Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dance Recital Videos

If you are my "friend" on Facebook, you've probably already seen me post these videos, but I'm putting them on the blog for those of you who aren't on Facebook, e.g., Mom.

Jilly attended Princess Dance Camp last week every morning and yesterday they invited parents to the "Grand Ball", a little recital for the kiddos to show off their new tap and ballet moves.

The tap video is actually funny and cute. The ballet video is simply hilarious.

And here are a couple pics that I took.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Now Where Were We?

It's bad when you have to look at your own blog to see what the last post was...10 days ago apparently. Oops.

So in the last ten days we:

Visited the National Zoo...where I didn't take any pictures of the kiddos, but a few of the zoo animals. It was overall a nice trip. They're doing construction and have one of the parking lots closed, so initially I got pretty fired up over showing up and all the parking was full. I know we went a little later in the morning than usual, but it was a weekday and ALL local public school systems were still in session. Seriously. It turned out for the best, because after circling the block we ended up back on Conn Ave headed back toward the beltway and lo and behold I started seein available meter spots. I snagged one and we were literally five cars back from the zoo. It cost like $4.25 in quarters to fill the meter to its full two hours, but still much cheaper than the zoo parking would have been anyway. And who wants to stay at the zoo with a three year old and a nine month old for more than two hours, really? Not I. The highlight of the day was seeing the orangutan walking from habitat to habitat on the cables suspended above. And I liked the tiger. Jillian was a little disappointed because she wanted to see the hippo in the water. The National Zoo doesn't have any hippos. Giant pandas, yep, but my toddler wanted to see the hippo. *sigh*

We've been playing outside just about every afternoon. Jen linked to this site that tells how to make liquid sidewalk chalk. Jillian just loves "painting" with it! There has also been lots of kiddie pool time and usage of regular sidewalk chalk. Jillian still loves to play outside.

No pictures on this one, though I probably should be taking pictures with my "real" camera.... I've been learning to 1) cook on the grill and 2) cook vegetables. I grew up with a hatred of the things and have decided to learn how to cook them so that I enjoy them. My ulterior motive here is that I'd like to join a CSA program next year, but they're not cheap. I totally can't justify the expense if I won't eat/know how to cook most of what we'd get each week. So to the farmers market I go each week and try something new. So far I've tried (in order of most favorite to least): zucchini (grilled), kale (sauteed not wilted), broccoli (blanched and lightly sauteed), cauliflower (pureed), asparagus (grilled), collard greens (sauteed not wilted), swiss chard (slightly wilted and sauteed). The swiss chard wasn't great, but honestly I enjoyed all of the others! I also have yellow squash to grill this weekend. I also made Beer Can Chicken; thank you Bobby Flay, it was the best chicken I've ever done!

We celebrated Father's Day. When we begged off the traditional restaurant get together this year, and so did a bunch of other people, John suggested we try and reserve a picnic shelter at one of the Patapsco State Parks. It was short notice, but we found one and it turned out just fabulous. It was us, John's dad and his wife, and John's brother and his family. We grilled, nothing fancy, just hot dogs, burgers, and sausages, we ate, the kids played on the playground, and us big kids tossed around the football. And Jessica let EVERYONE hold her while I was around and didn't freak out!!! Here are a couple pics from the outing.

John's Dad (Wayne) and all his grands.

Wayne with his sons and the grands.

Jessie with her Bubby and Paw-Paw.

The end of the day.

Jessie has discovered what she can do with crawling and standing up. Finally being mobile has some meaning to her! She and Jilly play really well together...I must say I'm thrilled about that!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Not Miserable Weather

The weather has been pretty stifling lately. Until today. Last night the temps dropped and we were able to turn off the A/C and open the windows. I took the girls to Patapsco State Park this morning. I got some walking in while they hung out in the stroller and I even actually jogged a bit! Then we went over to an area where Jillian could play in the water a bit. Because she loves playing in the water. Jessica actually liked the water too - but I couldn't get any pictures of her really smiling since when she was sitting with her feet in the water, I wanted to stay in arms reach in the event that she toppled over....

Looks like we have a couple days like this ahead, so I have a feeling more outdoor adventures await!

Watching the Garden Grow

Last year I planted a garden for the first time. Here is what I learned:
1. Tomato plants get BIG.
2. Plants like our red clay.
3. I can, in fact, grow things.

So this year we expanded. We made the garden deeper so that it comes out as far as our back yard fence. We turned the whole thing and mixed in some compost from our compost heap in the back yard before planting. A few weeks ago (the end of April...) I planted red bell peppers, mild jalapeno peppers, Roma tomatoes, salsa hybrid tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, and rosemary. And crossed my fingers.

Here's a quick snap from my cell phone of how it looked after I finished planting on 4/30.

And here's the garden today.

Bell pepper.

Jalapeno pepper.

Roma tomato(s).


Strawberries (we have yet to eat any from the garden due to a pesky rabbit that chews them up as soon as they're ripe enough to pick...grrrr).

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Video Fun

It occurred to me the other day that while I have TONS of videos of Jillian, I only had like ONE of Jessica. So she was getting all excited about banging a block on the coffee table while STANDING UP and I pulled out the video camera. I got a quick one of Jessica, but then Jillian stole the spotlight - big surprise. Jilly shared some of her own songs - and really, they are awesomely funny.

Here's Jessie...

And here's Jilly and her vocalizations...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Big surprise here...Jessica's been teething. Here's the first good picture I was able to take of her three top teeth. All three of these guys poked through in one week. No wonder we've had some rough nights!

And what are teeth for, if not for enjoying fresh strawberries?

Jilly got in on the strawberry action too, of course!


Back from the Beach

We had a chance to go to Rehoboth Beach for most of last week, and now we're back. The trip was a blast and we couldn't have had nicer weather. It was extra special, because we stayed at the cottage where I grew up vacationing and Jillian got to hang out with Matthew, who is my...wait for's college roommate's grandson. That's pretty cool, since I grew up vacationing with my mom's college roommate's sons, and Matthew is Dave's little boy.

The beach was a huge hit, though a bit challenging with both girls. I ended up holding Jessica most of the time while Jillian played in the ocean. The sleeping arrangements were also a bit challenging, since Jillian is not good at laying down for bed and going right to sleep. Initially we had me and the girls bunked up in the same room, but after night #1 of Jilly's shenanigans, she slept with my mom in another room and I shared a room (and the futon) with the baby. I will say that by the third night, Jessie went down for naps and bedtime like a dream. Not too bad I must say, for only her second time sleeping in the PeaPod tent.

The last challenge was my ability to take decent pictures. Since I found myself holding Jessica, and she's quite the grabby-grabber, most of my good camera pictures were taken one handed. And the pics of the kids of the rides were in-motion pictures. I found that the pictures I liked the best were those taken with my lower quality cell phone camera. But anyhow, we had a blast and wish we could have stayed all summer! Here are the pics.

Jessica on the beach.

Jilly tired of me taking pictures of her.

Jilly on the carousel.

Jilly and Matthew on the hot air balloon ferris wheel-type ride. Yes, we let them ride it sans adults.

My best attempt at getting a picture of both girls on the beach.

Self-portraiture on the helicopter ride.

Jilly and Matthew on the spaceship ride.

Jilly and Matthew on the swings.

Jilly loving playing on the beach.

Jessie loving the sand. Eating the sand. Putting the sand in her ear. Rubbing the sand all over. EW.

Jilly playing in the water.

Jumping in the waves.


We found some swings one morning - of course we had to try them out.

Jillian got a new stuffed "hookie".

Jilly and Matthew on the fire engines.

Jessie's first carousel ride.

We went twice - she loved it. Didn't stop laughing the entire time!

Ice cream on the boardwalk.

Matthew and Jillian enjoying their ice cream together.