Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things.
Got a bunch of spam comments and then when I was looking at posts, the boys pointed out that my last post was a month ago and I said "trip to DC goes in a separate post"... So here we go.
When we went into downtown to see the sights, we split up into smaller groups. Jonathan, having recently studied the beginning of our country, was excited to go see the original documents at the National Archives - the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the BIll of Rights. It was pretty neat to see, and we enjoyed it. But Jonathan and I think it would be pretty hard to wait in the longer lines that form during peak tourist days. Faith had decided to come with us because she wanted to be with me, but she was pretty bored by it because she has no context for it yet.
Then we headed over to meet up with the others at the Air and Space Museum. I called Jon and he said to meet them in the front lobby - people were about to head to the food court for lunch. Right when we got there, I called again and Jon said, "Are Dad and Joy there? I think that lost child announcement might be for us." !!! So he ran over to security, and sure enough, there was Joy, and there was no Papa. So he told the security guys thanks, but now we have a lost grandpa. Eventually, he was found as well, and what had happened was this: Jon, Jonathan, Noah, Papa, and Joy were exploring the exhibits together. Papa and Joy sat down to watch a video and Jon and the boys moved on. Jon assumed that Papa and Joy would stick together, but apparently Joy didn't get the memo. She wandered off and Papa assumed she had gone with Jon. So he went off to meet at the Food Court as arranged. And when Jon and the boys went back to the movie to see if they were done, no one was there. A friendly stranger lady found Joy wandering around parentless and took her to security. It turns out they (security) didn't really want to have much to do with it, they didn't ask Jon for id or anything, but I'm sure the lady was happy to see that Joy wanted to go with Jon.
After lunch, we split up differently. I took Joy and Jeremiah, and Jon took our other kids, and Papa went somewhere with the Philiberts. I asked Joy if she had to go to the bathroom, as we passed the facilities at the Air and Space Museum. (Hmm, I think I should have learned not to ask and to just go, right?) But no, she didn' t have to go. We headed across the mall to the art museum. I have never been there and no one else was really interested.
We took quite a while to cross the mall. Joy was interested in the pigeons and the gravel on the side of the sidewalk. But I didn't want to rush her, and we were enjoying the warm sunshine outside.
By the time we got to the top of the stairs to the art museum, Joy had to go to the bathroom. So we go in, and I say to the man at the desk, "The first thing we need to do is find a restroom. Please point me in the right direction." He replied, "Actually, ma'am, the first thing you need to do is take the baby out of your backpack and check the backpack over there in the coat room. Then the restrooms are over there."
So, I tell Joy she has to hold it until we do this (I'm thinking, correctly, that this whole rigamarole takes less time than crossing back over the mall to the Air and Space) and go over to check the backpack. In my hurry, I did not notice that there are free strollers available for use, and we run over to the bathroom. Now, I have to help Joy in the bathroom while holding Jeremiah (and keeping him off the floor). Not a very relaxing experience. But when that was over, we drew a few breaths and started wandering around.
The first place we looked was some medieval Italian - flat saints with golden halos. Joy was not so interested in that. But across the way, there was Rembrandt. She loved that! She kept pulling me here and there, pointing at the paintings and asking me to tell her the titles. That was the best part and I wish we could have stayed longer. But...
I let Jeremiah walk - he could not reach the paintings (he couldn't even reach the description plates.) But then he did not want to go in the same direction that Joy did, and once I was chasing two children under three (barely, I know, but still true) around the art museum, the guards were starting to look a bit nervous. So I decided that 15 minutes in the National Art Gallery was long enough for the three of us, and retrieved our backpack, put Jeremiah safely back into it and headed to meet back up with the rest of our family.
2/23 - Joy is three! We had lots of balloons in the morning, and after waiting for our clothes to dry, everyone was ready for presents. She got a doll and a book from Faith, pop beads from Grammy and Papa (big hit with all!), and clothes from Grammy and Papa and My First Fire Station Lego set from Mommy and Daddy. It was almost more than the boys could stand to let Joy put her set together the way she wanted to...
Then we had lunch and then we walked to the National Zoo. We rented a double stroller, which had various combinations of kids riding throughout the afternoon.
I think everyone had fun, though people were pretty tired. Faith sat down on a stool to rest and fell asleep next to a Slipper Lobster.
Jonathan wanted to see the cheetahs but they weren't there. Faith got to see gorillas and elephants, which were her picks. I think my favorites were the Komodo Dragon (much younger and more lively than the one the Pittsburgh Zoo had before it died of old age) and the Golden Lion Tamarins.
I also enjoyed people-watching while sitting outside the monkey house with a sleeping Jeremiah in my lap.
Psychology works! It worked on me as a kid and it worked on Faith today. When we went to Disney and got tired, Mom would "pump" energy into my hand. That one hasn't seemed to work with our boys, but today I tried a different tack. Faith was dragging, wanted to ride in the stroller. Ryan was running up ahead 20 feet and back, plenty of energy. I suggested that Ryan hold Faith's hand and transfer some of his extra energy to her. She was resistant at first, but sure enough, soon she was racing back and forth with her cousin!
We met up with a college friend who lives in the area and had a short but fun visit with him and his girlfriend. It turns out today is his birthday, too!
On the way out, we saw the carousel again (which at the beginning Joy said she wanted to ride.) Normally, my answer to the carousel at the zoo is no, but since it was her birthday, I said yes, and Grammy said it would be her treat. Faith was pretty sad about it at first (Grammy wasn't going to pay for all of them) but she did a good job of being happy for her after I explained. Joy's happy smiles and waving were priceless.
I carried her piggy-back out of the zoo and she soon fell asleep.
Well, that's it for my DC notes, and so that's all you get. Hopefully more recent pocket notes will make their way online soon, too.
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