Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rehoboth Beach, Deleware

Don't Throw Me In, Daddy!


Running from the waves!

Contemplating our Existence

Baby Fashionista!

Summer officially begins when you take a trip to the beach. This weekend we ventured to Rehoboth Beach in Deleware. Although the water is a little cold it is actually a really great beach, with a fantastic boardwalk. Atley's favorite part, "There were no sharks!"

Bay Bridge and Young Sailors

The only thing I hate about the beach is the way most of the girls are just letting it all hang out. I have impressionable little boys and an impressionable big boy for that matter. Well this time the sailors from the Naval Academy were acting as our life guards at the beach and running up and down the sand. Finally, a little eye candy for the ladies!

I had to include these pictures for my mom, who is afraid of heights and water. Bay Bridge in Annapolis, Maryland is officially the longest, scariest, tallest bridge I have ever crossed. One of those bridges I wouldin't mind burning after I crossed. Hanging out of our sunroof taking pictures as we journeyed over it didn't help my fear much either.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A little culture

Today was the beginning of a two week festival in Washington D.C. called the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Each year the Smithsonian picks three cultures to represent at the festival. This year the festival features, NASA, Texas, and the obscure little country of Bhutan which is located in the Himalayan Mountains near Nepal. It was a really fun day. The boys loved the NASA section of the festival with its array of engines and space shuttle paraphernalia. Atley got to chit-chat with a real-life Astronaut. Of course he told him that being a pilot was way cooler. When the Astronaut told him he was also a pilot. Atley was really surprised and said, "You don't really look like a pilot to me." I loved the Bhutan section. It was really fascinating to me to learn more about Buddhism-once I realized that was the religion they were practicing in their make-shift temple on Washington Mall. The boys were even blessed by a couple of monks. I guess we are covering all of our bases. Of course we all loved the part of Texas that served Mexican Food! Plus the country/western music on the Opry Stage. We all learned a lot and made it back home in one piece. We feel really lucky to be able to be living here and exposing our children to so many awesome experiences. It reminds me of a quote I once heard.

"A child educated only at school is an uneducated child." ~George Santayana

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

My Tall, Skinny Baby with a Big Head

Yesterday was my baby's 18 month check-up. After doing all his weights and measurements, the doctor informed me that his weight was in the 50th percentile, his height 95th percentile, and his head size-off the charts. Then she said, "So, what I am saying is you have a tall, skinny, baby with a big head." Next she feels his head and after realizing that he still has a soft spot she looks at me and says, "Wow! and it looks like his head is still growing." Next she looked at Atley and said, "Well, I can see his brother looks the same way." Not a very complimentary description of my boys! Well, doc we think Nash is pretty darn cute and Atley too for that matter. Nashy is growing so fast and it seems like just in the past couple of weeks he has begun the transition from baby to full-fledged toddler. He is sleeping less, eating more, giving me less kisses, and running even more wild than usual. He has a mind of his own and a very unique language that he speaks with quite a bit of drama and personality. He loves to dance but when he does only one leg bends while the other stays stiff. It is quite a hilarious sight. He always makes us laugh and we adore him.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Great Falls

As you can see we spent the morning at Great Falls. Great Falls is a beautiful spot where the Potomac rushes from southern Maryland into the lower elevation of Northern Virginia. The coolest thing about today was that Atley is riding a bike again. It is a miracle. We are so proud of him. He had a great time and was not even afraid when we went up and down hills. YAY! Atley

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

National Zoo!

After watching Kung Fu Panda we had to go and check out the real thing at the National Zoo today. The boys were a tad disappointed when they realized that the pandas didn't really talk or practice martial arts, but they are coping okay. Scott is working on a project at the zoo, so it was fun to meet him for lunch and get prime parking with his Smithsonian Badge.


"Yes, Atley. We need more water. It hasn't rained nearly enough."

Staking his Claim!

No, Nash does not have his ear pierced. He just likes to put stickers on them!

More tornado warnings and crazy winds yesterday, sent us back down to our basement. The storm cleared up pretty quickly but we were out of power for another 12 hours. Our dark-hot house sent us outside to play in the puddles when the lightening stopped. Outside the boys only sustained minor injuries when Nash tripped and fell face first onto the sidewalk and Atley drove his big wheel into the hitch of our neighbors truck. It is really amazing that Nash still has teeth and that Atley's head is so hard that it can withstand a steel ball slamming into it at such high speeds. It is only by the grace of God that my boys survive each day!

Happy Father's Day!

Although he is way too nice to agree I am pretty sure that Scott's Father's Day was really lame. A few weeks ago all of his tools were stolen out of his truck at the Home Depot. So, for Father's Day he replaced the tools that had been stolen. Then on Thursday he got deathly sick with the stomach flu and it lasted all weekend. I did get him one surprise that didn't go over so well. As most of you know Atley is still terrified to ride his bicycle. In fact, he has nightmares about it! Very Sad! There are tons of fun bike trails around here and we would love to be able to ride as a family. I found this bike attachment-SEE ABOVE! I thought if he was riding behind his dad he might feel comfortable and we could slowly ease him into riding his bike again! Wrong! We put him on it and he screams like a wild-man. Scott starts to pedal and Atley bails off cutting up his knee and damaging his fragile psyche even more. What to do, what to do! Anyway, it is a really cool little bike. It essentially turns your bike into a tandem bicycle, maybe some day he will want to use it. If not watch for it on e-bay, it may be for sale soon.

Items of Business!

1. A few of my friends have mentioned that they would really like to come and visit sometime. I want ALL my friends and family to consider this an open invitation. Anytime you would like to come we will make it happen. We have lots of room and the coolest thing about Washington D.C. is that everything is FREE! We just purchased our tickets to Colorado this summer through travelocity fare alerts. Low Fare Alert is a link on the travelocity website that gives you the lowest possible rates to your destination. You just have to be a little flexible on your dates of departure and arrival. We got round-trip tickets from Washington D.C. to Albuquerque for $185. This is really cheap considering the cost of fuel these days. Check it out if you are interested. We live about 10 minutes from Reagan/Washington National Airport (DCA) or we can travel about 75 minutes to Baltimore Washington International (BWI), or an hour to Dulles. So, find the cheapest airport and book your tickets. We would love to have some company!

2. Here is my plug for the new Disney Movie-Kung Fu Panda. I took the boys yesterday and I think that this is my favorite Disney movie of all time. I know that is saying a lot but it is sooooo cute! The panda's facial expressions are adorable and he is hilarious. Go see the movie!

Air & Space Museum

Scott was sick all weekend so it became my mission to keep the boys out of the house. I made the mistake of giving Atley the option to choose what we did on Saturday. Of course he chose what he always does, and that is going to the National Air and Space Museum on the mall. He loves airplanes and Nash is quickly following his example. We headed downtown. The day was hot and of course the nearest parking was close to a mile away from the museum. I ended up carrying Atley on my shoulders and pushing Nash in the stroller for most of the trek. But, they had a great time once we got inside the air-conditioned museum. Unfortunately, Atley got sick half way through the excursion, but he seems to be on the mend now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Adventures in Parenthood!

Nash has been sick for the last few days and we have been stuck inside of the house. Atley
and I were getting cabin fever. So, last night when Nash woke up from his afternoon nap and seemed to be completely healed, I figured that today would be a great day to journey downtown. Nash woke up in a great mood this morning and soon after lunch we drove into town. Miraculously we found a parking spot right away and I was sure this was a sign that we were going to have a perfect afternoon. I think I was wrong. The plan was to take the trike/stroller and big wheel around the Tidal Basin in front of the Jefferson Memorial and then visit the memorial. But, the first thing Atley saw were the paddle boat rentals on the Tidal Basin. I thought, why not! We had to rent a four-seater because Nash somehow counted as a regular person, not the munchkin that he really is. Adventure #1-trying to get Nash to wear his life jacket. He screamed and pretty much completely freaked out! Adventure #2-trying to hold a screaming Nash in the paddle boat, paddle, steer, and keep Atley from jumping/ falling overboard! Adventure #3-The natural flow of the tide in the basin pushed us out to the middle of the lake, getting back was a different story. We just kept floudering in the center of the basin. It took me forever, with my various distractions to paddle (a four person paddle boat with two crazy boys) back to dock by myself. Needless to say when we finally arrived back at the dock I was exhausted. Keep in mind it is 90 degrees outside with 100% humidity. Despite my exhaustion and frustration Atley reminded me that I had promised him, that he could ride his big wheel to the memorial. Adventure #4-Trying to keep Atley focused with all the distractions of Washington D.C. around him while pushing Nash in his trike/stroller. Adventure #5-Of course, when the boys got off their bikes at the memorial Nash thought it meant he could run around wild! He wouldn't hold my hand or let me carry him. He just ran around screaming "FREE, FREE, FREE!" A fitting phrase as we stood in the shadow of the writer of the Declaration of Independence. Adventure #6-Attempting to get my "FREE" boys, mainly Nash, back on his trike for the 1/2 mile trip back to the car. He flailed himself every direction and contorted his body like some sort of circus freak as I tried to fasten him onto his trike. All the while Atley is riding his big wheel, apparently chasing a mounted police officer's horse. At least that is what the officer said when he asked if I could use his assistance. I gave up on trying to get Nash on his trike so I carried him in one armed, pushed the trike in the other and worked really hard at keeping Atley focused enough to stay on the road without running over any tourists. Next time I might ask Scott to come along! I think it might have been a little easier. I am also going to start a new blog entitled: "Things mother's should never do alone with their children." My first entry-Paddle Boat Around the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Boys of Summer!

I am sorry if this seems more like a weather report than a blog but it has been crazy. Today was 98 degrees. With the humidity, the heat index was above 110 degrees. It is like living inside of a green house. Tucson's heat has nothing on this place. Never satisfied, I should just be happy we haven't had any more tornadoes. Our neighbors still don't have power and they are practically melting inside their house. We had to find a way to "beat-the-heat" and since we don't have a pool or a pool membership we bought the boys a PIRATE POOL today, complete with a water cannon or CANYON as Atley calls it! Atley had a ton of fun. Nash, not so much!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Shelter from the Storm!

Yesterday afternoon I was enjoying the quiet. Both of my boys were asleep upstairs. Yes, even Atley. The day was a little gray and there was a light rain falling. It suddenly turned fierce. The wind kicked up and the rain was falling faster. The lightening and thunder were constant. I decided that I should turn on the TV to check the weather reports. Just as I grabbed the remote the power went out. I was getting the feeling that this might be serious. I stood there in the living room contemplating whether I should go get the boys out of their peaceful slumber and take them downstairs. As I started for the stairs I almost turned back. Was I just overreacting? I have a tendency to overreact sometimes. But, the thunder grew louder and I headed up the stairs. As I reached the top of the stairs I could see out the second story window. Just then a tree across the street came tumbling down. It hit the transformer on the power pool next to our house. Flames shot out of the transformer at least ten feet into the air as the power lines were ripped off of our neighbors house. My ears suddenly became plugged but even still the sound outside was loud, like a train driving through the neighborhood. Even the windows were shaking. I opened Atley's door and yelled for him to get up. He didn't move. I clapped my hands and made lots of noise thinking it would wake him while I ran into Nash's room to grab him. I yanked Nash out of his crib while Atley still lay sleeping. Finally I grabbed Atley with my one free arm, tucked them both like footballs and headed to the basement. Atley was screaming, scared to death and Nash was laughing and yelling, "CRAZY, CRAZY!" We made it to the basement and spent the next couple of hours down there until the tornado warnings had expired. When we finally heard the birds chirping outside we knew it was safe to emerge from the dungeon that is our basement. Atley was only comforted by the fact that I let him eat some of our food storage goodies. He has been told that it is emergency food only. He informed me soon after our arrival in the basement that a tornado was definitely an emergency. Scott eventually made it home safe and sound. Later that evening we realized that a tornado hit Annandale road. This is approximately 50 yards from our house. The tornado killed at least one person when a tree fell on their car. The coolest thing about the whole experience was seeing our neighbors come together. Everyone was out helping each other clean up. One neighbor made hamburgers and hotdogs for everyone. Those with generators shared with those of us who didn't have generators so that we could keep updated on the news and have a little bit of light. Needless, to say the power came back on for us this morning. Although there are about 250,000 people in our area who are still without power. We are grateful that everything turned out okay and we do not look forward to another tornado. Here are some pictures of the boys in our tornado shelter. Notice Atley clutching his flashlight and weather radio. At least now his biggest fear is no longer his bike.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

One of those days!

It doesn't take long after Atley and Nash wake up to realize what kind of a day I am going to have. So, at 8:00 AM this morning I knew I had to get the boys out of the house to ensure that the house would still be standing at 8:00 PM tonight. It looked like it was going to rain, so taking them outside was no longer an option. I took them to the mall! Although it helped them expend a lot of energy. It obviously was not enough! After dinner Scott and I noticed an unusually strong smell. The smell of baby powder to be exact. Soon after noticing the scent Atley came sneaking down stairs and snatched the dirt devil! RED FLAG! We followed him upstairs and discovered the following. Next time we will spend more time at the mall.

DISCOVERED...The Baby Powder Fiasco!

The greatest poem ever known
Is one all poets have outgrown:
The poetry, innate, untold,
Of being only four years old.
~Christopher Morley, To a Child

Sunday, June 1, 2008