Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Getting black-tie, fancy-pants

As promised, here are some shots of the flower girl all decked out in this super fancy gown that Brandy bought for her. We tried to get the neighbors to take a family shot before we hopped in the car, but no one was home, and we were already running late, as usual.

Let the record show that Hannah LOVED this dress, at least at first. After a few hours she was begging to take it off, but she loved it for the first couple hours, and when we went to Brandy's parent's house a month ago to try it out, she twirled around the living room and danced and then refused to take it off. When I told her that it was time to remove the dress, she ran and hid under a chair. I don't know what I was like as a kid, but I can assure you that if someone tried to stuff me into this much tulle at this age, I think I would die and beg to wear my yoga pants and sports bra underneath.

Once we got to Mount Vernon I insisted on snapping a pic of Eric and Hannah. I figure if we can't get the whole family in a shot, we might as well get two out of three! Could I have a more serious family? I mean really, would it kill these people to smile?? Handsome though, eh?

The photographer snapped shots as everyone got there so I'll see if I can buy a few of hers, after all, it's not everyday that the Kellogg's get all black-tie, fancy-pants!

Brandy and Tim were married at the Peabody Library which is an amazing location on its own, but once Brandy got her hand on it, holy cow. Triple the amazingness. It was beautiful, and the ceremony was amazing. They had a reading from The Velveteen Rabbit that made me want to go out and buy the book immediately. I know I read it as a kid, but I don't remember it and certainly don't remember it being that awesome. What a perfect reading for a wedding!!! And the vows---wow squared. Tim went first and he was downright tearjerkingly awesome. Brandy's were beautiful too. The whole thing--no words. Pure awesome sauce.

Anddddd, if you're wondering, Hannah did great walking down the aisle, or so I'm told; I really couldn't see since I wasn't on the end. Apparently she was very serious (shocker).

My camera didn't serve me terribly well. In general, I think that if you aren't the photographer at a wedding, it's impossible to get a good shot without being obnoxious. I tried to take a few but even though I was in the second row, every pic included the back of Ms. Meadowlark's lovely head, and really, all I could see was the backs of Brandy and Tim anyway.

Before the end of the night, I did manage to flag down the busy, beautiful bride and get her to pose with me and Hannah.

Eric tried to take some pics of Hannah during the short pre-dinner dance party that followed, but he was too far away and it was too dark and we were in the center of the crowd anyway so those are pretty useless.  Until we see what the photographer has, we've got these three pictures and some great memories. Many congratulations to two of our favorite people!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hannah's goes Curly Sue: her first salon haircut

After 3 years of life and as many shoddy home haircuts, we finally broke down and took Hannah to the salon for a proper trimming. I was in dire need of a cut myself after boycotting scissors since early spring when my favorite hairdresser moved across the country. Do you know how hard it is to find an awesome hairdresser?? And I don't even care about my hair!! I just wear it in a ponytail all the time, but STILL. It is a royal pain to find someone who I like, who rocks, who is also relatively close to Hampden because I'm way too lazy to go more than two neigbhorhoods away for much of anything.

Brandy's wedding was my main inspiration for cleaning up our locks. Hannah's role as flower girl seemed like a good reason for a haircut, and my inability to make my own presentable was a dang good reason for my own cut so I made us both appointments for that afternoon and saved myself the time of washing, drying, and attempting to beautify mine and Hannah's hair.

We ended up at Balance since Mary Cate had a great haircut from there a few weeks earlier and highly recommended Jessica. I scheduled Hannah for the same time with Ken who also came highly recommended, especially for kid haircuts, and we had our first mommy/daughter spa day!

Jessica freed up first which was perfect since it meant Hannah got to watch me get started. When it was her turn, she settled right into the hair washing station with no trouble. (Since I was busy getting my own hair all did up, Eric was master paparazzi for the majority of this photo shoot.)

Ken got right to work evening out all of my uneven cuts and chopping dead ends. Hannah, stoic as usual, remained serious and mostly still.

I must have been annoying trying to watch Hannah out of the corner of my eye because Jessica offered to spin my chair so that I could watch Hannah while she dried my hair. Only a mama never tires of the Hannah-getting-a-haircut show.



Knowing that we were heading to a wedding in which Hannah was the flower girl, Ken awesomely offered to curl her hair. 

 Finished!! How cute is this kid??? (The next post will have pics of her in her flower girl dress.)

In the meantime, if you need someone to cut your kids' hair, we heart Ken at Balance!

Monday, September 24, 2012


Eric set up and helped out around the Wham Parent Co-op booth at this year's Hampdenfest. We don't plan on sending Hannah to Hampden elementary (assuming we are able to continue to afford Montessori), but we would still love to see the local school thrive! I volunteered last year but when the sign up sheet came around this year I was in the throes of first trimester ickville and was afraid to commit so Eric committed for us.

He headed down early and helped them set up their tent, then came back right as we were getting ready to leave and collected some things he thought he could contribute such as a djembe drum for the sing-a-along and a plastic kiddie pool for a fishing game they had set up to raise money.

While schlepping these items back down to The Avenue, Hannah decided that she wanted a shoulder ride. I had to snag a pic of daddio, master carrier of multiple things.

If you look closely you will also note that Hannah is wearing socks on her hand. I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but socks on the hands has been a pretty big end-of-summer obsession of hers. Hannah's fashion philosophy seems to be "the more the merrier." She piles on as many layers as possible, no matter how hot the weather is.

After the sing-along at the Wham booth we wandered around The Avenue checking out the various booths and came across an old acquaintance of mine painting faces. I am a sucker for having my face painted so when I got excited about it, Hannah decided to see what all my fuss was about.  Her first face painting! She was a little leery and more than a bit confused, and I don't think she ever did get why I get so excited about it, but she was a good sport anyway. She chose an abstract swirly design on the side of her face in pink.

Addie met us at Hampdenfest later that morning and then came home with us in the afternoon. I'm loving having a kid old enough to have mostly independent playdates! That was Hannah's first drop-off playdate, but I'm hoping we'll have plenty more. I think it's a win win for everyone. The mom with the kids at the house gets a break from hands-on playing, the mom without the kids gets a break from that particular kid, and the kids get to play together, which they love!

It stormed pretty hard later that day so Eric ran back down to help Mary Cate tear down her booth and then help Wham get torn down as well. Hannah and I were beat so we laid on the couch and vegged out in front of the boob tube while listening to the storm through the window. September is shaping up to be a busy month!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wrapping up the summer at the state fair

September began with our annual visit to the Maryland State Fair, our favorite way to celebrate the end of summer! We did pretty much the same thing as last year and the year before; the only real difference is the length of Hannah's hair!

This year we headed for the milking palace first.

Then we crossed over to check out the other animals. I didn't take nearly as many shots here as I have in previous years since it's all pretty much the same. The one thing that they had last year that they didn't last year (or maybe they did, but we didn't see it) is this whole section with super tiny baby animals. There were little glass warming crates with chicks hatching from eggs and teeny, tiny piggies nursing on their big, ol' mama. This was probably my favorite part, but since it was inside, and since I was too busy saying "awww!," I didn't get any good pics.

The fuzzy little ducks are my favorite. I want ducks.

One thing different about this year is that our next-door neighbors, Amy, Nate, and Zoey, met us there. Amy loves the rides and volunteered to take Hannah through the fun house. They got stuck upstairs for a while because Hannah loved the room with the punching bags and ran back and forth through it repeatedly. I snapped a shot when they were on their way out.

As usual, Eric was all about blowing money in the name of good, old-fashioned fun. Hannah wanted one of those diaper-wearing elephants, but to get one, you have to win twice. They had beginners luck and won the first game but lost the next few and finally gave up.

There was another fun house/obstacle course type thing that I took Hannah through. I can't get on the rides that move so I figured I better take advantage of the one that doesn't.

Nate gets sick on rides too so he fed Zoey while Eric and Amy rode a crazy, shake-em-up and make-em-puke ride. Hannah and I played (and lost) a few games while they did that, and then we all got on the Ferris wheel, which I managed to deal with even though those things make me feel illified too. The only benefit that I can determine from a Ferris wheel (aside from the view) is the opportunity for a family pic (if you happen to be in the car with people you know).

Their pic turned out much better than ours. 

After that, our neighbors headed home to rest, and we headed to the kiddie rides to let Hannah blow through the rest of the tickets. She insisted on riding all the rides alone so Eric and I just hung out in the sun, sweating and pounding water while she moved from ride to ride. First the pirate ship...

Then these four wheelers....

Then the teacups, which I was sure she'd want company on since it's so big, and since turning the wheel to make it spin takes some muscle, but nope. She wanted to ride alone. She even managed to spin it a bit on her own.

The flying banana ride was next...

And last on the list was the giant spinning apples. Eric finally talked her into letting him ride too, though I think he regretted it since this thing was like an oven on the inside.

We heart the state fair!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

End of summer beach days

Biggest blogging foul ever--I totally deleted this post and now I have to recreate it. What the heck!! Who has time for that??? I'm already behind...I hope when I re-post this it posts in its proper place and doesn't jump to the top as the most recent. Sheesh. All I did was click the edit button and then attempt to add a "t" to the end of "firs" in the sentence that introduced this "first" picture. When I added the t, the entire post disappeared. I frantically hit control z to undo it, but nothing. Then I tried to "revert to saved," but the button changed to "save" and voila, post gone. Blank page saved.

I'm not going to try to remember what I wrote because I'm tired and that would make this even more stressful than it already is. We'll have to rely on memories to recreate this one for Hannah when she's older. Fortunately, with four of us adults there, it should be easy to piece the whole thing together.

The basics: end of trip to Sandbridge, Virginia, a beach just south of Virginia Beach that is referred to locally as the start of the Outerbanks. The outcome: awesome. The journey in pics:

Boogie boarding with daddy first thing.

Lots of sandcastle building.

Wave hopping with daddy.

Snuggling in the surf with daddy.

Massaging a wonderful sand pack into Uncle Joel's shoulders.

 Rolling in the sand. It was impossible to keep this kid sunblocked because if she wasn't in the water, which is where she was most of the time, she was rolling in the sand.

Playing with Reagan in the sand (friends who live in the area who made it out to the beach to play two of the days we were there).

Running on the beach with Amy (our day 2, Amy's day 1).

Sandcastle architecture with Uncle Joel.

A buried mommy with a pregnant belly and giant pregnant hooters to match.

Playing in the water with Amy and Joel

Our house was awesome, minus the fact that the cord to the toaster burned up when I tried to plug it in and the bathroom light could only be turned off by hitting the light plate repeatedly. It was on the back part of the island, farthest from the beach (which means two streets away), tucked into this wooded lot that backed up to a lake.

The view from the back porch.

After long days in the sun at the beach, we all enjoyed some time fishing out back, until the last night anyway when the water moccasins came and scared Eric and Joel into the house.

As usual, Hannah befriended the bait.

The quintessential way for native Marylanders to celebrate summer is with a bushel of steamed crabs. I'm native, but my parents aren't so this is something I grew up doing with my friends, but not with my family. As such, I'm an okay crab picker, but not the best. This was Hannah's first crab feast. She loved it.

It started pouring rain on our way back with the crabs so we set up our picnic at the table underneath the house and watched the rain come down while we picked.

The yard was gorgeous when the sun returned.

 And it was full of huge puddles, perfect for hopping in with Uncle Joel.

After crabs, Hannah caught her first trout.

And then they showed me this super dangerous rope swing that they had found earlier in the day by trespassing across the neighbors' yards. I freaked out about her not wearing a life jacket and swinging that far out over a lake that deep and infested with water moccasins. Eric seemed to think it was perfectly safe, but this was before he realized just how many water moccasins were in that lake so maybe now he'd sing a different tune (seeing the few that we already had up to that point was enough for me to conclude that it was infested).

Snuggle fest with Amy and Joel.

Surveying the waves on our last full day at the beach.

Looking for shells with Amy.

Decorating castles with Amy and the daughters of our friends who made it back out that day.

This is currently in the running for "all time favorite pic of Hannah."

We took one final walk on the beach before driving away on our last day. Hannah took Lila and let her get her feet sandy.

We attempted a few family pics. I can't pick my favorite of Amy and Joel...they're both pretty similar.

This friendship goes waaaaaaaay back. I'm talking more than 15 years...

Hannah screamed bloody murder about having her picture taken, then when I posed with Amy and not her, she screamed about not being included. As a result of constant screaming, our family pic did not work out the way that I'd hoped it would...but here we are after a super fun and happy half-week at the beach!

The writing on this version was definitely half-assed, but it's the best effort I'm willing to put forth at this point. I am so mad at Blogger for deleting my post so cavalierly an then refusing to give it back!! Ugh!