Monday, March 29, 2010

Washington DC Day Two

So, we woke up on Sunday morning, and John marveled that Devin and I had any energy at all.

We cleaned up, packed our stuff and headed to the car to drop it off. I looked around the parking garage and marveled at how empty it was. One could park in the hotel's parking garage for something like $100 a day and we parked for $10 a day. It seemed eerie. So, John went to see what he could see, and he discovered the parking garage we were in was closed until Monday! Ack! So, he went to see if he could fix that. He told the attendant in the building that was connected to the garage that he thought he had made a mistake by parking there. To which the attendant looked a little flustered and said, "well, there's garages not that far that you COULD have used." John explained that he was concerned that we wouldn't be able to get the car out until Monday. And, the attendant assured it we would be able to get our car out anytime. (I included that part because we thought it was funny that the attendant misunderstood and got so offended, but maybe, it was a "had to be there" moment.)

After getting parking straightened out, we headed over the Smithsonian Air and Space museum. It was nice. Did I learn anything? Yes! I learned that propellers won't work in a vacuum (ie, space) but rockets will. Anything else? I guess I learned more about Orville and Wilbur Wright. They did an impressive thing and were the heroes of their day. I guess I also learned that I would never have qualified as a Stewardess back in the day because I'm more than one step down from Hollywood. Did the boys learn anything? They must have. I will have to ask them.

After lunch at the Food Court inside the museum, we headed back out into Washington. We discovered a HUGE immigration rally going on. I personally got all choked up. I'm not sure what they wanted. Well, they wanted immigration reform. But, what does that mean? They want to make it easier, make it harder, make it so that illegal immigrants get healthcare? I'm not sure. But, I enjoyed seeing the very large crowd.

We walked back to our car and headed out to Dupont Circle. I thought it looked like Chicago's Michigan Avenue. We found parking and started walking. We had gotten turned around, so we walked further than we would have liked. We finally got to Dupont Circle, had a cupcake, then walked back to the car. Everyone was running out of steam.

The cupcakes were OK, by the way, but not amazing. They were just cupcakes with a lot of icing. For the record, I don't get the whole cupcake craze.

We followed the GPS directions out of DC and spent about 45 minutes getting out of the city. We spent most of that time in Georgetown (I think). And, it was a cute little area. I want to go back on a nice spring day without the kids. They'd just tell me they were bored and then asked to be carried.

So, that was our trip to Washington DC. It was fun. I hope we can go back soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Washington DC Night Two

After our dinner, we walked back to the hotel. We could have taken a cab because it was about a mile, but I wanted to walk. It was a beautiful Spring day, and my belly was so full that I needed to walk some.

Unfortunately, Devin really couldn't walk. He had started to get a cold, and you know how sometimes his colds come with asthma symptoms? Well, so did this one. John and I took turns carrying him back to the hotel on this lovely evening.

We (I) talked about calling the doctor for a prescription. But we (I) never did. I felt like he was OK. I felt the medicine I had been giving him was going to work. But, then he laid down to sleep. And, he would cough an unproductive cough and whine and then kick John in the back. He did that several times. I took him into the bathroom to breathe in some steam, and do you know what he did? He fought it just as hard as he had ever fought a nebulizer mask.

We finally decided to call the doctor around 11. I got the answering service, and a grumpy doctor called me back almost immediately. This is the doctor who hails from somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon and usually has an impressive Southern accent to prove it. But, not after 11 PM. He was not happy! And, I guess he shouldn't have been. I shouldn't travel without a rescue inhaler ever. Not with Devin's history of colds that sometimes come with asthma symptoms.

So, the grumpy doctor called in a prescription to a CVS about 3 miles from the hotel. I got dressed, got some cash, told Devin I would buy him M&Ms if he came with me, and we got into a cab. The cab driver expressed concern, and we discussed his 6 year old daughter's asthma. Cabs in DC are nice and comfy! They don't stink. The driver was nice and helpful. About 10 minutes later, we arrived at the CVS. A super nice guy with a coffee can offered to help me out of the car, and I needed it. I was still carrying Devin, and I have a big purse, and it was caught in the door. My concern was Devin, though, so I just thanked the coffee can guy and went into the CVS.

This was the busiest CVS in Washington DC if I'm not mistaken. I waited about 7 minutes to see the harried pharmacist, and it took him another 30 or so to fill my prescription. All the while, he was having to help people needing things like the morning after pill and medicine containing psuedophedrine. He had to do that without help, and he really did an admirable job.

Our insurance either didn't work or I gave him the wrong card, so I had to pay out of pocket. It was about $130. Albuterol used to cost about $5 to $10 out of pocket, but it was changed recently so now it uses a different accelerant (whatever chemical that makes it puff out) and now it's closer to $60. And, we had to get a spacer, too, because Devin hasn't mastered using an inhaler without one. That was $70. Ouch. I couldn't help but be grateful I had the money. Would someone without the money just have to watch their kid suffer? I guess if I didn't have the money, I would have taken him to an ER for a breathing treatment and hopefully a free sample rescue inhaler. Why isn't albuterol sold over the counter?

After I gave him some puffs, we went out into the night, hopeful we would be able to catch a cab back to the hotel. The nice guy with the coffee can hailed me a cab. And, I didn't tip him, and I really should have. He was helpful and nice and recognizing my timidity with hailing a cab used a loud clear voice and got me a cab in less than a minute. I want to send him a thank-you card. This was going to be the worst part of the evening for me, and he took care of it.

This cab was also nice with a friendly driver whose child also has asthma.

We arrived back at the hotel for a night of fitful sleep. Devin kept coughing, but it was more productive now. And, now the asthma is mostly gone and everyone else is catching his cold.

And, if you search asthma here on my blog, you will see that about once a year, he gets a cold with asthma whenever we go out of town.

So, have I learned my lesson? You think?? Maybe???

I just hope so. It was two pleasant cab rides, a part of DC we wouldn't have seen otherwise (Dupont Circle, we went back there the next day), an overworked but really nice pharmacist, about 2 hours of sleeping time lost, and $130 for medicine I should always have with me. I hope I learned my stinkin' lesson.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Washington DC Day One

We went to Washington DC this past weekend. It was pretty neat-O! Once I find the camera, I will post some pictures that we took.

It's only about 4 hours away. Did you know the Mason Dixon line is only 2 hours away? We passed right over it on the way home. At least, that's what John said. I wasn't paying attention to the signs. I hope he didn't make that up and now I'm pawning it off as fact. It's happened before.

Saturday, we spent the day looking at memorials and white houses. We walked over to the Washington Monument, and then we looked at it. We couldn't go in yet, because we needed to pick up some free tickets.

The boys and I walked around the monument while John waited in line for those tickets. As I walked around, I saw a bunch of little pieces of white pickets stuck in the ground. It was our first protest of the day! From where we stood, it looked like a little Arlington National Cemetery. I walked down to read the sign describing the project, but I can't remember now what it said. Something about remembering soldiers who died in Iraq. There were a lot of little grave markers. It was striking, and I tried to talk to the boys about soldiers dying in war and how we need to remember those soldiers with reverence. But, I'm not sure I did a good enough job.

After we met up with John, we headed over to the Lincoln Memorial. First, we walked through the World War II Memorial. Trevor wanted to know if we will ever have a World War III, and John asked me if they called it World War II at the time. I refused to answer Trevor's question by answering John's instead. Mostly, I made stuff up. I think I told them they called it the Great War, but that was World War I. My degree in history doesn't serve me well in that I still don't really understand how war solves problems and that I get World War I confused with World War II. (I think I could probably still pass a multiple choice test on those wars, though!)

It was on this walk that I saw my first protest sign specifically targeting Barack Obama. It was a war protester, and she just wants him to earn his Nobel Prize and end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It hurt my heart that anyone would not love our president. Then, I felt bad for hating W. as much as I had.

We kept moving and walked alongside that big reflecting pool. You know the one? The same one that Forrest Gump jumped into when he saw Jenny at a war protest? It's really big and long. There were bales of hay in the pond. Everyone wanted to know why they were there. I speculated they were some sort of filter. But, John speculated that the secret service were hiding there ready to come after us, guns blazing, if we fed the ducks or threw money into the pond.

The Lincoln Memorial was OK. Big old Lincoln. Expressive Face. Someone did a fine job with that memorial. We didn't get to climb up on the Lincoln statue, though. A velvet rope kept us back.

From there, we headed to the bathroom! Long walk and all the coffee I could drink had taken it's toll. There was a bathroom in the Lincoln Memorial, so that's where we headed! Why? I know you want to know why I'm mentioning it. Well, there was a little display with some Lincoln quotes right outside the bathroom. And, I want to talk about the one that stuck with me. Because I'm not looking hard enough, I can't find the quote. But, I think what he said was he was tired of people saying he was an fighting the war to end slavery. He wasn't fighting this war to end slavery. He was fighting this war to preserve the union. And, I think he was an abolitionist at heart. But, he would have let Slavery linger had it been for the good of the union. At a different time, he would have been a different president, and not nearly so great. You know who I think was great, James K. Polk. He doesn't get nearly enough credit. He's my favorite unsung president. I bet you thought I was going to say Jimmy Carter, didn't you?

After the bathroom at the Lincoln Memorial, the boys remembered a food stand on the side of the road they had seen earlier in the day and the way it sold ice cream. It wasn't quite noon yet. Heck, it wasn't even 11. But, that was when they began talking about ice cream and when they could have it.

I made some vague promises about after noon. Not, afternoon, but sometime after noon. It worked, but by then, Devin could hardly walk and needed to rest. So, did Trevor.

So, we did.

Then, on we moved to the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

I wish I could say that the emotion rose up in me. But, all I could think of was 58,000. All of these Americans died, and I really wish I knew why. So, we just walked by and didn't try to find any names, and I silently laughed at the signs that requested I show respect for our soldiers by not walking on the grass. The two ideas didn't really seem related to me, and I wanted to walk on the grass for the incongruity of it all.

After the Vietnam Memorial Wall, we headed over to the White House, stopping at a hot dog cart along the way. We only saw the back of the White house. We could have walked around to the front, but that would have been a longer walk and the children were wilting in the 70+ degree temperatures.

Instead, we just snapped a few pics. John was pretty sure he saw our President. But, I'm pretty sure it was just a security guard. The White House has a really nice back yard.

Well, we kept walking. The boys played on a statue they found as a group of people went by shouting "WHAT DO WE WANT?" (mumble, mumble, mumble) "WHEN DO WE WANT IT?" (nownownowownow)

I think they wanted Healthcare. Or, maybe they wanted the wars to end. I don't remember for sure now. They may have wanted both at the same time.

So, after we let them pass, we kept walking. Just as we crossed a street, a large, noisy motorcade passed by. John was pretty sure the president was in it. He was in Washington this week, fighting for the Healthcare bill, but I don't think he was in that motorcade.

We were in search of the National Aquarium. But, we got sidetracked by the White House Information Center. And, while in the White House Information Center, we got sidetracked by a fire alarm. I was just about to use that bathroom, too, and I almost did anyway because why? Because alarms don't scare me! What an idiot! Finally, a security guard was like, "TOURISTS, GET THE HELL OUT! FOR REALS!" But, that's not what he really said. We left, anyway. I played hero and opened the double door no one was using and increased the throughput out of the building 100%. John noticed my heroism.

We kept walking to the aquarium, but once we got there, we realized that it was in the same block as the White House Visitor Center. Which means the same building. And, it was being evacuated, too. Then, the firetrucks came. Then, a security guard came along and said, "TOURISTS, MOVE YOURSELVES TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET FOR OUR FIRE DRILL. FOR REALS THIS TIME!" Except all he really did was flap his arms. Still, we followed his orders because it was our civic duty.

We hemmed and hawed and finally decided to hit the Museum. Which museum, you say? Why, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The Smithsonian Museum of American History was closer, but even I didn't want to go there! (To whom should I return my diploma, I wonder.) We enjoyed the museum as much as one can enjoy a museum. It was free. So, that made it fun.

Finally, we headed over to the Washington Monument with our free tickets. We waited a bit, then we rode an elevator to the 500 Foot Level. And, we looked out all 4 sides. Over by Capitol Hill, we saw a mass of people. We asked a park ranger what it was about, and I believe she said they were anti war demonstrators. Or, maybe she said they were anti-healthcare demonstrators. Or, maybe people from both groups were there protesting both the war and healthcare at the same time.

Our friendly park ranger at the top of the Monument also explained that the motorcades carrying our president always contain an ambulance. So, the earlier motorcade must have just carried Barney Frank or someone like him. Maybe Joe Biden. We'll never really know.

After looking out all four sides, we headed down to level 490 where we waited for the elevator. It was a long wait, and it was stinky at level 490. I have to tell you, if you're in Washington, do go up the Washington Monument. It's well worth the wait and the free ticket. But, if it's a monument you want to go up, choose the St. Louis arch. Yeah, so to put it another way, if you're planning your vacation around a tall monument, make it St. Louis. But, to expand on that idea, let me just add this. Please don't ever plan your vacation around going up in tall monuments. There are better ways to plan vacations.

After the Washington Monument we started walking back to our hotel. We stopped along the way for ice cream because by now, it was afternoon. Devin got a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Ice Cream Novelty and Trevor got an Ice Cream Sandwich with Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry Ice Cream. Devin's melted all over him, and Trevor thought his was the best ice cream sandwich in the world. Ever.

We finally made it to the hotel and spent a couple of hours at the pool. The pool was in the spa, so we were escorted to the pool by a nice young lady who offered noodles to the children. John declined on their behalf, but I piped up and said I wanted noodles. I didn't know why she was offering noodles to any of us, but I was pretty hungry by then! Unfortunately, she meant those floaty noodles. Fortunately, we did actually need those noodles, and I'm hoping she left not knowing just how hungry I was.

After showering and watching a little Disney Channel, we headed over to Fogo de Chao for dinner. Lovely Gluttony.

I would love to say we ended the night with tummies full of yummies, but alas, our night ended a different way. And, I got to see a side of the city I didn't expect to see around midnight on a Saturday night. I was pleasantly surprised as well as annoyed with my stupid self.

But, I'm saving that story for another day. The boys are feeling neglected.

Friday, March 19, 2010


have you noticed that Pioneerwoman is doing re-runs? It's gotta be hard to spew content as much as she does, so I shouldn't complain. Anyway, know what I've been doing today? Reading my blog. Want to see what almost made me cry:


It's a re-run. And, I guess you'd say it's the reason I write this blog! And, this memory is so precious that I actually remember most of it. I forgot the very last part. So, that's why I almost cried.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Really? (A day in the life)

We went out to dinner tonight to a Japanese/Chinese restaurant. At the end of the night, my fortune said, "You are in line for a promotion at your firm." After reading it out loud, Devin said (with his perfect comedic timing) "really, mom?!?" (He was very excited for me.)

We thought it was funny because he has no idea what that means.

On the way to dinner, I mentioned to John that I had gotten a call from a neighbor. She had asked me about a week ago to keep an eye on her house while she and her husband went on vacation. I was all ready to do that, but she never brought me the key. She was calling to tell me that her sister in law has the key, and she only has one key, so maybe I could just make sure her cars don't get stolen. When I said that last part, Devin said, "Are they new?" in a desperate OMG sort of way. It would be very bad to have your cars stolen, but even worse to have your NEW cars stolen.

(Is that funny to you or was it a "had to be there" moment?? It made us giggle with delight.)

Earlier in the day, Trevor and I had a quick lesson on fractions. I can't remember why I was fishing for validation or why I felt the need to "keep it real" for my handsome, loving and sensitive boy, but I declared that sometimes I'm nice and sometimes I'm mean. I should also mention here that if I say I'm ugly, Trevor will say I'm pretty. If I say I'm fat, Trevor will say I'm not that fat. If I say I'm the worst mom ever, Trevor will say I'm the best mom ever. I really don't need to fish for validation with this boy. It's probably not good for him.

So, anyway, Trevor trying to put me back on that pedestal says, "you're just 50% mean and 50% nice." And, I said (just to clarify) "you think I'm mean half the time?" Then, he clarified that what he really meant was that I'm NICE 89% of the time and mean 10% of the time. Then, I turned it into a math lesson and asked about the other 1%. Then, he turned it into a lesson in loving your mommy more than she deserves and declared I was nice 99% of the time and mean only 1% of the time.

And, that's a day in our life.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


There are some activities in the world that make me really tired. Some things make me tired in a good way. Like swimming in the ocean (or jumping around in the waves which is what I really do), snow skiing, walking around Disney World. When I do these things, I get truly exhausted and sleep well. I need to vacation more often.

Then there are other things that make me really tired, but in not so good way. Like cleaning the boys' rooms. Do you know how mentally exhausting this is? I pick up a random piece of plastic and wonder what it is, and then I try to figure out if I should keep it or throw it away. Will it make a toy they really like completely useless? Then, two weeks later, I will wake up in the middle of the night wondering if I threw out a toy that has sentimental value and suffer squeezy head and tightness in chest syndrome.

But lately, the thing that really makes me tired is Devin.

Devin doesn't speak in declarative, imperative or exclamatory sentences any more. All of his sentences are interrogative. Every single one of his sentences are questions. He asks questions to learn new things (OK) questions that question the thing he has just learned (OK once or twice) questions he's already asked a mere seconds before, questions about time (oh, the questions about time and how long and is that a long time and I can't believe my brain is still intact!) There are so many questions about candy. Can I have a piece of candy? yes. Can I have two pieces of candy? no. Can I have this piece of candy? yes. Will you open it for me? ok.

Do you know that sometimes he even asks stupid questions? He really does! He is a button pusher! I can't think of any good examples, but there have been a few times where we just have to say we're not going to answer his question because it's a stupid question.

Oh, and his newest is the worst because it's a question that makes me feel oh so incredibly guilty (Did you know moms are most guilty of feeling guilt? I read it on the internet!) His newest question is Will you play with me? Often followed up with Why won't anyone play with me? And every now and then with Is it because I'm wearing this big Mickey Mouse hand? (ok, that only happened once.)

I've discovered that sometimes, I just have other things to do, like read the internet, or make dinner, or pick up dog food that Boots takes out his bowl and doesn't eat, or tell the boys to pick up their socks. Sometimes, I'm really just too busy to play with him. But, other times, I can't think of anything to play with him. I don't mind watching him ride his bike or scooter. But, to actually use my imagination and play with him? It can be a little boring. I should do it more often. I'm pretty sure precious memories are created when I play pretend castle, Ben 10 (I'm Gwen!) or hide and seek (this game secretly terrifies me. Did I hide in the trunk of a car at Karla's house in Ochelata one time in July? I think I did!)

So, let me end by asking, when will I write my next post? I don't know. Will it be tomorrow or two weeks from now? I really don't know. Is that a long time? Is what a long time, I don't understand the question? When will summer be here? In about 3 months. Is that a long time? Yes. How long is it? 3 months, a long time. Do I have to wear shoes to go outside? Yes. Do I have to wear socks? Yes. What if I wear my sandals? OK, no socks if you wear sandals. Will you buckle my sandals? Wear shoes if you can't buckle your own sandals! Can I wear short sleeves? OK. When will I be in First Grade?

(Do you need a nap now? I do.)

Monday, March 15, 2010


Trevor's cousin Logan calls Trevor "Treasure."

She calls him Treasure when she talks to him, and I think she even calls him Treasure when she talks about him. And, Trevor doesn't correct her.

I like it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

remember this?

Remember this?

Because Trevor was just remembering it the other day.