Sunday, June 29, 2008

Baby Belly

I know some of you have been dying to see my "baby belly" so here it is. I'm not exactly "Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition" material, but I think this picture is fairly safe (just ignore the farmer's shoulders hadn't seen the light of day until swim season arrived). Now you can also see my cute maternity bathing suit. It's very comfy and I like it a lot. Al says I'm trying to influence the sex of our baby by wearing so much pink. He's still rooting for a boy, but everyone else in the family wants a girl. I guess we'll find out sometime around the 9th of September!!!

Gavin's Swim Lessons

Here are a few pictures of Gavin taking swim lessons at the Russett Swimming Pool. His instructor's name is Corbin. When the water is not too cold, Gavin absolutely LOVES to swim. He's really improving, and now just needs to get better at taking a breath and then continuing forward. Once he figures out the breathing, he'll be swimming EVERYWHERE! He can now also dive down into the water by himself to get his dive rings or Spiderman dive sticks.

Baby Birds

We officially have a nest full of chirping, hungry baby birds! How exciting! I have now seen four of them, so I'm not sure if there is a fifth or not -- only three are really visible in the pictures (there were five eggs). It is so neat to have a little family of birds just outside our front door. This morning, Mrs. Bird was probably out gathering food, so I was able to peek in and see four little birds. I also lifted up Gavin so he could peek inside, and then I was able to snap a couple of pictures. We try to not disturb the bird family too much. I think they have a prime piece of real estate as they are completely out of the wind and rain and sun. Lucky them!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Father's Day

Just posting pictures of Al and Gavin from Father's Day (last Sunday). The night before, they both received haircuts, so the back-of-the-heads picture was showing off their new do's. I'm happy to report they were both very good and held still for their haircuts, so they actually ended up looking quite handsome...if I do say so myself! ;o)

Bird Nest

On our front door, we hung a flowery wreath made by my mother-in-law, Cece. I had this wreath hanging in Las Vegas, and now it has traveled cross-country to Maryland. One day recently, Al was looking at it, and noticed what appeared to be a little tunnel into the basket that resides in the middle of the wreath. He said he thought a bird was building a nest in our wreath. Sure enough, a couple of days later, a bird flew right past Al's head as he walked out the front door, and gave him quite a scare. A day or two after that, I opened the front door and the poor bird flew into our house after flying right past my ear and making me squeal! Fortunately, we were able to get her out of the house without too much trauma, but we decided to relocate her nest. Next to the door, on the siding of the house, there was a screw already in place, so I carefully attached some wire to the back of the wreath and hung it on the screw.

During the moving process, I looked into the nest (Mrs. Bird was not inside while I was moving her house)and saw eggs!!! How exciting! So we now have a resident bird and hopefully one day soon we will hear the little chirps of five baby birds.

Since we have to walk past her nest each time we go in and out our front door, we are now careful to prepare ourselves in case Mrs. Bird launches out of her nest and nearly into our heads. It makes coming and going from our house much more exciting. Quite an adrenaline rush can be obtained when a bird flies right past your nose!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

First trip to the Smithsonian

Here are pictures from our excursion to the Smithsonian on June 11th. Al had to go into work for a picture with the White House Military Office PPR (Policy, Plans and Requirements) Section, so we decided to make a day of it. We rode the Metro to D.C. (Gavin's and my first time on the Metro), and then Gavin and I got off at the Smithsonian Station while Al went on to work to have his picture taken on the North Portico of the White House. When Al was finished, he changed out of his Blue's and called me on my cell phone and we met-up at the National Museum of Natural History.

Gavin and I had lunch at the museum's Atrium Cafe while we were
waiting for Al and then we looked around a little -- mainly at part of the dinosaur exhibit (see Gavin in front of the giant skeleton) and then we went to see the butterfly exhibit. Gavin wanted to go into the live butterfly house, but as that costs $, we decided to wait until another time. Actually, I wanted to wait until we became Smithsonian members because then it is less expensive. soon as Al arrived (he found us upstairs still looking at the butterfly exhibit), we went to the information desk and became members of the Smithsonian. It was only $19, and since we decided to take Gavin to see the IMAX film, "Dinosaurs in 3D", we saved $4.50 on those tickets as members. I'm sure the membership will pay off as we continue to visit the Smithsonian museums over the course of the next year. We did not go back to the butterflies that day, but don't worry...we will.

Following our time at the museum, we got back on the Metro and headed for home, but we were all tired and hungry (and I knew it would be a long time before dinner if I waited till we got home and then tried to prepare something), so we decided to go on an adventure in China Town. We made a last-minute decision to hop off Metro at the China Town stop and then we went looking for a place to eat. A nice lady in the elevator, as we were leaving the station, (she happened to be an officer in the Coast Guard who lived in that area) was more than happy to suggest some restaurants. We, of course, thought of China Town and Chinese food, but the first one she suggested was Mexican, and the next one was a Greek restaurant. When we asked about a good place to have Chinese food, she told us to try one called, "Burma." Well, as you can probably imagine, "Burma" was not exactly Chinese, it was Burmese food, but it was VERY good, and we love to try new things, so it was perfect! Gavin loved the rice noodles, as you can see in the pictures.

We finished off our meal with a "coconut" cake made of baked cream-of-wheat with coconut milk and palm sugar and topped with ice cream. It was very yummy, but Gavin wanted to eat all the ice cream and leave us with very little ice cream for the cake. I guess we should have ordered him a dish of just ice cream! Oh well -- live and learn!

For those who have been dying to see my "baby belly" -- I had Al take a side-view picture of me standing on the steps in front of the museum. I'll take more "baby-belly" pictures later. Hope this will suffice for now.