Weekend Recap: lights and animals!

This was a busy weekend. I thought last weekend was busy but this one might have it beat. It was a great mix of adult fun and kiddo fun and spending time with friends and family.

Friday night I picked up carry out from Samos on my way home from work. We had gyro salads with my mom and Maya and then once Maya went to bed, Adam and I returned to Baltimore to check out Light City! We are big fans of the light and arts festival and loved strolling over to check it out when we lived just a couple blocks away. This year it took a bit more planning but we made it! We walked around with Jeanette and K, tried the signature whiskey cocktail and took in the cool exhibits and festive atmosphere. It is so nice to see crowds in the Inner Harbor on a Friday night: families, dogs, young people and old all having a good time. Hooray for Baltimore!

Saturday morning we all slept in a bit before dashing out of the house for a morning gymboree class. Maya was 15 months old yesterday and just moved up to level 4 at gymbo (16-22mos). She’s a super active and comfortable walker and fit in great with the other little girls in class.

My mom stuck around on Saturday which meant I could get my grocery shopping done during Maya’s nap. Once she was back up and we’d eaten lunch, we visited Clark’s Elioak Farm. The farm was awesome! It was a beautiful day and Maya loved seeing all the animals! Entry was $6/person for anyone over one year old and that got you access to the grounds to see all the animals – feed and pet the goats – and see pigs, donkey, emu, horses, turkeys, rabbits etc. Big Red Barn is one of Maya’s favorite books and she loves all animals so she was very interested in everything…and also interested in picking up sticks and hay of course. There is also tons of little playground areas on the farm and Maya spent some time climbing and going down a fast slide shaped like a mouse and cheese. You can also pay a little extra to go on a hay ride or train ride.

Saturday night we took my mom to dinner at Woodberry Kitchen. She had been wanting to try it and we wanted to show are appreciate for everything she does for Maya! The food was outstanding but our waiter had a little too much personality and the kitchen was backed up all night. We were enjoying the food, drink and company but they ended up comping our dessert and we noticed them doing damage control with a few nearby tables as well. I guess even the best restaurants can have an off night! But anyway, back to the delicious food…

After sipping on a fruity vodka cocktail, we started with the meatballs and the fried oysters both of which were delicious. The oysters were cooked perfectly- plenty of soft and gooey oyster flavor and not overwhelmed by the breading. My mom and Adam also shared the chicken liver spread which Adam raved about.

For my main dish I had the lamb shank which I loved. I really enjoy the taste of lamb and never make it at home so it is something I frequently try at nice restaurants. It came with a wheat berry side dish that I could take or leave but the meat itself was excellent.

For dessert we shared the peach cobbler which came with a small scoop of ice cream. It was the perfect sweet and juicy dessert!

Sunday afternoon Adam went to the O’s game and Maya and I met a friend at Sweetgreen in Bethesda. The weather was perfect so we followed up lunch with a long walk and a stop at a nearby playground.

Now I am watching the Wizards win their playoff game and getting ready for the week ahead!

How was your weekend?

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Weekend Recap (Spring has sort of sprung)

Hooray for a beautiful warm spring weekend! Even if temperatures are going to dip back down, it was so nice to have a warm(ish) Passover/Easter weekend. I’m going to say our weekend started Thursday afternoon since I work from home on Thursdays and Adam ended up working from home too due to a computer outage at his work. Plus it was our third wedding anniversary and Orioles opening day! Once we were done working, we took Maya to the nearby playground and then ordered Indian food for dinner.

I took a vacation day on Friday and Maya and I started the morning with a walk to Dunkin’. Maya’s bffs the Count and baby girl came with us too. After our breakfast date, Maya went down for an unsuccessful nap. After an hour of babbling in her crib, a diaper change and reading a couple books we tried nap time again and she ended up sleeping for an hour and a half. Success!

Friday evening my mom came by and we all hopped in the car for the ride to Adam’s parents for a Seder to celebrate the first night of Passover. Maya and her cousin Emmy wore matching outfits that were extra adorable. With three kiddos and lots of family and friends, Seder was a blast and we all loved the matzah ball soup and brisket (especially Maya).

Saturday we dropped Maya back at the grandparents and Adam and I spent the day in DC. I’ll recap our day later this week but here’s a preview:

Still baby free Sunday morning, Adam and I ran some errands including going to Lowe’s to pick out blinds. Our house is desperately in need of new blinds and I can’t wait until they get installed!

We picked up Maya midday Sunday and went to the Maryland Zoo. They also had ton of festivities for Easter which it seemed like families were really enjoying. Since we arrived on the later side we skipped that part and beelined straight to the zoo. We saw penguins, kudu, zebras, ostriches, giraffes and chimps. Maya seemed to really enjoy it and got as much of a kick out of seeing all the other kids as seeing the animals.

Weekend Recap (Shamrock 5k)

My big takeaway from this weekend is: I am so ready for warmer weather! Getting the baby all bundled and ready to go out with socks, shoes, and jacket is such a production. I cannot wait for the days where we can just hop outside whenever the mood strikes us. Especially since Maya loves to spot airplanes and every time we hear one overhead she points out the window and says “airpa”!

Aside from spending plenty of time bundling up to leave the house, we did do a few fun things! Saturday morning Maya and I did our grocery shopping before nap time. After nap we went to gymboree for class. Maya clapped along to the songs, played with balls and bubbles, and explored all of the fun stations they had set up for the little ones.

Saturday night, we went out for an early dinner at Clyde’s. They have a surprisingly awesome kids menu so Maya dined on sautéed cod with broccoli and tater tots while I had a Caesar salad with shrimp. The food was good but the highlight of the meal was my guava margarita. It was so nice and refreshing!

Sunday morning we slept in a little bit – thanks daylight savings! – then met a friend for coffee at Mankira Coffee. We had the place mostly to ourselves which was awesome for Maya who enjoyed toddling around the place in between bites of egg, toast and avocado. We sipped pretty lattes and spent a couple hours catching up. It was great!

Sunday afternoon we left Maya with the grandparents and drove into the city for the Shamrock 5k. Jeanette and I ran this race in 2016 and I was excited to run it again. If you’re a casual runner and looking for a good race then I highly recommend this one. It’s a festive atmosphere because it’s run along the route for Baltimore’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and all of the people posted up to watch the parade cheer for the runners. It also starts with an awesome downhill stretch which makes it a pretty fast course. Even though I didn’t feel like I ran particularly well, it was still one of my faster times. Plus this year they gave out race medals for the first time. You know you want that sweet shamrock bling! 😉 After the race we were ready for some lunch and got sandwiches at 101 Deli. Adam got his with roasted Brussels sprouts that were really tasty!

I wrapped up the weekend by seeing A Wrinkle in Time which was awesome. The Reese/Mindy/Oprah trifecta have been hyping this movie A LOT but I think it lives up to it. For fans of the book, it stayed true to the story but having read the book isn’t necessary to understand the movie. I was most enamored with the outfits of the Misses (can I get that Mrs. Whatsit dress please?) and the acting of the little boy who played Charles Wallace.

All in all it was a busy and fun weekend. What were you up to? Have you seen A Wrinkle in Time?

2017 Year In Review

Okay so it’s mid-February March but I am still cruising along with 2017 recaps! Posting a 2017 year in review mostly so I have a record of the crazy roller coaster of Maya’s first year. Jumping into it….

January

Waiting and waiting and a beautiful baby shower and then more waiting and then…Maya was born! It’s hard to even describe the emotions of having a baby. Sheer exhaustion and happiness and anxiety all at once. Labor was of course painful and exhausting and almost 24 hours and then, Maya was born via C-section just before midnight. We were so excited that Maya shared a birthday with Adam’s grandmother and that she was born on the day of the historic Women’s Marches that took place around the world.

 

February

Maya celebrated her first Valentine’s Day and Adam and I attempted a quick date night with the baby. We went to Brendali for an early dinner and successfully made it through salads and bread before baby started fussing. We changed our pasta order to go and enjoyed the rest of dinner at home. Maya and I also joined my girl friends for our annual Oscars viewing party.

 

March

March was a tough month, probably the toughest of my life. Baby Maya was sick and it took several hospital visits to get a diagnosis. During our third hospital visit they decided to put a central line and a feeding tube in to give her little GI system a rest. We lived in the hospital for three weeks while they tested Maya for everything under the sun. On March 29, Adam and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary in the hospital with carry out from the Rusty Scupper and a cake delivered by my in-laws.

 

April

Thank god the feeding tube/central line gave her system time to repair and Maya was able to successfully digest Elecare, a hypoallergenic amino acid based formula and start to put weight back on. They ultimately diagnosed a milk protein allergy, probably complicated by a virus. On April 11, our new niece was born in DC and Maya was finally released from the hospital! Greatest day ever! Once Maya was out of the hospital, we had an anniversary re-do with dinner at Rasika in DC. The food was all incredible but the stand out by far was the cod.

May

In May I went back to work and adjusted to my new working mom routine. Maya and I also did a mommy-and-me class at the Downtown Baltimore JCC which was a blast. It was great for Maya to be around other babies (and for me to meet other moms!). Another May highlight was the Spirit of Baltimore brunch cruise we did to celebrate Jeanette’s 30th birthday! We had a blast with a buffet lunch, unlimited drinks and a fun DJ. Highly recommend if you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate with something a little different. Also in May, Maya went to her first Orioles game, I celebrated my first Mother’s Day and we had Maya’s baby naming. Toward the end of the month, I flew to Chicago for the wedding of two good friends and former co-workers.

 

June

June was a big month because we bought a house! After several weeks of searching we found a great house in Columbia. As much as we love the city, it was time for life in the ‘burbs! But first we spent the month of June soaking up as much of city life as we could with an infant. Maya had her first swim in the pool at the Royal Sonesta (where I belonged to the gym for the last few years), we went to a birthday at Johnny Rad’s, we took long walks to Federal Hill park and took Maya to Mother Goose story time at the Pratt Street Library. Adam and I also enjoyed a night out at the Science Center’s Summer Solstice celebration. I also spent a couple nights in Chicago for work and went to my first White Sox game.

 

July

We moved the last weekend in June and spent July getting settled into our new home. I think the move and adjusting to suburban life has been softened by the fact that I still work in the city and am up there at least four times a week. Also in July, my aunt visited from South Carolina so we took the family to Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard for a wine tasting and picnic. It was the perfect activity to do with a little one. I look forward to more winery days this coming spring! Adam and I also had a date night at La Cuchara. We thought our drinks and starters were delicious but were less impressed by the entrees. Maya started crawling this month and we joined Gymboree so she would have a place to explore and interact with other little ones. We also did “Breakfast with the Penguins” at the Maryland Zoo which was a blast!

 

August

In August, I went to North Carolina for work for the PGA Championship and got to meet up with my cousins! The next week, my dad came up to visit and meet Maya. We went to lunch at Himalayan Bistro in Fed Hill and took Maya to Port Discovery which she loved. We also traveled to Pennsylvania for an engagement party. Maya did not love the car ride but we all enjoyed spending time with family and celebrating Anna and Jason.

 

September

September was BUSY. The month started out with the wedding of Zach and Chelsea and the Baltimore Museum of Industry. The weather was perfect for the ceremony on the water! The next week was spent at Bethany Beach with Adam’s family. We had so much fun soaking up some sun and surf and watching Maya explore the new surroundings. Safe to say we are all big fans of family vacation. Mid-month I took my mom to Petite Louis in Columbia to celebrate her birthday and enjoyed a champagne cocktail and a delicious ratatouille with shrimp. The next week Adam and I were off to London! We planned a long weekend away to attend the Ravens game and celebrate my 30th birthday. We left Maya in the loving care of the grandparents and had an amazing trip. We stayed in Paddington and enjoyed long walks through Hyde Park, exploring Portobello Road Market and one of the best meals of my life. I think I need to dedicate an entire post to our London trip. I need to capture the lows of the trip as well…the Ravens got CRUSHED by the Jaguars and I was hit with an AWFUL stomach flu about an hour into our flight home. Imagine the worst stomach flu or food poisoning you’ve ever had, now imagine it trapped on an airplane for the next six hours. It was…rough. To make matters worse, it was my actual birthday. I think next year I need a redo! Two more quick September highlights: seeing Bruno Mars (who was incredible!!) at the Verizon Center and a zoo day with my bffs.

 

October

October kicked off with a baby shower for my cousin Sarah at Black Wall Hitch in Old Town Alexandria. The rest of the month was full of falltivities – We took Maya to the Renaissance Festival, a pumpkin patch and a Gymboree Halloween party. We spent a day in DC at the Air and Space Museum with friends followed by a visit to the new Wharf on the SW waterfront and then headed back up to Baltimore for a distillery tour at Sagamore Spirit and a drink on the water. This is one of my new favorite spots in the city thanks to the gorgeous views and the parking lot- no fun driving around looking for parking when baby is ready to get out of the car. We also brought Maya to campus for the first time for a UMD football tailgate. She looked extra adorable in her Maryland Cheerleader gear. Maya was too small to trick or treat but we dressed up in Beauty and the Beast costumes as a family!

 

November

Adam’s birthday month! We did a birthday dinner at Peter’s Inn (which recently had a fire but is planning on reopening!). We started with the tuna appetizer which was delicious and then Adam had steak and I had scallops with squash risotto – yum. We also did a day date in DC with some shopping at Trunk Club and lunch at Jaleo. We got the potatas bravas (obvs) and some new to me dishes that did not disappoint! We went to a couple of friendsgivings this year and for Thanksgiving made the drive down to South Carolina to spend the holiday with my mom’s family. The trip was definitely tough with a baby and a dog and we ended up breaking up the drive and spending a night on the road on both ends of the trip. It was worth it though for the fabulous food and quality time with my extended family.

 

December

December was extra festive this year with our little girl!. Work highlights included a lunch at Rec Pier Chophouse at the new Pendry hotel, a trip to Philadelphia for a Flyers game and a day trip to a Bulls game in Chicago. We hosted a Hanukkah get together with friends and celebrated with family. On Christmas Eve we came into the city for an early dinner at Brendali. Christmas Day we wore matching pajamas and went to a family friends’ for an early dinner. Between Christmas and New Years we squeezed in a quick trip to NYC and made it back in time to attend the Ravens game on New Years Eve (a painful loss that knocked us out of the playoffs).

 

And yes, for those keeping score, I’m sorry, we’re not so young and we’re not so Baltimore anymore though Jeanette, my silent blog partner, does still live there. I thought about changing the name but eh, most of the content will still be about Baltimore(area) things and we’re still young(ish), right? Jay-Z told me that 30’s the new 20 and he doesn’t lie.

Weekend Recap: Gymboree and Bakery

We had a weekend that was simultaneously relaxing and productive with just the right about of plans. We shifted Maya’s bedtime back about thirty minutes so now we have an early dinner together as a family every night before she goes to sleep. She is still sleeping about 7:30pm-7:30am which is incredible but has me feeling very nervous about how that will be affected my daylight savings time next week. Any suggestions on how to handle? I’ve heard it can really mess with toddler sleep!

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Friday night I picked up Peruvian chicken on my way home from work. The chicken was super juicy and Maya loved it. She is really into proteins: chicken, salmon, pulled pork etc. She rounded out her meal with rice & beans and broccoli and we had yucca fries as well.

Saturday morning we took another family trip to Wegmans and got our shopping done for the week. After Maya’s morning nap we went to class at Gymboree and picked up some things at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Maya LOVES Gymboree class and enjoyed an hour of singing, climbing and exploring the various stations they had set up. She loves Gymbo, the Gymboree clown, and several times a class makes a beeline for where they keep the big clown doll.

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Saturday night we went out to an early dinner at Hickory Ridge Grill. At 5:30pm the place was packed with families with young kids so Maya fit right in. We read books until our gyro, souvlaki and chicken tenders arrived.

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Sunday morning I made a frittata and Adam’s brother came over with his two kids. Then after Maya’s morning nap we ventured out to the library and on our way popped into a bakery in Ellicott City. Tous Les Jours is apparently a chain with many locations, but I had never heard of it.

Tous Les Jours is described as a French-Asian bakery and had a ton of amazing pastries and breads on display. You grab a tray and tongs and select all of the pieces you want before bringing them over to the check out. I loved taking a look at all of the delicious-looking choices and managed to select a couple of them while wrangling an active Maya. I also got a black milk tea bubble tea. It was so fun and the treats we got were delicious – I can’t wait to go back!

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After our bakery and library date I brought Maya back home for a nap before heading out to Lake Kittamaqundi for a run. I’ve been in some intense fitbit challenges with my friends and it’s been very motivating! Sunday night I met up with some girlfriends for our annual Oscar party and we enjoyed a Greek food themed potluck. We all loved Allison Janney and her dress and were split on Nicole Kidman’s bow (I liked it!). The only movie I had seen was Lady Bird but still enjoyed watched the first half of the show…before heading home and straight to bed!

How was your weekend?

Do you watch the Academy Awards?