Kidriffic Events for June 28-30, 2013

It’s the weekend, woot! And to top it all off, the husband and I just may be kid free, at least for a day, this weekend! So, with that, weekend events are pending until we know for sure whether or not Johanna will be with us. Here’s a list of events happening in your neck of the woods!:

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
National Mall
When: All weekend
Admission: Free
The annual Folklife Festival is held on the national mall every summer. You will have the chance to visit special exhibits, performances, demonstrations and more. Make sure to dress for the weather and take water bottles with you.

LFCM Annual Yard Sale
Love Fellowship Christian Ministries
9901 Brandywine Road
Clinton, MD
When: Saturday 8-3
Admission: Free
Come on out to Love Fellowship for their annual yard sale. Do some shopping while filling your belly with fish, chicken, hotdogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks that will be for sale.

KazokuFit Family Obstacle Course
Brambleton Town Center
22855 Brambleton Plaza
Brambleton, VA
Admission:
Single Participant: $27
Team of 2: $25 per person
Team of 3: $23 per person
Team of 4+: $21 per person
Tot Course: $10 per person
Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Bring your family for a 1.2 mile course that will challenge each of your physical levels. You’ll run, climb and jump your way through.

DinoRock
Theatre In the Woods
Wolf Trap
1635 Trap Road
Vienna, Virginia
When: Saturday, 10:30 a.m.
Admission: $10
Go on a journey into science, nature, and history with award-winning puppeteers. The kids will love the Life-size dinosaurs who will sing and dance while sharing stories that introduce the kids to science.

Get Kids Movin’
National Harbor
165 Waterfront St
National Harbor, MD
When: Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
Admission: Free
This event to fight childhood obesity will include fitness, entertainment and an afternoon of health education during the fourth edition of Get Kids Movin’ at National Harbor, MD. The whole family will enjoy music, fitness, entertainment, health and arts-related activities. Activities will include a performance by Chi Chi Monet, a fitness session with Nike Trainer Deanna Jefferson, moving with Beans-N-Frank “Edutainment” Puppet Duo, zumba with Kena Hodges of Zumba Fitness, dramatic performances from Dreams, a healthy eating cooking demo with Kitchen Cray, and much more.

~JM

I WILL eat clean, I WILL eat clean, I WILL eat clean…

Yesterday I chanted those very words as soon as I got to work, and I did real good for breakfast. I had protein for breakfast and fruit. I was well on my way…until the receptionist sent an email an hour later about there being food in the kitchen. I went to the kitchen with the intention of finding something to snack on since I didn’t bring much with me. That’s when I met an apple danish I couldn’t say no to…and I ate every single bite. Le sigh. Not today. Today I realy WILL eat clean! I’m determined to make this a lifestyle change. Pray my strength!

~JM

Movies in the City

One of the greatest joys for me every summer is to watch free outdoor movies in the city. Yes it’s hot, but bring some drinks, some fruit and your blanket and I promise you it is fun! I want you to get in on the fun, so here is a list of movies and locations for the remainder for Summer 2013:

WASHINGTON, DC
Screen on the Green (National Mall)
July 22: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
July 29: Norma Rae
Aug. 5: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Aug. 12: Tootsie

Capitol Riverfront: Front Flicks (Capitol Riverfront)
June 27: The Hulk
July 11: Batman Begins
July 18: Thor
July 25: The Dark Knight
Aug. 1: The Avengers
Aug. 8: The Dark Knight Rises
Aug. 15: Green Lantern (rescheduled from June 6)

Golden Triangle: Golden Cinema Series
(at Heurich House Museum courtyard)
June 28: Some Like It Hot
July 5: Yankee Doodle Dandy
July 12: The Philadelphia Story
July 19: Casablanca (rescheduled from June 7)

Dumbarton Oaks, Georgetown
July 10: Mansfield Park
Aug. 7: Pride & Prejudice

MLK Memorial
July 11: Hotel Rwanda
Aug. 8: Cry Freedom

NoMa Summer Screen
June 26: The Breakfast Club
July 3: The Fugitive
July 10: Bridesmaids
July 17: Moonrise Kingdom
July 24: True Grit (2010)
July 31: Hunger Games
Aug. 7: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Aug. 14: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Family Night at Sursum Corda
July 9: Brave
July 23: The Incredibles
Aug. 6: Toy Story 3

Union Market DC Drive-In
July 12: Dr. Strangelove
July 19: Distinguished Gentleman
July 26: American President
Aug. 2: No Way Out

U Street Movie Series: Harrison Field Under the Stars
July 17: The Nine Lives of Marion Barry
Aug. 21: Summer Wars (anime)
Sept. 18: The Legend of Cool “Disco” Dan

MARYLAND

Bethesda Outdoor Movies
July 23: The Princess Bride
July 24: Rear Window
July 25: Back to the Future
July 26: The Hunger Games
July 27: Life of Pi

Columbia’s Lakefront Summer Festival Movies
June 28: WAR HORSE
July 1: The Goonies
July 8: JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND
July 12: RED
July 15: The Lorax
July 19: Wreck-It Ralph
July 22: Brave
July 26: Frankenweenie
July 29: MONSTERS, INC (G)
Aug. 2: Star Trek (2009)
Aug. 5: Paranorman
Aug. 9: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Aug. 12: Maltilda
Aug. 16: Les Miserables
Aug. 19: Oz, The Great and Powerful
Aug. 23: Goldfinger
Aug. 24: Skyfall
Aug. 30: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER
Aug. 31: Iron Man
Sept. 1: The Avengers
Sept. 6: THE HUNGER GAMES
Sept. 7: 42: The Jackie Robinson Story
Sept. 13: Madagascar
Sept. 14: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Rockville Town Square: Movies on the Square
June 26: The Dark Knight Rises
July 3: Life of Pi
July 10: The Hunger Games
July 17: Men in Black 3
July 24: Wreck-It Ralph
July 31: Big
Aug. 7: The Avengers
Aug. 14: Les Miserables
Aug. 21: Hotel Transylvania

Movies on the Beach, North Beach
July 20: Puss in Boots
Aug. 17: Yogi Bear
Sept. 21: The Avengers (Drive-In Movie)

National Harbor: Animation Fascination
June 23: Hotel Transylvania
June 30: Rise of the Guardians
July 7: E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial
July 14: Back to the Future
July 21: Ghostbusters
July 28: The Goonies
Aug. 4: Mighty Ducks
Aug. 11: Little Big League
Aug. 18: Dreamer
Aug. 25: Thunderstruck
Sept. 1: Remember the Titans

VIRGINIA
Alexandria Comcast Outdoor Film Festival (Waterfront)
July 19: Skyfall
July 20: Rise of the Guardians

Ashburn Village’s “Movie Under the Stars”
July 21: Brave
July 26: Rise of the Guardians
Aug. 9: The Croods

Centerville Starlight Cinema
Aug. 3: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
Aug. 10: Ice Age: Continental Drift
Aug. 17: Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom
Aug. 24 Rise of the Guardians

Crystal Screen: Blockbusters, Crystal City, Arlington
July 1: American Beauty
July 8: The Blind Side
July 15: Moneyball
July 22: A Beautiful Mind
July 29: Forrest Gump
Aug. 5: The Help
Aug. 12: Jaws
Aug. 19: Inception
Aug. 26 Jurassic Park

Cinema Del Ray, Alexandria
July 20: Wreck-it Ralph
Aug. 17: Madagascar 3

Movies Under the Stars, Pinn Community Center, Fairfax
July 5: The Amazing Spiderman
July 19: Oz the Great and Powerful
Aug. 2: The Sandlot
Aug. 16: Finding Nemo
Aug. 30: Princess Bride

~JM

Raising a Dark Girl

dark-girls

Sunday night I sat up until 1am full of emotion, mostly sad. Other words I could use are disgusted, appalled, angry, hurt, and confused. Like many other Black women in America, I watched the documentary by Bill Duke, Dark Girls, on OWN. This documentary expatiated on the prejudice that apparently many dark-skinned women face in the African American community. Actually, it also discussed how women from various nationalities face this very same prejudice amongst their own.

At the end of the documentary a lot of people on “Black twitter” simply shrugged and yawned saying “Well, that was nothing new. I lived that. I needed something more, something deeper”. I thought it was a great first step, opening the door for even more dialogue on the topic of colorism. Also, for this dark girl, it was something new. I knew colorism existed. The extreme to which it existed I did not. Yes, I am a chocolate girl, but I had an aha! moment while watching the documentary – my mother got to me before the rest of the world could. That very thought brought tears to my eyes.

Growing up my mother, a golden skinned lady that was even lighter when she was growing up, earning her the nickname Red by her peers, always complimented my complexion. She would often tell me “I love your complexion. I wish I had your color”. While some days it made me wonder if she was struggling with self hate (I’m just being honest), most days it made me throw my head back in pride. I was chocolate and beautiful. My skin color was fierce! Funny how it took me this many years to understand that she was doing that on purpose. That she knew that there were some in the world that would look at my chocolate skin and immediately decide that I was the lesser negro because of it and she was determined to build my self-esteem in that area before they could tear it down. Well played mom, well played. It worked. I’ve never struggled with my complexion. I never wanted to be light skinned. I once heard a peer say she wished to be a caramel complexion and I closed my eyes trying to imagine myself in that skin. It didn’t work for me. I couldn’t like it. My dark skin just suited me too well. God didn’t make a mistake when he formed me.

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However, I did have another aha! moment, or maybe it was more of an OH NO! moment. One that still makes me tear up. Did I make a mistake? Did I make a mistake in having a preference for men whose skin looked just like mine? In wanting to have babies who looked just like me? Did I set Johanna up to be ridiculed? Is someone gonna take a look at my precious babies face one day and tell her that they don’t want her because her skin is too black? Is that going to knock her so far down that she not only isn’t gonna want to be black, but maybe she will even try bleaching her skin? My heart breaks for her and she’s too young yet to even notice the difference in skin tones. Bottom line? I feel guilty. Maybe I should’ve gone for the lighter men that were after me. Maybe I shouldn’t have freely fell in love with my husband whose gorgeous chocolate skin melts into mine. Maybe I should’ve been more shallow in my selection for a life mate. That’s the thought that nags at me in the back of my mind even though I know it’s wrong wrong wrong. I am positive that Johanna is a beautiful little girl. Not a beautiful Black girl, not a beautiful dark skinned girl, but a beautiful girl. I tell her so everyday. I tell her that she is pretty, smart, kind, and funny. Is that going to be enough to combat the prejudice she will have to face in her own community? I pray so. I sincerely do.

I don’t know if you saw the film. If not, please check it out. I will try to track down whether or not it’s coming on OWN again. I know it will be available for purchase on September 24th. Here is a clip:

Moms and dads, please embrace your children, no matter the color of their skin, and tell them they are beautiful everyday. Don’t let society tell them how they aren’t good enough. Surround them with a community that will uplift them humbly in every way possible. If my mom were still alive I would kiss her on her forehead and hug her for a very long time for the gift she gave me. Since I can’t, I plan to hug Johanna and pass the gift on.

~JM

Kidriffic Events for June 21 – 23

I don’t think I mentioned this here but for 2 whole weeks my dh was in Afghanistan. Definitely not as long as the troops are deployed, but for a wife that didn’t marry a man in the armed forces it was ETERNITY! I’ve never been happier to see him than I was when he walked through the door this morning. And his daughter? She couldn’t stop giggling. It was the cutest, sweetest thing EVER! So, needless to say, this weekend will feature a lot of family time. Here’s what’s happening around town for you and your family to enjoy:

Creature Feature
Rock Creek Park Nature Center, Washington, DC
4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Bring the kids to meet the animals and help feed them!
Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat
Adventure Theatre – MTC, Glen Echo, MD
Times vary
Come see this stage adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic.
Fête de la Musique
Where: Malmaison
3401 Water Street NW, Washington, DC
Saturday – Sunday
Admission: Free (until 11pm, $10 after)
Every year on June 21 in France the streets are filled with music in this annual celebration of Fête de la Musique. The Alliance Française and Malmaison will bring the celebration here to DC this year! Come join the fun along the potomac river where the area will be transformed into a music lovers dream with musicians, artists, food, and friends. Special kids activities will run from 2-4pm, with a percussion workshop and drum decorating crafts.
Ward 6 Family Day
Canal Park
Saturday, 1-5pm
Admission: Free
Everyone in the area is welcome to come and enjoy the live music, games, free food and more.
Alexandria Food & Wine Festival
John Carlyle Square
300 John Carlyle Street
Alexandria, VA
Saturday, 12-7pm
Admission: Free
Enjoy the best that Alexandria restaurants and wineries have to offer as well as live entertainment and events for the kids.

Bowie Baysox Star Wars Saturday
Prince George’s Stadium
Saturday, 6:35pm (gates open at 5:35pm)
Admission: Tickets start at $7
May the force be with you in Bowie this weekend at the Bayzox game as they host Star Wars Night. There will be characters and a fireworks display after the game.
National Capital Barbeque Battle
9th – 14th Street Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Saturday 11am – 9pm & Sunday, 11am – 7:30pm
Admission: $12/adults, children under 12 are free
If you love barbeque then this is the event for you! Sample food from all of the entrants, listen to live music and buy more food!

~JM

Kidriffic Events for June 15-16, 2013

I haven’t been paying these lately and I’m sorry. My laptop at home isn’t working, so I just said forget it. However, someone asked me why I don’t do them anymore and I felt bad, so now I’m posting from my phone! The format may look whacky, but hopefully the events are useful. It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend. Unfortunately this weekend will find me stuck inside…painting!

What: National Air & Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center
When: Saturday, 10am – 3pm
Admission: Free
Today the are celebrating the ninth annual Become a Pilot Day. There will be 50 visiting vintage, recreational, and home-built aircraft displayed outdoors at an outdoor display and presentations.

Father’s Day at Mount Vernon
Where: Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
When: Saturday-Sunday, 8am – 5pm
Admission: $15/adult, $7/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under

Another great outdoor activity! You can even take a photo with General Washington! This is one of my favorite venues in the area.

Juneteenth
Where: Watkins Regional Park
When: Saturday,11:30am – 5pm
Admission: Free, but it does cost to ride the train and merry go round.

Juneteenth is the US holiday that celebrates the end of slavery. There will be music and dance performance, face paintint, and other activities. Don’t forget to visit the Old Maryland Farm while you’re there!

Annual Father’s Day Fish-n-Putt
Where: Great Country Farms
When: Saturday-Sunday
Admission: $8/child, $10/adult
Join the the farm for the annual putt putt and fish competition! Tee time is at 11am. Love to fish? Sunday is the day to come out as that is when the fishing competition begins. The pond is stocked with a variety of fish and several prizes will be handed out. You bring the pole, they have the worms (for sale) in the country store. There will also be a Giant Jumping Pillow, Triple Threat slide, corn bin, animal barnyard and more.

~JM

This Means War!


I am tired. I’m sure that is stating the obvious. But why am I so exhausted you ask? Because I have a 2 year old who has decided to act every bit of 2 and I am at my wits end.

To say that Johanna is strong willed is the understatement of the year! And women without kids, let me warn you – when they say that your child is you, but 10x worse? Believe them. Johanna is a total monster in a cute, little persons body. She’s so…

Our number 1 issue is potty training. For the love of God and all that is holy I do NOT-tuh understand why my child goes from one extreme to the other. She does darn near perfect with potty training at school, as with most other things. Yay! Give me a boom (her definition of a high five)! Fantastic! But at home O_O. I go from having the joy of the Lord to wanting to pin this child up by her toes. Which of course I wouldn’t do, but ooooooooo baby! She just doesn’t know how good she has it. If I ask her to potty ONCE she gives me grief, but may still do it. The second time? It’s as if the potty is on FIRE! She screams, and I don’t mean that little scream that you and I can do. I mean that scream that only kids can do that drives us batty and makes dogs run around in circles howling. That scream that makes neighbors think you’re killing your child, when all you’ve asked them to do is use the friggin potty! I mean Johanna, really? Where da heyuhl they do that at? Not this house! She better get it, or I’m giving her up for adoption while her daddy is in Afghanistan

So this is how it goes…every single day…of my life…

Me: Johanna let’s go potty.
Johanna: I don’t wanna potty.
Me: Well unfortunately for you, it’s not about what you WANT to do, it’s about what you have to do. Now let’s go potty.
Johanna: No mama.
Me: If you potty like a big girl I will give you a sticker AND some milk *rolls eyes in the inside because I’m bargaining with a 2 year old and this ish is ridiculous*
Johanna: No potty mama.
Me: Well we’re going. Come on.

LET THE SCREAMING BEGIN!

It’s all downhill from there. I finally get her pullups or panties off and put her on the toilet and she flings herself back, arching so that she almost hits her head on the back of the toilet O_O. And before you ask, yes, she does have a potty her size, but she always chooses the big potty over the smaller one. I proceed to fight with her on the potty while she’s screaming for the popo to come get me. She does actually use the potty during this process, but still fights me every step of the way. She refuses to wipe and will only wash her hands. And then she screams when I make her stop playing in the water. And the other day you know what she did??? This lil…girl…takes her hand and SMACKS ME!!!

Huh. Huh. Bwahahahahahahahahaha! <—That’s me going cray cray because it is so obvious that this kid of mine has now lost ALL of her mind! Dude, when I tell you that I started to have an out of body experience, I mean it. My palms got sweaty. My heartbeat raced up to about 145. My breathing became rapid. For a second I started to black out and completely forget who I was and what I was doing. When I came to, Johanna was still standing there acting a fool. I…had to breathe. I had to pray to the Lord for strenf that only he could give me because that action right there, is not what is allowed to go down in my house. For the rest of the night Johanna and I had it out. At one point of time, 45 minutes into her sitting in time out (that’s right, 45 minutes!), she was STILL sitting in time out trying to escape lmao! Smh. Clearly that wasn’t working. So, I took away everything she liked. Oh, you wanna scream and have a breakdown? Then let’s have a reason to break down! No Dora, no kindle, no tv, no coloring books, NO MILK, NOTHING! Take that take that! Do you know this lil…girl…looked at me and went to go lay on the couch like that’s what she wanted to do the whole time? I mean looked at me like

People, what do I do with this? No really, what do I do with this child? I give her the business everyday and I stick to what I say, I promise! I do not budge. But she doesn’t care. Like, at all. So I stopped talking to her. I know I know, now I’m 2, but I really had nothing to say. I told her that I wasn’t talking to her because she was impossibly disrespectful and that I didn’t like it. She carried on about her business, but then had the nerve to come over and kiss me on my cheek O_o.Ha! Hunty! Lil mama! Lemme tell you something. I was an only child too. I know this game far too well and yeah, no, doesn’t work for me. Go saddown somewhere So yeah, I’m seriously asking for help. Yeah, she breaks down with anything that goes against her princess lifestyle, but the potty thing is driving me batty. I’m ready to just let her live in diapers for the rest of her life *shrug*. I’m tired. I’m worn out. And I just ain’t got it. Heeelllp!!!!

~JM