Thursday, September 27, 2012

imagiNATIONS at the Museum of The American Indian

 She posed herself in front of the Tipee. So I took her picture. 

Taryn was taken buy all the horses on display and the interactive imagiNATIONS Activity Center. She even enjoyed the video that highlighted what The National Museum of The American Indian was all about. I was very moved as we watched the film depicting much of nature and I watched as Taryn paid close attention asking, "What's that?!?!" when she saw something new and exciting on the screen.

 Don't know how she did it but she answered almost all the questions right by herself. She must have been born knowing that the Eagle is the most highly regarded symbol for the United Sates of America :)

At this station, once you hold the blue cords to your ears, you can hear through speakers the sounds different birds make. 

 I'm pretty sure that you can't really exit like this from a kayak in the middle of the water.  

 Snowshoes- And I thought it was just some funny fashion statement.
Who knew it actually had to do with PSI? :)
Taryn spent a majority of her time making sure that this exhibit was correct- testing it over and over again- Yup- snowshoes are easier to walk with than regular tennis shoes when you have to walk through snow.

Me and my little adventure buddy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We spent the day outside

Little girls in jeans. Just to cute. 
Perfect weather makes for great walks.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Killer Walnut Tree seeds, the almost Grease Burns, and M&M's

Last week there was a big storm that hit our area. We spent the day inside listening to the rain and  with Play Dough. Taryn took a couple of licks of it but after she found out how salty it was, she stuck with just keeping it in her hands. She was so excited about it and so was I. I remember my mom making lots and lots of Play Dough for me and my sisters growing up. I remember forming the dough into little tea cups and letting them dry over night. I also remember wondering why my water was so salty when we drank from our tea cups the next day. (Thanks Mom for the recipe!)

 With our windows opened during the storm and all the humidity in the air, Taryn's hair (and mine!) went crazy! I think it was the best hair day I have had in a long time. And Taryn's hair? Oh boy! Those curls!

So with her hair growing longer and crazy curly by the day, I have been motivating myself to practice doing her hair. I love it. She doesn't. But if I want to ever do her hair in the future, we both need to practice now. So, I learn to distract her with different things like a baby thermometer that beeps when you push the buttons. It did the trick. And I created these cute little pigtails. This week I want to try a  style at least once a day! Wish me luck!

Love how her curls can't even contain themselves!

Highlights from this weekend
Our Saturday Ward BBQ - such a great time.
M&M's saved me this weekend. 
Bike Ride in perfect weather.
 Parks, Parks and more Parks
Lollipops, The Lion King, and Lemonade
Crisp & Cool Air
*New Arrivals- Congrats Ashley & Peter Dansie! Can't wait to meet your new little bundle of joy!*

A dangerous grease accident while cooking. I'm so glad I decided to wear my jeans that morning. The burns would have been so bad.

Time with T & T
Crock Pots- my new "oven." Literally.
So. Many. Hot. Dogs.
Fans and Flashlights- with gift cards I was able to stock up on some Emergency Preparedness items!

Killer Walnut Tree Seeds in our backyard-  (between the size of a golf ball and tennis balls) nearly took out my sister and her friend this weekend.

The End of Mosquito Repellent -Our bottles are almost empty. And I am not going to buy another one this year. Goodbye pesky mosquitoes. I will not miss you this fall/winter.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Missing Him

We started to really really miss Tyson by the end of the 2nd week of his schooling. I had prepared myself all summer long for his return to school and the fact that I would not be seeing him as much. I think I handled the first week back at school very well. But by the time that 2nd Friday came around and it sunk in that I hadn't seen Tyson before 9:00pm or later each night for 2 weeks (with him leaving at 8am every morning too for work)  it made me sad. I know we only have 8 more months of Graduate School but that doesn't change that fact that it's stinks not to have him around as much anymore. 

The other day Taryn spent the day calling me "Daa-ee" and asking where Daddy was. Anytime I spoke on the phone, she would ask to have it so she could talk to "Daa-ee." She loves her Daddy so much. In the past when she wakes up, she would call for "Mommy, momma, mommy!" Now she says, "I wan Daa-ee! I wan Daa-ee!" And every time I tell her that he is coming home later.  She jumps at every little sound outside and thinks it's "Daa-ee"

So all of this helps me cherish the time I get to spend with Tyson. Like the long family walk we took on Saturday night up the hill to Arlington Ridge. And the couple of wonderful hours where Taryn and Tyson got to walk to &  play at the park together while I ran to the grocery store. 
 And maybe the times I have kept Taryn up 30 minutes past her bed time so she can see her Daddy at the end of the day. 
I still get the biggest smile (ok- you know I almost cry every time) when Taryn spots Tyson coming through the door, starts jumping up and down, and runs to Tyson to give him the biggest- longest- hug ever, followed by a sweet little kiss. 
 I want to remember that forever.
He's almost done with week three of school and I can't believe how fast it's already going by. Well, maybe for us, not so much for Tyson who has to do all the work! 
-  I have had this post written for days now but didn't know if I wanted to publish it. I like to think of myself as an independent person who doesn't complain and can manage just fine by herself. Maybe this is my huge slice of humble pie. I can't do everything by myself.  Coming from a person that doesn't like to ask for help at all- that's a hard pill for me to swallow.  Isn't that what marriage is about? Joining two lives together, realizing that two is far better than just one (and...three is better than two ... so on and so forth). Missing your other half is normal and expected. Maybe it's the thoughts and beliefs of society creeping into my head telling me that I can do just fine as CEO of my little family. But guess what? I am not the CEO. I am Co-CEO and so is Tyson. We work together. With the both of us, things run more smoothly. I am happy to be the Co- CEO with Tyson for our little family. Together, we make things work. -

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I love being her Momma

Oh, my funny little girl.

Taryn is such a joy to be around and I love being able to have this special time with her.  She has changed so much in the past two months. It's just incredible to see who she is becoming. I love my little sweet girl.

This morning we sang a bunch of songs together, one of them being "Pop Corn Popping" from the Children's Songbook.   Her hand motions and "words" to the song are so adorable. She tries oh so hard to say each word. 

We've been reading one of my favorite childhood books "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" 
each night before bed.  Taryn recites the few key phrases that she remembers from the book as we turn the pages. I can still hear my mom's voice reading that same book to me. I searched long and hard for it at the our city library and I know we will be taking it home with us multiple times. 

At the end of our 3 hour block of church on Sundays, you can find Taryn frolicking in the large grass space in front of the building. She's surrounded by at least a dozen kids from ages 15 months to 7 years old. She smiles as she runs round and round, keeping up with the other kids, laughing as they say "Hi" and race each other. 

Being her momma, I know what she's saying and usually what she wants. I always wondered in my youth how mothers were able to know just what their children were saying. But now I know. When you spend your time with these sweet little ones, you begin to know and understand their words, their feelings, and what makes them happy & sad. There are still times where I am totally stumped as to what her needs are or what she is saying but with time it all comes together again. 

I think Taryn has just gone through a big developmental stage. She has become a whole new "Happy" and it's taken Tyson & me by surprise.  We've commented on how "smiley" and "giggly" and how she has a "bubbly" personality now. 

Tantrums rarely happen any more and bed time/nap time has become such a simple process now. And she eats! She eats! I can't even begin to tell you how much I worried over the summer with her sudden lack of eating...anything! But she has a good appetite now and I can just worry about making sure she has a varied diet for now. 

She's a great buddy for our explorations and adventures around this new place we call Home. I know that on our daily outings she has helped me see the simple things in life like a beautiful flower, a bear sculpture in a yard, and the bugs on the ground. Everything thing is a new learning experience for her and I am happy to be her teacher.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Postal Museum

 We started our weekend with a little photo shoot in our backyard as I learn how to take good pictures with Tyson's camera. Mine, sadly, had a good run of 6+ years but now can't focus on a thing- a.k.a- it's broken. I was really sad but thankful that Tyson had a camera from before we were married. It's actually been super handy in these past couple of years  to have around when my camera battery dies while we are out and about. So bare with me as I try to figure out the best settings to make good pictures.

 Union Station

Plan A: We made a plan for this weekend to go HERE but found out it cost about $13 for Taryn and I to go. Sad day. Maybe later on we will see it and be able to play in the Building Zone.  But with so many other FREE things to do around here, we thought we would save our money, enjoy the great weather and see other sights.
Plan B: Go to this festival. (love that blog!) But after exiting Union Station Metro, I felt like our time would be better spent at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum next door.

After the museum, we spent the rest of our time outdoors playing in the grass, helping toss balls to a nice doggie (who let Taryn hug his wet body!), and chasing each other around.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sweaters and leaves

Playing "Outside" with her Chalk

We woke up with the chill of night air still lingering in our home bright and early in the morning. I love being able to crack open the windows and feel the cool breeze all night long. We wear sweaters to the park in the morning and it seems that Taryn had forgotten just how much she loved her jacket. The walks at night are so pleasant. (We would go on walks - with humidity and heat-  but now it's just so much more enjoyable.) 
Our little Taryn can't get enough of being outside and if you have spent time with her in the last 4 months, you know that her favorite word ever is 
We're dreaming of apple orchards, hayrides, hot cider, and sweaters. 
Every morning I find myself sweeping more and more leaves from our walk way and I just smile, knowing that Fall is here and that the leaves will keep the sidewalk full of beautiful colors.
On one of our walks yesterday, we spotted two giant pumpkins growing in front of someone's house. Taryn was so excited, she gave one a huge hug (picture coming soon!)
Neighbors are decorating their adorable houses with perfect fall flowers & pumpkins. I may have considered  buying a tiny pumpkin at the Grocery store for our home the other day too.
We're heading out for an adventure today to enjoy this beautiful weather! 
We love the Fall.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Taking after Mama and her long curly hair

 I couldn't help myself! Lil' Bam Bam

We practiced making funny faces and working on her "Smile" because every time I say that word, she closes her eyes. Sound familiar Mom? I wonder who she gets that from :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Be Prepared: The lesson we learned after 21 hours without power.

After our adventure to the Botanical Gardens, Taryn fell asleep in the stroller almost immediately so I decided to take advantage of my time in the city with a sleeping little one and see some sights and maybe even buy some cookies for later from a bakery :)

 I was making my way up to the Eastern Market for their big Saturday market and I happened to look behind me as I prepared to cross the street. I saw the largest blanket of the dark clouds growing closer and closer. About a minute later, two men passed by and after overhearing one of them say to the other, " It's going to get ugly real fast here. You better go!"  I made a beeline to the nearest metro but before long, I started to feel the sprinkles of rain hit my head. Luckily, I had Taryn's "Bubble" or rain protector with me- AWESOME!- So I threw it over her while she kept on napping and I kept pushing her to the metro. 
The end was in sight. I could see the metro. 
All I needed to do was cross this teeny tiny cross walk. And then it hit. The winds burst by us (blowing my dress for all to see!), some of the near by windows blew out with the loudest crash, and then the water came. Like someone turning on a giant faucet, the rains just poured! I ran while holding my dress (because the winds were still blowing it everywhere) and pushing Taryn with one hand while I splashed through puddles that formed instantly. We made it underground of the metro and compared to everyone else, we were bone dry. I had to smile as I saw one man pass by me minutes after I had entered the Metro. He was soaked from head to toe and his shoes squeaked from being filled with water. I was so grateful that Tyson and I had been to that side of D.C. before and I knew exactly where the metro was because there was no time for error. 

 The best part of it? Taryn slept through the whole thing :) Thank you, rain guard "Bubble"

Our metro stop is connected to an underground mall so I was able to walk from the Metro to one block away from my house without getting soaked. 
Then I got a call from Tyson. 
He had been studying at the library. The power went out there so he came home only to find that our power was out too. It was 5:00pm and growing dark. We decided to quickly grab dinner at a nearby burger place and not waste precious daylight (or the cool air in the fridge by opening it up)  so we could go grab some essentials- like candles. 
We live in the basement so it gets dark fast. We had one flashlight. And it didn't take us long to find out that we need a new one, bad. We had to laugh at it when ever we tilted it and the top popped off and batteries went flying in front of us. Is it ironic that I had just given our other flashlight to my sister to use for a camp out? 
Our candle lighter didn't last very long as the lighter fluid ran out (it was almost on empty but we thought it would make it -Lesson Learned)- one more thing to add to the list of "Must By for the next Blackout/Emergency"

We packed everything in our fridge on ice after realizing that the power wasn't going to come back on anytime soon. We mopped up the water and after we felt like we had done what we could, we watched a movie on my laptop until the battery died. We were very fortunate that the storm brought a burst of cool weather so we were able to sleep with the windows opened and not die from heat & humidity. 

Be prepared: 
What I am grateful for after this experience

* Tyson and I remained calm throughout the whole Blackout. We worked together and got what we needed done.
*I had fully charged my phone before the blackout. I was able to still communicate with everyone and find out who had power around us.
*I had already done the laundry and ironed. One reason to always stay on top of laundry. And for me, another reason to be grateful that I have a W/D in my apartment to make it easier. 
* We had a giant cooler in storage that was ready to hold the entire contents of our fridge.
* We had some easy snacks/meals- bread, peanut butter, jelly, granola bars, crackers, fruit snacks etc... Items that didn't need to be heated up or required an electric something or other. 
*We have 72 hour kits and Emergency Car Kits so if we really needed something, we would be ok for 72 hours.

 What I Wish I had prepared:
*A full Lighter or two
* Candles
*More than one flashlight- that worked :)
* A car charger just in case we needed to charge out phones- (using a friends car :)
and so much more

Blackouts happen often in this region. From what we have heard from talking to friends, it's not uncommon for power outages to last for days, either. One couple told us of a 3-4 day long blackout that just happened last summer. Can you imagine? 100 + degree weather, plus humidity?! And with a toddler?! But we also learned that the outages happen in pockets so your friend two streets down may have power- and room to store your fridge items :)

We knew before we moved here that we would be faced with more natural disasters, power outages, and realistically- more potential terrorist attacks (we live next door to the Pentagon!!) than in our previous locations of Arizona and Italy. 
 I remember telling Tyson, 
"As soon as we move in, I want to start stocking up our food supply, water reserve, and emergency supplies."

Little did I know that we would experience our first "preparedness test" just a month after moving here. So we have a lot to do in order to prepare ourselves for the next blackout, snowstorm or emergency. 
We will be ready!

Monday, September 10, 2012

U.S. Botanical Gardens

 Taryn and I took the "choo choo" into D.C. to visit the U.S. Botanical Gardens which is so  beautiful and a perfect place to bring a toddler. There is a "Children's Garden" filled with mini shovels and garden tools, water pails and small plants for the children to plant all by themselves. The playhouse was just right for Taryn and the roof had various plants growing on it.  I think the water pump that made the fish squirt water seemed to be the favorite of every child. Taryn walked through the bamboo forest and got herself soaking wet as she splashed the water bowls with her garden tool- it was a hot day so she dried off fast.

 Taryn loved all the colors of the flowers and plants, watching the water flow around and discovering new routes to take on our little adventure through the Gardens. The Orchid gardens which have over 100's of orchids in bloom at any given time, was my favorite section of them all.
(Thanks Paige, for the great idea for the day!)

By the end, Taryn got back in her stroller, snacked, and fell asleep. Little did we know what was about to happen. That's for the next post!