Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dogs

I spotted this man walking not one, but TEN dogs at the ball field the other night. A professional dog walker? I doubt it by the way the man is dressed- he looked like he was wearing business casual attire, without comfortable shoes which you might expect from a dog walker. All the dogs walked in this pack, completely calm and at the same pace, which made me think they all actually belong to this man. It was amazing and strange. Most of the dogs seemed to be labs or lab mixes, but then there was the brown curly one (labradoodle?), the fluffy lap dog (pomerainian, cairn terrier?), and the basset hound brought up the rear. Can you imagine how much Alpo this man buys?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Harris!

Oh my goodness, the precious boy is 1! Here he is with his special birthday breakfast heart pancake, which he loved. The bottom picture is after dinner the other night, when Jay tilted his high chair back and pushed him up to the table. Harris totally chilled, put his feet up on the table and grinned.
Harris is not yet walking, probably because he can crawl so fast he sees no need to slow himself down by learning to walk. He zips up stairs, no problem, and he can stand up by himself without any support and stand there as long as he wants. It's just a matter of time before he steps out. It would be advantageous because we are outside so much now which means his poor chubby knees and the tops of his feet are getting all torn up from the bricks in our yard. He also comes in covered with dirt and mulch and tree pollen from slogging through it all.
Harris is very expressive, "talking" all the time, crying when he's tired or hungry or wanting to be held. He shakes his head for "no" and clicks his tongue, and sticks out his tongue when Jay sticks his out. He loves to be held and snuggled, laying his head down on my shoulder when he's tired or upset. He loves his brother and sister, and wants to be doing what they're doing. We love him so much, and rejoice in his first year with us- may there be many, many more!
(Stay tuned for his statistics, as his doctor's appointment is not until May. And we're having a small party for him this weekend, when my Dad can be here for it.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring in the District

On Greg and Kelli's last day we all rode the metro down to DC to check out the sights. It was the perfect day- sunny, breezy and with clear blue skies. The kids loved climbing on this random, strange tree on the Mall. It is odd, but sort of like a natural jungle gym.

There were ducklings, (or as Jay always corrects me, "ducklins") swimming in the Reflecting Pool.

The beautiful White House.

The gang, minus Greg. After this we split up- G and K went out to lunch, and me and my kids ate a picnic, then ventured out to find the Old Post Office and head home.

We found this lovely red door on an Episcopal church, by a little garden.

Here is the view down Pennsylvania Avenue from the tower of the Old Post Office. It is a charming old building built in 1889 that has a food court and shops, plus a tower that houses the Bells of Congress, gifts from England on the bicentennial celebration of the end of the Revolutionary War.

The view west.

Our closest metro stop happened to be the US Navy Memorial, which has a fountain, signal flags, and these relief sculptures showing different aspects of the Navy. This one is for the Coast Guard and shows a SAR mission. I also found the Naval Aviation sculpture, one about Carriers, and one about families waiting for their men at sea. I'm so glad we "stumbled" upon this great memorial that reminded me so much of my dad.

I loved this sculpture of a sailor- he is so strong, the way his legs are planted, and his expression of looking, watching, guarding. I like how his shoulders are hunched slightly, but broad, with his collar turned up against the weather. The way he is situated he is actually looking out on a map of the world- the seas he has traveled or might one day travel in his service to the US.

So after our time with the Sailor, we caught the metro home- I felt very much the city mom with my double stroller, navigating the metro with three kids.

Monday, April 19, 2010


(I love this picture of little Suzanna sucking her thumb, wearing pink- contrasting with the big tough fireman dressed in his gear behind her. )

One of the moms in my preschool co-op planned a tour of the Firehouse near her home on Wednesday, our normal preschool day. Greg and Kelli and the kids came along and it was such a fun and interesting learning experience. The firefighters were so kind and sweet to the kids, not to mention patient! The kids favorite seemed to be the ambulance bus that can hold about 20 injured people; they got to go on board, and lay on the stretchers and "drive" too. I liked when they hooked up the brand new truck to the fire hydrant and shot water a mile high. It was good to meet some "hometown heroes" and thank them for their work for our community.

5 Cousins, day 2

This picture is from the Air and Space Museum at Dulles, up in the tower. Harris is not interested in posing, as you can see.

The Relatives Came!

Jay's brother and his family came to visit last week, and it was a crazy week full of fun and activities; of cousins playing and fighting and laughing, of meals eaten together, of catching up with the other Hodges. The first day we went to experience springtime at Mt. Vernon. It was beautiful!

Jack and Mac in the tulips.
The cousins who are always concerned about who's bigger, who's taller, who's older.

Ruthie, wandering the garden.

Aunt Kelli, Alli and Ruthie under the heavenly smelling lilacs.

Baby lambs had been born on the farm- the kids were delighted.

Ruthie Ingalls Wilder. Pioneer girl.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Bean There, Done That

Earlier this week we discovered that the boy loves black beans. Alot. I have always shuddered at those commercials with toddlers covered in spaghetti, throwing it around the room. Gross. I usually maintain a certain level of acceptable messiness with my babies learning to self-feed by wiping as they eat, especially hands, because that is how it gets out of control. Well, with baby number three, it is all I can do to feed myself, keep an eye on two other kids and try to have a conversation with everyone, so I toss food to him and deal with the results ( he hollers a good bit when the food isn't coming fast enought. We're trying to train this out of him; it is rather like a baby lion- loud and fierce, but somehow endearing). This bean incident got messy very quickly, and by then, I just let him go. ( I also fed him some guacamole and there was a big clump in his ear, which greatly amused his big bro and sis.) He needed a bath anyway. Well, later this week...

He did it again, and somehow, with no bib this time! Good thing it was a dark shirt. But he's so happy. We laugh and he gets wild and throws his hands in his hair and all over his high chair; time for another bath!

This shot is amazing: note his TONSILS, and the beans coating the underside of his arms. I think it is good for his skin. It's like a black-bean-mud spa treatment.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Easter Fun with Friends

Some friends invited us over for Easter Dinner, egg dyeing, and an Egg Hunt! I loved these ruby red goblets for dyeing eggs.

Zip line, trampoline and a swing set= happy kiddos. Our friends older kids ( I think this is Ellie but I keep getting the two girls mixed up) are so helpful with our younger kids.


Little twirly girl.

Handsome boys, oh my goodness! You can't tell in the picture but Mac's suit is tan seersucker! One of my favorite fabrics- and his tie has little sailboats on it.

Cherry Blossoms

Last Friday the Cherry Blossoms were at their peak so we caught the metro (there is a stop about 10 minutes from our house) and went to enjoy this very old tradition of Spring in the District. It was our first time as a family on the metro, and it was pretty easy, not to mention fun for the kids. The train travels above ground a good bit of the time; stopping at Reagan National Airport and traveling over the Potomac with great views of the monuments in downtown DC.

Mac was so excited at breakfast when I told him we were going to ride the metro to see the Cherry Blossoms that he grabbed three leftover blueberries and said he would take them "in case he got hungry on the metro." I said ok, not really telling him that food is not allowed, and besides, three blueberries would surely not be a problem. About 20 or so minutes later, I realize Mac still has those blueberries clutched in his little hand, getting warm and squishy. I told him we were going AFTER naptime, and so we put his blueberries in a bag for later. I was surprised when he remembered them later as we were loading up to go, "where's my blueberry snack, Mommy?" So you can see in the picture, Mac holding tight to his little blueberry snack, which he held all the way until we exited the metro down on the mall. It was such a precious thing to me- that little boy is too much.

Most of the blossoming trees encircle the Tidal Basin, where the Jefferson Memorial sits. It was such a fun atmosphere- thousands of people milling around, resting on the grass with petals snowing down on them, taking a bazillion pictures. It really was basically a massive photo-op.

The trees were a gift from Japan, way back in the early 1900s. Such a lovely pale pink!

This area with the tulips was actually called the "Tulip Library." I love that!

How fun would the paddleboats be? We'll have to do that next year.