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Days with Tots in Maryland

I am so excited about finally finishing this blog post. We've been in Maryland since 2013, first as a newly married couple + now as a family of four with two kids under the age of three. Granted Lucas can't really do much just yet BUT it's been great for us to get out there and explore. So, without further ado! Here are some of my favorite places to visit & their links [ this one is purely out of happiness and wanting to share with moms. You click + I get NADA other than a "hey, we checked out XYZ! Thanks" if you feel up to it!

From Scavenger Hunts to a large Barnes & Noble (swoon!) to Escape Rooms to the National Aquarium! You have SO much that you can do! And to finish it up! You can grab some amazing food from one of the many places they have there!

I'm not a huge advocate for anything that involves bugs, creatures + little phone service BUT this place is beautiful! You have waterfalls, endless trails, and beautiful scenery! It's PERFECT for a hike + you'll definitely run into some AWESOME people! 

While Xander has been a bit young for this place it hasn't stopped us from enjoying all it has to offer! 
They have awesome permanent AND temporary exhibits which makes wanting to go back even more of a need than a want ;) Kiddos will learn how farms work with their interactive setup, visit the Oasis for a much needed calming break! Hands-on and table centers are perfect for a bit of a wind-down! And, when all else fails - There is the three-story treehouse where you can jump, crawl, and climb to the top! 

Sounds like the perfect recipe for a great bedtime, am I right?

This is our favorite little nook. While it isn't a HUGE beach with crystal clear water - it definitely calms the soul of the shoe-less, beachy mama that I am. You have an awesome view of the Bay Bridge & can have a full picnic, "beach" day. Mama LOVES.

The Naval Academy right in the heart of Annapolis is a sight to see! Beautiful cathedrals, an amazing stadium, waterfront areas + just history is perfect for those who love history + long walks in beautiful places. When you're done? Head right outside + enjoy a bite while watching the boats hang out! It's absolutely stunning!

Feeding Giraffes, Penguin Encounters + Scavenger hunts! Sign us up! We love this zoo. Big enough to host a number of beautiful animals but small enough to not need more than a day to truly enjoy it! The last time I was there-there was a wedding set up happening and I was in love! Come to find out you can host a number of events on this beautiful location and your guests can enjoy the sights in the time between ceremony and reception. Winner!

Wherever you end up in Maryland, take pictures! I absolutely LOVE getting pictures of my sweet boys in new places!

Oh, & shoot me a message letting me know!

Raising children has been such a beautiful, worthwhile experience thus far. It has also been one of my most stressful. 

Knowing that unconditional love is ever present and understanding how innocent they are - makes losing your patience that much harder when it does happen. I can't tell you how many times I've stopped myself from saying something I knew I would regret. I started talking to my child, my courageous and vivacious two-year-old, the way I would want someone to speak to him and the way I expect him to speak to others.

You are smart. 

Telling your child that they are smart is such a boost of confidence.  I love doing activities with Alexander and seeing how his face lights up when he has completed a task or the activity. The 'ah' moment is something I will never get tired of - as a teacher AND mama. 

I'm so proud of you. 

It's such a beautiful feeling, as an adult, to know that someone is proud of you. Imagine that Don't ever let that doubt even come into your child's mind! Tell them daily that you are proud of them and their choices. Not only does it fuel them emotionally, but it also helps them to keep on the course, too.

You always know how to make me smile.

If your child makes you laugh, tell them! Having a sense of humor as a kid is pretty impressive! I guarantee the number of times Alexander has done something purposely to make me laugh or smile has increased since I started saying this to him! And this has, if anything, made days easier. It's become intentional.

We make a great team. 

Teamwork as a family is key. The family that can find ways to work together, create a strong, unbreakable bond.

 I always make sure I remind him that it's okay to get help, work with others + that he is such a great partner in learning and doing :)

You make my heart happy. 

Telling your little one that they make your heart happy is one the best ways for them to understand how big your love for them truly is.

I like you. 

We know that we love our children without a doubt, but lets them know that we like them too, is as vital as loving them is. 

I'm so lucky you're in my life. 

Having a child is a gift that shouldn't be ignored. Luck doesn't even begin to describe it but telling them that they are such a blessing surely keeps them secure of their role in your life. 

My love for you never ends.

If you haven't taught your child the definition yet of infinity, why wait? Seriously, it doesn't - so why not remind them? 

I'm always here for you.  

Let's face it...sometimes our schedules can make our days get a little bit hectic. 

All I ask is that you do your best. 

Between the pressure of school, sports, and friends, it can all feel like a big burden weighing on the shoulders of your little one! Help them out with those emotions and let them know that as long as they are trying their best, that is all that you can ask and expect of them.  Alexander recently started getting upset and began saying "I'm trying" while damn near tears and I cannot tell you how this nearly broke me. 

This may seem like a generic post and a lot of people will roll their eyes at how sappy this might be. But something I have noticed day in and day out is how negative words can impact the mood, voice, and energy of a child. The last thing I ever want to hear my child say about himself is something that could have come out of my mouth in a bad moment. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself. 

What is something you have said to your child that positively affects them, builds self-esteem and self-confidence and just brings a smile to their day?