Happy Monday folks! Hope everyone had a good weekend.
Ours was a busy, but fun one!
Our Friday night began (once I got home from work) with a couple food-related errands. My mom is recovering from a bad fall she had last weekend, so she can only eat soft, mushy, soupy foods. She had asked if we could pick up pho for her from Saigon Saigon in Pentagon City for dinner. Tommy and I decided to make a quick family trip out of it with Ava to get her out of the house for a bit before bedtime, since thunderstorms were looming. We also decided to stop at Chic-fil-A to pick up some dinner goodies for Tommy and Ava because I had a dinner date with my friend Arlene later that night and wouldn’t be cooking.
A couple hours later once I had put Ava to sleep, I found myself sprinting to Arlene’s car because it was POURING rain (and also thundering and lighting). We had a lovely dinner eating oysters on the half shell and other yummy seafood at Blackwall Hitch on the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront.
The next morning began our (newish) tradition of heading to one of our local farmer’s markets, the Del Ray Farmer’s Market, as soon as Ava was up, fed, and dressed to stock up on produce, fresh flowers, and other goodies. Because it was still overcast and incredibly humid, we decided to drive to the market instead of taking a leisurely stroll as we prefer to do.
Unfortunately, our trip was cut a little short because it did start to drizzle while we were there, but we still managed to get everything (and then some) on our list.
An hour or so later, we were on the road for the day’s “adventure” – we were heading to the Children’s Science Center or “the lab” at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax! Since the weather was going to be overcast, rainy, and humid all day, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to visit “the lab” I had heard about through the grapevine. The lab offers all kinds of fun, interactive exhibits and programs for children and adults to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) hands on.
We each played a few songs on the Slime Piano within the same craft station exhibit. This was probably my favorite thing we did here. A person holds a connected clip to the computer with one hand and then presses the different colors of “slime” which produce various musical notes. Songs you could play on the piano included “Twinkle Twinkle”, “Happy Birthday”, and “Ode to Joy”. Ava immediately recognized each song the minute Tommy or I played a couple of the notes.
Tommy and Ava had some more fun learning about “chain reaction” events with this contraption.
There was also a living sea area with various demonstrations for visitors (we arrived just as there was a sea horse feeding, but Ava wasn’t too interested in that, even though she’s currently very enamored fish) + a discovery zone where kids (5 and younger) could play with life-size blocks, puzzles, musical instruments, and more. Even though the Children’s Science Center isn’t free, both Tommy and I felt our money was well-spent and we’d definitely bring Ava back here.
Side note: I have never been a STEM person (mainly because I just didn’t “get” these subjects and activities in school), but I do hope my kid(s) are a little more prone to STEM activities, especially since this is all Tommy’s wheelhouse! In fact, he may have had a tad more fun than Ava – just saying.
We had worked up an appetite exploring most of the exhibits, so Tommy and I made a game-time decision to stop at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch in the mall. We also picked up lunch for mom here since she was resting at our house. Pretty soon, we were on our way home and prolonged our drive another 30 minutes or so to allow Ava her afternoon nap in the car. (She doesn’t transfer from car to crib after she’s fallen asleep in the car at all, so instead of disrupting her nap, we decided to keep driving until she woke up).
We spent about 30 minutes at home catching up with mom and Violet before we left for our last activity of the day – our friends Jessica and Stephen’s daughter, Leslie Anne’s 1st birthday party! The theme of her party was “One in a Melon” (a watermelon theme, which was darling). We had so much fun, I didn’t take one photo. BOO!
A couple of hours later we were back at home and IN for the night! I whipped up a quick Juicy Steak and Tomato Salad for Tommy and my dinner, while mom ate her meatloaf from Cheesecake Factory and Ava ate a hodge-podge of leftovers.
Our Sunday, (mom included) began with Ava’s ‘Daddy and Me’ swim class at 9am. Mom and I watched from the “observation room” while Ava and Tommy had a blast in the “pool agua” (as Ava calls the pool).
We decided to head to the Mosaic District in Fairfax since it was close-by to brunch at one of our favorites, True Food Kitchen.
The rest of the day was spent trying to be as low-key and “at home” as we could to offset the crazy day we had on Saturday. This included some “Minnie” (watching Micky Mouse Clubhouse), reading, chores, grocery shopping, and cooking.
For dinner, I made Grilled Steamed Mussels for the first time ever and it was SO delicious.
Have a great week!