Tuesday, April 27, 2010

We are back from sunny Florida!

 Our family took a very fun vacation to Fort Meyers, Florida.  Dan's parents spend the winter months at their condo in Fort Meyers, so we packed our bags and headed for a sunny visit to spend time with them as well as Dan's 3 other siblings and their children.  This was the first time all the Barron kids have been together since we got married almost 7 years ago.  Needless to say, it was a very special time for Dan's parents and a wonderful opportunity for William to really get to know some of his cousins. 

This was a great year to start our beach trip to Florida because William is at the perfect age to appreciate sandy beaches, the thrill of building sand castles, and wading in the ocean. 
HE. LOVED.  EVERY.  SECOND.   At first he was not a big fan of the sand getting all over him, but it didn't take long for him to soak in the excitement after he realized that the beach was like a giant sandbox.   He spent loads of time building castles with his cousin Claire and Dada helped him carry pails of water from the ocean up to the "dig site."  He would have stayed in the pool or at the beach ALL DAY LONG, but we've got the fair skin genes.  So, William would party hard all morning long and then retreat to the hotel room for a nap with Dada.  Then they would emerge around 4:30 or 5pm for an evening swim and lots more time on the beach.  Where was I, you ask?  I was holding down the fort in our beach chairs of course!

We stayed at a fabulous resort called The Pink Shell.  It was right on the beach and in a super location for everyone.  Our rooms were close together which William thought was so cool.  He LOVED running between rooms and hanging out with all the cousins.  His favorite game to play was called "elevator" in which he would have Claire go for a ride on the "elevator" by having her climb in the closet, tell him what floor she wanted and then William would slide the closet doors back and forth until "ding" they arrived at her destination.  

As far as the entertainment, the kids and the adults had a ball.  We were always able to grab lounge chairs together and the hotel has a private beach for guests.  So, you could basically run back and forth from the beach to the pool all day without missing a beat.   The Pink Shell is incredibly kid friendly and throughout the day they had various kid activities planned.  We didn't participate in the activities only because William was more concerned with swimming in the waterfall pool and building castles in the sand.  However, we did find time to line up for "build your own ice cream sundae" hour!

Dan's mom had a photographer come to the beach on Saturday morning for a family photo shoot.  It was a special way to document all the Barrons together and really capture the grand kids at such cute ages.  You should have seen all of the adults jumping around trying to get all the kids to look in the same direction and smile at the same time.  There are some hilarious "blooper" pictures!  All in all, I think Dan's mom and dad will have some great pictures to cherish from the vacation.  We had a great time catching up with everyone and playing in the sunshine!  Thank you BJ and Sylvia for the memories!  We had a blast and can't wait to come back!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sea Ya Next Week!


We got William a bike. 

The Skuut is a wooden bike for children ages 2 - 5. It has no pedals and no training wheels. I saw two neighborhood kids riding them at the park and I asked their moms all about it.   Each of them just raved about the Skuut and how quickly their kids transitioned from the Skuut to a real bike without ever using training wheels.  Knowing that William is not a fan of pedals (he'd rather ride on something than pedal the tricycle), we thought this might be the perfect choice.

William kicks off the ground like he's running or "skuut-ing" himself and the bike forward. The Skuut is popular for learning balance, steering, coordination. Once he masters balance on the Skuut, the transition to a traditional two wheeler bike is suppose to be easy.
So far, William loves his Skuut.  He asks to ride it every day and Dan takes him out on the trail for practice.  Here are some pictures of him trying it out for the first time. It took about 1 minute for him to get the hang of it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Air Force One

William and I played outside today after preschool.  All of a sudden he looked up in the sky to point to an airplane overhead.  "Mom!  LOOK QUICK!  There goes Air Force One over our heads!"  I thought for sure it was "just another airplane," but by golly he was right!  It was Air Force One!  It was flying low enough so we could see the light blue underbelly, 4 engines and the American Flag on the tail. 

I have lived here 12 years (hard to believe!) and never seen Air Force One in person.  I must say it was a VERY cool moment and I owe it all to my 3 year old pilot.

Just Talkin'

William:  "Mom, we need to get you a pilot costume and we need to also get Dada a pilot costume so we are ready for Halloween and fall festival.  Put that on the list and also a bed for you so you don't have to share with Dada anymore."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

He Believes

I took William to the park today after school.  We parked the car and he looked out the window to the playground straight ahead.  He saw a woman wearing a full length black skirt and top.  Her hair was really long, dark and partially pulled up in a turban style hat.  William looked at me and then pointed his finger out the window towards the woman. 

In a VERY serious 3 year old voice, he gasped.

"Mom, is that God?"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Saturday, April 10, 2010

A nod to The Masters

Thursday, April 8, 2010

2010 White House Easter Egg Roll

 We were fortunate to attend the White House Easter Egg Roll again.  I signed my whole family up for the ticket lottery and Bebe won!  What a gal!  It was a great surprise to have the chance to return to the White House during a new administration because all of my former coworkers are no longer there to help me get tickets. 

Our ticket time was 9:45 a.m. so we got there at 9 a.m. and the line to enter wrapped in a Z formation (like airport security) probably 30 Zs deep....never seen anything like it!  We didn't get to the security check point until 9:45 and then security was shut down for 10 minutes.  We got through the security by 10:15 and waited in another line (can you believe the madness!) until they finally said anyone with a 9:45 ticket could proceed to the south lawn.  We finally entered at 10:40 a.m.. 

Despite the insane way of handling the guests, I will say that we were always in a line.  It was organized chaos because of the number of people, and each time we moved to the next phase of the wait we were always in an organized line.  So, that was ok with me as long as there was a method to the madness.  It was just crazy that this was the way they chose to shuttle ticket holders into the event.   I am also so thankful that W was as good as gold during the wait.  He never complained and only asked me once to remind him why we were there!  There were probably 10,000 more people there than when the Bush's did it.  I don't remember that many people, that much need for the Z lines, etc.  However, every administration does their own thing, and I assume the Obama's thought this was efficient.  Once inside, we stayed until 1:30.  So, we had plenty of time to do what we wanted.

William had a great time.  He really did.  We didn't entertain egg rolling, egg hunting or egg dying only because I knew those lines would be really long.  So, he hit up the sports center, the craft area, the obstacle course, the golfing green, and then just ran around the hills of the south lawn.  I was SO GLAD that I brought snacks and water.  I thought they might take it all at security, but they didn't and we were able to find some shade and picnic while watching Glee perform. We even spotted Reese Witherspoon and her daughter in the crowd.  I believe Reese was a celebrity guest reader for the story hour area.

 I mostly wanted to attend the egg roll so that we'd have a chance to take William to the White House (obviously).  More importantly, for 4 years the White House was a huge part of my life and I really, really wanted William to experience just being on the south lawn.   And, of course I wanted pictures of him and the White House too!   

William is a great age to attend the egg roll event because he just thinks it is all fun.  He had no idea if he was missing out on something, he isn't passionate about any particular thing (ie face painting, Disney characters, egg rolling, etc.) so he was totally happy just doing the activities that we hit.  They had a craft station and a sports area that he loved.  So that was great.  We saw the garden and they had a station where you could plant a seed to take home and he loved that.  

They also had a "fruits of the garden" area where they gave out fruit and smoothies.  The D.C. Children's Museum is coming in 2013, so they sponored a huge craft station for the kids to make kites, crowns, Easter bonnets, etc.  William made a kite and told the gal helping him that the Easter Bunny brought him an airplane kite. 

William also LOVED the sports area where he ran through an obstacle course and played several rounds of golf.  He kept asking to go back to the "sports course." After running around, we finally got William to sit down long enough to have a snack and drink some water.   You can see a few of the obstacle course pictures below: 

I did feel like the crowds were much larger than when Bush was in office......the south lawn was packed but not so much that you couldn't move around.  All in all, it was a wonderful day.  Just being on the south lawn of the White House brought back a flood of memories.  I am forever grateful to have worked for a President of the United States.  I still can't believe I spent four years in the West and East Wings of the White House.  Never in a million years would I have guessed it.  Sometimes I have to just stop and say to myself, "can you believe you worked there and saw the President and First Lady every day?"  Those years were a tremendous gift and I thank God every single day for the plan he has for my life.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Koolaid Play Dough Fun

Time Required: 15 mins.

Here's How:

  1. Mix together flour, salt, oil, and Kool-aid.
  2. Add the cup of boiling water. Mix well.
  3. Knead the mixture until it forms a soft dough.
  4. Have fun!
  5. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.


  1. Any other unsweetened, powdered drink mix may be substituted
  2. Non-toxic... could be eaten, but won't taste very good.

What You Need:

  • 1 c flour, sifted
  • 1/2 c salt
  • 3 T cooking oil
  • 1 pkg Koolaid (unsweet)
  • 1 c boiling water

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter 2010

We finally have spring weather for an Easter out here in VA!  It was really nice to forgo wearing winter coats and dressing in warm clothes!  Spring has definately arrived!

We took William to church Saturday morning for a pancake breakfast and Easter egg hunt.  He spotted his buddy Caroline and we sat with her family for the breakfast.  The event also included crafts so William decorated an egg cookie, made a fine beaded necklace for me, and colored a few spring theme pictures.

Then it was time for the hunt.  This year the church staff hid golden eggs throughout the hunt.  If a child found a golden egg then they got a prize.  The prize was one of the large Easter gift baskets that acted as table centerpieces at the breakfast.  William heard "golden egg = prize" and he was game on.  

When we approached the starting line, William saw a golden egg in plain sight.  He told me, "Mom Mom, I am going to get that golden egg."  Of course, all the other kids saw the same egg and I knew that he was not going to get it.  But, you gotta keep a little guy positive.  When the hunt started, sure enough a bigger kid swooped down and snatched the golden egg.  William sobbed.  I quickly explained that there were many more golden eggs and we'd find one.  
I pulled him into the tot lot to hunt around for eggs and I figured that a golden egg would be hiding inside the play house.  Sure enough.  So, I quickly ran William over to the play house and told him to check inside for a golden egg.  He shrieked with excitement and emerged victorious!  "Mom Mom, I FOUND A GOLDEN EGG!  I GET A  PRIZE!!!"  Oh, the things we do.....I am sure I looked like "that mom" as I desperately tried to find a golden egg to make my little boy's dreams come true.  

After collecting a basket of eggs, William was determined to go and pick out his prize basket.  He selected a basket containing a blue bunny, a compass, candy, notepad and pen, as well as a ball.  He was one happy camper.

We headed home and just enjoyed the rest of our afternoon and the beautiful spring weather.  We met up with Dan's sister and her boys and played at the park.  

It was a great Easter and such a treat to see William engaged in the egg hunt.  He's now at the age where he "gets it" and thinks that these sweet traditions are loads of fun.  So does his Mom Mom!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pint Size City Slicker

It was a gorgeous Friday and the last day of spring break for William.  So we decided to meet up with Dan at his office for lunch.  To make it even more thrilling, we opted to embrace big city living and celebrate mass transit.  Now this was not the first time William has gone joy riding on the Washington bus system.  In fact, it's the 4th or 5th time.  Gotta love a pint size city slicker.
We walked to the corner of our street and waited for the 22A Washington Metro bus to take us to the Pentagon.  William took his usual seat on the upper deck in the very back of the bus.  Bird's eye view folks. Once we got to the Pentagon, we rode the escalator down to the underground metro trains.  William swiped our fare card like a pro, and we jumped on board the yellow and red lines bound for Union Station.  There were TONS of people on our yellow line train because they were all going to check out the cherry blossoms.  Not us.  Been there, done that.
After we got to Union Station, we marched out of the metro train and walked over to Dan's office.  He's in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.  William saw the Capitol and told me "Mom Mom, take my picture with your camera!"  
I also had him pose next to the Hart Building sign so that years from now I could remember how small he was when his Dada worked in the U.S. Senate.  This is one proud little fellow:
We got to Dan's office and William was delighted to get to work.  He did some research on the REI website and printed a few secret documents before calling it a day.

And if you are wondering what was inside William's backpack this time.....here's the inventory:

4 swimming pool torpedoes
5 airplanes
1 eyeball bouncy ball
1 tootsie roll
1 pair of binoculars

Friday, April 2, 2010

Just Talkin'

After looking down at his shorts, William: "Mom Mom, you forgot my long sleeve pants!"

Driving down the road, William: "You know Mom Mom, a square has four equal sides and a rectangle is like a square stretched out."

Riding the bus, William:  "Oh just smell the beautiful air out there."

Talking about colors, William:  "Red and blue are my favorite colors.  Just guess why...just guess....because it's just like the stripes on my favorite airplane, American Airlines."

Afternoon at National Harbour

Wednesday was our first nice day during William's spring break, so we headed to the Gaylord National Harbour.  It was just going to be William and I until Carrie called looking for something exciting to do too.  So, she and Ava met up with us for lunch at Pot Belly.  The kids had a good time playing on the sandy beach and watching the boats and airplanes. 

William LOVED standing on his rock and throwing sticks and pebbles into the Potomac.  He could have stayed there all day.  Ocassionally airplanes would pass by as they came in to land at National Airport and William was quick to point out their names every time.  Every airplane he sees is more exciting than the one before.  And every time I absolutely cherish the sheer delight in his voice as he announces who it is way up in the blue sky.  It's just another reminder of blissful childhood.

 Side note:  The picture above shows William "measuring the gas line" with a stick.  He recently checked a movie out at the library called "Trucks, Trucks, Trucks," and there's a man, Ian, who goes around to all the gas stations in his fuel truck to check how much gas is left underground for the trucks who need to refuel.  He uses a large stick to measure.  So, William is  pretending to be Ian and is checking for fuel with his stick.

And back to the trip:

There is a statue called "The Awakening" on the beach at National Harbour.  It's basically the head, arms and legs of a man emerging from the sand.  Kinda random, but kinda cool when you see it up close.  Nevertheless, "The Awakening" is a make shift playground for the kids.  They had a blast climbing on his face, sitting in his mouth and putting sand up his nose.  I even got a few shots of William and Ava perched in his hand.

After running around the beach, we headed over to the hotel so we could cool off and let the kids run around indoors.  It's always a success when you can ride a few escalators and toss some coins in a fountain.
Twas a fine way to ring in spring break.
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