Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dear Asher: 2 Months

Dear Asher,

Today you are two months old! It seems like you've been a part of our family forever. It's amazing how well you fit in. Our lives have definitely changed since having you, but you've made it as seamless as possible. Thanks for that!

You are such a big, healthy boy! Still in the 95th percentile for height and weight. You're pretty long, but you've got such gorgeous rolls everywhere! People can't help but pinch your cheeks.

You are still in the sleepy newborn stage most of the time, but you're starting to stay awake for longer periods during the day and sleep longer at night. Last night you slept for 7 hours straight! That's the longest stretch so far. Generally you're asleep at 9:45 and wake a few times a night. You'll eat and then go right back to bed. It's made mummy feel pretty well-rested. When it's time to get up in the morning, you're all smiles. It's such a nice way to start the day.

Your sister loves you so much! Zahara can't get enough of you! She is such a big help and really wants to take care of you. She tells me when it's time to feed or change you, and will help gather the supplies. We have to be careful not to leave her alone with you though because she will grab you and try to pick you up.

The big milestones for this month are that you've found your hands and you give huge, wonderful smiles! You save most of your smiles for daddy, but you grace me with a few throughout the day. As soon as daddy holds you though you burst into giant gummy grins. You are also experimenting with your voice and will give him a few laughs. We love it!

You are such a wonderful, easy, loving baby. I can't get enough of your snuggles, and can't wait to see what the next month brings. Happy birthday, Ash! 

Read about Zahara at this age:
Dear Zahara: 2 Months

Friday, September 23, 2016

Things That Make Me Cry: New Mom Edition

Hormones. They are force to be reckoned with. I've always been a bit of a crier, but in my postpartum state it's even worse. Here are a few of the ridiculous things that are making me cry right now. Feel free to join in and tell me what's making you tear up!

This Quaker Oats Commercial:

The premise of this commercial is that Quaker Oats oatmeal is the right choice at any stage in life. But, (spoiler alert), it shows a little girl growing up to eventually feed the oatmeal to a child of her own. Thinking about my own kids growing up that quickly and having children of their own is a bit too much for me at the moment.

William Wants a Doll:

Again, continuing the theme of kids growing up too quickly, this song is about a little boy who wants to play with a doll. Everyone makes fun of him for it, but his grandmother says that it is good practice for when William grows up and has a baby of his own. I'm tearing up just writing this sentence. The whole CD is great, by the way. A real classic.

This is Us:

I just watched the pilot of this show and it had me in tears. I won't give anything away, but I'm very interested to see where the show goes from here.

So, that's what's new with me. Care to share?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Perfect Lunch Date

Last week we finally got a break from the heat and were treated to a glorious DC day. Asher and I took full advantage by meeting a friend for lunch in my old neighborhood--Dupont.

For months I have been hearing about a new place called Buredo that makes sushi burritos. SUSHI BURRITOS! I abstained while pregnant, but now I'm back to my sushi devouring ways. I was a little worried this place would disappoint after I've built it up in my head for so long, but I'm happy to report it is just as amazing as it sounds.

Buredo is kind of like Chipotle in that there is a line of ingredients and the burrito is made in front of you. Unlike Chipotle though, they have a set menu from which to choose. I ordered the Beatrix which includes yellowfin tuna and salmon sashimi, cucumber, pickled cabbage, green onion, tempura crunch, and unagi sauce. SO DELICIOUS! The fish was really fresh and the pickled cabbage added the perfect crunch and acidity. Can't recommend highly enough.

After our lunch in the park, we stopped by an adorable French bakery and had a life-changing pastry. I pride myself on my knowledge of sweets (see all of my Sweet Tooth Traveler posts), but I've never heard of merveilleux before. Have you? According to Wikipedia it "consists of a sandwich of two light meringues welded with whipped cream which has been covered with whipped cream and dusted with chocolate shavings." Un Je Ne Sais Quoi had several options, but I chose speculoos flavor. The whipped cream was mixed with the cookie butter and the merveilleux was dusted with crushed Biscoff cookies. It was topped with a tiny meringue. It was so good that I immediately went back inside and ordered a second one to take home to Dan.

Sushi, sunshine, and speculoos? I'd say that makes for a perfect day out.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Renaissance Festival

While I was on a work trip last October, Dan took Zahara to the Maryland Renaissance Festival (Rennfest). He had such an amazing time that he literally put the dates for the next year's event on our calendars that night. So, with his enthusiastic endorsement, the four of us headed to the 2016 Rennfest.

I've heard of this event before, but I always thought it was for other people. I'm not sure why though. It was SO MUCH FUN! Dan described it pretty accurately when he said it is like a state fair with costumes. Great food, fun games, lots of entertainment. 

I really loved the mead/hard cider mix. So delicious!

We didn't even make it in the front gates before Zahara already declared it the best day ever. That's because she got to grab an event program off a fairy's head. Throughout the rest of the day she had her face painted, rode a pony, danced around a maypole, saw a puppet show, and ate ice cream.

We saw jousting, axe throwing, sword swallowing, belly dancing...I could go on, and on. Rennfest is set in the forest, which makes for a great atmosphere. I loved walking through the trees while checking out the village.

It's a really unique experience with lots of colorful characters. If there's a Rennfest near you, I highly recommend you check it out! 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

First Days of Preschool

We reached a huge milestone in our family this week: Zahara started preschool!

It seems like yesterday that she was starting her first day of daycare, but really that was almost two years ago.

Zahara is enrolled in a Hebrew immersion school, where from 9-3 she'll be learning in Hebrew. She's doing before and after care in English, and will even be taking ballet and yoga classes! We're almost as excited as she is.

Now that she's in school we have to start making her lunches. We've been so spoiled over the past couple of years because her day care provider made delicious healthy meals daily. Now we're on the hook for providing vegetarian, nut-free meals. We bought a kid's bento box and I'm having fun filling each container.

The first week went great. We can't wait to see how this next chapter in our lives goes.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Side Trips from Outer Banks

As I mentioned the other day, we went on a family vacation to Nags Head, North Carolina this summer. With two little ones in tow, we decided to split the drive over two days. On the way there we stopped in Yorktown, and on the way back we stopped in Williamsburg. That kept our drive to around 4 hours each day. We didn't do any exploring in Yorktown, but our hotel (and Asher's first!) was lovely. It's always nice to have an indoor pool, and the second room and kitchen were definitely a bonus.

At the end of our trip we stopped in Williamsburg to explore the colonial town. Zahara is a little young to fully appreciate everything colonial Williamsburg has to offer, so I was really pleased to find out you can enjoy a lot of the town for free. Walking down the street and striking up conversations with the characters in 18th century dress doesn't cost a cent. There were even a couple of activities we could participate in. Zahara's favorite was an archaeological dig site where she met with a real archaeologist.

This picture cracks me up because it looks like Z has freakishly big and hairy legs for a girl her size.

Even Asher enjoyed Williamsburg.

In addition to our overnight stops, we also had a great pit stop  to feed Asher and stretch our legs--the Morris Farm Market. Tons of fresh produce, samples galore, and live music. Everything was great, but the frozen peach cider was especially delicious.

Although a lot of people drive from DC to OBX in a day, I'm glad we split the drive up. It was much less stressful and we got to see a couple of bonus sites.

Read more about our trip to Outer Banks:

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Family Vacation to Outer Banks

Just like we did with Zahara, we went on a family road trip a few weeks after Asher was born. Some people think we are crazy to travel for more than a week with our three-week-old baby and three year old. But, our thought is that the baby will be eating, sleeping, and crying anywhere so why not be somewhere fun? For us, that was Outer Banks, North Carolina.

I've heard about Outer Banks for years, but have never been. This stretch of white, sandy beaches on the North Carolina shore is known for its laid-back attitude and has a cult-like following--you may have seen the OBX bumper stickers. The reason I haven't gone before is that it is kind of hard to get to. From our house it is a 5-10 hour drive depending on traffic.

We had a fantastic time! We rented a cottage by the beach which worked out perfectly. It was absolutely adorable and everything you think when you hear beach cottage. Wainscoting, seashell decor, a mermaid theme. The best parts were having our own kitchen and being steps from the beach. It was great to walk to the beach with our lunch and snacks. Unlike other east coast beaches (like Ocean City or Atlantic City), OBX beaches don't have boardwalks with restaurants and shops. There are a few restaurants scattered on the beach, but you're better off bringing your own food.

We stayed in Nags Head, but explored Carolla, Duck, and Kitty Hawk as well. Here are some of the highlights:

Beach Days
For sure this was the highlight. The beach by our house was lovely. Perfect sand, gorgeous, warm water. The only complaint is that the waves were pretty rough.

Once again proving I hit the jackpot when I married Dan, every morning he would take Asher for a long walk while I got an hour or two of sleep. At least he was rewarded with great views.

Ice Cream:
We went full Rome Rules on this vacation and had ice cream every day. I regret nothing. My favorite places were Scoop's and Kill Devil's. Scoop's has tons of delicious homemade flavors like banana pudding and amaretto. Kill Devil's has a more limited selection of just three frozen custard flavors (chocolate, vanilla, and a flavor of the day), but the chocolate was out of this world.

The Sights
There isn't too much to see on the island, but we really enjoyed a couple of things in particular. Jockey's Ridge, the largest sand dunes on the east cost, was right near our house and well worth a visit. Following advice we read online, we went in the evening when the sand wasn't so hot. We had a great time running and rolling in the soft sand.

The town of Corolla was also great to see. The town is most well-known for its population of wild horses that is only accessible using a 4x4 to cross the unpaved beach. We weren't able to see the horses, but we saw the wetlands and the cute little shops. We really liked the Juice Jar's acai bowls. So fresh and delicious.

It was a great vacation and a fun way to start our life as a family of four. I can't wait for our next vacation! 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September Thoughts by Z

Here is what's going through my favorite girl's head this month:

Thought 1:
On the way to meet Asher in the hospital for the first time
Z: Daddy, you are driving crazy!

Thought 2: 
Z: We never get young. Only old. You can't say I'm young. I'm a little old.

Thought 3: 
Z: Daddy, when I get bigger I'm going to wear a bra.

Thought 4: 
After I accidentally tripped
Z: Mummy, you freaked me out!

See previous Thoughts by Z here