August – September 2018

I’m working backwards to start with the most exciting update…Connor’s First Day of First Grade!!  (September 4, 2018 – Shelton Park Elementary School)

R: Morgan was so excited to finally pickup Connor after school!!

Experiencing a full day of first grade at the “big school” was definitely an adjustment! Connor loved it from the first day, and we are all pleased with his teacher and the school overall. Morgan and I are getting used to our newfound time together, although she still spends a good chunk of it napping. It’s bittersweet for me to lose so much time with Connor, but he is learning and thriving and comes home happy each day.  A big highlight for him was losing his second tooth while at school.  His “new friend” walked him to the clinic and he came home with a plastic tooth necklace containing his tooth.

On Monday of the second week of school, Hurricane Florence was threatening to hit our area hard enough that the schools decided to go ahead and close for the rest of the week. We decided not to take our chances and drove to Michelle’s on Tuesday night. She and her family were so gracious to take us in after we had just been there a week prior! The hurricane took a turn and didn’t bring any damaging wind or rain to our area after all, so we enjoyed our impromptu “vacation” and then drove home on Saturday.

What’s new with Morgan?

-She says EVERYTHING, even full sentences, although most people wouldn’t understand most of what she says!! Her words are not very discernible to the “naked ear,” but through context, signs, and being with her all the time, we are able to understand the majority of what she says.

-Morgan loves to sing, especially Baa Baa Black Sheep, the ABC’s, and Let it Go. (She starts singing the ABC’s anytime she sees letters or words!)

-We call the kids “Pete and Repeat.” I’m sure you can guess who is who!

Moving backwards to August:

Towards the end of summer, we enjoyed a visit from my dad and stepmom, and a family trip to Washington, DC followed by a few days with Aunt Michelle and her family.  In addition, Connor attended two short camps at his previous school, and lost two teeth!

Connor attended Vacation Bible School in July and a “Bug Camp” the week after Gram and Grandpa left. Both camps were at Bayside Presbyterian Church. He had fun, brought home lots of crafts, and enjoyed being with a few friends he knew from Kindergarten. Luckily for me, friends were able to drive him home each day while Morgan was at home napping!

Gram and Grandpa came for a visit in early August! We enjoyed a magic show at the library, celebrating Morgan’s birthday (again!), and Connor loved going to a Home Depot Kids workshop with them. Charlie and I had tickets to see Pentatonix while they were here, so we got to relax and enjoy an evening out while knowing the kids were safe and happy at home with their grandparents.

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The middle of August was spent soaking up as much time as possible at the pool and playground. Morgan had a few days of swim class, and although she “swims” like crazy when we go to the pool with Connor, she wasn’t too thrilled about getting in the water during her class! Thankfully the instructors let Connor get in the water as well, so the time and effort to get there were made worth it by him being able to swim!

Connor lost his first tooth on August 21st! The adult tooth was already coming in behind the baby tooth before it was even loose, but the dentist said that’s fairly common.

Family trip to Washington, DC

Charlie took three weeks of leave, and during that time we took a trip to Washington, DC and also stopped at Aunt Michelle’s for a few days. He grew up in Northern Virginia, but I think we decided it had been 14 years since he had been back??

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I had a little help packing!

Saturday, 8/25

We drove to DC through LOTS of traffic. Thankfully, the kids did really well in the car. Once we got close, we drove past Charlie’s old houses and elementary school. After a quick Chick-fil-A lunch, we drove the remaining half hour to our hotel in Alexandria. It was a nice 2-room suite, and Connor would have been happy staying there for the next four days!! We headed across the street to the metro station and made our way to Arlington National Cemetery. The weather was beautiful – sunny and in the 80s. We visited the grave of Charlie’s grandmother and grandfather, walked past the Vietnam helicopter pilot memorial, caught part of the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and saw the Eternal Flame at the Kennedys’ graves. Morgan was completely happy hanging out in the stroller, and poor Connor was tired of walking! We left the cemetery around 6:00pm and made it back to the hotel. After eating dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, we finally made it through baths and got everyone to sleep by 9:30pm.

Sunday, 8/26

Our two-room suite was a blessing so that Morgan and I could get up and play while the boys slept. Connor slept until 8:15, which is completely unheard of! After breakfast at the hotel (which is always a highlight of any trip for Connor!), we took the metro and then walked to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall. It was already hotter than yesterday and everyone was a sweaty mess all day! We managed to see the wall, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, World War II Memorial, and Washington Monument without TOO much complaining from Connor. In his defense, it was a LOT of walking! Finally I carried Morgan in the Tula so that Connor could ride in the stroller. We walked across the street to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, which neither of us had seen before. While walking back and taking in views of the Jefferson Memorial across the water, Morgan fell a sleep for a sweaty nap.

We walked to the old Post Office Pavilion, which is now a Trump International Hotel. Charlie remembered a food court in the building and we were all hungry for lunch, but we quickly realized once we arrived that the food court no longer exists. We took the elevator to the top of the tower and enjoyed the beautiful views of DC. Our plan was to head to the Zoo next, but we still needed to find lunch. Meanwhile, several city blocks and metro stations near us had been blocked off because of a bomb threat, so we hopped on a bus to anther metro station. After stopping for Jimmy John’s sandwiches, we took the metro to the Zoo. In spite of the heat, we all enjoyed seeing elephants, otters, seals, pandas, and more.

After a long walk back to the metro (improved for Connor by slurping a frozen lemonade on the way) and a long metro ride to the hotel (during which we kept busy with activity books), we all took turns in the shower/bath and then had dinner. Charlie picked up dinner from a restaurant next door, and the kids thought it was pretty awesome to eat in the hotel room while watching Monsters University on TV. It’s the little things in life!

Monday, 8/27

Morgan must have wanted another adventure with me, so after she woke up at her usual 6:00am, we got dressed and went outside while the boys slept. We enjoyed watching buses, trains, people, and playing with empty coffee cups. After the boys woke up and we all had breakfast, we took the metro and then walked to the National Museum of Natural History. Morgan was already asleep in the stroller by the time we arrived! Connor was so excited to see the dinosaur exhibit, then was a little disappointed that there were only two large dinosaur skeletons. Charlie and I were impressed with all the animal exhibits.

After walking to the National Air and Space Museum, we had a quick lunch in the cafe before perusing the museum. Connor enjoyed it, and Morgan found enough to keep her content.

Connor had been asking nonstop about swimming at the hotel, and we finally had the chance. After arriving at our hotel and changing into swimsuits, we all went down to the pool only to hear the lifeguard say she was on lunch break for another fifteen minutes. After a snack in the hotel room, we headed down again to find many other people magically waiting there as well. We finally got to swim, and Connor had a blast, especially since he had Daddy to play with him the whole time! Next came baths, a delicious dinner that Charlie picked up from a nearby Mexican restaurant, and bedtime.

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View of the Capitol

Tuesday, 8/28

Connor decided to join the early morning crew, so the three of us played outside the hotel while Charlie slept. After our usual breakfast and metro ride, we made our way to the International Spy Museum. Morgan enjoyed a cool, air-conditioned nap in the Tula while we all made our way through the museum. It was really neat, and Connor especially liked seeing James Bond’s Aston Martin with all of its spy features.

Morgan woke up as we left the museum and walked to the National Museum of American History. The kids enjoyed seeing lots of vehicles, and Morgan was in the mood to run around more than the last few days. Connor wanted to be her tour guide and show her everything. The highlight of the museum for me was seeing the original “Star Spangled Banner” flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write his famous lyrics.

We headed back to the hotel early to relax. I think everyone had finally hit the sightseeing wall!  After relaxing for a while, we took a walk and stopped at a few places, including a restaurant to have calzones for an early dinner.  Then we walked back for our last night at the hotel!

Early morning adventures outside the hotel while Daddy was sleeping

The original Batmobile at the Museum of American History and James Bond’s Aston Martin at the International Spy Museum

Wednesday, 8/29

Finally, everyone slept until 7:00am! After packing, eating breakfast, and checking out of the hotel, we hit the road for Aunt Michelle’s house. We stopped near Dulles Airport to visit the Udvar-Hazy Center, which is part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Morgan napped while we wandered around and looked at the space shuttle and countless airplanes. It was a great museum! We had a quick lunch before finishing the drive to Michelle’s, which took longer than it should have due to detours and windy back roads. We arrived mid-afternoon and had time to play and relax before dinner, bath, and bed.

Udvar-Hazy Center

We enjoyed the next few days relaxing at Michelle’s house. Connor always loves spending time with his aunt, uncle, and cousins. Unfortunately, his cousin Garrett is away at Virginia Tech, but he had a great time with Eric as usual! Morgan spent most of her time climbing up and down the stairs and trying to get into everything she isn’t supposed to instead of playing with toys. As much as I love spending time with family, it’s always nice to come back home to our babyproofed house!

We went to the Children’s Museum of Richmond while visiting Michelle

L:  Morgan couldn’t get enough of Blaze the cat while at Michelle’s house!                      R:  I tried to teach Morgan how to lay back and relax

On Sunday we drove home and mostly unpacked, then Connor and I went to a birthday party on Labor Day Monday while Charlie stayed home with Morgan. And just like that…it was time for school!

Here are a few extra pictures from these last two months:

On September 21st, we visited the Arc Gloria from Colombia while it was docked in Norfolk

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