June 2012

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baby Party and Recent Happenings

September 18th was just a great day! We went to the National Firearms Museum (see the previous post) and then had a baby party that evening. It was a party for all the babies that are turning 1 between August and January. Phew - Eve barely made the cut!

It was such a cute idea put on by a friend. Her little boy turned on September 11th. All the couples that could make it came, brought a side dish, and watched while all the little almost 1 crowd played on the floor. Reed was lucky enough to have a friend there his age as well. The babies played, the adults chatted.

We did remember to get a picture of all in the group. All the little babies were lined up looking so cute. After a few shots some had crawled away. Then Eve was tackled! Well, not really tackled. Another baby was trying to stand up and decided that Eve looked sturdy enough to hold on to. Well, that really didn't work out too well. But, both babies were fine and it was pretty funny to watch. :)

Fun party, cute idea - thanks, Katrina!!! It was awesome :)

The baby club

Eve being taken out

This is Reed pushing Juliet on the swing. Ever since Eve first got in the swing, Reed has loved to try and push. He hasn't quite mastered the art of standing back and waiting for the swing to come to you. He runs up to it and sort of gets trampled by the swing. But, he is getting better and better.

We have also had some fun recent happenings at our house:

Eve is climbing on everything! She has two favorite spots to climb - this is one of them.

She pulls herself all the way up and is just itching to move.

We are sort of potty-training. I tried it for a couple of days, but that just happened to be when Tyson was out of town. Bad move on my part. Reed just doesn't really care if he pees in his underwear. But, he does a much better job in a diaper. Weird, I know. We are still halfway doing it. He wears a diaper, but he usually goes #1 in the toilet. He s so proud of himself when his diaper is 'clean' (dry). So, we will see if he can get that same mindset when he is wearing underwear as well. Advice is definitely welcome on this topic. :)

Reed loves playing with friends and is getting more vocal when they are over to play. This is Taryn and Reed. They spent the morning copying each other. It was so cute!

Eve has now explored all sides of her jumperoo. She can even turn the elephant that is super hard to turn. She is so grown up!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

National Firearms Museum

September 18th we took a trip down the road to the National Firearms Museum. It is actually in the same building as the NRA which is located in Fairfax, VA. I was pretty excited to go because we have never been to this museum. Also, we are not so secretly hoping that this will entice Adam and Kimber to come visit us!

I was pleasantly surprised with this museum. It was smaller, which I knew it would be, but definitely worth the small drive we had to make. They had firearms dating back to 1350 A.D. and had some of the most amazing rifles I have ever seen. One hunting rifle was (we are guessing) about 7 feet long and looked really heavy!

The museum was supposed to be set up in sort of a chronological order, but due to some construction, we could not use the actual entrance. Ah well.....it would have been nice to see it in that order, but it was still amazing to see so many firearms in one place!

They had guns that were used in movies, a gun from a police officer that was in NY during 9/11 (most of the handle had melted away), one of the president's (ugh, I can't remember - was it Roosevelt?) personal rifle collection, all different types of hunting rifles, and even an exhibit that was entitled, "For the Fun of it." This was Reed's favorite. It was one of those shooting games they have at carnivals and would come on by close motion. There was a song and everything! Reed could have stayed all day long.

I was very impressed and definitely want to make another trip. They have a collection of 2,200 firearms - pretty impressive. But more than that, they did a great job displaying everything and giving explanations of it all. So, Adam and Kimber, when are you coming? :) It was another great day here for the Walker family.

Eve enjoyed being strolled by all the guns.

The gun right by the duck is one of the super long ones - I didn't even get the whole thing in the shot.

There is the whole gun and Reed reading through a pamphlet.

Reed mesmerized by the game and music.

We found a large statue of a cowboy. Is there anything better than that?!

Cases upon cases of all types of hunting rifles.

This was supposed to be the first case we saw. This cannon-type thing is from 1350 A.D.!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Parks and Cars (not to be confused with parking cars)

September has been such a fun month because it has been so warm. Reed, Eve, and I have made many trips to our local park to enjoy the outside beauty as much as we can.

Reed loves pushing Eve in the umbrella stroller (which he calls the strowger)! He loves pushing it across the grass even though that is much harder than pushing it on the cement. He loves a challenge! He loves climbing up and sliding down the slides. He also enjoys driving us places (there is a steering wheel). He is getting pretty good at the mini climbing wall and tries out the monkey bars (as long as I am hold his legs).

Eve enjoys being pushed along the way as long as Reed doesn't try and tip over the stroller (don't worry - I monitor that carefully). Eve also enjoys crawling in the grass. At first she was a bit hesitant because (I can only assume this is why) it felt funny. But, she loves it now. She also doesn't mind crawling through wood chips. I think she likes the wood chips because she can easily put the in her mouth. She likes the slides and even takes some turns driving with the steering wheel. She is learning to crawl up the slides, so that is always fun. :)

We just love our little park! It is so convenient, clean, and usually has at least some shady spots! Oh, how could I forget? We love to race around the play ground. It is a good time especially when all 3 of us are laughing and trying to run at the same time!

You can never have too many sibling shots, right?! Reed requests them frequently - especially when they are both still in their pajamas. :)

Eve crawling through the wood chips.

"Hello mama." She poses a lot for the camera. :)

This is what Reed thinks of the park.

Eve is always so curious.

Trying to keep his eyes out of the sun.

Eve is such a climber now! She loves to try and get the camera!

My little white car has been a pretty good car. It has gone across the country 3 times and we have not has any major problems, just maintenance and such. Well, one of those maintenance things came up - the brakes! Ugh - but it had to be done. So, I packed up the kids and we headed to the car shop. I thought I could find someone to pick me up, but I was mistaken. Everyone was gone, working, not picking up phones, or just didn't want to answer. So, we were stuck at the little shop. :( Luckily, I brought Eve her breakfast and snacks for Reed and myself. I also brought a glow worm for Eve (one of her new favorite things ever) and a little car that Reed got while Tyson and I were at the dentist. So, we were pretty much set.

The first hour went by quickly. I fed Eve her solid foods. Reed played with his car. We all sang the ABC's and that was an hour. Then, it started to get long. We decided to go outside and look at the cars going by. We sat on the wall and Reed was drinking water from one the cups they had inside with one of those little stirring straws. (He thought the tiny straw was so cool!) That lasted for a few minutes.

Then, we noticed that there was a patch of grass beside the building, so we ventured down there. We played and hung out on the grass. Eve took a nap in my arms. The wind was blowing so it wasn't too hot. All-in-all another fun 45 minutes. I thought we were almost done, but it would be over an hour before we left.

We went back inside to got to the bathroom and play with the car some more. Then, we went outside again and we saw all these black birds swarming. It was quite amazing! I have never seen that many birds so close before! They were even landing in the patch of grass. I tried to get a picture of them flying, but I guess I just have bad timing because I couldn't get it. Ah well.....it was pretty fun to see them everywhere. (Also, they weren't pigeons, so I was happy - I really don't like pigeons)

After 3+ hours, the car was finally done! Finally! We loaded up and went home for lunch. I hope we don't have to do that again anytime soon! But, at least we could play outside in the grass.

If you look by the fire hydrant, you will notice a few black birds.

They are in the gutter mostly.

Eve crawling in the grass. She loves to pull it and try to eat it.

Reed really loved being outside!

Reed and his car. He was pushing it all along the floor (I am hoping it was semi clean) and loved when it crashed into stuff. (Such a boy!)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Half Marathon #2

September 11, 2010 was a fabulous day for me. I completed my second half marathon (another check off my goal list - run a half marathon after each baby)! So, here's the story:

The race was on the C&O canal towpath. Before starting the race, they rang a bell 184 times in honor and memory of those lives that were taken September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon. I found this amazing and very poignant. When they were ringing the bell, I remembered exactly where I was, what I was doing, and how I felt after finding out what had happened. We had a moment of silence after that and the race began.

This race was also a commemoration of Abebe Bikila's first Olympic marathon win on September 10, 1950 (he won 2 Olympic marathons). It was also the Ethiopian New Year's. So, yeah, a big day!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous for running. It was a bit chilly at the beginning, but after a few minutes, I felt perfect! The only thing that was not great was the smell of the canal. It is pretty stagnant water and smells horrible! I didn't expect that at all. On one side of me was the Potomac River flowing and gorgeous. On the other side, stagnant canal water. But, overall everything was great and beautiful.

I wished I would have had a watch or there would have been mile markers because really had no idea how much time had elapsed and where I was at in the race. It was an up and back race, so I knew when I was halfway, but that was about all. Note for the next half marathon: buy a watch! I want to get one of those watches that tells your pace, calories, the works (I think they are called Garmin? I am not well-versed in running watches).

I felt really good during the whole race. I felt like I had lots of energy and probably could have run a little bit faster, but was going at a good pace. Near the end of the race I found my loyal supporters: my dad, Tyson, Reed, and Eve! They actually saw me running this time (last time they missed me by a few minutes each time)! It is the best feeling to have people supporting you in things that are important to you. Thank you!!!! I love you all!

I actually ended up improving my time by more than I thought I would. I finished in 2:08:43, 8 minutes faster than my first half marathon! I am so proud of myself! This just give me more drive to keep running and to try and get faster! Yahoo! Running is great and makes me feel so good!

It wasn't as huge as my last half marathon, but there were still hundreds of runners.

Ready to go!

Almost done....

Speeding up at the end.

I finished! Here is my medal!

My cute family :)

My loyal supporters (Eve was already in the car, but she was there as well.)!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Connecticut Part 2

After a fun-filled September 4th, we all went to bed and slept (well not so well, but that's what happens on vacation, right?!) Reed and Eve are not used to being able to see each other, but they eventually figured out that it was better to just go to bed. Oh, I forgot to mention that Sammy made me a beautiful birthday card! Thanks, Sammy!

September 5th was Kate's baby blessing. She is such a happy and content little baby. She sleeps a ton (always a great thing) and is always pleasant when she is awake. What more could you ask for, for the 6th child?! Not much more. Megan (my sister-in-law) made Kate's dress, and it look gorgeous! The blessing was great, and Sunday was the day that Justin (my brother) became one of Reed's best friends. Something about riding in a car together, I guess. I think Reed just figured out that Justin was a good person and decided that he wanted to sit next to him all the time. :) Oh, Megan's brother and sister-in-law were also able to make the blessing. They live in NYC. So, it was a fun family gathering on all sides! It was nice to get to know them. :)

The rest of Sunday was just relaxing, talking, eating, sleeping, playing games, ya know, all the fun things!

Monday, I went running with my mom (used loosely - she didn't actually run with me, but we were on the same trail). The trail was beautiful - tons of green trees! I passed by a cemetery, some fun little restaurants, and more trees. Then, the boys went off to go pick up a piano that Megan bought on Craig's List. It is really beautiful! You did good on that one, Megan!

While they were away the kids just played and played. Reed loved getting to know all of his cousins. I think his two favorites were Sammy and Michelle. He still talks about both of them and how he wants to go and visit them. Sammy did a great job and letting Reed play with her. She is quite a bit older (8, I think), but loved having Reed around.

When everyone was back and lunch was eaten, we went on a tour of the Yale campus (where Justin is doing his fellowship). On our way there Sammy and I played a few different alphabet games in the 'girl' car. Because of the size of our group, we had to take 3 separate vehicles. Ours (the minivan) had only girls in it, thus being called the 'girl' car. Yale was really pretty and we found some fun little areas (like a wooden swing attached to a huge tree branch - yes, the kids all LOVED that part). We saw where Justin works and missed seeing the medical library by about 15 minutes. Ah nuts! Ah well, maybe another time. (Oh and my camera battery died about halfway into everything, so we borrowed some pictures from my mom. Thanks, mom!)

We finished off the day at a local park and then ate Thai food for dinner. It was a great Labor Day/my Grandpa Rowberry's birthday. Even though I didn't really know him (he passed away when I was 3 months old), I feel a huge connection to my Grandpa Rowberry. I can't wait to meet him again!

Tuesday the kids went back to school and my parents took them to school, then left for DC. We still had some time to kill, so Tyson, Reed, Eve, Megan, Michelle, Kate, and myself decided to go to a little animal farm and park just up the road. We decided to walk because it wasn't very far. Well, the walk took a lot longer than we had anticipated. But, Reed and Michelle loved seeing the animals - horses, chickens, a rooster, ducks, bunnies, goats, sheep, and I think that is it. Then, they played on the play ground - of course Reed monopolized a swing almost the whole time.

We walked back and realized that we were running late. We had to catch the train. So we hurried to eat lunch, get some snacks packed, and get everything in the car. We were rushing and were wondering if we were even going to be on time for the train. Well, as Megan was driving the temperature gauge went to hot in a matter of seconds. We thought that was weird, but she kept driving because we were late and pretty close to the train station. Then, her power steering went out. Then, the battery light came on and some sort of a chime was dinging. Well, the dinging stopped, so that was good? We didn't know what to do at all. We got to the train station with 2 minutes to get to our train. Luckily, the train station was small and our train ended up being 5 minutes late! Megan had to turn off the car so that we could get our bags out of the back (in their van you have to have the keys to open the back). We raced off and as we were racing, we realized that the car would not turn back on! Aaaahhhhh! What to do? At this point we had no idea if our train was leaving us. So, we raced to the track and the train had not come yet. Tyson raced back to help Megan move the car, but some taxi drivers had helped her move it out of the way. Luckily, we were very close to where Justin works, so he was able to come and wait for the tow truck and Megan took her two youngest kids home. Apparently, their serpentine belt broke which causes a bunch of problems, as we learned. We felt so guilty for just leaving Megan there! So sorry Megan! Nice house guests we are, righ?! Luckily, everything worked out ok and everyone was fine and we made our train by a couple of minutes. Phew!!! That definitely made my heart beat a lot faster!

Other than the last minute drama, our trip was fantastic! I loved seeing my brother and his family! They are really fun people and we can't wait to see them again! Connecticut gets a thumbs up!!!!

Sleepy Kate

I just thought the dress was gorgeous!

Michelle, Nathan, and Sammy having a "Chowder" party. It is a show on TV that Megan doesn't let them watch. Apparently, he wears a hat in all his shows. Thus, they must be having a "Chowder" party because they are all wearing hats.

John and baby Kate

Reed loved playing with the pretend food.

We parked in different spots, so this was our meeting spot. Reed LOVED the water!

I thought this was a great explanation of New Haven's beginnings.

Reed and Nathan chasing birds.

One of the famous Yale professors.

The clock tower

Former Yale President Abraham Pierson

These gates only open on graduation day. The graduates get to walk through. I thought that was pretty cool.

L to R: Michelle, Samantha (Sammy), and Reed

Michelle, Reed, John, and Sammy

Reed with Justin on the cool swing we found!

Eve just basking in the sun light

There's the smile :)

Reed loves to puch things around. He informed Grandma that he didn't want to sit in the stroller, but wanted to push it. Ok, then.

This is where Justin works. Don't mind the weird look on my face.

Barely missed seeing it! Oh yeah, my dad wore a Georgetown shirt on our Yale tour.

The clock tower

John swinging

Beautiful Kathryn Marie Rowberry