Sunday, January 23, 2011

Smithsonian, Naturally

We arrived at M's parents' house in Virginia just outside D.C. late on the Sunday before Christmas.  We spent Monday just recovering and hanging out.  Then on Tuesday we decided to take advantage of some Smithsonian fabulousness.  Part #1 of the fun was riding the train:

I love the DC Metro.  The kids thought riding ANY train was pretty exciting.


Claire and Scott enjoying the view.

Poor Kate.  The view from her stroller wasn't so great:

We went to the Natural History Smithsonian.  And really the whole point of the visit was, of course, to see this:


 It was pretty much four year old boy heaven.

Although really, who could help but be impressed by this?

Let's not kid our selves.  Everyone thought it was pretty cool, not just Scott.

But only Scott was so excited he looked liked his eyes were going to pop out of his head from the effort of trying to take it all in at once.

It's also fun to go to a museum where your four year old is the most knowledgable member of the family on the subject.  He made a good tour guide.

Or at least he was very good at correcting us when we called fossils by the wrong name.

...and roaring.  He's VERY good at dinosaur roars.

We also got lucky because we went to the museum on a Tuesday, and it turns out the Butterfly Pavilion happens to be free on Tuesdays.  And not very crowded a couple days before Christmas.


Scott was the only one of the kids who was old/brave enough to hold the butterfly one of the docents put onto a paintbrush.

We had an absolutely fabulous time even though we only saw a small fraction of what was there.

Friday, January 21, 2011

You Could "Count" On How This Would Turn Out

Lately Claire has a problem with being scared.  I don't even know what of - it changes almost daily.  Just really spooked, especially when she's by herself, especially at night.  So needless to say, bedtime can be a little rough.
Tonight she didn't want to go into the bathroom by herself to brush her teeth.  M told her she needed to and they had the following "conversation":
C [yelling] - Rule number one:  I'm too scared.
M - Rule number zero:  You have to do it anyway.
C - Rule number negative one:  I can't.  I'm too scared.
M - Rule number negative infinity:  I don't care.
C - Rule number negative... infinity infinity infinity:  I don't care.
And for those of you who didn't get to see this on Facebook:
Claire's ultimatum the other night when we put her in time out: "If you do that, I'm going to tell you in my MOST STERNEST VOICE..."
(I don't know where she got this.  We don't say that phrase to her.  Those darn books she's always reading...)

Claire's screamed defense the next night when we put her in time out: "I have SCIENTIFIC REASONS why this is ALL SCOTT'S FAULT. It's because HE doesn't EAT ENOUGH and so he's TOO SKINNY!"

Bonus points if you can guess what Claire did that was supposedly Scott's fault for being too skinny!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Highlights of Grandma and Grandpa's House

If I were to summarize what the kids did the entire time we were at M's parent's house, this would be it:


Lots and lots of banging on the piano by Claire and Scott.  Some of it even sounded like music!

Lots and lots of Kate pointing.  Mostly at the dog.  (In this case she combined it with her other favorite hobby of wearing shoes.  Anyone's shoes.)

We were there for a whole week and even on the last day, Kate was still pointing emphatically at the dog.  It was as if she was saying, "Guys! Guys! LOOK!!! It's a DOG!!!"  And our reply grew less and less enthusiastic as the week wore on, "Yes, Kate. We see.  It's a dog."  And she would silently use her finger to reply, "Clearly, you must not see. If you did, you would be as fascinated as I am. That stuffed animal is MOVING!!!"

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How Could We Possibly Be Mad After an Answer Like That?

The other day I saw Claire using the bathroom before she got into the shower.  We had the following conversation:

G:  "Claire, didn't you JUST go to the bathroom a minute ago when we were downstairs?"
Claire:  "Yes."
G:  "Why are you going again?"
Claire:  "That's just how I roll."

Well then, carry on.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Listening to Your Bladder is Good for the Soul

If you have to drive halfway across the country, I HIGHLY recommend having your 6 year old need a potty break just as you cross the Alabama/Mississippi border.

Especially if that happens to fall right at sunset.

 The Mississippi Welcome Center on the banks of the Mississippi River made a great pit stop.

Thanks Claire - or at least Claire's bladder - for forcing us to "stop and smell the roses" a little.

We made the 24 hour drive from Texas to the Washington D.C. metro area in two days.  We certainly didn't take much time to relax in those two days, but this serendipitous stop was definitely a highlight.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Truly a "Gag" Gift

On our way to visit M's family over Christmas, we stopped for lunch at a Burger King.  It's been a long time since I went to one, and the last few times I've been, they certainly didn't have any of those fabulous crowns I so loved when I was growing up.  But this Burger King did!  We gave the kids all crowns and they had a blast, but M was kind enough to pick up a special one just for me:

Let me tell you, this baby looks great worn backwards as you drive across Mississippi.  You see, wearing it backwards makes it cool.  (Trust me, cuz clearly I KNOW "cool.")

M kept asking me what I was going to do if I got pulled over wearing that thing.  I told him I'd probably get pulled over BECAUSE I was wearing that thing.  But I don't know anyone in Mississippi, so it was worth the risk just to watch him squirm.

Monday, January 10, 2011

In 6 Days We Ate Meals in 10 Different States

Over Christmas vacation, we took quite the road trip.  And then M and I took a road trip within the road trip.

We visited a total of 12 states and the District of Columbia on our 14 day trip:  7 states over 2 days on the way there (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama on day 1 and Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia on day 2), we added the District of Columbia the 2nd day we were there, we hit 4 more states over 2 days on the little getaway M and I took on our 3rd and 4th day (Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey on day 1 and New York on day 2), and we went through 1 more state (Arkansas) on the way back home to Texas because we took a different route.

(Note: We missed getting a photo of anything to represent our time in Alabama.  Oops.  And we ate breakfast in Texas on our way out because, honestly?  It takes a long time to get OUT of Texas.  But we didn't get a photo of anything to represent Texas, it being home and all.  Also, although we were in Georgia and the District of Columbia, we did not eat any meals there.  We can only claim eating meals in 11 different states.  Darn!  )

Stay tuned for details on our vacation.  And our meta-vacation.