Sunday, May 31, 2009

Josh's Crazy Genuis

I know, I know. Teaching a 5 year old multiplication? Questionable parenting practices at best. See, the thing is, though, that my kid is different. Well, they both are. You just notice it in Joshua because he's a little older. He isn't even 5 1/2 yet. He reads like a champ already and has been doing addition and subtraction long enough to be a little bored with it. We've touched on place value but the thing he was most interested in next was multiplication so we started to teach him a little about it tonight. He has really started to run with the idea of it, which again is just blowing us away...

In all fairness, Jeremiah is exhibiting quite a bit of an early start with letters and numbers. He's familiar with all the letters of the alphabet and can count up to 10 and is really excelling in speaking in sentences. I promise I'm not really feeding them anything special or anything. They're just special kids... and I think that is awesome! I'm expecting that at some point they'll even out with the learning curve of the other kids their age. In the mean time, it's really fun teaching them all these new things and watching their perspective of the world change as they understand it more.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Williamsburg and Washington, DC

As I wrote earlier, while my folks were here we took a drive up to DC and Williamsburg...
Joshua sucking on a licorice root. Very colonial, I think.

We did see a few things here but just didn't take very many pictures. The next day we were on our way to DC.
We booked a room at a military hotel of sorts that required us to check in on one base then drive to another. Odd, I know. Fortunately the first base we stopped at had a side entrance to Arlington National Cemetery! We were able to park and walk in without fighting for a parking space.
The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
After stopping off at the hotel we headed out to see what we could find. As it got darker, Joshua noticed the Washington Monument, but he doesn't call it that. To him it's a big giant robot. He came to this conclusion based on the evidence of the glowing red eyes that flashed at the top (you can see the two little squares in this picture).
We just happened across Ford's theater and the house where Lincoln died while trying to locate some food. Not so easy when it's 7-ish on a Sunday night, believe it or not!
On the walk back to the vehicles, we stopped by the Navy memorial because I wanted to see the Lone Sailor statue. We just happened across this little marker that we found significant. It's for the US Navy River Operations in Vietnam (ie the first Riverines ever).
This is outside the hotel we stayed at on the base. It was really pretty beautiful even though the A/C didn't work in my parents room.
We found the Smithsonians first. This is the National Air and Space Museum. Jeremiah has decided he's going to be an astronaut, just to let you all know.

This is the 4 of us in thermo imaging.
Phil and the boys staring at some guys hind end...
We've been to DC a couple times before but always seemed to miss this memorial so it was on my "must see" list this time around. I'm so glad we went!

This is from the top of the Lincoln Memorial looking at the reflecting pool and the Washington Monument.
Us and the big guy.
Bonus points to the one who figures out what Josh is trying to show you.
Next up was the Vietnam War Memorial. Can you believe it took them 10 years after the war ended for them to put this up? Memorial day was the perfect day to visit here.

After taking in a few more sites we ventured back to the Museum of Natural history for the boys. Jeremiah has a particular affection for dinosaurs so we wanted to make sure we got here for him.
DINOSAUR!!!! He said that like... I don't know... 50 million times while we walked through this area.
Fossil Lab. They labeled it for you, really.
Shark teeth. Josh needs to get a few more to catch up.
Anything you can do, I can do better, Josh.
Jeremiah the tiger. Rarrrrr....
Riding on Papa's shoulders seems to be a really exciting place to be if you're 2.
Phil keeping the trip lively. Waaaaay back there is the capital building.
I'm sure we'll visit again. We still have some other things we'd like to do in this great city. I love living near here!

A Visit with my Folks

We were fortunate enough to have my folks around for about a week until just yesterday. We had such a great time! I know these pictures make it look like my mom is the only one who visited, but I assure you it's for two very good reasons. One is most often my Mom tosses the camera at my Dad when it's just the two of them and the second is because my Dad spent most of his time working on projects around our house. Mom spent her time keeping the boys out of the way so we could finish them. This time around we installed 2 ceiling lights, a ceiling fan, a remote for the one ceiling fan we already had, fixed my piano, rewired the switches so they controlled the light fixtures as opposed to just outlets, replaced our wet bar faucet that has leaked since we moved in... and more smaller stuff. We kept him busy!

Phil and I were even able to get away overnight while they were here which hasn't happened in... well... years!

We also took a trip to Williamsburg and Washington, DC while they were here. It was the boys' first time to go. I'll post pictures from that trip later.

The boys have a really good time with my parents when we visit together.
I think our only consolation with them leaving this time was the knowledge that we'll see them again in California in September. The countdown has already begun!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Poo Poo in the Potty

I think I can officially say that we're "potty training" now. With Joshua I read some book about potty training that encouraged you to start when they were a year old, introducing the potty because kids naturally want to potty train, right? Yeah... not so much. So I decided to try and potty train him young. Would you believe that he didn't actually decide to really get going with the idea until after he turned 3? At a completely developmentally appropriate age? I know. It was my first time and I was hoping we could get him out of diapers before Jeremiah came along. His mind and body had other ideas and just wasn't ready on my schedule.
Being much more relaxed this time around, we started introducing the potty with Jeremiah not too long after we moved into the house here. He wasn't ready and this time I fully expected that. Now with a little encouragement from Daddy and Elmo, we're officially heading in the right direction. Last week when Jeremiah told me ahead of time that he need to do #2 and we made it to the potty, I decided to set up a little rewards program for him. Each time we make it to the potty we get a star. 6 stars means he gets to pick out a toy from the dollar store. Fortunately for me he's not old enough to see this as cheap yet. Tonight we filled in our 6th star. Way to go, Jeremiah! Tomorrow morning we'll be off to the dollar store!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Morning at the Beach

When our initial plans for the morning fell through, we decided that since we were out, it would be a good time to enjoy a walk on the beach (the first for the boys and I since we've been here). This is the beach Phil has had to do PT (physical training) on for the last few weeks.
There's this really interesting area with all sorts of bricks and metal almost like a ship or building has been just decomposing there for decades. I found it completely intriguing.

We're gearing up for a pretty busy week. Phil's squadron will finally be returning from Iraq so we're doing all we can to help with the homecoming. My folks are coming in for a visit. It'll be their first time to visit here in Virginia. We'll be taking a trip to Williamsburg and DC and just enjoying having time together. They boys are so excited they're counting down. I think it's the first thing I hear every morning. According to Jeremiah, "Be very, very happy when Nana Papa come!!" Me too, buddy!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Moms Day!

Happy Mother's Day!
(Josh said sorry the p's are backwards)
From two little boys I am privileged to be Mommy to.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Last Soccer Game

Today was the last soccer game of the season. Josh has played so hard this Spring! I've have never seen him run so fast. Today was especially hot and humid after a really loud storm all night last night. The field was moist and the kids hot, but you could tell everyone involved were glad to enjoy this one last soccer game.
Josh making another goal

Josh's trophy for this year was really neat, actually

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Strawberry Picking

This is one of my all time favorite things to do. The season starts here earlier and lasts longer, which is good news for me! We decided to head out this evening to pick some of our own strawberries at Cullipher Farm. We went home with way more then this!
Last year when we went it had been a bad season so it took us a good hour to pick enough little tiny strawberries to fill their basket. This year they are big and fat and flavorful. We weren't there very long before we had enough in our bucket that we knew we needed to stop.
The boys are getting better at these things and I'm grateful for their independence.
We also got to bring Daddy along to help.
Now to decide... what to make with all those strawberries???

Virginia Living Museum

I feel as if we're taking you on a journey through our new little area of the world as we go out and explore. This weekend we went to a museum in Newport News. We had to get out from under the rain a bit while we were there, but overall it was a great time! Lots of outdoor area for animals.
Lots of stuff to see and do inside as well, which was great for the rainy/not rainy day.

Joshua's favorite part: Jellyfish!

Jeremiah's favorite part: The dinosaur