DC Love: The National Harbor

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This past weekend my parents and sister came to visit and found a room at the National Harbor to switch things up a bit. It was our first time visiting that area and we just happened to get the most beautiful sunny fall day ever to spend on the water (the best way to spend sunny days!) We had lunch outside at the Redstone Grill, overlooking the harbor, situated adjacent to the turf space, stage and jumbo screen where a country line dance lesson was going down… a wonderful distraction for Roman while waiting for our food.

After lunch we strolled over to the National Children’s Museum for some exploratory playtime for Roman. It is SO wonderful being in a space where he is allowed to touch EVERYTHING. They have a 3 and under play room and several educational pretend play rooms geared toward slightly older children. He was happy tearing through all of it. It isn’t the most affordable way for a large group of adults to entertain a toddler since they charge each grown up which is hard for me to understand (thanks mom and dad!), but if you’re in a smaller group it would be quite reasonable.

After the museum we grabbed coffees and smoothies and headed down to the giant sand box/ miniature beach space on the water. I had seen pictures of the giant Neptune statue before and was pretty excited for Roman to chill in his wavy hair and high five his giant hand. I’m pretty sure that child would be content to play in sand for hours and hours on end, no toys necessary. There’s also a carousel and giant ferris wheel (which I personally think really adds a lot to the feeling of the whole place, there’s just something about ferris wheels…) We opted not to take a ride out of the assumption that Roman would get quickly bored trapped in a small cabin. (Also it just seemed a little scary.)

So yes the National Harbor is one of those chain filled, fabricated feeling little areas, but they have a few very cool things to do and a beautiful location on the water. Sadly Roman is still not ready for paddle boats or kayaking, but next time I think we’ll take the ferry to Alexandria!

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Roman’s Recent Playlist

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(Clearly, pumpkins are for drumming.)

Roman is a dancing machine. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the kid loves music… music makes him move.

To help you get down like Roman: Here’s a list of our favorite dance time tunes these days:

Hey Sister… Walter Martin, We’re All Young Together

Walk Tall… Ziggy Marley, Family Time

We’re Going To Be Friends… Jack Johnson, Curious George Soundtrack

The Sharing Song… Jack Johnson, Curious George Soundtrack

Dancing With Myself... Billy Idol

Ooh La La… The Faces, Rushmore

I Would Walk 500 Miles… The Proclaimers

I Melt With You… Modern English

Soul Man… Sam & Dave

We Like the Zoo… Walter Martin, We’re All Young Together

Only When I Walk Away… Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience

ABC… Jackson 5

Stand By Me… Ben E. King, Stand By Me Soundtrack

What are your favorite dance party songs/artists/albums for the littles?

On Happy Childhoods

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(image via Handwritten Word shop on etsy)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about happy childhoods. Specifically, I’ve been feeling warm and fuzzy inside about the opportunity I have as a mother to create two happy childhoods for my two precious humans. I day dream about daily dance parties and afternoon adventures. I try to fill Roman’s days with laughter, play and new experiences. I wonder gleefully about the days when our home will be full of the magic of my children’s wild imaginations.

Skimming a spotlight on Amanda Jones on MotherMag the other day, I found her words on her own mother sweetly inspiring, “My mom made me feel loved unconditionally, she was fun and thoughtful and goofy. Everything was an adventure. She drove a really old car and sometimes when we’d hop in, she’d say, ‘Oh! I have no idea where this old car is taking us!’ And we’d end up at the zoo or at the pumpkin patch. She just made everything fun and magical and she always wanted to make us feel supported and loved.”

At a family gathering a few weeks back my husband’s  grandmother made a comment about how important it is to do your housework while the children are awake so as not to spoil them with too much attention. I instantly felt so relieved to be a part of a generation that is aware of the benefits of interaction with our children… to have a husband who doesn’t mind coming home from work to a messy apartment and no dinner on the table because I spent the afternoon taking our son to a park or museum…. to have medical professionals reassuring me that you cannot actually “spoil” a baby.

My own childhood was full of tree climbing, story times, long bike rides, playing rummy and charades with my grandmother, her songs and recitation of Shakespeare, molding play-do with my mother, American girl dolls, putting on shows with my little sister, playing dress up, recording ourselves on our karaoke machine… we had big imaginations and a big back yard. When I moved to California one of my very first thoughts was, “what a magical place this would be to grow up!” I loved the idea of raising my children in the city, but now I find myself hoping we find ourselves back on that coast while our children are young.

Over the past few years I’ve been dealing with a bit of an identity crisis. As a female millennial with two useless liberal arts BAs and no career to speak of I had to come to terms with my life not working out exactly how I thought it would. I lived in dread of the horrid, “what do you do?” This past year of motherhood has silenced that dread, resolved my concerns and settled my eagerness to get back on track with my former idea of myself. I feel fulfilled by my role as a mother. I have new goals: I want to give my children a happy childhood. I want to indulge their curiosity, their sense of wonder and adventure. I want to support their risk taking, their experimentation with the world. I want to dance with them, to sing with them, to read them stories that inspire their imaginations. I want them to always be kind, compassionate, open and honest. I want them to have fun with their lives and to laugh and laugh and laugh. I want them to be sensitive to the feelings of others, to feel a sense of responsibility to the earth and their community.  I hope they have a desire to learn and grow their whole lives long.

I hope I can be the example they need. For me, for now, working on that is enough.

 

 

Halloween Inspiration: Tattly Kids Tattoos

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We have yet to decide on a Halloween costume for Roman. So far the ideas include: a Rocket Man (i.e. rockstar astronaut) , Indiana Jones, Popeye, a DJ (in which case my pregnant self will be a disco ball, and we will set his stroller up as his “dj booth”), Max (from Where the Wild Things Are) or Billy Idol.

Several of these costume ideas would involve tattoos… so I started searching Tattly . These were just a few of my favorites for costume potential… there are so many more delightful “designy” temporary tattoos to choose from (I’m thinking one of Roman’s future birthday parties will most definitely involve a fake tattoo booth).

Sharing is Caring…

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*image via Married 2 Craft

That blog has me dying to get their book Paper to Petal  so I can start experimenting with gorgeous paper flower creations myself. (Soon to be new obsession.)

This article made a timely appearance on my Facebook feed. Now that Roman is throwing little tantrums I’m realizing how challenging it can be to put all that wonderful parenting theory into practice!

I cannot wait to see this movie: WILD based on the wonderful book by Cheryl Strayed. Have you read it? You should! Also, Tiny Beautiful Things. She’s an inspiration. (Side note: Reese Witherspoon is pretty adorable on Instagram.)

Kicking the Bucket List got me thinking. I’d have to say I agree with her final statements here:

“This is the YOLO-ization of cultural experience, whereby the pursuit of fleeting novelty is granted greater value than a patient dedication to an enduring attention—an attention which might ultimately enlarge the self, and not just pad one’s experiential résumé. The notion of the bucket list legitimizes this diminished conception of the value of repeated exposure to art and culture. Rather, it privileges a restless consumption, a hungry appetite for the new. I’ve seen Stonehenge. Next?

What if, instead, we compiled a different kind of list, not of goals to be crossed out but of touchstones to be sought out over and over, with our understanding deepening as we draw nearer to death? These places, experiences, or cultural objects might be those we can only revisit in remembrance—we may never get back to the Louvre—but that doesn’t mean we’re done with them. The greatest artistic and cultural works, like an unaccountable sun rising between ancient stones, are indelible, with the power to induce enduring wonder if we stand still long enough to see.”

Psychology Today examined the issue further.

Fingerprint Words. Funny article! Do you have some? Do I have some? My husbands are probability and robust.

We’re spending this lovely September weekend with our families at the south Jersey shore, Roman’s already snuck in some more quality beach time!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

The Perfect Gift For New Parents (with a sense of humor)….

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Two Questions: Could this be anymore perfect? and How did I not know about this sooner?

My mom and sister were visiting this past weekend, crashing in our living room, and Thursday Roman had a particularly bad night. Around 2am he woke up and spent the next hour and a half struggling to get back to sleep… tossing and turning and fussing. A bottle of milk couldn’t even save the night. Up until last week he had been sleeping through the night on a fairly regular basis for the past couple of months… so we have no idea whats going on. My mother could hear him through the wall and while browsing Paper Source the following day she came across this wonderful book: Go The F* To SleepWe all had a good laugh.

Sleep deprived new parents can use a good laugh too.