Sunday, November 28, 2010

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Decorating the tree was so easy this year. Why? One word: Evelyn. Once I showed her how to put ornaments in empty spaces on the tree (as opposed to clustering the ornaments together), she didn't need any more assistance. Evelyn hung most of the ornaments this year, while Troy and I stood back and watched.

Julia was also helpful. She understood that we were trying to put the ornaments on the tree, unlike last year when she kept trying to take them off the tree. Julia hung a few ornaments (with a little help from Evelyn and Troy), and then she left the decorations on the tree while she admired them.Here are all three girls (look closely and you'll see Rosie, too), admiring the lights and ornaments from the ground level.

Pig Tails!

Julia wanted pig tails today, and here's what she looked like right after I put them in. With her hair up, Julia's face looks completely different!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sleepy Time

Here's what I found when I tip-toed into the girls' rooms tonight:

They were both out like a light.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Visit to Gettysburg

We didn't realize how close Gettysburg was until we drove there this morning. It only took an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the site of one of the most important battles of the Civil War. It's a good thing - since these girls (especially Julia) won't remember much of today's visit, we can go back again when they're older.

Speaking of the girls, here they are, just outside the visitor's center, with Evelyn sitting on a bronze statue of President Lincoln. We spent a lot of time inside the visitor's center, watching the informational 20-minute movie about Gettysburg, checking out the cyclorama painting/display and browsing through the various museum exhibits. There was even a cafeteria inside the visitor's center, so we had a yummy lunch, too.
We didn't have much time to drive around before sunset, so we visited sites close to the visitor's center. Our first stop was the Culp's Hill observation tower. We all climbed to the top - even little Julia. Evelyn was interested in finding the landmarks and learning about battles that happened in different fields.

Julia was content to crawl around the circular bench.
There were several monuments and canons at the base of the observation tower. Evelyn wanted us to explain the monuments, and Julia wanted to touch every single artifact she could find.
Just before the sun went down, we walked through Soldiers' National Cemetery. The Soldiers' National Monument marks the spot where President Lincoln gave his infamous Gettysburg Address in November, 1863. We learned a lot today, and we're looking forward to driving around the battlefields and town when we make it back.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Ralph's World

Ralph Covert and his band, Ralph's World, performed at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia this morning, and you know we were there! Julia and Evelyn chatted with Ralph before the show - I couldn't believe that Julia let Ralph hold her.One visit wasn't enough, so we headed back to see Ralph a second time before the concert began. Julia went in for a big hug this time.
Evelyn also wanted to tell Ralph that she had lost four teeth since the last time she had seen him. She also had an idea for Ralph . . . could he write a song about losing teeth? The look on his face said it all, "Why didn't I think of that?" He told Evelyn (and me) to send him an email with her song idea. Could this mean Evelyn's idea will turn into a new Ralph's World song?

When the song, "At the Bottom of the Sea" started, Ralph asked the kids to lay on the ground and pretend they were fish. Even though there were various movements throughout the song, Julia stayed glued to the floor, listening to the entire song in a prone position.
Evelyn mostly stayed with us, in the chairs, during the concert. But there were a couple of songs where she danced in the kiddie mosh pit. All in all, another great concert by a great musician and his band. We can't wait to see him again!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Julia Time

Evelyn went to a friend's birthday party this evening, and Julia had the house (along with Mommy and Daddy) to herself for three hours. She helped make supper, she set the table, and she got to swim and play in her bubble bath without big sis. The girls get along well with each other, but I think Julia enjoyed her "me" time tonight.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November Trip to the Zoo

Today's weather - sunny and 65 degrees - mandated that we do something outside. It has literally been years since either Troy or Julia have been to the National Zoo in Washington, DC, so when Evelyn requested that we go to the zoo today, we gladly obliged. I also couldn't wait to take my new camera for a spin at the zoo. After wandering around the cats, prairie dogs, turtles, lemurs and orangutans, we settled down at the picnic table area for lunch. I know it looks like we only gave Julia bread for her sandwich, but we didn't - she just prefers to eat the cheese first and the bread last.
In previous trips to the zoo, we have ridden the Metro down to DC in order to avoid the zoo's $20 parking fee. The only problem with that is you have a 1/2-mile hike from the Metro stop to the zoo entrance. Not wanting to get the girls too worn out before even seeing the zoo, we drove there today. This meant we could bring the wagon for the girls to ride in. It seemed like a cozy ride, but they didn't mind.

The pandas must have been inside today because we didn't see them in any of their outdoor displays. However, we did see a pair of playful otters near the panda pens. They were hard to catch with the camera, but I nabbed this shot before the little guy took off with his buddy.
After hiking and riding around the entire zoo (minus the indoor exhibits), the girls were understandably exhausted. They fell asleep within five minutes of leaving the zoo parking lot.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Near the End

When the leaves on the tree in our "backyard" turn yellow, it signals the end of the fall colors around here. It happened a week later this year than previous years, but it was still just as brilliant and beautiful.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reading Practice

Julia might not realize it, but she is a big reason Evelyn continues to improve her reading. This morning, the girls were ready for the day earlier than usual, and Evelyn had time to read a book to Julia. Here are the girls, in Julia's room, reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Evelyn didn't need help with a single word, and this was only the second time she had read that book by herself.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Parents were invited to watch Evelyn's ballet class this evening, and I was eager to see how she is doing. Last year's observation days were a little rocky - she didn't follow along very well and she didn't act like she was enjoying herself.

Tonight was the complete opposite. Evelyn was focused and worked hard on her warm-ups and stretches - she even smiled now and then.When it came time to practice barre routines, Evelyn was right on tempo with the music. She also performed the routines from memory, without looking at her teacher for assistance. Evelyn always tells us that she enjoys taking ballet, and watching her in tonight's class proved it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Troublesome Tooth

Last night at supper, Evelyn could hardly eat because her loose tooth was bothering her so much. It seemed that the tooth's roots were completely dissolved, and it was getting in the way when Evelyn would eat or talk. She asked Troy and me several times to pull the tooth, but she just couldn't get brave enough to let us do it.

First thing this morning, Evelyn came to me, holding her snowman and two tissues. She said she wanted me to pull the tooth out, and I could tell that she really meant it this time. I used one of the tissues to give the tooth a gentle tug, and it came right out. Evelyn said she didn't even feel it. Looks like the tooth fairy will be paying her fourth visit to Evelyn tonight!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Adoption Birthday

One year ago today, we adopted our sweet Rosie from the Montgomery County Humane Society. I've said it before, but she is the perfect fit for our family. Here's a perfect example:

This morning, Julia and I were watching an episode of "Thomas and Friends." We were both sitting on the couch, and Rosie sauntered up to us, checking out the lap situation. Whose lap did she choose to sit on? Julia's! Rosie curled up on Julia and slept through the entire 25-minute program. I never would have imagined that a cat would want to sleep on a toddler - she is such a sweetie!