Sunday, April 11, 2010

Washington DC

I was able to get Friday off work and Mike and I took the three youngest to Washington DC for the weekend. What a great time we had! They picked me up at work on Thursday evening and all came in to wait with me, for a mom who was late. Turned out she fell asleep and forgot to pick her baby up! Ugh. We finally got out of there and stopped a little over halfway to DC for dinner. We ate at Golden Corral and we all had a delicious dinner. Alex started with his smart mouth, so that part sucked, but most of the dinner was fun. I don't know why that boy can never shut his mouth when he needs to. He is, for the most part, a great kid, but the smart mouth is killing us!

We ended up arriving in DC around 10ish, I think. We unpacked, watched a little tv and hung out with Mike's work friend, Anet, who was also staying at the townhouse that night. We got to bed a little later than we wanted to, so we slept in a bit on Friday morning. We had been expecting rain and thunderstorms all day, but woke to a cool, sunny day. We decided to take the Metro train into DC, instead of driving, since it is really hard to find a place to park or van. The parking garages don't accommodate vehicles with the height of our van. It was fun to take the train. We started out at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, which I thought was pretty interesting. Although the kids said they liked it afterwards, it was sort of hard to tell while we were there, as they whined, moaned, complained and talked back most of the time. Alex was in his prime with the back talk and got his phone taken away for a good, long time. I really wanted to slap his face several times, but didn't want to get arrested! Oh, well, I got to see Julia Child's kitchen, so the annoyance was worth it!

After that museum, the kids decided they wanted to go to more. Go figure. Anyway, by then it was after 5:30, the time the other museums close. So we decided to abandon our idea of looking at cherry blossoms and having a picnic on Saturday and we spent another day at the museums instead. Good thing, since the cherry blossoms are gone! We drove in on Saturday, hoping for a street spot, which we found plenty of, but they were all two hour parking only. We drove around for awhile and then ended up driving out to the waterfront, near the marina where we found an above ground lot for only $10 a day. We parked there and took the bus to the National Mall, where all the Smithsonian museums are. We went to the Native American Museum, which had a wonderful show and gift store, the Air and Space Museum and The Museum of Natural History. The last museum had a cool butterfly habitat, which Hannah and I loved. I tried to get her to go in with me, even though it cost $6 per person, but she was afraid of the butterflies, since they land on people. When she was little, we took her into a bird habitat at Busch Gardens and they were landing on her and she freaked out. We settled for looking through the window and saved $12, but we both were longing to be in there, so we could see all of the butterflies. The view through the window was very limited, but we still saw some beauties.

We went to bed early last night, since we had to drop Mike off at the Richmond airport for a flight to Ohio. All in all, in spite of Alex's behavior and a bit of whining from the girls, it was a great trip!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Glorious Day, Part Two

This afternoon, Mike and I went to the library. I can't remember if I blogged about this before, but I was extremely excited when Mike was listening to the same book on CD that I was reading. Well, I wasn't actually reading it until I found out he was listening to it, but it was on my shelf, waiting to be read. I have had this long time fantasy that Mike (who hates to read anything other than websites, magazines and newspapers) would learn to love the books that I love. It was fun to be reading the same book at the same time. So, today we headed to the library with the idea of him picking out some CD's to listen to on the way to and from work and for me to get the same in book form. We ended up with Columbine. That isn't the type of book I normally read, but it looks really good. I was hoping to talk Mike into getting at least one John Sandford book, but he picked several others, instead. Hopefully, he will try one of those in the future because I think he will really like them. There are at least 18 books in the Prey series and I think I have read them all at least once, but I would still love to see if he likes them. They are, in my opinion, even better than "Killer View" by Ridley Pearson, which is the one we just finished.

After coming out of the library, we sat in the shade, under the wisteria arbor, next to the fountain. Our library has a beautiful area with chairs and short walls to sit on and the wisteria was in bloom and smelled wonderful! I found some Birds and Blooms magazines in the used book area for only .25 each. I thumbed through those while Mike read the information booklet from one of his books on CD. It was so nice and relaxing, sitting there in the breeze with the smell of wisteria in the air. I think I have a new appreciation for little things like that, now that I am gone from home so many hours for work.

Alex had a good time filming his movie today. The movie, called "The Bill of Rights" is supposed to be on PBS in November. He is looking forward to doing it, again, tomorrow. Time to go grill the chicken and pork chops that have been marinating all day!

Glorious Day!

What a glorious day! It is beautiful outside and I have the day off. The daycare center is closed for the day, to celebrate Easter. I haven't been there long enough for it to be a paid holiday, but I really don't even care. Mike is home for the week, to keep an eye on the kids during Spring Break.

Mike and I got up at my regular working-day time today and took Alex to Colonial Williamsburg, where he is an extra in a movie. He is excited because this is his first movie and he gets paid $12 an hour to do something that is tons of fun. They also serve them snacks and lunch. He will do it today and tomorrow and should make about $120. We then tried to go to the library, only to find out that it doesn't open until 10:00. So we headed to Walgreens, where Jack and Drew were both working, and bought some Easter stuff at 50% off. We decided not to do baskets this year, as the kids said they would prefer to just get some new clothes. Shauna, however, wasn't a part of that conversation and I found out on Saturday that she still wanted a basket. She was more than happy to get a big bowl of candy (for the whole family, not just Shauna!) on Easter and wait a few more days for a basket with some goodies. I still have a couple more things to pick up for her, but when we tried to go to the hair care store to get them, they didn't open until 11:30. What is with these stores?

On Saturday morning, just as I was about to step into the shower, I got a text that my mom was being taken from work to the hospital by ambulance. I went to the hospital and, luckily, she was doing pretty well. It turned out that she had been at the cardiologist on Thursday, to get a stress test because she had an abnormal EKG. During the stress test, they had to stop because her blood pressure shot up super high. She was put on a beta-blocker drug and it slowed her heart rate drastically. That caused her to feel light headed and otherwise horrible. She was released after a few hours, after being given the option of staying until they got the meds regulated or going home to do it. Hopefully, she will be able to find a good combination of meds that keeps the blood pressure down and doesn't cause her heart rate to slow so much.

I am officially ready for the return of my beloved hummingbirds! I have one feeder out in front and Mike just helped me put a new one on the sun room window. I was at Walmart a couple of weeks ago and decided to buy Alex the hummingbird feeder that he had been asking for last year. While I was getting it, I saw that they had some hangers that could be attached to a window with heavy duty suction cups. I bought one, as well as a small feeder to go on it. I was so excited because we will be able to sit in the air conditioned sun room and still see the hummingbirds! Our front porch faces southwest, so it is usually too sunny and hot to sit out there in the evenings. Since I will be at work in the mornings, when I would usually hang out there to see my birdies, this will work out perfectly! Another plus is that the hummingbirds will have more shade because the window feeder is on the northeast side of the house. I still have two more feeders to prepare, but I am soaking those in bleach water to kill any mold. Now all I need is for the hummingbirds to migrate back up here.