longer post to it all, and I will; but today, I’d rather post about decorations, festivals, and celebrations.

Guy’s birthday is less than a week away, which is CRAZY. He will be ONE, if you can believe it (I can’t). We are not having a big birthday party — Nell just had her first at three — but we’ll celebrate with family. And so, to get Nell into the spirit of a birthday party that isn’t for her, we’re throwing Guy a Halloween birthday bash. Nell gets to help decorate AND she gets to wear a costume. It’s a big win.

And so, it’s looking Halloweeny around here.

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And the dogs are enjoying their outdoor time this fall in their super fancy *super permanent* dog pen.IMG_4487 (Medium)And, because it’s fall in southern Maryland, we’re enjoying festivals every week. This weekend was the Oyster Festival in St. Mary’s County, and we had absolutely beautiful weather, which was a far cry from last year’s cold, wet festival…at which I also happened to be 39 weeks pregnant, which isn’t exactly a winning combination for oysters and beer.

But this year, we had oysters grilled, on sandwiches, and in tacos. We sampled chowders and ate mini donuts.

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IMG_4510 (Medium) IMG_4513 (Medium) IMG_4516 (Medium)IMG_4509 (Medium)And of course Nellie went on rides. And nothing says appropriate little kids’ ride like one with a gun on the front.IMG_4544 (Medium) IMG_4551 (Medium) IMG_4533 (Medium) IMG_4530 (Medium)IMG_4553 (Medium) IMG_4556 (Medium)

And finally, when it was almost time to go home, Nell and Grandma found the giant bubble tubs.

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We are home today with one little Guy who woke up with some spots on his face. So we’re taking it easy and letting him rest, which for most of the day means pulling him off of the stairs and tables he is constantly climbing.

But right now he is resting, hopefully sleeping off whatever little bug he caught. After all, he’s got a birthday to celebrate soon.


Fairs and Festivals

After two days of heavy rain midweek last week, Southern Maryland is showing off some of its very best weather this weekend, and it has been absolutely perfect for the county fair and festivals rolling out around our area.

On Friday night, we picked up the kiddos, and met Mom, Dad, and K at the County Fair for BBQ sandwiches, pumpkin funnel cake, popcorn, and rides. We ran into old friends and new friends, and Nellie had an absolutely wonderful time.

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Yesterday, both kids had swim class in the morning, and then we headed to Greenstreet Gardens in Lothian for their fall festival, where we were also joined by our best buddies for a repeat of last year’s fun.

Coupling the fact that it is fair weekend with the fact that it’s still September meant that the fall festival was not nearly as crowded as it was last year when we had to fight for space on the bouncy or in the corn pit. In fact, this year, the kids pretty much ran from activity to activity and did whatever they wanted.  It was a blast, and Guy is pretty convinced that the corn pit is the best thing ever.

IMG_4124 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4163 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4164 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4165 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4177 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4182 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4186 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4203 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4208 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4209 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4213 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4214 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4215 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4217 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4233 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4238 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4240 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4248 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4254 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4259 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4273 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4300 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4322 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4328 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4335 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4336 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4340 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4343 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4346 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4349 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4370 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4401 [Desktop Resolution] IMG_4409 [Desktop Resolution]Everyone is still sleeping off yesterday’s fun.  Except for Guy and me. We’re planning out one more day of fun this weekend.  (Well, actually, Guy is currently enjoying all of Nellie’s toys while she sleeps.)

Summer Music and Fall Art

It must be fall because the season of fairs and festivals has officially launched. I meant to blog this weekend, but I chose to nap instead. Because I am exhausted. And sick. And it’s a tough time to be both, because it’s the very best time of the year.

On Friday night, G and I caught the very last summer concert of the season with a dear friend. We saw Dierks Bentley, which was pretty much THE show I very much hoped to see this year. So the fact that he came to our small little town and played in a little field about a mile from our house to benefit the volunteer firefighters that serve our community? Well, it’s basically fate.

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If that concert marked the end of the summer, then fall officially began the following day with Artsfest, my very favorite fall event, at Annmarie Gardens. We went with Mom and Dad and enjoyed an absolutely beautiful day. Nell was thrilled to spot the gnome and fairy houses hidden in the woods along the path, and after walking along the tents of beautiful pottery, jewelry, and more, we settled down by the kidzone for lunch and a chance for Nell and Guy to get out the rest of their energy.

And since it’s late and Guy needs to go to bed soon, you get a massive photo splurge from the day.

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And after shopping, BBQ, playing ball, ice cream, funnel cake, and smoothies, we ended the day right where we had started — back at the bongo drums near the entrance. Nell welcomed MANY guests to Artsfest on Saturday.IMG_4113 [Desktop Resolution]
On Sunday, we enjoyed a super low key day after an already busy weekend.  We had breakfast, the shrieking disruptive kind that everyone at Starbucks loves.

20140921_101232 20140921_101321And then Guy and I napped through football, while G and Nell had a fabulous day outside. And when I woke up, I might not have sounded much better, but I definitely felt better, so we packed up the wagon and the sand toys, and spent the evening at the beach.

20140921_180206 20140921_180208 20140921_180217(1) 20140921_180231And that was how a week’s worth of blog posts were crammed into one. Now it’s time for this tired mama to make some hot tea and put one sleepy baby to sleep, while G snuggles with an equally sleepy — though far more stubborn about bedtime — toddler.




Fall Festival

It couldn’t be nicer in Southern Maryland these days, with mums and pumpkins sprouting up in fields around the county, and warm, sunny days prolonging our first summer on the Harbor.  We enjoyed the best of both seasons this weekend, with a big day at the pumpkin patch, seafood by the water at our old stomping grounds (dock bar not included), and double days at the beach.  We’re finally winding the weekend down, though I don’t doubt the toddler has one more request up her sleeve before the night is up.  In the meantime, here are some a gazillion pictures from our adventures this weekend.

We met Nellie’s best buddy at the pumpkin patch this weekend, though pumpkin patch is a bit of a misnomer — it’s really a nursery jam-packed with kiddo activities, and, in fact, the pumpkins are the least impressive part of the whole experience.  Nellie’s friend brought along a number of his cousins and family members, so we had quite the kiddie crew in tow for the cow train, haunted hayride, pipe slide, bouncey thingy (?), corn pit, and corn maze.  All we needed were green bracelets, which upon seeing, Nellie asked, “Can I have mine in pink?”

Nellie and G led the cow train.

Baby H held down the middle.

And Nellie’s buddy was the cow caboose.

Feeding the goats and sheep.

Getting her hand painted.  She asked for a purple butterfly and loved it.

Sliding down the pipe slide to get to the corn pit.

I don’t really know what the giant bouncey thing actually is, but it was a Hit. I am pretty sure the kids could have stayed on that All Day Long.

A helping hand from her bud’s cousin

Jumping in pairs with another little girl at the farm

Little girls jumping in a row

Levitating pumpkins

Tire obstacle course for toddlers


Nellie and her buddy were our corn maze leaders.  Needless to say, we went in a tiny circle, got hopelessly lost, and were basically relieved to make our way back to the entrance in one piece.  I am pretty sure the flag bearers thought we’d won the game.

After all the games and excitement, the pumpkin-picking process was pretty low key. Nellie made a beeline for the pumpkin she wanted — a small, bright orange orb that glowed against the dark orange pumpkins surrounding it.

It’s been a weekend of football, fall activities, and squash soup; the beach, bathing suits, and fish tacos on the water.  Flip flops are lined up outside our front door between pumpkins and gourds.  Until the seasons decide which is which, we’re content to just enjoy both.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

That’s right, it’s FESTIVAL SEASON!  And the season launched with my very favorite event, Artsfest at Annmarie Gardens.  This year had a special surprise, however; Nellie’s best friend and his family joined us for the day.  Beautiful weather, good food, tempting artwork, and two toddlers chasing each other made for a wonderful Saturday in Solomons.

Artsfest is set up with lots of play areas for the kids, and although Nellie dipped her toes into the play zones last year, it was nothing compared to this year — especially since she had her buddy with her to play.  Here’s a photo dump from our day — and if you look closely, you can actually spot the adults in one picture, and one big baby bump in another.

World’s cutest baby, Baby H, hanging out at the Zany Zone:

Two tired kiddos at the end of the day having some snacks: