4 posts categorized "Metro DC fun"

October 15, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. One photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Technically taken a day late and published much later, but still a moment. Idea courtesy of Soulemama.  


September 23, 2011

{these moments}

{these moments} - A Friday ritual. Four photos - no words - capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment(s)' in the comments for all to find and see.



Idea courtesy of Soulemama.  


Lest I forget, two more images as reminders of special events this weekend...

Happy Birthday, Mom




and Happy 7th Anniversary, Salty Dogs!




September 18, 2011

It's nothing earth-shattering

but the kids finally had haircuts today.  Two out of three had the "I'm growing out my bangs/bad haircut look" for ages and we finally decided to attempt to find a decent salon again.

We have tried repeatedly to go to a local chain and each time it is close to disastrous.  The stylists spend most of their time trying to sell me shampoo I don't want, need or use and then proceed to hack away at the kids' hair.  The last time we went, Nicholas ended up with so many layers, I couldn't tell what the woman was trying to do.  

He was also not very happy about the hair cut idea (has never been crazy about it) and I don't blame him. Scissors and what-not flying around your head for 30 minutes is not everyone's idea of fun.  We finally decided we would try a friend of a friend's barbershop in Annapolis.  Pete would go first, Nicholas would watch and all would be well.

Unfortunately, the barbershop closes at 3 p.m. on Saturdays and by the time we arrived (my insomnia causes me to oversleep on the weekends), it was nearly 2:45 p.m. I cursed my inability to get out of bed in a timely manner and then we both remembered a children's hair salon we had seen in a nearby shopping center.  The prices were reasonable, it was open and it was across the street from my new favorite indie coffeehouse in Annapolis, Caffe Pronto.  Yes, it was all an excuse to get a mocha and my favorite coffee...sue me!

We stepped into the salon, Pigtails & Crewcuts, which was bright, airy and happily decorated.  They had the fun kiddie seats (airplane, fire engine and police car), a child size seats for those who would rather a regular chair and two regular size salon chairs.  I feared a long wait as it was a rather gloomy day out, but to my surprise, we were called within minutes.

IMG_0988Kelsey went first and after getting her settled, Nicholas's name was called.  Now, the test:  would he have any interest in getting his hair cut or would he be miserable the whole time?  I do NOT like bribing children since it generally doesn't work, but he had requested a lollipop (if they had them) prior to going in the salon.  We figured that was a fair compromise (considering I treat myself to an Indian buffet lunch after I get my hair done...) and we walked over to try out a car seat.

IMG_0989 He wouldn't have any of it and wanted absolutely nothing to do with the cars.  So, we offered the next best thing:  Dad's lap.  Sure enough, he climbed up, had no problem with the colorful drape and happily sat in Peter's lap for the entire cut (to include use of the clippers).  She chatted while she cut, cut, cut a bit more and worked the kinks out of the layering nastiness.  Nicholas was as calm and cool as a cucumber.  No unhappiness, no tears, just a quiet Little Guy sitting in dad's lap.  It probably also helped that there was a movie on (which was really for Kelsey, seated next to him), but it really doesn't matter.  He was happy and not traumatized by the experience and, even better, he got a really great cut.

He hopped down the minute the cut was over, gobbled up his lollipop and happily played at the train table until it was time to go.  Kelsey ended up with a smart bang/all over trim which will work a bit better than the bangs that were constantly in her eyes.  And the salon?  They have found new loyal customers.  The stylists were great, extremely patient (but quick) and the cost was the same or less than that local chain. No pressure to buy anything and we all left happy and well-groomed (well, 2 out of 5 of us).  Given that we are frequently in the area to see the Salty Dogs  (insert sweet quote:  Nicholas stated today, "Baby Nate is my best friend!"), it's an easy visit to work in.  We were to go sailing with them today, but the weather did not cooperate.  However, we had just as much fun hanging out at the Salty Dog homestead. 

Now the real point of this post? Pictures of the kids with their new 'dos.  And is it me or does the Little Guy really not seem so Little anymore?


July 21, 2010

We *heart* nature

IMG_4937  so much so that we finally decided it was time for a camp.  Despite the fact that there are oodles of day camps in the area, I couldn't justify spending the money for a regular camp.  If I found a specialty camp, that would be one thing, but we have the neighborhood pool across the street and so much to do in the area.  Then I noticed that the nearby Nature Center was having a week-long half-day camp for those ages 6-10.  

I hemmed and hawed and finally came to the conclusion that it might not be a bad idea.  Only Kelsey could attend, but perhaps she would meet future class (or school) mates and if nothing else, have a bit of a break from the siblings for a bit.  This would then (theoretically) give me less of a complex about unpacking during the day...or at least fewer kids to worry about while unpacking.

IMG_4939  We had not been to the Nature Center in ages and I forgot what a gorgeous, treed area it is.  Since our last visit, they have added a "Nature Playce" with a short trail for kids.  Kids (and parents) can grab a guide that lists nearly all of the wildlife and their habitats.  There is a special garden designed just for the purpose of attracting butterflies and there was no shortage of them while we visited.  

IMG_4941  Kelsey and I journeyed there Monday afternoon to learn more about the camp and find out if spots were still open.  They were, but Kelsey spent the entire time lamenting "camp" and  being a bit grouchy about the whole thing.  Kelsey kept muttering under her breath, "I don't want to go, I don't want to go!"

To her credit, the director who gave us a tour remained unfazed.  I think she assumed Kelsey would complain, I would drop my encouragement and that would be that. Kelsey asked when we left if she "had" to go.  I offered she could try it for a morning, after all, it had to be more exciting than watching me unpack. Lo and behold, the idea grew on Kelsey and while I was doing dishes that night, she ran into the kitchen, gave me a big hug, and said, "I think I am going to like Nature Camp!" 

Off she went Tuesday morning.  She was a little nervous, but between taking a hike, meeting two "damaged" (rescued) owls, and learning more about butterflies, she had a fantastic time.  She ran up to us when Nicholas and I came to get her and extolled the many virtues of the camp.  I began to feel a bit guilty last night as Nicholas started to beg to go to nature camp.  Not really a possibility for the under-three, still trying to get out of diapers set.  Then I received an email...

IMG_0155 IMG_0162   It was a reminder of a playgroup meet-up.  I dismissed it at first, thinking that I should stay home and unpack (even though I likely wouldn't get that much accomplished).  I then realized it was not only going to be held at a nature center, but there would be kids Nicholas's age, and it would be another opportunity not only to get him out of the house and rediscover local outdoorsy spots in this area.

Score a point for Long Branch Nature Center in Arlington!  The Nature Center isn't huge, but has a cozy play area with puzzles, a little clubhouse section, toys, and books.  The front room has several aquariums with snakes and frogs, and a fish pond is off to the side.  If one happens in at the right time, there may even be an opportunity to feed the fish.

IMG_0159  The best part?  Long Branch not only has a paved trail around a viewing pond, but a path down to Long Branch Stream.  It is a very easy walk down to the stream, though it will feel like a bit of a hike on a humid day like today.  Little Guy was appropriately attired in his crocs and spent the next 20 minutes running around in the flat bed of the stream, climbing up boulders (in his mind), wading through the deliciously cool water, and throwing rocks.  He was not along in this fun, as all of his new playgroup buddies wanted part of that action.  Had we not had to pick up Kelsey, I am fairly sure we could have happily spent the afternoon there.

IMG_0160  Not only did we have much outdoorsy fun, but I ended up several friends that I haven't seen in quite some time (well, one a few weeks and another 7 years...). It also gave me the opportunity to meet other parents at the playgroup that I had heretofore only chatted with online.  Had I stayed at home, I am sure I would have unpacked a box or two...but would have missed out on friends (for both of us), the nature center and stream, and that reaffirming feeling of accomplishment for having done something that makes the soul so very happy.  With next Tuesday looming in the distance like a grumpy black rain cloud, I am so glad I made the effort to get out.

Notes regarding Long Branch:  it is about 400 feet back from the street, down a long, windy road.  It is a "two lane" road, but really only room for one car at a time (with a few small pull-off areas).  Parking can also get tight and you may want to back in (good advice, D.!) if possible.  If it's a warm day and you visit the stream, don't forget your hats (we did *sigh*), sunscreen and water shoes.  An Ergo or carrier might be a good idea if you have a sleepy toddler, but strollers can easily make the trek to the stream.