Day 437 | The Beach

Have you ever been to a beach made up of 700,000 balls? We have!

Our friend, the Building Museum, has a special exhibit right now called, The Beach, and although it's pricey, chaotic, and impossible to successfully contain two toddlers solo, it was amazing. The boys and I had a blast during our last (sniffle, sniffle) play date with our good friends Miss Caia and John before they move later this week.

We're devastated (that doesn't cover it, actually) but so happy for them and their new adventure. I see fun trips to Florida in the future. 

Day 433 | Jason's Day of Fun

Today turned into an inadvertent Jason's Day of Fun. We started off with delicious breakfast sandwiches, then a stop off at a coffee shop in Jason and the fam's old neighborhood before heading to the National Museum of the American Indian.

The kids loved the time at the museum and the adults even got in on the action by successfully assembling the building block igloo (quite an accomplishment, I have to say). Then we retreated home for a lovely naptime and sushi with one of Jason and Erica's longtime friends.

You're welcome, Jason.

Day 425 | Yards Park

The Yards Park wading pool is one of my favorite spots in the city. It's perfect for my boys: the foot-deep water, the impressive waterfall, and the fountains. It was a perfect outing to escape today's heat. 

Oh, and it's July! The month of visitors + vacations has begun. Grandma Mary is here to spend some quality time with us in the DC humidity. We're so lucky. 

Day 420 | Blueberries, Black Raspberries, and More

Best day ever!

70 degree weather for the perfect berry picking morning. There were blueberries galore, black raspberries for days, sugar snap peas (that could have been a little more delicious, let's be honest), and our first chance to pick cherries (they were tart, but that's ok, it still counts). We love Butlers Orchard.

As if that weren't enough, we ate a delicious lunch at Noodles and then stopped at Dairy Queen for an ice cream treat to power everyone through the drive home (we couldn't let them fall asleep, after all). After finishing his ice cream, Chase declared (in his most official voice) that "Ice cream in the car is the best!"

Day 413 | Big Outing

I went all in today: skipping morning nap and metroing down to the National Building Museum for some serious playtime and picnicking fun. The outing was practically perfect and we all had a blast back at one of our favorite DC attractions for kids.

One thing I didn't enjoy on today's outing? The advice I was given by two strangers while we were navigating the metro. I know I should just say thank you (which I did) and move on (obviously haven't) but seriously? How incompetent of a person do you think I am?

Scenario 1: waiting for the elevator up and out of one of the metro stations. I'm waiting patiently (as are the babies) for the elevator to arrive (which, in case you're unaware, metro has the slowest elevators of all time). I've pushed the button several times because it's not lighting up but, after a few attempts, give up and assume the light is just broken and we continue the wait. Several seconds later, the driver of the train yells out his window. I assume it's not directed towards me. It was. He yelled again to tell me I needed to push the button for the elevator to arrive. What? Thanks, captain obvious. I've got it from here. Luckily, the doors opened at that very moment so I proved myself as a capable member of society. 

Scenario 2: on the train ride home. Chase requests a window seat (for obvious reasons) so I park the stroller out of the way near the doors and take the boys to a window seat a few rows in. We pass a few stops and I realize my wallet is peeking out of the stroller (near the doors...eek!) so at the next stop, I tell Chase to sit nicely for a second while I take Robbe and grab my wallet. In the two seconds (no joke) of me walking towards the stroller before I turn right back around, a woman says to me, "you forgot one of your babies." This has to be a joke, right? I can only shake my head, even now. 

Needless to say, we made it home (with both babies) even though society seemed to think it was questionable many times. 


Day 412 | Emery Playground

I didn't start the morning off thinking we'd be visiting another new park today (or be blogging about another new park for that matter) but that's the way it turned out. And boy am I excited we ended up at the Emery Recreation Center playground today. It was amazing!

A few of the highlights:
  1. A big hill in the middle with two slides coming down from it=super fun!
  2. A double-decker play structure with some really unique attractions (think slide with three turbo boosters, an "elevator" pole feature, two bridges, etc)
  3. Really interesting and addicting wall-mounted games that I haven't seen anywhere else. There was a construction-themed one where you had to manipulate four different gears to get all the marbles through the different machines. Very cool. 
The only downside? It was too hot to stay for very long. We'll be back when the sun isn't quite as brutal. 

Day 392 | Another Day, Another Playground

Where's Waldo? Can you find both my boys in the photo?
We ventured across the city today for a play date with a friend (this friend) and her daughter. Stead Park near Dupont is amazing! Recently redone and perfect for my boys' ages. Everyone had a blast, despite the heat creeping upon us.

I love that there are so many nice playgrounds in this city. Can't complain about that!

Day 391 | Splish Splash

Look what's open for the summer! Our super nice neighborhood splash park. Woohoo!

Chris took the boys over the weekend for this season's inaugural trip but today's calmer atmosphere put both boys in the water-loving spirit. And the warm temps made the outing just perfect. I see this as a weekly outing for us this summer but I'll try not to post too many photos of it. :)

Day 380 | Artsy Action

Chase and I got to explore our neighborhood's newest addition this morning: the Little Loft. This was a Capitol Hill gem that we just never got around to visiting (the age just wasn't right) and now they opened a new location right up the road from us. Another walking destination...yay!

It took a little coercing, but Chase enjoyed hunting for toys in the rice table, touching (but just barely) the sculpting sand, reading books (of course he found the only non-art offering), and making a fun bookmark. 

I think the chances are good we'll be back but probably still not with little brother in tow. Sorry, Robbe. 

Day 360 | Butterflies!

Today's outing has been on my DC to-do list since before I had babies. I finally finally got to see the butterflies at the National Museum of Natural History. We lucked out and got tickets by just walking in (I'm not sure if that's usually the case). You do have to pay for this exhibit but the $5 was totally worth it, in my opinion.

Chase was a little uncertain about these flying beauties (are you surprised?), but afterward they were his favorite part of the outing. Robbe, on the other hand, could not have been more excited. He squealed with excitement and pointed at all the butterflies the whole time. His reaction to the whole outing (we also watched the fishies for a bit and looked at some other animals) made me realize we need to do stuff like this more. He's really starting to take in and enjoy the world around him.

In other news, our month of visitors has come to an end. We dropped Grandma and Grandpa G. off at the airport this afternoon. In Chase's words, "I'm so sad." Back to the real world around here...

Day 357 | Day Out with Thomas

2015 is turning out to be quite a year for our little 3-year-old. Today's installment? A Day Out with Thomas.

Have we taken the train enthusiasm to the extreme? Maybe, but it was totally worth it! Chase had a blast on his first Mommy-Daddy-Chase-Grandpa Day (thanks, Mom, for hanging out with Robbe so we could go sans-baby). Oh, and Thomas being there didn't hurt.

Some of the highlights from the big event:
  • Meeting the big guy: Thomas, that is (middle photo)
  • Meeting Sir Topham Hat (top-left photo)
  • Riding on one of Thomas's coaches (top-right and bottom-left photos)
  • Train-themed crafts (stamps, coloring, necklace-making)
  • A petting zoo (What? Who would have expected that?)
  • Three train-themed kiddie rides (including a carousel)
  • Tons of real trains to tour and look at (we'll be back to the B&O Railroad Museum)
  • A toy wooden railway (like the one we have at home), which Chase proclaimed was his favorite part of the day, of course
  • And so much more!
The event as busy but really well organized and really enjoyable. We were only there for about three hours but there was enough to do to keep the kiddos entertained for much, much longer. The train ride, itself, was about 20 minutes long which was perfect for Chase's attention span. And I'm glad we opted for a morning train ride (10:45am) which enabled us to do a lot of the activities before the bulk of the crowd showed up. 

Overall, a really wonderful morning. I would highly, highly recommend for any train-loving friends. 

Day 343 | Cherry Blossoms

There are a large contingency of DC residents that strongly *strongly* dislike Cherry Blossom time in the District. True, traffic is a terror, the metro gets just a wee bit congested, and the Mall area (including the Tidal Basin) can be unnavigable at times.

Somehow all that disappears when you see the blossoms, though. They're just so pretty.

I won't say this year was an ideal cherry blossom visit, however. We were gone for a total of three hours and spent maybe 30 minutes on the Tidal Basin. The weather was a bit chilly and overcast. Chase, although super excited to go, was less-than-thrilled with the actual outing when we got down there. And Robbe, who still takes a morning nap, decided not to sleep in the stroller (not surprising since he's only done it once). He did sleep in the carrier, though, so it wasn't all bad. 

After all that, Chris and I still considered it a success. We made it down for the Cherry Blossoms! And they continue to be worth all the trouble.