Friday, November 9, 2018

Blue Moon Too

The kids were off school Tuesday for election day. Since Lisa and I had already cast our votes we thought it'd be fun to drive into Baltimore for brunch. She wanted to go to Blue Moon Too and then Diablo Donuts afterwards but when I went to see what the donut shop menu looked like I saw that it was going to be closed. Lisa felt like it was still worth it to just go for Blue Moon and since we didn't have any other plans I figured what the heck?

Since I hate driving in the city I told her if she drove I'd pay for parking, like usual, and she agreed. She's got no problem zipping around the city; it's really awesome!

We got downtown and were lucky to find parking only about a block away since it was raining. The kids loved walking under their umbrellas to the restaurant though, so it wasn't a big deal.

There was plenty of seating when we got there so we didn't have to wait for a table at all which was great, especially since we had 5 hungry kids with us. We must have been a sight when we walked in because we had lots of eyes watching us make our way to a back table. Good thing we had zero time to care, haha!

They have some interesting things on their menu and apparently "the thing" to order is their Captain Crunch French Toast. So, we ended up with three orders of that, an order of bacon and eggs, a GIANT cinnamon roll, two orders of silver dollar pancakes, and two ham and cheese omelets. It was A TON of food and we all shared everything.

Silver Dollar Pancakes

Captain Crunch French Toast 

Ham and Cheese Omelet

Giant Cinnamon Roll! We had to use Evie for scale. :)

Both kids gave Blue Moon 5 out of 5 stars. I couldn't believe how much they ate and that french toast really is worth the drive. It was pouring when we left and our walk back to the car was a wet one. As we were making our way down a narrow alley a car came flying through spraying water all over us! Such is the life of the city I guess. 

Gymnastics 11/5

I didn't go to gymnastics last week because Tony went while I ran a couple of errands, one of which was voting. I thought if it didn't take too long I'd go watch the end of gym with him but the voting line was long and it took about an hour, so I missed it. Harper didn't participate much last week anyways because earlier that day he fell off the slide at school and hurt his wrist. His wrist was really sore and hurt when he tried to use it so he sat out and just watched Dakota and the other kids with Tony.

This week I was back at the gym with the kids though and caught this little bit of Harper doing his thing. His wrist was still tender but he was able to do most everything without much trouble.

Oh, Christmas Tree(s)

I decided to toss out my old Christmas trees last year because every one of them had light issues. I thought I'd just start from scratch this year and as soon as I saw tree's being set up in the stores I started my search. I didn't want to just get any old tree though, I was searching for some specific's this year. I knew I wanted my living room tree to be no more than 9 feet (any taller is just too hard to decorate) and the ones for the kitchen and library to be no more than 7 feet. I wanted them to all be the slimmer type and have LED lights.

I ended up finding my big tree at Costco and my two smaller ones at Sams Club. I thought they had the best looking artificial trees at the absolute best prices and they fit what I wanted and had a few bonus features that were nice as well. The 9 foot tree came with a remote for changing the light functions. It has around 9 different light functions and can be all white lights, all colored lights or change between the two intermittently. The seven foot trees have the same light functions as the larger tree but no remote. The two smaller ones did come with storage bags though which is a nice bonus.

The day after Halloween I took all of our decorations down (mostly because it was a beautiful weather day to do it) and knew that I'd be setting up our Christmas stuff in the next few days. It's a lot of work to put it all up so I feel like we should enjoy it for more than a short 25 days. I put it up early and am ready for it all to be put away by New Years and it just works for me. Also, I wanted to put my trees up and make sure I liked them as much in my house as I did in the store as well as check that all the lights worked! What a nightmare it would be to get a new tree, set it up to find out the lights weren't working!

Dakota and I put up the "white house" tree in the library first. I have so many years of the white house ornaments that they get their own tree! I fill it out with silver and blue balls and a few strands of beaded garland.

Putting trees up is a lot of work. First you have to clean the area the tree will be going in and then lug the tree up from the basement, assemble it, then lug up all the ornaments, decorate the tree and then put away all the extras. It's very time consuming and to do this one tree took a couple hours which meant I was in no mood to start another one right away. So, it wasn't until the next day that I was ready to tackle tree number two; kitchen tree.

This is probably my favorite one because it has a bunch of wacky ornaments on it. Most of them are glass and expensive but they're bright colors and random, fun objects. Since my tree is now 7 feet instead of the 5 I had originally, I needed a bunch of new ornaments to fill it out. Luckily, when I went to Michaels, the ornaments were 50% off and I had a coupon that was 30% off total purchase including sale items; so they were a steal!


The kitchen tree isn't quite done as I haven't found the tree topper yet, so no final tree pictures until I find it. And, the living room tree is set up as of this afternoon but not decorated. I'm hoping we'll be able to put the decorations on it tomorrow when everyone is home. I'll tell you what though, that tree is HEAVY! It comes in 5 separate tree sections and each section must weigh a good 30 pounds! But, I wrestled that thing together and it looks pretty nice even without the decorations. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

Last night, when the kids were trying to find something for me to read to them before bed, Harper pulled out Dakota's copy of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. It's a book about women throughout history and how they grew up and/or why they are remarkable. There are many, many women represented from all over the world and honestly, most of them I've never heard of, which is terrible because all of them are awesome in their own way.

After reading about a few of the women Harper asked why the book only had women in it and I explained that women are consistently underrepresented in text and this book was a way for us to see important accomplishments that women have made in the world. He actually agreed with me and said that he felt like he knew about more important men than women. (This boy is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!) While I love that Dakota is reading about these women I'm equally happy to see Harper enjoying their stories and seeing their value!

This morning, Dakota woke up ahead of her alarm (thanks for NOTHING Daylight Savings) and I told her she could read quietly in her room until her alarm went off at 7. When I went up to check on her, this is how I found her:

Some of the material in these books is a little above her level and I have to explain some of it to her but I'm hoping that she gets the message that she is just as valuable as her male counterparts.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

A Nightmare Before Christmas at the BSO

Whenever I see an event that I think might be even remotely fun to do on Facebook I always click the "interested" button so that things of the same nature will continue to show up. About a month or two ago I saw that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was going to host a movie night where they show a movie while the orchestra plays the music from the film. This month they showed The Nightmare Before Christmas, one of Harper's favorites, so I thought it'd be a fun family activity. There weren't many showings but a 3 o'clock on a Saturday was a perfect time so we snatched up some tickets. Mema thought it might be something fun to do too, so she went with us as well. 

After we'd already bought tickets I showed Harper the event ad on Facebook and he said "Oh, can you please buy tickets for that"? and I was happy that I'd made the right decision on this one!

I knew this activity was really something Harper would like and also knew that it'd be tough for Dakota to sit through since she always has trouble sitting through movies. I had hoped that they'd allow popcorn and drinks into the theater while the movie played and luckily, they did. Food always helps keep her seat planted and she did fairly well for the fairly short 1 hour and 16 minute long movie. As we left she said she'd enjoyed the movie, so there's that.

I had never seen the whole movie (not a movie watcher) just snippets but I too enjoyed it. I love the wacky animation of the characters and I've always been a fan of musicals so that worked in my favor as well. I would definitely consider doing something like this again as it was a unique experience. 

And, while I wouldn't want to go to the orchestra to just watch them play, I have mad respect for their craft. It is cool to watch them all move so seamlessly as one and the music they make is incredible. (Just boring to watch, in my opinion.) 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Great Frog Winery

Last night I went out with my friend Lisa and a few other moms I know from Harper's preschool days. Admittedly, the only way I've really talked to the other three mom's that went was through Facebook, but it's enough to have a good idea of what they've been up to.

I drove to Lisa's and rode with her into Annapolis. We were the first two to get there around 5 pm. We went in and looked over the winery menu and ordered our first glass while we were waiting on the others to show up.

I had no idea what to order but I liked the name "Cold Blooded" so I went with it while Lisa decided to try the Vintner's White. The weather was chilly and overcast but we decided to sit outside until the others arrived and after about 10 minutes they began trickling in.

Kristen showed up with baby Tessa, then Ronni a few minutes later followed by Ashley at about 6 or so. I ended up finishing my first glass (not too bad, but not something I'd drink regularly) and ordered a second of the Tanyard. Everyone had ordered something different so we taste tested all of them and the table favorite was definitely the Tanyard. That one I might order again if given the chance.

There was supposed to be a food truck that night but when one never came we quickly jumped on our phones to see what was nearby. We decided to hit up the Iron Rooster downtown. Luckily there was plenty of seating when we got there and we didn't have to wait. We had dinner and talked for hours only leaving when Kristen decided she needed to get the baby home and into bed, around 9:45 or so. 

The drive back to Lisa's was in torrential rain so it took awhile longer than it normally would but the rain was absolutely blinding! I always take back roads from her house to mine and I had to go super slow because of the massive puddles and downed branches in the area. I'm normally just fine driving in rain but there was so much leaf debris and standing water on the roads it was hard to see the lines at times!

I made it home just before 11 pm and boy was I tired! It was definitely a fun night and nice to chat with some people I hadn't seen in years! Hopefully we'll get the chance to hang out again sometime soon!

Mind What You Say

I have a letter board that I change on a monthly basis. 
Sometimes I’ll put something funny, sometimes I try to be inspirational or offer words of wisdom.
The other morning, while the kids were *still* sorting their Halloween loot, I was working on my sign when Harper walked by and said “Oh good! I can’t wait to read what you put on there this time!” He wasn’t being sarcastic and it reminded me that what we say to our kids is important. They’re listening (or reading) and the messages we send are clear.

Use your voice for good my friends. 

Our words, as influential adults and parents is the soundtrack to our children's lives.

HyperKidz + Black Flag Brewery

Awhile ago Lisa and I both snatched up a deal on tickets for the kids to go to HyperKidz again but then never got around to using them. Last week she noticed that they were going to expire on Nov 1st so we decided to meet up there after school to use them and then go to Black Flag Brewery afterwards. Fun for the kids, fun for the adults!

Dakota hung out with Evie, as usual, while the boys played. Getting a picture of the boys when they're running around is next to impossible so I never did get one of the three of them...and honestly, I didn't try real hard because they were just having a good time and there was no need to stop them.

After about an hour Tony and Jeff drove over to the brewery to order food off the pizza food truck that was there and get a table. Lisa and I let the kids play for about 20 more minutes and then we loaded the kids up and drove around to meet them. The pizzas were done just as we got there which was perfect because we were all starving! The kids got 1/2 pepperoni 1/2 cheese, Tony got a Sopressata (Italian cured meat + cheese + sauce) and I wanted to try the Foodie ( Prosciutto, Brussels sprouts, crushed walnuts, cranberry, goat cheese) and they were all super good...especially mine! It may sound like a weird mix but it was really, really good.

For some reason Tony ordered two beers, one for him and one for me, even though I'm not a beer drinker. He ordered us both the Basic Bee Pumpkin Pie Ale but for some reason he was given one of those and a glass of Roadside Red. He drank the red while I sipped the ale but ultimately, he finished both. I didn't hate it but I'm just not a beer person. 

Fall Splendor

This huge tree between our house and our neighbor epitomizes autumn for me. It is all shades of orange, red and yellow and when the sunlight hits it in the morning, it is magic.


Every morning, when I raise the blinds in my bedroom, I have this radiant tree lighting up my window. No filter necessary. 

Lucky me. 

Blue Moon Too

The kids were off school Tuesday for election day. Since Lisa and I had already cast our votes we thought it'd be fun to drive into Balt...