Friday, May 2, 2014

There and Back Again

The pie I dragged all the way home from Maryland because that's just how good Amish pies are. No lie.
 These pictures are backwards in order. As usual. But this is the post where I get to remember how fun it was to go and visit my Mom's for Spring Break. It was the first time I've been brave enough to attempt the drive by myself with the kids and it wasn't as horrible as feared. Grant was actually awesome. I think he only cried once right after he woke up from a nap (and yes, he napped in the car!) So...I might attempt it again if I save up gas money. :)
 We actually left the day before Easter which everyone thought was odd. I wanted to stay, but I really didn't want John to be alone for a whole week and then miss Easter too. We love that guy. Plus, traffic was great so it was worth it. (that first egg picture was the egg Maddy was most proud of, she made it look like a dino egg).
 So we ended up decorating egss both at Grandma's and at our house. The kids were delighted by that.
 My niece Meg and sister. That baby is the cutest darn girl ever. I kept taking her picture because she just was killing me with her huge blue eyes and mischievious grin. Also, I now understand why my Mom (who watches Meg) is always tired--that girl is a full-time job just like Grant (well no....Grant is still way more high maintenance, but you know what I mean).

 Actually, even though Grant was so great on the drive, he made up for it by sort of being a monster while at Grandma's house. Holy cow. That kid really needs his schedule and normalcy. He wouldn't hardly listen to me or anyone else. I was ready to toss that kid out with the bathwater. I seriously broke down in tears at least twice. Luckily he got back to his normal level of naughty when we got home. :) I was super worried he had started an even worse stage of Terrible Three's. I was relieved. :)
 See what I mean about those eyes??
 I said, Hey Gordon, I want to take your picture. This is what I got. haha

I just like rainbows. I am a child of the 80's after all.
 There's that other cute niece Lylia.

 Someone got into her mom's makeup. My kids have surprisingly never done this so I laughed and laughed.
 This photo makes me burst out laughing every time. Jazz hands indeed.
 This girl is constantly chewing on her hair. Drives me crazy. Is cutting it the only remedy?? (I try to pull it back but she cut it herself on one side and that part always falls out).
 My sister is finally a certified spectacle-wearer like me. So proud.
 These Target bunny ears were so cute. I had bought Maddy the same pair at home. Great minds think alike.

 I'll bet my sister will be really thrilled I posted this one ha!
 One of the most relaxing moments for me was when my Mom let me ride her SUPER nice bike. It's one of those e-bikes that gives you a boost for the hard parts. I want one so bad now. It was the perfect spring day and I just drove up and down her street. The above view is the view from the end of her road. It's a pond and a horse farm if you can't tell. Gorgeous. I kept taking these huge cleansing breaths and imaging I was on vacation without any troubles in the world. And if felt true!
 a really lame picture of a really cool bike.
 Luckily Grandma always has a garage full of riding toys courtesy of garage sales. See, I come by my thrifty nature honestly.
 One of my favorite things to do is visit the Amish Market. Well it's technically called the Pennsylvania Dutch market. SO MUCH FOOD. It's obviously a terrible place if you're a health guru. Luckily, I have never been accused of that. ha
 I just love the feel of the market. I love seeing the workers with their bonnets. I love their dedication to their lifestyle and the wholesome feel to the shop. It feels so old and comforting.

Maybe I like it because it feels like an old school state fair with all the cakes and pies?
 And Yoder's Health Elixir
 I mean, we didn't buy any of those things, but they're all so pretty!
 The thing we did have to get is the fresh pretzels. It's not optional. I'm craving one now. Auntie Anne's in the mall is a freaking travesty compared to these.
 Okay, well a lot of our visit apparently revolved around food. We went to my favorite Eldersburg haunt, Smokey's. Their crab soup and turkey sandwich combo is the way you want to go. Old Bay seasoning and fresh fries. yum
 Even the kids liked it
 Ohhh, and this was probably my favorite day. My Mom and I took all the kiddos to the National Zoo. Entrance to the zoo is free (parking, not so much), and we had the BEST time.
 I'm trying to get into more of the pictures with my kids so that someday they realize that I was a fun mom dang it all.
 The sea lion exhibit was amazing
 Getting Grant to pose with me near the elephants was not happening

 He was not a happy camper. story of my life
 This girl is always up for a smile
 I had to take a picture of this guy. That is a komodo dragon and it was FLIPPING HUGE. I cannot tell you how amazed I was at how large he is. That thing is about the length of me, and I am not a short person. It was like seeing a live dinosaur. It was so cool!

 My favorite thing about doing stuff like this with my Mom is we always pack a backpack picnic lunch. Included in those lunches is always pringles, which won't get broken in the canister--It's her trademark. It made me feel like a little kid again visiting Washington D.C. or Gettysburg or the other five million places we went all together--especially after my Dad left. (also love that we ate next to the picturesque garbages)
 awww :)

Lylia and Maddy were zoo buddies and had to hold hands. Apparently Lylia is getting too old for that sort of thing ha. She was embarrassed half the time about it.
 It was a bit of a chilly day which I realized made it perfect for me. I usually hate visiting the zoo and I realized it's because I always go on a blistering hot day. The cool weather let us walk around and stay cool.
 The peanut gallery
 Spotted this fella at my mom's house. He was so tiny, smaller than a quarter.
 I kept looking out the window in my guest room and breathing. I don't think I take enough deep breaths at home. It was so calming and peaceful. Maybe it's just being at your mom's house and not feeling like you are in charge of everything anymore. It takes a load off of your shoulders sort of. Even though you are still watching your own kids and doing everything. I don't know how to explain it?

We flew the dollar store kites I brought
and played on Grandma's swingset too.

It was a great trip, super fun. I'm glad we went, even if Grant did almost make me lose my faith in myself as a mother. (it's just a phase, it's just a phase...) Deeeep breath. :)


Emily Foley said...

Oh man I know what you mean. something about being with Mom just makes everything better. And now I also want one of those bikes! Amazing! I've never heard of it but I want one.

I love the pictures of you with the kids, so cute. I've been to that zoo before and I remember marveling that it was free (I was 10 or 11). Awesome. East coast has all the luck.

You didn't buy any of those pies?! What in the world?? You're crazy! :)

Also I feel you on Grant. I really do. I know what it is to have a terror for a child. I'm glad things are back to the normal terrorizing now that you're home.

luvnmy10 said...

I feel that way when I go to your mom's house, too. Peaceful, relaxed and they always have cool things to do. One sunday afternoon we walked around the reservoir and then in the woods on paths…it was so relaxing and renewing. I love your mom. The picture of Gordon makes me smile. He is such a good grandpa to all those little kiddos!