Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Crabbing Adventure

While we were in Chincoteague there was one thing on the to do list that couldn't be missed. Well, at least as far as I was concerned.

So one afternoon while the kids napped, twinnie and I headed here.

And got these which in our opinion were a little bit of heaven.

We came back and let the (willing) little people get in on the fun. 

It was Riley's first time eating crab. TG does not care for crab and told her she had crab breath. She asked me if this was true. She made me check.

Inspired by our delicious meal we decided to take advantage of the crab pots and pier at our little rental home. Armed with the pots, some chicken legs, and nets for all the girls we made our way out onto the windy pier.

We know nothing about crabbing and I think it was too early in the season, but Riley loved dropping her pot in. She didn't love discovering later that day that all we caught was "slimy yucky seasweeds"

Snails were plentiful though and because it was low tide twinnie and I were able to catch a few for each girl to keep in a little mason jar. They instantly forgot all about the crabs.

And so ended our crabbing adventure...I think we did pretty well for city girls.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a great three day weekend and while I certainly do not view Memorial Day as a "BBQ holiday" as was the theme of many Facebook posts I saw, I do get excited about the extra day to spend with my family.

I also felt a little guilty about that until I saw a friend from high school's status that really resonated with me.

He said-
"Coming from a deployed soldier. Enjoy your weekend to the fullest, that's what I want for my friends and family. Take a sec and pray for us out here and the ones that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our beautiful country. After that post the pics from your awesome weekend... love you guys!"

He's deployed, away from his family, fighting for our freedom, and what he wanted on Memorial Day was for those he loved to enjoy their time together. I'll admit tears sprung to my eyes when I read his words because of the selflessness of his wish.

I did enjoy the weekend with my beloved family.

We played outside.

And cooled off in the sprinkler.

We picked fresh strawberries.

And had a (hot) picnic with our friends.

We swam at the pool, snuggled on the couch, played with superheroes, watched our big girl use the slide and swim on her own for the first time, and yes we even ate some BBQ with my sister and her family.

But I also made sure that Riley knew as much as she could about why we were spending Monday together.

She's only 4, but if you ask her she'll tell you that her Gampy and Papa both served our country. That lots of Mommy and Daddy's family and friends have made it possible for her to do the things she loves like "playing with all my bes' friends" and "singing and dancing". That even though it was Memorial Day we prayed for all the soldiers, of course those who have given their lives, but also for those who are currently deployed, have ever served our country, and those who returned home, but are not the same as when they left.  That we prayed for their families too.

And, that she's proud to be an "Amurican".

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Budding Artist

Well, almost.

I can't say Camden is as excited about arts and crafts as his sister was at this age, but he's definitely shown more interest lately.

We're past the age of eating the play doh.

And he was so focused on painting this picture.

When he spotted me with the camera, like always, he immediately turned and said cheese.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Only Way to Picnic

One of the major perks of the area we live in is that there are wineries everywhere. Before we had kids TG and I spent lazy weekend afternoons tasting wines and eating cheese and crackers. Now we just bring the kids (and some bubbles and soccer balls) along for the fun.  Luckily, most of the vineyards are kid friendly and we're able to run into the tasting room, grab a bottle of our favorite vino and set up shop at a picnic table for the afternoon.

At the beginning of the month after a fun birthday party in the morning we drove out to our favorite winery for a picnic with friends. It was the perfect picnic day - sunshine, but cooler temps and plenty of green grass for our kids to run and play in while we drank wine at the picnic table in the shade.

We still have two more weeks of school to go (ugh!), but we're looking forward to a summer full of winery picnics.  Maybe on every thirsty Thursday?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Party Popcorn

On my late night Target shopping trip to get all our 2nd Annual Cinco/Cam's 2! party supplies I got a little overzealous. At one point I had the makings for about 5 or 6 other food items in addition to the stuff we actually served. Once I realized this I had to stop and make some editing decisions. Sadly, funfetti cake batter dip didn't make the cut because I was worried about keeping it cool, but thankfully party popcorn fit the bill for an outdoor shindig!

To make this recipe you will need:

1 bag of microwaveable popcorn
1 cup of Nestle (or whatever brand you like) white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp of vegetable oil
Sprinkles or whatever you want to jazz your party popcorn up with!

Put 1 cup of white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  

Microwave for 1 minute. Remove, stir, add 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil. Return to microwave for 20 seconds. Stir until smooth.

Pop 1 bag of popcorn following the instructions on the bag. Place in a separate mixing bowl.

While the popcorn is still warm spread the melted chocolate over the top. Using your hands carefully mix the popcorn until evenly coated with the chocolate.

Cover with sprinkles and carefully mix one more time.

Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy!  For the party I actually doubled the recipe, but I made them in two separate batches.  There was only a bit leftover at the end but I divvied it into some ziploc bags for quick afternoon snacks for my kiddos this week.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vamos a La Fiesta

We threw Camden's party a week after his actual birthday which just happened to be on Cinco De Mayo. It was the perfect cause for a celebration! Originally, I was dreaming up a Shrek themed party (complete with a homemade donkey piƱata) since he's been obsessed with Shrek 1-4 the past month. I even bought all green, orange, and brown party things and made Shrek invitations.

Then I realized the guest of honor could care less about the decor and made the choice to simplify.  Since I already had the supplies I stuck with the Shrek color scheme. I made a sign for the front door using left over foam board from my butterfly display, some green kids paint, and my trusty sharpies.  We were in the backyard so we had to let our guests know they could come in and on thru to the back.

 I borrowed a table from a friend and set up all the food in the backyard.

I used my mason jars and $1 containers from Walmart for everything. I stuffed the masons with tissue paper I got on clearance at Target for $.28. I made the labels at home using orange card stock and homemade baker's twine (just used some thread and an orange sharpie to make the lines).

We had chicken nuggets, fruit skewers, party popcorn (recipe on the blog soon!), and Twizzlers for the kids. We had Chipotle burritos, chips, salsa, guac and of course Coronas with lime for all the adults. I bought $1 bubble sticks and green apple lollipops for all the kids as party favors and tied them up with more homemade twine and thank you tags.

Our bubble blower and water guns added some fun!

Just in case the moon bounce we rented wasn't enough fun.  

Riley and Camden got the first turn. They were red faced and giggling within minutes.

TG got in there too because he just couldn't resist Camden's sweet (and repeated) requests of "Come on, Daddy! Come on!"  

Soon our guests arrived! We all got to hang out and eat while the kids bounced and ran around the backyard.  It was nice to relax, even if we didn't have exactly enough adult chairs and Uncle J had to sit in a purple kids chair.

Instead of cake we opted for pre-scooped (genius Pinterest idea) orange sherbet ice cream cones with green sprinkles. We put candles in Cam's and sang "Happy Birthday". The cool treat was just perfect for the warm day.

As usual any type of birthday entertainment is unnecessary when TG is around. At one point he was scaring our kids by running up to the bounce house and growling. Soon everyone wanted in on the fun.

This time he took them all by surprise with squirt guns!

There was a little more prep work involved with having the party at our home, but since it was outside clean up was a breeze and we were able to hang out for as long as we wanted.  At 2:15 Camden actually put his lollipop down on the ground, walked in the house and said, "I go night night?"  TG was able to put him to bed and watch the Caps game inside while my friends and I drank Coronas and chatted in the backyard with the remaining party goers.  Does it get any easier than that?

Just a little over two years ago, when Riley turned two, we didn't even own a home.  Now we have a place to call our own and celebrate the birthdays of our sweet babies.  We feel so blessed and couldn't be more thankful for such a wonderful day for our little man.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dear Camden

Dear Camden,

Now you are two. I can hardly believe how quickly you've gone from my baby to my big boy. I stayed up late and decorated the house for you. I don't think you noticed anything but all the balloons. I was still asleep when Daddy brought you downstairs and your squeals of delight woke me up.

Riley and I made you special birthday pancakes with whip cream and liberal amounts of sprinkles. Hey, you only turn two, once. She also asked me to pull out the Dora party hats we used on her birthday. You refused to wear it until you saw her don one. We sang "Happy Birthday" to you, but you kept saying "No Mama. No."

Riley was so excited for you to have your birthday. She was so loving and sweet to you all day.

We didn't have your party on your actual birthday so Riley and Daddy went to soccer and you happily accompanied me to Zumba and played with Juju in the daycare. After lunch at home with Daddy and Riley we went to a new indoor playground in our town for their grand opening. You had refused to eat lunch and it was a bit past your nap time so the first few minutes were rough, but Daddy got you calmed down and then the real fun began.

We came home and you took a much needed nap before spending a quiet evening together. We had cupcakes in your honor after dinner. You were so excited when I came out with your cupcake. You kept saying, "HOT! HOT! CAKEY! CAKEY!" By the end of the day you were okay with us singing Happy Birthday to you.

You didn't blow out your candle because you tried to grab it and I had to quickly get it out before you hurt yourself.  Clearly we need to work more on the meaning of hot = ouch.  You didn't mind though and dug right into your birthday cake.

It was such a happy day and we're so proud of you. We've definitely had some rough times leading up to two, but you're growing into such a funny little man. You idolize your Daddy, adore your sister, and love your Mama.  We feel the same way about you and we're so thankful for all the joy you bring to our lives.

Even though you're growing up, finding your voice, showing us more of your personality and making us laugh all day long, I have a feeling it will be hard for me to ever look at you without seeing you like this.

Happy, happy birthday my Camden.  I love you.