Friday, May 13, 2016

Monday with the Phillips

Sometimes I think my blog posts are becoming so basic, this is what we did, here are some photos, but after looking back at when I used to blog a lot and when I stopped, I want those memories commemorated in the form of a blog that I can later publish.  This, along with Instagram, are the only ways I document our family life these days... so here goes!

On Monday, May and Dennis went off to the FBI tour while I took the kids to our last storytime at Northeast Library, which is only a 5 minute walk from us.  I had been meaning to take a photo of the strollers that take over the hallway (because everyone on the Hill walks, including the nannies who work the hill), but forgot and oh well - trust me when I say, it is ridiculous and something you will never see elsewhere because people drive to the library.  We enjoyed storytime with our friends and then made our way home for lunch which consisted of even more Chinese leftovers from our Saturday trip to Philly.  May and Dennis made their way home and we all just chilled until it was time to head off to our Capital tour.

The walk was brisk and nice, but man, the heat was coming down and we were all sweaty by the time we got there.  I have absolutely loved our time in DC but secretly, a little grateful we missed the humidity and were only there for the best part of the year.

Andy met us up for the tour and I didn't get many photos but hopefully will update later with May's photos.

For dinner, we let Bubba pick since we never truly celebrated his birthday on Saturday with candles and cake.  He chose pizza so we tried We The Pizza, right on Pennsylvania and close to the Capital.

 It was kind of funny to eat dinner at 5 PM.  We saw a bunch of people walking home from work, but I just remember in my audit days, eating lunch and seeing normal people walk around with family, and wondering, are they on vacation, or is this their life?  What kind of job do they have?  Do they work part-time?  How nice and leisurely that must be.  Of course, life in reality isn't always the case, but I have never regretted my decision to be a stay at home mom and I love it.  I envied it from afar for so long, knowing very well that it wasn't all pink roses, but I love it, and having an added perk of family with us during my normal time with the kids, only reinforced how wonderful of a time I am lucky enough to have.  Whenever I stop to think abut the fact that I have a big family, the one I always wanted in my youth, I get all tingly and butterflies in my stomach take over.  It's much the same feeling I get when we fly with our huge crew, because I just recall flying single for work a lot and admiring the families on their way somewhere, it always made me wish I could have that one day... some day.. and one day and someday are here!  Poop, tears, frustration, lack of sleep, and all that included!

We stopped by a small bakery on 8th on the way home to grab some cupcakes for the boys.  Of course, they BOTH chose the one with a French Macaron on top ($1 more), and again asked mom to make them some macarons.  I don't think they understand how much time and effort goes into it, they just want some and have been asking me ever since we tried to make some with a friend a few weeks ago in Rossyln.  Ha.

One of the perks of having your birthday within a week of your brother is to blow out candles together!  There are actually 5 candles in Jordan's cupcake but it only looks like three from this angle.  
I love this family that I married into.  They are so much fun and glad they came out to celebrate the boys' birthdays with us!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sunday with the Phillips

This would be our last Sunday at the Capitol Hill Ward.  Even as I'm recapping on DC, I get all sorts of feels because while Orlando is sunny and we are living in a resort and hitting up Universal almost everyday for two weeks, I am lacking human contact.  I am what you might call.. a little lonely here in Orlando.  But I'm glad DC happened first, because having friends I saw almost everyday and felt totally comfortable just texting what's up, park later today? helped me get out of my comfort zone and explore more, which makes braving the theme park for 4-5 hours on our own before Andy meets us up after work, all the more doable.  

Now that we're doing Universal everyday, my time is also busy with serving my kids breakfast, packing lunch and dinner, doing the dishes and laundry, a tiny bit of learning for Jordan, and giving them baths in the morning.. but more on that later. 

So this was our final Sunday at Capitol Hill!  It's crazy how tall Dagny has grown during the two months we've been here, this skirt hasn't been adjusted but it is slowly getting shorter since those few months before we got to DC.  

A few weeks ago when my Dad was here, I kept making him stop to take photos of the beautiful pink flowers in the trees.  This was a few weeks after the cherry blossom bloom but the other stuff blooming around was breathtaking as well.  Then, as we were walking, I noticed it was all starting to pile up on the floor!  How crazy... and then a few weeks later, everything was just super duper green.  So of course, we had to do a "instagram floor" shot.

Back at our row home, we had leftover Philly Chinatown food, mostly a ton of chicken and noodles mixed with the leftovers we scored from dinner.  Then, we pulled out the sofa bed and relaxed and watched The Karate Kid.  

After some down time, we decided it was time to explore the memorials.  

The boys enjoyed chalk in the backyard with OGO who drew them both before we were on our way.
And then we headed off to Lincoln Memorial via Foggy Bottom, Vietnam War Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and then back home by the Monument via Smithsonian.  I really can't believe how well I know the area now, it's kind of fun taking our family around as if we were locals.

I logged in about 20K in steps that day.  What a great way to end the weekend.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Grandparents Come to DC

Andys' mom and dad came for a few days while we were still in DC to visit, and they arrived on Bubba's birthday! We celebrated his birthday with a trip to District Donuts before heading to Philly on a whirlwind trip to see Andy's uncle and aunt, Edmond and Anna, who live in Westchester. 

It was the perfect time to escape DC for a bit as the downpour came shortly after Bubba and Andy got home. May and Dennis rented a car and as soon as they got to our place, off to Philly we went!

After meeting up with Edmond, we headed to a nearby mall for a late lunch around 2 PM, then made our way to pick up Anna from work and off to Chinatown where we... surprise... ate again!  There's something about family and eating that just go together.  So after Anna showered my kids with snacks and bought us a steamed chicken and some noodles, and after I picked up some Hello Kitty stuffed animals (seriously, you don't know how much you miss them until you move somewhere that doesn't have a Sanrio store!), we headed to dinner at 5 PM! Haha!!
duckface in front of the ducks?

We were able to drive by the new Philly temple which looks amazing.  Too bad we're not around for its open house.  

Then, as we were leaving for dinner, Andy revealed that he hadn't eaten much at dinner because he was saving room for philly cheesesteak.  We went over to Geno's and Pat's and he braved the line for Pat's.  He talked to some locals and asked them which was better, they said - whichever has the shorter line haha but then him and another local said that Pat's seems to give a bit more meat, so win win.  Plus, that's Jeff and Tammy's favorite and they lived over there while Jeff was in law school and Tammy was getting her masters.  

We went to a park nearby while Andy munched on his sandwich.  Jordan was a little confused about why Andy didn't get him a sandwich.  All he ate at dinner was rice even though he normally likes Chinese food.  Maybe the apple doesn't fall so far from the tree after all (there's this story I've heard a million times about how Andy never ate Chinese food growing up, he would just sit there and his parents would get him Taco Bell afterwards... haha, too bad life got him back and he has to have Chinese about once a week, if not more, with me!)  

And the... back to DC we went.  

Monday, May 9, 2016

American Indian Museum with Family

On Friday morning after the arrival of Jan, Ike and Jeffrey (this is around mid-April),  the boys only wanted to do two things with everyone.  The first was to hit up the Air and Space Museum and show them all the cool rockets and other stuff.  The second was to take them to their favorite park, Sherwood Recreation Center, a park I never take them to on my own since it's too big.  After everyone had had breakfast and was dressed, we walked over to the Air and Space Museum.  It was sprinkling a little bit, but the wind was really what killed us.  It was freezing!  By the time we got to the museum (a 30 minute walk, maybe 45 with our group), my hands felt like they were going to fall off.  We were so grateful for the warm heat in the museums, but since I can never figure out DC weather and my kids were in shorts. 

Bubba and Dagny fell asleep on the way there but woke up and enjoyed a bit before we walked over to the American Indian Museum to meet Andy for lunch.  For some reason, I only took photos of the American Indian Museum, hence the blog post title.  

 We bought lunch at McDonalds at the Air and Space to bring over to the American Indian cafeteria.  Nobody said anything to us, but yes, we have seen the signs that say no outside food.  Oops!

 We've seen the eskimo igloo exhibit before and it's never been completed.  Andy and I tried to complete it with other parents a few weeks back, but we failed and gave up.  For some reason, on this particular day, a worker walked by as Bubba broke apart the igloo and made some comment about putting it back together.  Jan, Ike, and Jeffrey took it to mean that we HAD to put it back together.  So for the next 30 minutes, they worked extremely hard to put it back together.
 And they did it!  I couldn't believe it and tried to get some photos before it got knocked over again but Jan told Bubba sternly not to break it again.  Five minutes later, another kid broke it.  And then that museum worker went by and made the same comment, and I witnessed as another pair of adults became fearful that they were responsible for putting it back together.  That was when I realized the effort they put in was not voluntary, they thought we'd get in trouble if we didn't put it back together.  Haha...
We walked to Union Station for some ice cream at McDonald's, and while heading there, we walked by Andy's office, the Department of Labor and took a photo to send to him.
He actually got off work in time to meet us, and then we all walked home and ended up having Korean bibimbap for dinner at Let's Mix, a new place on Pennsylvania.  What a great way to start off our weekend with family in town! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

All Around Arlington And Some...

This fine Saturday in the past... we made our way to Arlington Cemetery, but not without first swinging by an awesome park.  It was weird being outside of the District and seeing people there without strollers (they just drive here unlike the Hill), but it was an awesome playground that the kids loved.  Playgrounds are really fun with our three now, mostly because they all know how to navigate their way around and it's not as nerve wrecking as before.  

 After working up an appetite, we walked on over to this place for some Peruvian chicken.  It was fantastic and the best part.. it was dirt cheap compared to everything we've had in DC!  All this - a whole chicken - for 20 bucks and some change for drinks, and our entire family was fed (almost.. Dagny fell asleep during lunch)...

Then we walked back to a Metro to make our way over to Arlington Cemetery, the boys were excited because it was the first time they were in a Metro train outside and above ground.  They loved it and kept asking when we could come back.  

It was so hot at Arlington that I got out my umbrella to shield myself from the sun.  I would later lose the umbrella from this action... oh well.  I had never seen JFK's grave or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, so it was neat to swing by those.  We also saw the huge amphitheater on our way to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  
After exiting the cemetery, a downhill and much better than the zoo exit, we made our way over to Lincoln Memorial, but not without seeing some beautiful springtime tulips (Andy! Take a photo!) on our walk over.  

Bubba fell asleep by this point, so it was just the four of us enjoying Lincoln.  We'd come back again with grandparents so Bubba did get to experience Abe in all his glory later.  I like that there's an elevator to take you up to Lincoln (unlike Jefferson Memorial), and I just love good ol' Abe, so it was fun reading about the Memorial and him downstairs before making our way up via a huge elevator.  

 We didn't take anymore photos after this, but then since we were so close to Foggy Bottom, that we stopped by Trader Joe's to stock up on a bit of stuff and then made our way towards Georgetown to Rose Park Rec Center where we saw a ton of Orthodox Jews hanging out.  I had a fun time watching them and wondering what it must be like to have your Sabbath on a Saturday and have to wear skirts and shirts that cover my elbows everyday.  It made me grateful that my Mormon temple garments are much less restrictive than the Jews.  Andy went on a field trip back to Muncheez to grab the boys dinner and then we enjoyed dinner at the park before heading back home.

I think I clocked in over 20k steps this day, it was great.  I really miss having a whole day out and about.  Even without a strict exercise regiment while in DC, our walking around has more than made up for it.