20 August 2015

50s Housewife Tupperware Party

Here's how we ended up at the corner of Betty Crocker and Mad Men. 

Me: I need some Tupperware! Someone sell me something. 
Friends via Facebook: so do we! Have a party. 
Me: no way. But wouldn't it be funny to have a 50s Housewife Tupperware party? 
Friends: have the party! We will come! 

So there you have it. 
Our favorite 50s phrases: "go get mommy her cigarettes." "Please be quiet and watch tv." "Can you make mommy another drink, sweetie?" "Did you see Sheila wearing those pants? Hussy." 

So I guess we threw a little Desperate Housewives into the mix.   
On the menu, straight out of Nancy's grandma's Betty Crocker: Fritos, olives, little wieners, jello fruit salad (the jello did not come out smoothly---50s Housewife fail!), veggies, iced sweet tea, and koolaid. After an hour I added tequila and triple sec to the koolaid and poured a round of Sunset in Stepford cocktails. We would have rocked the 50s! 

Need some Tupperware? I'm getting the salt and pepper shakers, a juice pitcher, some sippy cups, and maybe a salad spinner! Ha ha.  Here's my link: http://www.tupperware.com/?party=55cddcf1a0da73531f7794c8

A Tale of Two Pigtails

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Just kidding, it's all the BEST. 

Cute things converge: the crawling. The stinker look she gives me when she knows I'm about to tell her NO. Her brand new PIGTAILS and hair clips. Our new game of her crawling toward the cat food and stopping to look at me every five seconds, then zooming towards her goal. The perfect squeezable chubby legs and associated giggles after squeezes. THOSE PIGTAILS. The personality. All the giggles. The exploring and destroying. Those beautiful eyes! 

Did I mention the pigtails???
(Yeah, I think you did, Mom....)

16 August 2015

High Times in the Tidewater

Here's the round up of other fun stuff we did last week! Chris found Greenies Beach Bar and Grill. The music was not my style, the service was terrible, and the food took forever. WE CANT WAIT TO GO BACK! Just 15 minutes away and right on the Chesapeake, we sat over the sand, watched seagulls and jet skis, our burgers were delicious, the beer was cheap, and Isaac ate more than I've maybe ever seen him. The table on one side complimented Eloise extensively and the table on the other side got loud and obnoxious, culminating with a girl dumping beer on her fiancĂ© and the manager asking them to leave. You can't pay for this kind of entertainment! Tip: use the beach entrance to this completely fun dive, because the front door smelled like a diaper and looked sketchier than it smelled. 
The neighbors and I celebrated Japanese O Bon with---surprise!---a tea party! I hung all our (Vietnamese) lanterns around the porch and the kids loved playing outside again. 
Chris and took the kids to the botanical gardens yet again for the Honeybee Festival with the Jascowskis! Isaac rolled a beeswax candle and we bought local honey and lunch. Yum. 

Eloise is crawling on hands and knees, teetering along adorably. She cannot yet climb stairs. She has discovered the cat food dish. She freaks out for food she wants. She is taking a bottle like a champ and off nursing for a week now. Everyone is so much happier. Sunday she got her first ponytail. 
Isaac is (generally) so kind to his little sis. He seeks her out. He wants her to snuggle in his bed in the morning and play with his stuffed animals, as long as she has a paci. He loves to bring her toys and piles them around her when she fusses, without even being asked. Isaac loves following maps or my phone's gps in the car. He's very observant. 
We spent a beautiful evening outside with the neighbors Friday. The husbands joined us, and I remarked, "I'm sad Chris has watch. I hate for him to always miss these fun evenings with the guys." Within 30 minutes who should walk up?! Somehow Chris was able to get out of watch and enjoy the fantastic weather with the neighbors, the kids, and a beer! 

And that's what's up in the Tidewater. 

13 August 2015


The new baby giraffe was out and about! Eloise was dressed like a tiger! All the neighbors rallied for Laura's inaugural trip to the zoo! 
With this many kids we were our own traveling zoo of chaos. 

Einie meenie minie mo...catch a tiger by her toe! 

Summer in the Garden

There has been the slightest of shifts. Instead of blazing hot, high humidity, we've had more than a week with temperate mornings, amazing breezy evenings, and days just right for a long, shady walk in the botanical gardens. 
Sara Michelle and I walked for miles through the Enchanted Forrest, the Potager Garden, the formal grounds---so many places I'd never seen before! 

Then Chris and I pulled the kids around in their bike chariot on one of the garden's Bike Nights. We found even more new places! Mirror Lake, bridges and fountains. 

I can't wait to see this place in the fall! 

11 August 2015

Officer of the Deck

Chris successfully earned his Officer of the Deck letter, which means he can drive the boat. 

Congratulations on your newest hat, Chris! You did it! 

10 August 2015

Crabby Summer

We live near the Chesapeake. I eat crab cakes every chance I get. So when Marci asked if I was free Saturday for a neighborhood crab...boil? bake? dinner! I said YES! 

She and Justin gave excellent crab-cracking tutorials, and we all put on our big kid pants and knocked out the completely gross guts and lungs to get to that tasty crab meat! In my cracking success I failed to notice I'd sliced my finger open until it got some Old Bay in it and started stinging. 

Crabs: 1, Mari: 3! YUM. Thanks for having us! 

08 August 2015

Breakfast with the Animals

This was ok. The cool, rainy weather made the special zoo event feel fresh and exciting. But the hoards of people pushing between Isaac and me and bumping Eloise in the stroller, just to load up their plates with cereal and orange juice, was tiresome. Also there wasn't enough caffeine. 
Highlights include meeting up with the neighbors, the red pandas---seriously the cutest animals on the planet---munching their breakfast, the newborn baby giraffe, the Farm Box breakdast delivery in the elephants, and the lions jump around the rocks. 

Eloise's favorite part was this peach, which she saw me eating and IMMEDIATELY INFORMED ME SHE MUST HAVE!!! She ate her entire half! And it was big! So we've officially moved from blueberries to peaches. It's about time, because the smell of blueberries is now too associated with poop for me to enjoy them. 

07 August 2015

I've Never Been to Wisconsin

A year and a half ago we tromped around the decommissioned USS Alabama in Alabama. I thought of this on Friday morning as our Nauticus museum exploration led us out to the deck of the Wisconsin. 

That mid-January daytrip was like a break of sunshine. Chris, Isaac and I were coming off a hard year of stress and loss, and I'd just had a second miscarriage two weeks prior. But one day, I was driving around with Isaac and felt an irrational, energized peace. I'd been praying a lot, of course, and feeling so down, and it really felt like a supernatural injection of color into a world of gray. It was in that same attitude we'd headed to the Alabama. Within days I was barfing and feeling awful, which turned out to be NOT a third miscarriage, but ELOISE!! So our fun family day was unconsciously inclusive of one precious baby girl. On this occasion, she made her presence known the entire time: it was nap time, and she was ready to go. 
The museum was cool. Obviously I don't get a whole lot out of it with Squirmy McFussypants, and Isaac was weirdly grouchy and tired too, but it's always interesting to learn more about the places we live. 

Like the fact that the Great White Fleet left from the Jamestown Convention of 1907 for its circumnavigation of the glove. I first learned about the Great White Fleet---essentially a huge worldwide PR campaign for American power and friendliness---in Sydney, Australia, in a similar museum. It's cool to think about how that maybe set the tone for international relationships for more than a century. 
Also, Chris and I went on a date. Lobster rolls at the Green Onion. We sat under an awning outside as it started to rain and felt very urban and stuff. A great date and a fun day (despite grouchy kids wetting the bed). We should do this more often! 

06 August 2015

Canoe, Ca-NOPE

"When I get back, let's go canoeing! I can't wait to go canoeing! Want to go canoeing?" 

We were so excited to get back out on the water. Today was breezy and cooler than it had been, but Eloise was tired and hot in her life vest and just having none of it. If this had been our first canoeing, it would have been our last canoeing. 

Our kids will like canoeing...eventually. 

05 August 2015

Shakespeare in the Garden

Free outdoor Shakespeare and/or musicals is such a staple of summertime. And hearing the botanical gardens had such a program is one of the reasons I got a membership. So we went.  
Setting sun rays slanted through the trees into the smooth, grassy Renaissance Court. A reflection pond spread out in glassy stillness. Bugs chirped and hummed; a dragonfly landed on a microphone. 

"'All's Well that Ends Well' is one of Shakespeare's lesser known and least-loved plays. The main couple doesn't really have you rooting for them to get together, and then they get married. It's one of Shakespeare's 'problem plays.'" 

And with THAT glowing introduction, a dozen high schoolers began flinging their arms around each other, gesticulating wildly, and grunting frequently, with feeling and projection. Being chosen for this summer program is apparently a great honor. 

For once the kids timed out and I was ready to go anyway. We took the long way back to the car. It was perfect. 


Dad is our favorite. The zoo is our favorite. So we put them together! Chris got home a day earlier than expected, and after most of the morning at home Monday we popped over to the zoo just for something fun to do. 
It was hot, but the water was cool. Eloise rode the brass tortoise for the first time! Chris was impressed with how strong and mobile she's become. 

Just another day at the zoo...except with DAD! 

A Heart Full of Love

Reunions are tricky. Isaac has 1. Completely lost it and freaked out when Chris got home, 2. Run straight to Chris for hugs and tickles, and 3. Not even reacted, but continued to tell me something about his toy cars, then repeat it to Chris, no big deal, when prompted. 

Isaac was napping when Chris got home in May, but Eloise was wide awake (top photos). "Can you say 'hi, Dad'?" Chris cooed. "Hi, Da!" she chirped. Melt. 

Since Chris got home two days ago, Isaac keeps saying, "I like it when you're home, Dad. I just love you so much." 

It's good to have you back, Chris! We love you! 

02 August 2015

High Times in the Tidewater

When I got home from the ultrasound where we found out Eloise was a girl, my mom directed me to the guest room closet. She'd had a feeling it was a girl, and had left this adorable nautical outfit when she'd visited the week before. 

Now it fits! And Eloise looked so precious we just all had to match for church. 
Anyway, here are the week's fun or adorable leftover pictures. 

We watched fish, crabs and birds on our evening stroll. Isaac played with his garage. Eloise started scooching across the floor with purpose. Isaac swept the porch without me asking. 

I think Eloise tried to say "Isaac" Saturday. It was a clear, "Ah! Ah-Ah-Ah!" when she saw him through the glass door. I love it! 
I wasn't sure how Eloise would do without Isaac while he was at VBS. The first day or so Eloise seemed SO happy to have mom time. But after that she refused to nap, hated our trips to the pool, only napped in the car for pick up, and was generally grouchy ALL DAY. This is why babies have to be so cute. 
In the morning and after nap time, Isaac always wants me and Eloise to come snuggle in his bed. I like this tradition: two little groggy, grumpy sleepyheads playing with stuffed animals. 

"This is a cozy nest," says Isaac. "I have to protect Eloise from bad guys." 

My babies! 

Fun with NewPenn Compound

It completely cracked me up when my neighbor Sara Michelle referenced our corner of neighbors as "NewPenn Compound" in a group text. Now I can't let it die. 
It's just so fun having three babies within three weeks of each other. They enjoyed stories and songs at the Hermitage. They enjoyed celebrating Marci's birthday with a birthday tea party. They enjoy watching the older tots and baby-fighting over puffs. 
And the Children's Museum is so much more fun with a neighbor (thanks, Laura!). I can only take so much time in the model train room alone! Zoo members will get FREE admission to the children's museum all of September, so at least we won't have to pay money next time Isaac wants to go play with more worn-out versions of the trains we already have at home.