our Memorial Day weekend

How was everyone’s Memorial Day weekend?! I hope it was as eventful as ours was! May is always an extremely busy month for me and let’s just say the last two have been the most busiest months of my life! There is a lot to celebrate in May including Johanna’s birthday, my birthday, my brother’s birthday, other friends and family’s birthdays, anniversaries and of course Memorial Day! Although it is always jam packed with activities, it is my favorite weekend of the entire year. Not just because it’s my birthday weekend but I feel like it marks the beginning of the summer. The pool’s open, kids are graduating from high school and college, people are taking their first vacations of the year, bbq’s are all over the place and the flowers are beginning to bloom! What better weekend to celebrate your birthday than a weekend like that?!

Typically, I go away for Memorial Day weekend but this year we decided to stay local and pack in the fun. It can be a lot of work to travel with both Cookie and Johanna and truth be told I just wasn’t up for it. Trust me when I tell you, we were barely home! Johanna certainly had an eventful 4 days. I took off of work for the weekend and we celebrated! Friday we spent the day with family and attended my first nieces high school graduation. It still is shocking to me that she is almost 18 years old and on her way to college. Johanna rode a train (the metro) for the first time and as expected did not seem to have a care in the world about it. She laughed and babbled on the way down and slept on the way back. The metro can be a bit loud sometimes so I was worried about her being startled but she wasn’t! It was as if she had already ridden the metro before and remembered. This was also her first graduation attendance and she did amazing. I thought she would have a tough time making it through since graduations can be long and drawn out. She’s at the age where she is no longer a lap baby. Sometimes she is in the mood to cuddle up and sit still and other times she isn’t. It’s always when I want her to sit still that she doesn’t! Any Mama’s out there understand? Anyway, she did an amazing job and made it through the entire ceremony tear free!

Saturday, we headed to the park for a good friend’s birthday party. Although it was hot outside, Johanna had such a good time with her friends. She climbed a rock wall, had some ice cream, played ball and showed off her walking skills (with the help of Mama, of course). After this we headed to Harper’s Ferry with Avonlea for a 3 mile hike. This was an amazing hike up a mountain with a beautiful view at the top!  On the way down, Johanna had to ride on my back instead of front. This was the first time she's ever done that and she didn't exactly like it! Luckily, Aunt Avonlea kept her good company and entertained ! Sunday after mass, Johanna and I went out on Grandpa’s boat with Grandma and of course it’s captain (Grandpa). Now, Johanna has been on the boat before but not since last August when she was 3 months old. I was extremely nervous that she wouldn’t like being on the boat. That would have really been terrible for all of us. Johanna had the time of her life! On the way out she was literally screaming with excitement. While out on the water, she played in her pool, ate lunch and explored the boat. Needless to say, Johanna is a water girl for sure and she enjoyed herself! On the way back in to the marina, she slept. I'm so glad to know that she was comfortable enough on the boat to actually fall asleep. Remember, Johanna can't sleep anywhere that she is not familiar with!

Monday (my birthday), we went on a morning hike with friends. Another beautiful hike about 3 miles altogether with a beautiful view at the top. Also, the first time Johanna said the word “Mama.” It was plain as day and I’m so thankful I have 2 witnesses because I literally cannot make this up. The first time my daughter said Mama was on my birthday. Wow! Amazing as it is, it was a bit emotional as well. After our hike, we went out for lunch and went home for some relaxation time! Johanna was a bit overwhelmed and needed some rest for the next 2 days. It was as almost as if she had an adventure hangover!  I am so thankful and blessed for this beautiful little girl. Not only did she say “Mama” but she also learned some other new things. She now knows how to wash herself (not thoroughly, obviously), brush her hair while saying “so pretty,” say “yoga” and copy Mama’s yoga poses (mostly just downward facing dog) and she is taking a lot more steps. I can’t believe how smart she is and how much she picks up on. It’s fantastic to watch this girl grow up so wonderfully. I’m also selfishly thankful that she enjoys the water and our hikes. I appreciate her early love of nature so much! I guess she will be my hiking partner for life! 

So what did you guys do over the Memorial Day weekend holiday?! I’d love to hear! Don't be scared to take your babes on adventurous weekends!  I was definitely that Mama that was really nervous to take Johanna certain places. I'd have to say I have calmed down a lot this past year and my nerves aren't too bad anymore. Let me share some tips with you when you decide to have a super busy weekend like this!

- Make sure you pack extra food and snacks!  ( I like to pack Johanna the Gerber Organic smoothies) -Pack tons of water  -Pack pedialyte (if you're going to be outside a lot, it's great for hydration, just mix with water) -Lather up the sunscreen every few hours or so and bring extra with you -Pack changes of clothes and extra diapers/wipes -Make sure you're comfortable (decide how you want to carry baby around beforehand so that you don't have to worry about this midway through your adventure) -Gas up the car! -Pack snacks, food and water for yourself too -Bring some toys or things to keep baby entertained on down times -At age 1 year, you can use bug spray (try to grab the natural stuff and spray the car seat or backpack, never spray baby directly) -Make sure your baby is getting their naps! Even if it is not at home, or in the car, exhaustion can really come back to bite you in the rear.  

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