Saturday, November 29, 2008

A little trip into Downtown D.C.

Last week, William and I made the trek into D.C. to visit the Air and Space Smithsonian and the Union Station Holiday Train display. Dan only had to work a half day so the plan was to meet up with him around noon for a ride home.

William and I started out on the metro and headed towards the Smithsonian stop. We walked along the mall and stopped for a few tourist photos among the monuments.
We strolled up to Air and Space right on time and were probably two of the first 20 customers that morning - the place was empty (must have been the holiday weekend or something). Having so much room to run and explore made William super excited. He LOVES the Air and Space Smithsonian and knew exactly where we were when we entered the building. So much so, that HE lead ME to the helicopter display which was down the hall and hidden from the entry way. We ran around the museum, checked out the jet engines, played with a gravity display toy and watched a World War II video on fighter jets...what 22 month old will sit still for that!

Next stop was Union Station. Every December the folks at Union Station put up a very elaborate train track with bridges, hills, tunnels, and a town. William was captivated. He watched those trains like a hawk and when they would disappear into a tunnel or around the corner, he'd say, " wer, o wer, o wer, tu-tu!" which means, "where, oh where, oh where is the choo choo?" Pretty cute. We had so much fun last weekend, that we went back today (Sunday) to see the train one more time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Give Thanks. Feel Blessed.

Aunt Ann and the cousins!

Me and my sweetest joy!

One happy family!

Cousin Jake - We are 4 months apart!

My Gram is great. She's lots of fun!

Here's my Grandpa and my Dad.

For the 5 years Dan and I have been married, we've spent Thanksgiving with Dan's side of the family. We are usually with Gram, Grandpa, Uncle John and cousin Sophie. However, this year we had the added bonus of Dan's sister, Ann and her family: husband, Darien and kiddos, Luke and Jake. They live near us in Virginia but are usually out of town visiting Darien's family at Thanksgiving. We were excited to ALL be together this year, and I know Gram and Grandpa were thrilled to have 4 of their grandkids under one roof not to mention 3 of their children along for the celebration.

I know it must be hard on parents when their kids and grandchildren are spread across the country. My in-laws have 4 kids who are all over, and their greatest joy in life is "state hopping" to see everyone and revel in grandkid bliss. They wouldn't have it any other way.

I think about my own family all the time. Even though I talk with my parents everyday once or twice, I still miss them every second. I miss my brother and my sister and I miss being the 5 of us under one roof on Guilford Lane. For me, my parents are more incredible than I could ever describe, and one thing that I find so amazing is that they have always encouraged me for as long as I have been away, or shall I say "out of the nest." Just as I do, I know they wish I was right there in their city so we could be closer, but I am so thankful that they don't let the distance get in the way. They have always been proud of where life takes me, thankful for my husband and in love with their grandchild. Just knowing that I "can always go home" makes being so far away, a little easier but still, not permanent enough.

As a kid, you don't see moments like Thanksgiving in any other way than just a nice meal at a long table with family and friends and a football game to top off the pumpkin pie. Don't get me wrong, I know the true meaning of Thanksgiving, but I don't think it really hits home until you grow up, move away and with every ounce of your heart hope that you will return to that safe, familiar place once again. Only when you grow up do you realize what you took for granted as a child: you want to be in familiar surroundings with your own family, your own children and you want to give them every second of every day with their grandparents. You want them to have deeply rooted memories of precious moments spent together with friends and loved ones so that when your child looks back at the holidays, they see tradition. They see how lucky they are to have a mom, a dad, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who know time is precious.

Happy Thanksgiving family! We love you and miss you guys!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Where's our turkey?

Here he is!

Gobble! Gobble!

-We Give Thanks-

Our Father in Heaven,
We give thanks for the pleasure
Of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for this food
Prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life,
The freedom to enjoy it all
And all other blessings.
As we partake of this food,
We pray for health and strength
To carry on and try to live
as You would have us.
This we ask in the name of Christ,
Our Heavenly Father.

- Harry Jewell

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Everybody Knows That the Bird Is The Word!

Friday is William's Thanksgiving Feast at Mother's Day Out preschool. Each parent could sign up to bring a part of the lunch and guess which part had our name all over it....yes, I signed up to bring the chicken nuggets. I am sure the pilgrims would applaud such a protein.

I also thought the kids deserved an added bonus, so I made the traditional Johnston/Brown turkey cookies. The icing was a little messy, but I think the birds turned out pretty turkey-rific in the eyes of a one year old. I certainly hope the other parents will appreciate the idea rather than the sugar intake.

As I was gluing on the gobblers, I remembered a song from my elementary school years called Albuquerque Turkey. I am pretty sure I learned this song back in kindergarten. I know, I know. Why do I remember the lyrics to songs from lower school and I don't remember the pythagoras theorem....I am pretty sure that the answer lies buried in the trenches of my soul as a Lady Bug in the 2nd grade production of Goin' Buggie, Glinda the Good Witch in 3rd grade and Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun in the 5th grade. Side note, I was very upset when I didn't get to be a doll in Santa's Workshop performance (5th grade) and to this day, I know every word of the doll's solo performance.

Anyways back to what I was saying before...I find myself humming this tune every Fall and I even taught it to the kids I grew up babysitting. They thought it was hilarious. Now, I post it for you to enjoy.

Albuquerque Turkey
(to the tune of "Clementine")

Albuquerque is a turkey
And he's feathered and he's fine
And he wobbles and he gobbles
And he's absolutely mine.

He's the best pet that you can get...

Better than a dog or cat.

He's my Albuquerque turkey
And I'm awfully proud of that.

He once told me, very frankly

He preferred to be my pet,

Not the main course at my dinner,
And I told him not to fret.
And my Albuquerque turkey
Is so happy in his bed,
'Cause for our Thanksgiving dinner...

We had egg foo yong instead.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Just because I love you

Monday, November 17, 2008

We'll muddle through whatever we do, together wherever we go!


A little tribute to sweet Ava -

Ava is the happy little lady you may have seen in several pictures throughout the Barron blog. Ava is our neighbor and William's "sister." She's been a part of William's life since he was 2 months old, and he doesn't know life without her. She's is William's best buddy and I have witnessed many a moment when sweet Ava has gone to bat to protect him. She'll tell another toddler to give back a toy, she'll kiss William when he falls, she'll pat his back when he's upset, she holds his hand on walks (or at least tries too), she'll make sure he has a goldfish cracker when all the other kids are tearing into the bag like a pinata, and she is always the first person William goes to in a room of other children. The sound of her saying, "here you go Wilam!" is as gentle as any friend you could possibly have in your life. She's William's den mother in a sea of little people.

The friendship these two share cannot easily be put into words. In many ways they are like brother and sister. William and Ava are so comfortable with each other that at times, it's like they just know what the other one is about to do. They've weathered many of life's "firsts" hand in hand including haircuts, allergies, metro rides, and most recently, Ava's potty training. They talk in a language I don't always understand and today, they had a clear discussion about an Einstein video that was playing during their picnic (see pictures). It went something like:

William: "waz hat?"
Ava: "a baby stroller"
William: "wheels!"
Ava: "hat right Wilam, wheels!"
William: "wow" - points to the tv
Ava: "yeah!" - hollers with delight

Then Ava stole a fruit bite off William's tray and he handed her another one. True pals.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Christmas List for toddlers

If you happen to have a toddler and you read my blog, can you reply in the comments with suggestions on Christmas gifts you are getting your child? I am just looking for ideas and they can even be toys "to grow on." Thanks!

Heavy Weight

Every day when I pick up William at preschool, there is a very detailed list of what the children did on a given day. Most of the time it is a run down which reads similar to "played outside, read Silly Sally and Corduroy, took naps, went to music, etc." Today, the list was different. Today, the toddlers weighed themselves...don't ask me why, but it was the highlighted activity on the agenda. So, where does our William fall in the ranks of one year olds? He was THE HEAVIEST KIDDO! William came in at a husky 32 lbs (he's 21 months old) and the lightest child rang in at 23 lbs. I guess all those chicken nuggets and bowls of applesauce are paying off for the lad.

Here's a picture of our cutie on the day of the weigh in!

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My pint sized peanut in plaid and pocket pants!

Dan had the day off yesterday and so after we dropped William at school, the two of us headed to Leesburg, home of the best outlet shopping! While I was eager to hit William Sonoma and Pottery Barn for some Christmas shopping, Dan was just as excited to enter the world of OshKosh Bogsh.

As you read from my previous posts, my boys have been on a hiking kick lately. This is not just a phase because Dan is a true outdoorsman and now William is at the age where he can really understand the basic concepts of nature (rocks, dirt, water, trails, etc.). Because there will be many, many more hiking trips in the future, Dan really wanted to pick out a new wilderness outfit for the little guy. So, after very little deliberation, here's William sporting his new threads for the woods.

I admit, this was painful for me to swallow. I mean, he looks really cute don't get me wrong. But, I am just the type who loves to see my toddler in age appropriate attire in pale shades. He's still a little person to me and I want to savor the "little boy" stage as long as I can. BUT, it was easy enough to let slide this time. It was SO cute to watch Dan really think about what he wanted to buy William to wear and then the excitement in his face after he'd successfully dressed William in his new threads. What a Daddy! So, here's to pocket pants and a plaid shirt that you can see from 100 miles away. Who am I to complain - I love a good cardigan and so did Mr. Rogers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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