Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sorry girls, it's not that kind of tea party!

We circled the National Mall several times in search for the perfect parking spot. One that puts us at an equal distance from the White House and the reflecting pool and sure enough we found one. It took about thirty seconds after exiting the car for my dad to strike up a conversation with the man parked behind us--my dad, he's swift that way. As I shuffled with diapers and baby wipes in the backseat of the car I heard the man say to my dad, "I'm in town from Missoura to pass out my buttons."

Ahh, he seemed sweet. As I continued to gather up the days necessities: sweatshirts, sippy cups and goldfish crackers, I heard him say to Mia, "I've got just the button for you." Ahh, again with the generosity. Gotta love this country. Once I fumbled myself out of the van and thanked him for the button, I turned around and looked at Mia and stared with my mouth wide open at what was pinned to my precious.

I shot my dad the evil eyes and he just started laughing. Boy does he know how to press my buttons. I mean look at poor little objectified Mia.

It's like she's in pain or something.

Well, I'll have you know that this button stayed pinned to her chest for about 45 seconds.

On to the White House...

After visiting the White House we picnicked next to the reflecting pool in the shadows of both the Washington and Lincoln Memorials. What memories....

The girls got seriously drenched from all the splashin' around!

This was the only salvageable picture from a brief sitting with both girls. Lovely.

Overall, Washington D.C. turned out to be a perfect place to spend a weekend.
Next stop, Virginia!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A dingo ate my baby!

After spending the previous day at the Smithsonian oogling over all the stuffed mammals we decided that a day at the Smithsonian National Zoo would be a perfect compliment.

The girls were so excited. Especially Mia. Her love and curiosity for animals always makes me smile. Which is why we let her lead the way. Not kidding, look

Our first stop was the elephants. And I think Mia about lost her mind in shock because (aside from the circus when she was REALLY young) she has not seen an elephant up-close before. She held out her pocket sized magnifying glass to examine them but obviously, that didn't work out so well.

Next up, the gorillas. Which I gotta say, I could have spent the entire afternoon just observing them---but believe me I'm no Dian Fossey cuz even the mere glance at the size of their palms scared the shit outta me.

I don't know....somethin' about him doesn't give off the "come over and snuggle" with me kinda vibe.

Next up was the tigers. Unfortunately, they were too far away to get any good pictures--which I guess, in hindsight, was a good thing.

But can I just say that the fluctuation in my estrogen levels from this pregnancy resulted in me spending most of the day having CRAZY, PARANOID, TOTALLY DILLUSIONAL thoughts running through my head. Like for example, Bella and Mia getting kidnapped by the afore mentioned king gorilla. Never mind the 6 inch thick plexiglass barrier, or the laser alarm system. Oh no, not in my mind. In my mind, somehow they magically apparated inside the Gorilla cage and NO ONE was able to retrieve them. And there I was pounding on the plexiglass....

Or how about the one where Mia wanted to pet the pretty little kitty and somehow went face first into the Lion's den and Bella, being the big sister that she is, went in head first after her. Yeah, that was a good one. I mean, shall we compare and contrast for a minute?

my darlings wouldn't stand a chance!

I figured it was time to observe animals that couldn't pose any threat to my mental well being, like the reptile house. Ahh, yes. This was better. Aside from you know, poison, I'd like to think that in a fight Bella could totally take down one of those tree frogs. In fact, we actually had fun in the reptile house. Although hoisting two kids up to EVERY SINGLE HABITAT became a little annoying but it was worth it. They loved spying on the reptiles. And holy cow, I think Mia can speak parseltongue!! I'm not kidding!! The snakes were coming out from under logs to see her--it was totally that scene in Harry Potter. A frog even kissed her through the glass. This girl's got some wicked powers goin' on....

They were having so much fun together!

Who knew drying your hands could be such a party?

One of the reasons I was so excited about visiting this particular zoo was because we'd get the chance to see pandas. To me, it's like seeing a dinosaur--that's how rare they are. Only a few zoos ( I think only two) in this country have them. Years ago I was let down at the San Diego Zoo when the pandas began walking away just as I arrived at their exhibit and they were pretty far away too.

But this time was going to be different. I looked forward to it for weeks and totally hyped it up to the girls. When we arrived at the exhibit--they were only allowing a certain number of people in at a time and your visitation was limited to ten minutes. My anticipation grew. In fact, I remember noticing that my heart was racing a little, that's just how excited I was. When it was our turn to enter, the guide at the door said "we are asking that you remain quiet while visiting because the female, Mei Xiang, was showing signs of pregnancy." I have no idea why I reacted the way I did but I started tearing up right there just hearing those words--before I even saw her. Pregnancy can do that to you--somehow I found a common ground with this precious endangered animal. But tearing up, really Gina? That's going a little overboard.

Hmmm, now that I think about it, I really like that rule, think I can adopt it?

Bella and Mia, we are asking that you remain quiet because you're mother is showing signs of pregnancy!

It's genius!

When I entered the indoor exhibit, my breath was taken away when I saw her. In all her rare beauty, merely five feet away from me. There she was.

Mei Xiang was totally relaxed. She just sat there eating bamboo. Eating a lot of bamboo. Eating a shit ton of bamboo. I felt even more in common with her :)

You would be shocked if you saw all the security that was in place there.

I'm jealous of the zoologists who get to watch her round the clock. What a great job! Visiting her was the best way to end to our day. After a quick stop at the souvenir stand, Bella and Mia got little plush pandas to remind them of our perfect afternoon in D.C.

And perfect it was--well--despite that fleeting moment when the dirty warthogs tied us up and dragged us off :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

D.C. DAY 1

Remember the Griswold family road trip in National Lampoon's Vacation? Well, aside from evil Aunt Edna and the pea green station wagon, our recent road trip felt pretty similiar. We packed our minivan with plenty of movies, snacks and baby wipes and headed east to Washington D.C. and Virginia. My parents even joined us! And I'm telling you, my dad is CLARK GRISWOLD---TO A TEE!

Suprisingly, the twelve hour trek went by pretty fast. I mean yeah, we stopped a few times for a diaper change (believe me the floor of our car was a lot cleaner than some of the bathrooms I saw)

and stopped for a bite to eat.

And when all hell broke loose, we were never really that far from a McDonald's ice cream cone intervention

After arriving safely at our hotel, Bella immediately found a happy home for their entourage

and Mia felt it necessary to get buck naked and cover just her knee caps in a soft blankie. Charming.

Bella (or Cruise Director as we called her) knew the entire weekly itinerary and was worried that we weren't going to get a proper night's sleep before heading to the museum the next day. So she took matters into her own hands---or legs in this case.

Hilarious, huh? I love how her voice strains as she attempts a lateral lunge! This girl is so dramatic--it's no wonder she's my daughter.

After a much needed night's sleep, we woke bright eyed and ready for the museum. And not just any museum, the SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY--THE ONLY SUPER COOL YET FREE MUSEUM I KNOW!

We spent way too much time googling over the stuffed mammal section

I mean look at the size of this bear! That's crazy!

And out of the kindness of our hearts we also let them spend OVER AN HOUR in the discovery room where they got to touch and feel and explore...

Mia, shrugging off the posted age requirements decided she wanted to magnify a magnifying glass. Freakin' brilliant I say.

Across the table, Bella examined a snake Xray

Which, of course, peaked Mia's curiosity so she HAD to play with the light table TOO! Flipping through the Xray selection, she settled on this one.

I did a double take after snapping the picture. What the? Is that a? STAPLER?


And following suit like I did with all the other slides and frankly feeling like a total idiot, I said to her, "and this my dear, is a..stapler."

Moving on.

Hey look! The girls found Nemo and Dori!

And I found a huge freakin' diamond. Um like, FOURTY FIVE CARATS HUGE! Check out the Hope diamond--

We ended the evening with some Mongolian BBQ where Mia got to fine tune her chop stick skills

Thoroughly exhausted, we made it back to the hotel. Day 1 of D.C. was a total blast! Stay tuned--day 2 consists of another FREE SMITHSONIAN EXCURSION! This time the mammals weren't so, well, stuffed.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Calling in a favor....

We're having an amazing time in Washington D.C.

So many stories and so many pictures to come. In the meantime,
Bella wants to meet this man:

Anyone know anyone, who knows anyone that could hook me up?

She really wants to sit on his lap, ya know "like Santa at the mall."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How about an Easter wrap-up on this lovely Saturday night? How about I get a life?

Anyone in the mood for some more Easter pics? Yes, I know it was a week ago but SHEESH I'm only doing this so that I have a record of it. So if you're bored, well then, you can kindly suck it. Yeah, I'm pretty blunt this pregnancy or as my sister likes to call it "stern" which is her way of saying that I'm a raging cooz.

Sadly, I can't deny it. I HAVE NO PATIENCE ANYMORE.

But aside from my constant complaining and nagging--my girls look pretty happy in these pics. In fact, it was a pretty great Easter this year.

Can you believe how grown up Mia is becoming? It's rather heartbreaking.

Do you like Mia's hooker shoes? She did. In fact she rocked them ALL DAY LONG. Get this--she wouldn't walk on carpet, only floors where she could hear the sound of her shoes, isn't that hysterical?

Come to think of it, is it pathetic that my 22 month old is able to wear higher heels than I do right now? Kindly keep your answer to yourself.

Yay! We even managed to get a family picture!.

And of course we had an Easter egg hunt. Unfortunately it started raining just as I was about to hide the eggs outside so we ended up "hiding" the eggs in the living room. And by hiding I mean leaving them out in the wide open so that we could get through the damn thing as soon as possible. See? Greatest. Mother. Ever.

Mia decided to change out of the "sunday best" that I dressed her in so that she could wear her version of a "sunday best," my nephew's firefighter raincoat.

Never a dull moment.

I heart this picture because it was the first day that my nephew Erik tasted chocolate candy. He was going bonkers all afternoon in search of chocolate eggs. Isn't this pic adorable? It's the deer in the headlights look and a mouthful of chocolate that I adore.

Despite several meltdowns

And a partial cradle...

We had a great Easter!


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