Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eastern Market and...Earthquake?

Day 137

Day 226

Tuesday the kids & I went into DC to check out Eastern Market for the first time. The outdoor tables & stalls are only open on the weekend, but there was still lots to see inside the building. We were meeting some friends for lunch; I had a really good crab cake sandwich and probably a third of the grilled chicken sandwich I'd ordered for the kids. (They were not especially enthusiastic about eating, that day.)

Since we'd arrived a bit before our friends, we walked around a little and then found a big open area at one end of the building with a decent sized dance floor. There were already several other little kids playing there, and Soren & Eleri joined right in. They were having a grand time until Soren tripped and bit his lip, but with a little bit of ice he felt better quickly.

After lunch, we all took a stroll around the block. It was just about Eleri's usual naptime, and she passed out in the pouch on my back while we were walking. So we said our goodbyes and headed back to the metro in the hopes that maaaaaaybe she'd stay asleep on the ride home.

We were stopped at the McPherson Square station (underground), still well into the city, when the train started jerking forward & backward like the engine was jumping. It wasn't the sort of thing to be immediately concerned about; rather more one of those eye-rolling "ugh, these old trains" moments. But I did notice, or thought I noticed, the lighted billboards in the station flicker briefly, one after another, and I momentarily considered and immediately rejected the idea that the shaking might have been from something like an earthquake. After all, we don't generally have those out here.

Heh. Obviously, if you've been keeping up with the news at all this week, you know that it was indeed an earthquake. A 5.8, no less, shallow and centered about 90 miles southwest of us. Which, while not nothing, isn't exactly enormous either. So it was first with amusement that I regarded all of the "ZOMG EARTHQUAKE!" freaking out that went on around here immediately after. And then I took a minute and remembered that...oh yeah...everything here is made out of bricks. And almost nothing is built the way things in California are built, specifically with this sort of seismic activity in mind.

After the quake, the metro trains were all running at 15mph until all the track could be checked, so it made for a long remainder of the ride home. Eleri did sleep through the shaking itself, but she woke up not long thereafter. Ah well.

Anyway. We got home to discover our building was still standing (phew) and generally took it easy for the rest of the afternoon. I took a nice long walk (about 3 miles) after dinner. And that was that.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

30DOB #15

Been a while since I did one of these. I didn't forget though, honest. Let's see what we're up to, now.

Day 15: Write about a habit that you wish you didn’t have.

Ah, halfway! Hmm, a habit that I wish I didn't have. You mean besides starting things and then taking months and months to finish them, if indeed I don't abandon them entirely? ;) I guess that's not technically a habit.

This one's actually a complete no-brainer for me. I am, and have always been, a nail biter. As I've gotten older I seem to be doing more picking at my nails than actually chewing on them, but that's really no better. Oh, there have been periods of time, months even, when I have managed to curb the impulse to gnaw & pick, but I always fall off the wagon. Every time. It's nasty and embarrassing to have scraggly-ass fingernails and cuticles, not to mention painful when they (almost inevitably) get ripped too short. Ugh.

The worst thing about nervous habits like this is that, more often than not, I don't even realize I'm doing it until the damage is done. Or I've, you know, BROKEN A DAMNED TOOTH. Sigh. Tom's pretty good about catching me and shaming me sufficiently that I quit for a while, but that's not so helpful if he's at work or something. Guess I need to train the kids to do the job when he's not here. Heh.

Anyway! There you go. I'll try to get through the second half of these 30DOB things faster than I did the first half. ;)

A discovery

Day 136

Day 225

Monday was mostly a "hang around at home, do some laundry" sort of day. I did make it over to the library after dinner (had to pick up the first two Underland Chronicles books) and I swam laps for the first time in I don't know how long. Funny side story: I hadn't worn my lap-swimming suit in quite a while. I bought it a decade ago. So it wasn't until I got into the water and started on my first lap that I noticed there was basically no elasticity left in the darned thing. Had to tie the shoulder straps together behind my neck just to keep from flashing the whole pool. Good times.


Earlier in the day, I was going to make the kids some mac & cheese for lunch. I noticed, right after our "new" stove was installed, that two of the knobs had been replaced with oven knobs. So instead of { Lo - Med - MedHi - Hi } or whatever, they have meaningless numbers and a Broil setting. Which I found mildly amusing. Tee hee.

Take another look, though. Look at the relative positions of "Broil" and "Hi." Reading the knob like a clock face, they're at 1:00 and 11:00, respectively. Which means that not only are the numbers on the oven-harvested knobs meaningless, but the scale is backward.

Which would explain why, when I mindlessly set it on Broil in order to boil water for mac & cheese, the water was still tepid after 20 minutes. *headslap* I relayed this discovery to Tom via email; he wryly pointed out, "So now the scale is a unitless, "how long till hot" measurement." Indeed it is, good sir. So now you know, if you're ever cooking at our house, you have to turn the "special" knobs the opposite way you think you ought to. If you want to eat anytime this century, anyway. ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tomato fest & Soren's last swim class

Day 134

Day 223

Saturday Tom & I took turns running errands & getting some exercise. In the evening, we headed out to Alice's house for some visiting & feasting. Before dinner we all took a walk down to the Potomac, where stones were skipped and rocks were flung with satisfying splashes. Back at Alice's, we started making food. She had a bunch of tomatoes from her garden, plus a few from the farmers' market, so they were the theme for the evening. We started off with a tomato & watermelon salad (which also contained bleu cheese, toasted pine nuts, basil & bacon), at Max's suggestion. I'll admit, I was a little skeptical about the flavor profile, but it was really really good. Next up were roasted stuffed tomatoes. We scooped out the tomato guts, which we then combined with some fresh mozzarella, bread crumbs, more basil, and a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper, and stuffed back in the hollowed-out tomatoes. Roasted in the oven for half an hour, they turned out great. We had some extra stuffing left over, so I fashioned some little flat cakes out of it, which we deep fried in bacon fat. They were (no great surprise) also delicious. Rounding out the evening were BSLT sandwiches - bacon, steak, lettuce & tomato. Super tasty.

Sadly, while I remembered to bring along my camera and took some nice pictures during our walk, I didn't get a single shot of the delicious food. Fail! We'll just have to make it all again sometime, I guess. ;)

Day 135

Day 224

Sunday was Soren's last swimming class for the summer session. Eleri & I tagged along to watch, and I was able to take some pictures. Soren was super cute. I could tell some things still make him nervous (he's still not very comfortable on his back, for example) but he tries really hard. It seems he'll do just about anything for his adored Coach Marcus. I'd been hearing about Coach Marcus for weeks and was glad to finally get to meet him. He's something of a rock star in our house. ;)

It was a pretty warm morning, so we came on home after swim class. While Eleri had her afternoon nap, Soren got to talk to my dad on the phone and wish him a happy 60th birthday. Happy birthday, Dad! :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The rest of the week

Day 130

Day 219

Tuesday morning we had to wait around for the landlord to bring over the replacement stove. His main concern was that (I guess?) the old stove wasn't a standard size (or maybe shape), so any replacement would have to fit right in the existing cut-out space in the counter. Well, in order to avoid the additional expense of replacing the whole countertop. Fortunately, he had such a stove left over from renovations done to another apartment (I'm not sure how many he owns in this complex, but it's more than 2), so he was going to bring that one over for us. It wouldn't be a *new* stove, but it probably wouldn't be as old as the one we had.

So, around mid-morning, he came over and got started with that. The kids stood at the doorway gate and watched him work, Soren chattering away at him despite my repeated instructions to leave the dude alone (to the landlord's credit, he didn't seem to mind). He managed to remove the old stove, but apparently the wiring was older or not quite what he expected, so he didn't feel comfortable dealing with that part of it without the aid of an electrician. He said he'd get back to us when the electrician was available, so we took off for the park.

We only had a little bit of time to play before naptime, but even that was apparently too much. Poor Eleri had a complete meltdown when it was time to go home, screamed all the way back to the apartment, flopped and flailed and finally fell asleep. That's never fun.

Her happiness was restored in the evening, though, when she gleefully played with Tom before bedtime.

Day 131

Day 220

Wednesday I dropped the kids with A's mom so I could get my tooth fixed. They always have a good time playing at A's house. The tooth repair was quick and uncomplicated. Huzzah. We hung out with A and his mom for a couple hours, then returned home for naps and waiting for the landlord to call. (He didn't.)

Tom got home. I went running. We ate dinner. And that was that for the evening. Except for a wee bit of soccer and Top Shot watching before bed. ;)

Day 132

Day 221

Thursday the landlord and electrician showed up just after Eleri went down for her nap. Fortunately, she stayed asleep. They made reasonably quick work of the stove replacement, all while Soren supervised, of course. Hehe. The "new" stove has knobs instead of push buttons, though two of them are actually oven knobs, labeled with (inaccurate) temperatures instead of "Low - Med - High." Heh. Oh well, it'll work.

After Eleri woke up, we went to the spray park. Alas, a storm started rolling in after we'd only been there about half an hour, and the park shut down due to threat of lightning. It was still a fun trip, albeit short.

Day 133

Day 222

Yesterday morning we went to River Farm with A and his mom. It had been a year since the last time we went there, so this was the first time Eleri could actually play with the boys and climb on stuff. She had a great time. It wasn't too hideously warm a day, but it was quite humid, so all the kids did a lot of sweating from all their running around. Everyone was good and worn out by the time we headed home.

Lunch, naps, dinner prep. I made a tasty pot pie (sausage, bell pepper, spinach, edamame, parmesan...I'd leave out the spinach next time) and took off to check out another barn. It's farther away than the one I looked at last weekend, but still about half the distance to the old barn, and less expensive than the nearer one. They let me observe a lesson, the only "adults" one they teach, apparently. (Lots and lots of kids and teenagers at this barn. Not, I suppose, all that unusual a thing, though.) Anyway, it's rather a step down in skill level from the lesson I was in before, but the instructor seems to be decent. I'll ride with them next week and see how it goes.

On the way home I could see a massive storm ahead of me, almost completely obscuring the buildings along the Beltway. Lightning slashed repeatedly across the sky in miles-long streaks. Driving into the storm was like driving into a waterfall; no gradual approach of rain, just an immediate entry into the downpour. Traffic - sensibly! - slowed to a crawl as lightning flared and thunder boomed all around us. It was a formidable storm, to say the least. Impressive, awe-inspiring, and a little scary. ;) I was glad I didn't have the kids with me. And just as abruptly, the rain ended as I drove out the other side. Pretty crazy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Monday's excitement

Day 129

Day 218

Monday morning, things were going remarkably smoothly. The kids were behaving reasonably well, and the day was just trucking right along. I even posted this on Twitter:

I should have known better.

By afternoon, time had started to drag. Then, while I was sitting at the computer, gnawing kind of absently on my thumbnail (I know...), there was a sudden *crack.* Coming from my mouth. My front tooth, which I broke first in 1991, then again this past January, had reached the limits of its structural integrity and broken yet again. (Yes, the dentist who repaired it the last time warned me not to bite into anything. Ever. It's not like I wasn't warned.) So that was delightful and mortifying. (The "official" story I told the dentist this time around was that one of the kids had bumped my arm while I was about to take a drink of water from a heavy glass, and the glass broke my tooth.)

Anyway. Fortunately, I didn't swallow or lose the little chunk of tooth that broke off, so I was able to stick it back on there in the event that I needed to have face-to-face interactions with people other than my family, and not look like a total hillbilly. This would come in handy later.

I was able to make an appointment for tooth repair on Wednesday. Not so bad. Tom got home, offered hugs of consolation, then took off to go swim. I got started on dinner. I meticulously cut the rest of the meat off the chicken we'd roasted a few days previously. I cut brussels sprouts into shreds and sliced onions & bell peppers. Those went into a pan to sautee together. When that was nearly finished, smelling very tasty, I pulled leftover mashed potatoes out of the fridge and put them into another pot on the stove, to re-heat them. That's when the real fun started.

I was just stirring some sour cream into the potatoes when there was a *pop* and a spark shot out of the stove, somewhere behind the burner I was using. Okaaaay, that was weird. Moments later there were three more loud pops, and the control buttons burst into flame! I grabbed the fire extinguisher, managed through my shaking adrenaline rush to remove the plastic safety tabs, and put out the fire. But the stove was still on, and there was no way I was going anywhere near those buttons to turn it off. I found a stick and managed to use it to shut off one of the burners, but the button for the other burner was melted. At which point - duuuuuh - it occurred to me to just shut off the breaker to the stove. Which I did. Then I surveyed the damage. And then, as you might expect, I took pictures.

Dinner was aaaaaaalmost ready. Seriously, like 2 minutes from serving.

Scorched and melted stove buttons

A few minutes later, Tom returned from the pool, ready for dinner. I showed him the mess in the kitchen and relayed the whole tale. He lifted up the pot with the mashed potatoes and looked at the burner underneath. And this is what we saw.

A chunk of metal had exploded off the heating element. That must have been one of the pops I'd heard.

The bottom of the pot was scorched, and there was a deep pit where the exploded chunk of metal had shot into the bottom.

I don't want to think about what might have happened if I'd moved that pot and the burning metal from the heating element had ricocheted across the kitchen. Or, you know, lodged somewhere in me. I was also very very glad that the kids were not in the kitchen, though they were watching from the doorway (safely behind the nice new gate Tom built). Soren got to watch Mommy use a fire extinguisher in a real, live fire emergency, which was basically the highlight of his week.

Dinner was, of course, ruined. Tom prudently reminded me that my first call ought to be to the landlord, so after I called him, I ordered us some pizzas. The landlord decided he wanted to stop by and check out the damage - thank goodness I was able to put the broken piece back on my tooth and look somewhat presentable. (See, I told you that would be useful later.)

After ALL that, I still managed to get out and go for a walk after dinner. It was, all things considered, a very full day after all.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Day 127

Day 216

Saturday Tom ran some errands in the morning and then brought back our customary Chipotle lunch. We didn't do a whole lot through the middle of the day, and then in the afternoon I got to go riding! It took me all of 12 minutes to get to the new barn (on surface streets, with a couple of long traffic lights). The ride was pretty good. Of course it's always hard to start at a new place, comparing everything against the old place. Since I loved my old barn, just not the drive, the new one doesn't quite measure up yet. Plus it is more expensive. But it's not bad. So I'm going to look around a bit more, but I'll probably give this place a try for at least a month if I can't find anything else suitable.

Day 128

Day 217

Sunday morning Soren had his swimming lesson. Tom said he did some swimming without his water wings! Next week is the last class, so Ellie & I will come along to watch. I'll be sure to take some pictures.

Lazy afternoon. Late in the day I ran a couple of miles outside. It went all right, but it was humid and a tough slog. It actually seemed a little easier once it started sprinkling. I made the somewhat questionable decision to go to the grocery store right afterward; we only needed 2 things, but I came home with about 10. Including a slice of cake. ;) Such is the risk of going food shopping fresh off a tiring workout. Hehe.

We had a pretty cool storm late in the evening. I'm always amazed when the kids are able to sleep right through the booming thunder.

Friday, August 12, 2011

There's a big hill between our apartment and the grocery store, I'll have you know

Day 126 / Day 215

This morning we returned to playgroup for the first time in months. We've seen playgroup people here and there of course, but this was the first actual playgroup "event" we've attended since the Spring. The kids had a nice time, and it was pleasantly not humid, so it was a good day to be outside.

We picked up lunch, made a run to the pet store for more cat food, then came home for Eleri's nap. While she slept, Soren chilled out with his shows and I worked on a website. Speaking of which, anyone want to buy a horse farm? My friend Caitlin is selling hers.

After dinner, I jogged to the grocery store, shopped, then walked home with 25 or 30 pounds of stuff. Blugh. Amazingly, I wasn't at all sore after my big run yesterday, though I anticipate very ouchy shoulders tomorrow. Exercise is important though.

Hopefully I'll have good news of horsing tomorrow!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Half a Nice Day

Day 125

Day 214

"Do I feel better?"
"Yeah, buddy, you seem like you do feel better."
"Yeah...I'm glad. I'm glad I feel better!"

That was the conversation I had with Soren immediately after he woke up this morning. And indeed, his fever was gone, and he seemed to be well on the mend. Huzzah!

A and his mom came over later in the morning, and we all went down to the pool. Man, those kids love the pool. We played and played until Soren was shivery (he's always the first one to get cold), and then the kids played on the playground for another half hour or so. It was, all told, a really nice morning.

The afternoon was less nice. Lunch was delayed by the extra playground excursion, so by the time we got back into the apartment, both kids were rather on the melty side. Eleri finally made it through her lunch and then took an epic 3 hour nap. Soren was just kind of whiny and disagreeable for the rest of the day. Still no resurgence of fever or anything, but it was pretty clear that he was tired. Eleri woke up kind of grumpy from her nap and was not the happiest camper either for the rest of the afternoon. Some days you win, some days you don't, and some days you only win the morning.

After Tom got home, I went outside to run, and I ended up doing a full 5k! Outside! With no walk breaks! I did it in 33:25, which is a far cry from my best 5k time on the treadmill, but I'm still way pleased. Probably won't be able to move tomorrow, but I'm pleased right now.

And! I have a new barn to try on Saturday afternoon. It's super close to home (4.5 miles away...seriously), so that would be a vast improvement over the hour-plus commute each way I was doing before. Here's hoping it all works out. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sick Day

Day 124

Day 213

Last night, Soren woke up sad about half an hour after going to bed. He felt warm, but I got him resettled and back to sleep. Twenty minutes later, he was awake again, and definitely sporting a fever. After measuring it (102+), we gave him some ibuprofen and worked on cooling him down with a damp rag, which he emphatically did not appreciate. Poor little buddy. Eventually the Motrin kicked in, his temp came down, and he was able to go back to sleep. It was not, however, the most restful night of sleep for any of us.

So I bailed on mall walk and we took ourselves a sick day. Soren was fine as long as he had ibuprofen in his system, but as soon as it wore off, his temp kept creeping back up and he turned into a saaaaaad boy. :( The photo above was taken about 5 minutes after he'd fallen asleep on the couch, and only about 30 seconds before he started being harassed by both Eleri and Leo. Sadly, he did not stay asleep through the couch-to-bed transfer; I suspect a nap would have done him some good. Oh well.

A couple of notable things about the day -

In the morning, Soren was playing with his train set, and for very brief moments, Eleri was playing too. Usually she is simply a force of constant destruction, but there were little snippets of "push the cars along the track, choo-choo, whee isn't this fun" happening. It won't be so very long now until she can enjoy the train set too. (And I can enjoy a few minutes without hearing, "Moooom! She's ripping my track!" every thirty seconds.)

Similarly, there were a good fifteen or so minutes a little later in the morning when the two of them were quietly playing Legos together. (Well, Duplos. Same difference.) It. Was. Awesome.

Highlight of the morning: When Soren was done playing with his trains, he picked them up and put them away, without being asked. That's huge. When I ecstatically relayed the joyous news to Tom via email, he replied, "Man. Now you know he's sick."

The rest of the day was free of any further spontaneous toy-cleaning (drat). Ah well. Eleri, for her part, took a 3 hour nap in the early afternoon (she didn't sleep well last night either), and it was a pretty mellow day overall. For dinner I made a big chicken pot pie, with a pie crust bottom and puff pastry top. It was, if I do say so myself, pretty friggin' good. It's not such a difficult thing to make, either. I still have to get the baking of the bottom crust dialed in just a wee bit better. I baked it some before adding the filling this time, but it was still a little underdone at the end. Oh well. More than edible, even so.

Well, hopefully Soren kicks this bug soon. Also hoping desperately that Eleri doesn't catch it. She hasn't shown any signs yet, but it seems kind of futile to think she'll be able to squeak by unexposed. It's no fun having sick kiddos.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I have to remember how to write amusing titles

Day 123

Day 212

Forgive me. I haven't blogged daily in quite some time. ;)

So, today was our last Zoom Around the Room class for this session. Kind of hard to believe, since it feels like we just started. Soren made a new friend this time, so hopefully we'll be able to keep in touch now that class is over. This morning was the day to sign up for the next session's classes. Since Soren will be in preschool 3 days a week, we only signed him up for stuff on the weekend (soccer on Saturday, swimming on Sunday). I did sign Eleri up for one class that she and I will be able to go to, together, after we drop Soren off for school on Friday morning. So that should be fun. :) Nothing starts til mid-September, so we've got quite a few weeks between now and then.

This afternoon we got a memo under our door, informing us that the gym and indoor pool will be closed for construction for the next 3 months. Gah! Just as I'm getting into the exercising groove again. *sigh* The claim is that management will try to find us someplace else to work out in the interim, and I suppose there's always the option to run outside. I'll figure something out.

This evening I made a killer roast chicken. Super juicy, crispy skin (to which I'm crediting a little butter and bacon under the skin, plus some well-timed basting), really flavorful. Recipe snagged from here. A+++, will make again!

One year later

Day 122

Day 211

Yesterday we went back to the play area at the Tyson's Corner mall. We've been there once before, almost a year ago to the day. As before, we went with A and his mom. Eleri was too little to actually play there last time, but she's grown rather a lot since then. ;) Aside from the occasional mad dash over to where the train was parked, she had a good time running around after the boys, climbing and sliding, stopping here and there to make friends with babies and their moms. All 3 kids enjoyed the heck out of the little train ride as well.

After Tom got home that evening, he and I took turns running on the treadmill and playing with the kids in the pool. Soren's gotten really comfortable in the water, between the security of his fancy green floaty vest and the confidence he's been gaining in his swimming class. He was even paddling all around with his face in the water. We stay in the very shallow end when it's just one parent with both kids, so he can touch the bottom at any time. Eleri loves the water too; even she was ducking down to her nose, blowing bubbles. I'm really glad they both enjoy the pool so much. :)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Productive weekend

Last weekend was my final one at the barn. N's not going to be teaching there anymore, so it seemed prudent to check out a couple of the riding barns closer to home. I've not had luck finding a place yet, but I've got another couple of places to check out next week. In the meantime, it meant I had the whole weekend free.

Saturday, while Tom took the kids to the park, I got some work done around the house, culling our vast abundance of toys and reorganizing the kids' room. I'd run outside (for the first time in a while) on Friday evening, just shy of two miles, and my quads were quite sore the next day. So instead of hitting the gym in the afternoon, I took Soren out with me to do the grocering. He insisted on wearing his chef outfit, which was pretty darned cute. He got a couple of compliments (no great surprise) and was a merry little dude.

We've been using the playpen to block the doorway between the kitchen and dining room. Soren's way too big for it now (can climb in and out with ease), so it mostly finds use these days as a repository for junk. It's time to get rid of it, but that doorway is too narrow for any of our baby gates, and it's convenient to be able to leave the doors open while cooking to keep an eye on the kids, who also cannot come barreling into the kitchen. So Tom decided to custom build a gate (call it another chapter in our babyproofing adventures). He got the supplies and started working on it Saturday evening.

Day 121

Day 210

Sunday morning Soren had his swimming lesson. Eleri and I checked out the little park that's just outside the back gate of our condo complex. I hadn't been up there in quite a while, and they've completely renovated it. Pretty slick new play structure, swings, hopscotch, even a foursquare court (haven't seen one of those in years). It was a steamy and sticky morning, so we didn't stay too long, but Eleri seemed to have a good time. I suspect we'll be returning again with Soren soon.

Tom worked on his gate for much of the afternoon and got it finished. I think it looks pretty good!

In the afternoon I went to the gym and got back on the ol' treadmill. The exercise actually seems to have done my sore quads some good. Go figure. I managed what I believe is a lifetime personal best for distance - 3.9 miles! I've come to the conclusion that increasing my speed much above 7 mph, which would allow me to improve my time on the 5k, is the primary culprit in the recurrence of my shin splints, so I've decided to abandon speed for distance. I'm not going for a marathon or anything insane like that, but I think it'd be neat to be up to 5 miles by the end of the year. I've been logging my runs and walks and have posted the link up there in the sidebar. You can check it out if you are so inclined. ;)

That's about it for the weekend. Here's to another (hopefully speedy) week.

And now suddenly it's August?

I'm not kidding, the past three weeks have seemed to zoom by like some sort of...really speedy thing. I'm certainly not complaining, but I've found myself without the usual slot in my schedule for blogging. I have, at least, been able to continue keeping up on daily photographs of the kids, so here we are yet again with another heap of them to post. If I can think of anything amusing or relevant to say about any of the days from the past few weeks, I'll write a wee bit; otherwise, just enjoy the pictures. :)

Day 102

Day 191

Day 103

Day 192

Day 104

Day 193

Day 105

Day 194

We got some new Beaver gear in the mail from my parents. It's equal opportunity support of the undergrad almas mater around here. ;)

Day 106

Day 195

Day 107

Day 196

Day 108

Day 197

Soren has been enjoying his swimming lessons at the rec center.  I still haven't gone to watch yet, but I'll have to do that soon.

Day 109

Day 198

I got my old longboard out of the closet, as the lad has been obsessed with trying to "skate" on books or  pieces of cardboard or toys...pretty much anything.  He was super jazzed about getting to play around with a real skateboard. (And super cute, doing it.)

Day 110 / Day 199

Day 111 / Day 200

Frequently, when Eleri's in the stroller and Soren's walking, he will suddenly run around to the front so he can give her a hug.  It can be a bit jarring if I'm not paying sufficient attention, but mostly it's just adorable.

Day 112

Day 201

We went back to Huntley Meadows Park for the first time in a while.  It's pretty neat there. Lots of nature, not far at all from the big city.

Day 113

Day 202

Day 114

Day 203

Tom finally got to join us at the spray park. (He's been jealous every time we've gone without him during the week.)  Everyone had a great time, splashing and playing.

Day 115

Day 204

Day 116

Day 205

Day 117

Day 206

Day 118

Day 207

After yet another trip to Ben Brenman Park (one of the nearest fenced playgrounds to our apartment) I put together this photoset, containing all the photos I've taken there over the years. The first ones are from when Soren was just over a year old, so it's pretty neat to watch the kids kind of grow up over the course of 80-some pictures.

Day 119

Day 208

Day 120

Day 209