Thursday, October 23, 2014

Woah October! And something to look forward to in November!

This has been a crazy month!  It is hard to believe that we are staring down the last week already & I haven't even found time to share our news.  This has been a wonderful month in the life of Team Cotey.  I am going to share some photos of what we have been up to with 3 words per picture just to start updating!

Eloise turned 3!

Cool Cotey cousins!

Counter top sisters.

Running play dates!

Rainy day painting.

Flight school practice.

Army Ten Miler!

We want PEEPs.

Love my family!

Team Cotey #walk4lls!

Stroller or Buffet?

Games with friends!

Eloise turned three, we had an awesome visit from Cotey cousins, the girls and I have been running with our friends, we had the Army Ten Miler success, Light the Night with Aunt Annie and I tried spinning for the first time at Revolve DC.  There has barely been time to decorate for Halloween and go to the pumpkin patch!  I hope to update each of these topics over the next few days!  In the mean time I hope you enjoy the pictures!  Much love from Team Cotey :)

I also want to mention something really cool that Katie is hosting in conjunction with some awesome sponsors (BOB StrollersFit4Mom, New Balance and Linkoutoure).  On November 8th we (the girls and I) will be participating in:

Let's be honest.  All of my running days are stroller running days, my girls motivate my miles in a way that I could never self motivate.  I am excited to encourage other Mamas to get out there and get fit with their kids!  It is a minimal investment in your health and the health of your kids.  It is a great chance for me to bring my girls along beside me and to model a healthy lifestyle.  I hope to begin writing more about our running and this event is the perfect launching pad for that!  I run with my kids, not away from them!  You should too!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A morning Under the Canopy courtesy of Arts on the Horizon

One of my favorite things about living in Alexandria with small children has been to explore the arts through their eyes.  We are truly fortunate to have so many opportunities in our home town.  Our favorite local find has to be Arts on the Horizon.

This morning we attended Under the Canopy, a play specifically designed for children under two.  The girls were very excited because they had loved Sunny and Licorice when we saw it this past Spring.
The Atheneum on Prince Street in Old Town.
On the way to the Atheneum Eloise and I discussed the perfect timing of the performance - two days before her 3rd birthday.  We arrived and had a seat.  The girls waited patiently and we waved at some friends from our new neighborhood.
Eagerly awaiting the show!
Soon the performance began and Eloise was enraptured.  She was focused on all of the movements and actions of the actors as they brought the rain forest to life before her eyes.  Isabel found the process of creation to be rather invigorating and she could hardly contain her desire to run into the performance and do and see and touch.

The show was around 20 minutes long - ideal for the focus length of under-twos.  Eloise was able to follow the narrative fully and both girls delighted in the beautiful puppets and props created by Worlds End Puppetry.

After the performance the children had an opportunity to interact with the actors and the stage.  Isabel and Eloise enjoyed sharing a vine and touching the different flowers and animals.

It was a lovely warm Fall morning in Old Town thanks to Arts on the Horizon!

We are all looking forward to Snow Day - this December's offering from Arts on the Horizon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesdays at the Natural History Museum

Now that the weather has cooled and school is back in session, the D.C. tourist season seems to be behind us.  The girls and I have been scooting up to the National Mall to get our tourist hats on and explore the different Smithsonians.  Last Tuesday we decided upon the Natural History Museum.

Isabel and Eloise truly enjoy seeing all of the people and walking through the exhibits.  It is definitely a balancing act though, Eloise rushes ahead & Isabel likes to roar with delight while standing in everyone's way.

We headed upstairs to the insect hall where the girls enjoyed pretending to be Great African Termites and pressed all of the buttons about common household pests.

I worked very hard on not loosing my lunch when they offered to let the girls hold a giant cockroach.  They both declined - instead they watched the honey bees for a bit and then we headed to the butterfly house.

 While we were there, the girls and I discovered something really fun!  The Smithsonian Natural History Museum butterfly room is free!  When we lived in North Carolina, Eloise and I enjoyed going to the Museum of Life & Science in Durham to visit their beautiful butterfly house.

Eloise has asked several times to visit the butterflies and I didn't realize we could every Tuesday!

Eloise was very patient and still, hoping to convince a butterfly to land on her hand.  She was rewarded with several very close encounters.  Isabel was a bit slower to the party.  She was rather frustrated that I had decided to wear her.  But boy she was full of energy last Tuesday afternoon & I thought that the butterflies and other visitors would fare better with my little spirit a bit restricted.  When she would see a butterfly she would start lunging towards it, pulling me with her.  In the final photograph of the day Eloise is busy telling her to "look not touch."  If you can't tell, Isabel is trying with all her might to touch!

Such a fun outing!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Story Time with Ranger Steph

Wow! Life has not slowed one bit.  Both girls are asleep in the backseat & I am in the parking lot of the Harris Teeter, so I want to share about our day today!

This morning we dropped Phil at work and drove across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to Oxon Hill Farm for a special story time.

Every month, on the third Monday they have a themed story time with a ranger.  Oxon Hill is a working farm that is part of the National Parks system.

This week story time was all about ducks.  After the stories, songs, puppet show & craft we walked out to see the ducks.

They weren't really feeling social so we visited with the pigs and chickens.  The girls also each got to feed the horses.  How fun!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A little bit of life lately...

Oh we have been so very busy these last few weeks.   I feel as if the world has opened back up for us and we are so very fortunate to have such full days.

A moment on the National Mall.

I am writing from the parking lot of the National Zoo, while the girls finish up their naps.  Isabel has just awakened, so we had better head on our way!  More of all we are up to is on it's way.   We are happy and healthy and enjoying the days before us!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Isabel is One!

Sleeping peacefully a year after her birth.
Yesterday was an incredibly calm and low key day compared to the same day a year ago.  I still haven't begun to understand the grace that we were shown the day that Isabel was born.
The only picture of Isabel on her birthday
I do know that we were prayed over, loved and supported by so many on that day and the weeks that followed.  I know that everyday we have on this earth is a tremendous gift.  My gratitude is unending.

We made pancakes at the insistence of Eloise, because all special days require pancakes. didn't plan anything in particular.  The girls and I went on our morning playground run with our running group.

Phil was home in the middle of the day, so at the direction of the two year old party planner we had a parade and a time to open presents.  Then some friends came over to play and share strawberries.

The girls ate an early dinner and were in bed before Phil came home.  So incredibly grateful for this one year old in our lives. She is joy filled and incredibly determined.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sights from a morning stroll.

From the porch of the Alexandria Visitors Center.
Is it odd that I feel Old Town is more in our reach now that we live in Alexandria's West End?  Carlyle was an awesome neighborhood to call home, but with a toddler and a baby, it wasn't sustainably walk-able to the waterfront.

This morning we dropped Phil off at work and instead of turning right back around I decided to take the girls into Old Town.  We parked at the Tot Lot on Royal and due to the need for a bathroom break ended up strolling up and down King Street before the shops opened.

Peeking in windows.
Telling jokes on stoops.
We were all fresh and full of a spirit of adventure and unencumbered by a stroller.  The girls loved looking at the fountain and dancing on the stage at Market Square in front of Town Hall.  

The best part of the adventure was that when enough was enough, we all bundled back into the air conditioning and were home ten minutes later.  While I love being car-free as much as I can, it is also really nice when August temperatures and humidity start to hit, to not have a two mile walk or jog home with two hot and sticky kids.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Eloise's first visit to the dentist!

Last Thursday was a busy day in our house!  Eloise came with me to the dentist.  While she has spent plenty of time at my dental visits over the last three years, this trip was special - it was her first check up!

A pensive patient.
 Our oldest really enjoys brushing her teeth and often asks for help flossing if she notices that she has something stuck between her teeth.  All twenty of her baby teeth have come in, and so we thought it would be a good opportunity to get a baseline exam and introduce her to what a trip to the dentist is like.  Eloise was a bit nervous as the day approached.  As we waited in the waiting room, she declared it was time to go - so it was probably just the right time to get her familiar with the experience.

Counting teeth!
 First the hygienist counted Eloise's teeth, and then she gave her a quick polish.  Eloise got to watch a video about how to brush & floss properly and then she met the dentist.  Who gave her teeth two thumbs up!

Eloise's first polish.

After the visit, I asked Eloise what her favorite part of her first dental visit.  I was expecting her to say "Mr. Thirsty" or the bag of puzzles, squeakies and tooth brushes, but Eloise surprised me by declaring that the polish was her favorite part.  "It tickled and made me laugh!"  Now to encourage her to take better care of her mouth than her mother...