Sunday, June 27, 2010

Field Trip


On Friday I managed to take a morning off of work and chaperon for Owen's field trip to the building museum. It was quite a treat to tag along with Owen's class, and it was great to see how excited Owen was to have his Daddy with him. It was a bit of a hike for the kids to get to the museum, but once we were there Owen had a great time playing with all the blocks, and I even got in on the fun building an arch with one of the other dads. Owen has several more field trips scheduled this summer before he starts at his new school, so hopefully we'll be able to do this again soon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Better Than the Old Pornographers


I have a soft spot for the New Pornographers -- they're one of my favorite bands in general and they performed the first concert Owen attended in utero. So when Allen heard they'd be in town around our anniversary (despite the fact he wasn't sure if he'd be), he went ahead and got tickets. Allen's Sweden trip was nixed and Grandpa Fawcett graciously agreed to watch the kids, so we finally got to see the complete band perform at the 9:30 Club, including the always elusive, Neko Case. The show was a bit surreal, particularly when they performed Electric Version accompanied by their "Rock Band" counterparts (which A.C. Newman only scored an 85 on for vocals) and broke out an impromptu (and ironic) tribute to Starship's "We Built This City," but it was a great way to celebrate our seventh year of marriage and how much my musical tastes have improved under Allen's influence.

If you want to enjoy the show yourself, NPR is streaming it here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day - Part II

Last year for Father's Day, Allen got "Rock Band." This year, we decided to step it up a notch with an actual guitar. Thanks to a covert outing to "Guitar Center" with our dear friend, Brad Brown, who was instrumental (snicker, snicker) in the enterprise, Allen is the proud owner of a Yamaha Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar. And after a jam session with Brad and some guitar lessons off his i-phone (yes, they have an app for that), Allen was able to rock out a little with Owen.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day - Part I

Grandpa, Daddy, and Owen

Father's day started a little early this year. On Friday night, Dad, Owen and I went to the ballpark to catch a Nationals game. It was a beautiful night, the weather was perfect, Stephen Strasburg was on the mound for his second ever home start, and the snipers were ringing the roof of the stadium. Yes, it was such a perfect night for baseball that President Obama and family couldn't pass up the chance to see the rookie phenom pitch against their beloved White Sox.

Owen of course was thrilled to be at a ballgame with his Daddy and his Grandpa, and excited about all that entailed. A curly W pretzel in the 1st, a hot dog in the 3rd, ice cream after the Presidents Race in the 4th, singing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' in the 7th inning stretch, and lots of cheering for his favorite Nationals players, Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn, Nyger Morgan, and Pudge Rodriguez. Strasburg was brilliant of course, after giving up a run in the first on an infield single and a bloop double, he struck out 10 and walked none in seven innings. It wasn't quite enough for the win though, the game went into extra innings tied at one.

We headed home with the game still tied after 10 innings, and Owen was quite proud that he stayed two innings longer than Sasha and Malia. The White Sox scored in the 11th after we left, and the Nats couldn't quite pull out the win, but it was a great night none the less. I can't think of a better way to start Father's Day weekend than spending a beautiful night at the ballpark with my dad and my son. Life is good:-)

(click here to see all the Father's Day pictures)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We're In

Owen's New School

Back in November we started to investigate the schools on Capitol Hill to see where we should apply for a Pre-K program for Owen. We went to numerous open houses and school fairs, talked to other parents, and checked out test scores and various other metrics before finally submitting our application for the DC Public Schools Pre-K lottery in January. It didn't go so well. Owen was wait-listed unilaterally and when I began calling the various programs to ask about the likelihood that he might eventually get in, I was universally laughed at.

But now, after more months of phone calls, attending fundraisers, and some neighbors giving us the heads up that they added an additional class, we are happy to report that Owen is registered not in his first choice (that would be Peabody's SWS, #66 on the wait-list), or his second choice (Peabody Elementary, #159 on the wait-list), or even his third choice (Maury Elementary, #50 on the wait-list), but his fourth choice, Ludlow-Taylor (where he was only #19 on the wait-list).

The Peabody schools are more established, are attended by several of our neighbors' kids, and are conveniently located directly along my commute. Maury is attended by several daycare families we know, has a really active PTA and is only .49 miles from our house (and along Allen's bus route). Ludlow-Taylor is .67 miles from the house, is not on either of our commutes, requires yellow and green uniforms, and while above the DC averages, still has a ways to go on its test scores. However, their PTA is becomming more active, it's adopted a Emilia Reggio curriculum for its pre-school and pre-k classes, it has a full-time Spanish teacher, a partnership with the Fillmore Arts Center and possibly most important to Owen, it has a baseball field.

So Owen is now enrolled for the 2010-11 school year. We'll see how it goes, and hopefully we won't have to abandon the city for the suburbs for at least a little bit longer...

Monday, June 07, 2010

Inside Baseball

Nats vs. Reds

Owen has really gotten into baseball lately. On Friday night I took Owen to his third baseball game of the season, and his first night game. He was completely enthralled. He loved watching every pitch, he made sure that everyone in our section knew that Ryan Zimmerman is his favorite baseball player, and of course he cheered like crazy for the Presidents race. He's turning into a huge Washington Nationals fan, or the 'red guys' as he sometimes calls them after seeing them play the 'blue guys' or Brewers, and the 'orange guys' or Orioles, so I was quite impressed he was able to adjust to his beloved 'red guys' playing the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

He doesn't just like watching baseball, but loves playing the game as well. We have a mini-beach ball that is just perfect for playing inside baseball (or at least Daddy and Owen think so, I think Mommy is only reluctantly on board with this plan), and Owen likes to practice everyday. He's developed quite the swing, and if he keeps this up, he'll be tearing up the t-ball league when he's finally old enough to play.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Summer School

On the morning of May 24th, Allen and I rose early, turned on our respective laptops, logged into our accounts and waited, with credit cards in hand, to enroll our children in swim lessons at 6:30 am. This may seem a bit overkill, but there are only eight spots in each of the classes and they tend to fill up in five minutes or less -- last year the computer system was down and so we had to circumvent a street closing and a nonplussed capitol policeman to get to a rec center where after a few phone calls we were finally able to enroll Owen. It was a little dicey for a minute there, as Allen didn't realize his address was incomplete and so it wouldn't let him pay for Owen's class and by the time I attempted to enroll Owen on my computer the class was full, but eventually it all worked out.

Getting to lessons was even more of a chore since the powers that be decided to do some "deep patching " on Saturday morning and closed our street (though Owen was pretty psyched to see both a digger and a dumptruck working on our block). We eventually made it out and after an emergency bagel stop, headed to the pool. The water was chilly, Nora seemed a bit confused about it all and Owen was a bit more hesitant than he was last year -- until they turned on the fountains after class was done -- but all in all it was a good start to the day and to Nora's swim career (and we even got a couple of covert pictures in before I was reprimanded by one of the instructors).

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Nora "Margret Grady" Fawcett

Memorial Day weekend brought the start of the summer pool season, and we took full advantage of the 90 degree plus weather to take Nora swimming for the first and second times. Our good friends Brad and Marlo (and Mia and Ben) invited us up to their pool on Sunday and Monday evenings for sandwiches/grilling and plenty of swimming with the kids. Nora didn't look all that pleased to be in the water, in fact she made her best "Margaret Grady" face and glared at the camera like her great grandmother, but eventually she warmed up to the idea of swimming. Owen was a bit more reluctant to jump in the pool than he was at the end of last summer, but he was happy to grab every flotation device he could find and start kicking away. On Sunday, Andrew and Luke joined us as well, and the kids got a bit more adventurous. Nora and Ben had fun in the little pool with Elaine and Marlo, and the Dads took the big kids into the big pool for plenty of racing, tossing, splashing, and fun.

(click here to see all the pictures)