Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holiday Swap

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We really stretched out Christmas this year, so much so that our 'Christmas' dinner at Mom Mom's house was actually on New Year's Eve, and much to Aunt Katherine's delight, we didn't actually open all our presents until New Year's day. This of course meant that we all spent the night at Mom Mom and Grandpa Don's to ring in the New Year. We had a Mexican feast inspired by the Fonda San Miguel cookbook (one of our favorite restaurants back in Austin), and Elaine and I whipped up some delicious flan the night we got back from Iowa to bring to the celebration. Katherine drove in from Ohio; Nancy, Danny and Christopher all joined us of course; and Aunt Jen bravely brought her boyfriend Aszur (sp?) to the party. We stayed up into the New Year playing a lively game of Cranium (don't worry, none of the videos will go online, particularly the Aunt Katherine and Aunt Jen's 'pin the tail on the donkey' puppet charade), and drinking more than a few Christmas Ales. New Year's day felt like Christmas morning, complete with stockings from Santa and lots of presents to open under the tree. All told, a great Christmas in Maryland.

(click here for the pictures)

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Seven Days of Iowa Christmas

Christmas tends to not be a discrete celebration for us, particularly when we go to Iowa. Our extensive extended family tends to have other familial obligations on the 25th and so the Yuletide is celebrated via a series of informal mini gatherings rather than one central feast. And while this wreaks havoc on poor Grandma Z's menu planning skills, it means that we get to see a lot of relatives in a relatively short amount of time.

Sure, Aunt Katherine shot Owen in the head with an arrow (a nerf arrow, mind you) and Nora got lost while wandering unsupervised through Aunt Helen and Uncle Ken's house. Yes, maybe it wasn't the best idea in the world for Grandpa Z to make Owen (and cousin Olivia) a real spear using Indian arrowheads (though at least Owen's new light saber distracted him). Ok, we probably shouldn't have bailed on Christmas Eve mass just because we couldn't actually see the mass. And yeah, it would have been nice for kids not to be innundated with caucus ads describing their hometown as a den of evil responsible for all that is wrong with the world.

But nobody lost an eye, we were able to meet three new baby cousins, Santa came, we played a lot of hide-and-go seek, ate a ton of goodies, stopped by the pond, and had a pretty amazing time.

And then we came back to DC and did the whole thing over again.

(Click here to see all the pics from our adventures in Iowa.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peabody for the Holidays

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The weeks leading up to winter break are pretty packed with school related Holiday festivities. On Friday, I chaperoned Owen's class field trip to see the trains at the Botanic Gardens. We walked the mile from Owen's school to the Capitol, had a great time seeing all the trains and flowers, and hiked back with a stop at the Capitol Christmas Tree.

Wednesday was the last day of school, and also the day of Peabody Classroom 8's Holiday Program. Ms. Dorsey's class went above and beyond, and put on a program for all their parents and all the other Kindergarten classes to see, and hosted a delicious Holiday brunch. Owen had been working hard memorizing all the poems and songs, and the whole class did a great job. The video below has the entire show, but for those not up for the whole 8 minute program, click here to skip to the cute dance to 'Santa Clause is Coming to Town' (which also happens to be the part that would make me a felon and could put me behind bars for five years as a first time offender if SOPA passes, who knew Kindergarten, cameras and copyrighted music were such a dangerous combination.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nora's Daycare Holiday Program

It's been a couple years since we last went to a DOL daycare Holiday Program, so we were pretty excited to see Nora's first performance. She was a little upset that she couldn't find Mommy in the audience (not being able to find Daddy apparently didn't phase her), but Classroom 8's performance of 'We Wish You a Happy Holiday' and 'Light the Candle' was adorable none the less.

Friday, December 09, 2011

A Public Service Announcement

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As the holidays are upon us and the season for online shopping and cross-country gift exchanges is here, you might find yourself suddenly overwhelmed with cardboard boxes. While ultimately these receptacles should be recycled or used for long-term storage, Owen and Nora have some more immediately gratifying uses that we thought we'd share. FYI, the spyglass has met with some technical difficulties and the jail/additional sleeping space might run you into trouble with protective services, but you really can't go wrong with the sword-shield combo or a puppet show stage. Enjoy!



(click here for all the box pictures)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Latest Addition

Cousin Molly recently got a job as a staff assistant for Congressman Bruce Braley and moved to DC this past Sunday. The timing was rather impeccable, since the Occupy DC protesters had just built a barn in McPherson Square on Saturday. The prospect of meeting new people while living rent-free in the great outdoors was tempting, but as the police dismantled the structure Sunday evening, Molly decided to take us up on our offer to crash on our couch until she finds a place (in exchange for unlimited babysitting). Needless to say, we're pretty psyched she's here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Great Falls & Natural History


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The weekend after Thanksgiving turned out to be warm and beautiful here in DC, so we finally satisfied Owen's desire to go back to Great Falls. The kids decided that with all the rocks and rapids, they better be on the safe side and dress up as superheroes for the trip. We all had a lovely picnic lunch, and Owen and Nora scrambled around the rocks near the overlook together, before we hiked down the Billy Goat Trail, and Owen and I ventured off for some more challenging boldering off the beaten path (Mommy was happy she didn't see Owen climb the rock face in the picture above;-).

On Sunday we had a bit more of a low key outing to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, or the indoor zoo as the kids like to call it. We arrived right as the doors opened, and Owen sprinted to the Dinosaur hall to see the paleontologists working. He held up a rock he found in Texas, that looked like it might have a fossil in it, up to the window, and two of the paleontologists came out to talk with Owen and they all decided that it might be a tooth from the Cretaceous period. Pretty cool stuff for our little fossil hunter. Nora was much more enthralled with the Ocean hall, with the biggest hits being the deep sea sculptures in the back of the hall, and of course the fish tank with Nemo & Dory. Altogether a lovely post-Thanksgiving weekend.

(click here for pictures)

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Part II

While the Fawcett contingency loves going over to Nancy & Danny's for Thanksgiving each year, their one regret is that due to their role of "guest," they don't have full access to the leftovers the meal produced. So this year, they decided to do something about it and spent Black Friday cooking a turkey and all the fixings (sans the leftover pumpkin pie that Allen decided not to share).

I went into work while Allen went with the kids to pick out a Christmas tree and then headed up to Mom Mom's and Grandpa Don's for some extra Aunt Katherine bonding time (which involved Firetruck Park, a hike in the woods, and the re-purposing of a cardboard box. By the time I made it up for dinner, the crew was pretty exhausted and wondering whether Thanksgiving the sequel was worth it. However, based on the look of joy as Allen made a turkey-cranberry sandwich complete with his mother's homemade crescent rolls on Saturday, there was at least one convert.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving

It was our year to celebrate thanksgiving in the DC metro area, which meant we got to sleep in, have the traditional Thanksgiving pancakes and sausages, go to a park, take an early nap, and then head over to Nancy & Danny's in Old Town Alexandria, VA at three o'clock for some serious eating and the company of Grandpa Don & Mom Mom, Katherine, Adrienne and Christopher.

The kids' table was in its own room which allowed them to dine while viewing some classic Disney and Superman movies, as well as access to an unsupervised bowl of Chex Mix which Nora took full advantage of. Meanwhile, the adults enjoyed some delicious southwest influenced Thanksgiving standards, excellent wine, followed by an ambitious number of desserts.

Nora enjoyed her second trip to a park in one day, where we got some swing time in and called Grandma & Grandpa Z. Later, everyone else (save Grandpa Don who opted for a nap instead) took a lovely stroll to the riverfront to check out the lights (and work off some of the meal).

(click here for the Thanksgiving pictures)

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DOL Thanksgiving

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There wasn't a play or poem or even a song (though it was very loud), but Nora and Mommy still had a great time at her Thanksgiving luncheon on Tuesday (even though the traditional Thanksgiving cupcake necessitated an outfit change before nap time).

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Peabody Thanksgiving

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One of the joys of Kindergarten is putting on class shows for your parents. For the last couple of weeks, Owen has been learning songs and memorizing lines all in preparation for the Peabody Thanksgiving lunch, and we've learned a lot about 'Autumn's frosty art' and how the Indians taught the Pilgrims how to hunt and plant corn. Well yesterday was the big day, Daddy took the day off work, Mommy sneaked out over lunch, and Mom Mom came down for the show. Owen had a great time performing (though for some reason, the class decided not to utilize their costumes), and we had a lovely early Thanksgiving in Classroom 8.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fall

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Just a little Fall fun...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Wedding Party


It's been a while since we've been to a wedding -- it seemed that most of our acquaintances that were able and inclined to be joined in holy matrimony have already done so. But then the state of Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriages and my cousin Mark met and fell in love with a doctor named Bryan. Suddenly we had a reason to go to Boston and I got to buy a new dress.

The nuptials were adults only (which is kind of shocking, knowing Mark's fondness for the "Chicken Dance"). This meant that the kids got to spend two glorious days with Mom Mom and Grandpa Don -- watching dolphins jump at the Baltimore Aquarium, eating homemade waffles, and playing some new robot/alien/giant game which apparently involves laundry baskets.

Meanwhile, we got to catch up with some local friends (though not as much as we'd hoped to as storms in Boston delayed our flight by a couple of hours and ruined our dinner plans), explore Harvard Square, see lots of relatives, drink a few too many cocktails, over-indulge in a photo-booth, and bask in the union of two people who love each other (as well as Mariah Carey lyrics).

Congratulations Mark and Bryan. We wish you a long and happy life together.

(To see all the pics from our Boston weekend, click here.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween 2011

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For Halloween this year, Owen decided he wanted to wear the superman costume that he's been wearing to fight crime in the neighborhood for ages, and Nora went as an absolutely adorable ladybug girl.  Keeping with our Halloween tradition, we went over to Grandpa Fawcett's house to trick-or-treat on East Capitol St., and hand out candy to the thousands of kids that descend upon the neighborhood.  We did have a slight break from tradition, instead of Kansas City chili, this year Claudine made spaghetti with Kansas City meatballs, but it still was delicious. This was Nora's first year trick-or-treating, and she was pretty thrilled with the whole concept.  Owen had plenty of fun getting candy from strangers, but he really preferred giving candy to strangers.  He's become quite adept at managing the crowds, and strictly enforcing the one piece of candy rule, which given some of the hungry monsters coming to the door, was definitely a job for superman.

(click here for all the Halloween pictures)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Brady's 5th Birthday

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Fresh off of his play-date with Brady and Leo last weekend, Owen saw Brady and a bunch of old DOL friends again this weekend at Brady's 5th birthday party. After the cold wintery mix of precipitation on Saturday, Sunday turned out to be a gorgeous (if somewhat muddy) day, quite fortunate since Brady's party was outside at Ticonderoga farms fall festival.  The kids all had a great time playing on the giant slides, bouncing on the awesome bouncy thing, going on the spooky hay ride, screaming in the haunted house, and roasting marshmallows for s'mores.

Meanwhile, back at home Nora had her very first play-date.  Her friend Violet, from DOL, lives one block over from us, and the two of them got together (with their moms of course) at the park and had a great time playing while the boys were off at the party.

(click here for all the pictures)

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hottern'Hades Halloween Party

There is a long and glorious history for our annual Halloween party, and this year Brad & Marlo planned to go big.  I can't to Brad's epic write-up of the party history and plans, so best just to quote it here:
A brief history for those new to this phenomenon: 1996: Kirsten A. throws the first ever UT Econ Halloween Party in her tiny apartment. Everyone dresses up and has fun. 1997: Kirsten gets a house and the party becomes a serious event. 1998: The Browns take over, add a trash can full of super spiked sangria & a keg - the event is now a happening. 2000: The Party moves to the “Cougar Den” - the atmosphere is more like a frat house (albeit a nerdy one) & less like a married couple’s house. 2003: The Founders are scattered all over the world, but there is critical mass in DC. Armed with infinitely more income than in grad school and a truly global guest list, the debauchery level reaches apex and the happening is now a cosmic force. 2007: We are old and have children. The parties start earlier and tend to end a little after dark. There are less f-bombs in songs on the playlist. There’s still plenty of good beer, lots of friends and neighbors, and great costumes. And we added the now famous chili cook-off.

2011: Looking to restore the old glory of this bacchanalia (in a way that hardly resembles the great monuments of the past, but… ), we are blowing the roof off and taking it to the streets. 100 yards of traffic free pavement, a moon bounce, a horse swing, pumpkin carving, bikes, trikes, and big wheels, frisbees and footballs, cornhole, pingpong, bocce, and other non-sports. Marshmallow roasting. Plus, the return of the Witches Brew, primo local micro brews on tap, and wine (and softdrinks). Music. Leaf piles. Candy. Grills moved to the front yards and fired up to feed the delicate tummies.
Alas, mother nature had other plans for this year's party, as Saturday brought us rain and the first October snow we've seen in DC in many years.  Unfazed, Brad and Marlo moved the party inside, set up a tent and a fire-pit on the deck for the kegs, and pushed on with the party.  The chili was delicious, the kids had a blast, and the party was salvaged. Sadly we had to head home around eight to get the kids to bed, but reports are that the party raged on until 2 am, so at least some of the party's old glory was restored.

(click here for all the Halloween pictures)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Three Amigos


Owen's been missing his daycare friends, Leo and Brady, so we squeezed in a playdate last Sunday. One forgets how silly five year old boys can be, and when you multiply that by three, well, you get a pack of little boys that decide to shove footballs up their shirts and pretend that they're pregnant.

The day was beautiful so we headed over to Lincoln Park for some football, baseball and ghost in the graveyard before walking to Eastern Market for some donuts. All in all the boys walked over 2 miles, and yet still didn't seem tired when they left (thankfully, no one went into labor).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Austin

Last Friday was a professional development day for DC teachers and Monday was conferences, which meant that Owen had a four day weekend. We decided to run afoul of the DCPS attendance policy and make it a five day weekend in order to accommodate an overdue trip to Austin.

Which meant we had to pack a lot into five days.

There were three separate ice cream trips (at two locations), seven restaurants (including the site of our first official date) and three museums (only two of which involved dinosaurs). We saw the clock tower from a distance, saw my dissertation chair up close, and posed with an animatronic president.

Custom-made antelope, rabbit & pork sausage, huckleberry compote, sriracha aioli, cheddar sausages were consumed as well as taquerias and some serious Texas Bar-B-Que. Livestock was inspected (though none were harmed in our subsequent brunch). Longhorn paraphernalia was purchased and worn. Dinosaurs were sat upon and admired from a distance. Pools were swam in and naps were missed.

And there were cows. Lots and lots of cows.

But mostly we were able to catch up with some good friends and relatives that we haven't seen in a few years (or in the case of Brandon, Anneke and Asa, since May). Thanks to Bill, Katherine, Billy & Sarah who drove up from Houston; Shane and Laura who put off packing for a trip and playing with their new iPhone 4S to meet us for dinner; Brandon, Anneke & Asa; and Kelly, Channing, Calder & Wright who managed to not get sick. Finally, a special thanks to Uncle Truman & Aunt Janis, who let us crash at their place for a couple of nights, provided our kids with all sorts of diversions and got up at the crack of dawn to make us breakfast tacos before we headed out to the airport. We had an amazing time and we hope to see you all again soon.

(click here to see all the Austin pictures)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall


I gave Allen 1 week to recover from his India trip, after which I scheduled pretty much every second of his weekend. Saturday was baseball camp followed by the Red River Shootout/F Street Block Party. Traditionally Brad and Marlo have had everyone up to their place for the Texas-Oklahoma football game, but since it was the same day as our block party and there was a bouncy castle involved, we instead invited everyone to our place. Apparently, the gods didn't like this change in plans. Allen, Brad and Andrew gave up and joined the outside festivities after OU was up 34-10 at the half. Sadly, they couldn't escape our neighbors giving us updates. I suspect will be back in Silver Spring for the 2012 game.

Sunday we managed to make it out the door before 10 am in order to get to Brad and Marlo's for our annual pilgrimage to Butler's Orchard for the harvest festival. It was a balmy 78 degrees, prompting us to skip the hayride, but we still managed to partake in the corn maze, super slide, hay barn and play area. Sure, Owen was MIA for 10 minutes and the squirrels have already eaten our two pumpkins, but it was still a pretty great way to spend a Sunday.

Monday was Columbus Day which we celebrated by eating pancakes, a trip to the zoo and dinner at Mom Moms. Afterwards, we retired and started preparing for our trip to Austin...

Monday, October 03, 2011

India

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Last week I went to India to speak at what I thought was the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emissions Development workshop, but after a long series of meetings and discussions at the U.S. Embassy and the Indian Planning Commission (about which I've probably already said too much) turned out to be the Joint Indo-US Workshop on Economy-Wide Analysis for Low Carbon Strategies.

I left DC on Friday afternoon, flew to Chicago, and then took a 15 hour flight over the North Pole to India.  The flight went smoothly, I managed to get some sleep and even got to see the scenic views over the desolate mountains of Afghanistan before landing in New Delhi on Saturday night.  The jet lag was a bit tough, I kept waking up in the middle of the night with my body convinced it was the middle of the afternoon.  The upside of this was that with three 24/7 cricket channels available, I learned a fair amount about limited overs, leg by wicket, silly mid on, and the third man.

I had the day free on Sunday, except for a prep meeting in the evening, so I hired a car and driver to take me to Agra for the day to see the Taj Mahal.  It was a long four hour drive to Agra, but it was certainly worth it.  The Taj was even more impressive in person than it appears in pictures, the white Indian marble gleams in the sunlight, and the beauty of the fine detailed relief carvings and endless designs of inlaid semi-precious stones show why it took 20,000 workers, 1,000 elephants and 20 years to complete.  In the words of the Emperor Shah Jahan himself:
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
After seeing the Taj Mahal, I explored Agra for a while and saw some of the beautiful carvings and inlaid marble work that is still done by the descendants of the artists who worked on the Taj itself.  The trip back to New Delhi took a couple extra hours due to an accident, and I learned that I never want to attempt driving myself in India.  The upside of this was that I missed our seemingly unnecessary Sunday night prep meeting.

The rest of the trip was all work, a read-in meeting at the U.S. Embassy with USAID, a meeting with the Indian Planning Commission (which judging from the reaction of the locals, was a bigger deal than I realized), two days of the actual workshop, and a day of follow-up meetings with the Indian modelers.  The most interesting part was the local transportation in Delhi, we rode around in tuk-tuks, little motorized rickshaws, that were terrifying to ride in (they seemingly obeyed no traffic law), but interestingly enough had all been retrofitted to run on compressed natural gas to improve the air quality in Delhi.

I'm glad I was able to add India to my list of world travels, but it was tough being away from the family all week.  Thankfully, technology has progressed since my last trip abroad, and I was able to use Facetime to see the kids and Elaine each day.  They'd call right before bedtime in DC, which was 6 am in India, and we'd end and start our respective days with smiles from halfway around the world.

The trip home was even longer than the trip there.  I left Delhi just after midnight on a 15.5 hour flight to Chicago (over the North Pole again) landing at 5 am, followed by a four hour layover, before finally getting back to DC around noon.  But the hugs and smiles from Owen, Nora and Elaine when I got home made all the weariness of the road melt away.

(click here for all the pictures)
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Since You've Been Gone...

Allen left for India last Friday. It's been a loooooong week without him. We still managed to make baseball camp (10 minutes late), a bicycle/tricycle ride to Stanton Park (which took roughly 30 minutes each way with only a 20 minutes window of playing at the park due to ominous skies), Sunday school (5 minutes late), the Peabody-sponsored Nats game (1 inning late and we left after the 7th inning stretch which means we missed Michael Morse's two run homer in the eighth) and a library run (which resulted in dinner lapsing into the ridiculously fashionable hour). Homework has been completed each night (despite Owen's "homework buddy" being in Delhi) and Owen has not been tardy to school once.

However... we're really tired. I'm sure part of it is just general malaise what with not having the "fun" parent around to inject levity or to give the "non-fun" parent a break lest she become the "ridiculously grumpy, un-fun" parent. But mostly it's because of the the 10 1/2 hour time difference and our zeal to have the kids talk to Allen once a day before bed (because one can only watch your two year old yell into a broken cell phone, "Hi, Daddy," so often before you feel compelled to intervene). Allen set up face-time on the computer before he left and the kids have been chatting with him at 8:30 pm each night, right after homework, books, prayers, teeth and pajamas are all done. It's a nice way for Allen to start his mornings and a sweet way for the kids to end their day, but it does mean the kids aren't even being put down for bed until roughly nine o'clock at night and are falling asleep considerably later.

At least they're having happier dreams, though, having gotten to say, "good-night" to their beloved Daddy who will hopefully be joining us on Friday at which point the "ridiculously grumpy, non-fun" parent will transform into the "incandescently happy" one.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sailing

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With all our travel this summer, and the brutal heat, we hadn't had many opportunities to go sailing, so when it looked like there would be a window of decent weather and Mom Mom and Grandpa Don invited us out to the boat, we jumped at the chance. It was Elaine and Nora's first time out on the boat this season, and we had plenty of wind and a great day for sailing. Owen of course was excited to put on his life jacket and harness so he could ride the waves up on the bow, and make mommy exceedingly nervous. Too make sure mommy was really nervous, Nora got to go up on deck for the first time. She clipped in, and walked up to the front of the boat with daddy and Owen. Nora wasn't quite as adventurous as her brother, she preferred sitting with Daddy front to standing by the bow, but she loved riding up and down over the waves and wakes. We'll make sailors out of these kids yet.

(click here for all the pictures)

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Monday, September 05, 2011

Nora's Party

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Second birthday parties are my favorite. First birthdays are adorable, and watching your child's first experience with cake can be endlessly entertaining, but the concept of a birthday is still beyond a one-year-old's grasp. At three, birthday parties become all about the friends. Watching the amazing amount of energy they can expend running around on a sugar high is quite the sight, but it's not really a party designed for adults to enjoy. Second birthday's however are right in the sweet spot. All the adorableness of a newly minted two-year-old saying, "I'm two!" and "my BirthDay!" but the guest list can still be made up of our friends and family.

We threw a party for Nora's second birthday at our house on Saturday, with friends & family, and beer & burgers. Nora had a blast, and we had a great time too. What more can you ask for. Happy birthday baby girl!

(click here for the pictures)




(click here for the far more dysfunctional party edition of Happy Birthday)

Friday, September 02, 2011

Shutdown Week with Mom Mom

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Daycare closes each year the week before Labor Day which has traditionally meant that either Allen or I (or sometimes both) need to stay home with at least one of our children. This year, however, I had used up all of my leave for vacations and the many school holidays DCPS celebrates, and Allen had a number of meetings that he really couldn't take at home while hanging out with Nora.

Enter Mom Mom.

The newly retired Sharon Fawcett has managed to fill most of her weekdays with volunteer work, consulting and acquiring the latest in Apple technology. However, she generously offered to set aside 4 full days this week (I stayed home on Friday to take Nora to her annual physical) to watch her youngest grandchild.

Nora had a blast.

There were long walks, pushing her "baby" in her stroller as well as some new accessories for said baby. There were trips to the park and the zoo. There was even a leaf/rock/acorn collection excursion via tricycle. Nora and her grandmother became "ladies who lunch" and who also share the occasional milkshake. And there was even a handy iPad to watch Dora on while Mom Mom got a manicure.

In short, Nora was a pretty bummed to see her week with Mom Mom end, and I think Mom Mom enjoyed herself too. I'm just not sure Sharon's up for Owen's suggestion that she watch Nora everyday...

(click here to see all the pictures)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Birthday Girl

Two. Wow. Our baby girl is no longer a baby by any stretch of the imagination. It's always amazing to me how one begins the second year of life barely walking and uttering a few intelligible words and ends it running everywhere and using complete sentences. Nora's grown into a beautiful little girl with strong opinions, a commanding presence, and the most devious giggle you've ever heard. Happy birthday, baby girl. We love you more than I can possibly say.

  1. One can never have too much moisturizer.
  2. Life is all about the accessories.
  3. Not everyone feels compelled to pee in the potty. Some people prefer to use it for alternative seating.
  4. Good-byes are always hard. Blues Clues makes them easier.
  5. Some people are born to rock.
  6. I don't want the world; I just want Owen's half.
  7. You can toast using pretty much anything.
  8. Hair extensions aren't necessary if you're resourceful.
  9. Civilized people eat their bread with a fork. Fingers are just fine, however, for all meat products. And pasta.
  10. Big brothers are always good for bumming rides off of.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Belly Zerberts


Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Oh My!

Ready for Irene

Owen's first week of Kindergarten certainly was an eventful one. Of course we had an Earthquake shake our Nation's Capital on Owen's first day of school, and then Hurricane Irene blew through over the weekend, dumping about six inches of rain at our house. The worst of the storm passed through during the night early Sunday morning, so Saturday afternoon we were able to go out in the rain and do a little puddle jumping before the wind really picked up. There were a few downed trees in the neighborhood the next day, but overall not too much damage (certainly not as much as after Isabel back in 2003). Owen enjoyed all the excitement, but he may have developed a distorted notion of the correlation between Kindergarten and natural disasters. Hopefully that will be fixed with a larger sample size...

Nora & Elaine waiting for Irene

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kindergartner!

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Owen started kindergarten on Tuesday. We originally thought that it would be a fairly mundane first day -- same teacher, same classroom, same students as last year. But a couple of weeks ago we found out that Owen was getting a new teacher, Mrs. Dorsey, that he was moving to a new classroom, Room 8, and that a number of his classmates had either moved or changed schools meaning that there would be seven new students in his 20 person class.

Still, we didn't think it would be that dramatic of a day when Owen biked to Peabody Tuesday morning. The kids happily played on the playground, and we dutifully escorted Owen to his new classroom before saying goodbye.

A few hours later, the earth shook.

Owen found the earthquake experience hysterical -- akin to a ride at an amusement park. We found it a bit more frustrating, especially when they cancelled school the next day to insure that the building was structurally sound. Fortunately, it was and Owen's second of kindergarten on Thursday was far less eventful.

Though we're curious what this all portends for when he graduates from high school...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Birthday Bash


We had a hard time picking a venue for Owen's birthday -- the Dinosaur Park doesn't do birthdays, the minor league teams were too far away, Nationals Park was ridiculously expensive, climbing walls are intended for the six and older crowd, and the only slot we could get at the Smithsonian Zoo was for 10:30 am on a Sunday. But then Brad & Marlo mentioned the College Park Aviation Museum and they had an opening for a Saturday afternoon party on Owen's actual birthday, so we booked it sight unseen and hoped for the best.

It didn't get off to a promising start. Nora woke up with a 103.5 fever which meant she couldn't attend the festivities and Mom Mom volunteered to watch her while Owen, Allen, Grandpa Don and I headed to the wrong venue before eventually making it to the museum. There we met up with 9 of Owen's friends from daycare, school, and our about town.

Despite the less than promising start to the day, the party at the Aviation Museum was a lot of fun. First the kids played in the party room, then they toured the museum, then they played in the "hands on" area and flight simulators, then they checked out the "pedal planes," put together Lego helicopters, sang "happy birthday" and had cake.

At which point the sugar kicked in.

With 15 minutes left to go, it was bedlam -- kids were running around everywhere. While the party technically ended at 4:00 pm, Owen, Leo, Brady, and Tadashi decided to close down the museum with an after-party that primarily involved throwing their good-bag "sticky-hands" over any surface they could find and running up and down the outside stairs. Everyone certainly had a good time, and the staff at the Museum were very nice and understanding about our gaggle of energetic five year olds.

By 5:00 pm we were finally able to convince Owen to head back to Mom Mom's to see Nora and go out for the french fries he specially requested for dinner. But when we went out for his birthday dinner, Owen barely touched his hamburger, fries, and the ice cream that Fire Station One brought over for him. That probably should have been the tip off. With neither child feeling great, we headed home and quickly put them both to bed and called it a night...until I went to check on Owen around 11 pm and found our poor little guy had thrown up (and fallen back asleep without a word). Apparently turning 5 is harder than you think (and donuts for breakfast and two pieces of cake in the afternoon are more than a five year old stomach can take). Thankfully by the morning Owen was on the mend. Afterall, he wouldn't want to be sick for his first week of Kindergarten...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Owen's a Handful



Five -- it just seems really old. To think that our baby boy has lived half a decade and is about to start kindergarten is a little frightening. "Mom" and "Dad" have started to supplant "Mommy" and "Daddy" and the occasional eye-roll and, "I know that," has become a not uncommon response to parental insights. For the last few days, as I tuck Owen onto the floor at night (he abandoned his bed a few months ago) I've just been overwhelmed with how quickly it's all gone. Fortunately, Owen informed me that just because he was turning five doesn't mean he's moving out. At least not yet.

  1. The line between reading and reciting can be blurred.
  2. Long underwear transcends seasonal variations.
  3. Medicine may taste bad, but there are worse ways of taking it...
  4. Beds are not your only sleeping option.
  5. Cold lunch > hot lunch.
  6. Oddly enough, birds evolved from the saurishian (lizard-hipped) dinosaurs, not the ornithischian (bird-hipped) dinosaurs.
  7. Riding a bike is easy. Stopping a bike is a whole other matter.
  8. In a pinch, "banana pants" can be used as a substitute for most punch lines.
  9. The first rule of batting: look around and make sure you don't hit anyone.
  10. School is cool; but camp is awesome.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Riding Around the Neighborhood

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After we were rained out of our fair plans, it looked like Sunday was going to be another washout, but after lunch there was a break in the clouds, and Owen decided it would be fun to ride his bike around the neighborhood while Nora took her nap. We rode over to Lovejoy park (well technically Owen rode and I chased behind him on foot), then Owen decided we should visit all the parks, so we rode on down to Lincoln Park. After five laps around Lincoln Park we were hungry and thirsty, but not ready to end our adventure, so we rode down to Eastern Market for some fresh donuts and some water. Feeling refreshed, we biked over to Grandpa Fawcett's house to show off Owen's riding skills, and then biked over to the Capitol (with Grandpa Fawcett joining us for part of the way). The Capitol proved to be a great place to ride around, and with the cumulonimbus clouds on the horizon, it was quite picturesque as well. Finally we turned towards home, and after a quick stop by Peabody and Stanton Park, we made it back safe and sound.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Duckpin

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Our plan for Saturday was to go up to Mom Mom's house in the morning for a little swimming in Rose's pool, then head up to the Montgomery County Fair with the Brown's after nap time. For the past three years we've kept up our little tradition of visiting the fair, and the kids we're excited about riding the Ferris wheel this year, but the weather had other plans for us. As we were swimming in Rose's pool, the sky darkened, and by the time we were back inside the rain was washing away our plans for pony rides and funnel cakes.

Not wanting to let the day go to waste, we regrouped with Brad and Marlo after nap time to work out a new plan for the evening, a delicious Latin American dinner at Samantha's, and an evening of duckpin bowling with the kids. Dinner was delicious, and the kids went wild for bowling. It wasn't quite the fair, but it was a very fun evening none the less.

(click here for all the pictures)

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Beach Trip 2011

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It's been a few years since we've done a proper beach trip. We did a big beach trip with friends back in 2005 before Owen came along, in 2007 we went to the Outer Banks with Joe & Cate (where Owen showed his early interest in body boarding), and we did a quick weekend trip to Bethany beach in 2008. But our last big vacation with the Hyatt and Pearson clans was to the mountains instead of the beach, and it was long past time that we introduced Nora to the ocean, so we tagged along with Mom Mom and Grandpa Don on their biannual trip to Duck in the Outer Banks with Aunt Katherine and Uncle L.

I grew up going to the Outer Banks almost every summer with my family and with my best friend Brendan's family (our mom's were close friends from their days back at the University of Texas, and we'd been friends since birth), so it was nice to go back the beach with family.

Owen took to the beach like a fish to water -- he asked to use the boogie board the first day there, and fearlessly rode the waves (with just a well timed push from daddy to help catch them). Even being knocked over and rolled by crashing waves didn't dampen his enthusiasm -- and he even managed to pick up a few fans. Nora on the other hand, was a little more nervous about the water. The first few days, she was perfectly content to just play in the sand. After getting used to the place a bit, she decided it was alright to try swimming in the pool, and she would adorably yell, "I'm swimming" to whoever cared to listen. On our last day at the beach, she finally was lured out into the waves when Mommy and Owen were out playing in the ocean. She held on tight to Daddy the whole time, but had a smile on her face as we jumped to ride over each passing wave.

Given how much fun the kids had, we'll have to make sure we don't go so long without a beach trip again. I have a feeling we'll be back next summer.



(click here for all the pictures)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bicycle!

The road to Owen riding a bike has not been the truest of paths. We'd hope to skip the training wheel stage entirely because, quite frankly, both of us learned on two wheelers. Sure there was a fair amount of blood involved and it took a while for the skin to grow back, but we liked it. We loved it. So we bought Owen a balance bike for his 3rd birthday, but Owen balked at riding it because it didn't have pedals and begged for a "real" bike. We insisted that he needed to ride the balance bike first and once he got good at it we would upgrade to a big boy bike. Owen chose to continue riding his tricycle instead.

The standoff continued until Spring of this year, when we finally decided to purchase a new bike with training wheels. Unfortunately, around the same time Owen decided to start riding his balance bike in earnest and that he didn't want training wheels but a bike with a kickstand. But we'd opted for the 16" bike which was a little big for Owen to get on and off without the training wheels, so Owen decided to continue riding his balance bike and I began to rethink my whole parenting approach.

But when we got back from Iowa, Owen needed a new pair of shoes which meant a trip to REI. Allen suggested that while there Owen could get his training wheels removed and a kickstand installed. Owen jumped at the chance. Once they got home he donned his helmet and went for an innaugaral ride. While we're still working on stopping (and had one bad run-in with a wall), we're pretty impressed at what little assistance Owen needs from us. And maybe just a little bit sad.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

High Dives



Owen set the record for the youngest person to jump off the high dive at the pond last year, and after a few days of nervous jumps, he more than fulfilled his promise to Aunt Katherine and Uncle L to jump 11 times for each of them, even climbing the high dive ladder and jumping off all by himself this year.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer in Iowa

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We planned our trip to Iowa this year around Elaine's 20th high school reunion, so we missed out on corn fest, but we had a great time visiting everyone all the same. We made our customary stops in Cleveland on the way to and from Iowa to stay at Aunt Katherine & Uncle L's house, and had all sorts of fun playing baseball, and even playing with a few sparklers. Once in Iowa we had all sorts of fun playing more baseball in Grandma & Grandpa Z's backyard, playing with cousin Grace, and of course lots of swimming at the Pond.

The exciting new development at the Pond this year was the covered wagon that Uncle Ken just finished building to go along with the tipi. Uncle Ken gave us a ride in the covered wagon around the pond and back to the tipi, and thereafter Nora was quite adorable saying 'covered wagon' every time she saw it.

Since we were in Iowa for the reunion, we headed out to Des Moines over the weekend, but first we stopped in Ames to visit Thomas & Jen. Leanna and Troy were there too, so we had all the cousins, Owen, Nora, Ethan, Simon and Grace all together for a really fun afternoon picnic in Thomas & Jen's backyard.

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After the reunion, we drove back to Eastern Iowa, and the epic heat wave of 2011 descended upon Iowa. Even the the Capital Weather Gang back in DC was tweeting about how hot it was in Iowa. The heat wave brought good and bad news. The good news was that with all the heat, the sweet corn was ready early enough for us to enjoy some, the bad news was that it meant that the night Owen and I were planning to spend in the tipi was going to be a bit more uncomfortable than anticipated.

On Sunday we had a big family bbq at the Pond, and it was great seeing everyone and eating some delicious Iowa sweet corn (Owen and I both managed to eat four ears;-). After the sun went down, it was way too hot for a fire, but we launched sky lanterns above the Pond, and watched them drift away into the night sky. Then after everyone left, Owen and I hiked back through the woods to the tipi. Owen was quite brave, and happily hung out in the tipi by himself with just a flashlight while I made a few trips back to the cabin to get all our gear. I was sweating buckets, but Owen happily fell asleep in the tipi without any problems. I eventually drifted off well after midnight, when the air finally started to cool. In the morning, Owen and I went fishing off the dock (though we didn't catch anything), and then back to the cool air conditioning of Grandma and Grandpa Z's.


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We did a lot more swimming at the Pond the rest of the week of course, and the last real adventure of our Iowa trip was going over to Nan's house to see cousin Kendra's horses and chickens. Owen was particularly taken with feeding the horses, and Nora couldn't get enough of the chickens. She really was quite thrilled to see all the farm animals she reads about alive and walking around right in front of her.

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Sadly our Summer Iowa trip is over now, but we'll be back again for Christmas this year (Owen is really hoping he'll be able to play ice hockey on the Pond), and next summer we'll be back for corn fest 2012.

(click here for all the pictures)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reunited

The timing of this year's Iowa trip was dictated by my 20th class reunion. I hadn't really seen anyone from high school since Memorial Day 1991: my parents informed me they were moving to Texas the day after I graduated, I wasn't invited to the 5th reunion and I opted out of the 10th (I was but a poor graduate student living in Austin). But I'd promised myself long ago that I'd make at least one of these, and as the kids are cute, Allen still has his hair and I lost the baby weight, I figured this was the one to attend.

Shockingly, I was not the most popular person in school, and though I'd reconnected (or in a lot of cases, connected for the first time) with a fair number of my classmates via Facebook, I was still a bit anxious about seeing everyone. A good time was had by all, however. Despite missing most of the tour of my alma mater, Owen managed to coral a bunch of offspring into a baseball game at the picnic while Nora focused on the food. After we handed the kids over to Grandma & Grandpa Z that afternoon, Allen and I got to hang out with some awfully cool people at the State Historical Museum (who knew their was a woolly mammoth infestation in Iowa a few million years ago). While I probably should have mingled a bit more, it was a really nice time. I might even be willing to make the 30th...

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Nora

The blogs have been a bit Owen-centric of late -- a natural outcome of ending school, starting T-ball and camp, and just living the life of an almost five year old. Nora, however, has been pretty busy herself. After a 2 week taste of how terrible the twos could be, our sweet baby girl returned to form. She's working hard on counting to 10 and saying her ABCs, with the requisite dance breaks in there. She's not always sucessful, mind you, but she is ridiculously cute.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Things You Do For Love

I stayed home with Owen when he was first born, and when he started daycare it was exactly 4 floors down from me. We commuted together, I would visit at lunch time, give hugs after falls and scrapes and chaperone field trips. Even after Owen started Peabody this fall, we still commuted together which meant I got to meet his friends, watch them play, and was the first to hear all the days happenings.

But now that Owen is in camp and it meets on the other side of the Hill, Allen has taken over drop-off and pick-up duties which often includes watching Owen play a few innings before dragging him away. By the time I see him, he's exhausted and down to monosyllabic answers to my inquiries about his day.

I miss the little guy.

Which is why I insisted on taking Owen to Tadashi's snake themed 5th birthday party this weekend. Owen had a great time seeing his old daycare pals, running all over the Gulf Brand Nature Center, checking out a lizzard, bees, turtles, fish, frogs and snakes (sadly Mr. Owl passed away the week before). But the best part was that both Owen and I got to touch a live Virginia Black Snake and then talk about it all the way home.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summertime

Summer camp, for reasons I don't completely understand, is a really big deal in DC -- emails started arriving shortly after New Years and by the time I registered Owen in late February for one of the camps he will attend this summer, I had already missed the "early bird" discount. Choosing an appropriate camp can be challenging as one needs to consider: age restrictions (Owen's under 5), the existence of aftercare (someone needs to watch him between 3 pm and 5:30 pm), the "friend factor" (Owen takes after me in terms of social reticence) and whether the camp's focus will broadened your child's horizons. We had to also factor in that we are lazy parents, unwilling to drive all over the city during rush hour and so said horizon's must be broadened within a fairly narrow geographical radius.

But we found a couple of camps (one baseball, one general) that we hoped Owen would enjoy, sent off our checks (FYI six weeks of summer fun costs the same as 13 weeks of daycare, though given one of the camps is at St. Albans whose regular school tuition is slightly less than my Alma mater (and considerably more than Allen's), we probably got off cheap), filled out health forms, attended an orientation session (we skipped the optional one) and hoped for the best.

Which we pretty much got.

Because they belatedly added a half day to the DCPS calendar, Allen picked up Owen at noon from his last day of pre-K, ate a quick lunch and then headed over to Payne Elementary (1.5 miles from our house) for Home Run Baseball Camp. Our 8 year old neighbor, Seamus, and one of Owen's teammates from T-ball, Jack, had already arrived. Owen enthusiastically joined them for warm-up calisthenics and stretching before taking the field. The idea that summer break meant he'd be spending all day playing baseball instead of going to school was pretty thrilling, and Allen literally had to drag him away (after watching him play for over an hour) that night.

Owen's been pretty exhausted each evening (eight hours of playing baseball will do that to a 4 1/2 year old), but so far, this summer thing is looking pretty good.

(The first day of baseball camp)



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

T-Ball

T-Ball

Owen has 'played' soccer for two seasons now with Sports on the Hill, but he's never been particularly into it, and it's always been a challenge to get him to participate in soccer practice. Now that Spring is turning into Summer, Owen's boredom with soccer practice has given way to the pure adrenaline rush of T-ball. Yes, our lifelong baseball fanatic finally has a team of his own to play on (technically he's been playing right field with Daddy on our softball team for a few weeks now, but that doesn't really count).

We had a few sketchy moments: I found out I was the head coach of Owen's team when we arrived for the first practice, and I didn't have the requisite popsicles for the kids. More importantly, we got our team shirts and hats and found out that we're the Yankees. Given that Owen is a die-hard Nats fan, and that he broke down in tears when he learned about the American League's DH rule, I wasn't surprised when he started to get a bit upset, but a quick explanation about the difference between the MLB Yankees and the T-Ball Yankees, along with a reminder that Joe DiMaggio played for the Yankees quickly put him back in good spirits. (In fact he handled it better than some of the parents, there were certainly a few expletives from the Red Sox fans that now have to see their kids dressed in Yankees gear each week).

Owen was pretty thrilled that his dad was the coach (though he had some questions about why I am the 'coach' of his T-ball team, but Jim Riggleman is the 'manager' of the Nationals). And his relentless practice certainly showed as he was hustling all over the field to make plays. I think we have a hit on our hands with T-ball season, and next week we'll really test his love of the game when he starts three weeks of summer baseball camp!



(click here for all the pictures)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

In honor of Owen's first day of T-ball today, here's a little baseball movie courtesy of the Washington Nationals.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Friends with Benefits


Brad and Marlo Brown are two of our best friends: We met them in grad school, moved to the DC area a year after them, and had kids within months of each other. And while we always like hanging out with Brad, Marlo, Mia & Ben, we especially like hanging out with them in the summer when we can take full advantage of their pool membership.

So on Saturday we headed up to the Browns for a little pre-pool playdate (which mostly involved Allen & Brad playing guitar) and lunch. We took the kids over to Mom mom's for nap time, picked up stuff for grilling, and then headed to the Northwest Branch Pool. Owen was the first to jump in, but as it was also a bit on the cool side, he announced he was freezing and needed a warm shower about 20 minutes later. We spent most of the night eating and networking on the playground (nothing like seeing your co-workers and colleagues outside the office and only partially dressed).

Sunday didn't start off very promising, but the clouds cleared in time for a 5 pm rendez-vous with the Browns and Stiver-Saxtons. There was an informal splash contest for the dads on the diving board while Owen looked enviously on as Luke joined in the diving fun (someone needs to work on their swimming skills....). While not everyone enjoyed the water -- Nora's disdain for bathtime apparently extends to all water activities, resulting in her largely ignoring the pool in favor of the adjacent sandbox -- everyone had a good time culminating in our closing the joint down. Hopefully that won't impact our chances of being asked back...

(to see all the pics from the weekend, click here)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

What is Past is Prologue

Mom's Retirement Party

It seems like Mom has been threatening to retire for years now, but now she has finally pulled the trigger and left the working world. Oddly enough Dad had recently rejoined the labor force as Acting Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library (working for Mom no less), so we briefly swelled the ranks of Fawcett's in the government to three, but in quick succession Dad re-retired and Mom retired, leaving me as the last Federal Fawcett standing (well not quite the last if we credit Elaine as an honorary Fawcett ;-).

On Friday afternoon we took the kids down to the Archives for Mom's retirement party. Owen and Nora were the only children their of course, and since I remember going to similar work functions as a kid and being bored beyond belief, I wasn't surprised that Nora spent most of the time running up and down the marble halls of the Archives, and Owen rolled around on the floor through the speeches when he wasn't hiding under the couch or exploring under the table. Elaine may have been a bit horrified, but they were sufficiently cute that I don't think anyone minded.

The party was lovely: the champagne and hors d'oeuvres were generously provided by the various Presidential Library foundations; the Archivist of the United States gave some kind remarks; members of Congress paid tribute to Mom in the Congressional Record; the President sent a lovely letter; and Mom gave a wonderful farewell speech. But the highlight (and most blog worthy presentation) belonged to Nancy and her photo tour of Mom's work life. I'd summarize, but it's really best to let Nancy's presentation speak for itself, so I've included the video below.

Mom has really been inspiring throughout her career, and as she retires from her position as Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries I hope that she finds joy and fulfillment in her retirement; I hope that in my career, I can live up to her wonderful example; and I hope that she find's plenty of time for babysitting.



(click here for all the pictures)

Mom's Retirement Party

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Where the Boys Aren't...

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Caitlin is my goddaughter and Nora's godmother and so on the occasion of her graduation from St. Catherine's University (an all-women's college), we thought it only appropriate to ditch the boys and fly off to the twin cities without them. (Well, that and we feared additional censure from the administration if Owen had another unexcused absence.)

Conveniently, cousin Blaine lives nearby and let us crash at his place. Even more conveniently Grandma and Grandpa Z drove up from Iowa City to chauffeur us around town with a ICPD approved car seat installation. And probably most conveniently, a number of Grady family members live in the greater St. Paul, MN metro center so we also got to see Uncle Glen & Aunt Cheryl, Cousin Bryce, Jodi & Louden, Uncle Al & Aunt Araceli as well as Caitlin, her boyfriend Paxton and proud parents Aunt Ellen & Uncle John on our extremely brief visit.

While Nora wasn't into the official events (security at the graduation mass offered to escort us to our car if we wanted to leave...), she really enjoyed St. Kate's campus, particularly the radio controlled goose at the duck pond -- the only thing that would drag her away was the promise of cake (my God that girl will rally if the word "cake" is invoked). She didn't get a lot of time with her godmother, who, understandably was pretty busy, but Nora got a lot of extra time with Grandma & Grandpa Z and cousin Blaine when they babysat for her while I attended the graduation and she boycotted nap time.

The graduation was pretty memorable (and not just because the President of the University informed us during the ceremony that we were completely safe in the auditorium despite a tornado warning). There's nothing like seeing the baby girl you held while they poured water over her graduate Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude. Now if only she had decided to move to DC instead of South Carolina for grad school...

(To see all the pictures from Caitlin's graduation weekend, click here)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

When the Girls are Away, the Boys Will Play

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Mommy and Nora flew out to Minnesota for Caitlin's graduation, so it was just us boys this weekend. Mom Mom happened to be out of town as well to give a lecture series in Japan, so we teamed up with Grandpa Don for some baseball and some sailing.

On Saturday we went up to Baltimore to catch the Nats play the O's on the road with Grandpa Don. Owen was a bit skeptical of seeing a baseball game in an AL park. When we told him about the plan to go see the Nats in Baltimore, he was excited until we explained that in the American League they have designated hitters so pitchers don't hit. He broke into tears when he heard about the DH rule, worried about the poor hitters that wouldn't be allowed to hit even if they wanted to. He rallied for the game, but sadly the Nats used up all their offense beating the O's 17-5 the previous night, and they couldn't pull out the win for Owen on Saturday.

On Sunday we met up with Grandpa Don again, this time to go sailing. There wasn't much wind, but that might have been a good thing, since Owen was intent on playing all over the boat (with his life jacket and a tether of course). His favorite part was going up to the bow to ride up and down as we went over a wake, though a close second might have been playing fetch with Molly, the resident labradoodle at Hartge's (no word yet on how that will impact Mommy's stance on getting a dog ;-).



(click here for all the pictures)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh No, No No

Nora has really become much more vocal lately, and one of the cutest things about her developing speech patterns is that she calls Owen 'Oh No' and herself 'No No'. We've been meaning to capture this on film, but by the time we finally got around to doing it, her pronunciation of 'Nora' had evolved to 'Nah'. Oh well, it's still pretty cute.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mother's Day, Birthdays, and Nora Kisses

Well we've missed a few weeks of blogging, we celebrated Mother's Day with a brunch at Jaleo's again this year, and had a low key birthday for Elaine (our birthday dinner at Volt had to be pushed back to June due to Grandparent/babysitter travel schedules). Somehow we managed to avoid taking any pictures of these fine celebrations, so instead here's a cute video of Nora kisses.