Pre-Easter, Easter Fun

We are getting ready for Easter around here. Since I am desperately behind on holiday preparations and anything else life-related, Mom and Dad stepped in and hosted the egg dyeing party today.  Nell took her time and enjoyed the colors available to her, while Guy dyed all of his eggs blue as fast as he could.  You will notice the rapid accumulation of light blue eggs…

20170409_091641_HDR 20170409_091759_HDR 20170409_091808_HDR 20170409_091841_HDR

Officially the fastest egg dyeing party ever, but the kids had a blast!  Even if we did end up with a very blue non-assortment of eggs.


After the real eggs came the fake eggs: the county hosts massive egg hunts for all of the different age groups at each of the country parks, so this afternoon, Nell and Guy joined a gazillion other 3-5 year olds on the field to scoop up 2,000 eggs with candy and prize tickets.

The face of a competitor.

IMG_8511 IMG_8509 IMG_8507 IMG_8505 IMG_8500 IMG_8497 20170409_143107_HDR

Of course, downtime is pretty good, too, when you’re a toddler with a basket.IMG_8486 IMG_8485 IMG_8484 20170409_143244_HDR  Look how well-behaved we look…20170409_141559_HDR

We didn’t hang out with the Easter bunny at the park — he looked too intimidating — but Nell did sit down at the daycare egg hunt with this totally legit, not at all creepy looking version…


And yes, it was 30 degrees on Friday for that picture, and 70 degrees today.  Must be spring in Maryland.

The North Pole

Over the weekend, we brought the North Pole to St. Leonard for Nell and Guy’s first-ever North Pole Christmas party.  It was something I had wanted to do for years, and this year I decided both kids (and their friends) were finally old enough to enjoy it.  On Sunday night, more than a dozen toddlers and their families joined us for dinner and activities — cookie decorating in Mrs. Claus’s kitchen, a reindeer food bar, wooden toy painting in Santa’s workshop, a North Pole photo station, an outdoor scavenger hunt for Santa’s lost things, and a hot cocoa bar to end the night with to-go cups so everyone could take their cocoa creations with them.

It was a wonderful night full of happy, busy kids, holiday fun, and champagne.  I was way too busy to take pictures throughout the night, so I am posting some of the photos generously shared from our friends who got some great shots through the night. I hope we can make this party an annual tradition — Nell and Guy had such a great time!

Entrance to the party!

IMG_8445 (Large)

Reindeer food bar and cookie decorating table!IMG_8449 (Large) IMG_8450 (Large) IMG_8451 (Large)

Santa phone and mailbox to the North Pole!IMG_8452 (Large) IMG_8454 (Large) IMG_8455 (Large) IMG_8459 (Large)

Party time!IMG_8462 (Large) IMG_8463 (Large) IMG_8464 (Large) IMG_8465 (Large) IMG_8466 (Large) IMG_8470 (Large) IMG_8471 (Large)

Mom helping with the photo props and a sneak peek of the hot cocoa bar in the background!IMG_8473 (Large) IMG_8474 (Large) IMG_8475 (Large)

There was a lot of skipping cookies and going straight to icing and sprinkles…IMG_8476 (Large) IMG_8479 (Large) IMG_8481 (Large) IMG_8484 (Large) IMG_8485 (Large) IMG_8486 (Large)

Guy ran around like a maniac and had a blast with his buddies (and juice)!IMG_8488 (Large) IMG_8490 (Large) IMG_8491 (Large) IMG_8492 (Large) IMG_8493 (Large) IMG_8494 (Large) IMG_8498 (Large) IMG_8500 (Large) IMG_8501 (Large) IMG_8504 (Large)

Time for the Santa scavenger hunt! Santa called to let us know he had lost some things in the yard and around the deck.  Each kid got a flashlight and headed out to collect Santa’s items.  Definitely a party highlight for the kids!IMG_8505 (Large) IMG_8506 (Large) IMG_8507 (Large) IMG_8508 (Large) IMG_8509 (Large) IMG_8510 (Large)

Santa’s belt and reindeer bells, Check!IMG_8513 (Large)

Mrs. Claus’s slipper, Check!IMG_8515 (Large)

Meanwhile, while the other kids were outside, Guy decided to clean up the place…IMG_8516 (Large)

Mrs. Claus’s Christmas necklace, Check!IMG_8517 (Large)

A few post-party shots of the hot cocoa bar after clean-up — it was too cute not to take a few pictures of!20151221_180826 (Large) 20151221_180831 (Large)

An excited Nell before the party (and before her party dress)…download_20151220_121919 (Large)

I have a lot of other pre-holiday pictures to share — hopefully before the holiday itself.  In the meantime, we’re watching Christmas movies and listening to the absolutely torrential rain pouring down outside.  40 degrees cooler, and it might even be snow… just like in the North Pole!


Happy Birthday, Guy!

The littlest household minion turns 2 this weekend, but we’ve already had a most “despicable” birthday celebration. There were minion presents, minion balloons, a minion pinata, minions on the cake, and, quite frankly, minions everywhere else that we could put them.

And Guy loved every minute of it.

I’ll do a real two-year post this weekend or next, following Guy’s actual birthday and upcoming well appointment, but in the meantime, here are some very yellow birthday pictures, and a short vid of the happy birthday boy.

(In case you couldn’t tell, the pinata was a big hit.)

IMG_7001 (Large) IMG_7003 (Large) IMG_7006 (Large) IMG_7008 (Large) IMG_7013 (Large) IMG_7014 (Large) IMG_7015 (Large) IMG_7016 (Large) IMG_7023 (Large) IMG_7025 (Large) IMG_7032 (Large) IMG_7036 (Large) IMG_7037 (Large) IMG_7038 (Large) IMG_7039 (Large) IMG_7044 (Large)IMG_7045 (Large)




Dog Pools

On Sunday morning, Mom and Dad came over to watch the kiddos for a couple hours so G and I could go out on the water together. It was a beautiful day at the house, so we ran a quick errand after our paddle trip to pick up some dog pools, and we settled in to enjoy the day on the deck.

The kiddos eagerly filled all the pools for the pups, and the pups (well, Lucy) eagerly jumped in. 20150802_132531_HDR20150802_132708_HDR20150802_133043It was only a matter of time before the kids took the pools over entirely, and their own water table was forgotten.

After pool time was a picnic, and I’d like to say Guy thoroughly enjoyed his bowl of cut fruit, but he’s smiling because he’s about to dump the fruit into the doggie pool and make Lucy go diving.

20150802_135243 20150802_135305

Big Guy!

Happy birthday, Baby Guy! He’s not a baby anymore — the big Guy is ONE! He’s still the happy, smiley little dude he has always been, but these days he’s also a little mischievous — always looking for something to do, and still thinking the word ‘no’ is pretty funny.

I’ll do his official Big Guy one year post on Monday after his appointment when we have his official stats and all that fanciness. In the meantime, here’s a picture-heavy peek at our day.

To celebrate babydom to toddlerhood, we had a fabulous little party today. And to get Nellie in the spirit of birthday party decorating, we themed it for Halloween and decked the house out with bats and pumpkins, spiders and skeletons.

IMG_4596 (Medium) IMG_4599 (Medium) IMG_4603 (Medium) IMG_4605 (Medium) IMG_4609 (Medium)

I did my best to make a Halloweeny meal, which kicked off with a roasted pumpkin stuffed with deliciousness (Gruyere, bacon, sourdough bread, scallions, and more). Dinner was a watercress, cashew, and pear salad; roast pork with apples and sweet potatoes; and wild mushroom and pecan stuffing.

IMG_4613 (Medium) IMG_4615 (Medium) IMG_4616 (Medium) IMG_4617 (Medium) IMG_4618 (Medium) IMG_4619 (Medium) IMG_4620 (Medium) IMG_4621 (Medium)

Nellie was the official present opener and took her job very seriously, even if she was less than enthusiastic about presents for Guy, and was more interested in ripping paper than removing box lids. Though, she was rewarded for her efforts — there were a few gifts for her in the pile, too.

IMG_4625 (Medium) IMG_4630 (Medium) IMG_4635 (Medium) IMG_4636 (Medium) IMG_4650 (Medium) IMG_4652 (Medium) IMG_4676 (Medium) IMG_4682 (Medium)

And of course there was cake. A two story Halloween cake for us, and a little one for Guy to enjoy all by himself.

IMG_4797 (Medium) IMG_4799 (Medium) IMG_4800 (Medium)


IMG_4696 (Medium) IMG_4697 (Medium) IMG_4699 (Medium) IMG_4701 (Medium) IMG_4703 (Medium) IMG_4705 (Medium) IMG_4709 (Medium)

Happy birthday, Guy! I hope you had a smashing time!

IMG_4718 (Medium)IMG_4720 (Medium)IMG_4726 (Medium)IMG_4733 (Medium)IMG_4760 (Medium)IMG_4762 (Medium)IMG_4771 (Medium)IMG_4795 (Medium)IMG_4772 (Medium)IMG_4776 (Medium)IMG_4777 (Medium)