Don’t Leave The House Without…

Nevermind. Just don’t leave the house.

I’m kidding of course. I love leaving the house for a little while every day. It’s good for both Clare and I.

My sweet girl happily drawing by herself.

I’m not gonna lie. Before I had Clare I could stay inside and not worry about what humans outside my small world were doing. I could cuddle up on a snow day and relax.

Now that I have Clare I’m scared to death of staying at home all day. What am I going to do with you ALL DAY?! I’ve never been so intimidated by play my whole life.

Anyway, when I start feeling a little zombie like or maybe just start twitching mildly I leave. It doesn’t matter where. Yesterday we walked through the snow to get a pack of gummy treats. Tomorrow it might be the library.

Well today I went to the fabric store. Big mistake. Don’t ever go to the fabric store during the middle of the day. In fact don’t go to any store in the middle of the day. Don’t leave your house during the middle of the day. This is not the time to quench your insatiable desire for adult human contact.

Why you ask? Because there are the worst behaved screaming children everywhere. SCREAMING. HUNDREDS OF SCREAMING CHILDREN. And Clare being the wonderfully observant child that she is was staring wide eyed and soaking it all in.

I actually thought to myself, “Who brings their child out at lunch/nap time?” then Clare looked up at me and yawned and asked for another cracker.

I tried to tell her that that kid didn’t know that you are just supposed to sing songs or  play games when you get upset or board. Then the kid yelled shut up to her mother! It was like every family in that store needed Super Nanny? Is this what happens? Is my wonderful child going to become a demon in only a few years?

I remember being a kid that age. I actually remember throwing fits on purpose.

There has to be a better way.

Lord help us.

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Herb Fest

This weekend Andrew, Clare, my parents and I went to the Baltimore Herb Festival held at our local Leakin Park.

Let me first clear things up. There was no “grass” at this herb festival. They didn’t have any of those “herbs” there.

Classic

Our neighbor told us about this festival only a week ago while I was complaining about how my mint was taking over my garden. Why she would think I would want more after that conversation I don’t know but…I’m glad she said something.

It was awesome.

I expected it to be relatively small … like … a few little pots of basil being sold by some old guy with wirey, long, salt and pepper hair. But it was HUGE. There was a pinch and sniff tent, tons of homemade food, booths and booths of crafts, rows of herbs, live music, lectures of the specific uses of specific herbs.

And there was a ton of stuff to do for the kids.

The trains people…the trains. Your Thomas-the-train kid is gonna freak when they see this.

This was an actual locomotion. More on that later.

There was also the petting zoo. What? You mean they didn’t just have the kids pet herbs?! Nope. Snakes. Birds. Everything your nature kid would want.

My favorite part was these little things we found. They are bird houses made of gourds. When I asked the lady there how long they lasted she replied, “As long as you. And the birds love them too. I like your headband by the way.”

“Oh. Ok. Sold. Thanks. I’ll take that one. I like your headband too.”

It was a wonderful day. We could have spent the whole day there.

The whole crew.

I have to admit that I was intimidated, as a lifelong Annapolitan, to move to Baltimore, “Harm” City. But every day that I live and breathe here I see more of it’s beauty and charm unfold before me. I am falling more and more in love with this diverse, creative and exciting city. Please join me in loving the place you live, looking under stones for treasure and finding that home is where the herbs are… I mean, heart is. 🙂

Calvert Cliffs

So this isn’t really in our neighborhood…in fact it’s a far drive even for someone who thinks a 45 minute drive is cake. This is a once a year thing but I wanted to let y’all locals know about this treasure.

Calvert Cliffs State Park is at the bottom of Calvert County  and at the mouth of the Bay. The best part about this park is this huge tire play ground. Just kidding. But it IS awesome. You can eat your lunch and play before you head out for your hike.

Is she not the cutest thing you've ever seen? I'm almost weeping just looking at that sweet heart. Bah! Melt.

He's pretty cute too.

Haha! Are you not laughing? I'm laughing out loud...but inside...cause I don't want to scare the neighbors.

We started on the 2 mile hike down to the beach right after lunch. Let me warn you now. If you have a small infant you may not be able to do this one. Clare, a generally easygoing baby, basically had a huge melt down on the way back to the parking lot. MELTDOWN. I mean…wow. People were staring.

I usually show the standard shot with Clare IN the backpack with Andrew. Didn’t work this particular day but being held in an uncomfortable position with her feet next to her face seemed to work. That is until it didn’t.

But the path was easy to hike – wide, only slight inclines. This path is great for little kids. It’s beautiful and shaded and easy for anyone not to mention tons of fun and safe wild life. If you’re kids are learning about ecosystems they should definitely see this one.

The wild rhododendron were also in bloom. Ah…lovely. They were everywhere.

Then we arrived at the beach which is totally fun. Not the best view (off shore fueling station or something – not pictured) but fun.

The great thing about the beach is the large collection of fossils. Not only can your kids have a fun and easy hike but they can also learn about the fossils on the beach AND…take them home. So cool.

We had tons of fun exploring and it was only 5 dollars. You can’t beat that with a stick.

In other parts of my world: I forgot.

Handmade: VivO!

I’d like to spotlight a Maryland treasure in this post.

Just a few weeks back I was down in Annapolis. Whenever I visit my home town they ask if the journey from Baltimore was super grueling. Really people? It’s 45 minutes…on a bad day.

Anyway, that’s beside the point. When I’m in Annapolis I always like to stop by a little store off the beaten path called Vivo. If you’re looking for a shop to find handmade or upcycled goods you’ve GOT to go here.  The help is wonderful and you never know what the store is going to look like.  I once went in and noticed that all their displays were backed with Cardboard.

Go here to get inspired.

Go to get a really special and completely unique gift for a friend.

The goods are more expensive than you’re used to seeing at Wal-Mart but that is because they are worth more.

Find directions here.

Fells Point

We don’t really go out after 7:30.

Is that weird?

I don’t honestly care. I’m a homebody. I’m a dreamer and I can do that anywhere. Where as Andrew is a little more restless when he is trapped inside for too long.  Andrew even has a no-sleep-before-11-on-weekend-nights rule to combat the feeling that we are slowly fading into boring old people.

So this last weekend, seeing Andrew start to squirm, I suggested we go out and do something. Screw BEDTIME! Let’s have fun!

So we decided to go to Fells Point.

Having grown up in Annapolis I still automatically view Baltimore as, “HOURS AWAY….gah!” even though we live IN Baltimore. People from Annapolis are always like, “You drove all the way DOWN HERE in ONE DAY? You must be exhausted.” 45 minutes people. I know people with commutes twice that long.

So when Andrew mentioned Fells Point I was, “yeah…I know where that is.”

Didn’t actually know.

Even though I’ve WORKED in downtown Baltimore I’ve never visited Fells Point.

IT IS AWESOME!!!

We went to this charming little gelato place called Pitango Gelato. I had the most delicious flavor – Spicy Chocolate – mixed with Banana. The environment is clean and friendly. They only do ice cream and coffee and that means they do them well. It’s a Baltimore treasure.

Go visit. DO IT! It’s beautiful – the first deep water harbor in Baltimore. It is full of fun shops and gah…it’s awesome. Go. Get a babysitter or bring the kids…and go!

You’ll love it.