Thursday, March 31, 2016

Easter Sunday

Okay, so my blogging is a wee bit out of order, we just do so much here, it's as if we're on an extended vacation!

Throughout the week, we've been having conversations with Jordan about why we celebrate Easter, what happened to Jesus, and also telling him a bit about the world's traditions (like Easter bunny and baskets, and all that jazz).  I think he's at the age when he can start to understand that there's more to this holiday. He woke up and said, "Mom, Easter and Christmas are the same because we get gifts on both," to which I added that it's to celebrate Jesus's resurrection and his birthday.  We then had a discussion about why birthdays are celebrated and well, for a four year old, I think he's doing pretty good... as good as it can be.

We heard from his Sunday school teacher at Church that all the kids were taking turns to use the restroom but he wanted to hear the story about Jesus visiting the Nephis so he said, "I can hold it," with eyes looking straight at her ready to listen.  A huge surprise to us because Jordan is constantly silly and not super attentive, so it's nice to know he might not always be like that with others.

We didn't have "easter outfits" per say, but I guess the pink lace top I brought kind of suffices and the kids wore outfits Grandma had given them a few weeks ago.

Since we're in DC for two months and Florida for one, we didn't have Easter baskets and I didn't want to buy anything we couldn't take with us, so we made some upcycled easter baskets with milk gallons from Costco and a tiny half gallon for Dagny's.  I had grand ideas of making Easter bunny baskets but Jordan took one look at the googled photos and told me they were scary.  He decided he wanted Angry birds instead, so we mustered what we could with what we had around the house and made ourselves some Angry Birds easter baskets!  Bubba was thrilled to have a green pig and we happened to have some leftover foam shamrocks so it worked out well for his ears and stout.

Jordan not understanding why their baskets weren't identical...
the happiest and most grateful of the bunch

not exactly thrilled just yet...

give me a smile Bubba

After we got back from Church and had our lunch and went through our Easter baskets and had a mini egg hunt in the house and backyard, we decided to venture to Tidal Basin along with the rest of the Spring Break crowd to see the cherry blossoms again (this time in fuller bloom!)

the boys eating Dagny's peeps
Dagny got a lollipop, less messy on the Ergo...

We walked all the way around and went through the FDR and MLK memorials.  It was all so beautiful.  I've mentioned before that I didn't grow up religious at all.  To have a family now and know that we will be together forever because of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, overwhelms me with emotion and gratitude.  I'm happy to do something fun with my kids for the holiday and to also teach them the importance and value of it all.  Because of Him... He is risen!

Friday, March 25, 2016

It Can Be Done! ...American History Museum with Friends

I've been hesitant to ride the Metro without Andy and just the three kids, but I guess I was getting a little tired of the same old parks and library storytimes.  So.... we ventured out.  We scheduled a play date with our friends from South Pasadena who are also here now, and agreed to meet at the museum entrance.  This a week after plans to metro to their house were cancelled because her kids were sick (I breathed a sigh of relief that I didn't have to metro with three on my own).

To practice, I did a mini run with just the kids to meet Andy after work for the cherry blossoms at Tidal Basin earlier in the week.  It was okay.. not too bad, half of the struggle is to find an elevator to exit.

To start the morning off, I received a text from Nancy, a DC transport now native, with a snapshot of someone's tweet about a girl who had jumped in front of the train at Eastern Market, which is the exact train stop we were planning to take!  In a frenzy of texts to Andy and some DC friends, I vacillated between walking all the way (estimated at 45 minutes) or going via another Metro station which would include one transfer.  We finally decided to just go for it and brave the Metro and switch.  When I used to work in downtown LA (once I became a portfolio manager and was no longer staffed at client sites), I took the Metro from Pasadena to downtown LA all the time, including one metro switch at Union Station.  The first few times were intimidating because you have to watch the signs carefully to understand directions to the transfer, then once at the platform, you have to make sure you get on the right stop.  Once on the train, you have to make sure you get off at the right stop or risk having to go back around.  But on your own, with nothing more than a computer bag, it's pretty easy.  With one baby on your chest, and about 80 lbs of stroller in the form of an almost 3 and almost 5 year old is a whole other ball game.

I don't consider myself a "brave" mom by any means.  In fact, while some moms are out within weeks of their newborn babies, I find comfort in the confines of my home, not really needing to get any air or go for a walk.  I am perfectly content at home and willingly comply with the traditional Chinese confinement for one month.  But now that I have three kids at home, going out helps to break down the moments, whereas a sleeping baby never seemed to bother me when I could be watching TV, browsing the Internet, or talking on the phone.  Those things don't seem to happen anymore without my kids asking me what I'm doing, plus I'm very overbearing when it comes to what shows I will watch while they're around, they're very easily influenced and pick up on everything.  So by way of having no other feasible means, I found myself walking to the Metro with three kids.

a nice stranger offered to take a photo while we struggled for a selfie
we took one wrong exit but made it!
too bad the line inside American History was so stinking long!
insider Wonderland!

group shot as we left after lunch!
going back was easy, no line switches..
and a walk home via Eastern Market
sleeping Dagny with her arms folded

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Beginning of Cherry Blossom Bloom!

I'm still not sleeping well here and with so much walking throughout the day, it's made for a lot of fatigue and infinity exhaustion.  I feel like I have a newborn again, when in reality, I have three active kids and no car (seriously, you take for granted the minimal amount of effort it takes to drive versus walk everywhere).  So on Thursday morning, I told Jordan he could open this package I got from Amazon with a key if he really wanted to.  I didn't think about what was inside the package, a wad of cotton string that we were planning to use for big bubble wands.  I slept in until 8 AM, knowing very well there could be a lot of insanity downstairs where Jordan and Bubba sounded like they were having the time of their lives.  I secretly hoped they were just using their imaginations, something they've become quite accustomed to since being here.  

I came down... and realized they had proceeded to utilize all two rolls of 300 natural cotton twine to make a magnificent web around the dining room and kitchen.  I couldn't really get mad at them, I hadn't said they couldn't.. one of those harsh lessons of parenting you learn too late after the permanent marker has graced the walls or the furniture... and in my case, after 600 feet of string is in and out over an under every single nook and cranny in the room.  I patiently, with very much restraint and composure, advised them that they were not allowed to do this again, told them why (dangerous, choking hazard, tripping casualties, etc.) and then proceeded to feed everyone breakfast while tying the string back onto sticks.  

 An hour later we were ready to get dressed and get ready to celebrate our St. Patrick's Day!

In anticipation of homeschooling (if you can call it that, we mostly just play but do some letters, numbers, and read a bit) on a holiday, I got some marshmallows to stamp shamrocks.  The boys decided it would be more fun to paint.  We also decided to use the last of our fruit loops (yes, we ate a TON, Andy bought sugary cereal and we are finally done with it) to make rainbows!

 And then we watched a bunch of YouTube videos about the origin of St. Patrick's Day, something I'm surprised I only learned now.  Did you know St. Patrick was captured by pirates from Britain and taken to Ireland?  He later went back and proselytized and used a shamrock to teach about the Godhead.

In the afternoon, our friends offered to give us a ride (carless here) to the Congressional Cemetery where there were glimpses of blooms and Spring all around.  The boys were ecstatic to share a seat.
 Jordan couldn't understand why there was a gate we couldn't get into and though we couldn't quite figure out where to go from, he easily opened the gate and suggested we go this way.  We obliged.
 It was absolutely breathtaking.  I am so excited for this upcoming week's cherry blossoms!
 Jordan "made it rain" with whatever he could gather from the floor.

After dinner, we decided to take a little trip to see the green fountain in front of the White House, a fun fact we learned had begun since 2009.  

I think we'll continue our tradition of making green slime for St. Patrick's Day, once a year seems sufficient.  We don't have a blender here so we couldn't do a green smoothie but we had a blast with fruit loops and the green food we did have on hand (kiwis, cucumbers and celery) along with a lot of pesto (my kids hate pesto) in our food from our Hello Fresh package.  The kids were stoked for the green fountain and even though the picture doesn't show it well, it was definitely green!