Thursday, May 31, 2012

Weekend in DC

Robert and I traveled to Washington DC on the last weekend of April for his cousin Mike's wedding.  Nana and Granddaddy came on Wednesday to stay with the kids, and we left on Thursday.  We stayed at the Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle.  Mike and Lizzie hosted a happy hour that evening, and we made it right at the end so we were able to say "Hi" before walking to a nearby pizzeria for dinner.  I was excited to find a Starbucks about a block from the hotel, so after waking up Friday morning (on my own, and not to an alarm or crying/babbling toddler!), it was nice to have a short walk to pick up my latte.

Other than the wedding, we were not on a schedule, and the only thing I felt like I had to do was see the Newseum.  I'd heard good things about it, and we were not disappointed.  They had some fantastic exhibits, and it's a great way to get a broad view of American history.

The Capitol from the top of the museum

A rare photo of the two of us!

One of my favorite exhibits was the News History Gallery with a timeline and showcases of some of the Newseum's collection of historical newspapers and magazines.



The 9/11 Gallery with front pages from all over the world the day after.  They also have the antenna from the top of the WTC.

We took advantage of our kid-free time to eat lunch at a not-so-kid-friendly place - Luke's Lobster.  It is a tiny, busy little place, and it was hard to get a seat (I was so glad that I wasn't dealing with a stroller!), and their menu basically consists of lobster, crab, and shrimp rolls.  We each had a lobster roll, and it was delish.

We spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around enjoying the sites, the cooler weather, and some uninterrupted time together before another kid-free meal at Legal Sea Foods (can you tell I was craving seafood?).



We took it easy again on Saturday morning, stopping by Ma & Bob's hotel to see them, Clark, Gayle, and Lee before heading down to the Mall.  We spent a little time in the National Museum of American History and had lunch at Hill Country Barbecue.  I can take the Texans out of Texas...  Seriously, it was some of the best barbecue either of us have ever tasted, and the sides were amazing, too.  Brisket, turkey, "specially shipped from Texas" sausage, mac & cheese, the best green bean casserole we've ever had, and somehow we squeezed in some banana pudding.  SO good!

Soon it was time for the wedding, and we boarded the charter bus to the wedding site in Maryland.  It was a little rainy and chilly, but still so picturesque.


The barn where the ceremony was held


I was glad I packed my wool coat!

Beautiful ceremony officiated by cousin Ashley

The happy couple!

At the reception with Robert's uncle Clark & Gayle
Mike wedding

We had a wonderful time at the wedding celebrating Mike and Lizzie, and while it was a little tough to get up  early the next morning for our flight after an atypical late night for us, we were excited to get home to see the little munchkins.  It was a great little getaway!

Fiesta 2012

April always brings Fiesta to San Antonio - and to school.  Every year the school has a little Fiesta parade.  The kids (or parents, usually, for the younger ones) make floats and march around, the parents cheer, and each class has a little party.  Call it resourcefulness, or laziness, but either way, we celebrated the 3rd parade for Claire's Fiesta Float (we missed it in 2010).  It's looking a little worse for the wear after this year, but I think I may try to patch it together so that it will last through all 5 years at her school.  Or she can make her own, since Will is going to need one next year, too.  :)

Looking so big, and happy to see Mommy, Nana & Granddaddy!

Will and his class

Will was really excited to party with the "big" kids - and partake in some traditional Mexican pastries.


Getting ready to fill her bag with pinata candy

The mad scramble

Meanwhile, Will entertained himself.  This is classic Will - such a silly kid!

For photos of prior years' Fiesta parades, go here:

A Wonderful Place

A few weeks ago the kids and I met up with Almudena, Isabella, and Lucia to explore Morgan's Wonderland, a theme park designed for people with special needs but that is open to all.  We had SO much fun!  It is a perfect place to go with small children - since everything is designed to be accessible, I felt that they were safe during every activity.  It's also just a positive, welcoming place, and I want to bring them here regularly so that they can interact with people of all abilities.  It is larger than I expected, and we didn't have time to see all of it - which gives me a good reason to go back soon.

The playscapes - I think they would've spent the whole time here if I hadn't convinced them there were other fun things to do!


Of course Will loved the water table - his shirt was soaked after a few minutes!

The Adventure Ride was also a favorite.  I loved that Claire was able to "drive".  Some of the cars had open backs to allow for people in wheelchairs to ride - so neat.

At least two of us have our eyes open!

We also had fun riding the train and eating our lunches in the picnic area.  We will be back soon!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weekend in Dallas

One weekend in April we took a few days to head up to Dallas.  Along with seeing family, we were able to visit Pierce and his mommy and daddy.  We always have a great time together catching up and watching our kids play.

The newly formed band serenaded us before bedtime.

Will picked up some xylophone tips from Pierce.

The next day we went to a little park with a train caboose and some little buildings.

Will was so excited to be able to run around without me on his tail.




As always, the visit was too short, and we're looking forward to seeing them again soon.

More photos from the Children's Museum

As I've posted before, the kids (and I) love visiting the Children's Museum in New Braunfels.  We're still making trips a few times a month, and I'm sure that will continue as we get further into the heat of summer.  I love having an air conditioned place for them to play outside of our house.

On one of our April trips, the kids discovered a new building block activity outside.  They had so much fun arranging and rearranging the blocks, and Claire and I built a track for the balls that entertained all of us.

Hard at work!





We had a quiet ride home that day!

The next week, Will continued working on his construction skills.

"Doctor Claire" thought I needed a finger amputation...

and "Doctor Will" gave me a big shot in the leg.

I worked on my face painting skills - getting a little better thanks to the guides at the face painting section.

Outdoor Fun

We have been blessed with some great weather this spring and have been taking lots of opportunities to enjoy it.  Both kids love to be outside - Will, especially.  He will stand by the window and chant "Outside.  Outside.  Outside."

April 2 - Checking out a different park.  Will's favorite part was running under the playscape.



April 4 - Water table at the Children's Museum

April 9 - Sand - so messy, but so fun.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Easter 2012

Our busy morning of presents, baskets, and breakfast ended with getting ready to celebrate our risen Lord at church.  The kids looked adorable in their Easter clothes, and I attempted to get a photo of the two of them outside before we left.  I had to let go of my idea of the "perfect" picture, and what I got is pretty representative of the two of them - both of them ready to bolt after sitting still for approximately 1.2 seconds.


Makes me smile every time I see it.

A few more from our day:

So happy to be outside!


Results of our Easter egg dying - not the prettiest, but we had a good time.  Next year I need to ignore the part of the instructions that says you can mix the dye with vinegar - the ones mixed with just water worked much better for us.