Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Chatting with Henry

As the saying goes, kids say the darndest things!

  1.  "I love chocolate so much, hearts are coming out of my head!"
  2. "Someone in our family isn't here and I miss him so much...(long silence) It's Dad."
  3. While being very mad at me over something: "Go wrap yourself in a mummy!" (We had just been through the mummy exhibit at the Museum of Natural History.)
  4. While I was deep in thought/staring into space: Henry-"What are you looking at, Mom?" Me-"Oh I was just thinking about how I miss working sometimes." Henry-"Oh, I was thinking about how I miss Patty's Cakes." 
  5. Trader Joes Worker-"Maybe you could work here someday!" Henry-"No. Mom, I never want to leave you."
  6. "I love Dad because he cooks good. He makes good scrambled eggs."
  7. Describing some imaginary creatures: "They are very tiny, like little baby lions wearing red sweaters. And they like to fight. They come in through small cracks in the door because they are too little to open the door. They are called Sams."
  8. While determined to learn to whistle (after trying for about 2 minutes): "Mom, can you just put some whistles inside my mouth?!?"
That's our boy!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer has arrived

Spring left like a lamb and summer has rolled (roared?) in like a lion. There is most definitely a distinct difference in summer air between So Cal and DC and it is the moisture in the air. The good news is, there is no drought here so I do not feel guilty for taking two showers in one day.

Since the weather is hot and humid, we've been trying to get out in the morning while it's still a reasonable (80 degrees, with 70% humidity-practically the tropics!) temperature, and have made repeat visits to the Botanical Gardens, which Henry loves. He's a big fan of outdoor chores and here in their newly-opened Children's Garden, they offer sweeping, planting, digging, watering--all the gardening jobs that kids love.
We also recently ventured to the National Geographic Museum which currently has a shark exhibit where I learned tiger sharks carry up to 40 pups while pregnant. Had I been on Jeopardy and that the final round, I would have definitely guessed only one or two.

We've visited Henry's preschool friend from Fullerton who moved out to Virginia about a year before we did and enjoyed Star Wars playing (and watching, of course) pool dates and park dates and quite a lot of bike riding around the neighborhood.

My bucket list still includes a trip to the beach, a Nationals Game, and a few other adventure stops in the area when Scott is able to join us!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Grandparents Have Landed!

June is off to a fantastic start, thanks to a visit from some grandparents!

My amazing in-laws arrived the day before Scott's birthday so they were able to celebrate with us and win the award for longest-traveling babysitters so we could have a birthday date night.

I kept Scott in the dark for his birthday plans, as I'd learned of a really cool speakeasy right in Capitol Hill to take him to and it did not disappoint. He questioned my every move as I lead him through a peculiar door, down hallways, and flights of stairs to a large barn door and knocked. It was great to have some kid-free time together and enjoy some excellent libations and dinner!

We struck a pretty good balance of sight seeing and hanging out time, venturing to the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, and Botanical Gardens on their second day.

While Scott and his dad enjoyed a gentleman's evening of cigars one night, Grandma, the kids, and I went to one of Henry's favorite haunts-Yards Park, where he loves to play in the fountains and wading pool.
We also took them to the Natural History Museum to experience some of our favorite exhibits-the butterfly garden and tarantula feeding in the insect zoo, Mount Vernon, and Congressional Cemetery. It was cool to visit Mount Vernon in a different season than our because the gardens were spectacular. They were just beginning to bloom in February and now everything is bursting with color.

We are so fortunate to have parents willing to make the trip to see us and I'm very much looking forward to my own family's visit next month :)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Wrapping up May

May has drawn to a close with a fast and furious bang.

We were fortunate to snag tickets to the Hirshhorn Museum's Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit, which was a total trip. Henry was particularly amazed by the exhibits, particularly the pumpkin one, of which there is no photo evidence because I am a rule follower through and through.

We also visited Great Falls National Park after several suggestions from neighbors and Scott's coworkers. I am not sure if it's a regional difference, but as you can see from the photos, the rapids were impressive, but I was expecting the water to be pouring off from a bit higher elevation. It was a beautiful drive and certainly worth a repeat visit for the trails and picnicking opportunities.

I was quite surprised when we received not one but two invitations to birthday parties this month, the first of which being Scott's coworker's four-year-old son, who had his party at Roer's Zoofari, a zoo/petting zoo/animal "experience" in suburban Virginia. We walked around feeding various farm animals, monkeys, meerkats, and even a giraffe. There is also a bus that takes you through large gated area (think Wild Animal park but MUCH smaller scale) allowing you to feed and touch bison, llamas, emus-the perfect party for a four-year-old and all of his classmates...and one new kid who was ready to be his best friend.
Holding the budgies was a pretty cool experience, until one flapped onto my head. No photo evidence in that flurry of a moment!
The Haselton ladies drove up to PA to surprise Scott's cousin Melisa for her birthday over Memorial Day weekend, and meet up with her parents/his aunt and uncle who were in from California. We had a great time celebrating the birthday girl and taking in the local wildlife on the way home-a slowpoke snapping turtle going the wrongway on the road.

We spent Memorial Day reflecting at the Reflecting Pool and visiting the memorials and monuments along the National Mall during the morning and bubbles and bike riding in our backyard in the afternoon-the only thing missing was an actual barbecue...but we got plenty of whiffs from our neighbors! Methinks one will find its way onto our patio in the very near future.
May also brought days at the park, an intense lighting and thunder show, a first visit to the National Building Museum, and ladies wine night with my neighbors. In the coming weeks we are looking forward to a visit from both sets of grandparents and even friends from home. Yay summer!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May Days

I sound like a broken record when I say the days are flying by and May is already half over!

Josephine is six months old and while her sleeping habits leave something to be desired, she's a really sweet gal. She absolutely adores her brother, and has just started sitting up and scooting/army crawling everywhere. She's very interested in the world around her yet has a pretty hard time letting me out of her sight. My hands and heart are full!
In early May we went to the National Cathedral for the Flower Mart, a festival of flowers, boutique shopping, and children's activities. Henry had a ball playing games and of course, in the bounce house. We even ran into a California connection I'd been meaning to connect with, randomly!

On our weekly grocery trips into Alexandria on the George Washington Parkway, we pass by Daingerfield Island, and I have been meaning to stop for months. I finally pulled the trigger and it was a perfect little jaunt for Henry-geese, boats, planes taking off from Ronald Reagan, and the DC skyline in the distance.

We've enjoyed dinner dates with our neighbors, and playdates with Henry's closest friend out here :)
There have been shenanigans and rainy days...

And a pretty great Mother's Day, complete with a charcuterie picnic and strawberry picking.


...and the cutest little farm house you ever did see!

I love the way Josephine looks at and loves her brother :)
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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

April-Part II

The momentum of April kept going during the second half, as we explored more of our neighborhood and beyond.

Walking distance from our house is the Congressional Cemetery, where the likes of John Philip Sousa and other somewhat notable individuals are buried (I'd say B-C listers.) The cemetery has tombstones honoring members of Congress, but as the FAQ on their website clearly states, "You just have to be dead" to be buried there. Haha. What's unique is that the cemetery offers memberships for dog owners to use as an off-leash dog walking park.

We found some dates as far back as the 1700s and both Scott and I walked away feeling like the entire graveyard had a Haunted Mansion feel-it wasn't orderly with rows of tombstones, but rather haphazardly arranged, even like Halloween decorations. Definitely worth walking through again.
Besides the cherry blossoms in the Tidal Basin, the azaleas at the National Arboretum are a big attraction for spring blooms in DC. The azaleas did not disappoint. In the picture below, you can also see columns in the distance, which are the original ones from the Capitol. They are standing in acres of green fields-it's a unique site to see.

We also ventured over to Georgetown last weekend-now that's a fabulous neighborhood! We explored and picnicked at Montrose Park where Josephine enjoyed her first swing ride, and made our way to Sprinkles so Henry could devour one of his most favorite things-a chocolate cupcake.

Onward to May!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend started as any Good Friday should--with a trip to the Library of Congress for Josephine's first story time! As you'd expect, it's a big attraction for the toddler and preschooler crowd, and limited to the first 50 people. We got there pretty early and secured our number, and then Henry was able to check out all of the cool toys, books and bean bags in the children's area.

The librarian was awesome--lots of songs, stories, finger plays--the usual story time fare. It seems they ask if there are any birthdays each week to which Henry shot his hand up and they all proceeded to sing "Happy Birthday" to him, and he ate it up. While I sat there wide eyed, he enjoyed every moment. When I asked him about it later, he said simply, "She asked if anyone had a birthday. I have a birthday." Selective hearing for the win! He was really chatty during the experience which can be frustrating to anyone but this librarian was very gracious and encouraging of his comments.

Friday afternoon we also dyed our eggs/appeared to play a rousing game of beer pong ;)

Saturday morning, we departed on our drive north to Peach Bottom, Pennsylvania, where Scott's cousin and her family live on a large property with woods and rolling hills and even some farm animals. If you haven't been, Pennsylvania is pretty darn beautiful!

Henry was in heaven with their youngest son, following him around and learning the ways of country life.

We were treated to an awesome hike to the Susquehanna River, delicious meals, and of course, a delightful weekend celebrating Easter. Their land (because it is like 30 'backyards') provided the perfect backdrop for egg hunting. Thanks so much for your 5-star hospitality guys, we had a fantastic time!