Saturday, July 28, 2012

Boat picnic & grill pizza

This morning we drove out to meet up with Curt & Tish at the boat for a picnic. We had a little engine trouble with the boat, so it was a short ride, but a fun one nonetheless! Then we all went down below for some A/C and lunch. It was a pretty day on the water and even though we didn't get to take the boat out very far, we still all enjoyed the afternoon.

Once we got back to Ashburn, we decided to check out the Lost Rhino brewery since we had heard great things about it. They even had a kiddie area with toys and books! Vivi tried to hulahoop. :)

We got a flight and tasted a bunch of yummy brews. The menu looks awesome too, but we had pizza on the grill planned, so we headed home to have dinner. Definitely a spot we'll go back to. Alex got us a growler to take home, so we'll need to get it refilled. :) Thanks Alex!

It was such a fun weekend!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Alex & Marisa visit!

This weekend Ben's cousin Alex and his wife Marisa flew in from Chicago to visit. We picked them up from the airport around 12:30pm and then hung out at home in the backyard waiting for Ben to get home from work.

The kids painted our neighbor's fence with water (thank you Andrea for the idea!):

Grandma and Grandpa Marshall came over in the evening to babysit so we could go out to Clyde's. It was really fun and a nice date night. :) Thank you Grandma & Grandpa!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lollipop at the library

Once the kiddos finished their lollipops, we picked out some new books to take home and read:

Can you guess which one Owen hand-selected??? :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Water baby in a bikini

We took a break at the pool tonight for a snack, and I couldn't help but snap this pic of Vivian sitting in front of me on the lounge chair in her itty bitty yellow butterfly bikini. :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fun times with the Carrozzas

Steph, Scott, Sarah Catherine and Benjamin came over today for lunch and playtime. It was so fun to catch up and watch the kids interact and play together. Our favorite part was probably right before they left when Sarah Catherine and Owen were playing "doctor". Sarah Catherine would drive the car with Owen sitting behind her as if he were the passenger. She would drop him off and he would run behind the couch. Then he would get back in the car and they'd go to the dentist. It was too cute! This age is so adorable with all the pretend play and the creativity of their little minds.

I insisted we take a "couch" picture too. I love having these pictures to look back on and see how the kids have grown. Especially since Owen & Sarah Catherine have been buds since birth. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thank you Pinterest

I love Pinterest.

I pin lots of things, and yes of course, most of them never happen. But there have been a bunch that I've tried {recipes, kid projects, sewing projects, etc} which have been really cool and I may never have known about them if it weren't for Pinterest.

I thought I'd help our new babysitter out by coming up with a few activities the kids could try to mix things up a bit. So today after work we tried out two things: dropping food-colored vinegar into a pan of baking soda and playing "hair salon". Each activity held the kids' interest for 45minutes to an hour, which in my eyes, is a success!

I loved how the vinegar/baking soda experiment was both a fine-motor skills project and an art project in one. And the hair salon activity was just fun. I was actually surprised that Owen was interested in playing. It was cute to see them doing the other's hair. They even did my hair at the end and I got to answer the door to greet the UPS guy with clippies all in my hair. So fun.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Potty training begins

Lately Vivian has been telling us she's gone #2 in her diaper. She walks right up to one of us, pats her bottom, and says {in the cutest little voice you've ever heard} "poo-poo". :-)

So tonight we had the kids swimming in their little backyard pool, and I decided to strip her down neked and let her get acquainted with her potty. Nothing was produced on the potty tonight, but I'm hopeful that training her will be easier than her brother. We can hope, right?

"Sure, Mom. You go on hoping, I'll just keep on looking cute."

Mom: does this picture look familiar? When I saw Vivi playing with my sunglasses, I had to snap this photo. The frames aren't quite as big as the ones I played with when I was about 4, but same idea. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Today the kids and I headed out to the farm to get our weekly box of fruits & veggies. I look forward to this outing each and every week. I love the thirty minute drive out to the countryside because it's my time to think and relax while the kids nap or just gaze quietly out the window. When we get there, we usually have a little wait for the hayride to the orchards or berry bushes. We apply sunscreen and hydrate, and I'll take some pictures. It was so hot today that I let Vivi go in just a onesie. It was a stylish look, let me tell you. But at least she was cool.

We get to pick several things each week as a bonus to take home in addition to our box. This week it was a quart of blackberries, 5 peaches, and a 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes. Vivi was awesome at picking the blackberries, but Owen preferred to just eat them off the tree rather than fill up his bucket. We then moved onto the peaches and picked our 5 free ones and then an additional 10 pounds because if you bought ten pounds or more, they dropped the price from $1.39 a pound to $.89 a pound! They are so fresh and it will take four or five days for them to ripen up, so it's a perfect way for us to have fresh fruit all week. The tomatoes were the last pick of the day and I'm excited to put them in salads since they'll probably be super sweet.

We got home and cooled off in the A/C and soon after, the doorbell rang. It was the UPS guy with two boxes: diapers and wipes from Amazon and my work equipment from AOL. The kids had a ball playing with the bubble wrap from my laptop and the box it all came in. 

I'm trading carefree summer days where we would decide what we were going to do each morning over a leisurely breakfast, for much more scheduled days in which Mommy works for four hours while they do activities with their new babysitter. But I'm so thankful for the opportunity. I'm just going to need to remind myself that I will still have the same precious moments with my littles, even if I won't be spending every single hour of the day with them like I used to before I went back to work.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Recent brag on FB

Owen's first ever jump off the diving board.

Note the huge smile on his face. :)

Thank you to Kelly for being his jump target.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


My loves holding hands walking home from the playground yesterday.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beach portraits before heading home

We woke up to rain this morning which is fine since we're headed home. But we had not yet taken any family photos on the beach, so I was really hoping it would clear up enough to snap a few before hitting the road home.

Luckily, I got my wish. We got all packed up and dropped off the keys at the rental office and by that point, the weather had cleared and I was able to drag everyone down to the sand for a few more pictures.

I took a few shots of the kids to program my camera's settings for Molly

while Ben rocked this hot ensemble  

This is another one of my favorites from the shoot:

Oh, and this one:


I'm really glad we took the time to do them though, because we got a few keepers:

It was pretty sunny facing the dunes, so we took some more shots with the water behind us so that maybe we wouldn't be squinting so much.

Yeah, not so much I guess. I still found one I liked where we weren't squinting too much.

I had bribed Owen with the promise of a trip to Candy Kitchen if he was a good boy during the photo shoot, so by the end he was on a mission to get off to beach and into the candy store. Worked like a charm, because he was very good during pictures. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 3 ~ another great beach day

These 3 were up at the crack of dawn. Time for some cartoons.

That evening, we got this gem of a "kiddie couch" picture. And then called it a night with the Dads going out to get everyone Rita's carryout instead of the crowded boardwalk. It was a good decision, for so many reasons. :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 2 ~ perfect beach weather

I woke up early and enjoyed a nice little jog on the beach this morning while Ben watched the kiddos and cooked up some 7-grain pancakes for everyone.

Then while Molly and I got the kids ready for the beach, boys went down to set up our shade tent. They picked a great spot.

We had such an amazing day playing in the sand, enjoying the sun {and shade}, and relaxing.

Tonight was our night to go out to dinner and we were right across the street from Dead Freddie's, so we decided to try it. Owen and Vivian enjoyed fought over the ipad while the rest of us finished up getting ready.

It was an awesome restaurant, which turned out to be worth the long wait. The kids loved the outdoor playground, and we were able to grab a cold drink at the bar before our table was ready. The food was really good, and the kids were well-behaved, so that was nice. 
When we got back to the condo, I asked Ben to take a few pictures of me and Vivi on the balcony.

I loved this one he snapped of our hair. Her curls were so springy since it was so humid. 

After he got some, I wanted a few of baby girl with her Daddy. She wasn't that interested. Poor Daddy. :(

Kiddos were all ready for bed when we got home from the restaurant, so off to bed they went and then it was game night for us grown-ups. Molly and Ben were excited to play Tripoly, but I didn't quite catch on too well, so we ended up turning in after only one round. Had some laughs about it though. :) We agreed to try Domination the next night.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 1 in Ocean City

We had an easy drive to OC and only had to stop three times along the way. Once for lunch, once for Owen to go potty, and once for Mommy to run into Wal-Mart for sheets since she forgot to pack them. Not too bad, we still made great time and arrived around 3pm.

The condo was awesome. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a nice sized kitchen and dining/family room area. Definitely an upgrade from last year. The boys shared the 3rd bedroom which had bunk beds. Owen thought they were super cool and he loved climbing up and down the ladder to the top bunk. I worried a little he might roll out of bed, but the bottom bed was a full, so he would have landed on that and the chances of him falling over the railing were slim.

While everyone got settled in, the kids played on the ipads and Drew just did what he did best: look adorable. We went down to the beach for a couple of hours before dinner and the kids got used to the water and sand. Vivi just wanted to dig in the beach bag for snacks, go figure.

We fed the kids chicken nuggets, veggies and fruit while our dinner cooked. It took longer than I expected since it stayed frozen on the drive in the cooler. But it was nice to put the kids to bed and then be able to sit down and enjoy a quiet meal. :)

Off to the beach!

Wow. This picture looks very similar to last year's.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

BBQ & Street Fireworks

4th of July wouldn't be complete without a backyard BBQ and some fireworks set off right in front of your house when it gets dark. So that's just what we did. Ben cooked up some burgers, hot dogs, and zucchini, which went along with some sides and awesome appetizers and desserts that Kelly and Molly brought. The kids had fun running around stealing toys from each other while us adults enjoyed some good old American Budweiser and blackberry mojitos with fresh mint. 

Ben did a few snakes and these two were a teeny bit uncertain about what would happen. So naturally, they wrapped their arms around each other. 

Molly looking gorgeous holding Drew despite the 98 degree (or was it higher?) temp. 

Again, these two. They couldn't keep their hands off each other - HA! 

Owen's expression in this shot is priceless:

Just look at all those rolls and creases on our little sweet pea:

The dads did some of these:

As the kiddos cooled off with some ice pops:

This was the view from our side of the street over to our neighbor's driveway where they were setting off similar fireworks:

We decided we should try to coordinate every year so the kids get to enjoy twice the fireworks. A huge thank you to Grandpa Marshall who gifted us with the huge package of fireworks from Wisconsin. They were a big hit and we even have a full box left for next year!

The highlight of the night was the unexpected illegal fireworks that were set off a few streets away from us just as we were finishing up. It felt like a private fireworks show just for us because we had such a perfect view! Such a neat way to end the day celebrating our country's birthday. 

Happy 4th everyone!!