Frederick Douglass Home & A Detour

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In celebration of our impending independence celebration, we’ve been visiting sites of historical importance. The Frederick Douglass Historic site in Anacostia was next.

I am not in any way, shape or form a lover of history. I know very little of my own Jamaican history yet here I am discovering. I’m even teaching the hubby a thing or two. That feels good 🙂

The home pictured above perched on a hill overlooking Washington, DC may not look like much now, but it was quite an estate when Frederick Douglass purchased the home in 1877.

Mr. Douglass, like so many in the 1800’s, was born into slavery but he did not let his predisposed conditions dictate his future. In fact, he became one of our country’s greatest advocates for freedom. He never had any formal schooling; he was self-taught. He traveled his country as well as Great Britain and Ireland, speaking about social injustice, giving hope to the hopeless, advocating for a world where we could all be free.

He held many titles, including DC’s U.S Marshall, Minister to Haiti and during the Civil War serving as adviser to President Lincoln and assisted with the Emancipation Proclamation.

After our tour concluded around 2 p.m we decided to visit the Kenilworth Aquatic Garden.

The garden was within five miles of Cedar Hill so I figured this would provide some relaxation and maybe the kids would actually take a nap.  We’ve been struggling with those lately as they are teething.  Anyway, walking along the pathway I was expecting a grandiose view at the end but was quickly disappointed.  I was greeted by a swampy terrain filled with lotus and water lilies and that was it.

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I kept waiting for the scenery to improve and it did, but not by very much. There just isn’t much to see and with rain over the weekend a lot of the walkways connecting the gardens were flooded.  At one point we were stuck in the mud. It wouldn’t be an adventure with us if we didn’t get stuck somewhere, right?

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I would not recommend a trip to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.  Perhaps my expectations were just too high but I was hoping for a lush garden with a lot more variety. We literally spent an hour before heading home so we could beat rush hour. Timing is everything in the DC/MD/VA metropolitan area.

Have you visited the garden? Is so, what were your thoughts?

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The kids weren’t impressed at all.

~TOODLES~
Stacey

A Quieter Place

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Most of my Family Friday posts feature just the kids and I, so in honor of hubby joining us yesterday for our discovery here’s how we spent a portion of our afternoon.

We didn’t get out of the house as early as planned.  That seems to be the norm around here regardless how early I wake up.   It was now 12:30 pm; not a good idea for a trip to the city, but like I said, the hubby was off so I was taking full advantage.

We settled on President Lincoln’s Cottage during our drive in.  We walked some of the grounds before sneaking in on a senior group tour.  Okay, we didn’t exactly sneak in; the tour guide didn’t say anything though I was wondering why everyone favored a librarian or a historian but we kept going.  We were kicked out a few minutes later but in a very nice manner. Lol

The Soldiers’ Home where the cottage is located is in fact a very quiet retreat nestled on a hill overlooking Washington, just three miles north of the White House away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The President and his family found solitude here during the summers of 1862, 1863 and 1864. Can you imagine a president riding his horse or on a carriage through the city? President Lincoln completed this commute daily much to the worry of his wife, Mary. A far cry from today’s society. During his stay here, the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was drafted as well as several key war-time decisions made during the Civil War.

Walking the grounds of such historical importance was very refreshing. I look forward to our return in September during the state fair. The thought of my twins and their big sister running around the grounds here makes me smile.

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Have a great weekend!

~TOODLES~
Stacey

The Ten Month Saga Continues

Yes, I am sharing more pictures because it took me a total of THREE days to capture these photos. I would literally dress all three kids and one would fall asleep or all three would whine.  Yes, the big girl often joins in on the fun.  Would you want to be left out?

I was able to capture some really cool pictures and a precious moment with my girls, making it totally worth the hassle.  Whenever I do a photoshoot I think to myself “I could never be a photographer” but that doesn’t stop me from doing all these photoshoots. Lol

Enjoy.

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~TOODLES~
Stacey

She’s Just Not In The Mood for a Photo Shoot

Wednesdays are witty Wednesdays here on the blog, where my posts focus on my witty almost threenager.  She most definitely was witty telling me what she did and didn’t want to do.

Apparently, I didn’t check her calendar first because a photoshoot was not on the agenda.  She might think she runs this, but mommy is still the boss.

Here are the photos I captured about a week ago. 🙂

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Yes, it was just a few. Like I said, she really wasn’t in the mood. You have to learn to choose your battles early.

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Mommy’s Oasis

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My oasis could very well be food as this girl LOVES to eat but I’m talking about a different kind of oasis but it will definitely be one centered around great food and great company.

Tuesdays here on the blog are reserved for traveling adventures. I’m normally off with the kids trying to see something new to share with you, but with my backyard renovation, I might just be hiding out there, WITHOUT the kids. Shhh

A few weeks ago I purchased a patio set for my birthday. When I received it, I fell in looove. Yes looove! I couldn’t wait for the hubby to put it together. I then ordered an umbrella online but was quickly disappointed when it arrived. The color wasn’t what I expected. I hated it. It sat in the box on our kitchen floor for five days.

Flash forward to the day of our first summer cookout. Hubby suggested we put up the umbrella so our guests would be able to relax in the shade. I reluctantly agreed. I wasn’t impressed but quickly grew to love it.

Hubby was in charge of the grill.  He never disappoints with the jerk chicken. The marinade is made by yours truly, of course. 😄 Love you babe. We make a great team.

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At the umpteenth minute leave it to my mother-in-law to show up with four majestic palm trees. I’ve wanted palm trees for a while, but with the exorbitant prices, my backyard would have to survive without them. I may love to shop, but I’m way too thrifty to pay that much for palm trees, lol. They often say what a difference greenery makes, and I must agree. The palms provided that extra oomph the yard needed.

All the lanterns are LED and you can even operate them with a remote. A great find at Pier One, and they’re on clearance. If you are thinking about purchasing lanterns I suggest the nylon ones as the paper ones rip easily.

Okay, enough already. I know you’ve been dying to see the end product so without further delay, here is MOMMY’S OASIS. A little taste of paradise right here in my backyard!

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So who’s coming to my next party? The wine awaits, or whatever tickles your fancy 😉

Stay cool out there, it feels like a sauna today.

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Mommy and Me Date

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I haven’t participated in many organized  events since my twins’ arrival.  I was very excited when I signed up last week, but then I forgot about it until the night before.  I figured I would take my oldest then head to the “beach” at the National Harbor for some much needed one on one time where she wasn’t just along for a ride to the store.

I woke up and got her dressed but ended up with the twins tagging along. I was only five minutes late.  In my world, that’s considered a victory. Lol

My oldest had a good time playing and trying to hula hoop.  Her favorite was jumping on the mini trampoline. I couldn’t keep her out the line once she had her first taste.

I opted out of the National Harbor because it was quite cloudy. My oldest wasn’t ready to head home so I suggested a bathroom run and that’s when the adventures really amped up.

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Yes, I am stuck!!  I am so sick and tired of being stuck trying to fit through doors or wasting a few minutes trying to maneuver through them, especially those leading to the restrooms.   On our exit, a fellow double-stroller mama held the door.  We were bonding over our debacle when I called for my daughter and realized SHE WAS NOT THERE!!!

I don’t think I had time to panic, I immediately went into super spy mode.  I spotted her instantly as I walked over to the water fountain where she played with two kids from the mommy and me group.  I thought about spanking her for wandering off but quickly realized it was my fault.  I was in charge and I wasn’t paying attention. I did lecture her though. My nerves were shot, with no alcohol in sight I ordered an oreo shake and headed to the playground.

My littlest was walking around, my big guy was crawling, both was intensely watching their big sister and other kids playing as I snapped pics and sipped my milkshake.  All was well until I turned around to find my son SITTING ON THE SLIDE.  He didn’t make it far but it was enough to rattle my feathers. Of course I took a few pics and a video before taking him down.

After all that transpired, mommy needed a little retail therapy not for the kids, not for the house, a little therapy for ME and that’s exactly what I did while drowning out their cries for my attention.

Are you exhausted reading yet?

Because I am typing this, our day didn’t even end there; my oldest requested broccoli cheddar soup but she wanted to dine in, so we did once I took the twins out the stroller and closed it so we could fit through the door YET AGAIN.

I’m exhausted!!

~TOODLES~
Stacey

National Arboretum

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I love when hubby is off from work and we go out for a relaxing family day. Okay, with three under three maybe not a relaxing day, but it’s time spent together, so I’m happy.

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting at this place.

I didn’t necessarily liked the route we were taking so during the drive I decided to google National Arboretum. Here’s what Wikipedia gave me: “An Arboretum in DC operated by the Department of Agriculture.”  Well, that’s very insightful.

At this point it didn’t matter as we were committed to this location because it’s after 1 p.m on a Friday in the nation’s Capital.

First we missed our turn because the GPS didn’t show the service road. As we entered the grounds we wondered if we were lost despite seeing the little tiny sign that read National Arboretum. It looked more of an abandoned place with lots of overgrown trees and windy roads.

Eventually we found the main building. We enjoyed a picnic of leftovers that consisted of baked jerk chicken, brussel sprouts and white rice as our oldest ran around taking to everyone like she normally does.

We missed all the days activities, they were closing at 4 p.m, the gardens weren’t in bloom and the memory card was almost full. You think by now I would learn to do my research and prep before my little adventures but I guess that’s part of the fun 😉

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It’s rare that hubby smiles, he actually smiled twice! I think he was enjoying family time.

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Farmer Stacey?

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If the start of our adventure was any indication of how my day would end, I can tell you now it couldn’t be good.

The kids wouldn’t nap, of course, but as soon as they hit the car seat they were knocked out. I contemplated driving around just to let them sleep, but decided after the effort of prepping to be in the city, we were going to the city.

During the drive I saw a sign for Oxon Hill Farm and decided to be spontaneous. Mentally I wasn’t ready for Washington, DC nor what would come next for that matter.

The kids weren’t even out the car when my two-year old said “I HAVE TO PEE” I didn’t know the conditions of the restrooms and I didn’t know if she would even make it to the restroom. So what did I do? Don’t judge me. I let her pee at the car 🙊🙈🙉 What would you do?

Anyway, leave it to me to show up after all the kids’ activities ended. Hey, it was a spur of the moment thing. We had just under two hours before closing. Plenty of time right?

Ready for school?
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Twins perhaps?
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Checking out the goats from a distance. My little scary cat.
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The animals were settling in for the night. Many of them hid in the comfort of their home waiting for dinner.

This little piggy was not up for company. He wanted us gone so he gave us its rear end while it handled business.

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Being on the farm reminded me of my early years. We lived in rural Jamaica, not the beaches and lavish homes you see depicted. We had cows, goats and chickens at one time or another. Can you imagine me taking the goats to the fields before heading off to school? Yeah…I did that several times. I wasn’t always prissy, you know.

The real question now is could I survive a day on a farm? That’s a whole other issue.

Have a great weekend.

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Yes…There Are Colors Other Than BLUE

Two months ago I wrote a post where the only color that existed in my daughter’s world was BLUE.

It was such a frustrating task. Everyone shied away from the challenge. It just didn’t make sense why she couldn’t grasp colors. They would say she’ll get it.

My mother-in-law would tease that it’s because I don’t embrace what I term school yard colors around my house. I REALLY dislike those bright colored toys. If it was up to me all their toys would be wood or white but hubby won’t go for that.

I am proud to say my big girl has mastered the color wheel…more or less. She gets confused sometimes but her world now includes red, yellow, green, pink, purple and white.

Our walks to the park is so colorful now that she’s mastered her colors. 👏👏

She picks flowers…sometimes she pulls the entire plant🙈

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Her imagination is also expanding.  She told her brother it’s chocolate and he wanted to check it out himself 😀

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As if we didn’t get enough after a close call with the geese she wanted to feed the ducks.
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I wish we had food for them I told her. I don’t know why I said that because she forgets nothing! Now that’s one more thing she’ll be asking me if I have in my bag before our park runs.

The walk home from the park was just as interesting. It was funny watching the kids squabble over cheese puffs.  When the twins dropped one, big sister would quickly grab it and eat it, but only after checking for any drool of course 😉

Happy kid, happy mama 😉

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We live in a colorful world now and I LOVE it!

Go Big Girl 👏👏

PS– Nelle slept the entire time, that’s why she wasn’t in any pics. A girl needs her beauty rest I suppose 😘

~TOODLES~
Stacey

Soul Sista

Yesterday evening I met the most AMAZING little soul.  I ran out to get a swimsuit for our impending trip to Ocean City.  Here I was perusing the home department at HomeGoods/ TJ Maxx store when our eyes locked on these beautiful white flower planterimage

The picture does no justice.

I checked the price and said not meant for me.  I checked out other flower pots while she pondered.  We joked about the prices at $99 saying…$79…better yet $59.  She was still pondering.  I said to her nothing haunts us like the things we don’t buy and she smiled.

Then our conversation turned to PARIS. Well, buckle your seats honey. I was in for a treat. If you don’t know already, I am OBSESSED with ALL things Paris. Ever since I was a little girl Paris have been at the top of my list. I still haven’t visited, I can only dream of the experience she had. OOH LA LA!

She spent 90 days, yes NOT 9 but 90 days in Paris. I clutched my heart. I myself had to confirm she did in fact say 90 days!! Her son surprised her with an all expense paid trip for her birthday. What an amazing son! Batman are you paying attention? Lol

She traveled alone. I can only imagine what leisure she had. Not attending to anyone’s needs but her own for three whole months! Again I can only dream. During her extended stay, she visited nine different countries including

Other things discussed during our almost two hour conversation was our love for Hawaii, ballroom dancing, party planning and just our overall love of adventure.

We kept saying goodbye but neither of us would walk away. We finally said our good byes when these teal party decor caught my eye. She told me she was decorating her room with teal, deep chocolate brown and ivory. She also encouraged me to buy it all. Lol I rationalized it by saying well its my birthday in three weeks👅 Hubby it’s not my fault 😉

Talking to her was like seeing into my soul. She had such spunk. Such tenacity. Such grace. She wants to learn French. She said you should see me when I cleaned up honey. Oh I clean up! I don’t dress like an old lady. There’ll be plenty of time for that. Lol

Ms. Ann it was my ABSOLUTE pleasure meeting you.  Such a young soul at the tender age of 71. I hope one day through my experiences I can motivate someone to grab life and just LIVE honey.

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Sorry for taking up so much of your time but she has left such an imprint on my heart. My soul sister. I will forever be thinking of this little lady and pondering what adventures she’s undertaking.

If you made it to the end, thanks for reading.

Special thanks to the family of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend.

HELLO SUMMER….what adventures will you take?

~TOODLES~
Stacey