Tag Archives: family

Lions and Tigers and Bears and Airplanes and Fossils

IMG_4310Before we made our big move, way back when we still lived in DC, my parents, one sister, and my nephews and niece came to visit us. It was a last-cousins-hurrah before we headed overseas, and it was awesome.


Literally my two favorite girls in the whole world.

We spent that weekend hitting my top three recommended places to go with kids in Washington D.C.: a day on the National Mall, checking out monuments and memorials, a visit to a few of the Smithsonian museums, and another day at the Zoo, checking out lions, and tigers, and bears.  That’s a good weekend right there.

IMG_4303 You can also just put “seeing my parents and sisters enough” right at the top of my list of things I don’t get to do enough, so a weekend with my family always makes me smile. IMG_4315 We drove downtown and managed to find parking, which is always a fun challenge, but it’s definitely easier than schlepping seven children on the Metro.  And then we just walked.  The kids ran, and jumped, and climbed, and skipped, and played. 

IMG_4324We saw the Washington Monument, walked past the White House, stopped to relax and cool off at the WWII Memorial, and then headed back toward the Capitol Building and the air conditioned Smithsonian Museums.

IMG_4325Obvi, though, we got ice cream first.

My personal favorite Smithsonian museum is Natural History.  Even with the dinosaur exhibit closed, it’s still the coolest.  There’s an exhibit on the lower level called Qrious! that we just love. 

IMG_4343Full of fossils and specimens of plants, animals, and bugs, you can touch and handle and learn about it all in a completely hands-on way. 

IMG_4336Everyone from my 3-yr old niece up through my Dad was engaged and interested. 

IMG_4340 My 6-yr old nephew who wants to be an archaeologist or a paleontologist was just entranced; he spent half the time pretending HE was the scientist who’d found the specimens we were looking at, and telling us all about what we were seeing. I highly recommend checking out the Qrious! exhibit if you go to the Natural History museum — it’s one of my top DC-with-kids suggestions.

IMG_4346We also went to the Air and Space museum, which was so much more interesting than I remembered!  We hadn’t been in years, but I was so glad we went back.  I remembered it as very technical and kind of boring, but it completely wasn’t — there were so many interesting exhibits, AND we took the kids on a flight simulator ride, which was just so fun.  

The next day we went to the National Zoo, which is one of my very favorite things to do in DC.  It was cool and a little rainy, but not enough to make it miserable — just enough to make it NOT crowded and not too hot.

IMG_4374We saw all our favorite animals, and quite a few that were surprising.  The Komodo Dragon took us all aback when we realized that it was not, in fact, a fallen tree trunk, but a ginormous lizard who had earned the name “dragon” quite honestly.

IMG_4377We roared at the lions and watched the pandas nap.  We marveled at the elephants.  We ate a picnic lunch, and, naturally, more ice cream.

IMG_4370 We filled that cousins weekend up with memories and adventures and laughter and hugs, picnics and ice cream and miles and miles of walking.  We ended the days with children snuggled together watching movies on the couch and grown-ups playing card games at the kitchen table: the best kind of weekend there is.


my seven dwarvesMy mom and dad, my middle sister, my two nephews, and my niece are here visiting for a few days and we’re playing tourist in our own town.

These seven kids make my heart so full; I love when they’re together.  We’re soaking it up.

And D.C. is so fun when you can see it with fresh eyes!  I hate to think we take it for granted, but when you see it a lot, it loses a little of the thrill.  Not this week, though. 

Everything is better with cousins!

His, Mine, and Ours

crossing the creek

I went to NYC this past weekend for a baby shower.  Matt was home for the weekend with the kids.

When he mentioned that to someone at work a few days before I left, they were stunned — he’d have all four kids all by himself all weekend?!?!?

It made me mad.

I don’t think anyone is surprised that I take care of the children by myself when Matt has to go on a business trip.  It annoys me that it’s shocking that he would do the same thing when I go out of town. 

These children are absolutely equally mine and his.  Why couldn’t he care for them on his own?  Why wouldn’t he be able to do that?

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Puppy Love

IMG_6666Last night, I was cooking dinner when the puppy slunk into the kitchen.  Tail between his legs, ears down, he sidled along the cabinets and sat at my feet, looking up at me pitifully.

My first reaction was that he must have done something wrong, something he knew he shouldn’t have done. 

IMG_6679So I took a lap around the house, with Oliver close at my heels.  Nothing out of place, no poop in the corner or chewed shoes anywhere.

And yet, my puppy was still acting strange–all nervous and skittish and clingy.  I sat on the floor and he sat next to me.  Matt came home and instead of running and jumping up and down on his hind legs like a trained circus puppy, Oliver jogged over and sat by Matt’s feet.  It was so unlike his normal reaction that Matt knew something was wrong right away.  IMG_6713

We both tried petting him, playing with him, throwing his favorite toys.  Eventually he slunk under the chair in the living room and curled up, refusing to come out.  I’ve never seen him sit there, ever.  He wouldn’t come out, no matter how we coaxed.  Finally he came out for a carrot (his very favorite treat), but went right back when he was done crunching away.


Matt brought him to the emergency vet, who checked him all over and could find nothing wrong; there was seemingly no explanation for his suddenly strange behavior.  He sent us home with instructions to watch Oliver closely — was he heating, drinking, going to the bathroom? 

oliver sleeping

Oliver came home and ate his whole dinner.  Drank water.  Went outside and went to the bathroom.  But still, his behavior was totally off: he wouldn’t sit with us on the couch, where we sit EVERY NIGHT until Matt picked him up and put him there.  He was subdued, unusually unresponsive.

Cute Oliver

And so I’m worried.  Really worried. And I’ve become that person that writes all about their dog on the internet. 

I love this little pup.  He’s part of my family and he’s got my heart.  I need him to be totally fine today, back to his normal snuggly, excited, perky self. 

Send some good thoughts to us today, if you can.

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