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



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


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



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)


Monday, August 01, 2011

Beach Trip 2011

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)